I participate in several debates and online forums where I share God’s word and address concerns raised by members. My background in theology always come in handy when a controversial topic comes up.
During one of the forums, someone asked whether Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in Jesus. His question sparked an interesting debate among members.
Some insisted that they didn’t; others argued they did. I let this go on for a few minutes before giving my response. That session inspired me to share more on the topic.
So, do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in Jesus?
Jehovah’s Witnesses claim to believe in Jesus Christ. However, they reject the deity of Jesus. They base this on John 14:28, where Jesus declares the Father is greater than he is. They also believe that Jesus is the Archangel Michael, who became human and sacrificed himself to secure humanity’s salvation. You’ll hear them refer to Jesus as God’s son. However, they teach that he is a lesser “god.” Their theological stance convinces many Christians that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in Jesus.
Join me in exploring what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe about the birth, death, and deity of Jesus Christ. I’ll also look at their teachings on the second coming.
Let’s get started.
What Do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe about Jesus Christ?
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus is the son of God. However, they teach that he is a created being whose life began in heaven as the Archangel Michael.
According to their theology, Jesus (or Michael) agreed to be born a man and die as a sacrifice for humanity’s sin. As such, they honor him as the savior of the world.
Jehovah’s Witnesses also believe that Jesus is the king in God’s kingdom. However, they reject the Trinitarian doctrine and deny that Jesus Christ is God.
Their stance resulted in other Christians labeling them a cult.
What Do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe about the birth of Jesus Christ?
As mentioned, they believe Jesus’ life began in heaven as Michael, the Archangel. He agreed to be born a man through Mary and sacrifice himself to save humanity from sin.
However, they reject the modern idea that Jesus was born on Christmas. Instead, they believe he was born in the early fall.
They base this on the understanding that shepherds wouldn’t be outside with the sheep on 25th December since that would be winter as noted in Luke 2:8: “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.”
Do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
They believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ but deny the bodily resurrection. Instead, they teach that Jesus’ resurrection was spiritual.
They base this on 1 Peter 3:18, which teaches that Christ was killed in the flesh but raised in the Spirit: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring [a]us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.”
They also reject the bodily resurrection of Christ based on 1 Corinthians 15:44-50, which says flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
According to their theology, if Christ rose physically, He couldn’t reign as King over God’s kingdom.
Finally, they teach that Jesus manifested in other bodies to convince his followers about his resurrection. This argument raises many concerns among Christians.
The main one is that it turns Jesus into a liar, which is unacceptable.
Do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ?
Yes. In fact, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Christ returned in 1914. One caveat, however, is that His return was spiritual.
According to their theology, Jesus ascended into heaven after his resurrection and sat at God’s right hand. However, he had to wait until October 1914 to receive authority to rule in heaven.
When this happened, Jesus kicked Satan and his horde out of heaven. They believe these events sparked the First World War.
Furthermore, they teach that only those with “eyes of understanding” could see these events. In their view, Jesus has been refining and organizing his kingdom and subjects since then.
They teach that 1914 marked the beginning of the Messianic rule that culminated in the battle of Armageddon. They believe that Christ will destroy his enemies in Armageddon and save his followers during this battle.
Do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus Christ is God?
No. Jehovah’s Witnesses reject the deity of Jesus. As mentioned, they believe Jesus was a created being called Michael (The Archangel).
In fact, they teach that Jesus was God’s first creation and base this on Colossians 1:15-17. They honor Jesus for his sacrifice on the cross but refuse to acknowledge that He is God.
As such, they also reject the Trinitarian doctrine, which is central to the Christian faith.
How do Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate Jesus?
Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate Jesus through the Lord’s Supper, which they call the memorial of Christ’s death. This is the only annual celebration they hold.
The service takes place on the 14th day of Nisan, which coincides with the Jewish Passover. They celebrate it at sunset, which is how Jews reckon the start of a new day.
During the memorial, they use plain red wine and unleavened bread. They refer to these as “Emblems” and reject the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation.
They pass the bread and wine around but don’t consume it. They believe the 144,000 chosen to reign with God in heaven should be the only ones to eat the bread and wine.
They also read the Bible, sing, and pray during this service. This service is open to the public, and they encourage members to invite family and friends.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.