All scripture contained in this podcast is from the King James Bible (Authorized Version)
Jan. 19, 2023

Dispensationalism - How God Deals With Mankind

Does God deal with everyone the same way? Are you curious why God does not appear to us as He did to others in the Bible? The disciples and others raised the dead and healed people, why isn't that happening today? How come people are not living for hundreds of years as they did in the Old Testament of the Bible? Find out the answers to these questions and many more in this important episode.

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Our podcast theme song "Jesus Is Coming Soon", courtesy of His Reflection a Gospel Quartet from Buckley Road Baptist Church, Liverpool, NY.


Dispensationalism: How God Deals With Mankind

I. Text: 

John 16:13 (KJV) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

John 14:26 (KJV) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

The Holy Ghost uses God’s word to teach believers His truth. He has promised to guide us into all truth. Let’s turn to God and ask Him to teach us on this vital subject.

II. Qualifications:

  1. The term Dispensationalism covers a whole lot of ground. I am only addressing one usage of the term.
  2. I am not addressing the term as a system of interpretation. I’m not addressing the term as a theological label of heresy. And I’m not addressing the term as technical jargon.
  3. I’m addressing the term from the standpoint of practical meaning using the English Bible (KJB) and dictionary.
  4. I don’t claim infallibility in my comprehension or presentation of the facts.
  5. I will undoubtedly miss something. You can help identify these things, whatever they might be.

III. Definition of terms and assumptions:

  • Webster 1828, 1913 – The act of dispensing or dealing out; distribution; often used of the distribution of good and evil by God to man, or more generically, of the acts and modes of his administration.  

Holy Bible (KJB)

  • I 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. 
  • 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. From a dictionary and Bible, the following two definitions are plain.
  2. Dispensationalism is the study of how God deals with mankind.
  3. Dispensation is the way God deals with mankind at a particular time. 
  4. I assume that the above general definitions of terms will be accepted by everyone who has investigated or studied the words in an English dictionary and in the contexts in which they appear in the King James Bible. 
  5. As always, I assume the King James Bible to be the final authority and absolute standard of all judgment and the very preserved words of God.

IV. God’s treatment of mankind is always just, holy, righteous, and compassionate.

Deuteronomy 32:4 (KJV) He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Psalm 100:5 (KJV) For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 103:8 (KJV) The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

Psalm 145:8 (KJV) The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.

Psalm 145:9 (KJV) The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

Psalm 145:17 (KJV) The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (KJV) It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Malachi 3:6 (KJV) For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Hebrews 13:8 (KJV) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

According to these verses of Scripture and many more, we see: 

  1. God treats everyone righteously and lovingly. 
  2. God doesn’t change in His overall Character. 
  3. God always does right. 
  4. God has never sinned against anyone. He never will. 
  5. God in His character of Holiness and Righteousness has never changed, and never will. 
  6. What God does and what He decides is always righteous and holy.  
  7. But the fact that we want to observe and have established in this study is that God does change in how He treats people.

V. There have always been attacks upon God’s Character and His treatment of mankind:

  1. The subject of how God treats or deals with mankind came under Satanic attack in the very beginning of human history. 
    • In Genesis 3, Satan questioned God’s instruction regarding eating of the trees of the garden of Eden. 
    • In Job 1, Satan questioned God’s treatment of Job. 
    • In Mark 4, mankind followed suit by accusing Jesus Christ of carelessness. 
  2. The Subject of how God treats or deals with mankind is under attack today. 
  3. Dispensationalism is the study of how God deals with mankind.

VI. Method of study: How can we as Bible-believers learn about God’s dealing with mankind?

  1. Read the Scriptures. 
  2. Make observations.
  3. Draw conclusions.

VII. Two ways to approach the Scriptures:

  1. Believe the Bible means what it says in context.
  2. Believe the Bible doesn’t mean what it says in context. (Needs interpreter. Romanism.) 

VIII. How do we as Christians learn about this and other subjects?

We will study by observing historical events that demonstrate God’s dealing with man. And we will draw observations and conclusions from these.

1. Let’s turn to Genesis 2 and 3 and observe man in and out of the Garden of Eden. Let’s read and observe God’s dealing or how God treats man.

  • God placed man in the garden (Genesis 2:8). God drove man out of the garden (Genesis 3:24).
  •  God invited man to eat of the tree of life and live forever (Genesis 2:16, 17). God forbade man from eating of the tree of life (Genesis 3:24).
  • God created mankind naked (Genesis 2:25). God covered mankind’s nakedness (Genesis 3:21).
  • God walked with mankind (Genesis 3:8).  God sent mankind out of His presence (Genesis 3:23).
  • God gave mankind a perfect environment (Genesis 2:15).  God took a perfect environment from man (Genesis 3:17, 18).
  • God gave mankind sorrow-less childbirth (Genesis 2:28). God caused mankind sorrowful childbirth (Genesis 3:16).
  • God gave mankind a perfect existence in the garden (Genesis 2:25). God took a perfect existence in the garden from mankind (Genesis 2:23). 

What can be learned, concluded from these facts?

  1. God’s treatment CHANGED.
  2. This involved a CHANGE IN TIME. (The temptation and sin of mankind occurred in the interim.)
  3. God deals with man or treats man differently at different times.
  4. God deals differently with different people at different times. 
  • Did God put you in a garden? 
  • Did God give you a perfect environment? 
  • Did God walk with you and speak audibly to you?
  • Did God give you an opportunity to eat of the tree of life? 
  • Did God give a perfect existence to you?

2. Let’s turn to Genesis 5-9 and look at the time before and after the flood. 

  • Mankind lived above 900 years (Genesis 5:5,8,11, etc.)
  •  God created man (Genesis 6:7). God destroyed man (Genesis 6:17).
  •  God used a flood of water to destroy man (Genesis 6:17). God determined that He would never again use the waters of a flood to destroy man (Genesis 9:15). 

What can be learned, concluded from these facts?

  1. God’s treatment CHANGED.
  2. This involved a CHANGE IN TIME. 
  3. God deals differently with different people at different times.
  • Do you live 900 years?
  •  People before flood…destroyed by water.
  •  People after the flood…never be destroyed by water.

3. Let’s turn to Romans 5 and observe the time from Adam to Moses (Romans 5:13, 14)

  •  God did not impute sin to mankind from Adam to Moses. After the law was given, God imputed sin to mankind. 

What can be learned, concluded from these facts?

  1. God’s treatment CHANGED.
  2. This involved a CHANGE IN TIME. 
  3. God deals differently with different people at different times.

4.  Let’s turn to the book of Leviticus and observe the time under the Law.

  • Under the Old Testament (OT) law, the blood of an animal sacrifice temporarily made “an” atonement for sin (Leviticus 5:1,10,13; 6:7; 17:11). But in the New Testament (NT), Jesus Christ made one sacrifice for sin forever (Hebrews 10:12) as the perfect and completed atonement (Romans 5:11)
  • The OT atonements were repeated over and over (Hebrews 10:11,4). The Lord Jesus Christ’s Sacrifice was a single Sacrifice, never to be repeated (Hebrews 10:12)
  • The OT atonements only provided temporary forgiveness (Leviticus 5:10,13,16; Hebrews 10:4). Jesus Christ’s Sacrifice provided Eternal Redemption and forgiveness (Hebrews 9:12).
  • The Levitical priest was the one who made the OT atonements for sin (Leviticus 5:10, 13, 16; 6:7). Jesus Christ made atonement for sin in the NT (Romans 5:11).

What can be learned, concluded from these facts?

  1. God’s treatment CHANGED.
  2. This involved a CHANGE IN TIME. 
  3. God deals differently with different people at different times.
    • The Israelites needed a Levitical priesthood to obtain forgiveness for sin. Do you need this?
    • The Israelites needed animal sacrifices to obtain forgiveness of sin. Do you need these?
    • The Israelites needed to repeat these sacrifices annually and daily. Do you need to repeat these animal sacrifices? 

5.  Let’s consider the life of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • The Lord Jesus Christ was alive and in the flesh on earth once (John 1:14). Is He now?
  • The Lord Jesus Christ had a sit-down dinner with Lazarus, Mary, and Martha (John 12:1-3). Did He have a sit-down meal with you? 
  • The Lord Jesus Christ showed his hands and side to Thomas (John 20:27).  Did He show them to you?
  • The Lord Jesus Christ spoke with people and did miracles in front of people (John 9:37). Did he do this in front of you? Visibly? Literally?

What can be learned, concluded from these facts?

  1. God’s treatment CHANGES. (Hebrews 1:1)

6. Let’s consider the descent of the Holy Spirit after the Lord Jesus Christ’s ascension. 

  • The Holy Spirit hadn’t come to earth in some capacity while Jesus was here (John 16:13).
  • The Father was going to send the Holy Ghost to COMFORT believers in the future (John 14:26).
  • The Holy Ghost was not going to be given until Jesus was glorified (John 7:39).
  • The Lord Jesus promised that He would SEND the Holy Ghost (John 15:26).

What can be learned, concluded from these facts?

  1. God’s treatment CHANGED.

Conclusion for today:

Dispensationalism is really a term that describes Bible history or how God treats or deals with mankind in time. A dispensation is a particular way of treating man at a particular time. 

But how do we arrive at these assertions?

If we read the Bible and believe it generally means what it says, and utilize an English dictionary, we observe:

  1. The definition of dispensation in English. (The act of dispensing or dealing out; distribution….)
  2. God dealing with mankind at different times.
  3. God’s dealing with man changes. (Examples from Genesis 2 and 3 above.)
  5. God deals differently with different people AT DIFFERENT TIMES.

A Christian must observe these basic truths from the plain record of Scripture. These are foundational facts of history. These ideas are not a system of interpretation unless the system is simply to read and believe the historical testimony of Scripture. The next time we’ll consider some implications of these facts. 

Bruce E. VarnerProfile Photo

Bruce E. Varner


Pastor Bruce Varner is a Bible-believing pastor who loves the Lord and aspires to be faithful to God’s word (AV 1611). He has pastored for 28 years in Upstate New York. He is currently between ministries and he and his family are living in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. He was saved when he was 18 under the direct ministry of Pastors James Modlish, Charles Perkins, and Peter Ruckman Sr.  While open air preaching at East High Stadium on December 24, 1979, he sensed God’s calling to learn the Bible. He attended Bible classes and was trained for the ministry in and through the local church ministry of the Bible Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. His training Pastors were Peter S. Ruckman and James McGaughey. He graduated from the Pensacola Bible Institute in 1983. Pastor Varner and Samantha Thomas married in 1992. He and his wife have one son, Nicolas Evan Varner. Pastor Varner is available for meetings In North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia.

Pastor Varner is available to you, should you need spiritual help. Email: Cell: 607-216-2586