Jehovah’s Witnesses On The Deity of Christ

Mar 24, 2013 by

Jehovah’s Witnesses are one of the few “Christian” religions that teach that Christ isn’t actually God. They do a pretty good job of splitting hairs when it comes to this highly contested subject.

jehovahThey will admit that Christ is “a god” (little “g”) but not fully God and not equal to the Father or Jehovah.

I received the following question from a reader that deals with this subject in view of John 17:3. The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, somehow, that this scripture puts to rest the whole argument that Christ is fully God. Yet when examined in the context a totally different conclusion is reached.

Here is the email I received

Hi Doug,

I know that only the Holy Spirit can change  a persons heart and then only can they be saved but i did what I said I would never do again and that was debate the Bible with my  husband who is studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses. The discussion was Jesus being Michael the Arc Angel. I was doing fine until the little brown book revealed John 17:3. He (my husband) was so happy with himself! It had nothing to do with Jesus being an angel but that brown book makes sense to him somehow. I was stumped for an answer because the Jehovah’s Witnesses already believe that God is uni-personal. Nowhere in the Bible (does it) say that Jesus is an angel. Somehow the writers got crossed from talking about being an angel to the trinity. I’m curious as to how you respond to that proof text?

Here was my response:

John 17:3 in no way counters the trinity argument. As a matter of fact it helps it and I’ll explain why:

If you read the entire paragraph instead of just picking out this scripture it will reveal a completely different context. John 17:

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

 “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”

How is it that God could possibly “glorify” Christ if He were just an angel or just a man? However if Jesus was in fact an equal part of God then these verses make perfect sense.

Why did Jesus need the Father to glorify Him? Because He had surrendered His glory that He shared with the Father when He agreed to come to earth as a man.

Hebrews 2:9

But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while…

Note too the extremely close relationship that both Father and Son have with each other. This gives very strong indications that they are both equal in that they each glorify each other!

Colossians 1:15-20 really covers a lot of ground with regard to this context:

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Note verse 19 here. The word “fullness” is the Greek word “theotetos” which literally means Godhood.

Now if these words of Paul are in fact true, this means that Jesus was in fact fully God when He was crucified. God Himself suffered through this horrible fate for us through His Son.

I have one more question for anyone who thinks that Jesus is just an angel. Since He is the “image of the invisible God” wouldn’t that mean that God Himself violated the first of His own TEN COMMANDMENTS that He gave to the people of Israel? Note the following:

Exodus 20:1-3

1 And God spoke all these words:
2“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3You shall have no other gods before me.

Now the Jehovah’s Witnesses will admit, grudgingly, that Jesus is a “little god” because John 1:1 states plainly that Jesus is God. They put an “a” in the most inappropriate place to lessen that impact as can be seen here:

John 1:1

“In the beginning was the word. And the word was with God and the word was a god.” New World Translation

No other translation puts that “a” in there with one exception: The translation from Johannes Greber who used his wife, a spirit medium, to translate that verse. The Watchtower actually used his translation to give their questionable version some credibility. Highly questionable at best and a downright demonic translation at worst!

So even with the “a god” translation the fact remains that if God created Christ and that He was just an angel or a man (as the Jehovah’s Witnesses maintain) then God would have according to Colossians 1:16, in fact, violated the first of His own Ten Commandments would He not?

This would be a major inconsistency unless, unless Christ was already fully God and part of a triune Godhead comprised of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It would only make sense if this were the case and, of course, I believe that it was!

I hope this helps you with your debate and perhaps allows you and your husband to see the glaring inconsistencies of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society with regard to the deity of Christ.

Doug Shields is an activist against religious oppression, control and abuse. He has a lot of experience dealing with these issues because he was an active Jehovah’s Witness himself for over twenty-three years. Doug has been privileged to help elders, ministerial servants, full time pioneers and even a circuit overseer to find the strength and determination to face the painful truth about the Watchtower Bible And Tract Society.

If you would like to have Doug speak at your church, meetup or other event you can contact him here.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Hi Doug,
    My last talk in the Theocratic Ministry School (last year) was a research talk about Jesus being Michael the Archangel…I found no convincing evidence at all in the Bible or even the Watchtower publications…but I still parroted what was in the Reasoning book.
    I don’t believe Jesus is simply an angel, but I don’t understand how he is ‘God ‘ and not ‘a God ‘ (capital G ) either.
    Does it mean that there are two Gods, ie Yawheh(Father ) and Jesus…
    How can they truly be equal, if Jesus is the Son?
    I tend to feel that Jesus is subordinate to the Father,based on his own words.
    As for the Holy Spirit, I find it even more confusing viewing it as a person.
    I’m still trying to work out my own beliefs without the Watchtower and would appreciate your view on the above questions.

  2. Hi Nini,

    Here’s the real crux of the question. It isn’t whether or not Jesus is equal to the Father. That really is irrelevant. The real question, and the one that the Watchtower fights tooth and nail constantly is simply this:

    Is Jesus deserving of our worship?”

    That is the real question for any Christian. If, as the Watchtower states, Jehovah (or the Father) is the only one to be worshiped then why is it that the New Testament is filled with accounts of Christ being worshiped as a man while on earth?

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

    1. Matthew 2:11
    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
    And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

    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. Yet in the Old Testament it states that GOD created the heavens and the earth does it not?

    Well if GOD created the heavens and the earth, and the scripture above along with John 1 plainly states that Christ created the heavens and the earth then one has to come to a single conclusion: JESUS IS GOD.

    For more scriptural support refer to the following article:

    http://thewatchtowerfiles.com/deityofchrist/

    With regard to the Holy Spirit:

    Matthew 28:19:

    19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:

    Well if this isn’t the most suggestive scripture with regard to a belief in the trinity then I don’t know what is! If, as the Watchtower maintains, the Holy Spirit is merely an “active force” like electricity then why would Jesus command that we baptize in the name of the Holy Spirit? How ridiculous would the following similar statement be in this context: “We dedicate this building in the name of John Smith, Jane Doe and electricity.” It doesn’t make a bit of sense does it? Yet the Watchtower maintains this in spite of all evidence to the contrary!

    2 Corinthians 13:14:

    14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

    Yet another inference that there are three personages to God and not just one!

    Matthew 12:32:

    32 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come.

    Wow! So the Watchtower is attempting to convince us that if we speak against Jesus it will be forgiven but if we speak against an “active force” like electricity that we’ll never be forgiven neither in this world nor that which is to come? Obviously the Holy Spirit carries a lot more import than they maintain!

    Acts 13:2:

    2 And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

    So the Holy Spirit talks!

    Acts 16:6:

    6 And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden of the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia;

    So the Holy Spirit can forbid!

    Acts 5:3:

    3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thy heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

    So the Holy Spirit can be lied to!

    Luke 12:12:

    12 for the Holy Spirit shall teach you in that very hour what ye ought to say.

    So the Holy Spirit can teach!

    Ephesians 4:30:

    30And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed unto the day of redemption.

    So the Holy Spirit can grieve!

    Now I have to ask the questions:

    “Can we lie to electricity? Can we grieve electricity? Can we be taught by electrictity? Can electricity speak? Can electricity forbid us to do something?”

    It is painfully (at least for the Watchtower) obvious to anyone who reads the bible that the Holy Spirit is a person. Based upon the scriptures previously cited it is also obvious that the Holy Spirit is part of God just as Jesus and the Father are all part of God.

    The Watchtower maintains that 1+1+1 = 3 and that there can’t be three Gods.

    The bible maintains that 1X1X1=1 and that there is one God!

    Take a look at water. Ice is water but in a solid form. Yet if it is warmed it becomes a liquid and if further heated it becomes a vapor. All three properties are applicable to water and all three are of the very same substance but in different forms.

    Given all of the scriptures cited, the multiple references to the worship of Christ, the use of the three names of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) in multiple places in the New Testament, can you still have any doubts as to the personages of God as it relates to these three? Surely you must see what the scriptures clearly state for all of us.

    I hope this helps you Nini!

    Doug

  3. Thanks alot for your answer.
    I think that the question about the nature of God is just too complicated…and even confusing..
    Your answer makes sense ,but also raises other questions.eg who did Jesus pray to? How could God die ? Who raised him?
    While I agree that the Holy Spirit is a person. ..does being grouped together with God and Jesus prove equality or divinity?
    Why would God present himself in such a mysterious way?
    Why is the personality of the God in the Old Testament so different from the personality of Jesus?
    I ‘ve noticed that the WT has replaced Jesus with the Governing Body and I feel like I need to read the New Testament more to get to know Jesus, I’m fortunate to have the Kingdom Interlinear and plan to use other Bible translations.

  4. Read the New Testament (any other version than the Watchtower’s translation), and get back to me. It is difficult to get the whole story until you’ve read the NT without the Watchtower’s spin on it. Read the NT and then read it again. About the second or third time you read the entire NT everything will “click” and you’ll know.

    Then you won’t have any issue understanding the nature of God.

    Doug

  5. Anonymous

    Satan was an angel any spirit person from the heaven are called angels.

  6. God isn’t and “God is a spirit”.

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