That we may see another example of “testing the things that differ” we quote several verses of Scripture for comparison and contrast.
“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.
“AND AS YE GO, PREACH, SAYING, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND. “HEAL THE SICK, CLEANSE THE LEPERS, RAISE THE DEAD, CAST OUT DEVILS; FREELY YE HAVE RECEIVED, FREELY GIVE,” Matthew 10:5 to 8.
“AND YE SHALL BE HATED OF ALL MEN FOR MY NAME’S SAKE: BUT HE THAT ENDURETH TO THE END SHALL BE SAVED.” Matthew 10:22.
“And they departed and went through the towns, preaching the Gospel, and healing everywhere.” Luke 9:6.“According to the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.” I Timothy 1:11.
“Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities”. I Timothy 5:23.
“WHO HATH SAVED US, AND CALLED US WITH AN HOLY CALLING, NOT ACCORDING TO OUR WORKS, BUT ACCORDING TO HIS OWN PURPOSE AND GRACE, WHICH WAS GIVEN US IN CHRIST JESUS BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN, “BUT IS NOW MADE MANIFEST BY THE APPEARING OF OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, WHO HATH ABOLISHED DEATH, AND HATH BROUGHT LIFE AND IMMORTALITY TO LIGHT THROUGH THE GOSPEL.” II Timothy 1:9 and 10.
The Scriptures quoted from Matthew and Luke tell us of the Gospel message and Gospel program of the twelve apostles while their King and Messiah was in their midst. The Gospel which they were commanded to preach is called, in Matthew and Luke, “the Gospel of the kingdom.” “And they departed and went through the towns, preaching the Gospel and healing everywhere”. The Gospel, was the fact that Israel’s King had arrived with kingdom blessings and national deliverance for that people, preserved and protected by the Abrahamic Covenant.
The covenants that God made with Israel guaranteed to them peaceful possession of Canaan, under the reign of the true King David. The people were to have new hearts, and enjoy temporal prosperity, and physical health. According to the 35th chapter of Isaiah, that kingdom was to be inaugurated with mighty signs, by the hands of the Messiah. Therefore, the Twelve were to say, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And they were to prove it by healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons, cleansing the lepers. They were to be saved by enduring to the end.
After these Messengers had been proclaiming this kingdom message for two years, their Messiah told them of His death and resurrection, recorded in Luke 18:31 to 34, which would be the basis of the Gospel of the grace of God which was to be preached later on by the Apostle Paul. By reading these verses, in the eighteenth chapter of Luke, you will observe that the twelve apostles had not the slightest understanding of the things spoken by Christ concerning His death, burial and resurrection.
Let us compare the statement in Matthew 10:5, the words of the Lord Jesus to the Twelve, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles”, with the statement of the Lord Jesus to the Apostle Paul, recorded in Acts 22:21, “I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles”.
Now let us note carefully the fact in I Timothy 1:11, Paul’s words in connection with the Gospel of glory. He said, “Committed to my trust”. We should never fail to catch the significance of the “my”. It does not say “our trust”. In other Scriptures Paul uses the expression, “my gospel”. In II Timothy 2:2 we learn that Paul was committing to Timothy the Gospel and the Mystery truth which the Lord had committed to him. But Timothy did not go as did the Twelve, preaching the Gospel everywhere and healing, for he, himself, was told to take a physical remedy for his own sickness. I Timothy 5:23. And Timothy could look at Paul himself suffering with his physical infirmities and know that there had been a change in the Gospel message and Gospel program since the days of the Twelve on earth with Christ. Timothy was not instructed to preach, “the kingdom of heaven is at hand”, for it was not then at hand as it was in Matthew 10:7. He was not proclaiming a message of national deliverance to Israel. Neither was Timothy instructed to tell any one to endure unto the end in order to be saved. He was told that they were saved not by enduring unto the end; not by any of their works; but by the grace and purpose of God given them in Christ Jesus (before the foundation of the world. II Timothy 1:9.
In the Gospel according to Luke we cannot find a message which Christ spoke directly to a single Gentile until He stood before Pilate. The Roman centurion, in the seventh chapter, received a physical blessing for His servant, because he had built a synagogue for Israel. And the elders of Israel interceded in his behalf. Luke 7:1 to 8.
In the Book of Matthew the word “grace” is not found. It is difficult in that Book to find the Gospel of the grace of God for an individual Gentile sinner. In that Book the Lord Jesus Christ was under the law with His Nation, with a ministry of confirmation, in accordance with Romans 15:8. The message of salvation is covered with so much Judaism that it takes an expert exegete to uncover it. Whereas, the message of pure grace is so clearly set forth in Paul’s Epistles to Timothy, that it seems a spiritual crime for any preacher to present the mixture of the two messages to a poor lost sinner, who must be saved by grace, and grace alone.
From this we see the importance of obeying Hebrews 6:1, which we quote:
“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection”.
“If by grace, it is no more of works.” Romans 11:6.
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.