Archive for May, 2014

This study will hopefully answer the above question as well as:

1) Clarify whether or not there are two “gospels”, one for Jews and one for Gentiles.

2) What, exactly, is the “gospel”?

The word “gospel”, as used throughout the King James Version, will be translated “good news” throughout this study as that is what the correct meaning is.

Let’s begin by identifying the main preacher and subject of the good news.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of Adonai Yahweh is upon me; because Yahweh hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

Yeshua, the Messiah of Israel, quoted this passage as pertaining to himself before a synagogue full of Jews (Luke 4:16-21). Preaching the good news was a major part of his mission. The following verse shows that he did indeed preach the good news and he did so to the Jews who were present at the temple that day.

Luke 20:1 – And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the good news, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders,

Yeshua did not limit his preaching of the good news to just Jerusalem. He preached in many other cities as well.

Matthew 9:35- And Yeshua went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

The above verse identifies what that good news was. It was the good news of the “kingdom”. After empowering his disciples, Yeshua sent them out to preach the good news as well.

Luke 9:1-6 – Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of Elohim, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house you enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the good news, and healing every where.

In the above passage, the Jews were expected to embrace the good news of the kingdom of Elohim.

Was Yeshua’s message of a coming kingdom something new to Israel? Not at all. Mark 15:43 tells us Joseph of Arimathaea “waited for the Kingdom of Elohim.” This was a common hope among the Jews. They knew the Kingdom was taken from them and they awaited its return to them. It was that hope that prompted the disciples to ask Yeshua the following question;

“Master, will you at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1:6.

Hundreds of years before Yeshua was even born, the prophets declared a future king would reign over Israel. They understood that King to be the promised Messiah.

“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Yahweh of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:7.

“Behold, the days come, saith Yahweh, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.” Jeremiah 23:5.

 

Matthew 12:28 – But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of Elohim, then the kingdom of Elohim is come unto you.

It is said that the kingdom had come to them, not in its fullness, but by virtue of the fact that its King was standing before them. The same is true of the following verse:

Luke 17:21 – Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of Elohim is among you.

Matthew 24:14 – And this good news of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

The same good news of the kingdom that Yeshua preached to the Jews will be preached by his followers throughout the world.

Matthew 26:6-13 – Now when Yeshua was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, there came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Yeshua understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble you the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For you have the poor always with you; but me you have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this good news shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

What “good news” was he referring to in verse 13 that would be preached in the whole world? The good news that the King among them would die and be buried (vs.12). How can that be good news? Because without his death our sins would still be upon us.

Luke 24:44-47 – And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Messiah to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

The above passage begins to define more clearly the good news that was to be preached; that is, remission of sins through Messiah’s sacrificial death, as well as his ensuing resurrection. This is the same message that was written in the OT Scriptures, especially in types and shadows throughout the “law of Moses”, Isaiah 53 (the prophets), and Psalm 22 (the Psalms). They were written there so that all Israel would know the good news that was to come.

Here is an example of where the good news was preached in the “law of Moses” (Torah).

Galatians 3:8 – And the scripture, foreseeing that Elohim would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the good news unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

John Gill’s commentary reads, “The passage referred to, is in Ge 12:3 and is repeated Ge 18:18 and in Ge 22:18 is thus expressed, in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; which shows, that this is not to be understood of Abraham personally, but of his seed; and which cannot intend Isaac, the immediate seed of Abraham, in whom it was never verified; and besides, is carried down to his seed, Ge 26:4 as not terminating in him; and for the same reason it cannot design Jacob, the immediate seed of Isaac; see Ge 28:14 nor the whole body of the Jews, the posterity of Jacob, in whom it never had its completion; for when and how have the nations of the earth been blessed in them? either whilst in their own land, when they would have no conversation with them, neither on a civil or sacred account, unless they conformed to their rites; or since their dispersion, so far from it, that their name is used by way of reproach, and as a proverb, a taunt, and a curse everywhere; but it is to be understood of the Messiah, . . .”

The following words were spoken to Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. They set forth the requirement for entrance into the kingdom that Yeshua preached about. Therefore, they are part of the good news of the kingdom of Elohim.

John 3:5 -Yeshua answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of Elohim.

John 3:16 – For Elohim so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Here is another example of the good news being preached to a Jew (Martha).

John 11:25-26 – Yeshua said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

After Yeshua resurrection and ascension, the responsibility for continuing to proclaim the good news was passed on to his disciples. Peter was the primary preacher of the good news to the Jews (the circumcision).

Galatians 2:7 – But contrariwise, when they saw that the good news of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the good news of the circumcision was unto Peter;

Let’s take a look at what Peter proclaimed to the Jews.

Acts 2:22-24 – You men of Israel, hear these words; Yeshua of Nazareth, a man approved of Elohim among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which Elohim did by him in the midst of you, as you yourselves also know: him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of Elohim, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom Elohim hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

He proclaimed the same message that Yeshua proclaimed; the good news of Yeshua’s death and resurrection.

Converts that had embraced the good news as delivered by Peter began to preach the good news outside the borders of Israel, but onlyto the Jews in those areas.

Acts 11:19-21 – Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen traveled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only. And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Master Yeshua. And the hand of the Master was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Master.

That the good news was preached only to Jews agrees with Paul’s statement in the following verse.

Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the good news of Messiah: for it is the power of Elohim unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

The “good news of Messiah” not only means the good news about Messiah, but the good news as preached by Messiah.

The good news was eventually embraced by Saul of Tarsus, better known as the Apostle Paul. His custom was to visit synagogues in order the preach the good news to the Jews first. One of his opportunities to preach the good news to the Jews is found in the following account.

Acts 13:14-16 – But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, You men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and you that fear Elohim, give audience.

Acts 13:23-33 – Of this man’s seed has Elohim according to His promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Yeshua: When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John fulfilled his course, he said, Whom think you that I am? I am not he. But, behold, there cometh one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose. Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you fears Elohim, to you is the word of this salvation sent. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But Elohim raised him from the dead: And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people.And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, Elohim hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He has raised up Yeshua again; as it is also written in the second psalm, ‘Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee’.

Acts 13:43-46 – Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of Elohim. And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of Elohim. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of Elohim should first have been spoken to you: but seeing you put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

So, Paul preached the good news of Yeshua’s death and resurrection to the Jews just as Yeshua did. The Jews, however, rejected their message of good news which prompted Paul and Barnabas to take that same message to the Gentiles of Antioch.

The following two passages show Paul continuing to preach the good news to Jews in other cities.

Acts 14:1 – And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.

Acts 17:1-3 – Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Messiah must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Yeshua, whom I preach unto you, is Messiah.

The above passage, as well as the following passage, clearly outline the good news that Paul preached.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 – Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the good news which I preached unto you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand; By which also you are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Messiah died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

The good news that Messiah died for our sins was indeed proclaimed in the scriptures, specifically Isaiah 53.

Isaiah 53:5-6 – But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Yahweh hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:8 – He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

Isaiah 53:10-11 – Yet it pleased Yahweh to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Yahweh shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

Paul was faithful throughout his ministry to preach the same good news that Yeshua preached, that is, the kingdom of Elohim and that which pertained to its King, namely his death, burial, and resurrection..

Acts 28:23 – And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of Elohim, persuading them concerning Yeshua, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.

Acts 28:30-31 – And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of Elohim, and teaching those things which concern the Master Yeshua Messiah, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

This next passage is very important in showing why the Jews need the good news just as the Gentiles do. It also shows that keeping the law/Torah is not the good news.

Romans 3:9-28 – What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after Elohim. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of Elohim before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before Elohim. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of Elohim without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of Elohim which is by faith of Yeshua Messiah unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of Elohim;Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Messiah Yeshua: Whom Elohim hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of Elohim; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Yeshua. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Jews will not automatically be saved simply because they are Jews. They need to embrace the good news of the kingdom of Elohim and the death, burial and resurrection of its King just as Gentiles do.

When Romans 11:26 says, “And so all Israel shall be saved . . .”, it does not include those that were cut off in unbelief and who continue to abide in it. Nor would “Israel” that is saved include such Jews as Messiah rebuked in the following passage.

Matthew 23:33-35 – You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of Gehenna? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall you scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom you slew between the temple and the altar.

In conclusion, the good news of the Kingdom of Elohim (Yahweh) and the good news that the King of that Kingdom (Messiah Yeshua) died, was buried, and has resurrected from the dead to live and reign over that Kingdom during the millennium, and that all mankind can live forever in that Kingdom, is for both Jews and Gentiles. Jews must embrace that good news now or after their blindness has been lifted. If not, they will remain cut off in unbelief. May Almighty Yahweh grant them and the Gentile nations ears to hear and eyes to see the glorious good news proclaimed to them.