By Oscar M. Baker
The apostles were given a commission in Mark 16:15-20. That was just before the ascension of the Lord, and He tells these apostles what they were to do. He told them to go unto all the world and preach the Gospel. Now a lot of people would immediately take it that this meant that they were to preach to both Jew and Gentile in all the world. But when you look at it closely and see what they did, you can see that this commission in Mark 16 is for them to preach to Jews only. They were to preach to Jews that were scattered in all the nations; and that's the reason why they were to go out unto all the nations and bring the good news of the Messiah that has come, and of the coming kingdom to every Jew on the face of the earth.
Now that was their commission, and they did this for it tells us in v.20 that they went everywhere and preached this, and that signs followed which were promised. These signs were to be an attestation that what they were speaking was the truth, and that these were the true apostles of the risen and ascended Lord. Now these signs that were to follow would be casting out of devils (demons), speaking in tongues, taking up of serpents, drinking any poisonous thing without harm, and to raise the sick. In this particular commission given here we do not have that they were to raise the dead. And it is not exactly sure if any of the 12 ever did raise any dead folks. There is an instance of Peter raising up a girl who was in a comma (if you'll read the Greek word very carefully, that she was sleeping and not dead). However, Paul, the 13th apostle, and not part of the 12, did raise a young man from the dead by the name of Eutychus (Acts 20: 9&10).
Now these signs did follow, and the apostles finished that course, that commission which was given them to do. There is nothing in the Bible about anybody taking up that commission that was given to them to do, and do it, excepting the 12. So I just can't understand why people today would think that the 12 didn't finish what was given them to do there, and that they have to go on and do it too. How foolish people can be, denying the fact that these did what they were told to do, and had finished, and the signs followed. I CAN'T SEE WHY PEOPLE CAN'T BELIEVE THAT!
Now there is another commission given, and I suppose that some have that in the back of their minds; you find that in Matthew 28:18-20. But it's an entirely different commission from this one in Mark 16. It has nothing about signs following. In fact it does not have anything to do with signs because it is not in the time of the signs.
[Taken from a T.F.T. Radio Tape. To be continued.]
In Heavenly Places
Creation, as we know it, is made up of three elements; time, space, and matter. God, in His essence, is not subject to any of these. He is now measured by time, confined by space, or limited to matter. So we cannot locate God, tell how old He was, or know any form He may have assumed before the creation.
But in the beginning He created the heavens and the earth. The Creator had taken on a visible form to create and later on walked in the garden in Eden with Adam.
There is a location, a place (for want of better words), outside the Kosmos or creation. It is far above all heavens. It is called the heaven of heavens in the Old Testament. The first time we hear of it is in Deut. 10:14, “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all therein is.”
You will find it mentioned 9 more times in the following: 1 Kings 8:27; Ne 9:6; Psa. 8:1; 57:5; 57:11; 108:5; 113:4; 115:16; 148:4.
Nothing is said about it in way of description. It is where God dwells. No other beings there.
It has no connection with the kingdom of heaven, which is from the created heavens, (Gen. 1:6).
Christ ascended up far above all heavens (Eph. 4:10). There is an inheritance in the saints, or holy of holies (Eph. 1:18). In this same place members of the mystery church are fellow-citizens (Eph. 2:19). Members of the body have an inheritance in that place (Col. 1:12). It is where Christ will appear (be manifested) and is called glory (Col. 3:4). The believer who is a member of the mystery church has his conversation, or citizenship, in that place (Ph’p. 3:20).
This place has a peculiar designation in the epistle to the Ephesians which occurs nowhere else in all the Bible. The expression in Greek is en tois epouraniois and translated in heavenly places (Eph. 1:3; 1:20, 2:6; 3:10; and 6:12). A member of the body of Christ today can say, hat raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. This is the central member of the 5 references above.
Let us set these in structure form:
A. 1:3. Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessing in heavenly places.
B. 1:20. He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places. Far above all...
C. 2:6. and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
B. 3:10. principalities and powers in heavenly places.
A. 6:12. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood in high places (en tois epouraniois) but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness.
[Reprinted from TFT, Vol. 30, No. 6]