Chapter 12c Salvation through the Dispensations
God says in His Word that “perfect love casts out fear”, John 3:16, 1 John 4:18. He delivered to mankind this perfect love through the incarnation and completed work of the Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:5-11, Romans 8. God came to earth but His love started before creation. He offers salvation freely to each person individually; the offer is there for the receiving, but God does not force it on anyone, John 1:1, 14, 1 John 5:13.
God is holy and just. He loves His creation. He hates sin and the damage it has caused. His holy character demands justice and He must judge sin. He fulfilled His justice through the accomplished work of Jesus Christ on the cross for all who accept and trust in His provision for their salvation, Romans 5, 8:6-8.
Christ Jesus was the substitute for man who could not meet the just cost for sin required by God. The reason man can not meet God's requirement is that man is defective, having a sin nature and incapable of providing the just or perfect requirement for his sin. A perfect payment was the requirement for payment and only God could provide the payment. God alone was that perfect person to accomplish the payment for sin in Himself, Romans 8:2-3. Anyone choosing personally to turn, trust and call in God's provision, Jesus Christ as his savior and Lord becomes a child of God’s Redemption, Romans 10:9-13, John 1:12, 1 John 5:9-14.
'In the beginning God creates. He does not create because He is lonely or bored, but rather He creates because He is full. God, full of Joy, Love, Peace and Goodness desired to share that fullness with a being that could choose to reciprocate in a relationship. He was full and He was complete and He was life. He exists in a perfect relationship as the one and only God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit in the Godhead or trinity. So in His master plan He created the universe. He formed man with His loving hands into existence using the elements He spoke into existence and personally breathed life from Himself into man creating a living being calling His creation man. He was very pleased and declared, “It is good.” He orchestrated a relationship between Himself and the human race he created from the beginning, Genesis 1, 2.
In that relationship God placed himself at the core, with the intent of sharing who He was with man. He made man different than anything else He created. He made man in his own image, to be an image bearer and to live fully in relationship with Him.
Things got badly messed up when sin entered the world. This once perfect, whole, beautiful creation was now badly marred. Something was wrong with everything and quickly it clouded out this perfect, full, life-giving relationship that God designed man to have with a full, perfect, life-giving God. But even after sin entered the world, He still desired a relationship, Genesis 3.
He still is in pursuit of man but it is no longer with a sinless creation, he now is in pursuit of a rebel race. Because of His holiness He cannot have a perfect relationship where sin has made residence. Sin always leads to death. A life-giving God in his mercy isn’t willing for any to perish, so He instituted an atonement for sin, He introduced a substitute sufferer to make payment for man’s sin. A blood sacrifice was made. At first an animal blood sacrifice was the temporary solution which made atonement until complete atonement in the work of Jesus Christ gave the believers complete forgiveness for ones inherited sin and personal sin, Hebrews 10:4, Hebrews 9:24-28, 10:1-22, Romans 5.
Before Jesus Christ, an animal blood atonement had to be carried out every time a sin was committed ever since Adam and Eve, which pointed to the blood sacrifice offering which completely forgave and was/is able to satisfy the wrath of God by bridging the broken relationship between a fallen race and a holy God.' Today the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ no longer just covers the sin as did the atonement of the animal sacrifice but Jesus Christ's blood sacrifice completely forgives , Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14. The New Covenant or Redemptive Covenant gives complete forgiveness to all believers who exercised faith under the Old who offering an animal blood sacrifice in personal faith.
The provision and salvation is offered to all who trust and receive Jesus Christ as their substitutionary sufferer for their personal sin. A righteous God sent his perfect Son, to and for a rebel race whom He longed to have a relationship with from eternity past. And so when man was bent on running, God was bent on pursuing man and wooing him into a relationship with Himself - with Himself at the core.
His provision is sufficient to make the payment needed for the sins of every individual and no one will go to Hell and the Lake of Fire who are in the Lord Jesus Christ because they have personally accepted and trusted in this provision, Romans 6:23, 1 Peter 1:3-4, John 17 cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:9,10, Hebrews 9:27, Revelation 20:14.
'God does not love us because we are good; God loves us because He is good. He does not declare us right based on our righteousness.' This forgiveness is given to man without man having to work for it. This is not to say that our holy living is not important but it does not apply to the provision for salvation, only Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross can do that, Titus 3:5, Romans 3:28, 4:4-5, 11:5-6, Galatians 2:16, Ephesians 2:8-9, 2 Timothy 1:9, Revelation 20:12-15.
'The blood of Jesus Christ was the only sufficient payment for our sin. At the Cross God’s wrath was stilled by what Jesus sacrificed.' In order to receive God’s salvation one must put aside his own personal efforts or provisions in what he has been resting in for the hope of eternal salvation, Romans 2:4-6, 2 Corinthians 7:10, 2 Timothy 2:25-26, 2 Peter 3:9. 'The provision God gives is freely offered to all; no longer does one have to die eternally for the payment because a substitute sufferer already died in their place. But we do have to choose to accept this provision. We have a choice. We can choose to accept the redemption for sin that Jesus freely offers, or we can pay for our sin ourselves by spending an eternity in Hell and the Lake of Fire. The God of this universe will not force a relationship, only offer it. And His wrath towards the destruction of sin is only satisfied through the sinless sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ.'
We see the redemption plan represented on the chart by the red line (broken red and the solid red as the one redemptive covenant). It is representing the redemptive covenant with two stages, the Old and the New Testament (Covenants), which is from eternity past through each of the historical events, leading to the cross and completing in eternity. The first stage began operational with God covering Adam and Eve with animal skins from the blood sacrifice He offered on their behalf and the second stage became operational in history at Acts 2, or the day of Pentecost in the first century with the filling and permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Acts 1-2, (50 days after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ). The Redemption Covenant fully completed for all eternity and is waiting to be received by individuals.
We will try with God's help to examine the dispensations and see if believers were saved by love, mercy and grace working together with faith and hope which was activated in a person's life by trust, that are universal principles of God for man. God expects these characteristics to be working in mankind who is created in His image, (love, 1 Corinthians 13:13, 2John 1:4,5, 1John 5:1, 2, 4:7-20, mercy, Exodus 34:6, Romans 11:32, Grace, Titus 2:11, Faith, Hebrews 11:6, Habakkuk 2:4). and hope, Colossians 1:5, 1 Peter 1:3, Romans 8:24-25, 2 Peter 3:9,
We will look at some of the historical figures as examples of the redeemed such as Adam and Eve, Job, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Samuel, some of the judges of Israel, King David, the Apostles, others during the time of Christ, the Tribulation Saints, and finally the Millennial saints. Also, we will look at some who were saved but failed to live and express Godly character by showing disobedience to God's commands during the failure of a dispensation.
Remember what is missing most in a person's, personnel study of Scripture after coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ as savior is a dispensational approach to Scripture or they have an incomplete understanding of a dispensational approach. Hopefully this study will help you in understanding the Word of God, helping you be the best ambassador for Christ as you can and that you may fulfill God's calling, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 helping you in exercising the gift God has gave you through the Holy Spirit. I Corinthians 12, Ephesians 1:13. We are called to put our trust in God exercising good works of holiness, righteousness and justice as the stewards of God for this dispensation and each individual who has put their personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ has this responsibility, Ephesians 2:8-10, Proverbs 3:5,6. We have the responsibility in our stewardship to let God the Holy Spirit work through us to bring others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and warn the nonbelievers of their doom by word and by the life we live, Romans 10:12-15, 1 Corinthians 4:2, Colossians 1:28.
Also remember many who have been confronted by a witness for their need of salvation has lacked a clear dispensational explanation. We need to be right in our explanation of scripture and testimonies to the lost helping them to understand, to find and to hear the challenge of God's grace and mercy in love for their lives leading them to conversion and hope. Remember also, the wrong explanation can come from a messenger of Satan as well as a well meaning Christian who is confused in their witness because they have a wrong dispensational approach, Romans 10:2, Job 32:1-5: 42:7-10, 2 Corinthians 4:3,4, 11:13-14.
Let look at faith, Man's part and then God's part:
Faith is one of the hardest truths to get a hold of because many have not faith or the understanding of Biblical faith and they have not expressed faith as God required by a personal trust which starts inwardly. Faith and trust are universal principle needed for salvation also, by not having a clear understanding of faith and of works for salvation verses the work of expressing salvation many have been led to much confusion, (trusting in God that activates faith which is expressed out by works). Faith is not a meritorious work of a man's performance or creation, it is a required work which God does alone and He calls it a work and the full substance, (performance and creation) required for the power it gives and offers is from God, John 6:29.
Example: You may believe (have faith) I can stand on my head and hold a person on my feet at the same time but you, will not be that person who I am balancing because you will not trust yourself to me. Then again you maybe the person who trust me and become the person who lets me balance them on my feet, (faith activated by trust). When you trust someone you take the action needed to fulfill the relationship in completing the task.
There is a work in saving faith and works in sanctification faith where trust will always be expressed in an object of responsibility to the receiver that God has given and in keeping with his holiness, righteousness and justice. Works an action of the heart and it is seen through an outward expression by mouth under the New Covenant and an animal sacrifice under the Old Covenant (which did not give completion but led us to the justification Jesus Christ provides alone, Galatians 3:24,25) and then a continuous sanctification will be seen in carrying out some responsibility God give or has given. Saving faith 'work' is a singular action and sanctification 'works' are plural but credited individually at the time of completion. If you contrasted the accounts of Abraham and David receiving salvation in Romans 4:1-8 and the James 3, account of Abraham in works of sanctification faith I hope you can see the difference but yet the similarity in trusting carrying out some work. Abraham's saving faith was imputed or given and his sanctification work as a believer was from an action he performed on command from God. What showed Abraham's imputed faith outwardly was his actions of obedience and the carrying out the atonement sacrifice as recorded in the book of Genesis.
Let’s Reiterate the order and differences to emphasize the importance of Salvation and sanctification
First - the Salvation of Man – the process of the Redemptive Covenant being applied after God did provided the object for meeting the just requirement for salvation.
God’s Part was – giving and providing the object and giving the revelation of the truth, through His Word and then convicting us by God the Holy Spirit this gives inward expression or conviction on a person heart, directed towards God and obedience to His requirement for salvation; in Old Testament or Covenant, it was a animal blood sacrifice and the New Testament or Covenant, was/is the incarnation - of the life, death (shed blood), burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Man’s Part – requires a trusting action in the object that God provided and an inward expression of the heart which activates repentance showing trusting-faith. Trusting faith of the heart is shown by an outward expression of the inward trusting. This expression of the inward trusting is shown through some physical action, an animal sacrifice under the Old Covenant and the expressing by the mouth a testimony of Jesus as Lord and savior in the New Covenant resulting in obedience, Romans 10:9-13, John 1:12.
Second - the living sanctification after Salvation – Salvation comes before living sanctified and both result in righteousness imputed. Sanctification is living to be set apart to God which give the saint a benefit here and reward in eternity.
God’s part - sanctification starts after salvation experienceally with an inward expression brought about by God giving and providing the revelation He wants accomplished. The revelation is always in keeping in agreement with His Word and character brought about by the conviction of God the Holy Spirit who gives the inward expression or conviction, a conviction to a person to fulfill God's wishes and desires.
Man’s part of trusting which activates the faith from an inward expression always is in keeping with God’s truths and then expressed out in some physical action of obedience.
You may ask, "what was the object of trust in the Old Testament and New Testament which activated believers faith? The object of anyone's faith always relates to their relationship to God, it starts with God and He gives the object of His will (a blood sacrifice for salvation, animal blood sacrifice in the Old Covenant and Jesus Christ's blood in the New covenant) (and a variety of other objects in ones performance for sanctification) which demonstrates and communicating ones trust in Him, Hebrews 11:6,1, Romans 1:17, Romans 10:17, Genesis 3:21, Romans 5:5-11.
The object God gives is sufficient for man's relationship to Him and all a person needed to do is be obedient by exercising or expressing trusting faith in the object God gave. The relationship will relate to God through the Redemptive Covenant either before or after Christ Jesus. Before it was faith in the atonement (with the object of the animal blood sacrifice, Exodus 30:10) which covered the sinner until after the fulfillment of the covenant with the object being God Himself in faith in Jesus Christ which completed the redemptive covenant by His life, death and resurrection which provided the once for all blood sacrifice for eternal salvation, Hebrews 9).
Without a devotion to God and God having an object chosen by Himself, coupled with a trusting faith expressed in the object as commanded, saving faith does not accrue. Just knowing about the object without an outward express of the trust does not save an individual. There is a universal truth of trusting God within the Old Testament or the New Testament that a true heart of faith who will call or act upon what the Lord says shows trusting God.
The expressing out of this faith in testimony shows ones devotion - trust and faith. 'If you confess with your mouth', 'Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus shall be saved,' there is always a active expression of faith seen or communicated when obedient, Romans 10:9-13, Leviticus 16:21, Genesis 12:1-8. Also, a universal truth with the trusting and the expressing of faith is also the receiving of the Lord God's provision, 'to as many as receive Him, God gives them the right to become a child of His', when this accurse the results is a redeemed human not just a created human, John 1:12, Acts 17:24-31.
Saving faith has always been of God's working, Genesis 3:21, Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 4, Titus 3:4,5, Ephesians 2:8,9, Romans 11:6. Mankind has never been saved by something he concocted from a preconceived idea or idea from his imagination and their development of some religion or religious practice, for all of these are a attempt to manipulate God's truth. And then again a misinterpretation from misunderstanding God's working leads to error, even though one may have a desire to be spiritual. Whenever a person chooses to change the truth, intending to manipulate or by sincere attempt, it is either from an unregenerate heart, Satanic or uniformed believer, Romans 1:25, 2 Corinthians 4:3-5, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, Galatians 1:6-9, 1 John 4:1, Romans 10:2-4.
Why is saving faith a work of God? It is because man could not provide the needed payment for redemption caused from defectiveness within him. Total depravity has existed since birth extending from Adam and Eves' original sin, Romans 3:9-17, Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3.
The Old Covenant which covers four dispensations, salvation is not always clear as to the exact time conversion occurred in their personnel life. However, we do know there was a difference between the saved and lost. When we read of their lives and as we study the later revelation telling of their trusting faith we can understand conversion took place, Hebrews 11.
It is not always clear whether they even knew of the fact of their own salvation because living for God seemed to be taken as a normal occurrence of the everyday life. The prophet Habakkuk taught that "the just shall live by his faith" (Habakkuk 2:4) which confirms that even in the Old Testament dispensations believers were given the message of faith. If faith in God's required object was not followed by an expression of loyalty to God's revealed truth then true faith had not accrued in their lives they were not justified or given (imputed) righteousness by God just as it is today.
We also have to remember in the Old Testament dispensations God spoke more directly in His communication through the family heads, priest, and prophets at that time because the revealed and complete revelation of His Word the Bible was not available to them as it is today, Hebrews 1:1-4, 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:20, 2 Peter 3:16, 1 Corinthians 13:8-13, Revelation 22:18,19.
Also, at that time they did not have redemption worked out for them historically with the provision completed and the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We see the saints of old looking forward to God's completed plan of the promises which they did not experience in their lifetime but they lived faithfully to the end, Hebrews 11:39, Galatians 4:4, John 14,16, Act 1:1-13, 2:1-30, Ephesians 1:13.
Another important dispensational distinction is the earthly kingdom of the Hebrews brought into existence in the dispensation of Promise God. God was speaking and revealing Himself through an earthly kingdom of stewards, (the steward chosen which is one of the keys or principles of a dispensation). He was developing an governmental institution on earth in contrast to the former dispensation were the family head was the steward and today where God is developing and revealing Himself through the stewards of an organism call His Body which is a key part of the mystery of the Dispensation of Grace, Romans 12:5, 1 Corinthians 10:17, 1 Corinthians 12:12, 1 Corinthians 12:13, 1 Corinthians 12:27, Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 2:15-17, Ephesians 3:5-7, Ephesians 4:4, Ephesians 4:11-13, Ephesians 4;16, Ephesians 4:24-26, Ephesians 5:22-24, Ephesians 5:28-30, Colossians 1:18, Colossians 1:23-25, Colossians 3:15, Hebrews 10:19-21.
We need to remember just because Israel was a chosen Nation of Hebrews or Jews they were not all saved. If they had a head knowledge without exercising trust in saving faith as described above they were not saved, neither is everyone saved in the churches today, Isaiah 65:1-16, Psalm 78:22,32,36-37,56-59, Isaiah 53, John 1:11,8:42-45. A head knowledge, or going to church does not give salvation even though one may believe that God has said the things in the Bible. One has to followed through expressing their faith the way God requires for salvation, Romans 10:9-13, John 1:12, 1 John 5:9-14, 1 Corinthians 1:17-18, Romans 10:17, Ephesians 2:8-9, Hebrews 11:6,1.
Some religions today have tried to convince the world that the believers before the cross and under the Mosaic Law believers were saved or obtained righteousness by their personnel works. Paul states quite clearly by the Holy Spirit that the Old Testament saints could not be justified by keeping the Law, Acts 13:29. There are other who try to convince others that all of the Nation of Israel were saved because they were of the Nation of Israel under a work oriented religion which saved, Romans 9:6-8. But, the Mosaic Law was given not for personal salvation but to reveal sin making it more wrong to our conscience.
Another error of non-believers and believers is making the redemptive covenant or Old Covenant equivalent to the Mosaic Law. The Old Covenant or redemptive covenant was already in existence before the Mosaic Law and the Law is not the Old Covenant, Galatians 3:11, 17, 19.
The Law given to Moses was added during the Dispensation of Promise. The Law was for the development and the continuation of a sanctified Kingdom Nation with the governmental development which they were to be the mouth piece or stewards. With the giving of the Law it gave the Nation of Israel a religious practices from God which was and will be eventually extended through Israel to the whole world when Christ Jesus returns to earth in the Dispensation of the Kingdom, Galatians 3:17,19, Romans 5:20, Matthew 5:17, Romans 8:2-4.
The Mosaic Law was given to show and convict the sinner of self righteousness and inability of righteousness by human efforts, Romans 3:20. The full understanding of the Mosaic Law was given by God for Israel's religious practices and an earthly patterns of the heavenly which in themselves did not bring salvation but gave a religious practice showing one could not be saved by works.
Only as a human discovers God's truth found in His word, revealed to them by God does one understand salvation and in understanding the revealed truths from God's word one can accept the truth and conversion can take place or it can also, be rejected leaving them in their fallen state of condemnation, (freewill). One can believe a fact and not accept it personally for themselves. There are those in many churches who accept Jesus as the Savior but not accept Him as their personal Savor as a sinner.
True saving faith accrues (happens once) when one accepts and takes responsibility to accept Jesus Christ as their personnel God and Savior repenting from their self made rejection and sin, 2 Corinthians 7:10, Romans 2:4. After salvation true sanctifying faith accurse (many times) when one takes responsibility and does what God directs in His word and responds to the conviction of the Holy Spirit which always keeps with holiness, righteousness and justice, Acts 7:51, Luke 23:39-43, John 16:7-9, Ephesians 3:16, John 14:25,26, 15:26,27.
The personnel expression (a heart expression) of ones faith in the object God provided for them with personnel identification is important; the personal expression of faith is not a religious or is it a corporal religion identification for salvation, it is not for the other person, or with the attitude ‘I am good enough or better than the other people around me'. Even in the Old Testament times people who were saved accepted the animal atonement sacrifice personally (personnel faith expressed) for if they did not accept it with personal faith it was only a religious practice with no substance for salvation. Religion does not save or can it give saving faith.
An example which may help understand this would be: 'Let say the government had laws restricting immoral practices and just because its citizens conformed to the law of the land does not mean that all the citizens were moral or up right in their hearts they only conformed because of the law of the land'. People many times follow a practice for personnel benefits but in their hearts they have different convictions of beleif and even though they do not voice their personnel exclusion they are guilty of the sin.
Our Lord revealed a universal principle of sin when he say 'if a man in his heart commits,' showing our heart can perform evil without the outward expression and if we do evil in our hearts or hold to a belief other than what God prescribed, God holds us accountable as committing the sin. The question we should ask ourselves is, 'where is my heart?' not just my outward actions. There is over 700 verses in God's word relating to the heart of man and the revealing of these truths, it would do well if you would get a concordance and look up heart here are some verses to read and then believe the truths from the heart, Matthew 5:28, 6:21, 12-34, 15:8, 15:18,19, 22:37, Luke 6:45, Acts 15:8, Romans 1:21,24, 10:6-10, Ephesians 1:18, 4:17-20, Proverbs 23:7, Mark 7:6, Mark 10:5.
The revealed truth of God, (His Word) is activated by the Holy Spirit striving in one’s life or soul and with the Holy Spirit's convicting power of sin resulting in a person seeing his need for the provision that God provided and then they are given by God the ability to accept the provision brought about by the willingness of their heart. He makes it possible to place their trust in the revealed provision activating faith , 2 Timothy 3:14,15. The make-up of faith which came from God a person finds the personnel God to rest their trust in, finding God's love, mercy, and grace, resulting in the only secure hope and assurance of eternal life, 2 Timothy 1:12, Psalm 9:10, Psalm 32;10, Psalm 111;7, 1 Peter 2;6, John 17, John 3:16, 10:27-30,7 ,9,11, 14-18.
The opening ones eyes and heart by God the Holy Spirit conviction occurs and a person finds their need for accepting their responsibility as a condemned person, finding forgiveness, love, truth, and a sure, secure hope forever. With the revealed truths operating in a person life they will live a different life and if their life and attitude does not change they need to examine themselves to see if they are truly save, 2 Corinthians 13:5.
The words willingness is a big word because it is saying man does not have the ability to have a faith without God giving the ability - grace given, whether the Old Testament or in the New Testament a person needs to be willing for God to work. How then does God give mankind what they do not deserve or capable to achieve? Let's look at our personal existence and birth next. God is the one who gives the ability to be saved by His call on an individual. Can a man resist God? Yes to their doom. God allows the lost to stay lost if they refuse to respond to the Holy Spirit's conviction of their inmost personal response.
We can see how the Old Testament saints responded to God by faith with their obedience waiting for Christ. It would be to all our benefit if we lived, lives at all times of the day and night in the presence of God which in reality we do even when we are not thinking of Him or responding to Him in our living. The believers today have the Holy Spirit confirming God's truth through the Word the Bible, He permanently indwell believers from the moment of personnel salvation, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:30, John 16:13.
The instrument God uses today will always seek to be Bible Centered and will seek never to contradict or counteract His Word. God's instruments dispensing the Scripture today are His saints (as individuals, using the local church, and missions, by preaching with teaching the word and by the personnel testimony of individuals, teaching the Bible, God's word) Roman1:16, 10:17, 2 Timothy 2:15, 2 Timothy 4:2.
Our Personal Existence and Birth in God's Plan
God does show to all mankind His handy work and has revealed Himself through His tender loving care and He has preserved man's existence waiting for us to acknowledge Him and receive His provision, which He made and gives to us in Christ Jesus, This truth is seen through God's Word the Bible, nature or creation and through the instruments of His stewardship to the world, Psalm 19, Romans 1, Romans 10:14,15.
It would be helpful to see what scripture says about God's planning of our personal existence and birth and how much concern and care He had for the human race in eternity past. It will give a better personnel perspective in understanding the following universal true of God's foreknowledge and plan dispensationally. With this said let us look at the scriptures:
Acts 17:24-28, "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.' Psalms 139:1-18.
Romans 8:28-31, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Psalms 139:1-24, O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Ephesians 1:3-8, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. He chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 2 Timothy1:9,
Titus 1:1-3, Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness - a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior, 1 Peter 1:18-23, 1 Corinthians 2:4-10
By these passages we can learn:
- first that God knows all who will ever be saved or lost, 'God foreknew',
- Second we learn that He gives the exact place and exact time we are to live, 'He determined the times set for them and the exact place where they should live'.
- And third God did this so man could be save with the best opportunity for man personally to respond, 'so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him'.
- Fourth we see He formed us and knew us before we were born, giving the lost a life to live and an opportunity to rejection and those who He knew would be saved to be His mouth piece and ambassador to herald His message of life, 'he chose us in him before the creation of the world'.
- Fifth we see He provided justification before man's existence which was accomplishes for His glory through the Lord Jesus Christ, 'he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins'.
- We see sixth His promise of eternal life was before creation.
- And last we see He accomplishes this through progressive history which contains the dispensational true's which need to be understood, 'and at his appointed season he brought his word to light'.
We also can discover other universal principle in these passages which relate to the topic at hand which are important, (not far from anyone, He is omnipresent, He holds all things together, man is come from God, God owns everything, He is not limited by man, God is self sustaining in Himself, He gives life, etc.). These passages are very rich and exciting to discover God's Love for mankind, read John 3:16 and Romans 5:8, 'loved the whole world', and 'He demonstrates His love for us'.
We also learn in His word He is not wanting anyone to perish but, the unsaved perish do to their own accord, John 3:18-20 ( 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."). The existence on earth for man is given to the nonbeliever to have the opportunity to be saved even though God already knows in His foreknowledge they will not take the opportunity given to them, Romans 9:22-24. The nonbeliever will never have grounds to say they did not have a chance. Believers or the called out saints have been given the opportunity to exercise His message as ambassadors.
Therefore at the Great White Throne, (Revelation 20:10-15) their judgment is just and they will never be able to say God did not give them the opportunity. Why then do some perish? Read for yourself, Romans 5, John 3:16-21, Acts 17:24-28 and you will read they perish or are condemned by their own choosing and free will. And again you will see God's love extended to the nonbelievers even though He already knows of their rejection), 2 Corinthians 2:14-17.
We hope the riches of the Word of God become precious to you as you continue your life in Him and if you have not repented putting your trust and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you can right now by asking Him to save you. Letting Him be your personnel Lord and savoir. 'Whosoever calls upon the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved', 'they pass from death unto life.' All thing become new for the old things have passed away', Romans 10:9-13, John 1:12, 1 John 5:9-14. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him,' Hebrews 6:11.
Repentance of ones personnel efforts 'going his own way' with the acceptance of one's personnel need (Sin) and accepting responsibility (For sin) it will open the door for receiving what God's provision does alone paying the redemptive price for the individuals. , Romans 2:4-6, 2 Corinthians 7:10, 2 Timothy 2:25-26, 2 Peter 3:9.
Let's give a definition of the following words and Biblical references for them first:
(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
1. Faith - Biblically faith is the relationship which comes from God and activated by a personal trust exercised towards God in life. Biblical faith is not a contrived faith by an individual but one which comes from God and ones relationship to God by learning and the encouragement that comes through God's word and the working of the Holy Spirit, Genesis 6:3, 2 Peter 1:20-21.
- "A belief in or confident attitude toward God, involving commitment to His will for one's life." (Romans 1:17, Heb 10:22, 38, 11:1-3, 6, 12:2, 1 Peter 1:21, Ephesians 2:8-9) (from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
2. Trust, trustworthy, trusting - which activate faith in a person’s life:
Trust – (Verb), have faith in, believe, rely on, depend on, confide in, have confidence in, count on, bank on, be sure about, (Verb), Hope, believe, expect, assure, suppose, presume, Psalm 4:5, Psalm 9;10, Psalm 13:5, Psalm 31;14, Psalm 37:5, Psalm 40;4, Psalm 56:3, Psalm 78:7, Psalm 91:2, Proverbs 3:5, Isaiah 12:2, Isaiah 26:4, John 12;36, John 14:1, Acts 14:23, Romans 15;13, Hebrews 2:13,
Trustworthy – one you can tell a secret or discuss your private feelings with – confide, dependable, reliable, responsible, truthful, honest, constant, honorable, upright, faithful, trusty, (Verb) disclose, reveal, divulge, tell, pass on, open your heart to, unburden your heart to, speak in confidence, make known confess, (Verb) entrust, give to, give to somebody for safe keeping, place with, deposit with, 2 Samuel 7;28, Psalm 19:7, Psalm 111:7, Psalm 119:86, Psalm 119:138, 1 Timothy 1;15, Titus 3:8,
If you have never looked up a word in the Bible or have never studied trust and the synonyms. Let me encourage you to do so. I know it would help you in your life. The above is only a small sample of the rich truth found in scripture. An exhaustive concordance would help you in that endeavor - Strong's exhaustive concordance or whatever translation which you use.
3. Love - "The high esteem which God has for His human children and the high regard which they, in turn, should have for Him and other people. Because of the hundreds of references to love in the Bible, it is certainly the most remarkable book of love in the world. It records the greatest love story ever written-God's unconditional love for us that sent His Son to die on the cross (John 3:16; 1 John 4:10, 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, 1 John 4:19, 1 Corinthians 13, Deuteronomy 7:9)." (from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
4. Hope - "Confident expectancy. In the Bible, the word hope stands for both the act of hoping (Romans 4:18) and the thing hoped for (Colossians 1:5; 1 Peter 1:3). Hope does not arise from the individual's desires or wishes but from God, who is Himself the believer's hope: "My hope is in You" (Psalms 39:7). Genuine hope is not wishful thinking, but a firm assurance about things that are unseen and still in the future (Romans 8:24-25; Hebrews 11:1,7)." (from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
5. Mercy - God not giving to man what he deserves. Jesus Christ was the ultimate manifestation of God’s mercy the assurance of mercy for believers, and the basis of their own mercy in their relationships with others. Also, God has not given immediate death for God rejecters but has given them an opportunity to be saved. Jesus Christ is the place were mankind can come to experience the mercy of God for the forgiveness of the their individual sinfulness.
Mercy - "The aspect of God's love that causes Him to help the miserable. Those who are miserable may be so either because of breaking God's law or because of circumstances beyond their control. God shows mercy upon those who have broken His law (Daniel 9:9; 1 Timothy 1:13,16), although such mercy is selective (or can have limits)* demonstrating that it is not deserved (Romans 9:14-18). God's mercy on the miserable extends beyond punishment that is withheld (Ephesians 2:4-6). Withheld punishment keeps us from hell, but it does not get us into heaven. God's mercy is greater than this. God also shows mercy by actively helping those who are miserable due to circumstances beyond their control. We see this aspect of mercy especially in the life of our Lord Jesus. He healed blind men (Matthews 9:27-31; 20:29-34) and lepers (Luke 17:11-19). These acts of healing grew out of his attitude of compassion and mercy." (from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
* Author notes - God's mercy is not selective when relating to salvation but limited by His long-suffering before the judgment comes. Mercy is given even in suffering and death, death can be for a reward or punishment for the protection of the justice needed for mankind's future. Mercy rewards believers for faithfulness in suffering and it is just in the protection of others in the death of the non-believer. In the Lake of Fire there is a degree of punishment according to a individuals works even though punishment is eternal.
6. Grace - God giving to man what he doesn't deserve. God's grace is seen in life being given when the human race was already condemned from Adam, Romans 5. Grace is the aspect of God's love that moved Him to provide forgiveness to the guilty upon receiving His provision resulting in eternal life, Romans 6:23. The Old Testament and the New Testament treatment of God’s mercy and His grace cannot be separated from His love, and His faithfulness. They are all part of the same fabric, different strands but the same fabric. The difference, of course, is that the New Testament writings we see the mercy of God in a much brighter light in the face of the finished work of Christ in grace and truth, John 1:14,17, Colossians 1:6. It even becomes brighter as God's mystery dispensation unfolded through the writing of the apostle Paul who received the commission of the full revelation of the Dispensation of the Grace of God given to mankind, Ephesians 3:1-3, 1 Timothy 1:13-16, Ephesians 3:8. It concludes with God fulfilling His promise to Israel in the Millennial reign of Christ and the New Heaven completed, Romans 15:8 , 2 Peter 3:9, Revelation 21:1-4.
Grace - "Favor or kindness shown without regard to the worth or merit of the one who receives it and in spite of what that same person deserves. Grace is one of the key attributes of God. The Lord God is "merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth" (Exodus 34:6). Therefore, grace is almost always associated with mercy, love, compassion, patience, and God's longsuffering as the source of help and with deliverance from distress.
In the Old Testament, the supreme example of grace was the redemption of the Hebrew people from Egypt and their establishment in the Promised Land. This did not happen because of any merit on Israel's part, but in spite of their unrighteousness (Deuteronomy 9:5-6). Although the grace of God is always free and undeserved, it must not be taken for granted. Grace is only enjoyed within the COVENANT - the gift is given by God, and the gift is received by man through repentance and faith (Amos 5:15). Grace is to be humbly sought through the prayer of faith (Malachi 1:9).
The grace of God was supremely revealed and given in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus was not only the beneficiary of God's grace (Luke 2:40), but He was also its very embodiment (John 1:14), bringing it to mankind for salvation (Titus 2:11). By His death and resurrection, Jesus restored the broken fellowship between God and His people, both Jew and Gentile. The only way of salvation for any person is "through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 15:11).
The grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ is applied to human beings for their salvation by the HOLY SPIRIT, who is called "the Spirit of grace" (Hebrews 10:29). The Spirit is the One who binds Christ to His people so that they receive forgiveness, adoption to son-ship, and newness of life, as well as every spiritual gift or grace (Ephesians 4:7).
The theme of grace is especially prominent in the letters of the apostle Paul. He sets grace radically over against the law and the works of the law (Romans 3:24,28). Paul makes it abundantly clear that salvation is not something that can be earned or merited; it can be received only as a gift of grace (Romans 4:4). Grace, however, must be accompanied by faith; a person must trust in the mercy and favor of God, even while it is undeserved (Romans 4:16).
The law of Moses revealed the righteous will of God in the midst of pagan darkness; it was God's gracious gift to Israel (Deuteronomy 4:8). But His will was made complete when Jesus brought the gospel of grace into the world (John 1:17)." (from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
Let's Study and Examine Salvation in the Dispensations:
The Dispensation of Innocence is the first dispensation: Adam and Eve and their salvation.
We know that even though the following five - faith, love, hope, mercy and grace were present in the Garden of Eden before sin, Adam and Eve failed in their faith towards God. They failed to carry out God's command and they sinned. They were the only humans that ever lived who fell from a sinless existence to being sinners and they passed it down to all humans ever since. Therefore, God's judgment for their lack of exercising their free will in faith to Him and their lack of that faith in obedience of His command caused the operational judgment for them and the human race, Genesis 3, Romans 5. However, if they had been steadfast in their faith towards God, then the blessing of the following would have been experience for all mankind for eternity.
Before the Fall:
- Faith - If they would exercise faith in trusting their creator and obeying His commands mankind would not have lost their relationship to Him. God called them to have Faith in Him.
- Love - The fellowship that God demonstrated by walking with them in the Garden of Eden and communicating with them goes beyond human comprehension. Also the companionship of oneness they were given with each other and a home in the Garden of Eden and the possibility to live forever with Him shows the love God had for them. On their part, love would have been shown by their faith of obedience and choosing God that He knows best no matter what anyone else would tell them. Their was no shame in their relationship before the fall (Genesis 2:25).
Hope – God showed hope by creating mankind and giving them an opportunity to display and live in hope. Hope would have been displayed by them if they would have trusted in God's communication with them and His benefits would have become a reality for all mankind from then on. They could expect God to sustain them, giving offspring and an earth they could live and subdue without defilement. They were given the privilege to take care of a perfect earth forever. For if their hope had been in Him - God would reveal all His benefits to them which He wanted mankind to experience, Psalm 33:18, Psalm 62:5.
- Mercy - Being a creation of the Sovereign and having Him create man in His image shows being given a standing which was not deserved. What does a object deserve who is finite (not God likeness or image)? Mankind deserve only to be an object but God gave more Genesis 1:26, 5:1-2. Man was not given a position of an object but an image after his Creator.
- Grace - Giving mankind the attributes after His character and His image shows God's grace. Also, providing provisions need for sustaining Life by giving them the Tree of Life which was in the Garden, they could have eaten at any time and lived forever with Him, we see grace being present for them. Also God providing the means for salvation which was not known to them or have in their knowledge, but God knowing and planning in eternity passed provided the sacrifice needed which would redeem them back to Himself for their failure, (Genesis 3:15, 2 Timothy 2:9-10).
The Dispensation of Conscience the second dispensation: Adam, Eve, Abel through Noah and their salvation.
After sinning Adam and Eve past sin, death, fear, suffering and shame to the whole human race, (Genesis 2:25 cf. 3:8,11, Job 31:33, Romans 5). The earth and the creatures became subject to the penalty of the judgment caused by Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:17-19, Romans 8:20). You can say mankind's genes became defective full of sin with the consequences, needing a miracle from God to change their defect because mankind could not change the defect within themselves leading to death, (1 Corinthians 15:22, Romans 3:10-18,23, Jeremiah 13:23).
This is why it says in James 2:10-11, if you commit one sin you are guilty of being a law breaker and a sinner for you broke God's holy, righteous, and good law, we are all guilty of being a criminal and not able to change because of the defect within us, Romans 7:12. For in Adam we all broke the law of God, the law of faith, love, and hope, through disobedience.
Therefore, anyone accepting responsibility of being a law breaker and accepts the fact that they are defective are at the door of salvation and with faith in God's provision which He made through the Lord Jesus, completing the redemptive covenant will be save. The restoration of faith, love and hope is found in God's mercy and grace for anyone who will believe and do what God has given for restoration. Believing and doing is a must whether offering a blood sacrifice before the cross or afterwards by confessing and calling on the Lord Jesus for salvation or restoration. Both can be considered a work or an action coming from a conviction from God in an individuals life. And yet both is not a work which can save apart from God bring the conviction in the heart. The conviction from God to the need comes first then the response of the individual in repentance. Grace has always been from God providing the object of faith through conviction.
Adam and Eve in the Dispensation of Conscience
- Faith - If they accept by faith the covering God provided, the animal covering instead of the leaves they made, the redemptive covenant would become applicable Genesis 3:21. We read they were clothed allowing God's provision to be their covering. Whether they understood all the meaning or ramification of a blood sacrifice and covering was not mentioned but we do see them accepting it because the Word of God says it was done.
- Love - God demonstrates His love by communication and providing the blood sacrifice and covering. And giving them the privilege to carry out life and giving them offspring with a future hope of eternal salvation, Genesis 3:15, John 3:16, 1 John 4:19, Romans 5:8.
- Hope - You would say they accepted it by faith exercised in hope because God provided the covering and it must have been important. Acting in faith, hoping does not mean you understand everything but obedience because God said it and that settles it. Romans 8:24-25. Giving them a future hope of full redemption with atonement until the redemption that was completed by Christ Jesus even though they may not have known what it entailed, Genesis 3:15.
- Mercy - Not immediately condemning them punitively by physical and eternal death which was to be carried out latter on all who would not by faith receive God's provision, Hebrews 9:27, Proverbs 14:12, 16:25. Even though spiritually they died (separation from God), deserving eternal punitive judgment. (Mercy-not being given what one does deserve.)
- Grace - Even though spiritually they died (separation from God), God still provided for them the way of salvation provided by Him. The animal sacrifice, the covering and the future hope of Jesus Christ, Genesis 3:15, 21. (Grace - being given what one does not deserve.)
- Faith - According to Hebrews 11:1-4 faith was present in the experience of Abel in the Dispensation of Conscience under the Old Testament (covenant) as a key element of his spiritual life. The various heroes of the Old Testament Abel is described as living by faith along with the description of Abraham belief, Hebrews 11:8-11. In the Old Testament it makes the point that Abraham "believed in the Lord" (Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:1-3); the Israelites "believed" (Exodus 4:31; 14:31); and the prophet Habakkuk taught that "the just shall live by his faith" (Habakkuk 2:4) and we see Abel exercising this faith, 'By faith Abel was commended as a righteous man,' Hebrews 11:4, Matthew 23:35. Jesus validates Abel's righteousness when He, Luke 11:49-51 comments on Abel and included him along with the other prophet's martyrdom in His comments.
We see this statement about Abel in conjunction of the animal sacrifice he offered in keeping with the pattern established by God for the covering of the sin which He provided for Adam and Eve, Genesis 3:21. Hebrews 12:24 our Lord's New Covenant and mediation role is told to be better than that of Abel's because Abel sacrifice could only cover sin where Christ Jesus' sacrifice forgives sin forever and 'much much' more. This again seems to be in connection to Abel's blood sacrifice which was in relationship to the requirement for an the old covenant's atonement (covering) requirement.
"speaks better things than that of Abel—namely, than the sprinkling (the best manuscripts read the article masculine, which refers to “sprinkling,” not to “blood,” which last is neuter) of blood by Abel in his sacrifice spake. This comparison between two things of the same kind (namely, Christ’s sacrifice, and Abel’s sacrifice) is more natural, than between two things different in kind and in results (namely, Christ’s sacrifice, and Abel’s own blood [Alford], which was not a sacrifice at all); compare Hebrews 11:4; Genesis 4:4. This accords with the whole tenor of the Epistle, and of this passage in particular (Hebrews 12:18-22), which is to show the superiority of Christ’s sacrifice and the new covenant, to the Old Testament sacrifices (of which Abel’s is the first recorded; it, moreover, was testified to by God as acceptable to Him above Cain’s), compare Hebrews 9:1-10:39. The word “better” implies superiority to something that is good: but Abel’s own blood was not at all good for the purpose for which Christ’s blood was efficacious; nay, it cried for vengeance. So Archbishop Magee, Hammond, and Knatchbull. Bengel takes “the blood of Abel” as put for all the blood shed on earth crying for vengeance, and greatly increasing the other cries raised by sin in the world; counteracted by the blood of Christ calmly speaking in heaven for us, and from heaven to us. I prefer Magee’s view. Be this as it may, to deny that Christ’s atonement is truly a propitiation, overthrows Christ’s priesthood, makes the sacrifices of Moses’ law an unmeaning mummery, and represents Cain’s sacrifice as good as that of Abel." (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown's Commentary On the Whole Bible, Hebrews 12:24)
- Love - Even though there is no verse which states directly that God loved Abel, it is absurd if love can not be seen by the statements about Abel which are in keeping with God's nature John 3:16, Psalms 145:8 and His commendation of Abel's offering. Also with the using him as an example in generations following we see God's love implied, Hebrews 11:4.
- Hope - we see hope by the action of Abel in his offering the correct sacrifice in hope that God would receive it and be pleased. God said it was good and right, 'The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering,' Genesis 4:2-7.
Mercy - In the account of Abel and his relationship to his brother we can see mercy from God being given. Cain who was a non-believer because of his rejection to do what was required in offering a sacrifice by faith, Genesis 4:6-7, 1 John 3:12 (and possibly not offering a blood sacrifice in which he would have learned from God or his parents in the keeping for worship, Hebrews 11:4, Hebrews 12:24 ). We see God extending mercy to him even though he deserved death for murder.
Even though Abel may not have known the scope of God's mercy we know Abel received mercy because God says he is part of the redeemed. Abel will not be condemned for being a sinner spending eternity in Hell and the Lake of Fire. His blood offering was sufficient until Jesus Christ's finished work for him came which completed redemption, Hebrews 11:4, Hebrews 12:24.
"An offering was brought before the Lord in an act of worship. Unless man had been taught to worship God by sacrifice, why should they have both presented themselves before God, each with his offering? What should have influenced Cain to bring his offering, even the fruits of the earth, unless some divine order had established the offering as part of worship? It is possible that when God killed the animals for man’s sake (Genesis 3:21), He also gave them some of the principles behind the sacrifices that He later commanded in Leviticus 1:1-5.", (Explorer's Bible Study: Genesis Workbook, Lesson 5, The First Family, notes on Cain and Able)
- Grace - God gave Cain grace by extending his life and protecting him from others who might have executed him for the murder of his brother, Genesis 4:15-17. God gave him mercy and grace by giving his an offspring and
It maybe asked where does God show Abel grace - first in the offering by faith an animal sacrifice, he receives God approval and blessing, Genesis 4:4. Second, he is receiving a reward for his faithful witness then and now to the world as revealed by the documentation found in the scripture, Hebrews 11;4. Third, God rewards not for being just a saint who has put their faith and trust in Him but also a glorious crown for those who are martyred for their faith, Luke 11:49-51, Revelation 2:10.
The changing of rules in an administration, (in the next dispensation) when capitol punishment was instituted, it gave man the responsibility to judgment and punishment, (Dispensation of Human Government).
Enoch Jude 1:14-15
- Faith - According to Hebrews 11:5-6, faith was present in the experience of Enoch in the Dispensation of Conscience as a key element of his spiritual life. In this chapter, Enoch is described as pleasing God living by faith, Habakkuk 2:4. Jude 1:14 tells us that he prophesied as a prophet of God showing he had a relationship with God and he was exercising a verbal witness to the world.
- Love - No scripture stating directly of God's love but we know God loved Enoch because of the account given and God's characteristic of love for His saints and the world, Exodus 20:6, Psalms 11:7, 33:5, 37:28, 146:8, Proverb 15:9, 1 John 4:16.
- Hope - Enoch hope was in the return of the Lord to earth in judgment with those who were made holy, "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones," Jude 1:14, Psalms 37:28.
- Mercy - It seems that the first 65 years of Enoch's life he may have been in an non-saved condition because God contracts it with the last 300 years as being in relationship with Him, this showing that God was merciful, long suffering, and not giving Enoch death before he would turn and walk with God in a relationship of faith and belief, Genesis 5:18-24. Enoch has been very meaningful to many knowing that even thought many years can have been wasted in a persons life one can always begin anew with the right relationship with God and God in His mercy will give him a new start which can be pleasing to God for all eternity, Joel 2:25. In the book of Joel we see this universal principle working for Israel in a latter dispensation when repentance, faith and obedience become a living practice or reality in their lives, Joel 2:12-25.
- Grace - God states in His word that Enoch was taken from this earth because of the special relationship he had with God. God showing grace by preserving his life until he was saved and rapturing him away in death in a special way, Genesis 5:18-24, Hebrews 11:5-6.
The people other than Noah and his family
According to the recorded record there was no one living by faith except Noah and without the foundation of faith in God man is left to do those thing which is right in their own imagination and will. The people during the day of Noah exercised evil to it fullness being wicked to the core and God's punitive judgment is the only thing which gives mercy, grace, love and hope to others which may live. God's judgment is an eternal justice, it is carried out for the universe's creation and God's holiness, Genesis 6:1-10, Jude 6, 2 Peter 2:4-10.
- Faith - According to Hebrews 11:7, faith was present in the experience of Noah before the flood and after. His faith and obedience in God is quite evident in the Biblical account. In Noah's lifetime there was a change in dispensations which you can study under the chapter of the Dispensation of Human Government. However, the salvation of Noah with his faith was evident in the Dispensation of Conscience, Genesis 6:9,22. We see him being commended for faith and righteousness as a key element in his spiritual life, 2 Peter 2:5.
- Love - Those whom God atoned for He did out of love, Exodus 15:13, Noah obeyed God and God says He loves those who keep His commands as Noah showed through faith in his obedience to build the ark and followed God's specifications, Genesis 6:22, Exodus 20:6, Deuteronomy 7:9.
- Hope - Noah's hope in God's promises is evident in the building and entering the Ark to save him and his family, Genesis 6:18. Noah's salvation is evident before the world wide flood by God's use and statement about Noah, Genesis 6:8,9, 7:1.
- Mercy - Even though Noah was condemned in Adam we see again God showing mercy not giving Noah what he deserved but extending mercy to him which is a universal principle, Psalms 103:1-6. We see Noah as the family head offering sacrifices of animals which had been introduced by God for the atonement for sin until Christ Jesus back in the Garden of Eden, Genesis 8:20-21. We also see in this dispensation the family head being priest for his family. Until the Dispensation of Promise became a reality in the progressive history of mankind, the family head was the priest to the family and it did not change for sure until after the giving of the Law to Israel (see the change in the Dispensation of Promise and the giving of the law).
- Grace - God statement in His word of Noah finding grace seem to indicate that Noah was extended grace which was already in effect when God moved to judge the world by the universal flood, Genesis 6:8. Noah had been living by the grace of God and exercising right living and faith long before the flood and the preparation for the judgment, Exodus 34:6-7. Also we see grace being extended to him when God made a covenant with him for the world going into the next dispensation and continuing to the end of the world, Genesis 9:8-17. Also he was given grace to have the promise seed of the Lord Jesus come through him and his decedents, Genesis 5, Luke 3:23-38.
The Dispensation of Human Government the third dispensation: from the end of the world wide flood to the scattering of people and the diversifying of the languages completing with the last mention of the former dispensation in the transition period.
So then the best way to see into the Dispensation of Human Government is to approach it by looking at those who were honored and showed their faith by their lives and contrasting the failures of the people at that time. In so doing, we see the lack of following God by faith and obedience in their lives which brought the judgment of God on them. We see will some of these individuals in the transition period to the next dispensation.
Let's look at the examples of:
- Job, blameless and upright, Job 1:1,8,22.
- Melchizedek and the honored and his faithful bibliography, Genesis 14:18, Hebrews 7:1-2 . He was called and saved in the Dispensation of Human Government.
- Also, Jethro, Exodus 3:1 18:1 a priest used of God and Moses which we see during the time of the transition period between the two dispensations.
- The people living at this time in regards of the Tower of Babel, Genesis 11:1-9 and the world's failure and judgment from God which stated the transition to the next dispensation.
- The disobedient prophet Balaam with his failure Numbers 22, he was called, saved and failed in the Dispensation of Human Government.
- Faith - Job is very special saint who lived in the Dispensation of Human Government, he had a reputation that he lived his faith out. He was 'blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.' a righteous man declared by God, Job 1:1,8,22, 2:3, Ezekiel 14:14,. He was recognized by God as having faith and he showed it by the way he lived which is a universal principle of God for all, James 2:14-26. The work of faith always follows one personal faith and if you do not have personnel faith you would not be doing works of faith - it would nor exist.
There isn't a verse in the Bible which gives him a label of having faith but the whole Biblical account shows he was a man of faith trusting in God 'no matter what' the consequences of life came upon him, Job 1:20-22, 2:7-10, 42:1-3. We see his faith and obedience evident in the account of offering a blood sacrifice as an atonement sacrifice for his family that was instituted in applying the Old Covenant requirement for sin. He being the priest of his family offered sacrifices for them shows his faith, Job 1:4-5 (the priesthood changed in the next dispensation, The Dispensation of Promise with the adding of the law given to Moses, Galatians 3:19). His faith was a 'no matter what' faith, even though he practiced living for God on a daily bases he lost his children in death and he lost his health but he still trusted, having his faith anchored in God, Job 2:10.
Also, we see latter God telling him to carry out the function of a priest to his friends for their failure and false accusation made towards him and their miss-representing God's working. Up to this time sacrifices was the responsibility of family heads in the dispensations, Job 42:7-11 but we get a glimpse of God's future intent to have a priesthood which this recorded account gives the first glimpse of one outside of family head offering a sacrifice for others. We know by the time of Abraham there was a priests, Moses farther-in-law, Jethro and one called the King of Salem who's name was Melchizedek, Genesis 14:18, Hebrews 7:1-2. One could conclude that God added to the dispensation a new rule to live under. However we are not sure of the exact time Job lived and which dispensation he live under, there just is not enough information given. Job could have lived either under the Dispensation of Conscience or the Dispensation of Human Government, most likely under the Dispensation of Human Government because we do not see him being a proselyte or a Jew by birth of the next dispensation.
The book of Job, "Age, and relation to the canon. The book has a unique position in the canon. It is unconnected with Israel, God's covenant people, with whom all the other scriptures are associated. "The law" (towrah (OT:8451)),the Magna Charta of the rest, occurs but once, and then not in its technical sense (Job 22:22). The exodus is never alluded to, though the miraculous events connected with it in Egypt and the desert, with both of which Job shows his acquaintance, would have been appropriate to his and the friends' argument. The destruction of the guilty by the flood (Job 22:15), and that of Sodom and Gomorrah (Job 18:15) possibly, are referred to; but no later facts. The inference seems natural that the book was of an age anterior (earlier) to Israel. Job's own life was of patriarchal length, 200 years. The only idolatry alluded to is the earliest, Sabeanism, the worship of the sun, moon, and seba or heavenly hosts (Job 31:26-28)."
(from Fausset's Bible Dictionary, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1998 by Biblesoft, [to get Biblesoft click here PC Study Complete Reference Library]).
My belief Job lived after the flood - because in the Dispensation of Human Government there was instituted an offering for others by a priest other than the family head. Job offered a sacrifice for his friends which was directed by God and could be the connection with priest before the law was given to Moses.
We see in the transition period to the Dispensation of Promise, the King of Salem, Melchizedek was a priest before the instituted of the Leviticus priesthood. Melchizedek was a contemporize with Abraham and it can be concluded there was a priesthood in existed before the time of the Mosaic-law that was instituted by God for mankind, Genesis 14:18, Hebrews 7:1.
We also know from scripture in the transition period there was a priest named Jethro, a priest of Midian and the father-in-law to Moses, Exodus 3:1 18:1. God was working through a priest instituted during the Dispensation of Human Government to others even though there in not much information about the office.
- Love - The universal principle of God's love mention earlier applies to Job as a saint of God and is see in the special relationship working out with the confidence God had towards Job, Job 1:8, 2:3.
- Hope - If Job had not had hope we would not have seen God extending His workings of faith, love, mercy, and grace as recorded in His word to him and showing Job's faithfulness through His confidence in the testing which Satan caused. In fact Job probably would have followed his wife's advise and cursed God and died, however, Job did show hope, Job 2:9. It is sad today because there are those who do give over and die with no hope.
- Mercy - God does not record the exact time or circumstances of Job's salvation but we know mercy is shown to him. Job would have died in Adam if mercy had never been given to Adam and extended to him years latter as he lived out his personnel life here on earth.
God shows in His recorded word the part of Job's life which He wanted future generations to know as a witness and testimony. In unexpected tragedies and problems Job was ready to meet the challenge even though he did not know the problems were coming, he precluded being a failure by the strong relationship he had with God, Job 1:6-8. He was ready to be used of God when God wanted to show His saint's faithfulness under trials Job 1:1. We do see mercy being show in God's communication with Job after his friends left him Job 38-41. We see God's mercy in the way Job is corrected by God's communication-chastising Job for trying to figure Him out correctly. We see Job excepting God's correction putting his hand over his moth and listening, Job 40:1-5. Job did did not know all the workings of his situation and how God's working was on his behalf. God just wanted mankind to except his circumstances at times without any explanation, true faith will wait on God to reveal what He wants us to know. If Adam and Eve would have trusted God explicidly they would not of failed and sinned.
Sometimes there just is not a good explanation to thing happening in life because we do not know everything going on behind the scene. With that kind of faith we have the opportunity to trust, finding hope, mercy and grace from God. If Eve and Adam would have accepted God's provisions and instructions without questioning, sin would not have defiled the whole human race.
- Grace - As stated under mercy, the exact time which Job received grace is not given but we know it accrued. Job lived by faith seen in the way he lived out his life and the events that accrued . Grace was shown also after all the bad events were over and God graciously giving Job a double portion of good in his lifetime, not just the great blessings before his lose but also he gained back his losses after the devastating event recorded, Job 4:12-17. Many time today a believer would receive a blessing beyond human understanding if only they determined to have or exercise the faith Job demonstrated.
Besides Job we know the King of Salem who's name was Melchizedek, Genesis 14:18, Hebrews 7:1-2 was a believer but the exact moment of his salvation is not revealed but the recorded testimonies from God and His word show both, Job and the King of Salem were part of 'the called out' or part of the church of the Old covenant, Acts 7:38.
We use the word church here because the meaning means 'the called out' and if one uses the word you always need to ask which church is God's word referring too, we have called out saint in every dispensation. The word church in the Bible is uses to identify different groups of saint who were called out in a specific dispensation: the Kingdom saints Matthews 16:18, 18:17 , those in the Tribulation period Revelation 2-3, 22:16, the Body of Christ today Ephesians 1:22-23, Colossians 1:18-24, and those saved in Moses' time Act 7:38, which show the Greek word is used for God's saint in different dispensations, (The Greek for church ekklesia, "called out," ek "out," kaleo "to call"). The word itself also can be used in the Greek scripture for any called out group or mob. Many today have tried to unify the Scriptures under this one word which have left much controversy but the word of God would be served more accurate if the word church was taken into consideration of the dispensation it refers to and if the meaning was not stretched to include all uses into one dispensational program of God.
Melchizedek, Genesis 14:18, Hebrews 7:1-2 we know little but what we do know is that he was a King from a place called Salem and he blessed Abraham; and Abraham offered ten-percent of the spoils as a gift to him because he was a priest of God. The LORD used him as an example of our LORD Jesus' priesthood office and the priesthood outside of the Levitical priesthood Hebrews 7:11-28. We know he was a faithful believer because of the truth revealed about him and him being am example of our Lord Jesus. Some believe it was a pre-incarnation of the Son of God and not a real man - I am not sure. Whatever you believe about him does not change the matter of when he appeared in history in relationship to dispensations and the transition from one dispensation to the next. If He was God the Son, salvation was not needed but if he was a man we know he was a man of faith or a believer.
We also know from scripture there was a priest named Jethro, a priest of Midian and the father-in-law to Moses, Exodus 3:1 18:1. We do not see him appear in scripture until Moses' escape to Midian from Egypt and his marriage of Jethro's daughter Zipporah. We do not see any negative in his character that is revealed in scripture in fact we see him being helpful to Moses and the children of Israel. We have to assume he was a priest as revealed, and we see how he was used of God to further the deliverance of the children of Israel. Jethro must have been a priest of the former dispensation and a priest in relationship with God and not corrupted.
We do not know any Gentile priest after him mentioned in scripture which occupied the same relationship with God or being used in a unique capacity. Was he a saved believer - you read about his life and come to your own conclusion. I believe he was used of God and he met Moses' needs of a helpful adviser from God, Exodus 4:17-19, chapter 18. You can see more of his life under the chapter in the transitions of the two dispensations. He offered sacrifice accepted by Moses and elders without any negative response from God I believe he was a believer. He offered a blood sacrifice in worship and honor of God's working with the children of Israel see chapter 18 of Exodus. He show faith by his statements of who God is and what God has done. He worship and sacrificed offering as prescribed since the beginning in contrasted to the failure of the people at the tower of Babel.
As far as any changes for the obedience of faith, an animal sacrifice had not changed and latter animal sacrifices were carried forward and required until Christ's finished work on the cross for a covering over of sin for the sinner or an atonement.
People of the Tower of Babel failed
- Faith - There seems to be a lack of faith by their adding to the revealed way of worship and building a city and tower of their own imagination. We see the judgment of God coming upon people who do that which is right in their own eyes or imagination in scripture, , Genesis 11:1-6, Proverbs 16:2, 21:2, 30:12. God has allowed diversity within the frame work of living but there is no spiritual diversity from spiritual truth in relationship to God the creator, sustainer and redeemer.
- Love - If the people truly loved God they would not have corrupted their relationship they had with Him. In contrasted we see God's Love for them in not destroying them as He did with the evil and disobedience, which brought the flood judgment, Genesis 6:5-8 but in this dispensation's judgment, He changed the language to multiple languages and caused them to scatter from each other, Genesis 11:8-9. Through this scattering color and diversity of breeding the human race became as we see it today probably.
- Hope - They became gods unto themselves by their action telling God how they were going to worship Him and live. This shows their lack of hope which He offered and instead of placing hope in the one true God they contrived an imaginary hope of their own, 'God you except our creation and give us the hope we expect', Genesis 11:3-4. There is no mention of correct worship by faith or a blood offering as directed since the beginning of sin for the need of atonement. It would be absurd to think God did not communicated the need and responsibility for an atonement, but man became corrupt and disobedient for their neglect and imagination.
- Mercy - We see in their failure God not destroying them and sending them to the place they deserved.
- Grace - We see God's grace given to them by preserving their lives and scattering them - confounding their languages to preserved their lives and slowed down their potential of unified sinning and performing thing which were contrary to God's will and their best, Genesis 11:5-9.
When God scattered them and confounded their languages, it became a check and balance on each other slowing down man with his capability to sin. We find this truth carried down to us today but we also see the attempt on man's part to unify through government, technology and their own imaginations and not on the revealed truths found in God's Word. With greater diversity God gave the world, within the framework of separation by geographic location and languages a check on wrong behavior in living ones life in faith. However, you will find a unity of believers world wide in spiritual truth when it comes to their relationship to God the creator, sustainer and redeemer as revealed in Scriptures.
Their were those who lived up to the will and truths of God at that time which would have had testimonies of approaching God correctly. They chose God's way they were the believers like, Job, Noah, Melchizedek, and Jethro. Also we see those who new God but were not obedient such as Balaam, who was a prophet and priest of God, Numbers 22:18, 2 Peter 2:15.
It is hard to believe Balaam was a believer but remember every dispensation end with the failure of men and the failure of believers to do as they are commissioned, (except the last dispensation, the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time). If we look at Balaam in the light of the dispensational failure along with the tower of Babel people we can understand better why God spoke to him latter and the corruption which he represented at the time. In the New Testament we see Balaam being contrasted to believer not nonbelievers, 2 Peter 2:15, Jude 1:11 you can learn more of the transition of a dispensation in the chapter on transitions. We also can understand the choosing of the promise people through Abraham in the light of the of the failures of the dispensation and the transition of the old being laid aside and the new dispensation beginning, Numbers 22, 22:8-13.
- Faith - With Balaam's faith we see him always wanting to twist what God tells him and a desire for personnel gain instead of doing right. It sounds like men today Numbers 22-24.
- Love - He could not have loved God with the devotion God required but we see the same kind of compromise which the people showed at the tower of Babel - imagining God would not see his deception of devotion and his imaginary belief God would over look his infractions or he was hoping he could bend God to do it his way. We again can say God showed him love by having the covering for sin as revealed earlier still open for him and not ending his life immediate on his disobedience.
- Hope - His hope was a false hope thinking God would overlook his sin of greed and divination. He believed money would bring the eternal blessing of God but instead of blessing it only brought the example of failure as recorded. Hope to future believers is not to be like the corruption of Balaam, Hebrew 11:6, Romans 8:15-39, Matthews 25:14-29, 1 Corinthians 3:8-15, 1 Corinthians 12, 2 Corinthians 5:17-23.
- Mercy - God extends mercy to him by not ending his life immediately for his divination and greed for money.
- Grace - God showed grace by letting him live even though he deserved early death for a believer, 1 John 5:16-23 . Yes it is hard to believe he was saved but if God says he was, we have to accept he was one of His. Believers do not lose their salvation but their rewards, 1 Corinthians 3:8-15 for salvation is based on God's provision not believers obedience or disobedience. Balaam would get into heaven but lose the rewards God wanted to given him if he had been faithful. Even Old Covenant believers had eternal security because it is based on God's atonement and redemption given to them not their works, Romans 4. Jesus Christ sacrifice was sufficient for both Old and New Covenant saints.
The Dispensation of Promise the fourth dispensation: from Abraham to Christ's second coming to earth and salvation. Examples:
- Faith - According to Hebrews 11:8-13, faith was present in the experience of Abraham and Sara in the Old Testament as a key element of their spiritual life. The Old and New Testament records that Abraham "believed in the Lord" and it was credited for righteousness, (Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:1-5, Galatians 3:6). Their initial response to God's call on their lives, in the land of Ur of the Chaldees is the recording of the facts of the time of their Salvation, Genesis 11:27-29, Nehemiah 9:7, Acts 7:2, Hebrews 11:8. Note: God said Abraham's relationship to Him was not by works but imputed - given without self performance of works.
Man's Works vs. Faith
There are those who have a hard time believing salvation is by faith alone and works only follow faith. But Romans 4:1-5 makes it very clear salvation is by faith alone in which righteousness is credited to the individual, (this is a universal principle). The blood sacrifice for sin and the sinfulness of the individual had to be preceded by faith. Just offering a sacrifice for Old Testament people as well as people today does not give salvation. If the offering was/is not in accord with God's revealed word it shows-(ed) a lack of faith in the individual heart because they refused to be obedient to the revealed truth of God, Genesis 4:6-7, Titus 3:4,5, Ephesians 2:8-9.
Romans 4:1-5 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what said the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that works is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that works not, but believeth on him that justified the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
We cannot add to the precise thing that corresponds to fact or the reality of God even though we do not fully understand His demands or do we have the right to change His demands because we do not agree with them. You can not justify wrong, prideful behavior which is the root of disobedience and trust in God. The created does not know better than the Creator! What a shame, the audacity when the created claims or thinks they know more than God! God wants faith in Him alone and not something man thinks or adds. We see the universal principle of faith apart from working for the initial righteousness though the whole Bible. And, we see addition righteousness is credited as God evaluates a man's works of obedience in their behavior and thoughts; we see even these works has to be proceeded by faith of righteous living, Hebrews 11:11-19, James 2, Ephesians 2:10, 2 Corinthians 3:8-15.
We also learn by God's word that faith after Abraham's salvation was working in his actions by his obedience and trust in the promises of God, James 2:20-23 Genesis 22, Hebrews 11:11-19. He responded by living out his faith by actions, it is shown by his willingness to sacrifice Isaac in obedience to God and trusting God would raise his son from the dead if needed, this is recorded in his words to those with them, "We will worship and then we will come back to you", Genesis 22:5, Hebrews 11:19. When true faith in God occurs it will be followed by action of conviction and if there is no action by works of obedience you need to examine your life to see if you are really saved 2 Corinthians 13:5-7. The object of Biblical faith is God and trusting in the words He has persevered for our assurance of hope which the Holy Spirit confirms in our souls, ('heart').
It is revealed by our Lord Jesus that Abraham looked forward to see the Son of God, John 8:56. The Gospel was announced in advance to Abraham, Galatians 3:8. Even though he did not experience the completed work of the redemptive truths of Christ Jesus' death, burial and resurrection and the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Abraham keep the faith, Hebrews 11:11-16. This is the recorded truth about the New Covenant that Abraham had been given the privilege to here from God the gospel even though it doesn't say he new all the details of the gospel he still kept the faith.
Abraham new God would sent the redeemer, he new the gospel would save his decedents and the gentiles but it does not say he new the specifics which we discover as we study the dispensations of God and see them unfolded in the recorded scripture. This is why it is important to understand dispensational truths in order to see how the gospel works out in detail with the requirements, the failures of man, and God's longsuffering and judgment. Dispensational truths also give specifics relating to the dispensation for the Stewart to be obedient in carrying out their responsibility. (Study the dispensation which corresponds to the time you are living - ask yourself what time of the specific dispensation you are living: beginning, middle, end or are you in the transition to the next dispensation or are you experiencing the judgment because of the failure of the dispensation. After you understand what time you are living then carry out the dispensational rules for the stewardship that God requires.) The gospel relate to the one covenant truth of redemption but the details in carrying out the gospel relates to dispensational responsibility by the steward. The steward today in the Dispensation of Grace is the church called the Body of Christ, it is made up of faithful believer without distinction as to nationality, color or race.
The universal truth that God loves the world and that Gentiles who lived under the Dispensation of Promise, could be saved and God's steward the Nation of Israel, Abrahams seed were to show this love for Gentile salvation is recorded in God's word, Isaiah 56, Matthew 8:11, Galatians 3:8, Romans 9:7-8 (Gentiles saved - Rahab the harlot, Ruth a Moabite, Nebuchadnezzar a Babylonian, other proselytes before Christ, those proselytes name in Acts 2, Ethiopian eunuch and all who are not named that appeared in the court of the Gentiles at the Temple.). Remember the first dispensation of God and those up until the Dispensation of Promise, God dealt with all mankind making no distinction in color, language, race or nationality, as to the dispensers, the family head were responsible for the propagation of the truth of God. Also the love of God is revealed to gentiles in the future dispensations as revealed in the book of Revelation. When John 3:16 was written it reiterated the truth that God does love the world and made provision for all to be saved even though many will not accept God's way of salvation shown by His love and faith in Him.
- Love - Even though there is no one verse that says God loved Abraham it would be wrong to say He did not. God's universal love shows Abraham he loved him, 1 John 4:16. God verifies love in choosing him to be the father of the Nation of Israel, Genesis 22:15-18, God giving him the promise of children of one nation and the child, Christ Jesus to be the eternal seed for all mankind making him the father of faith to many nations, Genesis 17:4, Galatians 3:6-9, 3:16 and God giving him a special land for his decedents to live, Genesis 26:2-4, all show God's love for him. God was Abrahams shield and the word of God says love always protects, Genesis 15:1, 1 Corinthians 13:7. The universal principle if you love God keep His commands, Abraham showed his love by his life of trust, faith and obedience to God's commands, Exodus 20:6, Ecclesiastes 12:13, 1 John 5:3.
- Hope - The process of all the events of Abrahams faith and obedience are summed up in that he was a man of hope and his foundation was God and His promises, Romans 4:18, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18.
- Mercy - Besides the universal mercy of God, we could ask how did God show mercy to Abraham? I think we already showed how when you read the above benefits God gave him in love. We also, can see that Abraham was not ignorant as to the building an altar to the Lord God, on Genesis 12:7-8. Matthew Henry' Concise commentary on the whole Bible, says "As soon as Abram was got to Canaan, though he was but a stranger and sojourner there, yet he set up, and kept up, the worship of God in his family. He not only minded the ceremonial part of religion, the offering of sacrifice; but he made conscience of seeking his God, and calling on his name; that spiritual sacrifice with which God is well pleased. He preached concerning the name of the Lord; he taught his family and neighbors the knowledge of the true God, and his holy religion."
Mercy was given him before the time of his call and because he was not astringed in his offering the correct sacrifices and the correctly worshiping God, shows salvation with mercy and grace must have occurred before the Bible picks up his call from the land of his forefathers.
Also, when we see recorded the times God could have responded differently to Abrahams' sin and failures we have to conclude mercy was in operation. We see he stopped over at Haran (cf. Genesis15:7; Acts 7:2-4) without going directly to the land of Canaan, and he took his family which seems to be a hindrance in his immediate obedience even though his intentions might have been to follow God's dictates. He lied on a number of occasions, Genesis 12:10-20; 20:1-3 and not only lied outright but tried to cover it up by saying it was a half lie, (no such thing - as a half lie, a lie is a lie). Abraham try to manipulate the promise, of a son by the union with Sarah's handmaid Hagar, Genesis 16. Abraham tried God's promises given to him by questioning the promise of a son through him and Sarah, Genesis 17:17-19. God could have judged Abraham and unqualified him from receiving the promises but we see the mercies of God in action with the universal truth of His longsuffering and patience. We also see, Abraham exercising the universal principle of repentance in his behavior after the sin and God continuing His working through Abraham, 2 Peter 3:9.
- Grace - Romans 4:1-5 makes it clear that Abraham received grace in connection with the faith he exercised towards God. His faith was not based on his doing work of righteousness of his choosing but on what God offered him in grace just as today men are not saved by their works neither was Abraham. Personnel salvation is only based on the accomplished work of God's grace, demonstrated in Christ Jesus. Before Jesus Christ the sacrifice of belief was exercised in an animal sacrifice in accordance to God's revelation to them and not of their personal choosing. From Adam to Christ the animal sacrifice was the prescribed faith action of an individual by God for the remission of sin and the correct procedure to follow until Christ Jesus' finished work of Calvary. Today until eternity, Christ Jesus is the prescribed sacrifice for man's personal faith resulting in salvation.
Rahab - non Jew
Caleb - ancestry -
Esau's son Eliphaz - Genesis 36:10,12 -
Eliphaz son – Kenaz - Genesis 36:11 -
Kenaz farther of the Kenizzites - Genesis 36:15 - Jephunneh the Kenizzite, Numbers 32:12 - from the tribe of Judah - Numbers 34:19 Judah's marriage through the Canaanite daughter of Shua - Genesis 38:2-5,
Caleb – Kenaz, Joshua 15:17 - brothers or possibly through Tamar an intermarriage with a Canaanitish family her farther Adullam was in the Shephelah or lowland of Judah bordering on Philistia proper. “Kenaanite area.”
Caleb son of Jephunneh Numbers 13:6
Caleb has a different spirit Numbers 14:24
We should go up and take possession of the land Numbers 13:30
Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite Numbers 32:12
Caleb son of Jephunneh, from the tribe of Judah Numbers 34:19
Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron Joshua 14:13
- Faith -
- Love -
- Hope - "My hope is in You" (Psalms 39:7)
- Mercy -
- Grace -
Samuel, some of the judges of Israel, King Saul, David, and maybe other Kings, the Apostles, others during the time of Christ,
Ruth 2:12 The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust
Exodus 34:5-9, And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped. And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.
To be developed-
The faith of Moses and his salvation for eternity - this person is important because we he was given the Law of God to give to Israel under the Dispensation of Promise. The Law was added for obedience and functioning with the existing Old Covenant of atonement before the cross. The Law of Moses some have used to claim was needed for salvation making salvation by works during the Dispensation of Promise along with the Old Covenant requirement for sin. The question then to answer is was Moses and Old Testament saint saved by their work or by faith?
1. Chose the favor of his people over being the son of Pharaoh.
2. He debated with God at to leading the Israelites out of Egypt using the excuse of slow of speech.
3. He questioned God on a number of occasions.
4. Moses struck to rock for water in disobedience to God and forbidden by God to go into the promise land with the Israelites.
Where do we see his salvation or faith in God?
The Israelites as a whole, 2 Kings 13:23, But the LORD was gracious to them and had compassion and showed concern for them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. To this day he has been unwilling to destroy them or banish them from his presence
God Was Father to the Nation of Israel
Isaiah 63:16 - But you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; you, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name (They beseech him to look down on the abject condition of their once-favored nation. Would it not be glorious to his name to remove the veil from their hearts, to return to the tribes of his inheritance? The Babylonish captivity, and the after-deliverance of the Jews, were shadows of the events here foretold. The Lord looks down upon us in tenderness and mercy. Spiritual judgments are more to be dreaded than any other calamities; and we should most carefully avoid those sins which justly provoke the Lord to leave men to themselves and to their deceiver. “Our Redeemer from everlasting” is thy name; thy people have always looked upon thee as the God to whom they might appeal. The Lord will hear the prayers of those who belong to him, and deliver them from those not called by his name.) Matthew and Henry Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, Isaiah 63.Holman Bible Handbook
(Deut 32:6) Is this the way you repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you?
Isaiah 64:8 - Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
(Is. 63:7-64:12) A Prayer for Deliverance. In combination with the confession of 59:9-15a, this prayer forms a frame around the message of salvation in 59:15b-63:6. Once again the prophet represented the nation and provided a model response for God’s disobedient, exiled people.
The prophet recalled the Lord’s faithful deeds for His people throughout their history. He redeemed them from Egypt and protected them. When they sinned, He was forced to treat them as an enemy, prompting them to recall the days of Moses. The prophet was now doing the same. He longed for a new display of the divine power revealed at the Red Sea.
The remainder of the prayer combines lamentation over the people’s current situation, confession of sin, statements of confidence, and petitions for God’s deliverance. Confident that God remained their Father and Redeemer, the prophet asked that He might respond compassionately to their plight. He lamented that the Lord had given them over to the hardness of their hearts and that the enemies of God had destroyed His temple. He asked that the Lord might break through the heavens and judge the nations, demonstrating once more His ability to deliver those who trusted Him. He acknowledged their punishment was well-deserved, for they had been totally contaminated by sin. Yet the prophet, confident that their relationship with God was not completely severed, begged Him to relent from His anger. Surely the ruined land and temple were proof that their punishment was sufficient.
- Salvation to others besides Israelites - Isaiah 56, Matthew 8:11, Gal 3:8, Romans 9:7-8
The Tribulation Saints:
The Dispensation of Grace/Equality the fifth dispensation: from the mid Acts period to the Rapture of the church called Body of Christ and salvation. The New Covenant is in operation at this time and has been since Acts 2, and it extends through all the rest of God's dispensations. We discover in this dispensation the fullness of the following points which expands the truths we have been studying through the dispensation. Redemption or salvation has always been in God's working with mankind through the redemptive covenant either in the old or new covenant which make up the one redemptive covenant of God, (see the chart and follow the red dashes line and solid line which represents this one covenant).
The fulfilled Redemptive Covenant or New Covenant will continue in the Dispensation of the Kingdom and then coming to completion in the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. God foretold that Gentile Nations would be a recipient of the redemptive covenant through the Nation of Israel's testimony and witness which was not a mystery, Isaiah 65:9, Isaiah 14:1, 51:1-6, 54, 60, 61, 62, 65:17-25, 66:7-24. However, God did not say to Israel that Gentiles would become equal to them in their relationship to the New Covenant as foretold in the Dispensation of Promise but that God would not work through their Nation and start a new organism called the Body of Christ which was a mystery hide in God and not revealed in the Old Testament writing. The New Covenant or Redemptive Covenant extends through this Mystery Dispensation, the Dispensation of Grace, providing salvation on a equal bases to the world and the stewardship given to an organism the Body of Christ, the church of this dispensation, Ephesians 2:14-18, 3:1-3, Colossians 1:24-28, Roman 16:25-27, Ephesians 3:8-10.
Paul the Apostle
Paul the Apostle is unique in his salvation because he is saved at the end of the Dispensation of Promise and the beginning of Dispensation of Grace. He is saved to be the Apostle to the Gentile with the message of the mystery in its fullness. He is saved at the beginning of the Transition time between the two dispensation. He was in covenant according to his birth as a Jew but yet not saved according to the New Covenant under the Dispensation of Grace. He also rejected Christianity and rejected to be baptized for repentance which identified a Jew in right standing of faith to the Messiah and the Kingdom for Israel. Remember Israel was laid aside as God instrument for the propagation of the New Covenant because of their reject as a Nation and it was suppose to start the seventy weeks of Daniel's Prophecy or Tribulation Period on the world. Therefore he was a lost sinner, not saved according to the New Covenant of redemption as a Hebrew or the Dispensation of Grace of equality, so let see the steps of his salvation.
- Faith - When we first see Paul or Saul before his name was changed by God to Paul, he had a faith but it was a contrived faith, practicing and believing the wrong things before salvation. Faith for him was exercised when God revealed to him who Jesus Christ was and convicted him of sin. We see Paul wanting to place his faith in what Jesus Christ had reveal and by him asking what he should do by responding to God, surrender, obedience of his life, and excepting responsibility for his sinfulness. God allowed blindness to occur which seems to have been a problem maybe for the rest of his life, only giving him partial sight, problem with his eyes or limited sight. Understand the universal principle of faith which we have already studied we see biblical faith being exercised by him.
- Love -
- Hope -
- Mercy -
- Grace -
- Faith - A universal principle 'faith come by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God', Romans 1:17, 10:17 is were we start because apart from the Bible salvation is non-existence, for in the scripture the complete truth of salvation is revealed to mankind today. Salvation was completed and does exist but communicated is necessary in God's plan for application and it comes only by the Word communicated to mankind. God does not directly speak audibly in a voice to an individual, a prophet or a priest but by the communication of His word correctly handled by those who knows God's Word the Bible and by the Holy Spirit dawning one to the truth of salvation through the communication of His Word the Bible, John 14:26, Romans 10:9-15, 2 Corinthians 5: 18-22. The word say 'when that which is perfect comes then that which is in part will be done away with.' referring to the completed revelation of God's Word the Bible. The 'seeing in part' as of the writing of this scripture is referring to more to come of God's truth but when the Scripture in completed then we will know as we are know. This show the power and the absolute need of scripture in our live. Today we have that completion of the perfect and all we have to do 'to know as we are known' is to study the scriptures and live the truth of it! Growing up takes time and as we are in the Word today we mature - but yet one finds it takes a life time to reach full maturity and death. As the Word of God reflects the truth to who we are it also gives the transforming truth of God which makes us redeemed children.
This is not referring to the return of Christ Jesus or believers being caught up to heaven. The Greek language expresses this truth in the neuter noun not the masculine which would of referred to Christ return and believe understanding in heaven. At the time of this writing the Holy Spirit had been given and yet Paul expresses this event still future and at the time of the writing Paul had not received the full revelation of the mystery yet or the Apostle John had not written or received the prophetic truth of the Book of Revelation. The transition from the lesser to the fullness of the revealing of the word of God has to be taken into consideration, (We know in part, the time of the writing, the Greek wording, the history of the canonizing of the scripture all need to be taken into considered when understanding these verses but they reveal a very important truth in context of the completion of scriptures, 1 Corinthians 13:8-13.). This will not satisfied all but as you read this study you will see it makes very good sense and helpful in understanding progressive revelation. Verses 11-12 are referring to the growth Paul understood as happening until the completed revelation which was to follow. The redemptive covenant and dispensations had progression in their unfolding to mankind and are connected to the completion of the Bible as they were revealed with implementation.
In so doing God the Father is the one who draws the individual because the Word comes from His mouth in written form and spiritually through the Holy Spirit moving the heart seeking all who will believe the truth of the Bible, John 14:26. The scriptures are spoken to them by the believing messenger of the Word then the individuals who becomes a believer surrenders to the conviction which comes by the Holy Spirit of the work of provision accomplished by Christ Jesus, of sin, and of repentance, John 15:26, 3:34, 14:6, James 1:17, Romans 8:9-14, Romans 6:23, Acts 11:18, Romans 2:4, 2 Corinthians 7:9-10, 2 Timothy 2:25, 2 Peter 3:9. When one response to the work of God by faith they are sealed with the Holy Spirit who reveals salvation personally to them, teaches them new truths as they study the Word of God, gives them the power to live the true Christian life, convicts when they sin as a redeemed child, and will never leave them (eternally securing them to God, 1 John 5:13-14) completing God's work in them Ephesians 1:13-16, John 5:24,15:26.
This faith is not achieved by one own afford but completely by God through His working of the instruments He chose to use in bringing about salvation and sanctification, Ephesians 2:6-10. Why, because there is no human way salvation could have accrued. Mankind is defile, infected with sin, and does not seek God or have the ability in himself, Romans 3:10-23, 5, . There is no way a person can change his birth position except in God's work. Faith is complete reliance on the work of God and acknowledging one helpless condition, Hebrews 11:6.
- Love - "And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." NIV Romans 5:5-8
- Hope - Hope distinguishes the Christian from the nonbeliever, who has no hope Ephesians 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:13. Indeed, a Christian is one in whom hope resides, 1 Peter 3:15; 1 John 3:3. In contrast to the Old Testament saints, hope is for the Christian of the dispensations from the time of Christ's finished work on the cross and the implementation at Pentecost, hope is superior, (Hebrews 7:19). Redemption has been completed and we wait for the last redemptive act of our bodies, Romans 8:11, 23, Ephesians 1:13-14, 2 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 2 Corinthians 5:1-10. The Christian's hope comes from God Romans 15:13 and especially His calling Ephesians 1:18; 4:4, His grace 2 Thessalonians 2:16, His Word Romans 15:4 and His gospel Colossians 1:23. The believers hope is directed toward God (1 Peter 1:21, Acts 24:15) and Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Timothy 1:1). The objects of the believers' hope are a transformation of their existence Ephesians 2:1-5, 1 Corinthians 10:13, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18, assurance of eternal life Titus 1:2; 3:7, salvation 1 Thessalonians 5:8, righteousness Galatians 5:5, the glory of God Romans 5:2; Colossians 1:27, the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ Titus 2:13 and the resurrection from the dead Acts 23:6; 26:6-7
- God shows mercy to all mankind in this dispensation on equal bases. All mankind deserved the final judgment for their sin, all are under sin and the punishment of God. The wrath judgment was postponed until this dispensation is complete and along with equality, God's mercy is being shown not bringing the 70th week judgment (Tribulation Period) on the earth and giving mankind and his decedents more time for salvation. But remember it is appointed for one to die, and if you're still alive reading this, mercy is being extended to you right now for salvation and if you reject God's way of salvation, your death in hell and the Lake of Fire will be your eternal home, which is an absolute 2 Corinthians 6:2.
Romans 11:28-32, As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies (Nation of Israel) on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved (Nation of Israel) on account of the patriarchs, (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you (all who are not of Israel) who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you. For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
- Grace - The uniqueness of this dispensation is God offering salvation on equal base to all mankind in their approach to Him for salvation and sanctification, Titus 2:11-14, Ephesians 2-3. With the failure of Israel to be the mouth piece to the Gentile world, God revealed a mystery dispensation with a different relationship to the Gentiles Ephesians 3:1-6, Colossians 1:26-27, Romans 16:25-26. No one needs to go through an earthly priest, or the Nation of Israel who had a superior position. Also the called out in this dispensation are going to rule with Christ in the Millennial reign over the men and angel's. During the reign of Christ Jesus on earth we will have a responsibility to Him and then we will share in heaven for all eternity. We will have our resurrected bodies at this time and forever. The Gentile world failed long ago but God in His grace offers forgiveness now along with any Israelite who receives the work He provided. Titus 2:11-14, 2 Thessalonians 2:16.
The Tribulation Saints:
The Dispensation of the 1000 year Kingdom sixth dispensation; starts at the end of the tribulation and goes to the Great White Throne and salvation
The Reign of The Lord Jesus Christ Sitting on the Throne of David:
- Faith -
- Love -
- Hope - Acts 26:6-7
- Mercy -
- Grace -
The Millennial Saints:
The Dispensation of the Fullness of Times the seventh dispensation: (the eternal state) and salvation.
All thing under God the Father and no need for additional salvation:
- Faith -
- Love -
- Hope -
- Mercy -
- Grace -
In conclusion it is guaranteed a personal's understanding of dispensations will help that person to be stronger in their faith and their understanding. A believer will be responsible in their lives by putting to death their flesh by the Spirit so they can truly live a life pleasing to God, Romans 8:5-13. Understanding dispensations makes the Word of God come alive in a believer's life, it will help the believer's witness in helping others groping, who have been confusion and are looking for the answer from God's Word. This is not to say anyone living in sin and not living the truths revealed, will not be held accountable. True spirituality believers are called to put to death the things of their flesh by the Spirit of God, and a believer who seeks to be sanctified and know the Bible will pleases God! (Romans 8, I John 1:8-10, 2:1- 4)
This study may not please all my brothers and sisters in the Lord because they are stuck in an old incomplete approach to scripture which they hold to and they hold to their position not wanting to be in error. I commend them for their concern for accuracy but do hope they consider the study and let God the Holy Spirit open their hearts to the truth, (Remember I have studied others who hold different dispensational views and understand how they came to their view and are missing facts to their understanding of dispensation.). Also for those who have had the blinders lifted and see these truths clearly who are reliable faithful believers will further their study of God's truths and help others out of darkness into the glorious liberating light of our Lord Christ Jesus and the word of God rightly handled, Ephesians 1:17-19, 2 Corinthians 5: 18-22, 2 Timothy 2:15, 2 Timothy 2:2!
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World Wide Outreach Ministry Inc.
By: Theodore D Pestor/ President/Pastor BTH