INTRODUCTION: FOLLOWING THE RESURRECTION, CHRIST APPEARED UNTO HIS DISCIPLES TO PRESENT HIS GREAT COMMISSION. WAS IT PRESENTED IN ONE SESSION OR DID IT REQUIRE MANY? WAS HE PRESENTING ONLY ONE COMMISSION OR SEVERAL? WHERE DID JESUS DECLARE THE FIRST PLACE THIS GOSPEL MUST BE FULFILLED? READ THE AMAZING STORY IN WHICH GOD HID THE TRUTH IN THE WRITINGS OF FOUR MEN!
PART I CONFUSION OF COMMISSION
Today we will approach quite a controversial subject. We are approaching it in a manner that I seriously doubt you have ever approached it before. Man himself has made great confusion out of the subject which we are about to discuss. Note I said man, not God, has brought about much confusion in his manner of interpreting certain verses of scripture which apply to our subject, yet may I say again, there is no confusion found in the four gospels in respect to our subject THE GREAT COMMISSION.
THE GREAT COMMISSION which Jesus presented unto his church of that hour (namely the apostles) is not found in its entirety in any one man’s writings. On the contrary, the GREAT COMMISSION spoken by Jesus after rising from the dead is found in the writings of four gospel writers. Each man recorded only a portion of that which happened that night. Therefore strange as it may sound to some, THE GREAT COMMISSION is by no means recorded in full in Matt. 25:19. You must realize Mark, Luke, and John recorded as much of that commission as did Matthew, if not more. It is true the great eternal Spirit used all four writers to record only certain portions of that one eventful night when the commission was given.
LIFE STORY OF CHRIST RECORDED BY 4 WRITERS
It is not unusual that God should conceal any one event in the life of Christ within the writings of four individual men, two of whom were not even present at any event nor was even a follower of Christ at that hour. To further show you how God never used only one writer to portray anything about Christ in its fullness or entirety, look for a moment first at the birth of Christ. There is not one gospel writer who presented that story and all its surroundings in its fullness. No, each writer was used to portray something the other writer had not mentioned. Yet, with all four writers’ material combined you have the complete story of the one birth of Christ. Another instance is the crucifixion—you know very well the crucifixion story is not recorded in its entirety solely by the pen of ony ONE writer, yet there was only one time of crucifixion-not four! Therefore until you carefully examine what all four men, called the gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, had to say concerning any one subject, whether it be the birth of Christ, his ministry in a given period, his crucifixion, or even THE GREAT COMMISSION presented to his disciples the same day of his resurrection, you will by no means have the complete story until every writer’s material has been carefully and prayerfully analyzed and examined.
BIBLE SCHOLARS PUZZLED
Take for instance our subject, THE GREAT COMMISSION—Had the Bible scholars in days gone by carefully and prayerfully analyzed all four of the gospel writer’s (God inspired) material on the subject of the GREAT COMMISSION, they would by no means have been left so puzzled and dumbfounded over the fact of why the apostles told 3,000 honest hearted people on the day of Pentecost to repent of their sins and to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin in order to receive the gift of life which of course is none other than the Holy Ghost coming in and taking up his abode in a believer’s heart — when Matthew plainly recorded in the GREAT COMMISSION that Jesus stated, go into all the world and make disciples baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Ghost! People will say, what on earth was wrong with Peter that day, why did he and all those apostles (including Matthew, who I remind you was responsible for the writing in Matt. 28:19) go entirely contrary to that which Jesus said for them to do in the GREAT COMMISSION? (Matt. 28:19) So, therefore, rather than give these anointed apostles who followed Jesus for 3 1/2 years the benefit of the doubt–that perhaps they did know and understand more than certain church people of later years was willing to give them credit for knowing, as to what Jesus actually spoke unto them that night he gave the COMMISSION—these religious people, especially for some 1500 years or so, have simply ignored Acts 2:38 saying, “I know it is in the Bible but I don’t understand it, and my preacher doesn’t understand it either, therefore I am going to simply ignore it and stick to what I believe is recorded for us to do in Matt. 28:19!”
That is fine, but while you are determined to stick so firmly to what you believe is recorded in Matt. 28: 19–stick also to Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20:19-31, for they too were used also to record a vital portion of that GREAT COMMISSION, which we must not ignore if we are to ever possibly understand why the apostles, not only in Acts 2:38 but throughout the scripture, always baptized in the name of Jesus Christ instead of the titles of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost as did this carnal religious world, later to be known as mother of harlots, begin teaching around 325 A.D. and passed this perverted understanding of the GREAT COMMISSION on down to her little protestant daughters after the 15th Century! ( Rev. 17:5) or was it the apostles who perverted the truth of the commission?
SOMEBODY IS GUILTY!
An examination of the entire study of the GREAT COMMISSION as recorded by these four gospel writers, if carefully studied, should solve the problem for any honest heart as to whether it was the mother of harlots along with her protestant harlot daughters who are correct in their interpretation of the GREAT COMMISSION as they openly ignore the operation of the Spirit in the light of these apostles’ teaching, or whether it is the apostles themselves who were correct in what they did at Pentecost in presenting the GREAT COMMISSION and furthermore, whether their manner of interpretation of the COMMISSION is still in effect today as being the correct fulfillment of the GREAT COMMISSION! You have never faced a decision that could be more important than this one! Either the religious world after 325 A.D.. is correct in their interpretation of the GREAT COMMISSION or the apostles to whom the commission was personally given are correct.
ADDING SUBTOTAL FOR ANSWER
Thus, by adding together Matt. 28:19, Mark 16:14-18, Luke 24:36-49, and John 20:19-31 in the revelation of the Holy Spirit, we desire to see if the answer to our problem will come out to the sum total of Acts 2:38! If it does we will be able to understand why all the apostles seemed to have been in on some revelation and were in perfect agreement with Peter on the day of Pentecost when he stated what he did in Acts 2:38. In this article we desire to add up all of our discoveries and findings of these four gospel writers to see if the answer to the problem, provided we follow the formula correctly, will come out in every aspect to Acts 2 : 38 ! If it does we shall know whether Peter was fulfilling the GREAT COMMISION correctly as Jesus instructed, or was he doing something which did not even pertain to the commission!
Why, you may ask, is not the complete story of the life of Christ written by any ONE writer in the gospels? Would this not be a clearer line of thought? Perhaps it might, yet it is not ours to question why God hid things in the scriptural thoughts of various men. (Lk. 11: 25-27 ) Ours is to obey the Spirit of God in order we might be sons of God (Rom. 8:14) not rebel or question why the Almighty has done a certain thing! The fact is, God used four writers to portray the entire picture and each writer is permitted to write the interesting points of certain events affected by this ministry of the man called Jesus Christ, therefore each man writes those statements concerning his Master as they personally affected his own understanding. Is that not still true today? Let a noted politician or dignitary come into town and make a 1 1/2 hour speech and sitting in the audience is a group of newspaper reporters, each representing different newspapers. Although they are all writing about the same event, if you will watch, once they have filed their various reports not c.me of them will word their statements alike; each one will be mentioning something the other person didn’t. They are writing about the same event, nevertheless the speaker’s thought will be carried through each writer’s impression of the speech always, although each writer would write his material as to how it affects him or as he sees the subject affecting others—is by no means writing in the person of someone else! No Sir, he is expressing his own mental feeling concerning that which he is writing about!
COMMISSION NOT DELIVERED OVER PERIOD OF TIME
Only Matthew and John were two of the original disciples who actually walked with Jesus and heard and sciw things first hand. Mark and Luke were not two of the original disciples. Thus, they saw nothing first hand, it was all told to them by others. All these things must be taken into consideration as we study the GREAT COMMISSION in which Jesus gave unto his disciples following his bodily resurrection. Christianity for too long has been reading the scriptures with the idea planted in their minds that Jesus appeared time and again unto his disciples after he arose from the dead each time to present a portion of the commission–first coming to speak what is recorded in Matt. 28:16-20, then disappearing only to later return unto the disciples speaking to them what is recorded in Mark 16:15-18, disappearing and later returning to speak what is recorded in Luke 24: 36-49 and finally returning again to give John’s account recorded in John 20:19-23. Such an unscriptural idea placed in the minds of people has caused them to believe, instead of this being one great event where the entire GREAT COMMISSION was spoken to the disciples that it is actually a number of meetings and during that period of time three or four separate commissions were issued to the church. — WE KNOW THIS IS ALTOGETHER A FALSE CONCEPT OR IDEA CONCEIVED BY WHAT MAN HAS PIECED TOGETHER FROM WHAT HE READS FROM THE FOUR GOSPEL WRITERS!
COMMISSION GIVEN IN FIRST MEETING
Shocking as it may sound to some, all that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote concerning this subject was every bit spoken from the lips of our Lord Jesus on the same night that he appeared unto the eleven and up-braided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart!
Now, don’t misunderstand me, by no means am I saying Jesus did not-on a number of separate occasions after his resurrection appear unto his disciples. On the contrary, he did appear a number of times unto them, however, remember HE DID NOT SCATTER HIS GREAT COMMISSION OUT OVER THESE VARIOUS APPEARANCES which ran into a period of days or even weeks after the resurrection. No, as we shall prove from the scriptures the COMMISSION recorded by these four men, though each man recorded only a small portion of that event, was actually all spoken in one meeting with the apostles, thus making each statement spoken of equal importance!
Contrary to what you may believe, Matthew only recorded the beginning of what Jesus spoke that night. That one night’s meeting when the GREAT COMMISSION was given which includes all Jesus spoke, recorded in four gospels, should be looked upon and understood in this fashion–(1). In that one meeting the Lord Jesus Christ explained everything pertaining to the GREAT COMMISSION which is essential and necessary for any disciple who should later be called christians to explicitly follow and be obedient unto. (2). This GREAT COMMISSION given for the church in that one meeting and years later concealed in the writings of four men should he the one thing that must be taught, adhered to and believed on as recorded and is applicable all down through the ages of time unto the end of the grace age! Is there any wonder there is such confusion existing today within this religious world, seeing they stand guilty of chopping the word of God to pieces, taking certain portions out of context in order to make it fit their own particular teaching especially concerning this great commission?
Keep in mind that even though THE GREAT COMMISSION was given in full to the disciples on the evening of the first day of the week, after he had risen sometime early that morning before daybreak, nevertheless, they were forbidden by Christ to carry out that GREAT COMMISSION until first the church had received its authority through the anointing of the Holy Ghost which came on the day of Pentecost in the Upper Room! – Then watch them for the next 45 years throughout the entire Book of Acts, beginning first with Acts 2:38 and those first 3000 converts, do we see the church get in full swing or in full performance carrying out that GREAT COMMISSION, making disciples in every nation I beginning at Jerusalem and fulfilling to the very letter their understanding of that GREAT COMMISSION! That, beloved, is why it is utterly impossible for trinitarian minds to accept Acts 2:38 as the possible fulfillment, not of some new doctrine, but of the GREAT COMMISSION, which the apostles were personally instructed to carry out.
PERSONAL IDEAS HINDERS
No, that trinitarian mind can’t see the commission fulfilled in Acts 2:38 because they have permitted themselves to become blinded by their own church teaching and explanation of Matt. 28:19 which explanation can in no way receive support from the Word of God! Nevertheless, it is their idea of Matt. 28:19 which hinders them from understanding how beautifully and perfectly the GREAT COMMISSION was fulfilled in Acts 2:38 and not until we study every statement concealed in the writings of these four men will many be able to say PRAISE GOD! Acts 2:38 is the true fulfillment of the GREAT COMMISSION–which also includes Matt. 28:19! Why has man become confused in his thinking, simply because he has split off Matt. 28:19 and separated it from all the other vital scriptures which pertains to the GREAT COMMISSION (the same as does Matt. 28:19).
From the Bible we will prove the GREAT COMMISSION, even though it is found divided into the separate writings of four men, when placed together is none other than that formula which God ordained that every believer within the grace age should be converted unto and that their individual lives should be molded by the effects of what the entire formula will produce.
USE CORRECT FORMULA
Even in mathematics you run into problems you cannot i understand, however, if the formula the mathematician used is followed closely you will see how he arrives at that certain answer; With every problem there is a formula which, if followed correctly, will show you exactly how the answer was derived. The problem today, religiously, seems to be-How can Acts 2:38 possibly be a fulfillment or answer to the GREAT COMMISSION? Yet, if one studies carefully the formula God gave to his disciples that eventful night there will be no problem in understanding the answer to be Acts 2:38! Matt. 28:19 is only a portion of that formula, REMEMBER THAT! Therefore, I repeat, don’t isolate Matt. 28:19 from the majority of the commission recorded by the other three writers! Only with the total formula (not a partial formula) can you take Matt. 28:19 and insert it perfectly into what happened in Acts 2:38!
PART 2 – – COMMISSION AS RECORDED IN GOSPELS
Turn first to Matt. 28:11-15 to study the setting as recorded by the first man to mention this subject of the COMMISSION. Furthermore, Matthew is the only writer of the four who spoke concerning what happened back in the city of Jerusalem while the women were at the tomb being instructed to carry a message to the apostles, reminding them how Jesus would keep his word and meet them in Galilee! Matthew is the only writer who mentions anything concerning the reaction of the high priest early that morning on the first day of the week when word reached them by the excited soldiers who had stood guard at the tomb when Jesus rose from the dead. Matthew alone tells how the high priest encouraged the soldiers to lie concerning what happened at the tomb, offering them a great sum of money to tell the people Jesus’ own disciples came and stole his body out of the tomb, while they were all asleep. How would they know his disciples had done this if they were asleep? See how it always requires another lie to cover up the last one?
MATTHEW RECORDS ONE PART
Matt. 28:16-17—But the eleven disciples went into Galilee unto a mountain which Jesus had appointed them and when they saw him they worshipped him; but some doubted. Recall, prior to the crucifixion, the night of the supper after Judas had disappeared into the night to betray Christ, Jesus instructed the disciples that after his resurrection he would go before them into Galilee and there meet them (Mark 14:28, Matt . 26:32).
LORD SEEN IN GALILEE
Therefore their designated meeting place would be somewhere in Galilee, not in Jerusalem! Why Galilee? Bear in mind Galilee was the territory in which Jesus gathered his apostles and had conducted most of his ministry. The district of Galilee was the territory which began somewhere outside of Jerusalem and went in a northerly direction for quite some distance. Capernaum was the capital city of that district called Galilee while Jerusalem was the Capital of the district of Judea. The reason I feel Jesus sent word early that morning (on the first day of the week after his resurrection) by Mary and the other women-reminding the disciples of his promise to meet them in Galilee (especially Peter) was because on that particular day Jerusalem was in quite an uproar, full of Roman soldiers searching desperately for the disciples hiding place of the missing body of Jesus. Galilee was a district outside the jurisdiction of those (Jewish) Jerusalem soldiers. Therefore Matt. 28:16 shows the eleven disciples assembled together somewhere in Galilee perhaps not too far from Jerusalem and note how this scripture blends so beautifully into the other writers statements concerning the same setting of events. Matt. 28:16 declares the disciples went away into Galilee into a mountain where Jesus had appointed for them to meet him. Another writer mentioned how, early that morning Jesus sent word by the women who visited the tomb to tell the disciples to meet him in Galilee. Verse 17 declares when the disciples saw him (for the first time) at this designated meeting place they worshipped him but some of the disciples doubted. Although Matthew does not mention the presence of others being there also, Luke does – – Luke reveals there were more than eleven involved in the meeting; Matthew is only concerned in his writings with the effects it had on the original disciples or apostles whom the Lord had previously instructed to journey to this certain place in Galilee where he would meet them.
Therefore, understand this one thing–those disciples went to this one spot with definite intentions of meeting Jesus as he had promised them he would do. No, he has not simply dropped in on them unexpectedly even though his meeting with them for the first time did frighten and astonish some of them. Without any remarks surrounding the setting or showing the reaction of the disciples within that first meeting with Christ, that is, how he had to rebuke many for their unbelief and then present unto them positive signs of his bodily resurrection as is recorded by Luke and John, Matthew simply begins to discuss a small portion of what Jesus said in their first meeting—”all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
ELEVATION TO NEW OFFICE
What does Christ actually mean from such a statement? Simply this—having already fulfilled his atonement work at Calvary, that is in bearing the sins of the fallen human race upon his own fleshly body, in that he gave his Godly, sinless life as the ransom price for redemption, shedding his holy sinless blood for the remission and the cleansing of man’s sinful nature, seeing now how he has overcome death, hell and the grave by the resurrection from the dead. The great Eternal Spirit (the Father) who fills all space has now invested in him authority or power that he must soon step into another office work – that of an intercessor or high priest, advocate etc.. And don’t miss this! As the man Christ Jesus is soon to step into that new officework assigned to him, while he shall be away for some time (about 2000 years) in this new office work or until the grace age is completed, he must therefore now commission his chosen disciples to continue on in the earth doing something in his stead or in his place because as John records it Christ stated that night,” as the Father hath sent me, so send I you,” (John 20:21) Who is the father of Christ? Remember always according to Matthew’s account of the birth of Christ, it was Matthew who recorded the father of the Christ child was none other than the Holy Ghost!! ( Matt. 1:18-21.)
Therefore, Christ has given his GREAT COMMISSION to the disciples who will carry on in his stead and in his name, although remember they won’t be allowed to fulfill the commission until after they have been filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-4). However as the commission was given, Matthew records Jesus as having said, “Go ye therefore and make disciples of 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 (in spirit) always, even unto the end of the age. Remember, according to Matthew, the Father and the Holy Ghost is one and the same Spirit! God is only one Spirit! (John 4:24).
MATT. 28:19 ALONE BRINGS CONFUSION
As I stated, the problem with Acts 2:38 arises when a person reads only Matt . 28:19, there is simply no way they can justify in their thinking that which the apostles did to 3000 converts on the day of Pentecost could possibly be a fulfillment of the great commission. No beloved, there is absolutely too wide a scriptural canyon or great gulf to cross over—God made it so! And without the help of all four gospel writers to build a bridge you will never be able to sufficiently and confidently walk from Matt. 28:19, all the way over to the other side into the grace age and on to Acts 2:38. Without the assistance of all the material supplied by the other three writers there is no way you can build the scriptural bridge necessary to get you across! Yet by using all the available material furnished by all four of the writers you are able to build this bridge necessary to get over from Matt . 28:19 onto Acts 2:38 without possibly grieving or blaspheming the Holy Ghost!
Matthew said the Lord told his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, yet Matthew never once interfered with the Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost when this great mass of disturbed people came forth after Peter’s inspired sermon and, not asking Peter alone. because the disturbed multitude said, “Men and brethren (not Peter) what must we do?” Peter the spokesman for the apostles said, repent everyone of you and be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ: Now. beloved, I believe Matthew was a loyal justified disciple of Jesus Christ just as loyal as any of the other apostles present and had Peter become overzealous and simply misrepresented that GREAT COMMISSION as many accuse him of doing, Matthew, who went along with what Peter was doing and saying, would have spoken up and said. Hold it Peter! You know better than that! The Lord didn’t say that, he said baptize them in the name of the father, son, and Holy Ghost! Why did Matthew remain silent if Peter was misleading 3000 souls! Here was their first opportunity to ever use the commission since it had been given and are you going to tell me the Apostle Peter and the other brothers blew it!!
DISCIPLES NOT IGNORANT OF NAME
Jesus said, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, yet according to Matthew’s writing Christ never came right out openly that night and told what the name was! Beloved understand this one thing, with all the teaching that Christ had presented unto these chosen apostles it wasn’t necessary for him to give them the name. Everyone of them knew the name (singular) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. There wasn’t one disciple there that night ignorant or who didn’t understand what the Lord of Glory, robed now in flesh of immortality, meant!
TRUTH ALREADY EXPLAINED
When you connect all of these other scriptures within the same setting of that GREAT COMMISSION and especially turn back the pages of time unto just a few hours before his betrayal into the hands of sinful men (recorded in John chapters 14 thru 16) We find Christ very busy teaching his disciples in their last session how he had come in his Father’s name and finishing these statements he prayed a prayer in John 17 in the presence of his disciples declaring, I have manifested “Thy name.” And moreover, before that last teaching session was concluded Christ told them — I will send you another Comforter, the Spirit of truth (John 14:15-18) who will come in my name (John 14:26).
HOLY GHOST AND FATHER, ONE SPIRIT GIVEN IN JESUS’ NAME
Note that—who will come in my name! Recall only a short time before he had already informed the disciples that he himself had come in his Father’s name. Watch this he is saying the Holy Spirit, who is the Father, is to now be sent in His name and don’t ever forget it was according to Matthew’s own writing in Matt. 1:20 an angel from God instructed Joseph not to put away his wife Mary because of her pregnancy for that which was conceived in her was of the Holy Ghost, proving beyond any shadow of doubt that God (the Father) and the Holy Ghost is not two separate persons or personalities! No indeed, it is one and the selfsame Spirit! Note, the Holy Ghost who, according to Jesus, is supposed to be another Comforter after he leaves, is in reality the Holy Ghost which according to the angel (in Matthew’s account) is none other than the Father of the Christ child!
FATHER OF CHRIST, WHO IS HE?
You know as well as it is biologically impossible for any baby to have two legitimate fathers! Conceived by one but going around calling the other father! RIDICULOUS! Who is the father? The one who brings conception is the father! Nevertheless, if what trinitarians teach about three separate persons being in the Godhead then this is what had to happen—Jesus would have had two fathers! Now Jesus stated the Holy Ghost would be given to the believer in His name, therefore in actuality, you only have one name involved in the cycle! Seeing the Holy Ghost will come in his name, what is his name: His name is Jesus ( Matt 1:21). Jesus is none other than God with us! (Matt. 1:23)
A LESSON WELL LEARNED
Beloved, don’t you trust his disciples? Don’t you believe they knew what he was speaking about that night in Galilee as he gave them the COMMISSION, telling them after they had made disciples (in all nations) to baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost? Therefore, once they had the opportunity to carry out the COMMISSION, it was in the name of Jesus Christ! Those apostles had learned their lesson well—each one made 100% on the test! Having never heard of a trinity of persons in the Godhead they are perfectly aware the Holy Ghost was the father of the Christ child as well as being that one great Eternal Spirit who covers all space. They are also aware how Christ had come in his Father’s name and how the Holy Ghost, who is the Father, was to be given to the believer in his name!
FATHER, SON & HOLY GHOST NOT 3 SEPARATE NAMES
His name was Jesus who was both Lord (Jehovah) and Christ. Any way you look at it there is only one person’s name involved! Father Is not a name, Sun it not a name and the Holy Ghost is not the ovule of some third person. No, the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit is God who stood there robed In flesh. Did not Paul in later years testify to the church how God was in Christ reconciling the world back unto himself, 2 Con 5:19; And did not the angel inform Joseph the name of the child would be Jesus (Matt. 41:21) who would save his own people from their sins and furthermore did not the prophet of old declare that a virgin shall be with child and they shall call his name Emanuel which is interpreted, God with us! Beloved, Jesus who was both Lord and Christ is none other than God with us according to the angel speaking with Joseph (Matt. 1:21-23) and quoting from that same prophet who also stated in Isa. 9:6—a child is born (Jesus) and the government shall be upon his shoulders (in the millennium).
JESUS SHALL BE CALLED MIGHTY GOD, EVERLASTING FATHER
His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Prince of Peace, the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father! Isn’t it strange how the religious world today is willing to accept Jesus as the Counsellor, the one called Wonderful and even the Prince of Peace. However they draw back at the thought of allowing him to be the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father of which the prophet Isaiah prophesied he would be Perhaps you have never seen the Jesus of the Bible! You know when the Jews accept Jesus as Messiah they will accept him as all five because their prophet said that is who he will be! How many of these five things will you accept and openly declare him to be, my dear friend? Accepting Jesus as the five which the Bible declared him to be, you should have no problem understanding what Jesus meant when he said “Make disciples and baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost”. You would know even as the disciples knew that when Jesus said Father, Son and Holy Ghost, he did not have reference to some three separate persons in the Godhead—one named Father, another named the Son (he was the son, but that was not his name) while the third one was named Holy Ghost, such as this blinded religious world thinks of God today! Why? All because of a popular teaching that has been drilled into the religious world, conceived at Nicea in 325 A.D., well over 250 years after the last original apostle had left the scene!
BEAUTIFUL LESSON TAUGHT FROM THE GOSPEL & BAPTISM
To understand more fully whether Christ had reference to three separate and distinct persons being in the Godhead or one, when he used the phrase “baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost” (which we are aware the Apostle John in I John 5:7 declared there were three that bear record in heaven–the Father, Word and Holy Ghost, and note what John said, these three are one–NOT THREE! but nevertheless to see according to scripture whether or not Christ had reference to baptizing in the name of three separate and distinct persons or not let us look at two things—(1). The gospel and (2). Baptism.
GOSPEL IS CENTERED AROUND ONE PERSON
The GREAT COMMISSION is the gospel of God or Christ which is to be preached unto the whole world. According to the Apostle Paul, who declared it to also be his gospel, Rom. 2:16, verified to the Corinthian church how he had preached unto them that which he had received, which he called the GOSPEL. What is the Gospel of God or Christ according to I Cor. 15:1-1. The gospel is simply this—(1). How Christ died for our sins according to the scripture (2). How Christ was buried (3). How Christ rose the 3rd day according to the scriptures. Note, there is no mention of the Father and the Holy Ghost in what Paul considers the GOSPEL! What then is the GOSPEL? It is the DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION of Christ! Now the GREAT COMMISSION was to get this GOSPEL into your life through the new birth. Did you notice how this gospel is centered around only one person! Why can it not be centered around the FATHER (1st person) or HOLY GHOST (3rd person) as some teach exist in the Godhead? The scripture is plain, the gospel centers around three things that one person did almost 2000 years ago—that is, DIE, BE BURIED, AND RISE again the 3rd day according to scripture. All that hinges around this man called Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Why isn’t the gospel centered around the FATHER and HOLY GHOST who, according to some, is the 1st and 3rd person. How could? It -seeing they did not die, nor was buried, nor rose from the dead!!
The gospel is about one who did all three of these things. In order for this gospel to center around three separate persons, three persons would have had to die, three persons would have had to be buried and three persons would have had to be resurrected because that is what the gospel is all about, THE DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION of one person–it can’t be about three, seeing three didn’t do these things! It is all about the one who did!
BAPTISM YOUR IDENTIFICATION WITH SOMEONE
Matthew declares to baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. For a moment let us look at baptism. How often I have heard denominational religious groups who believe that the mode of baptism is immersion in water, that is carrying a convert under the water, covering them over with water resembling that of a watery grave and to this I completely agree. But for what purpose is baptism? Someone will quickly say, it is for identification with something for Romans 6 declares it identifies us with someone and just like the gospel which was about Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, but WHOSE? Again, I ask you, who died? Who was hurled? and Who arose from the dead?–not the Father or the Holy Ghost who some declare to be the first and third persons, separate and distinct in the Godhead. No, my friend! Baptism identifies you with Christ seeing he is the only one who did these three things! ( Rom. 6:3-5). Therefore, don’t you see it is impossible to be identified in baptism with the Father and Holy Ghost if they are two separate and distinct persons from Jesus Christ who many feel is the 2nd person. It is impossible for you to be identified with the first and third person in baptism! Therefore on the basis of what the Gospel and baptism is, it would have been totally impossible for Christ to have been telling his disciples when you are baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, you are identifying the convert with three separate persons seeing that three persons didn’t die, wasn’t buried, nor rose from the dead!!
EVERY STATEMENT CARRIES EQUAL WEIGHT
Had you been there the night of his betrayal and heard him personally speak the things he did all of which are recorded in John 14 thru 17 and then been present along with the others that night after he arose from the dead and heard him say all the things which are recorded in the four gospels, you too would know what he meant by all of this. Why? Simply because you would have heard him teach it first hand! However, the reason all of this appears as though it is something foreign or different unto us as gentiles is because we weren’t there! Had you been there to hear it all first hand you would know all this written in the four gospels carries equal weight seeing as it was all stated in this one setting. However the only way we who were not there can know it all was stated in one setting, even though it gives the appearance at first glance of a number of different settings seeing how it was all deliberately concealed and distributed throughout the four gospel writers by the Holy Ghost, today we, as gentiles, must conceive it and receive it through the revelation of the Spirit or, in other words, God himself must speak to us (through the word) showing us what actually happened and what was spoken that night. And recall we are only in the first portion of what was stated in that meeting! Jesus said,
USAGE OF WORD BAPTISM
“Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name etc….” First, let us note the usage of the word baptism as mentioned here. Baptizing them in the (one) name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost (Jesus Christ). Name-you will note is singular (name) not plural (names) as it would have been had father, son, and Holy Ghost all three been the names of three separate persons. Odd isn’t it? How many people want to lift that 19th verse completely out of its context and isolate it from all the rest of the scripture dealing with the commission trying to make it stand alone! Is there any wonder they cannot make it connect with that of Acts 2:38? Instead they take this one verse Matt. 28:19 and make it apply to a carnal teaching the carnal church hatched up in 325 A.D. Yet, in doing so they are unable to find one place in the scripture after the commission was given where it was carried out or interpreted as they themselves try to interpret it! No, not even history itself will reveal the whereabouts of one person being baptized according to this man made carnal interpretation until around 150 A.D. perhaps as much as 50 years or more after the death of the last original apostle.
MATT. 28:19 ALONE IS MISUNDERSTOOD
Why then this error in thought concerning the baptizing in the name of the father, son and Holy Ghost? I repeat, simply because this one verse is isolated from the remainder of the great commission making it appear to be a commission alone. Remember Matt. 28:19 alone is not a commission, it is only a portion of the one GREAT COMMISSION Christ gave his disciples. No, that formula alone can’t ever solve the misunderstanding over Acts 2:38.
REPEATING PHRASE NOT REQUIRED
In Norway, sometime ago, I heard a German brother illustrate Matt. 28:19 in this manner; Please remember, Jesus never instructed any disciple to ever merely repeat his statements word for word. No, instead he instructed them to use the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Ghost for baptism, showing only one singular name would be involved for the answer. This brother asked the question—”How much is 3 plus 3 plus?” The person answered, why it is 3 plus 3 plus 3. No, replied the brother, that is not what I asked you—I asked you how much is it? Again the man repeated his same answer. The German brother said, that is not so, 3 plus 3 plus 3 is 9. The same is true here with Christ’s statement baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. The answer to the COMMISSION is not to repeat his phrase! He wasn’t asking them to repeat his statement over a convert, but instead carry out his COMMISSION-to baptize them in the name! Not one instance can be found in Acts, the history of the early church, which covers over 40 years, where they (the disciples) ever repeated that phrase as do both Catholic and Protestant ministers today! No, instead they used the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Ghost—THAT NAME WAS NONE OTHER THAN JESUS WHO IS BOTH LORD AND CHRIST! Not one disciple was in the dark as to what Christ meant! Christ was not expecting those disciples to repeat his words verbatim, AND YOU CANNOT FIND ONE PLACE THEY DID!
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Beloved, that 19th and 20th verse especially leads you straight back into John chapter 14 thru 17 where Christ in his last teaching session was busy explaining to his disciples his deity as well as his name; how he had come in his father’s name and now the Holy Ghost (who was none other than the Father) would come in his name. Beloved, if you won’t isolate Matt. 28:19 from the rest of the COMMISSION given by the three other writers you will certainly be able to see verse 19 in a somewhat different light as we move on.
Matthew wrote only a few of the outstanding remarks which he heard the Lord mention that eventful night. Matthew recorded those words of the COMMISSION WHICH RANG SO PROFOUNDLY IN HIS EARS.
MATTHEW’S LETTER BROUGHT NO GUILT
Yet remember beloved, not even Matthew, who finally wrote the first letter for the church to study after the day of Pentecost, did not write it until possibly four years after the hour this was delivered! Matthew wrote his account years before the other three were written. However, the other three gospels which carry the remainder of that GREAT COMMISSION were written from 5 to 30 years after Matthew’s account, yet beloved when Matthew’s gospel appeared for study (being the only one). Matt. 28:19 DID NOT CHANGE THE DIRECTION OR COURSE OF THE CHURCH in the light of the GREAT COMMISSION as it appeared to have done over 200 years later (325 A.D.) long after all four gospels had appeared. Beloved, John never applied the finishing touches on to that COMMISSION until 60 years after it had been given! Therefore, it must be remembered that any incident recorded by these four individual men were certainly not written verbatim in every little word or detail as the Lord uttered it at any given time. Their writings embrace or cover certain outstanding events and statements which they themselves heard personally or statements others heard and informed them about, thus in Mark and Luke’s account it was all handed down unto them from eyewitnesses.
Beloved, had God not given us any other account of that night other than Matthew’s. people might be somewhat more justified in forming the opinion that Christ was actually declaring (as trinitarians believe after 325 A.D. )–to baptize them in the name of (3 persons) the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost…! Although I must say according to the Book of Acts, once Matthew’s gospel came forth, the church of that hour never once felt they were wrong in what they were doing in baptizing converts in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins!
COMMISSION ACCORDING TO MARK
Therefore before forming any hasty opinion or conclusion as to the actual fullness of this GREAT COMMISSION based merely from Matt. 28:19, let us consult the next gospel writer, Mark, to learn still more about what was spoken that night. Mark, as you recall, was not an original disciple but was the nephew of Barnabas who was a co-worker and traveling companion to Paul the apostle, on his first missionary journey. Mark heard oral reports from personal eyewitnesses such as Peter and others who were present that night, hence the words found in Mark 16 are what stood out so vividly unto him concerning the night the COMMISSION was given. Mark’s gospel is dated between 57-63 A.D., roughly 20-25 years after Matthew’s account. We begin with Mark 16:12 where we note only a brief setting surrounding that hour. Mark tells how Mary Magdalene, from whom Jesus had cast seven devils, ran to give her report unto the disciples of what she had seen at the tomb. When the disciples heard Christ was alive, many disbelieved her report. Mark uses only two short verses to touch on Christ revealing himself to two (disciples) who walked in the country, whereas Luke tells the entire story using 20 verses! Next Mark jumps to verse 14 only to slightly mention the setting in the room before Jesus spoke the commission. Afterward Jesus was manifested unto the eleven who sat at meat, upbraiding them for their unbelief and hardness of heart over the fact they couldn’t accept the fact he had risen bodily from the dead and said to them,
“Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (to the whole creation)–verse 16, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved but he that believeth not shall be damned!” However, note, although Mark strongly emphasized the fact Jesus brought in water baptism thak night, he denotes only one verse to it and then no where does he mention a word concerning the name in which to baptize or bury these converts, although he does say, if you believe and are baptized you shall be saved! Again we note the word baptized is found in the second account also Mark is also recording certain phrases which Jesus uttered that night as he gave forth the COMMISSION phrases which neither Matthew, Luke, or John will even touch upon. The word baptize which means to immerse, completely bury or cover over, could by no means imply sprinkling or pouring a few drops of water upon the head, calling that baptizing the converts. John the Baptist instituted something new, he was a baptizer of converts in water. Recall, even Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. And coming up straightway out of the water he was led into the wilderness by the Spirit etc… Coming up straightway out of the water does not sound like a few drops were sprinkled over his head, does it? Mark 1:10.
SIGNS FOLLOW BELIEVERS
The one thing I want you to note that Mark brings out in his account which others did not touch upon was that Jesus said “these signs shall follow them that believe” yet many modernistic teachers of theology will declare verse 17 and 18 are not found in the original text, therefore to them, it is uninspired. All I have to say is, shame on anyone for making such a foolish statement when the Book of Acts absolutely is a confirmation of how the early disciples took that GREAT COMMISSION in its entirety and went forth beginning on the day of Pentecost with 3000 souls converted to this COMMISSION in Acts 2:38, seeing how all of them were so obedient to continue steadfastly in the apostles doctrine after being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins! (Acts 2:41-42-1 43). And the one thing you see throughout the Book of Acts was those signs mentioned in Mark 16:17-18 following not only the apostles but deacons and other believers of the church! Therefore to say verses 17-18 are uninspired is nonsense! Once you begin linking the scriptures together you can see how it forms a beautiful picture of signs following the believers exactly as Mark taught. To those who think this passage in Mark 16:17 is uninspired should read Heb. 2:3-4 to see how God confirmed what the apostles were doing both with signs and wonders and divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost according to his will as this great salvation was going forth through this Great Commission.
SIGNS PERFORMED IN NAME
Mark not only records how these signs shall follow them that believe but that these signs are to be performed in a name, the same as Matthew said the baptism in water was also to be performed in a name! “In my name” they do such and such (verse 17). Please note the phrase “In my name” (the name of Jesus the Christ) is also mentioned. In passing, let me emphasize that it is in the name or through this name of Jesus that Christ declares there would be six signs to follow the true believer. Where was this spoken? In the same hour the rest of the GREAT COMMISSION was given! Mark further declares, speaking of course after the day of Pentecost when the disciples went forth with the COMMISSION—they went forth and preached everywhere and the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word with signs following!
SIGNS SEEKERS WARNED
However, recall in Matt. 7:21-23, closing his sermon on the mount, Jesus gave forth a serious warning to certain people who would favor Mark 16 over the other parts of the COMMISSION declaring there would be what he termed WORKERS OF INIQUITY who would plead with him in the last day arguing that they should not be cast out (of his presence) seeing they had believed in signs saying they had cast out devils, in his name and also had done many wonderful works in his name! Yet he would say, depart from me you WORKERS OF INIQUITY (those who know to do right but do it not).
Isn’t it strange how modern day pentecost who believe strongly in the baptism of the Holy Ghost, along with the signs and wonders as well, become guilty of breaking off Mark 16 along with Matt. 28:19 and forming themselves a separate commission all from these two writers when there is still so much more to be found stated by Luke and John as to what was said that night! Pentecost takes these two writers alone and make themselves a separate gospel to carry to the world in order to make disciples then baptize them into a trinity of persons. Beloved, the Bible was not given to us in order that we might take certain scriptures out of context or isolate them from all the other scriptures relating to the same subject, nevertheless, what we find in many cases among people isolating certain scriptures, they do so to fit their own purpose, that is, to conform certain verses unto their own ideas inherited from their religious denominational fathers who are by no means the apostolic fathers Peter, James, John etc! No indeed, their religious fathers stem from the Reformation which came out of the Dark Ages of Catholicism. Bear in mind, no written scripture will ever contradict another written scripture. It must be understood in the correct concept of thought and it will fit, or interlock, with all other scripture which bears relationship to a certain subject. No scripture may be isolated from the other scriptures that one might choose to use.
Concerning the actual commission, Mark, in verse 15 quotes Jesus as saying, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” I remind you, Mark’s setting is the same as the other three writers. Christ who had just up-braided them for their hardness of heart and unbelief said, “go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,” Isn’t that practically what Matthew said in Matt. 28: 19— Mark’s primary aim was not to expound on baptism but upon signs which would follow the true believer.
COMMISSION ACCORDING TO LUKE
Perhaps no one as much as Luke recorded this one great event of that eventful night. Luke was not only a doctor, neither was he one of the original apostles nevertheless in writing his gospel he stated in Luke 1:3 that because of his perfect understanding of all things from the very first, he would write this letter. According to Luke his perfect understanding is derived from oral testimony of many people who were eyewitnesses of certain events. Turning to Luke 24, Luke denotes an entire chapter to the subject and its surroundings, beginning at Golgotha.
PROMISED MEETING IN GALILEE
Early Sunday morning, the first day of the week, before dawn Mary Magdalene, Johanna and Mary the mother of James and some other women visited the tomb only to find it empty and the stone rolled away. Not even the tomb guards were present, seeing earlier they had witnessed a great earthquake and an angel descend from heaven to roll away the stone and sit upon it. His appearance Matthew said – was like lightning and his raiment like snow. Terror struck the heart of the watchers of the tomb as they became as dead men. According to Matt. 28, who recorded this portion concerning what happened to the terrified Jewish soldiers, the Jewish soldiers had fled into the city to report to the high priest what had happened. According to Luke, the women saw an angel at the tomb who instructed them to take a message from the risen Lord to the disciples and reminded them how that before the crucifixion several days prior he had promised to meet them after his resurrection first in Galilee. Returning from the tomb with this joyous message for the eleven and all the others, Luke declares the women’s words appeared in the sight of the believers as idle talk and they disbelieved them. Peter ran to the empty tomb, then departed to his home wandering at that which had come to pass. Two of the men who had been in the company that morning when the report reached them was also returning to the city of Emmaus where they dwelt and Luke denotes 20 verses (to Mark’s two verses) concerning the discussion of the two men on the road to Emmaus when Christ appeared and walked along beside them. Remember this is the afternoon of the same day! Recall, a Jewish calendar day begins at 6 o’clock or late in the evening, not at 12 midnight as does Roman Calendar time. The two disciples going to Emmaus reached a certain inn in the late afternoon and were still totally unaware that he who walks beside them is the resurrected Christ of whom they that morning had shared in the unbelief of the resurrection and not until they had persuaded him to turn aside with them and he sat at meat, took bread, blessed and broke it, and passed it unto them, were their eyes opened and they recognized his nail-prints and he vanished from their sight. Bear in mind, Christ had earlier sent word to the apostles (especially Peter) how he would first meet them in Galilee and in Galilee they would first see the Lord. Therefore beloved, these apostles by late evening were not in Jerusalem, no not at this late evening hour as it might appear to some from the wording of Luke’s account.
GALILEE OR JERUSALEM, WHICH?
As Christ disappeared from the midst of the two astonished disciples, they arose that very how, and returned to Jerusalem to the same spot where they were early that morning when the women brought word that Christ would meet the apostles in Galilee, for it was here before his crucifixion he – had promised to meet them. Nevertheless it was here in Jerusalem no doubt, among this group they soon learn the location of the apostles who had already gone to Galilee as the Lord earlier instructed and hastily journeyed there. Now mind you, it was close enough to Jerusalem that they were able to go unto this location and report their good news and it still considered the first day of the week: Here they learn the Lord had already spoken with Peter and in this high realm of excitement as they are in the process of relating their story to the apostles and those present. Jesus appeared. Where did he appear? Where did he promise to first meet with them after the resurrection? Beloved, it would be totally impossible for the disciples to have been in Galilee and Jerusalem at the same time: Remember when Jesus said I will meet you in Galilee he didn’t have reference to the Sea of Galilee, although he did make his third appearance before the 40 days expired by the Sea of Galilee with some of the apostles according to (John 21:14). Luke didn’t explain exactly who it was they found in Jerusalem who informed them where the eleven would be located, yet one thing is sure, the eleven can’t be in Jerusalem since being instructed to meet Jesus in Galilee and that first meeting takes place in the closing moments of that first day of the resurrection! Hence, it only sounds like they were in Jerusalem because of Luke’s wording! It was Galilee where they would see the Lord, not Jerusalem. There is no writer who stated that Jesus would first see them in Jerusalem! NO, his designated place of meeting the apostles was Galilee! Recall Mark records that particular scene in very few words. Mark 16:12.13 says this, “Christ manifests himself in another form unto the two as they walked on their way in the country and they went away and told it unto the residue, neither believed them.” However, note verse 14 declares, and afterward he was manifested unto the eleven as they sat at meat.
“ELEVEN”–A COLLECTIVE TERM
Here we must realize that the eleven is a collective or overall term concerning the apostles. not an exact number, because actually when we reach John’s account of the same hour and same commission, John informs us that Thomas was not even present at that moment the Lord appeared! Furthermore, Paul in his account of the event, speaking in I Cor. 15:5 says Christ appeared to Cephas then to the twelve–Here again is another collective term. Beloved, using this term “eleven” and “twelve” apostles is a collective term because I am sure you realize the twelve apostles would have included Judas who had already hanged himself or Matthias who at that hour was not an apostle, no not until the day of Pentecost was he elected to fill Judas’ ministry. However, Matthias could have easily been present at the first meeting in Galilee, seeing a number of people were present. Acts 1:22.
OTHER DISCIPLES PRESENT
Luke, in his account leading up to the GREAT COMMISSION more than any other writer, brings in far more of the actual detail setting surrounding that first day of the week. Luke brings in how there were certain other disciples which too had become affected by the great event of the resurrection early that morning along with the other events which transpired throughout the day. As this collectively began to affect the disciples they now began to converge in Galilee, where they were instructed, in order to see the Lord. No beloved, this wasn’t some 2nd or 3rd time for them to see the Lord, this was their first because the scripture declares many were afraid, terrified, unable to believe their own eyes when he first appeared. They thought they had seen his spirit. They thought he was in Spirit form but Christ soon convinced them he was not in Spirit form, but standing there in bodily form.
FRIGHTENED DISCIPLES IN FIRST APPEARANCE
Mark says afterward, meaning sometime after the appearance of Christ with the disciples on the road to Emmaus, he was manifested to the eleven (Mark 16:14) while Luke 24:36 worded it-as they spake these things he himself stood in the midst of them and said peace be unto you, but they were terrified and afraid supposing they had seen a spirit and he said unto them, “Why are ye troubled and wherefore do reasonings arise in your hearts. See my hands and my feet that it is I myself; handle me, and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as you behold me having.” And when he said this he showed them his (nail prints in his) hands and feet, (Luke 24: 38-40). Isn’t it strange Mark, Matthew, nor John says anything concerning this part? John says just enough that proves the setting is the same, only he goes into no detail whereas Luke, who wasn’t even one of the original disciples and who doesn’t even write his letter until somewhere between 65-68 A.D., yet being an educated man knows how to take all this information which has been handed down to him through oral conversations and from this vast memory of oral conversation he has acquired from all the other disciples has now compiled or built it up into a complete story and writes it in such minute detail in so much that he brings out beautifully every small detail of the event. Here in the latter part of 60 A.D. is the first time that particular setting has ever been written down for future believers to read and embrace. Matthew or John could have either one stated this, seeing they saw it first hand however they didn’t. John, as I said, will barely touched upon this part, only mentioning Jesus coming into their midst saying, “Peace be unto you” and showed them his hands and side—nothing more is said.
CHRIST PROVES RESURRECTION
Luke continues in minute detail in verse 41-43 Christ, in order to prove to his disciples here in their first meeting in Galilee that he was not a spirit as some thought, not only showed to them his hands and feet, but also asked them if they had anything to eat. To this they offered him a piece of broiled fish which he ate before their startled eyes. THIS HE DID TO PROVE HIS RESURRECTION! Remember they were assembled here because Jesus had told them to. He first mentioned this the night before the crucifixion after Judas Iscariot had gone away to betray him. Following his resurrection he again sends the apostles word (as if to say, Don’t forget!) I will meet you in Galilee, Luke 24:44-49.
Having proven unto the disciples that he had actually come forth in a literal, bodily resurrection and proven the point through several different means of the natural, he now uses the word of God, Luke says, and proves from the scripture that Christ must suffer and rise again from the dead on the third day (not after the third day) and how repentance and remission of sin should be preached in his name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem. Notice beloved, how much Luke mentioned that transpired here in this one meeting in Galilee of which none of the others go into detail whatsoever!
WORD DECLARES RESURRECTION
After quieting them down Jesus said unto them, these are my words which I spoke unto you while I was yet with you, how that all things must need be fulfilled which are written in the law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms concerning me. Then opened he their understanding (mind) that they might understand the scriptures as he said unto them, “thus it is written”-Beloved, I am so thankful he took the scriptures and proved by the word his own resurrection. Not only by showing his hands, side, and feet and the eating of the broiled fish and a piece of honeycomb as well, but after that he took up the scriptures and showed them by the word how this had to be. This is a generation who doesn’t want the Bible! They will accept anything for a substitute. They had ten times rather taken a substitute than what the Bible says, but think of it, verses 44-46 shows he was using the scriptures to back up his own resurrection from the dead!
REPENTANCE & REMISSION OF SINS
Recall, we are still in that first meeting somewhere in Galilee and after Christ explained from the scriptures how he is to suffer and die and raise again the third day—watch what else he says—“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem”. Remember both Matthew and Mark stated Jesus said to go into all nations and baptize them yet neither man mentions the first thing concerning how in these gentile nations they were to preach repentance and remission of sins and it was to be preached in his name among all of those nations beginning first at Jerusalem! However John’s account will throw still more light on this particular part of the commission once we cover it.
Now beloved, are you beginning to see more clearly where Peter on the day of Pentecost knew what he was doing and how he did fulfill the GREAT COMMISSION and what he did was not a mistaken error as mistaken error as some want to indicate! Remember it was the same writer who wrote both Luke and the book of Acts and Luke says here at the time the COMMISSION was given Jesus told the disciples that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name in every nation in the world beginning first at Jerusalem. Then in Acts 2:38 Luke shows that this gospel of repentance and remission of sins which was to be preached in Jesus’s name did begin at Jerusalem where it was supposed to once Peter told 3000 to first repent—that is exactly what Luke said in verse 47, though I repeat neither Matthew nor Mark used this word repentance, however on the day of Pentecost the first thing Peter said was “repent everyone of you and be baptized (everyone of you) in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins!” Note the second thing in that COMMISSION was remission of sins! Luke says in verse 47—and remission of sins should he preached in his name starting at Jerusalem! Are you beginning to see somewhat more clearly how, using all the formula of the great commission, it gives for a better understanding of what the apostles did in Acts. 2:38!
I had rather not touch any further upon remission of sins for the moment, as to how it is to be performed, found here in verse 47 of the COMMISSION, until first we have picked up John’s account and then tie it all together showing how remission of sins was to be performed by the disciples and that this remitting of sins came only as one was being baptized In water! May I ask you a serious question—since when does Matt. 28:19 outweigh Luke 24:47 seeing both are spoken in the same meaning? Yet here is the argument of confused trinitarians–but Jesus said Matt. 28: 19 and Peter said Acts 2:38! But I say unto I you, so what! Don’t you realize the same Holy Ghost which inspired Matt. 28:19 Inspired Acts 2:38!
HOLY GHOST INSPIRED
Don’t people realize Peter absolutely fulfilled exactly to the letter what Jesus spoke recorded in Matt. 28:19 as well as Luke 24:47! Listen again to Luke, writer of both the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, as he refers to the GREAT COMMISSION saying Jesus said “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in my name beginning at Jerusalem! How much clearer would it have to be for this religious world to accept the Bible instead of Babylon teaching?! That is exactly what Peter did and he did it in Jerusalem exactly as Jesus had instructed! Furthermore are you aware Matthew stood right there and supported Peter as he instructed the 3000! No beloved, Matthew nor any other apostle raised up in opposition against what Peter said because there wasn’t anything there to oppose! It is the religious church world who in later centuries rose up in opposition and opposed what Peter said and did! Why, because they wanted to embrace a doctrine of the trinity of persons which is contrary to the Bible and by taking Matt. 28:19 and separating it from all the rest of the COMMISSION they were able to convince through much pressure, imprisonment,yes and even death, that there was a verse of scripture that would back their carnal theory, therefore separately they used Matt. 28:19, discarding its fulfillment in Acts 2:38 and started themselves a separate gospel program altogether from that of the apostles and early disciples! Yet strange enough this organization in later years claimed Peter was their first pope and that popes can’t make a mistake! This religion was known In scripture as mystery (religious) Babylon, mother of harlots, in all its confusion using the unscriptural office of priests to push this theory, having completely done away with the fivefold ministry as the Bible in Eph. 4:41 indicated should lead the church! CONFUSION! CONFUSION!
COMMISSION ACCORDING TO JOHN
Now to examine our final account and see what John had to say concerning that special night and then tie it all together for a surprising conclusion to see if it will justify the actions of the apostles in Acts 2:38. Certainly John, being one of those original Jewish apostles who was present that night for the meeting, needed no one to inform him what was said, yet not until around 85-90 A. D., at least 60 years later, will John write his letter—possibly 6 or 7 years before being thrown onto the Isle of Patmos in 95 A. D. where he received that marvelous revelation from Christ concerning the future of the bride church (which walked in the COMMISSION as delivered by the apostles) as well as the carnal church (which did not). No doubt God wanted John’s testimony recorded, seeing it would be a testimony which would help be responsible for steering and guiding the true church on in truth even after his death, and undoubtedly it was these testimonies that kept the true church in perfect alignment with the revealed word of God, especially in following the GREAT COMMISSION and abiding in the apostle’s doctrine until around 325 A. D. when the enemies of Christ became strong and powerful enough to call forth their first church council and completely overthrow what little of the original apostles’ doctrines was still. in existence and being obeyed, especially concerning the originality of the GREAT COMMISSION as Christ presented it unto his chosen disciples.
Note how, in John 20. John is relating things which happened that night or was spoken that night as the GREAT COMMISSION was given to the church. Things which neither Matthew, Mark, or Luke mentioned in their account. We must realize that John’s account of the GREAT COMMISSION, though not given until practically 60 years later, is just as vital to show why the apostles had followed the pattern which they had, beginning with Acts 2:38. John’s contribution to what was stated that night is just as great as Matthew, Mark or Luke’s. And I think you will note how Luke and John are much upon the same line of thought, dealing with the repentance and remission of sins that was to be preached in his name.
Our study of John’s account begins with John 20:19. Although first notice the events of that day as recorded by John who also mentions how Mary Magdalene, early that morning before daylight, had visited the tomb only to find the stone rolled away exposing an empty tomb. This she reports to Simon Peter and John. (Beloved, seeing each account shows Christ arose before daybreak the first day of the week and already realizing a Jewish day begins at sunset in the evening, how can it be that some people always want to pretend he arose on the closing of Saturday Evening? Both Simon Peter and John dash off to the tomb, then the disciples went away unto their own homes ( which of course are not in Jerusalem).
UNAWARE OF RESURRECTION
Mary, standing without the tomb weeping, looks and sees two angels dressed in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain. Asking her why she wept, she replied–because they have taken away my Lord and they have taken away my Lord and I know not where they have laid him. Verse 14 declares after finishing this statement she turned herself back and behold, Jesus was standing, although she was unaware it was Jesus. He asked her why she wept and who she was seeking? She, thinking he was the gardner, said sir, if thou hast taken him from here tell me where you have laid him and I will take him away. Calling her name Jesus said, Mary! In her Hebrew tongue she excitedly shouted, RABBONI, which is interpreted: Master! Touch me not for I am not vet ascended unto the Lather but go unto my brethren and say to them, I ascend unto your father and my Father and my God and your God. Mary Magdalene reported to the disciples she had seen the Lord and What he had spoken unto her.
TOUCH IN A DIFFERENT WAY
May we pause briefly to comment on verse 17 where Jesus told Mary, touch me not seeing I have not yet ascended unto the Father…Although it should be noted that late the same evening in order to prove his bodily resurrection before his astonished, bewildered, and terrified disciples he asked them to touch him—WHY? In order that they might know he wasn’t a spirit seeing he had appeared unto them in a body of flesh and bones. Why would he refuse Mary the touch she desired which was a touch of support or comfort, yet tell the disciples they could touch hith? We realize Jesus was shortly going to enter into a new role—that of high priest and naturally we realize once a high priest enters into his actual office as was demonstrated by the earthly high priests of Israel no one could touch them, err they would be defiled before entering the Holy of Holies with the blood atonement.
It was only Mary he told not to touch him as he had not ascended to the Father. The thought of the original text seems to be implied here, Mary, don’t cling to me seeing I have not come to remain permanently. In other words, you will have to get adjusted to the fact my flesh won’t be around for you to lean upon in your sorrow and grief. Oh yes, he could still be touched but no longer would the touch be the same. According to Hebrews he is touched by the feeling of our Infirmities, Heb. 4:14-15, Seeing that we have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens (the man) Jesus the Son of God. Let us hold fast our profession for we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us then come boldly unto the throne of grace that we might obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. This beloved would be the new route or way the believers of that hour must now adjust themselves in touching Christ. While in his fleshly role of life he was touched often by the disciples, John declared we held him, touched him who was Word of Life made flesh), by the pressing crowds etc. However now after the resurrection, yes and even before he enters into his new role as high priest everyone who has loved him dearly and followed him must become adjusted to the new way or route in which they shall now touch the Lord! That is through the feeling of our infirmities!
EVENING TIME IN GALILEE
John 20:19-25 declares it is now the evening of the same day. “When therefore it was evening on that day, the first day of the week and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst and said PEACE BE UNTO YOU! Where had Christ declared earlier he would meet his GALILEE! Recall it was here Luke inserted how the two disciples on the road to Emmaus finally located the disciples and were telling them what happened when he appeared to them and said PEACE BE UNTO YOU. (Mark stated “afterward he appeared”). John doesn’t discuss anything concerning the terrified reaction of the disciples at the first sight of Jesus, as did Luke, he only declared in verse 20 “and when he said this, he showed unto them his hands and his side.” This of course, as we have already stated, was to prove he had come forth in a bodily resurrection. Not a word is mentioned by John concerning how Christ took the scriptures and explained them, opening their understanding and then declaring this gospel of repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name beginning at Jerusalem, as Luke recorded. Yet here John says something that happened in that meeting no one else mentions which will back up Luke’s statement and tie perfectly into Luke 24:47 as well as the fulfillment of the COMMISSION over in Acts 2:38!
John states the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. (Sure they were, once he had cleared out all the cobwebs of unbelief and doubt which lodged in their minds concerning his bodily resurrection, an event described by Luke.) Jesus therefore says unto them again, PEACE BE UNTO YOU, as the Father has sent me, even so send I you. (Note here he is commissioning them). No beloved this is not the third or fourth appearance of Christ unto his disciples, IT IS THE FIRST!! And when he had said this he breathed on them and said unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost!
Before continuing on with the thought I must pause here to say, Jesus was not actually giving the disciples the Holy Ghost at this point, that is, to take up his abode in their life and lead them. No, that came for them in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost when tongue. of fire set upon each of them, etc. Here they are receiving a preparatory command to receive the Holy Ghost. Had they literally received the Holy Ghost here, the Apostle Thomas would not have received the Spirit seeing he was not present when this commission was given. And had they received the anointing (or the baptism) of the Holy Ghost here, they would not have been commanded, as they were 40 days later according to Acts 1:8, to tarry in Jerusalem to receive the power or the Holy Ghost not many days hence. No beloved, they would have already been anointed at the time the GREAT COMMISSION was given therefore there would have been no need for them to tarry in Jerusalem until they had received the promise, the Holy Ghost (Luke 24:49).
JESUS WAS THAT SPIRIT TO COME
Recall, Jesus, prior to his crucifixion, was teaching his disciples about the Holy Ghost or the Comforter that should come, saying this spirit was the spirit of truth whom the world couldn’t receive because it could neither see him nor know him, but you know him, Jesus said to his disciples, for he dwells with you and shall be in you! I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU COMFORTLESS, I WILL COME TO YOU (John 14:16-181.) Note, Jesus himself declares to be the spirit that should come unto them. How else could Christ be in you beloved, but by the spirit (Col. 1:27). Therefore the Holy Ghost was the Spirit of Jesus Christ! Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained. Here is a part of the GREAT COMMISSION as important as any statement made by any disciple concerning what was spoken that night. And note verse 24 declares Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came! Hence Thomas was not present when the actual commission was presented to the disciples. Verse 25 declares after Jesus had left and sometime later Thomas returned, all the other disciples who you recall at first were filled with unbelief, declared unto Thomas, WE HAVE SEEN THE LORD! But Thomas said, except I shall see his hands and the prints of the nails and put my finger into the print of the nails and thrust my hand into his side I will not believe. Now don’t pick on poor Thomas unjustly seeing he is no more a doubter than any of the others who stood here talking with him before Jesus cleared the cobwebs of doubt and unbelief from their minds! Nevertheless, Jesus thought enough of Thomas that eight days later the disciples were gathered together again and Thomas with them, then came Jesus, the scripture says, the door being shut, stood in the midst saying, PEACE BE UNTO YOU.
VISIT NO. 2—THOMAS WORSHIPS JESUS AS GOD
Then he focused his attention upon Thomas telling him to reach out his finger and touch his hand, reach out thy hand and thrust it into my side. Be not faithless but believing. But Praise God, on this second visit Christ made unto his disciples in Galilee, Thomas did not have to touch his God to believe but instead said MY LORD AND MY GOD! John 20:28) See Isa. 9:6. Unto Thomas Jesus said, because thou hast seen me thou hast believed, blessed are they that hath not seen and believe. However note, in this second visit the commission was not given over again to benefit Thomas! No, instead in the first meeting on that first night the commission had already gone forth. And that which was spoken that night applied to Thomas as well as everyone else who wasn’t there, yet would also someday carry that COMMISSION! Recall John in his writing, the same as the other gospel writers, is relating only those things about the event which stood out so profoundly unto him or made such a deep impression within his mind. Furthermore remember, John is writing almost 60 years after the event happened and GET THIS, for that entire 60 years that true church had already been practicing exactly what John recorded happened on that night Jesus gave the COMMISSION in Galilee! As the COMMISSION began, verses 21-22 John quoted Jesus as saying “As the Father hath sent me, so send I you.” Recall, neither Matthew nor Mark recorded it in this fashion. Matthew’s gospel said, go ye into all the world and make disciples in every nation while Mark stated, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, etc…” There is no contradiction in thought nevertheless unless you take all the statements recorded by the four writers and place them all together, you cannot ever begin to see the conversation in full which Jesus spoke to his disciples that night.
CHRIST’S COMPLETE TRUST IN APOSTLES
Knowing the end from the beginning and what would later develop through a carnal religious system that would be devised through evil men’s religious minds in later years, God concealed this one night’s meeting in the language he did and will reveal it unto those desiring to know the truth concerning this COMMISSION given in Galilee. No, beloved, it was never God’s intentions that anyone should ever question the ability, obedience, or loyalty of these chosen apostles, instead without question they were to be followed! Christ knew exactly what he was doing when he chose these men, furthermore he was fully aware there would be those teachers in later years who would seriously oppose their teachings using their own interpretation of Matthew 28:19 as a wedge to divide the body of believers, however I must remind you that Christ, before the crucifixion paused to have prayer and in this prayer he prayed for these chosen apostles and continued by saying in John 17:6, I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world. Thine they were and thou gavest them (to) me; and they have kept thy word! Verse 8, for I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me and they have received them. Verse 9–I pray for them, I pray not for the world but for them which thou hast given me. Verse 20, neither pray I for these alone but for them also which shall believe on me through their word! Now I ask you, what more would one need to see the complete trust the Saviour placed in these men? If he trusted them to do a job and do it right, WHY CAN’T YOU TRUST THEM?
THROUGH THEIR WORD
Because remember Jesus said I not only pray for these apostles but I pray for everyone who believes on me through their word. Let it go down on record that I for one am going to believe on Christ who had taught these men personally how to become fishers of men. I want to be a fish that lands in their net, and not in the net of the anti-Christ and his system! Beloved face it, if the apostles for some reason, that I cannot think of, did not understand the Commission, especially Peter in Acts 2:38 and for some reason or other due to ignorance misled the church down a road It was not suppose to travel, that is if the Apostle Peter did not fulfill the GREAT COMMISSION as the church started her long journey down the grace age—a path from which the early church never deviated, not even after the conversion of the Apostle Paul who declared that he preached the same faith which he one time tried to destroy. Gal. 1:15-24, and furthermore died In that same faith (II Tim. 4:7) and upheld this COMMISSION as delivered by the apostles wherever he went throughout the gentiles, then all I can say is you should thank your lucky stars that this religious group, later to be known as the Roman Catholic Church rescued the church from the apostles doctrines and began to teach three separate and distinct persons in the Godhead (325 A.D.!) Even if this group, through their priests, did lead the church off into the Dark Ages, at least they rescued it from the apostles’ doctrines which was leading the church in an altogether different route! If this group was correct you should run to them as quickly as possible, but I for one must stay with the apostles and what they taught for I am convinced on the day of Pentecost Peter was not over zealous as some teach, telling the people to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, simply because they were the race who had Christ crucified nor do I believe, as some teach, Peter simply loved Jesus so much that instead of telling them to be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost he told them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ!
REMITTING S-I-N-S IN WATER BAPTISM
Beloved, here is exactly the reason Peter said be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ—it was for the remission of their individual sins and NO OTHER REASON!!! This is what was stated in the COMMISSION! Verse 22—Breathing on them that night, as he gave the preparatory command to receive the Holy Ghost which would be the anointing to carry out this GREAT COMMISSION, Jesus said whosoever sins you remit they are remitted unto them, whosoever sins you retain, they are retained! Recall it was Luke in his account who said this gospel was a gospel of repentance and remission of sins to be preached in his name everywhere and John speaks of how the remitting of sins would be performed by the disciples as well as the retaining of sins as this gospel went into all nations! Here beloved are two words found in John’s gospel concerning that night spoken in their first meeting which is as vitally important to the GREAT COMMISSION as anything recorded. These two words are connected with baptism as revealed in Acts 2:38. Although it is strange that John never once used the verbal word baptize or baptism as did Mark and Matthew instead John uses the phrase “remit sins,” words referred to by neither Matthew or Mark. Nevertheless these words link up perfectly with what Peter did so masterfully in fulfilling this GREAT COMMISSION.
WHAT PLACING 4 GOSPELS TOGETHER REVEALS
Now, let’s take the COMMISSION from the four writers and see if we can bring it together as it was spoken in this one meeting. The scene is the closing of the first day of the week, Christ appears unto his disciples in Galilee where he previously Instructed them to meet him. No doubt as Jesus first appears unto the assembled disciples there was great excitement and confusion in the hearts of some as they panicked and turned away with fear thinking they had seen a ghost, while still others probably sat so enthused and could hardly wait for the first words to come from his lips. Under such an atmosphere as this, it required a little time for Jesus to quieten them first by saying, be not afraid, it is I — showing them his hands and feet. While still, in the heart of others they felt they needed a little more convincing other than this to be sure he wasn’t a spirit, therefore Christ perceiving their thoughts asked for something to eat. Taking a piece of fish he ate it in their presence. Those who thought he was only there in spirit form should have now been convinced as they watched him eat the fish. Another gave a piece of honeycomb which he ate. This he. did to prove his resurrection to his disciples. Once he has them all quiet, he begins to speak.
Taking the scriptures in the writers of the prophets and psalms, he proves by the scriptures how it behooved Christ to suffer, die and raise again the third day. And he opened their understanding to the scriptures. This has, no doubt, removed all doubt and fear. Christ begins to say — all power and authority in heaven and earth is given unto me. As the Father has sent me, so send I you. Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel. Make disciples of all nations and when you baptize them,”baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. (And as we have already shown you, the disciples already knew that name from their last teaching session before the crucifixion), John chapters 14 thru 17. No, these words were not foreign to the disciples’ ears seeing they had already been well schooled in the mystery of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. And as he continued on, he no doubt picked up with Luke’s statement saying For this gospel of repentance and remission of sins must be preached in my name unto all the world beginning first at Jerusalem. And these signs shall follow them that believe..(Mark 16:17)..in my name shall they cast out devils they shall speak with new tongues, 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. No doubt here, as John says, Christ says unto them receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whosoever sins ye remit unto them are remitted and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained.
IGNORANCE IS INEXCUSABLE
God forbid that this religious world take the GREAT COMMISSION, delivered by our Lord and split it to pieces as they have. For instance, one group of people who lean heavily toward a pentecostal, Holy Ghost experience will embrace Mark 16 which says go ye into all the world and make disciples etc., then turn around and baptize these converts into the titles of father, son and Holy Ghost, not having baptized them into a name but into a trinity of persons and having done so feel justified-they have baptized their converts in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, feeling they have completely fulfilled the GREAT COMMISSION. Yet when they are confronted over such statements as Jesus made, recorded in John-whosoever sins you remit they are remitted unto them, etc…, they simply shrug their shoulders and say, well, I just don’t know, let’s not get involved in any doctrine—let’s leave those things alone. Beloved, you can’t leave this alone. There is no way to shut it out of the picture pretending it was never said because it was said furthermore it was performed in the book of Acts! That is exactly what Peter was doing in Acts 2:38, an example set for the early church to follow throughout the Book of Acts. No, it is impossible for you to leave it alone or pretend it was never said. Furthermore beloved, it was this very phrase that got the Catholic Church off track. This is the phrase from which the church derived the idea the Catholic priest as well as the Pope has power to forgive sin!
PROPER BAPTISM REMITS S-I-N-S
Beloved, not even the apostles themselves had power to forgive sin but they were granted power or authority to remit sins. No earthly man has an office or the power to forgive sin, simply to say because you have done a certain thing I forgive you of your sins. Christ alone who paid the price for redemption is the only man who reserves that right or has the power or authority to forgive sin.
This poor religious world doesn’t even know what this word REMIT means or how it was used in John 20 in the sense Christ spoke it. Why was Peter correct in what he was doing? Because after the people repented of their sin of unbelief, the blood of Christ cancelled out their sin of unbelief and rejection but in order for man to remit SINS, as Peter was doing in Acts 2:38, the converts had to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the REMISSION of those outward sins committed in the flesh and this we must explain that no one get the wrong impression in thinking we are saying the blood of Christ is in the water as certain pentecostal Oneness went off the deep end in thinking and teaching–that one must be baptized in the name of must. be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins because the blood was in the water baptism. THIS IS NOT TRUE! The blood has a place and the water has a place, and the one does not conflict with the other!
Water has nothing to do with the forgiveness of SIN, it is the REMITTING of the Sins of an individual who has repented which is performed through baptism and that is why baptism had to be performed in the name of Jesus Christ! Because, as Paul later explains in Col. 2:9-13, it serves as a circumcision the cutting a way of the SINS of the body of the flesh. He compared it to a knife not made by hands. You know the knife is the sharp instrument used in the ceremony of circumcision.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SIN & SINS
Beloved, it was that true formula which Jesus introduced to his disciples in the Great Commission that of the remission of sins of which this great church is guilty of perverting because man can not forgive, although he has authority to remit sins! Remission of sin is performed through a deed, that deed being baptism! Yes, Jesus gave his disciples authority, not to forgive sin but to remit sins and whether you realize it or not there is a vast difference between the two statements. Some will ask, what is the difference between SIN and SINS or forgiving SIN or remitting SINS as shown in Acts 2:38. Realize this beloved, you are born into this world a sinner, before you ever drew your first breath and proceeded from your mother’s womb—you were already a sinner on your way into a sinful world. No, you didn’t become a sinner sometime afterbirth. On the contrary, you were conceived or brought forth in sin. Why? Because you have your forefathers sinful nature flowing through your bloodstream! You were born with this sinful nature that is why you are a sinner by birth. True, at the moment of birth you haven’t committed sin in your body, certainly not, yet a sinful nature was present in your being. However, thanks to God’s grace, individual sin had not been charged against you and won’t be until you presently reach the age of accountability, that is, the age of growth where your mentality begins to link up to the thirst of the lust of your fallen nature.
Remember this always, there is only one thing that can atone for that sinful nature of yours–only the blood of Christ! Only God can forgive that!
BLOOD ATONES FOR S-I-N
Yet as you begin to grow up you begin to tell lies, cheat, steal, drink, and commit all of the other things of which the Apostle Paul in his writings attributed to being the lust of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21) or the fruits of that evil nature or spirit. These things are called the individual’s SINS. Why? Because you did these things in your flesh after you reached the age of accountability. The reason you did these evil things in the flesh is simply because you were born into this world with a fallen nature. I repeat, you were born with this fallen nature! This fallen nature was passed on to you from your parents, which is a fallen nature that can be traced all the way back to the first parent. Therefore beloved, you were totally unable to do differently than follow this route of sinning and no matter how hard you try to stop sinning you will never do any different until you are born again. You may join churches, shake preachers by the hand, turn over all the new leaves you want to yet you are still a sinner! Why? Because you have a sinful nature you were born with and will remain a sinner until you get your sins washed away, and it is only the blood of Jesus Christ, when applied to your soul or your sinful nature that can ever change your course of life.
S-I-N-S ARE FRUITS (OF FALLEN NATURE)
Therefore, what did Jesus mean when he told his disciples—whosoever SINS ye remit they are remitted. The word remit is an English word meaning to blot out, bring to naught or forgive. This statement spoken by Christ and recorded by John (and touched on by Luke) shows us the disciples were definitely commissioned to remit something. As we state, they can’t forgive SIN, that is they can’t do one thing about a sinful nature: that strictly requires the blood of Jesus to be applied to that: Therefore the only thing which would pertain to SINS that they could possibly remit would have to be something which pertained to the SINS the individual had committed in his fleshly body. How are they going to remit SINS that someone has committed in their fleshly body?
KEYS THAT UNLOCK KINGDOM
That is what we will see accomplished as Peter addresses a great congregation of people and 3000 are ready to obey whatever he tells them. In Acts 2:38 we are standing at the spot where the GREAT COMMISSION given, some 40 days prior, is ready to go into fulfillment by men who have just received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit they have received is the anointing to empower them to carry out the GREAT COMMISSION. Men and brethren what must we do, inquired 3000 Jews who have been pricked in their heart by the anointed preaching of the Apostle Peter. That gallant apostle to whom Jesus had given the keys to unlock the kingdom of God or a new dispensation called the age of grace for a hungry multitude to walk into. Note if you will, the keys were first used in Jerusalem to unlock the grace age unto the masses as this great commission has been invested in the church. Recall basically it had been for Peter’s sake Jesus had made that statement “I will meet you in Galilee.” Let’s watch Peter as he has been entrusted with the keys to the kingdom, Matt. 16:18-19. According to Jesus, Peter was certainly a man who could receive revelation from God because remember Jesus said blessed art thou Simon Barjona for flesh and blood hath not REVEALED THIS UNTO THEE BUT MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN, AND UPON THIS ROCK (rock of revelation), Jesus said, I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT! With those keys to the kingdom Peter had been entrusted to officially open the age of grace. From this great sermon God had brought in 3000 souls who heard the word and were gladly baptized.
TEAR IT ALL OUT
Imagine people being so carnal and having this attitude–well I believe what Jesus said, I will take his word over Peter’s word any day! Beloved, is that the way you are going to accept the Bible! I for one would hate to know I had to accept the Bible on such flimsy, unstable, carnal terms as that! Why you are better off to simply reach in the Bible and tear out the entire 28 chapters of the book of Acts because after all approximately the first 11 chapters of the book written by Luke concerns the mighty ministry of the Apostle Peter. By the way, while you are at it you might also tear out the 1st and 2nd Epistle of Peter because he wrote these and if he Isn’t trustworthy. In Acts 2:38, he certainly wouldn’t be trustworthy in these eight chapters either—so tear them out also! If we can’t believe one statement Peter made, how could we possibly believe him when it came to the place we had to accept two entire letters written by him!
PART 3 – -PETER FULFILLS COMMISSION CONVICTING WORLD OF SIN OF UNBELIEF
Watch Peter preaching his sermon on the day of Pentecost before these devout Jews who fall under conviction from his Holy Ghost preaching. Isn’t that the effect Jesus said the Holy Ghost would have upon the world (in his final teaching session before his crucifixion) John 16:8…and when he is come he will reprove the world of sin (the sin of unbelief) and of righteousness and of judgment. Of sin because they believed not on me, etc . . . Peter ends his sermon as 3000 nervous, convicted Jews look at one another, pricked in their hearts and begin to approach the disciples with an important question—men and brethren, what must we do?
BREAKDOWN OF ACTS 2:38 SHOWS COMMISSION FULFILLED
Now beloved, I want to get very technical here as we take the answer of Peter who was the spokesman, as well as the apostle(who held the keys to the kingdom of grace, and show you each word in Peter’s statement in Acts 2:38 is precisely phrases spoken by Jesus that night in Galilee when he gave forth the
GREAT COMMISSION! STEP 1—REPENT
Acts 2:38—Peter said unto them REPENT!–(Luke 24:47–Did not t Luke use the word repentance? ) Jesus stated that night repentance f was to be preached in all nations.)
STEP 2—BAPTIZED IN THE NAME
AND BE BAPTIZED EVERYONE I OF YOU…(Matt. 28:19, Mark • 16:16–Mark declared, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Matthew said baptize converts)..IN THE NAME…(Matt. 1 28:19 declares in the name (singular) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Luke 24:47 states this gospel of 1 repentance and remission shall be I preached in my name—name again is singular. In Acts 2:38 name is singular)…OF JESUS CHRIST…(Luke 24:47, in my name r (Jesus Christ) shall repentance and remission of sins be preached.
REMISSION OF SINS (YOUR SINS)
Repentance and remission of sins is exactly what Peter is declaring in Acts 2: 38)…FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS …(John 20:23, for whosoever sins (plural not sin) ye remit they are remitted unto them. And here we see, 3000 souls on the day of Pentecost as the grace age was officially opened by the man holding the keys to the kingdom being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ in water for what? For the remission of their sins (plural)!
BEGIN THIS GOSPEL IN JERUSALEM
Now the 3000 converts having been convicted of SIN of unbelief (due to their sinful nature) the officework of the Holy Ghost has convicted them of Sin, John 16:8-9. The converts have repented of their SIN of unbelief and Peter is baptizing them in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their SINS which were committed in their fleshly body, the fruits of a sinful nature. Yet remember the real cause of the problem of SIN lies with a sinful nature and only the blood of Jesus Christ can atone for that sinful nature, yet the water baptism in the name of Jestth Christ has been for the SINS committed in the flesh of these people. Now you tell me Peter didn’t preach or fulfill the GREAT COMMISSION! He fulfilled it to the very letter of the COMMISSION, even down to the point in Luke 24:47 where it said, and this gospel shall be preached unto all nations beginning at Jerusalem. With God there is only one gospel and Peter was preaching this one gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ according to the scripture (I Cor. 15:1-5). And where was Peter when he was preaching it? Luke 24:47 says it was to begin in Jerusalem AND THAT IS WHERE PETER WAS!
PETER USES FULL COMMISSION
No beloved, Peter didn’t simply take one or two statements of the GREAT COMMISSION as the ministry of this hour is so guilty of doing and applying it to the life of a convert saying ‘I have fulfilled the GREAT COMMISSION.’ Instead he fulfilled it, covering every letter and every thought Jesus expressed that night. Peter completed his sermon in preaching this gospel of the one Lord, ONE FAITH AND ONE BAPTISM (Eph. 4:5) as it had been their first opportunity to fulfill the GREAT COMMISSION since the hour they received it, seeing they were forbidden to preach it until having received the promise of the Father and that receiving of the Holy Ghost came only a short time before the conversion of the 3000! Here stood 3000, sorrowful in their hearts knowing they were natural born sinners. Now they are complete believers in Jesus Christ, having been convicted by the Holy Ghost because they had not believed on him. The gospel had cut into their hearts! Having now repented of the fact, they had not believed on him (that is on Jesus Christ) as Lord (not merely some second person but the very Lord God of the Old Testament).
CONFESS JESUS AS LORD
Rom. 10:9 declares that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth THE LORD JESUS (which in the original text declares if thou shalt confess with thy mouth that Jesus IS LORD )…that is exactly what the 3000 are doing–and shall believe in thine heart that God (the Great Eternal Spirit that fills all space) hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Verse 13…for whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord (who is Jesus) shall be saved. But how shall they believe on him whom they have not heard (in other words how shall they believe on him as Lord if they have never heard of him as Lord. To the Jews the Lord was none other than the God of the Old Testament and that would mean to confess Jesus is Lord YOU WOULD HAVE TO CONFESS HIM AS BEING THE GOD OF THE OLD TESTAMENT! If he is the God of the Old Testament, Jehovah or Lord, then how could he possibly be some second person, separate and distinct from two other persons who are supposed to also be in the Godhead!) Beloved, your salvation depends on whether you confess Jesus as Lord God Almighty, for that is who the Lord is! No wonder Jesus said I and the Father are one. He that has seen me has seen the Father etc.. Someone might say this would be like man and wife being one. No, not quite—when you see me you don’t see my wife! Jesus said, he that has seen me has seen the Father. (John 14.9)
The person who spoke to Saul on the Damascus Road was asked by an astonished Saul of Tarsus…who are you Lord (Jehovah)? And the voice answered, I AM JESUS WHOM THOU PERSECUTETH, Acts 9:5.
Yet as the scripture continues in Romans 10:14…how shall they believe on him (as Lord) when they have not heard that he is Lord, and how shall they hear without a preacher and how shall they preach except they be sent, verse 15. Recall also in Peter’s sermon during which the 3000 have believed and not knowing yet what to do, Peter, in his sermon, had declared also, whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:21.
Truly the 3000 have repented and believed on Jesus Christ as Lord, therefore they are ready to be identified with him in baptism and they follow Peter arfd the others somewhere to a waterhole. No, I don’t,know where they were taken, but no doubt with a number as this it was somewhere near, for the scripture declares they that gladly received his word were baptized and the same day there was added unto them about 3000 who continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, breaking bread and in prayer. Fear came upon every soul and many signs and wonders were done by the apostles (Acts 2:41-42) (Mark 16:17)
BAPTISM IDENTIFIES YOU WITH CHRIST (HIM NOT THEM)
No beloved, it wasn’t some small pitcher of water, with only a few drops applied on each head saying, I baptize you etc…, somewhere they were taken to enough water that each convert could he buried (covered over), similar to a water grace because baptism in water represents or identifies you with a death, burial and resurrection of someone who died, someone who was buried and someone who rose again! And that someone who did all of this was none other than Jesus Christ! No, the Holy Spirit that was in Christ which was the Holy Ghost or Father God, did not die, he resurrected the man Christ, his son. It was only the fleshly man A Christ Jesus, the Son of God born of the virgin, who died on Calvary’s cross as the blood of God, the Holy Ghost or Father, poured from his veins (Acts 20:28) In that pure sinless blood was the life of God, just as in your veins flows your natural, sinful life which was inherited from the fallen nature of your parents (Rom. 6:1-6) Therefore why should these 3000 not be buried in water in the name of Jesus Christ–he is the only one who died, was buried and rose again!
PETER, READY TO REMIT S-I-N-S
Down to the place of baptism goes the Apostle Peter, along with the other disciples. I can hear Peter as he takes his first convert into the water, saying I baptize you upon your confession of faith and repentance of your SINS. I now baptize you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your SINS—and under the water goes that convert. On to the next one, etc…When Peter said remission of sins, what was he doing—CARRYING OUT THE COMMISSION WHERE JESUS SAID WHOSOEVER SINS YE REMIT THEY ARE REMITTED UNTO THEM. And here in this place of baptism SINS are being remitted! Whatever sins had been produced from the sinful nature of these Jews, those sins are being remitted. Whatever sins of the flesh had been committed, these sins are being remitted. (Jn. 20:23) As I said, you were born into this world with a sinful nature. Peter nor anyone else can touch that sinful nature, water can’t even touch it! That sinful nature can only be touched by the blood of God. It is the God who cleanses the sinful nature by the application of blood, shed by the Lamb of God. Peter can only baptize in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of the outward acts of sin which they had done in the flesh, brought about by that sinful nature with which they had been born. When any man accepts the gospel of Jesus Christ and in his heart he truly repents of his SIN of unbelief which stems from a fallen nature, the God of heaven applies the blood of Christ to that fallen nature, cleansing it. Because it is the God of heaven who looks through that blood and sees that repentant heart.
RECEIVE HOLY GHOST
Notice further what Peter says, seeing they have repented of their sins and have been baptized–may God fill your heart with the Holy Ghost. Up, out of the water the convert comes, whether they received the Holy Ghost in the water or as they walked away from the water I do not know, yet somewhere because it was now a promise unto them, that convert will receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost for that is the promise of the Father—Giving them the Holy Ghost because of their obedience in accepting Jesus Christ in repentance and baptism for the remission of their SINS done in the flesh. Acts 2:39 says, For the promise is unto you and to your children and of all who are afar off even as many as the Lord (Jesus) our God shall call. The scripture declares the Holy Ghost is given to them that obey him.
PART 4 – – PAUL’S FULFILLMENT OF COMMISSION
EXAMINING SAUL’S EXPERIENCE
If you do not believe this to be the truth, watch Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus, whose name was later changed to Paul and made an apostle to the gentiles. On the Damascus Road Saul hears a voice—Saul, Saul, why persecuteth thou me? Blinded by the brilliance of his presence, the astonished Saul declared Lord (or Jehovah) who are you? The voice declared, I am Jesus whom thou persecuteth, etc…Trembling and astonished Saul said, Lord what would you have me to do? And the Lord said Arise and go into the city and it shall be told thee what thou must do. Three days later Saul is still blind and fasting. A converted priest by the name of Ananias is in another part of the city, also praying when the Spirit of the Lord approached him telling him to go down to the street called Straight for behold Saul of Tarsus is there praying and has seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in putting his hands on him that he might receive his sight. Ananias informs the Lord the many evils he has heard of this man, what he has done to the saints at Jerusalem etc., how he has authority frdm the high priest to bind all who call on thy name.
SAUL’S SINS WASHED AWAY
Turning to Acts 22, we hear Paul giving his own testimony concerning that hour Ananias came to him with the GREAT COMMISSION, Acts 22:12-16, Ananias enters and says brother Saul the Lord even Jesus whom you saw on the way has informed me to come and pray for you that you might receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost, Acts 9:17. Now arise, Ananias says (watch the GREAT COMMISSION in operation) and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Acts 22: 16 What on earth do you suppose Ananias is talking about? Neighbor. these aren’t wasted words, it is a fulfillment of that GREAT COMMISSION! John 20:23, whosoever SINS ye remit they are remitted unto them. Jesus’ disciples knew what that commission meant, furthermore they knew how to carry it out and here it was Ananias’ turn to carry out the COMMISSION and the convert it was administered to was Saul of Tarsus. Rise up and be baptized and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord, said Ananias to Saul.
GAL. 1:23—PAUL PREACHES FAITH HE TRIED TO DESTROY
Often I have heard it taught, and perhaps you have too, that Paul preached a gospel different to the Jewish apostles—namely, the gospel of grace; that the Jews were converted one way, under Peter’s gospel, and the gentiles under Paul’s gospel—THIS IS PREPOSTEROUS! Do you not realize Paul taught that the converted Jew and the converted gentile worshipped God together in the same local congregation in the early church? Paul declared, the gospel of Christ was the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first then to the Greek, Rom. 1:16. Do you mean to tell me that you think a converted Jew got in the same church with a converted gentile under two different gospels and both be in Christ—GOD FORBID SUCH IGNORANCE!! This is only an attempt to avoid recognizing the fulfillment of the GREAT COMMISSION recorded in Acts.
PAUL CONTINUES IN REVELATION
Well, someone may ask, did the Apostle Paul continue with this? To find out if he did turn to Acts 19:1-7. The Apostle Paul, having found certain disciples at Ephesus, asked if they had received the Holy Ghost since they believed. No, they replied, we have not heard about any Holy Ghost. And the first thing Paul asked was HOW WERE THEY BAPTIZED! Unto John’s baptism, they said. What had happened, Apollos, a devout Jew knowing only the baptism of John, the revelation up to that point, had come to Ephesus and presented all the revelation to these disciples that he knew. However in the process of his preaching in the synagogue, Aquila and Priscilla who had been co-workers with Paul in Athens, Greece, and were awaiting his return from Jerusalem where he would begin his church at Ephesus. heard Apollos speak, and realizing he was not in the full revelation–knowing only the baptism of John–they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more perfectly, Acts 18:24-26. However, Apollos left Ephesus before having the opportunity to explain to these new converts of his—the full revelation since John’s day. Paul finds these men, explains to them all that has been transpiring since John was on the scene, the name of Jesus Christ etc…Acts 19:5 says, when these twelve men heard this latest revelation, they were baptized (rebaptized) in the name of the Lord Jesus! Why? For the remission of their sins of course! No other baptism will remit sins! Hands were laid upon them and they received the Holy Ghost, spake in tongues and prophesied. No beloved, Paul didn’t baptize three converts one way and four another, etc., or any way they wanted to be baptized! He baptized all twelve in the same name, the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins! In that early age that GREAT COMMISSION was adhered to in every detail. That is why the Bible declares God confirmed their gospel and works with signs and wonders as he did. Those early Christians were brought in under the application of one COMMISSION because that GREAT COMMISSION was the very essence and beginning of the gospel to every convert who was to ever be reconciled back to God. They were brought in under this COMMISSION. They knew who God was, they knew when he became man and walked on this earth in a body form he bore the name of Jesus and that he was both Lord and Christ!
SPRINKLING BLOOD ON HEART, NOT BODY
Let’s examine this a bit further. Turn to Heb. 10:19. Having therefore brethren, boldness to enter in the Holiest by the blood of Jesus (the writer is speaking concerning people who need to be filled with the Holy Ghost showing a person desiring the baptism of the Holy Ghost is to enter into the Holy of Holies as did the high priest in the Jewish temple, when he went into the Holy of Holies and stood in the presence of the Lord, however, Paul declares here that the entering in is) by a new and living way which he hath consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, his flesh. (Recall in his flesh he bore our sins and our iniquity), verse 21: And having a high priest over the house of God (or church of the living God) let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance, of faith having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Beloved, what sprinkles your heart (or sinful nature) It is the blood of Christ of course. Why did Paul use the term sprinkle? Bear in mind it was always the blood of the Lamb which the high priest of the temple in the Jewish religion always took into the Holy of Holies to sprinkle on the Mercy Seat. No, it is not your body being sprinkled with water, it is your heart being sprinkled by the blood of Christ! The work of this new High Priest— AMEN ! Having our hearts sprinkled, Paul said, from an evil conscience—having our hearts sprinkled by the blood of Jesus frees us from an evil conscience! This in itself proves the heart has truly been brought to repentance. Now he goes on to say, our human bodies washed with pure water. Why wash the body with pure water? To wash away the SINS of the flesh, to remit those sins of the flesh. Is this not what Ananias said to Saul, Acts 22:16? Water Baptism is for what purpose—it washes away the SINS of the flesh, sins a man has done while living in his sinful flesh as a mortal creature in the world. The reason man commits these SINS of the flesh is because his human nature is sinful from birth, only the blood of Jesus Christ is sprinkled or applied to that sinful nature. Nothing else can atone for that sinful nature. God looks strictly upon the heart. It is that sinful nature which continually breeds outward sin.
Unless somewhere the blood of Jesus Christ is applied it will separate you from God for Eternity. No, unless the blood of Christ is applied to that sinful nature you will never be with him when you die. That is why Jesus, in John 3, told Nicodemus he had to be born again else he could in no wise enter the kingdom of God. Nicodemus, stunned because he hadn’t asked Jesus such a question, only said they all knew (we know) thou art a teacher from God, for no man can do (keep on doing) the miracles you do except God be with him. No one actually had to ask Jesus a question, he knew what was in their minds as the scripture declares over and over. This thought was on Nicodemus’ mind, although he hadn’t spoken it. Marvel not, Jesus said, ye must be born again! Jesus ends this statement saying Except a man is born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God because that which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit (referring to the spiritual new birth), John 3:3-6. Without the new birth man can’t see the kingdom of God in its true spiritual makeup until first he gets his spiritual eyes and spiritual mind which comes with the new birth.
COMMISSION BRINGS KINGDOM INSIDE YOU
Because when he sees the kingdom of God he will now see something that lives inside Of himself! A kingdom, Jesus says, that doesn’t come by observation) something you can’t say here it is or there it is, why? Because it is in you! it is that new birth! And beloved for that new birth to work, there is a formula to be applied to the sinner and that Is none other than the GREAT COMMISSION Jesus left to his church! If the devil ever wanted to tear something up, he sure tore this GREAT COMMISSION to pieces.