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They Did Not Know

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They Didn’t Know

More than 2,000 years ago the Lord Jesus Christ began his earthly ministry among mankind.  He had a mission, a calling and an obligation to do the will of his Father, Almighty God of heaven and earth.

The Mission: To manifest himself to the lost sheep of the house ofIsrael, as their Messiah

The Calling: Train 12 men to evangelize the nationIsrael.

The Obligation (will of the Father): He was to die for the sins of the world.

At the age of 30, the Lord began his “boot camp” for 12 men, most of whom were simple fishermen. He would travel from town to town, give messages of hope forIsrael, quote Scripture and prepare his faithful 12 for the mission that lay ahead – to evangelize the world.  According to Acts 1:8, they would receive the necessary power from the Holy Spirit to perform their tasks and would then begin their mission inJerusalem, Judea,Samariaand to the uttermost parts of the earth where Israelites resided.

As Jesus and the 12 journeyed from town to town, they would oftentimes pause and the Lord would share things with them pertaining to his Obligation.  I want to explore some of those conversational moments with you from the Book of Mark. 

Mark 8:31-33: And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

In this passage it is clear that the Lord is sharing with the 12 his Obligation to die for the sins of the world and be raised from the dead.  What is also very clear is the 12 had no clue as to what he was saying.

Mark 9:9: And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead. And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.

In these verses Jesus again emphasizes he will rise from the dead; and once again the 12 were clueless as to the meaning of rising from the dead.

Mark 9:30-32: And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it. For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.

The 12 still do not know what the Lord is talking about and are afraid to question Him.

The teaching continues in Mark: 10:33-34: Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.

At the close of the Lord’s ministry, we find this command in Mark 16:15-16: And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

It is basically the same message as the more well know command of Matthew 28:19-20: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Before The Crucifixion of Christ

I want to focus on a portion of the command in this passage: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: The diligent “searcher of the Scriptures” should want to know what the Lord commanded His disciples do, so let me show you a few of these things.

We read in Matthew 10:5-10: 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. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

There are several things I want you to see in the verses:

1)      The 12 were not to go to the Gentiles, not even the Gentile cities of the Samaritans.

2)      They are to go ONLY to the lost sheep of the house ofIsrael.

3)      When they go toIsrael, they are to tell them the prophesied kingdom of heaven is at hand. (This kingdom is an earthly piece of land that was promised to Abraham, and it is where the Lord will rule and reign over His own for 1,000 years – on earth!)

4)      While preaching toIsrael, they are to perform various miracles, thus proving their Messianic powers.

5)      They were not to worry about money or clothes.

The first two points are very important.  The 12 were to preach a message (Gospel of the Circumcision) to the circumcision (Jews) only.

Now let’s look at Matthew 15:21-28: Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

This is what I find in theses verses:

1)      A Gentile woman approaches the Lord for a favor.

2)      The Lord refuses to acknowledge her and the 12 ask Him to send her away.

3)      The Lord’s reply: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house ofIsrael”

4)      The woman does not scare easily and worships Him and begs for help.

5)      The Lord’s reply: “It is not meet to take the children’s bread (The gospel of the Kingdom), and to cast it to dogs (Gentiles)”

6)      The woman does not give up easily and says: “yet the dogs (Gentiles) eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table”

7)      Jesus awards her faithfulness. Why? Look at Genesis 12:1-3 and Acts 10:35 and you will see that God said anyone who blessedIsraeland did works of righteousness would be blessed. It is obvious that the woman worshiped Jesus as Messiah as she repeatedly calls him Lord.

After The Crucifixion of Christ

All of the passages of Scripture we have viewed thus far have been before the death of Christ and right up to the time of His crucifixion.  Now let’s look at what the Lord told His disciples after He was resurrected and see if He gives the 12 a different set of rules for their ministry. 

Acts 1:

  1. 1.    The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
  2. 2.    Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
  3. 3.    To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
  4. 4.    And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
  5. 5.    For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
  6. 6.    When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
  7. 7.    And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
  8. 8.    But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

After the Lord was resurrected He appeared to His disciples, who ask Him if He is about to restore the promised Kingdom toIsrael. The Lord does not, nor can He not, give them a positive reply, but he does tell them they will receive power from above to be witnesses. Where? InJerusalem, Judea andSamariaand the uttermost parts of the world.

Based upon our knowledge of the Lord’s command to not go to Gentiles, it should be clear that going to the uttermost parts of the world meant going to Jews living there, for we clearly see a lot of Jews, from a lot of countries, assembled atJerusalemfor this Feast of Pentecost. Look at Acts 2:5-11. 

The Pentecostal Address of Acts 2 & 3

Then Peter begins the famous Pentecostal Address beginning at Acts 2:14.  He tells them of the prophet Joel’s prophesy of an outpouring of the Spirit and the ability to prophesy. As he continues the message He also tells them they have crucified the Messiah.  Many were moved with fear and wanted to know what they should do (Acts 2:37).

Before we read Peter’s answer, I want you to look to see if this answer is anything different from what the Lord told them to do in Matthew 28:19-20. Look at Acts 2:38:

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

This gospel Peter preaches in Acts 2 is the identical gospel the Lord gave the 12 in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20. The Gospel Peter preached is repent and be baptized for remission of sins.  Baptism was a work to be performed for the remission of sins, waiting for the time when their sins would be blotted out completely. (Acts 3:19-21) That blotting out of sins will not take place forIsrael until the second coming of Christ.

Peter’s Gospel Different from the Gospel of Grace

There is nothing in Peter’s Pentecostal message that says Christ died for our sins, as is seen in the Pauline epistle of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how 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:

What should we have learned so far concerning the Lord, the 12, and the message the 12 were to preach?

1)      The Lord trained 12 men to preach a message to Jews, which we will call the Gospel of the Circumcision. Look at Galatians 2:7-9: But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

2)      These 12 men were instructed to not go to Gentiles, in any country

3)      They were to teach all the things the Lord had taught them.

4)      The Gospel of the Kingdom they were to preach concerned Israelgoing to a land that had been promised to Abraham.  It speaks of an earthly inheritance.

5)      The 12 did not understand the death burial and resurrection of which the Lord spoke.

Now I want you to consider this: “Do you think that God would hide any understanding of Scripture from the 12 apostles? The answer is yes. 

Look at Luke 18:31-34: Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. And they understood none of these things: and this saying was HID from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.

Even though the 12 had the scrolls of Isaiah, they could not interpret chapter 53 as we can today. Why? There are several reasons, but one that clearly stands out is found in 1 Corinthians 2:7-9: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

First notice these words: “the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom”. God, in His wisdom, chose to hide the understanding of some things in Scripture so that Satan would plot to kill Jesus. If Satan had known that the death of Christ would be salvation for the masses and his own death, he would not have been the instrument of the deceit to kill the Messiah.

God knew that Israel, as a nation, would reject Jesus as Messiah, so he chose another group of people, before the foundation of the world, (The Church the Body of Christ) to carry the message of Grace to the whole world once they faltered. Ephesians 1:4: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

The Body of Christ did not begin with Peter

There is a misconception in the religious community that the Church the Body of Christ and the message of grace began with the preaching of Peter at Pentecost. You should have seen that that was not the case.  Peter preached the Gospel of the Kingdom (Gospel of the Circumcision) until the day he died.  It was Paul who began preaching the message of grace, and he is not saved until Acts chapter 9.

Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles (Rom. 11:13) and the preacher of the Gospel of the Uncircumcision was the first member of the Church the Body of Christ. (We will detail that in another pamphlet later.)

Summation

The 12 apostles did not know what the Lord Jesus Christ was talking about when He told them he was about to die, to be buried and to be resurrected. Therefore they could not and would not preach a message of grace for salvation.

Peter preached “repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.” He does not say the blood of Christ was for remission of sins.

The Church the Body of Christ began with Paul in Acts chapter nine, not with Peter in Acts chapter two.

Paul preached Christ died for all our sins (1 Cor. 15:1-4) and that our sins are blotted out (Col. 2:13) the moment we believe the Gospel of the Uncircumcision.