Chapter 4c The Covenants and their relationship to dispensations found in Scripture

Definition: A pact, promise, pledge, treaty, alliance, or agreement between two parties of equal or of unequal authority.

A covenant does not change, the covenant comes to completion fulfilling the stipulations for which it was made at it establishment. The Covenants of the Bible are not open-ended, their content does not change, they exist until they come to fulfillment. Once the Biblical covenant's content is established the progression in history does not change the covenant. Only the dispensational rules for carrying out the covenant in history can change within the dispensation. Galatians 3:15 say a covenant cannot be set aside or added to, from the original establishment. It is very important not to add to a covenant in which God had established. God's promises are assured he does not change his mind or is caught off guard by human's failures or imagination. God's covenants are absolute, guarantees of His promises. Therefore, it is important to know and understand the stipulations and perimeters within a covenant and not mix the rules of a dispensation with the established covenant in carrying it out.

Galatians 3:15, "Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case."

Some Theologians and writers have used exclusively the covenants as the central theme in trying to unify the Scripture. They have added and changed the definition of covenants by forcing an understanding of the covenants that belong to the mechanism of a dispensations; by doing so they have missed the dispensational teaching of God's Word which gives the symmetry of the workings and how the administering of His plans was/is carried out in history. However, covenants within a dispensation is important and can be seen operating in the particular dispensation, which does not violate God's teaching of either.

The Organization of the Bible

Most people only think in terms of Old Testament (Genesis through Malachi) and New Testament (Mathew through Revelation) when describing the Bible, (testament means covenant). This organizing of division was a result of Covenant Theology and not Dispensational Theology. However, today most dispensationalist still cling to the two divisions. Futhure, this division was/is a subjective decision, not an absolute division of completeness of the teaching within the Old Testament and New Testament's facts that results in a wrong understanding of God's Word.

The words testament and covenant are synonymous with each other. Those who compiled the Bible, organized the Bible in this division, calling the names of books before Jesus Christ's incarnation the Old Testament, and the books beginning from the birth of Jesus, the New Testament. Both the old and new testaments are references to the Redemptive Covenant. We will see that the stipulation and the parameters had a different beginning, were the New Testament began later than this subjective division, and the ending of the old latter. The beginning of the Redemptive covenant was planned in past eternity, before creation began by the Godhead. The Old Testament or covenant began in Genesis with the implementation after Adam and Eve sinned, and the sin offerings made by God for Adam and Eve.

The Old Covenant or Testament did not come to an end or completion until the New Testament or Covenant was implemented at Pentecost, Acts 2. Both the Old Testament and the Gospels cover the time progressively fulfilling the first stage of Redemptive Covenant in the Dispensation of Promise where the Nation of Israel were the stewards of God to the world.

Those who espouse a dispensational view to scripture still espouse the divisions of Covenant Theology.  Dispensationalist agree that the Holy Spirit came into the world to permanently indwell each believer at Acts 2, but they make it the beginning of a new dispensation instead of the implementation of the New Covenant and God's continuous working with the Nation of Israel. Dispensationally God is offering His promises to the Nation to be the stewards at Acts 2, which He call them at the beginning. It sets up the offer that they rejected historically, ushering in the tribulation period fulfilling the prophetic proclamation in the Old Testament. The rejection by the Nation was to lead into the change of the Dispensation of Promise to the Dispensation of the Kingdom ending the transition which started with the division and captivity of the northern and southern tribes of Israel in the old Testament.

The New Testament, (Covenant) began historically at Acts two with the implementation into the world, but it happened during the Dispensation of Promise. These events Christ's birth, death, resurrection and the Holy Spirit permanently indwelling believers is part of the covenant not a new dispensation. The events around Christ life, time of the Gentiles, Israel being ruled by Rome, the acceptance of Jesus message and disciples, the failures of Israel and the judgments all have dispensational significance which we will discuss in this book.

(Dispensationalist who espouses the divisions of the Covenant Theological views debate inconsistently as to the start of the New Covenant either at Jesus' baptism, or the death of Christ, or when Jesus breathed on His disciples and they received the Holy Spirit, or the resurrection, or at Pentecost. Their views are arbitrary and subjective instead of factually based on the revelation given by God in his Word.)

The beginning of the New Covenant is not the beginning of the church called His Body of today, (again teachers from both theological views cannot agree on when the church of today began because of their inconsistency and subjective arbitrary views. Some start today's church with Peter's confession in Matthew 16:13-20, others start it with the crucifixion, yet others start it with the disciples receiving the Holy Spirit John 20:19-21, and still others at Acts 2). The Word of God is not a book of confusion and the correct understanding of the covenants and dispensations are important in the world we live today, by mixing the two guiding orders and controls of the truths of covenants or dispensations only leaves confusion and false teaching!

Those who espouse Covenant Theology and many dispensationalists views are still trying to synchronize their approaches on the basis of one covenant, the Old Covenant's completion, and at some stage of the completion that mixes their approach with Israel being laid aside and the Dispensation of Grace's beginning. Neither have taken into consideration a consistent view on dispensation and make a covenant a dispensation or inverse.

These confusing positions do not apply to those who discover the seven guiding key principles found in a dispensation that is present in each dispensation revealed in Scripture. The failed obedience to the definition of a covenant as revealed in Galatians 3:15 have led to serious error. However, if they would recognize the difference of dispensation from a covenant keeping them in their proper place and applying the seven guiding key principles, then one would see the unity and symmetry of both in Scripture without contradiction.

Even though you can look at God's Word by covenants, they do not distinguish God's different administrations (or dispensations since creation), and do not give all the facts, plus reveal all the symmetry of God's working with humans as revealed in His Word. Dispensational understanding show the awesome truth of God's revelation he reveals through over 40 authors inspired by the Holy Spirit, over fifteen hundred years, where many of the authors did not know the other, II Timothy 3:16, II Peter 1:21, but they all agree together of God's plan in the creation, and the salvation plan for humanity and the universe!

The previous words stated above, testament and covenant are synonymous with each other. The actual words 'Old Covenant' is translated and used only once in the whole Bible referring to the relationship of the old covenant and the new covenant, II Corinthians 3:14. Contrasting the actual words 'New Covenant' is only used once in the Old Testament in reference to a future covenant with the Nation of Israel after their historical punishment, Jeremiah 31:31-34, (However, the Redemptive Covenant in the second stage is used or referred to a number of times in the New Testament Mathew 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20, Hebrew 8:8-12, I Corinthians 11:23-31). Whether an old or new covenant both words are referring to the Redemptive Covenant and logically where there is ' a new covenant' or 'an old covenant' then there has to be a counter one.

When using the words old covenant, unless a teacher is referring to the Redemptive Covenant it should never be used to describe the time of the Dispensation of Promise with Israel or the Mosaic Law that is not a covenant, when doing so it leaves a wrong understanding of Scripture. The Old Covenant goes all the way back to the Dispensation of Innocence where it was ratified and confirmed by God providing the coverings He sacrificed and implemented when He clothed Adam and Eve.

The Redemptive Covenant existed before the implementation with Adam and Eve, because God says in His Word it was planned and agreed upon by the triune Godhead from eternity past, before the world began, Ephesians 1:4, II Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2. Christ’s death was foreknown and planned by God before the world began.

The most important covenant that God has made is the one made by the Godhead,  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, to redeem humans and His creation, by the Redemptive Covenant, I Corinthians 1:30, II Corinthians 5:19, Colossians 1:21, Ephesians 1:4, II Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2 .

The Redemptive Covenant is not changed by the guiding key principles of a dispensation. The Redemptive Covenant is a universal truth form eternity to eternity. It does not change with the dispensational changes because a dispensation is not a covenant. A covenant comes to fulfillment, fulfilling the conditions made within the covenant and the stipulations within.

 

The Redemptive Covenant

The Old and New Covenant or Testament are one, describing a period of history of the Redemptive Covenant as it developed

Charts have been made to help understand the truths in God's Word. The first observation to examine is the red line on the chart representing the Redemptive Covenant. The Redemptive Covenant has two stages called the Old Covenant and New Covenant. The Old Covenant deals with the time before the cross and before New Covenant was implemented; it is represented by the separated red line dashes on the chart. After the implementation, the New Covenant fulfills and replaces the Old and continues for all eternity, which the solid red line on the chart represents, Hebrews 9:12. The 2nd stage did not replace the Redemptive Covenant, but instead fulfills the covenant in which God designed in eternity past, the time before the world began, Ephesians 1:4-7.

Likewise, the broken red line on the chart represents the historical time before Jesus Christ's redemptive work was completed, Romans 3:25 (propitiation). This was the time when animal sacrifice was needed for the atonement, making the covering for sin, Leviticus 5:6, 16-17. After Jesus Christ's accomplishment was completed the payment for the reconciliation was complete, applying to all believers under the first stage of the covenant, giving complete forgiveness of sin for faithful believers, and forgiveness of their sin nature under, Romans 5-11, II Corinthians 5:18-19. With God giving mercy and grace, Romans 4:1-8 the atonement was applied to those who exercised obedience and faith; the believers before Jesus Christ and the substitutionary work of our Lord was implemented, worship was with offerings displaying the atonement testimony by offering animal sacrifices which they did on a continuous bases, Hebrews 9:22, Hebrews 9-10

God in His foreknowledge knew the future, and planned and gave the Redemptive Covenant, Psalms 139:1- 4, Ephesians 1:4, II Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2, Acts 17:26-28. His starting redemption in eternity past extending through the time of the cross historically has its final fulfillment in eternity future with the redemption of all the believers, transformed in their new spiritual bodies in the new heaven and new earth. This was a planned covenant, a promise from the Godhead given and applied to the human race for their receiving before the world began. Redemption can be a reality for you when you exercise faith by confession with your mouth, your confessing hopelessness as a sinner, and making Jesus Christ Lord of your own personal life, Romans 10:9-13, I John 5:9 -14, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 6:23, Ephesians 1:7.

This is the only covenant which relates to the redemption for humanity; freeing humans from his condemned state by a blood sacrifice that God offered on humans behalf making and satisfying the just payment required for personal sin and the sin nature, Galatians 3:13, Colossians 1:13-15, Ephesians 1:7. Christ Jesus is the substitute for the redeemed and His sacrifice is offered for all, but is applied to the one who trusts in God's finished work for their redemption, Hebrews 2:14-15, I Corinthians. 15:1-4, I John 5:9-14, Romans 10:13.

The fulfillment of the redemption covenant will be when the last believer is saved and transformed, at which time death, Satan, evil and sin will be gone forever; Revelation 20:10, Colossians 1:13, 14, 20 and all things are under the merciful, gracious loving authority of the one only, holy, righteous, and just God. The fulfillment of the Lord Jesus Christ's work on the redeemed and on creation remains intact forever in the Eternal Kingdom of God also called, the Dispensation of the Fullness Time, Romans 8:18-27, Revelation 5:9, 21:1, 4, 27 and chapter 22, Ephesians 1:10 

Example of some of the stipulations and perimeters of the Redemptive Covenant

Therefore it is important to know and understand the stipulations and perimeters within a covenant and not mix them up with dispensational rules for carrying out the covenant or changing them as history progressed. The following belongs to the Redemptive Covenant, and are not dispensational.

Perimeters:

Stipulations:

The Redemptive Covenant's History
Galatians 3:15,
"Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside
or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case."

The Redemptive Covenant is also called, the Eternal Covenant, Hebrews 9:15, 13:20 and the Everlasting Covenant, Genesis 9:16 with two major stages: Stage one the Old Covenant and Stage two the New Covenant. The following will show the start of the Redemptive Covenant and the relationship between the Abrahamic Covenant and additional covenants for the Nation of Israel. Including some of the rules or laws relating dispensationally and how it is to be applied for the rest of the world in relationship to their salvation.                                                              

I. Eternity Past Before Creation - This was planned in Eternity Past and created by the Godhead,
Ephesians 1:4, II Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2. God loved the world of humanity and in eternity passed He saw you and planned the means of forgiveness freely, a gift so a human could be reconciled to Him. All covenants and dispensations had and has redemption as the main focus, which was planned by God. God knew before the creation that humanity would fail, becoming sinners which continued down through the genes of humans to all generations. Passing along a separated spirit of communion with Him and the inability to change their situation because of the defect resulting from sin, called the sin nature. The pride of many today keeps them in darkness instead of their personal admission of guilt and inability to change their personal destiny. However, anyone who does repent and accepts their inability receiving God's gift of mercy and grace will experience the supernatural working of the redemptive plan of His design for their lives. This supernatural transformation gives them the assurance of being a redeemed child of God and on their way to heaven. The implementation of the redemptive plan came into existence when our first parents, Adam and Eve sinned.

II. The Implementation of the Redemptive Covenant:

    a.) The Redemptive Covenant was implemented in the Garden of Eden - The beginning or Stage one of the Redemptive Covenant, called the Old Covenant, Genesis 3:6-11, 21 started in the Garden of Eden when Adam sinned. The implementation occurred during the Dispensation of Innocence.

    b.) The Promised Seed was announced, prophetically, Genesis 3:15, no nationality was mentioned at this time. The announcement is a dispensational prophetic event that would relate to all dispensations and carrying out to fulfillment in history.

Many today do not realize that over 1500 years passed before the Nation of Israel was even revealed though Abraham. Three dispensation passed before Abraham, the Dispensation of Innocence, the Dispensation of Conscience and the Dispensation of Human Government. The Promise redeemer (SEED) would pass through Adam's son Seth and then through Noah's offspring Shem before Abraham.

III. The Redemptive Covenant was mentioned in connection with the Noahic Covenant, Genesis 9:16, "Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God (a covenant to remember a covenant) and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” God would remember the Redemptive Covenant that was formed in eternity past by the Godhead, (trinity). The flood and rainbow appearing is a dispensational event relating to the punitive, destructive judgment, destroying all living kinds except Noah and his family. The rainbow was to be a reminder of human's need for God to preserve humanity and offer and give redemption on the basis of His love, mercy, grace, and the faith of believers, which is not dispensational. The rainbow itself is a reminder and symbol of the covenant made with the earth, which appears in all future dispensation, appearing it will never change the original covenant made to Noah, Genesis 8:18-22; 9:8-17. The events of the Noahic Covenant with the rainbow occurred in the Dispensation of Human Government ending the transition of the Dispensation of Conscience. New rules and laws were given to Noah and are the Dispensational guiding laws of Human Government, some laws and rules were carried over from the former dispensation and mentioned in the revelation to Noah, Genesis 9:1-7.

God reveals His heart intent for a covenant in Genesis 8:20-22. The Covenant’s parameters and stipulations are made within the Godhead:

21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart:
a) Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.
b) And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
c) 22 “As long as the earth endures, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

The new dispensational rules for the Dispensation of Human Government are Genesis 9:2-7:

a) 2The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea;
b) they are given into your hands.
c) 3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
d) 4 “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.
e) 5 and for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting.
f) I will demand an accounting from every animal.
g) And from each human, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow human. 6 “Whoever sheds the blood of a human, by a human shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made humanity.
h) 7 as for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”

God establishes the covenant with Noah in chapter 9: 8-17. First God restates the Parameters from chapter 8:21, 22 and note He says “I now establish” which shows He is now implementing the Godhead’s decision of the previous verses:

8Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 I now establish my covenant  
a) with you and with your descendants after you
b) 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you:
c) Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood;
d) never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth. ”

The covenant’s stipulations or provisions, (Remember the rules of a covenant can only be fulfilled, no one can add to them and no one can take away from them, Galatians 3:15):  

12 And God said,
a) “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you
b) and every living creature with you,
c) a covenant for all generations to come:
d) 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds,
e) and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
f) 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.
g) Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
h) 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the Everlasting Covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.
i) (Rainbow) 17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

Note: the reference to the Everlasting Covenant in verse 16 is referring to the Covenant of Redemption He had already made, but it includes the absolutes provision and stipulations he had already made in eternity past for humanity. The rainbow reminds renewal of thought in the heart of a loving God for His creation, and his desire for the best, and the provision he made for their inability.

 

The Nation of Israel and Abraham has not come into existence, and will not for a proximally another 500 years. Following the Dispensation of Human Government going into the next transition to the Dispensation of Promise we discover new covenants being made with Abraham, and the Redemptive Covenant being passed through Abraham to the world. The Noahic Covenant passes through the next dispensations operating until the eternal dispensation, and the "New" earth where the Noahic Covenant finds its full fulfillment. This earth is replaced with a new earth of the redeemed, Isaiah 65:17-25, Revelation 21:1.

The Everlasting Covenant mentioned to Adam and Eve Genesis 3:15, extends to Noah in Genesis 9:16, and is Included with the other covenants given to Abraham. The Everlasting Covenant never ends, but the Noahic covenant is fulfilled with the end of this present earth.

 

IV. The Redemptive Covenant is incorporated as part of the Abrahamic Covenant, Luke 3:33-38: The Everlasting or Redemptive Covenant was passed down through Abraham and his descendants, Galatians 3:16, "The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed meaning one person, who is Christ." Genesis 12:3 Speaking to Abraham, “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

However, there are additional covenants given to Abraham and the Nation of Israel along with receiving the promise covenant of the Savior. Abraham received these additional covenants which were to be everlasting for him and his descendants. None of these covenants changed the other; they only gave additional benefits made by covenant to the recipients along with the Redemptive Covenant. They will be fulfilled in the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time, which is eternal.

V. The additional Covenants given along with Redemptive Covenant to Abraham are as follows:
 

Abrahamic Covenant

Covenant of Circumcision

Covenant of Seed & Kingdom –

Palestinian Covenant

Covenant with the World

Special Eternal Relationship, Genesis12:1-3, chapters 15,17
2“And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
3 And so you shall be a blessing;
And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

 

The seal of the special eternal relationship was circumcision of the male child, Genesis 17:9-15, Romans 4:11 and any Gentile accepting the God of Abraham was responsible to be circumcised and obedient to the Covenant as given to Abraham and the Mosaic Law which gave further  conditions,
Exodus 20-31, Leviticus, and
Deuteronomy 17.

 

 

A Great number of descendants, spiritual seed and natural seed, Genesis 13:16, 17:1-8, 26:1-4, 28:12,
Abraham and Sarah,
Genesis 17:19 Isaac, Genesis. 26:2-4 and Jacob,
Genesis 28:12

The Promised Seed and the Kingdom, Galatians 3:15-16, Deuteronomy 17:14-16,
I Samuel 8

The Earthly Kingdom through David, Christ would rule on earth
I Chronicles 17:4-15

 Land deeded Eternally to Abraham's descendants, Genesis 13:14,15,17

Conditional relationship to the land, Deuteronomy 30:1-10


Unconditional relationship to the land,
Leviticus 26:44, 45,
Pslms.89:30-37

 

 

 

The world would have a unique relationship based on the treatment to the Abrahamic Covenant Genesis 12:3
And so you shall be a blessing;
And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                   

A.) First, the application of the Redemptive Covenant to the non-Jewish people, but through Abraham and the Jewish Nation:

The application of the Redemptive Covenant to the non-Jewish People as it relates to the Abrahamic Covenant. First, they were to be blessed by the application of the Redemptive covenant extended to them through the Abrahamic Covenant.  Remember the atoning power for humanity within the Redemptive Covenant did not change the need for a blood sacrifice, trust, faith, belief, mercy and grace, remained integral to the Redemptive Covenant, nothing was added or taken away from the original plan of the Godhead during stage one, call the Old Covenant.

The additional covenants given to Abraham were not a new dispensation only additional covenants which were given to the new stewards to be carried out or regulated by the dispensation. The Nation of Israel was to be responsible for the stewardship office given to Abraham and his descendants; they were responsible to carry out the rules as they relate to forming of the Nation and their blessings to the world that are dispensational. One of the rules was to stay true to the covenants given.

                                                                                                                       

    B.) The application of the Redemptive Covenant to the non-Jewish people, Second and Third:

  • Second, non-Jewish believers were to join the community of believers of the Jewish Nation in spiritual belief, after spiritual belief they could, become integrated in the Jewish Nation as Rahab and Ruth did for examples.
  • Third, the non-Jewish men were to be circumcised showing they had subordinated their allegiance to the Nation of Israel’s faith and covenants. They were to live along with of the Nation of Israel in peace, blessing the Nation. As the Kingdom of the Nation of Israel developed, they were to have a responsibility to appear in Jerusalem in the court of the Gentiles. By the time of the New Testament on the day of Pentecost many Gentiles were present at Jerusalem for this celebration; also the account of the Ethiopian eunuch is an example before the Dispensation of Grace was in full operation, showing non-Jewish believers who were saved under the Old Covenant and in proper relationship with the Nation of Israel spiritually, only to the believing gentiles, now had to accept the Messiah as Lord and Savior (from Old Covenant to New Covenant and baptize after belief, showing their acceptance publicly), Genesis 17:12,13, Exodus 12:48,49, Isaiah 55:5, Isaiah 56
                                                                                                            

    C.) Israel’s responsibility to non-Jewish people:

The Nation of Israel, with each individual person was to be the stewards of the covenants and promises’ reaching out to the subordinate non-Jewish people through word and example as a Nation, Exodus 22:21, 23:9. Their failure to fulfill the covenants that God gave them through Abraham as prophesied brought disciplinary judgment; their failure eventually would bring about the ultimate punitive judgment of the ‘70th week’ of Daniel or seven year Tribulation Period to purge and bring a remnant unto Himself which would repent, and turn and be saved, Isaiah 10:20-23, Jeremiah 23:3-6, Romans 9:26-29. God then would fulfill His prophetic program, as promised through this remnant, as the Nation of Israel. The non-believing Jews will be punitively judged during the Tribulation with death, and the scripture will be fulfilled where our Lord says, “many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to”, as He preached to the Nation of Israel, Luke 13:24, Mathew 7:13-14. The Gentile Nations would have to be obedient as prescribed in the Abrahamic Covenant-Blessing Israel and be blessed by the Nation and Ruler, completely accepting the leadership of Christ Jesus.

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D.) The New Covenant in the second stage of the Redemptive Covenant:

The New Covenant came into operation during the Dispensation of the Promise; there is a progression of events which brought it into operation. This sequence of events are similar to the progressive development of Israel’s earthly kingdom.
1st God choose a unique people and relationship with them,
2nd at the time of the lives of Isaac and Jacob,
3rd Israel in Egypt and its deliverance of the people from Egypt,
4th the Mosaic Law gives the
rule to the establishing Israel’s Kingdom along with universal laws of morality,
5th the time in the wilderness,
6th Israel’s conquest of the land promised through a covenant from God;
7th the period of the Judges;
8th the time of their first earthly king and the Davidic Covenant given to him,
9th the Nation as one;
10th the Nation divided,
11th the Northern tribes taken into captivity,
12th the Southern tribes taken into captivity,
13th both Northern and Southern tribes in and after the time of their captivity,
14th the period of time called, the times of the Gentiles captivity, which started with the Northern tribes, this period called ‘The Time of The Gentiles’, which covers all the time Israel was and is under the oppression of Gentile Nations where they are not united and under the ruler ship of the glorified Christ Jesus in the Millennial reign;
15th During this time of the Gentiles and before the Millennial reign, the first coming of Jesus Christ in human form occurs; His earthly ministry is recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. His death, burial and resurrection occur with the implementation of the second stage of the Redemptive Covenant, the New Covenant with the world at Pentecost, Galatians 4:4, Acts 1-2.

The above occurs under the Dispensation of Promise. The seven principles of a dispensational change had not fully occurred at the crucifixion, they will not be fully fulfilled until the end of the Tribulation period. The Nation of Israel did reject its office of stewardship by Acts seven under the Dispensation of Promise, and the transition began for them and will end with the second coming at the end of the tribulation; (16th) the Dispensation of Grace in full operation by the end of Acts 28. If God had not revealed His mystery dispensation when He did, the world would have gone into the (17th) prophetic punitive judgment and Israel as prophesied in the Old Testament and reiterated in Acts 2:17-22. Instead, God stopped His prophetic timetable and continued the period called the Time of the Gentiles, where Gentile nations continue their oppression on the Nation of Israel and He began the overlay the Body of Christ dispensation, working Redemption on an equal bases to all. 18th Then comes the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ which ends the seven year tribulation, and begins the Millennium with our Lord Jesus sitting on the throne of David in the earthly Kingdom, (The Dispensation of the Kingdom is in full operation at the end of the punitive Judgment and the transition of the former dispensations is over) .

E.) From Stage One to Stage Two of the Redemptive Covenant:

All of proceeding events are under the Redemptive Covenant and it's moving from stage one to stage two with the implementation of the New Covenant at Pentecost, Acts 2 (the Dispensation of Promise is still the operating dispensation). Stage two is the completion of the Redemptive Covenant except the completion of the transformed physical bodies in the resurrection. The spiritual transformation of the spirit of the believer has been implemented; their physical body will be accomplished at different events in history yet, (There are three different resurrection of believers, at the Rapture, with the Lord Jesus' second coming and at the end of the Millennial Kingdom). The application of physical transformation of the believer's body is to all believers in the end with the transformation into their spiritual body, and it is the eternal state. The timing of the final application for the believers and nonbelievers bodies will be at different events happening in the dispensations operating at the time, (believers: I Corinthians 15:12-58, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, Revelation 20:4-6, Daniel 12:2, Isaiah 2:19, the lost or nonbelievers: Revelation 20 11-14). The Redemptive Covenant runs through the Dispensation of Promise Acts 2-7, the Dispensation of Grace Acts seven through to the Rapture of the Body of Christ, the Dispensation of the Kingdom and The Dispensation of the Fullness of Time and was applied to all saints in prior dispensations. The second Stage of the Redemptive Covenant – started with the preparation of the birth of the Lord Jesus with His earthly work and the implementation was at Acts two which was the last days of the Dispensation of Promise, if the Nation of Israel accepted their stewardship and repented, receiving the Messiah as savior at that time God would have continue His program with the Nation of Israel, but since they rejected the prophetic period they would have gone into the Tribulation, Acts 3:11-26, Acts 2:14-40. However, God inserted or overlaid the next part of His eternal plan, a mystery dispensation.

    F.) The Redemptive covenant and the Mystery Dispensation:

Instead of going into the Tribulation when the Nation of Israel failed, God gave the Redemptive Covenant to the world through a stewardship of a  mystery Dispensation, Romans 16:25, I Corinthians 2:7, Ephesians 3:3, Ephesians 3:9, Colossians 1:26 . The makeup of this dispensation is a ‘new organism,’ Ephesians 2:14-18, Galatians 6:15, Colossians 3:10,11, Romans 9:22-33, I Corinthians 12:12-14 Galatians 3:28, Hebrews 2:11 made up of all believing humanity based on one’s personal relationship to the New Covenant, Ephesians 3:6. During the Dispensation of Promise, Israel as the stewardship Nation, lost their unique position and the stewardship was given to the Church called the Body of Christ until this mystery dispensation is complete, Romans 11. Salvation, the redemptive covenant being operational in the world continues in the Mystery Dispensation, the Dispensation of Grace, but with the dispensational changes the dispensing is not through the stewardship of the Nation of Israel, but through the stewardship of the new Organism the Body of Christ, Colossians 1:27, Colossians 2:2. The governmental approach is on equal basis for all to the Redemptive Covenant, and is applied to anyone on the basis of personal faith apart from a particular nation. The Redemptive Covenant did not change; you cannot alter a covenant, only the rules for governing it according to the dispensational guidelines in operation at the time. In the mystery dispensation with the rules of equality the Redemptive Covenant is operational, even for the Nation of Israel whose stewardship was laid aside now come the same way as everyone else. The functioning and responsibility of the organisms (the Church called the Body of Christ) is to carry the Redemptive Covenant in the gospel message to the world. The “mystery of the gospel” was the equal relationship that came about under the Dispensation of Grace, Ephesians 6:19. The Gospel never fails, but stewards fail even in this dispensation which will bring an end to the dispensation, and the punitive judgment called the Tribulation judgment as prophesied in, I Timothy 4:1-4,  II Timothy 3:1-7. At the Rapture God will go back and finish the program with the Nation of Israel as prophesied beginning where it was left off when He instituted this dispensation, Romans 11:25, Acts 7, 28:24-28, Romans 11. Believers at the Rapture will be caught up into the air with all believers since the beginning of the world, which is part of the mystery of scripture. The Rapture was not prophesied and the timing of Old Testament saints resurrection had been a mystery. The finished works of Christ Jesus is applied to Old Testament saint and they are included in the statement ‘the dead in Christ will rise first,’ then the mystery believer of the dispensation who are still alive at the time will be transformed into glorified redemptive saints, I Thessalonians 4: 13-18, I Corinthians 15:51, Colossians 3:4, I Corinthians 6:1-3. The Rapture is the completion of the redemption of the bodies for the saints as God promised, Ephesians1:13-14, Romans 8:22-24.

    G.) The Redemptive Covenant goes through the Seven year Tribulation period:

The seven year tribulation is the punitive judgment from God on two dispensations, the Dispensation of Promise and the Dispensation of Grace. The Holy Spirit will still permanently indwell believers at this time because the Redemptive Covenant will never end operating, Revelation 14:13; 19:10; 2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 2:29; 3:6; 3:13; 3:22 He is still convicting men of sin – working through the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that is integral to the Redemptive Covenant for those individuals who put their trust and faith in the substitutionary, sacrificial work of Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of sin and overcoming the sin nature. All the benefits or provisions are applied to the individual in the Redemptive Covenant during this punitive judgment period. During this phase of the transition of dispensations believers will have to endure persecution to enter into the earthly Kingdom in their physical bodies, Revelation 2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 2:26; 3:5; 3:12; 3:21; 15:2; 21:7. Believers who do not escape at this time will be martyred by the opposing evil forces of God for refusing the mark of the Beast. Those who refused the Gospel message, rejecting the Redemptive Covenant from the former dispensation will not be saved for along with those who reject the Gospel for the first time in the tribulation will remain in their hardness of heart facing eternally perish, II Thessalonians 2:9-12, Revelation 14:8-11, 16:10,11, Revelation 1-3. The Nation of Israel will have the authorized stewardship during this time and a remnant of the Nation will take responsibility to preach the Gospel to the world as prophesied. This transition will end with the battle of Armageddon, Revelation 16:13-16,19:11-21, Zechariah 14:1-5 and the second coming of the Lord Jesus returning literally to earth and taking the Throne of David to rule the earth in Jerusalem, Revelation 20:4-6.

    H.) The Redemptive Covenant operates in the earthly Kingdom the Dispensation of the Kingdom:

The Redemptive Covenant continues through the dispensation with the unique presence of our Lord Jesus Christ sitting on the throne of David. Jesus Christ the Messiah fulfills all the prophecy relating to the earthly Kingdom spoken since the world began, and He fulfills the covenants God made to Abraham and Sarah, Isaac, Jacob and the Nation of Israel. This period of time is called in Scripture the Kingdom of Christ or Millennial Reign of Christ, (Messiah), 1000 year millennium and the Dispensation of the Kingdom; will be a time of perfect rule and peace until the dispensation ends when Satan is released from the Bottomless Pit and the Battle of Gog and Magog occurs. All Old Testament saints, along with those saved during the Dispensation of Grace and those martyred during the tribulation, will rule and rein with our Lord Jesus the ‘Messiah – King or Christ’ in their glorified bodies, Revelation 20:4-6, I Corinthians 6:1-4. During this time Satan will be bound up by our Lord for the duration of the thousand years and then be released at the end of the dispensation. The children born during this time from those who are still in their natural bodies will need to be saved, or the Redemptive Covenant has to be applied. At the end of the thousand years an unknown number of people who were not saved will follow Satan and attack our Lord Jesus Christ when the Messiah destroys Satan and those who followed him in the battle of Gog and Magog, Revelation 20:7-10. The release of Satan and the nonbelievers who follow him will culminate in the punitive Judgment of the Great White Throne ending the Millennial Kingdom, and the Eternal Kingdom of God will become fully operational. The Eternal Kingdom of God is also, called the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time, Eph.1:10, Psalms 45:6, Daniel 2:44, 6:26, Mathew 12:28, 19:24, 21:43, Acts 19:8, 28:23, I Corinthians 6:9.

The earthly Kingdom or the Kingdom of Messiah will be fulfilled and will be incorporated prophetically with or identified as the Kingdom of God, the Eternal Kingdom in the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time,  Revelation 12:10.

    I.) The Redemptive Covenant Will Continue for Eternity in the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time, Ephesians 1:10

The Holy Spirit is mentioned in connection with the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time and the benefits of the Redemptive covenant being applied to the individual in the Eternal Kingdom, Romans 14:17. Completion of the Godhead’s plan is accomplish that was planned in eternity past by the Godhead, Ephesians. 1:4, I Corinthians 15:24, when the Son will hand everything over to the Farther.  The reason the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time will never end because it will never fail. This dispensation will never fail because those who will be recipients or beneficiaries are all those redeemed whoever lived since creation. Another reason the Dispensation will never fail is because the evil, the deceiver, the Serpent, Satan will be in the Lake of Fire created for them for their disobedience for eternity, Mathew 25:41, Revelation 14:10. One may ask will the eternal Kingdom have new births from those who lived through the last dispensation. Maybe it will be like the time when our original parents, Adam and Eve lived; because those who lived through the 1000 year dispensation passed the test – I do not know. However, I do think there are scriptural passages which seem to refer to a time where believers may still live in natural bodies and reproduce, but we should leave it to God because the Bible does not make clear what happens to those who lived through the Millennium. We do know believers who have died will have spiritual glorified bodies not a natural body to reproduce children. At the beginning of eternity God says there will be a new earth and heaven for the old heaven and earth will be gone. Possibly at the Great White Throne Judgment when God casts Hell or Hades into the Lake of Fire and at that time He calls into existence the new heaven and earth. God will either change those who lived through the Millennium into their glorified bodies or repopulate the New Earth with those believers, Isaiah 65:17, Isaiah 66:22, Revelation 21:1,  20:14, Isaiah 24:18-21.

Other Covenants In the Bible:

The Dispensational laws or rules of administration work in conjunction caring out other covenant with the Redemptive Covenant. God's other covenants are with individuals, Nations, Israel and the Church called His Body.

On the bottom of the chart are some of the different covenants throughout the Bible and it shows when and to whom they were given.

Again, a covenant is not a dispensation nor is a dispensation a covenant. Covenants stand on their own because they are irrevocable from the parties who made them according to the original basis of their creation, a testament or a will from the one who made them the recipient. A dispensation is the carrying out of the events surrounding the covenants in a particular administration, (dispensation). A dispensation carries out the laws or rules given for the application of the covenant at that particular time in the history of humanity’s existence.

Both dispensations and covenants work together, working ‘hand in hand’, but they are not the same, or given for the same reason. A covenant does not change because of a dispensation and a dispensation does not change because of a covenant, but failure to fulfill a covenant's obligation can be an element in the changing of a dispensation, but the covenant still remains.

Besides the Redemptive Covenant there are other types of covenants. There are covenants with individuals which ended after their fulfillment, they covered a short period of time. Some examples of this can be seen with the covenants given to the judges and found in the book of Judges 6:11-27, 7:4-7, 8:22-23 and with Menoah and his wife, chapters 13-14.

Furthermore, there are conditional covenants that ended because of failure on the part of the individual or individuals failure to keep their part. They ended as a result of humanity’s failure to show his faith and obedience to God as required for the fulfillment.  King Saul is an example of this I Samuel 10:1 through 15:34. Because of Saul’s disobedience, God cut off the kingship of Saul, taking it from him and giving it to David, and his descendants.

Covenants are found interwoven throughout dispensations, but not the reverse. Dispensations as they are being fulfilled, give the governing rules to how the covenant is to be carried out, but does not change the covenant, (Best example: is the redemptive covenant, where all dispensations are affected and where some of the dispensations' governing rules were specifically established to carry out the covenant historically.

One of the governing rules in the second dispensation, is the family head was to offer the blood atonement with the animal sacrifice for the family. After the dispensation of the family head, came the dispensation that God instituted a priesthood outside of the family. The position of a priest was a mediator who offers sacrifices that was to cover sin, leading in worship under the redemptive covenant, (Melchizedek was a priest before the Levitical Priesthood developed in the Dispensation of Promise under Moses). The stages of the Redemptive Covenant went through the dispensations with additional rule in carrying out the stewardship as the dispensations changed, but not the covenant of redemption, it did not change. Finally, the Redemptive Covenant was completed, and the priesthood came to completion by the finished work of redemption through the High priesthood office of Jesus Christ.

Other governing rules during the Dispensation of Promise was given for the Gentiles when approaching God that was given through the Nation of Israel, given to Moses at Mount Sinai. The Gentiles had to bless Israel by exercising their faith in Israel's stewardship of God's Word and truth. The Nation was to reveal and represent the one and only true God through the Nation's testimony of God and His workings on their behalf. Also, for Gentiles to be blessed they were required not just to bless Israel, but follow governing rules that were given for them to worship. The other covenants given to the Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were applied to the Gentiles in response to their relationship to the Dispensation of Promise rules given to the Nation of Israel along with the promise to be blessed in so doing. Redemptive Covenant was applied or applicable to the Gentiles obedient to the dispensational rules established and given to Israel in the Dispensation of Promise. The Redemptive covenant did not change only the rules in carrying it out, Gentiles were still saved by their faith in the covenant dispensed through Israel.

In contrast to today’s dispensation, the major governing rule is equality, (The Dispensation of Grace). The covenant of Redemption is given to the world on equal basis based on personal faith directed towards the Lord Jesus Christ as the eternal priest  and mediator who speaks in believers defense replacing of the Nation of Israel as mediator, I John 4:10, 2:2. There is no National mediator or earthly priest for a person to be saved today, (as it was given to the Nation of Israel in the Dispensation of Promise); each individual is responsible for a direct approach to God through the mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ and the dispensational rules for the Body of Christ, the church of today, is responsible to carry out the Redemptive Covenant by words they speak and life they live. Alone with the covenants and promises that were given to the Nation of Israel, which now have a relationship to believers in the Dispensation of Grace in an eternal spiritual application. All glorified believers will be with Christ Jesus in His Kingdom on earth and have a responsibility directed by Him in ruling both physical humans yet to be glorified on earth and angels, I Thessalonians 4:17, I Corinthians 6:2-3, Ephesians 2.

There is a future dispensation to come where the Lord Jesus Christ will sit on the throne of David on the earth and the Nation of Israel will be the leading stewardship institution. They will be under Christ for Dispensation of the Kingdom, being subordinate to His earthly rule along with the redeemed from all the previous dispensations. The earthly Israel will be stewards of Christ’s rule, priest to the world.

And finally, all covenants will find complete fulfillment in the Eternal Kingdom of God called the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time. There will be no more sin, evil, Satan, or anything impure, no corruption will enter the eternal dispensation. During the eternal dispensation there will be unity, order, and a chain of command, God as supreme and all things subordinate to Him for all eternity. Everything in God's creation will be perfect!

Some of the Major Covenants given to humanity and Creation:

 

Contrasting Israel with the Church Today

Today the Nation of Israel is experiencing a delay in their fulfillment of their prophesied Kingdom here on earth, and are experiencing a continuation of 'The Time of the Gentiles. This dispensational delay will run until the Rapture of the Church called the Body of Christ, God there upon as a result finishes His punitive judgment on both the Dispensation of Promise and the Dispensation of Grace. This delay God planned and inserted when the Nation of Israel rejected the Holy Spirit and their stewardship as recorded in the book of Acts. When the last person is saved in today's dispensation according to Romans 10, God will finish dealing with the Nation of Israel and the world, picking up where He left off, and finishes the prophesied 70th week of Daniel. Today, Israel as a Nation, is under God's 'judgment of spiritual equality' and with the oppression of the nations on earth continuing, from which only a remnant of individual Jews are still being saved, Judges 2:1-4, 20-22, Romans 9, 10, 11:1-27, Romans 9:27,28.

·   The New Covenant is applied directly to the Gentiles.  In the Dispensation of Grace, the Mystery Dispensation, the Gentiles are given equality with Israel in their approach and obedience to the New Covenant. 

·   The Covenant of Equality includes all humanity becoming equal with Israel in their approach to God, (a dispensational distinction).  Both come condemned as sinners and both receive redemption on the basis of Jesus Christ's sacrifice (The New Covenant).  In The Covenant of Equality, this new organism of equality is a part of the guiding principles within The Dispensation of Grace, Romans 1-3, Ephesians 2. The Nation of Israel does not hold superiority in this dispensation of equality, (The Dispensation of Grace), but are equal with all other humanity. The other covenants, The Covenant of circumcision, The Palestinian covenant and The Davidic covenant does not apply directly to the Dispensation of Grace, I Corinthians 11:20, 24-26; 10:16, 21; Ephesians the 3rd chapter and Romans the 11th chapter. The only relationship the Church, today has to the covenants and promises other than the Redemptive covenant, will be fulfilled after the Rapture where believers will be in their glorified bodies during the Dispensation of the Kingdoms.

It is with the covenants that most of the confusion has come when understanding dispensations. A covenant is not a dispensation and a dispensation is not a covenant, but they complement each other with their respective reason of operation.


The Four Big Confusion

1. The confusion with - the beginning of the Old Covenant.

The confusion with the beginning of the old covenants is another point of misunderstanding in Christendom today. Many start the Old Covenant with the giving of the Law of Moses, but the Old Covenant was already in existence since the Garden of Eden, and did not change by the Law of Moses.  The law was added to the Dispensation of Promise, not the covenant of Redemption. It required an animal blood sacrifice for humanities sinful nature.

2. The Confusion with - the Law of Moses.

The Law of Moses is not the old Covenant of redemption, and should not be called the old covenant. Unless a teacher is referring to the Redemptive Covenant, the Old Covenant should not be used to describe the time of the Dispensation of Promise or a new dispensation with Israel, for it leaves a wrong understanding of Scripture. Paul says in the Epistle to the Galatians that the Law of Moses was added to the dispensation of Promise. 'The law of Moses was added' showing the Old Covenant which was already functioning. God makes it clear that the Law of Moses was added to show humans his sinfulness with a greater understanding of his helplessness and need. Paul states by the Holy Spirit that the Law could not justify, and no Israelite was justified by it, Acts 13:39. The Law of Moses was not for atonement or reconciliation, but gave responsibility, morally laws, and the laws for developing of the Nation of Israel Kingdom. The Law of Moses sets the guidelines for Israel to build and establishing a moral government in their Kingdom in the Dispensation of Promise, Galatians 3:17,19, Romans 5:20-21, Romans 7:7-25. The Law of Moses with the universal moral laws existing from eternity past and forever. The Law of Moses was not a new dispensation for it does not change the ordained Stewardship which God ordained. The Nation was in the process of development and the Law furthered their establishment in the Dispensation of Promise. It would take all seven keys or principles to make a change. The Law only added an additional responsibility and dimension in the Nations kingdom development.

3. The Confusion with - Making a Covenant a new Dispensation.

The Redemptive Covenant's fulfillment (the stage called the New Covenant), started with the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth and His coming was not a new dispensation. The New Covenant or fulfillment of the Redemptive Covenant became operational at the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to indwell believers permanently in this life for those who received the Gospel as truth for themselves, Acts 2, Ephesians 1:13. The birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was a continuation of the Dispensation of Promise as prophesied.

The problem arises, however, when believers make the New Covenant a dispensation. Today's Dispensation did not begin until the Dispensation of Promise was postponed that started historically in the Mid-Acts, (Acts 7-13). The transition into today's Dispensation of Grace and the closing or overlaying the Church on the Dispensation of Promise was completed at the end of Acts 28 and the historic events of 70 AD. The historical event that marked the close was the destruction of Israel's Temple, by the Roman army, led by the Titus, with Tiberius Julius Alexander destroys the temple.

4. The Confusion with - The Nation of Israel had to be offered the New Covenant before it could be rejected, (Acts two Versus the Mid-Acts). .

Israel had to be offered the New Covenant when completed Acts 2-7, before they could and did reject it. The dispensation did not change at Pentecost, only the New Covenant became operational.

Also at Acts two the Nation of Israel was not yet laid aside from being God's instrument for they hadn't rejected the Holy Spirit ministering through them. The New Covenant could not have been rejected before it become functional. Israel rejected their commission in Acts by rejecting the offer with their rejection of Christ Jesus revealed by the Holy Spirit as a Nation and rejecting their responsibility to be the instrument of God for the dispensing of the gospel of the New Covenant to the world, Acts 3:17-20, Acts 7. (The rejection of their stewardship was the final sin of the Nation that brought into history the new dispensation of today.)

Prophetically, this rejection was foretold that it would occur causing the tribulation judgment or 70th week of Daniel would begin. There is no evidence that the Dispensation of Promise ended at Acts 2 or before the Acts period. The prophetic Tribulation judgment had not yet occurred, bringing the dispensation into their earthly Kingdom dispensation. 

However, God inserted a program He had not revealed through the Old Testament prophets or in any other dispensation. He inserted a new dispensation, a new organism for humanity to dispense the New Covenant, His Church called His Body. God at this present time does not have the Nation of Israel in power of leadership. His ordained instrument or stewardship today for dispensing the Gospel is His Church, the Body of Christ made up of all individual believers. Today individual believers are responsible for the dispensing the gospel of the Redemptive or New Covenant.

(So there is no confusion I am not speaking about a church denomination or a building. A local church is for fellowship and worship of believers together in which they may present the gospel through a teacher, but the Stewardship given by God is for all believes collectively making up His church called the Body of Christ. The local church is a tool God has ordained for believers to develop under the guidelines given for this dispensation; and believers today are responsible to live reconciled to God by their lives as they share the gospel or reconciliation through their gift given them by the Holy Spirit. Believers' faith is to be spoken and testimonies of the events in their everyday life as the live before the world.)

E Mail pastor@pestor.com

       World Wide Outreach Ministry Inc.
 By:
Theodore D Pestor/ President/Pastor BTH