The temple and the priesthood mediates between man and God in the Old Testament or Covenant of Moses

One of Paul Williams favorite claims is that there is no mediator between God and man in Islam. Then he tries to prove that this is the same teaching of the bible by citing the following passage:

The Pharisee and Tax Collector

Luke 18 v 9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Williams concludes that man is justified by simply calling upon God for mercy.

The reason why I believe that Williams is wrong is that both these men are Jews living under the covenant of Moses. One is a publican and the other is a Pharisee. However they are both Jews living under the Mosaic covenant. That means that they both approach God through Moses as their mediator and the priesthood which Moses established according to the laws that God gave him at Mt. Sinai.

The mercy which the publican entreats from God is a mercy which is channeled through the temple and the priesthood, to which the context clearly alludes; a mercy which God could not otherwise bestow, having ordained these things as necessary for salvation, being themselves the signs of the perfect Great High Priest Jesus Christ and his blood sacrifice.

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3 Responses to The temple and the priesthood mediates between man and God in the Old Testament or Covenant of Moses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Trinitarians have an usual error of confusing the role of “channeling of” and the function of “mediating to”. Challenging of is a top-down action, whereas mediating to is a bottom-up one.

    Levite priesthood is not mediation, because if it were, two persons Enoch and Elijah (not a Levite) would not have been taken up to heaven. God chooses certain men to channel thru His mercy to the others in heaven and on the earth.

    In the book of John, both Abraham and Isaiah see the glory of Jesus but they don’t pray to him. Many ancient men – such as Abraham, Adam, Noah even Moses – doesn’t need (nor sees) Jesus when speaking directly with Jehovah.

    In the Book of Revelation everyone can read how no one shall worship the Lamb. “Worship God” is the main commandment in that book. It is a simple error to confuse the role of “channeling of” and the function of “mediating to”.

    Moses doesn’t use Jesus’ mediation when speaking with Jehovah, but Moses (in his capacity of prophethood service) and Aaron (in his capacity of priesthood service) as well as Levites channeled the heavenly mercy of God.

    In the book of Hebrew, God spoke thru prophets and angels. A Cherub spoke to Isaiah. Gabriel the angel spoke to Daniel. Sometimes God spoke thru thunder.

  2. θ says:

    Additionally, it is believed in Judaism that the Jews actually have Elijah as a living intercessor for the Jews in heaven, as well as Michael the archangel, and Metatron (half-man half-angel Enoch), and on the earth they have the Prophets and the Levite Priesthood to directly mediate their petitions, and even one wandering goat served their need to receive forgiveness each year.

    But now, somehow after the coming of Jesus bringing the NT Bible, according to Christians those various intercessors in Judaism have not yet been enough for Jehovah.

    Worse, according to the NT Bible, for thousand years the Jews have been secretly duped without getting the deeper truth that their sacrifice is just a half-baked atonement.
    For thousand years the Jews have been secretly duped without getting the deeper truth that their intercessors are just a fake mediator.

  3. θ says:

    According to the NT Bible, when John gets the heavenly vision of the Throne in the Book of Revelation (from Rev 3:1 to Rev 5:6) he doesn’t see Elijah, Michael and Metatron at all over there.
    Does the NT Bible thru John indicate or infer that the Jews have been beguiled regarding various heavenly intercessors for them?

    Interestingly, even Jesus seemingly doesn’t do a mediator role at all. In rev 8:3-4 the accumulation of prayer of the living believers gets the maintenance and deliverance thru one unknown angel.
    Jesus just doesn’t do what he is supposed to do up there.
    Rev 8
    3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.

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