Chapter 04d - The Redemption of Mankind - The Old and New Covenant a Blood Covenant Which it is not a Dispensation
- The Redemptive covenant is not a dispensation neither is a dispensation a covenant. However, rules within a covenant can effect the rule within a dispensation. A dispensation does not change a covenant but carries out the covenants for the time of that administration's operation for mankind.
- 5 moved from chapter 3 The application of the redemptive covenant is applied by the universal principle of faith. Faith has always been a gift, given by God. This faith was shown when applied first to Adam and Eve. God offered an animal sacrifice and He gave a covering for Adam and Eve sins, they received it by trusting God and the scriptures says He provided the covering for them. In this act God establishes the object of faith one can trust, (the animal sacrifice until Jesus finished work of reconciliation). Behind the object of saving faith is always God. The object of faith alone does not save but what is behind the object whether or not it is sufficient to God to meet the just requirement and demands for justification. The animal sacrifice alone was not sufficient for justification; it was the understanding that God wanted it and wanted the right attitude in giving the sacrifice. The object God provided in the incarnate Jesus Christ provided the faith object and without the trust in Him will not justify, only trusting with the right attitude of desire and need will the marriage of justification for an individual occur.
- The redemptive covenant starts in the dispensation of Innocence which was already planned by God in eternity past before the world was created, 1Peter 1:18-20, Titus 1:2,3, 2 Timothy 1:9. The covenant is a blood sacrifice for sin. The blood sacrifice existed in the plan of God for the justification of mankind before a dispensation started. In eternity past Christ Jesus died for man. Dispensations and their changes came into existence at the time of creation.
6. moved from chapter 3 Then dispensationally as you study the scriptures you see how God applied the covenant of Faith and oneís trust in carrying it out. First through the members of the family who had to exercise faith and trust in God by their acceptance of the family head who had the responsibility to offer the sacrifice for them, (he acted as priest to the family).
As we study the scriptures with a dispensational approach, one sees how God applied this Faith principle through oneís trust, in carrying out the dispensation. This was done through the members of the family who had to exercise their faith and trust in God by choosing the family head, which was given the responsibility to offer the sacrifice for them, (he acted as the priest for the family).
- Also the Old Covenant changed when it was completed by the full revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, Hebrews 13:20. His completion brought the New Covenant which never ends. A dispensation did not complete the Old Covenant but God in His determinate counsel planed it to be completed in the Dispensation of Promise. The completion from that time on is applied to all dispensations before completion and everyone after. The dispensation had no bearing on its completion but the covenant had bearing on the existence of mankind from the completion and the completion adjusts the dispensation in operation which coincide to the completion. The redemptive Covenant is always superior to a dispensation - the dispensation carries out the Covenant as God reveals the stewardship and rules of the dispensation.
- The New Covenant was implemented in the world at Pentecost, Acts 2.
- Covenants do not dictate the change of the dispensations but transcends a number of them. The Old Covenant was operational in: the Dispensation of Innocence, Dispensation of Conscious, Dispensation of Human Government, and Dispensation of Promise. The New Covenant became operational in: the Dispensation of Promise which is being overlaid now and is still not completed until the 7 year tribulation period comes to an end, the New Covenant covers the dispensations of Grace (today's dispensation), it will cover the Dispensation of the Kingdom on earth and the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time the Eternal dispensation. The New Covenant finishes or completes the Old Covenant by forgiving sin that was only a covering for sin when completed, forgiveness become retroactive forgiving all mankind who were saints since the beginning of time.
- Old and New covenants relate to God's redemptive plan and dispensations relate to the working out of man's test with their failures and obedience to God.
- The redemptive covenant came from heaven and the dispensations come from earth. God brought about the blood sacrifice requirement and man brings about the dispensational change. With their failure they bring God's longsuffering to an end and then judgment come. Man can not change the blood covenant but he does cause the dispensations failure and a change accrues.
- Dispensations are the administration plan which God commands for the present rule of the historical events at the time and the commands gives the way a dispensation or administration is to be implemented and carried out. After each failure by man judgment comes from God and the old ends and a new dispensation begins, (a transition time) the blood redemption still stays in effect even though a dispensation fails and changes. The blood redemption from God remains for all eternity.
Old Testament and New Testament or Covenants
The Confusion today about Covenant Hermeneutics and Dispensational Hermeneutics is in there relationship to each other and the relationship to the Redemptive Covenant. It has caused interpretation or exegesis of self imposed ideas of verses which are not what the original author God, had inspired.
Definition: Hermeneutics is the science and methodology of interpreting the texts of the books of the Bible. This branch of theology is concerned with explaining or interpreting religious concepts, theories and principles.
Definition - Exegesis is the analyses of the text - the explanation or interpretation of texts, especially religious writings
The only problem I have with the hermeneutic or exegesis of scripture is the approach to interpret Godís Word. The teachers of Theology, with the teaching of dispensations and covenants need to be accurate in their understanding in explaining the Word of God and not to interpret it according to ones own interpretation. God makes it plain in scripture; His Word is not of private interpretation, 2 Peter 1:20-21KJV. Therefore, true Bible believers are not on a journey to interpreting the Word of God but to discover what the author is saying. The author is God and His instruments were men who penned His expressions and truths as they were moved by Him; He used their personalities for expressing the exact words He wanted in the Bible to say and reveal, (in its original writing). We are to discover what He was saying through these men keeping accurate the translation of the Bible from the original text writings - His character, the unity of Scripture and His symmetry of design found in Scripture are to show the truths of God. When a correct understanding of the Authorís reveled truth is put forth honestly then those who read Godís Word can apply the truths accurately according to their personal need. The hermeneutics approach can be used by an individual for the application after the correct discovery of the original is made. Those who are teacher are called by God to be diligent, accomplishing in doing their calling and election accurately for they will be held accountable for what they say and write, 2 Peter 1:10, James 3:1.
Why then do I use the word hermeneutics and exegesis? They are the disciplines used in Christian studies to expound the Bible and to give a warning for accurate discovery of the text which can be used in a wrong way or correct way for understanding the writings of Scripture. The use of this approach (hermeneutics), has led to wrong understanding, spiritualization or an incomplete understanding of Godís truth which started with oneís private interpretation or a presupposition. Therefore I encourage those who want to help others understand Godís Word to consider the following and to see if it does not make Godís revealed Word consistent, unified and accurate according as He had brought it about and how the history of mankind has actually gone and will be historically. If there is any inconsistency within the following it is to be rejected but if it is correct, may it be embraced in helping put forth the message of Godís truth. Let get started:
The teaching of a dispensation over the years have been taught by using the Redemptive covenant as a major principle or guiding principle for the change to the next dispensation. When studying covenants and dispensational truths one has to remembered: 'a covenant is not a dispensation and a dispensation is not a covenant', (See chapters on covenants and the guiding or key principles covering the making of a dispensation).
Another wrong interpretation made over the years - is the teaching that the Law given to Israel through Moses was the beginning of a new dispensation instead of only being part of the continuous development within the Dispensation of Promise. The Law was part of setting up Israel's governmental Kingdom rules. Along with this interpretation taught is a wrong interpretation of Israel's bondage in Egypt, which did not cause the Dispensation of Promise to end and a new dispensation to begin.
A third wrong interpretation is that Lord Jesus, the Son of God, the Christ's incarnation (birth, life, death, and resurrection) was the beginning of a new dispensation instead of the fulfillment of the redemptive covenant for the world, (the fulfillment of a covenant not a dispensation). Jesus Christ was promised to the world through the Nation of Israel specifically through the tribe of Judah to the family of the descendents of David and in His coming to earth this first time He was not setting up the earthly Kingdom yet through the Nation of Israel, Acts 1:6-8, Mark 13:32-37. He said that many time in His response when asked about the earthly Kingdom while here on earth. He was here to finished His work of the fulfillment of redemption covenant (The New Covenant). The new dispensation which would come later would come in the Heavenly Farther timing and as we study the scriptures we see it was because God had a mystery dispensation where Jew and Gentile would make up a brand new stewardship in the world called the Body of Christ ( see chapter on the Dispensation of Grace), Ephesians 3:2-6, Ephesians 1:22-23.
The fourth wrong interpretation made is at Pentecost - where some teach a new dispensation was or began instead of being another stage in the Dispensation of Promise foretold by the prophets to the Nation of Israel. At Acts two the New Covenant became operational as foretold to Israel in the Old Testament. Joel's prophecy was in fulfillment as being prophesied which would have been fully fulfilled if God had not stopped working through the Dispensation of Promise to the world through Israel, Acts 2:14-23. If the mystery dispensation had not been inserted or overlaid in God's dealings with the world the tribulation period would have started, (see chapter on overlaid and inserted). Now the Tribulation period will not start until the Dispensation of Grace is taken out of the world then God will goes back and finishes his program leading to the Dispensation of the Earthly Kingdom with the Nation of Israel.
Many arguments from covenant theologians and dispensational theologians has been cause because of these wrong interpretations. Also within dispensational circles much of the confusion has been caused because of the these misinterpretations. This has led to many sincere believers rejecting their teachings because of the inconsistencies. Both those of the covenant persuasion and dispensational persuasion have truths which bring the message of God to the world but a correct understanding of interpretation would bring glory to God. Let us try to unify the two position in clearing up wrong interpretations.
If we start only by considering the Redemptive Covenant as the marking of truth down though the history of mankind since creation and make it as our primary guide it would look as follows.
- The covenant designed in eternity passed by God,
- Then it became operational at the time of Adam and Eve sin, also call the Old Covenant,
- Then it became operational through an animal sacrifice which man offered for the covering of sin until the Lord Jesus completed the sacrifice with the only payment which could forgive,
- It was prophesied that a redeemer would come Genesis 3:15,
- Then the addition of the Mosaic Law with how it was to be practiced,
- Then came the birth, death, and resurrection of the redeemer, the Lord Jesus given to the world,
- Followed by the implementation (called the New Covenant), with the giving of the Holy Spirit's permanent indwelling of the believer and how the redemptive covenant works after the implementation, (See the chapter on the Covenants the section on the Old and New Covenant),
- Then how long the indwelling would be which was to be until the resurrection of those living or the death of a believer with their personal glorification,
- Finally how the Redemptive Covenant functions with Jesus Christ on the Throne on the earth and then eternity where Christ Jesus say He become subject under the Farther - God's Eternal Kingdom.
The substance of the Redemptive Covenant is a universal truth made in eternity passed as completed in the mind of God and this Covenant transcends all the dispensations and doses not change by the dispensations. The dispensation hang on the Redemptive Covenant not in reverse. The dispensation are subordinate to the redemptive covenant which operates during each dispensation.
So if you are a believer which marks time with this covenant then you have to reconcile the whole Word of God from that perspective. If you deny that dispensations exist or do not change over history and say there is only one dispensation then you have to spiritualize much of the teaching of scripture. The only true way of reconciling God's word without spiritualizing would be for you to accept there are different dispensations and the discovery of this truth will free you so you do not have to misinterpret God's word. When keeping covenants as covenants and dispensations as dispensations then a reconciliation can be made with dispensational truths.
On the other hand if your a dispensationalist and try to mark the changing of a dispensation by the stages of the Redemptive covenant you error confusing the teaching. Also, if you try as many have done mixing the wrong interpretations mentioned above you have an inconsistency, which has caused much confusion over the years. A dispensation teaching needs to be consistent in the symmetry which God has designed or intended it and not make it what it is not planned or contain wrong elements which do not make a dispensation. Contradictions develop when such exegesis or hermeneutics are used.
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World Wide Outreach Ministry Inc.
By: Theodore D Pestor/ President/Pastor BTH