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What is your purpose in life?





One of the more necessary concepts of Christianity, in order to understand Gods plan for history and for each individual, is the concept of Dispensations.


Without a basic understanding of dispensations, the believer will not be able to make correct applications of doctrine, which apply to different era s in history.


And without a fundamental understanding of dispensations, the believer will not be able to understand his own personal role in life as well as in history.


Once born into this world, the individual is spiritually dead. Spiritual death requires a redeemer to buy back, as it were, ones freedom from the slavery of eternal death. Jesus Christ is that unique redeemer, through His work on the Cross.


Each person need only believe in Christ, Jn 3:16, and thus his eternal salvation is settled forever, in that one unique moment, Rom. 8:38-39, 1 Pet. 1:4-5.


But the big question, once a person has been saved is, After salvation, what?


And it is the believers attitude toward bible doctrine that will determine his/her individual quality of life here on earth, and his/her reward in heaven in the next life.


All things in Gods plan come to the individual believer, freely, Rom. 8:32. But the believer is still required to be responsible and obedient to Gods truth. One cannot pretend or live a life in accordance with lies, and expect grace from God.


Therefore, regardless of the time in which the believer lives in history, the one key element for ones spiritual life is, learn Bible doctrine and grow up to spiritual maturity.


We are told to transform the thinking of our minds, Rom. 12:2, such that Gods plan and purpose for our individual lives, might be fulfilled, Rom. 12:2, Eph. 1:18, 4:22-24. The post salvation life demands spiritual growth to maturity, 2 Pet. 3:18, and that is accomplished through a daily study of Bible doctrine, 2 Tim. 2:15.


You as a believer in Christ, are kept on this earth, in order to fulfill your destiny, which is to grow up to become a mature believer, a winner, Eph. 4:13-16.


Your life, as a mature believer, becomes a unique expression of the glory of God, both now in time and forever in eternity, Rom. 8:29-30, 9:23-24.


But, and there is always a but, you do not accomplish this by default, it is reserved only for the spiritually mature believer, Rom. 6:1-2, 1 Jn. 1:5-2:6.


Those who live in perpetual infancy, because they choose to not grow up, do not fulfill this goal.


All divine blessings that the believer can understand and experience and comprehend, come only as a result of the believers spiritual growth. Spiritual infants cannot understand, comprehend or even experience the things of the spiritual adult.


Bible doctrine is the teaching of the content of the scriptures, through academic instruction, such that the believer s mind is transformed and so that doctrine becomes a measure of the believers thinking and mental attitude, Rom. 12:2-3, 2 Tim. 3:16-17, Phil. 2:5, Heb. 4:16.


God magnifies His word above His name, Psa. 138:2. Why? Because it is only through Bible doctrine that humanity has access into God, His life, His character, His purpose, and therefore an understanding of their own life.


Now that is the purpose and plan for your life, to grow up so that God (not you) can fulfill your life and bring you to the point of your ultimate completeness. Most folks never reach this goal, because most folks never grow up, because most folks don t make the effort. Remaining a spiritual infant is much easier, than growing up by means of a daily study.


As far as history is concerned, God has divided up history into segments of time, or era s, or dispensations.


A dispensation is defined in terms of divine revelation or purpose. In each succeeding dispensation, God reveals more and more truth, which makes known Gods plan for humanity as it unfolds throughout history.


Thus the concept of dispensations, identifies the different mechanics and procedures as well as the continuities that run between and through the them. And this helps the believer to understand how history works, and when various events apply to history and to what era of time they apply.


In the Bible there is common theme and distinction between Israel and the Church, Acts 10:45, Rom. 11:25, Gal. 6:15, Eph. 2:11-22, Heb. 3:5-6. And the dividing point between these two dispensations (Age of Israel and the Church Age), is the First Advent of Jesus Christ.


Jesus Christ is the key to all interpretation of history, Eph. 3:10-11, Rev. 1:8.


There are many ways to divide up history, and in any given conversation, you could probably come up with a dozen different ways to divide up history, however there are three basic divisions in history.


The prehistoric period which occurred prior to the creation of man, followed by human history, followed by eternity.


During human history, there are three basic divisions of history. The theocentric, christocentric, and the eschatological periods of human history.


The theocentric period began with the start of human history to the First Advent of Christ. It includes the Age of the Gentiles and the Age of Israel. It is the long ago period before God spoke to us in His Son, Heb. 1:1-2.


The christocentric period includes the First Advent of Christ, as well as the Church Age, and will end with the end of our current dispensation (the Church Age) at the Rapture.


The eschatological period is future and includes the Tribulation, and the Millennium.


These three categories of history make up human history from Adam to the end of the Millennium.


From Gods perspective, the administration of different periods of time in dispensations, is the demonstration of the relationship between Christ and the Church, which is the ultimate goal of history, wherein the believer is in union with Christ, Eph. 1:17-23, 3:10, 21.


Satan wanted to be like the Most High, and tried to and is still trying to, take Gods sovereignty away, for himself.


However in grace, God demonstrates that he is able to create a creature lower than the angels, and elevate them above the angels, even to the point of union with Christ, which is the ultimate height for any created being. And that is the believers ultimate destiny.


A long time ago, Satan revolted against God, Isa. 14:13-14. Satan and the angels that joined in his revolt were convicted, Ezek. 28:16-18, and then sentenced, Matt. 25:41. This sentence was issued before humanity was created, but will not be imposed until after the Millennium, Rev. 20:10.


So, why the gap or delay, between sentencing and execution of the sentence?


In legal terms, once the sentence was imposed, then an appeal is available for the convicted. And thus Satan has in effect an appeal through human history, to prove his innocence, making consistent claims against Gods character, and God has the opportunity to prove His righteousness, Psa. 145:21, Zech. 3:1-10, Lk. 2:14, Rom. 9:23, 11:25-36, Job. 1:12, 2:6, Matt. 4:1-11.


Human history was begun to resolve this angelic conflict, as Satan attempts to prove himself equal with God, Isa. 14:14. But Satan only demonstrates his own incompetence, and evil, and this only serves to confirm his arrogance and guilt, and that his sentence was just.


Gods wisdom is revealed through human history, to rulers and authorities (fallen angels) in heavenly places, Eph. 3:10, 6:12.


And God uses the various changes in dispensations, to demonstrate over and over, His perfect righteousness, and Satan s guilt.


And so just before Christ ascended to Heaven, He was questioned regarding the timing of future events, Acts 1:6-7.


Acts 1:7

And [de] he said [epo] unto [pros] them, [autos] It is [esti] not [ou] for you [humon] to know [ginosko] the times [chronos] or [e] the seasons, [kairos] which [hos] the Father [pater] hath put [tithemi] in [en] his own [idios] power. [exousia]


The key words here are times and seasons. The words for times, chronos, indicates time as a succession of events, one following the other in chronological sequence. It is used in Rom. 16:25 and 1 Pet. 1:20, with a dispensational connotation.


Seasons, or epochs, kairos, refers to an era of time, characterized by a system or development of something that is unique to that era. This noun is used to assemble organizational events within a defined set of historical boundaries. For example, the dinosaurs belonged to their own era, the Garden of Eden had its own defined period of time, the pre-flood era had its own designated timeframe, and so forth.


Sometimes kairos, refers to the Church Age, Rom. 8:18, 11:5, 13:11, or to the Age of Israel, Eph. 2:11-12, or to the Age or Times of the Gentiles, Lk. 21:24, which is a reference to the combination of two dispensational periods including the Church Age and the Tribulation.


So why were the disciples told that the times or epochs were not for them to know? Because they already knew the concept of dispensations, but were expecting the immediate Kingdom of God, because of their feelings against the Roman occupation of their country. They had already been told by Jesus, Matt. 23:27-25:46, John 14-17. They knew of the Kingdom of God through scriptures in the Old Testament, a Kingdom that would come at the end of their dispensation, Psa. 89:27-29, Isa. 40:3-5, 62:10-12, Micah 4:1-8, 5:2-4, Zech. 9:9-10.


Jesus had taught them the dispensational concept throughout His ministry, Matt. 5:17, 24:3.


The disciples and almost everyone, wanted to know the specific dates of when the Kingdom was going to come, but God demanded a spiritual response to the Cross prior to the Kingdom, Matt. 23:37. The disciples misunderstood the principle of the rejection of the Messiah, by Israel, and the necessary opening up to the gentiles, because of that rejection. Thus the Age of Israel was set aside, interrupted, for the Age of the Gentiles, which we call the Church Age.


Jesus Christ presented Himself as the Messiah, the King of the Jews, the Son of David, the fulfillment of Gods unconditional covenants, but these were rejected by the Jews, and therefore the Kingdom was postponed until the Millennium. And actually it was not postponed by any action of God, but by the actions of the Jewish nation.


God will establish His Kingdom based on His timing, not mans, 1 Thess. 5:1-2.


Now the Age of the Church was begun, which focused on a new body of believers, both Jews and Gentiles, now called neither Jew nor Gentile, but Christians.


The disciples, as are many believers, were confused because they did not see the end of the ministry of Christ to the Jews, and the beginning of His ministry to the Church.


And so it is with many believers in our current day, they do not separate these two distinct era s, and because they do not understand dispensations, in which certain events belong to one and not to the other, then they confuse doctrinal teaching and fail to understand even fundamental prophecies, Col. 2:16-3:3.


It was not until the arrival of the Church Age, at Pentecost, that the apostles and disciples began to understand the principle and need for the Church Age. Paul taught it to the disciples, Gal. 2, and to us through Peter, 1 Pet. 3:1-16.


Their understanding of these things is reflected in 1 Thess. 5:1-2, you yourselves know full well


There are two other Greek words, that describe dispensations. They are aion, and oikonomia.


From aion, we get the terms, Age of Israel, or Church Age, Rom. 16:25, Eph. 3:9, Col. 1:26.


The term, oikonomia, defines a period of specific administration to that period or era, 1 Cor. 9:17, Eph. 1:8-10, 3:2-3, 8-9, Col. 1:25-29, 1 Tim. 1:3-4. These passages refer to the Church Age.


At specific times in history, God has instituted changes in authority, responsibility, procedure, and so forth. And these changes apply to first one group, and then another group, and then another group and so forth.


For example, there was first the focus on the time of innocence in the Garden, then that passed on to the Gentiles, then that changed to the Nation of Israel, then that changed to Jesus Christ in His first advent, and from there to the Church, and from our current dispensation, to the besieged remnant of Israel in the Tribulation, and then to the Millennium.


Dispensations were not arbitrary insertions or divisions of history, but relate to the unveiling of divine revelation as history unfolded. Jesus confirmed the times and epochs as fixed by Gods own authority, Acts 1:7.


Paul, in his teaching of the Church Age, referred to it as the mystery age, Col. 1:26.


The mystery doctrine unveils the characteristics unique to the Church Age, and sets it apart from all other dispensational periods because of those unique differences.


Christ foretold of the Church age, John 14-17.


The Church Age was brought into existence in order to glorify Christ to the maximum, John 16:14, Eph. 1:21-23, 5:25-27. The doctrines of the Church Age, depend on the glorification of Christ, John 7:39.


Christ announced His success and the formation of the Church in which God would glorify Him forever, John 13:31-32.


Israel was given every opportunity to accept the Messiah, but they rejected Him. The Church was not brought into existence until after their (the Jews) rejection of Christ.


Two passages written by Paul, demonstrate the principle of dispensations, through the mystery doctrine, Eph. 3:1-5, and Col. 1:25-27, by contrasting all other dispensations against that of the Church.


The way of salvation did not change from one era to another, however, the believers in the Church Age, became recipients of many more privileges and blessings, that were not available to believers in the other dispensations. That blessing list is written in another study, which you can find in the Special Studies Library, on the web site. It is an extensive list, and unique to our dispensation.


The Age of Israel contained the promise of a Messiah and a Divine Kingdom. When the Messiah was rejected, 1 Pet. 2:9, effectively at the Cross, then its continuance as an era, was about to be placed on hold. Forty days after the Cross, Jesus ascended, and then ten days later, at the Feast of Pentecost, the Church Age began with the giving of the Holy Spirit, who was sent to indwell every believer, and does so, throughout our dispensation.


The dispensation of the Church is the era of the formation of the Royal Family, for the purpose of the maximum glorification of Christ.


Jesus Christ possess s among others, three titles and families. He has a divine title, Son of God and His divine family is the Godhead. He has a Jewish title, Son of David, and His family is the Davidic dynasty. He has a third title which is His battlefield title, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Bright Morning Star, and his family is the Church.


We in effect when we believe in Christ, become a member of his family and thus are divine royalty. We are known as the Body of Christ or the Church, Gal. 3:28, Eph. 1:22-23.


This very existence of a royal connotation and title, makes our era unique in history, distinguishing us from all other dispensations.


During the Church Age, the Royal Family is being formed, and once formed, will be removed from the earth in the Rapture.


Subsequent to our Age, are two more era s of time, called the eschatological era s, namely the Tribulation, and the Millennium.


Both were referred to in the Old Testament, while the Church Age was never mentioned. Thus all prophecy revealed in the Old Testament, which remains unfulfilled, belongs to each of these future periods, and not to the Church Age.


The Church Age has its own unique set of predicted historical trends, revealed by Jesus, in the New Testament, but never revealed in the Old Testament.


The Tribulation immediately precedes the founding of Gods Kingdom, and is their last punishment for their rejection of Christ, Dan. 9:27, Rev. 11:3, 12:6, Isa. 34:1-6, 63:1-6, Jere. 30:4-8, Eze. 38-39, Dan. 11:40-45, Zech. 12:1-3, 14:1-2, Rev. 6-19.


The Tribulation is also called the time of Jacob s trouble, Jere. 30:7, and Daniels seventieth week, Dan. 9:24-27, and the time of Satan s desperation, Rev. 12:12. It will last seven years.


During the first half of the Tribulation, also called Satan s attempted utopia, Satan will try to establish his own version of a millennium on the earth. His attempts to purse prosperity and peace will be only masks for coercion, slavery and violence. A large portion of the world s population will die during this utopia attempt.


Satan will be ejected mid way through the Tribulation, and the last half of the Tribulation, the last three and a half years, will see tremendous evangelization of the world, as well as tremendous rejection of Christ by most folks. This will result in unprecedented violence and judgments against the world.


The Tribulation will end with a huge world war, and will be stopped and brought to an end by the Second Advent of Christ. Christ will deliver the believing Jews, Isa. 5:26-30, 10:20-23, 11:11-16, 14:1-3, 63:1-6, Joel 2:16-3:21, Zech. 10:6-12.


These events are all a part of our study of the Book of Revelation.


Christ will establish His one-thousand year rule, and will rule during the greatest period of prosperity and peace in all of history, Dan. 9:24, Zech. 14:9.


At the end of the Millennium, then the final judgments will be held, Rev. 20:11-15, our current universe will be destroyed, and a new and permanent universe will be created. There, we believers will live with God forever, 2 Pet. 3:7, 10-13, Rev. 21-22:5



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