Home   Salvation   Revelation   Exegesis  Parables  Prophecy  Warnings+

The Great Comission

Lyn Mize

Pastors and teachers in the Church place a great deal of emphasis on The Great Commission, but there is very little exegetical detail offered on the Scriptures that proclaim The Great Commission. The Great Commission is directly addressed in three Bible passages, and a study of these passages of Scripture presents a different emphasis than the traditional understanding of these passages. The passages involved and a brief interpretation are as follows:  

The Church  

(Mat 28:18-20 KJV)  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. {19} Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: {20} Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.  

The above passage in Matthew pertains to the Church, but Jesus is addressing his eleven disciples, and He is giving them his final command before he ascends into heaven. Jesus first tells his disciples that all power in heaven and earth has been given to him, and He then commissions them to do something. The task that Jesus assigns them is to “teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. The Greek word for power means ability, and the Greek word for “all” means all kinds of. The Greek word for “nations” is ethnos and means Gentiles. Thus, Jesus commissions his eleven disciples to go forth and to make disciples out of all kinds of Gentiles throughout the earth. The Great Commission in this passage clearly refers to the Church, and the emphasis is clearly on teaching these Gentiles to be obedient to the Word of God. These Gentiles are to be baptized in the name (i.e., power and authority) of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The emphasis is clearly on God’s Covenant of Works, yet the Church has emphasized the Covenant of Grace. The Church’s emphasis on Grace has caused God’s Covenant of Works to be virtually ignored by the main body of the Church. Consequently, the majority of the Church is disobedient and knows very little about the literal kingdom of heaven and the difference between spirit and soul salvation. The Church preaches the Gospel of Grace, but it virtually ignores the Gospel of Christ, which relates to the works that Christians “should” perform for reward.  

The Jews  

The second passage of Scripture on The Great Commission does not even pertain to the Church, the Gospel of Grace or the Gospel of Christ. The following passage of Scripture pertains to the Gospel of the kingdom that was preached for 40 years beginning with the ministry of Jesus and ending with the Diaspora in 70 A.D. when Jerusalem was destroyed, along with the Jewish Temple. Please read the following Scripture carefully, and especially verse 20, which confirms that this Gospel had already been preached to the “world” at the time that this epistle had been written. The Greek word for “world” is kosmos and it refers to elect Jews at the time of Christ.  

(Mark 16:14-20 KJV)  Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. {15} And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. {16} He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. {17) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; {18} They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. {19} So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. {20} And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.  

Verses 17 and 18 above confirm that the gospel that was preached to elect Jews was the gospel of the kingdom, since signs accompanied the preaching of this gospel.

The Gentiles

The following Scripture passage is the third one on The Great Commission, and it prophetically pertains to the Gentiles who will be saved during the great tribulation after the entire Church is in heaven around the throne of God. The context of this message is Luke 24:13-43 where Jesus was talking to two witnesses on the road to Emmaus. Prophetically, these are God’s two witnesses, but they do not recognize Jesus until the end of their journey on the third day. The Church Age is two days (i.e., 2000 years) long, and these two recognize Jesus on the third day, which is the last half of the seven-year tribulation period. The identity of Jesus is withheld from these two witnesses until the third day, and then they are to be witnesses of Jesus to all Gentiles beginning at Jerusalem. But they are to tarry (i.e., wait) in Jerusalem until they are endowed with power. Prophetically, this is a message about the two witnesses—Enoch and Elijah—who are currently tarrying in the New Jerusalem, but will be endowed with power and will begin their 3-1/2 year ministry in Jerusalem. They will be witnesses to the Gentiles (i.e., ethnos) during the last half of the tribulation period. The 144,000 Jewish Firstfruits will be witnesses to the Gentiles with them.  

(Luke 24:44-49 KJV)  And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. {45} Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, {46} And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: {47} And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. {48} And ye are witnesses of these things. {49} And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

The above part of The Great Commission pertains to Gentiles during the last half of the seven-year tribulation period. In summary, the three passages on The Great Commission pertain to God’s three elect peoples. These elect groups of people are Jews outside of the Church Age, Gentiles outside of the Church Age and the Church itself. The Church is made up of both Jew and Gentile, but there are elect Jews that will not be part of the Church and elect Gentiles that will not be part of the Church.

The Gospel of the kingdom has already been preached to the Jewish nation, and it shall be preached to all kinds of Gentiles during the last half of the seven-year tribulation. The Word of the kingdom is currently being preached to the Church. The primary difference between the Gospel of the kingdom and the Word of the kingdom is the miracles or signs that accompany the Gospel of the kingdom, with the kingdom also being “at hand”. The sign gifts of speaking in tongues and miraculous healing are not with us currently during the Church Age, and the literal, corporeal kingdom of heaven is not “at hand” presently. The kingdom of heaven is literal and future.