At this point of Chapter 4 of “Bible Teach”, the Watchtower openly denies the deity of Christ and the nature of God as a Trinity by claiming Jesus was a created being.
Assertion #3: Jesus is God’s Son but not God the Son
Jehovah’s Witnesses have been trained by the Watchtower in how to contend with Christians who proclaim their belief in the deity of Christ and in the Trinity. All too often, such discussions follow a predictable pattern which generates a great deal of friction and leads to the cancellation of any further meetings.
For this reason, I recommend that you approach this topic in a way the Witnesses won’t expect.
Paragraph 10 (p. 41) gives you the opportunity to do so. Under the heading, “Where Did Jesus Come From?” it tells you that Jesus lived in heaven before being born as a human and states, “As a spirit creature in heaven, Jesus had a special relationship with Jehovah.”
While Christians agree that Jesus was a spirit in heaven before he was born as a human, we don’t agree that he was a creature—that is, a creation of God.
Refuting “Jesus Is Michael the Archangel”
I find it interesting that they don’t tell you their teaching that Jesus is Michael the archangel until Chapter 9. Perhaps they think you are less likely to challenge that assertion after you are still studying with the Witnesses after that many lessons.
Here is where having read ahead helps. You can say to the Witnesses, “Having read the book all the way through, I realize that the Watchtower teaches that Jesus is Michael the archangel. I find this really puzzling and I wonder if we could discuss that now.”
If they agree, then use The Jesus Isn’t Michael Approach from my book, Getting Through to Jehovah’s Witnesses: Approaching Bible Discussions in Unexpected Ways. The objective of that approach is to show the Witnesses that whoever Jesus is, he isn’t the archangel Michael as the Watchtower claims. (If they don’t agree to discuss that now, you will have an opportunity in Chapter 9 to use the approach in response to a direct claim by the Watchtower that Jesus is Michael.
If they agree to discuss Michael here in Chapter 4, they probably will refer you to the Appendix entitled, “Who Is Michael the Archangel?” (pp. 218-219). (Ordinarily, they wouldn’t show you that appendix until it is mentioned in Chapter 9.)
That appendix (p. 218) notes that Jude 9 calls Michael the archangel, from which the Watchtower concludes there is only one archangel. In The Jesus Isn’t Michael Approach at pp. 151-152, I recommend that you use this verse to show the contrast between Jesus and Michael. Jude 9 says that Michael didn’t dare rebuke Satan directly but left that to Jehovah. In contrast, in Matthew 4, Jesus didn’t hesitate to rebuke Satan to his face.
You can also point out that Daniel 10:13 calls Michael “one of the chief princes,” indicating that he is not unique in rank as an archangel.
On pp. 154-156 of that approach, I show you how to demonstrate from Hebrews 1 and 2 that Jesus is greater than all of the angels. Of course, Michael the archangel is an angel. I have previously posted on this very point.
The Michael Appendix (pp. 218-219) also mentions 1 Thessalonians 4:16, which says that Jesus will return “with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice…”
Point out to the Witnesses that the partial quotation cuts out the phrase “and with God’s trumpet.” As I note on pp. 149-150 of my Jesus Isn’t Michael Approach, nothing in that verse says that Jesus is the one whose voice is heard. In fact, if being accompanied by the voice of the archangel makes Jesus the archangel, by the same type of reasoning wouldn’t his having the trumpet call of God make him God?
The Michael Appendix (p. 219) also looks at Revelation 12:7, where Michael leads angels into battle and at Revelation 19:14-16, where Jesus is the leader of an army of faithful angels, and concludes that they must be the same. On pp. 152-153 of my approach, I point out that Revelation 12 and 19 clearly distinguish between two different leaders directing their angelic armies against two different enemies at two different times. I’ve also covered this point in a blog post.
In addition, The Jesus Isn’t Michael Approach (pp. 153-154) points out that two Watchtower teachings about Jesus’ identity (that he was an archangel turned human and that he was a perfect man like Adam, no more, no less) contradict each other. I have posted about that as well.
So much for the claim that Jesus is Michael the archangel.
Next time, we will look at proof texts the Watchtower uses to deny the deity of Christ.