INTRODUCTION The Missionary Nature of God 3rd Quarter Lesson
In the first paragraph the lesson quotes Jesus, “All authority has been given Me in heaven and earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:18-20)
What does it mean? Let’s break it down point by point:
Who are disciples?
Followers willing to be taught, to learn and apply what they learn to their lives.
What is baptism?
Is it a ritual or something else? It is about dunking in water, or about immersing the mind/heart into God?
What does “in the name” mean?
Is it about syllables? Or, is it about character?
What does observe mean?
To keep certain holidays, feast days? Or does it mean to live in harmony with God’s design?
What did Jesus command?
To love—but can love be commanded? Then why did He do it?
So what is the message that the disciples of Jesus are to learn, assimilate into their lives, immerse others in and observe?
Is it not the truth about God’s character of love, kingdom of love, methods of love, design protocols of love that life is constructed to operate upon?
Here is MT 28:18-20 from The Remedy:
Then Jesus walked up to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19So go and spread the Remedy to the entire world, teach the people of every nation, immersing their hearts and minds into the character and methods of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit,20 and teach them to live in harmony with the law of love, the design
protocols upon which life is built, exactly as I have instructed you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, all the way, right through to the very end of time.”
Is this the way you think of the gospel commission?
Or do we have some other idea?
Is the gospel commission to get people to join a certain denomination? Is it to get them to change their lifestyle (aren’t there many health-conscience people that have no interest in God?)
Is it about getting people to worship on a certain day?
What is the gospel commission?
Read second paragraph, “It’s not hard…” When you hear the first of the three angel’s messages, what do you hear?
What is the war between good and evil center upon?
The truth about God (2Cor 10:3-5)
Who is the one who has been accused of being unjust and untrustworthy? God!
Who did Paul say would win his day in court? God! (Rom 3:4)
So, what is the final message to go to the world?
Would it not be the good news about God, that allows people to make a right judgment about him so they can be saved?
Here is Rev 14:6-8 from The Remedy:
Then I saw another messenger flying in midair, and he had the eternal good news about God’s character of love to proclaim to everyone living on earth, to every nation, tribe, language and people, which represents a movement of people who arise to proclaim the truth about God’s character of love throughout the world.7He said in a clear resounding voice, “Be in awe of God, and glorify him by living his methods of love, because the hour has come for everyone to make a judgment about God and worship the Designer, Creator and Builder who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and springs of water, all of which operate upon his law of love.”
Where do we find ourselves now in God’s plan?
Does God have a plan for His people to be missionaries in the world today?
If so, what is the message we are to be taking to the world?
We often hear things like the “remnant of God,” what message are they to take to the world?
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Who is the dragon? Satan
Who is the woman? God’s people, the true church invisible
Who is the remnant? The end time people who remain true to God
What does keep the commandments of God mean? Live in harmony with God’s design for life, His law.
What is the testimony of Jesus that they have?
At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Rev 19:10
What is the spirit of prophecy? One interpretation of this phrase is, an institution in which one member of that institution was blessed with a particular gift of the spirit, called the gift of prophecy.
I think that particularly interpretation misdirects our focus and our message away from the central issue in the war, which is about God, and subtly directs our attention toward putting a church institution at the center. 2000 years ago a group of people were God’s chosen on earth to fulfill a mission of evangelizing the world for Christ’s first advent.
They were blessed with many members who had the gift of prophecy. And this caused them to think of themselves as special, elite, and caused them to believe it was essential, above all else, that their nation survive. Thus, putting their institution at the center, Caiaphas said,
“What fools you are! 50Don’t you realize that it is better for you to let one man die for the people, instead of having the whole nation destroyed?” Jn 11:49,50
If we interpret the phrase “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” to mean a single person, now deceased, who was gifted with the gift of prophecy, do we subtly shift the focus where Scripture does not actually lead? (Note, I am not questioning at all whether the gift of prophecy was manifested in a person or not. The Jewish nation clearly had many prophets, yet it did not protect them from, as a nation, choosing institutional loyalty over loyalty to God.)
Here is Rev 19:10 from the Good News Translation:
I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “Don’t do it! I am a servant together with you and with your fellow-believers, all those who hold to the truth that Jesus revealed. Worship God!” For the truth that Jesus revealed is what inspires the prophets.
Does this suggest another meaning?
What truth would it be that Jesus revealed that would have inspired the prophets? What is the central issue in the war?
Who is on trial?
What is the truth Jesus said He came to reveal?
Here it is from The Remedy:
I was so overwhelmed with awe I fell down to honor him, but he told me, “Don’t honor me! I am a fellow worker on God’s team with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony Jesus revealed about his Father. Give honor to God and worship him! For the testimony Jesus gave about his Father is the same as that which inspired the prophets.”
What is our mission as missionaries today? Is it not to present the truth about God, first, last and always? Here is a quote from one of the founders of our church:
“It is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world. Men are losing their knowledge of His character. It has been misunderstood and misinterpreted.
At this time a message from God is to be proclaimed, a message illuminating in its influence and saving in its power. His character is to be made known. Into the darkness of the world is to be shed the light of His glory, the light of His goodness, mercy and truth…The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is the revelation of His character of love.” Christ’s Object Lessons, p.415
Is this the message we are taking to the world, or instead, have we also taken a dictator god to the world, a god who imposes laws and imposes rules, only telling people we know his true rules and you have a wrong set of rules, come keep the rules we have?