What Are The 7 Dispensations Of The Bible

Introduction to Dispensations

In the Bible, dispensations are changes that God has brought about on the Earth. While there are many interpretations of what a dispensation is, the Bible breaks these changes down into seven distinct dispensations. Each dispensation carries a different purpose and lesson for humanity, and offers a new way of understanding our relationship with God. In the following article, we will take a closer look at the seven dispensations of the Bible, what they were intended to teach, and how they relate to our modern world.

What is a Dispensation?

A dispensation is a specific period of time in which God’s relationship to humanity is redefined as well as ushered in new laws that would govern how humanity should live and relate to one another. Some are short periods of time while others are extended periods of time. It’s important to note that these changes were not made solely because of humanity’s unpredictability, but were intended by God to demonstrate a new way of living.

Dispensations in the Bible

The Bible contains seven distinct dispensations that are quite different from each other, but all have the same goal: to demonstrate to humanity what it looks like to live in relationship to God and in harmony with each other.
The first dispensation is known as the “Innocence” period, or the period of creation. This is the time when Adam and Eve first chose to disobey God, and his resulting curse on the Earth (Genesis 3).
The second dispensation is entitled “Conscience” and is described in Genesis 8:20 to 9:17. This was when God established a covenant between himself and all living creatures, giving them authority and dominion over the animals and land on the Earth.
The third dispensation is called “Human Government” and is recorded by Moses in Genesis 11:1-9. This occurred shortly after Noah’s flood and describes how God delegated authority among humanity, allowing them to establish a system of justice and government.
The fourth dispensation is referred to as “Promise” and is recorded in Genesis 12-50. This detailed how God made a promise to Abram and his descendants, of which the Jewish nation is a descendant. This ushered in a new era where the Jewish people were now recipients of promises made by God and would face challenges, tests and rewards similarly to those in all other dispensations.
The fifth dispensation is known as “Law” and is described by Moses in Exodus 19-Deuteronomy 28. This explains how the Jewish people were now subject to the law of God, and that it was important for them to obey the law in order to show their devotion to God.
The sixth dispensation, “Grace”, is recorded in the New Testament and begins with Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. This was when humanity would no longer be subject to the strict adherence to the Law, but instead were to place their faith in Jesus, who would now serve as the mediator between man and God.
Finally, the seventh dispensation is “Kingdom”, as described in Revelation 20. This is the time of Jesus’ promised return and re-establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth. This will be the ultimate hope for humanity, and will define the final relationship that humans have with God.

Dispensations in Our World Today

Today, the seven dispensations of the Bible serve as a reminder of how God has sought to bring mankind into fellowship with him over the course of history. In each dispensation God has reset the terms of this fellowship, and has always allowed humans to make their own choice of how to respond. Consequently, the seven dispensations represent not just God’s rules, but equally his grace and mercy.
In our world today, we are living in a world that combines the blessings of God from all of the previous dispensations. While it may not always be obvious, humans still have access to the grace and mercy of God, and all of the expectations that come with belonging to the Kingdom of God.


The seven dispensations of the Bible, from the period of creation to the coming of Jesus and the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven, demonstrate God’s unending love for humanity. Throughout history, God has consistently sought to bring mankind into fellowship with him and to use his love and grace as a tool for understanding and reconciliation. As we look to the future, we should take heed of the purpose and lesson of these seven dispensations and use them as a guide for how to live in a Godly world.

Patriarchs vs. Nations

During the dispensations “Promise” to “Grace”, the focus of God’s relationship to humanity shifted from individual families or patriarchs to nations. Through these dispensations, God set out to use his promises of blessings and curses to create a sense of covenant between himself and his chosen people.
In the dispensation of “Promise”, God chose Abram and promised that his descendants would become a great nation (Genesis 12:1-3). In the next dispensation, “Law”, this promise was extended to the nation of Israel, as Moses was commanded to lead them out of Egypt (Exodus 19-Deuteronomy 28). From this point onward, God began to use nations rather than individuals as the medium for his will and promises.
In “Grace”, the fourth dispensation, Jesus brought a spiritual covenant of grace to the world, which was not predicated on the nation or race of an individual. This marked a shift in how humans related to and interacted with God, as they no longer had to depend on a physical nation in order to receive his grace.

God’s Mercy

Throughout all of the seven dispensations, there is a common theme of God’s grace and mercy. In each dispensation God offered a chance for humans to repent and turn back to him, showing his infinite love and willingness to forgive. This was seen in Genesis 3 when after Adam and Eve had sinned, God forgave them and promised to restore their fellowship with him.
In the dispensation of the “Law”, God provided the Law to help humans understand the consequences of their actions and the importance of choosing to follow him. Despite their inevitable failures to live up to the Law, God’s mercy was apparent in his willingness to forgive their sins and start anew.
Finally, the “Grace” dispensation saw the ultimate form of God’s mercy, when Jesus gave up his life on the cross to bring a covenant of grace and redemption to all of humanity. This was a demonstration of God’s mercy and compassion, and it serves to remind us that no matter what sins we have committed, God’s love endures forever.

Relevance of the Seven Dispensations Today

The seven dispensations of the Bible serve as a reminder of God’s relationship to humanity throughout history and in our modern world. They demonstrate God’s infinite love and mercy, but at the same time they challenge us to remain true to his will and to strive towards living in a manner that is pleasing to him.
In our world today, these seven dispensations are just as applicable. We still have access to God’s grace and mercy, and the seven dispensations of the Bible show us the importance of understanding our relationship with God and striving for righteousness. They are a call to live “rightly” according to the model of relationship set forth by God, and it is only through this that we can hope to experience true peace and joy in our lives.

Actions and Obedience

While the seven dispensations show us God’s unending love and mercy, they also show us that our relationship with God requires a response from us. This response is seen in our obedience to God’s commands and in our willingness to accept the changes he makes in our lives.
In each dispensation of the Bible, we are reminded that God is constantly seeking to bring us into a closer relationship with him, and that obeying his commands is essential to this goal. We also see that God’s promises are always given with the expectation that humanity will fulfill their part in carrying them out.
Finally, the seven dispensations also teach us that obedience is always paired with the potential for blessings. Even when we fail to obey God’s commands, he still stands ready to forgive us and to welcome us back into fellowship with him. In this way, obedience and God’s blessings are two sides of the same coin, and our acceptance of these promises is a demonstration of our love and devotion to him.

The Purpose of the Seven Dispensations

The seven dispensations of the Bible are a reminder of the different phases and challenges that humanity has gone through throughout its history. They serve to remind us of God’s mercy and patience, as well as of our need to remain true to his will. They also remind us of our own role in keeping God’s covenant and striving towards righteousness.
As we look to the future, we should take heed of the purpose and lesson of these seven dispensations and use them as a guide for how to live in a Godly world. By striving for a relationship with God that reflects our faith in his Word and his promises, we can have hope and assurance of a future full of his blessings.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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