What is the true gospel that Jesus preached? Did Paul preach a
different gospel to the Gentiles?
Here, at last, is made plain the truth about the Kingdom of God
By: Herbert W. Armstrong
WHY SHOULD there be such perplexity - such confusion - in every phase
of life today? It should be the function of religion to point the way. Yet here,
too, we find only confusion of tongues - hundreds of religious denominations and
sects, in a babylon of disagreement. Even in the professing Christian religion
of the western world, we find different sects and denominations preaching a
variety of different GOSPELS! Some designate their Gospel as "The Gospel of
Jesus Christ." Others call their Gospel "The Gospel of
Salvation." Still others profess the "Gospel of Grace;" some
"The Gospel of the Kingdom;" and some call their gospel "The
WHY HAVE THEY LOST THE ONLY TRUE GOSPEL WHICH GOD SENT BY JESUS CHRIST? WHY?
How Many Gospels Are There?
Does it make any difference which Gospel we believe? Listen to the answer of
the Eternal God as inspired in Paul's letter to the Galatians-the first chapter,
the 8th and 9th verses: "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." And it is made a double-curse! For the next
verse says: " . . . so say I now again, if any man preach any
other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be
WHY, then has the world lost sight of that Gospel? WHY do people
believe different gospels today? Jesus Christ said it is necessary to
BELIEVE THE GOSPEL to be saved! Yet the many - the hundreds of millions -
today, do not know what that Gospel is! Again, His parting commission to
His apostles, being sent out as His ministers to build His church, was this:
"Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel." They were to
preach THE GOSPEL.
Jesus then said: "He that BELIEVETH and is baptized shall be saved; but
he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:15). Notice! Jesus said,
"He that BELIEVETH." Believeth what? Why, BELIEVETH that which
they PREACHED, of course - THE GOSPEL! Not A gospel. Not any gospel. THE Gospel!
On the authority of Jesus Christ, it is necessary to believe THAT PRECISE
IDENTICAL GOSPEL in order to be saved! And to BELIEVE the true Gospel, we must
first come to KNOW what it is!
Now with whom, and from where, and to whom, did the true Gospel originate?
With Christ? No, not with Christ!
The Message Sent from Heaven
God the Father had promised to send a Messenger into this world from heaven,
bearing a Message from HIM - God the FATHER! God had promised that in Malachi
3:1: "Behold I will send my Messenger, and he shall prepare the way before
me;" - and that messenger, as explained in Mark 1:2, was John the
baptist, preparing the way before Jesus Christ; "and the LORD, whom ye
seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, EVEN THE MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT,
whom ye delight in."
The very first sermon by which God had the Gospel preached to Gentiles, when
Peter was sent to the house of the Gentile Cornelius, recorded in the 10th
chapter of the Book of Acts, gives us very explicit directions for locating the
one and only TRUE GOSPEL. Open your own Bible! I want you to read this
with your own eyes! This is what the inspired Peter said, as recorded in Acts
"The Word which GOD sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by
Jesus Christ: ( he is Lord of all) : That Word, I say, ye know, which was
published throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which
Which Gospel Did Jesus Preach?
Notice carefully these points: 1)With whom did this Message - this Gospel -
originate? Peter said: "The word which GOD sent." 2) TO WHOM did God
send it? Peter said "unto the children of Israel." Although now, ten
years later, this same Gospel is being opened up to Gentiles of ALL nations,
originally it was sent to the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, and it was sent by GOD THE
FATHER. It did not originate with Jesus Christ, nor with Peter, nor with the
Apostle Paul. It was sent by GOD the Father of Jesus Christ! 3) BY WHOM
was it sent? Who was the divine Messenger who brought and preached the Message?
Peter said "by Jesus Christ." Jesus Christ was the divine MESSENGER.
Malachi called Him the Messenger of the COVENANT. That Message, then, is the NEW
Covenant Message, for Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant, and Jesus
Christ of the NEW, as affirmed by many Scriptures. This Message, then, is the
NEW TESTAMENT GOSPEL. Now, 4) WHERE was it first preached? To what geographical
location shall we look for its beginning? Peter said. "began from
Galilee." Yes, GALILEE, then is the place where it was first preached.
When did Jesus begin to preach this particular Gospel in Galilee? Peter said "after
the baptism which John preached." The true GOSPEL of the NEW Covenant,
then, did not begin with John the baptist. It was after John had
completed his baptismal ministry.
Now these very definite directions lead us directly to the first
chapter of Mark. The first verse tells us this is the record of the BEGINNING of
the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then it relates the baptizing ministry of John,
preaching, NOT the Gospel, but "the baptism of repentance," which
prepares the way for salvation through Jesus Christ. And then we come to verses
14 and 15: "Now after that John was put in prison"- there is
the exact TIME for the beginning of the preaching of the TRUE GOSPEL . . .
"JESUS"- there is the divine Messenger BY whom God sent it
..."came into GALILEE" - the precise geographical location. So we now
have the TIME, the Israelites residing there TO WHOM God sent the Message, the
PLACE, and the MESSENGER - so whatever we find Jesus preaching here IS THE ONE
AND ONLY TRUE GOSPEL.
And what do we read? "Jesus came into Galilee PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF
THE KINGDOM OF GOD, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the KINGDOM OF GOD is
at hand; REPENT YE, and BELIEVE THE GOSPEL.
What About the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
But if the one and only TRUE Gospel is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, what
about the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Is that a false gospel? Not at all. The Gospel
of Jesus Christ IS the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. The Gospel of Jesus Christ
IS NOT man's gospel ABOUT the PERSON of Christ. It is CHRIST'S Gospel - the
Gospel Jesus PREACHED - the Gospel GOD SENT by Him, and therefore it is also
called, in Scripture, the Gospel of God. We hear a great deal, today, of the
gospel of MEN about the PERSON of Jesus Christ - confining the message solely to
the things ABOUT Jesus - what he DID. As a result, millions believe on
Christ, who do not BELIEVE CHRIST! But Jesus' Gospel IS HIS
And yet it was not His, but His FATHER'S who sent Him, as He Himself
said. In John 12:49-50, Jesus said: I have not spoken of myself; but the Father
which sent me, HE gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I
should speak. And I know that HIS commandment is life everlasting; whatsoever I
speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." Yes,
the Father SENT Jesus bearing a Message, which is the Good News of THE KINGDOM
OF GOD. Jesus is God's spokesman - the WORD that was made flesh and lived, and
taught, on this earth! In John 14: 24 Jesus said, "The word which ye hear
is NOT MINE, but the Father's which sent me." And descriptive of the
religion of the Old Testament, and the GOSPEL of the NEW, it is written in Luke
16:16: "The law and the prophets were UNTIL JOHN: since that time
the KINGDOM OF GOD is preached."
What Is the Kingdom of God?
And yet there are some in this modern day of religious confusion who believe
the Gospel of the KINGDOM OF GOD is not for this age - this New Testament time
of grace. They reject and therefore do not BELIEVE the true Gospel as Jesus
commanded and thereby reject the very conditions to SALVATION, saying the Gospel
of the KINGDOM is a gospel for some future age yet to come. But as the apostle
Paul said to the Thessalonians, I would not have you to be IGNORANT of the very
Gospel which alone can bring us eternal life! There was a definite TIME for the
beginning of the Gospel - since John. The law and the prophets were UNTIL John. Since
John's special preparatory ministry, THE KINGDOM OF GOD is preached. There
was a definite TIME for this true New Testament Gospel to begin. And after John
was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, saying, "The TIME is
fulfilled," and preaching the Gospel.
And so now, WHAT IS that Gospel?
The English word Gospel comes from the word Godspell, and means GOOD NEWS.
Daily, we read the NEWS of world happenings - mostly BAD news! We live in a
troubled, chaotic world. And the very BEST news you can hear in this day, or any
other, is the GOOD NEWS of the KINGDOM OF GOD.
But what is a KINGDOM. Primarily, it is a GOVERNMENT - a NATION and the
GOVERNMENT which rules it. And especially in this biblical sense, there is the
DUAL sense of the NATION, including all its subjects or citizens, and the
GOVERNMENT by which it is ruled. Again - in BIBLE usage, a Kingdom is often a
family from a single parent grown into a NATION.
Four things are necessary to constitute a KINGDOM. 1) The TERRITORY, with its
specific location and definite boundary lines, of 2) a KING or Supreme Ruler or
governing agent, ruling over 3) SUBJECTS or citizens within that
territorial jurisdiction, with 4) LAWS and a form of GOVERNMENT. If we leave out
any one of these vital requisites, we do not have, and cannot BELIEVE, the true
GOSPEL for this time.
We must know whether the Kingdom of God is here NOW, or coming later; whether
its territory is THE EARTH, or up in heaven; whether it is a literal kingdom of
human mortals, or a kingdom of immortals; whether it is literal or figurative,
real or unreal. And on many of these things, a great many people are ALL MIXED
up! But now what about the Gospel of GRACE - the Gospel of SALVATION?
Born Into the Kingdom
Notice, when Nicodemus came to Jesus secretly, as recorded in John the 3rd
chapter, Jesus said to him: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man
be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the KINGDOM OF GOD." Jesus was proclaiming the
KINGDOM OF GOD - explaining a most important phase of it. As Paul wrote to the
Church at Corinth, I Corinthians 15, flesh and blood - that is, a mortal human -
cannot enter IN to the Kingdom of God. It is NOT, then, a kingdom whose citizens
are mortal flesh-and-blood humans. Jesus went on to show Nicodemus that we who
are born of the flesh ARE flesh - just mortal flesh and blood. We were BORN that
way - HUMAN - MORTAL. But it is possible for us to be BORN, AGAIN - this time, not
as a mortal flesh-and-blood baby, but born of the SPIRIT. Now in the 4th
chapter of John we read that GOD is a SPIRIT. The Kingdom of God is composed of
those BORN of GOD. And as I have explained previously, GOD is not a single
person, but the Hebrew word for God -"ELOHIM" portrays God as a FAMILY
of persons - a single family, or kingdom, but composed of MORE
than one person. We have the mineral kingdom - the plant kingdom - the
The Bible reveals an angel kingdom, created by God and composed of
spirit, not matter. And then, high above all is the very CREATING Kingdom - the
GOD kingdom, or, in other words, THE KINGDOM OF GOD! God is REPRODUCING HIMSELF!
God created man in GOD'S IMAGE, so that man may become impregnated, BEGOTTEN, by
the very Spirit of GOD, and then, by a resurrection, be BORN as an immortal
SPIRIT-COMPOSED person in the KINGDOM OF GOD. The Apostle Paul made very plain
to the Corinthians that while mortal flesh and blood cannot inherit, or enter
into, the Kingdom of God, that thru the resurrection of those BEGOTTEN BY THE
HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD during this mortal life, this MORTAL then puts on IMMORTALITY,
and we, like the very God Himself, become IMMORTAL, INCORRUPTIBLE, actually,
literally, BORN of God's Spirit INTO the very GOD FAMILY.
Conditions of Entering
Now, HOW may we enter into that glorious KINGDOM? Jesus came preaching the
Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, "REPENT," and "BELIEVE
THE GOSPEL." Just TWO things we do - REPENT, and BELIEVE. To BELIEVE
means to believe the Gospel, and that means also believing on JESUS CHRIST, the
KING of the Kingdom of God, and coming KING of kings over all the
families of the earth. It means believing in Him as personal SAVIOUR, as High
Priest now, and as coming KING.
But to repent is to completely CHANGE THE MIND in respect to SIN, and sin is
the transgression of the LAW - the law of GOD by which God RULES the Kingdom (I
John 3:4). It means a total, complete CHANGE OF MIND AND OF LIFE. It means we
REPENT of transgressing the rule, the will, the laws, of GOD. What did Jesus say
to the young man who asked Him HOW to inherit eternal life? He said, "IF
thou wilt enter into life, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS" (Mat. 19:17) and went on
to show that He referred to the TEN COMMANDMENTS, God's great SPIRITUAL LAW,
summing up, in principle, the WHOLE duty of righteous living. It is a WAY OF
LIFE, and a way contrary to human nature, and to the ways and customs of
this world! - It is the basic spiritual law, and way of life, of the KINGDOM OF
GOD - the WAY to peace of mind, to world peace, to happiness, prosperity and JOY
- the WAY to eternal life.
Kingdom of God To Be Preached TODAY
Yes, JESUS proclaimed and taught the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
But did He command His ministers, in BUILDING HIS CHURCH, to preach this same
Gospel?. Quickly let us notice the Scriptures. Luke 9:1-2: "Then called He
His twelve disciples together . . . and He sent them TO PREACH THE KINGDOM OF
Luke 10:9: "After these things, the Lord appointed other seventy also,
and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place whither He
Himself should come, Therefore He said unto them . . . heal the sick that are
therein, and say unto them, The KINGDOM OF GOD is come nigh unto you." In
Jesus' prayer, so commonly called "The Lord's Prayer," He said,
"THY KINGDOM COME" - then it wasn't here yet, and it isn't here yet,
today - but He taught us to pray for it to COME - for His KINGDOM and that
ALONE, shall bring PEACE, and HAPPINESS, to this sin-sick war-weary earth!
"Thy Kingdom COME - THY WILL BE DONE on earth, as it is in
heaven." The FATHER'S WILL.
What Gospel did the early evangelists preach, in first sending out the FAITH
ONCE DELIVERED? How did the early Church carry out the commission?
Notice PHILIP preaching at Samara! Acts 8:12. "But when they BELIEVED
Philip, preaching the things concerning THE KINGDOM OF GOD, and the name of
Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." Philip preached the
things concerning THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
PAUL! Acts 20:25, 21: "I have gone preaching THE KINGDOM OF GOD
testifying both to the Jews and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and
FAITH toward our Lord Jesus Christ." And notice the Gospel Paul preached to
GENTILES, after he had turned completely away from the Jews. 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.'' And, lastly, WHAT GOSPEL did
Jesus say should be preached TODAY?"
Matthew 24:14, speaking of the PRESENT: "And this GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM
shall be preached in ALL THE WORLD for a witness" - for a WITNESS -
"unto ALL NATIONS, and then shall the END come! ''- the end
of this AGE.