Jehovah`s Witness/In unity?
QUESTION: Hello Brenton. I have a question regarding how I've read and heard that all jws are in unity with what the teaches. I personally have found quite the opposite. Do you believe that Jesus is the mediator for all men, or just the 144000 anointed. I asked my two jw co-workers and they said that Jesus is mediator for all men, just like the bible says.
I also asked about what happened to the body of Jesus after His resurrection? They both answered nobody knows as an expert on here also told me. The watchtower teaches that Jesus' body was disintegrated into a zillion pieces. Is this true? If so why isn't every jw in unity as they proudly boast to be?
Thank you. Kevin.
ANSWER: Hi Kevin
Nice to hear from you again. Both questions you have asked are not uncommon.
First, what is a mediator? Here are some online definitions
“a person who mediates, especially between parties at variance.” http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/mediator
One that mediates, especially one that reconciles differences between disputants.
In the Bible the Greek word is μεσιτης̀̀ (mesites). According to Strongs Lexicon this word means
“a go-between, i.e. (simply) an internunciator, or (by implication) a reconciler (intercessor)”
What roll does Jesus have in the case of mankind? One answer is found at John 14:6
“... no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (KJV)
When we pray to God we do so through Jesus, therefore Jesus becomes “a go-between”, between us and God. In that
general sense Jesus is our mediator.
Now, generally, when we refer to Jesus as the
mediator, we do so with the roll of the new covenant in mind. Moses mediated the covenant between God and the nation of Israel while they were in the wilderness. This covenant did not include the vast mixed company that came with the Israelites out of Egypt. When we read the accounts in the Bible about this we see that only the nation of Israel was included . (Exodus 19:3, 7, 8; Numbers 3:44-51
Later when the land of Canaan was divided between the Israelite tribes, nothing was set aside for non-Israelite believers . (Genesis 12:7; Joshua 13:1-14
The non Israelites though, benefit from their association with the nation.
Our understanding is, that when Jesus mediated the new covenant (1)
, it was between God and the new “spiritual” nation of Israel. (2)
The natural nation (as a nation not individuals) was abandoned because of their continued disobedience and rejection of Jesus as the messiah. Jesus said this at Matthew 23:37, 38
37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets and stoner of those sent to her—how often I wanted to gather your children together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings! But you did not want it. 38 Look! Your house is abandoned to you.”
Without going to great detail at this time as I am sure you have some information on that already, we understand that the “spiritual” nation of Israel or “the Israel of God” is limited to the 144,000 who are to be joint heirs with Jesus in the Kingdom and be co-rulers and priest with Jesus for the millennium reign
(1) 2 Corinthinas 3:6
“Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; [or agreement – BBE; or covenant – RSV ]” (JKV)
“In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” (KJV)
“ When he says, A new agreement, he has made the first agreement old. But anything which is getting old and past use will not be seen much longer.” (BBE)
“13 In his saying “a new [covenant]” he has made the former one obsolete. Now that which is made obsolete and growing old is near to vanishing away” (NWT)
(2) 1 Corinthians 10:18
18 Look at Israel in the fleshly sense: Are not those who eat the sacrifices sharers with the altar?” (NWT)
. 15 For neither is circumcision anything nor is uncircumcision, but a new creation is. 16 As for all those who walk orderly by this rule of conduct, peace and mercy be upon them, yes, upon the Israel of God.” (NWT)
As far as Jesus body is concerned, we just do not know what happened it. It is suggested that it just disappeared.
This is a quote from one of our publications. Bold mine. (The texts mentioed in that quoute are presented bellow from the NWT)
The physical body of Jesus Christ was not allowed to decay into dust
as did the bodies of Moses and David, men who were used to foreshadow Christ. (De 34:5, 6; Ac 13:35, 36; 2:27, 31) When his disciples went to the tomb early on the first day of the week, Jesus’ body had disappeared, and the bandages with which his body had been wrapped were left in the tomb, his body doubtless having been disintegrated without passing through the process of decaying
.—Joh 20:2-9; Lu 24:3-6.
Deuteronomy 34:5, 6
"5 After that Moses the servant of Jehovah died there in the land of Moʹab just as Jehovah had said. 6 He buried him in the valley in the land of Moʹab, opposite Beth-peʹor, and nobody knows where his grave is down to this day."
Acts 13:35, 36
“.So it also says in another psalm: ‘You will not allow your loyal one to see corruption.’ 36 David, on the one hand, rendered service to God in his own generation, fell asleep in death, was laid with his forefathers, and did see corruption.” [ MY NOTE: the idea of corruption was the deacying of the doby of flesh. Davids body decayed, that of Jesus did not – this text is the bases for understanding that Jesus body just disappeared (or disintegrated)]
"2 So she came running to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, for whom Jesus had affection, and she said to them: “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out for the tomb. 4 The two of them began running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 Stooping forward, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter also came, following him, and he went into the tomb. And he saw the linen cloths lying there. 7 The cloth that had been on his head was not lying with the other cloth bands but was rolled up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed. 9 For they did not yet understand the scripture that he must rise from the dead."
"3 and when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, look! two men in shining garments stood by them. 5 The women became frightened and kept their faces turned toward the ground, so the men said to them: “Why are you looking for the living one among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has been raised up. Recall how he spoke to you while he was yet in Galʹi·lee."
The article goes on to say …. (I will leave you to look up the texts this time)
After Jesus’ resurrection he appeared in different bodies
[NOTE: His disciples never recognized him by looks]. Mary mistook him for the gardener. (Joh 20:14, 15) He again appeared, entering a room with locked doors, having a body with wound marks. (Joh 20:24-29) Several times he manifested himself and was recognized, not by his appearance, but by his words and actions. (Lu 24:15, 16, 30, 31, 36-45; Mt 28:16-18) Once a miracle performed at his direction opened his disciples’ eyes to his identity. (Joh 21:4-7, 12) Jesus, having been resurrected as a spirit (1Pe 3:18), could materialize a body for the occasion as the angels did in past times, when they appeared as messengers. (Ge 18:2; 19:1, 12; Jos 5:13, 14; Jg 13:3, 6; Heb 13:2) During the days before the Flood, the angels that “did not keep their original position but forsook their own proper dwelling place” performed an incarnation and married human wives. That these angelic sons of God were not truly human but had materialized bodies is shown by the fact that the Flood did not destroy these angels, but they dematerialized and returned to the spirit realm.—Jude 6; Ge 6:4; 1Pe 3:19, 20; 2Pe 2:4.
If you would like more information please ask
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thanks for the prompt response Brenton.
Your response has me scratching my head. You seem to say yes and no to Jesus being the mediator for mankind. I have heard and read a lot that the WT doesn't believe that Jesus is mediator for all mankind, only for the 144,000 anointed ones in heaven. The Bible says that He is however.
For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Tim. 2:5 NIV. Why do they refer to Jesus as "man"? Mankind would refer to those living on earth, would it not?
You quote from the WT" When his disciples went to the tomb early on the first day of the week, Jesus’ body had disappeared, and the bandages with which his body had been wrapped were left in the tomb, his body doubtless having been disintegrated". You said it is "suggested that His body just disappeared".
First off, why do you quote from the WT? Do you hold them in the same authority as the Bible? They say 'doubtless' like its a matter of fact. I would like to see any of the scriptures that say Jesus' body was disintegrated. Also any scriptures that say He was given new bodies. Some of the scriptures I recall are when Jesus said he would rebuild His temple (body) in three days as proof of who He was. Or when the angel in the tomb said " He is not here for He is risen". Or how about when He saw Thomas and told him to check out the holes in His hands from the nails. So you see, the Bible doesn't suggest what happened to His body, it makes it pretty clear. You can speculate if you want, but without any evidence, its just someone's opinion. Jws don't believe that Jesus was resurrected in His physical, that he was raised spiritually. I've yet to read any evidence on that.
Once again you never really answered my question about the unity in the jw organization. The watchtower says it is 'doubtless' and you say it is suggested the Jesus' body evaporated. The other jws say nobody knows what happened to His body. I would love to see the scriptures that relate directly to this point.
While I'm here let me ask you a follow-up about the WT and their teaching about worship to Jesus being proper. How can that be? Worship belongs to God only. Jesus said it Himself in Matthew 4:10
Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"
I had a chance to talk to a couple of jw ladies and brought this subject up and they fervently denied that was true, that they (the WT) never believed Jesus to ever be God. I've heard from a couple of credible people that, in fact, the jws never believed Jesus to be God. When I read a quote from Charles Russell about worship to Jesus, she interrupted me and asked if I got that from an apostate publication. So Brenton my friend, its always good to keep an open mind like you say and remember the truth can't hurt you.
Thanks again. Kevin
ANSWER: Hi Kevin,
Thank you for the follow up. I apologies for not being real clear in my first response. I had been in a bit of a hurry at the time. I have now taken about 4 hours to answer this so I do hope that I have done a better job of being clearer.
I am not going to answer all your questions in this one reply. If I do not rush, it will take me a while, and there is actually a lot of information that I could present. So, please, ask the questions I do not answer here as another question (s). I find it easier to collect my thoughts and prepare a reply when I have only one topic at a time.
I have heard and read a lot that the WT doesn't believe that Jesus is mediator for all mankind, only for the 144,000 anointed ones in heaven.
Jesus has different rolls as a mediator. One is as the “go between” so that we can pray to God (as mentioned in my first reply). Another, is that only through him
can we ever hope to be saved (Acts 4:1
2 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved “ NIV) Another is as the mediator of the new covenant. Not all mankind are parties to the new covenant, just like when Moses mediated the covenant with those that escaped Egypt. That covenant However, like the vast multitude of non Israelite's that left Egypt with the Israelite's and those that came to live within their boarders, they benefited from the covenant that Moses mediated. All mankind are invited to benefit from the covenant that Jesus mediated between God and the new “spiritual” Israel. Because those not in the covenant can be beneficiaries of that covenant, we benefit from the roll of Jesus as mediator
This is not an exact representation
of the situation but it is my way of trying to explain it. I hope it makes sense for you.
Imagine a war situation (two nations at odds). As a general rule it is the governments of the warring parties that are at odds. An ambassador from one country goes out and sues for peace with the other countries government. The ambassador mediates a treaty. The two parties are reconciled and become one nation with representatives of the second country joining the government of the first. The whole country benefits from the mediation, yet the parties of the mediation of the new arrangement are the two governments, not every citizen.
We are at odds with God because of our inherited sin. We are doomed to die. Jesus is sent as the ambassador to mediate a peace treaty. (It is sealed with his death and his blood). The mediation takes place between God and the “government” which is the “Spiritual Nation of Israel”. The members of that nation are to be rulers within the new government that is formed, and the rest of mankind now benefit from that arrangement
So, generally when we (JWs) refer to Jesus as a mediator, most JWs automatically think of the roll he had as the mediator of the new covenant. In this roll as mediator, it is understood that he is the mediator only of the 144000 that are in the new covenant. This covenant was for a kingdom as we are told at Luke 22:28-30 “28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you
a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me
, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (NIV)
The NWT reads differently. It says
.“However, YOU are the ones that have stuck with me in my trials; 29 and I make a covenant with you
, just as my Father has made a covenant with me
, for a kingdom, 30 that YOU may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel”
Jesus mad a covenant with those that were to be part of the “spiritual” Israel or the “Israel of God” for a Kingdom. I know that the two Bibles read differently so here is what I found out about that difference. You make up your mind as to which one is more correct.
Look on line at this interlinear and click on the number 1303, (I will cut and past parts of it)
Definition: (a) I appoint, make (of a covenant), (b) I make (a will).
1. to arrange, dispose of, one's own affairs;
2. …. to make a covenant, enter into covenant, with one
appoint, make, testator.
I will leave the discussion on those that become joint heirs, and their responsibilities with Jesus for the kingdom for now, for two reason. 1) there is a lot of information on that, and I do not know just how much to give, as I do not know how much you are already aware of, and 2) I want to look at some of the other things you asked so that this reply does not get long.
Why was Jesus called “the man”? Because that is what he was when here on earth. He was just a man, a human of flesh and blood just like every one else. When he was here, he was not divine. He was not a “God/man”. He did not share Gods nature when he was here as a man. He had to be just a man in order for perfect justice to be served.
Look what we are told at Deut 32:4
“He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” (NIV)
Also note Psalms 19:7
“The law of the Lord is perfect, ..” (NIV)
All Gods dealings with mankind are perfectly just. Jesus had to correspond to Adam. He was a perfect human, but, he died an imperfect human giving us the death sentence (Roms 5:12
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” [NIV] ). Jesus had to die as perfect man in order to render perfect justice. In 1 Timothy 2:6
in the NIV we read “who gave himself as a ransom for all people.” The NWT adds an extra word here it reads “who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all” Why the difference,
Lets look at the meaning of the Greek word here. First go to
and then to word 487 http://biblehub.com/greek/487.htm
and we find this definition “487 antílytron (from 473 /antí, "corresponding to, instead of/exchange" and 3083 /lýtron, "ransom-price") – properly, a full ransom, referring to Christ paying the complete purchase-price to secure our freedom “
Jesus had to fully correspond to that of Adam.
Mankind would refer to those living on earth, would it not?
Yes it does refer to mankind living on earth. At the time it was written no man had ever ascended to heaven. John 3:13
“No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man” (NIV) Also note Acts 2:34
“For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said ...” (NIV) So the man Jesus was to mediate for all mankind. He had different rolls as a mediator. One so that we can approach God in prayer, one was to die so that we could have salvation, and one was to mediate a new covenant.
I hope my illustration above helps to see just how all mankind can benefit if they chose to follow the Christ.
The opportunity is there for all that are not a part of the “government” arrangement to benefit from the mediation of Jesus. That is Gods desire. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
(NIV) God is being very patient with mankind but his patents will not last forever. He will step in and cleanse the earth as he did in the flood, to cities like Sodom and Gomorrah.
Personally I would say many JWs would not really take the time to actually think about the different aspects of Jesus as a mediator. They would know that salvation is only through Jesus, but probably would not consciously associate that with the word mediator. Most would also know that we can not approach God except to go though Jesus, and many not consciously associate that with the word mediator. The topic of Jesus as a mediator is not one that is constantly brought to the forefront of thought. That is possibly due to when it is discussed, it is usually in the topic of mediation the covenant, and looking at the parallel between Jesus and Moses.
Can I just bring up the point again of Jesus having to fully correspond to that of Adam. That has a bearing now on the body of Jesus after his death.
The WT quote that I used had referred to the Bible. We are told that the tomb was empty. How was Jesus raised? Lets look at 1 Corinthians 15 : 42-47
Please not the bold and my comments [ ] The first part of this passage referes to those that inherit the heavenly Kingdom. Verse 45 is about Jesus, but information in the first part is vital for the second part.
“42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable
[our human bodies perish and decay] , it is raised imperishable
[spirit bodies do not decay]; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body
[ we have a natural human body that decays], it is raised a spiritual body
[spiritual bodies do not decay].
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam
[we all know just who that was] became a living being”; the last Adam
[we know to be Jesus], a life-giving spirit
[Jesus no longer has a perishable human body but an imperishable spirit body]. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 the first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.” NIV
The perishable human body of body of Jesus could not enter heaven. Lets just go down to verse 50 “I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable” NIV
So because Jesus was raised as a “life-giving spirit” and flesh and blood can not enter the Kingdom of God, then something must have happened to his body. We are not told. So an assumption has been made that the body disappeared. How could a body disappear? Using our limited human knowledge the only thing that makes sense is that it was dissolved.
Also as mentioned before when ever Jesus appeared to his followers they did not recognize him by physical looks. It was his manner of teaching and his payers that often told them who he was. This telling us that he took on different human forms.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hello Brenton. Not sure why my question showed up as private. It was meant to be public. I've had this problem before, if you could make it public that would be great. Kevin.
I went into the previous answer to the area where I can “Revise answer”, I went to where we we have the opportunity to change a private to public
“Change it to public (Be careful, please do so ONLY if this question contains no personal information.)”
And changed it,
So I hope the answer now show up on the public board