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In a world of non-stop crises, uncertainty, fear—and ever-worsening bad news!—people long for good news. Well I have good news—in fact, the very best news you could ever receive! No one is telling you about it, nor could you discover it on your own. You are about to read it—and it will NOT be what you expect!
The truth of the gospel—God’s astonishing purpose for man—has been withheld from the world. It explains why you were born. It is incredible knowledge that will leave you dumbfounded! This amazing understanding has been revealed—along with the cover-up to suppress it!
Billions are now deceived. Previous billions have been. Even you have been lied to. A complete seduction has taken place, and all the world’s religions have played a part in it. Knowledge of your incredible future—your awesome potential—has been kept from you!
Many wonder and worry about the unknown—and what their future holds. Others fear they do not even have a future. Still others fear that civilization has no future. You need never be in doubt about your future again—or of mankind’s.
If only humanity knew what God has in store for it! Yet a deliberate suppression of the truth has withheld this knowledge from all but a few. You can be an exception—one of the few who is not deceived!
The world has believed a false gospel for 2,000 years. It has generally supposed that Jesus Christ is the gospel rather than the Messenger of it. The Message—the centerpiece—of the gospel is not Christ. By focusing on Him—the Messenger—religious deceivers have been able to successfully suppress and cover up the Message He brought!
The vital knowledge of how man could have solved his problems and understood God’s Supreme Purpose has been withheld from the world, keeping it in darkness. Man does not know what he is or his reason for being. He does not know the way to abundance, peace, happiness and all the good things of life. The gospel would have shown mankind the solution to its most insoluble problems.
And yet, except for the apostle John, all the original apostles were martyred—think of it, MARTYRED—for teaching the truth of God’s incredible purpose. Jesus was crucified because people did not want to hear His Message!
A correct understanding of the true gospel reveals crucial knowledge. It contains a dimension of understanding that cannot be discovered by scientific inquiry. Again, every supposed “great religion” of the world has helped suppress it. Their theologians neither comprehend nor are willing to teach it.
Both Jesus Christ and the apostles preached the gospel! Jesus commanded in Mark 1:15, “Repent you, and believe the gospel.” But exactly what is it that you are supposed to believe? Just what is the true gospel? Do you know? Are you certain? Be careful of assumptions. For instance, did Christ teach the same gospel that Paul preached to the gentiles? And what does the word “gospel” mean anyway?
The vast majority of professing Christians do not know the all-important answers to these most basic questions, and many others related to the true gospel of the Bible!
Christ, at His First Coming, came as a first-century newscaster, bringing advance good news of staggering events to occur just beyond the horizon, and all the bad news occurring throughout today’s world. This climactic news involves you—and eventually every human being on earth!
Six new books on religion are published every day in America. And there are over two thousand separate religions in America. Yet there has never been more confusion and disagreement about the answers to humanity’s problems. Troubles, woes, evils and human difficulties of every kind are multiplying. World peace is more elusive than ever. Why?
Why is there so much knowledge available to mankind, yet so much ignorance of the truth of the answers to life’s BIG questions?
All this has everything to do with the gospel!
Revelation 12:9 reveals this: “The devil…Satan…deceives the whole world.” What a staggering statement! Do you believe it? If this is true, then it would certainly apply to the truth of a matter so crucial as the meaning and correct understanding of the gospel!
Almost everyone believes that the gospel is about the Person of Jesus Christ. Certainly, Christ plays an extremely enormous and central role to Christianity, but He is not the gospel. The Bible shows that Jesus is preached in conjunction with the gospel. Again, His role is enormous. But He is not the gospel.
Some proclaim a “gospel of salvation,” others a “gospel of grace.” Still others believe a “gospel of miracles” or a “social gospel.” Yet others think of the “gospel of foods” or of “healing” or of “faith” or of “tongues.” And there are some who merely think of “gospel music” when they hear this word. These man-made ideas all ignore the truth of the Bible!
Here is more of Mark’s account: “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.” This is the gospel that Jesus preached. It was in this same context that He said, “Repent you, and believe the gospel.” Which gospel?…of the “kingdom of God.”
Verse 1 in Mark refers to this message, when it states, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” The gospel of Jesus Christ was about the KINGDOM OF GOD—not something else! One must believe that gospel—not a humanly-devised counterfeit or substitute.
This subject is so crucial that God inspired the apostle Paul to warn the Galatians then and us now:
“I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which WE have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed” (1:6-9).
This is a very blunt statement—and a strong warning to all who will heed! Tragically, almost all have not heeded.
A little later, in chapter 2, verse 5, Paul stressed his hope that the “truth of the gospel might continue with you.” So there is one true gospel—with all others false!
Although some assert that Paul taught a different or additional gospel, it is plain that he never did. Ironically, God used Paul to warn against ever allowing such false teaching by pronouncing a curse on any man or angel who violates this command. Remember, “But though we [apostles]…preach any other gospel…let him be accursed” (1:8).
What a powerful scripture—and WARNING!
Paul explained that the apostles were entrusted by God to preserve the true gospel. Notice I Thessalonians 2:4: “But as we [apostles] were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which tries our hearts.”
This is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. True ministers must always teach what God commands—not what pleases men (including Bible “scholars”). So any claim that Paul taught a different or second gospel (usually thought to be about Christ or some separate idea about “peace”) is impossible. Had he done this, he would literally have been pronouncing a curse on himself!
Did you know that Jesus was prophesied to bring the gospel? In the Old Testament, Jesus was foretold to come as a messenger. Notice Malachi 3:1: “Behold, I will send My messenger [John the Baptist], and he shall prepare the way before Me [Christ]: and the Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom you delight in.”
Christ was the “messenger” of the gospel—not the message itself.
Now compare the passage in Malachi with another: “The law and the prophets were until John [only Old Testament scriptures had been preached previously]: since that time the kingdom of god is preached, and every man presses into it” (Luke 16:16). Remember that in Mark, Christ preached the “kingdom of God,” and called it the gospel.
The word gospel is an old English word meaning “god spell” or good news. The word kingdom is also an old English term, simply meaning “government.” Therefore, it is accurate to say that Christ preached “the good news of the government of God.” You can know the who, what, where, when, why, and how of this good news, and how it relates to the Bible’s greatest prophecy.
The kingdom of God is the dominant theme of not only the New Testament, but of the whole Bible. Yet, incredibly, most know little or nothing of it. This world’s ministers are oblivious to this gospel, and never preach about it. Therefore, virtually the whole world stands in complete ignorance of the single greatest truth in God’s Word!
The word gospel is found over 100 times in the Bible. Sometimes it is found alone, and sometimes “of the kingdom” follows it. Other times, it includes “of the kingdom of God,” or the equivalent phrase “of the kingdom of heaven.”
Note that it says, “of heaven,” not “in heaven.” It is heaven’s kingdom, and there is a big difference between the two. Just as kingdom of God means God’s kingdom—not the kingdom in God—the same is true of the kingdom of heaven or heaven’s kingdom.
Grasp this crucial point!
Throughout the New Testament, the word “kingdom” is found 27 times, “kingdom of God” 75 times, and “kingdom of heaven” 34 times. All are clearly one and the same.
Paul preached the kingdom of God to the gentiles. Yet, some believe that he preached to them a “different” gospel—again, unaware that it was Paul who pronounced a curse on anyone who did this (Gal. 1:8-9). However, while Paul preached the kingdom of God, notice two verses in Acts showing that he did not neglect the subject of Christ’s role in the salvation process.
First, Acts 19:8 establishes which gospel he preached: “And he went into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.” In many of his epistles, he taught the kingdom to Gentile congregations. His message was always the same. He continually preached, taught and referred to the kingdom of God.
Now notice Acts 28:30-31: “And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, AND teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Luke, who was the writer of Acts, differentiates between preaching about the kingdom of God and preaching about Jesus Christ! While both are vitally important, they are clearly two separate subjects!
In Acts 8:12, the deacon Philip also preached both of these: “But when they believed Philip…concerning the kingdom of God, AND the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” We see that Philip not only preached the kingdom of God, but he also differentiated it from the teaching about Christ. Remember, the messenger is not the message.
Notice that these in Samaria were baptized only after “they believed” the right message—not some human idea about it. Also, Christ’s name was taught as an also enormous, but additional, understanding.
Jesus is not the gospel. However, He does stand directly alongside the true gospel and will rule the entire earth—with the saints beside Him!—when He returns and establishes His kingdom. Do not lose sight of this!
Finally, consider another verse where Paul himself made a distinction between the gospel and the person of Christ. II Corinthians 11:4 contains this powerful warning: “For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached…or another gospel which you have not accepted, you might well bear with him.” Paul wanted the Corinthians to reject false teachers and hold to what he had taught them. The point here is that Paul distinguishes between the teaching of a false Jesus and that of a false gospel. These are—and always have been—two separate errors.
Some get confused when they read I Corinthians 15:1-4, thinking that Paul contradicts himself from other passages we have seen by stating that “the gospel” (referenced in vs. 1) is “how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day” (vs. 3-4). Careful reading makes clear that “the gospel” reference in verse 1 is not connected to Christ’s death for our sins and His burial, referenced in verses 3 and 4. When correctly understood, rather than saying that Christ is the gospel, this passage confirms the opposite, and supports all of the above scriptures in the gospel accounts, the book of Acts and II Corinthians 11:4!
Since Jesus preached “repent and believe the gospel,” it should now be clear why. His role must always be preached in conjunction with the kingdom of God, because one cannot enter the kingdom unless he understands and accepts that “Christ died for our sins,” and that person has repented of his sins.
Ask yourself: If Christ IS the gospel—IS the kingdom of God—then why did Paul (four times) and Philip speak of them as separate points of understanding?
What evidence is there that other New Testament writers—other apostles—preached this same message? A great deal!
The apostle Peter also preached the kingdom of God: “For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 1:11). So did the apostle James: “Hearken, my beloved brethren, has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He has promised to them that love Him?” (2:5).
Matthew’s account mentions the phrase “gospel of the kingdom” three times. Notice one: “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (9:35). In most of His parables, Christ taught the basics of the kingdom of God. Matthew alone makes over FIFTY references to it.
Luke records that Jesus Christ commissioned His disciples to preach this same message: “Then He called His twelve disciples together...And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God” (9:1-2). Soon after, He sent seventy others to preach, and they also carried the message of the “kingdom of God” (10:1, 9).
In this article, you have learned more about the true gospel of the Bible than most will ever know. But there is much more to understand about the kingdom of God. The true gospel is a big subject. The gospel is only one of many subjects in the Bible that has been badly misunderstood.
To learn more, continue reading the articles in this magazine or watch my World to Come program. You will hear the plain truth of this and many other subjects!