dispensationalism

Hello,

I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!

We come in our current series on Dispensations to the seventh, and final Dispensation, the Dispensation of Divine Government, or the Millennium. We will look a bit later in our study at more detail as to the length of this Dispensation. Suffice it to say for now, that it takes in the time from the binding of Satan to the Renovation of the Heavens and the Earth. (Rev. 20:1 – 15)

It is important to understand that both the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants promised that Israel would have an everlasting earthly kingdom through which all of the families of the Earth would be blessed (Gen. 12:1 – 3; 13:14 – 17; 17:6 – 8; II Sam. 7:8 – 17; Ps. 89:3, 4, 20 – 37).

This explains why the Jews were looking for a King as their Messiah, the Prince of “the house of David.” They overlooked all of the prophecies of Messiah coming into the world first as the suffering “Servant of Jehovah”, a Savior, because there were so many more prophecies concerning His Earthly Reign. In essence they have looked for two Messiahs, Masiach ben yosef (Messiah son of Joseph), and Masiach ben David (Messiah son of David). They failed to recognize however both were fulfilled in one Messiah, Yeshua/Jesus.

As we look from Genesis to Malachi there is a note of praise, as lawgiver and historian, psalmist, and prophet constantly refer to the Kingdom Age, when the Messiah shall reign.

From Matthew to Revelation the hope continues as John the Baptist, the Lord Jesus, and all of the Apostles preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. The prophecy went forth in the Early Church how “…God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. (the Church) And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: ‘AFTER THIS (the Dispensation of Grace) I WILL RETURN AND WILL REBUILD THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID, WHICH HAS FALLEN DOWN; I WILL REBUILD ITS RUINS, AND I WILL SET IT UP; SO THAT THE REST OF MANKIND MAY SEEK THE LORD, EVEN ALL THE GENTILES WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME, SAYS THE LORD WHO DOES ALL THESE THINGS.’” [Acts 15:14 – 17]

This Golden Age (the TRUE Golden Age, not the one the New-Age crowd talk about), known as the Millennium, will surely come to pass, for “all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” [2 Cor. 1:20]

Lets talk for a moment about the length of this Dispensation. The Millennium, or Kingdom Age, will be the last Dispensation before the eternal perfect state. This era of human history is referred to as the Dispensation of Divine Government because the eternal Triune God will set up an eternal kingdom over which He will rule the nations of the earth forever.

The word “millennium” is derived from two Latin words, mille (“thousand”) and annum (“year”). Although “millennium” does not appear in scripture, the phrase “thousand years” is mentioned some six times in Revelation 20:1 – 5. So, from that Bible teachers have referred to this period of time as the “Millennium” or the, “Millennial Reign”, and I believe legitimately so. This Dispensation then will be a period of a literal 1,000 years.

It is referred to in scripture by several different terms that we need to understand:

  1. THE DISPENSATION OF THE FULLNESS OF TIME (Eph. 1:10)
  2. THE WORLD (Greek aion, “Age”) TO COME (Matt. 12:32; Mark 10:30; Luke 20:35; Eph. 1:21; 2:7)
  3. THE KINGDOM OF GOD (Mark 14:25; Luke 10:11; 22:14 – 18)
  4. THE KINGDOM OF OUR LORD AND OF HIS CHRIST (Rev. 11:15)
  5. THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (Matt. 7:21; 8:11; 10:7)
  6. THE KINGDOM OF THEIR FATHER (Matt. 13:43)
  7. THE DAY OF THE LORD (Isa. 2:12; Zech. 14:1; 2 Pet. 3:10)
  8. THAT DAY (Isa. 4:1 – 6; 26:1 – 3; Hosea 2:18; Joel 3:18; Zech. 12:8, 9)
  9. THE REGENERATION (Matt. 19:28)
  10. THE TIMES OF REFRESHING (Acts 3:19)
  11. THE TIMES OF RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS (Acts 3:21)
  12. THE CONSOLATION OF ISRAEL (Luke 2:25)

All of these designations also reveal a great deal about the purpose of the Millennium, which will last from the binding of Satan to the renovation of the New Heavens and New Earth (2 Peter 3:10 – 13; Rev. 21:1). Revelation 20:1 – 3 says,

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.” [Rev. 20:1 – 3]

Everything God does is for a reason, there is purpose, a redemptive purpose, attached to it. The entire purpose and program of God during this Dispensation will be to put down all rebellion in the earth so that God may rule as He did before the Fall (1 Cor. 15:24 – 28). He will do this by exalting the saints to rule as kings and priests, according to the reward of our works (1 Cor. 3:11 – 15; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 1:5; 20:4 – 6).

During the 1,000-year reign of Messiah Jesus, God will fulfill His eternal Covenants made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David, and once and for all restore Israel to the Promised Land, where she will be the head of the nations (Deut. 28:1 – 14; Ezek. 20:33 – 44; chapters 38 and 39; Acts 15:13 – 17). Christ will reign over the world in righteousness, restoring the original plan of God for mankind (Isa. 2:2 – 5; 9:6, 7; 11:1 – 16).

I want to look in our next installment at the two resurrections awaiting all of mankind. All who have ever lived, through all six of the Dispensations, from the time of Adam all the way until the end of the Millennial Reign, will be resurrected. The saints (all the way from the saints who came out of the graves at the time of the Resurrection of Christ, to the Tribulation saints), will take part in what is referred to as the, “First Resurrection.”

There will be a second resurrection. It will occur at the end of the thousand years. It will involve all of the wicked, unregenerate dead who have ever lived from the time of Cain on. We will take a look at both of these resurrections, and much more next time.

Until next time,

Pastor Kevin E. Johnson

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