Saturday, July 6, 2013

P3 When they Knock - Jehovah Witness view of Jesus

2 John 8-9 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ ascoming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.

Yesterday we saw how the Jehovah Witness view of God is incomplete, in that they deny the doctrine of the Trinity.  In today's post we want to consider what they teach on the person of Jesus Christ and compare and contrast that to the scriptures.  To aid us in our study, I will be using the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 (hereafter designated "BFM 2000") to represent the viewpoint of Bible believing Christianity.  

Who is Jesus in the Bible?
a. “Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary...He honored the divine law by His personal obedience and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He raised from the dead with a glorified body…”. BFM 2000. John 1:1; Romans 9:5; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 2:14-18

The Biblical doctrine of the Trinity asserts that God is One in nature and plural in identity or Personhood.  When we come to the person of Jesus Christ, we understand the Bible to teach He is One Person with two natures (that is, two ways of expressing His existence).  First, Jesus Christ as One Person has a Divine nature in which He shares co-equally with the Father and the Holy Spirit.  Secondly, Jesus Christ as One Person has a fully human nature wherein in came to share with those whom He came to redeem. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

b. “He ascended into Heaven…and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and consummate His redemptive mission.” (BFM 2000) Phil 3:20-21; Titus 2:13

Why the Jehovah Witness idea of Jesus is Inadequate
a. The Jehovah Witnesses teach: God created Jesus before he created Adam. Regarding Jesus, the apostle Paul wrote:He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.(Colossians 1:15) Jesus’ life began long before he was born in a stable in Bethlehem. In fact, the Bible says that his “origin is from early times, from the days of time indefinite.” (Micah 5:2) As God’s firstborn Son, Jesus was a spirit creature in heaven before he was born as a human on earth. Jesus himself said: “I have come down from heaven.”

The Jehovah Witness view of Jesus is inadequate on three fronts.  First they take select scriptures as proof texts without consideration of their complete context.  Secondly, in denying the Deity of Jesus Christ and making him to nothing more than an angel would mean He could not be the source of salvation.  Isaiah 43:10-11 says that Jehovah or the Lord is the only God and Savior.  Jesus Christ is termed in Titus 2:13 to be the "Great God and Savior".  Hence it follows that Jesus Christ has to be God, otherwise He would be inadequate to save.  

The third reason that the Jehovah Witness Jesus is inadequate is because of their denial of His real humanity.  Jehovah Witnesses deny that Jesus raised from the dead with a real physical body.  One of the purposes of Christ's bodily resurrection was to demonstrate that He was truly human, as seen in him eating food in front of His disciples following His resurrection. (Luke 24:42-43) If Jesus Christ is not fully human, then He would had been incapable of dying on the cross as well as representing us faithfully in Heaven as our Perfect Divine and Human Mediator. (1 Timothy 2:5)  The idea of Jesus being "firstborn" does not mean He is God's first creation, rather Jesus Christ is the heir of all things created by Him and through Him as promised by the Father to Him in Eternity. (Psalm 2, 110)

b. Another Jehovah Witness teaching states: “Michael the archangel is no other than the only begotten son of God, now Jesus Christ.” Publication – Let God be true
Jesus Christ could never had been an angel, as argued by scriptures such as Hebrews 1:1-13.  Contrary to Jehovah Witness teaching, to attempt to prove that Michael the archangel was some manifestation of Jesus Christ is to take passages out of their context.  I would point the reader back to earlier portions of this post to see why the Bible would never teach the things being claimed by Jehovah Witnesses. 

More tomorrow....

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