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Bible verses about Ambassadors of God
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Exodus 7:1-2

Aaron was Moses' prophet, and Moses was God's prophet. The prophet is a message carrier from one of greater authority. In this case, Moses was in the position of God to Aaron, as well as to Pharaoh. By combining Exodus 4:10-16 with Exodus 7:1-2, the biblical usage of a prophet has a good foundation. A prophet is one who expresses the will of God in words and sometimes with signs given to confirm what is said.

Through Moses, the function of a prophet begins to be established: to cry aloud and show men their sins (Isaiah 58:1). It does not stop there, though, because they were also pastors and ministerial monitors of the peoples' conduct and attitudes. Their function differed from that of priests in that the priest approached God by means of sacrifice on behalf of the people. The prophets, by contrast, approached men as ambassadors of God, beseeching them to turn from their evil ways and live (Ezekiel 33:11).

The difference between a prophet and a priest is a matter of direction, in that one goes from God to man (the prophet), and the other goes from men to God (the priest). It is also a matter of directness. The priest is indirect, while the prophet is direct. We have things going in opposite directions here, yet both working to accomplish essentially the same thing, which is to bring man and God into a relationship with one another. This has direct application to us under the New Covenant (II Corinthians 5:20-21).

John W. Ritenbaugh
Prophets and Prophecy (Part 1)


 

Deuteronomy 7:6-11

Since God is holy, the people He chooses for Himself must also be holy, a principle that continues under the New Covenant. As God lives by high standards, so must His people keep those same high standards as an example to the rest of the world. Just as a human government sends out ambassadors to other nations to represent it in its affairs within those nations, God chose Israel to represent Him. What were His reasons?

» He chose Israel to be His own people, a special treasure for His own purposes.

» He chose them to demonstrate His love for them. He simply loved them. When God loves someone, He puts a great deal of responsibility on him.

» He chose them to keep His promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with whom He also had a special relationship.

» He chose them to make a covenant with them, under which they were to keep His commandments and obey Him in everything. In return, He would bless them immensely.

God's choice of Israel was an act of love for them, even though He knew from the start that they would ultimately fail. God knew from the foundation of the world that all mankind would need a Savior (I Peter 1:19-20; Revelation 13:8), including Israelites. Yet, if any people were to succeed as God's model nation, it would be the children of Abraham. This is not because they were better, but because they of all people had a relationship with God, which had begun with Abraham. They had examples in their own ancestry that they could study to see that it could be done if they remained close to God.

To help them to succeed, God gave them His laws, another act of love. Moses writes:

Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day? (Deuteronomy 4:5-8)

Even in their laws they were to be a model nation for the rest of the world, not just for the Gentiles to notice, but to emulate. The Israelites should have made a great impression on the Canaanites, Philistines, Edomites, and all the nearby nations. This respect and admiration should have then spread beyond them to other nations.

Yet, because they failed to live by those good and righteous laws and to take advantage of God's nearness to them - in reality, they failed in just about everything He asked of them - their influence as a model nation rarely stretched beyond their borders. Too often, Israel was instead outright pagan!

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Why Israel? (Part Two)


 

Proverbs 13:17

As faithful ambassadors of Christ, we ought to bring health, refreshment, and comfort to the people with whom we come into contact.

David F. Maas
How to Conduct Ourselves as Ambassadors for Christ


 

John 17:16

What would Jesus do in a time of political election? He would not take part. He would warn true Christians, “Come out of her [this world], My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” (Revelation 18:1-4). Jesus calls Christians out of the ways of this world, including its political systems.

Just as Jesus did, we are expected to provide a true witness of God's way of life. We are to support what God is doing on earth so that the good news of Christ's return to establish God's Kingdom is proclaimed. Our focus needs to be on God's plan and His gift of salvation and eternal life so that we and all those He has called are prepared to participate in God's government on earth when it is established (Daniel 7:18, 22; Revelation 2:26-27; 5:10).

An ambassador of Christ is not to involve himself in the politics of this present evil world. Human governments, corrupted by the ruler of this world, are doomed to be replaced by the benevolent rule of the Kingdom of God. Though we are in the world, we are not of it.

Our mission—as advance emissaries of His Kingdom—is to give a true witness of God's way of life (Proverbs 14:25; Isaiah 43:10-12; Matthew 5:13-16; Acts 1:8; Revelation 20:4) and to warn the world of its predicament and present danger, proclaiming to all nations the good news of the Kingdom of God.

Martin G. Collins
Would Jesus Christ Vote? (Part Three)


 

Acts 17:23

In Acts 17:23, the apostle Paul deliberately builds a bridge of common understanding and similarity, referring to something the Athenians already understood. Later, in verse 28, Paul again seeks common ground by quoting from their own literature: "For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.'"

The important thing to remember is that the apostle Paul started at the Athenians' current level of understanding, continually finding commonalities between himself and his audience upon which to build mutual understanding and foster growth. An ambassador skillfully demonstrates how his country and another's country share similar interests. As the late Rabbi Meir Kahane pointed out, an alliance is not so much built on friendship as on common interests.

David F. Maas
How to Conduct Ourselves as Ambassadors for Christ


 

2 Corinthians 5:17-20

In verse 18, Paul explains that he, and by implication other Christians, have a "ministry of reconciliation" to serve as "ambassadors for Christ" (verse 20). It is, the apostle continues in verse 20, as if God is "pleading through us" to "be reconciled to God." Jesus Christ brings this reconciliation about, and the new man is the result.

Charles Whitaker
Choosing the New Man (Part Two)


 

2 Corinthians 5:20

II Corinthians 5:20, like John 18:36-37 and Philippians 3:20, defines our position by showing that we are not only citizens but also ambassadors of that heavenly Kingdom. We may love the nation we live in and be subject to its laws and authority, but we must reserve our fullest allegiance for God in heaven and His Kingdom. As ambassadors and sojourners, we do not have the legal authority to involve ourselves in the affairs of the human nation in which we reside.

The issue of war is not as complicated as it might first appear. The central fact is that God has said we must not kill. We will either be obedient to that or we will not. What determines our choice is the measure of our faith in the Bible's clear statements and examples. If we will obey God's commandments and exercise our faith in His promise, He will intervene to fight our battles for us. We never have to resort to killing.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Sixth Commandment (Part 2): War! (1997)


 

2 Corinthians 10:13-16

Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles. It was his province, his area of authority, his area of influence. Paul says that he lived within it and worked within it. He did not go into other men's areas to extend his influence beyond what was given to him. Peter was made preeminent over them all, and then as the work grew, God divided it up, saying in effect, "Paul, concentrate on this. Peter, concentrate on that." They had leadership in those areas, and it was almost as though the two shall never meet.

The picture that appears from all of this is that, not only did Paul adhere to the sphere of influence that God had given him, but so did the other twelve apostles. They divided up the world, went to their areas, and conducted their spiritual and governmental responsibilities only within their regions. That is the only way God could keep order over a worldwide work at the time.

The people who responded to the teaching of those men in those areas were not confused by other voices speaking to them. Each stayed within his own sphere of influence, the one that had been given by God. In that area, he was the top authority, as far as the doctrines that were to be followed, and in this way, God could keep order. Quite likely, the apostles were all speaking the same thing, yet by this method, confusion in terms of government was kept to a minimum. The people were not confused about whom they were to look to in their region for authority in matters pertaining to their relationship with God. It is a wonderful system.

God is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33). Doctrine was put into the church as the work expanded in the way that He has always done it - as He did through Moses, through whom He gave the first five books; as He did through Samuel, who may very well have been the author or main editor of all the books from Joshua to II Samuel; then through others whom God used to add to the scriptures so that we might have the complete Bible today.

So, it is God who puts doctrine into His church by the man He chooses to be His ambassador, His representative to those who have been called. That keeps matters in order. Our job is to have faith in God's decision and in the pattern that He reveals in His Word. That will keep us on track if we choose to make the right choices.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 2): God's Pattern of Leadership


 

2 Corinthians 10:13

An apostle has a measure of rule or authority within the church. In another place, Paul refers to himself as an ambassador. An ambassador is a high governmental personage who represents a yet higher authority—his government—and he is in that position to carry out the dictates of his nation in its relationship with another nation—a foreign nation. The ambassador resides in the foreign nation while representing his own nation, and he has authority, for example, over those who are under him at the consulate.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 3): Ephesians 4 (A)


 

Philippians 3:20

While some may spiritualize this fact away, Paul's words come across as literal and real to those who understand that God has called us out of this world (John 15:19) and transferred us into His Kingdom (Colossians 1:13).

Having our citizenship (conversation, KJV) in the Kingdom of God by definition makes us aliens in the physical country in which we live. Like ambassadors of a foreign government, we cannot participate in the politics of another country, a practice that would distract us from our real spiritual goal. However, we realize that the apostle Paul has challenged us to be ambassadors for Christ: "Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God" (II Corinthians 5:20).

Martin G. Collins
Parable of the Persistent Friend


 

1 Peter 2:11

Under the New Covenant we, too, should consider ourselves aliens and pilgrims in relation to this world. We live here as co-heirs of the earth with Christ, but we are to live our lives as if we are just passing through on the way to our inheritance. A pilgrim is a person out of his own country, in a foreign land. He does not intend to put down roots there but is heading elsewhere toward a definite goal. Thus, his life is always in transition. He should not view himself as permanently anchored to the society in which he lives.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Preparing for the Feast


 

 




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