Chapter 9 The Gospel of the New Covenant

The new covenant is called the gospel, which means the good news. The Old Testament also can be called the gospel. But the gospel mentioned in the New Testament is what Jesus taught after He was baptized by John the Baptist. As it is written;

【Mark 1:1, 14-15】 「The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God …… After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”」

‘Since that time’ means ‘since John the Baptist’. Like this word, Jesus began to preach the gospel of the kingdom of heaven after being baptized and fasting forty days. As it is written;

【Luke 16:16】 「”The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.」

【Matt 4:17, 23】 「From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” …… Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom.」

Jesus said that the preaching of the gospel would not be stopped on the cross, but continued until the end of the world.

【Matt 24:14】 「And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.」

How could we learn the gospel of the kingdom of heaven well, which Jesus has taught us for three years and showed us the example? We have to think about what the gospel is seriously.

First of all, It is important to follow the footsteps of the Lord as it is. There is no other way to think anymore. Whatever the Lord has done should not be treated lightly. The important thing is not only His word but also every example He has showed; baptism(Matt. 3:13-17), His going in to the synagogue on the Sabbath day as His custom(Luke 4:16, Matt. 24:20), His going up to the temple of Jerusalem to preach at the feast of Tabernacles(John 7:2-39), His keeping the Passover Sacrament, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.”(Luke 22:20) All these things are the gospel of the kingdom of heaven.

Some say that Jesus kept the Sabbath, the Passover and the feast of Tabernacles according to the law of Moses, because He was a Jew at that time. And they claim all the feasts were abolished since the crucifixion of Jesus.

However, those feasts that Jesus kept were not the feasts of the law of Moses, but the feasts of New Covenant, which were taught by Jesus through His doing of three years. If Jesus’ teaching is not needed for us after the Cross, He has nothing to do with us.

But even after the cross, Jesus spoke to the disciples, “Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you”(Matt. 28:19-20), and “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you”(John 13:15). The above two verses mean that we have to continue preaching the gospel which Jesus has taught for three years, even after the cross. So the apostle Paul preached as follows;

【1Cor 11:1】 「Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.」

【1Cor 11:23-26】 「For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.」

【Phi 3:16-17】 「Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.」

【Phi 4:9】 「Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.」

The apostle Paul is preaching the gospel which Jesus taught the disciples before His crucifixion. But the gospel that led us into the life began to change invisibly. The gospel that Jesus taught through His example began to change in the church of Galatia, Corinth and many other churches. As it is written;

【Gal 1:6-9】 「I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!」

What a different gospel is! Whatever Jesus did not taught through His example is a different gospel. Jesus kept the Sabbath, so Sunday service is a different gospel. Jesus celebrated Passover on the 14th day of the 1st month based on the sacred calendar, so Christmas on Dec 25. is also a different gospel.

The apostle Paul wrote in the letter to the church in Corinth;

【2Cor 11:4】 「For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.」

Even in these days as well as the Apostles’ Age, people easily accept a different gospel which is not the truth. But if you receive a different Jesus, a different gospel, and a different spirit, you will be accursed even though you believe in Jesus eagerly.

Seeing what was repeatedly written in Gal. 1:6-9, if anyone accepted or preached a different gospel against what he received, he would be accursed. So we must think seriously how important the gospel of Christ is. The apostle Paul emphasized the importance of the gospel whenever he wrote to each church as follows;

【Rom 1:9】 「God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you」

【Rom 1:16】 「I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes」

【Rom 10:16】 「But not all the Israelites accepted the good news.」

【Rom 15:16】 「to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God.」

【1Cor 9:12】 「But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.」

【2Cor 11:4】 「For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.」

【Ehp 1:13】 「And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,」

【Eph 3:6】 「This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.」

【Col 1:5】 「the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel」

【Gal 1:8】 「But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!」

【1The 2:4】 「On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel.」

【2The 1:8】 「He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.」

【2The 2:14】 「He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.」

【Phi 4:3】 「Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel,」

As the above verses, Paul emphasized the importance of the gospel of Christ so much, but as the years went by, the gospel began to change one by one from the mid-second century. By the mid-fourth century, the gospel of Christ was almost deformed, being very far from the original of the early church.

About the corruption of the truth, Jesus prophesied in the parable of the weeds.(Matt. 13:24-30, 36-40) And Paul also prophesied that the man of lawlessness would appear and people would believe the falsehood, as it is written;

【2The 2:3-4, 9-12】 「Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God …… The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.」

As more than a thousand years have passed since the truth changed, it is now very difficult to find even a single piece of the gospel Jesus taught through His doing. Some people would rather ask what has changed.

It is a historical fact that the truth has begun to be changed from the Pope Anicetus(AD.155) and the Pope Victor(AD.193) in the mid-second century. And the feast of Passover on 14th day of Nisan has been completely abolished by the Council of Nicaea in 325.

The Passover was the feast of New Covenant established by Jesus directly. Jesus allowed us the forgiveness of sins only through the commandment of the Passover so that we could return to our spiritual homeland. Jesus placed His seal on the Passover ritual with His blood.(Matt 26:28, John 6:53-54, Eph. 1:7)

According to ‘A History of the Early Church'(1959, by J.W.C. Wand, Translated by Rev. Chang Sik Lee, Christian Literature Society of Korea, pp121-123), the Passover New Covenant has been celebrated on 14th day of Nisan(1st month of Bible calendar) in the Eastern Churches until 4th century. And the Passover was abolished eventually under the Religious Convergence Policy of Rome Emperor Constantinus.

We can confirm the fact that the truth has been altered. Nevertheless, some people think the change is a good thing, because they don’t know the importance of the truth only through which the sinners can be redeemed by the power of the word of Jesus Christ. We will continue to study in detail about what has been changed at the latter part of this book.

Thus, the Lord commanded not to add something to the Scripture or take words away from it as it is written;

【Rev 22:18-19】 「I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.」