Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Belief in Jesus
The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ official Web site (jw.org) briefly answers the question, “Do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in Jesus?” by saying “we do not worship Jesus, as we do not believe that he is Almighty God” (The Watchtower, 2005, September 15).
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that “in his prehuman existence, Jesus was a created spirit being…. Jesus had a beginning and could never be coequal with God in power or eternity” (“What Does God Require of Us?” 1996, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of New York). They believe Jesus was only an angel and teach in their publications that “The foremost angel, both in power and authority, is the archangel, Jesus Christ, also called Michael” (“The Truth About Angels” (1995), The Watchtower, November 1).
The Divinity of Jesus
The Bible clearly testifies to the divinity of Jesus. The Old Testament predicted the Messiah’s birth, “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, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). The Son mentioned in this verse is also called the mighty God and everlasting Father, “whose goings forth are from of old, from [a]everlasting” (Micah 5:2).
The New Testament clearly states that Jesus is equal with God the Father (Philippians 2:5-6). “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1; Hebrews 1:3,8). The apostles testifies to the divinity of Christ: Matthew (ch. 1:3; 14:33; 28:9), John (ch. 5:23; 17:3,5; 1 John 5:20; Revelation 1:17,18; 2:8), Peter (1 Peter 3:15; 2 Peter 1:1), Thomas (John 20:28), Paul (1 Corinthians 8:6; Titus 2:13; Colossians 1:15-17; 2:9; Romans 9:5; 10:9; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Timothy 2:5; 6:14-16), Jude (ch. 1:25) and the author of Hebrews (ch. 1:2,3; 12:2).
Jesus Himself testified to this truth (John 14:9; Matthew 28:18,19; John 9:35-38; 10:30). And the Jews understood Jesus’ words and accused Him of blasphemy (John 5:17-18; 10:33) and for this reason they tried to kill Him.
God the Father Himself declared of Jesus, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17; 12:18; 17:5; Mark 1:11; 9:7; Luke 9:35; 2 Peter 1:17). Jesus said, “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake” (John 14:11). Early in His earthly ministry, Jesus said: “…All should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:23). Sadly, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not honor Jesus as they honor the Father for they don’t worship Jesus.
Unlike angels who have always rejected worship from humans (Revelation 22:9; Acts 14), Jesus, the Son of God, “who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22), accepted the worship of His followers (Matthew 14:33; John 9:38; Matthew 28:9; Matthew 28:17; Luke 24:52; Hebrews 1:6), which means that He is Divine. God did not punish Jesus for claiming divinity, but He did punish King Herod when he accepted to be called a god by his subjects and did not give praise to God the Father (Acts 12:23).
In addition, the Bible teaches that God will command all His created beings on earth and in heaven to worship Jesus. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him [Jesus] and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11, brackets added).
The apostle John prophetically saw the moment when all will worship Jesus: “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!” Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever” (Revelation 5:11-14). Jesus is this Lamb ( John 1:29).
Thus, we see that both God the Father and Jesus are worthy to receive worship from all of creation. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not adhere to this Bible teaching.
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In His service,