THE CALL AND COMMISSION OF THE TWELVE TO PREACH THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM TO ISRAEL
And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, 10 nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. 11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. 12 And when ye come into an house, salute it. 13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.
16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? 26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. 32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. 40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. Matthew 10:1-42
Jesus calls the twelve, who have the title, Apostles. They are sent forth to preach the gospel of the Kingdom. The noteworthy thing, is that Judas is one of the Twelve. There is nothing out of the ordinary that would make the eleven believe he had a devil. He preached and healed, just like the others. If they didn’t have discernment to identify him, how mistaken we can be when we judge others. Especially, is this true, when they appear to have a “successful” ministry.
The command is to go only to Israelites, who are called “lost sheep.” They are to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. They are also empowered to do Kingdom miracles. No one today preaches the same gospel they preached, nor do the miracles they did. One must understand that the Apostles knew nothing about the coming death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
I have discovered that many Baptist preachers have no understanding of this matter. “31 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. 32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again. 34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.” Luke 18:31-34. “For as yet they knew not the scripture that he must rise again from the dead.” John 20:9.
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Many Baptist preachers hold Baptist tradition stronger than right division of the Scriptures.[/pullquote]
One Baptist preacher said, “The disciples preached the same gospel we preach today, and they baptized with a view of His coming death and resurrection. Scripture is abundant.” I wrote to him and ask for one Scripture that taught what he said. That has been over 10 years ago…still no response. I have discovered that most Baptist can’t afford to see this truth. I have been alienated by many Baptist brethren because of my teaching on this matter. Baptist tradition is stronger than right division of the Scriptures. No church on earth today, obeys these verses, nor can they.
All their needs would be met. They were forbidden to take money, food, two coats, shoes, or a staff. Does this sound like any Evangelist or Pastor you know today? Those who welcomed them, they were to greet. Those who rejected them, were to be ignored. The reason it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah, is because Sodom did not have a Bible, a preacher, the gospel, nor the miracles in their city that Israel had. To whom much is given, much is required.
The Lord was preparing His disciples for His absence, although they did not understand it at that time. They would discover, during the Acts period, and in the Tribulation that man is not, nor has he ever been a friend of Jesus Christ, and His gospel. The world hates the Jesus of the Bible. They would be hated and brought before authorities for judgment. The ministry of Paul is a good example of this.
This instruction is not directed to any member of the Body of Christ. Today, one must pray and think about what to say before appearing before a judge. This instruction is for the Apostles. The remnant will be hated by all nations as they preach in the Tribulation. Note verse 22-23. “22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.” These must “endure” to the end of the Tribulation, or refuse the mark of the Beast. Likewise, the Lord assures them that they will not have gone over all the cities of Israel, before He returns. This did not happen in the Acts period. Thus, the context is Israel, and the Tribulation.
The gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven requires that one believe in Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God, and water baptism. This was, and will be their confession before men. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:16. “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.” Luke 7:30. Believer today do not have to be baptized to be saved. Baptism is a step of obedience for those who are saved. Although Paul baptized, his gospel of grace did not require it for salvation.
Verses 34- 42
The disciples had no concept that there would be a period where He would be absent before established the Kingdom of Heaven. This is evident until His ascension up to heaven. And, after He left, they believed He would soon return, if Israel would repent. Notice the first question they have after His resurrection. “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1:6. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:” Acts 3:19-20.
Jesus did not come to bring peace, but judgment that ends in repentance. Until then, there will be war. In fact, before the Kingdom of Heaven is established on earth, the greatest war the world has ever witnessed will take place.
Finally, at that time, men must receive the Apostles to be saved. To reject them, is to reject God. To receive and assist them will bring salvation, and its rewards.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.