The Berean Expositor
Volume 39 - Page 6 of 234
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"To make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery"
(Eph. 3: 9, R.V.)
The Throne Room (1: 19 - 2: 7).
The Fullness (1: 23).
pp. 1 - 6
The church which is the Body is also called "the fullness of Him that filleth all in all".
This title taken by itself is evidently one of supreme importance and dignity, but when
taken in relation with the outworking of the purpose of the ages, it will be seen to have a
deeper significance. The student who is acquainted with Dispensational Truth is also
aware of the presence of "gaps" in the outworking of the Divine purpose. The Saviour's
recognition of this "gap" in Isa. 61: is made evident when we read Luke 4: 16-21 and
Luke 21: 22. So when we read I Pet. 1: 11 or the quotation of Joel 2: 28-32 in Acts 2:,
the presence of a gap or interval is made evident. The word translated "fullness" is the
Greek pleroma, and its first occurrence in the N.T. places it in contrast with a "rent" or a
"No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to
fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse" (Matt. 9: 16).
"No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that
filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse" (Mark 2: 21).
"No man putteth a piece of new cloth on an old; if otherwise, then both the new
maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old"
(Luke 5: 36).
The words that call for attention are: "that which is put in to fill up"; this is the
translation of the Greek pleroma "fullness". In contrast with this "fullness" is the word
"rent" which in the Greek is schisma.  Two words translated "new" are used: in
Matt. 9: 16, and in Mark 2: 21 agnaphos, not yet fulled, or dressed, from gnapheus, a
fuller, and kainos, which is used in Luke 5: 36, which means newly made. In place of
"put into" or "put upon" used in Matt. 9: 16 and Luke 5: 36, we find the word "to sew
on" epirrhapto employed in Mark 2: 21.  One other word is suggestive, the word
translated "agree" in Luke 5: 36. It is the Greek symphoneo. Now, as these terms will
be referred to in the course of the following exposition, we will take the present
opportunity of enlarging a little on their meaning and relationship here, and so prepare
the way.
Pleroma. This word, derived from pleroo "to fill", occurs seventeen times in the N.T.
Two of these occurrences occur in Matthew, Mark as we have seen; the remaining
fifteen occurrences are found in John's Gospel and in Paul's epistles. It is noteworthy
that the word pleroma "fullness" is never used in the epistles of the Circumcision. When
Peter referred to the problem that the "gap" suggested by the words "where is the