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When many think of the gospel, of course the term “good news” comes to mind. Most Christians believe that the good news is that Jesus/Yeshua, the Word of God in the flesh lived on this earth free from sin (overcoming it) and offered himself up as a perfect sacrifice for our sin, so that we could not only be free from sin but also have everlasting life!  This is great news, but is this the full gospel that Jesus taught? The Greek term for “gospel” used in the bible is “euēngelismenoi” meaning good news, glad tidings or good tidings.  Again, most Christians believe that the “gospel” is merely the news of salvation by the sacrificial death of Christ, yet the scriptures indicate that the “gospel” is something much more than this. First, consider that Jesus/Yeshua himself was preaching the gospel:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” ~ Luke 4:18

What was he preaching?  The gospel.  What is the gospel?:

“And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.” ~ Luke 4:43

When looking back over the course of the life of Jesus, He did not preach to the people about how he would “become the gospel,” rather the gospel (good news) was that the Kingdom of God is at hand, and He was the “Way” to get there. He was the one that would show man how they could enter into the Kingdom by his very own example. He NOT ONLY taught us with words, but HE WALKED the walk of life. He was perfectly obedient to God from the heart. He preached “REPENTENCE!”:

“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” ~ Matthew 4:17

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This was the bulk of the ministry of Christ- a preaching of REPENTANCE, and a preaching of the KINGDOM OF GOD! He only shared the meaning of the future event of his death with his closest disciples.  All of this being said, many might wonder, what does this mean? How can I understand the gospel further? The best answer again is to look to scripture. The book of Hebrews also gives us a clue into what the “gospel” is.  At the end of Hebrews 3, Paul speaks about the Israelites of Moses’ time:

“But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” ~ Hebrews 3:17-19

Here Paul indicates how God didn’t allow the Israelites to enter into the promised land, because they “sinned.” We know from the story of the Israelites that they constantly complained about everything, they disobeyed the commandment of idolatry, and the commandment of the Sabbath Day.  Sin (disobedience to God’s law) was counted to them for “UNBELIEF.” Because of this unbelief, they weren’t permitted into the promised land.  Hebrews 4 continues:

“Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” ~ Hebrews 4:1-3

This is an astounding statement! Here we can see that the gospel that was preached to the Hebrews is THE SAME as the gospel that was preached to ancient Israelites in the time of Moses.  How can this be? Jesus wasn’t even thought of at the time of Moses (though Moses did prophecy of Jesus).  The mention of Hebrews 3 “As I have sworn in my wrath” comes from Psalm 95:11:

Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.” ~ Psalm 95:10-11

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Paul is teaching the Hebrews, that the gospel that was preached to the ancient Israelites is the SAME gospel that they had received, yet the ancient Israelites were not permitted to “enter into rest” because #1- “they had not known my (God’s) ways”, and #2- They didn’t have faith in what was preached to them so they disobeyed the commandments (sinned)/they had unbelief.  Remember- God’s ways never change and the gospel has never changed! It was the same then as it is today. The GOOD NEWS is that the kingdom is at hand, it is here, it is nigh! We must repent and align ourselves in obedience to God and His way rather than man’s way! His way is found in His law (10 commandments which have not changed even from the time of Moses, nor will they pass away till heaven and earth passes away), which is written into our hearts through the baptism of Holy Spirit under the New Covenant. The commandments were symbolically “written in stone,” and are unchangeable. God never changes, he was the same yesterday, today and forever. As we continue reading in Hebrews Paul speaks of the Sabbath Day, establishes that the Sabbath Day commandment remains for the people of God as Jesus never gave them another day, and warns them of not coming under the same example of unbelief as the ancient Israelites in their disobedience:

“For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from hisLet us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” ~ Hebrews 4:4-12

Jesus came to preach this same gospel of Moses, and we have evidence of this in several places:

“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilledWhosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:18-19

Remember Jesus’ words- Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!  This is the gospel.  Then Jesus mentioned in his parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man:

“Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” ~ Luke 16:29-31

This parable tells us that in order to end up with Abraham in his bosom at peace and rest, one must hear Moses and the prophets.  Then he says- ‘if they hear not Moses, neither will they be persuaded if one rose from the dead.’ In other words, if they won’t hear Moses, and they won’t hear the prophets, than one won’t hear Jesus! The message of Moses, the prophets and Jesus is one and the same! Repent and obey God! When we do this, we become FREE! Finally, in the last week of Jesus’ life he admonished his followers and the disciples:

“Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observethat observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.” ~ Matthew 23:1-3

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Here again, Jesus reinforces the laws of Moses. He instructs us to observe and do the things concerning Moses’ law. Jesus, the KING of the Kingdom of Heaven who brought the good news/gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven first through Moses, then through the prophets, and later in his own flesh, was laying down the laws of His kingdom! He was also making known that the leaders that were entrusted with the law, didn’t know how to obey it themselves.  This law when studied, is a law of love for God, and for self, and for neighbor.  Its precepts can be found in the 10 Commandments, yet under the New Covenant, obedience comes from an even deeper place in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit will lead you, teach you and guide you. Can you hear the gospel now? Repent and be baptized with water and the Holy Spirit!  Die to your flesh and its sins, and rise to new life in Jesus/Yeshua! The seed of the Kingdom will then be placed inside of you, and will begin to grow until your mind and body become transformed and renewed toward the perfect Holy Spirit that was placed inside of you. Obedience to the commands of God will be second nature to those that have received the gift of the Holy Spirit and have renewed their minds. The things of this world and the lusts of this flesh will become a fading memory, as your eye is no longer focused on these things, but rather your eyes and your heart are set on the things of the Kingdom which are eternal. Sicknesses, illness, disease, pain, addiction, depression, anger- NONE of these things which have imprisoned you will have a claim over you any longer as you are set free! None of these things exist in the Kingdom. Wherever you walk, the Kingdom walks with you- this is wonderful news!

“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. ~ Luke 17:21

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This rebirth was only made possible through the death of our Messiah. This too is GOOD NEWS no matter how you slice it. He loved us enough to leave his dwelling place in heaven, to take on flesh and to show us what it looks like to be obedient to God and His commandments (the laws of the Kingdom) through a love that is only found in the Holy Spirit. He showed us the way…..He IS the way, truth and life! Then he was ridiculed, persecuted, suffered and died for us so that the Father would forgive our sins and so that we might have the HOPE of salvation because he promised to send us the gift of the Holy Spirit! If we believe in Jesus/Yeshua, repent of our sins (disobedience to God’s laws), and become baptized with water and the Holy Spirit, we receive this HOPE! The next time you speak of the gospel, tell it like it is- like the scripture says it is! There are many false gospels out there today and sometimes it can be hard to see what is true.  Get in the Word and let the Holy Spirit teach you, the time is short and the Holy Spirit does not lie.  We encourage you to prayerfully study the scriptures, and to spread news of the Gospel today!

Repent and obey God- the Kingdom of God is at hand!!!

“And the times of this ignorance God winked at: but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent ~ Acts 17:30

“Testifying both to the Jews, and also the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Acts 19:4

“But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” ~ Acts 26:20

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