The Three Dispensations


One of the points the Lord was making on the road to Emmaus as recorded in the book of Hebrews is that salvation through faith was nothing new, for salvation was through faith before the law was given: By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.Heb. 11:7 However, under the law salvation was through faith and doing the law, as Paul later wrote: For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Gal. 5:3 Just as Noah and others before the law was given were under a different dispensation than the circumcision, so are believers in Christ under a different dispensation.


There are three dispensations in scripture as man is redeemed from the fall of Adam. When Adam fell, he was no longer a servant of the Lordís house. He had become a servant of Satanís house, the house of which all the descendents of Adam are born: he that believes not is condemned already.John 3:18 This is the condition resulting from Adamís original sin. As servants of another, men were not called by the Lord. However, the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handywork,Ps. 19:1 and the Lord did find the runaway servants who sought Him: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord. Gen. 4:26 Salvation was by faith, as we are shown in Hebrews, but not free from the condemnation of sin, Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses (even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression) who is the figure of him that was to come, Rom 5:14 and under this first dispensation condemnation was immediate with death, the condemned under the first dispensation are the people of old time in this verse: When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living. Ezek. 26:20 Satan made his claim for the body of MosesJude 1:9 because Moses had killed the EgyptianEx. 2:11-12 under the first dispensation. Since some of Satanís servants were slipping into salvation, a new agreement was sought to stop the gap. The Lordís part in the agreement was deferment of condemnation until the judgment, negating Satanís claim for the body of Moses, who died under this dispensation, and bringing Jacob and his descendents to whom the law was given into the Lordís house. The other guyís part in the agreement was the adding of the curse of the law to salvation: For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them:Gal. 3:10, 1Tim 4:1-3 When you come to appear before me, who has required this at your hand, to tread my courts?Is 1:12,1Tim. 4:1-4 Salvation now came not merely through faith but also through doing the law. Wayfaring Jews were people of His house and could be sought out and called by Him: Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter not. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.Matt 10:5-6 When the price for all sin was paid on the cross, the Lord was free to seek out all: Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,Mark 16:15 and salvation of all in Him was through faith, free from condemnation: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.Rom 8:1 All, not in Christ, remain under the condemnation of the law, for Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Matt5:18††


The Jews and those who have come into Christ are servants in the Lordís house; so, there are two groups of elect, the gospel electCol. 3:12 and the enemy-of-the-gospel elect.Rom 11:28 Only the gospel-elect are free from the condemnation of the law. One is not appointed to wrath,1Thess 5:9 spending the millennium in the place prepared for them,John 14:2-3 but the other is appointed to wrath,Ps 95:11 spending the millennium on earth removing the condemnation of the law by obeying it in His reign with a rod of iron.Rev. 2:27