The next time your Pimp threatens you with a penalty of curse for not paying your tithes, ask him or her what “Dispensation” this age is in!

As a young boy raised in the Southern Baptist Church I often would hear my Grandmother reference the late J. Vernon McGee and the Thru The Bible Institute. In specific, I remember her teaching on basic biblical truths and beliefs. One of those beliefs was “ Dispensations”.

**According to the  Scofield Reference Bible**
A dispensation is a period of time which is identified by its relation to some particular purpose of God. As used in the Greek New Testament, the word is OIKONOMIA (Strong’s No. 3622) and is defined as a stewardship, administration, management, direction, arrangement, order, or plan.

Practically speaking, dispensationalism speaks of the differences between the administration of human affairs within the sequential divisions of human history. The following is an example:
1.  From Adam to Abraham, for example, when God’s administration of human affairs focused on the entire race as descended from Adam.
2.  From Abraham to Christ, when God’s administration of human affairs focused on one particular family, descendants of Abraham. During this period of time, or age, a distinction is drawn between two divisions of humanity–Jew and Gentile.
3.  From Christ until now, and beyond for an undisclosed period of time; when God’s administration of human affairs focuses on one particular people, comprised of Jew and Gentile alike in one body–the Church.

According to J. Vernon McGee:

Technically speaking, the idea of dispensations and dispensationalism sets forth a principle in Scripture as follows: God places humanity under different and progressive operational temporal conditions, for specific and instructional eternal purposes..

1.  These conditions are laid out in various revealed covenants..
2.  These conditions are instructional to us (Gal. 3:24; Rom. 15:4), as well as to the angelic realm of creation (Eph. 3:10).

The concept of a dispensation is seen in the parable of Luke 16, and the details of a “generic” dispensation are seen
1.  Two parties (v.1): (a) the delegator of duties and (b) the one responsible for performing them.
2.  Specific responsibilities are laid out, and understood by the one responsible for performing them (vv.1-3, context).
3.  The Delegator holds the one responsible accountable (v.2).
4.  As a result of failure, on the part of the one responsible, the stewardship is removed and changed (vv.2,3).

The simplest delineation of dispensational truth is to contrast the Old Testament with the New Testament. Any newborn, babe in Christ can pick up his/her Bible and observe that basic division (That is if you pick up your Bible)
1.     Old Testament: the administration of Law. God handed down the 10 commandments, and the entire Law of Moses. This presented humanity with the responsibility to work and earn blessings. The end result, however, was to demonstrate that man cannot possibly fulfill such a high (perfect) standard. Man cannot earn his way into heaven, and must be provided for in another way.
2.  New Testament: the administration of Grace. God made provision through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the means by which mankind may be restored to a relationship with Him. Jesus Christ performed the perfect work that mankind could not do, and paid the penalty for sin on our behalf. The responsibility in this administration is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and be saved (Acts 16:31).

Another deliniation or contrast can be seen between Jews and Gentiles:
1.  The Age of the Gentiles. Prior to the calling out of Abraham, all of humanity was treated as one body. All were descendants of Adam. God revealed Himself to various prophets (e.g. Adam, Enoch, Noah, Job).
2.  The Age of the Jews. Following the calling out of Abraham (Gen. 12), a distinction begins to be drawn within humanity. Within the descendants of Adam, a particular group is called out that are the descendants of Abraham. A division is drawn between Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews). It is to the Jews that God reveals Himself (e.g. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the prophets, etc.). This does not mean that God disregarded or ignored the Gentiles during these thousands of years, for there are many notable Gentiles to be found throughout the Old Testament. The significance, though, is that the specific revelations, and the revealed Scriptures were given primarily to the Jews (Rom. 3:2).
3.  The Age of the Church. With the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross of Calvary, a wholly new administration is unveiled. This administration had been previously hidden and is referred to as a mystery (Eph. 1:9,10; 3:9). During this age, there is no longer a distinction between Jew and Gentile (Rom. 10:12; Gal. 3:28; Col. 1:11).
Further, and more intricate developments can (and ultimately, should) be drawn in the observation and study of the significantly detailed covenants within Scripture. These developments typically break down into a seven-fold division of human history from Adam, through Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Christ, and on to eternity. [3]

1.  The Age of Innocence, from the creation of Adam and Eve until they fell into sin.

2.  The Age of Conscience, from the fall into sin to Noah’s flood.

3.  The Age of Human Government, from Noah to Abraham.

4.  The Age of Promise, from Abraham to Moses.

5.  The Age of Law, from Moses to Christ.

6.  The Age of Grace, from the death of Christ to the rapture of the Church.

7.  The Age of Christ, His personal 1000 year reign, yet future.

So why is this important?
We are commanded to do so! (2 Tim. 2:15)

It is critical in avoiding error! Let us say that I commit a personal sin, an offence before God. Let us say, for the illustration that my sin is stealing. What then, should be my activity/responsibility to deal with that sin, and restore my fellowship with the Lord?
Option #1. I might offer to the Lord a bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin I have committed (Lev. 4:3ff.). I might bring the bull to the front door of the church, lay my hand upon its head, and “slay the bull before the Lord.” Then, I might ask the priest if he might take some of the blood inside, and sprinkle it around in various places inside the church. Then of course, the entrails, and the hide have to be dealt with, and so forth. [Does all of this seem silly to you? This is what the Bible says is the way to respond after your sin.. Ah, but maybe that administration is no longer in effect . . .]
Option #2. I might simply pray to the Father, and confess my sin.. If I do so, He is faithful and just to forgive me of my sin, and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). This is the New Testament’s instruction for the confession of sin.
Granted, the illustration here presented is somewhat absurd, and intentionally so. No one today would realistically consider operating under the animal sacrifice administration. It does serve to point out, however, that the differences between the Old Testament and the New Testament are significant. Other issues for consideration may not be as blatantly clear, but they are no less important for an accurate handling.

So here is the crux of the matter as it relates to man’s current dispensation, WE ARE NOT under the law. Therefore stop operating as such by imposing such principles as tithing!