The Redemptive Covenant Historical Flow, and the relationship to Dispensations.
Some Bible scholars have based their whole understanding of scripture on the Redemptive Covenant alone and failed to accept a dispensational understanding of scripture. Important as the Redemptive Covenant is, it is the major and highest covenant in all of scripture. However, those who base the total schematic on the covenant have missed the definition and operating mechanics of a dispensation.
This following chapter shows the importance of the Redemptive Covenant with the dispensation’s awareness of their importance. Those who approach the scripture on the Redemptive Covenant, you could say, have only two dispensations. They have missed the full definition and operating mechanics of the major dispensations. Chapters six through eleven will expound the seven keys to the operating system of a dispensation and their characteristics.
The Redemptive Covenant is also called the “Eternal Covenant,” or the “Everlasting Covenant.” The Redemptive Covenant has two major stages in the historical fulfillment and implementation over the history of humanity. Stage one refers to the Old Covenant before Christ Jesus and Stage two referred to the New Covenant after the LORD’s incarnation. Both together are the Redemptive Covenant at different time periods of the fulfilled prophetic history.
Stage two of the Redemptive, also called the Everlasting Covenant was fulfilled after the Lord Jesus finished his works of redemption that was eternally completed. Stage two was the completed with the finished work of God’s incarnate with His death, burial, resurrection, and the indwelling implementation of the Holy Spirit in the believer and runs through eternity (John 1:1, 14 and Acts 2).
The Redemptive Covenant was prophesied and first called the Everlasting Covenant in the Dispensation of Human Government (Genesis 9:16). The prophecy was given to Noah, along with the revealing of the Rainbow sign Covenant. God’s Redemptive Covenant’s completion was in the incarnation and finished works of the Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:20).
Before going through the historical movement of the Redemptive Covenant, the wording “the old covenant” needs to be clarified. Whenever we read the words old covenant, it needs to be asked is the passage of scripture describing the event of the old covenant from eternity past, or from the time of the giving of the Mosaic Law.
It is important not to confuse the terms written in the book of Hebrews, old covenant with the Redemptive Covenant exclusively. There are times the term used is in reference to the Mosaic Covenant, Mosaic Law and Abrahamic Covenant together with the Redemptive Covenant. When the book of Hebrews uses it, the covenant relates to the chosen people Israel in reference to their preservation and promises (Hebrews 8:6-12). Book of Hebrews also show secondarily how the Redemptive Covenant relates to the Dispensation of Grace.
Remember the Mosaic Covenant was given to Moses when God was about to destroy the tribal families at Mount Sinai. Moses interceded for them, imploring God to continue His working through them and not to start over with Moses in fulfilling the Abrahamic Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant was that God would continue working His plan through the 12 tribal families that came out of Egypt. The Mosaic Covenant was a bond with Moses to continue the promises made to Abraham (Exodus 33-34; Leviticus 26:44-46).
Within the Abrahamic Covenant God promised to have the Savior come through Abraham’s offspring (Galatians 3:16 and Genesis 17:19). Both the Mosaic Covenants and Abrahamic Covenant are parts within the fulfilling of the Redemptive Covenant. They operated in the dispensation and given in stage one of the Redemptive Covenant in the Dispensation of Promise.
The Mosaic Covenant is not the Mosaic Law. Also, the Redemptive Covenant is not the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law relates or is part of the dispensational responsibility of the stewards in performing the Dispensation of Promise. The Mosaic Laws were additional laws given for the dispensation’s functioning or operation (Galatians 3:19-25). Laws added to the dispensation is a key of the seven operating rules in a dispensation (See chapters 6 through 11.)
The Redemptive Covenant, stage one of the Old Covenant has three aspects that needs remembering. The first feature is it was designed in eternity past before the creation by the Godhead (Ephesians 1:4, II Timothy 1:9, and Titus 1:2). The second is the implementation when Adam and Eve sinned (Genesis 3). Third, the Mosaic Laws with its symbolism, types and laws was given for understanding the heavenly. The Mosaic Law had the Levitical priesthood with practices in the worship of God (Hebrews 8:4-5; 9:19).
The Mosaic Law along with the Mosaic Covenant put the heavenly in a form Israel and others would understand. The Mosaic Law was a temporal guardian, all pointing to the incarnation and future workings and fulfilment of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Redemptive Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant came to an end within the Dispensation of Promise. They ended together in the transition when the Nation of Israel rejected their stewardship in Acts 7. The transitional end was completely overlaid by the end of the Acts period and historically with the destruction of their Temple in 70AD. At which time the Dispensation of Grace took full control for humanity on an equal bases in the approach to God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Stage one operating, the stewardship of the Nation of Israel offered animal sacrifices. The blood covering was required for an atonement sin sacrifice and it was orderly implemented through the priesthood under the Mosaic Law. It provided an orderly worship system that was implemented for fellowship with Jehovah God. The Mosaic Law provided the means for both, the Nation of Israel and Gentile Nations as subordinates of Israel, to participate in a relationship with God.
Stage One of the Redemptive Covenant
The following gives the Biblical details of the Redemptive Covenant. Stage one that covers the historical time from eternity past, through the Nation of Israel and the application to non-Jewish people, and into the New Testament. Stage one covers the time from the Dispensation of Conscience through the Dispensation of Promise, which contains the time before Christ Jesus up to the implementation of the New Covenant after Christ’s resurrection and the giving of the indwelling Holy Spirit at Acts 2.
- The Redemptive Covenant was planned in eternity past before God created time and the universe by the Godhead (Ephesians 1:4, II Timothy 1:9, and Titus 1:2, Hebrews 1:2).
- Stage one of the Redemptive Covenant was implemented in the Garden of Eden. The Redemptive Covenant, is also called, the “Old Covenant” (Genesis 3:6-11, 21). The Promised Seed was revealed prophetically for the first time in the Dispensation of Innocence (Genesis 3:15).
- The Redemptive Covenant was mentioned along with the Noahic Covenant, at the full operation of the Dispensation of Human Government.
Genesis 9:16, and Romans 8:18-25: "Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant, (Redemptive Covenant) between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth”.
The Everlasting Covenant in a reiteration of the promise made in Genesis 3:15 and it was fulfilled with the incarnation. The Lord Jesus Christ completed the promise with His accomplishing full redemption for all who accept Him as savior for eternity!
Stage one, the relationship with Abraham and the Redemptive Covenant along with additional covenants. During the Dispensation of Promise.
The Redemptive Covenant was mentioned prophetically within the Abrahamic Covenant. The Everlasting Covenant or Redemptive Covenant was passed down through Abraham and his descendants
Galatians 3:16, "The promises were spoken to Abraham and his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed meaning one person, who is Christ."
Genesis 12:3, speaking to Abraham, “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." (Starting and passing through: Adam, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Judah and to Mary who gave birth to the Lord Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38, and Galatians 4:4-5).
Abraham received additional covenants along with the Redemptive Covenant that were promised to be everlasting for him and his descendants, and none of these covenants altered the others; they only gave additional benefits to the recipients. Abrahamic Covenant included the Covenant of Seeds, the Covenant of Circumcision, the Kingdom Covenant, the land called the Palestinian Covenant, and the Covenant to the World.
- The special Eternal Relationship (Genesis 15, 17, and Genesis 12:1-3)
“And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
- The Seal of the Special Eternal Relationship was the circumcision of the male child (Genesis 17:9-15, Acts 7:8, and Romans 4:11), and during the time of the dispensation, any Gentile accepting the God of Abraham was required to be circumcised and to obey this Covenant Seal as given in the Dispensation of Promise (Exodus 20-3, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy 17).
- A great number of descendants came from his, spiritual seeds, natural seeds, and other nations (Genesis 13:16, 17:1-8, 26:1-4, and 28:12).
- Abraham and Sarah: Genesis 17:19
- Isaac: Genesis 26:2-4,
- Jacob: Genesis 28:12 and his concubines: Genesis 16 and 25:1-6.
Abraham in the progressive historical period of faith that occurred was between the age of seventy-five and ninety-nine years of age when he received the promises (Genesis 12:1-7; 14:14-16; 15:4-7; 17:1-27; Romans 4:11-16, and the Christ Jesus, Galatians 3:16).
- The Promised Seed and the Kingdom promised to Abraham (Galatians 3:15, 16, Deuteronomy 17:14-16, and I Samuel 8)
- The Earthly Kingdom through David, Christ would rule on earth (I Chronicles 17:4-15).
- Land deeded eternally to Abraham’s descendants, and within the covenant included conditions made for perpetual habitation (Genesis 13:14, 15, and 17).
- The conditional relationship to the land (Deuteronomy 30:1-10) and the unconditional relationship to the land (Leviticus 26:44, 45, and Psalm 89:30-37).
- The world would have a unique relationship based on its treatment according to the Abrahamic Covenant.
Genesis 12:3, “And so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
The Redemptive Covenant’s application to the non-Jewish people, and as it relates to the Abrahamic Covenant. There are four parts:
First, Gentiles were to be blessed as the first stage continued. The Redemptive Covenant was extended to them through the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:3). The atoning power’s requirement under the Redemptive Covenant did not change for humanity, who still needed a blood sacrifice, trust, and faith that was based on the mercy and grace of God. The requirements remained integral to the Redemptive Covenant; nothing was added or removed from the original plan of the Godhead during Stage One of the Redemptive Covenant (Hebrews 9:22, Ephesians 1:12, 13, Hebrews 11:6, and Ephesians 2:8, 9).
Stage ‘One,’ also refers to the “Old Covenant,” which needs to be studied to see if the terminology is relating to the Mosaic Covenant and Law, as in the Book of Hebrews or the Old Covenant relating to stage one of the Redemption Covenant planned by God back in eternity past.
In the Dispensation of Promise, with the giving of the Abrahamic Covenant, God changed the stewardship from the former dispensation to Abraham and his descendants (Galatians 3:23-29). The change in stewardship is one of the operational seven guiding rules of a dispensation when it changes to a new dispensation. The stewardship of the dispensation was to be carried out by Israel with the message, and offer of the Redemptive Covenant to the world.
Both the Nation of Israel and the non-Jewish people, (Gentiles) were required to obey the revealed governing rules of the Dispensation of Promise given by God. The non-Jewish world was also required to observe the Redemptive Covenant and other covenants in accordance with the specific rules given in the operational rules for Dispensation of Promise. The covenants were given for Israel’s well-being in its stewardship and for the Gentile’s blessings as they related to the God of Israel.
Genesis 12:2, “And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing.”
The changing or transition in the dispensation from Human Government to the Dispensation of Promise, started with the sin at the Tower of Babel, and the call of Abram. It continued through Israel’s 40 years in the wilderness and the transition ended with the events recorded in the Scripture of the last carryover person Balaam, a corrupt Gentile prophet of God from the former dispensation (Numbers 22). After Balaam, the Bible became silent on all of the Godly stewards or spiritual leaders of the former Dispensation of Human Government.
Second, the Redemptive Covenant allowed Gentiles to join the Jewish Community. Individual Gentiles from the other nations who became believers joined the Jewish Nation in spiritual belief, and some became integrated into the Jewish Nation community; examples were Rahab and Ruth. The rest of the nations were to live alongside the Nation of Israel in peace, blessing the Jewish Nation.
Third, Gentile men who believed in Jehovah God of Israel were to be circumcised, to demonstrate they had subordinated their allegiance to the Nation of Israel’s faith and covenants. As the Nation of Israel developed, all believing Gentiles could enter the Court of the Gentiles in the Temple to worship and learn. Believing Gentiles were to live in harmony and peace with the Nation of Israel.
The Gentile proselytes were required to appear in Jerusalem three times a year because of their conversion to Israel’s faith and covenants; and on the day of Pentecost many Gentile proselytes were present for this celebration (Acts 2:5-12, and Exodus 23:14-17). The Ethiopian eunuch was already saved before the Dispensation of Grace became fully operational. He was saved under the Old Covenant, Stage One of the Redemptive Covenant. He was in proper relationship to the Nation of Israel as shown by his appearance in the Court of the Gentiles at Jerusalem, one of the required three times a year according to the Dispensation of Promise rules. When Philip explained the passage of Isaiah that the Ethiopian eunuch was reading, he believed the Gospel message about Jesus Christ, and identified himself with Christ Jesus in his water baptism (Acts 8:27-40, Isaiah 53, Genesis 17:12-13, Exodus 12:48-49, Isaiah 55:5, and Isaiah 56).
Forth, the Redemptive Covenant, Israel had a stewardship responsibility to non-Jewish people. Each person in the Nation of Israel, participated in the stewardship institution to the world and was to be a steward of the Redemptive Covenant (or the Old Covenant, Stage One) (Exodus 22:21, and 23:9). Redemption was the eternal plan God desired because He loves his creation. He made and prepare for humanity’s failed choices before time began. He planned the use of stewards in a dispensation at the beginning when He created the plan. His incarnation completed and made the just payment needed for redemption’s completion. The Nation of Israel was the institutional stewards in His plan for this dispensation.
Israel’s fails to fulfill its responsibility, according to the Dispensation of Promise as described in the Biblical accounts. Their failures brought the Nation’s chastisements and judgments that will eventually end with punitive judgment on the Nation. God knew failure would happen and prepared in eternity past for the next steps in the dispensational schematic. The failures revealed through Scripture are messages given to humanity that apart from Him, humanity will fail in their endeavors to be a god and have everlasting life with a perfects soul.
The punitive judgment will be fulfilled in the 70th week’ of Daniel, also called “Jacob’s trouble” or “seven year Tribulation Period”. In the Tribulation. the Nation of Israel will be purged, resulting in the repentance and salvation of a remnant of God’s chosen people, who turn to the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ (Isaiah 1:9, Jeremiah 31:7, and Joel 2:23). This remnant from the Jewish Nation will proclaim the truth of redemption to the world (Isaiah 10:20-23, Jeremiah 23:3-6, Romans 9:26-29, and Revelation 7, 14).
Following the Rapture God will fulfill His prophetic program, as foretold through this remnant, the true Nation of Israel (Zephaniah 3:8-13, and Romans 9:26-29). The non-believing Jews, along with all other nonbelievers of the world, will be punitively judged with death by the end of the Tribulation in The Battle of Armageddon. This Battle will end the Tribulation period and the transition into the Dispensation of the Kingdom. (Note: The Battle of Armageddon will occur at the end of the seven-year Tribulation, and The Battle of Gog and Magog will happen at the end of the 1000 years (Revelation 16:15-20 cf. 20:7-10).
Scripture will be fulfilled with the millennial reign of Christ, the Dispensation of the Kingdom. Jesus the Lord says in the Gospels to the Nation of Israel, “many, I tell you, will try to enter the Kingdom, and will not be able to” (Matthew 7:13, 14). During the time of the Dispensation of the Kingdom, the Gentile nations must be obedient as prescribed in the Abrahamic Covenant, accepting the leadership of Christ Jesus, through the true Nation of Israel formed by the believing remnant (Isaiah 60).
Stage two of the Redemptive Covenant with the chosen people, moving from Stage One, to Stage Two, or the Old Covenant toward the New Covenant
First. In the Dispensation of Promise, Stage One of the Redemptive Covenant, God chose to have a unique relationship with the people of Israel, and it was to be carried over into stage two (Deuteronomy 4:37, 7:6, 10:15, 14:2, and Psalm 105:6).
Psalm 135:4, “For the Lord has chosen Jacob for Himself, Israel for His special treasure.”
Second. Time of the lives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were during stage one of the Redemptive Covenant (Genesis 17:19 - 35:10, and 49:33).
Third. Egypt and the sojourn of the Israelites, and their subsequent deliverance, likewise occurred during the Dispensation of Promise in Stage One of the Redemptive Covenant (Genesis 42:1 – Exodus 14:30).
Fourth. Mosaic Law was added to give the Nation of Israel, a blueprint for governing and obedience, for the Dispensation of Promise (Galatians 3:15-21).
The Mosaic Law given to Moses, contained the rules establishing the Kingdom, laws for a worship system, civil obedience, and moral living that the people could not keep because of the sinfulness of their heart (Exodus 19:1–Leviticus 1-27, and Numbers 1-36).
The Mosaic Law included some of the laws that were from the previous dispensation. The Mosaic Law gave new laws, modified laws from the earlier dispensations, and universal laws that had not been previously revealed.
Examples of modified: The designation of clean and unclean animals (Genesis 8:20). The meat was to be eaten without the blood (Genesis 9:4). Modified laws from previous dispensations and animal sacrifices (Genesis 7:2, 8).
All of these laws are consistent with the first three operational guiding principles of a dispensation. Included in the fourth guiding operational principle was the stewards who administer the dispensation according to God’s sovereign eternal plan; they were to obey these laws in establishing a Godly Nation moving the Redemptive Covenant forward, stage one; towards Jesus Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection, and implementation of stage two at Pentecost.
Fifth. Chastisement of the Israelites in the wilderness happened during the Dispensation of Promise (Numbers 13-27–Deuteronomy 1-34).
Sixth. Conquest of the land promised to the Jewish Nation was one of the events establishing the covenants given to Abraham under the Dispensation of Promise (Joshua 1-24).
Seventh. The period of the Judges continued the establishment of Israel’s position in an earthly Kingdom that led to the rule by an earthly king (Judges 1-21, Ruth 1-4, Esther 1-10, and I Samuel 1-8).
Eighth. The time of the earthly Kingdom established by Israel, saw Israel’s first earthly king (Saul), and then David and the Davidic Covenant, this was also operating, during the Dispensation of Promise under stage one of the Redemptive Covenant (I Samuel 8–II Samuel 24, Psalm 1-150, Proverbs 1–31, I Chronicles 1-II Chronicles 10, and I Kings 1-12).
Ninth. When the Nation of Israel’s Kingdom was divided into two Kingdoms, its occurrence was during the Dispensation of Promise (II Chronicles 10-36, and I Kings 12–II Kings 25.
Tenth. The Dispensation of Promise operated before, during, and after the 12 tribes of the Northern and the Southern Kingdom’s captivity (Daniel 1-12, Ezra 1-10, and Nehemiah 1-13).
To this date none of the 12 tribes of Israel have fully returned from captivity as one Nation, but will unite when the Dispensation of the Kingdom begins, the sixth dispensation of God’s total plan. The uniting started or will be accruing during the tribulation period after the Rapture. We read in the Bible that a number of the Jewish Chosen people who will be designated in the book of Revelation seven, 144,000 witnesses of God, showing the uniting of the Nation.
Eleventh. The Dispensation of Promise continued when the Northern Kingdom tribes were taken into captivity, also this time started the Times of the Gentiles. The Times of the Gentiles will continue through the seven-year tribulation (II Kings 1–17, Luke 21:24). It ends with the Battle of Armageddon.
Twelfth. The Southern Kingdom tribes were taken into captivity in continuation of the Time of the Gentiles, during the Dispensation of Promise (II Chronicles 36, and II Kings 25).
Thirteenth. The Times of the Gentiles started with the captivity of the Northern Kingdom tribes, and runs through two dispensations: the Dispensation of Promise and the Dispensation of Grace that ends with the seven-year Tribulation period with the Battle of Armageddon:
a) The first coming, of our Lord Jesus Christ in human form occurred through the Times of the Gentiles, during the Dispensation of Promise (John 1:1, 14).
b) The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, records the historical events in the lives of the Israelites during our LORD’s first coming to earth. The Gospel’s historical events occurred during the Times of the Gentiles under the Old Covenant, or Stage One of the Redemptive Covenant with the continuation of the Dispensation of Promise (II Corinthians 4:1-6; I Corinthians 15).
c) The birth, life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, completed the requirements of Stage One, empowering the Redemptive Covenant (Matthew through Acts 2).
d) The completion of the atonement occurred through the Times of the Gentiles. The Time of the Gentiles continue through the Dispensation of Grace and ends at the end of the Tribulation with the Battle of Armageddon.
Stage one of the Redemptive Covenant completes historically at Acts two with the permanent indwelling of the God the Holy Spirit, and the Dispensation of Promise continues into Stage Two until Acts seven.
Stage Two of the Redemptive Covenant moving from the Dispensation of Promise to the Dispensation of Grace
First. The Redemptive Covenant, Stage Two, or the New Covenant, was implemented at Pentecost with the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit in believers, this period is still within the Times of the Gentiles, and the decreasing of the Dispensation of Promise (Galatians 4:4, and Acts 1-7).
The Dispensation of Grace is part of the Times of the Gentiles that is the spiritual continuation of the chastisement on the Nation of Israel. Because of the Nation of Israel rejecting its leadership position, God instituted a mystery dispensation, the Dispensation of Grace (Acts 1-7, 28:28, and Ephesians 3:1-3).
Today’s dispensation overlays God’s finishing the punitive judgment on the Nation of Israel that was prophetically to have happened at the end of the Dispensation of Promise (Isaiah 2:12; 13:6-9; Joel. 1:15; 2:1-31; 3:14, Deuteronomy 4:30; Zephaniah 1:1, Daniel 12:1; 9:24-27, Zephaniah 1:15, Jeremiah 30:7, Matthew 24:21; 25:31-46, and I Thessalonians 5:2).
This unfinished overlaid punitive judgment on the Dispensation of Promise will happen right after the mystery Rapture, which will be the punitive judgment on the nonbeliever left behind from the Dispensation of Grace (Romans 16:25, I Corinthians 2:7, Ephesians 3:3, Ephesians 3:9, Colossians 1:26, and I Thessalonians 4: 13 - 5:11).
After the overlaid dispensation ends, with the Rapture of the church of today and the conclusion of the seven-year punitive judgment on the world, the era called the “Times of the Gentiles” will come to an end. The Times of the Gentiles will end with the completion of the Battle of Armageddon. Bible teachers have taken the phrase ‘the Times of the Gentiles from Luke 21:24. The period covers all the time Israel is divided, and under the oppression of the Gentiles. Its ending is when Christ Jesus comes the second time to earth, which begins the full operation of the Dispensation of the Kingdom in the Millennial Reign of Christ (Revelation 20). The Redemptive Covenant works through all events, for it is an eternal covenant completed by our Lord Jesus Christ, which is why it is called an everlasting covenant (Genesis 9:16, Hebrews 13:20, Ephesians 1:4, II Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2 and Romans 8:18-25).
The Lord Jesus Christ will descend from heaven in His second physical appearance on earth that concludes the Gentile’s rule and oppression over the Nation of Israel, and He will reign in the Millennial Kingdom (Luke 21:23-25). Our Lord Jesus’ appearing will usher in the Dispensation of the earthly Kingdom, with Him sitting on the throne of David. The Gospel, the Redemptive Covenant, or New Covenant, will still be in effect for those born during the Dispensation of the Kingdom.
Second. The first Stage of the Redemptive Covenant ended at Pentecost, but the Dispensation of Promise continued into Stage Two. The dispensation ends with the transition ending and the full operation of the Dispensation of Grace in it fullness.
Stage One: also called the old covenant historically before completion was the Redemptive Covenant before completion. Now because of the LORD Jesus Christ fulfilling the eternal requirements of God’s justice for believers forever we can understand why the Redemptive Covenant is also called Everlasting Covenant (Hebrews 13:19-21, John 3:16, Romans 3:24-26, Genesis 9:16).
The completion started with the birth, (incarnation) of the Lord Jesus (Galatians 4:4-6) and His earthly work ending with His ascension. His incarnation brought Stage Two of the Redemptive Covenant to completion and operational (Acts 1-2). The actual implementation of Stage Two was at Acts 2 when God the Holy Spirit came to indwell within the believers, and upon their accepting the Gospel message at Pentecost.
God’s planned that the stewardship was first offered to the Nation of Israel. It was offered in the first seven chapters of Acts, provided they would repent and receive Jesus Christ as their Messiah and Savior. Acts 1-3 records the offer to the Nation of Israel, and extending their stewardship as God’s chosen people (Ephesians 1:13, 14).
Third. The enactment of the New Covenant in Acts 2, and the offer to the Nation of Israel did not constitute a new dispensation until the Nation of Israel rejected the Holy Spirit (Acts 1-7, Acts 2:14-40, 3:11-26). God the Holy Spirit’s indwelling had to be given before He could be rejected by Israel. The implementation of the New Covenant came with the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit was integral to the Redemptive Covenant fulfilled by God the Son.
The Nation of Israel had not yet been overlaid from Acts 1-7. Their final sin was their actions in Acts 7, rejecting the Holy Spirit. Their sin is shown in the response by their leaders to Stephen and their stoning of him. But, the final sin of Israel’s leader’s stewardship with the rejection of God the Holy Spirit brought the end. Their failure would have caused the transition of the seven-year Tribulation to begin. It would have ended with the irreversible punitive judgment of the Battle of Armageddon; however, instead of this transition, God started a mystery dispensation, and the mystery transition. This mystery transition brought the Dispensation of Grace and Equality into operation for all humanity. The starting of the Dispensation of Grace began with Israel’s sin of the rejection of the Holy Spirit (Acts 7).
However, with the Nation of Israel rejecting of the Holy Spirit under the Redemption covenant, Stage Two, of the New Covenant a mystery dispensation began to overlay Israel’s position. The completion of the Nation of Israel’s inheritance that was offered to the Nation through Abraham was postponed, and as a result, Israel continued being oppressed by the Gentiles.
Luke 21:24, “and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
Thus, when the Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70, the period of the second exile for their failure began. The Jewish people were scattered throughout the earth. The Jews would have no authority in the land God gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob again until 1948.
Beginning at the end of Acts 7, God inserted a mystery dispensation, the Dispensation of Grace; this mystery dispensation will be completed when the Rapture occurs, and Israel is back in the land promised them (I Thessalonians 4: 13 - 5:11). When the Dispensation of Grace ends, God will return to complete the prophesied transition to the Kingdom Dispensation, with the punitive judgment of the seven-year Tribulation, ending with the Battle of Armageddon and the end of the Times of the Gentiles; however, all these events are under Stage Two, of the Redemptive Covenant (Joel 2, and Acts 2:17-21).
Fourth. The completion of the Redemptive Covenant that occurred under the Dispensation of Promise, was offered to the Nation of Israel as a whole; however only certain few individuals in the Nation, who were in correct relationship to the Dispensation of Promise responded and repented, they identified with Christ Jesus in baptism.
Fifth. The Redemptive Covenant continues propagating in the Mystery Dispensation today working in the teaching of God’s plan of salvation for all humanity through the gospel. The Redemptive Covenant functions during the overlain of the Nation of Israel, and their temporary personal fulfillment of their covenants promises that was exclusively given to the Nation (Romans 10:14-21, II Corinthians 5:17-21).
The Dispensation of Grace also called the Mystery Dispensation is a worldwide expression of God’s love, mercy and grace! It reveals God’s love at Christ Jesus’ expense. Even through the Jewish Nation did not accept Christ Jesus the Lord and reach all with the message of the gospel, God is now doing it with the new dispensation. Anyone can be saved by the New Covenant that Jesus Christ fulfilled, and God is offering it to anyone who receives Jesus as savior and Lord (John 1:12; I John 5:9-14 and Romans 8).
Romans 10:9, 13, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, - For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This is an absolute promise and if you want joy, peace and a transformed life let Jesus come into your life (Palms 103, I John 2:1-3)!
Sixth. If God had not revealed His Mystery Dispensation when He did, the world would have gone into the prophetic worldwide punitive judgment as prophesied to Israel in the Old Testament and Gospels causing a dispensational change (Matthew 24; Acts 2:17-22). God stopped His prophetic economic timetable at this point, Acts seven with the Nation of Israel.
The Times of the Gentiles continued with the Nation of Israel’s oppression being overlaid with the Dispensation of Grace, working redemption today for the world through a New Stewardship, a New Organism planned in eternity past the Body of Christ. Read: Ephesians 2:14 and all of chapters one through four of Ephesians, verifying this great truth!
Instead of going into the Tribulation because of Israel’s rejection of its stewardship, God applies the Redemptive Covenant to the world through a stewardship of a mystery dispensation, the Dispensation of Grace (Romans 16:25, I Corinthians 2:7, Ephesians 3:3, Ephesians 3:9, and Colossians 1:26).
This dispensation is a ‘new organism”, given to all humanity (Ephesians 2:14-18, Galatians 3:15, Colossians 3:10, 11, Romans 9:22-33, I Corinthians 12:12-14, Galatians 3:28, and Hebrews 2:11).
However, the new organism comprises all believers based on each individual’s personal relationship to the New Covenant that was accomplished in Christ Jesus through the Gospel (Ephesians 3:6). During the former dispensation, the Nation of Israel, had the stewardship, and lost its unique position (Romans 11). The evangelistic outreach for the world's salvation continues not with the Dispensation of Promise, but rather with the Dispensation of Grace as the dispensing institution of stewards. God planned this before the world began, knowing all human events and failure in His foreknowledge (Romans 8).
God’s eternal plan since creation has been the uniqueness of creating us in Elohim, God’s likeness.
Genesis 1:26-28, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
His final working of creation of us in His likeness will be in the resurrection when our bodies are resurrected in a spiritual composition. It would have happened back in the Garden of Eden if Adam and Eve had not sinned. The finished product now since God’s creation of the human world will be completed at the resurrection.
I Corinthians 15:46-47, “However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.”
Every human is created by God, each was given life from inception (Palms 139). God applies the redemptive covenant truths that the Lord Jesus Christ’s accomplished by His provisions, and whoever receives it individually as He planned. Those who receive the provision He provided will in the resurrection receive the composition of a spiritual resurrection body and will be received in heaven. Those who reject God’s truths will receive their spiritual makeup when their resurrected physical body will be resurrected at the Great White Throne Judgment and then thrown into the lake of fire.
Another great truth of God’s grace is found in II Corinthians 5:1-8 and I Corinthians 15. These passages reveals that when believers die there is a temporary spiritual body received until the resurrection of the earthly physical body. The new body after the resurrection will be a complete and permanent spiritual body. God gives an intermediate spiritual body until the resurrection of our present one.
There is no soul sleep, but as the Apostle Paul revealed when he rerecorded life immediately at death.
II Corinthians 5:6-8, “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
Eternal life is not interrupted by physical death, but the waiting of completion of the resurrection day in which the LORD has planned at His timing. Read the passages and salivate over the deeper trues that await you, or warns you to consider the provision God has created in the final judgment for refusal.
The Dispensation of Grace is a mystery not prophesied; salvation was prophesied, but not on an equal governmental and stewardship basis with Israel (Colossians 1:27) and Colossians 2:2. The governments of the world are to be subordinate to God in harmony with the new organism, the church, called “the Body of Christ,” (Romans 13, Ephesians 6:5-20, I Timothy 2:1-7, and I Peter 2:13-17).
All governments today are held accountable for dispensing good, and promoting the Redemptive Covenant on the basis of Biblical truths and personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The governments of the world will and are accountable, and final judgment from God will be carried out on them by His providential working now and for eternity (Romans 13).
The “mystery of the Gospel” that Paul spoke about referred to the equal approach to God, and a relationship with Him under the Dispensation of Grace and individual stewardship (II Corinthians 5:16-21, Ephesians 6:19, Ephesians 3:6, Romans 16:25 cf. Romans 10:9-13, Ephesians 2:1-13, John 1:11,12, and I John 5:9-14).
The Gospel does not fail; only the stewards fail. The failure today will bring an end to the present dispensation and punitive judgment on those under the Dispensation of Grace as prophesied in I Timothy 4:1-4, and II Timothy 3:1-7. The coming end will result in God’s completing the program with the Nation of Israel that He prophesied, and suspended when He instituted today’s dispensation (Romans 11:25, Acts 7, 28:24-28, and Romans 11). The Redemptive Covenant and the Gospel will still be operating when God completes His program with the Nation of Israel.
The universal laws of God and the Redemptive Covenant did not change when the Dispensation of Grace was revealed; redemption is open for all who will trust in Jesus Christ. One cannot change a covenant or the universal laws of God; only the rules for governing its provisions can change, which is dispensational. The change is according to the operating guidelines and laws modified from the former dispensation or the new rules given by God to govern the new dispensation; these are two of the seven guiding operational rules of a dispensation.
There is one Gospel whereby the Redemptive Covenant becomes applicable (Galatians 3:15). The Gospel is a universal truth applying to all dispensations. The Good News, the Gospel of the Redeemer was prophetically promised to all future humanity back in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15, Romans 5). The people of all generations prior to the cross looked forward to the Redeemer, and today humanity looks back to Jesus Christ’s completed work of redemption (Incarnation – birth, life, death, resurrection and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 4:2,11:26, I Corinthians 15:3, Ephesians 1:13, 14, Ezekiel 36:27, Act 2, John 14,16).
Seventh. The Redemptive Covenant will operate through the seven-year Tribulation Period. The Tribulation is the next divine event after the Rapture, ending today’s dispensation, the Dispensation of Grace. God’s Rapture will snatch up all believers into heaven, and will leave all of today’s nonbelievers on earth to face the Tribulation that follows.
This seven-year Tribulation will be the beginning of the transition to the Kingdom Dispensation, and will end with the punitive judgment from God for two dispensations, the Dispensation of Promise and the Dispensation of Grace. This period of time will encompass all who are left on earth who have not heard the Gospel, and all those who have rejected the Gospel during the Dispensation of Grace. The Holy Spirit will still permanently indwell those who become transformed believers by receiving Jesus Christ as savior during the Tribulation period.
The Redemptive Covenant will never cease operating during the Tribulation (Revelation 14:13; 19:10; 2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 2:29; 3:6; 3:13, and 3:22). God will still be convicting men of sin, working through the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is integral to the Redemptive Covenant for those individuals, who put their trust in the substitutionary sacrificial work of Christ Jesus, for the forgiveness of sin and the sin nature (I John 2:1-3).
During the seven-year Tribulation period, the new believers will have to endure trials in order to enter into the earthly Kingdom in their physical bodies (Revelation 2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 2:26; 3:5; 3:12; 3:21; 15:2, and 21:7). Believers who do not escape at this time will be martyred because of their opposition to the evil forces of Satan, since they will refuse to accept the mark of the Beast.
Those who refuse the Gospel message, rejecting the Redemptive Covenant, in the former dispensation and are alive, will go into the Tribulation period. They will not be saved since they hardened their hearts before the Rapture (I Thessalonians 4:13-18, cf. II Thessalonians 1:5-10, and II Thessalonians 2). Those who reject the Gospel in the Tribulation without repenting will be eternally lost and perish, along with those nonbelievers of the former dispensation (II Thessalonians 2:9-12, Revelation 14:8-11, and chapters 1-3).
The Nation of Israel will have the authorized stewardship once again as planned by God, during this time when a remnant of the Nation will take responsibility by preaching the Gospel to the world as prophesied Matthew 28:26-20, Revelation 7, Matthew 10:16-23, Micah 5, and Zephaniah 3.
The seven churches of Revelation will find their fulfillment during this period of Revelation 1-3. This transition will end with the Battle of Armageddon, and the Lord Jesus will physically return literally in His second coming to earth as planned by the sovereign God in eternity past (Revelation 16:13-16, 19:11-21, and Zechariah 14:1-5). He will descend and ascend the Throne of David to rule the earth from the New Jerusalem (Revelation 20:4-6). This event will be the beginning of the full operation of the Dispensation of the Kingdom with the fulfillment of Israel’s promises, and Christ Jesus reigning for 1000 years on this old earth.
Eighth. The Redemptive Covenant will operate in the earthly Kingdom, called the Dispensation of the Kingdom. The Redemptive Covenant will continue through the Dispensation of the Kingdom, with the unique presence of our Lord Jesus Christ sitting on the Throne of David. Jesus Christ the Messiah will fulfill all the prophecy spoken since the world began, relating to the earthly Kingdom, and God will fulfill the covenants He made with Abraham and Sarah, Isaac, Jacob and the Nation of Israel as His chosen Nation.
This specific period of time is called in Scripture the “Kingdom of Christ,” “Millennial Reign of Christ” (Messiah), “1000 year Millennium,” or the “Dispensation of the Kingdom”. This will be a time of perfect governmental rule and peace until the end of the 1000 years, when God will have victory over the forces of Satan,
Revelation 20:9, “And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.”
All Old Testament saints, along with those saved during the Dispensation of Grace, and those martyred during the Tribulation, will reign along with, and under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, “Messiah, King,” in their glorified eternal spiritual bodies throughout this 1000 year period (Revelation 20:4-6, and I Corinthians 6:1-4). During this time Satan will be imprisoned by our Lord for the 1000 years, and then be released at the end (Revelation 20:1-10).
Those who entered the millennial reign from the tribulation period will reproduce for they are still in their earthly body. These Children born during the Millennium will still be in their natural bodies, and will need to be saved in order to escape the eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire. At the end of the 1000 years, an unknown numbers of these children who have not been saved will follow Satan to attack Christ; in response God will destroy all the followers of Satan in the Battle called “Gog and Magog” (Revelation 20:7-10). The unsaved who lived and aware of a perfect government of Christ, still shows the heart of humanity is evil, and fails without being transformed by the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!
Our Lord Jesus Christ will sentence all unbelievers to eternal punishment at the Great White Throne Judgment, ending the dispensation of the Millennial Kingdom, and beginning the Eternal Kingdom of God, also called the “Dispensation of the Fullness of Time” (Ephesians1:10, Psalm 45:6, Daniel 2:44, 6:26, Matthew 12:28, 19:24, 21:43, Acts 19:8, 28:23, and I Corinthians 6:9).
With the ending of the thousand year’s earthly Kingdom or the Kingdom of Messiah is over, The Kingdom of Messiah is incorporated prophetically and identified as “the Eternal Kingdom of God” or “the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time, and it will operate eternity (Revelation 21-22).
1 Corinthians 15:24-28, “Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.”
Revelation 12:10, “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.”
Ephesians 1:10, “that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.
Ninth. The Redemptive Covenant, in the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time will be completed throughout eternity (II Peter 1:11, Daniel 4:3; 4:34, Psalm 45:5-7, 145:13, and Daniel 7:26-28). The Redemptive Covenant, or Stage One, was implemented at Adam’s fall in Genesis, and operated during the first four dispensations, (the Dispensation of Innocence, the Dispensation of Conscience, the Dispensation of Human Government and the Dispensation of Promise), until its completion by God changing to stage two being implemented, (the New Covenant) at Acts 2.
Stage Two has operated throughout the last part of the Dispensation of Promise (Acts 2-7), and continues to operate throughout the last three dispensations, (the Dispensation of Grace, the Dispensation of the Kingdom, and the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time).
Tenth. The Dispensation of the Fullness of Time completes the fullness of redemption (Ephesians 1:10). The Holy Spirit will still be working in this dispensation bringing joy (Romans 14:17). The spiritual benefits of the Redemptive Covenant that was brought about by our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, will have been given to individual believers in the Eternal Kingdom dispensation (Ephesians 1:14, and Romans 14:17).
Beginning this dispensation and transition starts with Satan being cast into the Lake of Fire, and completes at the end of the Great White Throne Judgment, and the creation of the New Heaven and a New Earth. When this transition is completed, the Son of God will hand the Kingdom over to God the Father, the Kingdom, signaling that the Redemptive Plan of the Godhead has come to completion (Revelation 21-22).
I Corinthians 15:24, “Then comes the end, when He (the LORD Jesus Christ) delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.”
The Dispensation of the Fullness of Time never ends because it will never fail; the recipients or beneficiaries are the redeemed since creation. God’s new creation of a New Heaven and a New Earth is eternal (Isaiah 65:17, Isaiah 66:22, Revelation 21:1, 20:14, and Isaiah 24:18-21).
Also, the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time never fails because Satan who is identified as an evil liar, a deceiver, and a serpent who devices and all who followed him, will be in the Lake of Fire. It was created specifically for Satan and the fallen angels who rejected their subordinate existence (Revelation 14:10).
Matthew 25:41, “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
The timing of the final resurrection transformation for the believers will occur at different stages depending upon the dispensation in which they were saved (I Corinthians 15; 12-58, I Thessalonians 4:13-18, Daniel 12:2, and Isaiah 2:19). The physical to spiritual transformation of the believers’ bodies will occur for some at the Rapture, for some at the beginning of the Millennium, and for others at the end of the 1000 years. The nonbelievers will experience their final eternal punitive transformation to condemnation at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:4-6, and Psalm 1). (The Bible does not say that the nonbelievers will be reunited with their bodies for the eternal judgment; but if they are, this reunion will probably occur at the Great White Throne, which is their final eternal punitive judgment.).