Jesus and Witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses
Witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses takes prayer, patience, preparation, and persistence. Many people just want to win a conversation or prove a point showing that the Jehovah’s Witnesses have been mislead by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society organization. That is not the right perspective or approach. In any encounter, discussion, whether with a Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, Atheist, Muslim, etc. there should be in the Christian’s life prayer, patience, preparation, and persistence.
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus is Michael the archangel
What Jehovah’s Witnesses have been taught to believe by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society:
“God’s Word refers to Michael “the archangel.” (Jude 9) This term means “chief angel.” Notice that Michael is called the archangel. This suggests that there is only one such angel. In fact, the term “archangel” occurs in the Bible only in the singular, never in the plural. Moreover, Jesus is linked with the office of archangel. Regarding the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Thessalonians 4:16 states: “The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice.” Thus the voice of Jesus is described as being that of an archangel. This scripture therefore suggests that Jesus himself is the archangel Michael.” (link to Who is Michael the Archangel? from official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses http://www.jw.org)
“The foremost angel, both in power and authority is the archangel, Jesus Christ, also called Michael.” (Watchtower, Nov. 1, 1995, p. 8)
No where in the Bible is there any indication of Jesus being called Michael. No where in any of the Gospel accounts does Jesus ever speak of Him being a chief angel. None of the apostles teach that Jesus is Michael. Jesus repeatedly identified Himself as the Son of Man, the Son of God, the Lord of the Sabbath, Messiah, I am He, etc., thus showing the Watchtower has added their own theological spin upon what the Scriptures teach concerning Jesus.
The Watchtower is quick to say that Michael means ‘who is like God’ but does not provide all the facts. The name Gabriel means ‘high angel in rank’. The Strong’s Dictionary defines Michael as an archangel [Strong’s# 3413] and Gabriel as an archangel [Strong’s# 1043]. The fact is that just because Michael is called an archangel does not mean that there are no other archangels. [Daniel 10:13] When you look at Jude verse 9 a few things need to be understood. If Jesus and Michael are the same here, then why would Jesus have to say “the Lord rebuke you” when He rebuked demons on several occasions without using the Lord’s name? Jesus could rebuke demons without using the Lord’s name because Jesus is the Lord and Michael is not! Michael in this verse is shown to be the opposite of what the Watchtower teaches concerning his identity and authority.
Daniel 10:13 in Context
As to Michael being the “foremost prince” we read the following: “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.” (Daniel 10:13 NASB) Michael is not ‘the’ chief prince but is “one of the chief princes.” The Watchtower said Jesus is the “foremost angel”, meaning He is the highest in rank among the angels. However, Michael is not ‘the’ chief prince but is “one of the chief princes.” Michael is “one of”, meaning there are other angels who are chief princes (angels) along with Michael. This shows Biblically that Jesus is not Michael because Jesus is above all the angels, including Michael.
In different translations it is clear that Michael is not the only chief prince, but in fact is one of the chief princes or archangels.
‘The guardian angel of the realm of Persia thwarted me for twenty-one days, but Michael one of the archangels came to my aid, and I have left him to deal single-handed with the guardian angel of the Persian kings.’ [Daniel 10:13 The Holy Bible, A New Translation by James Moffatt]
‘For twenty-one days, indeed, the guardian angel of the kingdom of Persia opposed me; but Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me…’ [Daniel 10:13 The Complete Bible, An American Translation]
These two Translations are cited by the Watchtower many times for their support (misinterpreting them) and my purpose is to provide Biblical support that in Daniel 10:13 the words ‘one of the chief princes’ means archangels. Here is more from other versions.
Michael is said to be “one of the leading princes” [Dan.10:13 Jerusalem Bible]
Michael is said to be “one of the princes” [Dan.10:13 The Septuagint]
Michael is said to be “one of the chief princes” [Dan.10:13 New King James Bible]
Michael is said to be “one of the chief princes” [Dan. 10:13 New American Standard]
Michael is said to be “one of the chief princes” [Dan. 10:13 New International Version]
Michael is said to be “one of the chief princes” [Dan.10:13 The Holy Scriptures according to the Masoretic Text, Jewish Publications Society]
Michael is said to be “one of the foremost princes” [Dan10:13 New World Translation]
Looking at Daniel 10:13 in context with various Translations it is obvious that Michael is not the only chief prince or archangel according to the Bible. It is th
1 Thessalonians 4:16 in Context
Jehovah’s Witnesses have been taught that Jesus is Michael the archangel in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Here is what Paul wrote: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” Jehovah’s Witnesses have been deceived into believing that “the voice of the archangel” is Jesus. Simply reading this in context it is clear that is not the case. Paul who wrote this epistle identifies three things happening in this verse at the same time when Jesus returns. Here Jesus shouts, a trump of God sounds, and the voice of an archangel is present with the Lords descension. The Watchtower says that Jesus and the archangel here are the same. If that is so, then not only is Jesus the archangel, but Jesus then would also be a trump of God. The word ‘with’ is used in each of the actions described in this verse showing three different instances being active at the same time. Jesus is not being taught by the Apostle Paul here as being the archangel. It is the Watchtower who adds what they believe to this verse to change the meaning, but the fact is this verse does not teach that Jesus is Michael.
Jesus is not Michael the Archangel
It is interesting to know that at one time the Watchtower taught that very thing which they have subtly changed: ‘Archangel is the name given to some of God’s spirit creatures, which name signifies “first in rank”‘. [Creation, 1927, 1,100,000 ed., p. 19] ‘Long ages ago, before earthly time began, the great Jehovah God had a wonderful and mighty organization consisting of a host of spirit creatures, the beautiful angels among them, archangels, seraphim, cherubim, Lucifer and the mighty Logos, the two latter being designated as ‘the morning stars”‘. [Creation, 1927, 1,100,000 ed., pp.23] Notice how the Watchtower taught that archangel was not unique but was among others of the same rank, and Jesus was separated from the category of being an archangel. Why did the Watchtower change their teachings?
The Watchtower had it correct at one time concerning Jesus: Jesus, means Savior, and we are carried forward from the mere word to the exalted official position, on account of which he can “save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him.” His position is contrasted with that of men and angels, as he is Lord of both, having “all power in heaven and earth.” Hence it is said, “Let all the angels of God worship him”; [that must include Michael, the chief angel, hence Michael is not the Son of God] and the reason is, because he has “by inheritance obtained a more excellent Name than they.” Michael or Gabriel are perhaps grander names than Jesus, though Jesus is grand in it’s very simplicity, but the official character of the Son of God as Savior and King is the inheritance from his Father, which is far superior to theirs, for it pleased the Father that in him all fullness should dwell.’ [The Watchtower Reprints, November 11, 1879, p.48]
Prayer, Patience, Preparation, Persistence
It is important to pray for those whom you come in contact with, whether they are Jehovah’s Witnesses or something else. They will have many objections, have patience in your conversations with them, show love and share truth. Be prepared, know what the Bible teaches, know what you believe, know what they believe, be ready in your conversations, and seek to plant seeds. Be persistent in your conversations, not argumentative, and keep talking with them as long as they keep coming.