MATTHEW 28:19 and 20:
“ . . . TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU . . .”?
A spiritual Christian will practice what he preaches. He should not condemn his fellow- Christian for not preaching the so-called Great Commission for this day of grace unless he is sure that He himself is practicing as well as preaching the observance of all things whatsoever Christ, on earth, had commanded His disciples. “All things” does not mean “some things” or “most things”. When the Lord said “all things” He meant “all things”. Included in the “all things”, the Lord taught His disciples: “Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.” Luke 6:30.
A very lovely Christian gentleman in Chicago, a lawyer by profession, is a very severe critic of those who do not teach and preach the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19 and 20. He condemns his fellow Christians unmercifully. He has written a book against them. And by the way, instead of obeying Matthew 10:8, “freely (for nought) ye have received, freely (for nought) give,” he wilfully disobeys that commandment of the “all things” and asks the people to send 25 cents for his printed message. He doesn’t intend to be inconsistent, but all Christians are, when they take his position with respect to the Great Commission. But as a lawyer, and a real conscientious just man, as he is, what advice would he give to a Christian whose goods had been taken away, and who sought his services in an endeavor to recover them? He would say “ask them not again”.
Now, I am going to send a copy of this message to this spiritual man of God, this man who has publicly condemned me because I do not agree with his interpretation of Scriptures, and my appeal is that he give me $100.00, or more if he is able. To be consistent, if he really practices what he preaches, he will not alibi: he will send me that money. Could any commandment of Christ be more clearly presented than this one: “Give to him that asketh thee”? When I receive the gift from this beloved brother, I will publicly acknowledge receipt and present another of the “all things” for his obedience.
How can our brother honestly and conscientiously represent his clients, under the law of Illinois, and obey Matthew 5:40, “if any man will SUE thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also?”
I can prove, by competent witnesses, that this inconsistent Christian lawyer does not obey Matthew 5:25, “agree with thine adversary quickly.”
Of course you understand I am not condemning this brother for his inability, or unwillingness, or neglect, in the matter of disobeying or ignoring these commandments; but simply calling his attention to a little lesson about the beam and the mote. Matthew 7:3 to 5. Perhaps he is trying to be honest. Then the answer must be, “ignorance” of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s method of interpretation.
How can a Christian carry a bank balance or buy houses and lots in the light of Acts 2:45 and Acts 4:34?
I would like to ask this dear brother how much time he spends at the morgue in the deathchamber or at the cemetery, practicing what he wants God’s servants to preach in this day of grace, “raise the dead”. Matthew 10:8. This is not sarcasm. This is simply a reply to his ungracious, unspiritual, unjust criticisms and condemnation of other Christian brethren who disagree with him as to the place of the commission of Matthew 28:19 and 20. He brands as “higher-critical”, “ultra-dispensational”, “heretical”, those who do not agree with him concerning the Great Commission. Included in the noble servants of the Lord who fall under our brother’s anathema, so far as the Matthew Commission is concerned, are Dr. James M. Gray, Dr. A. C. Gaebelein, Dr. Wm. L. Pettingill, Mr. John Darby, and many others. Our brother should more prayerfully meditate and hesitate before bringing his charges against men whose ministries have been so fruitful.
These servants are, or were, “grace” preachers. They would not tell a rich man to “sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor”, to be saved. Luke 18:22. They should not tell a sinner to “strive (agonize) to enter in at the straight gate.” (Luke 13:24). They would preach, “to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace but of debt.” “By grace are ye saved, through faith—not of works.”
Remember the words of the Commission, “teaching them to observe ‘all things’ which I have commanded you.” Where would our lawyer friend be; where would I be; where would you be; if we were governed by Matthew 18:34 and 35, instead of by Ephesians 4:32, “be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ’s sake, hath forgiven you.” and Colossians 2:13, “you, hath He made alive, having forgiven you all trespasses.”
Now, compare with Matthew 18:34 and 35: “The Lord wroth—delivered debtor to the tormentors till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my Heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every brother their trespasses.” This dear brother should rejoice with me that He is not with Jesus under the law, obeying the Scribes and Pharisees in “Moses”‘ seat (Matthew 23:1 to 3), but under the reign of grace, or he would land in the hands of tormentors for what he is doing to God’s faithful servants. Is our brother disobedient, dishonest, or ignorant when he claims that he is teaching and practicing the “all things” which the Son of God, “under the law” (Galatians 4:4, Romans 15:8), sent only to the lost sheep of Israel (Matthew 15:24) taught in connection with the kingdom of heaven which was at hand? Let him answer concerning some of these “all things”
1. Jesus was circumcised when He was 8 days old.
2. Jesus’ custom was to worship in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Luke 4:16.
3. Jesus kept the feasts of the Jews. John 7:10, Matthew 26:17.
4. He instructed men to take a Jewish offering to the priest. Matthew 8:4.
5. Leave your gift at the altar. Matthew 5:24.
6. Sell that ye have, and give alms. Luke 12:33.
7. Jesus gave the loaves and fishes to his disciples to distribute. 5000 hungry were well fed. 12 baskets of fragments. John 6:1 to 13. “Greater works than these shall he do”. John 14:12.
8. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Matthew 10:8. And Peter obeyed,:—“sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits; and they were healed EVERY ONE.” Acts 5:16.
9. “Also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.” Matthew 21:21.
10. Take NOTHING for your journey Neither have TWO coats apiece. Luke 9:3.
11. Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth. Matthew 6:19.
12. Seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink. Luke 12:29.
13. Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. Luke 12:22.
14. Take therefore no thought for the morrow. Matthew 6:34.
15. He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none, and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Luke 3:11.
16. Under Matthew 28:19 and 20 the disciple is obligated to observe “all things”. If he observes 10-11-12-13-14-15 above, has he the authority of Christ to carry lifeinsurance, to put up fruit for the winter, speculate for profit, carry a bank balance, worry about an income, have two coats so long as a fellow-man is without one?
17. Love ye your enemies and lend, hoping for nothing again. Luke 6:35.
18. “They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.”
19. Peter walked on the water. Matthew 14:29. Peter saw Moses and Elijah in a vision. Matthew 17:4. Peter drew in the net full of fish. Luke 5:6.
20. “Ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” John 13:14.
I ask for your decision. Is a brother consistent who condemns fellow-Christians for not practicing commandments which he makes no attempt to observe? I trust our dear brother will see our difficulty and why we would prefer to suffer his anathema, sarcasm and insult, rather than follow his inconsistencies. We accept every blessed truth that our dear Lord spoke on earth, and desire to practice all that is compatible with Romans 6:14, II Corinthians 5:16 and II Timothy 2;15.
We would like to ask this dear brother, if the Lord Jesus, in giving either the keys of the kingdom to Peter, or the Great Commission to the Eleven, gave to them the gospel of the uncircumcision revealed to Paul years later (Galatians 1:11 and 12 and Galatians 2:7 to 9), or the ministry of reconciliation, (II Corinthians 5:17 to 21), or the “dispensation of the grace of God for Gentiles.” Ephesians 3:1 to 6. The answer is Matthew 15:24, Matthew 10:5 to 8.
Is it not profound ignorance, in the light of these revelations to Paul, to teach that either Matthew 28:19 and 20, Acts 1:6 or Mark 16:14 to 18 were the last commissions given by Christ; or, in the light of II Timothy 2:2 and II Timothy 4:1 to 14, to say that the preachers of the “grace” gospel today have no orders or authority later than the commissions given by Jesus to the ministers of the circumcision? (Galatians 2:7 to 9). Where is the true servant of the Lord today who preaches faith and baptism for salvation, and has the signs following? Mark 16:14 to 18. Surely our brother places a big premium on ignorance. We cannot follow his stupidity. Who would preach to Gentiles, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, “bring forth fruit worthy of repentance”? Luke 3:8. Certainly no intelligent servant of the Lord would tell a man to bring forth any kind of fruit until he received the Holy Spirit, by whom fruit is produced. The dead sinner must first be made alive by grace. Ephesians 2:1 and Ephesians 2:6. Two Gentiles received blessings from Christ on earth, because of “great faith”, Matthew 15:21 to 27, Luke 7:1 to 10. In Paul’s gospel any kind of a Gentile was blessed with all spiritual blessings because of God’s great love. Ephesians 2:4. What a difference! God says distinguish between things that differ. Philippians 1:10. (Gr.)
We would ask our brother to carefully study Acts 14:27 and Romans 11:30 and Ephesians 3:8 and Acts 20:24, to learn about “Gentile salvation” and see how Paul could have worked under the “baptizing them”, in Matthew 28:19 and 20, when he plainly declared “Christ sent me not to baptize.” I Corinthians 1:17.
As to the gifts of I Corinthians 12:8 to 11, “healing”, “miracles”, “discerning of spirits”, “tongues” and “interpretation of tongues”, our lawyer-Bible-teacher will acknowledge that he has none of these gifts, although they are particularly mentioned as belonging to the most carnal Church of Paul’s day. The saints at Corinth were defrauding one another. They were walking as men. There was utterly a fault among them. They were ungracious, unkind, censorious, and even cruel toward Paul. But they had all the gifts. So those gifts were not present because of a high spiritual standard and practice. Neither are they absent today because of the lack of spiritual Christians. They are not to be found among the most spiritual. There must be a dispensational explanation of the absence of certain sign-gifts found in the Church at Corinth. We have that explanation. Our brother will only continue to encourage and abet the awful fanaticism and delusions of Pentecostalists and fake healers.
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.