For the past seven days, I wrote about the Bible being the autobiography of God (I Am). I referred to the seven dispensations or ages that encompass the past, present, and future of man on Earth. Though not all conservative Bible scholars agree with the number being seven, because of the importance of the number throughout the Bible, most do. The Bible itself has seven distinct divisions. The Old Testament has: Law (Gen. - Deut.); History (Josh. - Est.); Poetry (Job - S of S); and Prophecy (Isa. - Mal.). The New Testament has: History (Matt. - Acts); Epistles (Rom. - Jude); and Prophecy (Rev.).
Creation, which took place in seven days, included a Sabbath day of rest. The Law required Israel to rest on the Sabbath. Manna was collected six days, but a double portion was given on the sixth day so that Israel could rest on the seventh day. Israel had seven feasts: Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits (these being a picture of Christ's first coming), Wave Loaves (Pentecost, a picture of the Church), and Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles (these being a picture of Christ's second coming). Seven priests blew seven trumpets on the seventh day to bring down the walls of Jericho. Noah took seven pairs of clean animals on the ark.
Jesus referred to Himself metaphorically seven times as "I Am." While He was on the cross, Jesus is quoted as speaking seven times. The Apostles appointed seven deacons. In the Book of Revelation alone, there are seven churches, seven stars, seven spirits, seven candlesticks, seven lamps, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven plagues, seven thunders, and seven angels. And the Lord will be praised by angels, beasts, and elders saying, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing" (Rev. 5:12).
While I understand that none of this proves there will be a total of seven dispensations or ages, having seven different requirements and judgments, I believe it to be true. Another piece of evidence of its validity is found by comparing 2 Pet. 3:8 with Rev. 20:1-7. Since the seventh dispensation is one thousand years long and since the biblical scholar, Bishop James Ussher, postulated that creation occurred in 4004 B.C., the first six dispensations had to occur in the first six thousand years of history. Even if none of the above information had convinced me, the fact is that only a dispensational approach to the Word of God makes sense. It prevents misinterpretation and it alone allows for a literal interpretation. Remember, every prophecy concerning the first appearing of the Christ was fulfilled literally.