In the Great Commission there are FIVE commands given by their Commander in Chief to accomplish:
Go. From the mountain in Galilee (Matthew 28:16) the Eleven were to take the message and battle of the Kingdom Revolution to the world. No longer will God use Israel to be the light to the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:6). The Eleven, and the Church that started on the day of Pentecost, were no longer confined to the religious center of Jerusalem, and will go to the nations in the power of the Holy Spirit:
And He said unto them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 15:15)
Then He said unto them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:46-49)
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Make disciples of all nations: make converts. All nations in the Old Testament would clearly be an inference to the Gentiles. In the New Testament it implies both the Jews and the Gentiles as the book of Acts demonstrates (See also Romans 3:29; Galatians 3:28; and Colossians 3:11). There is no question that the Kingdom Revolution is concerned with the salvation of people’s souls. Christianity is an evangelism focused organization, fighting for converts in a hostile world. The Plow does not question the importance of evangelism and missions. The Ministry Manifesto speaks much about the importance of conversion:
And with many other words he (Peter) testified and exhorted the saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:40, 47)
However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. (Acts 4:4)
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women. (Acts 5:14)
Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it! (Acts 28:28)
Make disciples of all nations: disciple the converts. This is an oversight that the Western Church has made – they forget that discipleship is commanded. I do not understand how this verse can be read any other way than the Church is to make converts and disciple them. Ask any church member if his local church engages in discipleship and he will answer in the affirmative. I have not stepped into many churches that have a good discipleship program though if you ask their staff they will say that they do. This topic will be addressed later in future blogs.
Baptizing them. From the beginning baptism has been commanded, not for salvation because baptism is for believers, but for a public proclamation that the converted soul has become a member of The Church:
Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. (Acts 2:41)
Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done. (Acts 8:13)
For as yet He has not fallen upon none of them (converts in Samaria). They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 8:16)
Now as they (Philip the Evangelist and the Ethiopian Eunuch) went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. (Acts 8:36-38)
And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. (Acts 9:17-18)
Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days. (Acts 10:46-48)
Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us. (Acts 16:14-15)
So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. (Acts 16:31-33)
Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. (Acts 18:8)
Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 19:4-5)
Teaching them to observe all Jesus commanded them. The Eleven had spent three years following Jesus and were trained for their mission. They had the commands of Jesus spoken directly to them. We now have the completed Word of God in our possession as the Apostles took the words of Christ and written the New Testament. The Church is commanded to teach and the Bible is the textbook. We spend much time on this gift given to the Church for the transmission of the marching orders of the Kingdom Revolution. The use of Scripture in this blog is an example of teaching from the commands of Christ. We will develop this deeper in context in the blogs that follow.
The Great Commission was the beginning of the Revolution. The marching orders were given and obeyed. It is our turn to carry on the fight.
The symbol of The Plow will be developed in future blogs to illustrate what it means to work the fields in which you and I minister on a daily basis. The focus of The Plow will be on the two most neglected commands: to make disciples and teach them. Are you aware that most missionary agencies from Third World countries do a better job of discipling and teaching of converts than what is done in the Western Church? It is sad that with all our resources and talent we cannot do a better job. The Plow hopes to be an encouragement to engage you the reader to be developed into following the Ministry Manifesto for the Revolution of the Kingdom.