Angels in 'The Watchtower'
What do Jehovah's Witnesses believe about Archangel Michael?
- Is Jesus the Archangel Michael?
- Are angel icons dangerous to buy?
- What's the difference between angels and spirit guides?
Jehovah's Witnesses do believe that Jesus is Archangel Michael. Their belief in God, Jesus, and Archangel Michael differs from what Catholics, Protestants, and other Christians believe. Mainstream Christian doctrine says that God has existed eternally as a trinity: God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The three are one person and have always existed as one God. When Jesus came to earth, he took on a dual nature, being both fully God and fully human.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that in the beginning only God existed, not as a trinity, but as a single person. The first thing God created was Michael, the archangel. In heaven, Jesus was known as Michael the archangel, a pure spirit. Upon coming to earth he ceased to be a spirit. His spirit-ness disappeared entirely. On earth Jesus was purely human. The man Jesus was killed on the cross. At his resurrection, his human body was not resuscitated. It remained in the tomb and God disintegrated it. There was no real, physical resurrection in the traditional Christian sense. Instead, what was resurrected was Michael's angelic spirit-body. Today he exists in heaven as Michael the archangel.
"Reasoning from the Scriptures," a manual used by the witnesses in door-to-door evangelism, states that "the evidence indicates that the Son of God was known as Michael (the archangel) before he came to earth and is known by that name since his return to heaven where he resides as the glorified spirit Son of God" (page 218).
The support for this doctrine is found in The New World Translation (NWT) of the Bible published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the parent organization for Jehovah's Witnesses. The following verses are from the NWT. The Witnesses use 1 Thessalonians 4:16, "the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel's voice and with God's trumpet." The Witnesses claim this verse shows that Jesus is an archangel because he has "an archangel's voice." Most Christians have always understood this verse to say that the return of Christ will be heralded by an archangel.
The Witnesses identify the archangel as Michael from Jude 9: "But when Michael the archangel had a difference with the devil and was disputing about Moses's body, he did not dare to bring a judgment against him in abusive terms, but said: 'May Jehovah rebuke you.'" According to "Reasoning from the Scriptures," "the expression 'archangel' is never found in the plural in the scriptures, thus implying there is only one archangel, (that is Michael.)" (page 218).
Jehovah's Witnesses do not believe Jesus Christ is divine. He isn't God (with a big G) in their view. To support this belief, they appeal to their own rendering of John 1:1: "In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god." They use the lower-case "g" to show that Christ is merely a creature, even if the most exalted creature.
In every Catholic and Protestant translation, the final clause of John 1:1 is "and the Word was God."
I read recently that you should not buy angel icons and products on the retail market today because we are bringing familiar spirits into our home. What do you think?
Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that familiar spirits use things such as angel-shaped objects to come into our homes. An angel figurine is no different in power than a Mickey Mouse or a teddy bear. They are not idols or graven images. They are made of plastic, porcelain, cloth, or other materials. They have no special powers in the spirit world or otherwise. My wife and I have a collection of angels in our home. They are a constant reminder to us that God has created angels to bless, protect, and minister to us. It gives us an opportunity to tell visitors to our home how wonderful God is. An angel figurine is a problem only if a person worships it or prays to it.
Are guardian angels and spirit guides the same? I have heard talks about spirit guides and I question them. From what I have heard, each person has a spirit guide. What are your views on this?
The Bible teaches that God created angels for many purposes. Some are guardian angels who lead, guide, and protect us.
Most define spirit guides as people who have died and returned to earth. Many people who believe in spirit guides believe that they're the same as angels. The Bible makes it clear that guardian angels have never been humans. There are no teachings about spirit guides in the Bible.
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