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#17. The Blessings of the Son (Eph. 1: 7-12).
The Dispensation of the Fulness of the Seasons.
pp. 177 - 179
In the previous paper of this series we expressed our belief that verse 10 is an
expansion of verse 9, and to enable the reader more easily to take up the connection we
repeat the setting of the passage.
| 9. The mystery of His WILL.
B | 9. IN HIM.
A | 10. The dispensation of the fulness.
B | 10. IN HIM.
The mystery of His will, here revealed in all wisdom and prudence, has reference to a
dispensation, that of the fulness of the season.
There are three references to a dispensation in Ephesians.
A dispensation of the fulness of the seasons (1: 10),
The dispensation of the grace of God (3: 2),
The dispensation of the mystery (3: 9, R.V.).
An essential character of a dispensation is that it involves a stewardship.
Luke 16: 2, 3 translates the word thus. A day is coming when stewardship as at present
understood will have passed away and "God will be all in all" (I Cor. 15: 28). It is
hardly in keeping with the fundamental idea of a dispensation to speak of that
culminating period as a dispensation. The fact that Eph. 1: 10 speaks of a gathering
together in one of all things in Christ, has made many believe that Eph. 1: 10 refers to
the same period that is indicated in I Cor. 15: 28. What scriptural necessity is there for
Eph. 1: 10 to be future?
To Paul was given the dispensation of the grace of God to the Gentiles, "the mystery
. . . . . that the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs," etc.; he also speaks of the dispensation of
the mystery (R.V.). In Eph. 1: 10 the title of the dispensation is "the fulness of the
seasons." When Christ was born into the world, Gal. 4: 4 declares that it was "the
fulness of the time." Time still rolls on, even though its fulness was reached over
nineteen hundred years ago. The word we translate season occurs four times in
Ephesians, twice in the doctrinal, and twice in the practical section. Eph. 2: 12 speaks
of "that season" when the Gentiles were without Christ and aliens from the
commonwealth of Israel. The contrast with "that season" is given in verses 13-22. "But
now," when the both (Jew and Gentiles), are reconciled in one body. The blessings here
spoken of are direct outcome of the glorious facts given in Eph. 1: 18-23. This being so,
we may be allowed to say that the state of things described in 1: 18-23 being set in
contrast with "that season," will be closely parallel with the dispensation of the fulness of