Charles Welch's 18 Dispensations Scheme1

[This article is to show the dispensational scheme of Charles Welch, a popular Bible teacher. Welch is quoted to show how confused the the question of the  number of dispensations is - an answer that should be quite clear IF it is taught in Scripture! Charles Ryrie, the dispensational apologist from Dallas Seminary, said that "A concise definition of a dispensation is this: a dispensation is a distinguishable economy in the outworking of God's purpose"2. Kenneth Gentry, commenting on Ryrie's definition, says "this is remarkable in that since a dispensation is a 'distinguishable economy' it would seem that it should DISTINGUISHABLE"!] (for more info see the chart in the article How Many Dispensations?)

[begin quote]
"How many 'dispensations' are indicated in the Scriptures? This is a question that is more easily asked than answered.
Every single believer who has been entrusted with stewardship of truth adds to the number of 'dispensations', but this aspect of the matter is of course not intended by the question. When we refer to the different 'dispensations' we refer to those subdivisions of the ages, in which the revealed will of God, carrying differing obligations, has been made known, and put into force, and in practically every case, the administration or stewardship of these separate and differing administrations, are found to have been entrusted to some chosen servant of the Lord. Moses, for example, is inseparable from the dispensation of law, and 'Moses verily was faithful in all his house' (Heb. 3:5).

The Dispensations According to Charles Welch
(1) Innocence. Adam unfallen. Paradise enjoyed.
(2) Adam to Noah. The Fall to the Flood.
(3) Noah to Babel. N.B. - Some features of Genesis 9 remain unchanged.
(4) Babel to Abraham. The Nations and the Nation.
(5) Abraham to Egypt. The Exodus marks a critical change.
(6) Exodus to Sinai. The covenant 430 years after the promise.
(7) Sinai to Jericho. The forty years wandering.
(8) Jericho to Saul. The land entered.
(9) David to Christ. Here there are subdivisions which we have not noted.
(10) The Earthly Ministry of Christ, His Birth, Life, Death, Resurrection, Ascension.
(11) Pentecost to Peter in Prison, Acts 2 to 11.
(12) Paul's First Ministry. The Gentile a wild olive contrary to nature.
(13) Paul's Prison Ministry. The dispensation of the grace of God and the dispensation of the Mystery.
(14) The Resumption of Pentecost. The seven churches of Revelation 2,3.
(15) The Day of the Lord. The Apocalypse.
(16) The Millennial Kingdom and Revelation 20.
(17) The Period between the end of the Millennium and the Great White Throne.
(18) The End. The goal reached. God all in all.

(N.B.-Some may overlap, and more than one can run together at the same time.)

No significance must be attached to the numbers that stand before any one dispensation. Paul's Prison Ministry happens to be No. 13 in this list, but the very questionable period from Sinai to Jericho is No. 7. Anyone is at liberty to add further subdivisions as the study of the Word makes such dispensations, administration, or stewardships clear".3
[end quote]

(1) Quoted from: Dispensation, by Charles H. Welch (Source: http://studiesinscripture.bravehost.com/disp.html)

(2) From Dispensationalism by Charles C. Ryrie. Moody Press, Chicago. 1995

(3) If 'clear' then why the confusion??

updated 9-15-2006