Jehovah`s Witness/Do you worship the Trinity Godhead?
Looking at all of the scriptures you've provided and studying them very carefully it seems to me that you worship BOTH Jehovah God and Jesus Christ his son. Am I correct?
To quote again what you said:
>>""I worship the God who...
Is my Shepherd - Ps. 23:1/John 10:11,14/Heb. 13:20
(Psalm 23:1) ". . .Jehovah is my Shepherd. I shall lack nothing."<<<
This verse to me is clearly talking about Jehovah God.
>>(John 10:11) “. . .I am the fine shepherd; the fine shepherd surrenders his soul in behalf of the sheep.”<<
This verse to me is talking about Jesus Christ.
>>(John 10:14) “. . .I am the fine shepherd, and I know my sheep and my sheep know me,”<<
This verse to me is talking about Jesus Christ.
>>(Hebrews 13:20) “. . .Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep with the blood of an everlasting covenant, our Lord Jesus,”<<<
This verse to me is talking about Jehovah God and Jesus Christ.
If my conclusion is correct then why did Jesus said to the Devil -
(Matthew 4:10) “. . .Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’”?
If my conclusion is correct that you also worship Jesus Christ the son of God, are you not violating the commandment on idolatry?
(Exodus 20:3) “. . .You must not have any other gods against my face.”
(Isaiah 42:8) “. . .“I am Jehovah. That is my name; and to no one else shall I give my own glory, neither my praise to graven images.”
(1 John 5:21) “. . .Little children, guard yourselves from idols.”
Unless you're saying that they are the same person.
But they can't be because you also said:
"""There is one God. God's name is Jehovah. Jesus and the Father are separate persons."""
Please clarify further if I got you wrong.
ANSWER: Thank you for writing again. Based on your recent evaluation, I must apologize for coming across unclear. Perhaps I should have answered your questions more directly rather than the approach I took. Please accept my apologies.
The teaching of the Trinity has been corrupted just like most everything else. There are different versions or explanations that are not scriptural (i.e. modalism). I do believe that there is a statement that is scripturally sound. This statement consists of the following substatements: 1) There is one God 2) The Father is God 3) The Son is God 4) The Holy Spirit is God 5) The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate persons.
The purpose of all the verses was to show you that the name "Jehovah" is revealed as the Father and is also revealed as the Son, and yet the Bible is clear that there is only one Jehovah. Where the deviation in beliefs occurs between myself and JW's is that they believe that the name Jehovah only applies to the Father. However, as we know ALL the scriptures must work together, and the scriptures that we have discussed identify "Jehovah" as Jesus as well. And yet the Bible teaches they are separate persons.
1 Tim. 3:16 explains this mystery of GODLINESS..."Who/He/Christ/God was manifest in the flesh" (depends on which version you use)
Let's look one more time at the comments that you said above.
You are correctly identifying who the Bible calls the "shepherd", and yet you know there is only one shepherd. Same thing with "Savior".
Regarding Matthew 4:10 - Satan told Jesus to worship him. Jesus was quoting scripture to show that in no way would Satan receive worship. Jesus accepts worship throughout scripture, but he does it to the glory of the Father. The example you provided wasn't Jesus denying worship. He accepts worship many times, whereas angels do not.
Concerning Exodus 20:3 and Isaiah 42:8- It is exactly because I must have no other gods before the face of Jehovah that I believe that Jehovah is also revealed as the Son. It is exactly because Christ receives all power, glory, and dominion from the Father that I must believe that Jehovah is also revealed as the Son. JW's believe that Jesus is another true God besides the only true God. Are they not considered guilty of idolatry because they believe in two true Gods, or that they believe that a second God (Jesus) received power and glory from the first God (the Father) contrary to the statement made in Isaiah 42:8?
I keep bringing up Isaiah 6:5 and John 12:41 because it acknowledges what I am saying. In John 12:41, John clearly indicates that Isaiah saw the glory of Jesus. Isaiah himself says he saw Jehovah. The Bible is clear that nobody has seen the Father. Do these verses contradict each other? Of course not because all scripture must work together.
Again, I thank you for posing your question again so I could clarify. I do not worship a pagan Trinity God. I worship the one true God (Jehovah) as He is revealed in Scripture. I sincerely hope that this time I have been able to more clearly demonstrate why I believe what I believe.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thanks Richard for your response and no apologies necessary in your last reply as I'm merely trying to get to the bottom of what you were saying.
So is it correct for me to assume now that you worship the Trinity Godhead (which was actually listed in my very first question to you)?
IF so how many God's do you worship?
Since you said:
>>"1) There is one God 2) The Father is God 3) The Son is God 4) The Holy Spirit is God 5) The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate persons."<<
And is this the same Trinity godhead referred to in the Catholic Faith called the Athanasian Creed?
"Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is all One, the Glory Equal, the Majesty Co-Eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father Uncreate, the Son Uncreate, and the Holy Ghost Uncreate. The Father Incomprehensible, the Son Incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost Incomprehensible. The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, and the Holy Ghost Eternal and yet they are not Three Eternals but One Eternal. As also there are not Three Uncreated, nor Three Incomprehensibles, but One Uncreated, and One Uncomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not Three Almighties but One Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not Three Gods, but One God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not Three Lords but One Lord. For, like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say, there be Three Gods or Three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father, and of the Son neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is One Father, not Three Fathers; one Son, not Three Sons; One Holy Ghost, not Three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore or after Other, None is greater or less than Another, but the whole Three Persons are Co-eternal together, and Co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity...."
If so how do you reconcile this creed with the Scriptures particularly the following (amongst many)?
When Jesus was on earth as a human, he said:
(John 17:1, 3) “. . .Jesus spoke these things, and, raising his eyes to heaven, he said: “Father, the hour has come; glorify your son, that your son may glorify you. . .This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.”
Where these verses to me clearly show that Jesus identified his Father as the Only True God.
(John 20:17) “. . .Jesus said to her: “Stop clinging to me. For I have not yet ascended to the Father. But be on your way to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and YOUR Father and to my God and YOUR God.’””
Where these verse to me clearly shows that Jehovah God, Jesus' Father is also his God.
In heaven at God's right hand:
(Revelation 1:1a, 3:1, 12)“1 A revelation by Jesus Christ, which God gave him. . .”
. . .“‘The one that conquers—I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will by no means go out [from it] anymore, and I will write upon him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which descends out of heaven from my God, and that new name of mine.”
Where these verses to me clearly shows that in heaven Jesus is also subject to his Father and God whom he worships.
Can you reconcile the verses above with the Trinity doctrine? I'm interested to know if you're able to do it without implying "this" or "that". In other words a simple explanation - just like how Jesus our lord taught.
BTW - you said the following:
>>" JW's believe that Jesus is another true God besides the only true God."<<
Can you please provide a quote or anything to back it up?
So far - I've failed to find even one especially in the New World Translation Bible.
In fact at John 1:1 it says the following:
(John 1:1-3) “1 In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. 2 This one was in [the] beginning with God. 3 All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.. . .”
All Trinitarians that I know of hate the translation above, specifically when it said: "...and the Word was a god."
So if you can find one I'd like to see it or else it becomes a lie if left unproven.
Thanks again, I will directly answer what you said.
<<I'm merely trying to get to the bottom of what you were saying.>>
You are trying to pin me down to say that I worship a pagan Trinity god, which is exactly what you asked me in the first and second letters. Because I do not worship the Trinity God as you understand the definition to be, I would be making an inaccurate statement if I told you that was what I believed. I worship Jehovah God as He is revealed in scripture. He is revealed in scripture in those 5 statements I gave you.
In your previous letter, you said Psalm 23:1 clearly refers to Jehovah, and that John 10:11 and Hebrews 13:20 refers to Jesus. The same thing goes with EVERY single set of verses that I listed describing the God who I worship. Please try to understand how those verses (as well as the ones you have given me) fit into the 5 statements that I believe the Bible teaches about God. I would like to know what these verses mean to you as it feels that you have skipped over the vast majority of them to move onto your next point. Please take the time to offer your insight into these verses if you disagree with my understanding, particularly Is. 6:5 and John 12:41.
As far as the Catholic faith, I do not subscribe to it or any creeds that were made on its behalf. I believe only what the Bible says. I believe that the Bible speaks of the NATURE of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as God just as the NATURE of all members of my family are human. I believe that the Bible speaks of the Father as the head of the Godhead just as it speaks of the husband as the head of his household.
<<If so how do you reconcile this creed with the Scriptures particularly the following (amongst many)? John 17:1,3; 20:17 and Rev. 1:1a, 3:1,12>>
As I don't subscribe to any creeds, I will simply offer what Scripture says, nor will I imply "this" or "that". In their unity (John 10:30), Christ, as the Word of God (John 1:1), can only speak what the Father wills Him to speak (John 8:28). As Christ is subject to the Father, He can only do what the Father wills Him to do (John 8:28). Christ wants all glory to go to the Father (John 17:1), glory that will not be shared with another (Is. 48:11) and still Christ is crowned in glory and honor (Heb. 2:9). The Father is the God of Christ (Rev. 3:12) just as the Father is the God of me. Christ is the God of me just as He is the God of Thomas (John 20:28).
<<In heaven at God's right hand>>
A symbol of equality and yet a separate person
<<Where these verses to me clearly shows that in heaven Jesus is also subject to his Father and God whom he worships.>>
Yes. Again, John 8:28
Regarding my statement that JW's believe that Jesus is another true God besides the only true God, I can see in retrospect how that can be taken in a manner that I did not intend, so I will restate. Please refer to the NWT for verification of these statements.
JW's believe that Jesus is a Mighty God (Is. 9:6) who the angels do obeisance (Heb. 1:5-6) and receive the same blessing, glory, and might as the Father (Rev. 11:13) despite the fact that Jehovah said that He would give His glory to no one else (Is. 48:11).
In other words, Jesus (called Mighty God and Eternal Father) is given the the SAME blessing, glory, and might that Jehovah said would be not be given to any other by ALL CREATED beings in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. This does not sound to me that Jesus is a god JUST LIKE men and angels are called gods as the NWT of John 1:1 would make it sound.
Now to answer your main question. I worship one God, Jehovah. Jehovah is revealed throughout scripture as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit...separate persons but still one God with the Son and the Holy Spirit eternally subject to the Father. It doesn't bother me that you may disagree and/or question how this can be so. It's what the Bible says. I enjoy the discussion and genuinely hope that you have more to say or ask. Please forgive me if I may take longer to respond over the next five days. My schedule is pretty ridiculous, but I want to be available to answer questions that may be lingering out there.