By Oscar M. Baker
"...the church which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all" (Eph. 1:22,23). Remember, after the book of Acts, the word church is never used in the plural. Now there are many churches before the end of Acts while the Kingdom was in view, there were many churches - churches in Rome, Ephesus, Laodecia, Thessalonica, Corinth and other places. But such assemblies are never mentioned again after Acts 28:28; it is The Church. It has no headquarters here on earth. But it is seated with Christ in the heavenlies, He is the Head, it is His body. AND THAT IS THE GREAT DIFFERENCE. It has nothing to do with the Kingdom because there He is to be King of kings and Lord of lords. But here He has a special title, Head of the church which is His Body. We must be careful that we maintain this title.
The church which is His Body is spoken of as "...thefulness of Him that filleth all in all." Now in one way, this dispensation of the mystery is parenthetical, that is, if you look at it from the earthly program that God has been working out through His people, Israel. But if you look at the plan and purpose of the ages, and from God's standpoint in the heavenlies, we might say that this dispensation of the mystery is the central point. So you see, it is a matter of viewpoint.
The church of this dispensation is really the mystery. It had been hid from people, from any knowledge of sentient beings. This church of the dispensation of the mystery is not only said to be called out of the world, but it is even called out from those who believe! All who believe are children, but some who believe have also been placed as sons, and that, of course, involves inheritance, special blessings, and all of these things.
And this church is not only, "the church which is His body," but it has also a further, wondrous title, which is, "the fullness of Him that filleth all in all." FULNESS. The word has the idea of something bodily, something that is even material, if we want to put it that way, although even material might have an abstract meaning sometimes. But Who is it that fills all in all? Going on to Ephesians 4:10 we read this: "He that descendedis the same also that ascended up farabove all heavens, that He might fill allthings."
Well, that means filling to the full all things, so I guess that that is not too far off. But He is to fill all things. It might be that we should add just a little bit here to anticipate. You may not really grasp what is to be filled, and what it is to be filled with. Well, all of God's creation someday is to be filled with His glory. Now is that going to help a little? That is part of the meaning here. And of course, that is parallel with vs. 20 & 21 of Eph. 1, which we have just had in previous lessons. There Paul is talking about the power that raised Christ from the dead. And we see the risen Christ is seated in the super-heavenlies, far above all, "that He might fill all things," with the glory of God. So you can see the necessity of His exaltation!