The Watchtower Society teaches that Jesus existed as Michael the archangel prior to coming to earth and became Michael again at His resurrection. They claim that Jesus was only a man when He was on earth and when He died, the “man” Jesus ceased to exist,1. being raised as a “spirit creature” the archangel Michael:
“So the evidence indicates that the Son of God was known as Michael before he came to earth and is known also by that name since his return to heaven where he resides as the glorified spirit Son of God.”—Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, p. 218
In order to try to prove that Jesus is Michael the archangel, Jehovah’s Witnesses often point to passages like Daniel 10:13 where Michael is seen as ” one of the chief princes.” The fact that Michael is “one of the chief princes,” however, indicates that Michael is not unique. Jesus is more than just a “Prince” or “Ruler.” The Bible calls Jesus “King of Kings” and “Lord of Lords.” (Revelation 17:14; 19:16) This title indicates absolute sovereignty and authority and is a far cry from being “one of the chief princes” who is one among a group of equals.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 states, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God….” Jehovah’s Wittnesses use this verse to try to prove that Jesus is Michael the archangel because He comes “with the voice of the archangel.” However, the fact that Jesus is coming with the archangel’s voice doesn’t mean that He is the archangel. Notice that this verse also says that this verse also says that Jesus is coming with God’s trumpet, but one wouldn’t argue that Jesus is God simply because He is coming with God’s trumpet. In 2 Thessalonians 1:7, we read that “the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire.” Thus, it appears that Jesus will come with the archangel who issues the shout. In Zechariah 14:5-6, we read that Jehovah God “will come, and all the holy ones with Him! And it will come about in that day that there will be no light.” When one compares this passage of Jehovah’s coming with the coming of Christ as described in 2 Thessalonians 1:7 and Matthew 24:29-31, it is obvious that the Jehovah who is coming in Zechariah is the Jesus who is coming with “His angels” in Matthew 24 and 2 Thessalonians.
In order to try to prove that when Jesus was claiming to be the “Son of God,” He was claiming to be one of God’s angels, Jehovah’s Witnesses often point to Job 38:7 where angels are called sons of God. However, Hebrews 1:5 states, “For to which of the angels did He ever say, ‘THOU ART MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN THEE’ And again, ‘I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM, AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME’?” Since the Bible doesn’t contradict itself, it is obvious that Jesus is called the “Son of God” in a different sense than angels are called God’s sons.
Historically, the Jews understood the term “son of…” to mean “of the order of…” (see 1 Kings 20:35; Nehemiah 12:28) Therefore, when Jesus claimed to be the “Son of God” (John 19:7), the Jews tried to stone Him for blasphemy (Leviticus 24:16) for they understood Him to be claiming to be “of the order of God”, hence, claiming to be Jehovah God. (John 5:18) In Isaiah 46:9, God declares, “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me.”
The term “only begotten” does not necessarily mean that Jesus was created. When Jesus is called the “only begotten God” in John 1:18, this term is used to refer to Christ’s uniqueness as God. Originally, it was thought that the term monogenese came from monos meaning “only” and gennao meaning “begotten.” However, further research has determined that the term genese is derived not from gennao, but rather from genos which means “kind” or “type.” Therefore, when the Bible refers to Jesus as the “only begotten God,” it is literally saying that Jesus is the “one and only unique God.” (see John 1:18, NIV)
Indeed, Jesus was never Michael the archangel before He came to earth, nor did He raise as “a spirit creature”– the archangel Michael. The Bible testifies: “For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking.” — Hebrews 2:5
WHO IS JESUS?
Numerous titles and attributes of Jehovah found in the Hebrew Scriptures are applied directly to Jesus in the Christian Greek Scriptures.
- Jehovah knows “all things.” (1 John 3:20; Psalm 147:5) Jesus knows “all things.” (John 16:30)
- Jehovah is the only one who knows the hearts of all men. (1 Kings 8:39; Jeremiah 17:9-10) Jesus knows the hearts of all men. (John 2:24-25; Rev. 2:18, 23)
- Jehovah is our sanctifier. (Exodus 31:13) Jesus sanctifies us. (Hebrews 10:10)
- Jehovah is our peace. (Judges 6:23) Jesus is our peace. (Ephesians 2:14)
- Jehovah is our righteousness. (Jeremiah 23:6) Jesus is our righteousness. ( 1 Corinthians 1:30)
- Jehovah is our healer. (Exodus 15:26) Jesus heals us. (Acts 9:34)
- Jehovah God dwells in us. (2 Corinthians 6:16) Jesus is in us. (Romans 8:10)2.
- Jehovah is the giver of life who will not allow His people to be “snatched” out of His hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39) Jesus is the giver of life who will not allow His people to be “snatched” out of His hand. (John 10:28)
- Jehovah’s voice is “like the roar of rushing waters.” (Ezekiel 43:2) Jesus’ “voice was like the sound of rushing waters.” (Revelation 1:15)
- Jehovah is present everywhere. (Proverbs 15:3; Jeremiah 23:24; I Kings 8:27) Jesus is omnipresent. (John 1:48; Matthew 18:20; 28:20)
- Jehovah’s nature does not change. (Malachi 3:6) Jesus’ nature does not change. (Hebrews 13:8)3.
- Jehovah is the only God we are to “serve.”
(2 Kings 17:35) Jesus is to be served. (Col. 3:24)
- Jehovah is the only God to be “worshipped.” (Exodus 34:14) Jesus receives the same honor and “worship” that the Father receives. (John 5:23; Revelation 5:11-14 compare with Rev. 4:10-11)4. No angel can receive “worship.” (Revelation 22:8-9)
- Jehovah the Lord is to be set apart as holy. (Isaiah 8:12b-13) Jesus as Jehovah is to be set apart as holy. (1 Peter 3:14b-15a)5.
- Jehovah’s glory is not to be given to another.
(Isaiah 42:8) Jesus shares Jehovah’s glory. (Jn. 17:5)
- God’s name is Jehovah (or Yahweh–YHWH). (Isaiah 42:8) Jesus has Jehovah’s name. (John 17:11; John 16:14-15)
- Jehovah is the only God to be mentioned in prayer. (Exodus 23:13) Christians are to pray to Jesus.6.
- Calling upon Jehovah (Joel 2:32) is the same as calling upon Jesus. (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:9-13)7.
- Jehovah “the true God” is called “eternal life.” (1 John 5:20) Jesus is called “the eternal life.” (1 John 1:2)
- Jehovah is the “mighty God.” (Jeremiah 32:17-18; Isaiah 10:20-21) Jesus is the “mighty God”
(Isaiah 9:6) who is “Almighty.” (Revelation 1:7-8)8. THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD. (1 Timothy 1:17; Isaiah 44:8)
- Jehovah is an “everlasting light.” (Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 60:19-20) Jesus is the light of men and the everlasting light of the future city. (John 1:4-9; Revelation 21:23)
- Jehovah is “the first and the last.” (Isaiah 44:6; 48:12) Jesus is the “first and the last.”
(Revelation 1:17-18; 22:12-13, 20)
- Jehovah is the “Alpha and the Omega.” (Revelation 1:8; Revelation 21:6-7) Jesus is the “Alpha and the Omega.” (Revelation 22:12-13, 20)
- Jehovah’s title is “the Holy One.” (Isaiah 47:4) Jesus is “the Holy One.” (Acts 3:14; John 6:69)
- Jehovah is the “stumbling stone” of Israel.
(Isaiah 8:13-15) Jesus is the “stumbling stone” of Israel. (1 Peter 2:6-8)
- John the Baptist was to prepare the way for Jehovah. (Isaiah 40:3) The Jehovah who came was Jesus.
(Mark 1:1-4; John 1:6-7, 23)
- Jehovah is the one who was “pierced.” (Zechariah 12:10)9. Jesus is the pierced Jehovah. (John 19:34; Revelation 1:7-8)
- The Jehovah who was sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:13) is Jesus. (Matthew 27:2-6)
- Jehovah is Lord of the elements. (Psalm 89:8-9) Jesus is Lord of the elements. (Matthew 8:26-27; John 2:7-9)
- Jehovah is the great Judge who gives life to whom he wishes and who renders to each man “according” to his “deeds.” (Psalm 98:9; Deuteronomy 32:39; Jeremiah 17:9-10) Jesus is the only judge who gives life to whom he wishes and renders to each man “according” to his “deeds.” (John 5:21-22; Revelation 2:18, 23)
- Jehovah is the only one who can forgive sins. (Mark 2:7; Daniel 9:9) Jesus forgives sins. (Mark 2:10-11; Luke 24:46-47)
- Jehovah is the great “shepherd” who leads his people to “the spring of the water of life.” (Psalm 23:1-2; Revelation 21:6-7) Jesus as the “shepherd” of His people, leads them “to springs of the water of life.” (John 10:11-18; Revelation 7:17) THERE IS ONLY ONE SHEPHERD –John 10:16.
- Jehovah is “Lord of Lords.” (Deuteronomy 10:17) Jesus is “Lord of Lords.” (Revelation 17:14; 19:16) The Father is Lord of all. (Matthew 11:25;
Acts 17:24) Jesus is “Lord of all.” (Acts 10:36) THERE IS ONLY ONE LORD. (Jude 4)
- Jehovah is the Savior. (Isaiah 45:21-22) Jesus is the Savior. (Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1) THERE IS ONLY ONE SAVIOR. (Isaiah 43:11)
- Jehovah created the universe. (Psalm 102:25-27) Jesus created the universe. (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-19;10. Hebrews 1:10-12).11. THERE IS ONLY ONE CREATOR. (Isaiah 44:24)
- Isaiah saw Jehovah. (Isaiah 6:1-5) The Jehovah that Isaiah saw was Jesus. (John 12:41)
Could it be that Jehovah gave Jesus all these qualities, and therefore, Jesus is a “lesser God” under Jehovah? No! For Jehovah declares:
“For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me.”—Isaiah 46:9
“You are My witnesses…Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me.…there is no savior besides Me.”—Isaiah 43:10-11
FOR MORE INFORMATION SEE:
1. The Atonement Between God and Man, Studies in the Scriptures, vol. 5, p. 454
2. Every place where Jesus is said to dwell “in” someone, the Watchtower Society’s New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures mistranslates it to read “Christ is in union with you.” However, note that the correct translation of “in you” can be found in Romans 8:10 of the Society’s Greek/English Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures.
3. In the incarnation, Jesus took on an addition nature — a human nature (John 1:14; Philippians 2:7-8), but he still possessed and continues to posses God’s nature (Philippians 2:6) “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” –Colossians 2:9
4. Also Compare Isaiah 45:23 with Philippians 2:10-11.
5. Compare the Hebrew Scripture Greek Septuagint’s rendering of Isaiah 8:12-13 with 1 Peter 3:14-15. Peter quotes this passage of Jehovah and applies it directly to Jesus.
6. The Society’s New World Translation mistranslates this verse to read “ask anything” rather than “ask me anything.” Note the correct rendering can be found under John 14:14 in the Society’s Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures.
7. The New World Translation inserts the word “Jehovah” for “Lord” 237 times into their Christian Scriptures without the support of a single Greek manuscript of the Christian Scriptures. This is the case with Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13. Note, however, the correct translation of “Lord” can be found in the Society’s Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures.
8. The Society translates “Lord God” in Rev. 1:8 as “Jehovah God.” Notice that in this verse, Jehovah the Lord is called “Alpha and Omega.” At Revelation 22:12-13, 20, Jesus is called the “Alpha and Omega,” therefore, Jesus is the “Almighty” God of Revelation 1:8.
9. While the best Hebrew manuscripts available render Zechariah 12:10 as, “look upon Me whom they have pierced,” the New World Translation mistranslates it to read, “look to the One whom they have pierced.”
10. In this passage of Colossians, the New World Translation, adds the word “other” four times against all Greek manuscripts available. Note the correct translation of this passage can be found in the Society’s Kingdom Interlinear Translation.
.11. Paul quotes Psalm 102:25-27 which speaks of Jehovah and applies this passage directly to Christ in Hebrews 1:10-12.