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T. Austin Sparks - Messages.

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Written by Grant Hayman   


         Four Dispensation Glories!




The word "Dispensation" appears 4 times in the Bible and each depicts an aspect of the context in which God holds the whole human race to account! The first mention is found in  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."

God's present time "Dispensation" for the whole world is The Gospel of Christ! The word "Dispensation" means "stewardship" or "Administration".

Paul said in his opening words to the church at Rome,  "Paul a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God." [Romans 1:1.] He was "separated" unto the Gospel; you could not touch Paul and not get "Good News" out of him about Christ, even if he was in the midst of a horrendous, "shipwreck" trauma in stormy seas, off the coast of Malta!

Paul is here concerned about being, wrongly exercised in the administration of the gospel. How important it is for the Gospel to possess us, more than us, just possessing the truths of the gospel and so ministering such with the difficulty of self- consciousness, awkwardness, and out of a sense of "duty" or "responsibility". The Gospel must not, be shared under such duress! Paul spoke about  "coming in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ" and Peter spoke about "preaching the gospel with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven" [Romans 15:29. 1 Peter 1:12.] How happily, we can share that Jesus is "the friend of sinners" [Luke 7:34. 15:1-2.] and avoid as Paul said, Gospel ministry "against my will".

The great DISPENSATION OF GOD that we are in, in this modern world, is the "DISPENSATION OF THE GOSPEL" GOOD NEWS, GLORIOUS NEWS, and THRILLING NEWS!

The Lord, deliver us from every legalistic burden, in sharing this wonderful message of the Grace of God and the Love of Christ. There is only one message of salvation and that is the Gospel of Christ! This is the current glorious "Dispensation" we are all in, until the rapture of the church.





The Dispensation of the Fullness of Times.

The next mention to consider is Paul's word to the Ephesian church,  "That in the dispensation of the fullness 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 1:10.]

The mighty truth contained within this statement, is not easy to put into words. This current "dispensation" and its glory is, that, Christ is the central greatness, of this "fullness of times" and he is the one in whom everything is going to be gathered and made subject to.  All things in heaven and all things upon the earth are, being, brought into alignment with Him. Since the cross, heaven has a different order of things. The love of God, so great in Christ through the cross has never, been known in heaven before. How truly astounding, is such a revelation of this GLORIOUS GOD OF ETERNITY, now manifest in time, in Christ and the cross, to be the "God of ALL GRACE". [1 Peter 5:10.]

 Is this the Lord of heaven and earth dying on a cross of condemnation, suffering with love, for such meanness, to save and change such meanness? That's, why Paul declares a little further on in his letter, at the end of mentioning his prayer and bursting heart for the saints at Ephesus,  "And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD." [Ephesians 3:19.] THIS MANIFEST LOVE OF CHRIST IS THE FULLNESS OF GOD! All must, be re-arranged and re-aligned, unto such Glory and Beauty for all eternity.

How wonderful, that we are going to be so changed "when we see Him".  "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we shall be called the sons of God: ... And it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is". [1 John 3:1-2.]










The Dispensation Of God.

Christ in You The Hope Of Glory.

 "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."

"Even the mystery .... Christ in you, the hope of Glory." [Colossians 1:25-27.]

What a wonderful Stewardship and administration Department God has!

Paul exclaims, that God wants to make known among the Gentiles,  "The riches of The Glory of this mystery". [Colossians 1:27.] You can almost feel the surge of the river of God and hear the echo of, "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely." [Revelation 22:17.]


The "Ministration" of this "Dispensation" must needs, be "in Life"; and such results, can only happen through the Spirit. Because the "Earnest" of this great dispensation is concerning the revelation of THE RICHES OF THE GLORY OF CHRIST; it is not possible, that "puny man" can achieve one-millionth part of such a ministry. Such power belongs alone, to the Spirit of God! Paul makes the following clear absolutes, concerning such unreachable possibilities without the "Ministration of the Spirit".

2 Corinthians 3:1-18.

  • 3:5. "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves ... our sufficiency is of God."
  • 3:6. God makes "able ministers of the new testament".
  • 3:6. Be a minister, "Not of the letter"
  • 3:6. Be a minister, "Of the Spirit"
  • 3:6. "The Letter Killeth" I.e. That is Pro-Active murder of spiritual Life wherever the "letter" of the new testament is dished out in the forms of "commands" invoking "obedience" instead of "Promise" invoking "Faith" and (Praise The Lord) Faith results in,  and
  • 3:7-8. "If the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious ... how shall not the ministration of the Spirit be rather glorious.
  • 3:8. The New Testament belongs to the "Ministration of The Spirit". Man cannot appear in this at all! If the Spirit of God does not work in a believer, then there is no progress, of that believer in the blessing of, the "dispensation" of, "Christ in you the hope of Glory".
  • 3:9. Turning the New Testament into Old Testament type "letter" ministry of the word of God, produces, a "ministration of condemnation".
  • 3:17-18. To those receiving a ministry of the word of God, if it is by the "ministration of the Spirit", the precious result will be "But we all with open face beholding as in a glass The Glory of The Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of The Lord". Where The Spirit of The Lord is, there is "the sufficiency" in ministry, and "there is Liberty".



The remaining mention of this word "dispensation" and the glorious content of this, stewardship of God, is found, in Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus,  "If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward". [Ephesians 3:2.]

This era and "dispensation" of God that we are in, is indeed glorious to say the least, and we have only touched briefly on the aspects of,

1. The Dispensation Of The Gospel. - Share the glorious good news!

2. The Dispensation of The Fullness of Times - All Gathered up in Christ and all things aligned to him.

3. The Dispensation Of God / The unfolding of a wondrous "mystery" of "unsearchable riches in Christ" based upon the great reality - "Christ in you the hope of Glory"; I.e.   "Called to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" [2 Thessalonians 2:14.]

All the above different descriptions of the Dispensation of God, found in the word of God, is simply giving us the length, breadth, and height of the Glories that God is dispensing to a needy world, lifting sinners up from the "dunghill" to set them among Princes and cause them to inherit the throne of Glory!

  [1 Samuel 2:8.]

What a wonderful stewardship we are called to share in, how empty and insignificant is every other enterprise compared to this!

The Fourth one is concerning, the "dispensation of the grace of God" [ Ephesians 3:2. ] which is covered in the following articles in more depth.

The Lord thrill your heart  as these realities, have mine.

Jesus loves You.

 God Bless.