discussion among religions regarding who is and who is
not saved has gone from the extreme of Universal
Salvationism to the extreme of claiming that unless one
belongs to a specific religion, he is lost forever.
believe that the true and Biblical answer about
salvation is satisfying, reasonable, and lovely. In
essence, we believe that Judaism only had half of the
story, and Christianity has lost the half which Judaism
had. Therefore, please look at
HALF OF THE GOSPEL.
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
understand the concepts of salvation, seven basic
questions need answers:
(1) Why did
God create the earth and mankind?
(2) What is
God doing in the earth today?
(3) What is
(4) What is
(5) What is
the ultimate purpose of the Church?
(6) Are all
outside the Church forever lost?
about the Jew?
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.
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
basically is 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)
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
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
THE GOSPEL 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
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 full 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 parts:
1. Abraham’s seed
2. All nations (or families) of earth.
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 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 AND
will be part of the promised Messiah, which will
raise and bless all families of the earth.
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! The scripture 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
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 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 no so, how
could the Lord 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)
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:
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, those whom God recognizes as His own
true Church—“the seed of Abraham.”
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)
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 Christians.
* * * * *
We 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
Why did God create the earth and mankind?
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; Psalm 104:5)
What is God doing in the earth today?
He 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 1:3; 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 God is doing more. He is choosing “a people
for His name” (Acts 15:14), which we will discuss in a
What is the Gospel?
As 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 all is to be done by a promised
4 & 5.
What is the Church? and What is the
ultimate purpose for
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 to constitute this Church,
also is “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.” (Acts 15:13-18)
all outside the Church forever lost?
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 merely is
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 of
the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)
7. What about the Jew?
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 is now
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
DOES “SAVED” MEAN?
word for “saved” (sodzo) is used and translated
in several ways:
“saved” means healed: Matthew 9:21, 22 (used 3
times and translated “made whole”); Mark 5:23, 28;
James 5:15, etc.
Sometimes “saved” means delivered from a danger:
Matthew 8:25; 14:30; 27:42; Jude 5, etc.
Sometimes it means to maintain: Matthew 16:25,
the opposite of death is meant: Matthew 24:22;
Acts 27:31; James 4:12, etc.
Sometimes “saved” is applied to those who become
Christians because they are saved from the condemnation
pronounced on Adam and his race, and/or from the
condemnation of the Jewish Law (Romans 8:1). This
“saved,” however. Does not mean ultimate
salvation. It means that a Christian has taken the
first step and thereby received justification: Acts
2:40, 47; 11:14; 16:30, 31; Romans 5:9; I Peter 4:18;
John 3:18, etc.
“saved” means the ultimate, everlasting salvation for
the church: Matthew 10:22; I Timothy 4:16; II
Timothy 4:18 (translated “will preserve”); Hebrews 7:25;
James 1:21, etc.
“Saved” also refers to the ultimate salvation
(everlasting life on earth) for the world of mankind
who in this life do not believe: John 3:16, 17;
Acts 2:21; Romans 11:26; I Timothy 2:4, etc.
In short, a
Christian can receive a tentative salvation—a
re-standing with God. If he is faithful to his covenant
with God, he will receive everlasting salvation as part
of Christ’s body—a resurrection to heaven. On the other
hand, the world of mankind in general awaits the
Millennial Age for its salvation. Faithfulness then
will result in everlasting life on a perfected earth.
(Matthew 6:10) The secret which so many have missed is
in I Timothy 4:10: “God…is the saviour of ALL MEN,
specially of those that believe.” Two salvations:
“special” one for believers;
(2) but also
one for those who in this life have not believed.
IS good news!
This topic is clearly and Scripturally detailed in the
book THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES. Please click on the
Available Literature Link.
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