The Commission of Christ
Sozo Short Bible Studies – Category #5 – Standing & Outreach
This Short Study will go into “The Commission,” as seen in all four accounts of the Gospels, not the “Great Commission,” although that will be part of what will be weaved into our understanding of what constitutes “The Commission of Christ.”
“The Commission of Christ” By Rev. G. E. Newmyer
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Ghost: 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. – Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)
This Short Study explores “The Commission,” as seen in all four accounts of the Gospels. This is not the “Great Commission,” although that will be part of what will be weaved into our understanding of what constitutes “The Commission of Christ.”
The Building of the Body into “The Church”: The word Commission means “An assignment.” When God calls, He Assigns, then He Equips, Trains, and Sends forth. Jesus never made leaders; He made disciples who became leaders. Jesus made fishers of men, yet He ordained shepherds from among the sheep; and there is a difference. Those in the Body are sent to build the Body (Rock), while Jesus builds the Church. We are never to think that we build the Church; yet we are not to stop tossing the Net until the Day (Time of the Day) ends.
In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. If we make the mistake of thinking that Peter is “the Rock, “then we are right back to another Law of Moses or the placement of a human between us and God. Within moments of Jesus saying this, He also told Peter, “Satan get behind Me.” At that time, Peter was not yet “Born Again” and he also lacked understanding of the Cross and Resurrection: “But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.” (Mark 9:32 KJV)
Yet, Paul said that the Rock is Christ: “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (I Cor 10:4 KJV)
The Rock: With the events and time element, we can’t assume that Jesus was talking about Peter “being the Rock”; rather, the mystery is found in the Greek. The word for “Peter” is “Petros” meaning a “stone” or “small rock.” However, the Greek word used for Rock is “Petra” meaning a “massive Stone,” much like a mountain. Peter was a stone and he was one of those “who will make up the Rock,” as was John, Andrew, and the others standing there. We also find that the phrase “upon this Rock” is present tense; but “I will build” is yet future. Jesus ordained the disciples as apostles before the Cross, but they were restricted to the position of being “sons of men” since they were not “sons of God” at the time. They were Commissioned to perform specific tasks based on what they “had received,” not what they “were to receive.” This then shows that prior to the Cross, the disciples operated in Mercy, not Grace.
One Gospel with two elements: There is “One Gospel,” but it has two elements: one of Mercy and one of Grace. The New Covenant is in the Blood of Jesus, making the Blood “Grace”; but we also know that… “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb 4:16 KJV)
Mercy and Grace: We are not going to “Find Grace” until we “Obtain Mercy.” This is exactly what the “earthly ministry” of Jesus was all about as it “established the Mercy of the Father on earth.” As members of the Body, our base is in Mercy; yet, as members of “the Church,” we have Grace.
Forgiveness of our sins by the Father is “Mercy based”; but Grace is in the Spirit (by the Blood of Jesus) for the remission of sin, two things, yet joined in the One God. The Gospel shows us that we can walk in Mercy and do many Godly things, yet not understand spiritual matters (Mark 9:10 & 9:32).
Once the Father forgives us, we obtain Mercy; and then we are expected to give it to others. Grace and Mercy are the “Equal areas” for the New Testament saint; and we can’t have one without the other and still expect to be equal. Therefore, the Commission is only for those who have obtained Mercy, yet they have also found Grace.
The disciples did many wonderful things before the Cross, but nonetheless the “Greater works” are predicated on Grace, since Grace brought us the Spirit. Every person who has received the Cross is forgiven of their sins; and they have Power on earth as a “son of man.” They also have the greatest opportunity of all time, which is the ability to be Born Again and to become a “son of God.” (Rom 1:3-4).
There are two things stopping us, one is our lack of knowledge, which is taken care of; the second is our lack of belief in the Name of Jesus, which is a matter of choice.
Authority in the Name: The “Name of Jesus” points to Authority. One can run all over town saying, “Stop in the name of the Law”; and some may “stop” when commanded to do so…. for a while that is, until they find out that the one issuing commands has no authority. Anyone under the “Unction of the Name” which is over the Body does have the power to cast out devils; however, the saving of the soul is the issue of Grace. This doesn’t mean that casting out devils is bad….far from it. But we must not rejoice in our power over darkness; rather “we rejoice because our names are written in heaven.”
“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20 KJV)
Purpose of our Faith: Anyone in the Body, Born Again or not, whether they are “minding the Spirit” or “minding the flesh,” has the ability to cast out devils or lay hands on the sick; but the purpose of our faith is the “saving of our souls.” What good would it do to cast out all the devils, yet hear from Jesus in the end, “I never knew you.” (Matt 7:21-23)?
We must be Equal and cast out devils, yet engage in the purpose of our faith, even the salvation of our souls: “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” (I Pet 1:9 KJV).
“Testimony” and “Testament” are different. A testimony is “something said”; but a Testament is compared to a Will. God gave us a written document allowing us to view the Will of Jesus to determine the provisions of the Gospel. The Will contains the promises to those left behind after the death of someone; thus the inheritance is not “in hand” until the death of the Testate. Thus the Testate is the “subject of the Testament.” We are the only ones with a written Will from God promising us many things, including the saving of our souls.
Identifying with the Death & Resurrection: So, when does death come for us? It comes at the Cross; and the Cross could only be a factor (available to us) after Jesus gave Himself. Yet, the Cross without the Resurrection lacks competence. The main part of being a Christian is based in the Resurrection of Jesus; thus we identify with the death and resurrection, not merely the death alone. By the Cross of Jesus we are able to “impute the old nature (flesh) dead,” but we also have the ability to have the same Spirit of Holiness declaring us sons of God because we are Born Again.
The “Rapture” (or Catching Away) is not a separate Resurrection; rather, it’s the “completed Resurrection of Jesus.” Thus, the same Spirit who raised Jesus will raise us, a provision of the Will. From this we can see how important it is to know that Jesus spent three days and nights in the grave, yet was raised on the third day. If what Jesus said regarding the Resurrection is not true, then neither is anything else.
Jesus read His own Will in the Gospel; and the Book of Acts displays how the inheritance was passed on. The Book of Acts is the proof of the inheritance being real; it’s in hand, if we receive it by faith. Nearly half of the uses of the title Holy Ghost are found in the Book of Acts. It becomes the proof of “the Holy Ghost was given, because Jesus was Glorified in the Resurrection” (Jn 7:38-39): “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”
Living Water: Jesus said several times, “It is given unto you”, or “It is for you to know”; therefore, Jesus not only read His own Will, but died in the flesh to bring it to pass, then was raised to seal the promise with the Spirit of Holiness before the Father (Rom 1:3-4).
His Acts and Ways opened the Way for us to have the Holy Spirit by the Holy Ghost providing the Gift of Grace so we could complete the provisions. Not only did He cause it to be written, but He then gave us the ability to complete it. No wonder we love Him so much.
The “Living Water” is Mercy coupled with Life through the Spirit; thus the Living Water couldn’t come until the Spirit was given (Jn 7:38-39). This also shows that the “Living Word” is the Logos with Life, not merely the Bible speaking of Life. When we have the Living Word in us, we will also have the capability to grant Living Water (through us from Christ to others). Grace includes the Spirit as the “Gift of God by the New Birth,” meaning Christ in us the hope of glory; thus the Spirit is the ability to do Grace, making Grace the Gift (Eph 2:8. 3:7 & 4:7).
The Will of Jesus held two elements as well, one element unto Salvation, the other unto Judgment. Both Salvation and Judgment came with the Cross, we can’t have Salvation without Judgment being involved somehow; but wait, Grace is strictly unto salvation. Oh, “The Day” is for Salvation; we work while it is yet Day for the Night of Judgment comes when no man can work.
The Book of Hebrews gives us the basic six rudiments to the Doctrine of Christ; one of those is the knowledge of Eternal Judgment. On the same note the same Book speaks of Eternal Salvation (Heb 6:1-2 & 5:9). There can be no eternal judgment until there is first an eternal salvation.
Children of the Day: The description of Jesus in the Book of Revelation is much different from the one found on the Mount of Transfiguration. The Book of Revelation sees Jesus as the “Son of Man,” coming for judgment; but on the Mount it was Jesus as the Son of God holding Grace and Salvation. It’s not two Jesus’, but one Jesus with duties for two different Seasons. We have conditions in the Will; the “little flock” have certain provisions relating to Judgment, yet they are divided from the Day, thus we are children of the Day, we are not children of the Night, nor of Darkness (I Thess 5:5).
Terms of the Will: A Testate has a legal valid Will established before death, but effective after death, while the Executor of the Will makes sure all the provisions are performed so the heirs can gain the inheritance. The Holy Ghost is the Executor, the Father is the Probate Judge; but if one rejects, violates, challenges, or brings a different Will into the Court they must face the Judge. The enemies of Jesus attempt to change the Will by bringing their own personal agenda and then calling it the Will, as Judas did. The Seal on the Will is the legal mark identifying the property proclaimed by the owner. The seal (token) of the Holy Spirit protects us, enabling us to bring the Gospel with authenticity; however, the opened seals on the Will release the seven angels to bring the entire inheritance to God.
The Token: Those known as the Remnant are sealed by the mark of God; and we (Born Again) are sealed by the Holy Spirit; so, there is a difference between a direct connection with the Spirit and a mark of mercy provided by God. A Token or Seal is like a signature such as the rainbow which became known as God’s signature relating to the promise made to Noah. Circumcision of the flesh is man’s signature relating to the Abrahamic Covenant; and “keeping the sabbath day” is man’s signature with regard to keeping the Law of Moses. Our water baptism is our signature of agreement to the conditions regarding the Cross, yet the baptism with the Holy Ghost is the signature of Jesus relating to building us into the Church.
The Will of Jesus & Being a Heir: The Will of Jesus was opened at the Cross and then made available by the Resurrection and Sacrifice; but it contains one main proviso, one element making it different from all the wills of man. In order to obtain from the Will of Jesus, one must be dead. This death is not a physical death as such, but a death based on imputing the flesh dead by the Cross of Jesus in order to reach the Resurrection Power to make us legal heirs with Christ. The Spirit is the proof of the New Covenant; thus the New Covenant is the Will of Jesus being granted to those who Believe.
Claiming the Inheritance: There are stages of being an heir, each with provisions. If we are children of God, then we are heirs and then heirs of God to become joint-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17). This is a process of growth; but growth comes by having the Spirit (Rom 8:1 & 8:11-15). Each provision was presented with the proviso of our faith in the One who originally read the Will. Since this is a Covenant relationship it depends on mutual vows; God made His vows and we make ours. The provisions hold all the Could Be’s with the Will Be’s. In each case the one who inherits must lay claim to the inheritance in order to receive. The Will is like the glass of water before the dying man; if we don’t reach for it, we can die of thirst while looking at our deliverance. Even our legal system holds the same premise as a type and shadow; one could inherit a million dollars, yet never claim it and if not claimed, they lose it.
Can we have certain attributes in us, even if we don’t believe we do? Yes, they are waiting for the Permission from the one who is the heir to the inheritance. The New Man is the Spirit, the very Token showing that we are heirs; thus the New Man bears witness with the Spirit of God. Romans 12:6-20 tells that us each person who has the Spirit has certain attributes as actions (Charisma) of Grace (Charis), all of which are in the Born Again believer to assist them in helping the members of the Body. I Corinthians 12:7-11 relates to the “Manifestation of the Spirit”; and this is an area in the Born Again believer to assist anyone, whether in or out of the Body. There are many clauses in the Will showing that we have more benefits than one can imagine, yet they will not manifest until we accept them.
Signs follow a believer: Some of us have to see things before we believe, whether it’s some dove sitting in a tree, or a bunch of butterflies, or a face in a cloud, or something else; but Jesus said, “Blessed are they who have not seen, yet have believed” (Jn 20:29). If we want to be Blessed, we must believe, not walk around looking for signs so we can believe. Signs follow a believer, signs don’t make one a believer.
Five-fold Ministry: To make sure we have help in all this, Jesus gave gifts unto men to fill the offices of the Lord, known as the five-fold ministry (Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher). The purpose of the five-fold ministry is to build the saints, do the work of the ministry, and edify the Body, all of which helps the Body. Jesus said the work of the ministry was; “Go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, freely you have received, freely give.”; and these were requirements for having one’s sins forgiven on earth by the Mercy of God before Grace came by the Blood of Jesus (Matt 10:7-8). It’s interesting that the “saving of the soul” wasn’t included in the “work of the ministry.” Ahh, a mystery; Grace is for the saving of the soul, the work of the ministry is for reconciliation.
The Kingdom In Hand: We also have to notice that Jesus said “at hand”, not “in hand”; thus the Kingdom was being presented, but there remained another effort by Jesus before it could be “in hand,” which was the Resurrection. “The Declaration by the Spirit of Holiness regarding Jesus as the Son of God by the Resurrection” is the same Seal we obtain. The Holy Spirit declares us sons of God, while in the process of making us sons of God.
Grace & The New Birth: The Gospel isn’t preached until the latter part of the command is completed; we can’t begin without the foundation of Mercy, but we can’t win without the Spirit. The main legacy (Gift) of the Will, is Grace, which includes the New Birth. The New Birth is the provision to enter the adoption process, which is the means to move us from one family order to another and also with the ability to leave all the curses and darkness behind. If one is a servant or in the process of adoption they are not considered an heir until they are Begotten by the Gift of the Holy Ghost; however, once they reach a secured family position, they are entitled to the same provisions as the Begotten, making them a “joint-heir” with Christ. Does this mean we get to rule the world and make people do as we want? Hardly; it means we have the ability and nature to do as Jesus did.
Jesus said, our traditions make the Word of God of no effect (without power – Mark 7:13): “Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” He also said, “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”; and “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (by the Rhema- Living Word) (Matt 4:4 & Rom 10:17).
Rhema & Ears that Hear: Since the Bible is the Inspired Document, we tend to call it “the Word of God”; but the Bible defines Jesus as the Word (Logos) while the Rhema relates to Life and Spirit (Jn 6:63). Therefore, Faith comes when our ears are centered on the things of “Life”; it doesn’t mean we have Life, rather our ears are centered on Life. Once we accept the Cross with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, we gain the Seed, which becomes Word in us fully able to save our souls (James 1:21): “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”
The Bible is the Rule Book; but it’s also the written Will of God given by the voice of the Holy Ghost. However, God gives us more words coupled with the Bible by the Spirit as a provision of being in the Family; thus we “of the Faith,” Hear the Rhema. Paul Read the Scriptures; but faith came for him and in him when he saw Life in the words. Ears who hear sounds are as common as the sand; but “ears who hear what the Spirit says” are rare indeed. Ears can hear written words, but they hear them as the Spirit guides them into Truth. When the written word appears to come alive, then it’s the Spirit breathing the breath of life on the words; thus our “Rhema ears heard,” causing faith to be received. God spoke in various ways in days past, but in this Season He speaks to us through His Son (Heb 1:2); and the New Man (Spirit) is the voice of the Lord.
The Spirit takes each one of us on an adventure through the Bible, where we find that there is no confusion, but a series of Truths opening up to new Truths. Those Truths feed the soul and with the New Man (Spirit in us), causes us to grow. The Scriptures mean what they say and the interpretation tells us Why they were written; the Holy Ghost doesn’t change the context or surface meaning of the Scripture. The Holy Ghost applies the Scripture to the event which we are facing at the moment. The same Scripture could fit our event, the event of another, or perhaps another event yet to come. It doesn’t change the meaning; it means, we are taught as the Holy Ghost teaches us by comparing spiritual to spiritual. Of course there are the doubters and pouters attempting to erode our foundation by questioning the Bible, completing the challenge, “has God really said?” However, the Word in us is fully able to separate the intent from the thought, giving us clarity in the situation or event.
One Gospel – Four Scribes – One Author, with One Baptism: We have One Gospel written by four scribes with One Author. John’s account spins around Mark 16:16-18, pointing to the Doctrine Of Baptisms, which includes many baptisms within the One Baptism. It’s not one over another; rather the Body of Christ is the only element or group on the earth who has the God granted legal right to baptize people in water, but only Jesus can baptize us with the Holy Ghost and fire. We know the word One in reference to “One Baptism” means “components making the total”; thus there is One Baptism, which is made up of components, matching the Doctrine of Baptisms.
We know about the phrase “Great Commission” found in the last verses of Matthew; also we see that references to the “Commission” among the final verses in Mark. But like the word “One,” they make up parts of what could be called, the “Commission of Christ.” Some proclaim that John’s account is the builder of faith; but the word “Faith” never appears in his account. He does use the word Believe more times than Paul used it in all his letters, including the Book of Hebrews. Mark’s account says that if we are baptized and continue to believe, we shall be saved. Then, John builds on the concept, showing how we in the Body, must be Born Again; then after… we must continue to believe (Jn 3:16-17). Luke writes to a teacher, linking phrase to phrase, expanding on the command, “deny the self.” Luke says both the disciples, Matthew and Mark were known and believed (Luke 1:1); then he adds information to assist the teacher.
Luke shows that Jesus said, “For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” (Luke 10:24). Then, from Luke 10:24 until Luke 19:28 we read those things as a teacher would see them, not as an historian would (Luke 9:23-24, 14:26-27 & 18:27). Placing Luke 10:24 through 19:28 in a chronological or historical time frame, removes the reward of the teacher. Luke uses phrases such as, “In a certain place” or “At a certain time” or “A certain person” with the intent of linking the teachings together no matter when they were taught. From Luke 10:24 to 19:28, nearly every word is attributed to Jesus and then grouped into the three areas of “Deny the Self, Pick Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus.”
Mark is the only one who says, “The beginning of the Gospel,” yet he doesn’t limit his account as the only Gospel. Mark’s account is given second, yet it does say “The beginning”; but we see that it was not written first. Ahh, in this we find a mystery. The Holy Ghost placed the accounts in a certain manner to accomplish many tasks. The Holy Ghost uses whom He will, to place Order as He sees it to benefit the Saint. The Gospel is a type of historical record, but we can’t limit it to history alone as it holds mysteries “in the Holy Ghost.” One of the proofs of how the Holy Ghost is the Author is the placement of the accounts; logic and reasoning would have placed Mark first, then Matthew, then Luke, then John, but the Holy Ghost arranged the accounts assuring us He is the Author.
The four accounts all join together; they are not separate, neither are they “the Gospel according to the men.” Rather they are the Gospel according to the Holy Ghost, written by four scribes. It’s stupid to say, “We have only one Gospel,” then turn right around and say, “Matthew’s Gospel” because it’s not Matthew’s Gospel, it’s the Gospel of Christ and Matthew is one of the four scribes. We then find a mystery. Since Matthew is the first, we also find his account is the only one talking about the kingdom of heaven, also showing the kingdom of heaven has both good and bad.
Matthew is written to the “seed and root”; whereas, Mark is written to the “Blade.” Thus, when we become a Blade, the Gospel begins to take effect (Mark 4:28 KJV): “For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.”
Luke is written to the teacher, while John gives us a firm foundation for our belief, making John the encouraging account; and as it tells us what Jesus did during the forty day wilderness experience, it also fills in gaps giving us Hope; thus John is the evidence we need to retain our “Continual Belief.”
Some of us have been told, “Anything backward is witchcraft”; however, it doesn’t matter if it’s backward, forward, sideways, or upside down. It’s the intent making it witchcraft. Using wicked means to reach what we assume is a Godly result is just as much witchcraft as putting pins in a doll. If we take the backward thought to its limit, none of us would go back to our first love, nor would we back our car out of the garage in the morning. We would build everything so we are always going forward or so we have the “reverse” gear removed from our vehicle. The Spirit in us separates the intent and thought, exposing the intent. Some things are backward and witchcraft; one is going back to the world after coming to Christ. However, another type of witchcraft is reaching into the Night and attempting to pull it into the Day; thus backward or forward it’s the intent determining if it’s witchcraft.
There are other things backward void of witchcraft; Mark wrote his account first, thus his account clearly shows that it’s the beginning of the Gospel, yet it’s placed second in order, or backward. None of the accounts are in alphabetical order, unless we know alphabetically the name, John comes before Luke, Luke before Mark, and Mark before Matthew. The Holy Ghost placed the first four books in the New Testament alphabetically backward, then took the fifth book which starts with an A (Acts), and placed it after the first four. Then He placed the first two backward according to the time they were written. If we assume everything backward is witchcraft, we’re stuck with the premise of the Holy Ghost being involved in witchcraft, which means the Record of the Father, Word and Holy Ghost is witchcraft. Silly? Some of our reasoning tends to be. Rather than look for witchcraft, we should be looking for Jesus.
The Holy Ghost shows us the intent so we can discern, rather than having us running about in fear yelling, “New Age, New Age” every time we see a car back out of a parking place. Fear makes us run from truth; but faith makes us use the truth and the only thing new about the New Age, is our fear of it.
Some run to manuscripts lacking verses; but the manuscript is only one leg of the test. One must search for other evidence considering that many of the things said and done by the disciples were not written down until years later and done so to preserve them in record.
In many Codex and Documents, we find that the people of the time were making mention of the events and sayings (quotes). A good translator takes into account the things said by those of the time; and by using all the evidence we gain truth, but anyone can deny Scripture, then find an excuse to support their unbelief. Our goal is to live to the title Believer, by seeking reasons to believe.
The Gospel is written in such a way that the natural-minded man must make some excuse for his unbelief such as trying to describe a passage of Scripture as having been written by an overzealous scribe because in the process of doing this, it places the Bible in the hands of man. Then, we can also find use of this old expression by some who question the true authorship of the Bible as…”what he really meant to say was…”
The scribes of the Bible however, were men moved by the Holy Ghost to bring us the actual events, the intent of the events, the purpose of the events, why the events took place, and the clarity in reference to our stage of growth as it relates to the event. Matthew uses one experience, referencing the “kingdom of heaven” while Mark uses the same event, but calls it the “Kingdom of God.” Luke uses the same, but goes deeper into the intent and purpose by using different words; but they are all based on the same event.
Different Scribes – Same event – Different Perspective According to Aspect of Growth: The accounts give us the Holy Ghost granting us knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, yet viewed from different perspectives depending on one’s growth. Thus, two people can see or the same event, but depending on their knowledge and experience, each will perceive or gain different perspectives from the same scenario or verse. In the Gospels, it’s not one person debating an event with another, but different scribes viewing the same event from different aspects of growth as the Holy Ghost moved them. Got it? Good, because it’s how we are going to study them.
Paul said that the Gospel doesn’t come in word only, but in power with much assurance of the Holy Ghost (I Thess 1:5). “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” It takes the Holy Ghost to present the Gospel; and only He can present it with effectiveness, because He is the Author. We are called to defend The Faith, but how can we defend The Faith, if we’re not in The Faith? How can we give a witness, if we lack the True witness? “And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.” 1 John 5:6 (KJV)
How can we claim to be a Believer, if our theology is laced with unbelief? Any court will tell us that the best evidence is the so-called, “eye witness”; and we of the Spirit have the unique opportunity to have the Eye Witness as being our New Heart (Spirit in us).
Hearsay vs. Evidence: One can “talk about” the Bible, or talk about Jesus, or talk about Jehovah, but in each area they are giving their opinion based on their limited natural thinking. In a court this would be regarded as “hearsay” which is never considered reliable or acceptable since the basis of hearsay is what someone “thinks” happened. The New Man is a direct product of Christ; thus the New Man has the experience to bring the Witness (be a witness). We must make the decision to enter the Commission of Christ by accepting the methods which God has for our salvation.
Designations of teaching given for each Gospel: All four accounts give us the Commission (Assignment) Of Christ, showing why it’s important to keep our Vows as we follow Jesus in a lawful manner. Since God does all things with a purpose, there must be a purpose for the accounts being in their specific order. John’s account doesn’t show the Ascension of Jesus and neither does Matthew really; but both Mark and Luke do. Luke says, the disciples were taken as far as Bethany where Jesus lifted His hands and blessed them (Luke 24:50). Mark shows after the Lord spoke to the disciples, that He was received up into heaven (Mark 16:19). Without the Blade (designations of teaching from Mark,) we won’t understand the Ascension; and without the teacher (designations of teaching from Luke) we can’t reach the power of the Resurrection. The Believer (designations of teachings from John) gives us the power to “believe in the Name of Jesus,” yet without the Seed (designations of teaching from Matthew,) we wouldn’t understand the Authority granted.
God’s Integrity: Paul used phrases, concepts, and wording from all four accounts, as did Peter, James, and Jude, as well as, many early church fathers. These men raised the dead, healed the sick, and preached with authority, yet none of them used the descriptive phrase, “overzealous scribe” and none said, “what Moses meant to say was….” Each Scribe believed in God’s integrity, with their faith in God. Jesus didn’t tell the devil, “well I think it is written” or “as it is translated correctly, it is written” or “what Moses meant to say was”; the integrity of God is found in His Character, thus the Bible is a mark of God’s integrity. Are there those who would change the Scriptures? Yes, but they are tampering with God’s integrity which is not real smart on their part.
Four Accounts Working Together: Peter denied the Lord three times, but without all four accounts, we will fail to see that Jesus warned Peter three times of the events yet to come. We would also fail to learn when Peter would say that Jesus was the Son of God, (but later he added that Jesus was the Christ, after which Peter heard the wrong voice, and came up with “Pity Yourself Lord”). One minute hearing from the Father and the next from the natural mind, Peter was unable to discern the difference between the revelation from the Father and his own soulish desires until the Day of Pentecost when he received Power from on High; and the Power changed him considerably.
The New Birth & Growth Process: The reasoning of Peter in his follow-up remarks sounded so much like the initial revelation; yet, he was unable to discern the difference. In truth he didn’t know he had a revelation until Jesus told him, just as he didn’t know the source of “be it far from Thee Lord” until Jesus told him. Yet Peter walked on water, cast out devils, healed the sick, and did many wonderful works. The New Birth is the connection to know the Lord within us, rather than just talk about Him. All these events lead us to understand how the “mind of man without the Spirit” jumps from “a revelation” to “the things of man” in a heartbeat (when we are without the leading of the Spirit). Peter’s wilderness broke him, but it didn’t destroy him. Before Jesus gave the Bread at the Last Passover, He Took, He Blessed, and then He Broke (Matt 26:26): “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.” Paul said, we are the Bread (I Cor 10:17): “For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” Thus all of us in the hand of the Lord will be blessed, broken; then we become useful for the work of the ministry.
John’s account shows the various feast days, including how Jesus cleaned out the temple during the first Passover feast of His earthly ministry (Jn 2:16); and then He taught on the living Bread during the second Passover (Jn 6:4 & 6:32-40).
Mark shows how Jesus cleaned out the temple a second time toward the end of the earthly ministry. Each event adds to the other; the first “cleaning” drove out the impulse to make gain from the things of God, especially the Dove (Spirit) while the next Passover introduced the Bread of Life. Then with the third Passover came the cleaning of the temple, because it had become a den of thieves.
Some say John doesn’t even speak of the Wilderness experience, but we find that John speaks more on the Wilderness than the other accounts. John shows how there were two cleanings of the Temple; the first cleaning produced the saying, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” which was twisted and used against Jesus during the trials (Matt 27:40, 27:63, Mark 15:29 & Jn 2:19). Jesus made a truthful statement, and then proved it true, but He was mocked for it. Any of us can find ourselves in the same predicament; we have choices in how we respond. We can react by self-justification, or respond by allowing the Lord to prove the truth.
Peter trusted in his own arm when he told Jesus, “Although all shall be offended, yet will not I,” and he meant that he was willing to die in a good fight (Mark 14:29). Peter was the only one in the Garden who stood with Jesus; and it was Peter who cut the ear off of Malchus. Peter wasn’t taking aim at the man’s ear, rather he took dead aim at the man’s head (Jn 18:10).
However, the Love of Jesus prevented two men from being on trial; and Peter found the Truth of Mercy going beyond the mental limits of natural man. How could anyone love someone who is falsely accusing them, yet not only love them, but reach out to heal them? Peter had one concept of “Love not your life unto the death”; but Jesus was going to show Peter the manner in which one really denies the self.
When Peter saw the Mercy pouring out of Jesus during those horrid events, he knew no man could confess Jesus in the same manner that Jesus was confessing the Father. Peter wanted to do something for Jesus and failed; and later he was converted and restored, but Judas set out to do something against Jesus for personal gain and found a piece of rope. Although both repented, the type of repentance and the reasons for repentance were different; and the results were very different as well.
Conversion: When Jesus told Peter, “You will deny Me,” Peter told the Lord, “Not so Lord” or “Lord, You don’t know me.” How many of us have said, “Lord, You don’t understand!”…? When Peter denied Jesus, it was before small groups of no more than two or three people. We can deny Jesus before one or two and be just as guilty as one who denies Him before fifty thousand. When Peter corrected the Lord, he didn’t understand the purpose of prophecy. Jesus gave Peter comfort in the phrase, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke 22:32). The word Converted means, “Turned Around Again.” Jesus didn’t say, “If you are”; it was “When you are”… meaning that it would happen.
The last chapter of John’s account is for any of us who need to be converted so we can strengthen others. The conversion changed Peter’s confession from “Not so Lord”, to “Lord, You know all things.” (Jn 21:17). Peter’s experience brought clarity to his limited ability; but like any of us, we can place our minds on our limits and miss what Jesus is telling us. Peter attempted to save the Lord by his own efforts; yet the conversion of Peter afforded him the promised, “Another Comforter.” “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” John 14:16 (KJV)
Peter went from one extreme to the other, from the place where he put too much emphasis on his ability, to the place where he put none. In the last chapter of John, we find Jesus converting Peter to the place where he can strengthen his brothers, but Peter was denying the call. As we will see, Peter knew his weakness, but he was also denying the ability of Jesus.
John shows Jesus at the sea shore, telling us that this was the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after the Resurrection (Jn 21:14). The disciples were fishing, but not for a vacation; they really went fishing as an occupation.
The location is the Sea of Tiberias and both Mark and Luke say that the Ascension was just outside of Bethany (Luke 24:50), several miles south of Tiberias. This meeting on the sea shore is several days before the Ascension; and Luke tells us that Jesus was with the disciples forty days after the Resurrection (Acts 1:3). Pentecost is 50 days after Passover or 49 days past the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Jesus being in the grave for three days and with the disciples forty days, leaves seven days, which are accounted for in the Bible.
Sacrifice of Jesus: During those seven days, Jesus went before the Father and gave the greatest Sacrifice of all time. Jesus did it for us, but at the same time, proved that none of us can equal The Faith, ability, or efforts of Jesus; therefore, we have access by His Faith, since His Faith provided the Sacrifice. If we assume we have access by our measure of faith, we error, since our faith was designed to receive the Sacrifice, not give it. However, we do give sacrifices, after receiving the Sacrifice. We give ourselves as a living sacrifice; we also give the sacrifice of praise. However, none of our “sacrifices” are possible until we receive the Sacrifice of Jesus.
God the Son (Kingdom), Son of Man (Mercy), Son of God (Grace): There was a specific reason why Mary wasn’t allowed to touch Jesus on the Resurrection day and why Thomas was commanded to do so some eight days later (Jn 20:17, 20:26-27, & Luke 24:39). Something happened during those seven days which changed “Touch Me Not”, to “Handle Me and See” producing the saying, “Your throne, O God, is forever.” (Heb 1:8).
Hebrews 1:8 makes more sense when we read Psalm 45 and see, “All Your garments smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia.” (Ps 45:6-8). The word for God in Psalm 45 is Elohiym, thus Elohiym called the Son, Elohiym. Jesus saved us from the world as the Son of man, the Resurrection proved or declared Him as the Son of God (Rom 1:3-4); then He opened The Door so the Holy Ghost could bring the Gift of the Spirit. Jesus operated as the “Son of Man” in Mercy and as the “Son of God” by granting us Grace; and he also operated as “God the Son” by maintaining the Kingdom.
It doesn’t mean that Jesus was not the Son of God before the Resurrection, only that the “Declaration by the Spirit” came at the Resurrection, indicating that we are only sons of God by the same Spirit of Holiness. The “Word was God,” the Word took on flesh to become the “Son of Man.” Then He went to the Cross as the Son of Man; and He will return to Judge as the Son of Man. Never giving up His position as “The Word” or the “Son of God,” He set aside certain aspects in order to accomplish for us something that none of us would ever be able to without Him. How could Jesus die on the Cross as the Son of God, if none of us were sons of God? It would take the Son of Man to stand for mankind.
Period of Consecration: The Resurrection Declared Jesus the Son of God by the Spirit of Holiness, showing us that the power of the Resurrection is the place where we gain the Spirit to make us sons of God (Rom 1:3-4, Jn 1:13, Heb 9:7-8, 9:14-24 & 9:28).
“Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:3-4 (KJV)
The Bible tells us that, “sacrifices” as well as “the priest who offers the sacrifice” are both holy; and we learn that at the time, no one could touch a holy thing and live (Numb 4:15): “But they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.”
The priest shall be consecrated, outside the temple for seven days (Ex 29:30 & 29:35). Therefore, Mary couldn’t touch Jesus, nor could anyone else for a period of seven days. However, in Matthew we see that they “Held Him by the Feet”; but it’s metaphoric and then defined in John’s account. John uses a word meaning “to Touch,” but it’s not the same word that Matthew uses. Rather we find that the disciples at the time lacked the ability “to worship in Spirit and Truth” (had not yet received the Spirit at Pentecost); thus, they were holding the feet of Jesus by their unbelief, yet they worshipped Him from their natural minds.
Mark clears it up by showing how Jesus upbraided the disciples with their unbelief; thus Matthew shows that one can worship Jesus, yet hold unbelief. Thomas worshiped Jesus only after “seeing”; thus worship is admiration, but we can worship the Lord, yet hold unbelief. They didn’t want Jesus to leave and they feared the future; they wanted Jesus with them as their security. They didn’t understand how they had Authority or how Jesus ascending, would grant them “Another Comforter” from the “Comforter.” They had Authority; but unless Jesus went to the Father they would not receive Power from on High.
The Loosing of Unbelief: Mary was informed by Jesus to tell the disciples, “Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.” (Matt 28:10). We know that Jesus appeared in the house in Jerusalem, not in Galilee; thus, the Command given and the performance of the disciples to the Command were different. Therefore, the command went forth but the disciples didn’t. Jesus had to appear to counter their unbelief before the Sacrifice could be given; thus they were binding Jesus to the earth by holding His feet. The Greek word means “to Capture” or “Hold by force.” The Father was waiting for the Sacrifice, yet Jesus was bound to this earth by the unbelief of the disciples. Until belief entered the hearts of the disciples, the Sacrifice couldn’t take place; therefore, the disciples were binding their freedom to the earth and bound heaven from themselves. They needed to loose their unbelief, by entering Belief; thus, Jesus appeared to them to give them the foundation to Believe (Luke 24:25 & Jn 20:27-29).
Mark says, “Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat and upbraided them with their unbelief.” He didn’t upbraid them for their unbelief, rather He was bound to the earth because of their unbelief; thus the hardness of their own hearts was stopping the entire process. How could it? He died for them, not for Himself. “They believed not them which had seen Him raised.”
(Mark 16:14): “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.” Not only did they not believe that “Jesus was raised,” but they didn’t obey the command to go to Galilee. From this we see why it’s so important to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead; because we can’t enter the Sacrifice without belief.
Once the Sacrifice was given, the Father said, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” (Heb 1:6) and also, “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” (Heb 1:8). Taking this to “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” (Jn 4:23); in that verse we find that the Sacrifice in heaven opened the Door, allowing us to be Born Again messengers (angels) who are able to worship in Spirit and Truth, by the Spirit of Truth (I Jn 4:1-4). Adding this to the premise, we find that we can worship Jesus; yet without the Spirit of Truth we can still bind Him by our unbelief.
Mind of Christ: While we seek the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, Jesus holds both. When Jesus said Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness, He was speaking as the Son of Man, not the Son of God, or God the Son. The position dictated the tenses and personage in the phrase. The same is true when He said, not even the Son knows the Hour or Day; this is because He returns as the Son of Man, not the Son of God. We know everything that “Jesus as the Son of Man” knows, but we don’t know everything that “Jesus as the Son of God” knows; and surely we don’t know everything that “Jesus as God the Son” knows. We are told all things relating to us, with some things relating to others in order to help them; but this doesn’t mean we have the “mind of the Lord.” It does mean we have the Mind of Christ, as we are instructed by the Mind of the Lord (I Cor 2:16). Wait, it’s the same thing isn’t it? No, the Mind of Christ is the Anointing while the Mind of the Lord is the Mind of Jesus.
The Door was opened: When the Sacrifice was given, the Street was complete; the Door to the sheepfold was open. Paul said that Jesus first descended into the lower parts of the earth; yet Jesus was buried in a ground level tomb (Eph 4:9). Peter said, the Body of Jesus could see no corruption, nor could the soul of Jesus be kept in hell (Acts 2:27). Paul also said Jesus descended, ascended and then ascended far above all heavens (Eph 4:10).
Jesus first descended to defeat the devil, taking the keys of death and hell; then He ascended to take captivity captive (Cloud of Witnesses) to the altar of God, where He gave the Sacrifice, then returned to be with the disciples forty days. Then He Ascended to His position far above the heavens, all this is the First Coming of Jesus. Then the Holy Ghost came with the Gift of the Spirit, He also gave the Apostles commandments. One of the functions of the office of Apostle is to give Commandments.
Completion of the First Resurrection: When Jesus begins His return, He will stop in the Air to receive the Dead in Christ; and then after the 1,000 years, He returns as the Son of Man for judgment. Thus the First Coming gave us all the elements of salvation, opening the door to heaven, but the Second Coming brings judgment. The First Coming provided us the means to be Tabernacles of Salvation, but Judgment comes from the Temple; thus Paul said that the Corinthians were the Temple of God, rather than the Tabernacle. He also told them to pray that their works get them through the Fire.
Empty Tomb: By using all the accounts, we discover that Mary and the other women went to the tomb where they found the stone rolled away. Mary ran to Peter and John and told them that the tomb was empty. Peter and John ran to the tomb, where John saw the grave clothes and believed; but Peter went back to the house (Jn 20:9-10). Mary remained at the tomb where she saw the angels, one at the door of the tomb (Matt 28:1-2) and one inside (Mark 16:5); but Mary saw them as men rather than angels (Luke 24:4). Mary thought that they were who moved the Body of Jesus after hearing, “why do you look for the living among the dead?” This had convinced her that someone had removed the Body of Jesus… that is until she saw Jesus. After seeing Jesus and hearing, “Go tell them and Peter,” she ran and told Peter again; only this time she told them she saw the Lord. Mary was told to tell Peter specifically, thus he was given his second chance to believe. Peter still failed to receive the prophet in the name of the prophet, missing the prophet’s reward. Again Peter ran to the tomb, but found it empty; then he walked away “wondering in himself” or questioning the words of Mary (Luke 24:12). Then the two witnesses saw Jesus; and after they reported to Peter how Jesus had appeared and had spoken to them along the road (Luke 24:33-34). Peter now had three chances to believe that the Lord was raised from the dead; he was told three times he would deny the Lord; and he did so. Peter didn’t make one mistake, or three, he made several; yet his intent was not to fail, rather he really wanted to serve the Lord, but knew that he lacked what it took to stand for Jesus in the same manner as Jesus had stood for the Father, especially in those times of pressure.
Many Words for Love: The Greek has several words for the English word “Love”; and there is a difference between “Agape love,” “Agapao love,” and “Phileo love.” “Phileo” is a brotherly love, yet the Father “Phileoed the Son” (Jn 5:20); and Jesus said that the Father “Phileos us,” because we “Phileo Jesus” (Jn 16:27). This same Phileo love is the foundation for the Church of Philadelphia; their Phileo love will be the little strength they need. Jesus also “Phileoed” the Laodiceans which was enough with which to rebuke them (Rev 3:19).
“Agape” as an entity is God, thus God is Agape; but Agape love is a love always working to benefit another regardless of the cost to the one who is granting the love. Agape is always self-less or completely void of self-desires; thus God is the only one who can “Agape,” yet the Seed of God is like unto God. “Agapao” is based in some joy of the one who is granting the love, “God so Agapaoed the world that He gave”; but man Agapaos’ darkness rather than light (Jn 3:16 & 3:19).
The Greek “Agape” is only found in revealed religion; and it’s often translated as “Charity”; but the Old English word Charity means “grating someone benevolence without asking a return” or “granting beyond the call of normal duty to see others cared for.” The differences between the various meanings of Love give us some insight to the conversion of Peter. Peter felt that he was very strong, but found out that he was weak in many areas which he had never considered. However, he allowed the weakness to overtake him. In John’s account we find Jesus standing on the shore, as the disciples returned from fishing (Jn 21:1-3). Peter felt he was still one of the boys, but he wasn’t sure about being one of the Apostles; his feeling was that he missed it, especially when Jesus separated him by saying “tell the disciples and Peter.” Peter was separated from the position, but did it mean that Jesus would leave him out of the calling? No, this one chapter shows how any of us can slip, but it doesn’t mean we’re shut out.
When Peter went fishing, it wasn’t a vacation; rather he returned to his old line of employment, adding another mistake. Perhaps some of us are still questioning our position based on some of the things we have done. This last chapter of John gives us the hope of knowing that Jesus doesn’t give up on us. There is a purpose and a reason for many of the things which we call “bad”; yet often the purpose is actually very good. Jesus knew that Satan would sift (gut punch) Peter. He also knew the number of times that Peter would slip; however, Jesus never moved to stop it showing that the event, as horrid as it might have seemed to Peter at the moment, was the means to bring Peter to a place to be useful.
Ingress Aires: At this point in time, these men had the protection of Mercy through the forgiveness of sins; yet they were told that the prerequisite to receiving the Holy Ghost was “to forgive” or “remit sins done onto them” (Acts 1:8, Jn 20:22 & Mark 11:22-27).
John 20:22 is often called the “Ingress Aires” from Majesty on high, but we will only understand the Ingress Aires From the Latin, “Ingressus Aeris”; while we use the more accepted and simpler term “Ingress Aires” (Jn 20:22).
Right after Jesus “breathed on the disciples” He said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost”; but did they receive the Holy Ghost then? If so what about Pentecost? The answer is in the phrase, the English word “Ingress” which comes from the Latin “Ingressus,” meaning “Granting or Giving Permission to enter.” The word used in the Greek is “Emphusao” meaning “to breathe upon,” which is a verb; yet neither of the Greek nouns (Pnoe or Pneuma) was used; this verb is only used in John 20:22. If the verb “Empneo” had been used, then we could say that Jesus breathed Into the disciples; but the use of Emphusao is specific, meaning “Upon.”
Permission to Receive: Therefore, if the Greek “Pneuma” would have been used, then certainly this would have been the granting of the “Spirit” (Pneuma); but it was not. Thus, the Breathing was “granting Permission for the disciples to receive the Holy Ghost” and then later, the Power by the Gift of Grace on Pentecost but with the prerequisite condition “to forgive sins done unto them,” showing the Unity of prayer on the Day of Pentecost.
The Breath of Jesus giving the ability to forgive, a pre-requisite to receiving the Spirit: The breath of Jesus is “on everyone” who enters the Body, but it is not “the Indwelling,” since it was “on” the disciples. Yet it gave them an ability to “remit sins done unto them.” The purpose of the breath was defined in John 20:23 as they were told to remit sins, but this would not be going about telling people “God forgives you, go in peace”; rather, this was concerning the remitting sins done unto them, connecting to Mark 11:22-26. This involved an “act of Mercy” in order to receive the baptism with the Holy Ghost (Grace/Spirit). If we lack the ability to forgive, we need to ask Jesus for a fresh breath to cover us. This was so important that many of the early water baptisms included a saint breathing on the candidate and then laying hands on them for presentation unto the Lord so they could be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Peter understood the premise; but here he is being asked to forgive himself in order to learn from the experience.
Of course the other side of the coin was the refusal to remit; and to the Jew this was backward. Under the Law if anyone held unforgiveness, the person one held unforgiveness toward had to make it right with us; and of course we know that The Law is/was for carnal minded people. Here Jesus says that if we hold unforgiveness, then we have bound God’s Mercy in heaven; but if we loose the person (forgive them), then God will loose His Mercy on us (forgive us).
If we attempt to make this “Ingress Aires passage” a description of the actual indwelling of the Holy Ghost, we would be in error based on Scripture. Jesus just said “I send you”; but we find that before they could Go, they had to “Tarry for the Holy Ghost to come upon” them (Acts 1:8). Since we find in John 20 that they did not have the Spirit, then the “giving them the Holy Ghost without” while also “giving them the Power” would be a violation of the procedure Jesus laid out in Acts 1:6-8: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Evidence of Grace (Gift of the Holy Ghost) Within: Next in Acts 2:4, we find that when the Holy Ghost came, the disciples spoke in other tongues; yet in John they didn’t speak. Then, as Peter was preaching to Cornelius, the Holy Ghost fell on Cornelius and then Cornelius began to speak in tongues (Acts 10:46). Peter equated this to being “baptized with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 11:15). Later when Paul laid hands on some disciples and the Holy Ghost came upon them, they began to speak in other tongues and prophesy (Acts 19:6). Two signs related to the Spirit are tongues and prophecy (I Cor 14:1-22). Further, the Greek word used for “receive” in John 20:22 is “Lambano”; and the meaning depends on the usage. In John 20 Jesus is teaching, thus the Lambano is used in reference to “receiving the teaching of the teacher” (Jn 1:12, 5:43, 13:20, 14:17 et al). The Latin really helps, showing how the Breath of Jesus granted them ability, something all of us need, the ability to “forgive the unforgivable” in order to be prepared to receive the Holy Ghost in fullness.
Commanded to forgive: This is a very important issue demanding study time. These same disciples were not asked, they were commanded to forgive; but we all know that there are those who fit “I just can’t forgive them.” What then? Can we forgive them seven times? Nay! How about seventy times seven? How can we? In and of ourselves we can’t; but the Breath of Jesus is the power of the Mercy of God. It gives us the ability to Loose Mercy so that God’s Mercy can be Loosed on us. It becomes the prerequisite to having the fullness of the New Birth (Mark 11:25-26). If we lack Power in our Christian walk it’s because we have neglected to enter this area; thus if we lack the ability to forgive, we can remember and know that the Breath of Jesus is sufficient to help us and give us the ability. From this point on, when we speak of the “Ingress Aires” you will know what we are referring to.
Living Soul – Quickening Spirit: We must make the separation between forgiveness (Mercy) and the “baptism for the remission of sins” (Grace) as well as understand the difference between “a living soul” and “a quickening spirit.” These are joined within the concept of Salvation; but they are also separated in the same manner that “the Rock” and “The Church” are.
God breathed into Adam, then Adam gained the “breath of life”; but his ability to remain in life was found in the external Tree of Life. When Adam was separated from the Tree of Life, death entered; yet he continued to exist.
In John we find a much different situation; the disciples were still under the “old nature,” but Jesus granted them permission to receive the Holy Ghost by allowing them to move to a position higher than the one Adam held. They wouldn’t need to run around looking for the Tree of Life since their Life would be in the New Birth, making them the spiritual Tree.
The Cross is not the finish of the Race, but no Race without it: Whether we know it or not, the second we accepted the Cross of Jesus, the breath of Christ is upon us. At that point, the Commission to “Receive ye the Holy Ghost” is also upon us. The Cross is not the finish of the race, but there is no race without it. Our Commission is written for us and it begins with John’s Account. John’s Account shows the disciples fished all night and caught nothing (Jn 21:3). As they approached the shore, Jesus called out, “Children, have ye any meat? (Jn 21:5). The time and location are different from Luke 24:41; here they are by the shore, but in Luke’s account they were in the house, thus Luke points to a different date (Luke 24:41-43).
The first time Jesus appeared to the disciples was the night of the Resurrection. Then eight days later was the second appearance when Jesus told Thomas and the other disciples to touch Him. John gives us the third time or the morning of the ninth day, or the beginning of the forty days that Jesus would be with them prior to the Accession. Their answer to Jesus’ question was a sound, “NO,” showing their frustration (Jn 21:5). Prior Jesus had said that about these fishing that they would be fishers of men, now He finds them looking back to the “ways of the world” to obtain their need.
There are 153 blessings in the Abrahamic Covenant; and Peter had to make his choice between holding the Abrahamic Covenant or serving Jesus. If one engaged in the Abrahamic Covenant then one must have complied with the Law of Moses as well, since one was incorporated into the other by the token of circumcision of the flesh. All of this happening is still after the Ingress Aires; thus the Ingress Aires provided them the ability to remit sins done unto them so they could seek the Holy Ghost. Here Jesus is confirming what shortly will happen, thus showing that the breath of Jesus didn’t grant them the New Birth; rather, it granted them permission to receive the New Birth (Jn 21:18).
Prior, Peter heard, “deny himself,” then he heard, “You will deny Me”; thus like most of us, when he heard “deny yourself” he said, “But Lord I have.” Yet, when he denied the Lord, he found that he had not denied the self, rather he was in the process of attempting to save it. It’s not to belittle Peter, rather it shows he lacked the ability and his experience shows us that we too lack the ability until we receive the Spirit.
Denying the Self: There are many religions who do all sorts of acts of self-righteousness presuming that they are “denying the self”; yet they actually are enforcing the self-nature, not denying it. To deny the self is an act of death, it takes the Cross of Jesus, not religious exercises.
Peter had the information prior to the Cross and proved it by saying, “To whom shall we go? thou hast the words (Rhema) of eternal life.” (Jn 6:68). It was a revelation that the Father gave to Peter and the others at the time to secure the incentive to remain with Jesus. Peter didn’t walk away then, so why would he later? Peter hadn’t walked away; he was still there, but so was Jesus.
The Choice to follow Jesus or Still Rely on the Ways of the World: Jesus told them to cast their net to the right side of the boat (Jn 21:6). This lesson was both an old one and a new one. The old lesson was to listen to Jesus, then do as He says, even if the circumstances appear hopeless. Jesus didn’t say, “I called you to be fishers of men, get rid of the net”, rather He provided them a choice. Within minutes Jesus gave them a net breaking catch of 153 fish. This catch is a prelude to a choice facing Peter within moments. The evidence before Peter would be clear; he was still unable and he was even failing at doing what he used to do best (fishing). Thus the added incentive would be the 153 fish. He could continue where he was at and Jesus would bless him; but he made the vow to continue on with Jesus and now his choice will determine his decision. The net was on one side of Peter, Jesus on the other. Many of our wilderness experiences are no different, the element on one side with Jesus on the other.
Before Jesus asked Peter any questions, Jesus already knew what Peter’s answers would be; but Peter didn’t. So this test and restoration was for Peter. The disciples sat down to eat; and Jesus not only prepared the meal, He did it with His catch. Here Peter had a net with more than enough, but Jesus had the need filled. There are times when “abundance” is not the blessing; the Need is. Our efforts to provide for our need may work, but Jesus already has the provision waiting if we only ask. Jesus not only wants to provide for us, but He also wants us to trust in His ability to provide. It’s not about whether or not we are sitting and waiting for the ravens to bring our need or whether or not the Lord has us working to meet our need; it’s whether or not we are obeying the Lord in the endeavor. Peter was breaking his back pulling in the net, but Jesus was cooking the need (Jn 21:9). Jesus didn’t use one of the 153 fish, He provided the Things from another source and this detail should be a clue to some of us who chase the blessing like a dog after a cat.
The restoration and calling of Peter begins as Jesus says, “Simon son of Jonas, lovest (Agape) you Me, more than these” (Jn 21:15). The word “these” refers to the fish, as the fish represent the promise of the Abrahamic Covenant.
Peter could have said, “Lord you know I love you, but I also love the fish and they are part of the Abrahamic Covenant; and Abraham was promised these things by God Himself, You know.” But Peter had to decide to reach further than receiving the blessing; he had to decide if he wanted to finish the race by being a blessing unto God. On one hand he could “have the blessing” on the other he could “be a blessing.”
Peter desired the calling, but his past conduct was holding him back: for the first time, Peter admits his limitations. “Admitting our limitations” and then “continuing to allow them to hold us back are different.” It didn’t take long for Peter to turn his eyes from the net to Jesus. Peter heard Agape but answered, “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love (Phileo) thee.” (Jn 21:15). Peter knows his heart for the first time; he also knows his Phileo love wasn’t enough to stand in the time of pressure. Peter saw the “old man” and he didn’t like what he saw, but what could he do about it? His Phileo love was enough to heal the sick, preach the Gospel, and sit at the table with Jesus, but it wasn’t enough to face the pressure of affliction or the persecution for the Word’s sake.
From the English it would appear easy enough for Peter to mix the two types of love; but Jesus wasn’t talking to Peter in English. Peter heard right and he answered based on what he knew to be a fact. Peter had already experienced his love in action and he knew that it had failed him before, so surely it would fail again. Here however, Jesus is talking directly to Peter, but Jesus didn’t respond this time with, “Get you behind Me Satan”; no, this wasn’t some Satan thinking that Peter had. It was Fact. Peter knew by then that man’s “Phileo love” is good, but not good enough to deny the self or follow Jesus. (Even The Remnant will have Phileo; and they will keep the Commandments of God, but they will also be overcome.)
Peter’s puny faith put him on the water, but the same puny faith failed in the face of adversity; and it almost killed him. Peter made his choice when he said, “Lord I Phileo You”; thus the denial of the self was confessed. Peter loved the Lord, but his ultimate desire was to Agape the Lord, yet he knew that the ability to do so was missing. Many days prior Jesus told the disciples, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life (Psuche), shall lose it, but whosoever will lose his life (Psuche) for My sake, the same shall save it” (Luke 9:23-24). When Peter reached the stage of “Follow Me” the test will be complete, but the work just beginning.
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” Luke 9: 23-24 (KJV)
Here we find the difference between Peter and Judas; Peter loved the Lord based his decision of Phileo love. Judas loved Judas more than anyone and his decisions at the time were to benefit Judas above all else. Thus Peter sought the Lord while Judas sought the power and blessing. Judas taking from the bag indicated that he felt that the Lord didn’t know all things; and as part of his error, it became the root of his failure.
Like Peter, far too many of us have made mistakes, then decide “it is all over” or we allow someone else to tell us “it is all over”; or we stop somewhere along the path of Phileo, failing to reach for Agape. Phileo love can still point to God, but Phileo only provides “a little strength.” It’s not enough to maintain Grace; but with Grace comes Agape.
When God tells (shows us) us our vision, we must agree with Him to see it complete. When Peter heard the vision Jesus had for him, it was be difficult for him to believe. Nonetheless Peter ended in agreement, as he made the choice to believe beyond his natural ability. Peter still made mistakes after Pentecost, but God didn’t remove him from the office of Apostle (Gal 2:7-16). When Paul confronted Peter, Paul didn’t ask for Peter’s papers, rather his intent was based in restoration.
Feed My Lambs: So, back to the earlier conversation between Peter and Jesus, even after Peter answered with Phileo, Jesus said, “Feed My lambs” (Jn 21:15). Perhaps in Peter’s mind he is thinking, Oh great, now I have a calling and no ability. The Greek here points to taking the lambs (little ones) to the pasture of God so they can learn how to eat. This is a warning to Peter as well as a call since we are never to hinder the little ones. We are to encourage them to enter the pasture. Also, Paul said, “Forbid not to speak in tongues” (I Cor 14:39). Therefore, we are not to stand in the way of others with rites, rules, and carnal regulations. If the Lord gives us policies, we live by them; but self-imposed rules to control people are different.
David said, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” (Ps 23:2). The pasture is the Bible, the place where we find Jesus; nothing builds us faster than making the decision to Believe. Perhaps this inquiry is all over with since the Lord knows that Peter Phileos Him. Just maybe then, Peter can sit down and eat. Not so; Jesus asks Peter a second time, “Simon son of Jonas, lovest (Agape) thou Me?” (Jn 21:16). In this second question we don’t see the wording “more than these”; the issue was settled when Peter answered the first question. In reference to this second question, Peter again says, “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love (Phileo) thee.” (Jn 21:16). Jesus changed the question, but Peter used the same answer. Peter knew the promise and assumed he had to wait until he was filled before he could believe. Jesus is telling him to believe and then he will receive. Peter believed he had Phileo, because he did. Jesus is asking him to reach beyond the premise, to believe he can also display and operate in the Agape Love of God.
To Accept the Calling: To Peter this would make little sense since after all, he did have his past failures to show that evidently he couldn’t, yet Jesus is telling him to believe he can.
In reference to the second question, Jesus tells Peter, “Feed My sheep” (Jn 21:16). This is somewhat different from the first statement of “Feed My lambs.” This time Peter is told to feed the young men personally, rather than take them to a place to be fed. Although Peter’s answer didn’t change, his calling did. Peter was acting like a son of Jonah (Jonas) and he kept attempting to hide in “the fish,” but he couldn’t get away from the calling and neither can we. Jesus kept referring to Jonah (Jonas), telling Peter, “Stop running son.” Jesus is telling many of us, “Stop running” and accept the calling.
The use of “Simon, Son of Jonah” was a clue to Peter; but he was so involved in focusing on his weakness that he couldn’t see the hope. Jonah was sent to a city in a nation, enemies of the Jews; and in essence, Jonah was sent to the Gentiles just as Peter would be. In Acts when Peter had his vision of what he thought were things unclean, he will doubt at first (Acts 10:17); but the vision didn’t come one time or twice. It came three times. Is this a clue? Perhaps (Acts 10:16). In Acts Peter thought it was a test and he went right back to “not so Lord” (Acts 10:14). Peter was Born Again by then, but spiritual growth is a Process (or have we already said that?). So, if we make a mistake, we must learn from it; but we don’t beat ourselves stupid because of it. Repent, learn, discern, but don’t burn.
Peter knows at the time that both the lambs and the sheep grow in the pasture; and it’s one thing to take them there, but another to lead them through it. Here Peter is being told to train (disciple) “the called,” yet Peter knows he is not even a babe himself yet. This time Jesus used the Greek “Poimaino” for the English word “Feed”; and from “Poimaino” we get the word “Pastor.” Peter kept saying, “I don’t have what it takes”; but Jesus kept adding to the calling. This time Peter didn’t say, “You don’t know Lord”; but he was nonetheless attempting to hide from the calling. On the surface or in the natural, it would appear as if Peter was right and Jesus wrong; but we know better. Jesus was looking at “what will be” while Peter was looking at what was his condition at that moment.
In continuing, Jesus said a third time, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest (Phileo) thou Me?” (Jn 21:17). Jesus had now changed from Agape to Phileo; and Peter was grieved because Jesus asked him the third time, “Phileo you Me.” Peter wasn’t grieved by Jesus asking three questions, rather it was Jesus using the word Phileo the third time. We become grieved when Jesus upbraids us with our own unbelief. Peter does “Phileo” (love) Jesus; so this is not the issue. Peter was holding unbelief in the area of Agape, which was the issue. This was not “Peter do you even Phileo Me”; rather Jesus used Peter’s own words; and when Jesus uses our own words of unbelief, the upbraiding is upon us. This connects to the last verses in Mark, rather than all the disciples, this is Peter in reference to his calling.
Peter was holding to the present state of affairs, but unless he could believe into the vision Jesus had for him, it will not come to pass. Jesus was reaching into the belly of the whale as He pulled Peter out of the hell of unbelief. Jesus was still looking to the potential which Peter would obtain on Pentecost; but it was Peter who couldn’t see it (Jn 21:17). Peter realized that Jesus knew all things, yet only God could know all things. We must prepare our heart for the seed to grow; Peter at that point was turning the soil.
Can Jesus Use Me In Spite of my Errors? Many of us have said, “Look at the wrong things I have done, so how can God use me?” or “I have denied Jesus three times, so how can He forgive me?” or “I’m not smart enough to serve the Lord” or “I’m such a fool, how can Jesus use me?” or “I have really blown it this time, I don’t see how I can go back to church, much less have Jesus use me” or the classic, “I have committed the unpardonable sin.” The unpardonable sin is unpardonable since the one doing it never asks for Pardon. If we fear committing the unpardonable sin, it’s a sign we haven’t. These comments all come from the belly of the whale, when we “cry by reason of our affliction” the Lord will hear and then we will sacrifice with the voice of thanksgiving soon finding ourselves on dry land again (Jonah 2:2-10).
“And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.” Jonah 2:2 (KJV)
Jesus uses people that most of us wouldn’t talk to; but He takes, cleanses, anoints, and sends them forth. In each case Jesus begins where the people are at, but He doesn’t leave them there. None of us are worthy, but Jesus takes us as the empty cup, cleans and fills us with Living Water and His Blood, making us worthy. The latter house is much better than the former.
Jesus tells Peter the third time, “Feed My sheep.” This is a combination of the first and second statements. The word, “Feed” is the same Greek word Jesus used the first time, but now He couples it with the word “Sheep” thus combining the first and second request into this third; and clearly this is the Calling. Peter would later say, “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.” Peter had learned his lessons well (I Pet 5:2). What would have been “filthy lucre” in this case? How about the 153 fish? Yes, the wording Filthy Lucre doesn’t mean money alone, it means we don’t care where we get it from, or the strings which might be attached. One who takes filthy lucre will put their hand out to gain from the devil, just as fast as they do from God.
“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.” Jn 21:18 (KJV)
Jesus tells Peter, “Truly, truly, I say unto you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would..” (Jn 21:18a).
This was a description of Peter’s self-run lifestyle; and ours as well. Like Peter, when we were self-run, we did as we wanted, allowing our unsaved souls to guide us. So, this passage is not describing when Peter was a physical baby, since we know no baby “girds” itself. The word Young is the Greek “Neos” meaning “Into existence”; thus, this term isn’t restricted to being a baby, rather it shows Peter in the beginning of his ministry. Peter was not Born Again at that time and his thinking was still carnal. Some of his actions and words proved it. Jesus wasn’t condemning him; rather He was making a statement of fact. It was the best Peter could do, but times were changing and a New Season was coming. The word “would” could also read “desired”; it comes from the Greek “Theatrizo” meaning a “Display of one’s self.” From Theatrizo we get Theatrical, which defines Peter’s life style before Pentecost.
Jesus continued with, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.”(Jn 21:18)
Dying to the Self-Nature: The word “old” means mature, as an Elder; and this is a promise to Peter. All this is again after Jesus gave them Permission to “receive ye the Holy Ghost.” The “another” or “Another Comforter” will change Peter completely, showing how the Spirit will guide Peter; he will no longer be guided by his self-nature (Jn 14:16). This confirms the “son of Jonah,” and the place Peter would not have gone for instance, was the house of Cornelius; so this proved that his soul transformation did come to pass.
Prior Peter felt he was incapable, but he failed to see that Jesus is talking about
“Becoming or being capable by a different source.” Jesus is promised Peter that Another Comforter will give him the ability to love others as Jesus loves him. Peter didn’t miss the boat; his hope was found in Jesus, not the net. Peter will put his arms forward not to the side, showing the guidance of the Spirit by Peter’s submission. This is still a choice, Peter can reject it, but Jesus knew the decision that Peter made. Peter’s choice reflected his decision; and so, it didn’t take him long to turn his back on the 153 fish and face Jesus.
The Training of the Soul: Peter will later tell us, “Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.” (II Pet 1:14). In John, the Lord is telling Peter something, not showing him something. This is a type of “death”; it has nothing to do with physical death, it has to do with “denying yourself.” This death is when Simon dies and Peter lives, the same type of death we must all have in order to truly be Born Again .
This confirms how Jesus taught on many things before the Cross, but the ability to do them would not come until after the Cross. Some of us “hear” and then think “we can”; but there is a training time for us before the “do” takes place.
The word “Follow” in the phrase, “Follow Me” is the Greek “Akoloutheo” which is a compound word meaning “A union of accompany”; it means to walk in the same manner. This explains how our “measure of faith” is to keep our footsteps in the tracks made by the “Faith of Jesus.”
There is only one calling; and the Scriptures don’t say, “gifts and callings” rather the Scriptures say, “Gifts and calling”, yet there are steps in The Calling (Rom 11:29): “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (KJV)
One would think Peter would enjoy the Good News; and he did, so much so that he became extremely excited. He sees John, his best friend approaching; now Peter wants to find out what Jesus has for John. We know this is John by the description and the events in John 13:23-24 (Jn 21:20-21). Peter wasn’t questioning Jesus, nor was he questioning or accusing John. Peter had been taken back into the flock, ordained for a position, and promised the Spirit; it would be no longer, “tell Peter and My disciples” but “Peter is My disciple.” Peter would have a new courage beyond his old ability; and instead of taking his sword, he will hold the Sword of the Spirit, speaking words of Grace. Instead of cutting ears off, he will be speaking to “ears eager to hear.” Peter grabs his best friend; he again wants to enter the Two By Two ministry. However, the concept will change; Peter will walk with the Holy Ghost by the Spirit.
Jesus says, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.” (Jn 21:22- KJV). This doesn’t say “John will tarry”; it says “what if” which is much different. This shows us that we can’t compare where we are with Jesus by looking at what Jesus is doing with others. Instead of hearing the voices of men or the voice of the stranger (old man,) Peter will be able to “Hear ye Him.”
Our first step to the Commission is found in John, the next is found in Luke. Luke 24:36-43, and Luke 24:44-52 are two different events. Luke 24:36-43 corresponds with John 20:26-29, this is found in the wording, location, and references. Since the discovery of the Resurrection of Jesus was on a Sunday and since He appeared the second time a week later on a Sunday, the Church has used Sunday to show we have entered the Law of the Spirit while the Jew still holds Saturday as a sign of holding to the Law of Moses. The sabbath day was a token or sign used to associate them to the Law of Moses; but we are told to “Follow Jesus,” and we do so to become members of His Resurrection.
The Resurrection is the basis for the Church to worship on Sunday, not a result of some New Age mystic attempting to change the Sabbath. The definition of the Sabbath changed with Jesus from the religious token of “keeping a day” to “entering the Rest of God through belief.” Yet if one wants to keep one day above another, let him or her do so, but let them keep it between them and the Lord, which means one is not to condemn others for not keeping “the day,” nor are people or groups to make it “doctrine.”
Living by The New: The first Sunday being the first day shows that we can count ahead seven days bringing us to the next Sunday; and it was on this Sunday when Thomas made his statement, “My Lord, and my God.” Thomas made a correct statement, since this would be after the Father called the Son “God” (Heb 1:8). The house where the disciples stayed was in Jerusalem, but the Ascension was near Bethany (Luke 24:44-49); thus the second appearance is Jesus speaking to the disciples in the house at Jerusalem, not at Bethany. The disciples left the house in Jerusalem, and then went to Galilee as Jesus commanded. Then eight days later Jesus talked to them in the house in Galilee, then the third time at the sea shore. Here Luke picks up the story at the house in Jerusalem, where Jesus tells the disciples, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” (Luke 24:44). These are the words Jesus spoke, not the words Moses spoke; thus there is a change taking place, a move from one Law to another. Also, the Testimony of Jesus is found in the Old Testament; how can we testify without knowing the Testimony or how can we be a witness without “the Witness?” A good scribe knows both the Old and New; a Believer believes in the New and the Old but lives by the New. Knowing the testimony of Jesus while attempting to complete the Law of Moses, is different. A Testimony is something “spoken of”; a Witness is something “lived” and they should not be confused, one into the other.
Prophecy about Jesus yet to come: Jesus then said, “ Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day.” (Luke 24:46 – KJV). Wait! Where is it written? Jesus is talking about those things written in the Old Testament; thus the mystery of the Old is finding Jesus therein. The Holy Ghost was behind the scenes as the men of Old were speaking of the Spirit of Christ yet to come. One example is Jonah being three days and nights in the belly of the whale. Jesus used the experience to show how long He would be in the belly of the earth. Again this confirms the three days; it had to be three days, not one or two.
The word “Behooved” means, “Necessary”; it wasn’t some evil or by the will of man. It was in the Plan from the beginning of the world. It’s also necessary for us to see wars, rumors of wars, pestilence, and famine as the world is being prepared for the Time of Comfort; yet it’s not “The End” and nor are we to be “terrified” (Luke 21:9): “But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.”
The Word in Us: Again Jesus shows the importance of the Bible, as He says, “it is written”, how can we know what is written if we never read what is written? How can we receive without the Rhema? How can we speak of the Word, without the Word in us? Jesus didn’t discount the Bible, rather He shows the importance of it; yet we find without the Word in us, we won’t understand what is written.
Jesus wasn’t talking about the New Testament to come, but what the many references in the Prophets, Law, and Psalms have said regarding Him. This shows that “it was written” and “it came to pass”; thus what is written for the future will come to pass. Prophecy proves itself by coming to pass. The Old Testament said it was going to be and then it happened; thus what we are told will happen, will happen.
Jesus continues in Luke by saying, “and the repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). There are two areas named here, repentance and remission; and while water baptism pertains to repentance, the baptism with the Holy Ghost goes to remission covering Mercy (repentance) and Grace (remission). Jesus uses the third person authority issue (in His Name); therefore, the Holy Ghost is speaking through Jesus projecting the change in Seasons and telling us how no one can “Hear Ye Him” without the Spirit.
Birth of The Church: The Church was to begin at Jerusalem after the Spirit would be given, not before, while the Body was being formed before the Cross, “upon this Rock.” The Church is spiritual in nature and so it was birthed on Pentecost (I will build – Matt 16:18 – “Upon this rock I will build my church…”
If we love Jesus, we will do as He says; and He told us to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost (Grace, Greater He, Holy Spirit) before becoming a Witness (Acts 1:6-8). Authority and Power are different, Jesus first gave Authority (by the Name),; and then He told them to wait for “the Power.” Authority is the granted permission to do something while power is the ability to carry out the authority.
Teaching Mercy & Grace together: In Luke we find how we are to teach two areas, the Father’s Mercy granted by the person’s repentance of sins, coupled with Grace for the remission of sin (Spirit, New Birth, Grace, Blood of Jesus, Power of His Christ); and we can’t preach one without the other.
Jesus then said, “And you are witnesses of these things and behold, I send the promise of My Father unto you: but tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power from on High” (Luke 24:48-49). Here is the key, they were to Tarry for the Power in order to be a Witness to carry out the Authority (Acts 1:8).
The Choice: This area leads to Mark. Some attempt to escape Mark by saying that the last verses in Mark don’t appear in two early manuscripts; but in the process they fail to see that God has allowed to give us a choice and the choice just so happens to pertain to the spiritual calling of being a Christian. We can look for an excuse to deny the Lord or seek to receive Him.
What’s the difference between Mark saying that “we must believe” or Paul saying in Romans that “we must believe?” It’s still an obligation for us to continue to believe after we are baptized into the Body. What appears to be a conflict or error in the Bible is often a test placed in the context by the Holy Ghost. God provided evidence in the other accounts plus many of the letters to support Mark 16:16-18, including the context within Mark itself.
Did Jesus lay hands on the sick? Yes. Did Jesus cast out devils? Yes. Is Jesus our example? Yes. Why then deny what He has called us to do? The division between Luke and Mark explains why some deny or want to change Mark to fit their own carnal thinking. The last thing Jesus said in Luke was, “be endued with power from on high”; so if one wants to complete their own religious agenda without the responsibility of the Spirit, they can stop short of the call to be endued with Power from on high, although they would be committing iniquity.
Looking at Mark 16:16-18 with the natural mind might make one wonder, but if we can see the metaphors with the “little words,” then we can gain much. To be water Baptized means we have entered the Body; thus these verses are only for those who have accepted the Mercy of the Father to become sons of men so they can be sons of God (via the Spirit).
Jesus is upbraiding them with their unbelief, by showing what belief will accomplish. This is not a discourse on baptism; it’s about what we do after we enter the Body. After entry, if we continue to believe, then the words “shall be saved” apply; but if we enter and fail to continue to believe, then the words will not apply.
This is how Jesus upbraids regarding a person’s unbelief; if they don’t believe, then the signs won’t follow. The disciples were there, they worshiped Him, yet they held unbelief; and thus, they were binding Jesus by the feet. Prior they were told to go and heal the sick and even the 70 reported how the devils were subject to them by the Name of Jesus. The 70 were told by Jesus how they would tread on serpents and scorpions. In Mark He said “take up,” but before it was “tread”; so do we take up what we tread on? No, “to tread” means they have no power or authority over us; but “to take up” means something different. The word Serpent doesn’t mean some snake, it means Malicious (intent to commit an illegal act) or Slanderous (intent to do harm) people. However, the key to this is the wording “shall take up” which is the Greek “Aheero” meaning among other things “to take up a fish” or to “lift high,” making no sense at all, except for Paul. When Paul was Saul he was a serpent, a malicious Pharisee who had papers allowing him to capture Christians; and he was even behind the death of Stephen. Saul was so feared by the Christians that they were afraid to even meet him; yet he became caught in the Net and Lifted. If we picked up some real snake, we missed the meaning of this Sign. This area has nothing to do with faith, Jesus did not upbraid them for their lack of faith, rather for their unbelief. The signs follow those who believe, there is no way we will “lift the serpents” unless we truly believe in the power of the Gospel.
This Sign merely shows that those “who Believe” are able to preach the Truth in Love to those who are malicious in nature. “To Tread” shows that the serpents have no authority over us; and here it shows since it is the case, that they are potential converts; Saul (Paul) being the best example.
The phrase “Shall Recover” comes from one Greek word “Kalos” meaning
Well” and denoting “Doing Well” or “Being Well.” Jesus did all things Well (Kalos); He makes both the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak (Mark 7:37). Mark 16:18 and 7:37 relate one to the other; if we lay hands on the sick we do well, just as Jesus did well. The test here is not whether we’re well or not, but whether we laid hands on the sick. This says nothing about being healed; it does speak about doing something for those who are ill. This connects to James and how the Elders laid hands on the sick one (anoint with oil) thus showing another area where the context is supported by Bible evidence. The Doctrine mentioned here connects to the “laying on of hands,” not “hands laid on us” (Heb 6:1-2).
Don’t confuse the deadly area with Elisha putting the meal in the pot to rid it of the poison in II Kings 4:40-41, although one could make a point how the Bread (meal) removed the poison. The key to the poison is found in the phrase in that it doesn’t say “will not kill” which one would think would be the case, rather it says “hurt.” The word “Hurt” is the Greek Bdeloosso meaning “To render foul: or “To cause to turn away”; it doesn’t mean “death.” It means “to be affected to the point of giving up.” Changing the entire meaning of the verse shows that temptations come against the Believer to turn them away; but if they Believe, they will not be harmed. This is confirmed in James; “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations” (James 1:2). Why? God is fully able to use the same temptation to make a way for us to escape, thereby giving us victory in the process (I Cor 10:13). Here in Mark it’s the same thing, only metaphoric; thus one can toss Mark 16:16-18 out, but they are still stuck with all the supportive verses and evidences.
The Bible defining itself: What Bible defining evidence do we have? Immediately we can think of John 3:18 where we are told to “believe to be saved”: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Thus, we could show many manuscripts containing those verses as well as words from the church fathers using them; but we must also allow the Bible to define the Bible. We saw some connection, but in continuing we find Mark 16:16 is supported by Matthew 24:13:
Mark 16:16 – KJV: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
Matthew 24:13 – KJV: “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
We also see these verses:
Acts 15:11 – KJV: “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.”
Romans 10:9 – KJV: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
One may avoid Mark, but there are more verses saying the same thing.
Other areas and precepts are supported such as in Luke 11:20 & Acts 16:18, (as well other verses) showing us how we are to cast out devils. Then, “Speaking in New Tongues” is supported by Mark 13:11, Acts 4:20, Romans 6:19, I Corinthians 1:10, and 2:6.
“Serpents” in the true context is seen in Matthew 10:16, 23:33, and Luke 10:19, whereas “deadly things” by Job 6:4, Psalms 58:4, 140:3 and Romans 3:13.
We see “laying on of hands” described in Acts 8:18 and Hebrews 6:2, with “signs following” in Acts 2:22, 4:30, Romans 15:19…plus more verses as well, regarded as documents supporting these words.
Since the verses are supported by verses, the Bible has defined itself; thus the context stands. Of course if one searches out a reason not to believe, they have in fact proved that they fit the expression and position of “upbraided with their unbelief.” On the other hand, we can make the choice to Continue in Belief knowing that the Signs will follow.
In Luke it was, “Go to Jerusalem and wait” and now in Mark, it’s “Go into all the world,” connecting the Acts to the commission, which again supports these verses. Jesus told them to be witnesses in “both” Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost part of the earth. Why is this stated as “both” since there are four named; but what do we find? Jew (comprised of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria), and Gentile (Uttermost part), giving us Both (two elements), connecting to Mark.
In Matthew, we are told to teach by precept; and we learn the precepts through the teachings obtained by experiences with the Spirit. We are also commanded to baptize others in water, but since it’s a token for them, it becomes an ordinance for them as well. No one is commanded to be baptized, but we do have a command to baptize in water. No one is commanded to give tithes under the new, but we are commanded as priests to receive tithes. The token of water baptism identifies the person with the death and resurrection of Jesus. The water didn’t save them, God did; and the water didn’t forgive them, God did. Thus the water is a Token, not the source. Once the person gives their token of water baptism they are inducted into the Body by being immersed with God’s Mercy.
We have traveled from “the calling” in John to see if we’re willing to Follow Jesus, then we moved onto to Luke to see if were willing to submit to the Word, and we went onto our Pentecost to have Power from on High in order to be a Witness. Then went into Mark to make the choice to Believe, and after proceeded to Matthew.
Matthew is the only one who uses the phrase “kingdom of heaven”; thus we “go ye into all the world to call the called into the kingdom of heaven,” we “baptize them in Water based on their confession of belief,” we “tell them about the Kingdom of God” and “present them to the Lord for the Baptism with the Holy Ghost to receive the Spirit.”
Matthew is the only account where the wording in the account ends with Jesus speaking; therefore, Matthew gives us the Amen (So be it, in the faithfulness of God).
In Matthew, Jesus says, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in the earth” (Matt 28:18). The word for Power is the Greek “Exousia” meaning “Authority”; thus the “Name” is not the common or popular identification by which a person is known. Rather, it’s the Authority. Those in the Body have the Name; if they are carnal, if they are spiritual, or if they are carnal becoming spiritual, they still have Authority in the Name of Jesus. Regardless of the Names of God prior-mentioned in Scripture, there is only one Name on earth where man has connection to heaven (Heb 1:2). It doesn’t mean we can’t “talk” to the Father or the Holy Ghost; it means that the Authority is with regard to One Name, found in the Body of Christ.
Whether we say, “Name of Jesus” or “the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” it’s still One Name, based in One Authority, for those in the Body. The name will not work for those outside the Body (Acts 19:15-16). However, we know that in the Body, there are people who mind the flesh and those who mind the Spirit in the same Body (Rom 8:1 & 8:5).
Jesus continues in Matthew with, “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt 28:19). It’s obvious among the Father and Holy Ghost is the “Son” who is speaking. This merely shows that the combined Authority of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is given to the Body of Christ, with Jesus as the Head of the Body. This is the Authority granted to any person who is in the Body (authority in the Name of Jesus); but “the Power” is still from on High. The word “Therefore” means “To look back” and connect this phrase with the prior phrases. We Tarry for the Power from on High; and some of us hear the word “go” and we think we have to be “gone”; yet the rest of the sentence says, “after you receive Power from on High.”
Water Baptism is done “in the Name of Jesus”; it has nothing to do with what we say, but everything to do with the Authority we use. The authority for John’s Baptism ceased when John was placed in prison, becoming no longer effective or to be used. Doing the Godly thing in an ungodly time, is still ungodly.
The effectiveness of John’s baptism ended when Jesus said, “In My Name.” John’s Baptism said the people “should believe”; whereas the Baptism in the Name of Jesus is based on one’s belief. John’s baptism identified the person with repentance; our baptism identifies us with the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. When John baptized, the Cross was future tense; but with us, its past tense, with a present tense effect for us (Acts 19:2-6).
Jesus then says, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” (Matt 28:20). Here is the second stage of teaching or discipling the person; thus we teach by word, but after they are baptized, they need to be discipled. The term “ruling Elder” doesn’t mean one who makes decisions; it means one who is an example of Mercy, Grace, and Wisdom. At this point in time they let go of the “feet” of Jesus; He was about to ascend unto the Father and once He had ascended, then the Holy Ghost would come with “the Gift.”
Each Gospel account links to the other; so, we can’t jump around picking some here or some there. God has ordained a process, a method, a means; and we follow His rules or we don’t follow at all. Without John’s account we can’t make the decision to Follow Jesus, without Luke’s we won’t know the precepts regarding our decision, without Mark’s we won’t know the choices we have regarding our decision to belief, yet without Matthew we can’t discern why we made the decision.
Taking all these sayings of Jesus’ in order will give us One Commission giving us a foundation for our decision and knowledge of knowing the Truth of “He Did It For Me, Because He Loves Me”; we insert our name in place of the disciple; as we read:
(Jn 21:15-23 – KJV): (15) So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. (16) He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (17) He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. (18) Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. (19) This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. (20) Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? (21) Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? (22) Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
(23) Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
(Luke 24:44-49 – KJV): (44) And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. (45) Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, (46) And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: (47) And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (48) And ye are witnesses of these things. (49) And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
(Mark 16:15-18 – KJV): (15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (16) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (17) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; (18) They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
(Matt 28:18-20 – KJV): (18) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) 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.
We see “One letter” without break or confusion, placing us on the path of His Righteousness and giving us a foundation to believe. Jesus is for us; He has promised many things in His Will and all it takes is our Belief in Him. This letter is personal in nature, containing truths for the reader which only the reader and God know. Selah
Note: The use of SOZO Bible Study Lessons, Newsletters or Short Studies (written/penned by Pastor G. Evan Newmyer as scribe and author, prior to his passing from this world) has been given to Ann M. Wolf by written permission from the author, as was customarily granted to alumni of the Sozo Bible Institute. This limited permission is given under clear agreement to never “charge” specific amounts for the Lessons with the intention of obtaining specific profits, but rather to share the material with others as the Spirit leads, for the purpose of “edification and encouragement,” on a free will offering basis, and while honoring the biblical principal to “teach the truth in love.” We ask then, that the desires of the original scribe (Rev. Newmyer) be respected; therefore the material can be shared among those who are dedicated in their study of the Bible, but shared freely on an offering basis and with respect to the copyright laws of the land and states. All rights are reserved. Read More.
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King James Version – KJV: For greater understanding of these commentaries, please use the Authorized Version of the King James Bible for confirming the Scripture passages mentioned. Please see the article, “Why KJV” by Ann M. Wolf for information regarding why we use KJV. Thank you for visiting our Sozo Short Bible Studies area.