We continue once again with our forth question, who specifically is the Mediator?
In this study we would like to take a quick look at the “Testator” to see how this is related to the Mediator.
Testator: a person who has made a will or given a legacy.
“And for this reason he is the Mediator of the new covenant by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first (Law) covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal in heritance. For where there is a testament (a bequest, a will) there must also of necessity be the death of the testator, for a testament is in force only after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.”(Heb 9:15-17)
“The Apostle explains that no will or testament or bequest is of validity so long as the testator lives. Whatever covenant of agreement may be had, it awaits a final sealing or completion by the death of the testator. The Apostle applies this to Christ. By His death Jesus passed on to us, the church, the benefit of his merit; namely, the earthly rights of ‘justification’ to all that was lost in Adam and redeemed by the precious merit of Christ’s sacrifice finished at Calvary. In accepting these earthly blessings, we, as His members, agreed to the terms; namely, that we also surrender our rights to these, as servants or ‘ministers of the New (Law) Covenant’—that these earthly blessings secured by our Lord’s obedience and death should thus pass through us and still be the Redeemer’s asset to be given to Israel, under Israel’s New (Law) Covenant.
The fact that Israel is still outcast from God’s favor is merely evidence that the body of Christ is not yet completely sacrificed, for bear in mind that the covenant is of no validity until the death of the testator. The Lord Jesus, the primary Testator, has accepted consecrated believers, as ‘members of his body,’ and he is working in them by his holy Spirit to will and to do the Father’s good pleasure—that they may lay down their lives in sacrifice, filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Messiah. As soon as the last member of the church shall have died as a member of His body, the New (Law) Covenant with Israel will be sealed—sealed with the blood of the Testator; the death of the Christ, Head and members.
Meantime the resurrection change of the church as the body of Christ will have brought the Testator as a whole to the plane of glory, honor and immortality. On this plane the Christ, Jesus the Head, and the church, His mystic body, will be in antitype the great Prophet, the great Priest, the great King, the great Judge, the great Mediator between God and mankind in general. Then will come the time promised in the Scriptures when this Great One, this Glorified One, the Seed of Abraham on the spiritual plane, will begin the work of blessing all the families of the earth, under the conditions of the New (Law) Covenant, to be made with Israel first. (R4453)
“Hebrews 9:16 reads: “For where a Testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.” In the case of Moses the death of the Testator was represented by the slaying of the bullock AND the goat. In the case of the Antitypical Moses, the death of the Testator is shown in the sacrifice of our Lord AND the Church his Body. The ability of Christ to give a Testament or Covenant, or to make a Covenant, should also be seen. As the man Jesus he could not make this Covenant. Why? Because as a man–not spirit-begotten–he could merely have given his human life for mankind and then would have had nothing left for himself; or if he had retained his earthly life he could have established only an earthly Kingdom and never could have given eternal life to any one subsequently. He might have blessed them with wise laws and regulations and improved conditions over the present time, but never could have given them life and the perfections and blessings that he will be able to give under the New Covenant.”
HOW THE LORD BECAME A TESTATOR
“In order to be a Testator and give eternal life to the world, it was necessary that our Lord should carefully follow the Plan that God had arranged: First, by his own obedience he should demonstrate his loyalty to God and receive life on the divine plane as his reward; second, that then, by taking up his human life which he did not forfeit in anywise, he should have that human life and its rights to give to Israel and through them to all mankind. He is thus a Testator. He is thus one who bequeaths (or wills) something to others. He bequeaths it not while he is alive, as a gift, but he gives it as a Testator, as that with which he parts in death. So our Lord Jesus, as the Great Mediator of the New Covenant, will give to mankind the human rights and privileges to which he had a right by virtue of his perfect obedience to the Divine Law. He invites us, NOT to share those rights with the world, NOT to come under his Mediatorial reign and be sharers in restitution privileges, but, according to the will of God, to do something else, viz., to join with him in becoming Testator, to lay down our lives and thus be sharers with him in the spirit of his great work, that we may also share with him in the actual features of that work during the Millennium.
HOW WE (THE CHURCH) ARE JOINED TO THE TESTATOR
The very first difficulty encountered is that we, unlike him, have not perfect bodies that we could give as perfect sacrifices; hence God’s arrangement for those who have this sacrificing attitude of mind is that they may be dealt with by the Lord Jesus and that he may, as their Advocate, impute to them his merit, his restitution rights, to make up for, to off-set, their blemishes and imperfections, that they may offer unto God a sacrifice that would be pleasing. We see that he does not give to these who are now called, either the Mediatorial blessings of the Millennial Age or the restitution conditions which that Mediatorial reign will confer. He gives to them that which will serve his purpose for them much better; viz., an imputation of his merit for past sins, to allow their sacrifice to pass the Divine propitiatory satisfactorily. Even then their sacrifice would prove imperfect and unsatisfactory because of inability to carry it out to a completion, did he not continue to be their Advocate. With every blemish and imperfection that is unwillingly theirs they can go to him as their Advocate and obtain mercy and have the cleansing from all sin through the merit of his sacrifice.” (R4623 par.12-14)
“So, then, in the Scriptural language, that which our Lord did do in connection with the promised New Covenant between God and Israel at his first advent, was that he became a “surety” and guarantee for its later fulfillment. (Heb 7:22) From that time, therefore, the New Covenant may be considered as assured or legislated or guaranteed, but not put into force, because, as the Apostle declares, a testament or will is of no binding force until the death of the testator. In harmony with the Divine Plan the Redeemer applied the merit of his sacrifice to a special class “called” and “drawn of the Father” during this Gospel Age, to be members, to join with him in his sacrifice. These were to receive of his fullness, his merit, as the atonement for their sins, and then they were to drink of his blood or share in his death, that his blood or the merit of his sacrifice might as a blessing pass through them and permit them by sacrificing restitution blessings to attain the divine nature and glory. (2 Pet 1:4)
None of these may keep the blessing of restitution privileges. Each was obliged in advance to pledge his life in sacrifice with his Lord before his final acceptance and begettal of the Holy Spirit to joint-heirship with the Head in his glory, honor and immortality. So then (AND THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART) the reason that the New Covenant promised in Jeremiah’s day (Jer 31:31), and assured by our Lord’s death has not yet gone into effect and become operative in restitution blessings to Israel and the world is, that the death of the testator has not yet been fully accomplished; for the testator, through whom Israel will get that great blessing of the New Covenant, is not our Lord Jesus alone, but The Christ, Head and Body.
To this agree the words of the Apostle again, namely, that natural Israel will “obtain mercy through your [Spiritual Israel’s] mercy.” (Rom 11:31) The laying down of the restitution rights received by us from the Lord through faith in his blood is our sacrifice of the same, the dying of the Testator’s Body. (2 Cor 4:10) Israel is to be the beneficiary of this testament, this legacy, this will, the merit of which is all as Jesus said, “in his blood,” in his cup, which we must drink (Matt 20: 22,23; 26:27).” R4498
Although we have to a limited extent already answered our fifth and final question, where and when does this mediation begin? There are still a few more thoughts pertinent to this question, which need to be addressed.
More to the point where (or with whom precisely is the new covenant mediated) and when will this mediation commence?
“Behold the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD; I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jer 31:31-33)
This Scripture rightly understood fully answers our question as to whom precisely the new covenant is mediated, and when precisely this mediation will commence.
Let us apply our God given ability to reason here and work this out for ourselves.
A covenant is a contract, a binding agreement between two parties. In the business world if two parties have established a contract between themselves by law this contract is binding until its terms have been fully met by both parties. In essence Israel as a nation or people entered into such a contract with the LORD when at Mount Sinai they agreed to the terms of the Law Covenant, exclaiming “All that the LORD has spoken we will do” (Exod 19:1-9; 24:1-8), Moses at the time acting as the “go- between” or Mediator of this contract.
“The Word of God distinguishes between a covenant and its mediator. A covenant does not go into operation until after it has been fully mediated. When Moses mediated the Law Covenant, he first offered sacrifices; then he took the blood of the animals and, dividing it into two parts, sprinkled both the Book of the Law and the people. (Exod 24:4-8; Heb 9:19-24) After he had done this, the Law Covenant was in force; and it will continue until superseded by its antitype, the New Covenant.” (R5164)
Thus we see that if a proposition is made to make a new covenant with someone it implies that they were previously under covenant or contract prior to this and that this new contract is to supersede the former one established with them.
Now we ask what nation or people other than the nation of Israel has God ever entered into covenant or contract with? Is it not written?
“Now therefore if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant then you shall be a special treasure to me above all people; for all the earth is mine, and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation…” (Exod 19:5)
“Hear this word that Jehovah hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will visit upon you all your iniquities.” (Amos 3:1, 2)
There is absolutely no Scriptural support for any theory that God was ever in covenant arrangement with any other nation other than the nation of Israel.
Thus the first part of our texts taken from Jeremiah should be rightly understood as follows, viz.
“Behold the days are coming (when the Testator complete will have finished the great antitypical sacrifices of himself and his church, the “better sacrifices” Heb 9:23, when he will have finished with the second presentation of the blood of atonement in the Most Holy, that of the Lord’s goat, representing “his body” the “Church”, “the sin-offering, which is for the people”, which makes atonement, reconciliation for the people Lev 16:15 with this he will have finished making application of the blood, the blood which seals, makes binding, ratifies, the New Covenant which makes satisfaction for the sins of the world), says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah (With whom did he say? Did he say the Gentiles? No! Did he say the Church? No! neither of these, he said with the house of Israel, “For this is my covenant with THEM, when I shall take away their sins” Rom 11:27) not according to the covenant (the Law Covenant) that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them says the LORD.”
“Jesus death (blood) constituted the blood which seals or makes effective the New Covenant. Our taking of this cup and drinking of it (Matt 26:27) shows our participation. The consecrated lives (blood) accepted by our Lord are counted in as a part of his own sacrifice (the sin-offering) which seals the New Covenant.”
“This New Covenant will not become operative until the cup of the Lord’s sufferings which is left behind has been completely drained in death by the last member of his Body” (R5542:6, 4310:2, 3)
“This is my blood (symbol of LIFE given up in death) of the new covenant, shed for many for the remission of sin;” “Drink ye all of it.” (Matt 26:27, 28) It is by the giving up of his life as a ransom for the life of the Adamic race, which sin had forfeited, that a right to LIFE comes to men. (Rom 5:18, 19)
Jesus’ shed blood was the “ransom for ALL,” but his act of handing the cup to the disciples, and asking them to drink of it, was an invitation to them to become partakers of his sufferings, or, as Paul expresses it, to “fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ.” (Col 1:24) “The cup of blessing, for which we bless God, is it not a (joint) participation (on our part in) the blood [shed blood—death] of the Anointed one?” (1 Cor 10:16) Memorial Meditations, Page 16
Our Lord speaking to his followers inquires, “Are you able (willing to participate) to drink of the cup (of shame, ignominy, sufferings and reproach) which I have drunk, and to be baptized with the baptism which I am baptized with (a baptism of death, and that a sacrificial death, Rom 6:3)?
To those so willing he states, “You will indeed drink of my cup (participate in the blood shed as part of the Day of Atonement “sin-offerings”, the blood which seals the New Covenant), and you will indeed be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with” (Matt 20:22, 23)
Let us now take a look at the latter part of our text taken from Jeremiah,
“But this is the covenant (the New Covenant) that I will make with the house of Israel (Note once again whom specifically this covenant is to be made with) after those days, says the LORD (After what days? After the days of this Gospel Age, after those days in which the Church the body of Christ as joint sacrificers with their Lord will have finished their share in the Day of Atonement sacrifices, after the death of the Testator. These days likewise apply to the “seven times” of Israel’s chastisement.
Along with the blessings promised Israel if they would be faithful to their covenant (the Law Covenant) with the LORD were likewise promises of punishment if they felled to keep it. “But if you do not obey me, and do not observe all my commandments…but break my covenant, I will also do this to you…I will set my face against you, and you shall be slain before your enemies, they that hate you shall reign over you… and if you will not yet for all this harken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.” (Lev 26:17, 18, 24, 28)
“In the Bible a “time” is used in the sense of a year, whether the year be literal or symbolic, but at the time of the utterance of any prophecy, it could not be known which. A symbolic year used in prophecy is reckoned on the lunar year 360 days each, day representing a year. Thus 7 X 360 = 2520 years.
These “seven times” refer to the “Times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) the time in which “they that hate you shall reign over you” the 2520 years in which the Gentile nations have reigned over Israel beginning in B.C. 606 with the overthrow of Zedekiah and ending in A.D. 1914, from which time sense no Gentile nation has fully governed Israel.
After these days (not immediately after, but following after the completion of the “sin-offering”, as we have seen, the body of Christ, which shall likewise be completed, i.e. finished after these days); I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
The New Covenant will not be made with any other nation but Israel; for God never purposed to make a covenant with the Gentiles, however even amongst these since the people are not worthy to enter directly into relationship with God, that covenant must have a Mediator, the Christ , Head and body complete. The New Covenant will not be made with rebellious sinners.
God’s Covenant will be WITH the Mediator FOR Israel, guaranteeing forgiveness and reconciliation to all of Abraham’s natural seed who will exercise the faith and the obedience of Abraham.
The work of the Mediator with Israel (and the world of mankind, who to be blessed must become Israelites indeed) during the Millennium, will be their instruction, enlightenment and uplifting out of sin and death, out of ignorance and superstition, out of depravity and unbelief up to human perfection; so that, at the end of the Millennium, all of Abraham’s seed, all of his faith and obedience, will have reached human perfection and be ready for the Mediator to deliver them over to the Father, that God may be all in all–the unwilling and rebellious, after due trial, being cut off during the Millennium in the Second Death. (R4555 Par.17, 18)
“The New Covenant will begin to swallow up the old Law Covenant as soon as the Kingdom is established. The Scriptures indicate that the first to receive it will be the Ancient Worthies. Raised from the dead to human perfection, they will form the nucleus of the new arrangement in the earth. (This despite the fact that our JW friends erroneously assume that they themselves will form this nucleus) Next in order will be those who have been known as Christians, but who have not been consecrated to death, and Jews who have been consecrated to the Law, but who have been blinded. Gradually the light will come to all who love righteousness and hate iniquity. Sprinkled from all sympathy with evil, they will make their declaration of full loyalty to God. In due time this light will spread to all kindred’s and tongues and nations.” (R 5164)
Thus we conclude our look at the Mediator and the New Covenant.