Dispensations are periods of time where God shows how man develops and maintains a fellowship with Him. Each of the seven Biblical Dispensations are built on the previous dispensations. Each Dispensation demonstrates how to be in fellowship with God and why Man has failed his responsibility.
Innocence, Dispensation One, shows simple obedience to God. Conscience, Dispensation Two, shows man cannot trust his own mind to have fellowship with God. Human Government, Dispensation Three, shows fellowship with God is not found in nations or groups.
The Dispensation of Human Government, the third of seven, begins in Genesis 8 with Noah and his family being the only survivors of the flood God used to cleanse the world of evil. They are commanded by God to restart the human race and populate the earth. The Dispensation of Human Government includes the Patriarchal Age where God talked directly with the Fathers. It is during this Dispensation that the Patriarchal Age Abrahamic Covenant between God and Abraham promising an all nation blessing, Isaac, would come from Abraham's seed. From this promise the twelve tribes of Israel come into being. A famine causes the sons of Isaac to seek help in the Kingdom of Egypt where they soon become honored residents.
As time goes on the Israelites prosper and multiply in Egypt until the once blessing Egyptian government becomes extremely oppressive enslaving them. The people are put to work under dire circumstances to work on government projects. They cry out to God for deliverance and God sends the baby Moses who grows up under Egyptian privilege for 40 years. Moses becomes a fugitive after killing an Egyptian he saw beating a Hebrew, "one of his brethren." When Moses is 80 years old God sends him back to bring His people out of Egypt.
Moses and his brother Aaron follow God's directions and Pharaoh finally allows the Hebrews to leave after a series of miracles and plagues. He has second thoughts and he sends his army out to bring them back. The Hebrews are chased to and trapped by the Red Sea where God miraculously saves them and destroys the Egyptian army thus ending the Dispensation of Human Government and beginning the Dispensation of Law under the direct rule of God's Word through Moses.
The Dispensation of Human Government shows man God's orders cannot be defeated by gathering themselves under government or group leadership. God's will and purpose will be accomplished. The Dispensation of Human Government showed that human groups or organizations are not the source of fellowship with God.
This fourth dispensation, the Dispensation of Law shows that fellowship with God can only be realized by relying on Jesus, the one promised to Abraham in the "Covenant of Promise" at the beginning of the third dispensation the Dispensation of Human Government. Obedience to the very detailed Law given through Moses which is best known for its "10 Commandments," only allowed the forgiveness of sins to be put off for a year with required sacrifices through strict requirements. God shows that relying on His Word requires both law and Jesus.
The Dispensation of Law ends with the birth of Jesus.
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. (Galatians 3:24-25)
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