Defining The Different "Ages"
A querist asks, “What age do we live in? Christian Age, Messianic Age?”
We are presently living in the Christian Age. The following short study should help your understanding regarding the different dispensations or ages of time:
The word “patriarch” means “father.” In this age God began to deal with man as the head of his family. Instead of revealing a written code of law and a system of worship, He spoke to the fathers through visions, dreams, and angels (Genesis 15:1; Genesis 22:11,15; Genesis 31:11; Genesis 31:24; Genesis 46:2; Numbers 12:6; Numbers 24:4,16). Because of the limitation and nature of God’s revelation during this long age, lasting thousands of years, it has been called the “Starlight Age”.
Here the name springs from the great lawgiver, Moses. During this period God expanded His method of dealing with man by choosing a nation (Israel – Deuteronomy 7:6-8). Man was now ready for additional revelation from God; hence this age is often called the “Moonlight Age”. Through Moses, God set down a definite written code for social, political, and religious life, with the Ten Commandments as its center (Exodus 20).
The name here refers to Christ, the “author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). The chief characteristic here is that God now turns from a family and a nation to the whole world (John 3:16-17; Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 1:5; Romans 16:25-26). Now the grand purpose of God is fulfilled through His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2); the redemption of all mankind on earth (those who are willing to be saved by the Gospel or “perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25). Thus, this age is often called the “Sunlight Age” – the present age in which we now live. More than nineteen hundred years have transpired thus far.