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Is my task to be open? Yes, I should focus what God is doing and make it clear to everyone I know. There is no room in God’s world to be secretive and quite about God. God challenges us shout out to everyone the good news of what He is doing.

God has been working behind the scenes all along. We didn’t know it for the longest time. Now we do. What should we do about that? Be silent? Don’t help others to see it?

No, we must speak up. We must give King Jesus, the Messiah, one huge Shout Out!!

To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of the Messiah [Christ], and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.[1]

(Ephesians 3:8-10)

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“Why did God keep His secret about the church hidden for so many centuries?” Certainly, the Old Testament clearly states that God will save the Gentiles through Israel, but nowhere are we told that both Jews and Gentiles will form a new creation, the church, the body of the Messiah. It was this mystery that the Spirit revealed to Paul and other leaders in the early church, and that was so difficult for the Jews to accept.

  • Paul tells us that “the principalities and powers” are also involved in this great secret.
  • God is “educating” the angels by means of the church!
  • By “the principalities and powers,” Paul means the angelic beings created by God, both good and evil.

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Angels are created beings and are not omniscient. In fact, Peter indicates that during the Old Testament period, the angels were curious about God’s plan of salvation then being worked out on earth. Certainly, the angels rejoice at the repentance of a lost sinner; and Paul suggests that the angels watch the activities of the local assembly. “We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels,” Paul writes (1 Cor. 4:9).

What, then, do the angels learn from the church? “The manifold wisdom of God” (Eph. 3:10). Certainly, the angels know about the power of God as seen in His creation.

  • But the wisdom of God as seen in His new creation, the church, is something new to them.
  • Unsaved men, including wise philosophers, look at God’s plan of salvation and consider it “foolishness”.
  • But the angels watch the outworking of God’s salvation, and they praise His wisdom.
  • Paul calls it manifold wisdom, and this word carries the idea of “variegated” or “many-colored.”
  • This suggests the beauty and variety of God’s wisdom in His great plan of salvation.

But there is another facet to this truth that must be explored. What are the evil angels learning from God’s “mystery”? That their leader, Satan, does not have any wisdom! Satan knows the Bible, and he understood from the Old Testament Scriptures that the Savior would come, when He would come, how He would come, and where He would come.

  • Satan also understood why He would come, as far as redemption is concerned.
  • But nowhere in the Old Testament would Satan find any prophecies concerning the church, “the mystery” of Jews and Gentiles united in one body!
  • Satan could see unbelieving Jews rejecting their Messiah, and he could see Gentiles trusting the Messiah, but he could not see both believing Jews and Gentiles united in one body, seated with Jesus in the heavenlies, and completely victorious over Satan!
  • Had Satan known the far-reaching results of the Cross, no doubt he would have altered his plans accordingly.

God hid this great plan “from the beginning of the world,” but now He wants “the mystery” to be known by His church. And therefore, He made Paul a “steward” of this great truth. Ephesians 3:9 should read, “And to make all men see what the stewardship of the mystery is.” Here is an amazing truth: Now all believers are to be faithful stewards of this great truth! This “sacred secret” that was so important to Paul, and to the Gentiles, and to angels, is now in our hands![2]

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Eph 3:8–10). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, pp. 28–29). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.