Chapter 17i A parentheses or interval or overlay or insertion of the pending period of time for Israel
This chart below gives more detail showing the six dispensations without today's dispensation. God would have completed His program with mankind and saved Gentiles who believed even if today's dispensation would not have existed, however, it would have been through the Nation of Israel as the prophets foretold. He would have call out of the world a congregation or church by the message of the Gospel that would have been dispensed through the remnant of Jewish believers who accepted Him as Messiah and Savior. (This is not however the way He is working in today's dispensational program, today's program the Jewish Nation has no uniqueness for the salvation of individuals. Today all are to be ambassadors with the gospel of reconciliation, all come as individual sinners, all come by individual personnel faith, all come by the New Covenants' provisions and all receive the same blessed hope. What marks this dispensation in its uniqueness is the equality of all mankind and mankind's responsibility as individuals in approaching God. Today's Church is call the Body of Christ and not the church of Israel which would relate to their earthly Kingdom.)
Today's program is a Mystery dispensation that was inserted in God's plan and it has caused the non-dispensationalist, cults and most in the Christian circles today confusion and the mixing up of the two programs, the confusion and error, is their attempt to reconcile their understanding of scripture, (Colossians 1:24-27, Ephesians 3:9, Romans 16:25-27) . With the confusion and errors divisions and cults have risen over the centuries but as the believers have studied the Word and clarified the different dispensation this confusion has been lifting. As you study this material you will see from the Word of God the distinctions and you will find it exciting and clearing of the fog in your understanding. Once you understand these distinction you will find a freedom because you will not be able to be led astray from wrong teaching. Your understanding with the learning of dispensations will never take the responsibility for living holy and a righteous life, these truth are never to be a substitute or give licenses for sinning they are for stability of understanding. Replacement theology is wrong - the church call the Body of Christ in the Dispensation of Equality does not replace the Nation of Israel and God's fulfilling His promises to the people He calls His chosen people a Royal Nation.
In the chapter on the Body of Christ we will learn that the church of today is a non-prophesized program which was an overlay on the Dispensation of Promise. The fulfillment with the Nation of Israel was delayed by God with the pending judgment for Israel's failure (the prophesied 70wks of Daniel) and the overlay of today's dispensation, is delaying or postponing the punitive judgment and earthly Kingdom until the Dispensation of Grace in completed, Romans 10:1-6, 15-21, Romans 11.
With the Nation of Israel's prophesied rejection of the Messiah Jesus, their King and sending Him to the cross by the hands of the Gentile shows their rejection of the second person of the Godhead. Israel already had rejected the Farther at the time when they went into captivity that started the times of the Gentile's oppression on them and rule over them. The crucifixion continued Israel rejection of God the Farther by rejecting the Son. The Nation of Israel rejected both the Father and the Son who was and did carry out the redemptive plan. This was to be done before Israel was to receive their earthly Kingdom and the Christ's eternal Kingship rule over the earth. But, God in His foreknowledge new of their actions and the events of their rejection was prophesied. This all was accounted for by God and it was in keeping with His plan to bring into existence the New Covenant with the indwelling Holy Spirit in the hearts of individuals permanently here on earth until the redemption of the physical bodies. After the crucifixion and Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given, God states His longsuffering towards them and stating the words of Peter 'they did it in their ignorance' but now were to repent and accept Jesus Christ as savior and King, Acts 2:36-39, 3:17-26.
Israel could not be laid aside or the punitive judgment of the seventy weeks begin of Daniel's prophecy until the New Covenant became operational. It could not become operational until Christ Jesus finished His redemptive sacrifice for all mankind and the Holly Spirit was given which happened at Pentecost, (Acts 2) under the Dispensation of Promise.
It would be a good time to remind you again a covenant does not change a dispensation; it take all 7 key principles to bring about the change for a dispensation. Dispensations are not covenants and covenants are not dispensations. We find the Old Covenant in operation before the Dispensation of Promise until the implementation of the New Covenant. We see the Mosaic Law given at Sinai which was added to the Dispensation of Promise where the Old Covenant had already been in operation since Adam and Eve. In the Dispensation of Promise there are other covenant which were given and as yet not fulfilled to the Nation of Israel and the world. The failure of the Promise dispensation was to bring about the 70th week of Daniel's Prophecy bringing judgment on Israel for their rejection of responsibility and the world's sin. The completion of the tribulation period brings about the change in the dispensations with Jesus Christ's coming back to earth restoring leadership to the Nation of Israel with the Dispensation of the Kingdom.
With Israel's rejection of the New Covenant after implemented in Acts, they rejected to be the dispensers of the truth of New Covenant and the Gospel message as the Promise Nation and with rejecting their committed they rejected the Holy Spirit the third person of the trinity, sealing the Nation's judgment. Their sin would bring about the transition and dispensational change. The sin of their rejection of the Father, the Son and now the Holy Spirit would bring the 70th week prophesied judgment on them and the world, which when completed would end with the Dispensation of the Kingdom in operation. Remember all of this would have happened if there had not been a mystery dispensation 'Hid in God' and implemented overlaying Israel scheduled prophesied program as revealed in the mid Acts documentation in God's Word.
However, God stopped His prophesied program with Israel extending the time of His wrath to a latter time in history. By God postponing the 70th week judgment He started a new program which was not prophesied. God says it is a mystery Dispensation hid in God since the foundation of the world, some translations even use the words before the foundations of the earth. God uses the words to describe it as the 'Dispensation (or administration) of the Grace of God' penned by the Apostle Paul in the Book of Ephesians. He call it the church of His Body made up of all mankind saved by ones individual responds to the gospel of Christ Jesus' redemptive provision, the New Covenant. The Nation of Israel is no-longer given the leadership role but every individual become responsible in the Body of Christ to represent Christ Jesus and give the redemptive plan of God for salvation for both Jew and Gentile. Now all believers both the circumcised (Jewish individuals) and uncircumcised (Gentiles - all not Jewish) will have a part of the covenants and promises which Israel as a Nation had alone for the end of the Dispensation of Grace see chapter on the dispensation.
Before the seventy week of Daniel begins which is the judgment on both dispensations, of Promise and of Grace the Rapture will occur. However we need to understand how prophecy has been postponed by today's dispensation being overlaid.
A parentheses or interval or overlay or insertion all describe aspects of how God put into operation the pending period of time for the Nation of Israel which is awaiting the end of this dispensation and then the tribulation period of the wrath of God beginning. Many Bible scholars have explained this delay or pending period as a parentheses period in the dispensation of Promise or prophesied program of God. God in His foreknowledge and grace inserted today's program (or Dispensation) which stopped the final judgment of Daniels 70th week on Israel to begin. This parentheses started after Acts 7, and will end at the Rapture of the Body of Christ the church today. The transition period which started at Acts 7 to today's dispensation is in keeping with the keys of a dispensation and the change to the next which all dispensations have before going into the dispensation after them (see chapter on transitions of a dispensation).
All the definition below helps to describes the 'interval' or insertion of the Dispensation of Grace, the church which is the Body of Christ of today. The word Overlay describes an aspect where today's dispensation overlays the fulfillment on Israel and their judgment of the 70th weeks of Daniel's prophecy. However even though the Nation of Israel is laid aside there are still individual Israelite being saved but in relationship to today's dispensation not the Kingdom dispensation where they hold an earthly covenant relationship receiving the promises of their earthly Kingdom.
The only short fall with calling today's dispensation a 'parentheses' which is defined as 'a secondary importance' weakens the truth because today's dispensation is one of the highest privilege a person can receive today; we are part of Jesus Christ's body not a subject under a Kingship governing relationship. This does not say however believers today are not part of the Kingdom of God eternally and are not responsible to bring about in our living the moral, and characteristics of the Kingdom, we are responsible because we are ambassadors of Christ Jesus Body and He is working through believers in this unique position to the world today and the universal principle of holiness remain the same in scripture, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21. We also know that God's chosen Nation Israel is still in His heart and believers today are not to be proud in their faith thinking this is not true, Romans, chapters 10-11.It would be a good time for you to examine again the following charts. The chart labeled all the dispensations described in the Bible and the chart labeled the dispensations without today's dispensation.
Inserted - place something inside of something, to put something inside something else.
Parentheses - marks enclosing a matter of secondary importance, (****)?
Interval - something that acts as a pause or break in something
Overlay – a transparent sheet containing additional detail that is placed on top of another graphic.
All the dispensations described in the Bible The dispensations without today's dispensation
Click picture to enlarge and print Chart without today's dispensation
On the chart without today's dispensation - if you bring the green lines together you would see that the chart would still be complete without the space which represented the dispensation of today. If God would not have inserted today's dispensation in His program it still would have fulfilled all of prophecy just as it will after today's dispensation. God still would have saved Gentiles as revealed in the old Testament and in the Book of Revelation. The difference in the three dispensations is the Gentile's position or relationship with the covenants and promise where the Nation of Israel is predominant and in the future, where the Gentiles will be subordinate subjects in their relationship to Israel as Christ rules on David's throne in Jerusalem.
Dispensation of Promise - I will bless Gentiles as they bless Israel, (A geographic Kingdom Nation)
Dispensation of Grace - all equal, no difference between Jew and Gentile all of one Body, (All Nations Equally)
Dispensation of the Kingdom - The Nation of Israel predominate in Christ's rule and Gentiles subordinate subjects.
In the next chapters we will be looking at each dispensation in more detail but some of these basic proceeding detail are important to understanding. We have had so much confusion and a mixing of these truths which the understanding of the proceeding can help clear up. If you still have a foggy understanding ask our Lord to open your understanding. Remember first have the understanding before you reject these truths; God will hold you accountable for the wrong caring and handling what He has given.
So the statue that king Nebuchadnezzar dreamed about. Was any of the parts representing the United States before the rock from heaven shattered it into pieces or was it representing old kingdoms?
Jer, I can assure you that it is not specifically cutting out the US in particular but it could be referring to government of multiple economies. Only in a matter of the prophetic truth it is covering a period which will end with the Lord Jesus return to earth to set up His earthly kingdom. We are living in the time called “the time of the Gentles” and the end if this time is Armageddon, however, there are event which will occur before this time happens. The Rapture or end of this dispensation and the entrance into the transition to Christ return to earth literally and he sits on the throne of David. This time from the Rapture to Armageddon is the beginning of the transition into the next dispensation called the Dispensation of the Kingdom. Before the fullness of the next dispensation, the dispensation of the Kingdom, the earth experiences the Tribulation/Great Tribulation periods ending with the Battle of Armageddon. The end of this transition also ends the “Time of the Gentiles”.
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By: Theodore D Pestor/ President/Pastor BTH