It will be
seen from Ap. 166 that there were three separate Commissions given to the Eleven Apostles,
at different times, on distinctly specified occasions and in varying words.
first is recorded in Luke 24:47. This was given in Jerusalem on the evening
of the day of the resurrection. It was given, not to the Eleven only, but also to
"them that were with them" (v.33). The commission was the continuation of His
own ministry and that of John the Baptist (Matt. 22:1-10). They were all to proclaim
"repentance and remission of sins." The New Covenant had been made, in virtue of
which this message of pardon could be declared (Matt. 26:26-29. Mark 14:22-25. Luke
22:14-23. Acts 3:19), first in Jerusalem, and then to all nations. This was done by Peter
(Acts 2:38; 3:19, etc.).
second is recorded in Mark 16:15-18, and was given when the Lord appeared to the
eleven as they sat at meat; and it was carried out by them that heard Him,"
as foretold in Matt. 22:4-7, and fulfilled in Mark 16:20, as confirmed in Heb. 2:3,4. The
Acts of the Apostles is the inspired history of the fulfilment of this commission, so far
as it is necessary for our instruction. It was given for the personal ministry of the
Apostles, to be fulfilled by them before the destruction of the Temple and of Jerusalem.
third is recorded in Matt. 28:19,20, ans was given on a mountain in Galilee
(Ap. 169). It was the proclamation of the King, Who had left Jerusalem, according to the
Parable (Luke 19:12), until He returns in power to set up His Kingdom (26:64). It is the
summons to the Gentile nations to submit to the Lord Jesus, as the king of Israel,
according to Ps. 2:10-12. It is the proclamation of "the Gospel of the Kingdom"
(Ap. 140. II) for a witness to all nations, immediately before the end of the age (Matt.
24:14. Rev. 14:6). It is still wholly future in its application, and proclaims the
judgment on the Gentiles for the final deliverance of Israel, according to Ps. 2:9, when
verse 6 shall be fulfilled.