Is Jesus Christ the archangel Michael?

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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. Continue reading “Is Jesus Christ the archangel Michael?”

What Is “The Truth”?

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A common trait in religions that claim to be the only way to God is to compile a list of unique requirements that they believe proves that they are the one and only true religion. Mormons, for example, produced a pamphlet for prospective converts entitled, “17 Points of the Only True Church.” Since the Mormon Church is the only church that claims to meet all of these 17 requirements that they list in their pamphlet, Mormons believe one cannot obtain salvation in the highest level of glory apart from joining their Church.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are no different than Mormons in this aspect. In many of the brochures designed to attract potential converts to their religion, the Watchtower sets forth a unique list of criteria to determine what they call “the Truth.” To Jehovah’s Witnesses, this criteria proves that the Watchtower organization is the only true Christian religion on earth today.

DOES WATCHTOWER CRITERIA PROVE IT IS THE ONLY TRUE RELIGION?

The following is a list of criteria the Watchtower gives to determine the “one true religion.” This particular list is found on pages 26-27 of the 1996 Watchtower publication, What Does God Require of Us?:

  1. Avoid War and Politics
  2. Avoid Pagan Holidays
  3. Reject the Trinity Doctrine
  4. Reject the Immortality of the Soul and Hell
  5. Must Preach the Kingdom
  6. Must Proclaim the Name “Jehovah” for God

The Watchtower claims that this criteria proves that its religion is the only true religion, but is this criteria unique to the Watchtower organization? Our studies reveal that this criteria is not, for the following religions also embrace these doctrines: Continue reading “What Is “The Truth”?”

Watchtower Doctrine Exposed

–Shining God’s Light on Jehovah’s Witness Beliefs

– Reference Chart exposing the doctrinal errors of the Watchtower Society in parallel form by comparing Watchtower doctrine against the clear teachings of the Bible.

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Jehovah's Witness Magazines

 

Continue reading “Watchtower Doctrine Exposed”

Revelation 3:12 – Why Does Jesus Call the Father “My God”?

Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity bookHOW DO I PROVE JESUS IS ‘GOD’ WHEN JESUS CALLS THE FATHER ‘MY GOD’ AT REVELATION 3:12?

“I have read on your website how to answer people who argue that Jesus can’t be God because He calls the Father ‘My God’ at John 20:17.  I understand how to explain that when Jesus called the Father ‘My God’ in John, He was saying it as a ‘man’ because He was under the limitations of His humanity, but here at Revelation 3:12, Jesus is from Heaven calling the Father His ‘God’.  Since Jesus is glorified as God at this point, why is He still calling the Father ‘My God’?”

OUR RESPONSE:

Dear Friend,

You are correct that in many instances where Jesus calls the Father “My God” on earth, it is from His human perspective, but here in Revelation, He is speaking as God Himself.  In addition to Jesus’ humanity, there is another aspect in which the Father is Jesus’ “God” and that is in the area of His submission to the will of the Father.  Jesus has always been and will always be under the authority of the Father because this is how the Trinity functions as 1 Corinthians 15:28 explains:

“When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.”

Throughout Scripture, we read how the Father directs the Son (1 Corinthians 11:3) and Holy Spirit (John 3:34; 14:16). That is why Jesus calls the Father “God” when He is in His Divine Nature.  This would be like your son calling you “the Man of the House”. When your son calls you “the Man”, he does not mean to imply that he is less human than you, does he?  Of course not!  So, it is with Jesus calling the Father “My God”. He is not saying that the He is less “God” because the Father is His God. Rather, He is demonstrating that He is still under the authority of His Father God.

In addition to seeing Jesus and the Holy Spirit under the authority of the Father, we also read that the Son directs the Holy Spirit under the will of the Father (Galatians 4:6; John 15:26).  So just as in a family where the wife and children follow the lead of the father (1 Corinthians 11:3), so it is with the order of the Trinity.  Thus, the authority structure looks like this:

father-son husband-wife

Just as this authority structure that exists within the human family doesn’t change the fact that the wife and children are just as much “human” as the “husband” or “father” is, so it is with the Triune God.  The simple fact that Jesus is under the Father’s authority doesn’t change the fact that Jesus, in His Divine nature, is just as much “God” as His Father is “God”. As John 5:18 explains:

“For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.”

So being under authority doesn’t make a person less human or in Jesus’ case, less God, than His Father.

PRAYER TO JESUS: John 14:14 – Did Jesus Say “Ask Me” Anything? – Appendix – Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity!

Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity book

JOHN 14:14 — DID JESUS SAY “ASK ME ANYTHING” OR DID HE SAY “ASK ANYTHING”? —Does John 14:14 indicate that Christians should pray directly to Jesus?

NEW AMERICAN STANDARD:
JOHN 14:14: “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”

KINGDOM INTERLINEAR TRANSLATION

NEW WORLD TRANSLATION
JOHN 14:14: : “If ever anything you should ask me in the name of me this I shall do.”
JOHN 14:14: “If You ask anything in my name, I will do it.”

Christians and Jehovah’s Witnesses agree that if Jesus is not God, He should not be prayed to because prayer is a form of worship. However, when we see that Scripture supports the idea that Jesus is worthy of prayer and worship, we must conclude that Jesus is indeed God by nature. Thus, the idea that Jesus receives prayer in Scripture is strongly contended against by Jehovah’s Witnesses who maintain that no such practice exists in Scripture.

One Scripture that Christians appeal to in support of the idea that Jesus receives prayer is John 14:14. It says in the New American Standard Bible: “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” Christians appeal to the fact that not only does Jesus encourage believers to pray to Him by saying, “ask Me anything,” but He is the One who answers the prayer when He promises, “I will do it.” Continue reading “PRAYER TO JESUS: John 14:14 – Did Jesus Say “Ask Me” Anything? – Appendix – Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity!”

The Deity of Jesus Christ

How To Discuss The Deity Of Jesus Christ With Jehovah’s Witnesses – Chapter 11 – Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity!

Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity book

Have you ever felt dismay after presenting the standard Biblical Scripture proof texts for the Deity of Jesus Christ and the Trinity, only to find your Jehovah’s Witness friend unconvinced?  There are three reasons for this:

  1. MISCONCEPTIONS REGARDING THE TRINITY: Jehovah’s Witnesses have several misconceptions about what Christians believe regarding the Deity of Christ and the Triune God. We must address their misconceptions and deal with the verses they rely on to support their position, before they can adequately grasp the Biblical support we have for our position.
  1. FALSE AUTHORITY: Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the leaders of their Watchtower organization are appointed by God to act as His supreme representatives on earth. In order to maintain good standing with the organization, they are required to accept, without question, all beliefs and policies presented by their leaders.  So, when the plain reading of a Scripture passage contradicts a doctrinal belief held by their leaders, they will question their own ability to understand the meaning of that Scripture passage before they will question the belief itself.  We must undercut their trust in their leaders before they will be free to accept the plain and simple interpretation of Scripture passages that differ from what they have been taught. 
  1. SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS: Satan, “the god of this world,” has blinded the minds of Jehovah’s Witnesses so that they cannot see “Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4). We must remember that we are engaged in a spiritual battle for their minds and hearts. This battle transcends mere intellectual understanding.  We must implore the Spirit of the Living God to free them so that they can say, “Jesus is indeed Lord, Jehovah!” (See 1 Corinthians 12:3). 

The following steps will guide you to effectively present the Deity of Jesus Christ in terms your Jehovah’s Witness friend will be able to grasp.  Although there is no guarantee that he or she will be convinced by the concepts we present here, in our ministry to Jehovah’s Witnesses, we have found these steps essential to breaking the faulty reasoning Jehovah’s Witnesses have embraced on these issues. Continue reading “How To Discuss The Deity Of Jesus Christ With Jehovah’s Witnesses – Chapter 11 – Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity!”

“Worship God On His Terms” – Chapter 8 – Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity!

Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity bookbullets YES, YOU SHOULD BELIEVE IN THE TRINITY BOOK TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 8: “WORSHIP GOD ON HIS TERMS”

SHOULD WE WORSHIP JESUS?

“Therefore, if we want God’s approval, we need to ask ourselves: What does God say about himself? How does he want to be worshiped? What are his purposes, and how should we fit in with them? An accurate knowledge of the truth gives us the right answers to such questions. Then we can worship God on his terms.”—Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 30

Continue reading ““Worship God On His Terms” – Chapter 8 – Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity!”

Jesus is God! – Chapter 7 – Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity!

Is Jesus Inferior To God? – Chapter 5 – Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity!

Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity bookCHAPTER 5: IS JESUS INFERIOR TO GOD?

WHAT ABOUT JESUS’ SUBMISSION TO THE FATHER’S WILL?

The Watchtower Society argues that because Jesus is “distinguished from God” as a distinct person from the Father, He is considered “subordinate” to God, in a “secondary position” to that of the Father, is “submissive” to God’s will, and had “limited knowledge,” He cannot be God. After all, the Society declares, “Jesus never claimed to be God.” (See Should You Believe in the Trinity?, pp. 16-20)

Many of these arguments against the Trinity are groundless when viewed in light of the incarnation. As already discussed, when Jesus became a man, He laid aside His privileges as God in order to experience all the struggles of humanity.1. In His Deity, Christ is “equal” to God the Father, but in His humanity, He is in a lesser position than that of the Father (John 14:28). Let’s discuss some of the passages addressed in the Trinity brochure:

JOHN 20:17

“…I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.”

The Society argues that “Since Jesus had a God, his Father, he could not at the same time be that God.” —Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 17

One fact about this passage that the Society fails to note is that Jesus was always very careful to distinguish His relationship with the Father from the relationship His disciples had with the Father. He never addressed God as “our Father” in reference to Himself and the disciples, but rather addressed Him as “My Father” and “your Father.”2. This is significant to note because Jesus is God’s Son by nature; whereas, His disciples are God’s sons by adoption (John 1:12). As the “Son of God,” Jesus has the same nature as God (John 5:18, 19:7), but in the incarnation, Jesus took on the nature of man and thus became the “Son of Man.”3. While in His Divine nature, Jesus still possessed all the power and authority of God, in His human nature he chose to limit that authority. By calling the Father His “God,” He demonstrated perfect submission to the Father both on earth and in Heaven.

“And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.…”—Hebrews 1:3

In human affairs, the “right hand” is the symbol of strength and power. Someone who is said to be the president’s “right hand man” is someone who is in a high position of honor. Thus, Scripture often employs the phrase “sitting at the right hand of the Father” to denote Christ’s preeminence as the one in the highest position of authority.

PSALM 98:9
JOHN 5:22-23
“Before the LORD; for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.”
“For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, in order that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.”

For more on this topic of Jesus calling the Father His God, see also Revelation 3:12 – Why Does Jesus Call the Father “My God”?

1 CORINTHIANS 8:5-6

“For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is but one God, the Father…and one Lord, Jesus Christ….”

The context of 1 Corinthians 8:6 is not contrasting the relationship between the Father and the Son, but rather the relationship between them and false idols that pagans worship as “gods.” Yet, the Watchtower Society ignores the context of this passage and claims that this verse is contrasting the relationship between the Father and the Son. Then the Society points out that the Father is called “God” while Jesus is distinguished as the “Lord” and claims that Jesus cannot be God because the Father is called God. (See Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 17)

When one considers the fact that no Jehovah’s Witness would argue that the Father is not “Lord” simply because Jesus is “Lord,” it is evident that this argument is groundless. Furthermore, the Father is called the “Lord of Lords” at Deuteronomy 10:17 while Jesus is called the “Lord of Lords” at Revelation 17:14 and 19:16. Yet, Jude 4 points out that there is only one “Lord.” Thus, in the same way that both Jesus and the Father are both called “the Lord,” Jesus is just as much God as the Father is God as He is addressed as God on several occasions. 4. Yet, 1 Timothy 1:17 reveals that there is only one God. So here we have yet another example of Scripture that supports the Trinitarian position that Jesus is the same “God” as the Father.

JEHOVAH IS LORD OF ALL
JESUS IS LORD OF ALL
MATTHEW 11:25: “At that time Jesus answered and said, ‘I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth….’ ”
ACTS 10:36: “The word which he sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)….”5.
DEUTERONOMY 10:17: “For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God….”
REVELATION 17:14; 19:16: “…and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings….And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’”
“…ungodly persons who…deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”—Jude 4

MARK 10:17-18

“And as He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and began asking Him, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.’ ”

The Society argues that “…Jesus was saying that no one is as good as God is, not even Jesus himself.” —Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 17

Nowhere in this passage does Jesus imply that He is not good. On the contrary, according to the context, Jesus was helping the rich ruler recognize that the attribute of “goodness” which the ruler had applied to Him was a quality that only God possesses. Thus, Jesus was forcing the ruler to recognize that either He is “good” and is therefore God, or He is bad and is therefore only a man.

HABAKKUK 1:12

“…Are you not from long ago, O Jehovah? O my God, my Holy One, you do not die.”
New World Translation

The Society argues that Jesus can’t be God because God doesn’t die, and the Bible clearly reveals that Jesus died. (See Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 18)

One of the attributes of our immutable God is that He does not die; and in this passage, Jehovah God is called “the Holy One” who does not die. Yet, at Acts 2:27, 3:14, and John 6:69 we read that this “Holy One” is Jesus who, as foretold by David at Psalm 16:10, was to die but whose body would not “undergo decay.” How can this be? If the Holy One does not die, how can Jesus as the “Holy One” die? We can reconcile this by recognizing that according to Psalm 49:7, more was required than just a mere man to atone for the sins of mankind. 6. Thus, it was necessary for Jehovah God to become man in the person of Christ in order to die and atone for the sins of the world. Although Jesus (in His human nature) had completely died, He (in His Divine nature) still possessed the power to raise Himself.

“…I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.…Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”—John 10:17-18; 2:19

ISAIAH 43:15; 47:4; 54:5
JOHN 6:69
I am Jehovah your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.…There is One repurchasing us. Jehovah of armies is his name, the Holy One of Israel.… Jehovah of armies being his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Repurchaser. The God of the whole earth he will be called.”—New World Translation

“And we have believed and come to know that you are the Holy One of God.”—New World Translation

ACTS 2:27
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“Because Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, Nor allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay.”—New American Standard Bible

MARK 13:32

“But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven,
nor the Son, but the Father alone.”

“Had Jesus been the equal Son part of a Godhead, he would have known what the Father knows. But Jesus did not know, for he was not equal to God.”—Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 19

Prior to the incarnation, Jesus was one in person and one in nature, being totally Divine. At the incarnation, Jesus took on a human nature and henceforth became two in nature while yet remaining one in person. As a result, attributes from His Divine and human natures both became credited to His one person. In this passage, Jesus was speaking from the standpoint of His human nature; thus, demonstrating the limitations of His human nature by not being able to foretell the future. Nevertheless, there were many other occasions where Jesus, speaking from the perspective of His divinity, demonstrated the Divine quality of omniscience. Note the following passages:

1 KINGS 8:39
JOHN 2:24-25
“Then hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart thou knowest, for Thou alone dost know the hearts of all the sons of men;”
“But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man for He Himself knew what was in man.”

· JOHN 16:30: “Now we know that You know all things….”
· JOHN 18:4: “Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth….”
· MATTHEW 9:4: “And Jesus knowing their thoughts said….”
· JOHN 21:17: “…And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love you….’ ”

JEREMIAH 17:9-10
REVELATION 2:18, 23
The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.”
“The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this: ‘….and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.’ ”

At 1 Kings 8:39, we read that God is the only one who knows the hearts of all men; yet as seen in these and many other passages, Jesus knew the hearts of all men. How can Jesus have the very omniscience of Jehovah and not be Jehovah Himself?

1 CORINTHIANS 11:3 AND 15:28

“But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. …When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.”

The Society uses this passage as well as 1 Corinthians 15:28 to try to prove that since Jesus is “subordinate” to the Father, He cannot be God. (See Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 20)

1 Corinthians 11:3 states that “the man is the head of a woman.” Are women inferior or less human than men simply because husbands are to be in authority over their wives? No! Just as a woman is fully human even though she submits to her husband, so Jesus is fully God even though He submits to the will of His Father God. Another example of this can be seen at Luke 2:51 where we read that Christ was in “subjection” to Mary and Joseph. Was Christ inferior to them because He was in “subjection” to them? Of course not! In all of these cases, we see a type of functional subordination that is necessary to maintain order, but this subordination does not in anyway denote an inferior nature.

While it is true that a functional subordination or functional hierarchy exists among the Persons of the Triune God, they are still equal in their Divine nature. So Jesus is equal to God the Father in His Divine Being (John 10:30). Yet, once everything is subdued under Him at 1 Corinthians 15:28, He continues His submission to the Father as a picture of the unity of the Godhead..

In the same way that a wife is not considered “inferior” to her husband because she is in subjection to his authority, the functional subordination that exists among the persons of the Trinity does not in any way imply that Jesus is inferior to the Father or any less God than the Father is God. What 1 Corinthians 15:28 is really teaching concerning the subjection of Christ is that once Jesus’ mediator role is completed and all things are in subjection to Him, He will surrender His kingdom to the Triune Jehovah God who will rule forever.

“ ‘Thou hast put all things in subjection under His feet.’ For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.”—Hebrews 2:8

DEUTERONOMY 32:39
JOHN 5:21; 10:28; ACTS 9:34
“See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded, and it is I who heal; and there is no one who can deliver from My hand.”
“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes….and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand….And Peter said to him, ‘Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; arise, and make your bed.’ And immediately he arose.”

JOHN 14:28

“…I go to the Father; for the Father is greater [meizon —meizon] than I.”

“The Bible’s position is clear. Not only is Almighty God, Jehovah, a personality separate from Jesus but He is at all times his superior….And this is why Jesus himself said: ‘The Father is greater than I.’—John 14:28”—Should You Believe in the Trinity?, p. 20

There is a significant reason why Jesus (in indicating His relationship to the Father) chose to use the term meizon (meizwn) translated “greater” rather than the term kreitton (kreittwn) which means “better”. Meizon denotes a greater position, whereas kreitton denotes a better nature. The difference between these two words can be seen at John 14:12, where we read that believers will do “greater” (meizon) works than Jesus. Since we know that this verse is not implying that we will do “better” works than Jesus, it is clear from the context that Jesus used this same word to demonstrate the greatness of the Father’s position (being in heaven) as opposed to Jesus’ position (being here on earth).

A modern illustration of this type of relationship can be seen when we analyze the Watchtower’s own authority structure: A Presiding Overseer can be said to be “greater” than an elder. Yet, by saying this, one is not implying that the elder is of an inferior nature than the Overseer, but rather, that the Overseer’s jurisdiction is “greater” than the elder’s jurisdiction. In the same way, it is only in Jesus’ human nature that the Father can be said to be “greater” than He. However, this illustration cannot be used to refer to Jesus’ relationship to angels because at Hebrews 1:4 the other term (kreitton), translated “better,” is employed to demonstrate that Jesus is “better” than the angels in His very nature.

BULLETIN OF THE JOHN RYLANDS LIBRARY

On pages 19-20 and 28 of the Society’s brochure, they reference the Bulletin of the John Rylands Library in England endeavoring to support their assertion that Jesus is not God and never claimed to be. They quote the Bulletin as stating: “The fact has to be faced that New Testament research over, say, the last thirty or forty years has been leading an increasing number of reputable New Testament scholars to the conclusion that Jesus…certainly never believed himself to be God.” However, the Society left out a very important statement in their quotation. The part they left out is as follows:

“…New Testament scholars to the conclusion that Jesus himself may not have claimed any of the christological titles which the Gospels ascribe to him, not even the functional designation ‘Christ’, and certainly never believed himself to be God.” —Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, vol. 50, p. 251

The idea that Jesus never claimed to be the “Christ” is unquestionably against the plain teaching of Scripture. For Matthew 16:20 specifically says: “Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.” Even the Watchtower Society would agree that the idea that Jesus never “claimed” the title of “Christ” is erroneous. Thus, in order to conceal the fact that this source is not credible, they placed an ellipsis in the quotation and concealed this inaccurate statement from their readers.

On page 28, in reference to the Greek word for God (theos) being used for Christ, the Society goes on to cite the Bulletin as stating that Catholic theologian Karl Rahner taught that “in none of these instances is ‘theos’ used in such a manner as to identify Jesus with him who elsewhere in the New Testament figures as ‘ho Theos,’ that is, the Supreme God.” However, it is difficult to justify Rahner’s position on this subject in light of the fact that the Bulletin mentioned that Rahner “considers that there are reliable applications of ‘theos’ to Christ in six texts (Romans ix. 5f.; John i. I, 18. xx. 28: I John v. 20: and Titus ii. 13).”—Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, vol. 50, p. 253.

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1. That is, He had limited knowledge and “learned obedience” (Hebrews 5:8) through suffering, experiencing hunger, sleep, pain, death, etc.
2. In the Lord’s prayer of Matthew 6:9 where Jesus address the Father as “Our Father,” Jesus is teaching His disciples how to pray rather than including Himself in that prayer.
3. See John 6:62 c.f. Daniel 7:13. The term “Son of Man” is a Messianic title which points to Jesus’ humanity as His second coming will be in the flesh.
4. See Matthew 1:23; John 1:1,18; John 20:28; Hebrews 1:8; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1
5. The Watchtower’s New World Translation mistranslates this verse by adding the word “[other]” to the text of Acts 10:36: “…through Jesus Christ: this One is Lord of all [others].”—New World Translation
6. Psalm 49:7: “No man can by any means redeem his brother, Or give to God a ransom for him.”

Trinity in the Bible – Chapter 4 – Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity!

Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity bookCHAPTER 4: TRINITY IN THE BIBLE

DOES MONOTHEISM (BELIEF IN ONE GOD) SUPPORT THE TRINITY?

“THE Bible teaching that God is one is called monotheism. And L.L. Paine, professor of ecclesiastical history, indicates that monotheism in its purest form does not allow for a Trinity….‘Here, O Israel, the Lord our God is one God.’ Those words are found at Deuteronomy 6:4.…In the grammar of that verse, the word ‘one’ has no plural modifiers to suggest that it means anything but one individual.…Thousands of times throughout the Bible, God is spoken of as one person. When he speaks, it is as one undivided individual. The Bible could not be any clearer on this….Surely, if God were composed of three persons, he would have had his Bible writers make it abundantly clear so that there could be no doubt about it.”—Should You Believe in the Trinity?, pp. 12-13

The Watchtower quotes Levi Leodard Paine in support of their claims that monotheism rules out trinitarianism, but just like other authors the Society has quoted, Paine is a liberal scholar who does not believe the Bible is “of a divine miraculous origin and character, differentiating the Bible from all other religious literature.…”1. Therefore, one must conclude that he is not a reputable source that one should consult for information on the Bible. After quoting Paine, the Society quotes Deuteronomy 6:4, stating that the word “one” should not be interpreted to mean “anything but one individual.” While Deuteronomy 6:4, known as the Hebrew Shema, is a clear declaration from God stating that He alone is God, the Hebrew word echod translated “one” in this passage can refer to plurality within unity. Notice how echod is used in the following passages: Continue reading “Trinity in the Bible – Chapter 4 – Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity!”

Historical Background of the Trinity – Chapter 2 – Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity!

 

Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity bookCHAPTER 2: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

TAUGHT BY EARLY CHRISTIANS

“DID the early Christians teach the Trinity? Note the following comments by historians and theologians:… ‘At first the Christian faith was not Trinitarian…It was not so in the apostolic and sub-apostolic ages, as reflected in the N[ew] T[estament] and other early Christian writings.’—Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics.”—Should You Believe in the Trinity?, pp. 6-7

The following is the complete quote from this encyclopedia in context:

Economic and essential trinity.—(a) The transition from the Trinity of experience to the Trinity of dogma is describable in other terms as the transition from the economic or dispensational Trinity (tropoV apokaluyewV) to the essential, immanent, or ontological Trinity (tropoV uparxewV). At first the Christian faith was not Trinitarian in the strictly ontological reference. It was not so in the apostolic and sub-apostolic ages, as reflected in the NT and other early Christian writings….It should be observed that there is no real cleavage or antithesis between the doctrines of the economic and the essential Trinity, and naturally so. The Triunity represents the effort to think out the Trinity, and so to afford it a reasonable basis.” —Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, vol. 12, p. 461 Continue reading “Historical Background of the Trinity – Chapter 2 – Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity!”

Defining The Trinity – Chapter 1 – Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity!

Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity bookCHAPTER 1: DEFINING THE TRINITY

WHAT IS THE TRINITY?

The Trinity is the view that the 3 Persons mentioned in the Bible: Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit are one God, equal in nature and eternal and uncreated in substance. They co-exist, co-create and co-rule this present world and are distinct in their personhoods, yet they share their eternal nature as the one and only True God. Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the Trinity doctrine and argue against the Deity of Jesus Christ based on a misconception of what the Trinity Doctrine is and what it stands for. Below we will examine their arguments in-depth as we discuss their 1989 publication, Should You Believe in the Trinity? Continue reading “Defining The Trinity – Chapter 1 – Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity!”

Introduction: Why You Should Believe in the Trinity

 Yes, You Should Believe in the Trinity bookWHY YOU SHOULD BELIEVE IN IT

 

“Do YOU believe in the Trinity? Most people in Christendom do. After all, it has been the central doctrine of the churches for centuries. …Why should a subject like this be of any more than passing interest? Because Jesus himself said: ‘Eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.’ So our entire future hinges on our knowing the true nature of God, and that means getting to the root of the Trinity controversy.” —Should You Believe in the Trinity?, 1989, p. 3

It has often been said that every theological heresy begins with a misconception of the nature of God. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we have a clear and accurate understanding of the nature of God and the identity of Jesus Christ, for Scripture declares:

“But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.” —2 Corinthians 11:3-4

“For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”—1 Corinthians 3:11

“I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.”—John 8:24

At John 8:24, Jesus proclaims the seriousness of not believing He is who He claimed to be. He states: “…unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.” The reason the word “He” is italicized in the statement “I am He” is due to the fact that it is not found in the Greek text from which our English translations are derived. Thus, Jesus is literally proclaiming that He is the “I AM” of Exodus 3:14: “And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM…Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.’” This is significant when we consider the fact that Scripture also proclaims that we must call on the name of Jesus in order to “wash away” our sins: Continue reading “Introduction: Why You Should Believe in the Trinity”

Dialogue 10: Doing God’s will- What does it mean to “Come to Jesus?”

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bullets CHRISTIAN CONVERSATIONS WITH JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES—Biblical Answers To Questions Jehovah’s Witnesses Ask

(WDGR Lesson 15: “Helping Others to Do God’s Will”)

Who did Jesus say we must go to in order to have eternal life? Is it proper to pray to Jesus?1.

CINDY: Karen, “By now” in our study of the Watchtower brochure What Does God Require of Us?, “you have learned many good things from the Bible. This knowledge should lead to your cultivating a Christian personality.”2. Just as John 17:3 states: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.”3. “Such knowledge is essential in order for you to gain eternal life.”4. Continue reading “Dialogue 10: Doing God’s will- What does it mean to “Come to Jesus?””

Dialogue 6: Was Jesus created as God’s “firstborn son?”

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bullets CHRISTIAN CONVERSATIONS WITH JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES—Biblical Answers To Questions Jehovah’s Witnesses Ask

(WDGR Lesson 3: “Who Is Jesus Christ?”)

In what way is Jesus the “firstborn over all creation”? Does Proverbs 8:22-23 prove that Jesus was created? If Jesus was not created, why does the Bible say that Jesus is “the beginning of the creation of God” at Revelation 3:14?

KAREN: Hello Cindy!

CINDY: Oh, Hi Karen! I was thinking about our study last week in the Watchtower brochure, What Does God Require of Us? We had talked about how there is only one true God and you had said that you believe that Jesus is the true God along with the Father. But I have a question: If Jesus is God, why do you think “Jesus is called God’s ‘firstborn’ Son?”1.

Continue reading “Dialogue 6: Was Jesus created as God’s “firstborn son?””

Dialogue 5: How can Jesus be “with” God and at the same time be God?

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bullets CHRISTIAN CONVERSATIONS WITH JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES—Biblical Answers To Questions Jehovah’s Witnesses Ask

(WDGR Lesson 2: “Who Is God?)

Is Jesus “a god” or is He the one true God? If Jesus is God, why does the Bible say “No one has ever seen God”? How can Jesus be the Son of God and at the same time be God? Should Jesus be worshipped?

CINDY: Hello, Karen, how was your week?

KAREN: Not too good, Cindy. My nephew just returned to the U.S. after spending a year in Japan and evidently he has decided to become a Buddhist. When he was a teenager, he turned his back on God and now he thinks that by following the path of “enlightenment” through his good deeds, he can reach nirvana.

Continue reading “Dialogue 5: How can Jesus be “with” God and at the same time be God?”

Dialogue 4: Why is the father “greater” than Jesus?

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bullets CHRISTIAN CONVERSATIONS WITH JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES—Biblical Answers To Questions Jehovah’s Witnesses Ask

(WDGR Lesson 11: “Beliefs and Customs That Displease God”)

If the Trinity is a Biblical Doctrine, why does the Bible teach that Jesus is subject to God? Is there a single verse in the Bible that proves the Trinity?

CINDY: Karen, last week in our study of the Watchtower brochure, What Does God Require of Us?, we started reading about “Beliefs and Customs that Displease God,”1. and you had mentioned that you believe that the doctrine of the Trinity is from the Bible even though similar concepts are taught in pagan religion.

Continue reading “Dialogue 4: Why is the father “greater” than Jesus?”

Dialogue 2b: Should Christians use the divine name “Jehovah” in prayer? Part 2

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bullets CHRISTIAN CONVERSATIONS WITH JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES—Biblical Answers To Questions Jehovah’s Witnesses Ask

(WDGR Lesson 7: “Drawing Close to God in Prayer”)

(CONTINUED FROM A PREVIOUS DIALOGUE)

KAREN: Hello, Cindy, have you done any research on what we talked about last week? We had discussed how the Watchtower Bible inserts the divine name in their New Testament translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures even though there is not a single Greek manuscript of the Christian Scriptures that contain the name Jehovah. I had asked you why the Watchtower Society argues that we must use Jehovah’s name in our prayers based on verses that do not even contain His name in the original language.

CINDY: Yes, Karen, the Watchtower brochure The DIVINE NAME That Will Endure Forever discusses this very issue. They admit that apart from partial abbreviated forms of Jehovah’s name—such as “Jah” in “Hallelujah”— that “…no ancient Greek manuscript that we possess today of the books from Matthew to Revelation contains God’s name in full.”1. But since most of the manuscripts of the Christian Greek Scriptures in existence today “were made during or after the fourth century” the Society argues that “something” happened “to the text of the Christian Greek Scriptures before the fourth century that resulted in the omission of God’s name.”2.

Continue reading “Dialogue 2b: Should Christians use the divine name “Jehovah” in prayer? Part 2″

Are you in the truth?

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“…and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” —1 John 5:20

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in youunless indeed you fail the test?” —2 Corinthians 13:5

Is “Truth” a Person or a Religion?
“Jesus said to him: I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ” —John 14:6, NWT Continue reading “Are you in the truth?”