SESSIONS 3 & 4 –

These Present A Strategic Grasp of the Bible - Getting Started Right


Man’s greatest possession is the Bible. Our Creator has spoken and His words are recorded in a book He has preserved for us. Through His book we can know the truth about His plan and purpose for His creation.

God has placed great and profitable things for us in His book!  But in order to get the profit out of God’s Word that He has put into His Word, we must study it God’s way. We must discover and follow the divinely established design for studying God’s Word.

SESSION 3 - The WHAT of DISPENSATIONAL Bible Study. Why Study the Bible in this way?

2 Timothy 2:15 sets the Pattern for proper Bible study: STUDY to shew thyself APPROVED UNTO GOD, a workman that needeth NOT TO BE ASHAMED, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the WORD OF TRUTH.”

·         Our one great Aim: God’s approval

·         Our Duty: Study

·         Our Goal: workman that needeth not be ashamed

·         Our One Requirement in Study: Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

“Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth”:

We need to recognize the DIVISIONS and DISTINCTIONS in God’s written Word that He placed there.

These divisions in the Bible are Biblically called “dispensations.”

Ephesians 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Ephesians 3:2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Colossians 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

1 Corinthians 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation (of the gospel) is committed unto me (Paul).

A.    Luke 4:16-21 demonstrates the vital importance of recognizing dispensational distinctions.

Luke 4:16-21 And he (Jesus) came to Nazareth , where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And HE CLOSED THE BOOK, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Note that Jesus did not include the whole quote from Isaiah 61:1-2; The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;”

Jesus quoted prophecy concerning Israel and then Jesus closed the book, because otherwise the next item in God’s revealed time line and plan would have been God’s WRATH…. “The day of vengeance of our God”; the wrath of God is yet to come. This is a dispensational divide, holding God’s vengeance in abeyance.

Note also that this entirely leaves out “the Mystery” – because it was God’s Secret plan for the predominantly Gentile “body of Christ” under “dispensation of the grace of God.” (See chart).

See if you can find and identify where the current “dispensation of grace” for the “body of Christ” is missing in these verses. Note the key items that tip us off as to the dispensation in which they appear and to whom these verses apply – that key is “distinction” between Israel or the “body of Christ.”

Isaiah 9:6 ( Israel ’s prophet Isaiah writes…) For unto us ( Israel ) a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Zechariah 9:9-10 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion ; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem : behold, thy King (the Messianic King of Israel ) cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. 10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.

Luke 1:31-32 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David (King of Israel ):

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people ( Israel ), which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

B. What is a “dispensation”?

A “dispensation” is a particular program that God administers or dispenses for man’s obedience. It’s the “administration” of the outworking of God’s eternal purpose and plan. “Dispensations” have changed over the ages of the Bible’; e.g., Innocence, Human Gov’t, Promise, Law, Grace


C. What is the “difference?”

It’s apparent that God’s program has not always been the same through the ages. Of course, God HIMSELF never changes (Heb 13:8, Mal 3:6). He is always perfectly holy, righteous, just, etc. But, God’s program for man has changed from time to time, according to the outworking of His eternal purpose and plan.

Notice the following Scriptural examples and consider whether or not they are for the obedience of the members of “the Body of Christ” today.


Compare Acts 10:35 or Titus 3:5 – Must we do the “works of righteousness” in order to be saved?

Acts 10:35 (Peter said) But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Compare Gen 17:10, 14 or Gal 5:2, 6 – Must I be circumcised?

Genesis 17:10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. 14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
Galatians 5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 6For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Compare Exo 20:8 or Col 2:16 – Must we observe a Friday to Saturday Sabbath, or any Sabbath?

Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Colossians 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat (food), or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Compare Deut 6:25 or Rom 3:21; Philip 3:9 – Must we keep all the Commandments?

Deuteronomy 6:25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do ALL these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.
Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God WITHOUT THE LAW is manifested

Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, BUT that (righteousness) which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Compare Psalm 51:11 or Eph 1:13, 4:30 – Will the Holy Spirit stay in us?

Psalm 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me (David).
Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Compare Matt 6:14 or Eph 4:32 Must we forgive first in order to be forgiven our sins?

Matthew 6:14 For IF ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath (PAST TENSE, already) forgiven you.

Compare John 4:22 or Rom 10:12 – Must we be as the Jews?

John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
Romans 10:12 For THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE JEW AND THE GREEK: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.


The study of the Bible can only result in hopeless confusion if you fail to recognize the necessity of “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (2Tim 2:15).

Now please acquire the necessary chart that will enable us to study the dispensational divisions with in the Bible.


This “GRACE-CHART” depicts the time-line of the Biblical earth ages from the time of the creation of Adam in innocence, to the eternal Kingdom of Heaven on earth. This chart contains a remarkable amount of detail with reference verses noted to confirm the nature and character of each DISPENSATION. This will allow us to see the Great Division in the Bible.

First note at the chart’s bottom horizontal BLUE Bar that notes the books of the Bible that apply to each time period involved. This bar also represents the line of “ALL GENTILE HUMANITY.”

Where the ascending BLUE line to the left occurs, we see the call of Abraham under the dispensation of “PROMISE,” leading to the formation of the Nation Israel. Hence, we see that the Nation Israel called out from among the Gentiles and SET ABOVE the Gentiles, in an elevated position as God’s chosen people. This is the key and most notable DISTINCTION seen in “Time Past.”

This chart details the Great Division within the Bible. This division separates…God’s two people groups who will ultimately fill “the heaven and the earth.”

  1. There is Biblical Truth that concerns ISRAEL who will inherit THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN to come “IN EARTH (Mathew 6:10)
  2. There is DIFFERENT Biblical Truth that concerns “THE BODY OF CHRIST” which is destined for ETERNITY IN HEAVEN. (1Thes 4:17-18, Philipp 3:20)

D. The Great Biblical “Division” is summarized by Two Words - PROPHECY & MYSTERY

PROPHECY(Acts 3:21)

Peter speaks to “Ye men of Israel ” (v 12).

Acts 3:21 … (Christ) Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which GOD HATH SPOKEN by the mouth of all his holy PROPHETS SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN.


MYSTERY (God’s secret plan, Rom 16:25)

Paul to “the body of Christ” in Rome

Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of THE MYSTERY, which was KEPT SECRET SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN,


ISRAEL (John 4:22)  ------------------------------------------ BODY OF CHRIST (Eph 3:6) Gentile & Jew

“… Salvation is of the Jews”                                              Gal 3:28 “there is neither Jew nor  

                                                                                                Gentile… for all are one in Christ”


Earth (Matt 5:5, 6:10) ----------------------------------------  “Heavenly Places” (Eph 1:3, Philip 3:20)

“They kingdom come…in earth                                       “Our citizenship is in heaven


            “The Law” (Deut 6:24, Matt 5:19) ---------------------------- “Grace” Romans 6:14b … for ye are                                                                                                 
                                                                                                        NOT under the LAW, BUT UNDER