Archive for May 24, 2010

Israel’s Great Commission, Part 8

May 24, 2010

Remission of Sins

Whosoever sins you remit, they are remitted unto them (John 20:23).

How many messages have you heard on this part of the “Great Commission”? Again this passage is clear; and was in perfect harmony with Christ’s earthly teaching ministry. For the Lord Jesus told Peter,

And I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven: and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19; c.f. Matthew 18:18).

Many believers, and even preachers, have been left perplexed and confused by failing to follow Paul’s instruction that we are to be “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (II Timothy 2:15).

Once again we are dealing plainly with the message of Israel’s Kingdom, during which the Twelve Circumcision Apostles would have authority in the Messiah’s absence.

(To be continued …)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Daily Email Goodies
© 1989, 2010

Israel’s Great Commission, Part 7

May 24, 2010

Jerusalem

Both Luke chapter 24 and Acts chapter 1 make the geographical procedure of the “Great Commission” known. The twelve apostles were to start at Jerusalem – Israel’s capitol city – it was to the “Jews first.” The Jews were first, over the Gentiles, because they were in covenant relationship with God, and in the Kingdom gospel the Gentiles could be blessed only in Israel’s national rise (c.f. Genesis 22:17- 18; Isaiah 2:4; 60:1-3; 62:1-3). Therefore, under the “Great Commission” Israel must first accept the message before the Gentiles could be blessed.

All is different under the evangel committed to Paul for “the dispensation of the grace of God.” In “the gospel of the Grace of God” the Gentiles were to be blessed, not through Israel’s rise, but through Israel’s fall.

… Through their [Israel’s] fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify my office (Romans 11:11-13).

How many of us have heard the interpretation “where you are is your ‘Jerusalem?’” What type of interpretation is that? If this is our “Great Commission” and we are to follow it literally, we would have to sell all of our possessions and go to Jerusalem with “the gospel of the Kingdom” (c.f. Acts 3:25-26; 13:46).

(To be continued …)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Daily Email Goodies
© 1989, 2010

Israel’s Great Commission, Part 6

May 24, 2010

Miraculous Signs

These signs shall follow them who believe (Mark 16:17).

Again, the words of the “Great Commission” are unmistakable. Signs would follow the Jewish believers. It is not that they could follow them, but that they “shall.”

The Bible is explicit in its teaching that miraculous signs were for Israel.

The Jews require a sign (I Corinthians 1:22).

The signs belonged to Israel and their land.

We see not our signs (Psalms 74:9).

… for signs and for wonders in Israel(Isaiah 8:18).

References to signs in the Scriptures are always found in a Jewish setting. The first mention of miraculous signs should give any student of the Scripture a clear message of its relationship to Israel (Exodus 4:8).

The “Great Commission” had water baptism as a requirement for salvation with miraculous signs following. This is exactly what happened in Acts chapter 2 and in the early part of the Acts period.

(To be continued …)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Daily Email Goodies
© 1989, 2010

Israel’s Great Commission, Part 5

May 24, 2010

Baptismal Salvation

He who believes and is baptized shall be saved: but he who believes not shall be damned (Mark 16:16).

Could this be any clearer? In the gospel of the “Great Commission,” baptism was essential for Israel’s salvation from that “untoward generation.”

Israel’s baptismal salvation was also found in John the Baptist’s message.

John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins (Mark 1:4).

Peter understood well what the “Great Commission” said, because water baptism for salvation is exactly what he preached on Pentecost.

Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

Because of the problems which many preachers have trying to make Israel’s “Great Commission” ours, they must begin to alter the text. This involves changing or explaining away certain words in some of the other passages.

(To be continued …)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Daily Email Goodies
© 1989, 2010

Israel’s Great Commission, Part 4

May 24, 2010

Which Gospel Was Preached?

Preach the gospel (Mark 16:15).

Which “gospel” were Israel’s Apostles commissioned to preach? There are, in fact, a number of evangels in the Scriptures: “the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven,” “the gospel of the Circumcision,” “the gospel of the Uncircumcision,” “the age-lasting gospel,” “the gospel of the Grace of God,” etc.

The gospel mentioned in the “Great Commission” is denoted simply as “the gospel,” showing that it had already been defined in the so-called “Gospels” (i.e., Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).

This “gospel” could not be “the gospel of the Grace of God” which was later revealed and committed to Paul (i.e., “my gospel – Romans 2:16; 16:25-26; II Timothy 2:8), for it was still hidden at this time.

Upon further study, one will note that the “gospel” of the “Great Commission” clearly is Israel’s “gospel of the Kingdom” (Matthew 4:23; 9:35; Mark 1:14). It is the “good news” of the coming of their prophesied, literal, physical, earthly, kingdom. This gospel, which during this age has been put on hold, will be preached again one day by Israel after the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (c.f. Matthew 24:14).

(To be continued …)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Daily Email Goodies
© 1989, 2010

Israel’s Great Commission, Part 3

May 24, 2010

What Is Being Said?

As we have mentioned earlier, the “Great Commission” is usually dealt with devotionally and not doctrinally; therefore its contents are obscure to the average church-goer. The size of this work will not allow us a full study of each passage but what follows are a few of the sections for our consideration.

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you … (Matthew 28:20).

In the “Great Commission,” Israel’s Apostles were to teach their converts all of the commandments that Christ gave while He was here on earth so that they might observe them. Honest individuals, even while deceived into believing that this commission is theirs, usually do not teach others to observe all of Christ’s commands. Note the following example:

Christ commanded a total disregard for the physical and material things even to the point of bare subsistence.

Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat; neither for the body, what you shall put on … and seek not what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, neither be of doubtful mind … sell what you have, and give alms … (Luke 12:22-33).

So likewise, whosoever he is of you who forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be My disciple (Luke 14:33 – c.f. Matthew 6:19-34; 10:8-11; 19:21).

Jesus taught His Jewish followers to sell all that they had – forsaking all – and to take no thought for their physical sustenance. This is exactly what the Twelve Apostles did. They forsook all and followed the Lord.

Then answered Peter and said to Him,

“Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed You; what shall we have therefore?”

And Jesus said to them,

“Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of His glory, you also shall sit upon Twelve Thrones, judging the Twelve Tribes of Israel. And everyone who has forsaken houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit age-lasting life” (Matthew 19:27-29).

Obviously the Twelve Apostles took the commandments of the Lord to them literally. It is also obvious that He intended them to do so. Under Israel’s “Great Commission,” these Apostles were to teach “whatsoever” the Lord had commanded them, and they did just that.

They continued steadfastly in the Apostle’s doctrine … and sold their possessions and goods (Acts 2:43, 45).

Then Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none …” (Acts 3:6).

… As many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them … (Acts 4:34).

Barnabas … having land, sold it … (Acts 4:36-37).

Could anything be clearer? What Jesus commanded, the Twelve observed. What Jesus commanded, the Twelve taught under the “Great Commission” to their converts. What Jesus commanded, the converts of the “Great Commission” observed.

Now let’s note the contrast between these things that Jesus commanded during His earthly teaching ministry, and what He later taught in His heavenly ministry through Paul. The Lord does not teach members of the Body of Christ to sell all that we have – forsaking all – and to take no thought for our physical sustenance.

If any provides not for his own, especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel (I Timothy 5:8).

The children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children (II Corinthians 12:14).

Even in the passages of Scripture where the Lord Jesus Christ instructs us through Paul to give, He does not instruct us to sell all that we have, but that they we have a proper attitude toward material possessions and make good use of our resources (e.g. I Timothy 6:17-19).

Now, all of this is just one example of what Jesus commanded during His earthly teaching ministry to Israel (while He was “a minister of the Circumcision” – Romans 15:8). All of Christ’s earthly commands to Israel were incorporated into the “Great Commission.”

(To be continued …)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Daily Email Goodies
© 1989, 2010

Israel’s Great Commission, Part 2

May 24, 2010

Who Is Being Addressed?

Most people clearly understand who is speaking in the so-called “Great Commission,” but it seems only a very few know to whom Jesus was actually speaking. This is of utmost importance in properly understanding the Scriptures. Let’s read the passages closely and notice who was being addressed.

The eleven disciples went away into Galilee … and Jesus came and spoke to them, saying … Go you therefore … (Matthew 28:16-19).

Afterward He appeared unto the eleven … and He said to them, “Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:14-15).

And you are witnesses of these things (Luke 24:48).

The disciples were assembled … then said Jesus to them again, “Peace be to you: as My Father has sent Me, even so send I you” (John 20:19-21).

He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments unto the apostles whom He had chosen … He said to them … “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:2, 7-8).

Clearly, in every passage Israel’s Apostles are the only ones present. Now, by what strange rule of scriptural study do we interpret these passages to be “commissions” to anyone but to whom it says that they are?

This then is indisputably not our “Great Commission,” but rather the commission of Israel’s Apostles. It might also be noted that this is not our Lord’s last command, for He spoke from heaven through Paul giving us a Grace Commission (c.f. II Corinthians 5:14-21).

(To be continued …)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Daily Email Goodies
© 1989, 2010

Israel’s Great Commission, Part 1

May 24, 2010

Introduction

Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:14-20; Luke 24:45-48; John 20:19-23; Acts 1:4-8

The passages of Scripture listed above are generally referred to in Christendom as the “Great Commission,” “The Marching Orders of the Church,” and “The Last Words of the Savior.” None of these describe the truth of this Circumcision Commission given to Israel. The particulars of this commission are strictly Jewish in nature, which we will see; and totally incompatible with Paul’s evangel (gospel.)

As a result, much of the teaching today from the “Great Commission” is centered on the application of a few select words from Israel’s commission, such as “Go ye” and “Lo, I am with you always” from Matthew, and “Every creature” and “All the world” from Mark, etc.

Such messages are usually merely devotional in nature and not doctrinal. It has probably been a long time since you have heard a detailed exposition of the specifics of this commission. In fact, the truth may be that you have never heard an exhaustive teaching of them because, most of the time given to their “exposition” is used in explaining away parts of them.

We want to look very briefly at these passages using the standard means of proper Scripture interpretation. I am sure that most of our readers are well aware that the Bible is not given to any private interpretation (II Peter 1:20). We cannot jump headlong into a passage of Scripture without using some standard principles. These principles, of which even the average student should be fully aware, have been used by the saints over the centuries.

I will just remind you of that excellent example of these principles as clearly seen in the sixteenth century writing of Miles Coverdale (1488-1569):

It shall greatly help ye to understand Scripture if thou mark not only what is spoken or written, but of whom, with what words, at what time, where, to what intent, with what circumstances, considering what goeth before and what followeth after.

It is not our desire to use all of these principles in this short study, for some of the teachings of these passages are generally received by many; but there are a number of these study principles which seem to have been completely overlooked or disregarded.

(To be continued …)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Daily Email Goodies
© 1989, 2010

Israel’s Day of Mourning

May 24, 2010

And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Him Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one who is in bitterness for his firstborn … And one shall say to Him, “What are these wounds in Your hands?” Then He shall answer, “Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends” (Zechariah 12:10; 13:6).

God took Israel on a national journey of folly that led to the rejection of their Messiah. In unbelief they had upon their hands the blood of the Son of God. Listen to the indictment placed upon them.

His Own [Israel] received Him not (John 1:11).

We [Israel] will not have this man [Christ] to reign over us (Luke 19:14).

His [Christ’s] blood be on us, and on our children (Matthew 27:25).

By wicked hands have crucified and slain [Him] (Acts 2:23).

Not only did Israel reject their Messiah unto death, but in the book of Acts they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame (Hebrews 6:6). However, this rejection could never change God’s earthly purpose.

For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? (Romans 3:3).

Even in Israel’s unbelief and rejection they did the will of God.

Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain (Acts 2:23).

Israel’s blindness of unbelief has a duration which only finds its end in the fullness of the Gentiles. Then God will lift their sightless condition and “all Israel shall be saved.” Make no mistake about it: God is not done with Israel.

For I would not, brothers, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, ‘There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob’ (Romans 11:25, 26).

Israel’s Future Repentance

Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they [Israel] also which pierced Him: and all kindred of the earth shall mourn because of Him (Revelation 1:7).

This passage, along with that of Zechariah listed earlier, shows us that Israel will be brought to a place of national mourning. This will not just be a portion of Israel, but “all Israel.” Notice in chapter twelve Zechariah’s prophecy the various classes within Israel that are mentioned:

The Royal Lineage – represented by the house of David (:12).

The Prophets – represented by the house of Nathan (:12).

The Priesthood – represented by the house of Levi (:13).

The Scribes – represented by the house of Shimei (:13).

Israel’s mourning will be personal and intense.

Personal – notice that the word “apart” (“alone”CLT) is used eleven times in three verses (:12-14).

Intense – notice that this “great mourning” (:11) is “as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (:10.)

Israel’s mourning is a result of the work of God’s “spirit of grace” (:10) when looking upon Christ. We can see a type of this with their Apostle Peter when, after he had betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ, he wept bitterly (Luke 22:54-62).

God is not done with Israel. Although they are blind, one day God will give them the spirit of grace and restore them to His earthly purpose.

In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness (Zechariah 13:1).

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Daily Email Goodies
© 2010


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