This week’s The Watchtower study opens with thought that it is a great honor to be sent by God as an ambassador or envoy to help people establish peaceful relations with Him. (w14 5/15 p. 8 par. 1,2)
It’s been over ten years since we’ve had an article explaining how the overwhelming majority of Christians today do not fill the role referenced in these opening paragraphs of our study article. 2 Cor. 5:20 does speak of Christians serving as ambassadors substituting for Christ, but no mention is made anywhere in the Bible about Christians serving as envoys to support these ambassadors. Yet, according to a past issue, “These “other sheep” can be termed “envoys” [not ambassadors] of God’s Kingdom.” (w02 11/1 p. 16 par. 8)
Given how dangerous it is to add or take away anything from the inspired teaching of God concerning the Good News of Jesus Christ, one has to wonder about the advisability of teaching that the vast majority of Christians who have ever lived are not “ambassadors substituting for Christ.” (Gal. 1:6-9) One would think that if the majority of Jesus’ followers were not going to be his ambassadors, then some mention would be made of this in Scripture. One would expect the term “envoy” to be introduced so that there would be no confusion between the ambassador class and the envoy class, wouldn’t one?
(2 Corinthians 5:20) We are therefore ambassadors substituting for Christ, as though God were making entreaty through us. As substitutes for Christ we beg: “Become reconciled to God.”
If Christ were here, he would be doing the entreaty to the nations, but he is not here. So he has left the entreating in the hands of his followers. As Jehovah’s Witnesses, when we go door-to-door, is not our goal to entreat those we meet to become reconciled to God? So why not call us all ambassadors? Why apply a new term to Christians other than that which the Scriptures themselves apply? It is because we do not believe that the majority of Christ’s followers are spirit anointed. We have discussed the fallacy of this teaching elsewhere, but let’s add one more log to that fire.
Consider our message as stated in vs. 20: “Become reconciled to God.” Now look at the preceding verses.
(2 Corinthians 5:18, 19) . . .But all things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of the reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was by means of Christ reconciling a world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and he committed the word of the reconciliation to us.
Verse 18 speaks of the anointed—those now called ambassadors—became reconciled to God. These are used to reconcile a world to God.
There are only two classes of persons referenced here. Those reconciled to God (anointed ambassadors) and those not reconciled to God (the world). When those not reconciled become reconciled, they leave the one class and join the other. They too become anointed ambassadors substituting for Christ.
There is no mention of a third class or group of individuals, one neither of the unreconciled world nor of the reconciled anointed ambassador s. Not even a hint of a third group called “envoys” is to be found here or elsewhere in Scripture.
Again we see that perpetuating the erroneous idea that there are two classes or tiers of Christian, one anointed with holy spirit and one not anointed, forces us to add to the Scriptures things which simply are not there. Given that those who ‘declare as good news something beyond what the first century Christians accepted is accursed’, and given that we are exhorted not only to avoid sin, but not even get close to it, is it truly wise for us to be adding to God’s Word in this way?
Interesting topic for discussion. I would like to leave my observation, though very brief (I have thought about it a lot and would be willing to say more). How many ambassadors usual Kingdom have? Or, are all of Kingdom citizens in positions of ambassadors? Food for thought.
The scriptures for the Monday’s reading will probably be huge for your discussion of tribes/Joseph
My Bible Highlight comment from the school last week was from Acts 15:22 “Then the apostles and the older men together with the whole congregation favored sending chosen men from among them to Antioch along with Paul and Bar′na·bas, namely, Judas who was called Bar′sab·bas+ and Silas, leading men among the brothers” So we see from the scripture directly what happened and how the decision was made. The simplified version has been vetted by a broad group of brothers, reflecting the understanding of many language groups. Now that the WT online version is available in Solomon Island Pidgin, why not… Read more »
I find it very difficult to use the expressions, “envoy”, or, “by extention”, in my parts or comments simply because I think they go beyond the things that at written.
Although the English study edition says “ambassador or envoy,” the Spanish translation says merely “ambassador.” The simplified English version simply refers to those “sent by God to help people be at peace with him.” It has been my observation that the Spanish translation team, moved from Brooklyn to Puerto Rico to maintain the purity of their effort (at least with regard to the encroachment of NY-Spanglish as a mental disease), often take it upon themselves to correct errors of fact, logic or expression. These corrections then seem to be routed back to the English simplified version, and at times they… Read more »
Back when we were going through the book of Acts in our Bible Study and came to that section about the “first century governing body”, one alert forum contributor made the observation that the Spanish version of the book did not use the phrase ‘cuerpo gobernante’ to translate the English text, but rather referred to the body of older men and apostles of Jerusalem. Perhaps we should all abandon the regular study edition for the Simplified issue.
Perhaps we have been pre-mature in our rejection of titles. “Faithful and Discreet Slave” (in caps) has become interchangeable with “Governing Body.” These are now titles. As such, these eight brothers substitute for Christ in their being the channel of all decisions of holy spirit (not caps, I guess) for direction of the work of the congregations. If Jesus becomes “eternal father” according to Isa. 9:6 for those in the covenant for whom he mediates, then would it not be appropriate to begin using the title “Holy Fathers in Brooklyn” (or later in Warwick) to properly identify the ecclesiastical hierarchy… Read more »
To most witnesses, this would sound like an outrageous suggestion. However, at some point the faithful Christians of old began to deviate. I’m not sure when they finally started disregarding Jesus plain statement that we should call no one father, but eventually they did. We are on the same slippery slope. We have already used the term leadership when referring to the Governing Body. That term itself confers the role of leader on its members. If Jesus tells us not to be “called ‘leaders'”, then it follows that he also meant we should not be called ‘governors’.
After one steps out of the mental box of Watchtowerism it becomes easy to see what once was impossible to see. The authoritarianism of the Watchtower makes the publishers fearful to even admit the slightest possibility of being wrong about the org. which wedges them further into their mental box. Having an open mind is a very rare condition among the brothers and sisters. And if you’re afraid of questioning your illusions, how in the world will you ever recognize that they are illusions? crazyguy mentions the text in Ps. that says do not put your trust in nobles. I… Read more »
Yes once again alluding to the Jonadab class, those with one foot still in Satan’s world and not good enough to be true Christians, in fact these were not even good enough to be allowed originally to get baptized and to attend the Memorial. Its so wonderful to be apart of this class and to slave for the 144k and the Governing Body / Faithful Discreet Slave. Because if I do not and am not loyal to these ones I will not earn Salvation or a place into the Kingdom of God. Its really to bad that the bible was… Read more »