Another Blog from UK Partnerships for Christ (www.upfc.org.uk)

Who is Michael the Archangel? by Jason Wright

Jesus-Michael-Archangel

Who Is Michael the Archangel?

By Jason Wright

Introduction

A unique doctrine of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WBTS) concerns the nature and origin of Jesus Christ. The Society asserts that our Lord Jesus Christ in his heavenly capacity is actually the Archangel Michael[1], an all-powerful created being second only to the creator, Jehovah.

This article will examine the claim and explore the various scriptures, which may or may not confirm this belief. Our analysis will begin with an up to date quotation from “JW.org” which explains who they believe the Archangel Michael to be.

Oftentimes Watchtower publications employ words that appear to outsiders as innocuous but which convey to a Jehovah’s Witness a technically specific idea. One such term is the phrase “spirit creature” which is employed to describe super-human beings. In this article we will explore how this unique Watchtower phrase influences the Jehovah’s Witness’ understanding of Jesus’ nature and substance which in turn ontologically permits the interpretation that Jesus is the Archangel Michael.

Only after locating and comprehending the antecedent concepts at work in Watchtower theology will we be able to then go on and accurately critique their specific proof texts. In this article our main points of enquiry will be:

  • The meaning and concept of “spirit creature”
  • Jesus’ nature and substance as it relates to “spirit creature” and biblical revelation
  • Watchtower proof texts used to support the notion that Michael is Jesus

Overall it will be argued that Jesus is not the Archangel Michael and in this respect the Watchtower Society is guilty of eisegesis[2].

The Archangel Michael

The official position[3] of Jehovah’s Witnesses is as follows:

“THE spirit creature called Michael is not mentioned often in the Bible. However, when he is referred to, he is in action. In the book of Daniel, Michael is battling wicked angels; in the letter of Jude, he is disputing with Satan; and in Revelation, he is waging war with the Devil and his demons. By defending Jehovah’s rulership and fighting God’s enemies, Michael lives up to the meaning of his name—“Who Is Like God?” But who is Michael?

At times, individuals are known by more than one name. For example, the patriarch Jacob is also known as Israel, and the apostle Peter, as Simon. (Genesis 49:1, 2; Matthew 10:2)[4] Likewise, the Bible indicates that Michael is another name for Jesus Christ, before and after his life on earth. Let us consider scriptural reasons for drawing that conclusion. 

Archangel. 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.

Army Leader. The Bible states that “Michael and his angels battled with the dragon . . . and its angels.” (Revelation 12:7) Thus, Michael is the leader of an army of faithful angels. Revelation also describes Jesus as the leader of an army of faithful angels. (Revelation 19:14-16) And the apostle Paul specifically mentions “the Lord Jesus” and “his powerful angels.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7) So the Bible speaks of both Michael and “his angels” and Jesus and “his angels.” (Matthew 13:41; 16:27; 24:31; 1 Peter 3:22) Since God’s Word nowhere indicates that there are two armies of faithful angels in heaven—one headed by Michael and one headed by Jesus—it is logical to conclude that Michael is none other than Jesus Christ in his heavenly role.”

“Interestingly the title “Archangel” is used in the Bible with reference to only one person: Jesus Christ”[5]

Spirit Creatures

The explanation above begins by introducing Michael as a spirit creature. It is important at this juncture to take an excursus into what exactly the Watchtower Society is trying to convey by their employment of this term. Firstly, the term “spirit creature”[6] is not a biblical one,[7] yet Jehovah’s Witnesses employ it to describe all non-human entities. Therefore demons and angels are all classed as “spirit creatures”.

To add to the confusion “spirit creatures” are also defined as being “divine” or possessing “deity”. According to the WBTS such superlatives are not the sole prerogative of God but can be loosely applied to superhuman spirit creatures. Therefore to describe Jesus as “divine” translates in the mind of Jehovah’s Witnesses to mean “a god” among many “gods” but not “the God” – surely an example of henotheism?[8]

A proof text used by the Watchtower Society to undergird this concept of god-like, superhuman “spirit creatures” is Psalm 104:4[9] The NWT translates the Hebrew:

“He makes his angels spirits,

His ministers a consuming fire.”

The writer of Hebrews (using the LXX) then quotes this psalm and highlights a secondary meaning in Hebrews 1:7; 14:

“Of the angels he says, “He makes his angels winds (pneuma), and his ministers a flame of fire…Are they not all ministering spirits (pneuma) sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” (ESV)

Instead of being sovereign, the angels or ‘spirit creatures’ are called servants. By describing the angels as “winds” (spirits) the psalmist was drawing attention to their nature, invisibility, power, and role as servants of a higher power. As flames of fire they are God’s agents of judgment and illumination. Wind and fire were also symbols of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. They were appropriate designations of both the Holy Spirit and angels because both served the Father in similar ways as His servants.[10] Angels are thus ontologically spiritual substances[11] and as such are created beings. If applying Watchtower logic it stands to reason that if the Archangel Michael is Jesus, then Jesus must be a “spirit creature”[12]

Despite the Watchtowers conclusion, the writer of Hebrews wishes to convey the total opposite viz. Jesus is NOT a created angel. Consequently even though the angels are as swift as wind and as powerful as fire, they are nevertheless inferior to the Son.

“For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”?

And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” Hebrews 1:5-6 (ESV)

If Jesus is a “spirit creature” how can he be worshipped? The scripture says ALL angels worship Jesus. If Jesus is an angel how can he worship himself? You see, Jesus not only stands at a higher position than the angels, he is ontologically different from the angels! In fact Jesus shares the same nature as the Father making him God of God. [13]

“He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” Hebrews 1:3a (ESV)

Do these pericopes describe Jesus as a “spirit creature” on the same level as angels? Of course not, Jesus is described as “the radiance of the Father’s glory.” The Greek word apaugasma, translated “radiance,” refers to what shines out from the source of light. How can a “spirit creature” radiate the glory of God or how can an angel no matter how superior “uphold the universe”?

Furthermore Jesus is described as the “exact imprint of his [father’s] nature. The Greek word charakter, translated “representation,” occurs only here in the New Testament. Greek writers used it to describe the emperor’s picture on Roman coins and the clear-cut impression made by a seal (a facsimile). It did not express a general likeness but an exact duplication of the original.”[14]

“But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom…And, “You, Lord, (YHWH) laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; but you are the same, and your years will have no end.” Hebrews 1:8, 10, 12b (ESV)

Herein the writer of Hebrews quotes Psalm 45:1-6 which is a reference to Yahweh (Jehovah). He then transfers the Psalmists attributes of Yahweh to Jesus, in so doing he acknowledges the Son to be Yahweh the creator of heaven and earth, the eternal God.

Moreover “worship” language is evidenced in Revelation 5:13-14 where the Lamb of God (Jesus) is worshiped by every creature in heaven and earth, under the earth and in the sea, including the four living creatures. Together they cry out:

“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped[15].”

Clearly Jesus cannot be the Archangel Michael, nor can he be a “spirit creature”, because all creation worships him who is in the bosom position with the Father. Therefor Jesus can be none other than God the Son (John 1:18).

Our conclusion is emphatic; Jesus is NOT a created “angel” or a “spirit creature”, rather Jesus is the incarnate and ascended Son of God as scripture affirms – he is God of God.

Watchtower Proof Texts

However, the Watchtower ignores the high Christology in the first chapter of Hebrews and the evidence in Revelation. Instead they reduce Jesus nature down to that of an angel; unworthy of worship. Linking Michael with Jesus they claim Michael is another name for Jesus Christ, before and after his life on earth”. Let us examine the proof texts proposed.

“But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” Jude 1:9 (ESV)

Leaving out any theological bias, wherein does this verse identify Jesus as Michael? All we have is a statement that Michael is the archangel. No more, no less. Furthermore, Jude notes that Michael was unable to rebuke Satan. Following this reasoning if Jesus is the Archangel Michael he is actually unable to rebuke Satan. Yet we find Jesus doing exactly that; rebuking Satan!

“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44 (ESV)

In relation to “rebuking Satan” a pericope you may wish to discuss with Jehovah’s Witnesses is Zechariah 3:1b-2. It reads:

“And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before The angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him…And the LORD (YHWH) said unto Satan, The LORD (YHWH) rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD (YHWH) that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee”. (KJV)

Notice that here there are two Yahweh’s speaking. Either we have a schizophrenic god, two gods (which would be polytheism) or we have here the embryonic revelation of a triune being, viz. the Angel of the Lord (Jesus) in conversation with his Father. We call this a Christophany. How then does the Watchtower escape the inevitable implications? Simple; they add to the original pericope.

“And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Jehovah, and Satan was standing at his right hand to resist him. Then the angel of Jehovah said to Satan: “May Jehovah rebuke you, O Satan, yes, may Jehovah, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! (NWT)

Notice the title “LORD” which refers to Yahweh/Jehovah is expanded to include the alien words “the angel of” (the LORD). Sadly your average Jehovah’s Witness will be unaware of such textual manipulation. The result is to hide the mind-blowing pre-incarnate (Christophany) of Jesus as LORD, a truth, which would instantly debunk the notion that Jesus is a spirit creature and in turn forestall the theory: “Michael is Jesus”.

Our next WT proof text is 1 Thessalonians 4:16. The society asserts the term “archangel” occurs in the Bible only in the singular, never in the plural. Moreover, Jesus is linked with the office of archangel.”

“The Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first.” (NWT)

“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.” (ESV)

What does this pericope state?

  • The Lord (Jesus) descends from heaven
  • With the cry of command
  • The voice of an archangel
  • With the sound of the trumpet of God[16]

Watchtower logic goes something like this: Jude 1:9 identifies Michael as the Archangel. Therefore any biblical reference to archangel must refer to Michael. Jesus is said to descend from heaven with the voice of an archangel. Therefore, Jesus must be the archangel Michael.[17]

Not only is this circular reasoning it is blatant eisegesis. “Just because an archangel’s voice accompanies Jesus’ return does mean that He, Himself, is the archangel; especially when He is never designated as such in all of Scripture. Furthermore, we would not argue that Jesus is God’s trumpet any more than we would argue that He is the archangel mentioned here.” [18] Clearly if the Watchtower understood Jesus true nature such linkage would be impossible.

The Watchtowers final argument is yet another logical fallacy. They reason that Michael has angels under his authority (Revelation 12:7); likewise Jesus has angels under his authority (Revelation 19:14-16[19]; 2 Thessalonians 1:7). Both Jesus and Michael are leaders of heavenly armies and the Bible does not talk of two armies only one. It is logical to conclude that Michael is none other than Jesus Christ in his heavenly role.” Is it? Let us examine this reasoning more carefully.

There is no confusion between Michael and his angels and Jesus and His angles. Michael the archangel (Jude 9) is the leader of God’s angelic army. He is Israel’s special patron (Dan. 10:13, 21; 12:1). He evidently holds a high rank among the un-fallen angels, such as Satan does among the fallen. John saw him engaged in battle with Satan and his angels, the demons. Michael battled with Satan in the past (Jude 9), and will do so in the future (Revelation 12:7-9).

Jesus and his angels relates to events concerning Jesus’ second advent to earth, the millennial kingdom, and final consummation (Matthew 13:41; 16:27; 24:31). An angelic army led by Jesus would naturally include Michael the Archangel who is subservient to his LORD and God Jesus. It’s a bit like a king giving orders to his generals. The generals are given the power to control armies but are ultimately answerable to their sovereign king, who could assume direct control over his armies at any time (1 Peter 3:22; Matthew 28:18)

Unfortunately the Watchtower Society appears oblivious to these facts. Their interpretive error really boils down to poor methodology and theological bias. Devoid of any rules of interpretation the Society is at liberty to cobble together scriptures in order to make bold unqualified assertions. To show the folly of trying to link out of context phrases let us examine Daniel 10:13 which reads:

“The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia” (ESV).

Notice that Michael is called one of many chief princes. Where else does the Bible refer to others of this rank? Well, Gog of Magog (aka Satan) is called a “chief Prince” (Ezekiel 38:2-3; 39:1) and let us not forget “Abijah the son of Maacah” who is also described as a “chief Prince” (2 Chronicles 11:22). Furthermore, Jesus is called the “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Following Watchtower logic, we may ask the question; could all these princes be the same prince? In fact, could these various Princes actually be Jesus in different guises? After all, Jesus is called a prince.

I trust you can discern my irony. My point here is to underscore the pure folly of linking phrases and words together in order to support a preconceived idea. You simply cannot cherry pick scripture in this way without first considering the contextual, historical, and grammatical situation. Clearly there are various descriptions of “chief princes” and not all are the same person. Similarly, because Michael is given authority over other angels it does not follow that he is Jesus.

Additionally, Daniel (Chapter 10) presents a terrifying vision of a great angel in verses 5-6. Whatever his true identity what is clear is this one was great. Verse 13 tells us that Michael comes to help this great one. Why is this so important? The one that Michael helps is by very definition greater and more resplendent than Michael himself; there is someone greater than Michael in God’s Kingdom; he is not the one great archangel as the Watchtower assumes.[20]

Furthermore, unlike Michael who is only one of the “chief princes”, Jesus’ New Testament title proclaims that Jesus is “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 17:14; 19:16). Where does this phrase come from? None other than Yahweh himself:

“For Jehovah your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords.” Deuteronomy 10:17 (NWT)

“Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his loyal love endures forever.” Psalm 136:3 (NWT)

The Apostle Paul declares to Timothy:

“He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. 1 Timothy 6:15 (ESV)

The Apostle John declares:

“They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful…On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Revelation 17:14; 19:16 (ESV)

Clearly Jesus is not a created angel (spirit creature) called Michael, he is in fact none other than the creator God – the Word who became flesh – Very God of very God, the King of Kings, Lord over all (John 1:1; Colossians 2:9).

Conclusion

The WBTS has created a false dichotomy. They begin with the preconceived idea that Jesus is a created “spirit creature”. They ignore all contrary evidence and insist that Jesus is simply God the Father’s agent. From this position of denial it is almost natural to locate verses of scripture which further veil Jesus’ true identity.

As an organization claiming to interpret scripture accurately and objectively, nothing could be further from the truth. The evidence above proves the Watchtower Society is intellectually dishonest. The Society has no methodology to safeguard against error. Instead anonymous individuals arbitrarily take isolated, unrelated pericope, and force them to say something the original authors never intended. Translational corruption is the order of the day, no text is sacred, but the word of God suffers violence at the hands of Watchtower interpreters as they seek to maintain their peculiar theological ideas.

Who is Michael the Archangel? – He is Michael the Archangel! – Nothing more and nothing less. The meaning of his name poses a poignant question; “Who is like God”? Certainly not Michael, he is a “ministering servant” of Jesus Christ, and with all the other angels of heaven, Michael “worships Jesus” as God (Hebrews 1:5-7).

Who is Jesus? He is very God of very God. He is the “exact imprint” of his Father. He proceeds from God and possesses the same nature as God. Hence he is called the Son of God. Jesus titles are drawn from Yahweh himself because Jesus is the Great I AM (John 8:24) the Word of God come in the flesh (John 1:1; 14; 18).

Dear reader, it is imperative that you understand that the authentic Jesus of Scripture is YOUR God and YOUR Savior. He loves YOU. He came to earth to die for YOUR sin. Jesus has paid the price of YOUR debt. He offers YOU eternal life, not through serving the Watchtower Society but through faith in him.

Whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:15-16 (ESV)

No catches, no hidden agenda; rather pure, unadulterated, unconditional love for YOU – A gracious merciful Savior who is calling YOU this day – be reconciled to God.

If you are a Jehovah’s Witness or former Witness I urge you to lay aside your Watchtower Bible and publications. Lay aside your preconceived ideas. Lay aside your religious hatred. Get yourself a good modern Bible translation, or several, and start reading the pure unadulterated word of God. Start in the Gospel of Matthew and ask Jehovah to reveal to you the real Jesus. You will not be disappointed.

May the LORD shine his face upon you and bring you peace.

Shalom

Jason

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Seventh Day Adventists believe the title Michael applies to Jesus in his pre-incarnate role. Depending on the branch of Adventism some deny Jesus is God. See: http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/qod/q08.htm Interestingly some Christians, including John Calvin and Matthew Henry, have linked Jesus and Michael. (See their commentaries on Daniel 12:1–4). However, unlike the Jehovah’s Witnesses, neither believed Jesus to be a created being. Rather, Calvin & Henry believed that Michael was another name for the Angel of the Lord.

https://answersingenesis.org/jesus-christ/incarnation/theophanies-in-the-old-testament/ Such conclusions are possible explanations but I personally feel uncomfortable with assigning Jesus the name Michael for reasons that I hope this article will make clear.

[2] Eisegesis means reading into a text an idea that is alien to the original author. In order to avoid eisegesis Protestant scholars have – for centuries – adopted a method of interpretation known as the historical-critical method. This method gives consideration to the original historical setting of the author and audience (Sitz-im-Leben) as well as grammatical context. I will employ this method to exegete the pericope under consideration.

[3] http://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/bible-teach/who-is-michael-the-archangel-jesus/#?insight[search_id]=458c0259-4b02-46c7-a2ab-9f63236dd6d4&insight[search_result_index]=0

[4] This argument is a red herring. Just because biblical characters had more than one name is not evidence for Jesus being Michael. However, it does set the reader up to accept the assertion.

[5] Revelation its Grand Climax at Hand, WBTS New York 1988, p. 181.

[6] http://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/bible-teach/angels-and-demons-spirit-creatures/

[7] In the book of Ezekiel (1:19-21; 10:17) the prophet had a vision of a chariot-like structure apparently controlled by “living creatures” and able to move in all directions.

“Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels…for the spirit (ruach) of the living creatures was in the wheels.” vv. 20-21b (ESV)

Notice “the creatures and the wheels always moved or rested together regardless of the direction in which they moved because the Spirit controlled them.” The creatures were controlled by God’s spirit.

Similar “living creatures” are spoken of throughout the apocalypse (Revelation 4:6; 5:11; 19:14); these too are apparently controlled by the Holy Spirit “with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth” (Revelation 5:6). Clearly the living creatures are spirit led but they should not be categorized as spirit creatures. Such a term – unless qualified – misleads the reader.

[8] Henotheism (Greek ἑνας θεός henas theos “one god”) is the belief in and worship of a single god while accepting the existence or possible existence of other deities that may also be served. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henotheism

[9] The genre of literature is poetic. To understand the verse in context we must look at the surrounding verses, viz. vv. 1-4. Herein the “writer pictured God creating the heavens. Splendor and majesty clothe God in the sense that they manifest Him as clothing makes a statement about the person who wears it. Light is good because it brings life and blessing. God created the sky as a tent above man’s head. The writer pictured God building a loft for Himself beyond the water above, namely, above the clouds. Riding on the clouds and wind symbolize God’s majestic authority.” This poetic language continues into v. 4 wherein Angels are said to “do His bidding as wind and fire carry out the will of God on earth”.

[10] Dr. Thomas L. Constable, Notes on Hebrews 2012 Edition p. 15

[11] There is a danger here of confusing “spiritual substance”, which is a biblically accurate definition, to describe a body fit for heavenly life with the watchtowers “spirit creature” which encompasses ideas alien to that of a “spiritual body” i.e. deity, divinity, and “god-like”.

[12] The antecedent error of the Watchtower Society is their insistence that only God the Father is Jehovah. In turn all other heavenly beings, other than the Father, must out of semantic necessity be lesser-created beings, including Jesus.

[13] The phrase “God of God” means that a person came from a person (like an offspring from a parent) and therefore is of the same nature. It is analogous to the phrase “Human of Human,” That is, a human offspring of a human parent. Jesus is by nature God as he comes from God and shares the Father’s nature.

[14] Dr. Thomas L. Constable, Notes on Hebrews 2012 Edition p. 9

[15] This Greek word προσεκύνησαν indicates not only a body position but also an attitude and activity of reverence or honor. See definition in: Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: Based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition.). New York: United Bible Societies.

[16] Notice the NWT identifies only a trumpet and fails to note that the Greek word σάλπιγγι carries the sense of trumpet sound. Ibid.

[17] There is no safeguard to this conclusion, as they already believe Jesus to be a created “spirit creature”.

[18] http://lifeinchristministries.com/daily-teachings/archives/teachings.php?id=250

[19] Many commentators believe this refers to Jesus return with both the saints (glorified Christians) as well as angelic forces. “Angels will accompany Jesus Christ at His second coming (Matt. 13:41; 16:27; 24:30-31; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; 2 Thess. 1:7), but it seems unlikely that they are the ones on horses. Rather these seem to be human beings (cf. 17:14; 21:2-7; Zech. 14:5). Their dress connects them with the Lamb’s bride (v. 8)” (Notes on Revelation 2012 Edition Dr. Thomas L. Constable, p. 175)

[20] http://reachouttrust.org/info-for-jehovah-witnesses/

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10 Responses »

  1. Great article Jason . You exposed the Watchtower’s method whereby they attempt to use certain words in Daniel ( for example ) said about Michael that supposedly link him to being Jesus . But this doctrine of theirs is a lot of assuming , not solid at all .

    We are supposed to trust the Watchtower’s ” faithful and discreet slave ” to be a reliable guide concerning an accurate interpretation of the scriptures . The Watchtower Slave claims that Jehovah provides the teachings , then it feeds mankind those truths as His spiritual food :

    ” God interprets and teaches through Christ the Chief Servant , who in turn uses the discreet slave as the visible channel , the visible theocratic organization …The truths we are to publish are the ones provided through the discreet-slave organization , not some personal opinions contrary to what the slave has provided as timely food .” [ W.t. mag 2-1-1952 , p 79 ]

    ” the Watchtower fulfills that need . Since 1879 it has been published regularly for the benefit of sincere students of the Bible . Over that extended period of time The Watchtower has consistently proven itself dependable . ” [ NWT 1950 ed . p 793 . ] .

    But can we really trust the Watchtower’s “slave ” to be a reliable guide ? A review of it’s teaching track record reveals the answer to be no . Inconsistency and vacillation mark it as a guide not worthy to be followed .

    Who is Michael according to the Watchtower slave ?

    Jehovah’s truth according to the Watchtower slave was that Michael was not Jesus , he was an archangel and like all angels he correctly worshiped Jesus the Son of God — see W.t. mag 11-1-1879 p 48 .
    However , a years later the Watchtower guide taught as the correct scriptural understanding of Revelation 12:7 was that Michael was the Pope ! See The Finished Mystery ,p 188 .

    But then Michael’s identity was changed again , this time he is identified as Jesus . This is the current interpretation put forth by the Watchtower slave .
    It is a very serious thing to be confused / misled on who Jesus is . Paul knew the true Savior , his preaching is reliable about who Jesus is , and since only the true Jesus can save sinners , we are safe from those who might come teaching ” another Jesus ” ( 2Cor 11:4 ) by trusting
    Jesus’ apostles instead of the Watchtower’s slave .

    Michael in Daniel 10:13 is not Jesus . Michael is one of the chief princes . The NWT says :
    ” one of the foremost princes ” . Thus there is more than one archangel , or generals in God’s heavenly army .

    Interestingly , the Watchtower slave taught : ” Archangel is the name given to some of God’s spirit creatures …. 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'” .See The Watchtower book , Creation (1927)p 19, 23
    .This is what was advertised about the scriptural interpretation published in the book Creation :

    ” The Scriptural and therefore the correct and reliable answers you will find by studying the Bible with the help of Judge Rutherford’s books .” [ advertisement on p 382 of the book Salvation , published by the Watchtower slave ]

    It’s apparent that the Watchtower slave can’t provide a stable position on who Jesus is . Since the Watchtower slave can’t make up it’s mind on such a vital doctrine such as this it would be unwise in submitting to it as an authority in our lives . What’s incredible in all this is that the identity of who exactly is the Faithful and Discreet Slave has been recently changed ( again ! ) by the men in Brooklyn N.Y. who lead Jw’s . Jw’s have truly been tossed to and fro by their Gov. Body masquerading as the ” slave” of Matt 24: 45 , causing them to wander . See Eph 4:14 and Isa 9:16 :
    ” And those who are leading this people on prove to be the ones causing [ them] to wander ; and those of them who are being led on , the ones who are being confused .” [ NWT 9:16 ] .

    Jw’s who desire God’s approval for receiving forgiveness of sins and life everlasting will comply with the arrangement He offers now to all those who come to Him the right way . This way is His Son — Jn 14:6 . Jesus was stating the Father’s will when he said ” Come unto Me ” – Matt 11:28
    All must come individually and directly to Jesus , He has the ability and authority to grant pardon of personal sins to anyone who asks him — Mk 2:10 ; Matt 28: 18 . A right relationship with the Father commences when a sinner comes to Jesus , this pleases the Father and acceptance from Him is thus gained — all because of Jesus . A intimate friendship with the Father and the Son is the heart of the Christian life — daily adoring, serving , praising , and communicating with them — 1 Cor 1:9 ; 1Jn 1:3 .

    Thanks again Jason for your labor of love to Jw’s . Keep up the good work .

    • Mike R

      Many thanks for your comments. Much appreciated. Special thanks for the WT quotes showing the changes over the decades as to the identity of Michael.

      It is clear Russell was closer to the truth, but once a false seed is sown, unless someone uproots it more error will follows. Unfortunately for his millions of followers Russell taught a mixture of truth and error and this has been perpetuated by all his offshoots wether the Jehovahs witnesses or Bible student schisms. In all cases they look to either Russell (the laodicean messenger) or the Watchtower (the faithful slave) as the means to truth and salvation. This is the great error of following a man or men. Jesus gets pushed to one side.

      How wonderful that we can approach the Father directly through Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit without all the rigmarole of “organisations” or “special men”. The “church” is a universal spiritual family made up of millions of people united in Christ! Thank you LORD!

      Just changing the subject. For those who may be interested I’m just finishing my Bachelor of Theology degree in “Biblical Theology and Hermeneutics”. I’ve decided on the topic of “Watchtower hermeneutics” – I’ve written to the society to ask what their position is concerning hermeneutics and methodology. Suffice to say they have not replied!

      So I may need some help from you more knowledgeable brethren! If anyone can help please contact me at jason02061990@btinternet.com – I’m especially interested in establishing the central hermeneutical method as used by Russell and later presidents. So I’ll leave that with you all! Thanks!

      Until he comes…God bless
      Jason

      • Jason, I was’nt able to get through to you with the address you gave so I’m going to share here some info that may be helpful to you in examining of ” Watchtower hermeneutics ” .

        Former Jw Edmond Gruss in his book , ” Apostles of Denial ” p 215-238 , provides some info on the interpretative methods of the Watchtower .

        Also , there is an interesting article about how the watchtower is largely moving away from their long used “type and anti-type ” method of finding many of their doctrines in the Bible . The lengths to which they have used this method of interpreting the scriptures has been amazing . The implications of this shift is examined in the article :
        ” The New and Approved Type of Explanation ” under the section titled :”The Watchtower New Doctrinal Changes Explained ” , on the site — ad1914.com .

        I hope you can glean some info from these that can be used for your dissertation .

  2. Just a point about Hebrews 1:8 and JW’s. In their own translation they reverse the words of Heb 1:8 to read “ God is your throne forever and ever….” and also reverse the quotation reference at Psalm 45:6 in their translation. The Hebrew at Psalm 45:6 reads “Your throne O God” but you will only be able to convince them if you show them from a Hebrew/English interlinear.The JW’s reverse the wording as an attempt to deny the deity of our Lord Jesus.

    • Thanks for pointing this out. This is yet another example of the WT changing original inspired word sequences in order to cover over the real point the author, viz. Jesus is Jehovah!

      The LXX (Psalm 44:7) which is probably where the writer draws from reads: ὸ (the) θρόνος (throne) σου (your) ό (the) θεός (God) εις (is) τὸν αιῶνα (forever) τοῦ αὰῶνος (forever) – “Your throne O God is forever and forever”. The Hebrew (Psalm 45:6) reads similar: “Your throne O God eternity and evermore”

      For those who would like to double check references:
      LXX = Tan, R., deSilva, D. A., & Logos Bible Software. (2009). The Lexham Greek-English Interlinear Septuagint.
      Hebrew = Logos Bible Software.van der Merwe, C. (2004). The Lexham Hebrew-English Interlinear Bible. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

      The correct interpretation in Gill’s expositional commentary states:
      [this Psalm is] applied to the Son of God, the second Person in the Trinity; and therefore are not an apostrophe to the Father, as some have said; nor will they bear to be rendered, “thy throne is the throne of God”, or “thy throne is God”; or be supplied thus, “God shall establish thy throne”. But they are spoken of the Son of God, who is truly and properly God, the true God and eternal life; as appears by the names by which he is called, as Jehovah, and the like; by his having all divine perfections in him; by the works which he has wrought, and by the worship which is given unto him; and to whom dominion is ascribed, of which the throne is an emblem.

      Amen to that!

    • I’ve seen that bit of deception. Also their EXODUS 3:14// John 8:58 They have one statement made of (pardon the language) Jehovah and another statement made by Jesus, so there’s no connection.

      Jehovah’s Witnesses are a peculiar people (to say the least) . Theologically, these people can run between raindrops in the middle of a downpour! The ENTIRE NEW TESTAMENT is JESUS, but they don’t see it. Matt 10:32, 33 talks about Confessing Christ, but JW’s don’t do this.

      Acts 4:10-12 (Salvation in none other but Christ) and Acts 16:25-34 (Philippian Jailer) is about believing in THE LORD JESUS CHRIST and they don’t want to see it. I attempted to share Acts 4:12 and got back Romans 10:13 “Those who call upon the name of “Jehovah” will be saved.

      The JESUS of the BIBLE is DENIED by the WBTS / JW.ORG 😥😥😥

  3. Watchtower leaders claim to be the faithful and wise [ ” discreet ” — NWT ] slave mentioned in Matt 24:45 . According to the Watchtower this slave was to be available in the last days and act as Jehovah’s spokesmen who alone can understand the Bible and be the sole trustworthy guide in interpreting it . Persons desiring to gain God’s approval for life must submit to the slave ‘s teachings . The reliability of the slave’s teachings as they are revealed in Watchtower Society publications :
    ” Only this organization functions for Jehovah’s purpose and to His praise . To it alone God’s Word , the Bible , is not a sealed book …. How very much true christians appreciate associating with the only organization on earth that understands the ‘ deep things of God ‘ ” ! [ W.t. mag. 7-1-1973 p 402 .

    Who is Jesus Christ according to the watchtower slave ? Short answer : If the archangel Michael is only a creature like all angels are , then Jesus is not Michael .

    Examining the teaching track record of the watchtower slave since 1879 we notice something troubling emerge — a pattern . A consistent introducing of vacillating interpretations of the scriptures . Eph 4:14 . An inability to get it right about important doctrines . This includes not only those doctrines that have to do with knowing about Jesus , His identity , but also those having to do with knowing Him i.e. personally – Jn 5:39-40 ; 17:3 ; Matt 11:28 . Gaining God’s approval and salvation are at stake if one is misled about who Jesus is . Gal 1:8 .

    Daniel 10:13 reveals that Michael is one of the chief princes , so he is a chief officer under the Son of God’s authority and who has been given responsibilities over other angels . He is the only angelic chief prince that the Bible names , but according to Dan 10: 13 there are others whose names we don’t know . This angelic arrangement by Jehovah in the beginning included Lucifer , according to the watchtower slave . In the book ” Angels ( 1934 ) p 7 it says :

    ” This is proof that Lucifer was a part of Jehovah’s organization and appointed and annoited to perform certain duties . It seems quite clear from the scriptures that Lucifer was a chief officer over a certain division of God’s organization , having under him other spirit creatures or angels ….”

    The watchtower slave taught that there is more than one archangel : ” 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 ….” [ Creation (1927) , p 23 . This book was later advertised by the watchtower slave to be in line with the scriptures and therefore contained , “the correct and reliable answers ” ]

    However , some years later in the watchtower book , ” New Heavens and a New Earth ( 1953 ) page 29 asks the question :
    ” Why does Daniel 10:13, 20,21 , by the use of the expression ‘ one of the chief princes’ , not indicate there were other archangels ?”
    So the answer was given : there is only one archangel — Michael .

    This is’nt the only time the watchtower slave has been inconsistent in it’s teachings concerning things mentioned in the Biblical books of Daniel and Revelation . At one time the interpretation for the identity of who was Adaddon/ Apollyon mentioned in Rev. chapter 9 , was that he was Satan [ Studies in the Scriptures ( 1917) v.7 p 159 ] . But then later it was taught that he was identified to be Jesus ! [ Then is Finished the Mystery of God ( 1969 ) p 232.]

    The interpretation of the identity of ” wormwood ” mentioned in Rev chapter 8 was said to be Calvin [ Studies in the Scriptures ( 1917) v 7 p151 ] . Then some years later it was changed to be Satan [ Light ( 1930) v. 1 p 127 ] . Then later it was taught to be the Clergy of Christendom [ Then is Finished the Mystery of God ( 1969) p 225 ] .

    One example from Daniel : the interpretation of the 1260 “days ” mentioned in Daniel 12:7 ( and Rev 11:3-6 ) . It was taught that this period was from 538 A.D. to 1799 –covering the period of Papal rule . Then it was changed to refer to the period from 1914 to 1918 — the imprisonment of Watchtower President Joseph Rutherford ! [ See Studies in the Scriptures v7 p 173 and Light v1 p 199 ]

    Much more could be shared about the unreliability of the watchtower slave’s teachings about certain verses mentioned in Daniel and Revelation , and Michael is mentioned in both these books . Furthermore the slave’s common alibi to excuse it’s confusion is to claim it has ” new light” from Jehovah . However , a look at examples of the slave’s new light reveals it’s not from Jehovah but merely more man made opinion :

    The men of Sodom, will they be resurrected ?
    In 1879 the answer was yes [ watchtower mag 7-1-1879 p 8 ]
    In 1952 the answer was no [ watchtower mag 6-1-1952 p 338 ]
    In 1965 the answer was yes [ watchtower mag . 8-1-1965 p 479 ] .

    Bottom line : the slave can’t be trusted to be a guide who is consistent in interpreting the scriptures . It is therefore wise for those Jw’s who desire God’s approval to dismiss the slave .
    Jw’s can study the Bible and interpret it for themselves , that’s something the salve has denied them for too long .

    Based on the evidence , the Watchtower’s ” Faithful and Discreet slave ” has been proven to be a unfaithful and disqualified slave .

    Jesus is not a created angel named Michael . He’s much more special than that . This is why all angels including Michael properly worship Him . That pleases the Father , it’s His arrangement and it pleases Him to have it so — Heb 1:6 . We properly honor His Son in like manner , and in doing so please the Father also . Adoring , praising , worship — daily interaction with them both is at the heart of the Christian life – Jn 14:23 ; 1 Jn 1:3 .

    This relationship is available for Jw’s who desire to be in God’s will . It all starts with coming directly to Jesus — Matt 11:28 . Michael is not in the picture in any way .

  4. One correction in my last post : the sentence that begins with ” Who is Jesus Christ according to the watchtower slave ? ”
    That should have read : ” Who is Jesus Christ according to the Bible ?”

  5. Those official W.t. statements about the identity of Michael which Jason posted ends with this one :
    ” Interestingly , the title ‘ Archangel ‘ is used in the Bible with reference to only one person : Jesus Christ “. [ The W.t. book ” Revelation It’s Grand Climax at Hand ” p 181 , is cited for that statement .

    True , the Bible only mentions the name of Michael as an archangel , it’s the only name we’re given . However , does that mean there is not additional spirit creatures who bear that rank/title , but whose names are simply not given in the Bible ? Well , for a long time W.t. leaders taught as spiritual truth from God that there is indeed many ranks of angels in God’s heavenly host and some of those have the rank/title of “archangel ” .[ See the book Creation ( 1927 ) p 19 , I quoted from it in one of my posts above ].

    How did the W.t. “slave” arrive at that belief ? One possible answer is that it has something to do with the fact that Satan counterfeits the structure of God’s heavenly organizational . By looking at this it was not difficult to to teach that there is more than one “chief angel ” i.e. archangel in God’s heavenly host . Let’s look at this :

    In the beginning : ” ….Lucifer was the chief officer over a certain division of God’s organization having under him other spirit creatures or angels ….princes or assistant rulers …” [ Angels (1924) p 7,9 .

    Later , Satan is referred to as ” the chief prince ” of a degraded host ” . [ Angels p 46 ] .
    Satan is called , ” the mimic god ” [ Riches ( 1936) p p 339 ] .
    Why is he a “mimic god “?” Answer:
    ” because he has attempted to counterfeit and mimic what the true God has done and does …” [ Light book 1 ( 1930 ) p 230 ] .

    So did Satan structure his organization similar to God’s ? Of course , why would’nt he ?

    Let’s see what he did . Keep Dan 10:13 in mind as you look at these .

    The demon one called “Gog” is ” one of Satan’s chiefs ” [ Vindication vol 2, p 315 ] .
    Gog is also called ” a chief prince ” , the one over Meshech and Tubal . [ ibid p 317 ]
    There were many ” sub-rulers ” in Satan’s organization

    In Satan’s organization there were “…. Gog, Satan’s chief officer , whom doubtless he approved to correspond to Jesus Christ as the Chief Officer of Jehovah .” [ Angels p 9 ] .

    ” … the Devil at war mimics Jehovah God and sends forth the demon prince Gog as general in command ….” [ 1942 W.t. p 101 ] .

    ” Jesus is ” the great General of Jehovah God in command of the hosts of Jehovah .” [ 1927 W.t. p 165 ] .

    In all this something emerges : there are ” chief princes ” / generals / chief angels i.e. head angels in both Jehovah’s heavenly host , and Satan’s . But Michael is the only one God chose to permit us to know by name in the Bible , still the W.t. made an excellent case that there is not just one arch angel ,especially in God’s heavenly host . Thus this is why the W.t slave deemed as accurate knowledge of the scriptures that there are ” archangels ” ,in God’s heavenly host and taught this for years .
    But incredibly , it appears this “truth” has now been discarded !

    What makes this doctrinal flip flop so serious is that Jesus Himself personally directs the
    teaching activity of Jw’s . He feeds them via Watchtower publications :

    ” ….Jesus also conveys Jehovah’s voice to us as HE DIRECTS the Congregation THROUGH the ‘ faithful and discreet slave . ” [ W.t. 8-15-2014 p 21 ] .

    ” The Watchtower Society is acting orderly under the DIRECTION of the Lord Jesus Christ ….” [ 1941 Yearbook ] .
    It appears then that Jesus can’t make up His mind , he once told the W.t. slave that He is not Michael , then years later He told the slave He is Michael . For from being a faithful and discreet slave , the W.t slave has a proven track record that reveals it to be instead a fickle and disqualified slave — not a consistently reliable guide in understanding the Bible — Eph 4:14 .

    May Jw’s who desire to gain the Father’s approval by embracing accurate Bible knowledge
    put down all W.t publications and their Bible and take a Bible(s) and read about God’s Son .
    To know personally the Father is to first know personally His Son . That commences when a person comes directly Jesus and asks for forgiveness — Jesus has the authority and ability to forgive sins , it’s the Father’s arrangement in how He draws all people to Himself . See Jn 5:39-40 ; 14:6 . Jesus desires to hear from Jw’s and place them in a intimate relationship/ friendship with him and also His Father .

    Is Jesus Michael the arch angel as the Watchtower teaches ? No . He is much more special than that . Michael is but a head angel / prince , ruler among God’s heavenly host who can be likened to a high general , most likely the top general , but who directs other top angelic princes under him and who with all angels servers and worships Jesus Christ to the glory of the Father .

  6. According to their John 1:1 The Word/Jesus is a god but then he’s also the archangel Michael. Would it not be fair to ask, WHICH IS IT?!? I’m almost interested in the answer.

    Just yesterday, I asked my JW friends about the issue of Jesus helping Jehovah create all other things. According to GOOD NEWS FROM GOD . So I’ll ask again, just for fun…. Why would ‘JEHOVAH, God ALMIGHTY need a created being to help HIM with ANYTHING?!? (Isaiah 44:24, Jer 32:17)

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