The Closing of A Dispensation
Written By: Bishop G.T. Haywood
Published By: Voice In The Wilderness
Some time ago a brother published a vision that had been seen by one of the saints in his Assembly, in which a multitude of people, with astonished faces, were running to and fro, crying, “The dispensation is drawing to a close!” This was at the beginning of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit a number of years ago.
To-day we are in the midst of its fulfillment. The end is near! The nations are rising against nations; kingdoms against kingdoms; and upon earth there is a “distress of nations with perplexity.” The times of the gentiles is about fulfilled. “The dispensation is drawing to a close.”
At the close of the antedeluvian dispensation God brought about a “water test” whereby He saved Noah and his family. (See I Peter 3:20, 21.)
When the Egyptian dispensation was brought to a close it was through the water (Red Sea) that God separated His people from Pharaoh. Exodus 14:15-30. I Corinthians 10:1-3.
The Wilderness dispensation for forty years came to its end by passing through the waters of Jordan in a season when the river was overflowing its banks. There was “much water” there. Joshua 3:9-17.
When God prepared to break the “yoke of Midian” and deliver His people from their oppressors, He closed that dispensation by having Gideon to bring the people down to the water and be tested. Only three hundred passed the test. Judges 7:1-7.
With twelve barrels of water poured upon the altar and the sacrifice Elijah proved the true God, who answered by fire, and quickly brought the dispensation of Baalism to a close. I Kings 18:30-40.
As the dispensation of the Law was drawing to a close, God again sends a man by the name of John to baptize with water. The kingdom of Judah was drawing to a close, and the “kingdom of heaven was at hand.” John’s baptism was dispensational. It was for the purpose of separating a people for the coming messiah. John 1:29-30. All who accepted John’s baptism had no trouble in accepting Christ. John 3:25-30.
All who were baptized under john’s dispensational baptism were evidently baptized again when it came to the personal acceptance of Jesus as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. (See John 3:22.) here it seems that Jesus tarried and re-baptized His disciples, that is, the twelve, and after the twelve re-baptized the others that were formerly with john. (John 4:1, 2.) And for this cause “there arose a question between John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying.” The question was, no doubt, how many times must a man be baptized before he is purified. That they were re-baptized is further proven by the apostle Paul’s ministry at Ephesus. Acts 19:1-6.
To-day we are facing the closing of another dispensation. Many have been baptized upon their personal acceptance of Christ, while, too, there are many who have not been baptized at any time, but in this closing hour of the world’s history, and the church age God is calling His people to pass through the water. He is closing this dispensation in like manner as He did all other dispensations in the past. Let us beware lest we “reject the counsel of God against ourselves” (Luke 7:29, 30) and frustrate God’s purpose in our lives by refusing to be baptized. (See Weymouth on Luke 7:29, 30.)