God’s instructions and spiritual requirements for mankind are often broken down into three different dispensations or periods of time.
From the beginning, men and women lived under the “Patriarchal Age.” The patriarchs were the heads of families who God communicated with directly. God spoke with and instructed Adam, Noah, Abraham, and others. We know the instructions given during this age were binding, and violating these commands was sinful (Genesis 39:9).
Once Moses received the ten commandments from God on Mt. Sinai, which are the basis of the “law of Moses,” the Israelites were required to live and worship under that law (Exodus 20). This dispensation is the “Mosaic Age.” For centuries, God required the sacrifices, incense burning, and ceremonial cleansings we might think of to approach Him in worship.
Once Jesus rose from the grave, ascended into heaven, and His church was established on the day of Pentecost, the “Christian Age” began. We know from multiple passages that this religious dispensation will be the last (Acts 2:17; Hebrews 1:2).
We are blessed as Christians, living during a time when God has removed the burden of sacrifice and revealed His final plan.