1Chro.15:13. “For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order”.
Every family or community has a way of arranging or doing things. The head decides on the order by which things must be done in the family. In the same vein, God has His order of things in all ages and all who seek Him, must seek Him according to His due order. When King David, a man after God’s own heart violated the order of God in carrying the ark, Israel faced the consequences 1Chro.13:1-14.
Every violation or deviation from God’s due order must amount to punishment Eph.5:6.Heb.2:2. Therefore, to escape the wrath of God, the order of God must be kept duly according to the period of time.
DISPENSATIONS OF THE BIBLE
The bible is divided into two (Old & New Testaments). These two testaments are further divided into three dispensations which are: Patriarchal, Mosaic and Christian dispensations. Each dispensation has a leader, and an order of doing things.
PATRIARCHAL DISPENSATION: This is a period where things of God were done base on families (i.e. family by family). There was no written law, but things were done base on God’s instructions through the head of the family (Father). An example include Cain and Abel who offered their sacrifice to God at the end of the year. Gen.4:1- The sacrifice of Cain was rejected by God because it was not with faith Heb.11:4. It is impossible to please God without faith (Heb11:6) and faith cometh by hearing the words of Christ (Rom.10:17). This follows that, irrespective of how big, nice and lovely nor of good report may a thing be, God is pleased and accepts only the sacrifice of obedience. Hence, in seeking God, one must be diligent.
Other examples in this dispensation include: Noah – Gen.8:20-21, Abraham – Gen.22:1-18, etc.
MOSAICAL DISPENSATION: It is also called Jewish or National Age. God dealt with only the children of Israel (one nation). In this period there was written Law that guided the people. Though other nations were there, only the Israelite were obligated to keep the law (Deut.5:1-5, Psa. 147:19-20). God gave His laws through Moses and other prophets Heb.1:1-2. Such laws included: Sabbath keeping (Exo.20:8-10), tithing (Deut.14:22-29, Mal.3:10), Instrumental music (Psa. 150:1-5), sacrifice (incense Isa.1:11-14) etc. These and others were required by God. Violation or changes to the order of practicing any of this things attracted punishment except approved by God.
Nadab & Abihu – Lev.10:1-3. During sacrifice, God commanded the priests not to bring strange incense, burnt offering Exo.30:9. But these two sons of Aaron disobeyed the order of God and died instantly.
Uzzah – 1Chro. 13:1-14, 15:1- The ark of God was not to be touched with hands, but to be carried on the shoulder by the Levites with the aid of a stave Exodus. 37:1-5. King David invented a new cart to carry the ark, when the oxen stumbled, Uzzah tried to safe the ark and God killed him for torching it. Do you touch the ark of God?
Uzziah – 2Chro. 26:16-23. King Uzziah thought it wise for him to offer sacrifice unto God when God wanted that only the priest (Levites) should render this service at the temple. Though the priest tried to stop him, he refused looking at his personality. God stroke him with leprosy. He paid for his disobedience.
In view of the above examples, it follows that:
(i) God requires total obedience: No omission or commission irrespective of how good and wise it may look like.
(ii) God is no respecter of person(s): You can’t escape base on your position or title, you must face the full wrath of God.
Since God has been so strict in His order and though we are not instantly punished by our disobedience, of course some are paying the price while on earth, disobedience to God’s due order amount to spiritual death and eternal damnation. How can we escape? Heb.2:1
This dispensation ended at the cross, we are not under it. It was for the physical Israel and we are not the physical Israel.
CHRISTIAN DISPENSATION: This is a period of universal worship. It began on the day of Pentecost (Acts2), after the national system was nailed to the cross (Col.2:14) and it shall last till the second coming of Christ. In this period or dispensation, God’s things are done according to the instructions of Christ (Matt.17:5, Heb.5:9). Christ’ instructions are gotten through His direct statement as well as teachings and practices of his apostles. Examples of Christ teaching or statement include:
Baptism: Mk.16:16. This is essential to man’s salvation (1Peter.3:21). One must be baptized to be saved. Baptism is not Sprinkling, Pouring nor jumping of fire, neither does it require baptismal class, examination nor payment of money. Some claim it must be in the morning only. It is a burial (Rom.6:3-4) and requires that one confesses Christ with the mouth Acts.8:37. Baptism could be administered any time any day so far there is will (Acts.2:38-41, Acts. 16:33), after baptism, one is added to the church to continue in apostle’s doctrine (Acts.2:42, 47, Gal.3:26-27).
Teachings and Practices of the Apostles. Phil.4:9
For decency and orderliness in the church, God uses the apostles of Christ to give His order of things (1Cor. 14:40). They both teach and practice leaving us an example today. Acts 2:42 “…and they continued steadfastly in apostles’ doctrine, and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers”. The mode through which these were practiced are recorded by the Apostles for us today.
Giving: This is very essential to every organization. It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts.20:35) and money answers all things (Eccl.10:19b). Despite the importance and need for giving, God has His order for giving in this dispensation. This includes:
- Upon the first day of the week -1Cor.16:2
- Willingly- 2Cor.8:12
- As purposed in one’s heart -2Cor.9:7
Some “pastors” have erred due to members’ attitude towards giving. However, God will not spare anyone who err because of another, remember He did not spare Uzzah in David’s days. His order must be followed accordingly to receive His blessings.
Prayer & teaching -1Tim.2:8, 11:15. There are limitations in some duties to women in the church. Women are not expected to lead men in the church hence, prayers and teachings is to be led by men. The idea of “what a man can do, a woman can do even better” does not come in. Whoever God assigns responsibility must do without compromise, remember king Uzziah.
Singing: This is another important aspect of God’s worship. The bible requires Vocal music and not instrumental (Heb.13:15, Col.3:16, Eph.5:19). Also consider Psa.150:1-6, Amos.5:23, Isa.24:8 and Gal.3:10.
Imagine the days of old, imagine the way we serve God, is God glorified, do you obey God according to this dispensation? Titus.2:11-12. How shall we escape if… Heb.2:1-3. The time is now, come out from among them Rom.16:17-18.
Upon coming out,
Believe the gospel- Rom.10:9
Repent (change from previous ways) - Luk.13:3, 5
Confess Christ as God’s son and savior -Matt.10:32-33
Baptized into Christ –Gal.3:27 for the remission of your sins
Steadfastly continue in Christ doctrine till the end - 2John.1:9 …David Essien