THE FALL: The very first "dispensation," or "stewardship," was given to Adam by God. In Genesis 2:15, we read, "And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." Adam was innocent of sin, and he answered to God. The moment he disobeyed God, he was no longer a faithful steward, and he was removed as God's "property" (Gen. 3:24).
THE FLOOD: Nine generations later, during the days of Noah, God viewed mankind as being totally depraved, with "every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Gen. 6:5). Although Noah was undeserving (he received unmerited favor - grace - Gen. 6:8), God chose Noah and his descendants to be stewards of His whole world (Gen. 9:1).
THE SCATTERING: Generations passed, and instead of taking dominion over the whole earth, man followed the lead of the rebellious Nimrod (Gen. 10:8-10; 11:1-9). God scattered them!
THE BONDAGE: Once the world was filled by the various language groups, God chose the people of the Hebrew language to live in a land He had chosen for them (Gen. 12:1-5). Unfortunately, instead of Abraham settling in the land and trusting God to provide, he rebelled and left God's land "for greener pastures" (Gen. 12:6-10). Three generations later, Jacob, like Abraham, ended up in Egypt (Gen. 46:6). God cured the Jews of trusting in Egypt, by allowing them to serve 400 years in bondage there (Ex. 1:1-14; Gen. 15:13; Acts 7:6).
THE TRIBULATION: For the next 3500 years, Israel disobeyed the Law, rejected the Messiah, and has been made blind to God's truth (Acts 4:10; 7:39; Rom. 11:25). The end of Daniel's Seventy Weeks, the Tribulation, will usher in the last dispensation (Dan. 9:24-27; Mt. 24:3-29; Rev. 6 - 18).
THE CHURCH AGE: Following the Jews rejection of Jesus, He established a parenthetical period of 2000 years (so far), known as the Church Age. It "sits" historically between Daniel's Sixty-Ninth and Seventieth Weeks. Although this dispensation was a mystery to Israel (Eph. 5:32), it began on the Day of Pentecost following Christ's Ascension (Acts 1 - 2). It will end with the Rapture (Jn. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:42-58; 1 Thes. 4:16-17). Because the Church Age is the Age of Grace, it does not end with punishment, but with blessing!
THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT: The 1000 year reign of Jesus on earth, will end with rebellion, and following the defeat of His enemies, the Lord will judge mankind (Rev. 20).
We are VERY CLOSE to the Second Coming of Christ; are you ready?