Believing Yahushua’s Gospel

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To believe the gospel is to be saved; not to believe the gospel is to be condemned (Mark 16:15, 16; Rom. 1:16; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26). To believe the Son is to have everlasting life; not to believe the Son is not to have life but come under the wrath of Yahuwah (John 3:36; cf. vv. 5-8 and 1 John 5:10- 13). Clearly, then, what one believes or does not believe is an extremely important matter having consequences beyond this life. But what must one believe? What is Yahushua’s gospel? What is it to “believe in the Son”?

First, consider Hebrews 11:6: “Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he who comes to Yahuwah must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Yahushua, addressing his Father, says, “This is life eternal, that they might know You, the only true Yahuwah, and Yahushua Christ, whom You sent” (John 17:3; cf. 1 John 5:20). Note that one must believe in Yahushua who was sent as well as his Father who sent him. To believe in the Son is to believe who he is — the Christ, the Son of the living Yahuwah (John 20:31; 8:24; Matt. 16:16). Then note also that according to John 3:36 to “believe in the Son” is to “believe the Son,” i.e., to believe what he said. The words he spoke were the words that Yahuwah gave him to deliver; therefore, not to believe his words is to reject the words of Yahuwah (John 3:34; 8:26, 46, 47; 12:44-49; 14:10, 23, 24; 17:8; Mark 8:38). Yahuwah, who spoke by the prophets, has spoken also by His Son (Heb. 1:1, 2). Moses prophetically and Peter by application stated that the one who does not hear the words of Yahushua — the prophet like Moses — “will be destroyed” (Deut. 18:18, 19; Acts 3:22, 23). On the other hand, to believe his words is to have the assured prospect of “everlasting life” (life in the age to come) or salvation, for his words are dynamic and vital (John 5:24; 6:47, 63, 68; 1 Tim. 6:3, 4; 2 Tim. 1:10; Heb. 2:3; Rom. 1:16). Not only must one hear the words of Yahushua, he must “keep” or continue in them obediently (John 8:30-32, 51; 14:23; Luke 6:46-49; Mark 16:15, 16).

To believe the gospel is to be saved; not to believe the gospel is to be condemned. To believe the Son is to have everlasting life; not to believe the Son is not to have life but come under the wrath of Yahuwah.

What then was the message that Yahushua taught? Let the record testify: “Yahushua came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of Yahuwah, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of Yahuwah is at hand; repent and believe the Gospel’” (Mark 1:14, 15). “And Yahushua went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom” (Matt. 4:23). “He went throughout every city and village, proclaiming and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of Yahuwah” (Luke 8:1). Luke later refers to his first record as being “all that Yahushua began both to do and teach” prior to his ascension (Acts 1:1). He then says that Yahushua appeared to the Apostles. He “showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen by them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of Yahuwah” (Acts 1:3). Yahushua, throughout his ministry, taught the “gospel of the kingdom of Yahuwah.”

When Yahushua speaks by parable of these things, as he often did, he describes a sower going out to sow seed. The seed fell on various types of soil and produced accordingly: some, were destroyed by birds; some flourished only a short time in stony soil; some was choked out by thorns; some bore fruit in different amounts. By comparing the accounts in Matthew 13:3- 23 and Luke 8:1-15 we see the following: The seed represents the “word of Yahuwah” or “word of the Kingdom.” The soil represents the hearts of men. The birds represent the Devil who is determined to destroy “the word sown in their hearts, to prevent them from believing and being saved.” In stony soil the plant could not put down roots sufficient to sustain it. A shallow faith does not have strength to bear up under tribulation or persecution and so falls away. The thorns that choked out the young plants represent the cares and pleasures of this life and the deceitfulness of riches, which destroy faith. The various levels of productivity in the good ground represent what takes place “in an honest and good heart” — hearing the word of the Kingdom, understanding it, keeping it and producing enduring fruit according to the measure of faith. This “word of the Kingdom” is none other than the “Gospel of the Kingdom.” Believing that Gospel leads to both Christian living (Rom. 14:17) and salvation. Luke equates hearing and believing the word of Yahuwah/word of the Kingdom with being saved. Salvation is to be fully realized in the age to come, in the Kingdom of Yahuwah (Mark 10:30; Acts 3:19-21). This point is confirmed by analyzing the terms used in Matthew 19:13-30. In this text the expressions having “eternal life” (v. 16), entering into “life” (v. 17), entering into “the Kingdom of heaven/Kingdom of Yahuwah” (vv. 23, 24), being “saved” (v. 25), and inheriting “everlasting life” (v. 29) are equivalent in meaning.

Mary was informed that the child she was to bear originated in the working of the power of the Highest and would therefore be called the Son of Yahuwah.

The Gospel, which Yahushua taught was the same Gospel which he commissioned his disciples to teach throughout the world (Mark 16:15, 16; Matt. 28:19, 20). He even states that there would be a time when “this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations” (Matt. 24:14). And so the Gospel was indeed to be disseminated everywhere (Rom. 10:8-18; Col. 1:5, 6, 23). And this must continue “to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).

At the time of Yahushua’s birth, note what Joseph and Mary were told by the angel. Joseph was informed that the child, Mary was carrying in her womb was conceived by the Holy Spirit. She was to “bring forth a Son, and call his name YAHUSHUA [margin: that is, Savior]; for he will save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:18-21). Mary was informed that the child she was to bear originated in the working of the power of the Highest and would therefore be called the Son of Yahuwah. “You will conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and will call his name YAHUSHUA. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord Yahuwah will give him the throne of his father David. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:31-35).

In this way they learned the object of both his first coming and his second coming. These things constitute the Gospel as we see in the angelic announcement to the shepherds outside Bethlehem: “Fear not; I bring you good tidings of great joy for all people. To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Lord Messiah” (Luke 2:10, 11). Or as Peter declared, when Yahuwah raised up His Son and exalted him to His right hand, the Messiah was “to be a Prince and a Savior” (Acts 5:30, 31).

The New Testament record relates the content of the apostolic message as “the things concerning the Kingdom of Yahuwah and Yahushua Christ.” When Philip went into Samaria and “preached Christ to them,” what they heard and believed is stated in this way: “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of Yahuwah, and the name of Yahushua Christ, they were being baptized, both men and women” (Acts 8:5, 12).

Not only do the Davidic covenant promises include the Messiah’s birth and resurrection, they specify his ruling in the restored Davidic Kingdom on David’s throne as well.

Paul said, “We declare to you the good news that the promise which was made to the fathers, Yahuwah has fulfilled for us their children, by raising up Yahushua” (Acts 13:32, 33). This coincides with what Peter relates in Acts 3:25, 26 concerning the blessing of Abraham, including the resurrection of Yahushua (Acts 13:34) and forgiveness in him (cf. Gal. 8:6-9, 13, 14, 26-29; Rom. 4:3-8,13-16). In context, the discourse at Antioch (Acts 13) included a Savior for Israel of the lineage of David (vv. 22, 23; 2 Tim. 2:8; Luke 1:68- 75). Not only do the Davidic covenant promises include the Messiah’s birth and resurrection, they specify his ruling in the restored Davidic Kingdom on David’s throne as well (cf. Isa. 55:3; 2 Sam. 7:12-16; Ps. 89:19- 37; 16:8-11; Acts 2:22-36; 5:30, 31; 13:34-37; Luke 1:30-33; 2:10, 11). Paul links his message with the patriarchal promises and the hope of Israel (Acts 26:6, 7; Gal. 3:6-9, 13, 14, 26-29; Rom. 15:8). Isaiah’s revelation of the “good tidings,” which were the basis for the “hope of Israel,” includes both the reign of Yahuwah through the Messiah (52:7; 40:9, 10) and the salvation of Yahuwah through the suffering one (53:1-12). The hope of Israel is the hope of all by faith in Christ Yahushua (Eph. 2:11-3:6).

In writing to the Ephesians Paul testifies about “repentance towards Yahuwah, and faith in our Lord Yahushua Christ.” This is a testimony of “the Gospel of the grace of Yahuwah” and “preaching the Kingdom of Yahuwah.” These things amount to “all the counsel of Yahuwah” (Acts 20:20- 27). The grace of Yahuwah which brings salvation has appeared in the gift of His Son (Eph. 1:7; 2:4-8, 13-16; Titus 2:11; John 3:15, 16) and will yet be seen in its “exceeding richness” in the ages to come (Eph. 2:7; 1:10; 1 Pet. 1:13).

Writing to the Corinthians, he says, “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the Gospel which I preached to you, which you received, and in which you stand; by which also you are being saved, if you keep in memory what I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all [i.e., among things of first importance] what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:1-4). He then continues by describing the proof and necessity of the resurrection both of Christ and of those who are his at his return (vv. 5-23). Without any break in his thinking, he then speaks of the reign of Christ and the final turning of the Kingdom of Yahuwah over to his Father, “that Yahuwah may be all in all” (vv. 24-28). So his Gospel to them included both what Yahushua accomplished at his first coming and the cross and what he will accomplish at his second coming and the Kingdom. This is that “salvation” about which the prophets wrote when they “testified beforehand about the sufferings of Christ and the glory to follow” (1 Pet. 1:9-11).

woman holding flowers

At the close of his ministry, Paul was under house arrest in Rome. He shared the Gospel with many in his lodging. He “expounded and testified the Kingdom of Yahuwah, persuading them concerning Yahushua, both from the law of Moses, and from the prophets, from morning till evening. And some believed what he said, but some did not believe” (Acts 28:23, 24). In verse 28, after referring to the general Jewish rejection of his words, he says, “Be it known therefore to you, that this salvation of Yahuwah is sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it.” He thus equated the things of Yahushua and the Kingdom with the message of salvation (Acts 28:28; Matt. 21:43). Then we are told, “Paul stayed two whole years in his own hired house, and received all who came to him, preaching the Kingdom of Yahuwah, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Yahushua Christ, with all confidence, unhindered” (vv. 30, 31).

Hebrews 9:24-28 says that Yahushua has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; he now appears in the presence of Yahuwah for us; and will appear on earth the second time completing salvation.

Hebrews 9:24-28 says that Yahushua has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself (v. 26); he now appears in the presence of Yahuwah for us (v. 24); and will appear on earth the second time completing salvation (v. 28). Thus we have the first coming and the second coming; the suffering and the glory; the name and the Kingdom; the cross and the crown in the Gospel message.

The angels and Yahushua and the Apostles delivered the same Gospel message, which would bring faith for salvation to all who believed and continued in it. There is only one Gospel (Gal. 1:6-9) and only one faith and hope leading to salvation (Eph. 4:4, 5; Jude 3). The Church today must deliver the same complete Gospel message. The believer today must believe the same Gospel of the Kingdom.

We conclude with this quotation: “Hope is an effect produced by faith in the unfulfilled promises of the Gospel. Hence, to have but one hope there must be but one faith as its unit cause: and to have but one faith, there must be only one Gospel, as its unit cause...The Bible teaches that there is only one hope; consequently there can be but one faith and one Gospel to produce this one hope” — J.M. Stephenson in The Herald of Messiah’ s Reign.

man at ocean
This is a non-WLC article written by Arlen F. Rankin (Focus on the Kingdom, Volume 8, No. 6, March, 2006)

We have taken out from the original article all pagan names and titles of the Father and Son, and have replaced them with the original given names. Furthermore, we have restored in the Scriptures quoted the names of the Father and Son, as they were originally written by the inspired authors of the Bible. -WLC Team