En Tois Epouranios #7

By Michael S. Mecikalski

We are members of the church which is Christ's body are the fullness of the Creator, the One Who gave Himself as a "ransom" for us, Who divested Himself of His majesty, Who died and was buried, and who was raised from the dead and was set at the right hand of the Father in the Heaven far above all heavens, above all beings, above every power, above every name! (Eph. 1:20-23). A remarkable and unfathomable reality that sustains and comforts us, and oh so wondrous, beautiful and true! The Heaven far above all heavens, no doubt, is a place, and it is in this realm that the church has its inheritance and what is more, we are the Father's personal, chosen inheritance (Eph. 1:3, 1:20, 2:6, 3:10, 6:12; Col. 1:9-12).

The author of this series of articles does not claim to be an "expert" concerning Scripture, but is a lowly student of the truth, rightly dividing the Word of God. It is with this "frame of mind and heart" that we continue with Eph.1:10, a very important, interesting and somewhat difficult verse; "That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him." In the past 25 years I have learned of three different ways that this verse is interpreted by some great people of God: (1) That what is being spoken of in verse 10 will occur completely in the future (i.e. in the time of the advent of Christ and beyond); (2) That verse 10 discusses the "out-working" of God in this present dispensation and continuing on into future times; (3) That verse 10 is speaking of a "work of God" that was completed when the truth of the dispensation of the mystery was revealed to the Apostle Paul in approx. A.D. 64. In this and subsequent articles, I will attempt to explain these three different views.

Firstly, it is important to look into the word dispensation; what is a dispensation? In Eph.1:10 the Greek word for dispensation is oikonomia. This word literally means "the administrative activity of an owner or of a steward; an economy of a household; a stewardship." I believe it is how God administrates, in an orderly fashion, the revealing of Himself, His work and His will through His precious word. Interestingly, the word steward in the Greek is oikonomos. A dispensation can define a period of time but is not limited by a period of time. For example, a dispensation of grace actually started with the Lord's "covering provision" for Adam's sin. Actually, a dispensation of grace may have been initiated in the mind of God before the foundation of the world in regard to us, the church which is Christ's body. We know that God is "dispensing" grace this very day, approx. 6,000 years from Adam's creation (Eph.1:7).

More to come.