Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, truly was a Christian full of the Holy Ghost, for he was the man who revealed the greatest mysteries of the gospel (Eph. 6:19). How can this be? Gospel means GOOD NEWS, and are these wrapped in mystery? For example, Jesus spoke in parables about the mysteries of the kingdom of God: “The disciples came, and said to him, ‘Why do you speak to them in parables?’ He answered them, ‘To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them’” (Matt. 13:10-11). The good news of the kingdom of God is hidden in mysteries to all the peoples, including to the Jews. Mark, the evangelist, declared that Jesus spoke only in parables, but revealed their spiritual meaning to the disciples, who were also blind (Mark 4:33-34). When Jesus told the parable of the tares and the wheat, the apostles asked him (Matt. 13:36): “Explain to us the parable of the darnel weeds of the field”. This proves that they were as blind as the scribes and the Pharisees, and also the priests. How did they become blind, and so blind as to crucify the Messiah? The Old Testament made them blind. The apostle Paul was the one to reveal this mystery. He said: “But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom that has been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds for our glory, which none of the rulers of this world has known. For had they known it, they wouldn’t have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:7-8). Let us analyze this text:
The wisdom of God is hidden in mystery; therefore, the natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God because it seems foolishness to them (1 Cor. 2:14).
The wisdom of God was ordained by him before the centuries; therefore it was not known in the Old Testament, that is to say, in the times of the law and the prophets. We gather that the wisdom that Jehovah gave to Solomon was not the wisdom of God, for, if it were of God, Solomon would have revealed the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but he did not. The book of Proverbs speaks of man and his behavior. The book of Ecclesiastes talks about the foolishness and ravings of man. The book of Songs of Solomon speaks of the carnal love and sensuality. The wisdom of Solomon comes from the past centuries, which ended in Christ, and the wisdom of God was ordained before the times of the centuries (Rom. 10:25; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2).
The mystery of the incarnation of the Word was not manifested in other centuries to the sons of men, according to the word of Paul to the Ephesians: “if it is so that you have heard of the administration of that grace of God which was given me toward you; how that by revelation the mystery was made known to me, as I wrote before in few words, by which, when you read, you can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ; which in other generations was not made known to the children of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit” (Eph. 3:2-5). And Paul repeats it in verse nine, saying: “And to make all men see what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things through Jesus Christ” (Eph. 3:10). In the epistle to the Colossians, the great apostle goes after it again, saying: “THE MYSTERY WHICH HAS BEEN HIDDEN FOR AGES AND GENERATIONS. BUT NOW IT HAS BEEN REVEALED TO HIS SAINTS, TO WHOM GOD WAS PLEASED TO MAKE KNOWN WHAT ARE THE RICHES OF THE GLORY OF THIS MYSTERY AMONG THE GENTILES, WHICH IS CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY” (Col. 1:26-27).
THE GREAT MISTERY IS THAT JEHOVAH WAS NOT THE GOD OF THE GENTILES. Who are the gentiles? This is the name by which all the nations were called, with the exception of the Jewish nation. Gentiles are all the nations whose religion is not monotheistic, but polytheistic; that is to say, who worship various gods. As the Jews served and worshipped one only God, the Gentiles were idolaters and, therefore, an abomination in the Jews’ eyes. The word Gentile comes from the Hebrew word EREB, which means: A MIXTURE OF PEOPLE, for Israel did not mingle with other peoples. Jehovah commanded the slaughter of all the peoples of Canaan (Josh. 11:19-20). But they did not destroy the peoples as Jehovah had commanded. On the contrary, they mingled with the nations, and they learned their works, and served their idols, which came to be a snare to them (Ps. 106:34-36). Jehovah hated the gentiles, and so they said: “Jehovah is King forever and ever! The nations will perish out of his land” (Ps. 10:16; 2 Kings 16:3; 21:2).
The wisdom of God, which prior to Christ had never been manifested to the children of men, considered the Gentiles as being co-heirs and belonging to the same body, as we read in Eph. 3:4-6. However, the wisdom of Jehovah excluded the Gentiles, that is to say, excluded the other peoples from the body of the people of Israel, so much so as the destiny of the other peoples was to be slaves of Israel. The psalmist declared prophetically: “For Jehovah Most High is awesome. He is a great King over all the earth. He subdues nations under us, and peoples under our feet” (Ps. 47:2-3).
The New Testament, where the wisdom of the true God was manifested, says: “Or is God the God of Jews only? Isn’t he the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also” (Rom. 3:29). Peter said in an argument in which the Jewish Christians wished to force the gentiles to be circumcised and keep the law of Jehovah: “Brothers, you know that a good while ago God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the nations should hear the word of the Good News, and believe. God, who knows the heart, testified about them, giving them the Holy Spirit, just like he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith” (Acts 15: 7-9).
The wisdoms are, therefore, two: The wisdom of Jehovah, manifested to Israel in the centuries that have passed, and the wisdom of God the Father, which has never been manifested to the children of men in any of the past centuries (1 Cor. 2:7).
In the wisdom of Jehovah there was salvation for Israel only, and in the wisdom of the Father, revealed by Paul, God wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:3-4). This is the wisdom of love. Glory be to God!
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira