Dispensation of the Kingdom

The dispensation of the Kingdom describes the period of 1,000 years in Revelation 20 in which Christ rules on earth from David’s throne. It is the period in time that the Jews were looking forward to during Christ’s first advent and even His disciples were confused about. This period of time is known as the Millennial Kingdom.

During the Millennial Kingdom Satan is bound and unable to tempt anyone. As Jesus reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords nature is restored to the harmony in which it was intended. Christians who died during the tribulation are brought resurrected and reign with Christ along previously resurrected and raptured saints.

The tribulation causes Israel to realize that they have missed the coming of their Messiah and it is during this time that all Israel becomes saved as Paul writes about in Romans 11. The Millennial Kingdom is the fulfillment of prophecies to Israel. They finally lay hold of all of the land that God promised them in Numbers 34. Even more importantly is that the Davidic Covenant is fulfilled as David’s throne is established eternally as Christ is reigns from David’s throne.

The Davidic Covenant establishes not only a long line of succession beginning with David’s son Solomon but David’s line was never broken. David wanted to build a temple for the Lord but he was told that his son Solomon would be the one to build the temple. David was also promised that even if Solomon sinned, God would not remove him from the throne as He had Saul. David’s kingly line remains intact for the sake of David. This does not mean that Solomon would go unpunished for his sins as we are told in 2 Samuel 7:15.

We know that David is a descendant of David. What many don’t realize is how literal this prophecy is. Both Mary and Joseph are descendants of David, Joseph through Solomon and Mary through David’s son Nathan. As Joseph’s legal son, Jesus carried on the kingly line of Solomon as God had promised that the kingship would not be removed from Solomon. But Solomon is not an ancestor of Jesus (being that Jesus is genetically only Mary’s son). David’s line was carried on genetically and held the rights to the throne. Solomon’s line continued to hold the rights to the Davidic throne through Jesus but he was not a physical ancestor of Him.

Isaiah 65:18-25 describes the conditions of the Kingdom. Death will be held back as one who dies at the age of 100 will be considered just a youth. War and disaster will not cause people to lose houses or crops that they planted. Even nature itself will be restored to tranquility as the lion lay down with the lamb. Despite conditions that are much better than exist today, perfection is still not attained on earth.

Despite the reign of Christ and Satan being bound, there will still be sin in the Millennial Kingdom. It is man’s nature and there will be rebellion even at this time. Jesus will deal with sin swiftly however. At the end of the Millennium, Satan will be unbound for a short time and he will deceive people once again. As he gathers followers together, fire comes down from heaven and consumes them. Then Satan is cast into the lake of fire. All of this is according to Revelation 20:7-10.

 

Dispensation of Innocence

Adam and Eve began in the Garden of Eden in innocence. They were naked and felt no shame. They knew very little about God but were given a few simple expectations. They were to be fruitful and multiply, they were to subdue the earth, they were to have dominion over the animal kingdom, and they were to care for the garden and eat its fruit.

The Edenic Covenant had only one prohibition.  Adam and Eve were not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  They were told that if they ate from it, they would die.  This was all that Adam and Eve were told, not why, only don’t do it.  Because God had given them so much and showered them with His love this should have been enough for them.

The age of innocence ends quickly and in failure.  Satan deceives Eve and Adam sins knowingly.  Innocence is destroyed.  As Adam and Eve look at themselves, they realize they were naked.  This is a physical reminder of their innocence that was lost but also a spiritual point that their sins are exposed as well.  They needed a covering.  God provided the covering when He institutes the Adamic covenant and the dispensation of conscience begins.

Dispensation of Human Government

Until the time when Noah left the ark, all responsibility for punishment of wrongdoing was held by God. In the dispensation of human government, man is given authority to exercise laws and carry out judgment. The most important authority that God gives man is in Genesis 9:6 when he instructs that capital punishment be carried out for anyone who sheds another person’s blood. This upholds the sanctity of life because man is created in God’s image.

As part of the Noahic Covenant, in addition to giving authority to carry out capital punishment, God makes several promises. Man does not need to fear another universal flood. The fear of man is placed into animals and natural order is established. Man is also given permission to eat meat with the prohibition that it not contain any blood still in it.

Human government fails to uphold morality and God’s laws. We see this early on in the building of the Tower of Babel, throughout the nation of Israel, and today in our modern governments. The next dispensation is not brought about because of these failures, however.  God will call Abraham and choose to bless him.