In a previous article we looked at several aspects of the Society’s teaching on Jesus but this time we want to begin with a look at a specific aspect of their doctrine. The Watchtower,February15 2006, is all about the Messiah and I want to look more closely at this issue. There is no doubt the Society teach that Jesus is the Messiah – the Anointed One but, as we showed in the previous article, they believe that He did not receive this commission until His baptism, even though Scripture shows otherwise.
First, in general terms, the Society on the one hand teach that Jesus is the Messiah – the Anointed One (Christ) – but that He is also Michael the Archangel, a lesser God. Is it possible to teach these two things without contradiction? Before we go any further, we should give a definition of the word ‘Messiah’:
“The word for ‘Messiah’ comes from the Hebrew root word, ‘Msh’ which to ‘touch lightly’ or ‘rub with oil’ this word is applied to Priests (Exodus 28:41), Kings (I Kings 19:16), and Prophets (I Samuel 12:5) who were chosen by God to accomplish specific tasks.” – http://www.truthnet.org/Apologetics/10/
In the Greek we have the word Christos, The Christ, and this refers to the Anointed One, the Messiah. Could this promised One, this Messiah, be an angel? There is so much in the Old Testament concerning this but here are just three things prophesied about the Messiah.
Begotten by the Father – NOT created
“I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.'” – Psalm 2:7
An Eternal being
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” – Micah 5:2
The Messiah has to be an eternal Being – angels are created beings. John 1:1,3 as we often have shown before also clearly teaches that Jesus had no beginning and everything that was created came into being through Jesus. Thus showing that Jesus is not a created being but the eternal uncreated God.
This One is God with us!
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14
Using just these three Scriptures we see that calling Jesus the Messiah, the Society have denied the fact that Jesus is not an angel, thus proving themselves to be false teachers.
Do we Need a Messiah?
The Watchtower of February 15 2006, first has a short article starting on p.3, entitled, ‘Do We Need a Messiah?’ The answer of course is, ‘yes’ and it is followed by an article entitled, ‘We have Found the Messiah’, showing the Messiah is what we need. Unfortunately, these two short articles are full of error and misunderstanding that whoever follows the reasoning put forward here will not find the true Messiah.
On p.3. they begin by suggesting that Satan encouraged them to believe that God was too restrictive. That seems to miss the main point; the real temptation was that man could be like God and did not need to bow the knee to the Creator God. He could do it by himself.
That still seems to be the temptation that the Society are offering today – if you do certain things you will be in the Kingdom. They do not appear to even be aware of the main problem and so it is doubtful if they can ever find a clear answer in the Messiah.
The next area that appears not to be understood from the original Scripture is what happened next. The article indicates that once Adam and Eve sinned, Jehovah planned the answer. This, of course, demotes God’s omniscience and foreknowledge; but if God is eternal, having no beginning or end, He always ‘IS’ and He would know what was going to happen. Indeed, Scripture clearly indicates that God knew and already had planned the redemption of mankind through Jesus.
The Society again would concur with the way God determined to save mankind but describe it as follows:
“He would accomplish reconciliation by means of what would later be a legal principle in the Mosaic Law – like for like. (Deuteronomy 19:21; 1 John 3:8)”
Deuteronomy 19:21 is actually about the punishment you will receive, not the answer to man’s sin. 1 John 3:8, on the other hand, does show that Christ was manifested to bring to naught the works of Satan. But can you really use the phrase, “like for like”? Adam was a man, which means that Jesus had to be a man – albeit a perfect one. This gives two interesting insights; first, there is no way that the Messiah could be a created angel with the potential for rebellion as this would not be like for like! Second, how would you ever get a perfect man when from this point on all were born in sin? Obviously by not using the seed of man but God Himself placing the seed in Mary’s womb. Was He thus just like any other man? No! Thus the phrase ‘like for like’ is not appropriate and not applicable and the teaching of the Society once again is shown to be in error.
We have in many publications dealt with the Witness error of teaching that Jesus is a created being from verses such as Revelation 3:14 and Colossians 1:15, yet the Society still insist this is so – see Awake! March 2006 (since January 2006 only one a month). But if they really want to continue to teach this then they must realise that in their ‘theology’ there can be no Messiah as predicted by the Old Testament.
The errors that they have over the prophecies of the first coming are compounded and developed when it comes to the second coming. This is seen clearly on p.7 of The Watchtower article where they state that a careful study of prophecies show that Jesus came back in 1914. It is no surprise that, having made so many mistakes over His first coming, they would make even more glaring errors over His second coming!