We present here eight Bible characters for a Dispensational study: We have a colored chart of the Bible – an outline from Genesis to Revelation – showing the facts of this study in picture.
Adam, the first man, lived before the fall, in the Garden of Eden, in a state of innocency; and he also lived after the fall, outside of the Garden, in a state of sin. Adam lived and sinned about 4000 years before Christ Jesus, the Second Man, came into the world to save sinners. Read I Corinthians 15:45 to 47 and 22.
Noah lived before the flood in the same dispensation, under the same covenant, with Adam the sinner. Noah also lived after the flood under an entirely new covenant, with new promises, in a new dispensation, under new conditions.
Noah was a preacher of righteousness. II Peter 2:5.
Abraham lived part of his life under the covenant that God made with Noah after the flood, and he lived the last hundred years of his one hundred and seventy-five years enjoying blessings guaranteed to him through Noah, but also under the new covenant which God made; that is, the Abrahamic covenant. Under this covenant he spent the first twenty-four years in uncircumcision and the last seventy-six years in circumcision. It could be truly said, “The Abrahamic covenant was added to the Noahic covenant.” God made His covenant with Abram 430 years before the Law was given.
Moses, the mediator of the old covenant, spent eighty years of his life under the Abrahamic covenant of promise, and the last forty years of his life under Israel’s old covenant, that is, under the law. Moses’ life was divided into three periods of forty years each. He received from Jehovah the Law for Israel about 1492 B.C. It is a very simple matter to see that Moses spent his life under two different covenants, although the Noahic covenant and the Abrahamic covenant continued into the Mosaic covenant. The Law was added to the promise – Galatians 3:19. Read Exodus 7:7 and Deuteronomy 34:7.
Daniel lived in the same dispensation of Law that was given through Moses to Israel. But Daniel lived in the Land of the Jews before the Babylonian captivity, before the “Times of the Gentiles” began; and then he lived in Babylon after the “Times of the Gentiles” began about 600 B.C.
JOHN THE BAPTIST
John the Baptist lived as a contemporary of Jesus Christ for more than thirty years. As the forerunner of Israel’s Messiah, John proclaimed the Kingdom message, “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He lived long enough to know that Israel would not receive the King and His Kingdom. Therefore John lived before and after the King was rejected.
Simon Peter was in company with Christ for more than three years before the death of Christ. During those three years both Christ and Peter were under the law. The Holy Spirit had not yet been given. John 7:39. Simon Peter lived after the death and resurrection of the Son of God. Therefore he lived in two entirely different dispensations; first under the old covenant, and then under the new covenant. Simon lived in the days of the Son of man – then in the Holy Spirit dispensation. Read John 1:41 and Luke 5:8 to 11.
Paul, the Apostle, was saved before Peter preached to the first Gentile household, that of Cornelius. Paul Lived during the “transition” period, that thirty-year period covered by the Book of Acts. Then he lived and ministered for some years after the transition period had ceased, after he reached Rome as Caesar’s prisoner, delivered to that Gentile government by the Jews of Jerusalem. There was a radical change after Acts 28:28. Saul’s conversion is recorded in Acts 9:2 to 15.
All of these men had very definite dealings with the God of Heaven. The omnipotent, everlasting God revealed Himself to each of these eight men. God committed to each of these men a definite ministry and each was responsible to God to represent Him on earth in the particular age in which he lived. Circumstances and responsibilities differed with different dispensations and covenants.
Noah knew by tradition concerning the dealings of God with Adam; but Adam died before God revealed Himself and His new plans to Noah both before and after the flood.
Abraham knew by tradition and revelation the story of Adam before he passed out of the dispensation of “Innocence” into the dispensation of “Conscience” as a fallen creature. In the same way Abraham knew of God’s dealings with Noah, the arkbuilder and preacher of righteousness, before the flood, and of the new covenant that God made with Noah after the flood, when the human race was placed by God under the dispensation of “Human Government” or “Authority.” But if you will search the Scriptures from the twelfth chapter of Genesis to the twenty-fourth chapter, you will learn that Abraham knew many things from God that neither Adam nor Noah knew. A new dispensation had been ushered in, “Promise”. During the twentyfour years before Abraham was circumcised he had many revelations from the Almighty God, and during the years that followed his circumcision he received new Divine truth from heaven. Revelation was progressive—new truths constantly being revealed.
We learn in the fifth Chapter of Genesis that Lamech, the ninth from Adam, was 56 years old when Adam died at the age of 930. Lamech was the father of Noah and died five years before the flood. Shem was 93 years old when his grandfather, Lamech, died. Shem was 98 years old at the time of the flood, which was in the year of man, 1656. Lamech was contemporary of Adam and Shem, the eleventh generation after Adam. According to the eleventh chapter of Genesis, Shem lived 502 years after the flood and died in 2158 A.H. (year of man). According to the same chapter Abraham was born in 2008 A.H. He died in 2183 A.H. Genesis 25:7. Notwithstanding the fact that Abraham was the ninth from Shem, Shem lived until Abraham was 150 years of age. See the connecting link from Adam to Abraham.
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.