As a Jehovah’s Witness, you may find the title of this article offensive, inaccurate and based on a false assumption, but contrary to popular belief, Jesus isn’t the mediator for all of mankind… at least that’s what the Watchtower teaches. In order to clear up this view, lets join Evidence Ministries in a fictitious interview with Watchtower spokesman, J.W. Mann. All of the lines from J.W. Mann are direct quotes from Watchtower literature followed by the reference for the quote.
EM– Mr. Mann, thank-you for taking time out of your busy schedule to help us out with this important issue. From our experience, most Jehovah’s Witnesses are unfamiliar with the doctrine that Jesus is the mediator only for the anointed. Before we get too in-depth, please define the word, “Mediator.”
J.W. Mann– The Greek word me•si’tes, used for “mediator,” means ‘one who finds himself between two bodies or parties. *** w89 8/15 30 Questions From Readers ***
EM– Jesus is the mediator between which two parties?
J.W. Mann– Jesus Christ had the glorious role of go-between, the Mediator between Jehovah and spiritual Israel. *** w92 3/1 31 Questions From Readers ***
EM– Now, if I understand Watchtower doctrine clearly, the great crowd is not part of spiritual Israel, which would mean that Jesus is not their mediator. 1st Timothy 2:5 reads, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus.” *** Rbi8 1 Timothy 2:5 *** This seems to be saying something else. Can you please comment on this verse?
J.W. Mann– The Bible contains both basic teachings and deep truths, which are solid food for study. One such study involves Jesus Christ’s role as Mediator. The apostle Paul wrote: “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all—this is what is to be witnessed to at its own particular times.”—1 Timothy 2:5, 6. To grasp what Paul is saying, we must first appreciate that the Bible sets out two destinies for faithful humans: (1) perfect life on a restored earthly paradise and (2) life in heaven for Christ’s “little flock,” numbering 144,000. (Luke 12:32; Revelation 5:10; 14:1-3) Christendom teaches that all good people go to heaven, which unscriptural position has colored the general view, so that Jesus is considered a go-between for all such people… There are other indications too of the legal nature of Jesus’ role as Mediator of the “new covenant.” Commenting on God’s promise at Psalm 110:4, Paul wrote: “To that extent also Jesus has become the one given in pledge [en’gy•os] of a better covenant.” (Hebrews 7:22) This is the only Biblical use of the word en’gy•os. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology says: “The engyos guaranteed that a legal obligation would be carried out.” So Jesus as Mediator of the new covenant serves as a legal pledge that “a better hope” would be realized.—Hebrews 7:19… Clearly, then, the new covenant is not a loose arrangement open to all mankind. It is a carefully arranged legal provision involving God and anointed Christians. *** w89 8/15 30 Questions From Readers *** Questions From Readers • Is Jesus the Mediator only for spirit-anointed Christians or for all mankind, since 1 Timothy 2:5, 6 speaks of him as the “mediator” who “gave himself a corresponding ransom for all”?
EM– Wow that’s pretty heady stuff. Could you dumb it down a little?
J.W. Mann– 1st Timothy 2:5 is not saying that Jesus is a mediator between God and all mankind. *** w89 8/15 31 Questions From Readers ***
J.W. Mann– Paul is not saying that Jesus is Mediator between God and all mankind. *** w89 12/15 30 Do You Remember? ***
E.M.– Then who is Jesus the mediator for?
J.W. Mann– Christ… is the “mediator of a new covenant” between Jehovah and spiritual Israel, the “Israel of God.” *** w79 4/1 31 Questions from Readers ***
E.M.– The term ‘spiritual Israel’ is synonymous with…(Interrupted)
J.W. Mann– The anointed followers of the Lord Jesus Christ are… in that covenant relationship with Jehovah God, with Christ as Mediator. *** it-2 408 Minister ***
E.M.– Is it only for the anointed?
J.W. Mann– For anointed only. *** dx86-97 0 Mediator ***
E.M.– So who is not included in the new covenant?
J.W. Mann– The great crowd… Christ does not act as Mediator of the new covenant toward them. *** w91 2/15 18 “You Were Bought With a Price” ***
E.M.– Then the great crowd does not have Jesus as their mediator?
J.W. Mann– Those of the “great crowd”…are not spiritual Israelites, forasmuch as they have not been taken into the “new covenant,” which is made with spiritual Israelites through the Mediator Jesus Christ. *** w81 4/1 12 Celebrating the Death of the Greatest Man Ever on Earth ***
E.M.– So is Jesus my mediator?
J.W. Mann– In this strict Biblical sense Jesus is the “mediator” only for anointed Christians. *** w79 4/1 31 Questions from Readers ***
E.M.– Well that is disappointing. What does a mediator do?
J.W. Mann– Think of a legal case in which an attorney is involved. His role may be not so much that of a lawyer arguing for justice as that of one who is mediating or bringing about a legal contract acceptable to and beneficial to two parties. *** w89 8/15 31 Questions From Readers *** In such cases the mediator listens to both sides and tries to work out an agreement with which they both can live. *** g79 3/8 11 Living with Law-Now and Forever ***
E.M.– Give me an example of a mediator in action.
J.W. Mann– It has long been the Chinese custom for a boy’s parents to contact a girl’s parents by means of a mediator to arrange a marriage, doing so before the young couple have ever met. *** g71 4/8 24 Getting Married-Hong Kong Style *** Sometimes the boy’s parents, or in some rare cases a mediator known by both families, will intercede for the boy. *** g71 4/8 24 Getting Married-Hong Kong Style *** Tearooms also are used by parents to arrange marriages. This is usually done through a go-between, or mediator. This one will often meet with the parents in a tearoom and, while having something to drink, he will search out the background of the family, as well as the qualities of the prospective bride or bridegroom. After negotiating, parents of both sides will meet together—in the local tearoom. *** g72 11/8 15 The Tearoom-Part of Life in Korea ***
E.M.– If Jesus really isn’t the mediator for 99.9% of Jehovah’s Witnesses today, then please explain how 1st Timothy 2:5 should be understood.
J.W. Mann– There is one God, and one mediator between God and men [not, all men], a man Christ Jesus. *** w79 11/15 26 Benefiting from “One Mediator Between God and Men” ***
E.M.– If you can interpret 1st Timothy 2:5 in such a way that, in essence, you’re inserting the words, ‘not all men’, into the verse, then why didn’t Jehovah inspire Paul to say that Jesus was the mediator between God and some men?
J.W. Mann– (Silence)
E.M.– Okay…well give us a brief summary of the doctrine.
J.W. Mann– Jesus Christ, is not the Mediator between Jehovah God and all mankind. He is the Mediator between his heavenly Father, Jehovah God, and the nation of spiritual Israel, which is limited to only 144,000 members. This spiritual nation is like a little flock of Jehovah’s sheeplike ones. *** ws 10-11 1 The Desire for Peace and Security Worldwide ***
E.M.- Since Jesus is not the mediator for Jehovah’s Witnesses today, who is their mediator? How do they gain …(Interrupted)
J.W. Mann– Those desiring salvation must make for God’s organization, and find entrance into it and remain there permanently. It is a real city of refuge. The multitudes must come in through the gates; so sing loudly, clearly and harmoniously that all may know there is a strong city offering salvation, and it is our city. *** w52 10/1 603 A Strong Refuge Today *** The people who desire to learn… gain words of salvation and seek refuge and life through Jehovah’s organization. *** w51 9/1 535 Will the Stones Have to Cry Out? ***
E.M.– What does, ‘God’s Organization’ have to do with salvation?
J.W. Mann– To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it. *** w83 2/15 12 You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth-But How? ***
E.M.- Are you telling me that for my salvation I need…(Interrupted)
J.W. Mann– To come to Jehovah’s organization for salvation. *** w81 11/15 21 ’Stay Awake and Keep Your Senses’ ***
E.M.– Are you serious? My salvation lies…(Interrupted)
J.W. Mann– Behind the protective walls of Jehovah’s organization. *** w85 3/1 22 Jehovah ’Speeds It Up’ ***
E.M.- Is there salvation outside of the organization?
J.W. Mann– Away from Jehovah’s organization, there would be no place else to go for salvation. *** w93 9/15 22 They Compassionately Shepherd the Little Sheep ***
E.M.– I’ve talked with Jehovah’s Witnesses before and I’ve heard something about an ark and salvation. What does that mean?
J.W. Mann– The ark of salvation that we enter is not a literal ark but is God’s organization. *** w50 6/1 176 Letter ***
E.M.– Ok, so someone joins the organization for salvation, then what?
J.W. Mann– Preach “this good news of the kingdom.” Sharing in this God-assigned work now leads to salvation. *** w67 3/1 143 A God of Loving-Kindness *** Bible students… must appreciate that identifying themselves with Jehovah’s organization is essential to their salvation. *** km 11/90 1 Directing Bible Students to Jehovah’s Organization *** But we can by God’s grace do the work assigned to us in or under God’s organization; that is the work his spirit will help us to do. In that theocratic way we can ‘work out our own salvation’. *** w50 11/1 404 Doing the Work Assigned *** This is a period of God’s undeserved kindness, allowing people of good will who are in danger to take advantage of God’s patience and mercy. They are thus given a fair opportunity to act and work for their own salvation… They should never presume upon God’s patience and think he is slow and they may linger a little longer with the world and enjoy more of it before making a last-minute break for safety under God’s organization. *** w51 9/15 557 What to Do in the Face of the End *** Is it just a matter of joining an organization such as Jehovah’s witnesses, and joining the ranks of preachers of the “good news of the kingdom”? It is certainly true that those who would gain life in Jehovah’s new world must share in the public declaration of the truth. *** w63 1/15 51 The “Good News” Separates ’A People for Jehovah’s Name’ *** These people of good heart recognize the Christian ministry as their responsibility and as a divinely provided means for keeping spiritually alive. They know that it is vital for their salvation as well as for those to whom they preach. *** w65 5/1 270 The Christian Ministry ***
E.M.– If my salvation depends on my works, then where is the assurance that I can earn salvation?
J.W. Mann– If we want to assure our everlasting salvation, we must stay within the bounds of Jehovah God’s loving provision associated with his visible organization. *** w67 8/15 503 The Way to Security ***
E.M.– What about other religions?
J.W. Mann– Only the one organization of religious truth and of pure, undefiled religion can successfully make an assault on false religion with benefit to the people, with promise of their everlasting salvation. *** w68 11/1 650 The “Good News” of a World Without False Religion ***
E.M.– Speaking of false religions, some feel that Jehovah’s Witnesses are anti-Catholic.
J.W. Mann– The Catholic Church occupies a very significant position in the world and claims to be the way of salvation for hundreds of millions of people. Any organization that assumes that position should be willing to submit to scrutiny and criticism. All who criticize have the obligation to be truthful in presenting the facts and fair and objective in assessing such. In both respects we try to live up to that obligation. *** g84 8/22 28 From Our Readers ***
E.M.– There are those who claim that you don’t need an organization, Catholic, Jehovah’s Witness or any other organization to give you salvation. What do you say to them?
J.W. Mann– Salvation is closely connected with Jehovah’s organization… We cannot ignore the role the visible congregation of Jehovah’s witnesses plays in this provision of salvation… the visible congregation of God’s people has something to do with the provision of salvation today. Indeed, it has an important place in that provision… We cannot remain outside the organization of God’s people, separated from it, if we want to have Jehovah’s protection. *** w67 8/15 499 The Way to Security ***
E.M.– What happens to Jehovah’s Witnesses who leave the Watchtower, but just read the Bible?
J.W. Mann– They say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. But, strangely, through such ‘Bible reading,’ they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom’s clergy were teaching 100 years ago. *** w81 8/15 28-9 Serving Jehovah “Shoulder to Shoulder” *** From such experiences it can be seen that Jehovah God caused the Bible to be written in such a way that one needs to come in touch with His human channel before one can fully and accurately understand it. True, we need the help of God’s holy spirit, but its help also comes to us primarily by association with the channel Jehovah God sees fit to use. *** w81 2/15 17 Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible? *** In view of its unbreakable connection with the Christian theocratic organization, the Bible is organization-minded and it cannot be fully understood without our having the theocratic organization in mind. This makes it very necessary for those who humble themselves under God’s mighty hand to take account of the theocratic organization and to recognize it. All the sheep of God’s flock must be organization-minded, like the Bible. *** w54 9/1 529 Recognizing the Theocratic Organization for Life *** It is through his organization that God provides this light that the proverb says is the teaching or law of the mother. If we are to walk in the light of truth we must recognize not only Jehovah God as our Father but his organization as our mother.
*** w57 5/1 274 Show Respect for Jehovah’s Organization ***
E.M.– (Stunned silence)
J.W. Mann– Unless we are in touch with this channel of communication that God is using, we will not progress along the road to life, no matter how much Bible reading we do. *** w81 12/1 27 The Path of the Righteous Does Keep Getting Brighter ***
E.M.- Uh, that’s a pretty stiff claim. What if a Jehovah’s Witness wants back into the organization? Is salvation available for them?
J.W. Mann– He could… take steps to turn from his bad course and begin to walk in the way that Jehovah approves. Thus in time the one cut off would have hopes of becoming reconciled to God and to his visible organization and be forgiven. *** w63 7/1 411 What Disfellowshiping Means ***
E.M.– Reconciliation to an organization for salvation? What about Jesus? I agree with the Watchtower when it states, “No international organization can provide true security and salvation for mankind.” *** w67 8/15 494 The Need for Security *** Describe to me what a crucified organization looks like. How do you reconcile this last quote with every thing that you have told us throughout this interview?
J.W. Mann– (Silence)
E.M.– I don’t think you realize what you’ve actually said in this interview. Let me repeat a couple of your quotations back to you and then make some observations. Since, “The Greek word me•si’tes, used for “mediator,” means ‘one who finds himself between two bodies or parties
*** w89 8/15 30 Questions From Readers *** and, “the witness yet includes the invitation to come to Jehovah’s organization for salvation…” *** w81 11/15 21 ’Stay Awake and Keep Your Senses’ ***, then the Watchtower Organization is claiming two things about itself. The first is that the organization is the mediator, you have to come to them before you can get to God. The second is even more disturbing, they are actually claiming to be the Savior! Remember, “away from Jehovah’s organization, there would be no place else to go for salvation…”*** w93 9/15 22 They Compassionately Shepherd the Little Sheep *** I find this terribly offensive and I fully agree with the Watchtower’s own literature when they state, “We cannot take part in any modern version of idolatry—be it worshipful gestures toward an image or symbol or the imputing of salvation to a person or an organization. *** w90 11/1 26 Our Relative Subjection to the Superior Authorities *** Mr. Mann would you please read John 5:39-40.
J.W. Mann– *** Rbi8 John 5:39-40 *** 39 “YOU are searching the Scriptures, because YOU think that by means of them YOU will have everlasting life; and these are the very ones that bear witness about me. 40 And yet YOU do not want to come to me that YOU may have life.
E.M.– Did you notice the last eight words in verse 40? Come to me that YOU may have life. The scriptures say that we need to come to Jesus. Have you ever come to Jesus?
J.W. Mann– (Silence)
E.M.- If you haven’t come to Jesus to get life, where are you going to find life? The organization didn’t die for you. Maybe a couple more verses will help. Mr. Mann, please read Matthew 11:28, and John 7:37-38.
J.W. Mann– *** Rbi8 Matthew 11:28 *** 28 Come to me, all YOU who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh YOU. *** Rbi8 John 7:37-38 *** 37 Now on the last day, the great day of the festival, Jesus was standing up and he cried out, saying: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 He that puts faith in me, just as the Scripture has said, ‘Out from his inmost part streams of living water will flow.’”
E.M.– Did you notice that same phrase, Come to Me? Don’t you want your burdens taken away and to never thirst again? The only way is to come to Jesus. I know this is difficult for you. Maybe that is why Jesus used children as an illustration for us to consider. Could you please read Mark 10:14-15.
J.W. Mann– *** Rbi8 Mark 10:14-15 *** 14 At seeing this Jesus was indignant and said to them: “Let the young children come to me; do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to suchlike ones. 15 Truly I say to YOU, Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a young child will by no means enter into it.
E.M.– There it is again. Come to Me. Jesus requires us to come to Him with simple child-like faith. We can’t enter the kingdom unless we do. The children didn’t have a problem with coming to Jesus. Why do we?
J.W. Mann– (Silent contemplation)
E.M.– I’d like to point out something else that is very important. I don’t think you realize that it is Jehovah’s will that you come to Jesus. Please read John 6:35-45 and emphasize every time you read ‘come to me.’
J.W. Mann– *** Rbi8 John 6:35-45 *** 35 Jesus said to them: “I am the bread of life. He that comes to me will not get hungry at all, and he that exercises faith in me will never get thirsty at all. 36 But I have said to YOU, YOU have even seen me and yet do not believe. 37 Everything the Father gives me will come to me, and the one that comes to me I will by no means drive away; 38 because I have come down from heaven to do, not my will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 This is the will of him that sent me, that I should lose nothing out of all that he has given me but that I should resurrect it at the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone that beholds the Son and exercises faith in him should have everlasting life, and I will resurrect him at the last day.” 41 Therefore the Jews began to murmur at him because he said: “I am the bread that came down from heaven”; 42 and they began saying: “Is this not Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it that now he says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 In answer Jesus said to them: “Stop murmuring among yourselves. 44 No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him; and I will resurrect him in the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by Jehovah.’ Everyone that has heard from the Father and has learned comes to me.
E.M.– Notice in verse 40 that it is Jehovah’s will that people should exercise faith in Jesus and in verse 44 it is Jehovah who draws people to Jesus. Five times in this passage alone the invitation is given to come to Jesus, not an organization, for salvation! I know that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe they are ‘in the truth’, but let me ask you a question, If you have heard from the Father, then why is it that you haven’t come to Jesus? Jehovah commands it. Don’t you realize that you have to approach Jesus and ask Him to give you eternal life?
J.W. Mann– Jesus did not teach us to pray to him… Every prayer is a form of worship. The World Book Encyclopedia confirms this, stating: “Prayer is a form of worship in which a person may offer devotion, thanks, confession, or supplication to God.” On one occasion Jesus said: “It is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’” Jesus adhered to the fundamental truth that worship—hence also prayers—is to be addressed only to his Father, Jehovah God. *** w94 12/15 23-4 Should You Pray to Jesus? ***
E.M.– Whoa! I seemed to have to have hit the HOT button on this subject. Let’s calm down and reason through this together. Please read 1st Corinthians 1:2 and give me your take on what it means to call upon the name of Jesus.
J.W. Mann– : *** Rbi8 1 Corinthians 1:2 *** To the congregation of God that is in Corinth, to YOU who have been sanctified in union with Christ Jesus, called to be holy ones, together with all who everywhere are calling upon the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.
In the original language, the expression “to call upon” can mean things other than prayer. How was the name of Christ ‘called upon’ everywhere? One way was that the followers of Jesus of Nazareth openly acknowledged him to be the Messiah and “Savior of the world,” performing many miraculous acts in his name. (1 John 4:14; Acts 3:6; 19:5)… So, while showing that we can call upon the name of Jesus, the Bible does not indicate that we should pray to him. *** w94 12/15 25 Should You Pray to Jesus? ***
E.M.– Before we go on, I’d like to look up those three verses you just mentioned. “*** Rbi8 1 John 4:14 *** 14 In addition, we ourselves have beheld and are bearing witness that the Father has sent forth his Son as Savior of the world. *** Rbi8 Acts 3:6 *** 6 However, Peter said: “Silver and gold I do not possess, but what I do have is what I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Naz•a•rene’, walk! *** Rbi8 Acts 19:5 *** 5 On hearing this, they got baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” None of these verses say anything about calling upon the name of Jesus. There is a huge difference between doing something in Jesus’ name and actually calling upon Him. If calling upon the name of Jehovah means to talk to Jehovah, then why doesn’t calling upon the name of Jesus mean talking to Jesus?
J.W. Mann– (Ignoring the question) Jesus clearly promised his disciples: “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.” Does this require praying to him? No. The asking is addressed to Jehovah God—but in Jesus’ name. (John 14:13, 14; 15:16) *** w94 12/15 25 Should You Pray to Jesus? ***
E.M.– I see that you have your Kingdom Interlinear Translation with you. Can we look up John 14:14 in it?
J.W. Mann- (Gasp!)
E.M.- Well now… Isn’t that real interesting. It seems as if the Watchtower forgot to translate this verse the way that the Greek reads. They neglected to tell you that whatever you ask in Jesus’ name must be directed to Jesus. That means talking to Jesus doesn’t it? Have you ever done that before? Let’s read the context and see if there is anything else that we need to know. “*** Rbi8 John 14:10-14 *** 10 Do you not believe that I am in union with the Father and the Father is in union with me? The things I say to YOU men I do not speak of my own originality; but the Father who remains in union with me is doing his works. 11 Believe me that I am in union with the Father and the Father is in union with me; otherwise, believe on account of the works themselves. 12 Most truly I say to YOU, He that exercises faith in me, that one also will do the works that I do; and he will do works greater than these, because I am going my way to the Father. 13 Also, whatever it is that YOU ask in my name, I will do this, in order that the Father may be glorified in connection with the Son. 14 If YOU ask anything in my name, I will do it.”
Hmmm… Verse 10 says that the things that Jesus is speaking don’t come from Him, but that they come from the Father. That means that Jesus’ words are inspired from Jehovah doesn’t it?
J.W. Mann– (Nods yes)
E.M.– That being the case, Jehovah definitely wants us to talk to Jesus. That makes sense because the Awake magazine has this to say about mediators. “The mediator listens to both sides and tries to work out an agreement with which they both can live.” *** g79 3/8 11 Living with Law-Now and Forever *** (Emphasis mine) Since the Bible says that Jesus is the mediator between God and men, then Jesus would have to listen to both sides. On one hand God, on the other, men. It would be difficult for a mediator to do his job if you didn’t talk to him wouldn’t it? Let me have you read a couple more verses. Please read John 10:27-28 & Acts 22:16.
J.W. Mann– *** Rbi8 John 10:27-28 *** 27 My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 And I give them everlasting life, and they will by no means ever be destroyed, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. *** Rbi8 Acts 22:16 *** 16 And now why are you delaying? Rise, get baptized and wash your sins away by your calling upon his name.’
E.M.- Notice who the person is in John 10:28 who is giving everlasting life. According to Acts 22:16, you have to call upon Jesus in order to receive this life.
J.W. Mann– (Silent contemplation)
E.M.– Mr. Mann, thank you for agreeing to this interview. I know that you have a lot to think about and hopefully something specific to pray about, but before you go, I’d like to read one more passage of scripture and leave you with a final thought. “*** Rbi8 Luke 6:46-49 *** 46 “Why, then, do YOU call me ‘Lord! Lord!’ but do not do the things I say? 47 Everyone that comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show YOU whom he is like: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug and went down deep and laid a foundation upon the rock-mass. Consequently, when a flood arose, the river dashed against that house, but was not strong enough to shake it, because of its being well built. 49 On the other hand, he who hears and does not do, is like a man who built a house upon the ground without a foundation. Against it the river dashed, and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house became great.” How is the foundation of your spiritual life? Have you come to Jesus and asked Him to give you everlasting life? According to this passage you cannot call Jesus ‘Lord’ if you don’t do what He says. Please, come to Jesus.