Dispensationalism is a method of interpreting history that divides God’s dealings with mankind into different periods of time.
The seven dispensations:
1. Dispensation of Innocence (Genesis 1:28-30 and 2:15-17). This dispensation covered the period of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
2. Dispensation of Conscience, It lasted from the time of Adam and Eve’s removal from the garden until the flood (Genesis 3:8–8:22).
3. Dispensation of Human Government, It began in Genesis 8. God had destroyed life on earth with a flood, saving Noah and family to restart the human race.
4. Dispensation of Promise, Started with the call of Abraham, continued through the lives of the patriarchs, and ended with the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt, a period of about 430 years. During this dispensation God developed a great nation that He had chosen as His people, the Israelites. Abrahamic Covenant is important here.
5. Dispensation of Law. It lasted almost 1,500 years, from the Exodus till after Jesus Christ’s death. During the Dispensation of Law, God dealt specifically with the Jewish nation through the Mosaic Law, found in Exodus 19–23.
6. Dispensation of Grace. It began with the New Covenant in Christ’s blood (Luke 22:20). This “Age of Grace” or “Church Age” occurs between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel 9:24. It starts with the death of Christ and ends with the Rapture of the church (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
7. The Millennial Kingdom of Christ It will last for 1,000 years as Christ Himself rules on earth. The born-again believers from the Age of Grace and righteous survivors of the seven years of tribulation are subjects of this kingdom. No unbeliever has access into this kingdom. Satan is bound during the 1,000 years. This period ends with the final judgment of Satan and all evil. (Revelation 20:11-14).
7 Covenants- God enters in to a contract, agreement or arrangement with mankind.
The Bible speaks of seven covenants, four of which (Abrahamic, Palestinian, Mosaic, Davidic) God made with the nation of Israel. Three of these four are unconditional; that is, whether Israel is obedient or not, God will still fulfill these covenants. The Mosaic Covenant, is conditional, meaning, this covenant will bring either blessing or curse depending on Israel’s obedience or disobedience.
Three of the covenants (Adamic, Noahic, New) are made between God and mankind in general.
The Adamic Covenant has two parts: the Edenic Covenant (innocence) (Genesis 1:26-30; 2:16-17) and the Adamic Covenant (grace) (Genesis 3:16-19). The Edenic Covenant concerns man’s responsibility towards God’s creation and the commands regarding the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The Adamic Covenant includes the curses against mankind for the sin of Adam and Eve, as well as God’s provision for that sin (Genesis 3:15).
The Noahic Covenant was an unconditional covenant between God and Noah (specifically) and humanity (generally). After the flood, God promised humanity that he would never again destroy all life on earth with a flood. God gave the rainbow as the sign of the covenant.
Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-3, 6-7; 13:14-17; 15; 17:1-14; 22:15-18). In this covenant, God promised Abraham that he would make Abraham’s name great (Genesis 12:2), that Abraham would have numerous physical descendants (Genesis 13:16), and that he would be the father of a multitude of nations (Genesis 17:4-5). God also made promises regarding a nation called Israel. All the families of the world will be blessed through the physical line of Abraham (Genesis 12:3; 22:18).
Palestinian Covenant (Deuteronomy 30:1-10). The Palestinian Covenant, or Land Covenant- If God’s people disobeyed, God would cause them to be scattered all over the world (Deuteronomy 30:3-4), but he would eventually restore the nation. When the nation is restored, then they will obey Him and God will cause them to prosper (verse 9).
Mosaic Covenant (Deuteronomy 11) The Mosaic Covenant was a conditional covenant that either brought God’s blessing for obedience or God’s cursing for disobedience upon the nation of Israel. Part of the Mosaic Covenant was the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) and the rest of the Law, which contained over 600 commands.
Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7:8-16) God promised that David’s lineage would last forever and that his kingdom would never pass away permanently (verse 16). Jesus Christ’s reign would ultimately fulfil this covenant.
New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34). The New Covenant is a covenant made first with the nation of Israel and, ultimately, with all mankind. God promises to forgive sin, and there will be a universal knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.