Who is Jesus speaking to in Matt 28?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by plain_n_simple, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. plain_n_simple

    plain_n_simple
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    Many denominations and churches use these verses as marching orders:

    Matthew 28
    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 always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


    In your view, who are these instructions for?

    The disciples?
    All future Christians?
    Preachers only?
    All of the above?
     
  2. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    The immediate context if studied carefully beginning in verse 7 and the instrutions given the women by the angels and by Christ prove this was a spectial meeting place in Galilee long after his several appearances to the apostles in Jerusalem. Note the words used in the instructions "brethren...disciples." This is the only noted public meeting place given advance notice and sufficient room for the over 500 brethren mentioned in 1 Cor. 15:6 to have met him.

    Verse 16 identifes the eleven are being considered as "disciples"

    Verse 19 "teach" or literally "make disciples" characterizes the nature of the command in its primary verb.

    Note the distintion between three different groups in verses 19-20 ("ye" versus "them" versus "all nations" and who among these three are being commissioned to "make disciples."

    The very nature of the command requires that only those already received the gospel, baptism and instruction could carry out this commission. Thus it is limited to "disciples" as Jesus says "whatsoever I HAVE" commanded you.

    The last segment of this commission demands that these newly baptized believers (v. 19) are "added" to either an already existent congregation (Acts 2:41) or are being constituted in a newly formed congregation (Acts 14:21-22) as the final sement is impossible to "observe" outside a New Testament congregation.

    Thus the very nature of this commission denies it was given to anyone but those already in a congregation of baptized believers. This is precisely the kind of congregation that not only had been meeting habitually with Christ since the baptism of John (Acts 1:21-22) but continued to habitually meet after the ascension of Christ right to Pentecost and unto whom the three thousand were "added" unto (Acts 3:41,46).

    Finally, the age long promise "I will be with you always even until the end of the world" proves it is not given to the apostles or merely individual disciples but New Testament congregations of baptized believers or a plural "ye" or "you" that would administer this through its ordained leaders as seen in Acts 1-8 and Acts 13:1-4 through Acts 18:22. And as seen in Revelation 2-3; 22:16.
     
  3. plain_n_simple

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    So in short, in your veiwpoint, the instructions are for "New Testament congregations of baptized believers"?
     
    #3 plain_n_simple, Mar 28, 2012
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  4. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    precisely!
     
  5. plain_n_simple

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    Are these "New Testament congregations of baptized believers" from long ago or does that include the congregations of today?
     
  6. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Biblicist can answer for himself, but here's mine.

    It includes every New Testament congregation from that day to this.

    Jesus was speaking to the Eleven as the core material of the first church, which he established during his earthly ministry. He was setting the pattern when those disciples moved outside of Jerusalem, outside of Judea, outside of Samaria into the uttermost parts of the world. (Acts 1:8).

    Interestingly enough, up to that point, Jesus had confined the activities of his disciples to Israel and the Jews. Now, he's telling them they're going to the Gentiles as well, not just Jews in foreign countries. Remember, they had spent three-plus years teaching, preaching and baptizing.

    Peter wasn't really paying attention until he had that vision before going to Cornelius.
     
    #6 Tom Butler, Mar 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2012
  7. fortytworc

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    This is only a partial answer (more like something to consider). If Jesus was addressing every believer from that time onward any of us should be able to baptize any new Christian any time, anywhere, when possible. Also everyone of us would need to be gifted by the Holy Spirit with the gift of teaching.
    Mark 16:15 reads- Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature...
    Are we all 'Preachers? 'Preach' is used in Luke 24:47. 'Witnesses' is used in Acts 1:8.'Be witnesses. There might be a difference in 'doing" witnessing and being a witness. At any rate, there may be reason for further study to see if this is indeed "marching orders" for everyone of us, across the board, all the time. I'm sure correction will be coming soon.
     
  8. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    Every New Testament congregation from the first in Jerusalem until the last one when Jesus comes again.

    Here is something to consider. He commissioned only those who had already received the gospel, already were baptized, already had been congregating and observing all things He had taught. The words "whatsoever I HAVE commanded you" prove that.

    He could not have commissioned anyone to preach "another gospel" than what he preached (Jn. 3:16) as all others are accursed (Gal. 1:8-9) as there is but one gospel.

    He could not have commissioned anyone to administer another baptism than he received (Mt. 3:15-16) and administered (Jn. 4:1-2) because any other would "reject the counsel of God" (Lk. 7:29-30) and there is but "one baptism" (Eph. 4:5).

    He could not have commissioned anyone to teach any other doctrine than what he commanded to be observed as any other was a departure from the faith once given (1 Tim. 4:1; Jude 3) and such are condemned (Rom. 16:17) and to be separated from (2 Thes. 3:6).

    Thus, this is a commission to reproduce AFTER THEIR OWN KIND - like faith and order, going with the SAME gospel, administering the SAME baptism and teaching to observe the SAME faith and order in the SAME kind of congregation Jesus established until He comes again.
     

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