An age (αἰών) is a period in which God shows something about Himself to intelligent beings. Ages are not restricted to time and are distinct from dispensations (οἰκονομία), which are administrations within time during which God shows something to humans about themselves. Ages may overlap with another age, begin at the same time as a dispensation, or run for a period longer than a single dispensation. Ages end when God has finished revealing the intended aspect of His nature to the intelligent created beings. Dispensations change due to judgment coming upon those in the household for failing to abide by the rules and run consecutively and are bound to time.
An age is not the same as eternal or forever. When referring to things that go beyond the ages, such as the eternal life we have in Christ, aiōnios (αἰώνιος) is used, 1 John 5:13. Where aiōn (αἰών) references a period in which God is showing something about Himself to intelligent beings, whether in or out of time. In the future, there will be ages (αἰών) of the ages (αἰών); however, each age (αἰών) is not eternal (αἰώνιος). This is also true in the Old Testament where ōw·lām (עֹולָם) conveys the concept of an age, Psalm 9:6; however ăd (עַד) with the preposition (לְ – to) expresses perpetuity, Psalm 61:8. The Lord will reign from an age (עֹולָם) and perpetually (עַד), Exodus 15:18.
Before the creation of humans, Scripture reveals that there were three ages. God created the spirit beings before He created the universe, Job 38:7. Therefore, the first age was the creation of the universe. During this age, the spirit beings learned of the omnipotent power of God, for they witnessed Him create the universe […]