THE SEVEN ADMINISTRATIONS
In order to understand all of the periods of time mentioned in the Bible, we must get the administrations properly divided and in turn, we will be 'rightly dividing' God's Word.
II Timothy 2: 15 -- Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Luke 16: 2 -- And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? Give an account of thy stewardship [oikonomia]; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
The word 'stewardship' is the Greek word oikonomia and according to a critical Lexicon means administration or management of a household; stewardship; administration. Many people understand an 'administration' as 'the term of office of an executive officer or body' as one of the definitions states in a dictionary. The word 'term' implies A PERIOD OF TIME. These 'periods of time' in God's perfect Word are referred to as ADMINISTRATIONS and there are SEVEN (7) of these administrations. Once you understand this, much of the Bible will become clear to you. You will not only understand where we came from, but where we are today, and what to expect in the future.
I. THE ORIGINAL ADMINISTRATION -- (PARADISE):
Except for the last verse of Chapter 3 in the book of Genesis, most of these first three chapters refers to and explains this ORIGINAL ADMINISTRATION better known as PARADISE. God asked Adam and Eve to refrain from doing one thing and they disobeyed God. How could they do this? Because God gives every person free will since God wants us to love and obey Him by our own choice and not because we are programmed to do so. God gave the angels free will also. That is how Lucifer was able to rebel against God and one third of the angels sided with Lucifer. This makes up the devil spirit kingdom which deceives even the very elect. The adversary's target is the rightly divided Word of God which is what you are reading. Eve was lied to and tricked by the devil and Adam followed suit.
This ORIGINAL ADMINISTRATION ended with the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, or Paradise, as stated in Genesis.
Genesis 3: 23, 24 -- Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
After this, man was sin-conscious and as a result of sin, his bloodstream became impure and death was imminent. If we had a perfectly pure bloodstream, we could live forever. Adam and Eve lived a very long time but as time progressed, the situation worsened. Bloodstreams became more impure as a result of sin, and people lived shorter and shorter life spans. Paradise will be restored some time in the future as we will see.
II. THE PATRIARCHAL ADMINISTRATION:
This is the period of time after the Original Administration and BEFORE the Law was given to Moses. 'Patriarch' stems from the Latin word 'pater' and means "father" or "head". Many of our 'fathers' in the Word were prominent in this age/administration documented in the Bible before the law was given to Moses. Some of these patriarchs were Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
There were unwritten laws given to Moses in this Administration and if broken, they were referred to as sins. After the law was given (see Law Administration next), they were referred to as transgressions. There are two scriptures in the New Testament that shed some light on The Patriarchal Administration.
Romans 2: 12 -- For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
Acts 17: 30 -- And the times of this ignorance [the Patriarchal Administration] God winked at [closed His eyes to it]; but now [He] commandeth all men every where to repent [change your mind]:
Again, The Patriarchal Administration ended with the coming of the Law given to Moses.
III. THE LAW ADMINISTRATION:
This began when God gave Moses the WRITTEN law beginning with the Ten Commandments. These written laws signified the revealed Will of God with respect to human conduct. They included all of the Divine commands and precepts for regulating man's moral life and his everyday conduct. God, through Moses, gave these laws and ordinances to Israel and they therefore became known as Mosaic Law.
This final point about The Law Administration must be understood. When Jesus Christ was born, the administration changed to THE CHRIST ADMINISTRATION, but we were still under the LAW until Jesus Christ died.
IV. THE CHRIST ADMINISTRATION:
This administration began with the birth of Jesus Christ. Christ came to FULFIL the law as stated in the gospel of Matthew:
Matthew 5: 17 -- Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
When Christ gave his life at Calvary, the law was fulfilled. Mosaic Law was eradicated when Jesus died as is clearly stated in Romans chapter ten:
Romans 10: 4 -- For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
The Law was replaced by two laws as is clearly stated in the gospel of Mathew:
Matthew 22: 36 to 40 -- Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
We are to live by these two laws in The Church of Grace Administration discussed next.
The difference between the Law and the Christ Administration is that Jesus Christ was personally present on earth to keep and fulfil the Law so that preparation might be made for the Fifth Administration -- The Church of Grace Administration.
The Christ Administration officially ended on the Day of Pentecost [Acts 2: 1 - 4], with the first outpouring of pneuma hagion (God's gift of holy spirit) on believers, but practically with the latter part of Acts, for the born again believers were still zealous for the law.
Acts 21: 20 -- And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and [but] they are all zealous of the law:
Even though they were now under the 1st and 2nd great commandments mentioned above in Matthew chapter 22, they still wanted to hang on to the law! We are no longer under the Old Testament Law. We are to live by two laws: 1) We are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and 2) We are to love our neighbor as ourself. This is the minute accuracy of the Word of God.
V. THE CHURCH OF GRACE ADMINISTRATION:
This began at Pentecost and is the administration under which we are now living. Although this administration began on the day of Pentecost, the MYSTERY of the Church was first made known to the Apostle Paul several years later.
Colossians 1: 26, 27 -- Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
For the first time since the beginning of time, man was able to be BORN AGAIN OF GOD'S SPIRIT. No longer was the Spirit of God UPON a man of God as in the Old Testament but now it was SEED BORN WITHIN. The same power that Jesus Christ had, and even greater, is available to us as Sons and Daughters of God. That power that God gave to Jesus Christ is available to us if we dare to BELIEVE and then ACT on our believing. IT IS CHRIST IN YOU THE HOPE OF GLORY. Most of us live way below par since we simply refuse to believe what God made available to us through Jesus Christ. The god of this world blinds people to these great truths by distracting them through pleasure or pressure. We choose, by our own free will, to walk by the five senses or to walk by the Spirit of God. One is the way of death and the other is the way of life. God wants you to keep Him first, but leaves this decision up to you.
The prophets of The Old Testament diligently searched for the period of time between the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow.
I Peter 1: 10 -- Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
They searched the Word of God for that time period, but their efforts proved fruitless because that period was known only to God Himself. It was kept a secret. We are living in the greatest administration that has yet been made available to man -- The Church of Grace Administration. This is the age of the great MYSTERY [musterion] which was “hid in God” as stated in Ephesians:
Ephesians 3: 9 -- And to make all men see what is the fellowship [oikonomia - administration] of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things. [The words “by Jesus Christ” DO NOT appear in the oldest texts.]
It was kept “hid from ages” and from generations as stated in Colossians:
It was “kept secret since the world began” as stated in Romans:
Romans 16: 25 -- Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.
It was never made known “in other ages” as stated in Ephesians:
Ephesians 3: 5 -- Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now [lately] revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
Not a single word was written or heard of this great mystery until it was revealed in detail to the Apostle Paul. We are now able to instruct people on how to get born again of God's Spirit as stated in the book of Romans:
Romans 10: 9, 10 -- That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
This was not available until the day of Pentecost. When Jesus Christ said that "greater works than these shall ye do", he was referring to the new birth which was not available in his lifetime, but came later on the day of Pentecost [Acts 2: 1 - 4].
To conclude this important section of the Church of Grace Administration in which we now live, let’s repeat Ephesians 3: 9.
Ephesians 3: 9 -- And to make all men see what is the fellowship [oikonomia, administration] of the mystery [musterion], which from the beginning of the world, hath been hid in God who created all things. ["by Jesus Christ" appears in only one critical Greek text and should be deleted.]
The Church of Grace Administration, the time in which we now live, WILL END WITH THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST.
VI. THE APPEARING OR REVELATION ADMINISTRATION:
This administration begins with the second coming of Jesus Christ and with the gathering together of those believers who died but were born again after Pentecost during the period before the second return of Christ. We can gain some information about this time period and the chronological events that took place from studying I Thessalonians. Speaking of the second coming of Jesus Christ:
I Thessalonians 4: 16 -- For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
This is referring to those believers who were born again AFTER Pentecost, but died before the second coming of Jesus Christ.
I Thessalonians 4: 17 -- Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Some of us will be alive when Jesus Christ returns the second time, but we will not precede those who died after Pentecost. They will be raised from the dead before we, who are still alive, will meet the Lord in the air. All who are born again after Pentecost, those who are alive and those who died, will meet the Lord together.
1. Jesus Christ raises the believers who were born again after Pentecost, but died.
2. Born again believers still alive will meet the Lord in the air with the believers in No. 1 that were previously dead. It’s simple, but read this section until it is clear to you. I Thessalonians 4: 15 tells us that we will not meet the Lord in the air until the believers who died are brought back to life.
Later in this administration, there occurs two more resurrections where the Old Testament believers will be raised from the dead and the unbelievers will be raised from the dead. These are referred to as the resurrections of the just and of the unjust. This will occur after Christ gathers the Church (you and I) in the air and then comes back to earth with his saints.
We will have a ring side seat to all that happens in the Book of Revelation -- we do not have to experience this wrath.
I Thessalonians 1: 10 -- And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. [emphasis added]
Romans 5: 9 -- Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. [emphasis added]
The APPEARING OR REVELATION ADMINISTRATION ENDS when Satan is destroyed and the great white throne judgement takes place.
VII. THE PARADISE OR GLORY ADMINISTRATION:
This administration begins in Revelation Chapter 21. This final Paradise/Glory Administration compliments the Original Administration which began in Genesis 1 and 2 and terminated with Genesis 3: 24. Paradise will once more be on earth. There shall be a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness - where there is no more sickness, sorrow, or death.
Revelation 21: 1 -- And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. ["no more sea" is a Hebraism referring to "no more wavering, confusion, trouble or unrighteousness."]
It is the hope of the return of Jesus Christ that keeps us motivated as we look forward to a new heaven and a new earth -- THE FINAL PARADISE THAT WILL NEVER END where we will be with God and Jesus Christ for all eternity.
CONCLUSION: We must understand that the rules of life change in the various time periods mentioned in God's Word. We must see each administration within its distinct context. When we look to see to whom a particular scripture is addressed, we must also see which administration governs the rules. This is not difficult as the following example illustrates:
Deuteronomy 6: 25 -- And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.
This is addressed to the Judeans, to Israel who were under the Law, so this was written in THE LAW ADMINISTRATION and since we are in THE CHURCH OF GRACE ADMINISTRATION and not under the Law, our administration operates under a different set of rules. If the Old Testament Judeans kept the Law, they would be made righteous. We are to live by the two great commandments clearly stated in Matthew 22: 37 - 40, not by the Old Testament Law. Christ came to fulfil the law and did so under the CHRIST ADMINISTRATION. We, today, are not under the Law. Now lets take a look at the book of Romans:
Romans 3: 20 -- Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
On the surface, there appears to be a contradiction between Deuteronomy and Romans. But this is not true if we recognize to whom they are written. Deuteronomy was addressed to ISRAEL under THE LAW ADMINISTRATION while Romans is addressed to the CHURCH under THE CHURCH OF GRACE ADMINISTRATION. In our administration, the seven Church epistles, beginning with Romans, are written directly to us. A great part of the Bible is for our learning but not written directly to us in the Church of Grace Administration in which we now live. We need to understand to whom the Bible is written and the different administrations in order to rightly divide God's Word, stand approved before Him, and manifest the more than abundant life promised in John 10:10b.
John 10: 10b -- . . . . . I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Of all the teachings on this website, this teaching on THE SEVEN ADMINISTRATIONS may be one of the most important to help you to understand God’s Word and this blesses God to no end.
III John 4 -- I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Revelation 22: 21 -- The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.