Biola Broadcaster - 1963-09

GOD’S PROPHETIC PLAN by Dr. Ralph L. Keiper

P rophecy deals specifically with history, or as it is something de­ fined more accurately, prewritten his­ tory. All history is made up of three important things: a beginning, a con­ tinuance, and an ending. So it is with God’s prophetic word. God carries forth His dealings in various steps which are appropriately known as dispensa­ tions. This is a term which is peculiar to prophetic truth. It is used in both the Gospels and in the letters of Paul. “Whereof I am made a minister, ac­ cording to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God” (Colossians 1:25). The word “dispensation” signifies something which is given forth. For example, in New York and Philadel­ phia, our subway platforms have coffee dispensers in them. Put in a dime, push a button, and out comes a cup of liquid coffee, cream and sugar, if you desire it. This mechanical device administers coffee. From the Greek word translated “dispensation” we get our word “economy,” that by which something is managed-’or administered. The Latin is translated by steward­ ship. In Luke 12:42 we read, “And the Lord said, Who then is that faith­ ful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season.” Here, the one who is a faithful dispenser is made ruler over the household and administers its af­ fairs. The English word “steward” is very interesting for it comes from two older terms in our vocabulary: “stye” (where pigs are kept), and “ward,” or one who has charge of the hogs; the guardi­ an of the pen. Now, however, it is one who becomes the steward and manages the household. Bringing this word into Scriptural witness we are stewards of His grace .(I Peter 4:10). ‘Dispensa­

tion” is a good word for it occurs in the Gospels and the epistles. It has to do with administration or a law of management. God, in planning the world, has set up various ways in which this world is to be managed for given purposes. On occasion He has given this stewardship, this manage­ ment, to the Gentiles. On other occa­ sions He has given it to Israel. On still other occasions He has, even now in our present time, given this direction and oversight management to the Church (I Corinthians 4:1). Each of us, as believers, have the high privilege of being a manager of the Gospel. THE LAZY CHURCH MEMBER I’ve been a dead weight many years Around the church's neck; I've had my name upon the rolls. For years and years gone by; I've criticized and grumbled too— Nothing could satisfy. I've been a dead weight long enough Upon the church's back. Beginning now, I'm going to take A wholly different track. I'm going to pray and pay and work And carry loads instead; And not have others carry me As people do the dead! Everytime you see a mechanical dis­ penser it should remind you that you have the high privilege of dispensing the cream of the Word of God and of telling the Gospel story to all. This means, however, that we must know His grace and love. We must have the supreme realization that God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. A continuation of Dr. Keiper’s messages begins on page 51. 14 I've let the others carry me, And always pay the check.

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