Critique of
by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.
The Exercise of Sovereignty


Page 42: The judicial declaration of the acceptance of His redemptive labor by the Father was at the resurrection, which historical event led to His being granted "all authority" as a conquering King.

Correction: Jesus Christ is our King who will rule all societies later.

Hebrews 10:12-13 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.


Page 45: Regarding the actual implementation of the work set before the Church by our Lord, Puritan commentator Matthew Poole long ago wrote of the important function of the "go therefore" clause in the Commission: "... Having declared his power, he delegates it." In fact, "so far as earth is concerned, the dominion is only a matter of right or theory, a problem to be worked out. Hence what follows." Thus, the command may be paraphrased: "All power has been given to me on earth, go ye therefore, and make the power a reality."

Correction: The command is for Christians to be Jesus Witnesses by the power of the Spirit.

Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."


Page 46: Some have argued from the grammar here that since the word translated "go" (literally, "going") is a participle, it may not properly be viewed as a command to the disciples, in that participles do not have mood. They point out that if it were intended to express a command to go, it should have been expressed by a verb in the imperative mood. The position drawn from this grammatical argument is that Christ's command actually should be understood as: "Wherever you happen to be, make disciples."

Note: In the light of Pentecost, are you filled with the Holy Spirit?

Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.


Pages 46-47: Furthermore, that this is actually a command to "go" may be seen in the history of the early church contained in Acts. There we witness the "going" of the disciples into the world. In addition, the related commissions of Christ, which urge the progression of the gospel from Jerusalem outward to all the world, evidence the outward reaching, militant expansion of Christ's concern, and suggest that understanding for Matthew 28:19.

Correction: True Christians do not use militant means to spread the gospel.

Matthew 5:39 "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also."

Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


Page 47: The point, when all is said and done, is that Christ expected His New Covenant people to go, that is, to be militant in their promotion of the true faith.

Correction: True Christians will boldly preach Jesus Christ but not in a militant way.

Acts 9:29 And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him.


Pages 47-48: Under the Old Covenant, Israel as a nation was confined to a land with well-defined parameters. She was to exercise her influence among the nations from within that land and by example as she remained "in the midst of the land" (Deut. 4:5-8). Never is she authorized by God to conquer nations outside of her borders for purposes of annexation. In fact, rather than her going to the nations, the nations were to come to her.

Note: This will be the situation in the future also.

Zechariah 14:16-17 And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain.


Page 48: Now, with the transformation of the Church into her New Covenant phase and her development from immaturity to maturity (Gal. 3:23-26), militancy characterizes her energies.

Correction: True Christians will boldly preach Jesus Christ but not in a militant way.

Acts 19:8-9 And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.


Page 48: Thus, the Commission makes references to His authority over "the earth" (v. 18b) and our obligation to enforce that authority over "the nations" (v. 19a).

Correction: True Christians will disciple, baptize, and teach individuals through love.

Matthew 28:19-20 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.


Page 48: The Great Commission sends down from above an obligation upon God's people. It can no more be reduced to "The Good Idea" than the Ten Commandments can be deemed the "Ten Suggestions." It is not an option for the people of God.

Correction: The Great Commission is not the Old Testament Law.

John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:21 "I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain."


Pages 48-49: Through hierarchical covenantal arrangement, we are under obligation to inform the people of the world of the ownership of all things by the Lord God and of the authority of His Son over all. We are to proclaim that redemption is necessary for acceptance by God and salvation from eternal judgment. We are to instruct men of their consequent responsibility to serve God in all of life that results from such glorious redemption.

Correction: True Christians will proclaim the person of Jesus Christ.

Acts 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.


Pages 49-50: But some evangelicals tend to understand the command to mean nothing more than: "in spreading the gospel, no part of the world is to be omitted." Consequently, it merely means that "the purpose of the church in this present age (is) that of a witness." The Great Commission is said to involve the salvation of "individuals" from among the nations, because "making a disciple in the Biblical sense is an individual thing."

Note: The author is ignorant of Philip witnessing to the Ethiopian eunuch.

Acts 8:27-31 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, "Go near and overtake this chariot." So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?" And he said, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.


Page 54: The discipling work of the Great Commission, then, aims at the comprehensive application of Christ's authority over men through conversion. As the numbers of converts increase, this providentially leads to the subsuming under the authority of Christ whole institutions, cultures, societies, and governments.

Note: Christianity is losing ground as a percentage of the population of the world.

Christianity began and ended the century as the world's biggest religion, the encyclopedia says, with 555 million believers in 1900 or 32.2 percent of world population, and 1.9 billion or 31 percent as of last year. The Associated Press. January 2001.


Page 57: When Christ lays claim to "all authority." He is specifying the comprehensiveness of His authority. Christ here claims "every form of authority (and) command of all means necessary for the advancement of the kingdom of God."

Correction: True Christians do not use militant means to spread the gospel.

Luke 6:27-31 "But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise."


Page 57: In other words, the authority He holds in heaven over the affairs of its redeemed residents and the holy angels is held in the affairs of earth over men, as well. Christ was given "all authority in heaven ... So that he can make use of all the resources of heaven (and) all authority upon earth ... so that he can turn every institution and power and person on earth to account."

Correction: Jesus Christ will not exercise that authority until return to the earth.

Acts 2:33-35 "Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'The LORD said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.'"


Page 58: Regarding the civil-political area of man's culture, which is perhaps the stickiest aspect of the question, this explains why kings are obligated to rule by Him, under Him, and as His "ministers" to promote His Law, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God.

Note: The author has become estranged from Christ.

Galatians 5:4-5 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.


Page 58: His "all authority" over "all the nations" demands we preach His crown rights over all men and all their institutions, cultures, societies, and nations.

Correction: True Christians will preach the person of Jesus Christ for personal salvation.

Acts 8:35-38 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.


Page 60: All of this must lead to confrontation with and the altering of non-Christian culture, for Paul commands: "work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:12-13). Paul is not saying we are to "work for our salvation" (as if guilty sinners could merit God's favor!), but that the salvation we possess must be "worked out" into every area of our lives.

Correction: True altering of all societies will at the "day of Christ" or His return to the earth.

Philippians 2:14-16 Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.


Page 62: Surely salvation from sin involves salvation from all the implications of sin, including institutional, cultural, social, and political sins. And just as surely, the Christian should authoritatively confront sinful conduct and labor toward its replacement with the righteous alternative.

Correction: Personal salvation involves be saved from sinful societies and the wrath of God.

Acts 2:40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation."

Correction: True Christians will suffer reproach during this sinful age.

1 Timothy 4:10-11 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. These things command and teach.

Matthew 24:9 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake."

Note: Are you suffering for Jesus Christ?