This is another good teaching by Jack Kelley on the seven dispensations and why mankind fails in all of them. Dispensationalism is sometimes misunderstood. Dispensationalism is not different ways to find salvation; it is different rules for living in each dispensation for those who can be saved on the basis of their faith in God. Man is saved by God’s grace through man’s faith in all seven dispensations.
These seven different ways of God dealing with man on earth are probably demonstrations to man, angels and all creation about the sin nature of man and Satan. No matter how God deals with man on earth Satanic deception comes and most of mankind rejects God. However, in each dispensation God has His own elect on earth who overcome Satan and the world through their belief and trust in God.
Yes, even the dispensation of Grace (The Church age) is also a failure for mankind. The promise of a free gift of salvation for those who confess Jesus as God’s sacrifice for man’s sins will be rejected by the overwhelming majority on earth. Even the seventh dispensation, the Kingdom Age, will end in mankind’s failure because Satan will deceive those living in this restored paradise on earth and lead them to rebel against God’s elect. In all dispensations man will prove that in his fallen sinful flesh he cannot fellowship with God. The only way to eternal salvation is through a spiritual rebirth from God’s Son. There is no other name given in which man must be saved (Act 4:12).
I will add this, The dispensations all end in failure for those unbelievers following Satan but all seven dispensations successfully reach those who believe God.
Read the full article to get a complete picture of what Jack Kelley is teaching and to get a description of the seven different dispensations on earth.
by Jack Kelley
Hal Lindsey once speculated that at his judgment Satan hurled two accusations at God. “You’re not just and You have no love.” In our last study we saw how God demonstrated His perfect justice with Israel and His perfect love with the Church. Israel lived under an absolutely just system of law. It was clear and concise, made no exceptions, and showed no favoritism. There was blessing for obedience and punishment for disobedience in an obvious cause and effect relationship. What they did determined what they got. God said to them, “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Exodus 19:5-6)
The Church was shown the incomparable riches of God’s grace. We’re the most blessed of any group of humanity and the only thing asked of us is that we accept by faith the free gift of salvation, purchased in advance for us with God’s own life. Yes, God is pleased if we live our lives in a manner that expresses our gratitude to Him, but the only thing He requires is that we believe in the one He has sent. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
In the Kingdom Age believers will be saved by faith, like the Church, but will be required to keep the Law as evidence of their belief, like Israel. Perfect justice, perfect love. This will be God’s final answer to Satan and His final attempt to dwell among His people in peace. Will it work, or like Israel and the Church before it, will the Kingdom Age end in failure?
We’ve only talked about Law and Grace but there were actually four other attempts at peaceful coexistence between God and man leading up to them. For a complete understanding of man’s history with his Creator, we’ll need to review these others as well. They’re called dispensations, or administrations, and all together there are seven of them.
The 7 Dispensations
Throughout history God has dealt with His people in different ways as part of the process of revealing His character. Each of these dispensations has has begun with an agreement between God and man that man subsequently violated, ending the relationship in failure and requiring a judgment from God.
Some in the Church might question the view that the Age of Grace has been a failure, but that’s because we’re among the few who have accepted the Lord’s free gift of pardon and will therefore enjoy its benefits. Remember, God’s desire is to reconcile us to Himself (Colossians 1:19-20). He doesn’t want for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). And yet over the last 2,000 years most people have turned down His gift and gone their own way. After doing everything He could, short of violating man’s free will and forcing him to accept the pardon He offered, most of mankind will have rejected Him. Can you blame Him for being so angry as to unleash the full fury of His wrath against them?
Even in the Church the response to God’s gift of eternal Life has been more apathy than adoration. When less than 10% of people who claim to be born again have adopted a Christian world view, it’s clear that there’s been a serious disconnect between His gift and our gratitude. When compared to the desired goal the Age of Grace has been a failure.
None of this is any more of a surprise to God than the outcome of His previous attempts. He doesn’t do things so He can see how we’ll respond. He already knows that. He does things so we can see how we’ll respond. Paul said every thing that was written in the past was written to teach us. (Romans 15:4) So far the lesson has been that no matter what God has done to draw us near, man is untrustworthy and rebellious, pushing God away and bringing judgment upon himself.
Now For The Kingdom
OK, so what about the Kingdom Age, will it be a failure too?
In an event that was later modeled in the Biblical adoption ceremony (Galatians 4:4-7), the Father formally named His Son heir of His estate and bequeathed His inheritance to Him. All the nations are His, and He has the authority to rule them as He pleases. Man’s choice will be to obey or suffer the consequences. Obedience will be rewarded with blessing, but rebellion will bring swift destruction.
We’re neither told how many will be saved during the Millennium, nor what their destiny will be. What we are told is at the end of the 1000 year Kingdom Age Satan will be freed and will have no trouble recruiting a large army for one last attempt to regain his lost empire. He’ll find a ready audience for his deception and his army will soon be as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore. From all over the world they’ll come to surround God’s people and His Holy City. But in one sudden burst of flame from Heaven they’ll be devoured and Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity. (Rev. 20:7-10) Once again, man rebels, God judges and another Age ends in failure.
God’s response to Satan’s accusations will be complete. Satan’s judgment will be final. Heaven and Earth will be purified. Eternity will begin. And God will reign supreme. Hallelujah! 05-30-09
Don Koenig is the founder of ThePropheticYears website. He has been publishing articles on the Internet on Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and Christian worldviews since 1999. You can find well over a thousand articles and thousands of comments written by Don from the homepage of this website.