The Truth of the
-through the preaching of Christ, down to our time today--
Prophecy portrays a better world is coming!
"And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in
all the world as a witness to all the nations, and
then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14, NKJ)
(Produced for public education by www.tcogmso.com)
Do the happenings around the world, along with the wording on this booklet cover cause you to wonder if we might be in the prophesied “Last days”? Has the world already been witnessed to by the true Gospel? Would you know it, if it had? Does everyone in what is thought to be “Christianity” know what the true Gospel and the truth of the Gospel really are?
The apostle Paul uses this very same phrase found on the cover, “Truth of the Gospel” twice in Galatians chapter two, once concerning “false brethren” and once for actions of some in the COG! (V.5&14) It is not only very important to know the True Gospel and what it is—but it is equally as important to know the Truth of the Gospel, in order to avoid subtle deceptions about the Gospel, especially in these last days.
Did God really send His Son to proclaim an all important message, called the Gospel of the kingdom of God? Was that same message to be preached right up to the return of Christ? (See Matt.24:14 & Matt.28:19 & 20 + Mark 16:15)
Isn’t it true that many believe the Gospel was about the crucifixion of Christ for the forgiveness of the sins of humanity? What was the Gospel really about, that was prophesied to be preached in the end time—where we are now?
If you will get your Bible to use as you read this booklet, looking up and reading all of the Scriptures given within and believing what they reveal, you may be surprised at what you find! (You may simply listen, by clicking the “LISTEN” link given in the above small yellow box to the right.)
PREFACE STATEMENTS AND QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THE TRUE GOSPEL CHRIST PREACHED? Are only a few out of many called to have personal involvement in proclaiming the same true Gospel Christ preached? Was that a job for all who are called and chosen to be participating in, or was it just for the original twelve apostles of the early Church? Does that Gospel have anything to do with peace on earth and the salvation of mankind?
The book of Isaiah gives a prophecy of a coming peaceful world where;—“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb---and a little child shall lead them”. (Isa.11:6—first and last part from the NKJ) There is a passage in Rev 11:15, which says; "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" Where is that going to be and is this part of the Gospel Christ preached? Another passage found in Rev.20:4, (RSV)—the last part says; “They (saints) came to life, and reigned with Christ a thousand years”. Is this to be in heaven or on earth? The truth of the Gospel that Christ preached was intended to be proclaimed to the world as a witness before the end comes, (as the verse on the cover reveals) and we will see much more about that in this booklet. There is much more to what the truth of the Gospel is than the majority of man knows today! If you do not know how to answers many of these questions, then hopefully you will have the desire to read on to find out more about it. This booklet was written for educational purposes with all rights reserved. The author believes this booklet to be factually correct in its Scriptural revelation, based on researched facts from the Bible, contained within. The author does however acknowledge that, as we are all still learning, other facts may come into view later that have not been seen or understood at the time of this writing. Included are some excerpts or quotes from other written material and older COG writings for the purpose of explaining the truth of the Gospel vs. what others may claim or have written, which may be questionable or at least not fully or honestly supported by Scripture. That gives us a very good reason to keep searching and studying the Scriptures as we go through life and these ever changing times!
(First few hard copies printed; April 2008 in USA are now obsolete because of later editing changes)
This booklet was originally written to use and share with the public on the internet and was mailed in hard copy form to people who requested it around the world. Those copies sent out freely upon request during that time are now obsolete because of updates and editing over the years. This present material has been re-edited and reduced in size and content for use on www.tcogmso.com or.net. Due to the re-editing and updating, there are no hard copies at this time, but the material is free to download for personal education and study purposes. (Last editing and updates performed on 12/7/17)
(Bible verses are from the NKJ version throughout this booklet—unless otherwise noted. (They have been taken from a Bible-soft PC study program) Please check your own Bible and see these things for yourself. Many Scriptures are printed here for your convenience. Believing the written word of the Bible, with its intended meaning, is essential for maintaining true Christian faith and Spiritual growth.)
Getting started with basic information & more questions to think about.
IN THE REALM of what is believed to be “Christianity” the masses have been deceived, because most will accept that Jesus Christ is Messiah and the Prince of Peace, but do not understand or accept the message He preached. We read in Isaiah 9:7 (From the RSV) “Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.”
This should begin to establish for us something of what the Gospel message is about, being a future happening because the world today is not like what we just read about! So many religious organizations today preaching various “gospels” about Christ Himself are not HIS message, plus there is now a lot of confusion created by their messages. What they are calling a gospel of Christ or a gospel of God, or a “full” gospel—leave some people wondering—are their “gospels” really the Biblically Gospel, the same Gospel that Christ preached during His ministry? Are there more than one Gospel then, and what does the word “Gospel” really mean, from the Biblical perspective? Definitions of the word are “Good News” or “Good message” and “Glad tidings” and the Bible shows that this meaning has its place in the truth of the Gospel. (This will be seen throughout this booklet) Isaiah 52:7 uses both “Good News” and “Glad tidings” when speaking of those who would proclaim this truth. Luke 8:1 mentions the “glad tidings” of the kingdom of God that Christ preached. The whole plan of God, laid out through the entire Bible, is really good news for mankind!
The Gospel— does it include HEAVEN as a place of REWARD?
Today (at the time of the original writing) you may see & hear some commercial on TV, promoted by some or even several religious organizations, presenting a few people saying “I am not ashamed” then someone else concluding with; “of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” –they may even quote more of the verse and then you may hear of a religious organization promoting the commercial. A little background checking will then open to your mind the beliefs of those quoting this passage from Rom.1:16. If you do further searching into what many other of the “Christian” gospel beliefs are, you will undoubtedly run across something that is indicating Christ has done it all for you and that “Jesus Christ is coming back to take His people home to heaven.” Of course this is all a part of false religious deception and some of it may have part of the rapture theory entwined, which is also a false concept the Bible does not promote. These and many other similar statements today, all over the world, are deceiving millions of people. Many believe that Christ’s Gospel was all about the person of Christ and what He has done to grant universal salvation for all who will just “believe on Him” and are now saved.
Was the true Gospel only a message about accepting the person of Christ? Him being crucified for forgiveness of sins and to grant universal salvation for all who believe their spirit will float off to heaven when they die? Let us ponder a few things about that for just a moment. What about those few of the Old Testament that were faithful, all dying in the faith before Christ came? Where are they now? Was it really Christ’s (& God’s) intent to try and save the world now, since Christ has come, therefore passing that job on to the disciples once Christ ascended? Some believe that there is a battle raging between God (through Christ) and the evil forces of the devil for “souls”. Are the true servants of Jesus Christ today supposed to be trying to “get people saved” as we see so many preachers trying to do today? Are they to try and save the world, so they can finally be “taken home to heaven”? If so, they are being unsuccessful; and why did Christ only pray for the disciples and not for the rest of the world? (John 17:9) Scripture states that “many are called but few are chosen” and that of course is for the many that are called out of this present age! (Matt.22:14) Why is that, if God and Christ are desperately trying to save everyone now, they seem to be losing the battle? How does this fit into that scenario of God that has worked with man being “ALMIGHTY”? Do you see how many questions are raised by these various teachings, when one begins to compare them to what the Bible actually says? How do YOU view the true Gospel and the Truth OF the Gospel?
If heaven is to be the abode and the reward of the righteous, then Christ would not have said in the model prayer, to pray to our Father in heaven “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt 6:10) This would tell us to pray to go to heaven when we die, to be with Christ and the Father—but as you know, it doesn’t say that—but it does say to pray for His kingdom to come to this earth. Matt.5:5 says the meek shall inherit the earth, not heaven. Matt.6:33 tell Christians to seek first the kingdom of God, which we have just seen Christ said to be praying for that to come! We find that the few faithful of the Old Testament are to be included with the few of the New Testament COG as the only ones to receive salvation in the first resurrection. (Heb.11:39-40) How about the hope, peace and prosperity for humanity here on earth? Is this ever to be a reality? It has not happened yet but many Scriptures say it will. If the “church” is already the kingdom of God as some religions claim, then where is the peaceful setting where the wolf and the lamb will dwell together as Scriptures say? Why have so very few ever preached the truth of the Gospel about the KINGDOM of GOD to be established on this earth by Christ, where even the wolf and the lamb are to dwell together in peace and a little child will lead them? (Isaiah 11:6) If in fact, that is what the Bible teaches, it is surely a future event yet to come, because it is not here yet!
Are we beginning to see that the masses of humanity have been deceived on these things and that they do not know the truth of the Gospel? Do YOU have the answers to all these questions? Christ said in John 3:13 that no one has gone into heaven but He that came down from heaven, which was long after the death of all the Old Testament faithful! The book of Acts 2:29 & V.34, say that even David, a man after God’s own heart has not gone to heaven, but is dead and buried as Peter said. In Heb.11 we are shown the faithful are still waiting for their change and resurrection as well. Yet we can see where the Scriptures tell us that David and the other faithful will be resurrected and David will again rule all Israel on earth, ruling over them as a prince forever! Note these Scriptures in your own Bible;
Eze.37:24-25 "David My servant shall (future tense) be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. (They do not do this now and never have!) 25 "Then they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob My servant, where your fathers dwelt; (past tense) and they shall (Again-future) dwell there, they, their children, and their children's children, forever; and My servant David shall be their prince forever.”
To further show this is for a future time on earth, turn back in your Bible to Ezekiel 34:24 where it says again that David will be prince among them—but also notice V.25 "I will make a covenant of peace with them, and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.” This is a future prophecy when even animal nature will be changed!
It is so obvious from these Scriptures that peace will come to this earth and the wolf will dwell with the lamb and a lion will be tame and eat straw like the ox! (Isa.65:25) These Scriptures prove that it cannot be the will or plan of God for the righteous to go off to heaven at the point of death, or that Christ is to return only to subtly take or “rapture” them back to heaven. Christ’s Gospel simply was not that sort of message. He taught that there will be a resurrection from the dead and a change can be made in mankind after complete repentance and receiving the Holy Spirit. People will be living and governed by God’s Laws of love and in cooperation with Him, so a future world of peace without evil is coming! There will still be humans living on this earth where there will be peace and therefore the Gospel is also a gospel of peace because it is about the ruling Family of God as a KINGDOM over a peaceful world! Heaven has never been taught to be the reward of the saved by true servants of Jesus Christ, nor is it a part of the true Gospel. That could only mean that this kind of message is a false gospel that did not get its start with Christ or the early church; it definitely was NOT the truth of the Gospel. That came in later and by agents of Satan, which is a counterfeit gospel from a different spirit.
John the Baptist used this phrase even before Christ did, seen in Matt.3:2. What exactly does that mean, the kingdom of God/heaven is at hand? Christ used this phrase a few places in Scripture and the meaning is always the same. Let us look at one verse where Christ used this phrase “at hand” in order to get some understand of His meaning. Matt 26:45 “Then He (Christ) came to His disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.”
Immediately after stating this He was taken, being betrayed by Judas, to later be crucified. By this we can gain some understanding of what He meant; it was that the time approaches, or draws near, within the very hour. The intended meaning of this phrase then, in connection to the Kingdom of God means TWO things! It was approaching, drawing near for man, close to being available to those who would repent, believe and soon begin receiving the Holy Spirit. Christ was already there amongst them, within their midst so He was already “at hand” as a member of the God Family. He will return as the king (John18:37) of this coming kingdom, but even at the time of being here in the flesh, He was the Lord and Master, previously being God and was now (at that time) the only begotten Son of God, being there in their midst as the representative of that kingdom, as it says in the RSV and Luke17:20-21.
Peter makes part of this clear in his first sermon after receiving the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2:38-40 “Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of (or by the authority of) Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." In-other-words begin to change your life and make it acceptable to God now, so you can have salvation!
Peter was speaking to individuals who had been around during the preaching of Christ and some of them had even called out for His crucifixion! So the ability to gain forgiveness and salvation after the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ; the way for them to have the potential to enter the kingdom Family of God was now going to be made available to those believers in that generation. This would also apply as well for those “afar off” or on down through time! This was only 50 days after Christ was resurrected, when the Holy Spirit was sent. So when Christ first began to preach about the coming kingdom of God, nearly three and one half years earlier, it was only “at hand” or drawing near in this respect, for those who would believe, right then and there, just as He had said! John the Baptist was preaching that repentance of sin was coming for that generation, in preparation for the ministry of Christ and John also brought the knowledge of salvation to God’s people! (Luke 1:76-79) This knowledge of salvation (more to come later) is also revealed through the Gospel of Christ, pointing to the coming kingdom of God and is part of the truth of the Gospel! It is still at hand for those who will hear and respond, even today.
Only 120 believers out of the thousands who heard Christ (ACTS 1:15) received the first impregnation of the Holy Spirit (became begotten of God) just 50 days after the resurrection of Christ, giving them also the chance of Spirit birth into the Family of God. These and all who have come after them were and are now begotten of God through the Spirit of God. Soon thousands were converting to Christianity and becoming followers of Christ’s example of obedience to God. Paul also confirms this for the gentiles, in 1Thes 2:9-12, quoted here for you; “For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; 11 as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, 12 that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”
The Apostle Paul’s outlook and focus was to help those brethren to see the vision of that wonderful peaceful kingdom to be set up on this earth, where Satan will be bound and humanity will then live in peace. Animals will not be wild in nature and the wolf shall dwell in harmony and peace with the lamb, as the Scripture states and we will see more of this in just a moment. Those called and chosen then and now, if remaining faithful until death or Christ returns, are to be a part of that future kingdom family! They will be given eternal life through a resurrection from the dead or instantaneously changed to Spirit at the return of Christ! (1Thess.4:16-17) Let us think and look at a little about what that future time is to be like, for those physically living on this earth after Christ returns and Satan is put away. In this future time, even the animal’s nature will be changed, as previously stated.
Was Christ really talking about a peaceful world coming to this earth, where “the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb”? Is that the true Gospel and part of the truth of the Gospel that the Bible reveals?
The Gospel of the kingdom of God IS about a peaceful world that IS coming, when even the nature of animals will be changed! The wolf & the lamb truly will dwell together in peace, as Scriptures reveal!
Preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God was to have been the number one priority and focus of the Church of God, its outward message or work, since Jesus Christ came in the human flesh and began to proclaim it. He commissioned the Church to continually proclaim this truth to the world as a witness until He would return to bring forth that very Kingdom Family of God and establish it on earth as the ruling power under His authority. He would also employ the Government of God, (Ten Commandment Laws) a top down world government to be here on the earth, (as it should now be implemented within the COG) for the benefit of all mankind! There is a lot more to be revealed about the truth of the Gospel Jesus Christ Himself began to preach than most realize. The full content of Isa.11:6-9 is; "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. (7) The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. (8) The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. (9) They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” NKJ
Believing, obeying and having faith in the truths of this message is essential for receiving salvation, as we will see. In fact Christ will not have those who are unbelieving and resistant to the truth of His message in His family at all, unless and until they repent. Those who are not willing to lay down their lives to obey God and follow Him, for the sake of getting the true Gospel of Christ out, simply will not be in the first resurrection! (Mark 8:34-35) Christ makes it clear that only those, from this time frame or age of man who can come to love Him enough—being willing to give up everything not only for Christ’s sake and to support the preaching of the true Gospel but by striving to live by the ways of God; will be first fruits in His family! (Mark 10:29-31) It is also a message of a peaceful and wonderful world ahead of this evil time today, but true believers are to start living by those rules and Laws of God now and preaching the truth of the Gospel, so they can be made Spirit when Christ returns! The whole world will change and Satan’s evil nature that now permeates this earth will be gone, (See article “Binding Satan” for more) so this is part of the one true Gospel which the COG was commissioned to preach and is found represented by many Scriptures!
The true Church is to live by and follow the example set by Christ. Even apostles are only to be followed as they follow Christ, because of the potential for human error. (1Cor.11:1) Satan is relentless and hopes to destroy those of the COG and the rest of humanity before Christ returns. Satan knows his greatest opportunity to get to the COG body is through its own leaders and he uses every opportunity and weakness in them he sees. He especially hates the true Gospel message because it reveals man’s potential to be born into God’s very Family. It reveals to humanity (those that will listen and believe) that the devil is the deceiver, and that the world can and will experience peace, if they live God’s way. Satan hates the truth that humans can be born into that Spiritual Family. Sadly, he has gotten to some, even in the COG, who have perverted the gospel, (more on this later) twisted the Scriptures around (mostly for their own personal reasons, agenda’s and ideas) and caused some confusion to some of the brethren. Some, upon reading the words of certain passages of Scripture, will then put their own human reasoning or interpretation in, which contradicts or demeans what they have just read. Others will add something into Scripture that it does not say, or leave out something that it does say! These are even at times, unwittingly aiding Satan and his purpose to confuse or mislead, even those in the COG.
God clearly stated to Israel not to do those things, of mixing human reason in by changing Scripture, found in Deut.4:2, ch.12:32 and Prov.30:6. No one can truly justify themselves, when they are ignoring God’s words and adding in their own! Some do this today according to their own choosing; perhaps thinking it is all right for them as leaders or ministers, to do it. The world’s religions have done this for ages, as we have already seen with the heaven/hell theory, plus the immortality of the soul teaching and many other false doctrines. But some of those in the COG are adding in and taking away in other areas; (just little subtle things, in some cases—seemingly insignificant in their thinking—but violating the command, none-the-less) and we will see this does cause some confusion.
The true COG still proclaims this message of hope about a peaceful world to come when there will be peace on the earth. Christ preached about that coming kingdom of God to usher in this peace for a thousand years. There has been no real peace on earth since man sinned in the Garden of Eden. Man cut himself off from God with that sin and has to be redeemed. The Gospel is the truth about what God’s purpose for man is, what His word reveals about prophecy to come, which was to be going out as a witness until Christ returns. Some are failing in that commission today, but cannot seem to recognize it, having a lukewarm approach to truth in many areas.
Subtle confusion, even among the modern day “sheep”? Human error, subtle deception, or a combination of both?
For some reason, in the past history of the COG, some have changed the wording of Isa.11:6 as was shown above for their own purposes, introducing confusion and even deception for some, never seeing the conflict they are creating with Scripture. How, you may ask? In taking from the verse the word “wolf” and adding in the word “lion” in its place, however still presenting it as to be quoting Isa.11:6. (Those conspiring together after choosing to pair a lion with the lamb have in the past made it say; “The lion and the lamb shall dwell together”--) which is a change to the wording and not correct, but that was made into an emblem for the COG logo with that very inscription written on it.) I personally know of one minister who has told hundreds of people that he was involved in that. He obviously does not see it as an error or does not take it very seriously. However, the JFB commentary has this for the phrase in Isaiah 11:6; [The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb.] “Each animal is coupled with that one which is its natural prey.” (from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary) This accurately fits the profile presented in some Scripture and by Christ’s own words for false prophets. (Matt.7:15) So why change the wording of it and be in disobedience to those commands? Is this not taking license to change the word of God and its intended meaning?
This clear distortion of the inspired wording is both deceiving and confusing to brethren, regardless as to why it is done. Of the seven translations checked, no translation reads that way, which seems to certainly be a violation of those Scriptures sited above of not adding to or taking from. This procedure does both. Christ said if we are faithful in little things then we will be faithful in much. (Luke 16:10) What man today has been given license to change the word of God and over-ride those scriptural statements? Thousands of brethren for many years have assumed that the verse is worded the way they have seen it portrayed on the WCG emblem, made for the COG. They are shocked to learn, when reading this verse in the Bible to find it is not worded correctly on the emblem! Others see that and have shrugged it off as meaningless or of little significance, which is the lukewarm approach found in the letter to Laodicea. Some translations change the wording of some verses, but none that I have found change this wording of a wolf into being a lion.
This subtle confusion and deception with this verse does not take God as being serious when He tells us not to add to or take from His word of prophecy, which is what this is. (Note Rev.22:18-19) Some are still using this distortion of Scripture in their writings to portray the coming world of tomorrow, with the wolf being displaced for the lion. For whatever the reason this is done, it does not accurately represent verse 6 of Isa.11. This is only one example of subtlety, confusing and distorting what the word of God says, that becomes a deception for many in the COG today. However, this does serve a purpose for those who are observant—which reveals those who are followers of men and human reason instead of the clear Word of God.
Another COG organization has more recently taken this a step further! They use, also as an emblem on one of their magazines, a partial quote of the verse. What is wrong with this is their added words make the verse to say “the wolf and the lion shall dwell with the lamb” and again, no translation of the Bible has this worded that way, so it is also adding in those words to an already inspired sentence that does not have them. Is this of little significance or consequence? Why not just quote the verse the way God inspired it to be written? At least, even if only using part of the verse, that part is worded correctly.
The simple fact is that men have taken a word or words from one line and added it into the words of another line, which then alters the wording of the entire verse. Whatever the motive for doing so, there is no acceptable need for changing that line of Scripture, as it portrays the message it was inspired to present. Am I “making a mountain out of mole-hill” as some might say? Christ Himself used the wolf or wolves that come among the sheep in some of His statements, not a lion. (Matt.7:15 & John 10:12) True Christians should use the Scriptures as they are worded, word for word as they are written, even if only using part of the verse. So, I am simply stating a fact about accurate Scriptural wording. Isaiah 28:9-10, simply says; “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little." To be changing the word of God for human purposes amounts to taking license to do something with God’s word it says not to do. People however, who take it upon themselves to do this with this passage will do it with other passages as well and are oblivious to the violation they are committing. It is done with the Gospel as well, as people add to it and take away from it, even if in intent only.
Some are far more lukewarm and liberal today and want to wink away or minimize their compromises as nothing to be concerned about—no big deal—but it IS a compromising approach and attitude. Many organizations have made many changes in the word of God to suit themselves, some even watering down or teaching different doctrines, which is heresy. How they justify their actions is between them and God but Paul was inspired to tell the COG; Eph. 5:11 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” It seems to this author/editor to be unfruitful works for Christians to distort the word of God, and that is why I have taken this space to bring these things out as a way of exposure of this “license” to disobey or water down truth.
We see this properly worded theme repeated again in Isa 65:25 (this time from the NAS translation) "The wolf and the lamb shall graze together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain," says the LORD.” So even if some words have been changed the overall inspired intent is still there. These and other Scriptural accounts have revealed this aspect of the Gospel message down through time to those willing to believe it. Christ Himself was sent by God the Father to proclaim this message of peace, hope, truth and future harmony, then had it recorded for us. The Gospel of God is the same Gospel as the Gospel of Christ, because God sent Christ to preach it and as a Son of God, that is what He did. It is about the same thing, establishment of a literal KINGDOM OF GOD, to rule and bring peace to earth! The near future time frame when some humans will have been made Spirit, born into the Family of God by resurrection, is part of the fulfilling of the one true Gospel that was to continually be preached as a witness for the world by the COG. But there is still more to learn about the truth of the Gospel and what the Bible reveals about it!
ONLY ONE TRUE GOSPEL?
When realizing there are many variations of the gospel or “gospels”, as some see it being presented, is there really such a thing as only one true Gospel? Are the majority wrong and only a very few right and sticking to what the Bible reveals? Does the New Testament only have one Gospel or could there be many things that are “good news” messages, considered gospels? We will find the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark.1:1) is “good news” about one specific future event to happen that Christ came preaching about, but has many aspects. For hundreds of years many in the “Christian” realm have preached a gospel about Christ, Him being the Messiah and Him crucified as Savior and Son of God, which He truly is! Well, what is wrong with that, you might ask? Wasn’t His Gospel about these things? The truth is, very few have preached the Gospel OF Christ, the same message He preached while living in the flesh! It was about the coming kingdom of God to be set up on this earth in the future, as we have already seen. Mass confusion in false religions about the Gospel has been preached by the many, blinding people’s mind to the truth. (2Cor.4:3-4 & Rev.12:9)
Christ gives us this clue about why this is happening. Matt 24:5 Christ said "For many will come in My name, saying 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.” Too many preachers and organizations today acknowledge that Christ is the Son of God and Messiah, Lord and Savior, (Just as Christ said) only to then inappropriately use His name or sacrifice to deceive and teach falsehoods. Christ is used as an authority to twist, distort or even hide the truth that the Gospel actually teaches! Those who preach only about Christ and that “Christ is all you need”—the false notion of no obedience, no acknowledging the Law of God and things Christ commanded to be kept, then teaching going to heaven or hell as an end result of this life; those individuals become preachers of lawlessness and falsehoods! They call these messages the gospel. However, the apostle Paul clearly shows there is only one Gospel, in Gal.1:6-9, and whoever preaches anything different, as the gospel of Christ, is to be cursed.
(To be continued—End of part 1 for those listening.)
(Click here Pt.2-for those listening, picking up where we left off, after having revealed an example of distorting the truth of the Gospel (Word of God) with the lion and the lamb in part one.)
Some teach today, as we saw in the beginning, different “gospels” or good news messages, but again, didn’t Jesus Christ only preach ONE GOSPEL and it being about the kingdom of God, with its various aspects? Is that what Paul is referring to in Gal.1:6-9? Different religions have different approaches to truth and what “their” gospel message is about. I am sure that you have seen a sign on some church billboard saying “we preach a full gospel” or something similar but it is usually all about Christ to the exclusion of the Father and His kingdom. His purpose for man is not taught—the very reason Christ came, the reason humanity was created—nor can their kind of “gospel” really be “full” or truthful, without the Spirit of God leading them to follow what the Bible says, word for word.
Should there be something else included as the gospel now, which was not in the gospel Christ preached when He walked the earth? Should this Gospel even be preached at all anymore, as some now seem to believe? How many differing religions do you know, that preaches about a coming kingdom family of God beings to rule on earth with Christ? It is shocking to me that there are so many professed “COG” groups or organizations that do not preach the Gospel publicly with voice lifted up and as a witness anymore, yet the Scriptures reveal it is to be preached as a witness into all the world, by the true servants of Christ. This is a compromising, lukewarm or even a lawless approach at times to the commission the true COG was given to be doing. This, among other things, is going to be the cause of some being shut out of the wedding chamber! (Matt.25:10-13)
Christ said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law and the Prophets.” He went on to explain that not one dot or stroke (Jot or tittle) of the letter would be deleted from the Law until the plan of God for man is finished. (Matt.5:17-20) He told another young man that for him to gain eternal life he would have to keep the Commandments! (Matt. 19:16-17) Christ did not do away with the Ten Commandments, nor the annual Holy Days of Lev.23; which are also commanded annual Sabbaths. In fact, He said anyone that really loved Him would keep the Commandments and we see that in John 14:15 & ch.15:10. This would include the 4th command of keeping the seventh day Sabbath, the very one most do not keep! It is a sad thing to acknowledge but, as we have already shown, many live in a kind of “comfort zone” thinking their way of doing things is just fine with God! It seems to be no different when it comes to obeying Christ and preaching the Gospel. (See Mark 8:34-35)
But now, what does this have to do with the Gospel and it being only one? Let us make note of this; The Commandments of God are the Law of God that those in the kingdom of God will teach man to live by. Those functioning properly by the Government of God (TOP DOWN) at that time will be teaching the Law of God all over this earth, just as the true COG should be doing now, for its internal membership. The one Gospel of Jesus Christ points to that kingdom ruling Family using the Government of God and that it is coming. So if the one Gospel is about the Kingdom of God, then there must be different aspects to the Gospel, as Scripture uses different ways of talking about it. Perhaps this is why some come to the conclusion there are “different gospel messages” and teach this falsehood to their followers in ignorance.
We are about to see there is not one gospel about the kingdom of God, another about the person of Christ and His sacrifice and still another about government, salvation and other things. Some have even insinuated that healing and casting out demons was just another part of the Gospel, but note this passage; Mark 16:17 “And these signs will accompany those who believe:” ----- (NIV-translation)---- V.20 “Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”
When we read all of these verses in our Bible---there is no indication that Christ included these signs of healing miracles and casting out demons as a part of the Gospel message itself! These signs confirmed who His true servants were, as they preached the one true Gospel. They “accompanied it” as the Scripture reveals, but it does not say they WERE the Gospel. We have to pay attention to the details of Scriptural wording. Some feel this is just being too technical and are more laid back, having but not recognizing their own lukewarm spirit.
END TIME PROPHECY OF THE GOSPEL
Found in Matt 24:14 (which was seen on the front cover) Christ told the apostles, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” The very wording of this verse makes this a prophetic statement, besides revealing other things. However that true Gospel was lost to the world for centuries, perhaps only to be proclaimed on occasion to a few, until it was to be restored at the beginning of the Philadelphian era of the COG, then to be proclaimed in all the world, but only as a witness. (Matt.17:11 & Rev.3:7-13) All through the four gospel accounts, Christ is seen repeatedly preaching this message of the kingdom of God (Matt.4:23 & 9:35) and sending out His servants to preach the same Gospel, showing that this was to be their first priority and main commission, as it was His. But it was not to be just any gospel—but “this Gospel of the kingdom” is what would be going out! Christ also gave them power to heal and cast out demons in His name, in order to prove they were His servants and that He had that power and authority to give them. (Mark 6:7—NKJ & RSV) This was, in Christ’s own words, to be accompanying signs, as previously noted. The Gospel message was not about Christ and Him crucified, or healing the sick, or even “all about government” but rather, the coming kingdom of God which is to be a ruling Family!
As clearly shown, the Gospel to be preached was about the kingdom of God. Luke 9:1-2 “Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. 2 He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” (preaching the Kingdom was their first priority—healing the sick was an accompanying sign) Matt 10:6-7 "But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 "And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.” So Christ also gave them authority, and told them to preach about the kingdom of God, as they went before Him to these cities. Christ also said this; Luke 10:9-11 " --'The kingdom of God has come near to you.' 11 --- Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.' (Meaning; a member of the GOD Family and one who would be king was present in the form of Christ, as noted earlier.) Luke 16:16 "The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached,”--- (John was imprisoned and Christ came into Galilee preaching this Gospel. Mark1:14-15)
So it is abundantly clear that this is the message they were to preach and it was to also go out again into the world as a witness before the end time generation would come on the scene. (Matt.24:14) So it is a prophecy of a yet future event that has not yet happened. It was to be restored and preached as a pre-end time prophetic message, sent from God through Christ then men. HWA restored and preached this same Gospel until his death in 1986, ending that era and the last, or “end” time era of Laodicea began, just as the verse indicates. Some few who are still zealous have continued doing the job. We are living in the “end time”! This gospel message was also the Gospel of God as we have seen. The Gospel of God is not a separate message nor is it a perversion of the Gospel of the kingdom, which is some more truth of the Gospel. So what are some subtle ways of perverting the Gospel?
Perverting the true Gospel
This is also truly happening, even more so today, by those who should know better and have been a part of the COG for many years! We find that the apostle Paul had to contend with this in his lifetime, even to the point of those in the very COG being deceived by some smooth talkers who were distorting the Gospel! We see the same thing going on around us today as we notice in 2 Cor. 11:2-4; “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, (Truth mixed with error and lies) so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted-- you may well put up with it!”
And later on in this same chapter, Paul makes it clear that they were putting up with this nonsense and being susceptible to deceptions that they ought not be! Notice this from the NIV translation: 2 Cor 11:19-20 “You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! (Paul is speaking with irony or tongue-in-cheek with them, as they were not being wise at all, except in their own minds.) V.20 In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face.”
These “fools,” as this translation says; were not true servants of Christ, as Paul was pointing out to the brethren: V.23 “Are they servants of Christ”? He answered this question earlier in the chapter and now he is reminding them of it again: V.13 “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” (The whole point of this is that true servants of Christ do not conduct themselves in a subtle or deceptive manner nor would they lie and twist or pervert the word of God for any of their own human reasons. When we see that being done, it is not coming from God nor is that individual being led by the Holy Spirit to do what he is doing or saying.)
The Corinthian brethren were not the only ones that were listening to these perversions of the truth, as Paul also admonished the Galatians about the Gospel being distorted and made into “another” or false gospel. We referred to this passage earlier but let us look at it now; Gal 1:6-7 “I marvel that you (Galatian brethren) are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.” Here we see those called in the “grace of Christ” and yet turning away from the Gospel of Christ! Paul called the elders of Ephesus together and told them that some of them would also do this “perverting” of the word of truth and that applies also to many of the elders in the COG today! (It has happened) Acts 20:17, 29-30—notice it; (V.17) “From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.” V.29 "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 "Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.” (How many COG groups and organizations are there today, because of these very things?) Paul pronounced the wrath of God (Rom.1:18) and a curse on those “ungodly and unrighteous” men who would pervert or suppress the truth, which would include the truth of the Gospel, as this set of verses brings out! (I may be overly explicative here in this booklet (according to some) about these things but it is so important to pay attention to the truth of the Gospel and have it rightly fixed in our minds!)
2 Pet 3:15-17 --“and account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation-- as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, (Truly converted-COG members) since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;” So the COG is also commanded right here to be on guard at all times for deceptions and perversions of the Gospel.
It has always been those who would resort to being wicked and evil, becoming deceitful men who have preached these falsehoods, not true Godly and Christian men. However, anyone can make a mistake but those led by the Holy Spirit of God are not in a habit of lying and being deceitful or teaching contrary to truth on any subject. If they find themselves doing so in ignorance, then they will make it clear to all, repent and change as soon as seen, correcting the errors they may have made! If they do not receive correction from the Word of God and even their fellow ministers, then you should avoid them until positive evidence of heartfelt repentance is seen! (Rom.16:17-18) The Holy Spirit does not lead one who does this constantly and deliberately and if you are being actively led by the Holy Spirit of God, you will come to discern when this is happening! (I John 3:7-11-NAS) Now, since the death of HWA, this is happening all over again even among some COG groups and men that most brethren would want to trust, but are now proving themselves to be untrustworthy and deceitful. But God saw fit to warn us about putting confidence in men and this certainly applies to the COG today. Ps 118:8-9 “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. 9 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.
This is repeated again in Psalms 146:3, and notice what the prophet Jeremiah records for us. Jer 17:5 “Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD.” But just the opposite is true for those who trust in God and His Word. V.7 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD.” Jesus Christ tells us something similar in New Testament Scriptures from His own mouth, so these words are valid for us today as well and should be adhered to. We see this in Luke 16:15-17 “And He (Christ) said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God. 16 "The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it”.
This applies now more than ever as we are in the last era of the COG and many things have been watered down, including the true Gospel, by some. Many today are jockeying for power, trying to justify their actions before other men under the guise of “doing the work”, instead of holding fast to the truth and staying focused on the word of God and exactly what it reveals, just as Christ said that the Pharisees were doing in His time.
THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD
Is this another aspect of the one true Gospel?
Let us read from the RSV translation. Acts 20:24-25 “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may accomplish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify (which means being a witness) to the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that all you among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom will see my face no more”. What we read above is all in the same context, as even the word meanings make clear. For example, the word “gospel” here in this text has the exact same meaning as it does in Rom.2:16, where the apostle says “my gospel”! Notice it: V.16 “in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.” The word gospel in Mark 1:14-15, Ch. 16:15, Gal.1:7, 11 and ch.2:2 and many other passages all have the same meaning and according to Strong’s exhaustive concordance, © 1986, that meaning is given below and notice, it is THE GOSPEL, not “A” or just any gospel:
“2098 euaggelion (yoo-ang-ghel'-ee-on); from the same as 2097; a good message, i.e. the gospel:” KJV-- gospel.
To further dispel any doubt about both these verses being in the same context and speaking of the same thing, let us go back and look at something else recorded in the context of the verse above, Acts 20:24: “the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus”—what exactly is the “ministry” Paul is talking about? His ministry was twofold, as all servants of Christ are. On top of what we have already seen, in 1Cor. 1:17 Paul says that Christ sent him to preach the gospel, and in Acts 20:25 above he says he had gone preaching the kingdom, which is what the Gospel is about. In Acts 28:23, it is recorded that Paul “-- solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus (Son of God and Savior) from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening.” We also see in 2 Cor.4:4 that Paul calls that same gospel message “the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (KJV) (Christ is the living and glorified Son of God, born into the Kingdom Family by resurrection!) So clearly then the ministry that Paul is referring to would include ministering The Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God, as he was commissioned to preach it to the gentiles! (Gal.2:2, 7-8, Col.1:23) The apostle made it clear throughout his ministry that it was only by the grace of God that one could enter the kingdom of God and that a position in the Family of God could never be earned or bought at a price by any man. Christ willingly paid the penalty of death for all who would believe and accept Him as savior and the truth of the Gospel of the coming kingdom of God.
We find recorded in 2Thes. 2:14, where the same apostle Paul says also of the same gospel “to which He called you (The COG members) by our gospel, (Meaning all those preach it) for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (It was for the purpose of being converted and later born into the Family of God, to be joined with Christ.) Here, Paul includes others and calls it “OUR gospel”, but it is also clear that people are called by the Gospel; not just any gospel. Again in 1Tim.1:11 he calls it “the glorious gospel of the blessed God”, and yet all these passages where “gospel” is used, is a reference back to the original GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD which Christ preached! But in 2 Thess.2:13, we find this interesting passage, talking about salvation and including it into the same message. V.13 “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,”—The very next verse (previously given) mentions what that truth they were to believe in was, which is the Gospel! This is talking about eventual salvation and being born into the very kingdom of God, to have eternal life! The knowledge of the truth of the Gospel of the future kingdom of God must remain and abide in us if we are to be in God’s family! (2 Pet. 3:18 & 1 John 2:24-25) We cannot accept anything less or watered down versions from the original message and call it the Gospel of Jesus Christ! False gospels will not lead to salvation!
Once again we come back to that same Gospel that Jesus Christ preached, the Gospel of the kingdom of God. This is also the Gospel of your salvation, found in Eph.1:13. Christ Himself said we have to believe the Gospel to be saved! (Mark16:15-16) Again, let me remind you that there are those in the COG circle or realm who have found themselves willing to “PUT UP WITH” and even support some distorted teaching that amounts to another gospel, a “different gospel” message from the original, as Paul stated in 2 Cor.11:4. So I am being thorough in this booklet to bring out these passages, so the reader can have a Biblical understanding of the truth of the Gospel as compared to deceptions going on among some. Keep in mind that Scripture does not contradict itself. (John 10:35) Some today, setting themselves apart from other brethren for their own agenda, have “perverted” the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Anyone seeking true Christianity must be very careful and alert so as not to be deceived, because there are many false prophets and people who seem to be very sincere, may also carelessly and in a lukewarm mindset compromise the Gospel!
Herbert W Armstrong wrote in his booklet titled “What is the True Gospel” first © 1955. This quote is from page 7, and I have bolded and underlined some of the words that HWA put emphasis on:
“And yet there are some in this modern day (Remember that was in 1955—it is worse today) of religious confusion who believe the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is not for this age — this New Testament time of grace. They reject and therefore do not believe the true Gospel as Jesus commanded and thereby reject the very conditions to salvation, saying the Gospel of the kingdom is a gospel for some future age yet to come.”
How appropriate that HWA was inspired to write that long before some of these men came along to make their deceptive claims! We have been warned! Mr. Herbert Armstrong taught against there being “different gospels” because the Bible teaches against there being different gospels! HWA quoted in the same booklet this passage from Mark 16:15-16, (KJV) “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Condemned-NKJ)
Mr. Armstrong then stated this, quoting from his booklet: “Notice! Jesus said, "He that believeth." Believeth what? Why, believeth that which they preached, of course — the Gospel! Not a gospel. Not any gospel. The Gospel! On the authority of Jesus Christ, it is necessary to believe that precise identical Gospel in order to be saved!” (Or have salvation)
One can quickly determine by just what is given here that the Gospel HWA was referring to is only one and is about the KINGDOM of GOD, because that is what Christ preached! Clearly anyone that is honest with the facts of the word of God can see the “Gospel of the kingdom” and the Gospel of salvation are not different messages, but aspects of the exact same message! This is what Mr. Armstrong was meaning about believing the precise identical Gospel. It is the Gospel or “good news” that Christ preached, revealing the coming kingdom of God; the birth of the saints into immortal and eternal members of the God Family! Christ said that Gospel would be preached for a witness and then the end would come. You are now reading about that same “identical” Gospel in this TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL booklet and we are in the end time generation where time is much shorter than when we first believed.
CHRIST CRUCIFIED NOT THE GOSPEL CHRIST PREACHED?
At least one COG organization has this in their statement of beliefs.
“The Gospel of Christ is the “Good News” of the forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s sacrifice,”!
Where is this stated in Scripture and Why do some (who have been around for many years) want to put the more lukewarm and protestant focus on the person of Christ and His crucifixion as the gospel and then only secondarily on the kingdom of God? Yet that is what they indicate! Did Christ ever command His disciples to preach that kind of message? Some reason in their minds that Christ is left out if his crucifixion is not preached as part of the Gospel. Christ is not left out of the Gospel message, as He is the prophesied messenger and a part of the kingdom Family. He is to be the King of kings in that coming kingdom, as has been stated, that will rule for 1,000 years and was in the flesh the only begotten Son of God at the time. But the message Christ preached publicly was not about Himself or His crucifixion—it was about the Father’s Family to be established here on earth at Christ’s return. It was “Good News” that mankind did not understand about God’s planned out purpose.
Christ came in the flesh to reveal the Father and it is the Father’s kingdom that Christ preached about which would come and was even then “at hand”, as has already been explained. Sure Christ is now Lord and Master but He was that BEFORE He was crucified, even while in the human flesh, as He told the disciples! He said He was born for this purpose, before He was crucified and He never intended to establish that kingdom while in the flesh or at that time! He is now our Savior and it is by His shed blood that our death penalty has been paid—so we are justified, lined back up on God and our mind opened to His truth through the Holy Spirit! But let us be sure we are distinguishing the difference between the two. NOTICE IT! (Rom. 5:9-10) We are given the opportunity to be reconciled to God by that sacrifice but not saved by its acceptance alone! So His death alone does not grant anyone salvation, just the opportunity. Well, what does that mean?
Christ Himself said that it is the Gospel of the kingdom of God that we have to believe, in order to be saved, not just in His crucifixion for the forgiveness of our sins! If the later was the case, then all the Protestants were way ahead of the COG all this time because that is all they focus on. Yet we have to have a belief and understanding in the purpose of the crucifixion too, so are they now one and the same, all blended into one Gospel? Did Christ ever command the disciples to change His Gospel by adding His crucifixion into it later? I have not found such a passage. When was the preaching about Christ’s crucifixion for forgiveness of sin to start and was it synonymous with the kingdom of God message or did it go with baptism? Once again I say; Christ did not preach as the Gospel about Himself and the crucifixion nor did He ever send anyone else to do so. Please understand this crucial point. Nowhere in the four gospel accounts can the phrase—The Gospel of Christ is the “Good News” of the forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s sacrifice;—be found, nor anything remotely like it was ever preached by Christ during His ministry. It is not in the Bible and any statement of beliefs containing that as the Gospel of Christ is grossly in error.
[ Editorial note of correction; This author has confirmed that the one COG organization (above mentioned) that had this phrase in their statement of beliefs for years, has now changed it! (Noted early February of 2012) It now puts the “kingdom of God” before this phrase, under the heading of “The Gospel”. A small step in the right direction, however, they still include the phrase as part of the Gospel of Christ, which is still in error. This would not have been preached publically while Christ was still in the flesh.]
Every Bible student and believer knows and accepts that Christ was crucified for the forgiveness of our sins but the acceptance of that fact alone does not give anyone salvation or make them a part of the begotten Family! That is the protestant way of thinking that you just “believe on Christ” and you will be saved and that is why the emphasis was shifted to the person of Christ hundreds of years ago! It was a false gospel to deceive and blind people to the real truth of the Gospel. (2Cor.4:3-4) People fell for it and stopped preaching about the Kingdom and accepted another gospel focused on the person of Christ and His crucifixion. However, many other Scriptures reveal that “believing on Christ” is not all there is to it and that was not the full intent of the Gospel Christ preached. This is where the protestant and Catholic “Christianity” has jumped the track, (in a figure of speech) and became derailed as far as understanding this truth of the Gospel! They cannot move forward to salvation with their false concepts.
I cannot repeat this enough; Christ’s crucifixion alone does not give anyone salvation or in and of itself save anyone; it MAKES POSSIBLE forgiveness and reconciliation once accepted and acted on through those conditions given, so says your Bible! Christ’s shed blood paid the penalty for past sin, not anything future and we are sure to sin again and will have to be forgiven again! While in this flesh we can still fail or be deceived once again if not careful. We are being saved (on the way to salvation) by grace and absolutely nothing we can do will earn us salvation! It is the gift of God—unmerited pardon —only for those who are willingly striving to live righteous lives, overcome and repent of every sin, which can only be done with Christ living in us through the Holy Spirit. (Gal.2:20) We must accept the truth of the Gospel and believe we can be born into the coming Kingdom Family of God, by resurrection. When Adam sinned, he cut himself and all humanity off from a relationship with God (symbolized by the tree of life) and potential Spiritual birth or change. (Gen.3:22-24) Christ the second “Adam” voluntarily gave Himself for the purpose of redeeming mankind, reconciling them back to God the Father! (Phil. 2:8, and read also Heb.2:9-18 for a better understanding of this precious truth.) His sacrifice at the end of His ministry made possible forgiveness of past sin, removing the separation between God and man by those sins. However, that does not automatically grant salvation to all who believe on Christ’s sacrifice, giving them a surety of eternal life in the kingdom Family of God. There are many other steps involved—conditions—as Scripture reveals.
What makes possible eternal life is the free gift of the Holy Spirit that will then “guide us into ALL truth” (John 16:13) which in turn teaches us obedience to the Laws of God and helps us overcome to develop Godly character, as we grow Spiritually! (Rom.6:23—last part & Rom.8:9-11) God gives that gift only to those who strive to obey Him (Acts 5:32) but it can still be lost if not kept in action. We have to believe in the coming Kingdom/Family of God, the very Gospel that Christ preached about; then was born into by His resurrection. (Col.1:15 & 18) We have to believe He now LIVES as a Spirit born Son in that Kingdom, at the right hand of the FATHER and that God is a family! Then we have to begin to live our lives according to the example Christ set and the Laws and Government that will be in force under Christ in that soon coming Kingdom! Go back and read those passages again! Make sure you understand the clarity and the distinct procedure Scripture reveals on these things.
He who believes the GOSPEL of the KINGDOM OF GOD that Christ preached and is (fully repentant & then) baptized will be saved, as Christ also said but only if he endures and overcomes while remaining faithful! These things explained here are part of the truth of the Gospel. To reiterate; We have to believe that Christ will come and LIVE in us through the Holy Spirit, to bring us to that same kind of heart-felt obedient life. We will be born again at His second coming when our resurrection as a first Spiritual birth from this begotten state occurs. We are not born again now, only begotten of the Holy Spirit, which makes us begotten children of God with the potential for Spirit birth. Christ told some of this to Nicodemus in John 3, but he did not understand it. Everyone who is led by the Spirit of God knows that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, therefore a part of the God Family —He was God before becoming flesh (John 1:1) and is even now God. The Gospel message Christ preached was not about Him crucified for the forgiveness of sin, which would not have been true because the crucifixion had not yet happened—the death penalty not yet paid! (Heb.9:22) Christ did not even tell the disciples to preach forgiveness in His name until after He was resurrected and that was to start in Jerusalem by the disciples, not previously in Galilee by Christ with the Gospel. John was preaching repentance and forgiveness by water baptism in preparation for Christ, then Christ’s disciples began to do the same. (John 3:22-23 & 4:1-2) The disciples understanding was not yet opened to grasp much of the truth but Christ and the Holy Spirit would open their minds to it. (See Luke 24:45-48) This also shows a change in how they would baptize from then on, in His name—but does not indicate the Gospel message was to change.
We have already seen that Christ did not send any of His disciples out to preach forgiveness of sin through Him crucified while He was still in the flesh. Some cannot seem to see the distinction between the two in Acts 8:12. (or Acts 28:30-31) This was after the COG was scattered, and we see Phillip “preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name (Or authority) of Jesus Christ,”—showing that he had the authority through Christ to preach the Gospel, baptize and cast out demons and heal the sick. People believed and were converted from this and it is obvious this was being done along with the preaching of the Gospel, but now the disciples were also preaching Jesus Christ as the true Messiah. Most of the Jews were in denial of this.
The Kingdom of God, even in that passage is put first in priority and has always been the focus of the true Gospel that the true COG still preaches. (Please re-read Acts 28:30-31 with this in mind) The meaning of these two words, (preaching and teaching, found there) indicate these are two different subjects (as Acts 8:12 also does) and therefore could not both be considered the same Gospel of the Kingdom that Christ preached, however they do now go hand in hand. Preaching and baptizing in the Name of Christ came only after the resurrection and started in Jerusalem, as Christ directed, shown above. By resurrection came the confirmation of Christ fulfilling the sign of being the true Messiah, witnessed to by over 500 people.
DANIEL PROPHESIED ABOUT THE KINGDOM OF GOD
The prophet Daniel was allowed by God to see, through vision, something about this coming kingdom that is to be set up on this earth. Dan 2:44 "And in the days of these kings (Compare with Rev.17:12-14) the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these (earthly) kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (The kingdom will be made up of Spirit beings—newly spirit born children into the God Family, who will rule on earth with Christ and over those left alive of humanity.)
Dan 7:14 “Then to Him (Christ) was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.” V.27 “Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.”
We find that when Christ does return, He will put down all wicked rule and even Satan the devil will be bound and put away for the duration of a thousand years while the kingdom family of God brings about peace and it flourishes here on earth, where the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, (as the prophet Isaiah wrote, seen earlier) under the rule of Christ and the saints, who are then made Spirit members of the Family of God. It will be a time of true peace on this earth such as has never been known to mankind! Some of Daniel’s prophecies also tie directly to the book of Revelation 13, 17 & ch.20. These prophecies have some history, but are also about future fulfilments that tie into specific parts of the Gospel. They have to come before the Kingdom will be set up and the saints are changed. This is all what the Gospel is pointing to.
Again, it is the same “precise identical” Gospel, previously noted, that would have to be believed in order to be saved. Did Christ say this same Gospel would be preached in the time of the end, or could it be a modified version of the gospel, based on some of the apostle Paul’s statements, that are hard to understand? Well, we should know the answer to that by now, if we believe the word of God and what it reveals! 2 Pet 3:14-16 (NIV) “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.”
These “hard to understand” passages, dealing with the Gospel, and statements about Christ and Him crucified by Paul are being used to deceive and confuse brethren today, in this last era of Laodicea, so we need to be refreshed about the Gospel; coming to understand just what the Gospel really is and then hold that fast.
The power of the Holy people was to have been shattered or scattered (KJV) at the time of the end, which would only come in the end time era, which is what we see having happened today! (Dan.12:7-last part) There was at one time over 150,000 people in the COG shortly after the death of HWA and all converted members were sending their tithes to one headquarters COG organization for the work of getting the Gospel out, as well as the continued growth of the COG. The Gospel continued to go around the world under three new presenters for the World Tomorrow telecast. However this was very short lived before lukewarm-ness and compromise set in! Things quickly began to change for the worse as thousands of people can attest to. The atmosphere in that church organization began to shift away from that of brotherly love, zeal for God’s true Gospel, the work of God and the spiritual well-being of the brethren. Laodicea had begun!
So I conclude this booklet by combining these verses; (cutting into the context) Col 1:5 “because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel,”---the COG was not only preaching a gospel but it was preaching the truth of the Gospel as a witness to the world. They were to “Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.” (Rev 3:11)
(Written by the editor for TCOGMSO)
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