Sep 09

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In an earlier article, it was pointed out that at times, the words “world” and “earth,” shed light on each other. This may appear at first reading as a most unlikely thing to occur! Nevertheless, it is true and in this article, it will be shown where this is the case. Keep in mind as we approach the subject, that God never does the unnecessary and does not use more than is needed to complete the task! With these two thoughts before us, let see how the words “world” and “earth” shed light upon each other.
We have all read the apostolic commission more times than we can recall; however, more than likely most people have missed the point that is to be made here. As Mark states the commission, he wrote: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). First, just notice that the word “earth” is not in the text. The Greek word Mark used is, “kosmos,” which means: “the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human family.” Yes, the word “kosmos” has other meanings, but in using this one, the text will become very clear. Nevertheless, for the sake of honesty, here is all that Strong gives: “Probably from the base of G2865; orderly arrangement, that is, decoration; by implication the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively [morally]): – adorning, world.” This will allow you to put any or all of these into the text; so, you can see for yourself, what might be the best meaning of the Greek word as used by Mark. It is helpful to notice that Paul used the same Greek words, when he wrote: “… the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; …” (Col. 1:23). The Greek words, translated, “every creature” is the Greek: “pas ktisis,” in Colossians and is the same Greek words used by Mark: “pas (every) ktisis (creature).” You do not need, as the old saying goes, “you don’t have to be a rocket scientist” to see what is the best meaning of the word “world,” the Greek “kosmos” in the apostolic commission! However, this has not answered the question, “How does the word “world,” having the meaning: “the inhabitants of the earth,” shed light on the word “earth?”
Therefore, let us get to the task! Let us here recall that God does not do the unnecessary; as he is perfectly frugal, in that God does not waste time, energy, or material. Luke in writing “The Acts of the Apostles,” covers the apostolic commission in these words: “But 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” (Acts 1:8). We are here interested in the words, “unto the uttermost part of the earth!” The Greek word for “earth” is, “gē,” and means: “1) arable land 2) the ground, the earth as a standing place …” The word “ge” is used in the same manner as Peter used it, when he wrote of the “willingly” “ignorant” of the first century; when he wrote: “the earth (gē) standing out of the water and in the water: (6) Whereby the world (kosmos) that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: (7) the heavens and the earth (gē), which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved …” (2 Pet. 3:5-7). Therefore, it is easy to conclude that Jesus used, as written by Luke, the word “earth” to mean the same as did Peter. Just for your information, the meaning of the word “ge” is “arable land,” which means, “fit for;” thus, the earth is “fit for” the intended end: “reserved unto fire!” Now, let us conclude this part of the article by simply pointing out, that Mark has Jesus addressing “the inhabitants of the earth,” in his use of the word “kosmos,” while Luke in Acts has Jesus pointing to the “earth” (ge).
Question, did Jesus mean for the apostles to go to the North Pole and preach the gospel, when he said: “unto the uttermost part of the earth”? In my research, I found this interesting statement: “No-one and nothing (animals or plants) lives on the North Pole.” Excluding scientists, the population is 0! And in the time of Jesus, there were no scientists at the North Pole! Virtually all of Antarctica (5,400,00 sq. miles, 98% covered with ice) is uninhabitable, and much of Australia is still uninhabited. So, the question, knowing the nature of God, would Jesus send the apostles into such uninhabitable places, even though they are part of the earth? No! Therefore, the word “earth” (ge) in Acts 1:8 is limited by the word “world” (kosmos, the inhabitants) of Mark 16:15.
You knew this all along, but may never have stated it. You fully understood that God, through Christ, would never be so wasteful, by having the gospel preached where no humans were present to hear it. Here is another point, the time for the apostles to fulfill their commission, was time limited! Yes, it was time limited! As the apostles were not going to live on this earth forever! Therefore, the “world” sheds light upon the word “earth!”
On another note, Paul has, by the Holy Spirit, declared that the commission had been fulfill when he wrote.

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