THE WORLD'S MEDIATOR OUR ADVOCATE
I HAVE noticed with interest the discrimination you make between a mediator and an advocate--that believers of this Gospel Age, called to be members of the Body of Christ, the Mediator, have an Advocate and need one; because, although as New Creatures they are accepted of God, nevertheless having the new nature in the imperfect "earthen vessel," they cannot deal directly with the Father; even as a good citizen, approved in an earthly court, is not permitted by law to approach the Court directly, but only through an Advocate or attorney. I appreciate this distinction. I see how incongruous it would be for us New Creatures to be under a mediator. And I agree that THE WATCH TOWER has rightly defined these distinctions; that our Lord Jesus is the Advocate for the Church and the Mediator for the world. I agree, too, that his Mediatorial Kingdom is not yet established --that it belongs to the Millennial Age. I agree, also, that while our Lord is now the Mediator of the New Covenant, he is thus spoken of prophetically, because this is the great work to which he was appointed and because by his death he has become a "surety" (Heb. 7:22) for the full carrying out of the Divine promise of a New Covenant of blessing for Israel and the world.
I note my difficulty. It seems to me that the Church, "the household of faith," needs no Mediator now, since we have become New Creatures; but did we not need a Mediator before we could become New Creatures? It seems to me that our Lord Jesus must have acted as Mediator for us, at least momentarily, while we accepted justification and made our consecration. If this is not the correct thought, please render me the necessary assistance out of my perplexity.
WE REPLY:--Your difficulty is merely one of terms and not one of facts. It is a fact that believers needed the application of the Lord's merit, the "ransom-price," to be applied on their behalf--as a covering for their human imperfections and a basis for their becoming joint-sacrificers with Christ. This fact which your mind has grasped thoroughly should never be relinquished. It is the foundation of all proper faith. But you have attached a wrong label or name to that fact and need to take it off, and instead to attach the Scriptural label or name. It is as our Advocate that our Lord justified us, and not as our Mediator, because the term Advocate applies to our Lord only as our representative before the Father, justified by faith in his blood and sanctified through our consecration to be dead with him, he appeared before the Father as our Advocate: we were accepted and begotten of the holy Spirit as New Creatures, his "members." Our Lord continues as our Advocate. He is not the world's Advocate.
As for the word Mediator, it is indeed a glorious name and title possessed by our Lord, but it is not the proper label or name to be associated with his service in our justification. It is not Scripturally applicable to the Church at all, except that we are associates with the Mediator of the New Covenant as "his members" in the sufferings of this present time, and as joint-heirs with him in the glorious prospects of the Millennium. It will help us greatly to remember that while the word mediator is very loosely used in general conversation to-day it is quite particularly and carefully and exclusively used in the Bible--only in connection with a Covenant. Messiah (Head and Body) is the Mediator of the New Covenant, as Moses was the Mediator of the Law Covenant. (Acts 3:22,23.) No other mediator than these is known in the Scriptures, whatever may be the usage of our language.
By what term, then, should we speak of our justification and of him whose sacrifice justifies the Church? We should use the Scriptural term redeemer. Jesus is the Church's Redeemer, for "He bought us with his own precious blood"; [R4561 : page 60] "Ye were redeemed, not with corruptible things,...but with the precious blood of Christ." Our Lord will be the world's Mediator in due time. But he is as yet only the Church's Redeemer, as he is now only the Church's Advocate; because he has not yet made application of his merit on the world's behalf.
Are some surprised to note these clear Scriptural distinctions of terms? Let us reflect that the Lord has given us many blessed opportunities for the study of his Word not possessed by our forefathers. Hence we ought to see and appreciate more distinctly than they. We ought to be able to "rightly divide the Word of Truth" better than they. If some of our dear readers had the thought that they had studied the Scriptures so carefully that there could be nothing more to learn therefrom, let them confess that God's Book is wonderful, a mine of precious treasure. Its exactness in various features is marvelous. But this very exactness is proof of its Divine inspiration, as the ability to see this exactness is an evidence to us that we are guided by the holy Spirit which wrote the Book; even as it is written, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." The natural mind is disposed to reject, criticise and to call this "hair-splitting": It lacks in discrimination, or else is willing to turn and twist the Word of God to make it suit a theory. In either case there is blindness.
BROOKLYN BETHEL HYMNS FOR MARCH
After the close of the hymn the Bethel Family listens to the reading of "My Vow unto the Lord," then joins in prayer. At the breakfast table the MANNA text is considered: (1) 332; (2) 293; (3) 60; (4) 66; (5) 313; (6) 146; (7) 52; (8) 4; (9) 5; (10) 162; (11) 79; (12) 222; (13) 291; (14) 209; (15) 130; (16) 279; (17) 93; (18) 325; (19) 144; (20) 113; (21) 210; (22) 229; (23) 12; (24) 95; (25) 62; (26) 105; (27) 273; (28) 246; (29) 153; (30) 24; (31) 315.