This article is from Richard’s book, “Between the Gospels: The Chronicle of Israel’s Apostacy and Gentile Belief” available from the Richard’s Books page here:
Get Between the Gospels
After Jesus Christ returns for Israel, he will judge the nations, raise the just at the former resurrection, and inaugurate his Millennial Kingdom. At that time, he will rule the earth from Jerusalem. The twelve apostles will rule the twelve tribes of Israel and the disciples of Israel will perform their functions as priests to the nations. They will teach the Word of God to all humanity. The second Kingdom Commission, which people call The Great Commission, charges Christ’s disciples to disciple the nations, not just the “believers of the nations.” To disciple means to teach to abide by the laws of the Kingdom and to enforce those laws. It’s more than policing because it teaches as well as disciplines. Justice will be enforced with instant summary judgements. The dead bodies of the lawless will be thrown into a garbage pit in Gehenna.
Let’s read the text of the second Kingdom Commission.
- Matthew 28:16-20 – Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
And when they saw him, they worshiped him: but some doubted.
And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go you therefore, and teach [disciple] all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:
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.
Now some of you will attempt to correct me and say, “This is the Great Commission given to the twelve apostles!” And you might say, “That’s what the church is doing now!” To which I will say, “You missed so many things in this commission that differentiate it from other commissions given by our Lord in both time and sphere of activity!”
First let’s consider the context and the place in which this commission was given.
Jesus had already been resurrected and commanded his disciples to meet him on the mountain in Galilee. Mountains are significant in God’s Word. When not referring to a specific mountain, they symbolize both kingdoms and kings. Physical elevation relates to royal exaltation. I’ll give you four separate examples.
In the book of Daniel, God gave King Nebuchadnezzar a vision of the great world powers that would subjugate Israel until the last days. After the description of these successive kingdoms, a great mountain comes out of heaven and crushes them all to pieces. That mountain represents Christ’s Millennial Kingdom.
The second example is one of the temptations of Jesus by the Adversary.
- Matthew 4:8,9 – Again, the devil took him up into an exceedingly high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
And said unto him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me.
The devil tempted Jesus with what was rightfully his, but the time and method of ascending to that rule was not yet. He tempted him on an exceedingly high mountain, representing royal exaltation.
Jesus was transformed on a mountain. The mountain symbolized his reign as King over Israel and was a witness to Peter, James and John of his coming rule. His body and clothes were transformed before them, showing the great glory that will be his in his Millennial Kingdom. This is the third example.
The fourth example is from the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ in which the harlot of Babylon is described.
- Revelation 17:3,9,10 – So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet-colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
And here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits.
And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a short time.
The seven mountains symbolize seven kingdoms which the seven kings will rule.
There are many other examples but these will suffice. Jesus gave this commission on the mountain in Galilee to symbolize his royal exaltation when he assumes his Role as King in his coming Kingdom. It was on a mountain that he was transformed to display the glory he will have; the mountain again symbolizing royal exaltation.
This “Great Commission” is recorded in the account of Matthew which presents Jesus in the role as Israel’s King. His lineage is traced from King David to Abraham in Matthew 1:1-16. Jesus gives the code of the Kingdom in his first sermon on the mount in Matthew 5:1-7:29. This was also given on a mountain. These are the rules by which the King will govern his Kingdom during that administration and eon.
This commission in Matthew 28 will be fulfilled during the Christ’s Millennial Kingdom. The evidence for this is in Jesus’ words, “And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power [authority] is [was] given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (Matthew 28:18). The Greek for “power” (Greek, ”exousia”) is better translated, “authority,” and “is” is better translated “was.” The question is, “When is Jesus given all authority in heaven and earth.” The nations still have power. The Adversary is still the “god of this eon.” Some say this occurred when he was risen from the dead; others say when he ascended into heaven. I would agree with the later from a spiritual point of view, but he surely has not claimed nor exercised all authority yet. But in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ we read the following.
- Revelation 11:15 – And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The Kingdom of this world has become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.
Christ has already received the right to all authority in the earth, but he surely has not taken his reign yet. It is not until he returns to the earth to subdue all authority that this occurs. This has not yet happened. Therefore, this commission is to be carried out when he exercises that authority. This puts the timing of the fulfillment of this commission in Christ’s Millennial Kingdom. This is why he gave the commission on a mountain representing his Kingdom and right to rule.
It’s important to look at what is missing in this commission. Preaching the gospel, repentance, salvation, and faith are not mentioned in this commission. The disciples’ sole duties are to baptize and disciple people of the nations. We wrongly assume and insert the gospel, repentance, salvation, and faith into this commission, but Jesus did not include them.
When Christ returns and defeats the enemies of his people there will still be perhaps two billion people left alive. These mortals will still be holding to their false belief systems and practices. They will need to be baptized and disciplined and taught the ways and words of God. Jesus told his disciples to “[disciple] all nations, baptizing them… Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” Those of the nations will have to be disciplined to obey the things Jesus commands, and they will have to be taught the Word of God. This is the task of Jesus disciples, who are his priests to the nations. That is what this commission commands.
- Isaiah 60:1-5 – Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon you, and his glory shall be seen upon you.
And the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Lift up your eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to you: your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side.
Then you shall see, and flow together, and your heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto you, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto you.
- Habakkuk 2:14 – For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
To bring this about, Israel will disciple and teach the nations. This is the purpose of the second Kingdom Commission. The first Kingdom Commission was to be carried out in the Lord’s absence and concluded at the Lord’s return. The second Kingdom commission is to be carried out in his presence and will conclude by the end of the Millennial Kingdom. The Lord said he would be with them that entire time, “…and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the
world [Greek: “aion”, “eon].”
Let’s compare the first Kingdom Commission to the second Kingdom commission.
|Feature||First Kingdom Commission Matthew 10:1-40||Second Kingdom Commission Matthew 28:16-20|
|Where the commission was given||After traveling to “cities and villages,” not on a mountain||Galilee of the nations (Matthew 3:15), on a mountain|
|To whom it was given||twelve apostles||eleven disciples|
|To whom those commissioned are sent||Lost sheep of the house of Israel||The nations|
|To whom those commissioned are not sent||Samaritans, Gentiles||Israel|
|Work those commissioned are to do||Harvest believers (Matthew 9:38) Preach, saying, “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons||Disciple all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit*: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.|
|Opposition to those who carry out the commission||Beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And you shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. The twelve apostles are also told that they will be persecuted by their own people, as well as the government of the earth. Their witness to them is a warning; it is not “good news.” It is a testimony “against them.” You shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.||No violence, no bringing the disciples before governmental tribunals. Summary judgments will immediately stop any opposition and no harm will come to Jesus’ priests to the nations. There will be no persecution. The nations are not warned by those who carry out this commission; they are disciplined and taught instead.|
|Timing of the commission||Before the Millennial Kingdom is inaugurated||After the Millennial Kingdom is inaugurated|
|Duration of the commission||You shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man comes.||Unto the end of the world [eon].
(The Millennial Eon)
|Jesus’ present||No||Yes I am with you always, even unto the end of the world [eon].|
* This baptismal formula is never used in the book of Acts. This verse is quoted many times as “in my name,” substituting “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” in personal letters by Eusebius, “Go ye into all the world and make disciples of all the Gentiles in My Name.” There is a large consensus among scholars that the current reading is an interpolation (the text was changed from the original), and is not the Word of God as originally given. See the topic on “Evidence of the Corruption of the Baptismal Formula in Matthew 28:19” for a list of sources discussing this baptismal formula.
In the millennium, people outside Israel will still need to be baptized. The Law will dictate people be discipled, or “disciplined”.
In conclusion, the second Kingdom Commission is given to disciples of the Lord who are serving as priests, not apostles. They are instructed not to preach the gospel but to discipline the nations to the laws of the Kingdom and teach them the Word of God. They are not sent to Israel but to the nations. This commission is to be carried out during the Millennial Kingdom, after Christ has received all authority, and not before it. It starts with the return of Jesus and the inauguration of his Kingdom and is fulfilled before the conclusion of the Millennial Kingdom. Jesus will be “with them” throughout that eon. In all points this commission is different from the first Kingdom Commission.