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Gospel:  Which gospel did the 12 apostles preach after the ascension? 

Gary Googe Apr 12

The first thing we need to note is that Peter and the other apostles were not commissioned with the same gospel as the apostle Paul.  That statement may come as a surprise to some because many people don’t realize that we have TWO different gospels presented in the Bible.  One of them was to Israel and the other one came later to us today.  [Please see my article about this– Gospels:  Did Peter & Paul preach the same gospel?] Many modern translations have confused this matter by the way they’ve translated this first passage we’ll note concerning this.  Instead of providing a correct translation, their “translation” is more of an interpretation than a translation.  Some Bible translations translate this verse to make it coincide with their incorrect doctrinal beliefs.  Here’s the verse as it is correctly translated in the King James Version of the Bible. 

Galatians 2:7 

7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; [Emphasis added] 

The word “of” in this passage is in the genitive case in the Greek text, not the dative case as some other people like to translate it.  The word “of” is correct as it is in the King James Version of the Bible.  That may look like nitpicking, but it is not.  The matter was not just about WHO they were ministering TO, but the message they were presenting.  Paul certainly was the apostle to the Gentiles as the twelve apostles were the apostles to Israel.  The gospel of the circumcision [also called The Gospel of the Kingdom] included the command for obedience to the Mosaic Law as well as the demand for water baptism to gain salvation.  A person could not be saved without obedience to both.  It was by their expression of faith by obedience to these that they were to manifest their faith.  For instance, note Peter’s demand for water baptism. 

Acts 2:37-38 

37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 

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. [Emphasis added] 

This wasn’t a suggestion, but a commandPeople who refused to be baptized did not receive salvation. [Emphasis added] 

Luke 7:29-30 

29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. 

30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. [Emphasis added] 

The claim that Peter and Paul taught the same message is false.  Because Israel ultimately rejected the gospel Peter and the other apostles proclaimed, God set Israel aside and began something new with this one man who was at first called Saul of Tarsus.   

Romans 11:13 

13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify [DOXAZO = magnify, enlarge or glorify] mine office: [Emphasis added] 

This is something that can’t rightly be said about Peter.  It was this man Paul God chose to unveil something that up until that time had been completely unknown.  This is why it is often called a “mystery” [MUSTERION = secret] truth.  It all began with the revelation first given to the apostle Paul. 

1 Timothy 1:16 

16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. [Emphasis added] 

What the false teachers claim is that Paul and Peter taught the same gospel, but to different people.  It is true that their messages were directed to different people in that Paul is said to be the apostle of the Gentiles, but their messages were also different.  Peter’s message required water baptism and obedience to the Mosaic Law, but what do we find the apostle Paul telling us about his commission and what has now become ours? 

1 Corinthians 1:17 

17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. [Emphasis added] 

Here, too, this can never be rightly said of Peter.  He and the other apostles were definitely commissioned to baptize.  But Paul also tells us we are not under the dictates of the Mosaic Law but under the principle of grace.  Such was not true of Peter and the other apostles. 

Romans 6:14-15 

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 

15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. [Emphasis added] 

This was revelation that came after Paul and some others were saved.  That’s why Paul did baptize some in the early days of his ministry.  But he’s quite clear about the policy he later came to know and teach. 

Ephesians 4:5 

5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, [Emphasis added] 

And what “one baptism” is he speaking of here? Answer:  The baptism of the Holy Spirit he speaks of in a variety of ways in his epistles.  Here’s probably the most basic statement of them all about this. 

1 Corinthians 12:13 

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. [Emphasis added] 

There’s no water at all in Paul’s “one baptism.”  It is the Holy Spirit who does the baptizing, putting every believer in our time in what is called the Body of Christ.  

Romans 12:5 

5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. [Emphasis added]  

Haven’t you ever wondered why there’s so much confusion and division about water baptism in our time? Some sprinkle, some immerse, some pour, some perform infant baptism, and on and on it goes.  Why all this diversity? Actually no one group has a majority position about it.  This all comes back to failure to rightly divide the Scriptures.  The heart of this matter is that ALL the Bible is FOR us, but it is not all TO us or ABOUT us.  Until people come to rightly understand the meaning and application of this that we speak of as the right division of Scripture, the confusion and division will continue.  The command about this is plain but ignored or misunderstood by most. 

2 Timothy 2:15 

15 Study [SPOUDAZO = be diligent] to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. [Emphasis added] 

In the case of the apostles, they were at first all in the dark about this new revelation that our Lord introduced first through the apostle Paul.  Paul eventually went to Jerusalem to unveil all this to the apostles.  It all came about when some Jews started interfering with Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles, trying to impose circumcision and the Mosaic Law on his converts. 

Acts 15:1-2 

1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. 

2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. [Emphasis added] 

A summary of the outcome of this meeting is stated in the passage we saw earlier.  Here it is again. 

Galatians 2:7 

7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; [Emphasis added] 

Unlike Paul’s commission which is ours today, the apostles were to evangelize Israel first with the gospel of the circumcision [also called The Gospel of The Kingdom].  But at the beginning of its introduction, it was just Jesus going to the people of Israel. 

Matthew 4:17,23 

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 

23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. [Emphasis added] 

You can see this also in Mark 1:14-15.  Later Christ commissioned the apostles, but they were limited to the people of Israel. 

Matthew 10:5-8 

5 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: 

6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 

7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 

8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. [Emphasis added] 

Is this our commission today? Some people think it is, but it is not! Then when Christ was about to ascend into heaven, He gave another statement about their commission.  A passage in Matthew is the one most often quoted on this. 

Matthew 28:19-20 

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. [Emphasis added] 

And what was it that He had commanded them to teach? Answer: The Mosaic Law. 

Matthew 23:1-3 

1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 

2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 

3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. [Emphasis added] 

Not until the revelation given to Paul was this to change.  Until then the teachings of the Mosaic Law were binding to the apostles and to all Israel. 

But what about Mark’s account of the commission these men were given? Some claim the last part of the record in the Mark account is not in the best manuscripts of Scripture.  What are we to think of that? Weren’t the apostles doing all the miraculous things mentioned in that passage? They surely were! Let’s note what that passage says. 

Mark 16:14-20 

14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven [Judas having committed suicide] as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 

16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 

19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 

20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. [Emphasis added] 

But is this OUR commission today? It is not! It was later that the apostle Paul tells us of the heart of the message of our commission today.  It is the content of these verses that every believer today should become very familiar with. 

2 Corinthians 5:18-21 

18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 

19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 

This is telling us that it is this message that has been committed to us today as the heart of our commission. 

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [Emphasis added] 

Is this commission and message any different from the one given to the twelve apostles? Of course, it is! But because people insist on some sort of a blend between the two commissions, we have denominational Christianity today.  They can all quote Scripture to endorse their beliefs, but often what they quote is not to us today.  Again, the whole Bible is FOR us, but it is not all TO us or ABOUT us. Until a person understands that principle and begins to sort things out through right division, they will only serve to spread the confusion and the resultant division.  I’m afraid Satan knows and applies the doctrine of “divide and conquer” very well. 

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 

3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 

4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. [Emphasis added] 

There are people who see and experience the effect of this every day.  When people think God’s program for us today began on the Acts 2 Day of Pentecost, the problems begin.  They fail to see that all that happened then was just a continuation of the prophetic program that was already in place. 

Hebrews 2:3-4 

3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 

4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? [Emphasis added] 

The special gifts involving the miraculous deeds that were given to the apostles were to enable them to continue right on with the ministry and message of Christ in His earthly ministry.  The Holy Spirit had come to empower them to do these miraculous things, but the message and ministry was still the same.  That would continue right on through the time of the stoning of Stephen recorded in Acts 7.  Then after the salvation of Saul of Tarsus recorded in Acts 9, he, too, along with some others, would be given the power to perform miraculous deeds to demonstrate that their new message was of God.  The heart of what was new was to do with the explanation of what God had accomplished in Christ through His death, burial, and resurrection. 

Again, 2 Corinthians 5:19-21 

19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word [or message] of reconciliation. 

Here he’s speaking of our commission and message for today. 

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [Emphasis added] 

Again, the gospel message the twelve apostles preached in the timeframe of the first part of the book of Acts was a continuation of the message Jesus Christ had been presenting in His earthly ministry.  Then on the Day of Pentecost they were given special powers through the Holy Spirit to assist them in their proclamation of that message. 

Acts 1:4-5 

4 And, being assembled together with them, [Jesus] 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 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. [Emphasis added] 

People often assume that this is the same Spirit baptism believers receive today, but it is not.  With this baptism, special powers were given to perform miraculous deeds. Believers have no such powers today.  The apostle Paul and some others had it in the timeframe of the book of Acts to establish their authority as a people with God’s message, but the special abilities that came with this were all eventually withdrawn.  The gifts for such things as healing, miracles, prophecy, special knowledge, and speaking instantly and miraculously in foreign languages [tongues] to Gentiles were eventually withdrawn. 

1 Corinthians 13:8-10 

8 Charity never faileth [KATARGEO = to reduce to inactivity]: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 

10 But when that which is perfect is come [speaking of the completion of Scripture—the Bible], then that which is in part [these special gifts] shall be done away. [Emphasis added] 

[For more information about these spiritual gifts that were withdrawn, please see my article about it entitled—Spiritual Gifts: Do they exist today?] 

Once again, the ministry of the twelve apostles continued right on for a time with the same message they had during Christ’s earthly ministry, but now there was the addition of things pertaining to the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the coming of the Holy Spirit.  Other than that, it was the same.  And this continued right on into the timeframe of the book of Acts for a time.  But it became apparent that Israel was not going to repent [have a change of mind] and accept Jesus as their Messiah.  The ministry of the twelve apostles then faded away as the ministry of the apostle Paul continued.  That program he presented, which we still have today will someday end with that event that is typically spoken of as the Rapture.  [To learn more about that event you can read an article on my website—Rapture: How is this different from the Second Coming.] 

If the people of Israel had responded with repentance [a change of mind] to the message of the twelve apostles, Jesus Christ would have returned to the Earth and established His promised “refreshing” time of an earthly kingdom. Scripture clearly tells us God would have sent Him to do that. 

Acts 3:19-21 

19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when [HOPOS = so that] the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. 

20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 

21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. [Emphasis added] 

Again, this occasion of Christ’s return has been put off to a future time.  Even though the Rapture could occur at any second, the Second Coming is at least roughly seven years away.  That’s because we know that it is a seven-year period of tribulation that immediately follows the occasion of the Rapture.  It is after this period that Christ will come back to the Earth and establish His earthly kingdom. 

If you want to learn about God’s gospel message and Christian life program for us today, you must focus primarily on the writings of the apostle Paul.  Everything outside his writings from the call of Abraham on is addressed to Israel.  That even includes everything from the book of Hebrews to the book of Revelation.  And yes, even those “churches” in Revelation 2 and 3 are Jewish churches [or assemblies] that will exist in the time of the coming Tribulation.  During all that time it will be The Gospel of The Kingdom that will be proclaimed to evangelize the world.  After THAT GOSPEL, The Gospel of The Kingdom, is proclaimed throughout the world Jesus Christ will return to establish His kingdom on Earth. 

Matthew 24:14 

14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. [Emphasis added] 

[For more information about this world evangelism that will occur then, please see my article about it—Second Coming:  Must the world first be evangelized?] 


There’s no record in all of Scripture that the twelve apostles ever preached Paul’s gospel [which is our gospel for today], the Gospel of the Grace of God.  Instead, the gospel the twelve apostles preached was the Gospel of The Circumcision which is also called The Gospel of The Kingdom. 

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