Believer’s Mandate Explained

If you have studied your Bible, you may have found that the title, “The Great Commission” is not recorded anywhere in Scripture. Yet we have been taught, or rather preached “The Great Commission” ever since “joining” the church! This is a “great” example of how man has used his influence to label something that Jesus has said, to make it attractive to the readers, as well as the hearers. Appropriately or not, when you hear the words, “The Great Commission,” you know they refer to some of our Lord’s last words before The Ascension.

After being led to so some research, credit for its use as a summary for the passage is given to a Dutch missionary named Justinian von Welz (1628-82). However, 200 years later, Hudson Taylor made the term “The Great Commission” popular. Traditionally, interpretations have been offered that this was addressed only to Jesus’s disciples living at that time (believed to be up to 500), and was carried out by them and fulfilled, and not as a continuing obligation upon subsequent generations. Others (myself included) believe that it is a continuing process that only started with the original disciples.

We are most familiar with the definition of a commission that deals with a fee paid to an agent or employee for transacting a piece of business or performing a service, especially  a percentage of the money received from a total paid to the agent responsible for the business.

Then for you military veterans, a commission is a certificate conferring military rank and authority.

There is more than one reference to what we are calling, “The Great Commission” in the Bible. We are familiar mostly with Matthew 28:19-20 where the disciples were instructed to:

  • Go (ye therefore), and teach all nations;
  • Baptize them in the Name;
  • Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you;

Here, the first thing of notice is a call to, “go” and do something, and that something is to teach all nations. During this particular time in history, travel was limited to walking or by beast. The world was smaller yet the disciples had their instructions. Today, we have more effective ways of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Some make yearly pilgrimages to other parts of the world, while others use worldwide broadcasts to reach their audiences. Everybody can’t “go” individually, but collectively, through partnerships, I believe they can be represented and fulfill their part. We (who are followers of Jesus Christ) are to teach basically everything Jesus taught his followers. We are not to leave out or add to or embellish to grab attention to ourselves. God’s Word is enough to get the job done!

In the book of Mark, we see a little more detail in Chapter 16:15-18 (KJV)

  • Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;
  • Signs shall follow them that believe;
  • Cast out devils;
  • Speak with new tongues;
  • Take up serpents;
  • If they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them;
  • Lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover

Again we see “go” and do something, and that something is go into all the world and preach to every creature. We are not to leave anyone out. There are no exceptions. “All” means all and “Every” means every! But Mark adds something interesting as a confirmation of believing the gospel. “Them that believe” will have evidence of signs that follow them. Why isn’t there a lot of evidence of “them that believe” showing up in these times? Would you agree that this is needed?

But have you noticed what Luke tells us in Chapter 24:46-49 (KJV)?

  • Preach repentance and remission of sins in his Name;

I have the opportunity to participated in revivals and I realized something. There were some nights when I thought I was at a regular Sunday service. I thought that revival and repentance go hand in hand. When you think of the word, “revival” it usually is associated with something that is weak, tired, or near death. Something needs to be brought back for a previous condition. I made the mistake of preaching about the Works of the Flesh in Galatians 5:19-21. Man was I in trouble. I was told not to be so pastoral, but more evangelistic. They did not invite me to preach again. Be witnesses of “these’ things: His sufferings and resurrection the 3rd day;

  • Tarry (to linger in expectation: wait) in the city of Jerusalem, until endued with power from on high;

In other words, Wait on the Power of the Holy Ghost!

We sing Paul Morton’s song, “Don’t Do It Without Me.” Jesus is saying, “Don’t Do It Without Me.” Because, you can’t do it without Him!

And John weighs in on the matter in Chapter 20:20-23 (KJV):

  • Receive the Holy Ghost;
  • Whose soever sins ye remit (forgive), they are remitted (forgiven) unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained;

To better understand that last one, you need to know that it is related to the following two verses concerning whether or not “whose soever” believeth, or believeth not:

John 3:18 (KJV)He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

John 3:36 (KJV) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

Finally, there is a part of Acts 1:4-8 (KJV) that confirms Jesus’s instructions:

  • Do not depart from Jerusalem;
  • but wait for the promise of the Father;
  • Be baptized with the Holy Ghost;
  • Receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you;
  • Be witnesses unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Here again, the receiving of the Holy Ghost is not optional. John 15: 5 says . . . For Without Him, you are powerless.

Now look at the Big Picture:

  • Do not depart from Jerusalem;
  • Tarry in the city of Jerusalem, until endued with power from on high;
  • Wait for the promise of the Father; Jesus is saying, “Don’t do it without me!”
  • Receive the Holy Ghost;
  • Be baptized with the Holy Ghost;
  • Receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you;
  • Go (ye therefore), and teach all nations;
  • Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you;
  • Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;
  • Preach repentance and remission of sins in his Name;
  • Be witnesses unto the uttermost part of the earth.
  • Baptize them in the Name;
  • Signs shall follow them that believe;
  • (In my name they shall) Cast out devils;
  • (In my name they shall) Speak with new tongues;
  • (In my name they shall) Take up serpents;
  • If they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them;
  • (They shall) Lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover;
  • Whose soever sins ye remit (forgive), they are remitted (forgiven) unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained;

Even before Jesus gave the “Great Commission” He said in Luke 10:19-20 (KJV), “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”

In John 14:12 (KJV), Jesus says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

Power from the Holy Ghost enables us to do all that Jesus calls us to do. Remember, back in Matthew, he told His disciples, “and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” By His Spirit, He will never leave us or forsake us. It is by His power that we can “go” and do all things through Christ.

And in John 15:5 (KJV),I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

Somewhere, somehow, someone (the enemy) has convinced (deceived) the body of Christ that there are no more miracles, no more greater works, no more disciples, no more Apostles, and no more other things that Jesus has gifted us with and given us the power in His name to perform. So, you don’t see the evidence of signs that follow them that believe. The Bible did not say that signs would follow only a few people, but them that believe refers to all that believe, and I mean really believe. That is also evidence that we are truly believers or not.

Now, Let Us Go!

You are Blessed!!!

(Updated September 10, 2017)
© True Kingdom Ministries and www.true-kingdom.org, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to True Kingdom Ministries and www.true-kingdom.org with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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