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first, the report of THE GREAT COMMISSION recorded in Mat–
thew 28:
"Now the eleven disciples" (Judas already had left them)
"went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed
them. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but sorne
doubted. And Jesus carne and said to them ... " To WHOM? Not
the Church as a whole! Only to the disciples who were to become
the original APOSTLES! " ... 'All authority in heaven and on
earth has been given to me.
therefore, and make disciples
[learners - those taught] of all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teach–
ing them to observe all that 1 have commanded you; and lo, 1 am
with you always, to the close of the age'" (Matt. 28: 16-20,
Notice carefully. This GREAT COMMISSION to be SENT FORTH
with Christ's Gospel Message was given only to those who were
apostles - and the word "apostle" means "one sent forth" with
the Message!
The King James translation of the above has been MIS–
interpreted by sorne to imply that ALL the people in every nation
were to be converted
The King James version has: "Go ye therefore, and teach all
nations, baptizing them ..." The sense is, "teach
all nations,"
NOT teaching every individual. The RSV translation, above quoted,
also has this same sense. "Make disciples - students - learners -
to HEAR the Message -
all nations." And, "baptizing
them" can refer ONLY to those God specially
since Christ
said plainly, "No MAN CAN come to me, except the Father which
sent me draw him."
Now examine Mark's account of THE GREAT COMMISSION
(chapter 16). Most translations from the original Greek text into
English OMIT verses 9-20, saying these verses were NOT INSPIRED
and were added at a later date by uninspired editors. Even so, the
RSV does quote these verses in finer type, starting verse 15, as fol–
lows: "And he said to them,"- the eleven apostles- "Go into all
the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation." That is,
announce the GOOD NEWS of the coming Kingdom of God. Con–
tinue: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved...." But