Saturday, January 27, 2024

What is the TRUE GOSPEL?

Just what is the true Gospel that our Lord Jesus Christ preached? Did the apostle Paul preach a different gospel to the Gentiles? Here, made plain, is the truth about – what Gospel.

by Leonard V Johnson

During His ministry, our Lord Jesus Christ explained to His disciples (Luke 19:11-27) that He (this ‘certain nobleman’ in His parable) “ … ‘went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom …’” But that He would first have to return to God the Father in the upper heavenly realms – “ … ‘and to return.’”

Now, in the Book of Daniel, the 7th chapter is a vision that describes this coronation –

“I watched in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days [God the Father], And they brought Him near before Him, 14) Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed” – Daniel 7:13-15.

In the upper heavenly realm, He will be given, officially, this Kingship; and there will supervise the Work of God in preparing and training brethren for His kingdom – to be co-rulers in His Government.

Jesus Christ’s Ministry

In the Book of Mark chapter 1 we read –

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” And, this beginning began with the work of John the Baptist. He prepared the Way for Jesus Christ’s ministry, or mission, of which God the Father had given Him.

“As it is written in the Prophets …” – as in the Book of Isaiah.

“ … ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ 3) ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the Way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’

Then follows the very beginning of Jesus Christ’s ministry –

Verse 14 – “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15) and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in [obey] the gospel.’”

But, repent from what!? Repent of sin! In the 1st Book of John, we learn just what sin is –

“Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness” - 1 John 3:4.

Lawlessness against the Government of God!

Let us notice that our Lord Jesus Christ says that it is necessary that one repents! He also says that it is necessary for one to believe! Not only to believe in and on Him – but also to believe the gospel message.

What Gospel?

Back in the spring of 2018, a man on Facebook tried to tell me “the gospel that should be preached now is the Gospel of grace of God.” He also went on to say, “the gospel of the kingdom will be preached again after the rapture to Israel before the second coming. We cannot preach the gospel of the kingdom now because that was meant for the lost sheep of the house of Israel only.”

But, is this correct!? No.

Today, as it was so long ago (cf. Galatians 1:6-9), many preach a different gospel – “which is not another.” Some call what they preach, “the gospel of salvation,” “the gospel of the grace of God,” or even “the gospel of Proven Principles and of Winning Formulas,” “the gospel of Church and Christian Ministry,” along with “the gospel of the Great Man,” “the gospel of reincarnation,” “the gospel of political ideology.” Or even the Seventh-day Adventists’ “the gospel of the Three Angels”! Then, there’s the gospel, or rather the message, about going off to heaven. Then there are those who preach about Christ only – about His title. Now, they may call it the gospel of Christ – but none of these are the gospel that JESUS CHRIST taught and preached!

On the Internet it is replete with church organizations, of all kinds, falsely proclaiming “the fact that there are different gospels”! Which truly flies in the face of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as well as all the original apostles! One particular blasphemous site’s tagline reads – “Rightly dividing our walk!”

Now, our Lord Jesus Christ was crystal clear concerning just what gospel to believe and obey – “ … ‘the kingdom of God …’” The gospel of the kingdom of God! Our Lord Jesus Christ preached the gospel – the good news – of the soon-coming kingdom of God. The very Government of God which will be implemented upon the earth!

This is how we state just what gospel our Lord Jesus Christ brought and taught from God the Father –
“The very word “gospel” means good news. The Gospel is the wonderful, good news Message of God’s Master Plan of salvation for all mankind through the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ – “the Christ, the Son of the living God” – cf. Matt. 16:16; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20.

The New Testament calls this Message the Gospel of grace. The Gospel of grace is the good news that Jesus Christ is the Savior – the Messiah – of the world and that through His blood all who repent and believe on Him may have their sins forgiven and may enter into the family of God. The Gospel is also a Message about the soon-coming kingdom of God on EARTH.

It is the glorious, good news that when Jesus Christ returns to the earth, He will set up His kingdom – His government. He will rule all nations as King of kings and Lord of lords. The saints who are given eternal life at the first resurrection – who are changed from mortal to immortal – will be co-heirs with Christ and will be given authority to rule His kingdom as kings and priests alongside Jesus Christ. Through preaching the Gospel, God is preparing saints for His kingdom by calling those whom He chooses to repentance and conversion.”
It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you rightly understand, clearly, just WHAT gospel our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ brought from God the Father! Also, just WHAT gospel was sent unto the Gentiles. In the spring of 1981, I came to rightly understand that this world’s “traditional Christianity” teaches and preaches different gospels! Certainly, this is something each individual has to prove to themselves! And, your Bible says that Satan the devil has ‘deceived the whole world!’ – Revelation 12:9.

Now, our Lord Jesus Christ said of Himself –

“ … ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, …’” – John 5:19a. And, “’ I can of Myself do nothing’” – vs. 30. Along with, “ … ‘The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works’” – John 14:10b. And, continuing He says, “’ Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; …’” – and speaking mostly of the end-time prophets He adds, 2 “ … ‘and greater works than these he will do, …’”

“’ the Spirit of truth, [which] the world cannot receive, … for [It] dwells with you and will be IN you’” – John 14:12, 17.

So, at the very beginning of His WORK OF GOD, our Lord Jesus Christ taught His twelve disciples, which God the Father had called unto Him (cf. John 17:24) the very Message given to Him by His Father concerning the soon-coming Kingdom of God.

Then, after 3 ½ years, our Lord Jesus finished that initial phase of the Work of God, which Father had given Him to do. In His final prayer to Father, He says, “’ I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do’” – John 17:4.

Note: Daniel 9:27, a two-fold prophecy, speaks of a remaining 3 ½ years of an end-time work. I briefly mention this in the article “Satan’s World” section ‘Satan’s sign and lying wonders’. Minister Garrett also writes concerning this –
“Daniel 9 gives us a clue: Contains what is often referred to as the SEVENTY WEEKS PROPHECY. Verse 27 – Remember, verse 25 we see the word “Messiah.” That’s who we’re talking about here in verse 27. The “he,” who – JESUS CHRIST – “he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;”

Which in Bible parlance, one day for a year – this is SEVEN YEARS. “But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.” Now, who was the ultimate sacrifice!? Jesus Christ. When did He die!? When was He executed!? He was executed on a WEDNESDAY, in the middle of the week. And, His human life ended after 3½ years of His public ministry. It was SEVEN YEARS He was supposed to have a very special dispensation. And He lived upon this earth for 3½ years, it begs the question: What became of the other 3½ years!? Well, the other 3½ years will be fulfilled in those events upon His return and for 3½ years the Millennium doesn’t really start, UNTIL AFTER 3½ years. Because Jesus Christ for 3½ years, is, as it were, remolding and reshaping the Earth – the people of the Earth. He’s getting the attitudes right. We are told “as a Rod of Iron.” And, Jesus Christ WILL wield that club, and we as members of the resurrected Family of GOD WILL in part wield that club, and here’s a part of the story – God uses the physical people of Israel as a part of His club. That’s a part of the story which has NEVER been told.” 

(Garrett, M.C. Notes Concerning the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day, 28 Sept. 2019, pgs. 16-17).
However, just prior to our Lord Jesus Christ finishing that initial phase of the Work of God, He had said to His disciples, “’ Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper [the Holy Spirit] will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send [It] to you’” – John 16:7.

So, after our Savior, Lord, and Master – Elder Brother – ascended to the very THRONE OF GOD, the very seat of the Government of the entire universe, He sent His Spirit. 3 And, about fifty days later – “when the Day of Pentecost had fully come” the Spirit of God was sent! And then His disciples became apostles!

Then, “having been built on the FOUNDATION of the apostles and prophets [of the Old Testament], Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20) He built His Church. “In whom the WHOLE BUILDING, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord” (vs. 21) – which is composed of those called and begotten children of God who have received, and in who is dwelling, God’s Holy Spirit – they are the spiritual temple of God.

Now, the head of Jesus Christ’s Church is not – and never has been – any man, but it’s always been the living Jesus Christ!

Why the Church?

Notice that the Church is called “His Body” – “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23) which IS HIS BODY, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” – Ephesians 1:22-23.

Just why is His Church called “the Body of Christ”!? – see also Ephesians 4:12; 5:30; Colossians 1:24; 1st Corinthians 10:17; 12:27; Romans 12:5.

Well, because it is the SAME POWER that had worked mightily in our Lord Jesus Christ’s human physical body which then entered the collective body of His Church. The Church, led by JESUS CHRIST from the upper heavenly realm after His resurrection unto glory – which was led by the apostles who had been taught and trained directly from Jesus Christ, becoming the COLLECTIVE BODY empowered by God’s Spirit – is today still being led by JESUS CHRIST from the upper heavenly realm – CARRYING ON THE LIVING WORK OF GOD!

And, that work, initially, was the divine commission. Notice this –

“ … ‘Go into ALL THE WORLD and preach the gospel to every creature’” – Mark 16:15. The word “creature” in Greek is ktisis, meaning, “creation or governmental institution.” Along with, “’ Go therefore and make disciples of [meaning, teach] all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20) teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; …’” – Matthew 28:19, 20.

Minister Guy C. LaMar has given a very informative sermon entitled “The Goal Of The Church” which certainly speaks volumes of God’s living truth! We are reminded that since God does not change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8), His divine commission for His Church has not changed.

Many within this world’s “traditional Christianity” falsely teach that our Lord Jesus Christ turned over the Church to the apostle Peter (cf. Matthew 16:17-19) – to a human successor as voted by men. But God’s living word distinctly says, “And He is the head of the body, the Church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, …” – Colossians 1:18. See also Ephesians 4:15; 5:23.

Just what is the purpose of Jesus Christ’s Church – even in this 21st-century world!? Well, in a nutshell – it is the same as it was in the 1st century! –

“For the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the BODY OF CHRIST, 13) till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” – Ephesians 4:12-13.

And, again, just what gospel did the original apostles proclaim!? It was – and is – the gospel of the Kingdom of God! Let’s go through some of the Scriptures that prove this –

“These TWELVE Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: ‘Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6) But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7) And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom [from] heaven is at hand’” – Matthew 10:5-6.

Minister Michael C. Garrett teaches an enlightening truth regarding “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” –
“This is an end-time prophecy! Even though the story started out in about 30 AD, the story became a prophecy for the end-time. … Now, think about that phrase, ‘lost sheep.’ Jesus said, ‘feed My sheep.’ Now in one sense, the physical people of Israel are the ‘lost sheep.’ But in an even more spiritual, more heightened, more intense meaning, I think Jesus Christ might very well be saying, ‘Go to the lost Church members.’ ‘Go to those people who thought they were in a good organization, they didn’t realize their leaders were corrupt and their doctrines were impure – or highly compromised.’ ‘Go to those lost sheep!’ I think it has a double meaning!” 

“He sent them to preach the kingdom of God …” – Luke 9:2.

“ … ‘and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you’” – Luke 10:9b.

“ … and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” – Acts 1:3b.

“But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, …” – Acts 8:12.

“And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God” – Acts 19:8.

“ … among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, …” – Acts 20:25.

“ … and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, …” – Acts 28:23.

“preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ …” – Acts 28:31.

“for the kingdom of God is not …” – Romans 14:17.

“For the kingdom of God is not …” – 1 Corinthians 4:20a.

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?” – 1 Corinthians 6:9. See also verse 10.

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; …” – 1 Corinthians 15:50.

“ … those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” – Galatians 5:21b.

“For this you know, that no fornicator [whoremonger, meaning “pornos – one who is sexually immoral], unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” – Ephesians 5:5.

“ … These are my only fellow workers for the kingdom of God …” – Colossians 4:11b.

“ … that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, …” – 2 Thessalonians 1:5.

“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God [God the Father], and the power of His Christ [Jesus the Christ] have come, …” – Revelation 12:10.

And, let us always be reminded, that the apostle Paul WARNED that a DOUBLE CURSE would be pronounced on anyone preaching any different gospel – Galatians 1:8-9.

We – built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone – continue to bring you the great and awesome message of God - which is based upon the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God. Our mission and our purpose is to follow the admonition of Jesus Christ, when He said, “’ FEED MY SHEEP!’” We do the will of God the Father and Jesus Christ - to preach the Gospel - the good news of Jesus Christ, of His forgiveness, of His atoning sacrifice, of the opportunity for all of us, to have Jesus Christ as our great High Priest and to live under the promises of the New Covenant, and to someday be a part of the glorious Kingdom of God! □


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