Part #1 of #3
“THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM THAT JESUS CHRIST CAME PREACHING TO THE NATION OF ISRAEL IS ‘NOT’ OUR GOSPEL TODAY”.
The Gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus Christ preached is different to the the one HE revealed to Paul the Apostle for us today.
Do you find this shocking or maybe blasphemous? Well, I won’t blame you nor find it surprising if you do.
The reason is because for many of us with a Christian background, it’s what we have been hearing for years. I was one of them.
God is not offering a Kingdom today. He offering salvation through the death, burial and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.
Many of those with a non-Christian background, unfortunately have not heard the true Gospel of salvation.
“Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again” [1 Corinthians 15:1-4]. This is our Gospel today.
And the fact is that in some way or the other this truth has been suppressed. And this is true even for nominal Church going Christians.
Here is the reason why:
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost”, says Paul our apostle in [2 Corinthians 4:3-4].
“In whom the god of this world (that is Satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not…..”
Know that Satan has a deadly agenda and it is firing successfully on all cylinders, even as you read this.
This is it.
Jesus is the One Who says it, referring to “the thief” as Satan himself:
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” [John 10:10].
And know for sure that, that includes you too. Absolutely it does!
And now Paul finishes his statement of truth:
“…..lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them”.
Who comes under the “them” category? It’s you and me.
A Timely Visit
I very recently visited an old family friend after a number of years. He’s probably in his seventy’s today.
During the course of our conversation, the Gospel topic came up.
I discovered that he’d been going to Church every Sunday for the last forty-seven years.
Although familiar with the term “the Gospel”, he had absolutely “no clue” as to what it was all about.
I was not shocked in the least bit, for this is very common within Christendom.
So I asked him, “if you were to die today, where would you go? Heaven or hell?”
“I don’t know”, he snapped back.
“Why then are you a Christian?” I asked, “and why do you go to Church?”
“Well”, he replied, “I guess I was raised with that background, so I just went along with it”.
The cross of Christ was no more than just a historical occurrence to him. It was just a vague knowledge that Christ supposedly died for the sins of the world in a manner of speaking. That’s all!
He had no clue as to what the cross of Christ was really all about.
So why did he not know? After all, he was a regular and faithful Church going man.
However, that gave me the opportunity to share the Truth of the Gospel of our salvation with him.
HE knows now and I trust the LORD will save him as he makes his decision!
This is so common within Christendom today. And the stark reality is that we don’t know why we believe what we claim to believe.
The Jew First, A Divine Order
Christ Jesus no doubt came to take care of the sin problem of human race.
However, it was all going to happen in “Divine order” according to God’s plan for the ages.
Christ Jesus first of all came exclusively for the nation of Israel.
HE was under a covenant obligation.
Paul the apostle puts it in plain language in [Romans 15:8].
“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision…….”
So who were called “the circumcision”? The Jews, the nation of Israel.
Then Paul gives us the reason why, “for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers”.
Jesus Christ Confirmed This Truth
Jesus Christ came in fulfillment of the promises of God made to the forefathers of the nation of Israel.
Israel was promised and constantly proclaimed by the prophets that a Messiah would come and set up His Kingdom.
Israel would then rule and reign with Him after overcoming their enemies. And salvation through them would go out to ‘all the world’.
This was the constant hope that Israel was looking out for. They ate, slept, lived and breathed this hope.
When Jesus Christ came ministering to the nation of Israel, this is what He had to say:
“I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” [Matthew 15:24].
The Gentiles, or the non-Jews, with a couple of Sovereign exceptions, were not a part His agenda at this time. It was exclusively for the Jews and the nation of Israel “first”.
And when sending out His twelve disciples on their first mission, His commanding instructions were clear and to the point.
“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” [Matthew 10:5-6].
They were strictly instructed to go to ‘no one’ except to “Jews only”.
It was always “to the Jew first” [Romans 1:16].
God’s plan of Salvation for the whole of mankind was taking place according to His “Divine order”.
The Kingdom Was At Hand And The Gospel Preached
“Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” [Matthew 4:17].
Christ Jesus came as the promised Messiah to the nation of Israel and preached the Gospel of the Kingdom.
The message was that HE was the promised One that they were looking out for according to their Scriptures.
They had that constant promise out there in front of them. The time would come when God would provide their government.
This would be in the Person of the King, the Messiah, Who would be the Son of God!
This was not going to be a political government, but a “Benevolent Monarchy”, with Christ as King.
The entire historic Old Testament, Psalms and the books of the prophets were all pointing to this one Person Jesus.
“Search the scriptures”, Jesus told them in [John 5:39]. “For in them”, He said, “ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me”.
The Scriptures were all pointing to this Messiah, Jesus Christ and His “benevolent” Kingdom rule and reign on earth.
Everything was written beforehand to prepare this nation of Israel for the coming of their King, their Messiah, and Redeemer.
Israel Good to Go
It had now been 2000 years since the promise was made to Abraham and Israel was finally good to go.
Their Messiah was now here and ready to set up that glorious and benevolent “Kingdom of Heaven” on earth.
This was their good news, this was their Gospel, and their moment had arrived in perfect fulfillment according to Scripture.
Paul the apostle said it like this in [Galatians 4:4-5]:
“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law”.
And the reason was, “To redeem them that were under the law…..”
Now the question we must ask ourselves here is, who were “them that were under the law”?
Well, the nation of Israel, the Jew, was. It was “Jew first”, then followed by God’s agenda for the Gentiles.
“…..that we (that is you and me) might receive the adoption of sons”.
SO all Israel had to do was just believe that this Jesus Christ was the Messiah. That He was the One the God of the their fathers had promised.
Because there first had to be salvation before any of the rest of the promises could come to pass.
This was the whole vortex of Christ’s three and a half year ministry to the Nation of Israel.
Israel Given More Than All The Signs They Needed
The reason for all Christ’s signs and miracles was to prove to this nation of Israel that ‘He was their Messiah’.
The Jews were always a “sign people”.
“For the Jews require a sign”, says the Bible in [1 Corinthians 1:22].
And a lot of people miss this.
Many think that Christ Jesus performed His miracles only out of compassion. They think He did so because He felt so sorry for the sick, the blind and so forth.
No doubt Christ did so for those reasons indeed. For He a man always filled with compassion towards those suffering people. Absolutely He was!
But the main thrust of His signs, miracles and wonders was to prove to the Nation of Israel “Who He was”.
The Jews Profession Of Faith
In [Matthew 16:13-16], Jesus asked the question, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?”
Look at the answers He received.
“And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elisas; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets”.
Then looking them in the eye, He asks them, “But whom say ‘ye’ that I am?”
Jesus wants to know what they personally believe.
Then Peter speaks up, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”.
There it was! That is what they had to believe for their salvation.
That was ‘their’ profession of faith.
Notice that Peter didn’t add anything about the cross to his profession of faith because he didn’t know about the cross.
Peter doesn’t say a word about resurrection, because he doesn’t know about the resurrection.
And yet Peter said everything that needed to be said, because Jesus never said a word against it.
On the other hand Jesus commended him by saying in [Matthew 16:17]:
“Blessed art thou; Simon Barjonia, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven”
So was Peter right? Absolutely he was right and Heaven endorsed it.
We see this “profession of faith” throughout in the accounts of the four gospels by Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.
Did The Nation Of Israel Believe It?
SO did the Nation of Israel as whole believe that Jesus Christ was their foretold Messiah according to their Scriptures?
No, they did not. For that was the requirement for the Kingdom of Heaven to be set up and established on earth.
A few believed, but the Nation of Israel as a whole represented by their religious leaders did not.
They rejected Him, “We will not have this man to reign over us” [Luke 19:14].
What a tragedy!
“He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” [John 1:11].
On the other hand, they saw Jesus Christ as an imposter and a blasphemer, Who came to disturb their Jewish religious order.
So they crucified Him!
They put Him to death on a horrific Roman cross, after falsely charging Him before the Roman courts.
SO was God done with the Nation of Israel because they rejected and crucified His Son?
There are many today who think that God has.
By no means! God was not done yet with His “chosen people”. HE was going to give them every opportunity.
Things were just beginning.
“The Best Was Yet To Come”
Part #2 of this article follows very shortly. Don’t miss it!