THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST
THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST
Good News Of the Gospel (evangel or evangelium) is that Jesus saves us not in our sins, but from our sins. (see Matth.1:21) This brings us to the question;what is sin? The apostle Paul had not known sin by any other way except that the holy moral law of God had said, you must not covet (Romans 7:7) .
There are seven Gospels in the Bible. The Gospel preached to Abraham [Gal.3:8], or the old testament people also found in Isaiah 53, the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Then we have the Gospel especially revealed to the Apostle Paul [Gal.1:11,12], this makes six Gospel’s and as number seven in the Bible is perfection, we have the 7th Gospel in Revelation [apocalypse] 14:6-12, the eschatological- or endtime Gospel, the good news of the judgment [vindication] for true Christians.
Paul writes of false Gospel’s and perversion of the Gospel especially those of the circumcision. Even though the Bible speaks of seven Gospel’s, there is really only one, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and Jesus Christ [Matthew 4:23].
Woe is us, said Paul, if we do not preach the Gospel and his definition is, that it is the power or dynamite of God [Rom.1:7].
The burden of the Gospel according to Matthew is to show that Jesus is the promised Messiah foretold by all the old testament prophets. This Gospel does not name its author and it has been accepted as the work of Matthew which also was called Levi and we know nothing of him.
The four Gospel’s are, by all odds the Most important part of the Bible. We could better afford to be without the knowledge of everything else than to be without the knowledge of Christ. There were many more Gospel’s than the four to start with [Luke 1:1] But we believe that God Himself took control over the Narratives of His Son Jesus Christ in the preparation and preservation of the Gospel.
Mark in his Gospel account is very concerned about the forgiveness of sin and the importance of Christ as the Lord of the Seventh_Day_Sabbath. Mark even lists the vegetarian diet of John the Baptist-honey and locusts. The locust tree produces a fruit of which carob is made, a substitute for unhealthy chocolate. It is available in all health food shops.
The cover story of a recent issue of Time magazine (September 18, 2006) raised the question: “Does God Want you to be Rich?” The accompanying photo shows a Rolls Royce with a Cross as a hood ornament. The article, written by David Van Bema and Jeff Chu, offers an informative discussion of the popular Prosperity Gospel, being preached today by leading tele-evangelists such as Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, T. D. Jakes, Paul Couch, Kenneth Copeland, and Joel Osteen. These preachers encourage their followers to “sow a seed” of faith by donating to their ministry, in order to reap prosperity in the future.
The Prosperity Gospel teaches that God wants his children to prosper and be in good health. It calls upon Christians to step out in faith and claim prosperity as their birthright. Joel Osteen, Pastor of the Houston’s Lakewood Church-the largest megachurch in the USA-is perhaps the most successful popularizer of the Prosperity Gospel. In his Best-selling book Your Best Life Now, Osteen writes: “Your lot in life is to continually increase. Your lot in life is to be an overcomer, to live prosperously in every area. . . . The Bible says, ‘God takes pleasure in prospering his children.’ As his children prosper spiritually, physically and materially, their increase brings pleasure to God.”
According to the Prosperity Theology, the purpose of Christ’s incarnation and atoning sacrifice was to provide reconciliation and restoration for our physical and financial problems. The secret to receiving all the physical blessings of God is to be found in the amount of faith of the believer. Prosperity preachers believe that faith is a force which has the magic ability to change and restore people’s lives. This means that if some believers do not receive the blessings asked for, it is because they lacked faith or did not tap correctly into God’s spiritual resources.
The problem with the Prosperity Theology is that it turns “faith” into a magic power possessed by a few privileged believers. In Scripture, however, faith is not a magic force possessed by few, but a trustful commitment to God manifested in faithful, obedient living. This is a privilege granted to all believers, not to a privileged few. Faith does not guarantee “wealth and health.” Great men of faith like Paul were not blessed with “wealth and health,” but with infirmities and poverty, in spite of their total commitment to God.
The black death plague struck Bavarian Germany in 1600 for rejecting the Protestant Gospel. The people promised God to enact the last days of Jesus known now as the famous passion play enacted every ten years, and the plague has stayed.
In the Philippines, every year, Christians so called, let themselves nail to a wooden cross and feel no pain. This was not the case with Jesus who died of a broken heart. If I be lifted up, said Jesus, I will draw all men unto me.
Who killed Jesus? We all did, every human being is guilty. Here is a medical description of the crucifixion by E. T. Davis M.D. M.S. :
The physical trauma of Christ begins at Gethsemane with one of the initial aspects of His sufferings-the bloody sweat. It is interesting that the physician among the disciples, Dr. Luke, is the only one to mention this, “And being in agony, He prayed the longer. And His sweat became as drops of blood, trickling upon the ground”.
Though very rare, the phenomenon of Hematidrosis, or bloody sweat, is well documented. Under great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat. This process alone could have produced marked weakness and possible shock.
After the arrest in the middle of the night, Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin and Caiaphas, the High Priest. A soldier struck Jesus across the face for remaining silent when questioned by Caiaphas. The palace guard then blindfolded Him and mockingly taunted Him to identify them as they each passed by, spat on Him, and struck Him in the face.
In the early morning, Jesus, battered and bruised, dehydrated, exhausted from a sleepless night, is taken across Jerusalem to the Praetorium of the Fortress Antonia. It was there, in response to the cries of the mob, that Pilate ordered Bar-Abbas released and Jesus condemned to scourging and crucifixion.
Preparations for the scourging are carried out. The Prisoner is stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. the Roman Legionnaire steppes forward with the flagrum in his hand.. this is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each. the heave whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back and legs.
At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows.
Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped.
the half-fainting Jesus is then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with His own blood. The Roman soldiers see a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be a king. They throw a robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a scepter. A small bundle of flexible branches covered with long thorns is pressed into His scalp.
Again there is copious bleeding (the scalp being one of the most vascular areas of the body). After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into the scalp. Finally they tire of their sadistic sport and the robe is torn from His back. This had already become adherent to the clots of blood and serum in the wound, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, causes excruciating pain-almost as though He were again being whipped, and the wounds again begin to bleed.
The heavy beam of the cross is then tied across His shoulders, and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves and the execution detail, begins its slow journey. The weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious blood loss, is too much. He stumbles and falls. The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tries to rise, but human muscles have been pushed beyond their endurance.
At Golgotha, the beam is placed on the ground and Jesus is quickly thrown backwards with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square , wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The beam is then lifted in place at the top of the posts and the titulus reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” is nailed in place.
The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each. As He pushes Himself upward to avoid the stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet.
As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically, He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.
Hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pan as tissues is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. then another agony begins. A deep crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.
The compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues-the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues send their flood of stimuli to the brain. Jesus gasps, “I thirst.”
He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. With one last surge of strength, He once again presses His torn feet against the nail, straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His seventh and last cry, “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.”
Apparently, to make doubly sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. Immediately there came out blood and water. we, therefore, have rather conclusive evidence that our Lord died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.
How do we know we have sinned? All have sinned and come short (Rom.3:23). Our self-righteousness is as filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) But Christ’s robe is spotless and as white as snow. He offers it free to you and me.
We cannot repent nor forsake sin by ourselves. Read Isaiah 53 and Matthew, Mark, Luke and John’s account of the Gospel. A man must repent before he believes in Jesus (Mark 1:15). Now repentance is not a saving grace, having value only as it leads to something further on. The pain of a physical malady has no curative virtue; but it is the pain that inclines the patient to ring the doctor’s bell.
So John the Baptist goes before Jesus with his cry, “Repent ye”. since without repentance there is no adequate sense of need, nor disposition to accept Jesus.
Let us get a clear understanding of repentance. It suggests at the outset, an apprehension of sin as a fact; not a figment of the imagination, not a belief of mortal mind, but a distinct violation of holy law.
Jesus, God’s Son, took our place on the cross. That is how guilty a sinner we are. But God Himself paid the price to buy us back. Salvation is a free gift. (Eph.2:8) We must not insult the giver, God, by trying to offer payment such as good works, as I used to do, and received nothing.
Today, God’s love fills my whole life and His Holy spirit brings me joy, peace and self-control that I never had before. Good works are now the fruit of salvation and no longer the root.
The soul that sins, must die, God says. Whether we curse and swear take God’s name in vain, worshiped something or someone else, committed adultery, broke the holy Sabbath, murdered, stole or coveted, sin must be recognized as concrete or personal fact.
King David in Psalms 51 is a good example. This conviction of sin must be followed by a resolution to forsake it. The truly penitent is not saved.; he has only discovered his need of salvation; he knows his malady; now how shall he be cured of it?
To pause her is death. One in a sinking boat must not be satisfied with stopping the leak; the boat must be baled out.
A man over his ears in debt can not recover his credit by resolving to pay cash in the future; he must somehow cancel his past obligation
This brings us to the question: ‘What must I do to be saved?”.
How shall I become a Christian? Jesus said to Nicodemus, “God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him, should not perish, but have everlasting life”.
When Protestantism still believed in the binding of all the Ten Commandments as Paul in Romans 7:7 quoted, the Gospel was preached with that law as the needle to wound the transgressor and then the Gospel bandages were applied. A lawless Gospel is no Gospel at all. There is no sin to point out and nothing to be forgiven nor to repent from. Jesus does not save us in, but from sin!!!
But what is it to ‘ believe in Jesus?’ it is easy to say, ‘Come to Christ’ and ‘Accept Jesus’ and ‘Believe in Him’; but just here occurs the bewilderment. These are often-times mere shop-worn phrases to the unsaved, however simple they may appear to those who have entered on the Christian life.
Jesus asked His disciples:’ Who do men say that I am?’ That you are only a man! ‘But what do you think who I am?’ you are the Christ, the Son of the living God!’. Flesh and blood does not reveal this to us, only God directly. His disciples were beginning to know Him. He would give them his full confidence.
As they walked towards Jerusalem, He told them that how He had come to redeem the world by bearing its penalty of death; ‘He began to show them how he must suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed.
At that point Peter could hold his peace no longer, but began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘Be it far from you Lord! To die? No, to reign in glory! And Jesus said to him, ‘Get thee behind Me, Satan!’. He did not see Peter but Satan-perceived how the adversary had for the moment taken possession of Peter’s conscience, brain and lips. Get thee behind me Satan, I know you and recognize your crafty suggestions.
From this we conclude that the vicarious death of Jesus is the vital center of his Gospel and that any word that contravenes it is in the nature of Satan’s suggestion.
The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. He came to take our place. He paid for our sins.
Now we come to the very heart of the matter-to believe that Christ means what He says. He says to the Sinner, “The Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins”. He says, “Him that comes to Me, I will in no ways cast out”. “He that believes in Me has everlasting life”.
“But here is where many hesitate and fail”. They do not “screw their courage to the sticking point”. They come up to the line, but do not take the step to take the outstretched hand of Christ, and so fall short of salvation.
The will must act. The prodigal in the far country will stay there forever unless his resolution cries, “I will arise and go!”. The resolution is an appropriating act. It makes Christ mine.
The sequel to ‘becoming a Christian’ is following Christ. The phrase ‘you are saved’ in 1.Cor.15:2 should read, “you are being saved”! Like the traveler on the road to pilgrims progress, Jesus said:, narrow is the gate and narrow is the way, and few be there that walk therein.
Luther was big on righteousness by faith (alone) Gospel! Translating the Bible from the dead language of Latin into German, and the invention of the Gutenberg press sparked the protestant Reformation. The catch cry: by faith alone and by scriptures alone would unite Christianity today, if followed!
Jesus sets us free from sin and its law of death (Romans 8:2). ‘ For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteousness (right doing) of the law might be fulfilled inside us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit’-Romans 8:3,4. Earlier the apostle had asked the question, do we make void the law by faith? God forbid, yes we establish the law.-3:31
Churches contradict the New Testament by saying that Godï¿¿s holy moral law of the 10 Commandments are a yoke of bondage. But the N.T. calls it a royal law of liberty (James 2:8-12) and shows us that every one of the 10 are of equal importance with God and includes Christ’s seventh day Sabbath of the 4th commandment. (note: the corrupt version of catechism shows it as the third commandment).
Protestant Theologians make the Gospel more complicated and use terms such as Justification, which is our title to heaven on the basis of what Jesus did for us outside of ourselves. And Sanctification which is our fitness for heaven and is what God’s Holy Spirit does inside us. But mark this, a lack of sanctification (loving obedience to God’s law) cancels the saving effects of justification. Jesus sets me free and I can not be a slave to sin.
The Gospel of John, the beloved disciple, is bend on telling us that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Creator God and as Mark already told us, as such, is our Lord of the Seventh-Day-Sabbath, because He made everything that was made [cf.John1:1-3; Mark 2:27,28]. This then also agrees with the apostle Paul who has the sixth Gospel [Galatians 3:8,11,12].
Christ is Redeemer by virtue of His power as Creator. We read that: “We have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins,” because that ” by Him were all things created”. [Col.1:14,16]. If He were not Creator, he could not be Redeemer. This means simply put that redemptive power and creative power are the same. To redeem is to create. This is shown in the statement of the apostle that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation; which statement is immediately followed by another to the effect that the power of God is seen by means of the things that have been made. [Rom.1:16,20].
The Psalmist prayed: “Create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me”. [Ps.51:10]. the apostle says:’ if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. [2.Cor.5:17]. And again: ‘For by grace are ye saved and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not by works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Jesus Christ unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” [Eph.2:8-10].
Now let us look at the seventh Gospel in Revelation 14:6-12. Here we have a Gospel that stands on its own. While it is true that we were judged at the cross in Christ, there is definitely a day of judgment for Christians only and for those who obeyed the Gospel and are scarcely to be saved [1.Peter 4:17,18].
But what is the good news part of this everlasting Gospel? it is this, those who follow Christ also follow His work in the heavenly Temple/Sanctuary in the eradication of all sin even the sins of neglect and ignorance [Hebrews 9:7].
The glory of God is really the Shekinah but what surrounds Him most is His character or holiness without no man can approach God. Christ is our great High Priest in the heavenly temple and we should all become familiar with His work and office. This particular Gospel also uplifts Christ as our Creator God and if you have not yet obeyed the Gospel or Christ’s Sabbath, the fourth of the Ten Commandments [Exodus 20:8] then you are not glorifying God and Christ as the Creator [Mark 2:27,28].
The Gospel commission in Matthew 28:16-20 is an invitation only. Some in the past have used political force-rape. God does not accept forced allegiance! In the Gospel commission, we can see the proper relationship with Law & Gospel: ‘teaching them to obey whatever I have commanded you. Also, the new covenant has God putting his moral law inside our hearts and minds when He forgives our sins, the righteousness of Jesus by faith alone (Heb.8,10).
The end-time Gospel
Revelation 14 contains the last invitation to this sinful dying world of ours. It contains the announcement of God’s final hour of judgment [verse 6,7] and the Ten Commandments [v.12].
This everlasting Gospel of the last days [eschatology] was given first to all Christianity in the midst 1800s, but this first angel’s message of Revelation 14:6,7 was rejected completely and only the Seventh-Day Adventists are the sole custodians for the past 160 years.
John saw the Temple in Heaven open since this judgment hour began in 1844 a.d. [Apocalypse 11:18,19] when our Lord Jesus Christ began the cleansing of the Most Holy place, known as the day of ‘Atonement’. [see our 2300 days page].
Jesus urges us into true worship and warns us against false worship of the Beast power 666, its image and mark or seal at the same time. The true Sabbath of Christ versus the false Sunday Sabbath of the Anti- or counterfeit -Christ! See our page on Sunday and also Sabbath
The Gospel is the power (dunamis, dynamite) of God. How few Christians have true understanding of the explosive power of the Gospel they so lightly profess! (Romans 1:16).
How about you dear Friend? Are you ashamed of the Gospel?