AMBASSADORS SUBSTITUTING FOR CHRIST
February 18, 2012
LETTER NO. 5 - AMBASSADORS OF THE KINGDOM OF THE HEAVENS
When an ambassador resides in a foreign nation, his duty is to develop in the local citizens a respect for the government for which he is an ambassador. Likewise, the sons of the kingdom declare abroad and extol the virtues of the kingdom of the heavens so as to provoke in the listener a keen desire to become a part of it. This is an obvious requirement. But are we really doing that? Or are we, instead, drawing disciples after ourselves?
We must admit that we, as an organization, have drifted a bit away from the kingdom. In other words, we are preaching, teaching and making disciples, but are we making disciples of the kingdom or of the organization? Are we leading them to the heavenly hope with the Father or some ‘earthly hope’ in association with the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society?
Notice again the words of the Apostle Paul:
“What, then, is Apollos? Yes, what is Paul? Ministers through whom you became believers, even as the Lord granted each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God kept making it grow; so that neither is he that plants anything nor is he that waters, but God who makes it grow. Now he that plants and he that waters are one, but each person will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You people are God’s field under cultivation, God’s building.”
– 1 Corinthians 3:5-9
Yes, the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society is the minister through whom we became believers. And we, along with the Society, are merely fellow workers with God. So whatever success we have in the disciple-making work, we must be sure to help these babes attach themselves to the Father and his heavenly kingdom, while at the same time cultivating a proper respect for the agency through whom we became believers.
We have been taught to look for the coming of the kingdom of God sometime in the future or that it was not established until 1914. Yet, Jesus repeatedly gave indication that the kingdom was already present. He said:
“. . . the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
– Luke 17:21
“. . . the kingdom of God has drawn near.”
– Mark 1:15
“The kingdom of God has come near to you.”
– Luke 10:11
“Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a young child will by no means get into it.”
– Luke 18:17
“My kingdom is no part of this world. If my kingdom were a part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be delivered up to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from this source.”
– John 18:36
We have many ideas of the kingdom of the heavens. Jesus himself offered many illustrations to let us know what the kingdom “was like.” (Matthew 13:24; 13:31, 13:33, 13:44, 13:45, 13:47, 18:23, 22:2, 25:1) Kingdoms of the world have a king seated upon a throne decreeing laws of the realm. The Jews and the early Christians had such ideas of a glorified rule of the Jewish people over the earth with the Messiah sitting on David’s throne and from this place of miraculous power promulgating the laws to all the world.
In every kingdom, there must be a king seated upon his throne and decreeing the laws of the realm. But they were not seeing with the eye of faith, nor hearing with the understanding of the spirit.
The kingdom of God revealed by Jesus is the realization and acknowledgment of God's rule within the hearts of men. It is a spiritual brotherhood whose power exists not in the strength of armies or the might of riches, but in the glory of the divine spirit that rules in the hearts of its reborn citizens.
True, there is a King in this kingdom, the Heavenly Father, who has given rulership to the Christ until the reconciliation is complete. (1 Corinthians 15:22-28) And we are indeed his loyal subjects. But far transcending that fact is the transforming truth that we are also God’s sons.
Our King sits upon a throne, but not one made with hands. The throne of the Infinite Father is in the eternal dwelling place in the heaven of heavens. His laws are written in the hearts of men and he rules within the hearts of his children on earth by his spirit which he has sent to live within us. (Jeremiah 31:33)
So many of our associates view themselves as mere subjects of an all powerful King. But Jesus came to reveal that we are privileged sons of a loving and divine Father. For when the Father's will is your law, you are hardly in the kingdom. But when the Father's will becomes truly your will, then are you in very truth in the kingdom because the kingdom has thereby become an established experience in you. When God's will is your law, you are noble slave subjects; but when you believe in this new revelation of divine sonship, the Father's will becomes your will, and you are elevated to the high position of the free children of God, liberated sons of the kingdom.
The Anointed Witnesses of Jehovah are beloved sons and citizens of the heavenly kingdom. We are only temporary residents in Watchtower Bible & Tract Society. And we must first carry out our ambassadorship right within the congregation, our small nation, since so many have not accepted the invitation to join the body of Christ, and instead accept the meager position of servants and subjects and slaves. Of the over 7 million associates, only 11,000 have awaken to their true calling. There is much work to be done. But how do we reach them with the true good news of the kingdom?
We can begin by sharing this message, this website, with as many anointed Christians as we can. We can also share it with our families and close associates. For those who do not have internet access, we can follow Paul’s custom of reasoning from the Scriptures provided here, ‘explaining and proving by references.’ (Acts 17:2-3)
When speaking with those who have not realized their true heritage, we shall always proceed from a positive position as did our Lord. There were so many things about the Jewish religion that Jesus changed. But he did not snatch their beliefs from them – he did not take their cherished beliefs out of their hearts. Instead, he put the positive, strengthening, enlightening and encouraging hope of sonship into their heart. He came to fulfill, not to destroy.
When we lead men into the kingdom, the great and living truths will presently drive out all serious error. When we have presented the good news that God is their Father (for who else could be), it is easier for them to see the reality that they are his Sons, and even more, that they are your brothers!
When they accept their heavenly inheritance, the illusion of everlasting life on earth dissipates on its own. And once they have been re-born into the kingdom, then you can begin to teach the deeper things of the spirit (many of which we intend to discuss in future articles). Remember, we must enter the kingdom of the heavens with the trust of a child – a newborn – but we remain in it as full grown men and women. So, brothers, what it primarily entails is that we merely introduce our “earthly brothers” to their heavenly Father.
As these new ones develop the courage to make their sonship known, we can provide spiritual and moral support. We can arrange to sit with them as the emblems are passed on Memorial night and even offer to provide support if they are subjected to unreasonable questioning and challenges.
You need not fear this work, brothers. For who can condemn you for following the scriptural admonition to ‘make disciples and teach them to observe all the things Christ commanded?’ (Matthew 28:19-20) Who can chastise you for ‘building up the body of Christ?’ (Ephesians 4:12) Who can rebuke you for ‘reasoning from the scriptures?’ (Acts 17:2-3) What better way to restore dignity and power to the association than to reveal the sacred secret of sonship? And who can justly stop our work as ambassadors substituting for Christ and come away unscathed? Truly, anyone who interferes with this work, will find themselves fighters actually against Jehovah God himself! (Acts 5:39)
The man who knows God looks upon all men as equal, for they are his brothers. Those who are selfish, those who ignore their brothers in the flesh, have only weariness as their reward, and even worse as recounted in the gospel according to Luke. (Luke 17:1-2) Those who love their fellows and who have pure hearts shall see God. (Matthew 5:7-8) God never forgets sincerity. He will guide the honest of heart into the truth, for God is truth.
Keep in mind that those who make wholehearted decisions and unqualified spiritual choices in union with Christ Jesus are progressively identified with the spirit of truth and transformed into new creations.
“Consequently if anyone is in union with Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away, look! New things have come into existence.”
– 2 Corinthians 5:17
Remember, too, that we are doing this work so that our temporary house, the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society can withstand the coming winds:
“Knowing their thoughts, he said to them: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself comes to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”
– Matthew 12:25
"Therefore everyone that hears these sayings of mine and does them will be likened to a discreet man, who built his house upon the rock-mass. And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and lashed against that house, but it did not cave in, for it had been founded upon the rock-mass.”
– Matthew 7:24-25
Finally, when we have first taken the rafter out of our own eye, we can clearly see how to extract the straw that is in the eye of the world. (Luke 6:39-42) Then our mighty throng of anointed sons of the kingdom can expand their ambassadorship to other nations and peoples and tribes and tongues.
Let's conclude with Letter No.6.