“This, then is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven . . . “—Matthew 6:9 NIV.
“No one comes to the Father except through me”—John 14:6
“There is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus”—1 Timothy 2:5 NIV
While they all give ‘lip service’ (Mark 7:6-13) to the principles that the scriptures above express, Christian denominations have differing views on the exactly how the mediatorial relationship between them and God operates. So, yes, they all “say” that Jesus is the mediator, but in actual practice things are not exactly the way the Bible says they should be. For example, Catholics teach that Christians must go through their priesthood and their hierarchy, including their Pope, to have a relationship with God. Others teach that one can only have a relationship with God through their particular denomination, organization, or church. Some have even thought, or taught that a relationship with God was only possible through one particular pastor. Trinitarians often simply ignore this vital relationship. Let’s make clear what the scriptures say about this:
“The true worshippers will worship the Father”—John 4:23
“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved”—John 10:8 NIV.
The Father of Jesus, Almighty God, is the only one who should be worshipped, according to the scriptures. But we must go through his Son, Jesus Christ, to have this relationship. Why?
“Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here”—Hebrews 9:11 NIV
“Christ is the mediator of a new covenant”—Hebrews 9:15 NIV
These two intercessional offices and positions are filled by Jesus Christ, since we, as sinners, cannot go to Almighty God directly. We must recognize Christ as fulfilling this two offices in order to have the intimate relationship with his Father that we need to have.
The unscriptural idea that a relationship with God only possible only through a particular pastor was developed quite extensively by the group today known as Jehovah’s Witnesses starting in the 1890’s, virtually idolizing their founder and living leader, Pastor C. T. Russell. He became known among them as “the faithful and wise servant” (Matthew 24:45 KJV), “the only one that God was using to give true spiritual food to mankind.”
About 10 years after his death in 1916, they changed the “faithful and wise servant” definition to be a class of people, “all of the remaining few on earth that God had specially called to heavenly life.” In reality, however, the one who had gotten control of their organization was their second President, J. F. Rutherford. This concept that the Jehovah’s Witnesses perpetrated is based on turning Matthew 24:45-51 into a prophecy, rather than the correct understanding that it is teaching that each individual Christian is to be constantly faithful at all times, unconcerned about the exact date of Christ’s return. The JW organization has changed the definition of exactly who this “servant” or “slave” several times the years. Today they say the “faithful and discreet slave” is their governing body of 7-12 men. In their April 2018 Watchtower study edition article “Questions from Readers,” they continue to make the unscriptural claim that “the one true source of spiritual food” is “the faithful and discreet slave”, their governing body. This is despite numerous changes due to their admitting that their previous understandings were wrong, and their mostly unadmitted numerous prophetic failures, which they have spun into success stories (Deuteronomy18:22). The JW organization has arrogated unto themselves a prophetic mantle, which they now deny, in fulfillment of Zechariah 13:6. They definitely fit the definition of “false prophet” (Deuteronomy 18:22; Matthew 24:11, 24).
The Bible emphasizes that “there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man, Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5 NIV). Jesus also says that “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 NIV). There is no other mediator, or go-between.
The JW’s, Catholics, and others have usurped the role of Jesus as the only Mediator.
If that weren’t enough, the JW organization claims to be “the one true source of spiritual food,” in effect replacing God’s channel through Jesus, who is the real source “of every good and perfect gift” (James 1:17 NIV).
“For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink”—John 6:55 NIV
The principle above, although expressed by Jesus metaphorically, illustrates the fact that real and true spiritual food must come through him.
The JW’s also deny that there are any other sources of “true spiritual food,” except them. JW’s are told that information from all other sources is “contaminated,” or suspect, and any other religious commentaries, even if Christian, are “worldly” and dangerous. JW’s are told to avoid them like a plague. Christians should “be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16 NLT) to be sure! But, just as all information that the JW’s have published over the years has not been pure, 100% of the information from all other sources is not contaminated either. In this way, Jehovah’s Witnesses unknowingly violate the following Bible principle:
“No one who denies the Son has the Father: whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also”—1 John 2:23 NIV
Trinitarians also unwittingly violate the above Bible principle, by often blurring the distinctions between Almighty God the Father and Jesus Christ his Son, and the holy spirit. One of the main ways that they do this is by often praying to Jesus. They make no mention, nor do they acknowledge, Jesus’ intercessional roles as mediator, most importantly, and secondarily as high priest. In fact, they seem to be completely oblivious to Jesus position as the go-between. Notice how Jesus himself explained the vital relationship that Christians should have with Almighty God, the Father, through the mediator, Jesus Christ:
“In that day you will no longer will ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name”—John 16:23 NIV
We should always keep in mind that Jesus Christ is “the one mediator between God and mankind” (1 Timothy 2:5 NIV), and no individual human or organization has any business standing in his place as a go-between humans and God. We should pray to the Father in Jesus’ name, and be sure nevert to ignore, or minimize, Jesus’ role as mediator. Any and all claims to such an effect are obviously false on the face of it. Let us never, ever, violate Bible principles by either ignoring, or changing, Jesus’ mediatorial role in worshipping the Father.