Two Different Gospels

Few Christians realize that there are Two Gospels in the so-called New Testament of their Bible. In fact, these two gospels relate to;

  • Two Different people groups of God;
  • To whom Two Different Gospels apply
  • For those who lived during Two Different dispensational ages of God,
  • Under the message and God given instructions from Two Different sets of messengers for them,
  • Preaching Two Different sets of requirements for eternal salvation,
  • Leading to Two Different eternal outcomes
  • In accord with God’s eternal plan for Two Spheres called “the Heaven” and “the Earth.”

Let's now compare the clearly delineated requirements of the Two Biblical gospels for salvation. Both being found in the so-called New Testament of our Bibles and apply to two different peoples in two different ages.

  • The "gospel of the kingdom" (Matt 4:23, 9:35), was announced by Jesus of Nazareth and then later the “Kingdom gospel” was offered by "the twelve" Apostles while Israel was still under the dispensation of the "the Law" (Matt 5:18). It was first preached by Jesus of Nazareth as the

"minister of the circumcision [Israel]" (Rom 15:8) to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" only.

5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matthew 10:5-6 (KJV)

  • By contrast, Paul’s "the gospel of the grace of God" (Act 20:24) during the age of "the dispensation of the grace of God" (Eph 3:2) was preached by Paul as the [one] Apostle to the Gentiles" (Rom 11:13).

Note how that Paul preached His gospel of pure grace to and for "all men" (Titus 2:11).

How can Paul, whose ministry was unto "the Gentiles" (Eph 3:1) be considered unto "all men"? This is because "the fall of them" and temporary “blinding” of the Nation Israel (cf. Rom. 11:10-11, 25) has temporarily ended the Israel's distinction among men as being "above all people" that dated back to Exodus 19:5.

 

Today, during this age of "the grace of God," God now counts Israel among "all men" as Gentiles. Thus, Paul wrote there are now "none righteous" (Rom 3:10, 3:23, cf., Eph 3:1, Rom 11:13), today all men stand needy of salvation by grace through faith alone in Christ, thus “all men” stand on level ground at the foot of the cross.

23 For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23 (KJV)
10 As it is written
, There is NONE righteous, no, not one: Romans 3:10 (KJV)

1) Jesus' "Gospel of the Kingdom" Maintained Distinction Among the Races

John the Baptist came declaring "the kingdom of [from] heaven is at hand." Jesus repeated the same declaration and said "this gospel of the kingdom" and then was only to be preached by His "Twelve" Apostles to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel," telling them to "go NOT into the way of the Gentiles" (Matt 10:5-6).

So, clearly there was at that time a distinction between Jews and Gentiles in the matter of the preaching Jesus’ "the gospel of the Kingdom." The "kingdom" had been long promised to Israel, not the Gentiles.

This means the so-called 'great commission' with "the gospel of the Kingdom" is a Jewish commission and not the church, “the body of Christ’s” commission for us today.

By contrast Paul gives "the church, which is the body of Christ," a different commission as seen in 2Cor 5:20. We today are Christ's ambassadors” while we remain on earth. We of the "body of Christ" are Christ's ambassadors on earth because our home and citizenship are "in heaven" (cf. Philipp 3:20-21).

20  For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious [resurrected] body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. Philippians 3:20-21 (KJV)

When John the Baptist appeared as Christ’s forerunner, the Nation Israel, had lived under "the law of Moses" for fifteen hundred years but its blessings were to be conditional and Israel had not kept it. Israel actually had killed God's prophets. Hence, John’s call to Israel was to "repent and be baptized for the remission of sins" (Mark 1:4). This was the initial requirement for salvation of Israelites. After all, for Israel "faith without works is dead." (James 2:26)

Thankfully, we today are "saved by grace alone, though faith alone, in Christ alone, not of works" (Eph 2:8-9), and "we are not under the law but under grace" (Rom 6:14). Under grace, our good works are not required but they would simply the fruit of our having received salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone… and having received His righteous “Spirit of life” into our spirit. Therefore, our good works are not the root of our salvation. Our works are the fruit of our new relationship with the Lord.

After all, if our salvation was of 'works' at all then it cannot be called 'grace' since 'grace" means "a free gift."

6And if By Grace, then is it NO More of Works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. Romans 11:6

John was so serious that when the thoughtless multitude came to him to be water baptized, he sent them back, saying: Bring forth fruits [your works] worthy of [deserving to be counted as] repentance” (Luke 3:7-8). These Jews had to show forth the product of their commitment to establish their repentance. Their lives were to be changed and they were to show it. This repentance standard of "fruits first" was a high criterion that nobody but the Lord really could keep.

When the people asked: What shall we do, then?” John told them to live for others rather than for themselves (Luke 3:10-11). When the tax collectors asked: What shall we do?” he demanded that they stop cheating the tax payers and live honestly (Luke 3:12-13). When the soldiers asked: What shall we do?” he told them to refrain from violence, false accusation, and bribery (Ver. 14).

Clearly, righteousness was demanded first under John’s message. John's hearers were to "repent, be baptized, and bring forth (evidence of) the fruits of true repentance".

When our Lord Jesus appeared, He proclaimed the same message as John (Matt. 3:1, 2; 4:17). A lawyer asked Jesus: What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” and He replied: What is written in the law?” When the lawyer recited the basic commands of the Law, our Lord answered: This do and (then) thou shalt live” (Luke 10:25-28). God was still demanding righteousness FIRST. Israel was still then under "the Law" (Gal. 4:4, 5; Matt. 23:1,2; etc.).

Some suppose this was all changed right after Calvary by the so-called great commission.” But this is not so. When, at Pentecost, Peter’s hearers were convicted of their sins and asked What shall we do?” Peter still commanded them to repent and be baptized… for the remission of sins” just as John had done (Mark 1:4; cf. Acts 2:38). Peter never then said Christ had died for their sins because he did not know this until he learned this from Paul years later (see 2 Peter 3:15-16).

2) Paul's "Gospel of the Grace of God"

Paul, as "the Apostle to the Gentiles" (Rom 11:13) was the first to say:

But NOW the righteousness [that is] of God WITHOUT THE LAW is manifested… [We] declare His [Christ's] righteousness for the remission of (our) sins” (Rom. 3:21-26).

Paul said Jesus Christ's shed blood paid fully, once and for all sins of all men, past present and future sins. His righteousness speaks for us today and forever.

12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his (Christ's) own blood he entered in ONCE into the holy place, having Obtained Eternal Redemption For Us. Hebrews 9:12

When the Gentile jailor fell on his knees and asked: What must I do to be saved?” Paul replied:

Believe on (trust in, cling to, and rely upon) the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:30-31).

This is God’s message for all men today, regardless of their race, for;

we have redemption through [Christ's] blood, the Forgiveness Of Sins According To The Riches Of His Grace” (Eph. 1:7).

Seeing the foregoing, it should be quite clear to any thinking person that "the gospel of the kingdom" that Jesus and "the twelve" preached and "the gospel of the grace of God" that Paul brought are two Distinctly Different Gospels as we've discussed herein. Today our salvation is not of "the gospel of the kingdom" with "the Law" that Jesus preached to Israel, but rather our salvation is of Paul's grace-filled "gospel of the grace of God."

The Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians how he traveled to meet with leaders of the Messianic Jerusalem Pentecostal Messianic Church some 14 years after his first and only other visit. Below Paul refers to his meeting in Jerusalem when he told the apostles and elders there about the unique new gospel that he had received directly from the Ascended Lord Jesus in heaven (cf. Gal 1:12).

And I [Paul] went up by revelation [from the Holy Spirit] and COMMUNICATED UNTO THEM [the Jewish Messianic Jerusalem church leaders] THAT GOSPEL (unique) WHICH I PREACH AMONG THE GENTILES,

but [I did it first] privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain… And when James, Cephas [Peter] and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, THEY GAVE TO ME and BARNABAS THE RIGHT HANDS OF FELLOWSHIP, that We Should Go Unto The Heathen (Gk. ethnos, Gentiles), and they (would restrict themselves) unto the Circumcision [Israel]” (Gal. 2:2-9).

Here above, by agreement, Peter, James and John promised publicly vowed to confined or restrict their ministry of the gospel of the Kingdom” to Israel alone proclaiming "the gospel of the Kingdom" that Jesus had given them for Israel only... while Paul and his co-workers went to the Gentiles with Paul’s new gospel and message of the gospel of the grace of God.” This is almost beyond belief in view of the fact that the twelve” (not Paul) had originally been commissioned and sent by the Lord Jesus Himself into all the world” to preach the gospel of the kingdom” after going to all Israel FIRST.

Can we then say Peter, James and John all out of the will of God in making this agreement? By no means!

Subsequent revelation proves that Peter, James and John were all very much in the will of God to divide their ministry to Israel from Paul’s to the Gentiles. You see, Israel had “fallen” it the last straw when apostate Israel’s religious leaders rejected Christ again and finally by stoning Stephen to death (Act 7:58). Then God set Israel’s promised “kingdom” aside and ushered in the new, yet eternally planned, program of God’s pure grace for the Gentiles.

God sent this new grace gospel via one new Apostle (Greek, apostolos, means sent one”). Paul was Jesus’ "Apostle to the Gentiles” (Rom 11:13). Paul’s message was called the gospel of the grace of God” (Act 20:24) that is in effect today, during this age of the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:2).

In the light of these Scriptures it’s difficult to understand how anyone can argue that Paul’s ministry was merely a perpetuation of that of the twelve” with their the gospel of the kingdom” and the gospel of the grace of God” are the same. They certainly are not!

God intended that Jesus’ gospel of the kingdom” go to Israel first... and then for Israel to bring it to all the world,expecting the soon return of the Lord Jesus and the Kingdom of God" on earth. But that message and plan of "the Kingdom" to come to earth was interrupted when Israel short-circuited their call by rejecting and crucifying Christ – the Messiah. With the stoning of Stephen God then set Israel's promised kingdom aside for a time. In the interim period, God turned to the Gentiles with a new Apostle, Paul, to bear the new, never prophesied, "gospel of the grace of God." Paul here below speaks of Israel being set aside for a time and how long it will last.

I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that Blindness In Part Is Happened To Israel, (temporarily) UNTIL The Fulness Of The Gentiles Be Come In [at the Rapture].” (Romans 11:25)

If the above passages teach us anything clearly, they teach us the unique character of Paul’s apostleship, its scope, message, and gospel. Paul devoted almost two chapters of his letter to the Galatians to the fact that he had NOT received his message from "the twelve," when at Jerusalem, saying, "they added nothing to me" (Gal 2:6), rather, it was he who communicated to them.

Paul tells us those (Peter, James, et al) who had first been sent to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem, had now, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, agreed to turn over their Gentile ministry to Paul so that he might proclaim far and wide his new "gospel of the grace of God” as found in Eph. 2:8-9.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not Of Works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

      “Being Justified Freely By His Grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” (Romans 3:24)

Questions or Comment?

You can make comments or ask questions using this form. I welcome your questions and comments for discussion but … I will not engage in arguments with anyone. We can always agree to disagree.