That's why He often cautioned witnesses of His power [and miracles] to not tell others about what He had done. Satan must not get a glimpse of God's redemptive work [through Israel] before Calvary could happen. The Enemy must not figure out that God planned for Israel to become a kingdom of priests that would influence and lead the Gentiles to a saving knowledge of Jesus as King of God's earthly kingdom. While this initial plan did not play out, we will see that it ultimately does come to fruition at Christ's return.
That understanding leads me to the next step in our study of what the Bible tells us about God's "mysteries". So, let's now consider Paul's statement to the Jews of Israel in Romans 11:25, I do not want you, believers, to be unaware of this mystery [God’s previously hidden plan]—so that you will not be wise in your own opinion—that a partial hardening has [temporarily] happened to Israel [to last] until the full number of the Gentiles has come in; and so [at that time] all Israel [that is, all Jews who have a personal faith in Jesus as Messiah] will be saved; just as it is written [in Scripture]. So while Jesus's mission was to point the unbelieving Jews back to the prophecies of the Messiah, so that they might recognize Him and step into Israel's earthly kingdom role, Paul speaks to mysterious things Jesus never mentions. In fact, what Paul reveals are Godly mysteries that were intentionally hidden until it was time for the Holy Spirit to reveal them to Paul.
Consider the teachings of Paul ... Throughout Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians, Titus, and 1 Timothy, we find Paul teaching about the events/God's plans that establish His heavenly kingdom on earth: the temporary hardening [and fall] of Israel; salvation by faith without the necessity of the Mosaic Law; the formation of the Gentile Church and the Body of Christ; salvation being made available to all Jews and Gentiles without preference or distinction; the Rapture and Christ's return for His Bride; and the ultimate wrath of God against all who reject the Kingship of Jesus.
Remember, when Jesus spoke to His disciples about God's program for Israel, it was understood that the original plans were for Israel alone. Jesus did not offer it to the Gentiles. At that time, there was a separation between Jew and Gentile. But after the Jews rejected Jesus, and there was no redeemed Israel, then the plan pivoted to salvation through the Gentiles, with the message taken to them by Paul. But Paul makes it clear that God has not cast away Israel! It will eventually be a restored Israel that will reach whatever unbelieving Gentiles remain on the earth and invite them into King Jesus's earthly kingdom.
I think it is important that we realize that Jesus's mysteries, and Paul's mysteries, are revealed for two separate reasons; those reasons are not the same. Jesus's ministry was primarily to the Jews, and it was mysterious to the citizens of Israel because so many no longer believed that the prophecies of old would materialize in their lifetime. They had been subjected to so much bondage from other "kingdoms" -- [Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome] -- that they were naturally skeptical that the prophecies of the Messiah would ever come true. So, Jesus revealed God's mysterious plan for Israel to a few trusted followers and believers.
But the mysteries that Paul preached were the mysterious plans of God that had been kept "hidden" until after His original plan did not transpire [because of Israel's unbelief], and they could be revealed to Paul by the Holy Spirit. These mysteries would become the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy that said, "In the days of those [final ten] kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will its sovereignty be left for another people; but it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it will stand forever". They are the mysteries that would ultimately lead to God's heavenly kingdom on earth, which is why He had to keep them hidden until Christ went to the Cross at Calvary!
You see, Satan thought he had defeated God at Calvary. The prophesied Messiah was judged and crucified by the very people God had commissioned to lead the world to the knowledge of the Most High God, Jehovah Adonai! Instead, Jesus defeated Satan's most devastating strategy [Death] by dying, Himself, for all of us and offering a way to be free from Satan's bondage. You see, God's plan was bigger than the devil knew! YHWH would now work His plan through a different spokesman and a different group of humans, but the end result would be the same. The Gentiles would spread the Gospels of Salvation and Kingdom to the ends of the earth, bringing Israel back into the fold. And once the Christian ekklesia is taken up to Heaven in what we know as "the Rapture", God will restore Israel to their original role of teaching the world of the sovereignty and glory of YHWH and Yeshua's righteous rule.
As you can see, the "mysteries" that are revealed by Jesus and Paul are quite different, but they both point to the Sovereignty and Supremacy of our God. In the next post, I will discuss exactly what mysteries were revealed by Paul; those secrets that were hidden in the past, but revealed after Christ's resurrection -- many of which are still playing out today. Join me as we discover the glory and wisdom of God as He establishes His heavenly kingdom on earth.
Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and decisions and how unfathomable and untraceable are His ways!