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7 Dispensations, part three
pastor corner

Dr. Lawrence Butler

The Bridge Church, Pembroke

We move now into the second of the Seven Dispensations found in God’s Word which cover man’s experience upon earth. However, just before the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, the Lord God gave a promise to the disgraced couple that really extends to all humans on the earth.

 It is found in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” This is the first promise of a coming Savior to fallen man, confused and marred by sin.

The seed of the woman would ultimately be fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ, and the bruising of the serpent’s head was a prophecy that Christ would land a deadly blow to the power of sin, as well as the source of the serpent’s inspiration – Satan himself. Following this promise, Adam and Eve were sent forth out of the garden to live in a world corrupted by sin, requiring man to make his living “in the sweat of his face” (Gen. 3:19).

Thus begins the next phase of history. It is known as the Dispensation of Conscience. There was very little personal contact with God as experienced by Adam. In fact, the only one with an extremely close relationship with the Lord of which we read is Enoch, the man who was translated from this life without dying. He simply went home with the Lord. Most people during this period seemed to have little knowledge or concern about God. There was the strife predicted by the Lord between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman.

Those who left God out of their lives and went about things their way were the seed of the serpent (representing Satan). They were not the children of God. The seed of the woman represent those of the lineage of Seth, the third child of Adam, and described as calling upon the name of the Lord (Gen. 3:26). The friction between these two groups was the defining characteristic of this era.

During this Dispensation there was no written law for men to obey. There was only the consciences of men to guide them. Two completely distinct lineages developed that could never meld because their values were so totally dissimilar. Thus one family feared God and produced great men of faith (Enoch , Methuselah and Noah – called of God to build the ark). The other family produced Cain (first murderer), Jabal, Jubal, Tubalcain (men who sought comfort in worldly things), and Lamech (polygamist and killer). Sin became so rampant and destructive that God repented He even made man (Gen. 6:5). Conscience failed!

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