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?