The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Nightmare Pt. 3a

The King James Version of the Holy Bible

We continue with our series (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/19/the-jehovahs-witnesses-nightmare-pt-2b/) by focusing on an objection that Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) raise against one of the many arguments used to prove the Deity of the Lord Jesus.

One of the evidences that Christians appeal to in order demonstrate that the Lord Jesus is God in the flesh is the claim made by the inspired authors of holy Scriptures that Christ is the Savior of the world. In other words, the God-breathed revelation expressly testifies that Jesus is the One whom the Father has appointed and sent forth for the express purpose of saving all mankind from the consequences of their sins:

“And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.  And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” Isaiah 49:5-6

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. ” John 3:16-17

“and said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” John 4:42

“And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” John 12:47

“And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” 1 John 4:14

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” 1 Timothy 1:15

According to the Hebrew Scriptures, this serves to identify Jesus as Jehovah God Almighty since the prophetic writings bear witness that there is no other savior besides Jehovah,

““I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour.” Isaiah 43:11

“Yet I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.” Hosea 13:4

Which is why Jehovah demands that all the inhabitants of the earth turn to him since he alone is able to save the world:

“Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Isaiah 45:21-22

The Society, however, denies the validity of the above claim and thinks it has a way of refuting this assertion:

Savior: Repeatedly the Scriptures refer to God as Savior. At Isaiah 43:11 God even says: “Besides me there is no savior.” Since Jesus is also referred to as Savior, are God and Jesus the same? Not at all. Titus 1:3, 4 speaks of “God our Savior,” and then of both “God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.” So, both persons are saviors. Jude 25 shows the relationship, saying: “God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Italics added.) (See also Acts 13:23.) At Judges 3:9, the same Hebrew word (moh·shiʹarendered “savior” or “deliverer”) that is used at Isaiah 43:11 is applied to Othniel, a judge in Israel, but that certainly did not make Othniel Jehovah, did it? A reading of Isaiah 43:1-12 shows that verse 11 means that Jehovah alone was the One who provided salvation, or deliverance, for Israel; that salvation did not come from any of the gods of the surrounding nations. (Reasoning from the Scriptures, “Trinity,” p. 413 http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1101989276#h=2)

The problem with this objection is that it grossly misrepresents the actual argument since no informed Christian would deny that God empowered specific individuals to save his people from human oppressors. This, however, is different from how Jesus saves people since he doesn’t merely save individuals from human tyrants who attack and subjugate them. Rather, Jesus saves people from their sins, and does so in the exact same manner that God Almighty does.

For instance, we are told that it is Jehovah who redeems Israel from all their iniquities,

“If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared… Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” Psalm 130:3-4, 7-8

Something which the angel of the Lord ascribes to Jesus himself:

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (Heb. Yeshua – “Jehovah is salvation”): for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

Note how even the name Jesus itself signifies that Christ is Jehovah who has come to save his people from their sins.

The Hebrew Bible also teaches that God saves people by and for the sake of his own name:

For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.” Psalm 25:1

“Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.” Psalm 54:1

“Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.” Psalm 79:9

“I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” Isaiah 43:25

And yet the NT writings testify that people are forgiven and granted salvation because of and for the sake of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ:

“And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached IN HIS NAME among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Luke 24:44-47

“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” John 20:30-31

“I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.” 1 John 2:12

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:13

Jesus’ followers would even perform miracles to prove that it is Christ and his name alone which brings salvation to all men:

“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.  And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him. And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering. And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all… Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” Acts 3:1-16, 26

“And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, and Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is NONE OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.” Acts 4:5-14

Jehovah is further said to be the Source of salvation, the One from whom salvation originates:

“The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” Exodus 15:2 – cf. Psalm 118:14, 21

Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.” Psalm 3:8

“But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.” Jonah 2:9

The NT, on the other hand, identifies Jesus as the Source or Author of salvation since he is the One who saves and sanctifies or makes people holy:

“For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,” Hebrews 2:10-11

“and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;” Hebrews 5:9

This next example is quite astonishing:

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, WHICH NO MAN COULD NUMBER, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, AND UNTO THE LAMB. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” Revelation 7:9-17

Not only is Jesus said to be the joint Source of salvation along with God the Father, he is also depicted as having redeemed an innumerable host of people by his atoning death, thereby making them worthy to stand before God forever and ever.

This brings me to the next point, which I will pick up in the second half of the discussion (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/19/the-jehovahs-witnesses-nightmare-pt-3b/).

2 thoughts on “The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Nightmare Pt. 3a

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