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TheCOMMISSION

TheCOMMISSION

~ This look at Jesus’ instructions for life and work to His disciples, all His disciples, covers only the final verses of The Gospel According to Matthew and is taken from the full commentary called JESUS’ WORDS – Spirit & Life, ©2013 Terry Clark, POBox 776, San Clemente, CA 92674.

Contact –
email: terry@catalystpeople.com
website: CatalystPeople.com

PREFACE

I grew up hearing God’s Word among people who believed that if God said it, that settles it. They lived their lives as an open experiment in the application of God’s revelation about His creation and who His people are to be.

At the center, were those red letters, the words of Jesus; this Son of God, son of Man, the Word and love of God in human flesh, our connection to a reality; a world of continuously-refreshed joy.

I knew the words and had a level of understanding, even as young boy, from personal conversations with Him. See, my first pastors and gospel influences were members of my own family. My Grandmother, Bessie Harrell, was a fire-breathing preacher who had been filled and possessed by the Heart, Mind & Passion of God in the early 20th Century outpouring of His Holy Spirit. Her brother, my Great Uncle Leon, was pastor of the church where, as a child, I was immersed in all it means to be a community of believers. But I learned to be a chameleon in school, to take the shape and personality of whatever group I fell in with.

My adaptability developed to expert level by the time I was drafted into the Army. Already several buddies had come back from Viet Nam in boxes or with missing parts. So, when I reported, my determination was to enlist, instead of the short, training-to-body-bag soldier mill. I was offered a military intelligence job that was pitched in a way that it couldn’t be turned down, then headed for 4 years on a long, multi-destination path, getting a complete education in the cultures, experiences and entanglements possible on this globe. Japan, Southeast Asia and several US installations, that were almost as foreign to me, were on that path.

I arrived at my sixth and final post in Southern Germany, a very tired and burned out young man, with a wife and a baby girl. To learn another language or adapt to another culture had absolutely no allure. I worked, doted over my daughter as she turned a year old and played tourist with a group of friends whose common bond had nothing to do with the life of a follower of Jesus.

Late one night, after a no-win battle with my superiors, plus some seismic relational rifts with my wife, I sat at the dining table alone, in the dark, the girls sleeping soundly. There, I gathered my entire life in a pile and took inventory, looking, I suppose, for value in anything other than that tiny sleeping almost-one-year-old in the other room.

The unavoidable conclusion was that there could not possibly be anything any more completely shameful and humiliating than being a member of the human race. I’d seen all that Man is capable of and participated in more of it than I could bear. I left my self piled on the table to be taken out with tomorrow’s garbage and stepped across the little picket fence that marked the boundary of this world’s definition of sanity.

Lying in my room on the psych floor of the military hospital in Munich, I heard a familiar voice. No, though they were giving me more drugs than I’d ever taken before, I was not hallucinating. I recognized the voice of my childhood friend. Jesus said, “Terry, I know how you feel. I’ve seen everything Man has ever done. And I’m deeply hurt by that too. But I want you to see the difference in our response to that painful truth. You have decided not to be a human being, and I chose to become one.

He then showed me a single candle-flame burning in the darkness and flooded me with how He feels toward human beings. I was drowning in a passion that instantly eclipsed my own disgust and humiliation. It filled my emptied shell of a soul and plunged me into fathomless depths of love that I could have never imagined.

“Now, Terry, what would you like to do? Which will you choose?”

I had discovered the only rational reason to be a human being. His. From that day, He is my sanity. “Where else would I go? Jesus, You alone have the words of life.”

INTRODUCTION

“Those who love me, do what I say.”
(John 6:63, 8:51-52, 12:47, 14:15-23, 15:7, :10, :14, :20)

Well, what does He say, then?  And what did He mean for me to hear when I hear Him say it?
What DOES He say about – ______________? Fill in the blank with the burning question that needs an answer in your life right now.  Not a religious question, but the daily-life issue that comes up every time you look into the mirror or lay your head down to sleep. Jesus was not only the one who created human beings, He also became one of us so that He could be our undisputed Authority on being a normal one, on being the real me.

When He walked the dusty trails of Judea, sat on the Mount of Olives and stood in a boat on the shore of Galilee, the Words He spoke were not high-sounding religious rhetoric.  He spoke the tangible, visual straight talk, the street-Hebrew of the common, Israeli worker. [- contrary to the traditionally accepted fallacy that He spoke Aramaic. Later discoveries dispelled that, but the roots go deep, especially it seems, of long-held presumption.]  Those is the people He came to speak to and, if we can step down into who we really are and look up to Him, we too are the ones who will hear His Words clearly.

Today His Words are still “Spirit and Life.” [John 6:63] He is right there and speaks those words directly and personally to you as you read them. He put them down in His Book specifically for you and if you are really listening, they will truly be a “lamp unto your feet.”[Ps 119:105] Not in some ambiguous, religious idea, but in the practical, daily living in Him.

As we discover the words of Jesus together, the most important question to keep in view is, ”What is Jesus saying to ME?”  Push the clutter of religious cliché and christianeze back to the walls. Open your mind and the ears of your heart. Ask Him to cleanse the Temple of your heart, mind & body and welcome Him to the center of your concentrated attention. Practice hearing Him unfold His perspective and show you the personal application of living Truth to who you are right now. Be alert and listen closely to what you hear Him speak specifically to you. Then determine to do whatever is necessary to press toward Him, no matter what you have to discard.

My quest, as I embarked on my personal narrative journey through Matthew, a Hebrew disciple, reporting to Hebrews, the truth of the Hebrew messiah, was to discover, via as much as I could learn of Hebrew Thought and culture, rather than the traditional Greek Thought2, what Yeshua meant when He spoke and what His Hebrew disciples heard when He spoke. The two classical methods of thought, the way concepts are processed, are very distinct from each other. Due to the New Testament’s birth date and purpose, “into all the world,” it was, of course, translated into Greek, the common trade-language of the world. BUT, the language of it writers was exclusively Hebrew, whose method of thought was classic Hebrew Thought. Over 40+ years of reading and studying through God’s Book, I began to realize that at the core of the goal to be immersed in His Life, His Reality is the perception of His meaning in the concepts He reveals. I slowly grew weary of reading the Greek names of the principle characters of the Book because they never would have called each other by those names, even as they were receiving the unction of the Spirit to write the revelations that make up His Book, and frankly, a little suspicious that the crux of what He was saying to me was somehow restrained, especially when I read through the Amplified Version and discovered more facets of meaning, even from the Greek. Come with me in this last section of Matthew’s account of the Best News Ever. You’ll be so glad you did!

Father, bless us as we study Your Words together and give us courage to step through the thresholds they call us through.

1 THE LANGUAGE OF JESUS Douglas Hamp
Hebrew Thought compared with Greek Thought

NOW–GO

Matthew 28:9-10, 16-20

[With this last passage in Matthew’s account, especially targeted for Israel, I want to give a little taste and feel of the Hebrew context, reading from the COMPLETE JEWISH BIBLE © 1998 by David H. Stern, where at least the pivotal words and names are in the language that was actually spoken and articulated in the flow from Hebrew Thought, by a Hebrew scholar.]

9-10 Suddenly Yeshua [Jesus] met them and said, “Shalom!” [peace] They came up and took hold of his feet as they fell down in front of him. Then Yeshua said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go and tell my brothers to go to the Galil [Galilee region], and they will see me there.”

16-20 So the eleven talmidim [disciples] went to the hill in the Galil where Yeshua had told them to go. When they saw him, they prostrated themselves before him; but some hesitated. Yeshua came and talked with them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make people from all nations into talmidim, immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh [Holy Spirit – Breath of God], and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember! I will be with you always, yes, even until the end of the age.”

By this time, having gone through Matthew’s record of Jesus’ Reality written to a very self-obsessed, stiff-necked people [sound vaguely familiar?], your personal affinities may not be as strong a liability as they were before you began. So, hopefully, you will be less likely to react negatively to the Hebrew words and may actually be compelled to look into their definitions. You may even be excited to hear and say the pivotal names as they are spoken in the language Jesus and His talmidim [disciples] actually spoke. To know our roots as one of Yeshua’s Body Parts, adds meaning and passion to our participation with the One who has been given “All authority in Heaven and on earth.” His authority is the Cornerstone and Foundation from which He discloses His disciples’ full-time, all-consuming occupation. “Therefore,” we will unpack each element with an eye on Mark’s account of this directive so we can know exactly what Jesus is telling US to do.

Therefore,

Jesus sets down the declarative and then, based on that, issues a directive to those who recognized the foundational truth of that declarative and therefore would be determined to carry it out.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” All authority is a lot. That would mean that whatever His wishes and commands, they would definitely be followed. It stands to reason that those who had witnessed His death and resurrection, the miracles that He performed, as well as His passion for the Father’s will and zeal to complete the Work He was sent to do, would be eager to hear and follow Jesus’ orders.

Go…
There’s “Go into… as Mark 16:15 reads but, the “Go” of the Great Commission is first “out,” then “through.” So, there’s more action being called for. “Go throughout,” is how the Complete Jewish Bible reads.

When in conversation about Jesus’ powerful closing directive, one of my astute Brothers*, a student of Torah, immediately pointed to Hebrews 13:11-13 for insight into what might immediately come into the Jewish mind when they consider “Go”:

For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. [NKJ]

 For the cohen hagadol [high priest] brings the blood of animals into the Holiest Place as a sin offering, but their bodies are burned outside the camp. So too Yeshua suffered death outside the gate, in order to make the people holy through his own blood. Therefore, let us go out to him who is outside the camp and share his disgrace. [CJB]

* Jeff Lams

Go outside the camp,” outside the city walls, outside yourself, your dogma, your interpretation of what a Christian or a pastor is or what you are. The Fire in which Jesus will immerse me, is outside the camp, burning now. He is always calling us out of what we think we know, out into fresh vistas of His reality – “Come to me,” He says to all of us – to expand our grasp and application of what He is making us.

In Heaven’s perspective, you have already physically gone out. You are physically where His design has prescribed. You probably are not doing what you are designed to do, but you’re where you’re designed to it. Only after going outside your mental-emotional camp to Him will you understand what His personal “go” really means, because you then will see His heart and learn that He puts you where He wants to be, so He can do what He wants to do and He, a unique facet of Himself, can be what He wants to be, in you.

Many call this the Great Commission. Indeed, that is exactly what it is. But let me urge you to get your definitions and perspective from Jesus; from His full life and message, rather than from sound-byte punch lines, get-to-work!, motivational presentation or bumper-sticker dogma. That is my strong recommendation in regard to any subject. Get to know Him. He’s alive and more capable of communicating His Truth than anyone else. He’s also right there with you. All you have to do is turn from browsing the world’s insights and read His Word, listen to what He says to you and then reply openly, with your whole heart, mind and strength.

To the one who thinks they are unable to read straight through God’s Book – Just do it. He’ll help you if you ask. It is quite doable. It is the Seed. It is One being, spelled out in all the words necessary, lived out in all the lives necessary for His plan to be accomplished. Swallow it whole first, before “studying.” To see the reason why that is important, ponder this with me for a moment. The Word was made flesh. [John 1:14] The same Word by which, all of Creation was spoken into existence, became a human being. The Word is a person, a whole person. The Word, God’s Word, is not a library of indexed and separate sayings and ideas to be browsed and selected like a scarf or tie. He is the whole library and He’s living. He is not alone, but One, a person. To know Him is the life we were designed and fitted for and this little Book is Him in capsule. He is meant to be taken regularly – whole.

NOW–GO, MAKE
Matthew 28:9-10, 16-20

To make form or create.

God has exclusive prerogative to create, but has graciously extended that activity to include us as He continues His creative process. We have some pretty specific information about how He creates. He designs and speaks His Design into physical existence. That is the origin of all that we see and know about. He spoke something, out of nothing, into existence, formed that raw material according to His Design, He then breathed life into the sculpture He spoke into existence. He designs, speaks and breathes.

It is the fundamental requirement for discovery, that we dig right down to the lowest foundation and make sure we build our understanding from there, referring back to the base, all along the expedition. God designed; then spoke the Cosmos [beautiful order] into existence – out of nothing. [Heb 11:3] “Let there be…” He made Man from the dust of the earth and breathed life into Him. Basic raw material is created and then molded into whatever the potter designs. In the illustration God gave Jeremiah, the design was marred in the Potter’s hand [Jeremiah 18]. Yes, the proto design had the potential to be corrupted, because of a specific faculty inherent in being “made in the image of God,” namely, volition, or free will. [Genesis 1:26] Fools have concluded, that means the Design is flawed. Not so. That “flaw” adds an attribute uniquely His – thoughtful intentionality. He purposes to do and performs that purpose. All life is intentional – His intention, hard wired, but Man is unique. Man must choose.

Now that scientists have mapped the human genome, we can see the “shadow” [Col 2:17] of the actual spiritual substance and design of Man. That double helix lattice is not the actual spiritual substance, but only the physical machinery (ectoplasmic shadow) of an indestructible physically-equipped spiritual being. The first thoroughly spiritual being equipped with a physical body, with all its faculties and facilities was spoken into existence, formed, then breathed into by Adonai [Lord], the Lord of all His Creation, “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

[For the answer to WHY did Adonai create, form and breathe? take two2 Holy Bibles, with plenty of fresh, pure Water, & see me in the morning.]

To “make disciples,” means to affect a change in the function, focus and force of a person’s volition; to coax someone out of hiding, we could say, to awaken the full function and intention of a person. But it is clear that, God’s way is to affect that change in an isolated individual without ever abrogating their free will. In other words, without coercive domination.1 The purpose of the serpent’s coercive domination1 over the first Man [Genesis 3] was to corrupt the inherent “image” of God’s nature. Of course, that changed the physical DNA2, the shadow of the spiritual creature. The serpent’s goal is clear, to spiritually imprison all future human beings in self-consciousness isolation from the One in whose image they had been made. Through the male’s broken Y-chromosome, every following generation inherited that broken DNA,3 with a dead space where full volition and purpose originally pumped inspiration into the whole being.

Why did the Creator create Man impregnated with His image? He was not creating an animal race for fearful servitude or robotic obedience. He wants to have intentional, intimate, unbroken fellowship. So, to regain that proto consciousness and connection, servitude to self-conscious isolation must be recognized and overcome by the individual volition of Man, for it was through free will [though coerced] that it had been corrupted. The person who has made that transition to a life of attention to God’s original design, with the commitment to overcome the resistance, is called by God, “talmid” [disciple, pupil, student, scholar], plural – “talmidim” [disciples]. Enter: you and me, the gone-out ones, on this mission.

[Please see My Utmost For His Highest Oct 2627 & Nov 2]

The question: How do I Go Out & Make a disciple? What is the specific participation and influence that a talmid is to exert in that essentially reproductive process?

The Cornerstone is in the previous chapter’s message, “go – out of yourself,” the directive form, from my point of view, of, “Come to Me.” That means complete reliance on and absolute trust in Yeshua Ha-Mashiach [Jesus the Messiah (promised, anointed One)]. That reliance and trust includes an ingredient very specifically related to the damage – the broken original relationship and DNA – inflicted by the serpent, which has been passed to every subsequent generation.

Yeshua was not born from the sperm of a human father, Yosef. His Y-chromosome was perfect, as Adam’s had originally been. Jesus was born a whole human being, of flesh and spirit. When He told Nick-at-night [Nicodemus], “You must be born again,” He went on to make His meaning clear. “Physical life can only make physical life. Spirit reproduces spiritual life. You must be born of the Spirit.” That gives an eternal hope to every individual who will renounce, resist and overcome the works of the evil one. The promise is that our indestructible spiritual self can be wrapped in an eternal physical body – plus – a tempered and razor-sharp resolve.

Mark’s gospel comes in handy here –

Mark 16:15-18 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.

Note: Do you get the picture that those miracles are in the normal course of the believer’s day?

Preach the gospel, that is – be the living, breathing announcement, the tidings of great joy –a Son is born! The Son of God, son of Man, the Messiah, He has come!

In the vernacular of the Complete Jewish Bible, “Whoever trusts and is immersed will be saved; whoever does not trust will be condemned.”

And Luke’s account in Acts 1:4-5 – “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit…

  1. 8 – you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

vss. 12-14 – Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Why did they commit themselves to this determined focus and obedience? Only one thing will cause that. They had seen, touched & been touched by Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah! They had personally witnessed His life, His miracles, His death and His resurrection!

You can study and teach all the methods you like, there is still only one way to “make disciples” for Jesus – introduce them to Him, immerse them in Him, then facilitate their interaction with Him and teach them how to practice His new life in their flesh & bone, nuts & bolts, everyday life. There is only One who can live the life that Jesus described – Him, living His life in a willing, dedicated host-body!

That’s why they committed themselves to that determined focus and obedience. That’s the reason anyone in their right mind would commit themself to Him. There is always tangible, physical affects to His physical touch – God’s purpose fulfilled in Jesus, “I in them, you in me and them in us.” God found broken, yet committed people and then…

And then… They heard the Wind and saw the Fire!

To MAKE DISCIPLES – in action:
Please see My Utmost For His Highest – July 9 & 17

Preach, filled with Holy Spirit, acknowledging that Yeshua the Messiah came as a human being from God. 1John4:2

Preach the Word.” 2 Timothy 4:2

You are the message. See what God sees & use every power to live it out-loud. L(ive)OL!

Acts 26:19 – If we lose sight of what God sees, we have forgotten to continually work what we are learning about God out into our fingertips, applying it to our life’s practical challenges.

When circumstances appear too hard, even impossible; will you go on following Jesus? Or, will you stop and begin to question, just because you don’t know where He is going or what He is doing?

He knows where we are going. He is leading. Following Him is the only way to get there. To consciously follow Him is the only source of the deep fulfillment and bone-marrow-joy that you know you were made for.

KEY: Walk this minute in the light He has given you this minute.
Requires simple action: look up at Him, your Cornerstone, your bearing.

Gaining and keeping your bearing, as a disciple maker, requires knowing Him; and knowing Him requires more than a daily dip. It requires being drowned in who He wants to be in this moment, this day, and resurrected to walk through it in Him, He will employ His full functionality in dealing with the specific situations, circumstances and people He has designed in your day, and do it by sending you and walking through them with you.

Our God is a consuming fire. Had your bath today?

1 (see Satan’s Wiles Are Not So Wiley. You can see him coming a mile away.)

2 (New Living Translation & Complete Hebrew Bible)

3 (see Corrupting The Image by Douglas Hamp

 

NOW–GO, MAKE, IMMERSE
Matthew 28:9-10, 16-20

immerse…”

The Greek word here is commonly translated in English versions as “baptize.” However, baptism has come to communicate varied concepts in religious culture, most of which refer to unexplained tradition, which then multiplies the possible inferences to a number roughly equal to the number of people observing the ceremony. But the proto-definitions of the words of God are important because it is His infinite mind, His all-encompassing Truth that is to be conveyed to our minds.

The fear [of misrepresentation/dishonor] of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” [Proverbs 1:7]

Did you get that? OK. What’s the beginning of knowledge?

To make talmidim [disciples] of fallen Man begins with the relentless discipline of intense attention to God’s specific meaning when He speaks. And God said, “Let there be light, and there was light.” [Genesis 1:3]

When God is speaking, He is creating. What He is creating is something specific. Investigating the specific, in HD resolution, begins to open our stodgy minds to this boundless Person and shed light on the meaning of the fathomless insights He desires to share. He daily remodels our minds, giving access to more of all He is. Each morning, He mercifully pours out His Person-ality; fills a bath for us to step into and be completely immersed in the pure atmosphere of Living Water and the Breath He breathes, to infuse our corrupted, isolated Self in the Stew that He has personally prepared for us today. “His mercies and loving kindness are new every morning.” [Lamentations 3:22-23] That Bath, that fiery Alchemy is death to all that is not found in Him, thus healing the very core of Man, which He alone can touch. Our love for Him and utter trust compels us to expectantly lay aside the clothes/self of yesterday and step into that unqualified transformation for the new day.

To be immersed is a foundational element in the work of Redemption, but was only partially understood and applied before Jesus completed it, though illustrated in the Jewish bathing instructions. [see Mikvah] Remember what Johanan the Immerser said, “It is true that I am immersing you in water so that you might turn from sin to God; but the one coming after me is more powerful than I and he will immerse you in the Ruach HaKodesh and in fire.”[Matt 3:11] What is John saying? Exactly what Jesus says in v. 19, “… immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh.

Hold on. John says, “ [the Coming One, Jesus] will immerse…” Jesus says, “[You, my talmadim] will immerse…” Jesus repeatedly teaches and implements this pivotal interchange of personal action from Him to His disciples during His time with them. Then, as if to provide further revelation and training in this completely foreign concept, to self-imprisoned Man, He bushwacks and kidnaps Saul of Tarsus, remodels him and takes him out into the desert. There He opens up the mystery, of making a human mega-Body for Himself, to this young man who, from childhood, had been so immersed in the Word of God that he was likely to be the next super-rabbi. The revelation is, “The Father is in Me – I am in the Father – We come and make our home in you (the remodeled). NOW – you are in Us – I am the Head – you – are my Body Parts. Each Part is endued with an aspect of My manifold Personality and Functionality, distributed over and physically pervading the whole earth. I, in you, the hope of glory.” [Glory in Scripture means direct performance of the unseen God in the tangible, visible, audible universe, which He created for that purpose] That is you and I, if we will but establish the simple habit of coming to Him, living our daily lives with/in Him. We, together, are His physical presence – “The Word, made flesh and walking among” broken human beings, on His mission to talk to them, to tear the veil away which isolates them from the reality of His brand-name Life, lived as His glory.

To IMMERSE – in action:

First – Be the immersion. Having been immersed in what your Life, Jesus, is for this day, He has loaded you with all that He wants to pour into the bath for those He has given you to.

The mind of God is clearly HIS mind and very foreign to our malnourished perception of reality. We must be TAUGHT to apply His mind and make it ours.

1 [For full background, I invite you to look up Mikveh in your browser’s search engine.]

 

NOW–GO, MAKE, IMMERSE, TEACH
Matthew 28:9-10, 16-20

Immersion in water, sealing the personal separation from the world and abandonment to God, is a strong statement to family and acquaintances of the covenant that has been made privately between a soul and God. It is clear, from John the Immerser’s distinction between what he was doing and what Jesus would do, that immersion in water is only a precursor to and public threshold into the sacramental tenet of faith that, “believe and be immersed,” refers to.

All the ecclesiastical wrestling since those words were written in Mark’s gospel is about a question, which could only have existed between the time John began baptizing and Pentecost. They are arguing an issue, among many, that was cleared from the list of unsolved mysteries the day the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) drowned the apostles in the liquid fire of Heaven’s atmosphere. There was no longer any question what Jesus meant by “immersing.” He had given instructions just before they watched Him rise till the clouds obscured their view. The cloud that had obscured their understanding up to that particular Pentecost was suddenly and completely swept away by the Breath of God, a mighty Wind that shook the house and separated to Himself the sacrificial bodies of those obedient talmidim, now abandoned to God for His express agenda for the world.

This is a fitting threshold to hear the admonition to TEACH, because the preparative stage of “to TEACH” is a data-dump; a download of new data, which then requires training to activate verifiable understanding, plus – successful application, which equals – Learning. It is not enough to install a new OS on your computer. There must be someone who has preceded the student in that process and has been given the tools and authority to provide an interactive tutorial, contextually and practically, theory and lab, till the student is proven proficient. The most effective teacher is the one who operates with the understanding that it must be an interactive task with hands-on practice and experimentation. To just go on and on verbally repeating and expounding on the elements of the OS to a listening class can hardly be called Teaching.

These very motivated “students,” the disciples of Jesus, had done exactly what the Teacher instructed them to do – stay, wait. Here comes LAB!

He, who says God gives no explicit instruction, reveals his heedless and willful ignorance. [Anon]

9-10 Suddenly Yeshua met them and said, “Shalom!” They came up and took hold of his feet as they fell down in front of him. Then Yeshua said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go and tell my brothers to go to the Galil, and they will see me there.”

16-20 So the eleven talmidim went to the hill in the Galil where Yeshua had told them to go. When they saw him, they prostrated themselves before him; but some hesitated. Yeshua came and talked with them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make people from all nations into talmidim, immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember! I will be with you always, yes, even until the end of the age.”

teach…

ללמד – 1. Teach 2. Instruct 3. Train 4. Practice 5. Indoctrinate
See Bet Midrash

Actual teaching is very scarce in the current world. It is happening, but it takes deep conviction, creativity and determination to establish it.

“Indoctrination by the illusion of license” is one way I would describe the common practice of “education,” not only in the public schools and universities, but also in churches. In other words, yielding to auditory indoctrination under the illusion that to listen, essentially to bow, to the “teaching” is somehow sufficient to activate the truth articulated. We’ve built our churches like theaters in order to not challenge the illusion of personal sovereignty, even as the “whole counsel of God” is being expounded from the elevated sacred desk. Any genuine, old school educator will tell you that the goal of teaching is learning and that to learn something it must become experience. Otherwise, it never becomes fully verified by practical application. It is profound truth for the teacher to say, “This chemical, mixed with that one will produce an odious billow of smoke.” It is quite another thing to actually mix those chemicals in a beaker and have that choking smoke billow into your face. This is a very good illustration of the description of the mission of the “gifts” God has given to the Body of Christ [Eph 5]. That mission is to build and equip the Saints – for the work of their own specific functions in the ministry Jesus is doing through His flesh-&-blood Body-Parts in a neighborhood close to you. And I don’t mean riding your bike from door-t0-door or brandishing placards that say, “TURN OR BURN!” The goal is to equip and train people to do the work that Jesus gives through them, in the home and the workplace, by His Spirit – with every attribute of His Disposition wholly active, yielded to and facilitated with joy and thanksgiving.

To stand in an elevated pulpit in a theater speaking to people who are only allowed to listen and absolutely not encouraged to interact and openly mix the chemicals at the lab-table and react appropriately to the explosion, may be a lot of things, but it is not “teaching.” Those elevated pulpiteers would quickly discover that truth if they would only risk collecting answers to simple questions about Christian basics, which they have been faithfully “teaching,” as their listeners exit the building on Sunday morning. Instead, we finance elaborate church-growth studies to find out why “the church” is so lethargic; why new, eager Christians are so quickly lukewarm; why so many young depart from faith in God as soon as they enter college.

The answer is as clear as the nose on my face. Every time the double-scalpel of God’s Word is opened, it does surgery on the human heart. With no benefit of closing the incision while still on the surgical table or recovery room re-entry into the world with their new equipment, the patients are dismissed with open incisions and sent home to sew themselves up and try to make sense of why they are developing layer after layer of scar tissue. Why does a congregation become lethargic and apathetic or run from the best News they will ever hear? Clue: Nerve endings are damaged or entrapped by scar tissue.

For the majority of the first Century, the Church was Jewish in nationality and culture, devout lovers of Torah and faithful Synagogue gatherers. Synagogue is the initial model for the Church, not the Theater of the Greek and Roman culture. In Synagogue, everyone was there because everyone was expected to participate in the experiments with the Elements that the Torah put on the Lab-Table. Everyone was seen and heard and all that had been brought to a new, heightened level of engagement by the Blood of the Lamb of God and the power of His resurrection to draw all men into fellowship with Him and with each other! Of course we cannot fathom that, having grown up in the kind of churches common today. Even with the parade of “new” and “novel” twists through the years, it has not wondered very far from the controlled environment of the listening, theatre of Rome or lecture hall of Greece.

On hearing this kind of talk, teaching pastors and church leaders immediately wonder, how can that possibly be a feasible model for today? Well, I’m not the one to ask and neither should they ask church growth “experts.” The one they will have to ask is Jesus. It’s His Church and I’m sure He’s the only one that knows how to grow it so will be functional and fruitful. I can’t tell someone else exactly how He will want to do it in their local Body, but I can guarantee that if they are willing to ask Him with real determination to do what He instructs, He will answer and it will certainly change things. That’s why we are afraid to ask Him

I can with confidence also predict that His instructions will look a lot like GO [out], MAKE, IMMERSE, TEACH & REMEMBER. But, the TEACH will be faithfully bathing Jesus’ Body Parts in His eternal-right-now Word, then guiding and training them to be intimately connected to Jesus and together work that out into the work-a-day, common life He gives them. Guiding them as they become home for His nature, His wisdom, His instructions to those He wants to live in and bless through them. Equipping the saints for the work of the ministry means immersing them in everything Jesus is and training them to apply who He is to every situation, every conversation, every relationship in the daily life He lays out for them. It means training them to GO out of themselves and MAKE disciples for Jesus, IMMERSING them in everything they’ve come to know about Him and TEACHING, helping them to surrender their body for His agenda in the lives He has put them with, while remembering He is always close. In fact He is right there in intimate fellowship in them using their bodies and involving them in work He wants to do in the lives of those he connects them to.

The world’s marketing schemes and bright ideas cannot reproduce that kind of multiplication and coordinated function, nor can they stop it! The final Key to being a functional part of that ever flowing, perpetually fruitful work of God is REMEMBER. Practice remembering that Jesus is right there in you and that it is His work He has enlisted you for. You are one in the millions of His Flesh & Blood Body Parts He is alive and at home in, around the world, holding the planet, wooing it to Himself. Each one of us is carrying a particular facet of His limitless personality, moving in sync with the other parts. He is HUGE! It was His master plan to “shed abroad,” to distribute Himself in human beings abandoned to Him, to serve at His pleasure, now and forever. How many people do you think it would take to express all that He is? All of them, PLUS!
NOWGO, MAKE, IMMERSE, TEACH & REMEMBER
Matthew 28:9-10, 16-20

Jesus’ last specific instruction was REMEMBER. Like the previous instructions, Jesus had completely expanded and revised the whole concept. WHAT could be remembered, yes, but a completely new and Creative HOW it can be remembered, is given. Remembrance of the miraculous events would be impossible to delete from their minds, blind eyes opened, lepers cleansed, the dead raised to life. The list would go on and on. One of them said, “The books needed to record it all would fill the whole world!” Those events were etched eternally in their audio, visual and emotional memories. Jesus would not need to say, and therefore, would not say, “Remember all that you’ve seen me do.” They will never forget a single detail of what they saw Him do. No, He said, “Always remember, I am with you.” That puts into context, “As often as you do this [eat & drink], do it in remembrance of me.

The HOW, the nature of that remembrance is the completely new Creation. “Behold!” is the actual meaning of the word translated “Remember.” So, “Pay attention!” Yochanan ben-Zavdai [John son of Zebedee] remembers Jesus going into detail about that in chapter 14-17 of his testimony. “In a little while the world will no longer see Me. But you will see Me. The Father is sending the Spirit of Truth to you and He will remind you and teach you all that I have said to you. I will not leave you orphans. I am coming to you. I will be in you. I’m leaving you my Shalom.”

So, “REMEMBER” is actually, “Practice, make a habit of, being aware that I’m never absent from you and being engaged in Our fellowship as the Holy Spirit teaches and trains you how to apply everything I’ve told you. We, then, together, will get done what we were meant to accomplish by our combined, flesh-and-blood presence, relationships and actions.”

A pivotal component of REMEMBERING God, is the understanding of faith, or trust, in Him, as revealed in His Book and imparted by Him. The human compulsion to categorize types of circumstances and events as being from God or Satan or human initiation is a delusional, regressive mutation, and has no part with God’s fully revealed and precisely articulated definition, of faith. Human beings are broken and, by definition, have no discernment of reality outside of being completely dependent upon the sovereign creativity of God and the infinite, all-encompassing knowledge of His mind. He is absolutely, the ONLY source of ANYTHING you come in contact with – mentally, spiritually or physically!

I’m sure we can, by a short review of human history, eventually come to an agreement that it is completely irrational to suppose that Man could be the creative source of anything, anywhere. On the other hand, there seems to be a more formidable barrier to agreement with the fact that Satan absolutely DOES NOT possess creative power, except in the grand fantasy of his own dementia. The devil is NOT an equal and opposite competitor of God. The devil, the serpent, is a creature, a created being, created by God’s Word, Who is the only Creative One. Anything or anyone disguised as sovereignly creative is a liar, the slave of the father of all lies, who cannot tell the truth, except as a cloak to obfuscate a lie and assist its penetration into the heart of a simpleton. You might intellectually agree with those statements, but you may display your real belief by falling for the seduction to categorize circumstances and events, giving credit to the devil for something God did. That’s deadly, according to Jesus. He said there is one unforgiveable breach of faith – ascribing to the devil what God is doing. How does someone distinguish between the acts of God and the acts of the devil? To answer that, you must answer a preliminary question. Whose criteria are used? I can hear the guess-and-fake-it philosophical argument for the supposed “logic,” “God is good, right? The devil is bad, right? So, the good stuff is obviously God’s doing and the bad stuff is the devil’s doing. Sounds right enough… until you read God’s Book and find out God is God, even of the definition of “GOOD.” This may be over-simplification, but hasn’t God used a RED LIGHT in your life just as many times as He’s used a GREEN LIGHT? It’s possible that if you are honest and your memory is “good,” you’ll probably be able to count more RED LIGHTS than GREEN.

The trustworthy promise He is fulfilling every minute of every day – He is “working ALL THINGS together for the “good” of those who love Him.” ALL is a big little word. So, let’s summarize:

  • Nothing is created by the devil.
    • Satan can only add a deluding lie to the creativity of God.
  • God has created everything
    • And He is working it all together for the good of those who love Him
  • So, my job is to REMEMBER
    • To see ALL things as from His hand whatever they are.
  • Don’t give the devil credit for something he is not even remotely capable of.
    • Discover the continuity of God’s working all things together.
  • That will lift our eyes to see the good thing He is creating… and,
    • What He starts, He finishes!

“REMEMBER” is therefore the verification of being on course, looking up and aligning with the Cornerstone everything that is being built. It is truly a beautiful life He gives us who love Him so much that we live entirely for His pleasure. We never have to guess and fake anything. He is with us, and He is the answer to every question, the Way, the Truth, the Life, “Don’t be troubled, I’M RIGHT HERE!!”

As you read these words, if you sense that they are spoken directly to you, you may have already responded positively to Jesus’ underlying call, “Come to Me.” Now, if you do choose to accept the Commission, your orders have been made clear. But it is all His work, so, for the orders to be understood and activated, there is a specific preparation required. Wait, optimally with others that are accepting the Commission, and you will be given a complete install and launch of a new Operating System. The OS is installed so that God’s own Personality can be fully functional and in sync with Himself in the others who have accepted the Commission. The OS will equip and train you so that He can bring that good work in us to completion.

CONCLUSION

It is His life and His purpose, alive in my body, going and doing what He originally designed me for – FOREVER. What does that look like? It looks like you, unexceptional, normal you, loyally doing what He daily puts in your hands to do and, with contentment, engaging and interacting with whatever happens, knowing that He has designed it all for infinite layers of purpose, which you will only perceive as He opens your understanding.

If you are seeking guidelines for hands-on action, you may say, “So, where does the “making” begin?” Let me be defibrillator-paddle clear here – Jesus abhors flesh-hook theatrics and emotionally charged coercion under the guise of “the work of the Spirit.” “You can say whatever you will about me and be forgiven, but misrepresenting the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven.” It is a very lucrative business, but deadly to all who attribute it to the Ruach HaKodesh.

The tool in the Holy Spirit’s hand is that unpretentious, humble life described above. That is the most powerful expression of the life of Jesus in a human being. I wonder if you can connect that with “making disciples” and lose the mind-set that looks to be someone with an office, on staff at a church or a conference speaker with the title that suggests “Disciple Maker.” That is prevalent because we want to be significant to people and be able to tabulate our success so we can use that record to market our ministry. Being in a vital, passionate, transforming relationship with Jesus every day will express itself in every thing you say and do. The Spirit will touch and love and heal the people He puts you with because of your ever-deepening love for Jesus. Every conversation you have with Him will be always fresh and ready, audibly on your lips and visibly, tangibly in your bearing, your walk and your work. Not so much because you decided, “That is the method, so I will work at exhibiting that,” but because He is really that good and He’s blowing your mind with intimate insights that completely remodel your life every day! That’s preaching most fruitful because it is, not just a king, but the King wielding His influence and authority to affect human beings.

Tabulating and tracking success, using it for marketing, is not part of this picture. That is not just because it is crass and unacceptable behavior in the face of the Almighty, Sovereign King. I hope that would be enough reason to avoid it, but the primary reason is this: Since we are completely engaged and taken up in active personal interaction with the King Himself, we would be the last one to even notice, as if it would be to our credit. What He wants to do will explode through our open, physical presence, because He is presenting a live, not archived or holographic, projection of what He’s doing in the person He is giving us to. If He is being glorified in me, He will be glorified through me, with or without my consciousness of it. He is the One performing His/my will – His/my creativity – His/my fruit – His/my joy – mine, because it is His. In light of the explosion required to blast human beings out of their pet prisons, my best action is to get in Him and out of the way.

Here is understanding of “make,” worth remembering: “God is a consuming fire and people naturally gather round to watch me burn.” I believe it was DL Moody who said that.

May I urge you, once again, get your definitions and perspectives from Jesus; from the full scope of His life and message, rather than from sound-byte marketing. Get to know Him. He’s alive and more capable of communicating His Truth than anyone else. He’s also right there with you. All you have to do is turn from browsing the world’s purported knowledge and just read His Word. Simply enter the data into that incredible computer brain of yours. Swallow it whole, before you “study” it. Listen and talk back to Him when He speaks to you. When you are with others, answer Him openly in their hearing. That will greatly encourage them to step out of the liar’s lair and be a functional, fruitful part of His Body.