The Berean Expositor
Volume 52 - Page 113 of 207
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Prophecy makes it quite clear that finally many nations (Gentiles) are to be blessed with
Israel (Zech. 2: 10-13 and Isa. 19: 23-25). Christ will then become King and Lord of
the whole earth (Zech. 14: 9). Once we keep this in mind we shall be in a better position
to understand the great commission of Matt. 28: 18-20.  We shall then be able to
appreciate this ministry in its rightful God-given setting and avoid divorcing it from the
kingdom of heaven, finally to be established on earth. It concerns discipling or teaching
the Gentiles in every land and baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the
Holy Spirit. The water baptism of the Acts period was in the name of Jesus Christ as the
God-man, the great Mediator and King. This great commission is essentially one of
teaching and it must be one of the greatest teaching ministries of Scripture.  To
understand it in any measure we must not only keep it to the setting given in Matthew's
Gospel, but also to the other Scriptures which pertain to it relating to the Messianic
Perhaps we have wondered how the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will one day
"cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11: 9)? The commission given to the
apostles in Matt. 28: is doubtless one of the means used by God as well as the
ministry of redeemed and restored Israel during the millennium. Even in the Acts period
the Lord Jesus commanded the eleven and said, "ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in
Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth"
(Acts 1: 8, see also Luke 24: 46, 47). Jerusalem in prophecy is the geographical pivot
of the kingdom on earth and the light and knowledge radiate from it world-wide. This is
in accord with the gospel of the kingdom which is also preached to all nations of the
earth (Matt. 24: 14).
The final words of the Lord Jesus before His ascension were:
"I am with you alway, even unto the consummation of the age (literally)" (Matt.xxviii.20).
Note the present tense "I am", not "I have been or will be". The Lord uses the
prophetic perfect here to stress His constant presence and enabling. And "if God be for
us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8: 31). Satan and the powers of darkness have been
conquered for ever by the victorious risen and ascended Lord and He will finally reign
forever and ever both on earth and in all regions of the heavens.
To sum up: we have seen that the great stress on the word "world" in John's Gospel,
mankind in general, was to remind Israel of their responsibility that, through them, all
families of the earth should be blessed. This does not mean that this Gospel is Jewish in
the sense that it was addressed solely to Israel and was entirely about Israel. This is the
province of Matthew's Gospel. John's parish, so to speak is mankind as a whole,
whether Jew or Gentile and it has a basic message for each, namely eternal life through
faith in Christ alone which gives either of them new birth and freedom from
condemnation (John 3: 3; 5: 24).  Without this new birth a man "cannot see the
kingdom of God", but with it he can, for he is now "born of the Spirit" (John 3: 8) and
has this new life which is eternal and now is linked with Christ by faith. If anyone is
troubled by the word "water" in these verses they should consult Dr. E. W. Bullinger's
The Giver and His Gifts page 63-68 where he shows that the meaning is "spiritual water"