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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012

Three Commissions of Matthew 28 - May 7, 2006


Sermon of the Week  - May 7, 2006

In the twenty-eighth chapter of the gospel according to Matthew there are three Commissions. Depending on the outcome, or on a person’s viewpoint, all three of these Commissions could be called Great Commissions.


First is the Angelic Commission. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary as it began to dawn on the first day of the week came to see the tomb. There was a great earthquake, an angel of the Lord appeared, rolled away the stone, and sat on it, and the guard of Roman soldiers quaked and fell down like dead men.

This earthquake was the most devastating earthquake that this old world ever experienced. The great earthquake in San Francisco in 1906 registered about seven and a half on the seismograph, and killed 3,000 people. This quake at the tomb of Jesus must have registered at least a thousand on the Devil’s seismograph because it completely obliterate Hell for the Christian.

Even though the angel’s lightning like appearance also scared the two Mary’s the angel assured them that all was well, and gave them a commission. This commission told them to tell the disciples He was risen from the dead. They were not told to tell anyone else, just the disciples. Come see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples, He is risen from the dead: and lo He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him: lo I have told you.

Then it says they ran to tell them. Ran is the verb that describes the action the women took in telling the story of the resurrection to the disciples. What verb best describes the action of evangelism today? Is it run? No! Is it trot? No! Is it hop, skip, or jump? No! Is it crawl? Many times, Yes!

That angelic commission is needed for the members of the Church today. The Church needs to hear again the death, burial, resurrection, and the scriptural response to the gospel because some are being brainwashed by the false doctrine heard over and over again that salvation is obtained by simply bowing your head and asking Jesus to come into your heart.

The importance of being buried with Christ in baptism as Paul teaches in Romans six is illustrated in an event in the story of the death of Elisha in Second Kings. Elisha died and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulcher of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet. If a corpse touched the bones of the prophet Elisha and came back to life: how much more is it true, when we are buried with Jesus at our immersion into Him, shall we be made alive unto God who were once dead in trespasses and sins.

Later on in the chapter Jesus repeated this commission and said the meeting in Galilee was appointed. The Apostles had an appointment and they kept the appointment. In the Angelic Commission we are reminded that Jesus has also made appointments for us as His disciples. One of the appointments Jesus has made for us is in the Lord’s Supper every Lord’s Day as taught in Acts 20:7, “And upon the first day of the week we were gathered together to brake bread.” Why does the Lord’s Supper become commonplace for many every Lord’s Day, and the singing over and over again of the same line thirty times in a certain praise chorus seem acceptable? The appointment to the Lord’s Table is always there whether anyone keeps it or not, Jesus is there waiting even if nobody shows up.

Another appointment that the Lord has made with us as Christians as well as everyone else is in Acts seventeen. Paul told the Athenians that God has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained by the resurrection from the dead. That is an appointment that everyone will keep.

This appointment is underscored again in Hebrews chapter nine, “It is appointed once to die and then cometh the judgment.”

Then we must not forget a very personal appointment the Lord has made with us as individuals. Paul tells us about it when he tells of His historic meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul said, “What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.” When we meet the Lord does He not also appoint a certain work for each of us to do? Are we keeping that appointment?

The angelic commission also included the statement that Jesus went before them to Galilee. When they arrived on the scene He was already there waiting for them. He always goes before us. He has already gone before us into Heaven as he is the first-born of them that sleep, and He will be there waiting for us. He has gone before us in temptation. He was tempted in all points like as we are and yet without sin. He goes before us in prayer. Jesus Himself said in the Sermon on the Mount: He knows what things we have need of before we ask Him. Always He goes before us. Remember the Angelic Commission is preach the gospel to the disciples.


And now we take note of the Satanic Commission. As far as we know, the scripture is silent as to whether the angel who rolled away the stone, used a stun gun on the guards or not, but nevertheless, they were stunned anyway. When they recovered there was an awful lot of explaining to do. So they simply told the story. In a word they told the authorities: Jesus is not there, He’s gone! The resurrection could not be denied. So the Devil gave his Satanic Commission. Since they could not deny the truth they said, “Stonewall it, don’t tell anybody what really happened. Make up any lie you can think of. Tell them about the gospel according to Judas, or you might even mention the DaVinci code; tell them anything, but don’t tell them Jesus is alive.”

The guards were a little nervous, they might be held responsible. What then? The chief priests gave them much money, don’t worry about it boys, we will take care of you, so they took the money and did as they were taught and that is the Satanic Commission. Stonewall the story of the When they wanted to crucify Jesus they found out the best way was through money. They paid thirty pieces of silver. That was the price they paid for His blood. Now that Jesus is alive the best way to kill the story of the resurrection was money. However this time they had to up the ante, it took considerably more money. They paid out much money. When the guards were a little doubtful, the chief priest assured them they had insurance. We will persuade the Governor and rid you of charge. It is not too hard to guess how they might persuade the Governor-even more money, if necessary. In either case they found out that trying to get rid of Jesus was the most expensive thing they would ever do. The harder they tried the more expensive it got. Instead of paying off one man they had to pay off every member of the Roman guard. Actually their loss cannot be measured in dollars and cents. If they did not repent, it would cost them their souls. Jesus Himself warned about this, “What shall a man be profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul.” So the guards took the money.

Actually there was an even bigger price that was paid for their salvation if they had ever accepted it. Peter mentioned the price of salvation when he said, “We have been redeemed not by corruptible things such as silver and gold, but by the precious blood of a Lamb holy without blemish and without spot even the blood of Christ.” But they took the money.

That statement, “So they took the money, and did as they were taught” has far-reaching consequences even today. A preacher being interviewed by the pulpit committee was asked how he preached the doctrine. He said, “How do you want it preached?” He was willing to take the money. That reminds me of the story of a teacher looking for work in a certain school district who was asked how he taught Geography. He said there are two schools of thought on Geography. One view says the world is flat, and the other view says the world is round. I am prepared to teach it either way. Take the money. The Satanic Commission is all a matter of economics. Take the money. Doctrine is determined by the size of the crowd. Take the money. One elder told me as they were looking for a new preacher, “We have to be careful what preacher we get here. The wrong man will drive half of the crowd away.” That is the Satanic Commission. Take the money and don’t tell anybody Jesus is alive.

Don’t tell anybody. One time there was a man in our town who was an avowed atheist, and the only time he came to services was during a revival. He would stand outside after services and argue with anyone who would listen, saying, “There is no God.” The years passed and one day he got sick and died. For his funeral the family called a preacher who had been there about fifteen years before my arrival.

During the funeral service the preacher told how this man many years before had told him he wanted to be immersed. The two of them went to a creek and the preacher baptized him. When the man came up out of the water the preacher said this man told him never to tell anyone what happened. Until the day that man died even his wife did not know that this atheist was a “Christian”.

Perhaps you wonder how could this man be a “Christian” and then tell everyone there is no God. There are many like him in all Churches. People who have been baptized into Christ and never tell anybody either. That is the Satanic Commission. You can’t deny Jesus arose from the dead, but take the money and don’t tell anybody.


And now the third Commission, the Lord’s Great Commission according to Matthew, Jesus said, “All authority hath been given unto Me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations. Baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you, and lo, I AM with you always even into the end of the world.”

According to Mark the Great Commission is recorded, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. He that believeth not shall be damned.”

According to Luke the Great Commission reads, “Thus it is written that the Christ must suffer and rise again from the dead and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name unto all the nations beginning from Jerusalem.” These words are the marching orders of the King and this document is the most important document ever spoken on planet earth. It is a greater document than the Declaration of Independence, and greater than the Emancipation Proclamation, because this document sets people free from a tyranny infinitely more cruel than any other system ever devised by man or the Devil.

There are at least twelve items why this is true and I will mention them with very little comment:

1. This order was given by the One who has all authority in heaven and on earth. Paul reminds us that Jesus being on an equality with God, took upon Himself the form of a man, made in likeness as a man, found in fashion as a man, humbled Himself even unto death yea the death of the cross. Wherefore God highly exalted Him, and gave Him a name above every name in heaven or on earth; that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things in heaven, of things on earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. That is the authority and the power of the One who gave this Great Commission.

2. The Great Commission is in force until the end of the world. The statute of limitations will not run out until the trumpet sounds and the Lord returns.

3. The acceptance of the terms of this document is demanded by everyone who hears it. Jesus said, “All the world”, then He said, “All Nations”, and then to make sure we understood He said, “Every creature”.

4. The purpose is the salvation of everyone who hears and accepts it and the damnation of those who reject it. One mass-murderer bombed a government building and killed hundreds. Before he was executed someone asked him if he believed in hell. He said, “If there is a hell, I will adjust to it.”

5. Faith is demanded in accepting it. Every person who hears about the true historical event of the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, must believe it. Some think today that the modern world has outgrown the gospel. They think we need a hi-tech gospel, for a hi-tech age. This hi-tech age has produced some hi-tech sinners, who are headed for a hi-tech hell, because they have rejected a hi-tech Savour, who died on a hi-tech cross, so that they might go to a hi-tech heaven.

6. Repentance is required along with faith. Jesus said repentance must be preached. Repentance may be the hardest step in the plan of salvation. There is one verse of scripture that everybody knows from memory even if they have never been inside of a church building, or looked inside of a Bible. You hear on every television show if someone in the audience comes down hard on some gross sin the audience is ready to holler, “Judge not!” They use that verse as a barricade and feel safe to hide behind it, and to continue in a life of depravity.

7. Baptism is also required. Jesus said to  baptize them.

8. Forgiveness of sins is given to all who obey. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. An infant cannot believe. Jesus said of infants, “Of such is the Kingdom of heaven.” Infants don’t need salvation they are safe, therefore an infant cannot be baptized.

9. The definition of the gospel that is to be preached is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus said the Son of man must suffer, and rise again from the dead.

10. The baptism is to be administered into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. This is the only command in the New Testament that is commanded into the name of all three members of the Godhead. We have not been asked to observe the Lord’s Supper in the name of all three members of the Godhead, nor have we been advised to pray in all three members of the Godhead. Only baptizing is to be done in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

11. All of these items must be observed. Jesus said, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you.” Notice He said all things I commanded. Not all things you think He commanded.

12. This whole program must begin at Jerusalem, and not someplace else.

Someone wrote and graciously sent a contribution and said I surely did preach the message faithfully. However, he added, “I follow the traditions of Rome, Geneva, and Scotland.” I wrote back and thanked him for his gift and fine spirit and tactfully added, “I follow the traditions of Jerusalem.” Any gospel that started someplace other than Jerusalem may be suspicious. Jesus said the program of the Great Commission must begin at Jerusalem and not somewhere else.


In the American Revolutionary war, I read of General Anthony Wayne. They called him the Mad Dandy. George Washington asked him if he would storm a place in New York State called Stony Point. General Wayne said, “Sir, I’ll storm hell, if you lay the plans.” Washington said, “Let’s try Stony Point first. We have a Commander who has given us the orders to storm hell.” We can be assured of victory because Jesus has laid the plans.