— The Biblical Pattern for a Global Shift in the Divine Order of Earthly Things–
A radically new dispensation has arrived upon the scene of human history every two thousand years since the dawn of time. Don’t let the word dispensation trip you up, because it simply means an administrative system. When the One who is sovereign initiates a new dispensation, God reforms how He manages and runs things on earth.
For several years now, the whole world has become engulfed in an atmospheric (spiritual) climate of change. Simply look and see words like “kingdom,” “shift,” and “change” are in the air. Please realize that the promises that have regulated human affairs for the past two thousand years are not going away, but shifting by a quark or two in order to prepare God’s people for our coming King. God is in charge of this and any shift in the divine order of earthly things, and it affects everything we do and who we are. It literally is a new state of being in Christ. This new state of being will result in the gathering together in one all things in Christ (Eph 1:10) – which in a word is One(ness). This fresh new order carries with it a pristine DNA for a new creature, which will produce a new prototype.
The purpose of this divine global shift in earth’s administration is to make adjustments so His resurrected body of believers and His pure and spotless bridal company can come into their fullness. We have entered a season where an elemental change is occurring so that a corporate body will be prepared for Him (Heb 10:5). This new thing – a manifestation of the perfect multi-membered resurrection of Christ’s body – will inaugurate the Age of the Bride of Christ (Rev 19:7-8) and the Age of the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:1-10) and the Age of the One New Man in the Messiah (Eph 2:15) – these three being one as diverse aspects of the same consummation. Please don’t get hung up on gender-specific terms; both men and women are called to be part of the One New Man and the Bride.
The Biblical pattern for each new dispensation is first a precious son volunteers to become a worshipful, sacrificial burnt offering; then gradually a new dwelling place for God is built. Just know that the Creator of our universe started with something wholly natural, but eventually His divine building pattern will culminate in something entirely spiritual.
“The spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual … Just as we have borne the image of the earthly, we will bear the image of the heavenly … flesh and blood can not inherit the Kingdom of God” (1 Corinthinans 15:46, 49-50 NASB).
Let’s take a closer look at times in the Bible when a precious son volunteers to become a pleasing sacrifice. Notice that each one of the participants is an example of those who volunteer freely in the day of God’s power (Psa 110:3). They literally present themselves as a Burnt Offering by fire.
The first example presented to us is Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. Some facts hidden in Jewish history about Abraham will help better illuminate our burnt offering picture.
Before Abram became Abraham, he originally shared the idolatrous practices of his father, Terah, who manufactured and sold actual graven images (idols). At the tender age of 13, Abram was personally convicted by the Most High God to cast off all foreign gods, so he smashed all of his father’s idols. Terah was furious, because he had lost a lot of things including time, energy and money; therefore, Terah took his case to the pre-eminent rebel of his time who was the first earthly king – Nimrod. Nimrod, being a law unto himself and the flesh, ruled that Abram was guilty. He had the “defiant” Abram thrown into a fiery furnace. What’s astonishing is that Abram miraculous survived his very close and personal baptism of fire long before Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Dan 3).
We then see God’s heart response to Abram’s sincere belief and his obedience in coming out of Babylon by forging a unilateral covenant of faith with him as a prototype for all who believe. The unilateral covenant where Abram was saved through faith by grace was, and is, only dependent on God’s faithfulness (Gen 15). Notice that Abram was asleep when God made His covenant with him. Significantly, God appeared as a flaming torch which passed between Abram’s five split offerings. The number “”five” in Scripture speaks of divine favor and grace.
Always pay attention to the first occurrence of any thing in the Bible, because it sets precedence. Therefore, the first account of a son volunteering to be a sacrifice is when God asked Abraham to take his only son up to Mount Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering as a voluntary act of worship (Gen 22). Many of us think back to when we were taught this in Sunday School, and picture Abraham running the show and Isaac being a small boy who unconditionally trusted his father; but Hebrew history records that Abraham was 137-years-old and Isaac was 36 at the time. Knowing their more advanced age brings better clarity on how both participants – both Abraham and Isaac – truly volunteered freely. When Abraham and Isaac willingly ascended Mount Moriah, Abraham (the father) carried the fire and Isaac (his son) carried the wood for the burnt offering on his back. This was a Messianic foreshadow of an unprecedented event fulfilled around two-thousand years later by Jesus and His own Heavenly Father. Abraham built an altar there onMount Moriah, arranged the wood, and placed his only begotten son on top of the wood. When Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son, an angel stopped him at the last moment.
Known as the “akedah” in Hebrew, this was the final test of Abraham’s faith. James chapter 2 says that Abraham’s “faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected,[ i.e. completed]. And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS’ ” (James 2:22-23 NASB). Abraham’s persevered in his faith in God and moved into a more mature state of holding to the testimony of God (Rev 12:17; 14:12). The truth of the matter is if you believe in something, then you will naturally act on that belief and do those things which are consistent with what you believe. Otherwise, your words won’t line up with what you do and you will be known as a hypocrite.
After the akedah, there were several iterations of God’s dwelling place that were built, with one version overlapping the next precious son volunteering to be a sacrifice:
 Wilderness Tabernacle (Built by Moses) – Portable earthly image that served as a copy and shadow of heavenly things to come (Exo 25:40; Heb 8:5)
 Solomon’sTemple (Built by King David’s son)
 Herod’s Temple (Built by an apostate king)
The next Biblical precedence of a precious son volunteering to become a burnt offering is Jesus (i.e. Yeshua). With Yeshua’s death, burial, and resurrection a great slide from the natural toward the supernatural began. Even though there was a new beginning inaugurated at the cross to facilitate a transformation of God’s temple, historically, there was a gradual turning so God’s people could transition into the new dispensation. The dispensation begun by Jesus’s baptism of fire (Matt 3:11) – his crucifixion – was:
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4-5 NIV).
The promise of the new dispensation inaugurated at the cross was, and still is, the adoption of sons (i.e. restoration of fellowship). This promise was the first great quickening (Rom 8:11; Eph 2:5). It’s an eternal promise; therefore, it will continue. Right now, we have a fresh dispensation dawning, which encompasses and expands on everything that has gone before it.
“that in the dispensation of the fullness of time He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth – in Him” (Ephesians 1:10 NIV).
The new dispensation in our day speaks of gathering together in one all things in Christ. It should be another quantum leap in the spiritual direction, which should result in something enveloped by something completely heavenly. Something like: a holy city, the Lamb’s (Bridegroom’s) wife, the Bride, New Jerusalem “coming down from God out of heaven” (Rev 21:2). Something like: the mature HEAD of Christ (Rev 1:14) spiritually being joined to His mature BODY of believers (Eph 4:15-16; 1 Cor 12:12-27). What I do know is that in this fresh dispensation, God is causing us to hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matt 5:6) as well as hating mixture (Rev 3:15-16). He is causing us to want to be just like Jesus. To move just like Him. To live just like Him. To be just like Him. In order to do this, we will have to diligently and consistently choose to walk in the same manner that Jesus did (1 John 2:6).