Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
First of all, let me point out that there were, indeed, two gospels preached in the book of Acts: the gospel for the Jews, and the gospel for the Gentiles. I have had Christian ministers laugh in my face when I told them that, but it is true. Paul said in Galatians 2: 7-9: “once they saw that I had been entrusted with the good news for the uncircumcised, just as Peter for the circumcised (for He who worked in Peter for the apostleship of the circumcised also worked in me for the Gentiles), and acknowledging the grace that was given to me, James, Cephas, and John, who were esteemed as pillars, gave right hands of fellowship to me and Barnabas, that we should go to the Gentiles, but they to the Circumcision.”
So, Peter was sent to the Jews with the gospel for God’s circumcised nation of Israel, and Paul was sent to the Gentiles with the gospel for the uncircumcised nations. There were, indeed, two gospels preached, for a while, in the beginning of this New Covenant dispensation.
In fact, the two gospels were virtually identical. Everything about them was the same, except for one crucial point.
Just one thing was different. And the difference between Paul’s gospel for us Gentiles and Peter’s gospel for the Jews was that the Jews were required by God to keep the law of Moses, especially the ceremonial laws, whereas Paul’s gospel taught that Gentiles were free from those dead works.
Paul was greatly misunderstood, even by most believers, when he came from God’s presence with his gospel. To this day, in fact, his gospel is virtually unknown. And God’s children are laboring under the weight of Christianity’s ceremonial works and forms that God did not lay upon their backs. They are carrying the heavy burden of ignorant men, while Jesus is gently calling, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest!”
Paul’s gospel was rest for the weary in spirit, for those who were laboring to find God in the maze of man’s religions. It was, and is, the perfect expression of the purpose of God in the sacrifice of His Son. Peter’s gospel that included the works of the law was only used temporarily, until all the Jews in that generation who would believe in Jesus had come in. From that point on, whenever exactly it was, Peter’s gospel of the circumcision was dead – just as dead as the works of the law that it required. After that, and since that time, and forever, Paul’s gospel is the only true gospel for all people, Jew and Gentiles alike. Peter’s gospel is no longer in effect for anyone.
There once were two gospels preached on earth at the same time, but they were preached to two different kinds of people – Jews and Gentiles. Now, that time has passed. No one, Jew or Gentile, has to perform any ceremonial work any more to worship God. In fact, such worship as animal sacrifice and religious ceremonial meals and baptisms are an affront to God now. He stood behind Peter’s gospel, but when the time came for it to end, God has not and never will again ordain a gospel that teaches people to perform a religious ceremony. There is not, and never has been, a religious ceremony in heaven. Everything that happens there is alive and real.
Jesus told the woman at the well in Samaria, “Woman, believe me, an hour is coming when you’ll worship the Father neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans don’t know what you’re worshipping; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But an hour is coming, and is here already, when true worshippers will worship the Father spiritually and truly, for the Father is searching for such people to worship Him. God is a spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
Worship in ceremony is the antithesis of worship in spirit and truth. Paul’s gospel included the message that ceremonial worship is no longer acceptable to God. Christ had fulfilled the ceremonies God gave to Israel, and man does not need them any longer. It is this lack of any ceremony that is the principal difference between the two gospels. The reason that almost no one understands this today is that Paul’s gospel is no longer preached at all. You will not find it in any Christian sect. The various brands of the gospel that are ministered to souls now by Christian ministers resemble Peter’s dead gospel in that they include ceremonies and form (though God has never ordained any Christian ceremony as He ordained the ceremonies of Moses’ law), but no gospel within Christianity is Paul’s gospel. His gospel was in power and truth and life, and no man was in charge of it, not even Paul.
[Upon reading this], I like this emphasis, “laboring under the weight of Christianity’s ceremonial works and forms.” To me, part of the cleverness, or better, the devilishness, of Christianity is how it does not appear to keep Jewish, Old Testament ceremonies. It appears to be obeying Paul, while attributing great spiritual significance to the ceremonies it does perform, many of which are based on words that Paul wrote but of which they have no understanding in spirit and truth. I, too, have been ridiculed for mentioning two gospels. The Christian spirit is so proud. God save us from it!
I loved the feelings yesterday. I hope I hear such things shouted from rooftops before I leave this world. Wonderful!