True Gospel

Good News

The Good News that Jesus taught is found in the gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It is not what the apostles “and elders” in Jerusalem added later. Nor is it current denominational creeds, church groups, or anyone’s else additions, be it a pastor, teacher, evangelist, etc.

  • The word of Our Lord does not need to be improved upon.
  • If Jesus did not say it, then it’s not required for our salvation.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, (Matthew 7:24)

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)

3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. (1 John 2:3)

Observe in the following stanza how a simple message of Good News became a religion with tenets and decrees that needed to be “kept”:

1  AND certain men which came down from Judæa taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
2  When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
3  And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
4  And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
5  But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
6  And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. (Acts 15:1-6)

4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. (Acts 16:4)

On and on the additions continued to come and are found throughout the Epistles.

Church

The word “church” today has zero resemblance to how Jesus used the word. The Greek word is ecclesia which means to be “called out into the public.” When Our Lord spoke those words, He was specifically speaking to the House of Israel, not Gentiles (Mat.15:24; 10:5-6):

24  But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 15:24)

5  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:
6  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 10:5-6)

Jesus was telling His people that the time had come for them to come out into the public, and there among the populace, be a bright light:

14  Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

Pharisees

Pharisees were the strict keepers and teachers of the law. They prided themselves in paying tithes and expressing their religion elaborately. The harshest words that Jesus spoke were against the Pharisees. Here is a sample of them:

15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte,1 and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith:2
24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.3
25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.4
26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.5
33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?6 (Matthew 23:15,23-28,33)

Points

1. Proselytize

15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte,1 and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. (Matthew 23:15)

Most people do not know this, but the Pharisees would send out missionaries just like we do – to win converts – to their version of the gospel:

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. (Matthew 24:14)

There’s nothing wrong with sharing the Good News of Our Lord with the world, but when each Christian missionary is preaching their own rendering of “The Good News,” they are as culpable as the Pharisees were, because they are spreading falsehoods, which causes the convert to become converted to error and to become blind to truth.

2. Tithes

23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: (Matthew 23:23)

Juxtaposed with things of the heart – mercy and faith – are things of pride – money. Mercy is loving our neighbors, i.e. strangers in need (Parable of The Good Samaritan), pride is going to a church and doing the only thing required by them – pay a tithe/offering.

3. Swallow A Camel

24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. (Matthew 23:24)

Keeping in mind that Jesus was speaking against the teachers of His day, which are equal to current church leaders, He was pointing out the fact that on the one hand they think they’re so smart, explaining in great detail every part of The Gospel, yet on the other hand, they are totally oblivious to the fact that they are dividing the public, pitting one believer against another.

4. Extortion & Excess

25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. (Matthew 23:25)

25 Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, pretenders, who wash the outside of the cup and of the dish, but within are full of plunder and evil! (Matthew 23:25 Aramaic Plain English)

This is precisely what is happening in the body of Christ today. Church employees receive a salary for their labors and parishioners pay for them. It’s possible for a church leader (as well as others) to live a very plush lifestyle, i.e. excessive lifestyle.

5. Hypocrisy

26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (Matthew 23:26-28)

Nothing allows hypocrisy to thrive more than the modern church where parishioners sit in pews, clergy speak from the pulpit, and worship groups entertain, none of which was prescribed by Our Lord.

6. Hell

33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Matthew 23:33)

To summarize, Jesus says it will be impossible for such guilty church leaders to escape hell. It’s not possible to pretend to love others and fool God. We will be judged by our individual works, not what our church, group, or minister did.

12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works? (Proverbs 24:12)

25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. (Matthew 16:25-27)

12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Revelation 20:12)

Have we as individuals done “to the least among men,” as Jesus showed and taught?

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee?  or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in?  or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:31-46)

Summary

Thus the Ministers in the Army of the Lord will be sent forth to preach the “true” Good News that Our Lord originally taught.

19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.
23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet [His Army of Ministers], shall be destroyed from among the people. (Acts 3:19-23)

12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things [The true, unadulterated, Good News Jesus originally taught.]!
16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. (Romans 10:12-16)

1 THE Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.
7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
8 For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed.
10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (Isaiah 61:1-11)

11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
12 Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.
25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.
27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. (Joel 2)