God says this is how I am going to do it. I God, your father, am making you a promise to give you everything that is mine, because that is basically what my blessing is. However, you are a fallen race, spiritually separated from me. On top of that, I am going to issue a little more than 600 laws to show you that you cannot in any way earn my blessing. So, you have two strikes. You are already fallen and you cannot keep my laws. If any man can keep my laws, then he is perfect. You are not perfect; however, I, God your father, am perfect, for I have issued not only the promise, but also the law, which is in fact, the standard by which I, God, exist. Because you are fallen, and because you cannot keep my laws and because you are going to break my laws, my sentence for your violation is death. Not only are you spiritually separated from me because of Adam’s sin, but you must die physically, because that is what the law requires for the word says, “For the wages of sin is death.”
So, now, How will I God, your father, who is A JUDICIAL GOD, be just in satisfying requirement of the violation of the law and make you my heir at the same time? Well, I God your father, who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, will divide myself up into three persons and satisfy every requirement necessary to make you my heir. Here is how I will do it…
First, lets look at the types and symbols recognized in the Old Testament. The Old Testament is full of types and symbols or shadows of what is fulfilled in the New Testament. The sacrificial system that is laid out in the Old Testament especially in Leviticus 16, is fulfilled in the body of Jesus Christ in Hebrews 9-11. This is the type or symbol or shadow of which I am referring. I will use the scripture of Matthew 3:13-17 and Gen 8:8-12 to show how the Dove and how it was referred to after the flood with Noah makes reference to the three dispensations of the Holy Spirit.
A dispensation is simply how God deals with mankind through a specific period of time. For instance, there are many dispensations that define how God deals with the world throughout all the ages. There is the dispensation of Innocence which defines the time of Adam to the Fall. There is the Dispensation of Conscience which defines the time from the fall to the flood; the dispensation of human government which defines the time from the flood to the call of Abraham; the Dispensation of Promise which defines the time from the call of Abraham to the Exodus from Egypt. There is the dispensation of Law which defines the time from Exodus to preaching of John the Baptist. There is the dispensation of Grace which defines the time from the preaching of John the Baptist until the Second Advent, and the time in which we now live. There is the the Rapture of the Church, the Tribulation Period, the Dispensation of Divine Government which is the Millennial Reign, and finally the Dispensation of Faithful Angels and the Redeemed, or Eternity. From a Dispensationalists point of view, these are the main views of how God has dealt with and will deal with mankind throughout the ages.
I have three paths of thought going here… God making the promise and how he is going to keep it, Dispensations of the Holy Spirit, and Noah and the Dove… here we go…
Gen 8:9 discusses how the dove was sent out; could not find rest, and returned.
Gen 8:11 discusses how the dove was sent out, returned with the olive leaf – judgement over.
Gen 8:12 discusses how the dove was sent out, did not return.
Matthew 3 discusses how John the Baptist saw the Holy Spirit rest upon Jesus like a dove.
NOW… Here is how God divides himself up into three persons to fulfill all requirements of the law and the promise in Dispensational terms recognizing the symbol of the Dove of Noah. God the father says, I am going to make this promise, then God the Son, Jesus is going to go and keep my law and pay the price for your penalty, and then God the Holy Spirit is going to take up residence in you, permanently…
The Dove is representative the the Holy Spirit as defined in Matthew 3.
Gen 8:9 makes reference to the first Dispensation of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, The Holy Spirit came upon certain people, at certain times, for certain service, then departed. Just like the dove from Noah was sent out, and returned because he couldn’t find a place to rest, so it was with the Holy Spirit in the time of the Old Testament. You see, mankind was fallen. He had inherited a Sin Nature from Adam. Because He inherited this sin nature, he was unholy. God is HOLY. God cannot have anything to do with anything or anyone that is unholy. So, because man was unholy, or had a sin nature, the Holy Spirit could only go out to do a specific work in a specific people for a specific purpose and then return. He could not remain. Hebrews 12:18-24 gives a good review of this. Old Testament Sacrifices did not atone for sin but only covered it up. God’s plan from day 1 was to live in man. But, at the fall, he couldn’t dwell in man because man had sinned, but he didn’t stop communicating with man.
Gen 8:11 discusses how the dove was sent out, returned with the Olive leaf-which signified that Judgement was over. This represents the Second Dispensation of the Gospels or the time that Jesus walked the earth. This was the transitional period between the Old Testament and the New Testament which brought the Old to a conclusion and caused the New to take effect. We know the verses from Christmas that read, “Peace on earth Good will toward men.” This means that the war is over between men and God. God is no longer mad. Just like the dove returned with the olive leaf, so Jesus took all of our sin on the cross. He received all of the judgement and God’s wrath against sin into his own Body… He paid the price in full. Jesus has now become the mediator of a New and Better covenant. This is critical to understanding how God the father can make the promise and then split himself up into three persons to satisfy the requirement of the law and make us heirs. You see, Jesus could keep the law, the standard of God, because he did not have a sin nature. Because he did not have a sin nature, he was divine and human. So, God, the Father made the promise, Then God the Son, Jesus, who was God in the Flesh, kept all the letter of the law, then paid the price for my sin, he died for me.. and in exchange, gave me his divine righteousness. You see, even if mankind could keep the law perfectly, he is still fallen and he cannot hear the type of divine righteousness that is necessary to bring eternal life. Only God can do this… and we receive it by faith. The scripture says so.
Now we move into the Third Dispensation of the Holy Spirit with the Church Age or New Testament which is described in symbol of the dove in Gen 8:12. The dove was sent out, and did not return. Now, because Jesus Christ has paid the price in FULL, the Spirit of Man is no longer unholy. That sin nature, or spiritual death that was inherited from Adam has been abolished in the body of Jesus Christ. The Blood of Jesus has made the spirit of man Holy, once he believes and receives by FAITH. Because the Spirit of Man is now holy, not because of what he has done, but because of what Jesus has done, the Holy Spirit can now take up permanent residence in me and you. You see, we are sinners because of our sin nature that we inherited from Adam. We did nothing to earn this. We inherited it. And so, we can do nothing to earn what Jesus has done. He gives it to us freely. The spirit now comes and stays forever. I am now the temple of God’s Holy Spirit. Acts 2:1-4 tells of when the Holy Spirit fell. Joel 2:28-32 and Acts 2:17-18 make reference to this time.
This is the time in which we now live, this 3d Dispensation. This is the time that Old Testament Prophets wanted to know about and even Angels look into (1 Peter 1:10-13).
So, we have now discussed the three dispensation of the Holy Spirit and how God uses these dispensations to divide himself up into three persons to keep the covenant Promise to Abraham and his seed. Because the seed is JESUS, and at the point of Salvation our sin nature is nailed to the cross, and the Spirit of Jesus unites our spirit with God as one with him, God the father did it all and does not need our help. This is his plan. This is how we do it IN HIM by FAITH IN JESUS. We are only recipients of HIS GRACE. All the works that you think you must do… all that holiness you think you have… is nothing and earns you nothing. But, when you perceive that it is the LIVING SINLESS GOD that is alive in you, you will naturally LIVE HOLY… YOU WILL NATURALLY HAVE GOOD WORKS… There is simply NO WAY that you can be led by the Spirit of the Living God and still live like the world. THERE IS NO WAY. However, we, the church, must present this truth to the lost world, only as God’s love. We cannot in any way teach works. We must teach God’s love. I will never change my message to works. I will always teach love. IT is love that has transformed me and transforms me daily. It is love that gives me this type of revelation. Condemnation or thinking that I have to live a certain way is futile. It will only keep me in bondage. But, when I know that JESUS LOVES ME and died for me and lives in me… I want to be like him… at every cost of my old self..
(This is only a brief summary of these dispensations.)