Article of the Month
THE OTHER HALF OF THE GOSPEL
A Summary of the Bible’s Teachings
Genesis begins with the fall of man.
Revelation concludes with the restoration of man. In
Genesis the curse falls on man. In Revelation the curse
is “no more.” In Genesis are the promises that the
“seed of the woman” and the “seed of Abraham” will
destroy the enemy and bless all of the families of the
earth. In Revelation, that seed (the Lamb and 144,000),
destroys the enemy and blesses all of the families of
the earth. This is the kernel of the Gospel.
In another sense Jesus (the “Lamb” of
Revelation) is also the kernel of the Gospel. Many fail
to see or to acknowledge the SUBSTITUTIONARY sacrifice
He made. The Scriptures abound with information which
demonstrates that “the man Christ Jesus…gave himself a
ransom (a corresponding price) for all, to be
testified in due time. (I Timothy 2:5, 6) It was
Adam who sinned, and in him died the entire
race. It was Jesus, the “Lamb of God” which took away
that one original sin (singular—John 1:29; I
Corinthians 15:21, 22; Romans 5:19). This fulfilled the
standard stated in God’s Law: A LIFE FOR A LIFE. The
death of “the man Christ Jesus” guaranteed the release
of Adam (and all in him) from death so that they
will be granted a new trial. (Romans 8:1) Most
of mankind will obtain that release when the KINGDOM
COMES (Matthew 6:10) when they will be judged as their
work “shall be” (Revelation 22:12)—not for what
they did in this life.
What Does the Gospel Teach? —
(1) Why did God
create the earth and mankind?
(2) What is God
doing in the earth today?
(3) What is the
(4) What is the
(5) What is the
ultimate purpose of the Church?
(6) Are all outside
the Church forever lost?
(7) What about the
These questions need answers. Understanding the
Gospel’s two halves will make answering them easier.
Other Half of the Gospel” suggests that what we
regularly hear preached as the Gospel is incomplete—and
this is, indeed, the case. An examination of the
Scriptural definition of the Gospel will prove that the
Gospel is actually “good news” in a fuller sense than
most Christians have ever dreamed.
In Galatians 3:8 the
Apostle Paul makes an interesting statement. He claims
that the Gospel was preached to Abraham. This is a
concept not generally appreciated—that the Gospel is
also in the Old Testament. Abraham and his descendants
believed God and His promises, and their belief, the
core of traditional Judaism, is based upon the Gospel
which God preached to Abraham. What is this belief? It
is basically this: Messiah will come and bless everyone
on earth through the agency of Abraham’s children (or
seed). This blessing will include resurrecting those
who died. (It was because of Abraham’s faith in the
resurrection that he was willing to offer his son,
Isaac, as a sacrifice to God. Hebrews 11:17-19)
Apostle Paul summed up all of this belief in the words
spoken to Abraham, “In thee shall all nations be
blessed.” Remember, Paul called this very
promise “the Gospel.” It is a beautiful Gospel, too.
It promises that all mankind will be blessed.
(See the original promise in Genesis 22:15-18.)
Christianity Compared to Judaism
Christianity generally does not define the Gospel in
quite the same manner. The teaching of Christendom
about the Gospel has been basically this: Faithful
believers in Christ will go to heaven when they die.
A chart to compare
these two versions of the Gospel might be helpful:
ACCORDING TO :
Messiah will bless all on earth
through Abraham’s seed, and will even raise
those who have died to enjoy the blessings.
Faithful Christians go to heaven after death.
the surface, Judaism seems better, doesn’t it? After
all, it includes all men in the blessing, whereas
Christendom excludes all except Christians. But
our examination of the matter is not complete. As we
look into it more, remember that we cannot immediately
judge either of these definitions of the Gospel as being
wrong. Judaism got its belief from God’s own prophets;
we would, indeed, be presumptuous to ignore that
testimony. And Jesus, who was a Jew, never disputed the
Gospel as preached to Abraham. But we must acknowledge
that the Bible also teaches that faithful Christians
will go to heaven. These two versions of the Gospel are
not inharmonious. By accepting them both, we learn the
Gospel is summarized in God’s promise to Abraham, “In
thy seed shall all nations be blessed.” What does this
mean? Notice that it involves two distinct and separate
2. All nations (or families) of earth.
Abraham’s seed is not totally as Abraham might have
expected, for the Apostle informs us in Galatians 3:29
that “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s
seed and heirs according to the promise.” This is a key
to our understanding. It says that faithful
Christians are counted by God as being Abraham’s seed or
children. It also says that because of this
they become “heirs” according to the “promise.” What
promise? — the promise was that the seed would bless
everyone else. Now we are at the crux of the
matter. If true Christians are the seed, we see
God’s eventual purpose for them: the blessing of all
the nations of the earth, and the resurrecting of all
those who have died (just as Abraham expected) so that
they, too, could be blessed. Now our chart is
harmonious. Those who go to heaven will be part of the
great Messiah which will bless those here on earth.
THE CORRECTED GOSPEL
THE CORRECTED GOSPEL
Messiah will bless all on earth through
Abraham’s seed, and will even raise those who
have died to enjoy the blessings.
Faithful Christians go to heaven after death AND
will be part of the promised Messiah, which will
raise and bless all families of the earth.
the chart is harmonious only if we retain the
“other half of the Gospel”— the part Judaism believes.
And that part is, not only will the “seed” be saved, but
so will the rest of mankind! It actually is saying that
there are two salvations. First, the seed (true
Christians) are saved; and secondly, they (the seed)
save and bless everyone else. Yes, the complete Gospel
really is GOOD NEWS! (Romans 11:28-32; I Timothy 4:10)
— More Than
One Resurrection —
New Testament informs us that there will be two kinds of
resurrection, one in heaven for the true seed (the ”first
resurrection”), and one on earth for all the rest of
mankind. This is the whole Gospel.
Christendom and Judaism both have been incomplete and
therefore wrong in themselves. Each had one-half of the
Gospel. But now we see that those who will go to heaven
in the first resurrection will not go to float on clouds
and play harps, but rather to participate with Christ in
the rulership of his kingdom which will bless all the
families here on earth. Christ’s Kingdom will have two
parts: heavenly and earthly. If this were not so, how
could the Lord Jesus have taught the disciples to pray,
“Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth…”?
(Matthew 6:10) Or, how could the angels have predicted
“Peace on earth, good will toward men”? (Luke
2:12-14) Or, how would it be a blessing for the meek to
“inherit the earth”? (Matthew 5:5)
Apostle Paul also mentions these two salvations
in I Timothy 4:10 where he says, “ We trust in the
living God who is the Savior of all men,
specially of those that believe.” It is clear that
Paul still had in mind the seed and all men
as being the two parts of the Gospel, because he says
that salvation is:
1. for all men
specially for those that believe.
“special” salvation is, of course, the salvation of the
“first resurrection” (the heavenly
resurrection—Revelation 20:6). It is the salvation of
true Christians, whom God recognizes as His own true
Church—“the seed of Abraham.”
— The Truth
Clears Up Seeming Mysteries —
Understanding the two salvations, the earthly and the
heavenly (or, the two parts of the Gospel), answers many
questions about certain scriptures. For instance,
consider Matthew 11:11: “Verily I say unto you, Among
them that are born of women there hath not risen a
greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that
is least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
This tells us what a great man John the Baptist was.
Yet in the same verse we have our Lord’s own words that
John will not be a part of the heavenly resurrection!
John instead will be a part of all the nations of the
earth who will be raised and blessed right here on the
earth by “the seed”—the Church raised to heavenly
glory. (Hebrews 11:39, 40)
then, in short, the Gospel is the beautiful promise that
all men will be raised and be given an opportunity to
have a perfect, everlasting life on the earth. The
exception to this is those who faithfully serve the Lord
during this present life since Jesus’ first advent.
They will live in heaven as spirit beings, and their job
will be to bless the race of man on earth. The true
Gospel is a combination of the best basic
traditional expectations of both Jews and Gentiles.
* * * * * * *
began with a list of seven questions that are basic to
an understanding of God’s plan. We will now ask the
same seven questions, and this time give concise answers
to cement our understanding.
WHY did God create the earth and mankind?
created because love is one of His primary attributes,
and true love must give. Therefore, He formed
the earth “to be inhabited” (Isaiah 45:18) by a perfect
race of people who will love and serve Him freely and to
whom He will freely give blessings and life. This
creation is “not in vain.”
(Isaiah 45:17, 18;
What is God doing in the earth today?
is doing several things so that His purpose as stated
above is being accomplished -- so that His Word will
“not return unto Him void but it shall accomplish that
which He pleases, and it shall prosper in the thing
whereunto He sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11) The LORD is
permitting evil to have full sway in the earth so that
man will be able fully to see its results.
(Ecclesiastes 1:13; 3:10) Therefore, in the Kingdom
reign of righteousness, mankind will be able to make a
free and intelligent choice between good and evil, after
having experienced both. But the LORD God is doing
more. He is choosing “a people for His name” (Acts
15:14), which we will discuss in a coming question.
What is the Gospel?
we have just seen, the Gospel is God’s good news to man
that His original plan has not failed—that man will
be made alive and receive God’s blessings eternally on a
perfected earth. This is all to be done by a promised
4. & 5.
What is the Church?
is the ultimate purpose for the Church?
true Church of the Bible is that promised seed just
mentioned, and its ultimate purpose is, by God’s grace,
to participate in God’s own work of accomplishing His
original design for the earth and its inhabitants. One
of the main things that God is doing in the earth today
is choosing that Church—one member here, one there. As
Acts 15:14 declares, God, having found too few Jews
faithful at the first advent of Jesus to constitute this
Church, is also “visiting the Gentiles”—not to bless or
save them now, but to take out from their midst
“a people for His name.” This “people for His name” are
those who are being called of God and who are faithfully
suffering with Christ. The Greek word for “Church” (ekklesia)
literally means “a calling out.” These called-out ones
are the true Church. They will receive the first or
heavenly resurrection. Then they will be “priests of
God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand
years.” (Revelation 20:6) They will reign to bless all
the nations of the earth. What a prospect! This is the
very reason that James says God is taking a people for
His name: that “after this…the residue of men
might seek after the Lord.”
Are all outside the Church forever lost?
course not! The absurdity of this position should now
be clear to us all. The whole purpose of the Church is
to bless all those who are outside of the Church. God
is not dealing with the world in general now. He is
merely choosing out from among them those who will
become members of the Church. After the Church is
completely chosen and she becomes the Bride of Christ at
his second advent, the “the Spirit (of Christ) and the
bride (the Church) say, Come; and whosoever will, let
him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)
What about the Jew?
Although Israel (as a nation) has lost the
exclusive opportunity of becoming the Church (Romans
11:25), Israel, too, shall be saved (Romans 11:26). It
is through the natural seed of Abraham, the Jew, that
God promises to give His New Covenant to all mankind.
(Jeremiah 31:31-34; Isaiah 60:5) Israel now is
reestablished as a nation. God put her there. She will
be the nation from whom the blessings will flow to all
the world, for it is written, “Many nations shall come
and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the
LORD and to the house of the God of Jacob, and He will
teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths, for
the Law shall go forth of Zion, and the Word of the LORD
from Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:2-4) Likewise it is said,
“Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek
the Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem and to pray before the
LORD. Thus saith the LORD of Hosts: In those days it
shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold of the
skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you,
for we have heard that God is with you.” (Zechariah
— Why Was Half
of the Gospel Lost?” —
can only rejoice in seeking the Scriptural harmony
brought about by THE WHOLE GOSPEL. Why was it lost?
Why is Christianity as a whole seemingly so opposed to
restoring the lost part—the “restitution of all things”
lost: the earthly part of God’s Kingdom? (Acts
has been the work of God’s great adversary, Satan, to
blind the minds of mankind lest the glorious light of
truth should release them from his deceptive control.
(II Corinthians 4:4) He has been successful in his
efforts. Most of “Christianity” has a deep fear that it
would lose its parishioners/members if they learned that
the choice is not heaven or hell! God has utilized
Satan’s deceptions to help Him find His true
Church—those who hunger and thirst after truth—those
whose strength of faith keeps them from fearing the
scorn or isolation heaped on those who differ from
you willing to rejoice in truth though it cost you
friends and acceptance? Such will be the “little flock”
which will inherit the joys of the heavenly part of the
Kingdom. (Luke 12:32)
* * * * * * *
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