|SPEAK AS THE ORACLES RADIO Program #127
Adapted from Ira Y. Rice
VIII. WHAT JESUS TAUGHT BY WORD AND DEED.
Having thus proved beyond reasonable doubt the CREDIBILITY of Jesus, next we examined the things Jesus
taught His disciples to believe, do, say and be, not only verbally but by the power of His own matchless example.
From His childhood we found His sense of responsibility toward God at the early age of 12, and how He increased
in wisdom, and stature, and in favour with God and man, demonstrating mental, physical, spiritual and social
Then, from the age of about 30, we studied principles learned from His 3 ½ year ministry, which, though short in
duration, was so powerful that it has turned the course of world history every since!
The first rather curious fact we learned at the outset of His adult life was His INSISTENCE on being BAPTIZED.
John the Baptist almost refused to do it, saying HE needed to be baptized of Jesus, “and comest thou to me?” But
Jesus reasoned with John that “Thus IT BECOMETH US TO FULFIL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Then John
baptized Him, after which the heavens opened and a voice was heard, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom
I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:13-17).
In resisting and overcoming temptation, Jesus demonstrated the proper use of God’s WORD, combating the devil
with “IT IS WRITTEN.”
He did not, as some, teach one thing and practice another; He PRACTICED what He PREACHED, saying to His
disciples, “FOLLOW ME.” To do this, He taught, means SELF-DENIAL and SACRIFICE. But that everyone who
sacrifices houses, brethren, sisters, father, mother, wife, children or lands for his name’s sake “shall receive an
hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life” (Matthew 19:27-29).
Jesus set an example of the evangelistic zeal He expects of His followers by GOING “about all the cities and
villages, TEACHING in their synagogues, and PREACHING the gospel of the kingdom” (Matthew 9:35). He did not
WAIT for the people to COME TO HIM (though He INVITED them to come); rather He CARRIED HIS CAMPAIGN
AGGRESSIVELY TO THE PEOPLE.
Rather than taking an attitude of complacency toward those who were commercializing religion, He drove the
temple merchants, moneychangers, sheep and oxen out of the temple, poured out the changers’ money, and
overthrew their tables, demanding, “Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of
merchandise” (John 2:13-16).
The necessity of being “BORN AGAIN” (“of water and of the Spirit”) Jesus stressed, saying that otherwise a man
“CANNOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.”
He that does not believe in Christ, He taught, is condemned by his unbelief; however, the BELIEVER in Christ
should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:15-18).
Not only was Jesus baptized Himself, but He practiced baptism for His disciples. In fact, John 4:1 says, Jesus
made and baptized more disciples than John, though he Himself did not do the actual baptizing, but His
disciples (verse 2).
And “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him,” he told the woman at the well of Sychar, “shall
NEVER THIRST … but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a WELL OF WATER SPRINGING UP INTO
EVERLASTING LIFE” (John 4:7-27).
“TRUE WORSHIPPERS,” He said, worship God “IN SPIRIT and IN TRUTH.”
In Matthew 4:17 He preached that “the kingdom of heaven” was at hand. In view of this that the people should
“repent” and “believe the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15).
He reproved evil-thinking in heart (Matthew 9:4).
Rather than glory-seeking, He practiced self-efacement.
He taught people not to sin, as in the case of the impotent man who was healed, “lest a worse thing come unto
“All men,” Jesus said, “should HONOUR THE SON, even as they HONOUR THE FATHER. He that HONOURETH
NOT THE SON HONOURETH NOT THE FATHER which hath sent him” (John 5:22-23).
“He that HEARETH my word, and BELIEVETH on him that sent me, HATH EVER LASTING LIFE” (verse 24).
“The hour is coming … when THE DEAD SHALL HEAR THE VOICE OF THE SON OF GOD: and THEY THAT
HEAR SHALL LIVE” (verse 25).
“ALL THAT ARE IN THE GRAVES shall hear his voice, And shall COME FORTH; they that have DONE GOOD,
unto the RESURRECTION OF LIFE; and they that have DONE EVIL, unto the RESURRECTION OF DAMNATION”
(verses 28 & 29).
Jesus Himself will be the JUDGE (verse 30).
Those who seek “HONOUR ONE OF ANOTHER, and SEEK NOT THE HONOUR THAT COMETH FROM GOD
ONLY” cannot believe (verse 44).
Concerning the SABBATH, Jesus taught that “the SABBATH was made FOR MAN and NOT MAN FOR THE
SABBATH” (Mark 2:27).
“Wherefore, IT IS LAWFUL TO DO WELL ON THE SABBATH DAYS” (Matthew 12:12).
Jesus was seldom angry; however, because of the “hardness of their hearts” Jesus looked round about on the
Pharisees who questioned Him about the sabbath with ANGER, being GRIEVED (Mark 3:5).
It is enough for the disciple to be AS HIS MASTER, Jesus stated; and the servant to be AS HIS LORD (Matthew
He promised to CONFESS before His Father in heaven “whosoever shall CONFESS me before men” — and to
DENY whomsoever would DENY HIM! (Matthew 10:32-33).
He required that HIS DISCIPLES must put Him FIRST BEFORE FATHER, MOTHER, SON, DAUGHTER or even
HIS OWN LIFE (Matthew 10:37-39).
And He put the receiving of those whom He sent on the same basis as receiving Himself and God the Father
In His magnificent sermon on the mount (Matthew, chapters 5, 6. and 7) Jesus advocated humility, mourning,
meekness, desire for righteousness, mercy, spiritual purity, peace-making, endurance of persecution for
righteousness’ sake, and rejoicing when suffering for His sake.
He wanted His disciples to influence people, calling them the “salt of the earth,” “the light of the world.” He told
them not to hide their light under a bushel but to let it shine before men, like a city set on a hill or like a candle
on a candlestick. To do this we must do our good works before men in such a manner that God will be glorified.
In the six examples He used in Matthew 5, He contrasted HIS OWN DOCTRINE with what had been said “OF OLD
TIME,” i.e., in the Old Testament.
One way what He taught was different was that the Old Testament was more concerned with the overt ACT of sin,
whereas Jesus was more concerned about the MOTIVE which PRODUCED THE ACT.
Another way is that Jesus’ idea under the NEW Testament was considerably MORE STRICT THAN THE OLD.
HYPOCRISY, Jesus emphasized as the thing to guard against when we give alms, pray, or fast, In prayer, we
should not just repeat the same prayer over and over meaninglessly, but we should MODEL our prayers after the
prayer Jesus gave as a model (Matthew 6:1-18). Rather than laying up treasures ON EARTH, Jesus taught us to
lay up treasures IN HEAVEN. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
He denied man can serve two masters.
Rather than our worrying about life, food, drink, clothes or size, He said, “But seek ye FIRST the KINGDOM OF
GOD, and his RIGHTEOUSNESS; and ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU” (Matthew 6:33).
As to judging others, He taught we should first correct our own faults — and not to judge them if we do not want
them to judge us; that they will judge and treat us the same as we judge and treat them (Matthew 7:1-5). We
should do unto others as we would have them do unto us (Matthew 7:12).
Instead of following the crowd through the wide gate and the broad way to OUR OWN DESTRUCTION, we should
follow the few through the strait gate and narrow way that LEADS TO LIFE (Matthew 7:13-14).
Jesus warned us to “beware of false prophets,” saying, “by their FRUITS ye shall KNOW them” (verses 15-20).
Also that LIP-SERVICE to Jesus is not enough; we must do God’s will (verses 21-23).
To build wisely upon a rock, we must DO His sayings, not HEAR THEM ONLY (verses 24-27).
The people were astonished at Jesus’ teaching, “For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the
scribes” (verses 28-29).
IX. CHRISTIANS ARE NOT GOVERNED BY THE LIMITED COMMISSIONS.
Our basic reason for presenting several lessons showing what Christians are NOT governed by is our realization of
the fact that many have been taught much that is not so. Before we can expect Bible students to have a clear
understanding of the part of the Bible which DOES govern Christians, we must expel the misconceptions
regarding those parts that DO NOT. Preparatory to a solid harvest of well-taught, truthunderstanding, Bible-trained
students …, we have felt it necessary to pay careful attention to the NEGATIVE side of our study first.
Our first two negative studies in the course had to do with Christians not being governed by 1) the Old Testament,
and 2) the preaching and baptism of John the Baptist.
Before moving on to the POSITIVE side, we then felt it necessary 3) to show that Christians likewise are not
bound by the two commissions found in Matthew 10 and Luke 10, which He strictly limited to “the twelve” and to
“the seventy,” respectively.
For the former “limited commission” — to the twelve — we urged a careful reading of Matthew 10 to show that it
was limited strictly to them and to no others. In verse 1 Jesus specified that “he called unto him his TWELVE
DISCIPLES,” giving “THEM power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness
and all manner of disease.”
To insure against there being any mistake to whom He was giving this power, verses 2 through 4 then proceed to
NAME which ones.
Then, verse 5 says, “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: but go rather to the LOST SHEEP OF
THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL.”
Then, dropping on down to verse 23, Jesus indicates the DURATION as well as the EXTENT of this commission
limited to the twelve: “Ye shall not have gone over the CITIES OF ISRAEL, till the Son of man be come.” In other
words, their purpose was evidently to get the backslidden Jews (“lost sheep of the house of Israel”) ready to receive
Christ when He arrived in their cities.
And the first verse of the succeeding chapter says, “And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of
commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.” It is certain that this
commission has no bearing on ANYONE who is not of Israel, i.e., Jewish.
Also Jesus long since finished His teaching-preaching tour of the cities of Israel. So this limited commission was
fulfilled before Jesus died on the cross!
As for the SECOND limited commission —to the seventy — Luke 10:1 specifies it was to “OTHER SEVENTY” also.
Other than whom? Other than THE TWELVE to whom Jesus already had given a similar commission! Not only
did He limit it to the SEVENTY, but He sent them only to the cities and towns where He Himself would come.
Upon fulfilling this limited commission, verse 17 shows the seventy “RETURNED” and made their report. Thus this
commission too, expired by fulfillment!
X. CHRISTIANS ARE GOVERNED BY THE GREAT COMMISSION.
Now that we are crystal clear that NONE of us living SINCE the cross are governed by ANYTHING that was of
force BEFORE the cross, the next question is: IF PEOPLE TODAY ARE NOT BOUND BY ANY OF THOSE
THINGS, THEN WHAT PART OF GOD’S WILL TO MAN IS BINDING NOW?
After Jesus died, was buried and arose again, He delivered a commission so comprehensive within its scope that
it was to concern ALL PEOPLE among ALL NATIONS in ALL THE WORLD for ALL TIME TO COME — from the
day of Pentecost in Acts 2 (a.d. 33) onward — even unto the end of the world.
The Scripture references setting forth the terms of this Great Commission are Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:1516;
and Luke 24:47-49).
Announcing, first, that “ALL AUTHORITY,” both in heaven and in earth, had been given unto Him, Jesus then
commanded His apostles to GO TEACH AND PREACH THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE AMONG ALL
NATIONS, IN ALL THE WORLD: HE THAT BELIEVES (in Jesus Christ), REPENTS (of his sins) and is BAPTIZED
shall be SAVED, having the REMISSION OF SINS. Such REPENTANT, BAPTIZED BELIEVERS, Matthew
records, then were to be taught to “OBSERVE ALL THINGS” that Jesus had commanded His apostles to teach.
We pointed out that while Jesus was alive on earth, BEFORE His death on the cross, He taught (or “commanded”)
many things which were distinct from the requirements of the OLD testament.
However, as we had learned previously, that these commands and principles, which were to form His NEW
testament, COULD NOT BECOME OF FORCE until AFTER HIS DEATH (Hebrews 9:15-17). Therefore, it was not
until after He had DIED, WAS BURIED and AROSE AGAIN that Jesus authorized His apostles to teach and
baptize all nations, teaching them (those baptized) to “OBSERVE ALL THINGS whatsoever I have commanded”
The apostles were not to begin this work at once, however, Luke 24:47 instructed that they were to BEGIN at
JERUSALEM. “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you,” Jesus continued (verse 49), “but TARRY
YE IN THE CITY OF JERUSALEM, UNTIL YE BE ENDUED WITH POWER FROM ON HIGH.” Promising them that
they should be “baptized with the Holy Ghost NOT MANY DAYS HENCE” (Acts 1:5), Jesus said, “ye shall receive
POWER, after that the HOLY GHOST is come upon you: and ye shall be WITNESSES UNTO ME both in
JERUSALEM, and in all JUDAEA, and in SAMARIA, and UNTO THE UTTERMOST PART OF THE EARTH”
“And when he had spoken these things, WHILE THEY BEHELD, HE WAS TAKEN UP; and A CLOUD RECEIVED
HIM OUT OF THEIR SIGHT.” “And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men
stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? THIS
SAME JESUS, WHICH IS TAKEN UP FROM YOU INTO HEAVEN, SHALL SO COME IN LIKE MANNER AS YE
HAVE SEEN HIM GO INTO HEAVEN. Then RETURNED they unto JERUSALEM” (verses 9-12).
And there they ‘TARRIED” (i.e., waited), as Jesus had commanded them.
Then, in Acts 2, we read the description of the Great Commission’s coming into force, “BEGINNING AT
It was on PENTECOST — a.d. 33 (verse 1). The HOLY SPIRIT CAME UPON THE APOSTLES (verses 2-4),
emPOWERing them to “speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” It was in JERUSALEM (verse
5). “EVERY NATION UNDER HEAVEN” was represented (verse 5). Their amazement and confusion was described
Peter, standing up with the eleven, took advantage of their wonderment to preach the first gospel sermon ever
delivered under the authority of the Great Commission (verses 14-36).
So mightily did he convince those Jews making up the audience on that occasion, that they were “PRICKED IN
THEIR HEART,” asking of Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, WHAT SHALL WE DO?” (verse
Peter then commanded them, “REPENT, and BE BAPTIZED EVERY ONE OF YOU in the name of Jesus Christ
FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (verse 38).
These things were in order to be saved also: “SAVE yourselves” Peter exhorted (verse 40).
And they who “GLADLY RECEIVED” Peter’s word “WERE BAPTIZED.” About 3,000 souls were “ADDED” unto them
that same day (verse 41). “And the Lord ADDED UNTO THE CHURCH daily such as should be SAVED” (verse 47).
From this point forward (Day of Pentecost — Acts 2) both Luke and all subsequent Bible writers clearly considered
the NEW Testament to be “OF FORCE.”
This is the first reference in the Bible to the CHURCH as being IN EXISTENCE.
Earlier references always pointed forward to its future establishment. But from the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2
onward through the rest of the Bible, the church is never recorded as future any more, but as being an
Membership in this church was not gained by “joining” it (a human act), but by being “ADDED” to it (a Divine act).
Human churches that can be “joined” through HUMAN RITUAL thus clearly cannot be the church established by
Jesus Christ in Acts 2. Only the LORD could “add” saved persons to THAT CHURCH.
Since He never authorized but ONE church, NO OTHER CHURCH BUT THE ONE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
HAS ANY GOD-GIVEN RIGHT TO EXIST.
And since THE LORD adds THE SAVED to HIS CHURCH — all of them — it follows THERE ARE NO SAVED
PEOPLE IN ANY OTHER. Thus the church which had its beginning in this 2nd chapter of Acts is the ONLY
CHURCH which has any standing whatever before the Lord; and all persons who are “saved” according to the
teaching of the New Testament are members of it.
[TO BE CONTINUED]