29. The Great Commission

By John Thiel, Audio: The Great Commission

Let us consider the great commission as it is written.

Matthew 28:18 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. 

This is the great commission.  Does the first angel’s message have anything to do with this commission? It’s obvious as the first angel’s message takes place at the end of the gospel period – the hour of God’s judgment is come.  Jesus says I am with you until the end of the world.  At the time of the end this message, this work of the commission is relevant under the first angel’s message. The great commission has everything to do with the first angel’s message.

Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,  

What was the great commission?  Go and preach to every nation, the gospel.  This is what the angel is doing at the end of the world.

Revelation 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 

The angels are preaching and it is identified.

The angels are represented as flying in the midst of heaven, proclaiming to the world a message of warning, and having a direct bearing upon the people living in the last days of this earth’s history. No one hears the voice of these angels, for they are a symbol to represent the people of God who are working in harmony with the universe of heaven. Men and women, enlightened by the Spirit of God and sanctified through the truth, proclaim the three messages in their order. 2M 387

This pertains to the great commission.  Jesus has given them all power to do this work and they are working in the last days.  This is the whole focus of the great commission in the last days.  At the end of the world Jesus has assured them there will be empowerment because I am with you till the end of the world.  In our previous studies we have explored the Godhead and all the facilities that proceed from these three beings of the Godhead. Looking at the whole plan of salvation, you can see here is the commission.  The Lord has done his work with his apprentices.  Here are a people who are going to give God the glory by fulfilling their commission.  Go ye therefore, all power is given me, therefore go. My power is with you.  We can identify this with the first angels message as the everlasting gospel.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

The preaching of the gospel is the power of God to everyone that believes. This is self-evident.  Under the power of Jesus Christ there is a display of the power that can change people’s lives.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.  

The people filled with the Spirit of God are the angels doing the work proclaiming all the power that is given to them.  It is the power of the gospel and the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?

 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

The power of God is given to us is the gospel of Jesus Christ. God has given us all things in Jesus Christ.

Matthew 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Having given us all things, what are we to do?  Give.  You can only give what you have. You can’t give what you haven’t got.  You can give that which God has given us. All power is given to Jesus and he says I have given you all power to preach and heal.  That which you have, give to the church. As apprentices to Christ He has given us the skills to do these works. The apprenticeship is a process of developing what Jesus was like.  We can only give what we have already gained.  By the time we come to the end, the great commission gives its final display and the apprentices who are giving God the glory are simply doing what Jesus did because they have gained from him.  This is what Jesus did in John 17.  In this great commission contribution that has been given through Jesus we now go. Go with what I have given you.

John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.  3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.  4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.  5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.  

Jesus only passed on to us that which was given to Him. The Father gave Jesus the power over all flesh to give eternal life.  What was it?  The knowledge of Jesus Christ.  What does Jesus say?  I want you to do the same.

John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.  7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.  8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received [them], and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.  

Can you see the giving concept?  They can only give what was given them.  Jesus could only give what was given him.  

John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

 17:10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.  

It is important that we digest these words and appreciate what is here available in the great commission to exercise what is given me as Jesus was given and acted out. 

John 17:18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  

The Father gave Jesus the commission and the Father has trained the apprentices as he was given. 

John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

The whole appreciation of the commission is, all power is given me go ye therefore as I have sent you even as the Father has sent me.

John 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace [be] unto you: as [my] Father hath sent me, even so send I you.  22 And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:  23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; [and] whose soever [sins] ye retain, they are retained.

What a huge commission, what Jesus did, they can do.  You can appreciate where people misread this and become vain.  It is something that God gives and if it is not something that God gives then it is vanity. He gives us the Holy Spirit and we are to be under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Something That Is Given

Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.   2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. 

What is imparted to us through the apprenticeship?  We learn of the Lord and he gives us skill until we have his perfect character and what he gives us we are to shine to let it penetrate in the darkness.  We can see what this commission is all about.  It is more than a flare of emotion or a thought. It is a down to earth reality of obedience to all of Gods ways.  You can only give what you actually possess of the glory.  We are changed from glory to glory.  Today I can give a certain amount of glory given me and tomorrow it might be another dimension.  You are to give what you have.  If you only have head knowledge, you are only equipped to give that and head knowledge is quite something.  To give all the doctrines from the top of the head is quite something but that’s all you can give if you only have head knowledge.  God who has brought the light out of darkness has done what?

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.   7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 

I have been given all power and now go therefore. I’m sending you like the Father sent me.  I have given you into your heart my image. If I have the glory of Jesus Christ shining in my heart then that is what I can shine upon others.  If I only have head knowledge or the theory of the word, that is one thing I can give, I can’t give anything else.  However, If we have Jesus shining in our hearts we can give that as well which is more than just head knowledge.  This is what the final outpouring of the Holy Spirit is all about; he breathes into them his spirit.  We can give what is in our heart.  This is comforting to those who are called upon to do missionary work.  We are often challenged by different leaders to go and do missionary work.  Jesus said it’s not so much what you do and how much you do it, it’s with what spirit you do it.  It’s what motivates you that counts.  What he has put in our heart we are to exercise.

Jeremiah 31:33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.   

It is the light of the glory of Jesus Christ in the heart.  

Jeremiah 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. 

Here are a people who know the experience of the Lord in their hearts.  They know the law as it is in Jesus Christ.  It is written in their inward parts and they don’t have to have any man to teach them.  People come to you want to teach you something and you play it back that you know it already and that annoys people.  But you can give what you have got and no one can say you haven’t got it.  There is no need that any man teach them anymore as every man will know the Lord from the least to the greatest of them.  It is a fitting of a condition in the being that is to give the glory of God to the world.

The Apprenticeship Experience with Jesus

1 John 2:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 

Have you ever had someone get frustrated with you saying you think you know everything?  You know all things why? Because you have an unction from the holy one.  

1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 

You cannot give what you haven’t got.  Jesus came with what was given him and he says now I give it to you and even as I have been sent so I send you, all power is given unto me therefore go.  True disciples, those who are truly the disciples, they will impart to others around them the full knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ because they haven’t just got head knowledge, they have the heart full of it.  This is enlarged firmly in the heart that empowers the commission.  In the heart of his true disciples who are to give God the glory, they give him the glory in the final exercise of the great commission. There are three scriptures that identify that when you express yourself as one of God’s children who has been given this beautiful thing into your heart, you will be able to express what is in your heart and you won’t have to go looking around for answers because you have the answers in your heart.

Isaiah 59:21 As for me, this [is] my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that [is] upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever. 

Have you ever wondered sometimes when you have testified or spoken to someone, how did I know all that?  You didn’t have to think about what you were going to share.  They asked you a question and you opened your mouth and out came all this material and you said to yourself, how did I know all that?  It is part of the covenant and the work of the Holy Spirit and Jesus who says my spirit is upon you and my word which I have put in your mouth.  Who has put it there?  It was given us and put in our mouth.  They shall not depart from us from henceforth and forever.

Deuteronomy 30:11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it [is] not hidden from thee, neither [is] it far off.   12 It [is] not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?   

This is what people say, I haven’t got it, I don’t know. 

Deuteronomy 30:13 Neither [is] it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?  14 But the word [is] very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. 

You cannot give what you haven’t got.  It’s got to be given you to be put in your heart and mind and through the everlasting gospel and the three angels messages and the things we have studied, it becomes part of us in the apprenticeship.  As we proceed there comes a point in time where we are asked for the faith that is in us and we will be able to put it back out again because of perfect trust.

Proverbs 22:17 Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.   

This is what we must do in the apprenticeship.  Be diligent.  Bow down your ear and hear and apply your heart. 

Proverbs 22:18 For [it is] a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.   

It is given to us and it is what we do with what is given to us. It will be fitted in our lips. 

Proverbs 22:19 That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.   20 Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,   21 That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee? 

We have nothing to fear.  The commission is an enabling commission.  I have done this for you, have you listened carefully and been diligent?  Have you set your heart to receive it?  Have you been engaged in the apprenticeship? If you are so doing, it will be so fitted within you. It will be fitted within your lips and when we have to stand in the courts as we will study later, we will be able to speak what has been fitted there.  By the gospel of Jesus Christ it is fitted there.  Through the gospel being preached under the first angel, that is the great power that produces it.

Romans 10:6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down [from above]:)   7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)   8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;   9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.   10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 

All these things are a reality if we embrace the gospel that was and is preached to us as it then becomes part of us.  Jesus is written in the heart.  Jesus is part of the heart.

2 Corinthians 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.   11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.   12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.   13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 

We have this treasure in earthen vessels, Jesus within us.  If I believe therefore I will speak and so it is passed onto us.  It is the believers that present the three angels’ messages; they live in the messages and therefore they are given the utterance.

During the past fifty years of my life, I have had precious opportunities to obtain an experience. I have had an experience in the first, second, and third angels’ messages. {2SM 387.1} 

If the experience in these messages produces the utterance, no man has to teach you, you’ve got it, it’s part of you.  In other words, we don’t have to pump ourselves to go and do missionary work and to fulfill the commission.  It is something that is fitted inside of us.  No one has to push or pump us, we are just so ready to speak a word in season and wherever we go the Lord can use us as a beacon.  We don’t try to shine as it says rise and shine for thy light is come.  We don’t have to try to pour out the life giving stream, it is an internal condition.

John 4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:   14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 

If the water of life keeps on bubbling and coming and every opportunity that comes to us is another opportunity to pour the water upon others. That is the way of the great commission.  The water of life I give will be a well of water inside of us.  It is these people that Jesus refers to.

Luke 24:45 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. 

The great commission to go and preach to all nations is the commission of witnessing what they have experienced.  This is the great summary statement.  I can only preach to others what I have experienced.  The witness of what has been placed into my heart is the condition of the commission.  This is what the disciples experienced by which the world was turned upside down.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 

Witnesses, that’s the commission.  You can’t witness what you haven’t experienced.  Once you’ve experienced it, then it happens and that is the unction of the holy one.  The Holy Spirit being breathed upon them to produce.  Let us watch the kind of impact of this reality.  This is the product of somebody who has been given the great commission.

2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.   18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. 

The apostle is saying look, we weren’t telling you lovely stories. We know what we are talking about.  If someone came along and contradicted them it didn’t worry them as they knew what they were talking about.  They were harassed and persecuted for what they were preaching.  They could have said, we are wrong as the leaders of the church aren’t doing it.  No, they couldn’t help to pass on what they had experienced.  Then comes the other apostle who also says the same thing. The great commission is to true to every aspect of the statement Jesus, all power is given unto me go ye therefore.  All power is passed on.

1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;   2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen [it], and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)   3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 

What do they say?  We are fulfilling the great commission.  We are telling you what we have handled, touched and experienced that you may enjoy the same as we have experienced.  That is the work of the three angel’s people.

I have acted a part in this solemn work. Nearly all my Christian experience is interwoven with it. There are those now living who have an experience similar to my own. They have recognized the truth unfolding for this time; they have kept in step with the great Leader, the Captain of the Lord’s host. {2SM 387.2}

In the proclamation of the messages, every specification of prophecy has been fulfilled. Those who were privileged to act a part in proclaiming these messages have gained an experience which is of the highest value to them; and now when we are amid the perils of these last days, when voices will be heard on every side saying, Here is Christ, Here is truth, while the burden of many is to unsettle the foundation of our faith which has led us from the churches and from the world to stand as a peculiar people in the world, like John our testimony will be borne:    That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; . . . that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us (1 John 1:1-3) I testify the things which I have seen, the things which I have heard, the things which my hands have handled of the Word of life. And this testimony I know to be of the Father and the Son. We have seen and do testify that the power of the Holy Ghost has accompanied the presentation of the truth, warning with pen and voice, and giving the messages in their order. To deny this work would be to deny the Holy Ghost, and would place us in that company who have departed from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits. 2SM 387-388.

We don’t have to fear that if we will embrace these messages in experience and that is exactly what the apprenticeship of Christ is all about.  We see just such a people who have joined the experience of those who have gone before us.  The people in the time of Ellen White studied the three angels messages and lived them, if we will do the same as they, look at what is written.

I saw a company who stood well guarded and firm, giving no countenance to those who would unsettle the established faith of the body. God looked upon them with approbation. I was shown three steps– the first, second, and third angels’ messages. Said my accompanying angel, Woe to him who shall move a block or stir a pin of these messages. The true understanding of these messages is of vital importance. The destiny of souls hangs upon the manner in which they are received. EW 258

The people who take hold of what the three angel’s messages were given in the past, if they take hold of the same experience, they will be a little company who will not countenance in these terrible days any slight deviation.  Any slight deviation we cannot countenance.  We must build on that which was established and experienced in the past and it can’t be looked away from as you know it’s real.  It cannot be taken away from you no matter how much opposition you get.  This little company that would not countenance error have an experience.

There are persons ready to catch up every new idea. The prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation are misinterpreted. These persons do not consider that the truth has been set forth at the appointed time by the very men whom God was leading to do this special work. These men followed on step by step in the very fulfillment of prophecy, and those who have not had a personal experience in this work, are to take the Word of God and believe on “their word” who have been led by the Lord in the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. These messages, received and acted upon, are doing their work to prepare a people to stand in the great day of God. If we search the Scriptures to confirm the truth God has given His servants for the world, we shall be found proclaiming the first, second, and third angels’ messages.  {2SM 111.2}   

This is exactly what I have done.  I have embraced that which they embraced and experienced before us. We are to take their word as it is very valuable to read their experience and their messages.  All those who have already embraced these messages before us have touched and handled and they are telling us their experience like the apostles did theirs. If we will be the company in these last days that search the scriptures to confirm the truth God has given his servants back there, we shall be found proclaiming the first, second and third angel’s message.  This is the great commission that we will be a people that will share with others what is within us.  Not mere head knowledge as that can easily be contorted but what is in you if you have set your ear and opened your heart. The Lord creates it in us and when the crisis comes, nothing will cause us to shift.  We stand in the Lord and on the platform.  That is the commission that we will stand as a light and the world will see the glory of God as we don’t have to try to shine, we will shine.

Amen.

Posted on September 14, 2010, in 1st Angels Message, Sermons by John Thiel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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