The Great Commission Applies to the Jews,
not the Church
Mat 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
People may be astonished at this. Astonishing to me is the fact that whole ministries and churches etc have been formed on the basis of this misinterpretation of scripture.
How difficult the times we live in are, if the very things which are supposed to help and guide us, are in fact following things which are unbiblical. Doing things which are never expected by the Lord of the church. And all this borne out of failure to rightly divide the word of truth.
The evidence that the great commission doesn't relate to the church is in fact overwhelming. Making it more of astonishment to me that the churches/Christian ministries exist and continue to operate within the framework of a misinterpretation of scripture and in the face of overwhelming evidence that the church isn't commanded to teach and baptize all nations into conversion.
If the great commission relates to the church, then we should expect to see the church in Acts carrying it out. Do we see this? No. What do we see? We see them baptizing 'in the name of Jesus'
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto 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.
Acts 8:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Why weren't they getting baptized in 'the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost'? Because they're not carrying out the great commission, because the great commission doesn't relate to the church.
Were the apostles neglectful of duty? In no way. Did the Apostles not care too much about the formula of 'Father, Son and Holy Ghost'? Hardly. Rather, they fully understood what their mission was. They fully knew that the great commission didn't relate to them or the church.
1Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.
This in fact is a very bold statement. Paul plainly declared that he wasn't sent by the Lord to baptize! So then who was sent to baptize when the Lord issued the great commission? Well it wasn't Paul, and it wasn't the Apostles or the church.
The great commission relates to the Jews. The world will yet see the Great Commission in fulfilment at the end of this age when the newly converted Jews after the Rapture will then take up the continuation of the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom (Matt 10: 5-15). It will eventually lead to discipling of nations: Rev 21:24-26 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
It makes sense how the false movements of today expect to be able to disciple the nations enough to cause the kingdom of God to come! This is entirely unscriptural.
Acts is a transitional period for the church. The baptism of John continued for a while, and this is the baptism we see in Acts. They're not carrying out the Great Commission. Until the church was given more revelation of the truth, they were yet to learn there is but One Baptism: Eph 4:4-5 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism.
So then, if there is but one baptism there cannot be two baptisms! (one at conversion, and one with water).
1Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
The baptism that exists for the church is the baptism of the Spirit. This is but once, and received at conversion. The church is formed of 'individuals' called to salvation, and isn't made of 'nations'.