THE SEVEN DISPENSATIONS by C.J. Koster
Satan, the Father of all lies, has seen to it that the Sabbath of YHWH was changed to the first day of the week, Sunday. This he accomplished in the 4th Century (write to us for further details). Since then men have devised various excuses and invented fables and lies in an attempt to justify this change. To name but a few: One of the first fables was coined in 364 by the Council of Laodicea. They pronounced Sabbath-keeping as “judaizing”. Thereby the Sabbath was branded as the Jewish Sabbath and is still known as such by most people. NOWHERE in the Scriptures will you find the Sabbath being called the Jewish Sabbath. That is a man-made fable and therefore a lie. In the Scriptures it is referred to as “Sabbath”, “the seventh day”, or “the Sabbath of YHWH your Elohim” (Ex. 20:10) YHWH often calls it “My Sabbaths” (Ex. 31:13, Yehez. 20:12 etc.) The Sabbath was not made for the Jews (as they allege) but “made by man” (Mark 2:27).More recently, another lie was invented in an attempt to get past the truth of the Sabbath: the so-called “Dispensational Truth”. Scofield in his Scofield Reference Bible has popularised the idea of Dispensations, and he promotes “The Seven Dispensations”,
1. Innocence (Gen. 1:28)
2. Conscience or Moral Responsibility (Gen. 3:7)
3. Human Government (Gen. 8:15)
4. Promise (Gen. 12:1)
5. Law (Ex. 19:1)
6. Church (Acts. 2:1)
7. Kingdom (Rev. 20:4)
Hereby they insinuate that the Almighty has dealt differently with man in seven different periods of time, as if His standard for being accepted as His child has been changed from time to time! Other dispensationalists only believe in four dispensations and most Christians have led to believe in two dispensations viz. the dispensation of law and the dispensation of grace.
In the KJV the word, dispensation, appears four times, all of them in the N.T. 1Cor. 9:17, Eph. 1:10, Eph. 3:2 and Col. 1:25. The KJV use of “dispensation” was carried over from its use in the Latin Vulgate in these four texts. This word in the KJV, dispensation, does not convey the meaning of the Greek word correctly. Therefore we find that almost all the other, newer, English translations have used the word “stewardship”, instead, which is more correct (see Nestle Interlinear, RSV, NASB etc.).
The word in the Greek text is “oikonomia” which simply means stewardship or the management of a household or of household affairs (“Oikonomos” denotes a steward). Let us now examine the theological use of dispensation: Most Bible Dictionaries do not even list the word, dispensation. Baker’s Dictionary of Christian Ethics and the New Catholic Encyclopaedia describe how the word, which comes from the Latin “dispensare”, started being used in the affairs of the church in the Roman Catholic church in the 5th century. In the New Catholic Encyclopaedia we read, “In the Code of Canon Law dispensation is defined in canon 80 as a relaxation of a law in a particular case..... The Roman pontiff.... has the power to dispense from all ecclesiastical legislation”. The idea amongst the present day dispensationalists that the “dispensation of grace” means a “doing away with the law” could only have been born in the minds of our modern anti-law theologians who read about the Roman Catholic’s dispensation of a church law.
Do we find any dispensation of the law of YHWH in the Scriptures? The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary says, “The modern theological use of the term..... is not in Scripture.” (emphasis mine). Vine’s Expository Dictionary of N.T. Words says the word does not mean a period or epoch - “a common, but erroneous, use of the word”. I would like to quote all four of these Scriptures texts as rendered in the RSV.
1 Cor.9:17, “For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with commission.”
Eph.1:10, “For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Messiah as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”
Eph. 3:2, “.... assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of YHWH grace that was given to me for you...”
Col. 1:25, “... His body, that is, the assembly, of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, ....”
Can you find anything relating to the idea of different periods? Of course not! The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary is honest and says, “The modern theological use of the term IS NOT FOUND IN SCRIPTURE!” (capitals mine). Most dispensationalists have even included the four Evangels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and Yohanan) as being in the “Dispensation of Law”. Some of them even regard the sermon on the Mount to be applicable to the “7th Dispensation”, the “Dispensation of the Kingdom” (futuristic - still to come!) What sacrilege! Yahushua said so clearly in Jon. 10:35, “And the Scripture cannot be broken”. YHWH says in Mal. 3:6, “For I am YHWH, I change not”. In Ya’acov 1:17 YHWH is spoken of as “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning”. Is there a difference between the O.T. and N.T.? Yes, there is. In the O.T. the faithful looked forward to the Coming of Messiah. And we in the N.T. rejoicingly look back to His First Coming and the Great redemption on Golgotha that He wrought for us. The Sacrificial laws and the priesthood system of the Old Testament were types and pointed forward to the Perfect Lamb of YHWH (our Sacrifice for sin) and to the Perfect High Priest; Yahushua! And that is the only difference that came about in the New Testament. Read Hebrews chps. 7, 8, 9 and 10 and see how Yahushua fulfilled the Sacrificial and priesthood laws. Scofield, in his Scofield Reference B. described ‘dispensation’ as a “period of time during which man is tested in respect to obedience to some specific revelation of the will of (Elohim)!” This idea has since been exaggerated and twisted by the liberal no-law teachers to the point of only accepting Paul and his writings as necessary for the Gentile believers! But what does Paul say about the Commandments of YHWH? Paul confirms the necessity of keeping the Commandments of YHWH in 1 Cor. 7:19, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumsition is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of YHWH.” (NASB) Again he confirms the validity of the law in Rom. 3:31, “Do we make void the law through faith? YHWH forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Read Sha’ul’s confirming words in Rom. 7:12 and 22. And Paul commands in 1 Tim. 6:13 and 14, “I charge you.....that you keep the Commandment without stain or reproach ...” (NASB) The Word of YHWH comes as a fire, as a hammer to crush this great lie: That YHWH has “dispensed with His Law in the New Testament era”, that He has “relaxed His Law”. This lie of all lies, instigated by Satan, has been fabricated to deceive the world and to keep people in bondage to sin - Jer. 23:29, Rev. 12:8, Rev. 18:23 and Rev.19:20. “Little children, let no man deceive you: HE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS, even as He is righteous”, 1 Yohanan 3:7.