Are the Gospels Christian?

Introduction

Most Christian churches spend the majority of their time in the Gospels. I would venture to say that 90% of the churches spend 90% of their time in these four books. While Christians should study all of the Scriptures (Romans 15.4; 1 Corinthians 10.11; 2 Timothy 3.16-17), the Gospels contain no Christianity. This may be shocking but it is true. Not one word of Christianity exists in the Gospels. The Gospels are all Jewish. They contain only Judaism–Jewish theology.

The Old Testament

What Christians call the Old Testament (Old Covenant) began with Genesis and ended with the book of Malachi. God called Abraham from Ur about 2,000 B.C. Moses received the Law about 1,500 B.C.1 and Malachi prophesied around 400 B.C. From the time of Malachi until John the Baptist appeared, Israel had no prophet and no received prophecy. God allowed a period of prophetic silence for 400 years.

Malachi ended his prophecy with a prediction of the coming again of Elijah. He recorded God’s words to the nation:

4 “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse” (Malachi 4.4-5).

The last word of prophecy God gave the nation of Israel was that Elijah would appear to them.

Jewish Theology

Psalm 2 contains all Jewish theology. Everything else is detail. Two key concepts are present in Jewish theology: the Wrath of God and the Kingdom of God. This is outlined briefly by the following chart:

Jewish Theology (Psalm 2)
The Wrath of God on the Earth
(The Day of the Lord: The Tribulation)
The Kingdom of God on the Earth
(Messianic Kingdom: Christ Rules as King)
Isaiah 2.20-21; 24.19-23, 34.1-3, Jeremiah 30.5-7; Zephaniah 1; Joel 2.1-11, 30-31; Zechariah 14.1-7Isaiah 2.2-5; 9.6-7, 11.1-16; Jeremiah 23.3-8; 30.8-24; Ezekiel 36.21-38; 37.1-28; Zechariah 14.8-11

Woven within these events was the coming of the Messiah. The primary revelation of the Messiah that the prophets disclosed was His reign as King as David’s Greater Son in the kingdom of God on earth (Zechariah 14.9). In this rule, God would fulfill His covenant promises and elevate Israel as the premier nation on earth (Deuteronomy 28.1, 13). More vague were prophecies regarding the Messiah’s suffering. Especially cryptic was how He would deal with the problem of sin. Only one passage dealt with this aspect of His work: Isaiah 53. The Jews had no understanding of the significance of this passage. For them, the animal sacrifices offered by the priesthood of Israel were not shadows but reality. They had no idea of a greater truth beyond them.

Elijah

The coming of Elijah before the Day of the Lord (God’s wrath) to restore the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers was God’s last word to the Jews. This is where the Gospel writers pick up the story. Luke introduced Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth. Elizabeth, like Abraham’s wife, Sarah, was unable to have children and was past the age of child-bearing. Zechariah was a priest, a Levite. While performing his scheduled rotation in the Temple, an angel appeared to him at the altar of incense. Luke recorded:

12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and fear gripped him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John. 14 You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. 17 It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1.12-17).

While the angel terrified Zechariah, he gave him a joyful message of hope. He told Zechariah their prayers for a child were answered and that Elizabeth would have a son. He would not be just any son–he would be a great man of God. Indeed, he would be Elijah.

The Lord confirmed John the Baptist was Elijah–but with a catch. Jesus declared:

As these men were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces! But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written

Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, who will prepare Your way before You.’

11 Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear (Matthew 11.7-15).

John’s being Elijah was conditional. He was Elijah, “if you are willing to accept it.” In other words, Jesus told the nation that John could fulfill the prophecy of Malachi if they would accept him as Elijah. This meant accepting his message of repentance (Matthew 3.1-3). They refused.

While on the mountain where Jesus was transfigured and revealed His glory, Peter, James, and John asked Him about John. Matthew recorded:

10 And His disciples asked Him, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 11 And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist (Matthew 17.10-13).

Jesus’ further clarified John’s role as Elijah. John could have fulfilled Malachi’s prophecy of Elijah if the Jews had accepted him and his message. Since the nation refused to repent, John could not fulfill the prophecy. Therefore, Elijah will have to return.2

The Gospels

What we call by convention the Old Testament ends with a prophecy of the coming of Elijah. As seen above, the Gospels pick up with this prophecy (Luke 1.12-17). What is the significance? We should be alerted to one simple fact: the Gospels are Old Testament. They are as much Old Testament as Genesis, Deuteronomy, or Isaiah. Everything in them is Jewish and pertains to the nation of Israel, the covenant promises, and the coming of the prophesied earthly kingdom of God.

If John’s appearance as Elijah is not sufficient proof the Gospels are Judaism and not Christianity the Scriptures provide additional evidence of this fact.

  1. The environment of the Gospels is the Mosaic Law. Jesus ministered under the Mosaic Law as did the Twelve (Matthew 22.34-40; Mark 10.2-9; 17-22; Luke 5.12-14, 17.11-14, 18.18-22). Paul, however, wrote that Christians are not under the Mosaic Law; we are under the administration of Grace (Romans 6.14). These are two vastly different operating environments.3
  2. Jesus ministered only to Jews.4  Jesus also ordered his disciples not to go to Gentiles but to go to Jews alone (Matthew 10.5-6). In Christianity, Paul went to the Gentiles as the Apostle of the Gentiles (Romans 11.13; 1 Timothy 2.7; 2 Timothy 1.11).
  3. The Church, the body of Christ, is that entity in which Jew and Gentile are equal in Christ. No evidence exists of equality of Jew and Gentiles in the ministry of Jesus or the Twelve. The body of Christ was a new revelation the ascended (as opposed to the earthly) Lord revealed to the Apostle Paul (Ephesians 2.11-22, 3.1-7). Jesus did not reveal this truth in His earthly ministry. Paul alone wrote about the Church, the body of Christ; Paul alone wrote to Gentiles.
  4. No one was known as a Christian inside the borders of Israel during the ministry of Jesus or before the salvation of Paul. Those who believed the gospel of the kingdom, that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, were known as followers of the Way (Acts 9.2, 19.9, 23, 22.4, 24.14, 22). They were not Christians. Christianity did not begin within the borders of Israel; it began outside its borders. Paul was saved outside Israel on his way to Damascus (Acts 9.3-6). Believers first became known as Christians in Antioch, not Jerusalem (Acts 11.25-26).
  5. Paul declared he was the founder of Christianity (1 Corinthians 3.10-11; 1 Timothy 1.15-16). He stated he received the doctrines of Christianity from the ascended, glorified Lord.5  Paul called these doctrines “secrets” (μυστήριον) for they were unrevealed in the Lord’s earthly ministry and unknown to the Twelve. The Twelve learned of them later from Paul but continued to confine their ministry to Jews (Galatians 2.7-9). No Biblical record exists of any of the Twelve ministering to Gentiles.

Conclusion

The Gospels are Old Testament. They snap onto Malachi as easily as two lego blocks. After 400 years of silence, God moved suddenly and miraculously with the birth of John, the birth of Jesus, and the proclamation of the long-awaited kingdom of God. Indeed, even after 2,000 years, Jews understand Elijah must come before the Messiah. This is why they leave a chair vacant for him when they celebrate their Passover seder.

Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus spoke and taught chiefly about one thing: the kingdom of God. Every parable He taught was about the kingdom of God. When His disciples asked Him how to pray, He told them to pray, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6.10). This was the earthly kingdom God had revealed to the prophets. In it, the wolf will dwell with the lamb and the leopard will lie down with the kid (Isaiah 11.2). War will end (Isaiah 11.9). The Lord Himself will rule as King (Zechariah 14.9). Nothing in Jewish theology proclaimed a heavenly kingdom and the Jews had no hope of dying and going to heaven. They certainly had no concept of a kingdom in the hearts of men. Their hope was earthly. The idea of a heavenly kingdom or a kingdom in the hearts of men are but fanciful creations of those who do not know their Bibles. They are projections forced upon the text.

Jesus also taught the other great subject of the Old Testament: the wrath of God. He warned of the deception that would come in the person of the Antichrist (Matthew 24.4-5, 11, 14) and warned the Jews of this terrible time which He called the Tribulation and what Jeremiah called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30.7). He specifically warned and commanded them to flee to the mountains when they saw the abomination of desolation revealed by Daniel (Daniel 11.31, 12.11; Matthew 24.15-21).

1 The technical beginning of the “Old Testament” or “Old Covenant” is the advent of the Mosaic Law (Exodus 20).
2 See the author’s studies, John the Baptist as Elijah and The Two Witnesses.
3 See the author’s study, Paul and the Law.
4 Jesus made a couple of exceptions to His rule. See the author’s study, Two Remarkable Healings.
5 See the author’s studies, Paul: Chief of Sinners? and Paul’s Mystery.

©2014 Don Samdahl. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold.


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99 Responses to Are the Gospels Christian?

  1. courtney king says:

    Dear Bro. Samdahl, all of your articles are outstanding and greatly needed. We love all your articles, God bless You

  2. matt c says:

    If the apostles were clueless to the gospel being preached to the gentiles, then why did Jesus tell them to go into all nations and preach the gospel to every creature? He also told them to do that until the end of the present age. Did Jesus change his mind or suspend that command with the rejection of Israel and the saving and calling of Paul? My pastor (who is a Pauline dispensationalist as well) teaches that the kingdom was to go through Israel then branch out to the other areas, but when the Jews rejected it, then God commissioned Paul. However it seems Israel already rejected Jesus and He chose his twelve to start his church based on Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. Jesus wept over Jerusalem because they rejected their king. Any help you can give is great, as I am trying to understand this whole version of dispensationalism.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Matt,
      See Acts 1.8 and compare it with Acts 8.1. Jesus gave the apostles an order of evangelism. Jerusalem had to come first and that we why we find the Twelve there in Acts 8.1. Israel was supposed to be the channel of blessing to Gentiles but they refused this role in rejecting the Messiah. Israel will succeed in this role in the future (see Matthew 24.14). Peter appealed to the nation (Acts 2-3) to repent but they did not. After Stephen was stoned it was clear they would not respond. In grace, God saved Paul to go to Gentiles.

  3. John Duryea says:

    Don,
    Great article. Thank you. When I read the Gospels in the light of this understanding, it makes better sense.
    So the command to preach the kingdom to the whole world actually meant the whole world? But before they could do that, Israel had to first receive the good news and believe, repent, and be baptized?
    But if the preaching of the kingdom of God and the promise of the restored kingdom of God “on earth” was only for the Jews, why was there the command to also preach that message to Gentiles (the whole world) whose destiny was heavenly and not earthly?
    Still a little foggy on that.
    John

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      John,
      Thank you. Yes, they were to preach to the whole world after Israel had received it and repented. This was the Old Testament kingdom program. Gentiles were to be blessed through Israel. God had not revealed the Church, the body of Christ, its heavenly destiny, etc. God revealed all this to Paul after it became clear Israel would not repent and could not be the source of salvation and blessing of Gentiles. See Zechariah 8.20-23. This will be fulfilled in the Messianic kingdom and Gentiles will be blessed by Israel in a future day. The Church, however, will have other, heavenly blessings. Our citizenship is heavenly, not earthly (Philippians 3.20).

  4. I did on post on rightly dividing the books of the New Testament, showing where the Gospels, General Epistles (Hebrews-Jude), and Revelation are all doctrinally speaking to the Jews about prophetic truth in the tribulation and Kingdom while the Pauline epistles are written to Gentiles that are “under grace”.

    Are there any NT books not written TO us?
    http://av1611studyblog.blogspot.com/2014/12/are-there-any-nt-books-not-written-to-us.html

    By the way, some folks believe that because Christ told the 12 apostles to go to “all nations” and “every creature” that He must have been giving out truth of the present dispensation of grace, however, the Jewish “gospel of the kingdom” was to go to “all nations” as well (Matt. 24:13-14).

    Matthew 24:
    [13] But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
    [14] And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

    The key verses in understanding Christ’s doctrine/audience during the Gospels would be John 1:11, Matthew 10:5-6, Matthew 15:22-26, and Romans 15:8….

    John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

    Matthew 10:5-6 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

    Matthew 15:22-26 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.

    Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:

    Great post, –bro. Eli “Hoss” Caldwell

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Thanks Hoss.

      • Eddie Meltzer says:

        Hi.When a commentors name is in blue and clickable,does it mean that u acknowledges it as a sound place to study the Bible?

        Thank u SO much for this amazing website.

        Eddie

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Eddie,
          Not necessarily. These may be because of pingbacks and trackbacks which I think are turned on. May need to take a look at this. If I approve a comment with a link in it is usually ok but does not mean I necessarily endorse it.

  5. Calvin Wolfe says:

    “No Biblical record exists of any of the Twelve ministering to Gentiles”
    What of Peter & Cornelius?
    “Paul alone wrote about the Church, the body of Christ; Paul alone wrote to Gentiles.”
    What about Mt 16:18 and 18:17?
    “…the Gospels contain no Christianity. This may be shocking but it is true. Not one word of Christianity exists in the Gospels. The Gospels are all Jewish. They contain only Judaism–Jewish theology”.
    Surely you cannot say this about the Gospel of John!

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Calvin,
      Peter’s visit to Cornelius was not a ministry. It was a one-time event. We have no record of the Twelve going to Gentiles. According to the agreement at the Council of Jerusalem, the 12 ceded Gentile ministry to Paul (Galatians 2.7-9). The word translated “church” is ἐκκλησία which means a group of people. Its particular sense is determined by context. For example, Luke used the term in Acts 19.32 for a mob. Jesus’ words in Matthew 18.17 are not words that refer to the Church, the body of Christ, in which Jew and Gentile are equal in Christ. In that passage Jesus stated that if the sinning brother did not respond he should be treated as a Gentile. No equality here! What verses in John do you think are Christian?

      • Calvin Wolfe says:

        Thank you for your response. It has brought me to a new, deeper understanding of the Gospels.
        One verse that comes to mind immediately in John’s Gospel is 14:6. This verse and the “two covenant theology” would seem to be more Christian than Jewish.
        Just a thought.
        Thank again.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Calvin,
          Thank you. There is no “two covenant theology.” The only way one can be saved is through Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) until God restores the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 24.14) after He removes the Church. All are saved by the same Lord. The content of the gospel changes depending on the time and circumstances of God’s program.

  6. courtney king says:

    Dear Bro. Don, Thank you so much your articles are so greatly appreciated, i would like to ask you in your opinion after the gospels what are the remaining book order and possible dates they were written? I know this is a
    lot but really needed thank you again and may the Lord Christ Jesus bless you and all your house

  7. KJ says:

    On Matthew McGee’s site he states “At the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, God placed that dispensation (Kingdom) in abeyance in 70 AD, to be resumed in the future tribulation.”

    If one take the suspension of the kingdom dispensation at the destruction of the 2nd temple; would that not imply that the 3rd temple needs to be in place before resuming that dispensation? Since all dispensations have some overlap – would that not imply the ending of the Grace Dispensation (rapture of church) need to occur, only when the kingdom dispensation is ready to resume?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      KJ,
      There is room for overlap which is what we find in Acts. I think 70 A.D. was the absolute termination of the kingdom program. It had been in decline since the stoning of Stephen. The gospel of the kingdom ended at the Jerusalem Council. Going forward, I do not think any Scriptural necessity exists that requires the Tribulation to begin immediately following the Rapture of the Church. A period of time may exist for the Beast to become known and established to make the 7 year treaty.

  8. CIG says:

    Off topic…I would like to use your sites as a basis of bible studies series at church.

    1. Do you mind us using your work as a basis of study?
    2. In what order would you recommend we do so (there will be 8 classes)

    Thanks for everything you do.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      CIG,
      Thank you.
      1. I do not mind at all.
      2. You know your own situation so adapt my materials to meet your needs. The only general comment I would make is that until one sees that Paul’s ministry was unique–completely different from the 12, one cannot comprehend his theology. In my latest piece, A Conversation With Paul, I try to “package” Paul’s ministry in a way for one to see Paul not as the 13th apostle or an extension of the 12 but one through whom God gave special revelation unknown by the 12.

  9. William says:

    Excellent! It is interesting to note that in all of Paul’s writings to the Gentile churches in which he was an apostle. He does not write or speak at all about Jesus Earthly ministry except to say that “Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:” Rom 15:8. Only three direct things does he bring up about Jesus ministry to the Jews. His Betrayal 1 Cor 11:23, The Lords Supper 1 Cor 11:24,25 and Jesus before Pilate 1 Tim 6:13.

    Thanks for you great work here! I have learned so much from your scholarship of the Bible.

  10. Marc says:

    Hello Doctrine.org

    All I can say is Wow and ‘Thank You’. I never realized the truth between the 12 and Paul. Six weeks ago my father suffered a major heart attack and went home to be with the Lord. Some of the last words my father shared with me a week before his passing were…”Son..you need to rightly divide the Word…promise me you will at least look into it and see what Paul has to say to us”. I didn’t think much about it at the time but have been deep in study over the last month regarding your doctrine.org website. My life is forever changed. Thank you soooo much.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Marc,
      Thank you. Comments such as yours make everything I do worthwhile. Your father gave you a great gift while dying and am I sure you have pleased him immensely. Grace and peace.

  11. CIG says:

    12 From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.

    What violence is Jesus referring to?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      CIG,
      I take this to mean the resistance of the professional theologians to the gospel of the kingdom and Jesus’ teachings. Note the context of v.6 and the rejection of John the Baptist.

  12. Bruce W says:

    Don,

    The fact that most of so-called Christiandom doesn’t understand the scriptures obviously tells us that they are not only deceived, most likely they don’t know God. Those who know Christ can through careful study, prayer and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit rightly divide and comprehend the word of God.

    Why Christianity wants to be “quasi-Jewish” is obviously a satanic plot to snuff out the Gospel truth. The scriptures are clear that the Jews failed miserably to obey God, his commandments and bring his truths to a lost world and suffered the consequences for it. Yet, when God handed the baton of Grace to his church to do what Israel could not do, the so-called church dropped it out of the starting gate.

    It’s so pertinent in these last days to get out the true Gospel to this lost and dying world as well as the apostate church. It’s an uphill battle at this point but nothing is impossible with God. I’m very grateful for your incredible insights into God’s word and your determined willingness to share them freely with us all.

    May God Bless you richly in all of your endeavors.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Bruce,
      Thanks as always for your kind words. You are exactly right.

    • Vanessa says:

      Hello Bruce,
      My Husband and I have only just recently discovered the truth but were saved under the Charasmatic Movement some 40 years ago. God in his Mercy rescued us and we are so very very grateful to God. Now that we see and understand the word soooo much more clearer we have sadly discovered that we are unable to share this with others as they will not listen. We are now really alone and have found no church to fellowship with. When I say we have no fellowship with others its the absolute truth. Its just me and my Husband and the Holy Spirit and Don and Stams Books and a few other sites on Google. We have downloaded most of Les Feldicks sermons. Should the internet go down we will then only have our printed articles. All of our ex friends have become Hebrew Roots. They went from Charasmatics straight into Hebew Roots and we are but just a very small country in Africa compared to the States and others so you get an idea of how small the true church really is. Take care.

  13. Georgw says:

    Hi can you please explain the gospel of God in 1 peter ch 4? Is this the gospel of the grace of God?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Georgw,
      No. In 1 Peter 4.6, Peter wrote to Jews (1 Peter 1.1) about Jews who had died believing the gospel of the Old Testament or the gospel of the kingdom.

  14. George says:

    hi bro Don, can you please explain to me Romans 2:16. How could Pauls gospel of grace judge and cross over to men outside the gospel of grace? This scripture is also used by the bereans to justify that all men will be judged by grace through faith only, and works never are mixed with the grace gospel thus eliminating gospel of kingdom works requirements, what is your take on this? ps. Bereans who believe only in grace through faith beginning at genesis and ending in revelation, will also state that Peter said that following the mosaic law was a yoke they ” Israel ” could never bare and that they ” Israel” were saved as the Gentiles by grace through faith! Some grace pastors say works cannot be mixed with grace, but can work be mixed with faith for salvation?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      George,
      I think what Paul meant by this is that his gospel emphasized the work of Christ. It was Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection that solved the problem of man’s sin and satisfied the justice of God. The OT Jews had to keep the Law and exercise faith. But the animal sacrifices could not solve the sin problem. The gospel of the kingdom focused upon Christ’s identity, not His work. So, ultimately, all will be judge by Paul’s gospel

  15. George says:

    Thanks for clearing that up, it makes logic sense the way you put it. But what a out romans 3:20-28, how would you reconcile that passage between the kingdom and grace gospels? In other words does grace in the ot eliminate the requirement of works. Was Abraham eternally secure when he believed Gods promise and the works that followed were just a product of that faith, or was Abrahams faith dependent upon him doing the work that followed. That of sacrificing his son?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      George,
      God has always operated on the basis of grace. But it achieves an enhanced operational status under God’s revelations to Paul. Abraham seems to have been an exception. Abraham was justified when he believed God, not later. We do not find justification by faith alone in the OT or gospels. Salvation includes two components: a manward side and a Godward side. The manward side is to believe what God has revealed. The Godward side is the work of Christ. God was satisfied with the work of His Son. God is satisfied with man’s obedience–to believe and/or do what He has said. If God told you that you could be saved by doing three jumping jacks, faith would respond by doing three jumping jacks.

  16. Interesting.

    Concerning Matthew 11:7-15, there is no “catch.”

    Jesus said clearly John WAS Elias of the Malachi prophecy.

    “For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.”

    “For this is he of whom it is written.”

    When Jesus says “IF you will receive it, this is Elias…”, He had already established John WAS Elias of the prophecy. IF the Jews would receive John as Elias, they would also receive Jesus as Messiah.

    They did not receive either John or Jesus.

    Jesus was not a conditional Messiah: He was the Christ of the prophecies regardless of whether the Jews acknowledged Him or not.

    Likewise, John was Elijah of the prophecy regardless of whether the Jews acknowledged him as so or not.

    Again, very interesting piece.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Jeremiah,
      John’s fulfillment of Elijah’s ministry was conditional as Jesus stated (Matthew 11.14). Please see also, John the Baptist as Elijah.

  17. Walumbing- Samuel says:

    I like the article. Books of Christian traditions and Apocryphas show that Apostle Thomas die in India, Apostle Jude die in Armenia, Apostle Marc die in Egypt, Apostle Barnabas in Malta, Apostle Philip in Bulgaria, Apostle Peter and Paul in Rome….etc. It is not only Apostle Paul who went to gentiles. All these books, you reject in consideration of Bible alone. Ok, I agree with you, let us go into the Bible : Acts 15 : 7. Apostle Peter in front of Paul and all others put it clear that:” God chose him and from his mouth the gentiles received the words of God.” This single verse break all Protestants claim that Apostle Paul alone converted the gentiles. Please I expect more clarification from you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Walumbing-Samuel,
      The Biblical record is Peter went to one Gentile, Cornelius, and his family (Acts 10-11). That visit was under protest and did not constitute a ministry to Gentiles. We have no record of Peter evangelizing Gentiles again. See Galatians 2.7-9.

      • Walumbinga- Samuel says:

        Dear Sir, Biblical record about Peter to gentiles is overwhelming. Let me quote them:-1/ Acts15:7, 2/ Acts 10:25-27, Peter in Babylon establishing church over there: 3/ 1 Peter 5:12-13, the most blatant is the vision about foods :4/ Acts10: 10-16. These are more than enough to show that Peter, the Elder and the Apostle organized, sent and went himself to preach the gentiles.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Walumbinga-Samuael,
          The verses you cite are one event–Peter going to the house of Cornelius. A visit to one Gentile family does not indicate a ministry. Peter wrote to Jews in 1 Peter (see 1 Peter 1.1). The text does not state Peter went to Babylon. He may have but it does not say so. He wrote that the believers there greeted Peter’s readers. It is likely Peter never left the borders of Israel. Even if he did go to Babylon, he went to minister to Jews, not Gentiles. Jews taken there after Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion remained. The Scriptures explicitly declare that Peter and the Twelve ministered to Jews only (see also Galatians 2.7-9). No Scripture supports the idea Peter had a ministry to Gentiles.

  18. AL says:

    I’m amazed that this site has the TRUTH that the Gospels are OLD Covenant ! !

  19. mark says:

    Thank you for your articles, they are very helpful. I agree with what you have stated, although I never have understood if Christ’s was the “gospel of the Kingdom” how can Jn 3;16 be refering to his death, burial and res. for all mankind? Please give as detailed of answer as possible. Thank you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Mark,
      The gospels only contain the “gospel of the kingdom.” John 3.16 was that gospel. The “Son of man being lifted up” was not understood as His crucifixion until afterwards. The significance of Christ’s death on the cross was not revealed until the risen Lord revealed it to Paul who revealed it to all. Had the Twelve understood it, Peter would have proclaimed it at Pentecost. John 3.16 is meaningless for salvation today unless one interprets it in light of Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4).

      • mark says:

        Thank you for your response but I’m still confused about John 3.16. “….that He gave His only begotten Son”….”that whosoever believeth in him”….I realize that believing He was the promised Messiah, the Son of God was all that was required then, versus our belief now that He is the Son of God that died for our sins and rose from the dead. But, “that He gave His only begotten Son” still refers to the Cross, doesn’t it? How does this fit with the gospel of the kingdom? Also, John 1.29…” Behold the Lamb of God which taketh way the sin of the world” Thank you so much for your time. Mark

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Mark,
          It refers to the cross but was not understood when Jesus spoke the words to Nicodemus. Only through Paul was the significance of Christ’s death on the cross revealed. Jesus said things that were not understood (cf. Luke 18.31-34). His “whoever believes in Him” was believing who He was, the Messiah. That was what was required for salvation faith according to the gospel of the kingdom. As for John 1.29, see my article, The Christian Myth.

          • Roger Spielmann says:

            Interesting discussion. One question: in the Kingdom message, wasn’t following the Law also required? Jesus was Torah observant and expected his followers to be as well. In Matthew 19:1-3 he told his disciples to reverently follow what the Pharisees taught (but not to behave as they do). As I understand the discussion in this forum, that seems to be the difference between the Kingdom message and Paul’s religion.

            A related note, I was encouraged to read James again, this time substituting “the Law” for “works” (as a number of Greek exegetes contend). Reading “works” as “the Law’ seems to put James’ and Paul’s differences at extreme odds. James certainly saw Paul as a false teacher, wouldn’t you agree?

            And, yes, I did read the article on Paul and James.

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Roger,
              Yes, under the kingdom message Law observance was required. James did not see Paul as a false teacher. Had he, we would have a record in Acts 15 and later in Acts 21. James agreed to Paul’s gospel. What James could not understand was that the Law was over. He probably never grasped Paul’s doctrines,i.e., “secrets.”

              • Jesse H says:

                You are saying a lot to say that James never understood Paul. Perhaps too much. James clearly understands that we’ve been brought forth from God, Ja1:18.

                • doctrine doctrine says:

                  Jesse H,
                  James was a legalist. He did not understand Paul. Read Acts 21.17-25. James wrote to Jews and never had a ministry to Gentiles. Peter, even at the end of his life, wrote that Paul was difficult to understand. What Paul taught was completely unknown by the prophets. There is no Church in the OT. No blinding of Israel, no Rapture, etc. Everything Paul taught was new revelation. See my articles, Why Paul? and Paul’s “Mystery”.

  20. Roger Spielmann says:

    Here’s what I’m trying to understand. If the teachings and parable were TO the Jews and FOR the Jews, what value should they have in a Christian’s life? By that I mean, Paul cared little about the life, teachings, miracles and virgin birth of Jesus of Nazareth. It logically follows, then, that if we are to follow Paul’s gospel, then we, too, ought not to pay much attention to the teachings and miracles of Jesus, right? In fact, why read the gospels at all? Paul didn’t seem to care about the historical Jesus, so why should we?

    I struggle with these things, as does “most of Christendom” (as you wrote previously). Why do *you* read the gospels? Why not just read Paul’s letters? If the teachings and parables of Jesus are not *for* us, then why read them? For example, since all of the teachings are related to the Kingdom program, then they have no relevance for Christians today. If you believe that we should still read the teachings and parables of Jesus (perhaps to find “nuggets of moral truth” that can help us get through this life), well, none of those teachings are unique to Jesus of Nazareth so why not read them from the source(s) from which they derive? Paul never refers to them (not even the virgin birth), so why should Christians care about these things today? See the dilemma? And why be called Christians and not Paulinites? Are Christians followers of Christ or followers of Paul?

    Yes, I understand you believe that Paul’s gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-4) is the only “real” way to salvation and that the teachings of Jesus about the Kingdom are no longer relevant (and that “most of Christendom” has got it wrong — i.e.doomed to hell), so why pay attention to this Jesus of Nazareth at all (except that he lived died and was resurrected)?

    Thank you for helping me with this.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Roger,
      The answer is Romans 15.4 and 1 Corinthians 10.11. The gospels are Old Testament. They concern God’s program for Israel which is what James and Peter continued. Christians follow Christ through Paul even as Jews followed God through Moses (1 Corinthians 11.1). Paul received revelation from the risen Christ. This is what Christians should focus upon. The earthly ministry of Christ is helpful in the same way as reading Jeremiah or Isaiah, etc. See 2 Corinthians 5.16.

  21. George says:

    Hi bro Don, why did Our ressurected Jesus tell Paul to continue the tradition of the Lords supper, which was instituted with the apostles in Jesus’s earthly ministry. Is this case the exeption to the rule?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      George,
      The Lord’s work on the cross solved the problem of sin and death. That work transcended all God’s programs. Hence, it is to be remembered and celebrated by believers in anticipation of His return. While most in Christendom teach that water baptism and the Lord’s supper are sacraments, they have nothing in common. Water baptism ended as a Scriptural Christian practice by the time Paul wrote Ephesians. Paul received special revelation about keeping the Lord’s supper (1 Corinthians 11.23-26) and he received special revelation from the Lord that water baptism had ended (1 Corinthians 1.17; Ephesians 4.5).

  22. George says:

    Thanks, so the Lord’s supper which is not the passover meal, but an another late night meal, commerorating jesus’s sacrifice for the jews with bread and juice and was not to be repeated until Jesus would come back at his 2nd coming for them, whereas for paul and the body of christ, this meal which transformed into a potluck communion meal and not one of just bread and juice, would be commemorating the unity of the body of christ because of our saviour’s sacrifice on the cross for our sins, we would do this as often as we would like right up until the rapture, is this statement true and would do you agree with this assessment ?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      George,
      The Lord’s supper transcends God’s program to Israel and His program to Gentiles, specifically, the Church, the body of Christ. Jews (in Judaism) do not partake in the Lord’s supper because they do not recognize Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. But they will. When the Church is removed, the Lord’s supper will be instituted for them. In the meantime, it is practiced by Jew and Gentiles as members of the body of Christ. The “return” of Christ for the Church is the Rapture. The “return” of Christ for nation Israel is His 2nd coming (at the end of the Tribulation).

    • joe says:

      George uses the word ‘juice’.
      does ‘wine’ mean juice or wine?

      Paul, I believe, tells Timothy that teachers should not be ‘given to wine’ . Preachers/teachers can’t drink grape juice?

      • doctrine doctrine says:

        Joe,
        There was no unfermented juice in the ancient world. Not until refrigeration and pasteurization was this possible.

  23. Brian T. says:

    Hello,
    If the Gospels are Old Testament (Old Covenant), which I do agree with and understand, what would be considered New Testament outside of Paul’s Epistles?
    Thank you for helping so many people understand our Gospel. You do a great service and I learn as much from the comments as I do from the articles.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Brian,
      The designations OT and NT are in some ways unfortunate conventions. Technically, the OT does begin until Exodus 20. So what should we call what comes before? The definition of the OT is the Mosaic Law; the NT is the New Covenant. This nomenclature is not particularly helpful in terms of categorizing the writings. The New Covenant was inaugurated at the last supper and the Church participates in its blessings, for those blessings come as a result of Christ’s death and resurrection. But the New Covenant will not be fulfilled until the Messianic kingdom, when the Lord reigns upon the earth, because the prophets made it clear the NC was made with Israel.

  24. Nicola Dalbenzio says:

    When I studied ‘history of the word ‘church’ I learned a few things that clarified some issues.
    The Jews had called themselves the congregation of the Lord, assembly of God, etc, for centuries. The word ecclesia, which meant assembly or congregation, continued to be used by them in writings. They never changed what they called themselves and did not come up with a new word, church. They did, however, add ‘congregation of Christ and the Lord’ in one passage. What Jesus said was ‘upon this rock I will build my assembly’. The Greeks also used the word ecclesia for assembly and congregation at that time. The word ‘church’ evolved over 1400 yrs from kuriokon, found elsewhere in scripture. It had evolved first, to mean building, then those in the building. You can google kuriokon. King James commanded translators to insert it where ecclesia was found, as a political move to appeased the Protestants, who preferred it. Some have tried to link late latin, but that was 100-300AD, way before the evolution of church from kuriokon. Translations can be found that still do not use the word church. The Jews also never renamed themselves as christian. They always knew they were the congregation of God and had no reason to change that, they simply recognized and followed the messiah. Our modern bibles insert church and christian everywhere, and most of us do not realize it was not the intent of the authors. Practice saying congregation where you read church, and saints, believers, brothers, etc where you see christian. You will become aware of the cohesive timeline.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Nicola,
      Context determines meaning. The word ἐκκλησία means a group of people. What that group is is determined by its context. In Acts 19, it was a mob and a court. How ἐκκλησία is translated and understood is determined by its historical context, i.e., what Jesus, Paul, Stephen, Luke, etc. meant when they used the word. For example, Paul’s “church” is the body of Christ which is wholly different from the Jewish assembly of Matthew 16 and Acts 15.

      • Nicola Dalbenzio says:

        I understand ecclesia means assembly, congregation, called out, and the type of assembly is either provided as well, or as in many instances it is understood (ex congregation at Corinth we know refers to congregation of believers).
        Aside from this, ‘church’ evolved from kuriokon, not ecclesia, and was not in common use til 1400’s.
        Also, the term ‘christian’ is found 3 times in scripture, by others,
        never by the authors in reference to themselves or other believers

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Nicola,
          I fail to see your point. Since kuriokon does not occur in the Bible, are you saying churches do not exist or this is an illegitimate term? The primary point is that the ἐκκλησία Paul taught was the body of Christ, wholly different than the ἐκκλησία of the gospels and Peter. Paul said the ἐκκλησία he taught was a secret, unknown before it was revealed to him by the risen Lord. As for “Christian,” believers were not called this until after Paul was saved. They were first called this in Antioch, outside the borders of Israel. Thus, it was primarily associated with believers of Paul’s gospel and then began to be expanded. Peter used the term much later, probably about 65 A.D. (1 Peter 4.6). Those who believed Jesus was the Messiah under the gospel of the kingdom were known as followers of “the way,” not Christians.

  25. David says:

    Mr. Samdahl, after telling a friend recently of my belief in mid-acts right division he told me this… “to say that the 4 gospels were for the Jews is devoid of reality. They were a staple in every church’s teaching, including all of the ones whom received letters from Paul, Timothy and Titus. It is a theological view that contradicts reality.”

    Is he correct in saying that they were a staple in every church’s teaching? How would you respond to this statement? I don’t necessarily intend to continue this discussion with him as he seems unwilling to even consider the possibility he could be wrong, but I was hoping to get your take on his statement for my own edification. Thanks.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      David,
      To not recognize the Gospels are Jewish is blindness. No Gentile ministry exists in the Gospels with a couple exceptions (see my article, Two Remarkable Healings). Furthermore, no Gentile ministry existed among the 12, even after the Lord’s resurrection. Having said this, your friend is correct in stating the gospels were a staple in every church’s teaching. What is meant by this? Did Gentile churches teach from the gospels? Of course they did. Paul wrote all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable. This includes the OT which was a staple also. The problem is to recognize what is Church doctrine and what is not. Paul was the founder of Christianity. All Scripture is profitable and for the Church, but not all Scripture is to the Church. The apostasy began in Paul’s day. Paul, though he expended a huge amount of effort in Asia, lost it (2 Timothy 1.15). This means he lost the Galatian, Ephesian, and Colossian churches. He lost them to a syncretism of Pauline truth and legalism. Paul wrote the Galatians to try and turn them from this poison. Whatever their immediate response, they ended up turning from Paul and grace. That is largely the situation that exists today in Christendom. Today, 90% of churches spend 90% of their time in the Gospels. Paul is hardly taught. Yet Paul is the founder of the Church. But most people are clueless about this. Christendom has stolen what pertains to Israel and incorporated into Church doctrine. That is why so much confusion exists.

      • Becky says:

        Hi Don,

        I knew it! I knew it! I loved this article! For years I was taught (by my dad) that the bible contained a different message for Jews than “the Church” and stressed that we must always ‘rightly divide’ scripture and not apply what belongs to the Jew to the Church, etc. However, after his passing, I had to learn on my own so I yearned to find a place of fellowship and for help with scriptures. I’ve yet to find one that doesn’t make jumbled mess out the bible, Currently, I attend a church that believes/teaches that the Lord’s death, which resulted in the veil being torn, has joined the “Old and the New” into one as well as the Jew to the Gentile, hence, the OT and NT is ‘for’ and ‘to’ “the Church.” Naturally, this means that all scripture can now be overlapped and intertwined and administered to church goers. (I can see how this practice lead Christendom to come up with all sorts of crazy doctrine that has resulted in mass confusion and conflicting views).

        Since our Lord’s death joined Jew and Gentile aren’t all Jewish observances applicable to the Church (i.e., circumcision, water baptism, etc.)? I don’t believe this to be true but would like to hear your thoughts.

        Also, is the “new man” in Eph 2:15 referring to the God Man Jesus who reconciled humankind to God as he is both man and spirit or does it pertain to the joining of Jew and Gentile in the body of one new man, Jesus? I think it’s Jesus the God Man but the pulpit teaches the latter at our church. (I once questioned the differences between Jesus’ and Pauline messages but the pastor told me to study Ephesians and encouraged me not to separate the messages when studying scripture; what God has joined let no man tear asunder . . . or words to that effect.).

        Also, what’s the difference between the ‘kingdom of heaven’ and ‘kingdom of God?’ The ‘kingdom of heaven’ is only mentioned in Matthew and my dad taught it was for Israel, but I don’t remember what he said it was different from the kingdom of God.

        Your articles are greatly appreciated. I am so blessed to have found your website.

        Becky

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Becky,
          Jewish observances were under the Mosaic Law. Paul taught we are not under Law but under grace. See my article, Paul and the Law. The new man is the body of Christ in which God has removed the distinctions between Jew and Gentile. On the kingdom question, see my article, The Kingdom of God.

  26. John O'Dair says:

    Fantastic article , it has only been a couple of years or so that the light came on and I began to understand rightly dividing the word of truth and realized the Gospels were primarily for the Jews . For instance the latter half of the sermon on the mount is the Mosaic law on steroids given by Jesus in hope of bringing the legalists and Pharisees to futility and accepting the grace and salvation that would soon be revealed at His death , burial and resurrection , also it was given to them in order to deny them any wiggle room in thinking that they had actually kept the law .

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      John,
      Thank you. Everything in the gospels concerns the kingdom of God on earth which God promised the Jews (cf. Matthew 6.10). The Sermon on the Mount is a description of kingdom life–what life will be like when Christ reigns.

  27. mark says:

    Good evening
    Once the Church is removed (raptured) how are people to be saved that are left behind? Is it by believing Pauls gospel, Christ’s death, burial and res., or believing that Christ was the promised Messiah and the Son of God (Peter’s confession)?
    Thank you sincerely for your ministry.

    Mark

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Mark,
      A time overlap existed when both the gospel of the kingdom and the gospel of the grace of God were valid: from Paul’s receipt of his gospel until the Council of Jerusalem. See The Great Hinge. When the Church is removed there may be another overlap. A lot depends on whether there will be a gap of time before the 7 years begins and the revelation of the Beast. I deal with this in When Will the Lord Return? If there is a gap, Paul’s gospel will fade off the scene and be replaced by the gospel of the kingdom. That gospel will be in place when the Lord returns (Matthew 24.14).

  28. Joyce Leslie says:

    I have a question. If the Jews had not rejected their messiah, would all of us now be under Mosaic law?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Joyce,
      If the Jews had accepted the Messiah the kingdom would have come and the Mosaic Law would have been instituted to govern Israel under the power of the New Covenant. It was never God’s intent to bring Gentiles under the Mosaic Law. He gave it to Israel, not to Gentiles (Romans 9.4; Ephesians 2.12).

  29. George says:

    Hello Bro Don, you are one of a kind when answering all types of online Bible questions! Here is another, if you don’t mind, in the great comission in Matthew the apostles are told to go to all nations, that obviously includes gentile nations, were the apostles only to preach to Jews only, in those other nations, it seems so as Peter way after in Acts 10 kept on insisting it was not lawful for a Jew to be with a gentile, in yout mind how do you reconcile This seemingly contradiction between Jesus’s instructions and Peter’s unwillingness to follow through?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      George,
      The Lord issued the “Great Commission” under the presumption Israel would repent. Had they, the kingdom would have come and the prophetic plan concerning Israel’s role to Gentiles would have been fulfilled, i.e., Zechariah 8.20-23. Peter did not want to go the Cornelius’ house because he understood Israel still needed to repent.

  30. Joyce Leslie says:

    I’m still confused.

    When Christ died, He fulfilled all the OC rituals, ceremonies, such as feast days, Sabbath, animal sacrifices, etc, since He is the substance and these were only shadows.
    So if the Jews had accepted Him as Messiah would the Jews still keep these rituals, ceremonies, sacrifices since they were part of the mosaic law, or would they also be under grace? If Christs death ended the mosaic law then why would a converted Jew be expected to keep it?. IOW would a converted Jew be under grace, or faith plus law.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Joyce,
      Israel in the kingdom will celebrate its feasts, festivals, keep the Law, offer animal sacrifices, etc. These things will look backward rather than forward and will be commemorative.

  31. Eddie Meltzer says:

    Hi.I started truly believing in LORD Jesus just recently and since I havent been able to find either a real Bible nor a biblical ministry here in Norway I have to get my preaching and Bible-reading in english online!I`m sure u can imagine how confusing and disorienting that can be…
    But when I “stumbled”(with Gods will,I`m sure…)upon one of ur articles it just resonated very well,even though it was contradictory to much of what I already thought to be true!
    All this is SO much to take in that I would like u to boil it down for me,-am I,as a gentile supposed to care equally for the whole Bible or focus more on everything Paul wrote?
    I`m sure u already have said something about this but its a lot to take in all at once.
    U see,I havent read through the whole Bible yet and I want to concentrate on the most important(I know the whole Book is very important!) parts first,before reading all of it.
    -if that makes sense?
    I`m am looking forward to ur response and thanks for doing all that u r doing for people to find the true God Almighty.
    God bless us all.

    Eddie M.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Eddie,
      Thank you for your wonderful testimony. All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for us (2 Timothy 3.16; 1 Corinthians 10.11; Romans 10.4). But Paul’s letters contain the doctrine to the Church, the body of Christ. Others have expressed this as “all Scripture is for us but not all Scripture is to us. It is critical that believers know not only what the Bible says but what it does not say. The root of confusion in Christendom is the confusion of God’s prophetic program with His program known as the Church. Keep these programs separate and contradictions and confusion end. You might enjoy my articles, Jesus vs. Paul, A Conversation With Paul. I lay out the structure of God’s revelation in Framework of Scripture. The article, The Theology of the Old Testament, analyzes God’s program concerning Israel and the nations. The article, Paul’s “Mystery” reveals the doctrines the risen Lord revealed to Paul alone which are the foundation of Church doctrine. May the Lord continue to bless and reveal His truth to you (Ephesians 1.15-23).

  32. Eddie Meltzer says:

    God bless u,sir!
    I am so glad that u have done all this great work.
    I have already started reading conversation with Paul and I look forward to the rest of ur beautiful website.
    I have read some of the comments and answers above and it makes so much sense!!!
    Again,thank u and God bless u.

  33. Hello,
    A lot of people like to hearken to the early church fathers for answers such as Polycarp or Justin Martyr etc.
    Your teaching isn’t visible in any of these writings as far as can remember but they seem to be very Jewish oriented I guess you could say.
    I do not hold to any of these teachers but could you tell me when, outside of the time of Paul, was your particular teaching adhered to or can you show any writings where these ideas that appeared in any other time in church history ? Thanks

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Jeffrey,
      Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1.15 that everyone in Asia had abandoned him. The loss of Pauline doctrine as Church doctrine began in Paul’s lifetime. The book of Galatians graphically demonstrates what was happening. The Galatians were leaving Paul’s doctrines of grace for the Jewish doctrines of the Law. This continued throughout the early Church and explains why there was so much emphasis on baptism, the Mosaic law, etc. The root was nearly 2,000 years ago and its fruit can be seen in almost every church and denomination in Christendom. The evidence is everywhere. Probably 90% of churches spend 90% of their time in the gospels, rather than Paul. The gospels are OT and concern God’s program with Israel. This is the great tragedy of Christendom. It is the reason there is so much confusion.

  34. Marty Nichols says:

    It seems many don’t think the situation described in Galatians and 2 Tim. 1:15 is still present in Christianity. Thanks for all you do for the gospel Don!

  35. Vanessa says:

    Marty thank you for bringing that issue up which has been heavy on my heart of late.
    Don may I ask you, what was it that they turned away from. Paul states “Me”. Did he mean his teachings and if so then were they ever saved. Thank you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Vanessa,
      The book of Galatians is a case study of the problem. They abandoned Paul’s doctrine of grace for the Mosaic Law. They were saved but became legalists. The Galatians were in Asia, so this is what Paul had reference to. Apparently, the Ephesians, Colossians, Laodiceans, the churches of Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, Antioch Psidia, etc. all abandoned Paul’s doctrines of grace. This must have been a heartbreak for Paul since he had spent so much time and effort there. This is why we see the “Church Fathers” writing about the Law and spending all their time in the gospels. Paul was abandoned. Same as today.

  36. Vanessa says:

    The enemy has been working very hard over the last 2000 years. Now I understand why they were accursed. I find it remarkable that we have today so called born again Jews bringing many back under the law and the people lap it up. Sid Roth and Jonathan Cahn. The enemy is cunning by using these men to attract the people. Most Christains find anything Jewish appealing because of the connection to Christ. I am not anti Jewish. Now Avi Lipkin has also joined the ranks and he admits he is not saved but the people buy his books regardless by the thousands and they have him on so many talk radio stations. If you are Jewish and you get saved its a “Wow Factor.” for the Gentiles but in Pauls days if you were a Gentile and you got saved the Jews had the “Wow Factor.” Mirror image. But on a more serious note I pray I never become like them and ask God to keep me from falling. Stay humble and dont get puffed up Vanessa. Take care.

  37. Jesse H says:

    The Gospels are transitional, that’s true, but many have recognized that we have a Matthean Jewish, a Markan Roman, and a Lukan Greek inclination. This doesn’t mean that the Jewish background doesn’t predominate the Synoptics, but it does mean that the Gospels are not OT additions. And John’s gospel is stated to be to the world, not just Jews. John stating that his gospel contains what is necessary to believe for eternal life MUST mean that it contains gospel truth. John 3:16 doesn’t need to be understood in light of 1Cor15, it can stand on its own. Why? Because that’s what John’s gospel says it can do.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Jesse H,
      The gospels were not transitional. Read Romans 15.8. There is nothing in the gospels not in the prophets and covenants. John 3.16 says nothing about Christ’s death or resurrection for salvation. Salvation during the gospels was based upon believing Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God.

    • joe says:

      Jesse,
      To me, the COMMANDMENT by the Lord in Matthew(chapter 10) to the 12 to go ONLY to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and in Chapter 15 to the Canaanite woman (gentile) that his ministry was only to Israel….is not transitional. …maybe I’m wrong.

  38. George says:

    Hello bro Don, when the woman was caught in adultery, Jesus forgave her and told her to sin no more, this in any dispensation all program is impossible to do, what did Jesus exactly mean, was she to follow the law and the sacrifices?, trust Jesus as messiah and wait for the filling of the Holy Spirit ? Obviously it wasn’t the gospel of Paul? Please shed some light, thank you

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      George,
      God always admonishes and encourages His people not to sin. For salvation, during Christ’s earthly ministry, people were to believe Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. As such, they were to keep the Law.

  39. Randy Ross says:

    Hi Don,
    I’ve been learning and studying from Les Feldick for over 10 years now, and also from you for about a year. I have yet to hear him or anyone talk about something that jumped out at me during my bible study in the gospel of Mark, specifically 3:20-31.
    I noticed that whenever Jesus went into a house, the scripture tells who’s house it is, except here in Mark it states”a house”, without specifics. It says the crowd was responsible for He and the disciples not being able to eat. It also adds that the teachers of the law came down from Jerusalem. Mark 3:21 (NIV): “When His family heard about this they went to take charge of Him, for they said ‘He is out of his mind.’ I understand Jesus’ brothers didn’t immediately embrace Him as Messiah, but it continues the scene in verse 31: “Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call Him.”
    The first question hitting me was, how and/or why could a crowd keep a person from eating? No elbow room? The second, and most important question was why would Mary, who totally knew who He was by her own history and treasured these things in her heart, suddenly think He was out of His mind, just because He went in to dine with His disciples in this house? Well, both of those questions can easily be answered if the house they entered was a gentile house. Hence the uproar, (much like Peter’s experience later with the house of Cornelius), and also why Mary would be concerned, for her knowledge and experience were Messiah had come for Israel. So her dilemma was: Why would Jesus do what had been commanded not to do for 2,000 years? I firmly believe Jesus’ earthly ministry was Jewish, but just like the Canaanite woman’s faith moved Him, could He not have found a household of faithful Gentiles also? It sure seems to answer the begging questions I mentioned. Any thoughts?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Randy,
      It’s a difficult passage to see what’s going on. It may have been the pressures of ministry kept the Lord from eating regularly. See also see Matthew 10.36. I do not think we have evidence to support Jesus went into a Gentile’s house. He ministered to Gentiles on a few occasions but did not enter one’s house.

  40. Matthew 28:19-20
    Do this includes gentiles, (all nations)).
    Pertaining to baptism.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Michael,
      Yes. Had Israel repented and accepted Jesus as the Messiah, the prophetic program would have continued and the Twelve and other believing Jews would have evangelized Gentiles. That was God’s plan according to the program He had revealed through the prophets. But this plan assumed an obedient Israel. God had no revealed plan to bless Gentiles apart from Israel. God had cemented this program with the Abrahamic covenant. But God, being merciful, created a new program, i.e., Paul’s commission as the apostle of the Gentiles, to bless Gentiles. It is known as the Church.

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