Who was the Great Commission given to?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by The Biblicist, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,111
    Likes Received:
    206
    Mt. 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 alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen
    .

    Whoever, Christ gave this commission to, he promised he would be with them "unto the end of the world."

    QUESTIONS:

    1. How many different classifications of people can you find mentioned in this commission besides the obvious emphasized "ye/you"?

    2. What term is used to identify "you" in the preceding context (v. 16)?

    3. Is this a command to make disciples any way "you" please according to verse 19?

    4. Is this a commission simply to evangelize?

    5. Can this commission be completed or obeyed fully apart from membership in a congregation of Christ?

    6. What characteristics are required by and included in this commission to make disciples as Christ commanded?

    7. Who are qualified to administer this commission from start to finish?
     
  2. savedbymercy

    savedbymercy
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    Messages:
    6,058
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Commission was given to Christ's Apostles !
     
  3. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,111
    Likes Received:
    206

    Obviously you either believe in the continuation of apostles right up to the end of the world or else you believe the Great Commission has already been fulfilled and there is no Great Commission beyond the apostolic age.

    Christ does say "with you until the end of the world" doesn't he?
     
  4. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,169
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is clear from the passage Jesus is speaking to his Apostles. Therefore....Exactly!!!!!!
     
  5. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, to the apostles but it doesn't end there. By extension, leaders in the church, the church collectively and the local church.
     
  6. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,111
    Likes Received:
    206
    Hence, the apostles ALONE have the responsibility of this commission? Notice there are two other classes of people identified in this commission unto which this commission is not given but rather they are the objects of this commission rather than the subjects administering it.


    "all nations" - unconverted, unbaptized, untaught peoples of the earth

    "them" subjects of gospel preaching (Mk. 16:15) subjects of baptism and subjects of teaching. - their converts

    Also the New Testament is quite clear about the Biblical qualifications to be chosen to the office of Apostle (Acts 1:21-22) as they must be personal eye witnesses of the resurrected Christ. Paul says that he was the "last" (Gr. eschatos) of all the apostles that personally witnessed the resurrected Christ (1 Cor. 15:8).

    The word "last" (eschatos) is used four times by Paul in this same chapter:

    "last of all the apostles"
    "last enemy"
    "last Adam"
    "last trump"

    In the other three cases it means the "Last" with none to follow but the very last. There is no enemy to be destoyed after death is destroyed. There is no Adam after Christ. There is no "trump" after the resurrection trump. There is no apostle after Paul.

    So you have three problems to your interpetation:

    1. Great Commission restricted to one class of persons - Apostles - not their converts and not the unconverted

    2. Restricted qualification to be an apostles - eye witness of the resurrected Christ.

    3. Paul is the "last" of the apostles with none to follow - eschatos
     
    #6 The Biblicist, Feb 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2012
  7. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exactly, web. Now I get to this a bit differently from most, since I hold that the apostles comprised the first church, which Jesus established during his earthly ministry. But it is consistent with the idea that the Commission was given to the church, whether directly or by extension.
     
  8. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,111
    Likes Received:
    206
    But Tom, does he address them as "apostles" or as "disciples" who make "disicples"??? Verse 16 they are called "disciples." Now does not Matthew 28:19-20 also define the characteristics to be a "disciple"? Can you be a disiciple outside the membership of the congregation according to verse 19 or must baptized believers (v. 18) be assembled habitually for not merely teaching but actual OBSERVING all things commanded?
     
    #8 The Biblicist, Feb 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2012
  9. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,169
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nope. I would go with Apostolic Successionism. The Apostles pass down knowledge. Baptizing and spreading the gospel and also pass on their authority to those who follow them until the end of the age

    That passage was to fill their number while they were yet alive so there would be 12 and heard Jesus' teaching themselves.
    this passage doesn't state necessity but appling Pauls credentials. There will be no other apostles for sure but the leaders or the Bishops pass on the Apostolic teaching which is the deposit of Faith. And the Bishops are entrusted with this teaching.

    Therefore are you suggesting there is no 2nd advent? Or faith? Hmmmmm.
     
  10. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,111
    Likes Received:
    206
    Isn't this also horizontal authorization to "you" to constitute New Testament congregations by the process established in this commission?
     
  11. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,111
    Likes Received:
    206
    You are correctly stating your Roman Catholic position. I realize you do not accept the scripture as final in authority. However, I am asking you to deal directly with the Biblical evidence I presented. You have not done that.

    If the Great commission was given solely to "apostles" then it was not given to their converts identified as "them" in the same passage. Hence, only Apostles have authority to make disciples through preaching the gospel (Mk. 16:15). Only the Apostles have authority to administer baptism. Only the Apostles have authority to assemble baptized believers and instruct them how to observe the all things commanded - no one else does because all other classes of humans are directly mentioned in this commission and they are not given this authority ("all nations" "them").

    However, in context this is not addressed to "you" in the office of apostle but they are explicitly identified as "disciples" which is the grammatical and contextual antecedent for "you" in this immediate context.

    Second, Acts 1:21-22 says "MUST BE" and so this personal witness of the resurrected Christ is not optional to be appointed as an apostle. Paul lists himself as thus qualified in regard to the resurrected appearance of Christ in connection with the restrictive qualifier "last of all" and thus none to follow as in "last" enemy, "last" Adam and "last" trump.

    Third, since it is given in context not to the apostolic office but to them as "disciples" then your last objection is moot.
     
  12. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,169
    Likes Received:
    0
    You didn't ask that. But I will give it to you to you anyway. Here is biblical evidence

    Matt 10
    Still speaking to the twelve
    Matt 16
    and just for emphasis
    Matt 18
    Luke 22
    He said this while speaking to the twelve about who's greatest in the kingdom.
    John 17
    John 16 clearly speaking to the 12
    Acts 20
    paul clearly indicating he passed on the deposit of faith to overseers (bishops) and expect them to maintain it.
    Which in ephesians 2 its clear that apostolic transmittal is key
    foundation indicating it doesn't die with the apostles.


    Oh and by the way your reasoning is flawed. My objections are never moot.
     
  13. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,111
    Likes Received:
    206
    You are still ignoring the immediate contextual difficulties I placed before you. You are simply trying to widen the picture in order to escape the immediate contextual problems.

    Furthermore, in this attempt to widen the picture you are using texts that by their immediate context are not restricted to the apostolic office.

    I would ask you to directly deal with the issues I presented instead of PITTING scripture against scripture.

    For example Acts 20:28 by context has nothing to do with the apostolic office but with the "elders" of the congregational body, in particular the one located at Ephesus (Acts 20:17). Also take note that the same "flock" over which "you" (not "we") have been made overseers by the Holy Spirit is that flock in verse 29 which can be altered by false teachers (vv. 29-30). He is speaking about the local congregation in the institutional or generic sense which makes the truths applicable to each and every congregation of like faith and order. No restriction to the apostolic office by this text but Matthew 28:19-20 restricts it to "you" and does not include "all nations" nor does it include "them" until they have been made disciples by all three characteristics.

    Matthew 18:17-18 is not directed to or restricted to the apostles as the immediate antecedent exercising authority is "tell it to the church" in verse 17. Hence, Peter previously respresents the material out of which the local congregation is composed or "lively stones built up a spiritual house" (1 Pet. 2:5) with Christ the "rock" foundation it is built upon (1 Pet. 2:8).

    In essence, you ignore the evidence I placed before you, refusing to directly deal with it contextually as a good Bible scholar should and then you present texts OUT OF CONTEXT in order merely to PIT against the texts you cannot objectively and directly deal with.



     
  14. savedbymercy

    savedbymercy
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    Messages:
    6,058
    Likes Received:
    0
    bib

    Well, was it not in the end of the World when they initially received the Commission ? Did not that time begin when Christ put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself according to Heb 9:26

    For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
     
  15. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,111
    Likes Received:
    206
    In regard to the completion of God's redemptive plan in making provision for the sins of the elect it is the "end of the world." Especially, if you view the world on a seven thousand year/day scenario. Christ came in the fourth day millennium.

    However, Christ is looking not at his provision on the cross in the Great Commission but toward His second coming which is still viewed by the apostles as "the end" of the world which is yet still future and that final period is still view as "the last days" yet to come:

    2 Pet. 3:3 ¶ Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,


    These "last days" precede the coming "day of the Lord" - 2 Pet. 3:12-14.

    Matthew 28:19-20 has to do with the current mission of the Lord's congregations between His ascension and His second coming and it is His second coming that ushers in "the end of the world."

    Finally Matthew 28:19-20 and the words "until the end of the world" denies it has arrived
     
  16. Thinkingstuff

    Thinkingstuff
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,169
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know about you but when exegeting a passage you take into consideration the audience. To whom is Jesus speaking? In the passages I referred to it is directed to specifically the twelve which I mentioned. Even the Great commission it is clear Jesus is speaking to the twelve. Note in all the passages nothing with in the context extends the discussion to some one else save the few I showed which shows apostles passing on to others such as in Paul.

    I haven't "pitted scripture against scripture." I have shown you scriptures in support of my position. There is a difference.

    You obviously haven't looked at the passage in its entirety. Lets look at it again.
    Who went to ephesus? What is his status? Then note vs. 28
    He uses the term episkopos or bishop a select group which is different from a more general group of Presbyters. Specifically the top leaders not the general Presbyters. You convienently skipped over that aspect. Bishops were the leaders of the Church

    You ignore the context of the passage. Look at how Chapter 18 begins.
    What is the comparative passage to this? Mark 9
    same incident then
    So this discourse in Matt 18 is to the 12. Not a generality.

    In essense you pick and choose part of scripture you want to apply rather than entire context.
     
  17. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,111
    Likes Received:
    206
    This is an absolute joke! Verse 17 explicitly identifies who this "you" is in verse 28. It is not "Paul" who is the ONLY Apostle in the context. It is not even about Paul or about apostles but about these "elders" in the congregation at Ephesus. You are simply trying to pick and choose from the context what you like rather than following exegetical principles that demand that the plural "you" in verse 28 is being addressed explicitly and directly to its nearest antecedent "elders" in verse 17 with the pronoun "ye" and "you" consistently leading up from verse 17 to verse 28. Your interpretation is a joke.


    This is another joke! The nearest antecedent to the plural pronoun "you" in verse 18 in regard to the exercise of authority that is being explicitly dealt with is "the church" in verse 17. You cannot just skip over the immediate subject being discussed and go back to the beginning of the chapter and simply pick and choose what you like.

    Finally, the immediate context of Matthew 28 7-16 prove that more than the apostles were present at this meeting in Galilee upon this mountain. All his disciples were previously told of this meeting, by the angel and then by Christ previously in the chapter. Previous to this meeting Christ had repeatedly met with the apostles for the sole purpose to remove all doubts including the doubt of Thomas and yet at this meeting there were those present who doubted. This is the only meeting in scripture where there was sufficient room and advanced notice that more than 500 brethren at once could have seen him (1 Cor. 15:6).

    You are describing exactly what you are guilty of. You have not directly and objectively dealt with the evidence I have placed before you twice. Instead you JUMP to other scriptures and PIT improperly interpreted scriptures against the evidence.

    Again, Matthew 28:19-20 distinguishes between "you" and "them" as well as "all nations" none of which but "you" receivd authority to do these things. If this commission was given to "you" as apostles, then they alone, not "them" can administer baptism and teach others how to observe all things commanded. The "elders" at Ephesus were not apostles. Philip was a deacon not an elder or an apostle. However, if they are being addressed as "disciples" (Mt. 28:16) then "disciples" are qualified to make disciples because they have been through the same process spelled out in Matthew 28:19-20.

    I don't expect you will change your approach because to do so would mean to admit you are wrong.
     
  18. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    Maybe you can explain what difference it makes. Jesus was speaking to the eleven as the core material of the first church. He had already given them the "keys to the kingdom." By that I mean Jesus gave them authority to declare the terms of entry into the kingdom.

    This is exactly the marching orders we as members of New Testament churches have--to declare the terms of entry into the Kingdom. This is exactly what those believers in Acts did. This is what Peter did at Pentecost. It's what Stephen did. It's what Philip did with the Ethiopian eunuch.

    And remember, Philip was not an Apostle. Stephen was not an Apostle. Yet they were actively engaged in carrying out the Great Commission.

    It's pretty clear to me that the Commission was given to the first church, and by extension to each succeeding church, including the one I serve today.

    And to speak to your final point, anyone who seeks to do this outside the ultimate authority of the local church is being disobedient.
     
  19. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Messages:
    14,111
    Likes Received:
    206
    If you will go back into the context in Matthew 28:7-16 you will discover that the angel and then Christ told the women that he would meet "my disciples" and "my brethren" in Galilee "at the mountain.....Jesus had appointed."

    Hence, we have this well notified meeting at a designated mountain in Galilee. In the mean time, before going to this mountain in Galilee Jesus appeared at least three times to the apostles in Jerusalem for the purpose to remove any doubt from their minds - the last doubter being Thomas.

    In addition, 1 Cor. 15:6 says that Jesus had been seen by 500 brethren at one time and this is the only appointed place with sufficient advance time and space that such a crowd could have gathered.

    In addition, Matthew 28:17 said that some gathered their "doubted." These doubters could not have been the eleven or the women who had already been eye witnesses and confirmed several times previous. 120 of these gathered in Acts 1:15 in a congregational business meeting to select a new apostle.

    I believe the evidence demonstrates he was talking to his congregation of disciples in Matthew 28:19-20 and not merely to the eleven. I do not believe the eleven alone constituted the early congregation of Christ. If you will remember the eleven were chosen OUT OF a greater multitude of disciples and later Christ sent out seventy disciples with a limited commission.


    The plural "keys" of the kingdom is a very interesting study. One such key (symbol of authority) is exercised in keeping with Matthew 18:15-18 or church discipline. Another one is declaration of remission of sins or condemnation through the proper response to the gospel. Still another key has to do with the authorized administration of the ordinances in God's house. Another key has to do with the proper qualifications and appointment of leadership in God's house. Still another key has to do with authority to make disciples and is called the "key of knowledge" by which the church teaches them to obey the Lord's commands.

    These keys symbolized what the "seat of Moses" symbolized and had been in the possession of the religious leaders of Israel in connection with the house of God. This authority in the professing kingdom was taken away from them and given to another people (Mt. 21:43-44).

    All these keys are summarized in the authority given in Matthew 28:19-20 in the expression "make disciples."

    Couldn't agree more!:thumbsup:
     
  20. savedbymercy

    savedbymercy
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    Messages:
    6,058
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Commission given to the Apostles was fulfilled during the First Century, Paul indicates that here in His writing to the Colossians Col 1:23

    If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

    Was Preached is aorist passive, a simple past tense ! Paul said the Gospel has been preached to every creature which is under Heaven. I am sure he is referring back to Mk 16:15

    And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
     

Share This Page

Loading...