An Overview of Paul’s and Christ’s Ministries

By Arthur J Licursi

John’s gospel is unique to the salvation of all men, including Gentiles.

Israel needed to know God’s ultimate objective for all mankind, so in John’s gospel we have God showing us how that Israel was to ultimately become God’s agent on earth in the Millennial kingdom to then lead the Nations (Gentiles) to the knowledge of God.

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations [Gentiles], even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” Zechariah 8:23 (KJV)

So at that time the believing “whosevers” of “the world” will be ultimately be led unto the knowledge of God, salvation, and “everlasting life” on the new earth in accord with John 3:16.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH in him should not perish [Grk. apollymi, not be destroyed], but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Many do not realize that Jesus spoke of those of “the Nations [the Gentiles]who will have blessed Israel and will enter the kingdom while yet not yet having clear knowledge of God.

“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations [Gk. ethnos, Gentiles): and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I [the Lord] was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38   When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39   Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King [at His 2nd coming] shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren [Israel], ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25:31-46 (KJV)

Note that John 3:16 omits “repent and be baptized,” as would apply to Israelites in that dispensation. This is because “the world” (i.e., the Gentiles) had nothing to do with the Israel’s covenants and promises (cf. Eph. 2:12), and Gentiles were not being address by Jesus in His earthly ministry (cf. Matt. 15:24, Mat. 10:5-6). Jesus and the twelve at that time went to and were only to be concerned with “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

“But he [Jesus] answered and said, I am not sent [to the Gentiles] but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Mat. 15:24)

“These twelve [apostles] 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

So God through John’s gospel presents Christ as the God of ‘ALL humanity,’ desiring that they would believe to be saved. 

Then also consider how Paul himself was an admitted “blasphemer” and shared in apostate Israel’s sins of rejecting Christ as Messiah and therefore Paul had committed the unpardonable sin and was ineligible to be saved under the then current dispensation of “the Law,” BUT God’s “grace” saved Him. As we know Paul went onto share his “my gospel” (Rom. 2:16, 16:25), the “gospel message of the grace of God” to the Jew and Gentile alike.

“But none of these things move me, neither count I [Paul] 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.” (Acts 20:24 (KJV)

Referring to his grace gospel Paul wrote:

“For I neither received it [Paul’s grace gospel] of man, neither was I taught it, but [rather] by [direct] the revelation of [from the ascended] Jesus Christ.” (Galatians 1:12 (KJV)

This is significant because Paul believed the celestial Christ’s words spoken to Him. Paul thereby became the first” pure grace-saved soul. Paul thereby was the example, for a “pattern” of the new dispensation of ‘grace’ that works “by faith” thru love and mercy, NOT under Israel’s LAW program.

“Howbeit for this cause I [Paul] obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering [patience], for a PATTERN to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” (1 Timothy 1:16 (KJV)

Paul at one time ascended to God’s 3rd heaven (2Cor. 12:2) either “in the body or out of it” and heard “unspeakable words,” then returning to earth to finish his ministry on earth.

  • When writing his first 7 epistles during the Acts period Paul was a free man preaching “to the Jew first” and to the Gentiles, secondarily. 
  • But in Paul’s POST-ACTS period, writing his 2nd set of 7 letters he was as a “Prisoner Of Jesus Christ For You GENTILES (Eph. 3:1) as the Apostle to the Gentles (Rom. 11:13). Some of that time, which led to his death, he was in actual prisons writing his ‘prison epistles.’
  • God’s Ultimate Plan & Purpose In Christ Jesus:

Then Paul in his 2nd ministry, now to the Gentiles (apart from Israel), worked to establish Christ’s “One Body” (Eph. 4:4), “the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12) of believing heaven-bound Gentiles who are qualified to reign in Christ’s (2Tim. 2:12) governmental kingdom of “the heavenly places,”replacing Satan and his fallen spirit-beings (angels).

Thus “the faithful” members of the Gentile “body of Christ” are set Far above all…” seats of rank and authority in the heavens.

Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world [kosmos], but also in that which is to come:” (Ephesians 1:21 (KJV)

Christ was and is yet today exiled to heaven and only Father God has knowledge of when Christ will return to earth in wrath and vengeance to “purge out the rebels (Ezek. 20:38) of Israel and the world… to then set up His Millennial Kingdom on earth.

Meanwhile, today, we live under God’s program of Grace Without Law for all mankind, now seen as the Gentiles. This new age came after Israel [The Nation] rejected Stephen’s words, killing him (Acts 7:58), thus becoming apostate. Then, more than 30 years later, Israel was fully rejected by Christ and the Nation Israel was fully set aside as seen in Acts 28:28,

God then turned fully to the Gentiles. After the Acts period, Paul received his further revelations introducing God’s new “Mystery [secret]” program that had been “hid in God” and “kept secret since the world began” (cf. Eph. 3:9).

Today’s secret dispensation of the pure 100% grace of God had not been known or talked about “since the world began” … until it was revealed by the ascend Lord Jesus Christ to Paul as THE Apostle to the Gentiles.”

Today God is working to fill up Gentile “body of Christ,” offering salvation as a FREE “GIFT of God” to ‘ALL men’ (regardless of race)NOT OF [religious] WORKS, lest any man boast.” (Eph. 1:8-9).  

We praise God for His grace so freely offered to us today!