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WHO IS JESUS ACCORDING TO THE WATCHTOWER SOCIETY?

 

The teaching of the Watchtower Society concerning the identity of Jesus is very confusing and contradictory. I trust this article will help clear up the confusion.

 

The Society teaches that Jehovah is eternal and that He created the Son or Michael and that it was the Son who created everything else. So when you hear the Witnesses talk you need to realize that the Son and Michael are the same persons. To help you understand better I will mostly use Michael.

 

Michael is a created being.

 

When it comes to the birth of Jesus, the WT Society confuses the issue on purpose. They state that the “live force of Michael” was transformed into the womb of Mary. (As you will see later, the “life force” is only the breath that keeps humans alive and since angels are “spirit beings” they do not have physical bodies and do not possess a “life force.” So where did this “life force” come from?) But this does not mean that anything that was in Michael was transferred to Jesus. It only means that the “live force” is what “caused the conception” but absolutely nothing of the nature or person of Michael existed in Jesus.

 

Even though very few Witnesses know this, the Society actually teaches that at the conception or birth of Jesus, Michael actually willed himself out of existence. In order to try and prove this, the Society uses Phil 2:7 which reads in the Watchtower version of the Bible, The New World Translation (NWT), “He emptied himself.” Other versions state: “But made himself of no reputation.” Thus Michael was out of existence for 33 ½ years. (I have never heard of any explanation as to how an angel, which is a “spirit being,” could will himself out of existence! The only two possibilities I know is that God killed him, but this is impossible because the Bible says, “The wages of sin is death” and since Michael never sinned then Jehovah could not kill him. As far as I know, that leaves only one other possibility and that would be to “commit suicide.” But the only problem is, to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, committing suicide is a sin. If a Witness commits suicide that person’s funeral cannot be held in the Kingdom Hall.

 

The WT clearly teaches that Jesus was only a man. I wrote to the Society about this and received an answer back and the word “only” was underlined. The Society teaches that Jesus was in the same rank as Adam, so just as Adam was “a” son of God so also Jesus is “a” son of God. (The Bible, in the original language, never says that Adam was a son of God. It should read, “Adam of God.” The word “son” was added apparently for clarification) Witnesses also believe that angels are “sons of God.” Thus when the Jehovah’s Witnesses speak of Jesus as being the “son of God” it does not mean the same as Bible believing Christians. We believe that the eternal, not created, Son of God came down and actually dwelt in Jesus so He is the “God-man.”

 

The WT Society teaches that where as Adam failed and sinned, Jesus proved faithful to the end. By the way, it is interesting to note that the WT Society believe the primary purpose of Jesus being on this earth was to prove that someone could be faithful to the end and therefore justify God. They do not believe, like Bible believing Christians, that the purpose for Jesus being on this earth was to die for our personal sin!

 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses will often speak about the “ransom of Jesus” but you need to understand what they mean. The Society teaches that God’s purpose was for mankind to live on earth forever in Paradise, not heaven. But when Adam died, then man lost this possibility. The Society teaches that Jesus died only for the sins that we inherited from Adam. Thus we lost physical life in Adam but we gain physical life through Christ which will enable people to go onto the new earth, they believe that after hundreds of years of hard work, because it is be destroyed at Armageddon, the earth will once again become a perfect Paradise like the Garden of Eden. Because of the death of Jesus, just about everyone who has ever lived upon this earth (the Society estimates there have between 20-22 billion people) will be resurrected onto the new earth and given an opportunity to prove themselves worthy to receive everlasting life. (It has nothing to do with Jesus.) Gaining physical life because of Jesus is not a matter of “faith” but is bestowed automatically upon most people who have ever lived. There are a few exceptions, but the Society has not really made up its mind yet about these exceptions and in lieu of changing its mind.

 

Here is something important. The Society states that you pay for your owns personal sins when you die physically. They use Romans 6:7, which reads: “For he who has died has been acquitted from [his] sin,” in order to try and prove this teaching. So no matter what a Jehovah’s Witnesses may say, the death of Jesus has nothing to do in taking away our personal sin. (Of course, we know the Bible states differently. 1 John 1:9 is just one example.)

 

Now here is where the confusion comes in. The Watchtower Society teaches that within three days from the death of Jesus that His body went back into the gasses or elements and that was the end of Him. Here are a number of quotes from WT material that proves what I just said.

 

Aid to Bible Understanding. 1971, page 247. “The physical body of Jesus Christ was not allowed to decay into dust…. When his disciples went to the tomb early on the first day of the week, Jesus’ body had disappeared and the grave clothes were left in the tomb, his body doubtless being disintegrated without passing through the process of decaying.”

 

Ibid. Page 587. “Jehovah God evidently disposed of Jesus’ fleshly body in his own way (possibly disintegrating it into the atoms of which it was constituted).”

 

In the WT book Things in Which it is Impossible For God to Lie, page 354 it states: “The human body of flesh which Jesus Christ laid down forever as a ransom sacrifice, was disposed of by God’s power, but not by fire on the alter of the temple in Jerusalem.”

 

Zion’s Watch Tower, Sept. 1884, page 667. “But at Calvary, being or existence was laid down completely; he died, or ceased to exist—gave his being, his existence his psuche ‘a ransom’—Mark 10:45. After three days, he was made alive from the dead, being or existence returned, it was no longer a human being; he was made a life-giving spirit—a being of a higher order, of the divine nature.” Let me try to explain this “double-talk” as simply as I can. The WT teaches that Jesus was ONLY a man exactly in the same rank as Adam. The Society denies that Jesus Christ was both the Son, a spirit being, and a human being at the same time like Bible believing Christians believe. They teach that when Jesus was born, the Son or Michael gave up his life. He ceased to exist for 33 ½ years. This above quotes states that when the human Jesus died he gave up that human life and ceased to exist. Since he ONLY HAD HUMAN LIFE, according to the WT Society, then that was the end of Jesus. This quote says that after His death then “he was made a life-giving spirit—a being of a higher order, of the divine nature.” This is really to say that Michael, who gave up his existence so Jesus could be born as a human, was actually RECREATED three days after the death of Jesus, and since angels are “spirits” that the Archangel Michael is now back on the scene. Note that it states that now Michael was “a being of a higher order.” The WT teaches that the Son, or Michael, was created by the Father but in his original existence, before he gave up his life so Jesus could be born, he was just “a god” as the NWT renders it in John 1:1. But when Michael the archangel was recreated three days after the death of Jesus that he became Mighty God as found in Isaiah 9:6. However, according to the WT Society, at the end of the Millennium when Michael defeats Satan, then Michael will be demoted once again to just “a god.” (I realize I am repeating some things but the above quote is the closest to describing what the WT actually believes that I can find.)

 

While the WT uses a lot of “double-talk” when it comes to who Jesus really is and what happened after His death, the following quote is the closest that I can find to show that the WT does teach that Michael ceased to exist at the conception of Jesus and then was RECREATED three days after the death of Jesus. Zion’s Watch Tower, April 1, 1900, page 2600. “By a resurrection—a raising up to life, BEING CREATED AGAIN, the same identical being, yet more glorious, and exalted even to the ‘the express image of the Father’s person.’ (Heb. 1:3).” Being “recreated” and “being created again” is the same. When the WT speaks of Jesus being raised as “a spirit” it really means that Michael, who is “a spirit being,” was “created again,” but as I said above, previously he was only “a god” but when Michael was “recreated” he became “Mighty God.”

 

Here are some more quotes from WT material as to what happened to the physical body of Jesus after His death. The Watch Tower, April 15, 1930: “The more reasonable explanation of the above scripture (Acts 2:31) is that God dissolved the body of Jesus into the dust and it was not permitted to take the course of decay common to dead bodies.”

 

The Watchtower, Sept. 1, 1953, page 518. “JESUS’ FLESHLY BODY DISSOLVED. What happened to the perfect fleshly body of Jesus after his death? Was it preserved so that in time men will look upon it in worship? or does Jesus still have this fleshly body in the heavens, ‘spiritualized’ so that it can be seen and worshiped? Neither. The Scriptures answer: It was disposed of by Jehovah God, dissolved into its constituent elements or atoms.” (I don’t know where such a thing is written in the “Scriptures!”)

From the WT book God’s “Eternal Purpose” Now Triumphing, page 155 we read: “In this way the Son of God was rewarded with a heavenly position higher than the one he held before becoming a perfect man and being bruised ‘in the heel’ by the Great Serpent, He resumed his prehuman name, Michael, so that again there was a ‘Michael the archangel’ in heaven.” Again we see that Michael’s original existence was only as “a god” before willing himself out of existence and then when he was recreated three days after the death of Jesus he had “a heavenly position higher than the one he had before (a god)” and now became Mighty God.

 

From the WT book Learn from the Great Teacher, page 203. “Yes, it is as the apostle Peter later said: ‘This Jesus God resurrected.’ (Acts 2:32) God made Jesus alive with a body like the one Jesus had before he came to earth. He was resurrected with a spirit body like the angels have.”

 

The Society says that if Jesus had of been resurrected in the same physical body that he “would be taking back the ransom” what ever that means.

 

But the Bible speaks over 100 times concerning the physical resurrection of Jesus. This is how the Society gets around this problem.

 

Let me back up a little and give an explanation that is important to this discussion. The Society believe that man does not have an “eternal soul” which is something that can be separated from the physical body and live on after physical death. Here is a quote from the 1968 Watchtower book THE TRUTH that leads to ETERNAL LIFE. On page 35 the question is asked,

 

“But what about the soul? Is it not a part of man that separates from his body at death and goes on living?” The answer is given on page 36. “Since the human soul is man himself, THEN IT CANNOT be some shadowy thing that merely inhabits the body or can exist apart from the person…. the human soul possess physical qualities…. that souls have blood traveling through their veins…. Yes, your soul is really you, and all your physical and mental qualities.” This seems quite clear as to what the Watchtower Society believes about the soul. The other part of man is “the spirit.”

 

On page 39, of the same book, “the spirit” is defined. “Whereas the human soul is the living person himself, the spirit is simply the life force [breath] that enables that person to be alive. The spirit has no personality, nor can it do the things a person can do. It cannot think, speak, hear, see or feel.

 

But in spite of what is written here, the Society teaches that Jesus was raised as “a spirit.” To try to prove this, the Society uses 1 Peter 3:18, which reads: “He (Jesus) being put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the spirit.” But of course, this does not say “a spirit.” So in order to get the “a” they go to 1 Cor. 15:44, which reads: “It is sown a physical body, it is raised up ‘a’ spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual one.” Thus they take the “a” before “spiritual” from this verses, and then drop the “the” from 1 Peter 3:18 and come up with the expression “a spirit.” This is so confusing that most people do now question the Witnesses concerning it.

 

By the way, it is interesting to note that the resurrected Jesus clearly said that “He was NOT A SPIRIT.” In the post-resurrection appearance of Jesus in Luke 24:36-43, when Jesus appeared to the disciples they said in v. 37 “Behold a spirit.” Exactly what the Watchtower Society teaches. But what did Jesus reply? V. 39 states: “See may hands and my feet, that it is I myself; feel me and see, because A SPIRIT DOES NOT HAVE FLESH AND BONE JUST AS YOU BEHOLD THAT I HAVE.” Very strange indeed! Jesus clearly denied that He was “a spirit” but the WT Society continues to teach it!

 

How does the WT explain the post resurrection appearance of the supposed Jesus since His body was no longer in existence and He did not possess a soul?

 

The Society teaches that three days after the death of Jesus that Jehovah RECREATED Michael, and Michael somehow found different bodies and went around impersonating Jesus in these bodies. Even though the physical body of Jesus had gone back into the gasses, according to the Society, somehow Michael found a body that was just like Jesus’ with the nail prints in the hands and feet, and the wound in the side. (The only explanation I can come up with in order for Michael to have pull off such a deception would be that Jehovah, of the Watchtower Society, went along with the impersonation act and recreated the human body of Jesus temporarily so that Michael could use it to deceive the disciples and others!)

 

But then after 40 days, Michael ascended up into the clouds, in whatever human body he was in at the time, but since the Society teaches that physical bodies cannot enter into heaven, he discarded this body and went to heaven as “a spirit.” (Since the Bible speaks nothing about this, and the disciples couldn’t see what happened in the clouds, then how can the Society make such a statement?)

 

I can imagine that at this point that you head is spinning, but this is not the end of the problem.

Almost the whole issued of the April 1, 2010 Watchtower magazine is dedicated to “The Man Who Changed the World [Jesus], His Message and you.” On page 19 there is the answer to the question, “Is Jesus the Archangel Michael?” I will quote the whole article for you.

 

“Put simply, the answer is yes. The custom of being called by more than one name is common in many cultures. The same situation occurs with names in the Bible. For example, the patriarch Jacob is also named Israel The apostle Peter is named in five different ways—Symeon, Simon, Peter, Cephas, and Simon Peter. How can we be sure that Michael is another name for Jesus? Consider the following Scriptural evidence. (My comment. In both of these illustrations, the different names were for the same person. But according to the WT teaching, Jesus was a human man and Michael was an archangel. How could they be the same?)

 

“The Bible contains five references to the mighty spirit creature Michael. Three occurrences are in the book of Daniel. At Daniel 10:13, 21, we read that a dispatched angel is rescued by Michael, who is called ‘one of the foremost princes’ and ‘the prince of you people.’ Next, at Daniel 12:1, we learn that in the time of the end, ‘Michael will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of the sons of your people.’

 

“A further mention of Michael occurs at Revelation 12:7, which describes ‘Michael and his angels’ as fighting a vital war that results in the ousting of Satan the Devil and his wicked angels from heaven.

 

“Notice that in each of the above-mentioned cases, Michael is portrayed as a warrior angel battling for and protecting God’s people, even confronting Jehovah’s greatest enemy, Satan.

 

“Jude verse 9 calls Michael ‘the archangel.’ The prefix ‘arch’ means ‘principal’ or ‘chief,’ and the word ‘archangel’ is never used in the plural form in the Bible. The only other verse in which an archangel is mentioned is at 1 Thessalonians 4:16, where Paul describes the resurrected Jesus, saying: ‘The Lord [Jesus] himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet.’ So Jesus Christ himself is here identified as the archangel, or chief angel.

 

“In view of the foregoing, what can we conclude? Jesus Christ is Michael the archangel. Both names—Michael (meaning ‘Who Is Like God?’) and Jesus (meaning ‘Jehovah Is Salvation’)—focus attention on his role as the leading advocate of God’s sovereignty. Philippians 2:9 states: ‘God exalted him [the glorified Jesus] to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name.’

 

“It is important to note that the human birth of Jesus was not the beginning of his life. Before Jesus was born, Mary was visited by an angel who told her that she would conceive a child by means of holy spirit and that she should name the child Jesus. (Luke 1:31) During his ministry, Jesus often spoke of his pre-human existence. —John 3:13; 8:23, 58.

 

“So Michael the archangel is Jesus in his pre-human existence. After his resurrection and return to heaven, Jesus resumed his service as Michael, the chief angel, ‘to the glory of God the Father.’—Philippians 2:11.”

 

This is truly a strange conclusion. Nothing of Michael the archangel came down and dwelt in Jesus! Michael did not exist when Jesus was upon this earth according to the Society since Jesus was only a man. Then the man Jesus went back to the gasses and was no longer in existence and never will be resurrected according to the Society. Michael was recreated so there is absolutely nothing that is the same for Jesus and Michael!

 

Note again what was stated in the article just mentioned. “The custom of being called by more than one name is common in many cultures.” So what has happened, in order to try and deceived people, of which they have been very successful in doing to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Society has taken the name of the dead Jesus and just added it to Michael. The Society will talk about “King Jesus” and the “return of Christ” but what they actual mean is Michael.

 

But they have put themselves in a real bind that apparently the Society never thought about. The Society teaches that the “anointed” have a mediator in heaven. The only possible person this could be is Michael the archangel. But according to the Bible and the Watchtower’s own teachings, Michael cannot qualify as the mediator since he is an angel.

 

Before I proceed, I want to give you another quote from The Watchtower Dec. 15, 2004, page 19: “Do you long to have the support of Jehovah’s mighty angels? Then do all you can to be absorbed in your ministry. As we freely give of ourselves in this special assignment from Jehovah, we can count on the help of his angels.

 

 

HELP FROM THE CHIEF OF THE ANGELS


“Jehovah also provides us with another type of angelic help. Rev. 10:1. This visionary angel evidently pictures the glorified Jesus Christ in heavenly power. Is Jesus really an angel? In a sense, yes, for he is an archangel”

 

Here are some facts about the mediator.

 

The NWT reads in 1 Timothy 2:5-6, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, THE MAN, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all—[this is] what is to be witnessed to at its own particular times.” This could not be Michael, because Michael did not will himself out of existence to be a “ransom” but only allowed Jesus to be born on this earth. (By the way, I once used these verses with a JW and he was completely dumbfounded.) Also, theses verses state that the “man” Christ Jesus is the mediator not “the archangel Michael”!

 

Hebrews 4:14-16 proves conclusively that Michael cannot be the mediator. It reads: “Seeing, therefore, that we have a great high priest (angels are never identified as priests) who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold onto [our] confession of [him]. For we have as high priest, not one who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested in all respects like ourselves, but without sin. Let us, therefore, approach with freeness of speech to the throne of undeserved kindness, that we may obtain mercy and find undeserved kindness for help at the right time.” You will notice that the mediator lived upon this earth at one time. Michael never had an earthly existence! In fact, according to the Society Michael never even saw what Jesus did because he was not in existence! Everything Michael knows about Jesus would have to be “second hand.” Someone else would have had to tell him!

 

The Watchtower 1982, 1989 (revised), book You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth complicates the problem even further. On page 125 it states, “Also, think how wonderful it will be to have as rulers persons who proved faithful to God on earth, many of them even sacrificing their lives in behalf of the Kingdom. Angels have not faced such kind of testings. Nor have they experienced the problems common to humankind. So they would not fully understand what it is like to be a sinful human and to have the problems we humans do. But the 144,000 will understand because they have had these very problems. Some of them have had to overcome very sinful practices, and they know how hard it can be to do so. Therefore, they will deal with their earthly subjects in an understanding way.”

 

This article completely destroys the argument of the Watchtower Society that Jesus and Michael are the same. All the Watchtower Society has done is to add the name of the dead Jesus to Michael so that people might not realize that the Society does not believe in the resurrection of Jesus. The Watchtower Society is just not being truthful with its followers and these Witnesses are deceiving people that they are trying to bring into the Organization.

 

In spite of the fact that no JW I have ever talked with, or ex-JW, understands what I have written, this is actually the “double-talk” that the Society is putting forth. I trust this will be a help in understand just what the Watchtower Society teaches on the subject, “Is Jesus and Michael the same?” The answer is emphatically “NO.”


This was prepared by: Wilbur Lingle of Love to Share Ministries. You are free to share the information with anyone you want to.

 

 

 
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