The Dispensation of
G R A C E
(Mt. 3:1 — Rev. 19:10)
Present or Postdiluvian Age (Gen. 8:15 — Rev. 19:10)
From the The Purpose of God for Humankind
Name: So-called because of the fullness of grace brought by Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ) (Jn. 1:16-17). People had grace in all previous ages, but not in fullness. The same was true of laws. People had laws in all periods before Moses, but the fullness of law came by him.
God’s “Grace” Defined in the Old Testament
“ax” (Original Old Testament Hebrew): “the free, unmerited favor of God toward the undeserving and the ill-deserving.”
Grace is always associated in the Bible with the big-heartedness, love, compassion, mercy, and kindness of one individual to another, whether it be person to person or God to person.
God’s “Grace” Defined in the New Testament
God’s New Testament word translated grace is “chairis” (original New Testament Greek). It is defined primarily: “The cheerful, divine influence upon a person’s heart [spirit] and its reflection in the person’s life; including gratitude”
In other words, God’s grace (or “chairis”) is no longer “unmerited favor…” but is the power of God’s love transforming the person more and more into the image of Jesus from the inside-out and genuinely yielding the fruit of thankfulness. This is versus the law, affecting only the external life.
And repeating, grace is always associated in the Bible with the big-heartedness, love, compassion, mercy, and kindness of one individual to another, whether it be person to person or God to person.
Grace from God is His power coming to empower the person to do with ease what s/he could never accomplish on his or her own. (See also John 15:5.)
Length: From the preaching of the kingdom of heaven by John (Mt. 11: 11; Lk. 16:16) to the 2nd arrival of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ). Considering that we reckon our time in AD from the birth of Christ, and that He was about 30 years of age (in AD 30) when John the Baptist announced the kingdom and when Law ended and Grace began (Lk. 1:26; 3:23), then we know that we had already come 1,970 years in this dispensation by 2000. How many more years Grace will continue is not known because we do not know when the 2nd advent (which is to terminate this dispensation) till take place. Students of prophecy believe it will be very soon. Grace cannot end until 10 kingdoms are formed inside the old Roman Empire territory (Dan. 7:7-8, 19-24), until the Antichrist has been here 7 years after the rapture of the church (Dan. 9:27; 2 Th. 2:7-8), and until all the events of Rev. 4:1-19:10 have been fulfilled in these last 7 years (Rev. 4: 1). Then, and then only, can Christ come (Rev. 19:11-2 1), and the Millennium begin (Rev. 20: 1-10).
A review of the 7 Dispensations of Mankind up to this point will show that we have come 6,201 years or more since Adam to AD 2,000 as follows:
(1) Innocence unsaid length of time
(2) Conscience 1,656 years
(3) Human Government 427
(4) Promise 430
(5) Law 1,718
(6) Grace 1,980
Favorable beginning: Satan was defeated on the cross and made powerless to overcome any believer who would put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18) and resist him (Eph. 4:27; Jas. 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:7-9). In this matter no difference was made between Jew or Gentile, male or female (Acts 2:1621; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11). Furthermore, the dispensation of Grace began with ministries of power - that of Yeshua Messiah (Jesus the Christ), John the Baptist, the apostles, and other men endued to perform miracles, as recorded in the Gospels and Acts. It began With complete grace (Jn. 1:16-17), promises of the fullness of the Spirit (Jn. 7: 37-39), and a full commission to represent God and do the works of Yeshua Messiah (Jesus the Christ) (Mk. 16:1520; Jn. 14:12). There is now no limitation to the believer regarding what he wants from God according to the promises. Everyone is privileged to receive according to his or her faith (Mt. 8:13; 9:29; 17:20; 21,21-22; Mk. 11:22-24; Jn. 14:12-15; 15:7, 16; Heb. 11:6; 1 Jn. 3:21-22; 5:13-14).
Test: Obedience to the faith of the gospel in all its teachings (Mk. 16:16; Jn. 3:16; Rom, 1:5,16; 16:26; Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5-8).
Purpose of God in this dispensation: The purpose has been to save all who would believe, to call out a people for His name, and to build the Church (Jn. 3:16; Acts 15:13-18; 1 Cor. 1: 18-24; 12:12-3 1; Eph. 2-14-22; 4:7-16; 5:25-32; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9; Rev. 2i-17)
There were 333 prophecies – spoken centuries before – fulfilled in the life of Yeshua Messiah (Jesus the Christ).
Means of God in accomplishing His purpose: Preaching the gospel is His means to call out a people for the Church (Mt. 28:19-20; Mk. 16:15-20; Rom. 1: 16; 1 Cor. 1: 18-24; 2 Cor. 4:4). For this work He uses called and gifted people (Rom. 12; 1 Cor. 12; Eph. 4:7-11). He also uses angels (Heb. 1: 14) and ordinary saved people to propagate the gospel as directed by the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:715- Acts 1:4-8; 2:38-39; 5:32).
(1) The failure of Israel is seen in their rejection of John, Yeshua (Jesus), and the apostles; in the crucifixion of their Messiah; and in war on the early Church. The gospel first went to Israel (Mt. 10:5-6) but they would not obey, so it was taken from them and given to Gentiles (Mt. 21:33-46).
(2) The early Church began to fail God in the very beginning (Acts 5-6; 15). All the epistles reveal divisions, strifes, heresies, unclean living, false leaders, and other evidences of backsliding and fallacy (I Cor. 1; 3; 5; 11; Gal. 3; 5; Eph. 4; Col. 3; 2 Pet. 2; Jude 3; Rev. 2-3).
(3) The post-apostolic Church, as history reveals, continued in failure - not evangelizing the world, living clean, preaching the full truth, or being one as Christ had prayed (Jn. 17:21-23). The Church entered the dark ages when popes and bishops lorded it over civil rulers and murdered millions who would not conform to organized religion. A reformation finally took place and Christianity has now been revived in part as in the New Testament, but the Church as a whole is still slow to recognize its full rights and privileges in the gospel.
Judgment for sin: For their rejection of John (Mt. 3:7; 21:23-27), Yeshua (Jesus) (Mt. 11: 11-27; 12:1-50; 23:1-39), and the early disciples (Acts 4:1-31; 6:8-7:59; 8:1-4; 9:1-8; 12:1-5; 16:19-38; 17:1-8:18; 22:1-28:31), Israel was destroyed as a nation in AD 70 and scattered among the other nations (Mt. 24:1-3; Lk. 21:20-24). They will not be restored until the 2nd arrival of Christ (Rom. 11:25-29). This dispensation will end with great apostasy (Mt. 24:4-4 1; 1 Tim. 4:1-18; 2 Tim. 3:1-13; 4:14; 2 Th. 2:1-12; 2 Pet. 2; Jude 3-18). The question in Luke 18:8 is, "when the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?" Judgment will include the greatest tribulation ever known on earth (Mt. 24:15-24; Rev. 6:1-19:10; Dan. 12:1). Because people will not receive the truth, God will send strong delusions to damn such rebels (2 Th. 2:8-12; Rev. 13:1-18; 16:13-16; 19:20).
God's provision of redemption: See Points 15 and 22 of God’s Purposes for Humankind
The following will take place at the end of this probationary period:
The Bible states at Joel 2:30‑3:
"And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire
and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon
into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.”
When Gabriel shows up, something big is about to happen on God's calendar. Just as Gabriel announced the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus, so Gabriel has been sent to earth yet again, because another great chapter is about to unfold - the return of Jesus for His Bride.
In Zechariah 1:12 Gabriel reminds God Israel has been in exile 70 years, and is asking God, how much longer? God says 'time is up.' This verse is a prophetic (symbolic) picture of when Christ returns for His people. Since Christ's sacrifice, all are called to be reconciled to God - there is no longer Jew or Gentile - only believers, those who are born again, and those who don't believe.
Jesus told the Apostle Paul to write this, recorded at 1 Thessalonians 4:15-16:
“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord [still living when the Lord returns] will by no means precede those who are asleep [in their graves]. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”
Paul mentions the exact timing of this event twice. In verse 15, he says that this occurs at the coming of the Lord, and in verse 16, Christ comes down from heaven with a shout with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.
Most of us have not been taught what Jesus meant at Matthew 24:36 when He said when He would come back, “…no man knows...” The phrase “but of that day and hour no man knows” is a common Hebrew idiom for the Jewish Feast of Trumpets. It is one of the seven Jewish Holidays, and it takes place in the fall.
This is the point at which time Jesus will come for us—His bride—His Church. This is the same way a Jewish bride groom at that time in history & tradition would go out at midnight and call for his bride when the preparation was complete and time for the wedding.
Continuing with Matthew 24:36 where Jesus said “no man knows the day or hour” also has to do with a traditional Jewish wedding. The father had to make sure the son had everything prepared and ready for the wedding. If anyone would ask the Jewish bride groom, “When is the wedding?” he would say, “Ask my father, only he knows.” This was the normal practice for the Jews. That statement was a normal traditional response. When it came time for this wedding to take place the bride groom would go out at midnight sound the blast by blowing the shofar [a horn] letting his bride know he had come for her. The Feast of Trumpets, or Rosh Hashanah points to the Jewish cultural evidence that Rosh Hashanah will be the appointed time when Christ comes down from heaven with a shout with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.
As proof of this let us review what has already taken place with this Jewish wedding in relation to Jesus Christ and his bride, the Church.
In a traditional Jewish wedding, the Jewish woman indicates she will marry him by accepting his proposal by drinking a cup of wine he gives her. What did Jesus do with the last supper? Jesus passed a cup of wine at the Last Supper and those who drank the wine accepted being his bride. Secondly, the Jewish man would have to pay a price to the bride's parents. What did Jesus do and what was the price he paid? Jesus paid the price for us as His bride with His own life by dying on the cross for us. The next thing a Jewish men would do to prepare for the wedding was to give His bride a gift. What gift did Jesus Christ give His bride the Church? Jesus gave us the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The next thing the Jewish man would have to do to prepare for this wedding was go and prepare a place for both himself and his wife to live in when they were married. Do you remember the words of Jesus Christ in John chapter 14:3? Jesus said, “and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” This is where Jesus is right now, He is preparing the home for His church, the bride of Christ.
The next thing the Jewish man would do to prepare for Jewish wedding is this, he would take a host of people with Him at midnight go out shouting and blowing the shofar for his bride. The shofar is a horn.
Now re-read what Jesus told the Apostle Paul to write recorded at 1 Thessalonians 4:15-16. Paul mentions the exact timing of this event twice. In verse 15, he says that this occurs at the coming of the Lord, and in verse 16, Christ comes down from heaven with a shout with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. This is the point at which time Jesus will come for us—His bride—His Church. This is the same way the Jewish bride groom at that time in history & tradition would go out at midnight and call for his bride when the preparation was complete and time for the wedding.
It is important to remember the no one knows the day or hour because the Feast of Trumpets started at the sighting of the full moon. On the 30th of each month, the members of the high court assembled in the court yard in Jerusalem, where they waited to receive the testimony of the two reliable witnesses. These two witnesses were the people who could verify that they had seen the full moon.
At the spotting of the full moon it would allow the members of the high court to then sanctify the new moon. This would mean that the Feast of Trumpets would begin. The new moon is very difficult to see on the first day because it can be seen only about sunset, close to the sun, when the sun is traveling North. So, looking for a very slim, faint crescent moon, which is very close to the sun, is very difficult. If the moons crescent was not seen on the 30th day, the new moon was automatically celebrated on the 31st day. For this reason, the Feast of Trumpets is always celebrated for two days. These two days are celebrated as though it is just one day of 48 hours.
The reason it is celebrated for two days is because if they waited to start the celebration until after the new moon and then sanctified, they would have missed half the celebration because the new moon can only be sanctified during daylight hours. The command seems to be that we know the season, as Paul stated, but not the day or the hour as we have seen in Matthew 24:32-36.
He is telling us it is the Feast of Trumpets because it is this Feast and this Feast only that the Jews did not know the exact day or the hour in relation to when the full moon would be out. Hence the two-day celebration. No one could today tell you when Christ comes down from heaven with a shout with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God because it could take place at any time within a 48 hour period.
By the way, the bride groom isn’t the only one making preparations for the wedding. Revelation 19:7‑8 declares: “Let us be glad and rejoice and give honor to Him. For the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white. For the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”
There are two Greek words that mean "righteousness." One is dikaiosune, the other is dikaioma. Dikaiosune is righteousness as an abstract concept. Dikaioma is righteousness manifested in act, or an act of righteousness. When you and I believe in Jesus the Christ, His righteousness—dikaiosune—is imputed to us. We are made righteous with His righteousness. When we live out our faith, we express that imputed righteousness in dikaioma, which is outworked righteousness, or an act of righteousness.
It is interesting to note that the word used here in Revelation is the plural form of dikaioma, dikaiomata. The fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. It is a very searching statement. "His wife has made herself ready." She has done this by her acts of righteousness.
Jesus also predicts this about His return at Matthew 24:39-40: “People didn't realize what was going to happen until the Flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left. So be prepared…”
Regarding that little word, “taken,” there are people who have said this means the unbeliever taken in death. But God prepared a word for this usage only. Used only once in the entire Bible, and that word is the Greek word, Paralambano* which means, “called to one side in an affectionate manner.” And in that great calling, He is calling us as His bride to be with Him during that great joining of Christ to His church. Called to His side in an affectionate manner.
*Although various forms of Paralambano do occur in other places in the New Testament, the present indicative passive tense of Paralambano (paralambanetai) occurs only in this passage which refers specifically to the coming of Jesus for His people.
God tells us we are to comfort one another with these words. By the covering blood of Jesus Christ, the three barriers that stand between humans and God: Sin is atoned for, human fault is covered, and human failure is no longer there.
Clearly recorded at Colossians 1:22, because of the body of Jesus’ death, we have been accepted, holy, unblameable and unreproveable in His sight. All three barriers are gone. When our faith is in the blood of Jesus, our acceptance is not based on our performance. It is based on His performance. When our faith is in what He has done, we are covered.
2. The completion of the first resurrection — a coming of Y’shua (Jesus) out of heaven for the saints (true believers/ citizens) to meet them in the air without coming to the earth (2 Thess. 2:1-12; 1 Thess. 1:10; 2:19-20; 3:13; 4:13-18; 5:1-11,23; 2 Thess. 2:1,7-8; John. 14:1-3; Lk. 21:34-36; Col. 3:4; Eph. 5:27; Jas. 5:7-8; Rev. 5:8-10; Rev 19:1-10).
As you may know, there is a mountain of confusion and therefore controversy regarding Christ’s second coming and “the rapture of His Church—pre-trip, mid-trib, or post-trib.” Be strongly encouraged to get crystal clarity by reading an important comprehensive study entitled, “Victorious Eschatology,” by Harold R. Eberle. It just may surprise you.
See some thoughts about Reasons for God's Dispensational Dealings
Thank you also Finis Jennings Dake, Dake Publishing, and their book, God’s Plan for Man.