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Volume 6 - Page 44 of 151 Index | Zoom | |
Covering the great span of the ages we find "times and seasons." "Time" (chronos)
conveys the idea of periods that are measured of, within which certain events take place,
whereas "seasons" (kairos) speaks rather of the fitness of those times to the event. We
use two words in English with similar distinction, The time that some event happened
may be 30th September at 4p.m.; the season would be summer. Several "days" are
mentioned too. There is "man's day," translated "man's judgment" in I Cor. 4: 3, there
is also the day of the Lord, the great and terrible day of the Lord, the day of God, and
there is also (hidden by our A.V.) the day of (the) age (II Pet. 3: 18). Coupled with this
we read of "the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God."
When we examine in greater detail these various phases of the great outworking, we
shall see that the six days' creation, followed by the seventh day's rest, is the great initial
foreshadowing of the purpose in boldest outline, afterwards filled in with more and more
detail during the various "times," "ages," "seasons," and "days," and including the
heavens and the earth, time past, present, and to come, until the cycle of the ages shall
have become completed in the new heavens and the new earth wherein dwelleth
These times, seasons, ages, and days are subdivided into what are termed
"dispensations." Do not use the terms "dispensation" and "age" as though they meant the
same thing. During one age many dispensations may have run their course. During one
age two or more dispensations may be running side by side. The very fact that God has a
purpose of election will necessitate this. It is not pretended that the following series of
dispensations is necessarily true either in number or in the period covered. All we can
hope to do is to point out obvious changes in God's administrations, leaving an open
mind for further light and fuller detail. Perhaps it would be more correct if we say that
this series keeps close to the central thread of the purpose, closely following its
development along the line of election of man, nation or church, leaving nations and
individuals who are outside the elective sphere unaccounted for.
For instance, during the time that the dispensations covering Israel's existence were in
operation, there was a distinctly different dispensational attitude toward the nations. It
was a period when God condoned ("winked at") their ignorance. Following, however,
the main line of purpose from Adam, through Seth, to Noah and Abraham, we shall find
the following sub-divisions to be helpful in our study, and fairly close to the division that
The six days'creation to the fall of Adam.
From the fall of Adam to the flood.
From the renewed world after the flood to the call of Abraham.
From the call of Abraham to the Exodus from Egypt.
From the deliverance from Egypt to the entrance into Canaan.
From the entrance into Canaan to the setting up of the kingdom.
From David to the Babylonian captivity.
From the captivity to the birth of Christ.
From the birth to the death and resurrection of Christ.