Saturday, July 24, 2010

JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES AND THE TRINITY

Part III...

1. THE FATHER IS JEHOVAH

Jehovah's Witnesses are quick to agree with the Apostle Peter that the Father is called Jehovah. Moreover, Peter and many other Biblical writers identify Him as a "person" (2 Peter 1:17). It is therefore unnecessary to press this point, the Witnesses having already conceded it.However, we would point out that the word "person" is, by definition, descriptive of "ego" or "I." Without "ego," which distinguishes man from the beast, personality as such would cease to exist. Any reputable lexicon of Greek dictionary will substantiate the fact that the Greek word "ego," is the basis for our English term, "I." Jehovah designates His Being as The Great I AM (Ex. 3:14): So the Deity is Personal and possesses Ego, the hallmark of Personality.We see, then, that one of the three "Persons" - the Father - is designated "God."

2. THE SON IS JEHOVAHA

careful study of the first chapter of Revelation (vs. 11-18) will show that Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, identifies Himself as "the first and the last" and "the one who became dead" and who now lives for all eternity.It is of no small significance that in verse 13 of the last chapter of Revelation, He confirms this title with great emphasis, identifying Himself in verse 16 as "I Jesus," and declaring that He is "the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." The context reveals that it is Jesus speaking (vs. 12), for He - not the Father - is coming "quickly" (Rev. 1:7; 1 Thess. 4:15,16).It must never be forgotten that these titles ("the first and the last," "the Alpha and the Omega'" "the beginning and the end") belong only to Jehovah God (Isa. 44:6,8; Rev. 1:8, 21:6).
But Jesus Christ claims them as His own, because He, the Son is also Jehovah!We see, then, that there are either two firsts and two lasts (a hopeless contradiction of terms), or the Son is Jehovah, the one who was pierced for our sins (Zech. 12:10; Rev. 1:7,11,13) and who is truly "the fullness of Jehovah in flesh" (Col. 2:9).The angel who showed John the wonder Revelation forbade the Apostle to worship him, for he was but a created being, a "fellow servant." Quite properly, he declared, "worship Jehovah," (Rev. 22:9). Yet Jesus Christ, whom Jehovah's Witnesses say is also a created being (i.e., Michael the Archangel), commended the worship of Himself as Jehovah (John 20:28,29).
This would have been a blasphemous act of presumption on His part and a direct violation of His Father's commandments (Ex. 20:3; Deut. 6:17), unless He were in some mysterious sense on in Nature and Being with His Father. In such a case He would in truth be "equal with God" and entitled to receive worship as Jehovah(John 5:18,23).
Jehovah's Witnesses have always taught that Jesus Christ was no more than a perfect man, "certainly not the supreme God Almighty in the flesh."3 . They state categorically that He was in no sense both God and man. "Some insist that Jesus while on earth was both God and man. This theory is wrong."4. Jehovah's Witnesses also maintain that our Lord was "the first and direct creation of Jehovah God," and that prior to His earthly life He was an angle.
5.In contrast to this teaching, Scripture and the Christian Church declare the full Deity of Jesus Christ, and His equality with God the Father.In the first verse of John's Gospel, Christ is revealed as the eternal Word of God who became flesh (verse 14) - the "image of God" (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Consider the emphasis "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God" John 1:1).Note that John 1:1 states that the Word already was in the beginning - it does not say the Word "became" or "was created" by God, as Jehovah's Witnesses teach. The Witness incorrectly translate this text to read "the Word was a god,"6 but their translation is by both context and grammar an impossibility according to all recognized authorities on Greek. No recognized translation bears out their error.Moreover, the Scriptures proclaim that Christ made "himself equal with God" (John 5:18), and that "in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Deity bodily" (Colossians 2:9). The Bible further states that Christ claimed to be the great I AM (Jehovah) of the Old Testament (cf. Exodus 3:13-16 with John 8:58), and the Jews understood Him so clearly during His ministry that they sought to stone Him to death for blasphemy (John 8:59; cf. 10:28-33).
Jehovah's Witnesses pervert these texts and many others in their determined effort to demote our Lord from His position of God and Creator (Colossians 1; Hebrews 1); and they compound their error by translating the Greek of the New Testament, in many places, contrary to all grammatical authorities. It is certainly true that during His earthly life our Lord voluntarily limited Himself as a man (Philippians 2:6-8), and thus He never strove to usurp the prerogatives of Deity; But one does not have to "rob" what is His by inheritance (Hebrews 1). He was true Deity - "the great God" (Titus 2:13).We must not forget that Christ humbled Himself, even to the death of the cross, and therefore, as a man, could say, "My Father is greater than I" (John 14:28). However, let us remember that Christ never said, "My Father is better than I." "Better" is a term of comparison between natures (Heb 1:4), while "greater," as in the context of John 14, is a term of comparison relative to positions.
The President of the United States, for instance, is greater in position than any of his fellow-Americans by virtue of his office, but he would be the first to insist that he is not better than other human beings. So Christ was admittedly inferior to His Father positionally while on earth as a man, but the Scriptures clearly and unmistakably state that he was at all times His Father's equal on the spiritual plane of Divine Being or Nature (Heb. 1:3; John 5:18).
Note also that in 1 Corinthians 15:28 it is function that is dealt with - not Deity.Jehovah's Witnesses always point to Christ's humanity in the Bible; they carefully omit mention of His claim to full Deity, and they thus "wrest...the...scriptures, unto their own destruction" (2 Peter 3:16). the second Person, the Son, is also called God, then, despite the efforts of the Watchtower to prove the contrary.

3. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS JEHOVAH

It is peculiar, to say the least, that Jehovah's Witnesses can agree with the Apostle Peter when he declared that the Father is Jehovah - and then contradict his affirmation that the Holy Spirit is likewise Jehovah, as recorded in Acts 5:3 and 4.No Christian theologian has ever denied either the Person or Deity of the Holy Spirit, for the evidence to substantiate both is abundant in Scripture. For instance, a thorough study of the book of Acts, chapter thirteen, reveals that the Holy Spirit is a Person, because He possesses "ego." Luke records therin that the Holy Spirit as a Person has "ego" (13:2,4) and, furthermore, that He (not "it") prophesies to His servants and commissions them, as well (21:11). See also such verses as John 14:26, 15:26, Acts 8:29, 13:2, and Romans 5:5.The Scriptures are clear that the Holy Spirit has a "will" (1 Cor. 12:11; Heb. 2:4), and since "will" denotes "ego" or personality, as opposed to the neuter (animals), obviously the Spirit is a person. We have also seen from Peter's words that when Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit, he lied to Jehovah (Acts 5:4).
Both the thirteenth chapter of Acts and Isaiah 48 add to the proof that the Holy Spirit is God, since He answers the prayers of the Apostles (Acts 13:1-4) and is designated Deity by the prophet Isaiah (48:16). Even the Watchtower admits that God alone answers prayer.The Bible, then, does indeed teach that the Spirit is a Person and that He is called God. It is therefore apparent that there are three Persons mentioned in Scripture and that they are all identified as God: Yet there is only one true God (Isa. 45:22).

2 comments:

JohnOneOne said...

Regarding Jehovah's Witnesses' "New World Translation" Bible and its rendering of John 1:1, it may interest you to know that there is soon to be published an 18+ year study (as of 05/2010) in support and explanation of their wording of this verse entitled, "What About John 1:1?"

To learn more of its design and expected release date, we invite you to visit:

http://www.goodcompanionbooks.com

Agape, JohnOneOne.

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