Disciple Ye the Nations

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke 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.

There are three words in these verses that are not translated adequately in the King James Version. The original text gives us a much better understanding of what Jesus is saying, so we will first examine these words in the Greek. They are: (1) “power” in verse 18, (2) “teach” in verse 19, and (3) “world” in verse 20.

(1) “Power” in verse 18 is exousia in the Greek. A literal translation in English is “authority.” In the spirit realm “authority” is much more important than “power.” A big Mack truck and a policeman are examples of the difference between power and authority. The big Mack truck coming down the street has great power, but when a policeman steps out and blows his whistle the big Mack stops. The truck has much power, but the policeman has authority. Authority is greater than power.

So Jesus actually said, All authority is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. All authority is His and by submitting to His Lordship, His authority can be transferred to us. How much of His authority we receive is directly proportional to our submission to His Lordship. When the Lord commissions you to a ministry, and you are submissive to that commission, then His authority is transferred to you that you may accomplish His will.

Jesus says, “All authority in heaven and in earth is Mine; therefore, you go!” This is how the will of God is done. Those who pray, asking the Lord to do something, and then walk away do not see very much accomplished. Too many Christians seem to think that the Lord is their servant. He is not our servant; we are His servants. It is our responsibility to carry out His will. It is not our job to decide what His will is and, believe me, it is very easy to convince yourself that what you want is His will, too. A lot of Christians are spinning their wheels thinking that what they are doing is His will when it isn’t. Our responsibility is to submit to His Lordship, to worship Him until He reveals His will to us (to stay in Jerusalem, so to speak, until we receive the promise of the Father – Acts 1:4.). Then we can go forth, knowing we are in His will and that we go with His authority.

(2) “Teach” in verse 9 is matheteuo, which means “to disciple.” Instead of, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,” the Greek reads, “Going therefore, disciple ye all the nations.” The commandment is to make disciples of the nations and that means disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not disciples of a church organization.

“Make disciples,” He says, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Most people understand this to refer to water baptism. While this may be used as a formula for water baptism, it does not say anything about water. Don’t misunderstand me; I find no fault in believers being baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost. However, much more than water baptism is implied here.

To baptize means to completely immerse. A believer, then, should be completely immersed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But what does it mean to baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Whenever the Lord revealed Himself in a particular way, He gave Himself a name that related to His manifestation. He gave Himself such names as Elohim, El Shaddai, Jehovah, etc. So Jesus is saying that we are to make disciples of the nations and to completely immerse them into the revelation of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Also, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit speak of the fullness of God. So He is actually saying that they should be baptized into the fullness of God.

Next, Jesus said to “teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Everything the Lord Jesus taught His disciples is to be taught to the nations, nothing is to be held back. Isn’t it amazing how many church organizations have their list of scriptures that they have set aside as “not for today”? Many of the teachings of Christ are not accepted by denominational churches. Nevertheless, Jesus said to teach them all that He commanded. Now in order to do that, you must know what He taught and what He is teaching. He has not stopped teaching. Luke, in referring to his Gospel said, The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach (Acts 1:1). The Gospels reveal what He began to teach. However, He continued to teach through His ministers in the Early Church, and He is still teaching today. Our responsibility is greater than that of the Early Church, because we are in the days of fulfillment. The seals are being taken off the Book, and God is revealing more today. Jesus told His disciples, I have many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you into all truth (John 16:12-13). Do you believe that? Are you being led into all Truth?

(3) “World” in verse 20 is aion in the Greek, and it literally means “age.” So it should read “even unto the end of the age,” rather than the world. Also, the Greek word for “end” is telos, which means “to set out for a definite point” or “the point aimed at as a limit.” There is a particular state of being that God has in mind for this age and once that is reached, His plan for this age is fulfilled, and we move into another age. One age is ending and another is beginning. We are now in the overlapping of two ages. The Church Age is passing away, and the Kingdom Age is coming forth. The ministry that brings the nations under the Lordship of Jesus Christ brings this age to fulfillment and brings forth the next. In all of this, the Lord says, Lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the age.

Copyright © 1997 by Henry DuBose