Is Jesus Just A mighty, lesser god?

It’s been quite some time since I was visited by Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses, but a few weeks ago a missionary from the JWs came to my door and has come back every week since, except this past Friday. He gives me his literature and insisted I watch a video on his tablet, and he wanted to talk about whatever it was he was showing me.

I declined.

Not because I don’t want to talk to them. I’ll spend as much time with them as they have to give. Sometimes they come back, usually they don’t. This is the first time I can remember them returning a third or fourth time.

Why will I take the time to talk to them? Because Jesus loves them and died for them too. Should they not receive the truth of the Gospel as well as anyone else? They may be preaching a false doctrine and another Christ, but they are doing so without intent and are deserving of the true Christ and His Gospel of salvation.

I told him that what I wanted to talk about was the most important aspect of any serious discussion on religion – Jesus. Isn’t that what it all boils down to? Who was Jesus? What did Jesus do? Where is He now? If we have all of that wrong, then the rest really doesn’t matter, does it?

Several years ago, when the first Mormons and JWs came calling, I decided that I would learn as much about them as possible so that I could speak intelligently about the differences between what they believe and what the Bible actually teaches. The average Christian may talk to a Jehovah’s Witness and walk away thinking they believe the same thing. The problem is that they define things much differently than we do.

A friend got me a Thompson Bible in a big five ring binder. I love Thompson’s Bibles. This one has extra-wide margins and space to add pages. So I did. But it sat on the shelf the last several years, waiting for the opportunity to bring it out again.

I already had a copy of the New World Translation, but this missionary said that my copy was outdated. He was kind enough to bring me their most current, leather bound edition. He may have even had to pay for it out of his own pocket.

Like all of the JW’s that I have met, this one is polite, kind, and sincere. I have no doubt but that he truly believes what he is trying to teach me. I maintain, however, that he is misinformed, and I lay that treachery squarely on the shoulders of Charles Taze Russell, Judge Joseph Rutherford, Freddie Franz, and Nathan Knorr, the first four presidents of the Watchtower Society. I believe that they were malicious about they way the interpreted scripture to suit their own ambitions.

In the older editions of the NWT, “clarifying words” were put in [ ] in order to more fully and accurately convey what they believe the intended meaning of the passage is. In the most recent edition, the [ ] were removed, which, I believe, is supposed to make the reader think that those words appear in the original text. But more about the NWT another time.

One things that didn’t change in the NWT is John 1:1, which reads in the King James

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.”

But in the New World Translation it reads

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was a god.”

God the Father is the Almighty God, but Jesus is just a mighty, lesser god.

Oddly enough, we haven’t gotten to this particular verse yet. I had intended to this past week, but if he continues to come around, we will the next time. I’m curious about what he will say about the JWs polytheistic teaching of multiple gods.

It’s difficult to cover this one aspect of the JW’s teachings without also addressing many of the others, such as the doctrine of the Trinity, Jesus pre-existence as Michael the archangel, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, and so forth. They are all intertwined and one doctrine heavily leans on the others. I’m going to try to stay on topic here, but I will cover those also in the future.

I suppose that the best way demonstrate the Jesus is the Almighty is to listen to the words that came straight from him.

Revelation 1:8 “I am Alpha and Omega,
the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord,
which is, and which was,
and which is to come, the Almighty.”

He also claims another title reserved for Jehovah God alone.

Isaiah 44:6 “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel,
and his redeemer the LORD of hosts;
I [am] the first, and I [am] the last;
and beside me [there is] no God.”

Isaiah 48:12 “Hearken unto me,
O Jacob and Israel, my called; I [am] he;
I [am] the first, I also [am] the last.”

Jesus said that He is the Alpha and Omega.

Revelation 22:12-14 “12 And, behold, I come quickly;
and my reward [is] with me, to give
every man according as his work shall be.
13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end,
the first and the last. 14 Blessed [are] they that
do his commandments, that they may have right
to the tree of life, and may enter in
through the gates into the city.”

At least twice, the Jews sought to kill Jesus for declaring himself to be God.

John 10:30-33 “30 I and [my] Father are one.
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have
I shewed you from my Father;
for which of those works do ye stone me?
33 The Jews answered him, saying,
For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy;
and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.”

John 8:56-59 “56 Your father Abraham rejoiced
to see my day: and he saw [it], and was glad.
57 Then said the Jews unto him,
Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Before Abraham was, I am.
59 Then took they up stones to cast at him:
but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple,
going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”

It is interesting that in Jewish law there are only five legal reasons someone may be stoned to death. Familiar spirits, blasphemy, false prophecy leading to idol worship, a stubborn and rebellious adult son, and adultery and rape. Jesus declared himself to be I AM. Jehovah God. The Jews saw Jesus’ declaration as blasphemous. He wasn’t claiming to be another god like the Romans worshipped. He was stating emphatically that He is God.

An interesting side note – The NWT renders “I AM.” to be “I have been.” But that phrase cannot be translated so out of the original works. I’ve heard the grammatical reasons that it is strictly impossible, but I don’t understand Greek grammar, so I cannot convey it. I would be willing to direct any interested persons on where to find it, however.

And the angels called Him Almighty God

Revelation 15:3 “And they sing the song of Moses
the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb,
saying, Great and marvellous [are] thy works,
Lord God Almighty; just and true
[are] thy ways, thou King of saints.”

In Isaiah God says

Isaiah 43:10 “Ye [are] my witnesses, saith the LORD,
and my servant whom I have chosen:
that ye may know and believe me,
and understand that I [am] he:
before me there was no God formed,
neither shall there be after me.”

Isaiah 44:6 “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel,
and his redeemer the LORD of hosts;
I [am] the first, and I [am] the last;
and beside me [there is] no God.”

So it cannot be said that Jesus is just a mighty, lesser god than the Almighty Jehovah God. There is only one God. Jesus is not Michael elevated to godhood, for there shall be no other Gods. Period.

But if there can be only one God, why did Jehovah God call Jesus God?

Hebrews 1:8-10 “8 But unto the Son [he saith],
Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever:
a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom.
9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;
therefore God, [even] thy God,
hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid
the foundation of the earth;
and the heavens are the works of thine hands:”

Because they are one in nature and substance, possessing all the qualities of deity.

Thomas called Jesus God

John 20:28-29 “28 And Thomas answered and said unto him,
My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him,
Thomas, because thou hast seen me,
thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen,
and [yet] have believed.”

Jesus accepted his worship. If he were not God, he would do what every angel  had always done and told him to worship God alone.

Who is the creator of all things?

Isaiah 44:24 “Thus saith the LORD,
thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb,
I [am] the LORD that maketh all [things];
that stretcheth forth the heavens alone;
that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;”

Hebrews 3:4 “For every house is builded by some [man];
but he that built all things [is] God.”

Yes, Jehovah God, but also the Word; the pre-incarnate Jesus.

Colossians 1:14-16 “14 In whom we have redemption
through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven,
and that are in earth, visible and invisible,
whether [they be] thrones, or dominions,
or principalities, or powers:
all things were created by him, and for him:”

This is one of the places the NWT inserts the word “other” because they believe that Jesus is the first created being. Not that the word other is found in the original text. It isn’t. But because if Jesus is Jehovah God, the entire framework of their doctrine collapses. Everywhere possible they diminish Jesus and relegate him to the rank of a created being.

God reserves His glory for Himself alone.

Isaiah 42:8 “I [am] the LORD: that [is] my name:
and my glory will I not give to another,
neither my praise to graven images.”

Isaiah 48:11 “For mine own sake,
[even] for mine own sake, will I do [it]: f
or how should [my name] be polluted?
and I will not give my glory unto another.”

But Jesus declared that he shared that glory.

John 17:5 “5 And now, O Father,
glorify thou me with thine own self
with the glory which I had with thee
before the world was.”

And finally, Isaiah prophesied what the savior would be called.

Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself
shall give you a sign;
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,
and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Isaiah 8:8 “And he shall pass through Judah;
he shall overflow and go over,
he shall reach [even] to the neck;
and the stretching out of his wings
shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.”

This was fulfilled at the birth of Jesus

Matthew 1:23 “23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child,
and shall bring forth a son,
and they shall call his name Emmanuel,
which being interpreted is, God with us.”

God with us. God the Word became flesh

John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh,
and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)
full of grace and truth.”

There are many, many more passages in scripture, and there are books that cover this topic in greater depth and with more eloquence than I have treated here.

I don’t expect that this missionary, or any other, is going to drop to his knees at my kitchen table and ask what he must do to be saved, although I would welcome it. What I want is for them to think critically and for himself.

Instead, the JWs teach –

“Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the divine plan in studying the Bible by itself, but we see, also, that if anyone lays the SCRIPTURE STUDIES aside, even after he has used them, after he has become familiar with them, after he has read them for ten years—if he then lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness.” —The Watch Tower, September 15, 1910, p. 298, Watchtower Reprints, p. 4685

“Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible. For this reason the Bible cannot be properly understood without Jehovah’s visible organization in mind.”—The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, p. 587

I am open to any discussion and welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you may have.

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