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Rick, I believe your question is one of the most profound and important a Christian and Bible student could ask! Much wrong interpretation and especially application has resulted in a wrong or no division of God's Word. It is obvious and undeniable from the verses below that in NO WAY could the disciples have preached Christ's death, burial and resurrection prior to its occurrence. They only had "limited" knowledge and enlightenment. Beginning with John Baptist, Christ and then the disciples the "Kingdom Gospel" was the message. John preached his coming, Jesus and the disciples preached that the Messiah had arrived. There are several references to Christ Jesus telling the disciples that he would be taken, treated badly and then killed but they did not understand, neither did they comprehend his resurrection. Below are a couple. Luke 9:43 " And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples," Luke 9:44 "Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men." Luke 9:45 "But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying." As Jesus, James, Peter and John came down from the mount of transfiguration the Lord spoke to (ordered) them in 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." Mark 9:10 "And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean." "If" the disciples believed in Christ's resurrection out from among the dead: Why were they holed up behind closed doors rather than waiting at the tomb? Why did they disbelieve Mary when she told them? Why did Peter and John run to the tomb after Mary notified them? Why after his first resurrection appearance to them Luke 24:37 says they were "terrified and affrighted". Our precious Lord did open their eyes and understanding AFTER his resurrection in the upper room. John 20:22 "And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:" Luke 24:44 "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me." Luke 24:45 "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures," Luke 24:46 "And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:"
Prior to the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the only gospel which is spoken of is that "the Kingdom of heaven is at hand." Jesus in His role as Messiah was the good news to the Israelites. He fulfilled the prophecies concerning the heir to King David. He fulfilled the prophecies of One who would arise in place of Moses. Therefore, the good news was for the Israelites to repent,and turn back to the Lord GOD. With the New Covenant now in effect, the gospel has a different meaning. For us under the New Covenant, the gospel is clearly the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I think there can be only one gospel and that is,that Christ died for our sins,was buried according to scripture,resurrected and is seated at the right hand of God interceding on our behalf..and that at the Cross our old man was crucified with Christ,the prince of this world was caste off,and the handwriting of ordinances and its binding regulations that were contrary to us were taken out of the way and nailed to the Cross.Finally salvation is obtained only by believing the finished work of Christ on the Cross. MK Amoh
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