Is the Jesus that Jehovah’s Witnesses worship the same Jesus of the Bible? Does it make a difference? What are the differences in what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe than those that Catholics and Protestant churches believe?
The Jehovah’s Witnesses Jesus vs. the Jesus of the Bible
Is Jesus the same Jesus that is taught in the Bible that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in, teach about, and worship? Catholic and Protestant churches believe that Jesus has always existed (John 1), that He has no beginning (John 8:58, Micah 5:2), that He was not a created being; He was, is and always will be.
Christians believe that Jesus and the Father are One and are both God (John 5:18, John 10:30-31) but Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus was created.
The angels worship Christ (Hebrews 1:6) but if Jesus is not God, then some angels and humans are sinning because they are commanded only to worship God and not created beings (Matthew 28:9, Revelation 19:10). If, as Jehovah’s Witnesses claim, that Jesus was created, then He should not be worshiped.
Jesus is called Immanuel (Matthew 1:23), which means “God with us” and so by definition, Jehovah’s Witnesses are saying that He became God, however by definition, God is self-existent and never had a beginning nor will He ever have an ending and so they are worshiping a being that they believe was created and thus, not strictly God. The disciple Thomas acknowledged that He was Lord and God and worshiped Him (John 20:28). Jesus never rebuked Thomas for doing this.
The Deity of Jesus
The Bible is clear about the full deity of Jesus. Paul wrote in Colossians 2:9, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of God bodily.” As God, He is omniscient (John 1:48, 2:25, 14:30, 21:17, etc.). No created beings can not be omniscient for this is only an attribute that can be held by God.
Only God can forgive sins and so this is why Jesus did (Mark 2:5-7, Eph 1:7) but no created being can forgive sins.
Only God is able to grant eternal life (John 10:28, 17:2, etc.). No humans can grant anyone eternal life.
Jesus, as God, is also the Creator of all things (Col 1:15-17). No created beings can create out of nothing (John 1).
Only Jesus, as God, can miraculously heal and have the power to do so (Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12, Luke 5:17-26, etc.).
Jehovah’s Witnesses also believe that Jesus first preexisted as the Archangel Michael, although these are two distinct personages. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that after His ascension, He again became Michael to sit on the throne next to God to await the end of the seven “times of the Gentiles.” The fact is that Michael and all the angels were created beings (Colossians 1:16-17, Job 38:4-7) but not so with Jesus Who was hailed as the Messiah before His physical birth even took place (Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:16-18; 2:4; Luke 2:11, 26).
Unfortunately, Jehovah’s Witnesses use different Bibles from those of Catholics and Protestants and the differences are critical. Jehovah’s Witnesses use the New World Translation (NWT) and The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures (KIT). These translations are deceptive and have been found with major doctrinal error to fit their theology. One example is that they have inserted the word Jehovah hundreds of times in the New Testament when in fact there is not one single appearance of the use or word Jehovah in the original Greek.
A major distortion of the original text is found in John 1:1 which says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The New World Translation has incorrectly inserted the word “a” to make the text read “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was “a” God, and the Word was God”. Not only have they inserted a word that was not in the original Greek (“a’) but they have taken out a word that was in the original Greek text (“with”). The suggested “a” means that there is more than one God. Using the word “a” suggests that there have been, are currently, and will later be, many additional gods. Genesis chapters 1 and 2 along with John 1 reveal that that God is limited. There are no others gods before God Himself (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8) and there is only One True God as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 8:6, “for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”
We should not treat Jehovah’s Witnesses any differently than we would someone who is not saved. We must pray for them, love them, witness to them, and endeavor to show them Who the Jesus of the Bible is and how He is different from the Jesus that they worship. There is nothing more important that we can do than point them to the ever-existent Jesus Christ Who is God of very God and has always existed from time without beginning to time without end. He is the Alpha and the Omega.(Revelation 21:6, 22:13). He is God Who had no beginning. He was, is, and is to come (Revelation 1:8). The very definition of God is that He has always existed and was not created. A god can not be a created being. Only God has no creator and only God is Creator.
If we better understand what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe, we can more easily share the good news of Jesus’ divinity, of His power to grant eternal life, of His authority to forgive sins, and allow them to inherit eternal life. This article is not intended to “brow beat” anyone in a tone of superiority, but to grant that God might draw them to Himself (John 6:44) and that they might repent, have their sins forgiven, and inherit eternal life by the only name which we are given to be able to do so (Acts 4:12). If we strive to become more like Christ, then we must also desire fervently in love to save those who are lost. To have the same heartfelt desire to save them from the coming wrath of God (Revelation 16, 21, 22). There is only one Name that can save those who are perishing (Acts 16:30-31) and that name is the Name above all names, Jesus Christ our Lord and our Savior. He desires that all would be saved and come to place their trust in Him. That is also our passionate desire for all those who are not yet saved, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, which is why this endeavor has been undertaken.
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