Friday, July 29, 2011

LLM Question of the Day for 7-29-2011, and, THE GOSPEL OF JOHN....THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST, pt. 1 of 12

First the Question: The RISEN Christ never instructed the Apostle Paul to preach to Gentiles what He instructed the Apostle Peter to preach to Israel on the day of Pentecost. True or False?

Please take a moment to respond at the LLM Question of the Day

And now the answer to the LLM Question of 7-27-2011

Question: The word Gospel is not found ONCE in the Gospel of John. True or False?

Answer: TRUE! The word ‘Gospel’ is not used in John’s Record; the word ‘Grace’ is found in only three verses; and the word ‘Kingdom’ is found in only three verses. But, what we want to know is this: According to the documentary evidence, the written Message which the Holy Spirit directed John to write, what Gospel IS presented in John’s Record? Out of the 635 responses we received 81.8% of you got it right! Therefore,

Today let us consider, THE GOSPEL OF JOHN....THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST, pt. 1 of 12

Some time ago there was an evangelist who announced that he was going to speak on The Fifth Gospel. He read Romans 2:16, Romans 16:25, and 2 Timothy 2:8, in which verses the Apostle Paul called the Gospel “My Gospel.” Then said the evangelist, “if you insist upon calling Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, “The Four Gospels,” I will call Paul’s Gospel, “The Fifth Gospel.”

So just as “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” has been erroneously called “The Revelation of Saint John the Divine,” the Apostle John’s Record of the life and ministry, the sayings and doings, the death and resurrection of the Eternal, Divine, Omnipotent, Omniscient, sinless LORD Jesus Christ has been erroneously called, “The Gospel of John.”

Some theologians and Bible expositors tell us that in John’s Record we have a combination of “the Gospel of the Kingdom” and “the Gospel of the Grace of God.” But most of them THEN say that there is NO difference between “the Gospel of the Kingdom” and “the Gospel of the Grace of God.”

It is very interesting to note that the word ‘Kingdom’ is found in three verses in John’s Record: John 3:3, and John 3:5, and John 18:36. And that the word ‘Grace’ is also found in three verses: John 1:14, and John 1:16, and John 1:17. But what may be a surprise to many is the fact that the word ‘Gospel’ is not found ONCE in John’s Record.

The LORD directed John to write five Messages or Books; namely, the so called “Gospel of John,” his three Epistles, and “The Revelation.” In the first four of these Books the word ‘Gospel’ is not found; and only once in “The Revelation.” In Revelation 14:6 a very strange evangelist is preaching “the everlasting Gospel,” (an angel in the midst of heaven). The minister of Christ is supposed to be, expected to be, a Faithful steward of the Mysteries of God. (1 Corinthians 4:1-4). The minister of Christ who contends that the “everlasting Gospel” of Revelation is the same as “the Gospel of the Grace of God” (Acts 20:24), which was given by special revelation from the RISEN Christ to the Apostle Paul (Galatians 1:11-12; Ephesians 3:1-3), is certainly NOT a steward of the Mysteries of God, but rather a workman who needeth to be ashamed because he does not rightly divide the Word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15).

THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM vs. THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD

We have mentioned above the fact that the word ‘Gospel’ is not used in John’s Record; that the word ‘Grace’ is found in only three verses; and the word ‘Kingdom’ is found in only three verses. What we want to know is this: According to the documentary evidence, the written Message which the Holy Spirit directed John to write, what Gospel IS presented in John’s Record?

We may, of course, turn to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and learn what Gospel Christ and His apostles preached during the years of the public ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, a Man approved of God by miracles and signs in the midst of Israel. (Acts 2:22). We learn in Matthew 3:2, Matthew 4:17, and Matthew 10:5-8, that John the Baptist, Jesus of Nazareth, and the twelve apostles ALL preached: “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Then read in Mark 1:14-15: “Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled; the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the Gospel.” We read in Matthew 4:23 and Matthew 9:35, “Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching ‘the Gospel of the Kingdom,’ and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”

In Matthew 10:3-8 and in Luke 9:1-6 we learn that the LORD Jesus instructed and empowered His twelve Apostles to preach the same Gospel and to perform the same miracles. But let us keep in mind the truth of Matthew 15:24 and Matthew 10:5-7; that the LORD Jesus plainly stated: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”, and, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.”

Years after the LORD Jesus had died, resurrected, and gone back to heaven, He appeared to the Apostle Paul in the temple in a vision and said. “I will send thee far hence to the Gentiles.” (Acts 22:17-22). Several years later Paul testified, in Romans 15:8 and Romans 15:16-21, that Jesus Christ, while here in the flesh, was a Minister of the circumcision with a ministry and message which was in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy, but that he, Paul, was a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles.

In this same Epistle to the Romans the Apostle Paul declared that there was NO difference between the Jew and the Gentile (Romans 10:12-13); that salvation was sent to Gentiles when and because of the ‘FALL’ and ‘CASTING AWAY’ and ‘DIMINISHING’ of Israel. (Romans 11:11-15). (Romans 11:30). Reconciliation and Divine mercy were offered to the Gentiles. Then the Apostle of the Gentiles (Romans 11:13) wrote; “the Grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11). He wrote, in Romans 16:25, that members of the Body of Christ were to be established by “MY Gospel”, the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the Revelation of the Mystery kept secret since the beginning of the world. (Romans 16:25).

Surely we recognize a most radical change between the day the LORD Jesus instructed the twelve apostles to go to Israel, preaching that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand, in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, AND, the day the RISEN, glorified Christ instructed the Apostle Paul to proclaim the Grace of God at hand for all men and to establish members of the Body of Christ with Divine truth NOT mentioned or contemplated by Old Testament prophets.

Surely every spiritual, intelligent, Spirit taught member of the Body of Christ knows that Israel is God’s ‘Kingdom’ nation. They should know that God’s spiritual program for the human race, for Jew and Gentile, CHANGED when and because God set aside His ‘Kingdom’ nation (albeit temporarily); that, when and because of that great change, God ushered in “The Dispensation of the Grace of God for Gentiles,” which Paul called “The Mystery of Christ.” (Ephesians 3:1-3). But now back to Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM

In 19 of the 27 Books from Matthew to Revelation the word ‘Gospel’ is found 104 times, (yes, I counted). Then the Greek word translated ‘Gospel’ is translated several times ‘glad tidings.’ In 8 of the 27 Books the word ‘Gospel’ is not found. In ALL of the Apostle Paul’s Epistles he mentions ‘Gospel,’ except in Titus. Yet in Titus the wonderful, glorious, blessed, Gospel of Salvation by Grace, without works or religion, is presented. Any spiritual, intelligent, Spirit-led student of the Scriptures who will compare the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, from Matthew 4:23 to Matthew 8:5, “the Gospel of the Kingdom” and the more than fifty religious requirements and obligations in these Scriptures, with Titus 3:3-8, should certainly say, “what a difference between the two Gospels!”

The New Testament Scriptures have much to say concerning “the Kingdom.” The word “Kingdom” is found 155 times in these 27 Books. In the Apostle Paul’s Epistles he mentions “the Kingdom of God” 12 times and “the Kingdom of Christ” 4 times. In Paul’s Epistles we learn that members of the Body of Christ inherit “the Kingdom of God and of Christ” (Ephesians 5:5); that members of the Body of Christ have been transferred into the Kingdom of the Son of God’s love. (Colossians 1:13-14).

In the Apostle John’s Record we find the words of the LORD Jesus to Nicodemus, recorded in John 3:3 and John 3:5, that no person can see or enter the Kingdom of God without regeneration; that the person who BELIEVES in Christ, Who was lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, is born from above, born anew, born of the Spirit, born of water. (John 3:6-15). Aside from John 3:3 and John 3:5 the only other verse in John in which we find the word ‘Kingdom’ is John 18:36. In this verse we have the words of Christ spoken to the heathen judge, Pilate, “My Kingdom is not of this world: If My Kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is My Kingdom not from hence.”

Ok, but now here, in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, we find the word ‘Kingdom’ 119 times, in 119 verses. In Matthew we find the ‘Kingdom’ mentioned 55 times in 55 verses. In the first 13 chapters of Matthew we read much about “the Gospel of the Kingdom,” about “the Kingdom of Heaven.” We have in the 14th chapter 7 ‘Kingdom’ parables. In the 6th chapter we have the ‘Our Father’ prayer, with the petition, “Thy Kingdom come.” In the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th chapters of Matthew we find the “Beatitudes,” “the Sermon on the Mount,” the “Golden Rule.” In those chapters we find more than 50 commands of Christ, including various religion ceremonies and ordinances given for the obedience and practice of Christ’s disciples and other Israelites.

Now by way of comparison and contrast, from John 1-13 of John’s Record, we find NOTHING of the sayings and doings of Christ, His Apostles, and other Israelites WHICH are recorded in Matthew 1-13, EXCEPT in the thirteen chapters of Matthew and the thirteen chapters of John the record of the life and ministry and message of John the Baptist, which was FOR Israel. (Luke 1:16; Luke 1:80; Acts 13:24; Acts 18:25; Acts 19:4).

Even in this recorded ministry of John the Baptist more than 50% of the facts related in John’s Record are NOT recorded in Matthew. Matthew mentions the name ‘JOHN’ 26 times; 23 times referring to John the Baptist, 3 times to the Apostle John, the son of Zebedee. More than 70% of what Matthew tells us concerning John the Baptist is NOT found in John’s Record. John mentions the name ‘JOHN’ 20 times in his Record; all 20 times referring to John the Baptist. The Apostle John does not mention himself by the name ‘JOHN’ in his Gospel or in his three Epistles; but he does 5 times in Revelation. In John’s Record the Apostle John calls himself, “one of the disciples whom Jesus loved,” “that disciple whom Jesus loved,” “that other disciple.” And this is very interesting: inasmuch as the Holy Spirit is presenting, in John’s Record, the eternal Incarnate Word as the “Apostle and High Priest of our confession” (Hebrews 3:1), the disciples of Christ are NOT called ‘apostles’ in John’s Record.

Again by way of comparison and contrast, whereas in Matthew, the LORD Jesus imposed upon His disciples and other Israelites more than 50 ceremonies, religious observances and commands, (which had their rightful place under the reign of Law), the principal thing that the disciples and other Israelites were to do in John’s Record was to “BELIEVE.” The word “BELIEVE” is found 100 times in John’s Record. We do learn in John 3:22, in just one short verse, that the disciples of Jesus were baptizing. We do not have any record of what they preached or what they were told to preach, as we have in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In John’s Record we do not have any mention of miracles performed by the 12, as we do in the other three Records.

Instead of laying down the law to Israelites as in the Sermon on the Mount, the Golden Rule and the Kingdom parables, we read these words in John 6:28-29, “Then said they unto Him (Jesus), What shall we do that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye BELIEVE in Him Whom He hath sent.” Then in John 16:7-10 we learn that the Holy Spirit was to be sent to convict condemned sinners of the sin of unbelief; “because they believe not on Me (Christ).” The Holy Spirit was to convict or reprove them of righteousness, because Christ was going back to His Father. (John 16:10). Here we might mention the fact that this future ‘righteousness’ in John 16:10 is the only mention of ‘righteousness’ in John’s Record. Salvation is mentioned just once, in the words Jesus spoke to the woman in Samaria; “Salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22). Jesus is called ‘Saviour’ just once in John’s Record, and that by Samaritans, who were saved during Christ’s visit to their city: “we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” (John 4:42).

We certainly learn in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, that sin is the transgression of the Law. But in John’s Record we read the words of Christ, “if ye BELIEVE not that I AM, ye shall die in your sins”, and, “he that BELIEVETH in Him (Christ) is not condemned; but he that BELIEVETH not is condemned already, because he hath not BELIEVED in the Name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 8:24 and John 3:18).

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” Acts 16:31, while there is still time!

So There You Have it!

Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide. The time is short

Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.

In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry

Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)

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