Dispensational Changes

Justin Johnson

When God reveals information that changes the prophetic context, then we need to place a division in the scripture. The new information divides from the old information. This creates contexts by which we can interpret all of scripture. This is what we call dispensational change.

Paul calls the information he received from the Lord a dispensation (Col 1:25). This information changed the prophetic context of God’s instructions. According to Paul’s teaching, God is dealing with different people, through a different apostle, in a different way, by a different gospel, towards a different destination.

That is a lot of change.

A smaller change occurred between Abraham and Moses. Abraham was given the promises of God and the covenant of circumcision (Gen 17:1-10). Four hundred years later, the law was added because of transgressions (Gal 3:17).

The law did not remove the promises but rather made them a part of a testament. Abraham was not under the Old Testament known as the Mosaic covenant.

Another change occurred when Jesus ushered in the New Testament. The New Testament was not in effect until Christ died (Heb 9:16-17). Jesus was born under the Old Testament and died to institute the New Testament (Gal 4:4).

The New Testament replaced the Old but it could not remove the promises. The covenant of circumcision and promises to the fathers were being fulfilled by a change in the law and the priesthood (Heb 7:12).

When the kingdom comes there will be another dispensational change as the promises are kept by God and the kingdom of heaven comes to Earth beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:47). This is made possible by the full operation of the New Testament promises.

All of these changes were prophesied and revealed in God’s purpose to Israel. We can read about them in the prophets and the Hebrew epistles.

The dispensational change given to Paul was separate from prophecy entirely. It is written that it “was kept secret since the world began” (Rom 16:25).

When reading Paul’s epistles, we are reading about a change more excellent than the Old Testament or New Testament. We are reading about the revelation of the mystery of God in Christ to pay for the sins of humanity without a covenant or a law system (Rom 3:22).

No priests, no sacrifices, no covenants, no holy days, no Israel, no land promise. God had revealed information that changed the prophetic context of the time in which we live. We now no longer live in a time prophesied. We now live in a dispensation that is called a Mystery.

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Published: June 20, 2009
Last Modified: June 11, 2016
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