“For I would have you know, brethren that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions. But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood,nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.
Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, and stayed with him fifteen days.”
The apostolic gospel, or the gospel preached by the original apostles of Jesus Christ, was not received from man. The original apostles had not been taught the gospel which they were now preaching; this apostolic gospel came to them the same way it must come to all of us, by the revelation of Jesus Christ in our inward man by the Holy Spirit. This is what Paul makes abundantly or perfectly clear in these verses as well as many others. He states clearly that he did not receive it from Cephas, or any of the other apostles (verses 15-24). He also states that when he submitted his gospel to the other apostles, they contributed nothing to his gospel, but simply recognized God’s grace which had been given to him.
My main point is to impress upon all of us the distinction between man’s gospel and the gospel of Jesus Christ, revealed only by the Holy Spirit internally, but attested unto in the New testament scriptures.
The Lord is calling us back to the true gospel and thus away from any and every false gospel of man. There are not two gospels or two thousand true gospels. There is only one, and the true gospel is the Good News that the Father has given His Son Jesus Christ, the eternal Lamb, for the whole human race.
The true apostolic gospel of Jesus Christ has always been surrounded by battle. Satan desires to stop its proclamation at any cost, but if he cannot destroy it, his next plan is to mix it and thus water it down. This is accomplished by the sowing of fleshly human distinctions in the true gospel. This cleverly devised plan takes it from its heavenly realm and brings it into the earthly mess of man’s natural-mindedness. The true gospel is not from the earth at all; it is entirely heavenly for it is Christ Himself. We have many examples of this mixture both in the scriptures as well as throughout church history. I will use one example from our present book of Galatians. In Galatians 2:11-21, Paul opposes Peter to his face because the truth of the gospel was not being maintained (Galatians 2:14). However, Peter was not the only one who stood condemned; James, Barnabas and the rest of the Jews at Antioch were equally guilty. The issue was racial in nature as these passages demonstrate. We must understand that there is no favoritism of God toward natural man in any fashion. We must also understand that Christ’s body has no division in it due to race, creed, color, or any other human lineage or attributes. We who are His body are inwardly one by His life in us and our fleshly, soulical, natural history of our former nature has been removed by the cross of Jesus Christ. Amen forever. The Body has one head, Christ, and we are an entirely New Creation or New humanity.
By today’s mixed gospel, Paul would be considered a replacement theology preacher or worse, a hater of Jews. However none of this is or was true. His call was to bring forth the revelation of an entirely “other than” humanity which is not according to the division found in Adam. The new body is Christ’s, and all who are in Christ are one in His life. I’m amazed at the beauty of the apostolic gospel and its heavenliness, but I am equally amazed at the mixture which has come into what some are calling the gospel of God.
God is about to restore the oneness of His body, and it will begin, as it did before, in the gospel being revealed by the Holy Spirit within us, His people! We are being challenged by the Spirit of Christ through the scriptures to allow an emancipation or a circumcision of our inward man from all that is not “the truth as it is in Jesus” (Ephesians 4:21). May the Lord emancipate us from every natural, earthly, man-centered, fleshly, and soulical belief, and may we turn to behold the one, true, eternal Lamb who is the first born of a new humanity. We are the true inward circumcision and have been made participants in it, but only through new birth.
“for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh,”
May we become determined to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2) and preach the eternal gospel of the lamb (Revelation 14:6). I can assure all of us that in the eternal, outside of time, these natural, fleshly differences of race, color, creed, or lineage have no meaning, nor should they have meaning in the new humanity that is “now” in this earth but is of the heavenly eternal.
May the Spirit recover and restore the one true eternal gospel which is meant to be proclaimed to all inhabitants of this planet without any distinctions, alternations, or restraints! So be it!