Saturday, January 23, 2010

WHICH GOSPEL WHEN By - Paul R. Van Gorder

 By - Paul R. Van Gorder

Chapter One

The current religious scene uses the word "gospel" indiscriminately. We hear of gospel music, gospel truth, the old fashioned gospel, gospel literature, and gospel meetings. But what is the meaning of the word "gospel"? Coming from the Greek word euaggelion, it simply means "good tidings" or "good news".

Let me raise a question that might bring opposing response and perhaps considerable disagreement. Here's the question; is there more than one gospel;' Some would quickly answer "of course not! There's only one gospel." They refer to the gospel spoken of by the apostle Paul in this familial passage: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures: First Corinthians.15:1-4 But is this [the only "good news" of the Bible? Even a cursory reading of the New Testament will demonstrate that for the 101 times the word is used, it cannot be exclusively " the gospel" to which the apostle referred. However, if you object to the statement that there is more than one gospel, you would surely agree that if there is but one "good news" it must necessarily concern several different subjects. Paul wrote, And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Philippians 1:9-10. A marginal rendering of the phrase "approve things that are excellent"' is simply "distinguish between the things which differ ". In this series of messages, I want us to consider the teaching of God's Word relative to four different gospels mentioned in the New Testament. We will examine the four different subjects about which the gospel is concerned.


Early in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ in Galilee, this is recorded: And 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 among the people. (Matthew 4:23 a little later we read, 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: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 10;5-7 This was the proclamation of the gospel of the Kingdom. John the Baptist had preached that same gospel. He announced that the long predicted Messiah, the One of whom the prophets had spoken, was standing at the door.


Is this the gospel we proclaim today? This good news had reference to the coming of the Messiah and the establishment of His kingdom. Addressing the men of Israel in the synagogue at Antioch, the apostle Paul spoke these significant words. He raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also He gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will. Of this man's seed hath God according to His promise raised unto Israel a Savior, Jesus: Acts 13:22-23. God established a covenant with David, a promise that is irrevocable. That covenant had to do with a house; that is, a family or posterity, a kingdom, a sphere of rule, a throne, a royal prerogative over a kingdom. The gospel of the kingdom was the good news to Israel that their Messiah and King was at hand. The Jews are God's chosen people. The Messiah was promised to them. And they are to be the subjects of the King in a sense that Gentiles never can be.


The gospel of the Kingdom was the central theme of the prophets. True, they spoke against the evils of their day, and they denounced Gentile oppressors by predicting divine judgment. But their prophecies had to do mainly with the person of the Messiah, the coining King, with descriptions of that kingdom, and with the children of Israel, who are the subjects of that king.


This gospel of the kingdom, with it's foundation in the covenant made to David, was the gospel preached by John the Baptist. It was also proclaimed by Jesus Himself during His earthly ministry, prior to His rejection and Death. The apostle Paul declared, Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: (Romans 15:8). Matthew, whose account presents Jesus Christ primarily as King, began his book by saying, The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, (Matthew 1:1). When the angel Gabriel announced to the virgin Mary that she was to be the mother of Jesus, he said, He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:32-33) Little wonder, then , that John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah, should proclaim, "Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2).

As I previously stated, Christ Himself proclaimed this gospel, the gospel of the kingdom. And when He sent forth the twelve, recorded in Matthew 10, He said, 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: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 10:5-7 The announcement was made to Israel that the Son of David had come as their King. The disciples, however, did not understand that the Lord Jesus was going to die. Even following His death and resurrection, just prior to His ascension, they asked Him, "Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" (Acts 1:6). The disciples were still taken up with the establishment of the earthly kingdom.


Not only was the gospel of the kingdom proclaimed to Israel, but the very principles of the kingdom were announced in what is commonly called the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). The King Himself demonstrated the powers of the kingdom by His miracles. But John clearly stated that "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not" (John 1:11) Israel did not acknowledge their Messiah but refused their King.

Perhaps the most accurate picture of Israel's rejection of the message of the King and the Kingdom is given to us in one of Christ's parables (Matthew 21:33-42) A householder (a depiction of God the Father) planted a vineyard and leased it out to some farmers. Later he sent servants (the prophets) to harvest the fruit from that vineyard. The tenants (representative of Israel) grabbed His servants and beat them, stoned them, and killed them. The householder sent more servants, and they received the same treatment. Last of all He sent His Son (a picture of Christ). You would think they surely would have received Him, but no, "they caught Him, and cast Him out of the vineyard, and slew him." (V 39)

In a similar parable in Luke 19, the Lord Jesus spoke of the "citizens" of the land who cried out, "We will not have this man reign over us" (Luke 19:14). The King is exiled! I ask you, "Is this gospel of the kingdom what we proclaim today?" Absolutely not!


I hear men speak of "extending the kingdom". Nonsense! This is not the business of the church. The King must be present in order for the kingdom to be established and extended. Right now He is absent from the earth. The nation that rejected it's King had this sentence of judgment passed on it by the Messiah: Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. (Matthew 23:28-39) The time is coining when (the gospel of the kingdom will again he proclaimed. I have often heard Matthew 24:14 quoted as applicable to the missionary ministry of the church in this age. Those who use this verse and interpret it this way are lifting it completely out of context. It says, And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14) This is the message that will be proclaimed after the church is ruptured. As it was at it's first preaching, so again the gospel of the kingdom will proclaim the near approach of the King. The setting of Matthew 24 is the tribulation period. Alter the church age ends, the good news of the kingdom is to be heralded throughout the earth. The "end" of which Christ spoke is the close of the Jewish age, Daniel's 70 weeks. It will terminate when the Son of Man comes to reign in power and glory. A great missionary enterprise will be carried out by the godly remnant of Israel during that period of the great tribulation. Every nation will hear the proclamation, "Behold, the King cometh!" Again, the word will go out, "Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" And "then shall the end come."

Matthew 24 is essentially Jewish. It is limited to that period of time, a "week" of 7 years, called the tribulation. The coming of the Lord for His church does not depend on the gospel of the kingdom being preached in all the world. We have been placed in trust with the gospel of the grace of God. Our work is clearly defined, and the urgency is pressed upon us. We must get on with the missionary endeavor so that all may have the privilege to hear what the Word of God says concerning Jesus Christ, His death, burial, and resurrection. Our Lord's command to us is this: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" {Mark 16:16).

The next event on God's prophetic calendar is the rapture of the church. That event will not be preceded by signs. It is imminent; that is, He may come at any moment. Are you prepared to meet Him? Are you numbered among those who by faith have trusted the Savior for the cleansing of your sin and the salvation of your soul? He came the first time and was rejected by His own people. The apostle John wrote, "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12). Today, you too may know the Savior. You will never face a more important issue. What you do with Christ determines your destiny for eternity.


Chapter 2

The meaning of the word "gospel" is simply "good news." In every age, God has had good news for man. But that good news has not always been the same in the subject it declares. I would not contend for a moment that anyone can be born again except by the grace of God and without any merit in himself. Yet I must also unequivocally state that the gospel, God's good news, deals with different aspects of divine revelation. The gospel of the kingdom, discussed in the first lesson, was exclusively for Israel. John the Baptist heralded that gospel. And I knew Him not; but that He should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water (John 1:31) John the Baptist's purpose was to manifest Christ to Israel. The gospel that he proclaimed had no message for Gentiles. Rather, it was a declaration to Jehovah's chosen people that the kingdom of Heaven was present in the person of the King, the Lord Jesus Christ. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not" (John 1:11). The special message to Israel about their King was refused, and the King Himself was rejected. Today He is in exile, and obviously there can be no kingdom without the King.

Israel's rejection of their Messiah culminated in the stoning of Stephen. The Old Testament record reveals that they had rejected Jehovah as their King. Then God was manifest in the flesh in the person of the Son, and again they refused Him. By the way, their rejection was complete as indicated by the words of Stephen just before he died. "Ye stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit, as your fathers did, so do ye" (Acts 7:51). The kingdom is therefore now in abeyance. The gospel of the kingdom will not be preached again until just before the King returns to establish His reign in righteousness and justice. Before this revelation of Jesus Christ and during the tribulation period, "this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:14).


A remarkable happening is recorded in Acts 10. Peter went to the house of Cornelius, a Gentile. He and his household were born again, and they received the Holy Spirit before they were baptized.

When Peter finally explained this event to his Jewish brethren in Jerusalem, they "glorified God, saying, "Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life" (Acts 11:18). Peter referred to this memorable occasion as the time when God "put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith" (Acts 15:9). Peter further staled, "But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even at they (Acts 15:11). This was the beginning of the new thing. James said that Simon Peter "hath declared how God first did visit the nations, to take out of them a people for His name" (Acts 15:14). How was this to be accomplished? By the preaching of the gospel of the grace of God.

The apostle Paul spoke of this as a stewardship given especially to him. He was to preach to the Gentiles. But none of these things move me, neither count I 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) Writing to the church at Corinth, he added, Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (First Corinthians 15:1-4) You will note that the King and the kingdom are no longer being announced. Why? Because the gospel of God's grace is being proclaimed concerning Jesus Christ-His death, His burial, and His resurrection.

This is the gospel of God's free grace to everyone who believes the gospel of the crucified, risen, and glorified Lord. Paul spoke of the same good news in his letter to the Romans. Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God. Which He had promised afore by His prophets in the holy scriptures, Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for His name: ( Romans 1:1-5) During this present age, the good news of the grace of God is calling sinners, both Jews and Gentiles, to the Savior. All of whom arc saved are placed into the Body of Christ, which is the church.


The gospel of the kingdom was addressed to Israel only, offering to them their Messiah. The "good news" of the grace of God is addressed to all sinners with out distention offering to them a Savior. The gospel which Paul was called to preach, the gospel of the grace of God, does not offer Israel a ruler. In fact, at this time God is not offering a king to anyone.

By the preaching of the gospel, God is visiting the nations "to take out of them a people for His name" [Acts 15:14). The Lord Jesus said to Simon Peter in Matthew 16:18, I will build My church," but that was still future. A mystery was later revealed to the apostle Paul. The mystery of the church, the Body of Christ. That God would save Jews was no mystery; that He would save Gentiles was no mystery. The mystery was that He would put Jews and Gentiles into one body and make them fellow members, fellow heirs, and fellow partakers of His promise in Christ. This was a new revelation.

The apostle wrote, For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you ward: that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel: (Ephesians 3:1-6) And now by the gospel of God's grace, which is the "power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth" (Romans 1:16), Jews and Gentile can be saved and added to the church. "For by one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Greeks, whether we be bond or free" (First Corinthians 12:13).


This is good news! Called repeatedly in the New Testament "the gospel of God," it originated in His eternal purpose for a lost world. Designated "the gospel of Christ," it declares the unmerited kindness of God toward ruined, condemned sinners. Known as "the gospel of salvation", it reveals the only way the sinner may be saved through the finished work of Christ. This is the gospel we proclaim.

Outlined by the apostle Paul in First Corinthians 15, the gospel of grace concern the person of God's Son, the Lord Jesus, in His death, burial, and resurrection.

"Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures." This death was not a suicide, the result of an accident, or the punishment of a criminal. This death of our Lord was a substitutionary death, "the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God" (First Peter 3:18). On the grounds of that death, God can be "just, and the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3: 26). Christ bore the debt and demerit of our sin at Calvary. Something had to be done with that sin. The penalty had to be exacted. "He hath made Him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (Second Corinthians 5:27 The spotless Lamb of God took our place. The hymn writer said.

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood-
Sealed my pardon with His blood:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Christ's death was "according to the Scriptures." By type, by offering and sacrifice, and by direct prophetic statement, the death of Christ was taught in the Old Testament. When the Savior bled and died on the cross, all the promissory notes of the past ages were paid in full, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled.

"He was buried." This is the ultimate proof that He really died. When a soul departs from a body, this separation spells physical death. The soldiers declared that He was dead, and Pilate gave Joseph of Arimathaea permission to take the body. He buried it in a newly prepared tomb, fulfilling the Scriptures, "He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death" (Isaiah 53:9).

"He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." This is the foundation of our salvation. Paul wrote, "And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins" {First Corinthians 15:17). After His burial, the stone was rolled in front of the tomb. The Romans seal was placed upon it. Soldiers guarded that sepulclier. Men and demons did their utmost to see that the tomb would keep that body in its cold, dread grasp. If the grave could keep the body so that it would "see corruption," the Calvary would become a farce and salvation would be impossible. But praise God, Christ rose triumphantly! He won the victory over sin, death and Hell! (He) was delivered for our olfenses, and was raised again for (on account of) our justification (Romans 4:25). God raised Him from the dead and exalted Him by seating Him at His right hand. The Lord's resurrection is unmistakable proof that God is fully pleased by the work He did at Calvary. Now we who were once far off are brought to God by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13).

This is the gospel you must believe if you are ever to stand accepted before God. This is the gospel we preach. God in His grace has provided eternal redemption for you through the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son. You do not deserve it, you cannot buy it, and you cannot work for it. But God will give it too you. By faith believe the gospel, trust the Savior, and receive the gift of eternal life through Christ. Then you can say with the hymn writer, I need no other argument, I need noother plea; It is enough that Jesus died, And that he died for me.


Chapter 3

In every age, man is saved by grace and grace alone. The proclamation of this truth is called "the gospel." It is "the gospel of God." It is good news! Even though the gospel itself has the same message in even' age, it has different points of,,,,,,,,,, emphasis. During the ministry of John the Baptist and the earthly ministry of our Lord, the "gospel of the kingdom" was proclaimed to Israel. The kingdom of heaven was present in the person of the King, the Lord Jesus Christ. Israel's response was, "We will not have this man to reiqn over us" Luke 19:14)

During the church age, the gospel of the grace of God is being heralded to the world. God has provided the only way of salvation for condemned, unworthy sinners. We are saved through the death of Christ and His shed blood upon the cross. The guarantee is His resurrection from the dead. The gospel of His grace reveals God's righteousness. By it He is "just, and the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus.

"This rules out all human works and merit. If you and I are to be saved, to be made fit to come into the presence of a holy God, it must be totally apart from our own works. It comes exclusively by the grace of God, by virtue of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection on our behalf.


When the seed of the Word falls on good ground and brings forth fruit, Satan is not content to let it go unhindered. As in the parable of the tares in Matthew 13, He over sows the field with a spurious wheat, a darnel. Satan is a counterfeiter, and he is quite successful at it by simulation and substitution. God no sooner begins His work in any dispensation than our adversary, the devil, attempts to discredit (that work by offering a counterfeit. Satan's substitutes are never completely false. A modicum of truth gives each lie a measure of credibility. The enemy is for too shrewd to supplant the truth with a total lie. So he adulterates the truth with a subtle mixture of error.

The apostle Paul pointed this out in his second letter to the Corinthians. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his crafiness, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him (Second Corinthians 11:3-4)

The apostle said this to the churches in Galatia: I marvel that ye 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. (Galatians 1:6-7) The apostle spoke of "another Jesus" and "another gospel. " Actually, he used two different Greek words for "another": in this verse, He was saying, "It is not another gospel (that is, another of the same kind); but it is a different gospel." Oh, it's true that Satan's deceivers use the nomenclature of Heaven to masquerade their false gospel. A cheap coin may be gilded to look like gold. But the gilding does not make it real. Almost everywhere Paul went he found those who sought by deception to divert his converts from the message of salvation by grace alone. Our day is no exception.

                                    ANOTHER GOSPEL

The emissaries of Satan have lodged in the great tree of Christendom. Deceivers slip the leaven of false doctrine into the pure meal of the gospel. To illustrate the danger, the apostle referred back to the beginning of the human race. He warned that false teachers will use the same methods Satan employed in beguiling Eve. He did it through his craftiness. Paul wrote further, For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works (Second Corinthians 11:15-16) Harry Ironside wrote, "That is how the devil works. Satan never says, Good morning, I am the devil! I want to mislead you. I want to seduce you. I want to turn your heart away from God. I want to ruin you for a time and eternity. No, he comes with the fairest pretenses and promises, and he endeavors to turn the heart away from Christ by his deception."

From the New Testament we discern several instances of "other gospels," which are perversions of the true.

Deceitfulness Imposed

The first is found in Second Corinthians
11. When the mind is lead astray "from the simplicity that is in Christ" (V 3), you may put it down: This is another gospel. That word "simplicity" means "single hearted faith" or "single hearted loyalty." It carries with it the idea of being "spread out," or "without folds or wrinkles. "Any teaching which leads us away from sincere and pure devotion to Jesus Christ must be branded another gospel, one entirely different from the gospel of God's grace.

Ritualism Added

Second, when a system of works or religious observances is added to or substituted for the gospel of grace, you may be sure that it is another gospel. Paul had received news from the churches in Galatia that shocked him. They had been saved by grace through faith, totally apart from works. But Judaizers were telling them that they had to observe days, to submit to the practices of the Mosaic law, and to engage in a system of works. These teachers were perverting the gospel of Christ.
Whenever you mix law and grace, law is robbed of its terror and grace of its freeness. This different gospel, contrary to the teaching of the New Testament, is proclaimed in numerous forms. Just as those Judaizing teachers told the Galalian Christians that they must observe the ancient rite of circumcision in order to have a full salvation, some religionists today insist on the baptism right or some other ordinance for salvation. To them it is grace plus something. A verse in Galatians should settle this question once and for all. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16) I care not from what quarter it comes. If the supposed gospel you have heard is one of reformation, baptismal regeneration, church membership, good works, or ritualistic practice, it is not God's gospel. It does not carry His blessing, and it is contrary to His Word. Don't be deceived. To depend upon anything or anyone for your salvation other than Jesus Christ, God's sacrifice for your sins, is to put your confidence in another gospel. God condemns those who purvey these errors, and He calls them "false teachers."

Christ's Deity Perverted

A third instance is given by John. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresses, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (Second John 1:7-9) Please note these three: Another gospel-not the gospel of Christ is preached, (1) when single hearted faith is drawn away from Christ, (2) when a system of works is substituted or added to the grace of God, or (3) when the doctrine of Christ is violated.

The apostle John wrote in strong words the divine condemnation of deceivers who deny that Jesus is the Christ of God manifest in the flesh. Check it out, friend. What does your church teach and what does your preacher believe about Jesus Christ? All that scriptures says about Him and all that He declares concerning Himself is true. The one who departs from either is a false teacher and dispenser of a false gospel.


The Word of God clearly condemns anyone who perverts the gospel of the grace of God, or who departs from the doctrine of Christ. In fact, you will find no stronger language in all of Scripture. Paul said that even an angel would be "accursed" if he preached anything different. Read for yourself his inspired words: 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. (Galatians 1:8) The curse of God is upon all preaching that says man has to work to be saved or to be kept saved. This sounds the death knell to all who mingle law and grace. John gave this warning about anyone who preaches another gospel. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him Godspeed; For he that biddeth him Godspeed is partaker of his evil deeds (Second John 1:10-11) At the time of John's writing, the homes of the Christians were the primary places for assembly and worship. Stated simply, these believers were to have no fellowship whatever with one who preached a different gospel, and who denied the doctrine of Christ.

May I put it pointedly to you? If you are affiliated with a church or a religious group that tolerates the preaching of another gospel, or that goes beyond or does not abide in the doctrine of Christ, you are not only exposing your family to false teaching but are disobeying the Word of God. Ephesians 5:11 commands us to "have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but, rather, reprove them."

You and I must stay by the unchanging standard given to us in the inspired Word of God. This is the safeguard for the believer. Weigh every message in the balances of God's Word. "To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20).

Dear friend, you have nothing to offer God, No good works, nothing to commend you to Him. I invite you to receive the grace of Christ. Trust the Savior who died for you, and believe the gospel of God. Then you can say with the hymn writer, My hope is in the Lord who gave Himself for me, and paid the price of all my sin at Calvary. No merit of my own His anger to suppress, My only hope is found in Jesus' righteousness. And now for me He stands before the Father's throne, He shows His wounded hands, and names me as His own. His grace has planned it all, 'tis mine but to believe, And recognize His work of Love and Christ receive. For me He died, for me He lives, And everlasting life and light He freely gives.  -Norman J. Clayton


Chapter 4

God has had His witness in every generation. In every age God's good news has been announced. The word "gospel" is not used exclusively in our age (nor of the message we preach). The Bible student who fails to recognize that there are different aspects of divine revelation, and that different gospel emphases apply to various dispensations and people, who will be led into great confusion in the interpretation of the Word of God. By the subject, Which Gospel When?, I am not suggesting that God has different gospels. But God's gospel has different phases.

The gospel of the kingdom was given particularly to Israel. This gospel, the subject of much of the prophetic Old Testament, announced that Jesus Christ would reign on the throne of His father David, and that He would set up His kingdom upon this earth. The same message was proclaimed by John the Baptist and by Christ Himself, and it will be heralded forth again during the great tribulation.

During this age of the church, the gospel of the grace of God is predominant. The ministers of the gospel around the world preach a message of salvation made possible through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is good new that you and I may come into a right relationship with God. This was accomplished "not by works of the righteousness which we have done" (Titus 3:5), but by the work of another, the perfect sacrifice, God's Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ. To concoct some other method of salvation to concoct some other way is to preach another gospel, and the anathema of God is upon it.

The gospel of the kingdom is primarily to Israel. But they rejected their King. They would not have that Man to reign over them. The King is therefore in exile, and the kingdom is yet to be established upon the earth. The "nobleman" has gone into the far country to receive His kingdom. Just prior to His return to this earth, a great company of witnesses will again announce "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." But now you and I are to make known the good news of salvation by grace to a world that is lost and perishing. The good news is that Christ has died "the just for the unjust, and that He might bring us to God" (First Peter 3:18).

I ask you now to consider another aspect of the gospel, which is referred to in the book of Revelation. And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Revelation 14:6-7.


To understand the meaning of these words, yon must know the setting. The blackest storms always make the loveliest sunsets; and the darker the night, the brighter the stars. In the vision given to the apostle John in chapter 13, Antichrist engages in terrible blasphemy, the earth's multitudes worship this imposter, and the false prophet exercises his power in the infernal counterfeit trinity. It would seem that chapter 14 is not placed chronologically but is a parenthesis to speak of an anticipated victory.

Remember that in the middle of the week of 7 years the lawless one (Antichrist) will renounce his covenant with Israel. He will assassinate God's two witnesses, and he’ll be determined to exterminate the saints. Into this dark scene the Holy Spirit interjects a chapter of hope. John looked up and saw a Lamb on Mount Zion. He heard the song of the heavenly choir and the refrain was echoed on the earth by the 144, 0000 out of the 12 tribes of Israel who had been sealed. This is a preview of the reigning Christ, the Lamb, sitting upon the throne. The conquering Christ is upon the throne in Jerusalem. Following this anticipatory vision, John saw another angel flying in mid-Heaven who had the everlasting gospel.


The message of Revelation 14 is addressed to the earth dwellers immediately before the bowls of God's wrath are poured out. This dreaded event will take place in the latter part of the tribulation. The everlasting gospel is precisely this: "fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come" (Revelation 14:7). The emphasis is upon judgment. When God is unheeded as He speaks in grace, He is forced to speak in judgment. But when men and women listen to His gracious admonitions and walk in His ways they will reap great blessings. His servant Isaiah assured Israel that "the work of the righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever" (Isaiah 32:17)

Dr. John Walvoord said, "The everlasting gospel seems to be neither the gospel of grace nor the gospel of the kingdom, but rather the good news that God at last is about to deal with the world in righteousness and establish His sovereignty over the world." God will place His King on Zion's holy hill to reign righteously, "This is the news of God's Ruler-not grace, His judgement! Not a Savior, but a Sovereign!

This is also the final call for guilty nations to prostrate themselves in the dust and pay homage to their Creator. The nations of the earth, which at that time will be worshiping the Beast, are called to the worship of God. The message of this gospel will be that the Creator alone is to be feared and worshiped. It is called "everlasting" because these principles reach above and beyond any particular age: that God always was, is now, and always will be the proper object of man's worship. God's last call is being trumpeted to the Gentiles. Instead of"... now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (Senond Corinthians 6:2), the proclamation will be, "... the hour of His judgment is come" (Revelation 14:7).

It's as if we hear this angel in mid-Heaven proclaiming the words of Psalm 2. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him. (Psalm 2:10-12)


In reading this proclamation of the everlasting gospel, you cannot help but notice the difference between it and the announcement of the angel to the shepherds long ago on the. Judean hills. As the light shone round about, the angel said, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy" (Luke 2:10). But in the day before the return of the Lord when He will establish His kingdom upon (the earth, the word of the angel will be, "Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come." Yet those serious tidings will be a gospel for that time of unequaled darkness. To many the proclamation that the hour of God's judgment is come will not be "good news," but to others it will bring rejoicing because only through judgment can the earth be delivered.


This is God's eternal good news to an earth long under the curse, and under the sway of the usurper. The kings of the earth cry, "Let us break their bands asunder" (Psalms 2:3). But judgment awaits the earth dwellers who refuse to give glory to God and acknowledge His sovereign right to rule. This will be the Lord's last warning to the nations. Let us not ignore this sobering thought:" The wicked shall be turned into sheol, and all the nations that forget God" (Psalm 9:17)

The phrase, "them that dwell on the earth," or "earth dwellers," is used a number of tines in the book of Revelation. It's not as much a geographical term as a moral description. It describes those who have taken up abode upon the earth-who desire nothing more than what the world's commerce and religion can offer. They have no desire for God's eternal dwelling place nor the blessings of spiritual wealth. They are wildlings, taken up with earthly things.

To you who think this world to your heart with no thought of the future and God, I ask yon to read from His infallible Word a description of the time that will come upon this earth and its inhabitants. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6:15-17) But this does not end the display of God’s wrath against those who reject His grace. Revelation speaks of that time when the books are opened and the book of life reveals its record . “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).

"OH," you say, "that is a time in the feature. It doesn't concern me." But friend, in every age and in every juncture of the divine program of time, God has held man accountable to Him. The gospel received brings life and blessing in every dispensation. To refuse God's good news, be it now or when the everlasting gospel is heralded by an angel to the nations, is to merit the judgment of God. The record is plain: you and I must accept God's message, believe His word, and trust His grace. We dare not exempt ourselves by postponing our decision, claiming that these issues are for a future day.

It would be unfair to your soul if I should close this series of studies without presenting again the claims of the gospel of the grace ol God. Personal individual faith in God's Son as your Savior is absolutely imperative if you are to know the favor of God and the forgiveness of sins. Let me ask you pointedly right now, can you say from your heart, "Jesus died for me, paid for my sins by (the shedding of His blood; and I have deposited my faith in Him and nothing else"?

To reject the Savior is to warrant the execution of God's sentence of judgment upon you. "He that believeth not is condemned already" (John 3:18). I urge you to flee from the wrath to come. Flee to the arms of a loving Savior who died for you and rose again. He is waiting to save you. The Scriptures says, "All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37)

The End 

Also Read 
The Gospel of The Kingdom - Paul R. Van Gorder

Grace Bible Church  (Click Here)

How God Saves Men
Believing Christ DIED, that’s HISTORY.
Believing Christ DIED for YOU SINS and Rose again that’s SALVATION.
Read Romans 1:16, Romans 10:9-10 and 1. Corinthians 15:1-4

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 Posted By Cecil and Connie Spivey

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