In yesterday’s post I had told you that we would consider further the verses used by Doctrine.org in their attempt to convince us that there exists in scripture more than just one gospel. Here is what is stated.
“Another issue concerns the gospel itself. Under the [‘]Great Commission[‘] the apostles were commanded to preach the gospel. But what gospel? The Scriptures teach more than one gospel–the [‘]gospel of the kingdom[‘] (Matthew 4.23), the [‘]gospel of the circumcision[‘] (Galatians 2.7), the [‘]gospel of the uncircumcision[‘] (Galatians 2.7), and the [‘]gospel of the grace of God[‘] (Acts 20.24). What gospel did John the Baptizer, Jesus, and the apostles preach? Did they preach that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4)? Hardly. That gospel remained undisclosed until God revealed it to Paul (Romans 16.25). The [‘]good news[‘] preached prior to Paul was the gospel of the coming kingdom.” (Quoted from doctrine.org)
There are several things that we need to dig into here, starting with what does Paul say of the gospel and the Jew? “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
The doctrine.org quote begins by
referencing the kingdom gospel that Jesus preached to the Jews? So, was it a message to establish a exclusive gospel for Israel alone, an earthly kingdom Messianic gospel, as they make claim? This is, in fact, what is taught by most Dispensationalists.
Yet, Jesus states when sending out the disciples. “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand'” Matthew 10.7
Does this mean that the only message to the Jews then and in the future during the Tribulation will be the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand? As we stated yesterday Paul, “they” tell us, was preaching a gospel that was supposed to be leading us (the church) to heaven, and not to an earthly kingdom that God is preparing only for Israel. Yet Jesus’ instruction to the Jew was “the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. So to the Jews; it was not just the earthly kingdom gospel which was offered as Dispensationalists explain it. For later, Paul preached the kingdom to both the Ephesians and Romans as part of the gospel message that he was taking to them. See Acts 20:25, which is left out by doctrine.org; as is 28:21.
Also, Consider what is done here in this quote with Galatians 2:7, and ask is there some deception occurring. Listen:
But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised
Galatians 2:7 NASB
The translation of this verse is just plain wrong in the KJV, and it should put a stop to the rantings of the KJV ONLY advocates, for the KJV translators missed the point. This verse really communicates that Peter and Paul were preaching the same gospel, but to different people. Almost all of the other translators get this right, except for the King James translators.
So what of the gospel of grace Acts 20:24? But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. (KJV)
So let’s examine the gospel of Grace which is supposedly another gospel separate from what is perceived as the kingdom gospel. Here in the quote above, Acts 20:24 is all that doctrine.org uses. But what happens if we add the next verse?
“And now, behold, I know that all of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will no longer see my face.
Acts 20:25 NASB
Notice that in this very next verse Paul tells us that the kingdom is preached as part of this Gospel of Grace that he preaches. The gospel of grace includes the kingdom. Scripture is not teaching two gospels. The Old Testament Scripture teaches the death and resurrection of The Messiah. Just because those prophecies were miss understood by the scholars of the day does not make them void as impacting the gospel message. Men even before Christ died, as it was revealed in the Dead Sea scrolls, thought that there were two Messianic saviors. One a suffering savior and the other a deliverer. Just because those before Christ came were wrong does not void the truth that scripture is teaching us today, and that truth becomes the whole gospel.
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: (KJV)
In fact Jesus said that He is in addition “the truth”, “the way”, “the life”. Scripture calls Him “the word”, “the creator”; in fact He is the gospel, the good news. “No man comes to the Father but by Me”. No man, Old Covenant Believer, New Covenant Believer, Tribulation Believer, no man can come except by Him. He may not be good news to the man who will not believe, but He is to us the good news. And no man will see the first resurrection apart from Him.
Then doctrine.org says: What gospel did John the Baptizer, Jesus, and the apostles preach? Did they preach that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15.1-4)? Hardly. That gospel remained undisclosed until God revealed it to Paul (Romans 16.25). The [‘]good news[‘] preached prior to Paul was the gospel of the coming kingdom.”
So what do we make of this statement? — is it truth? John the Baptist came to announce or serve as forerunner to the Messiah. Jesus saw him as such. What did he preach? Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (KJV)
In Luke this account translates this kingdom as the kingdom of God, but nowhere in scripture is John the Baptist said to have preached the gospel. John’s message was never said to be “the” or even “a gospel”, but instead he stated the kingdom of Heaven or God is at hand, not Christ’s kingdom, which is promised in the old Covenant, and which is to Follow His Second Coming. So just what was the good news or Gospel that Jesus Himself taught. To Nicodemus He said you must be born again, born of the Spirit.
John 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. (KJV)
John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
John 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (KJV)
Jesus informed His disciples that after three days He would rise again, and after He appeared to them following His death — surely it must be understood that they no longer miss understood these truths. — These truth’s concerning the good news which helps to make up the gospel. So the question for anyone believing that Paul was the first to know of the death, burial and resurrection many years after these things happened, must be — exactly why do you believe this?
Paul Himself makes the claim that he, after receiving the gospel from God, went to Jerusalem to see if what he was teaching was in keeping with correct teaching. He begins describing this as follows:
Galatians 1:22 But I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.
Galatians 1:23 They were only hearing, “The one who once persecuted us is now proclaiming the good news of the faith he once tried to destroy.”
Galatians 1:24 So they glorified God because of me. (NET)
The good news is the gospel. Paul was teaching the same faith as the apostles in Judea. Jesus is the one and only gospel, by whom we must be saved.
John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came about through Jesus Christ. (NET)