Our Time Scope IV
Dispensations, Administrations, Ages
In this series we revisited the integrity of God’s Word when we studied the God-breathed Word. Then we set more of the scope of God’s Word looking at the supreme rule of the Kingdom of God and further how God laid out the three heavens and earths. In the three heavens and earths we could clearly see that they are linear, one following the other.
Now we need to look at dispensations and covenants in the Word of God. Although none of these studies have been exhaustive, they are set with the accuracy of God’s Word that is seen from Genesis through the book of Revelation.
Many things have been stated concerning dispensations, some accurate and some foolishness. To the negative side many have declared them to be a false understanding of God’s Word because they are a “new” doctrine. We will consider that aspect. To the positive side some have declared they are the only method by which you can understand God’s Word. We will consider this also. Neither the positive nor negative sides as just stated is completely accurate.
If you refuse to study and understand dispensations, then you will never fully understand the Word of God. The same logic is true when considering covenants. God placed both within His Word, therefore an understanding of both is required. When God has taken the time to place something in His Word it is worthy of study.
Consider all that occurs in one day. Now multiply that by a week, or a year. How about a thousand years.
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
The few events God has chosen to place in His Word, among the countless events over the thousands of years since Adam and Eve were formed, made, and created must be of the utmost importance. God is teaching us about Himself, His heart. God is teaching us about life and godliness. Being God, and all-knowing, makes the events He has chosen to be in His-story even more important to know and understand.
So, what is a dispensation?
Dispensation comes from the Greek word oikonomia. It is a compound Greek word from oikos which means a house, and nemo, to manage or distribute. Literally oikonomia means the management of a house. It is generally translated into English as dispensation or administration when the context speaks of a time frame, or steward when the context speaks of the individual overseeing a household.
Being a resident of the United States I prefer the word administration, concerning a time frame, since I have grown up with that word being used politically. Each time we change Presidents we have a new administration. There is a transition between the change in administrations and generally, each administration is unique unto itself. Although one person does not carry out all policy decisions during a President’s time in office, the administration generally carries his name.
The easiest way to understand this is to realize the White House is the people’s house and every four years the United States elects a person to live in that house while that person stewards the country. The President is to steward our country according to the U.S. Constitution. With each administration in the Bible there is also a steward to oversee the continuation of God’s Word, God’s Word in every administration is for edification. A change in God’s primary method of edification is the great key to recognizing a change in administrations. There is a unique and new method of edification introduced with each new administration.
The White House must always be identified as a symbol of our Republic. So, administrations are also a symbol. A symbol by which God oversees, like our Constitution, the best way to care for His family. It is God ministering to the needs of His household. As the U.S. Constitution oversees each Presidential administration, so God oversees each of His administrations and each of His stewards.
Through faith [pistis = believing] we understand that the worlds [aion = ages, plural] were framed [katartizo = equipped, outfitted] by the word [rhema = a portion, right portion] of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Each age or administration was equipped (katartizo) by God with a portion (rhema) or an aspect of His Word, not only a portion but the right word for that time frame. It is how God edified humanity in each administration. Some chose to believe God and were added to His family, His household. Man’s sole responsibility in every administration is to believe God, to take Him at His Word.
These administrations are seven in number, each with their own distinct and unique method of edification, the right word for the right time. That does not mean there is only one method of edification but there is one focal point or unique method of edification. As we go through these administrations you will see certain means of edification continue from one administration into the next administration. However, the focal point for edification has changed.
We will also briefly discuss the names I have applied to these administrations and why that name was selected. Further, we will address some points in each administration that I think will help in giving you an overview of the administration. Also, we will see the point of transition from one administration to the next.
1 - Paradise Administration
The first administration I call the Paradise Administration. You could also make a case for calling it the Administration of the Garden. I am sure there are other names that some would find acceptable as well. The point is not the name but the heart of “HOW” God is, or was, working with His family. During this time God edified humanity with His gift of holy spirit upon both members of humanity. God gave to both Adam and Eve His image and His likeness.
This administration is covered extensively in the series on The Fall of Mankind therefore I will refer you back to those teachings rather than handle it again.
As Adam and Eve rejected God’s gift of holy spirit, His image, His holy spirit was gone from them. They had received God’s image upon a condition. But God’s likeness, the imprint upon man’s soul life, the spirit of man (Job 32:8, Zechariah 12:1, Proverbs 20:27) remained within humanity. This is part of what makes humanity God-hungry. Every culture, in every area of the world, has looked for and found at least one god, or invented a god of their own imagination.
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
All of humanity has searched for God, generation after generation. Too often ignoring the previous generation to re-invent the same wheels.
Then, after a brief time of transition, shown in Genesis chapter 3, humanity was expelled from God’s Garden entering the Patriarchal Administration when God edified humanity through His Word written in the stars.
2 - Patriarchal Administration
The Patriarchal Administration is so named because it takes place during the time of the patriarchs. During this time God edifies His family by writing His Word in the stars. Written within the stars are pictures that draw the account of how God will bring to pass redemption and salvation.
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
Psalm 19 begins with God’s Word written in the stars and ends with God’s Word written in a book, a book we call the Bible.
Biblically we would start with the seed of the woman, from Genesis 3. Consider the sphinx in Egypt.
Why the sphinx? It begins with the head of a woman and ends with the body of a lion.
Why Egypt? Consider Joseph the excellent example of a steward in his father’s house, and in Potiphar’s house, and in Pharaoh’s house. Joseph had an amazing influence on and impact in Egypt.
Much like another man some centuries later, Daniel. Daniel's influence over the astronomers first in Babylon and later in Persia brought magi, those we call the wise men, from the East following another star.
We know God’s zodiac would begin with Virgo, the seed of the woman, of Genesis 3:15.
Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Then God’s zodiac would end with Leo, the King of kings.
The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
Night after night the sun moves through these signs in a yearly circle, showing one sign after the other. Where is the beginning and where is the end? When we know the correct starting point, then we can see the full circle.
God is all-knowing, He sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). He knows the stars He created, and named, and set them to their purpose. The stars are for signs and seasons (Genesis 1:14).
There is no better time to lay out God’s plan of redemption and salvation in the stars then when man leaves the Garden. A campfire produces exceptionally little light pollution to hinder your view of the heavens. Psalm 19 states the heavens declare or speak of the glory of God and proclaim the work of His hands. Night after night makes known knowledge and understanding.
Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
King James Version
Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades? Can you loosen Orion’s belt? Can you bring forth the constellations [Mazzaroth] in their seasons or lead out the Bear[d] with its cubs?
New International Version
God set the original zodiac. Before the flood, during Noah’s time, most simply did not believe it. After the flood, Nimrod perverted it. (Remember Acts 13:10).
How did the magi know of the star to follow for the birth of the king? First, Daniel was put in charge of the wise men of Babylon.
Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.
Later, Daniel was made the first president over the kingdom of the Medes and Persians.
Israel understood God’s Word written in the stars. Daniel, as the leader of the wise men, both in Babylon and in Persia, used his influence to teach their astronomers about the coming King of the Judeans (Matthew 2:1-14).
2 Kings 23:5
And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets [Mazzaroth], and to all the host of heaven.
King James Version
2 Kings 23:5
He did away with the idolatrous priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah and on those around Jerusalem—those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations [Mazzaroth] and to all the starry hosts.
New International Version
If you are reading the Revised Standard Version with margin notes, for Mazzaroth it will say, “the twelve signs” or “the signs of the zodiac.”
God had written in the stars the means of redemption from the seed of the woman, through the Messiah’s suffering, to his ultimate victory.1
What about God’s gift of holy spirit? Did it end with the Garden? Did any man have God’s spirit upon him in the Patriarchal Administration? Was it the same as it had been with Adam?
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
For Enoch to prophesy he had to have God’s gift of holy spirit upon him. Now, look also at what Jude declares Enoch prophesied, “The Lord comes with ten thousand of his saints…” Enoch was speaking about the second coming of Christ! He did not just see the seed of the woman, God showed him Christ coming back in victory!
Someone, perhaps Enoch, maybe even Adam, had to walk with God to receive the pictures in the heavens. Then those men spoke what God had revealed to them to led humanity through the zodiac, so that all could believe in the seed of the woman.
Joseph is another man who had God’s gift of holy spirit upon him. We will understand more about spirit upon verses holy spirit by nature when we come to our specific time in God’s road map to redemption and salvation.
And Pharaoh said unto his servants, can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
Adam had a condition for keeping God’s gift of holy spirit, do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. However, from the Garden of Eden into the four Gospels God does not give any conditions for receiving His gift of holy spirit or for losing His gift of holy spirit. Giving or losing holy spirit in the Old Testament is completely at God’s discretion.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
1 Samuel 16:14
But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.
David had messed up big time, but God did not take His holy spirit away from David. Saul on the other hand lost his spirit from God. In the Old Testament God set no conditions for receiving or losing holy spirit. It is at the discretion of God, perhaps also, an issue of the heart.
The Patriarchal Administration did not have special rules or laws to follow that were universal or across the board in all areas.
(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
… for where no law is, there is no transgression.
Until God gave His Law to Moses, there was no specific law for man to follow. If there are no traffic lights you will not get a ticket for running a red light. It is that simple. The Patriarchal Administration did not have specific laws for man to follow.
And the times of this ignorance [Patriarchal Administration] God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent:
The times spoken of in the context are the times of the Patriarchal Administration. The context is awesome, you should take the time to read it.
Other means of edification God used in the Patriarchal Administration included prophets, priests, preaching, and coming into concretion. A prophet not only speaks of things in the future, he also just speaks God’s Word to other people. Enoch was not sent as a prophet to Israel, Enoch was sent to the world. There was no Israel in his day.
Melchizedek was a priest of the “most high God.” You do not have a priest unless you have a congregation where the priest can minister (Genesis 14). Noah was called a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5). God also came into concretion, consider Exodus 3. God would come into concretion to reach man through his senses if he did not have holy spirit. God also sent angels to speak with people.
There are always a multitude of ways or methods God employs to reach and edify humanity. Nonetheless, each administration has one unique way for God to edify humanity. In the Patriarchal Administration it was God writing His Word of redemption and salvation in the stars.
The Patriarchal Administration was over 2,500 years in duration. The steward of the Patriarchal Administration is Noah. Without him, God’s plan of salvation ends. Without him, God’s family grows no larger. Without him, the line of the “seed of the woman” is cut off and terminated.
By faith [pistis = believing] 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 [pistis = believing].
The Greek word for “heir” is the compound word kleronomos. It is derived from kleros, which means, one who has been assigned the care or oversight of a thing. The other Greek word is nemo, which we saw earlier with oikonomia, and means to distribute or manage. Together these words would declare that Noah received as his possession, his inheritance, to manage righteousness. Without the believing of Noah, we would never have arrived at another great believer in the Patriarchal Administration, the man known as Abraham.
God needed to wait for a man like Moses before He could begin the next administration. Just as God had to wait for a woman like Mary before He could bring “the seed of the woman.” However, understand that during the time of the patriarchs, where the administration gets its name, God’s primary method of edification was His Word written in the stars.
3 - Law Administration
Following the Patriarchal Administration, we enter the Law Administration. The Law Administration lasted around 1,500 years, although some seem to think it continues up to and including today.
Are they correct? The Law Administration has indeed ended but what about the Mosaic Covenant of Law? Has that ended yet?
The Law Administration begins when the Nation of Israel, at the foot of Mount Sinai, agrees to the changes God wants to make in the Abrahamic Covenant. Why have I called the Mosaic Covenant an addendum to God’s everlasting Covenant with Abraham and his descendants?
For a complete understanding we need both Administration and Covenant. Not, either or, but both!
Moses is the point of transition from the Patriarchal Administration to the Law Administration as Moses is first a patriarch and then the giver of the law. It makes the transition from one administration to the next easier on the people.
The primary source of edification in this administration is God’s Written Word. There were also prophets, and a priesthood, and judges, and angels carrying messages from God, and God’s gift of holy spirit upon individuals, and God coming into concretion. All of these provided ways for humanity to be edified during the Law Administration.
Why did God need to make an addendum to His Abrahamic Covenant? God needed to bring in the Law because in the years since Abraham had walked with God, Abraham’s children, his descendants, really had no understanding or comprehension of God.
Abraham was not perfect in his walk before God, but if Abraham had seen all that Israel was privileged to see to bring them out of Egypt, Abraham would have had no doubt in God’s promise. Yet, Abraham’s children were filled with unbelief.
And they said unto Moses, because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
430 years after God called Abraham out of Ur, and 400 years after the birth of Isaac, the descendants of Abraham have no idea who or what God is all about. They have been Egyptized! They had acquired the mindset of a slave and a pagan.
And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
Out of sight…out of mind. God who? Moses who? We should go back to Egypt, we had so much fun as slaves!
And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, these be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
Why did God give the Law to Moses?
Therefore, by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Remember the Patriarchal. No sin because there was no Law. God gave them Law so that they could identify wrong behavior. God gave them Law so that they would easily see that they required a savior, a redeemer.
What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, thou shalt not covet.
God gave them the law and it showed them sin and they became guilty. BUT God also showed them the way out of sin with sacrifices, with the Day of Atonement, with the scape goat to carry away all guilt. The Law pointed them to the Messiah! The Law showed them they could not do it on their own BUT that God would send the seed of the woman.
Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
The law was not designed to make a man righteous but to show him his transgressions. The law was to bring Israel unto the “seed.” Now, when I tell you in a few minutes what signaled the end of the Law Administration this will make perfect sense to you.
Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid, for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
If there had been a law that could give righteousness, then God would have given Israel that law. Instead, God gave them a law that demonstrated how a redeemer would accomplish for them what they could not do for themselves.
Consider the tabernacle that God gave to Moses.
Go under the walls…climb over the walls…the penalty is death.
There was only one gate…there is only one way to God.
As you enter by the gate, what is the first thing you see?
The brazen altar.
Look around…what do you see?
Blood of sacrifices, death, judgment!
Then the laver of water, to cleanse…to wash away the blood…to wash away the dust and the dirt before a priest would enter the holy place.
Everything about the tabernacle pointed to the coming seed.
Everything about the Temple pointed to the coming seed.
And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he [Jesus, the risen Christ] expounded unto them [the men on the road to Emmaus] in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
The risen Christ taught from the scriptures the things concerning himself. He could do this because the Old Testament Law and the prophets were about the coming Messiah, the seed of the woman.
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [paidagogos = tutor] to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
A paidagogos was, “a boy’s guardian or tutor, a slave who had the charge of the boy’s life and morals for the family, not strictly a teacher.”2
A paidagogos is, “not an instructor but a trustworthy slave to whom was committed the care of his master's sons from ages six to puberty. He was to guard them from evil both physically and morally rather than to communicate instruction. He went with them to school; he accompanied them outside and was responsible for their personal safety and their avoidance of bad company. The law was a “pedagoge”, not an instructor or a teacher.”3
The Law was a tutor to guide morally and help avoid the wrong company. The Law Administration prepared Israel for the coming Messiah, the seed of the woman.
Romans chapter 7 teaches us that the Law was spiritual, and holy, and just, and good. But we must also remember that the Law is deadly when used incorrectly.
1 Timothy 1:8
But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully.
Read the context of 1 Timothy 1:8. The law was made for sinners. To guide, as a tutor, away from bad associations and bad morals. The law was to guide until the promised seed came. It was never meant to use as a weapon.
The Law Administration ended with the ministry of John the Baptist.
For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
When the ministry of John the Baptist ended, so too did the Law Administration. The Law continued but the administration was completed.
This ends part one of Dispensations, Administrations, Ages.
Due to the length of this teaching I felt it better to break it into Parts.
1. See Dr. E.W. Bullinger, The Witness of The Stars
2. Blue Letter Bible footnote
3. Rev. Walter Cummins, Scripture Consulting
© Auxano Ministry 2020
All verses quoted in this teaching are from the King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise noted.