[Please note that I’m including my scriptural references in the links, and that they also link to articles with extended exegesis that I couldn’t fit into this post, so please be sure to click all the supporting links in order to get the full picture, as well as all the Scripture references. Please also keep in mind, however, that I don’t necessarily agree with everything that all of the writers of the articles I link to believe and/or teach. Some of them just happen to have some good supporting material on the specific point I’m making in this article.]
In my last post, I explained that one of the main reasons so many members of the Christian religion assume they aren’t allowed to believe there’s more than one Gospel recorded in Scripture, even after being shown the proof that there definitely is more than one, is because of a misunderstanding of a warning Paul wrote to the Galatians (and I’d suggest reading that article first, before proceeding with this one). That’s not the only reason so many of them feel like they have to reject all the evidence for multiple Gospels in Scripture, however, and in this post I’m going to discuss a couple more misunderstandings that are responsible for so many Christians insisting there can only be one Gospel in Scripture.
The first misunderstanding comes from the fact that Paul tells us there is neither Jew nor Gentile in the body of Christ, and many Christians who read that then go on to make a major assumption: that every Jew who believes in Christ is brought into the body of Christ (and that every first-century Jew who believed in Christ became a member of His body prior to Paul’s revealing of the body to the world). If that were the case, however, this would mean they would all lose the standing above the Gentile nations that Israel was promised to be given by God one day (they don’t have it now, but they certainly will in the future, despite what some who don’t understand the difference between future events and already fulfilled prophecies seem to believe), and that they’re not under either the Old or the New Covenant, both of which were only ever given to Israel (this is also a result of confusing the new birth, which Paul never wrote about, with the new creature or creation, which only Paul ever wrote about — the idea that these two concepts are just synonyms for one another is a major, and entirely unfounded, assumption that is actually never stated in Scripture, which means there’s no reason to automatically just assume they are the same, outside of preexisting doctrinal bias).
This assumption reveals first and foremost that they don’t understand God’s purpose for creating “the body of Christ, the ecclesia” any more than they understand God’s prophetic purpose for Israel. It also shows that they don’t understand the difference between the “mysteries (or “secrets”) of the dispensation (or administration) of Grace and Conciliation, and of the prophecies that don’t apply to this dispensation at all. And finally, it tells us they aren’t aware of the fact that being a part of the body of Christ was never meant for every believer in Christ throughout history to begin with.
You see, the body of Christ has a future job to do in the heavens (among the celestials), and our true citizenship is in those heavens rather than here on earth (in fact, a more informative translation of that verse tells us that our realm is inherent in the heavens, as opposed to our realm being inherent down here on earth). That can’t be said about Israel however, at least not the faithful Israel known as the Israel of God. Unlike the body of Christ, who will be out there working in the heavens (the heavens, or “heaven,” just refers to everything “above” the earth, which is where the body of Christ will be fulfilling their purpose in the eons to come), the Israel of God will remain here on earth and maintain their earthly (Jewish) identity and citizenship throughout the Millennium, and will rule over the Gentile nations throughout the 1,000 years (and beyond).
Since only Jews who “are saved” (those known as “the Israel of God”) are among this group, if “being saved” means that they’re no longer identified as Jewish and that they are going to rule far off in the heavens (which would be the case if they were brought into the body of Christ), how are they going to also be Jews (which they apparently no longer are since there is neither Jew nor Gentile in the body) reigning on earth? This confusion is easily cleared up as soon as one comes to realize the difference between the body of Christ and the Israel of God, and how each of these two groups are saved (and what each of their salvations entail).
Of course, it also helps to realize that Paul was the first to be saved under his Gospel and join the body of Christ (not to mention the first to preach his Gospel), so no Jewish believer prior to him could have been a member of Christ’s body yet anyway. Yes, it’s true that there is only “one body” for us (as another passage which is very misunderstood by most Christians — and which is the second passage that leads so many Christians to believe there’s only one Gospel — tells us), but this is because the body of Christ is supposed to be without schism, not because other “bodies” that aren’t the body of Christ don’t exist. As an equivalent explanation, while all the provinces and territories of Canada make up one country, there’s still more than one country in the world (unless one believes the 50 states that make up the United States of America, along with all the other parts of the world, are a part of Canada too), and that same passage also says that there is only “one baptism,” yet there are many different types of baptisms mentioned throughout Scripture, so this verse isn’t saying that there’s only one body (or only one baptism) in existence in the world, but rather that those in the body of Christ should not be divided into different denominations, just as they should not participate in any baptisms other than the one they’ve already experienced (which is immersion by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ, along with all that Christ experienced in His physical body, such as His death, entombment, and resurrection).
And so, even as Paul wrote these truths, another group of men lived for whom the truth “neither Jew nor Gentile” did not apply, and those men were the 12 apostles (or at least those of the 12 who were still alive by this point). Paul had forfeited his Israelite identity, but the rest of Jesus’ disciples never did — and neither were they supposed to. Jesus told His disciples that they would sit on 12 thrones, judging the 12 tribes of Israel, a promise that did not apply to the apostle Paul (who, along with the rest of the body of Christ, would instead judge angels and the rest of the world — and hopefully the pattern of the difference between the terrestrial and celestial destinies of these two different groups of believers is becoming clear by now). So, while the body of Christ is indeed one body, it can be said that the Israel of God, too, is one body. But they definitely are not a part of the same body as us, as should be clear to anyone who isn’t blinded by the doctrinal presuppositions taught to them by their religious leaders.
And while I’m sure these points won’t convince everyone who reads this that there are two Gospels in Scripture, if you’ve now read all the way through both the last article and this one, and have taken the time to click the various links throughout them and read the articles they direct you to, you should at least now be aware of why the arguments that convince most Christians to deny the existence of two Gospels are not actually valid arguments at all. So I hope you’ll take the time to consider the arguments made for the existence of multiple Gospels in Scripture, because rightly dividing the Gospels from one another is so central to understanding what the Bible is saying that one can’t properly interpret much of Scripture at all without beginning from this perspective.