Jehovah’s Witnesses: Is Jesus God?

Is Jesus God?
Core Belief Challenge #1: Is Jesus God?I’ve talked a lot about Jehovah’s Witnesses in my blog. I’ve made many references to doctrinal issues with the Jehovah’s Witnesses.Now  I’m going to take on every single core belief one by one and challenge it scripturally and critically so that anyone who deals with Jehovah’s Witnesses, has been in the Jehovah’s Witnesses or is currently debating whether or not to leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses can make their own decisions based on the facts!

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus is not God but a created angel Michael. They believe that while Jesus is referred to as “a god” He isn’t the God or almighty God. Jesus is the son of God and not the Father. Jesus is not to be worshipped by Christians. He is not equal to God (The Father).

The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society makes a lot of inferences as to the pagan roots of belief in the trinity. They will point out that the word “trinity” doesn’t even appear in the scriptures (and they would be right.) However, the very first question that one should ask is this: “Does the fact that other religions, whether pagan or Christian, teach the concept of a triune godhead in any way add to or take away from the argument? It doesn’t. Not even a little bit! Just because a mugger wears blue jeans doesn’t make you a mugger because you choose to wear them. Just because a serial rapist parts his hair in the middle doesn’t mean that you are one just because you choose to part your hair in the middle! The Watchtower seeks to establish guilt by association and in doing so discredit any belief that they don’t agree with. It is actually a pretty easy way to try to cast stones in a particular direction without actually addressing an argument.

This is essentially a “straw man”. It is the way that the Watchtower has sought to discredit beliefs without even bringing one scriptural proof as to the validity or the lack thereof. They are quite good at this and if you aren’t “tuned in” to their tactic you could fall victim to it!

Rather than stoop to the Watcthower’s level I will provide you with irrefutable scriptural proof that Jesus is

  •   not a creation but the Creator
  •   not an angel or archangle but God Himself

Isaiah 7:14

   14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

 Matthew 1:23 tells us exactly what Immanuel means when the scripture above is directly quoted:

23 Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, And they shall call his name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us.

Isaiah 9:6-7 American Standard Version

6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah makes it quite clear in this prophecy that Jesus (the Messiah foretold) shall be called Mighty God and Everlasting Father. This really creates some problems for the Jehovah’s Witness theology.

God is spoken of as “a Rock” numerous times in the old testament.

1 Samuel 2:2

  2 There is none holy as Jehovah; For there is none besides thee, Neither is there any rock like our God.

Deuteronomy 32:4

   4 The Rock, his work is perfect; For all his ways are justice: A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, Just and right is he.

Yet Jesus is also spoken of as “a Rock” in the new testament:

1 Corinthians 10:

 1 For I would not, brethren, have you ignorant, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

   2 and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

   3 and did all eat the same spiritual food;

   4 and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of a spiritual rock that followed them: and the rock was Christ.

Interestingly God revealed Himself to Moses in the following verse:

Exodus 3:14

14And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

Jesus applied this scripture to Himself in the following:

John 8

   52 The Jews said unto him, Now we know that thou hast a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my word, he shall never taste of death.

   53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, who died? and the prophets died: whom makest thou thyself?

   54 Jesus answered, If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing: it is my Father that glorifieth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God;

   55 and ye have not known him: but I know him; and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be like unto you, a liar: but I know him, and keep his word.

   56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad.

   57 The Jews therefore said unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?

   58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was born, I am.

Now Jehovah’s Witnesses go to great lengths to try to alter this scripture. They have made up a new tense in the Greek language to try to justify their mis-translation here of “I am.” As “I have been.” Regardless of their failed attempts at trying to justify their translation the facts are revealed by reading the scriptures in context. The Jews’ reaction tells it all in the very next verse!

   59 They took up stones therefore to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.

You see when Jesus equated Himself with God He was committing blasphemy in the minds of the Jews. That is why they sought to stone Him.

At John 5 Jesus had a similar run in with the Jews.

   16And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

   17But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

   18Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

   19Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

   20For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

   21For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

   22For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

   23That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

It is plain that Jesus did make Himself equal to God here as the bible writer pointed out. Note that he didn’t say that they misunderstood Jesus or that the assumption was somehow mistaken. He just stated the fact that Jesus made Himself equal to God and that the Jews took exception to it.

If all of this is true that Jesus was to be revered and worshiped with the same devotion as what had been reserved for the Father is there a scripture that explicitly shows that worship being performed?

I’m glad you asked that question because there are numerous accounts of this.

Just as in prior verses the New World Translation of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society continually attempts to “split hairs” and deliberately mislead those who wish to read the bible for themselves. They do this by translating the Greek word “proskuneo” which is normally translated as “worship” in most all bible translations as “obeisance” when it is applied to Jesus. Again they are playing the “you say tomato and I say tomato” game. They do this because to do otherwise would show up the faults in their contrived theology! How can we still make our point? Context to the rescue!

All of the following scriptures show Jesus being worshiped by various people while He was on earth:

1.    Matthew 2:11 (Whole Chapter)
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

2.    Matthew 8:2 (Whole Chapter)
And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

3.    Matthew 9:18 (Whole Chapter)
While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.

4.    Matthew 14:33 (Whole Chapter)
Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

5.    Matthew 15:25 (Whole Chapter)
Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

6.    Matthew 18:26 (Whole Chapter)
The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

7.    Matthew 28:9 (Whole Chapter)
And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

8.    Matthew 28:17 (Whole Chapter)
And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

9.    Mark 5:6 (Whole Chapter)
But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

10. Luke 24:52 (Whole Chapter)
And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:

11. John 9:38 (Whole Chapter)
And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

The Watchtower has translated the above cited texts using the word “obeisance” in order to mitigate the damage to their failed “theology”. However there is one major problem. In all of these instances Jesus was never seen refusing the worship or correcting the worshiper. Now if He was just a man or an angel he would have been duty bound to correct those worshiping him. Yet there is no record of that ever happening. However there are two records of this same Greek word “proskuneo” being used where a servant of God was being worshiped erroneously. One was Peter and the other was an angel:

Acts 10:25-27:

   25And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.

   26But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

Revelation 19:10:

   10 And I fell down before his feet to worship him. And he saith unto me, See thou do it not: I am a fellow-servant with thee and with thy brethren that hold the testimony of Jesus: worship God; for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

These references to worship where the one doing the worshiping was corrected both use the very same Greek word: “proskuneo” and therefore, in spite of the Watchtower’s vain attempts to pervert the word of God, the truth comes out to those who wish to read the scriptures in context with honest hearts and open minds. Jesus openly accepted worship from others. I believe, more so than anything else, that this was the reason why the Pharisees resented Him. He was cutting in on their action. The modern day Pharisee class (any authoritarian religion that seeks to control and manipulate their flock including the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society) also resents and seeks to root out and “kill” anyone threatening their status as the intercessor between the Great Crowd and God!

Was Jesus Christ created or not?

Colossians 1:

   16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

   18And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

   19For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

   20And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Well if you plainly state, like Paul, that everything in the heavens and on earth were created by Jesus Christ then that doesn’t leave a thing out does it? All of the angels were created by him as well as the earth and man. Let’s go back to Genesis and see who actually did the creation.

  1. Genesis 1:1 (Whole Chapter)
    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
  2. Genesis 1:21 (Whole Chapter)
    And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
  3. Genesis 1:27 (Whole Chapter)
    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
  4. Genesis 2:3 (Whole Chapter)
    And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
  5. Genesis 2:4 (Whole Chapter)
    These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
  6. Genesis 5:1 (Whole Chapter)
    This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;

Well if Jesus created everything that was created and Genesis states that God did all of the creating Himself, wouldn’t we have to assume, logically, that Jesus and God were one and the same?

Here is one more little tidbit for all of those new critical thinkers out there:

  1. Genesis 1:26 (Whole Chapter)
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

So God and Jesus did the creating together because God said “Let us make man…”

The only way to reconcile all of this information is to conclude that Jesus is God and that the Father is God. Only that conclusion could rightly reconcile all of these scriptures.

The apostle John bears this out in glorious simplicity:

John 1

   1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The Watchtower again seeks to pervert the scriptures by adding a little “a” in between “was” and “God” in their New World Translation. The Watchtower seeks to somehow limit Christ’s position and power as the creator of everything that is. They wish to make him a “little god” with a little “g” so that they can continue teaching their man-made version of theology.This is characteristic of many of the cults. By taking Jesus Christ down from His throne they can then impose themselves as mediator between God and men and assume that power that Jesus has over the church. Of course we were warned of this by Jesus Himself:

Matthew 15:

7You pretenders (hypocrites)! Admirably and truly did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said:

8These people draw near Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far away from Me.

Matthew 24:

     11And many false prophets will rise up and deceive and lead many into error.

Paul also gave us some warning:

Acts: 20

28Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

29For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

The scriptures are extremely clear as to the identity and nature of Jesus Christ. It is the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society that has sought to “muddy the water” and make the truth more difficult to ascertain by their arbitrary and biased “translation” of the scriptures.

Witnesses speak about the bible saying that it is “difficult to understand”. Nothing could be further from the truth folks. It is quite simple and easy to understand. It is when you start trying to inflict your own preconceived notions upon the bible that you run into difficulty. That is why Jehovah’s Witnesses want so desperately to get you out of reading your bible and into reading one of their books. They know that is the only way that they can sell you on their man made contrived theology. It is almost laughable that the Watchtower maintains that if someone were to read their own bible without the “Watchtower helps” to guide them that they would go right back to standard mainstream Christianity:

“From time to time, there have arisen from among the ranks of Jehovah’s people those, who, like the original Satan, have adopted an independent, faultfinding attitude…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…” (Watchtower, Aug. 15, 1981)

Here’s a bit of critical thinking for you to engage in:

If what the Watchtower says is true and that reading your bible without their publications helping you to “filter” everything will lead you directly into apostasy wouldn’t that infer that God, when He inspired the bible to be written, did willfully and knowingly attempt to deceive anyone seeking to know Him by reading it?

I’ve given you a lot to think about here. I suggest that if you really wish to know more about the nature of Jesus Christ that you read the bible for yourself without the filters and blinds that the Watchtower attempts to give you.

In the next post I’ll examine the Trinity and specifically the Holy Spirit and show you exactly why the Holy Spirit is simply another personage of God.

Yours in Christ,

Doug Shields

twitter me @watchtowerfiles