In early 2004 I was snapped out of the lethargy that I had sunk into due to never ending physical problems I endured between 1997 and 2003. I did something I had never done, and then did it again, and again and again and again. That “something” was to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation with no preconceived ideas. It was very difficult to not read into sections of the Bible what I had been taught or believed for many years. But, I knew I had to let the Word of God speak and have the open heart to receive what it said and believe it.
Each time I read a different version so I could glean more from what I was reading. Without a doubt, the most difficult time was when I used the Tanakh, the most enlightening was the Septuagint, the most educational were the Amplified Bible and the NIV Study Bible, and the most enjoyable was the NLV. Each of these versions or translations (plus the ones I cannot remember right now) helped me get a better feel for the Bible and helped me stitch the whole Bible together like a giant quilt in my heart and mind.
This project of reading and re-reading the Bible over and over again lasted for about 3 years until I devoted my time to diligently working sections in Jeremiah and Ezekiel as I was studying the phrase “Day of the Lord”. What I learned by reading the Bible cover to cover over and over was that since the creation of the heavens and earth, God had a dream and a plan. He has had to adjust this “plan of the ages” innumerable times due to man’s sin but God will never has changed.
After reading and re-reading the Bible so many times, I am absolutely convinced there are dispensations in the Bible. These sections of history are somewhat like the administrations of leaders of a country. In that sense they could be called “administrations”. Each administration is different than the one before and each has a different emphasis along with things that pertain to only that administration.
In the beginning was the original or paradise administration that lasted until Adam and Eve sinned. Throughout Genesis was the administration of unwritten law. Moses ushered in the administration of The Law which lasted until Christ started His ministry. For the few short years Jesus preached on this earth, it was the Christ administration which lasted until the Day of Pentecost when the grace administration started and continues unto this day. The next administration is when Christ returns to gather together His church and after He does, the administration of the wrath of God upon this world commences. Finally after the second coming of Christ, the administration of eternal paradise reigns forever.
I realize that the number of people who believe in the idea of administrations in the Bible are very few. I understand that the vast majority of Christians want no part of this kooky theology. I am painfully aware of the intense ridicule heaped upon anyone crazy enough to believe the Bible could be divided into administrations. In spite of these things, I cannot deny that there is no other way to understand the whole Bible than to break it down into administrations.
Anyone who believes in dispensations also believes that certain sections of the Bible are written to those who live in that dispensation. Thus, The Law was for God’s people at the time which was Israel. Grace defines the age of the Church of the One Body where there is no longer Jew of Gentile. The Book of Revelation along with numerous prophesies in the Old Testament are written for those who must live through the Great Tribulation.
Lest this turn into a book, I must stop and see how much damage I have done in writing this. Certainly my intent was not to arouse anger but I know many who read this will be very angry. For anyone who is, I pray you at least ponder the idea that the Bible is the whole and complete Word of God for all people who have lived, regardless of the time and place and there must be things written in the Word of God for each era in which people lived that put together represent the whole and complete Word of God.