A Study on Right Division Chapter 4

Posted in: Current Issue
By Tom L. Ballinger
Jan 15, 2019 - 12:08:54 AM


Issue # 429

June 04, 2018





Continuing looking at Rule Number 2; “Truth that belongs to a past dispensation must not be read into or interpreted of the Present;” such as,

(d). The Different Gospels
 ─ Since there is much confusion today between the “Kingdom” and the “Church” there is a natural outgrowth ─ the confusion between the various “gospels.” 


The word “gospel,” means “good news.” Of course, there are different kinds of good news; some about politics, foreign affairs, business, sports, and etc. But here, the “gospel” means good news from God. There is good news from God about different things, such as:

(1) The Gospel of the Kingdom (Matthew 4:23)
(2) The Gospel of God (Romans 1:1)
(3) The Glorious Gospel of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4)
(4) The Gospel of the Uncircumcision (Galatians. 2:7)
(5) The Gospel of the Circumcision (Galatians 2:7)
(6) The Gospel of the Grace of God (Acts 20:24)
(7) The Gospel of your Salvation (Ephesians 1:13)
(8) The Gospel of Peace (Ephesians 6:15)
(9) The Gospel of the Glory of the Blessed God (1 Timothy 1:11)
(10) The Everlasting Gospel (Revelation 14:6)

While much of the various Gospels have things in common, to say that they are the same renders words which the Holy Ghost uses to teach with as useless. If the different phrases all mean the same thing. Then, the inspired words of God are useless for the purposes of revelation. 

But, if God has separated these gospels in an effort to teach us His Truth, we must not join together what He has separated. There are many, however, who teach that there is but one gospel, and they do not hesitate to use slanderous language about those who seek to rightly divide these gospels and to apply them to the Time, or Dispensation, to which they belong.

The Gospel of the Kingdom ─ was the “good news” of the fact that the Kingdom of God, which had been the subject of the OT promises and prophesies, was finally “at hand.” The idea of being “at hand” was a Hebrew idiom meaning whatever was “at hand” was the next thing God was going to bring about. That was “good news,” indeed, for those who were looking and longing for what all of God’s prophets had spoken about; “the restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21). Many believed this gospel and believed that the Government (Kingdom) of God was about to be made manifest in the world.

Healing went along with the commission to preach the gospel of the Kingdom; “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils” (Matthew 10:8). This was awesome power endued upon a very select company of men. They were the twelve men Jesus Christ chose to be His Apostles. They were His commissioned agents. It is tragic to see today’s “peddlers” of the “gospel” to fraudulently claim to possess this power. God only gave this power to men He commissioned, the twelve Apostles, in Matthew 10.

The student should read carefully, Matthew 10:5-16, and note there is no reference to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, nor is there any reference to the shedding of His blood. In plainer words, in this gospel, there was no place for “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” It would a be sin to preach this aspect of the gospel of the Kingdom today—inasmuch as, to do so, would be not to preach the shed-blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

After the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a modification of this Kingdom gospel was made so that the message was according to Mark 16:15-20. “Go ye into all the world” and preach the Kingdom gospel and he that believes this gospel and is “BAPTIZED shall be saved.” This is clearly not the gospel of the present dispensation. Notice what accompanied believing the Gospel of the Kingdom after the resurrection of Christ. Those who believed and were baptized had signs follow them, such as:

(1). Casting out of devils
(2). Speaking in new tongues 

(3). Taking up serpents with no harm
(4). Drinking poison with no harm
(5). Healing the sick

All of this was to “confirm the word” of the Kingdom (Mark 16:20). Every believer during the Book of Acts had the gift of exercising these miraculous signs. How foolish it is for today’s believers to try to conjure these “gifts of the Spirit.” It is an absolute impossibility! These gifts were not imparted based upon the amount of one’s faith. Everyone one who believed the Gospel message at the time possessed the gifts upon the very act of believing. These gifts CONFIRMED that the people were, indeed, believers. Those who foolishly try to acquire these gifts by a subsequent baptism, many times, wind up babbling gibberish and falsely claim to have the “gift of tongues.”

The gospel of the Kingdom of God was preached to Israel throughout “The Acts of the Apostles.” By way of contrast, we will note only several of the gospels and allow you to be a Berean and try the things that differ concerning the various gospels.

The Gospel of God ─ was “good news” announced by the Apostle Paul during the Book of Acts. It is chiefly set forth in Romans and is “concerning His (God’s) Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh.” This was “good news” of grace, not proclaimed to Israel only, but to all nations. The purpose was “for obedience to the faith of all nations” (Romans 1:5).


Another facet to the Gospel of God was revealed to the Apostle. He rejoiced in it and proclaimed it where ever he went. It was the “Gospel of the Grace of God” (Acts 20:24). 


The Glorious Gospel of the Blessed God ─ 1 Timothy 1:11, literally, is “the Gospel of the Glory of the blessed God.” This not only includes the good news concerning the sacrifice made by the Lord Jesus Christ and the redemption that is through His Blood, the “gospel of your salvation” (Ephesians 1:13), but it contains good news that now is announced from Heaven. The good news, announced, is the “testimony of our Lord” and Paul His prisoner (2 Timothy 1:8). This Testimony is found in a “form of sound words” (2 Timothy 1:13); those things that Timothy “heard of [Paul] among many witnesses” (2 Timothy 2:2).

The Father of Glory (Ephesians 1:17) announced the good news from the Glory of Heaven that the far off Gentiles have now been “made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13), and they have been called in “one body” which is a “new creation” (Ephesians 2:15).

This gospel of the Glory is found in Paul's Prison Epistles and is the NEWS about God's “eternal purpose” (Ephesians 3:11) which was planned before the world began (Ephesians 1:4) and not made known to the sons of men until it was made known, by revelation, to Paul after Israel’s hope was set aside (Acts 28:28). This good news was made known some thirty odd years after the Lord Jesus ascended into heaven. After the Book of Acts closed, the Lord then revealed to “Paul, the prisoner,” the gospel of the GLORY of the Blessed God. It makes known that Christ is not waiting in heaven for the gospel of the Kingdom to be preached to every creature, nor for the church to convert the world,  but rather, Christ is in heaven, “seated” as the Exalted “Head over all things” (Ephesians 1:22) to a new calling, the Church, which is His body. The “good news” from Glory is ─ God’s Secret Purpose has NOW been made known. The secret purpose is the “
Mystery” (Ephesians 3:3; 9; 6:19; Colossians 1:26-27; 2:2). This gospel makes known the truth concerning the “Church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23). The members of this calling will one day be manifested in glory with Christ (Colossians 3:4). The glorious gospel of the Blessed God is the good news that Christ is NOW among the Gentiles and is their “hope of Glory” (Colossians 1:27). Space limits further discussion on this gospel of the GLORY of the blessed God.

The Everlasting Gospel ─ Is found in Revelation 14:6. It is not to be proclaimed until after the seven seals were opened, after the seven trumpets were sounded, and after the revelation of the superhuman beast of Revelation 13. Then, just before the final judgment of the seven vials, seven angels make seven proclamations (Revelation 14:6-20). The first is the proclamation of the “everlasting gospel.” This is mercy in the midst of Judgment. The command has no reference to the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, but rather “Fear God” as the Creator. Not a word regarding the Redeemer, nor a word concerning grace or glory. It is called “everlasting” because the acknowledgment of God as Creator was before all other good news. This Gospel is just prior to the consummation of the Kingdom
 (Matt. 24:3). It announces God only as Creator.

In order to have harmony, consistency, and truth we must rightly divide the different gospels according to the dispensations to which they belong.


(e). The Sermon on the Mount – has suffered very much at the hand of man. First, this section of the Bible which covers Matthew 5:1 through Matthew 7:29 should not be referred to as a Sermon. But, man has so named it. In plainer words, what they have done they have placed the Lord Jesus Christ in the role as if He were just another preacher preaching another sermon. This elevates the preacher, behind a pulpit, as doing an equivalent work as Christ preaching a “sermon” on the Mount. By calling this dissertation a “sermon” it places Christ on the same level as a preacher, preaching a sermon on Sunday.


Christ taught the people while He was seated on the Mount of Olives. The truths contained in the Lord’s dissertation are very definitely related to the Kingdom of God. Christian orthodoxy, for the most part, has forced Kingdom of God truths upon believers in the Present Dispensation. This muddies the stream of truth. The only way to clear the “stream of truth” is to get the “hogs” out of the middle of the stream. They are the ones fouling-up the stream. The “hogs” are anyone, no matter how well schooled in theology, who fails to rightly divide the Word of Truth.


The truth, Christ taught on the Mount, was appropriate for the time that He taught it until the end of the Book of Acts, when Israel was temporally set aside. Within the context of His teaching it is noted that a blessing was promised to those who were “reviled,” “persecuted,” and falsely slandered (Matthew 5:11) for Christ’s sake. 


Before Israel was set aside a believer could be in jeopardy of condemnation (Mark 3:29), in danger of “judgment” (Matthew 5:21), and whosoever shall call his brother “Raca,” could be in danger of having to go before the “Church council” (Matthew 5:22), or before the judge (Matthew 5:25). These dangers had nothing to do with, as we would say, with their salvation. This is where most folks get messed up by not understanding Kingdom Truth, the danger or jeopardy was concerned with the lives they were living at the time. Truth of the PAST Dispensation must be distinguished from Truth for TODAY.


When the Lord began His Church (Acts 2), believers were incorporated into it. They came under the authority of the leaders, or rulers of the Church. Believers were subjects of the Church of God and its Government, which was administered by the Apostles. Over time, the elders and bishops were appointed as overseers. Church discipline was strict. The Church of God’s higher powers did not bear the “sword in vain.” The higher powers were ministers of God for good (read all of Romans 13:1-6). The higher powers were men appointed and commissioned by Christ as His ministers. There ARE NONE TODAY in the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head. All believers, today, who make up the High Calling of God in Christ, are on the same level. We have no God appointed, or commissioned leaders. Yes, men may have appointed leaders in their churches, or certain men may have advocated or promoted their own leadership in the church which they founded. But, if we are to rightly divide the Word of Truth, we must recognize that there is not one man on earth, today, whom God has commissioned, appointed, anointed, selected, or elected to be a leader, ruler, deacon, or elder in the Church of God, which is His Body. In that period these men were called “lords.” Today’s only authority in the Church is the Head of the Church—the Lord Jesus Christ.


The Apostle Peter was a minister of God during the Acts Period, and he didn’t bear the “sword” in vain when he pronounced a death sentence upon Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11. They were punished for lying to the Holy Spirit by suffering death. That didn’t mean that they would not live, again, when the Kingdom of God will be established. They were put to death in order that they wouldn’t further sin and, THEN, be rejected from entering the Kingdom of God. Put to death in order that they may live again. This sounds preposterous to those who don’t fully understand truth of the PAST dispensation as it related to the Kingdom of God.


This must be understood in the light of other Scripture. Consider the young man in Corinth. He committed a heinous act of fornication with his father’s wife (1 Corinthians 5:1). Some misunderstand, thinking he committed this act with his mother. That is a wrong understanding. His father had wives other than this young man’s mother. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, was disappointed that the Corinthians had not shamed this young man, or exercised some condemnation upon him. So, Paul judged (determined) that he would wield the “sword” and have the man’s life taken in order that he might be saved in the Day of the Lord Jesus [i.e. the day of His Kingdom].


To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Corinthians 5:5).


Paul had second thoughts on the condemnation of the young man who did this deed. He told the Corinthians to forgive him (2 Corinthians 2:1-9). Evidently, after Paul’s first letter, the elders did render some kind of judgment which caused Paul to believe it was sufficient.


Today’s “local church officers” do not have the authority, nor the super-natural power which God’s ordained, appointed, and commissioned men had during the time when “the Kingdom of God” was “at hand.” Much more could be pointed out illustrating the things that differ between the Acts Period Kingdom Truth and Truth for Today.






Copyright © Thomas L. Ballinger 2018

First Printing 1975

Major Revision 2011