CHECK IT OUT
by John W. White
The purpose of this tract is to show that Paul’s gospel or the expressions “my gospel” or “our gospel” is not a reference to the salvation of Acts 16:30-31. Before Jesus was crucified, Gentiles were denied the message of the kingdom of the heavens and only saved Israel could qualify to have an heavenly inheritance. Gentiles have always been able to be saved; but they had no hope of having an entrance into the kingdom of the heavens. As a saved Gentile he would have the privilege of seeing the kingdom of the heavens. John 3:3 “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
The following passages of scripture will provide insight into God’s love for the nation of Israel and their special place in His purposes for them. Deuteronomy 7:6 “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” Romans 9:4-5 “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5. Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came...” Ezekiel 37:12-14 “Therefore prophesy ...Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, ... and brought you up out of your graves, 14. ... I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it...” The hope of Israel was the land. Jesus Christ came preaching the kingdom of heavens, a heavenly inheritance, and not the land, an early inheritance. At the beginning of His ministry Jesus was calling only many of the nation of Israel unto this inheritance. Matthew 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Jesus and the Apostles were preaching to those of Israel that had ears to hear. Matthew 13:9 “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” The mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens had not been revealed to the nation of Israel until Jesus began his ministry. There were a few in the Old Testament referred to in Hebrews 11 that “...looked for a city ...whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:10 Those who lived by faith desired “...a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:16
The revelation made to Paul was not that Gentiles could now be saved since Jesus Christ had died on the cross. Gentiles have always been able to be saved. The prime example of this is found in Jonah 3:5 “So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.” Isaiah 56:6-7 “Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 7. Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.”
Saved Gentiles were given an inheritance in the land of Israel. Ezekiel 47:22-23 “And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. 23. And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord GOD.” Gentiles were to be given an inheritance among the tribe in which they dwelt. An example of this is found in the inheritance of Caleb, a Gentile. Caleb’s name means ‘dog’ in Hebrew. Joshua 21:12 “But the fields of the city, ... gave they to Caleb ... for his possession.”
Before Christ was crucified, saved Gentiles were not allowed to have an entrance into the kingdom of the heavens. Peter and the apostles were taught and learned well in Matthew 10:5-7 “These twelve Jesus... commanded ... saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7. ...preach ...The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Jesus refused, for a time, the pleas of the woman of Canaan in Matthew 15:24,26,28 “But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel [saved Israel]. 26. ..., It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and cast it to dogs [saved Gentiles like Caleb]. 28...O woman, great is thy faith...”
Ephesians 2:12 “That at that time ye [Gentiles] were without Christ, being aliens from the common-wealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:” Gentiles had no hope of a Messiah as did the nation of Israel. Gentiles had no promise of having an inheritance in any of the cities of the land of Israel. God did not make any covenants with Gentiles as he did with the nation of Israel. The LORD was not the God of the Gentiles but the God of Shem. Genesis 9:26 “Blessed be the LORD God of Shem...” The Word of God has been revealed only through Israel. Psalms 147:19-20 “He showeth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. 20. He hath not dealt so with any nation” Yet, as it has already been noted, Gentiles could “join themselves to the LORD” in Isaiah 56:6.
Romans 16:25-26 “Now to him [Wise God v. 27] that is of power to stablish [establish, fix] you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 26. But now [at the present time] is made manifest [to bring to light, make known], and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations [Gentiles] for the obedience of faith:” Paul’s gospel was a mystery kept secret by God since the ages began. The common salvation was not kept secret. Adam and Eve knew how to be saved from the time they left the garden. John 1:9 “...the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Romans 1:19-20 “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. 20. ...so that they are without excuse.” The Old Testament prophets wrote of the blessings that would come to the Gentiles but what that blessing was in full was not revealed unto them. Isaiah 56:7 “Even them [Gentiles] will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people [Jew and Gentile].” This is beyond salvation. The way of salvation for Gentiles is found in verse 6. Paul gospel was made known to Gentiles for the obedience of faith. The words “Obedience” and “Faith” are fraught with meaning. Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him....” Galatians 5:6 “...faith which worketh by love.” Obedience is the result of love as in John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Those who are obedient are just, and only the “The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17 If you are disobedient you are living in sin and there is no way you can please God by trying to live by faith. (See tract on Faith or Believe Check It Out).
Galatians 1:11-12 “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” At the time Paul received this revelation none of the apostles could tell him that Gentiles would be about to enter the kingdom of the heavens, because they believed they could not. That is what the Lord had taught them. Paul tells us in Ephesians 3:3, 5-6 “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; ... 5. 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; 6. That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:” Ephesians 2:16-19 “And that he might reconcile both [Jew and Gentile] unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17. And came and preached peace to you [Gentiles] which were afar off [made nigh by the blood, v.13; this is not the salvation of Gentiles], and to them [Jews] that were nigh. 18. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19. Now therefore ye [Gentiles] are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;”
From the time that Paul was confronted by Jesus Christ in Acts 9 until Paul went up to Jerusalem to see Peter for the first time was about three years. Galatians 1:17-18 “Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter...” This fifteen day meeting in Jerusalem did not convince Peter that Gentiles would now be able to hear and receive what was once denied them in Matthew 10:5 “Go not into the way of the Gentiles.” It was about three years later that Peter was persuaded by the Lord in Acts 10:15 “...What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” After this vision Peter went to a Gentiles home and “said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:” Acts 10:34 Before this time Peter knew that God was a respecter of persons, Gentiles were excluded. Yet Acts 10:44-45 “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished...” When Cornelius and his house spake in tongues, it was a sign unto those who did not believe that this message was to be preached unto the Gentiles. Peter and those who were with him could no longer deny the message that was only for Israel was now open to Gentiles.
Galatians 1:9 “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Was Peter and the other apostles accursed because they were preaching something other than what Paul was preaching? No! Paul and Peter preached the same gospel of the kingdom of the heavens, but to different audiences. Galatians 2:7-8 “...The gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 8. (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)”
2 Thessalonians 2:14 “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining [gaining] of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Before one can be called he must be saved. 2 Timothy 1:9 “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling...” The holy calling is “...unto his kingdom and glory.” in 1 Thessalonians 2:12. Who are the ones that have been called by “our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory?” We find the answer to this question in 2 Thessalonians 2:13 “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation...” They are the ones that were chosen “To salvation ... Whereunto” they were called by Paul’s gospel. The words “brethren beloved” is used to address those who are called. Both words are in the vocative case which is the case of address. “O Brethren, O ones having been loved.” (The word “beloved” is a perfect passive participle.) This phrase is only found here and in 1 Thessalonians 1:4 “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.” “Brethren beloved” are the elect in Christ that have been chosen “to salvation” that is in Christ. This salvation is referred to by Paul in 2 Timothy 2:10 “... I endure all ... for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” This is not the “common salvation” that is offered to those who are not in Christ. The salvation offered unto the elect in Christ is the “..so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord,...” Hebrews 2:3 The “So great salvation” is associated with the mysteries of the Kingdom of the heavens which was offered to the nation of Israel at the beginning. This salvation offered to the elect may or may not be gained; it depends if the elect “...give diligence to make your calling and election sure... 11. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord.” 2 Peter 1:10-11
Romans 2:16 "In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." This is the judgment seat of Christ and not the great white throne judgment. (The saved are judged in the context of verse 16) Romans 2:6-7 “Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7. To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality [incorruption], eternal life:” Romans 2:10-11 “But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, ... For there is no respect of persons with God.” Colossians 3:24-25 “...of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve... 25. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 “Wherefore we labour, that, ... we may be accepted [well pleasing] of him. 10. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
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