First let me say that you who believe that there are two gospels, are confusing many. Herein I will tell you why. Starting with Acts 15:11 we are told a different story than what you must believe — you possess a firm belief that there is more than one gospel, more than one way to be saved.
I have previously heard some of you shout this to me. Here is an actual quote from one of you:
“Regarding your contention there is only one gospel, here are two questions which require an answer: What did Peter believe to be saved? How is a person saved today?”
To answer this consider Acts 15:11. In it is the answer to that question from scripture. This is in fact Peter speaking to the Apostles concerning Paul’s version of the gospel truth. He says:
Acts 15:11 “But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.” (NASB)
But there are other verses that some of you bring out to prove your own point, which should be examined, for these verses are all that is needed to prove the one way to salvation for both Jew and Gentile.
Example, some of you make the point — again I will use an actual quote: “Paul did not write that Gentiles or the Church were now possessors of Israel’s covenant promises.”
But he did. True our possession is by faith, because these promises are future. So what did Paul say that refutes what you state here: Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,
No longer would imply that what once was is no longer. So what we once were he states plainly —strangers and aliens to the covenants, we no longer are represented as such, but we are fellow citizens with the saints. Citizens of what? — The commonwealth of Israel, those who will receive all the earthly covenants and promises made to Abraham. This is certainly the mystery that was revealed to Paul. But what did Jesus say that can help us here?
Mark 4:11 And He was saying to them, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables,
So, consider, you of this two gospel camp teach that Jesus is here in this passage teaching another gospel. You call it the gospel of the Kingdom. So what would His statement then mean? If we the church are outside of this kingdom gospel and chosen for another gospel (another dispensation) as you believe; then God intends to keep all of this gospel hidden from us based on this verse,but that is not the case.
Romans 11:25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in;
Into what? — into The same Olive Tree that “some” of them in Israel have been cut off from; and into Christ; into the body; into the bride; into the building not made with hands; into the kingdom. We have come into all things that had alluded us in the past.
Romans 16:25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages of past,
But Secret no more. What was the secrete? It’s not the gospel as we will see in a minute.
Rom 11:25. Refers to the Olive tree, there is a partial hardening of Israel until the final Gentile comes into the olive tree. The Olive tree that represented God’s people, and the Jews position in the covenants and promises.
Consider Rom 9:11 Paul is here willing that he could sacrifice himself (separate himself from Christ in order to bring salvation to his brethern) why because they are the rightful heirs of the covenants and yet we are now the possessors. They (not all of them) are cut off. We are grafted in, in their place.
We have been circumcised without hands Col 2:11 we in other words are the recipients of the new covenant which belongs to Paul’s brethren the Jews.
The Gospel given to Paul was not the mystery. The gospel already was in existence.
Colossians 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.
Yes the gospel involved a mystery. Yet, it was not itself that mystery. It was proclaimed in all creation. It was even proclaimed in the stars of creation. There is evidence that God had placed it even in the heavens above, as every ancient people had this message of the gospel in their own version of the Zodiac. It was written within their history. Read the “Gospel in The Stars” by D. James Kennedy.
Paul himself had obviously not been to the whole creation under heaven with his gospel. So what is he saying? He is not saying that he had preached the gospel to every creature under heaven. Obviously others were putting forth the Gospel message even in his own time, and some of these others were Christ, and the Jewish Apostles. . 1 Corinthians 1:12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.”
The mystery was not a different gospel — but who we Gentiles now are in Christ. Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,
We are grafted into the Olive tree. One with the saints. This tree represents God’s household — His people rooted in Christ Israel’s Messiah.
Now concerning the church as a dispensation. Was it? Was there ever proclaimed in scripture a church age or a dispensation of a separate church body, one separate from Israel and the saints?
There are 4 times when Paul used the term dispensation. None of those relate to an age or to a restriction of time known as the church age.
Ephesians 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
This dispensation encompasses “times” plural. It involves all things (everything that ever was made holy in Him) being brought together in Christ. It’s goal is the bringing about of the consummation of time and the reconciliation of all things as it states.
Ephesians 3:2-6 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
Note this does not say that the gospel was not known before, but that the Gentiles being part of God’s Grace, and of the promises was not known before.
This dispensation was given to Paul but revealed to His Holy Apostles and prophets by the spirit. What was it — that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs and of the same body and promise in Christ. Nothing about the dispensation or age of the church.
1 Corinthians 9:17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.
In this verse a stewardship or Administration is given Paul by God to preach the Gospel. This was a calling in his life. A life calling. He even implies that it came to him against his will. He is saying in the passage that there are those who preach of their own will and will therefore receive a reward, but not so with him. This dispensation is to him a stewardship.
Colossians 1:24-26 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
So what is the mystery hear? Is it the church? It is in vs.27 — Christ in you. He also speaks of God’s mystery in ch 2 vs 2, as being Christ himself. He is Israel’s new covenant provision.
But the dispensation in this verse 25 is not the church as an age or as the dispensation spoken of here. Again it is a stewardship or Administration from God given to Paul to preach the Gospel. A life calling.
But it is obvious from scripture that he is not the only one given the mystery nor the stewardship to preach the Gospel.
Galatians 2:2 It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but [I did so] in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain. (NASB)
Paul presented to the Apostles what he was preaching to the Gentiles to be sure that he was presenting the truth.
Galatians 2:7 But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter [had been] to the circumcised (NASB)
So Paul’s gospel was confirmed as the same gospel as what Peter was preaching. Heart circumcision is the only avenue to salvation provided in the new covenant. Heart circumcision provides your Jewishness.
Paul, never would he have stated what he later did, were there two gospels.
Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! (NASB)
This very statement meant that if Jesus had preached a different gospel, which many of you state that He did preach, (a kingdom gospel devoid of salvation by grace which was being brought down to them by Him), a different gospel you say, but, which Paul was here cursing — Then the very one that he preached (Christ) he had cursed. Not possible. You need to rethink your position.