TEXTS: Mark 16:15-20; Matthew 28:18-20.
The Great Commission is the commission which Jesus gave to us in our texts above to take the goodnews to all the world. It is considered as being “Great” because of its importance and also because it was the last commission given to the church by Jesus before His ascension to heaven. The Great Commission is the re-packaged New Testament version of the commission God gave to Adam in Genesis 1:28-30.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be FRUITFUL, and MULTIPLY, and REPLENISH the earth, and SUBDUE it: and have DOMINION over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
God’s commission to Adam was for him to do the following, and in the following order:
- Be fruitful
- Replenish the earth
- Subdue the earth
- Have dominion over all the earth
Genesis 1 verse 28 was the COMMISSION, while verses 29 and 30 were the PROVISION. Verse 28 was the ASSIGNMENT, while verses 29 and 30 were the CONSIGNMENT.
NOTE that verse 28 comes before verses 29 and 30. For us to enjoy the provisions of God in verses 29 and 30, we must first obey the commission in verse 28. Obedience to the Commission always comes before the Provision.
In Mark 16:15-20, verse 15 is the COMMISSION; verses 17, 18, and 20 are the PROVISION.
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 [not GO BEFORE, or STAND BEHIND, or SIT BEHIND] 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.
19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Study carefully verse 17. If the signs, wonders, blessings, and provisions must FOLLOW us, it implies that we must constantly be on the move – GO YE INTO ALL THE WORLD!
STUDY QUESTION 1
Give various accounts in the New Testament when the Lord used the early disciples to perform signs and wonders.
You will discover that most of those signs were done when the disciples were on the “GO YE COMMISSION”
For the church to have DOMINION over all the earth, it will have to first SUBDUE the earth; if it must subdue the earth, then it must first REPLENISH the earth; if it must replenish the earth, then it must first MULTIPLY; and if it must multiply, then it must first be FRUITFUL. FRUITFULNESS and DOMINATION of the earth are closely linked. Fruitfulness is the means, while Domination is the end.
Fruitfulness is the first step the church must take for it to have total mastery and dominion over all the earth.
STUDY QUESTION 2
Compare Exodus 1:7, 12 and Acts 6:7; 16:9 and mention some effects of fruitfulness.
God intends to achieve on earth through the new creations even more than He planned to achieve through Adam. God’s desire is that all nations and tribes will submit to the authority and dominion of Christ. This can only be achieved when we go into all the world and preach the gospel, and raise disciples of Jesus Christ everywhere.
- What is the Great Commission?
- Mention the five-fold commission that God gave to Adam in Genesis 1:28.
- How does each of the five commissions that God gave to Adam apply to the Great Commission?
- What are the conditions on which believers can experience signs?
- How can the church establish the authority of Christ in all the world?