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Volume 6 - Page 43 of 151 Index | Zoom | |
Ex. 21: 6. Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the
door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.
#5. The Dispensations.
pp. 133 - 137
We have seen that the Bible records the purpose of the ages, and that those ages are
the periods during which various phases of that wondrous purpose are developed.
In a great house there are rooms set apart for different purposes, the performance of
which is proper in their place. In an army, or a kingdom, there are varying ranks and
duties. So also it is with regard to the development of the purpose. The ages are not only
characterized by some one covering title, viz., "this evil age," "the age to come," etc.,
but are also subdivided into what we may call dispensations. The word is not used of all
these divisions in the Scripture, but we use it because no other word seems so fitting.
Nothing is included in the Scriptures that is irrelevant to the unfolding of this purpose.
Creation is a part of this great plan. To grasp this will alter to a great extent our outlook.
Traditional orthodoxy seems to teach that having created man upon the earth, and man
having failed, God then devised the scheme of redemption. We shall find that this is not
so. Redemption, as a part of the purpose of the ages, was settled before man was made.
Creation must be considered in two aspects. First there is the primal creation recorded
in Gen. 1: 1. Although the earth is full of the geological remains of a creation prior to
that of the six days, no details are given in the Bible. We must not suppose, however,
that this primal creation of heaven and earth has no place in the purpose of God. It was in
that creation that angels and principalities were created. In that creation Satan had a
place of honour and that creation ended with darkness and judgment. Heb. 9: tells us
that the heavenlies need the cleansing of redemption as well as the earth. As that early
creation, however, has not so much to do with the first revealed truth concerning man,
two short verses suffice at the commencement of the Bible. The creation that follows is
given with more detail; the six days' work ending with the seventh day's rest being
typical of the earthly and manward development of the purpose of the ages. Earthly we
say, by way of excluding that calling enunciated in the prison epistles, but kept secret
since the ages, but not earthly to the exclusion of the heavenly calling as set forth in
Hebrews, I & II Peter, and Revelation. The term, "the heavens and the earth," opens the
Bible. Gen. 1: 1 tells us of the first which ended in the darkness and chaos of verse 2.
Gen. 2: 1 tells of the second which continues until the day of God; while II Pet. 3: 13
tells us that there shall be a new heavens and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.
It is necessary to make a distinction between the "earth" and the "world." The word
"world" indicates arrangement and order, and it has been pointed out to us that
II Pet. 3: 16 tells us that the "world," not the earth, perished in the time referred to by