THE DISPENSATION OF THE PATRIARCHS.
This fourth dispensation differs greatly from others. In fact, many stumble when they attempt to make Abraham the standard for salvation in all dispensations. This error is so obvious that it needs little comment. The fourth dispensation is that of the “Patriarchs” —Genesis 11:10 to Exodus 19:4. It lasted about 430 years.
Each dispensation has stewards or administrators to carry out the responsibilities. This dispensation begins with the call of Abraham. It is called the dispensation of “Promise” because of the covenant made with Abraham, who lived in the “land of promise” (Hebrews 6:13; 11:9). Unconditional promises, both physical and spiritual, were made to Abraham and his descendants Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 12:1-3; 15:4-21; 17:1-8; 22:15-19).
Abraham laughed at the promise that God would enable Sarah to conceive and have a son. “And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?” Genesis 17:15-17.
God illustrated to Abraham from the stars that his seed would be innumerable. “And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. AND HE BELIEVED IN THE LORD; AND HE COUNTED IT TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Genesis 15:5-6. The promise God made to Abraham was that he would be the father of a great nation, that God would bless Abraham and his descendants, and that the whole earth would be blessed through him throughout eternity. (Genesis 12:1-3).
What was Abraham required to believe and do in order for him and his physical descendants to be saved? When Abraham believed God’s word about his seed being as the stars of heaven and the sand of the earth, God imputed righteousness to him, without works or circumcision. This would be the requirement of Abraham’s descendants. This would be their only requirement until the giving of the Law to Israel.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.