Chapter 3. Teaching about Christ

Autor's: Włodzimierz Bednarski
Szymon Matusiak

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Chapter 3. Teaching about Christ

 

Jesus Christ

 

Christ - the God

 

Jesus is God

 

This passage, proves, therefore, that it is proper to apply to Christ Jesus the name Lord and God, as the early church did, Stephen praying to him. –Acts 7:59. (The Watchtower March 1, 1922 p. 78).

 

Jesus is not God

 

As these scriptures plainly show, the churches of Christendom are lying when they say that Jesus Christ is God and that God came to the earth and died to save men (The Watchtower January 15, 1968 p. 40).

 

Almighty Jesus

 

Jesus is Almighty

 

Which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. — "It is since His resurrection that the message has gone forth — 'All power in Heaven and in earth is given unto Me.' (Matt. 28:18.) Consequently it is only since then that He could be called the Almighty." — Z.'93-115; Rev. 1:4; 16:5-7. (The Finished Mystery 1917, 1926 p. 15).

 

Jesus is not Almighty

 

But since the Scriptures testify to the fact that Jesus Christ is not God Almighty, but is the Son of God, the Father’s first creation, the conclusion is in error. (The Watchtower February 15, 1968 p. 104).

 

Jesus as Alpha and Omega

 

Jesus is the Alpha and Omega

 

Addressing John on the Lord’s day, the Lord said unto him: “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.” — Rev. 1:1, 11. (The Watchtower January 15, 1938 p. 30).

 

Jesus is not the Alpha and Omega

 

At no time did Jesus Christ claim to be the “Alpha and the Omega,” God the Creator of the universe. (The Watchtower May 15, 1979 p. 5).

 

Jesus, the Creator

 

Jesus is the Creator

 

Hebrews 1:10-12 (...) However, we know that angels representing God were spoken of as though they were God, just as we know that Christ Jesus did the actual work of creation yet Jehovah is spoken of as the Creator, because Christ did it as Jehovah’s representative workman under God’s command and through God’s power (The Watchtower December 15, 1951 p. 764-765).

 

Jesus is not the Creator

 

At no time did Jesus Christ claim to be the “Alpha and the Omega,” God the Creator of the universe. (The Watchtower May 15, 1979 p. 5).

 

Jesus and Hebrews 1:8-9

 

Son is “God”

 

The Apostle Paul, writing concerning Jesus Christ, the beloved and glorified Son of God, placed an interpretation upon the words of the prophet, applying the same to Jesus: "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. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." — Heb. 1:8,9 (Government 1928 p. 124).

 

God is “throne” of the Son

 

But about the Son, he says: “God is your throne forever and ever, and the scepter of your Kingdom is the scepter of uprightness. You loved righteousness, and you hated lawlessness. That is why God, your God, anointed you with the oil of exultation more than your companions.” And: “At the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the works of your hands. (Heb 1:8-10) (New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures 1950, 1984).

 

Is Jesus Michael the archangel?

 

Jesus is not Michael

 

Hence, there is not the slightest scriptural ground to oppose the fact that Christ is again present, and that Michael, his assistant, has also again returned to earth (The Three Worlds, and the Harvest of This World 1877 p. 107).

 

“Let all the angels of God worship him” [that must include Michael, the chief angel, hence Michael is not the Son of God] (The Watchtower November 1879 p. 48, reprints).

 

These Scriptures being decisive authority on the subject, we may know beyond peradventure that men, angels, archangels, or even the Son of God, before and during the time he "was made flesh and dwelt among us" were not immortal all were mortal. (The At-one-ment Between God and Man 1910 p. 389).

 

Jesus is Michael

 

There is Scriptural evidence for concluding that Michael was the name of Jesus Christ before he left heaven and after his return. (The Watchtower May 15, 1969 p. 307).

 

So the evidence indicates that the Son of God was known as Michael before he came to earth and is known also by that name since his return to heaven where he resides as the glorified spirit Son of God. (Reasoning From the Scriptures 1989 p. 218).

 

While there is no statement in the Bible that categorically identifies Michael the archangel as Jesus, there is one scripture that links Jesus with the office of archangel. (Awake! February 8, 2002 p. 17).

 

Various titles and designations of Jesus

 

Lord Jesus as the great General and Director of the harvest work (The Watchtower March 1, 1918 p. 6220, reprints).

 

We cannot pay the tuition in this school, so we give our notes in good faith; the notes receive the personal endorsement of the Vice-president of Jehovah’s bank; then our notes pass as legal tender, because of Jesus’ assets (The Watchtower July 15, 1920 p. 220).

 

For He is Lord of lords, King of kings – Has the entire situation under perfect control – is the real pope. – 1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 19:16 (The Finished Mystery 1917, 1926 p. 270).

 

This is shown also in the connections (Micah 4:8) where the Christ ("head" and "body" the New Jerusalem) is referred to as the "Tower of the flock" to whom shall come the first dominion lost by Adam in Eden, redeemed by Jesus at Calvary. (The At-one-ment Between God and Man 1910 p. 45).

 

God is the senior. Jesus is the junior—in time, position, power, and knowledge. (Should You Believe in the Trinity? 1989 p. 16).

 

God and his heavenly Field Marshal, Christ Jesus, will do this by executing judgment on the materialistic nations at the final war of Armageddon. (The Watchtower April  1, 1991 p. 7).

 

The Scriptures answer at Psalm 45:16, that these faithful men, brought back from death as perfect men, shall be made the governors, that is, the visible representatives of Christ on earth, and shall act under the authority of that absolute and righteous Dictator. (Escape to the Kingdom 1933 p. 49).

 

That howl will come when the Greater-than-Nebuchadnezzar, Christ Jesus, the Executor of Jehovah’s purposes, the Mighty Warrior, goes into action at the beginning of Armageddon (The Watchtower April  1, 1937 p. 104).

 

The one member of the governing body that has not changed in all these nineteen centuries is the chief member, the invisible and immortal Jesus Christ. Other personalities in the membership of the governing body may change through the years as God sets the members in His organization as it pleases him; but the Theocratic requirements laid upon the governing body do not change. (The Watchtower December 1, 1947 p. 363).

 

(...) Jesus has been made Jehovah’s Chief Servant or Prime Minister, because he is absolutely dependable out of his love for God (The Watchtower May 1, 1948 p. 137).

 

Like the first Christian pioneer Jesus, and like his disciples who followed the same pioneer trail, there are today thousands of faithful pioneers the world over engaged in the same full-time work. (The Watchtower October 1, 1950 p. 365).

 

Moreover, Jehovah laid the foundation for Christianity in his Son Jesus Christ, and made the first Christian. (Christendom or Christianity—Which One Is “the Light of the World”? 1955 p. 29).

 

Worship of Jesus and prayer to Him

 

Worship of Jesus

 

Initial teaching

 

(...) but rather we see her in an upper room together with other faithful women and the apostles and with her other sons, there worshiping God and his Son Christ Jesus. (Acts 1:13, 14) (The Watchtower August 15, 1950 p. 267).

 

Christ to Be Worshiped as a Glorious Spirit, Victorious over Death on the Torture Stake. (“Make Sure of All Things” 1953, 1957 p. 85).

 

Present teaching

 

Clearly, although Jesus is mighty in power and divine in nature, the Bible does not portray him as an object of worship. (Awake! No. 2, 2006 p. 29).

 

Hebrew 1:6

 

Worship of Jesus

 

Hebrews 1:6 But when he again brings his First-born into the inhabited earth, he says: “And let all God’s angels worship him” (New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures 1950; New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures 1970).

 

Only an obeisance to Jesus

 

Hebrews 1:6 – But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: “And let all God’s angels do obeisance to him” (New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures 1971, 1984).

 

Prayer to Jesus

 

Initial teaching

 

They shout loud and urge on the Leaders of righteousness by praying unceasingly to Jehovah God and Jesus Christ his King that they will soon destroy the Devil’s entire organization. (The Watchtower October 1, 1949 p. 293).

 

Present teaching

 

Should Christians pray to Jesus Christ? No. (The Watchtower June 15, 2015 p. 32).

 

Stephen’s prayer – Acts 7:59

 

Initial teaching

 

This passage, proves, therefore, that it is proper to apply to Christ Jesus the name Lord and God, as the early church did, Stephen praying to him. –Acts 7:59. (The Watchtower March 1, 1922 p. 78).

 

Does Stephen’s prayer to Jesus, as found in Acts 7:59, show that he understood Jesus to be Jehovah? (...) The prayer offered by Stephen when he was being martyred is recorded at Acts 7:59, 60, which says: “And they went on casting stones at Stephen as he made appeal and said: »Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.«...” (The Watchtower February 1, 1959 p. 96).

 

Further teaching

 

Though some claim that prayer may properly be addressed to others, such as to God’s Son, the evidence is emphatically to the contrary. True, there are rare instances in which words are addressed to Jesus Christ in heaven. Stephen, when about to die, appealed to Jesus, saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Ac 7:59) However, the context reveals a circumstance giving basis for this exceptional expression (Aid to Bible Understanding 1971 p. 1329).

 

Further teaching

 

Did not the disciple Stephen in prayer directly address Jesus, and did not the apostle John do likewise?’ True, Stephen, just before he expired, said: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59) And the apostle John did pray: “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus.”—Rev. 22:20. (The Watchtower June 1, 1980 p. 18).

 

Further teaching

 

These events, however, did not involve prayers, as Stephen and John each saw Jesus in vision and spoke to him directly. (Acts 7:56, 59; Revelation 1:17-19; 22:20) (The Watchtower December 15, 1994 p. 24).

 

Further teaching

 

And they prayed for their enemies and persecutors.—Matthew 5:44; Acts 7:59, 60. (Awake! February 22, 1999 p. 4).

 

Nevertheless, many versions do say that Stephen “prayed” to Jesus. And the footnote in the New World Translation shows that the term “made appeal” can also mean “invocation; prayer.” (The Watchtower January 1, 2005 p. 31).

 

Present teaching

 

Was Stephen praying to Jesus? No, he was not. One’s worship—and therefore one’s prayers—should go only to Jehovah God... (The Watchtower May 15, 2008 p. 31).

 

Romans 10:13

 

The text referred to Jesus

 

Do they teach that ignorance is a ground of salvation? No; the only ground of salvation mentioned in the Scriptures is faith in Christ as our Redeemer and Lord. “By grace are ye saved, through faith.” (Ephesians 2: 8) Justification by faith is the underlying principle of the whole system of Christianity. When asked, What must I do to be saved? the apostles answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ”. “There is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12) ; and “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”. – Romans 10:13. (The Golden Age 02.03 1921 p. 332).

 

There are verses in the Hebrew Scriptures about Jehovah that are quoted in the “New Testament” in a context speaking about the Son. (Isa. 40:3—Matt. 3:3—John 1:23; Joel 2:32—Rom. 10:13; Ps. 45:6, 7—Heb. 1:8, 9) This is understandable, for Jesus was the Father’s foremost representative. (The Watchtower May 1, 1978 p. 12).

 

The text referred to Jehovah

 

The Scriptures give the assurance that “everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” (Rom. 10:13; Joel 2:32) Will you call on the divine name in faith as a devoted worshiper of Jehovah? (The Watchtower February 1, 1980 p. 16).

 

Ransom and mediation of Jesus

 

Jesus is not the Church’s Mediator

 

Just now we wish to emphasize the thought that our Lord Jesus is not the Church's Mediator before the Father, but the Church's Advocate. There is a sharp distinction to be drawn between the two thoughts. A mediator implies a hostility between two principals, requiring the intervention of a third party; and this is not the case with the Church. (Pastor Russell’s Sermons 1917 p. 720).

 

Ransom for all and the Mediator for the world of mankind

 

(...) and Keturah is used as a type foreshadowing the new covenant that is to be made by Jehovah with Christ as the Mediator for the world of mankind, through which all will have an opportunity to gain life everlasting. (The Harp of God 1921, 1928 p. 73).

 

The Jews are included in the ransom sacrifice given for all because Jesus gave his life a ransom for all (1 Tim. 2:5, 6) (Reconciliation 1928 p. 274).

 

Ransom for all kinds of people and Mediator only for anointed Christians

 

So in this strict Biblical sense Jesus is the “mediator” only for anointed Christians. (The Watchtower April  1, 1979 p. 31).

 

Paul proceeds to say: “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men [not, all men], a man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all.”—1 Tim. 2:5, 6. (The Watchtower November 15, 1979 p. 26).

 

First Timothy 4:10 calls God “a Savior of all sorts of men, especially of faithful ones.” (The Watchtower July 15, 1984 p. 31).

 

The Resurrection of Christ - what happened with the body of Jesus?

 

Dissolved into gases or preserved for showing in the Kingdom

 

Whether it was dissolved into gases or whether it is still preserved somewhere as the grand memorial of God's love, of Christ's obedience, and of our redemption, no one knows;-nor is such knowledge necessary. (The Time is at Hand 1902, 1927 pp. 129-130).

 

Hence it will not surprise us if, in the Kingdom, God shall show to the world the body of flesh, crucified for all in giving the ransom on their behalf not permitted to corrupt, but preserved as an everlasting testimony of infinite love and perfect obedience. (The Time is at Hand 1902, 1927 p. 130).

 

Preserved to exhibit to the people in the Millennial age

 

The Scriptures do not reveal what became of that body, except that it did not decay or corrupt. (Acts 2: 27,31) We can only surmise that the Lord may have preserved it somewhere to exhibit to the people in the Millennial age. (The Harp of God 1921 p. 170; 1928 p. 172-173).

 

Dissolved into the dust

 

The more reasonable explanation of the above scripture 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 April 15, 1930 p. 119).

 

No one knows what happened with the body

 

Hence Jehovah God disposed of that body in his own way, just as he disposed of the body of Moses, who was a type of Christ Jesus; but no one knows how. —Deuteronomy 34: 5, 6. (“The Truth Shall Make You Free” 1943 p. 264).

 

Dissolved into atoms

 

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. (The Watchtower September 1, 1953 p. 518).

 

Not corrupted

 

Similarly, God disposed of Jesus’ body, not allowing it to see corruption and thus preventing its becoming a stumbling block to faith... (The Watchtower November 15, 1991 p. 31).

 

Materialized and dematerialized “fleshly body”

 

However, for 40 days after his resurrection Jesus appeared to his disciples on different occasions in various fleshly bodies, just as angels had appeared to men of ancient times. Like those angels, he had the power to construct and to disintegrate those fleshly bodies at will, for the purpose of proving visibly that he had been resurrected... (Insight on the Scriptures 1988, Vol. 2, p. 786).

 

Disposed

 

So it logically follows that Jehovah God disposed of the sacrificed body of his Son. (The Watchtower August 1, 1975 p. 479).

 

Disappeared

 

But now the body is gone! (My Book of Bible Stories 2004, Story 102).

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