PRESENT TRUTH--RE ADVOCATE AND MEDIATOR
A GENTLEMAN who fancies himself commissioned to be the Advocate of the New Covenant, but who has not yet come to see that the New Covenant could not be the Old Covenant, takes us to task saying: "Four years ago it was Present Truth that the Editor of THE WATCH TOWER needed a Mediator between God and Himself. Three years ago it became Present Truth that he does not need a Mediator between God and himself. Did the Editor of THE WATCH TOWER leave the Present Truth?"
We reply, No, the Editor of THE WATCH TOWER did not leave the Present Truth. He kept all the Truth that he then had and has added to it. The light has scattered some more of the darkness, so that, with the very same thought that he had four years ago, he now sees that he used the wrong word in expressing that thought. He now sees that he should have used the Scriptural term Advocate instead of the word Mediator. He now sees that himself and others in the past have used language too carelessly, because of the general confusion and mix-up handed down from the dark ages.
He now sees that the Scriptures nowhere say that the Church has a Mediator or ever will have a Mediator, and that they nowhere say that the Covenant of sacrifice, under which the Church is developed, has a Mediator. The Editor of THE WATCH TOWER is learning day by day more clearly to rightly divide the Word of Truth and to use Scriptural terms only. The Scriptures do say, "We have an Advocate with the Father." (I John 2:1.) They do not say anywhere, We have a Mediator between God and us. The Editor of THE WATCH TOWER is trying to assist God's people to think and speak correctly respecting the great work of Atonement for sin, the merit of which lies in the sacrifice of Jesus and the privilege to share in which is granted to the elect during this Gospel Age.
The same critic innocently asks for any Bible text to show that the Church, the Bride of Christ, does not need a Mediator. How foolish! Does the Bible undertake to say all the things that are not so? One would think that no special ability would be necessary to discern that there is no need of a Mediator between friends. We never had this thought! When we used the word as respects the Church we used it thoughtlessly, just as our opponents are using it now; we used it without noticing that the Bible nowhere intimates a Mediator between the Father and the Church. It is because Present Truth is progressive that we have clearer light on the same facts than we had four years ago, even as we then had clearer light than we enjoyed years before that. The Editor of THE WATCH TOWER has believed in Jesus as his Redeemer from childhood. He did not understand the philosophy of The Divine Plan of the Ages then, but nevertheless, his simple faith was a sufficient basis for a consecration of his all to the Lord, and a sufficient basis for the Divine acceptance of the sacrifice and the begetting of the holy Spirit. Since then the light of this harvest time has been shining more and more clearly as the years go by. The light of Present Truth does not contradict the light of past Truth, but confirms it and further clarifies our vision and increases our hope and our joy. And is not this true of all of God's people now walking in the narrow way? Those who are now "waking up" to a realization of the fact that for seventeen years they have been in darkness are acknowledging that they have not been walking for those seventeen years in the "path of the just, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day." For the past seventeen years of their lives, the seventeen years of their best Christian experience, they believed that the Vine and the branches are one--that the Head and his Members are one; that the sufferings of The Christ are one--that the Church fills up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ--that the death of Christ is one-- that the Church becomes dead with him sacrificially, after having been justified through faith in his blood, his sacrifice. For seventeen years they believed that the Prophet spake of the sufferings of Christ (Head and Body) and the glory that shall follow; that to be dead with him signifies to be baptized into his sacrificial death as in contrast with Adam's penalty--death. And to drink of his cup signifies a share of his sufferings and that the hope before all such is, that "if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him"; and "if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him." For seventeen years these friends told us that they believed and rejoiced in St. Paul's sentiments of Phil. 3:9-11, the hope to be found in Christ (members of his Body), not having their own righteousness, which is of the Law (Covenant), but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which [R4680 : page 292] is of God by faith (not by the New (Law) Covenant), that we might know him and the power of his resurrection (sharing his resurrection as his members) and the fellowship of his sufferings (being partakers of the sufferings of Christ), being made conformable unto his death (not a different death from his, but a similar one--not a death as a sinner, but a sacrificial one), if by any means I might attain unto The resurrection of The dead.
We are not murmuring nor complaining against these friends because of the great loss which they have sustained --the loss of spiritual sight into the deep things of God-- into "the mystery, which is Christ in you the hope of glory." We compassionate their loss and remember the Master's words, "If the light that is in thee become darkness, how great is that darkness!" While not attempting to judge the hearts of any who have gone out from us, we may be confident that the Lord did not allow them to go out without a sufficient reason. We regard their loss of spiritual sight as a Divine judgment upon them, just as truly as we regard the opening of the eyes of their understanding as a mark of Divine favor. Remembering that the Lord is not dealing arbitrarily either in receiving his people into the light nor in casting some out of the light, we are bound to suppose that there were conditions of heart in these, our friends, with which the Lord was not well pleased. The lesson to us is that we must walk in the light and that we must put away from our hearts and, as far as possible from our flesh, everything contrary to the Divine standards of meekness, gentleness, purity, justice, love, "if by any means we would attain unto The resurrection of The dead."
Before dismissing this subject we must answer another foolish question, namely, What answer do we make to the following:--
A certain sister owning property in her own name found that her husband had taken possession of it, rents, monies, all, and that he ignored her entirely in the matter. Upon her request to have some of her own money and property given her by her father, the husband became angry and sought out some of our opponents. The latter, after the usual course, partially misrepresented our teachings respecting the atonement for sin. The husband replied, That's what my wife says. She says, "Jesus didn't die for you; he died for me--but not for you; I will die for you." What will we answer to this? We answer that we would not believe a man on oath who was trying to cheat his wife out of her own money. We do not believe that the wife said anything of the kind, nor that she has any such idea. We believe that the husband misrepresented his wife's statement, just as our opponents uniformly misrepresent THE WATCH TOWER statements. A half-truth may be an untruth, if it gives a misconception and is intended so to do. A truthful statement would not serve the purpose of our opponents, for the Truth is logical as nothing else is. St. Paul remarked, "We be slanderously reported." The same is true today. The self-contradictions of our opponents are remarkable. In one breath they tell us that they have been deceived by us for seventeen years. In the next they say that we have changed within the last three years. In the next they affirm that they are in accord with everything in the SCRIPTURE STUDIES, and yet they are opposing them as best they are able. Oh, inconsistency, thou art not a jewel; nor dost thou reflect beauty or credit upon anybody!
A COVENANT BY SACRIFICE NOT THE NEW
In all of our writings for the past thirty years we have pointed out the New Covenant as coming fully into operation at the close of this Gospel Age. We have pointed out that it is the Covenant under which restitution blessings are to come to the world of mankind. We pointed it out as the Keturah Covenant--separate and distinct from the Hagar Covenant, under which natural Israel was developed, typified by Ishmael and separate and distinct also from the original Abrahamic Covenant, typified by Sarah, whose seed Isaac typified The Christ, Head and Body. We saw and pointed out to others, so that they saw, that the antitypical Isaac--The Christ, Head and Body--is the Melchisedec Priest, of which Jesus is the Head and the Church his Body--the great Priest under whom the New Covenant is to be made effective to Israel and to the world of mankind through Israel. We pointed out also that the elect Church of this Gospel Age, a "Royal Priesthood," must all offer sacrifice; as the Apostle declares, "Every priest is ordained of God to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sin." We pointed out that our Lord Jesus is the great High Priest of our profession and that he offered himself in sacrifice and that he required that all [R4681 : page 292] who would be with him in his Throne must walk in his steps--after being justified through faith in his blood. We pointed out that this is what is referred to in the Scriptures as the Covenant by sacrifice, "Gather my saints unto me, those who have made a Covenant with me by sacrifice." (Psa. 50:5.) We associated this sacrificing of the earthly nature by all those who would be partakers of the divine nature with the Apostle's exhortation of Hebrews 9:23. We called attention to the fact that the word sacrifices is in the plural and refers not only to the most important sacrifice made by our Lord and Redeemer, but that it applies also to the sacrifices of all those whom he accepts as his members of the Royal Priesthood. These are the "better sacrifices," which were typified by the bulls and goats of the typical Atonement Day.
We saw and mentioned that the Church as priests, while under the Covenant of Grace, the primary Covenant, the Sarah Covenant, have a work to do in connection with the New Covenant. As the Apostle says, "We are able (or qualified) ministers (or servants) of the New Covenant." But we see more clearly now than we did ten years ago just how we serve the New Covenant--that as members of the Body of the Mediator of that Covenant, we are associated with him in making preparation for its inauguration. We are serving it in the sense that he served it, only in an inferior degree and not individually, but in him, as "members of the Body," members of the "Royal Priesthood," to whom "old things have passed away and all things have become new." We see now more clearly than ever the meaning of our precious relationship to God in Christ as members of the antitypical Isaac, through whose mercy Israel and the world shall obtain mercy, under the provision of the New Covenant put into operation as soon as the Royal Priesthood shall have completed the appointed work of sacrifice.-- Romans 11:27-30.
Our opponents can all agree that they disagree with THE WATCH TOWER, but they cannot agree amongst themselves on anything doctrinal. Nor do they see, seemingly, that fault-finding is not proof. Let them try to set forth The Divine Plan of the Ages from their own standpoint. They cannot do it. Their theories are illogical and inconsistent. They take our logical presentation as a basis and make a few turns and twists to suit themselves, failing to see that whatever they add or subtract is so much confusion. That is the reason why so many who leave the Truth take a few paces after the claimed "new light" and then drop out forever into the blackness of outer darkness of unbelief and uncertainty about everything. [R4681 : page 293]
Let such of our opponents as are honest sit down calmly and figure out the Covenants and their mediators. Thus only will they see the weakness of their present attitude.
(1) Which was the original Covenant to which the Law was added four hundred and thirty years after.-- (Gal. 3:17)?
(2) Would it be proper to speak of that original Covenant as the same that God promised he would make "after those days" and which he styles the "New Covenant"?
(3) If so, of what use is language, except to mislead and confuse?
(4) It is admitted that St. Paul declares that the original Covenant had no Mediator; that it was a uni-lateral or one-sided Covenant which needed no Mediator.
(5) On the contrary, it is admitted that the Mosaic or Law Covenant was a type of the New Covenant--that it could not be a type of a Covenant which preceded it.
It is conceded that the Law Covenant and its priests and their services typified the New Covenant with its higher or "royal priesthood" and antitypical Atonement Day and "better sacrifices," whose blood is brought into the antitypical Most Holy to make sin-atonement and whose bodies were burned outside the antitypical camp-- Heb. 13:11.
If a type cannot follow its antitype, surely, then, it could not be "added" to its antitype. Surely no great wisdom is necessary to see this. "We, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of the promise"--the children of the original Sarah Covenant--barren for nearly two thousand years.
The Redeemer is our Advocate, through whose imputed merit we, with him, are admitted to membership in the Spiritual Seed under his "Covenant by sacrifice"-- symbolized by the offering of Isaac. Sacrificing with him and accepted as his members we shall soon with him constitute the great antitypical Moses (Acts 3:22,23), the Mediator of the New (Law) Covenant--between God and men--through Israel after the flesh.