Ephesians 4:10 – Jesus Fills All

He who descended is the same also who ascended far above all the heavens, that he might [ful]fill all things. — Ephesians 4:10

This scripture is often presented by some trinitarians and others in an effort to prove that Jesus has an incommunicable attribute that only belongs to the Most High, Yahweh (Jehovah). The focus appears to be on that he is said to “fill all things” as this reads in many translations, while ignoring the context.

If this scripture is meant to say that Jesus is now absolutely everywhere in the universe, it should be obvious that if he had to ascend that he might be such, then he was not absolutely everywhere in the universe before. Thus, such an application to Paul’s words would mean that Jesus was, before he ascended, not everywhere, but that after he ascended he then became the Most High and was everywhere.

Some would apply the alleged dual nature of Jesus to this, and claim that this only applies to his humanity. According to this theory, if taken to logical conclusions, Jesus’ small physical body of flesh is now present everywhere. If this is so, then we should be able to see that body of flesh present all around us, since such an idea would make Jesus’ alleged physical body now present absolutely everywhere in the universe.  Actually, Jesus is no longer flesh, for he offered his human body of flesh once for all time to pay the condemnation of death. — Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; 1 Peter 3:18.

See our study:

Jesus Died a Human Being – Raised a Spirit Being

He who descended [into the grave] is himself also he who ascended far above all the heavens (skies), that he might [ful]fill all things. In what sense does he “fill all things”? Does it mean, as in the NIV and Weymouth, “to fill the whole universe”? On a literal level, he would not “fill the universe” if he ascended “far above” the heavens, since that would mean that he is outside the heavens. In our quotation of Ephesians 4:10, we have added the prefix “ful”, giving fulfill. The word “fill” is from the Greek verb pleroo which often means “accomplish, fulfill” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary, meaning II). It is the word used numerous times by Matthew when he says a Scripture was “fulfilled” by this or that episode of Christ’s experiences. It also appears in Luke 9:31, “his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.” Thus Christ is the one in whom all of God’s purposes are fulfilled, or accomplished. The word translated “fill” is Strong’s #4137, which should have been translated “fulfill” (see the KJV margin) all things, as the KJV usually does in other verses where similar expressions occur. — See Matthew 1:22; 2:15,17,23; 3:15; 4:14; 5:17; 12:17; 13:35; 21:4; 26:56; John 12:38; 13:18; 15:11,25; 17:12,13; 18:9,32; 19:24,36; Romans 8:4, etc.

In reference to the physical skies, as in Genesis 1:8,9,14,15,17,20,26,28,30; 2:4,20; Job 35:5; 38:33; Psalm 8:3; 19:1, etc., Jesus, now being a spirit person, is definitely far above all that is material; in reference to heavens as referring to rulerships, dominions, etc, as in Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:25; Luke 21:26; 2 Peter 3:5,7,10,12,13; etc., it is the only true God (John 17:1,3) who has exalted Jesus in power that above all powers, with the exception of God himself. — Acts 5:31; Ephesians 1:3,17-23 (1 Corinthians 15:27); Colossians 2:9; Philippians 2:9.

Jesus ascended on high far above the visible skies, to appear before the presence of God himself (Hebrews 9:24), and presented his body of flesh as a sacrifice to God (Hebrews 10:10) and sent the holy spirit back that he might give gifts to men, some as apostles, some prophets, evangelists, shepherds (pastors), and teachers. He fulfilled the role of the hill of God referred to in Psalm 68 and referred to in Ephesians 4:6. He ascended that he might thereby fulfill all things prophesied of the Messiah.

 

pleroo {play-ro’-o} plhrovw

Word Origin
from 4134
TDNT – 6:286,867
v verb

Word Usage in KJV
fulfil 51, fill 19, be full 7, complete 2, end 2, misc 9; 90

  1. to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full
    1. to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally
      1. I abound, I am liberally supplied
  2. to render full, i.e. to complete
    1. to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim
    2. to consummate: a number
      1. to make complete in every particular, to render perfect
      2. to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, (some undertaking)
    3. to carry into effect, bring to realisation, realise
      1. of matters of duty: to perform, execute
      2. of sayings, promises, prophecies, to bring to pass, ratify, accomplish
      3. to fulfil, i.e. to cause God’s will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God’s promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfilment

Thayer and Smith. “Greek Lexicon entry for Pleroo“. “The New Testament Greek Lexicon“.
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Related:

Christ Led Captivity Captive

Jesus Died a Human Being – Raised a Spirit Being

Jesus: Body, Soul and Spirit

 

         
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