Here are my comments on an article by a Baptist pastor on some of the distinctive teachings of Jehovah's Witnesses. I had intended to post it unfinished and then progressively add my comments to it. But I later realised it would become too long, so I will now split my responses over multiple parts. My comments are bold to distinguish from the article.
"What is a Jehovah's Witness?," The Newnan Times-Herald, Daniel Ausbun, First Baptist Church, Moreland [Georgia], March 03, 2012 ...
Knock knock! Two people are standing at your door, sharply dressed and very friendly, offering you The Watchtower magazine. They're Jehovah's Witnesses, and they're at your door to tell you God's good news. ... What do Jehovah's Witnesses' believe?
* Jesus is not Jehovah God; he is the first and only direct creation of God and the agent through which Jehovah made all things. Jesus was originally created by God as the Archangel, Michael. Michael was later given a human body and renamed Jesus. ... This is indeed what the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society teaches:
"Who Is Michael the Archangel? 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) 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." ("What Does the Bible Really Teach?" Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, 2005, p.218. Emphasis original).
This is a good topic for a Christian to start dialoguing with a JW because it is, "Perhaps the most peculiar Watchtower doctrine" and "If Witnesses have difficulty explaining any particular doctrine, it is this one":
"Perhaps the most peculiar Watchtower doctrine is the idea that Jesus is really Michael the archangel. This teaching is not typically mentioned when introducing the faith to a new recruit, as can be seen in the official overview of beliefs published by the Watchtower. If Witnesses have difficulty explaining any particular doctrine, it is this one. ... The clearest contradiction of such an idea can be found in the book of Hebrews ... where the sacred author asks, `For to what angel did God ever say, "Thou art my Son"' (1:5, citing Ps. 2:7) and `When he brings the first-born into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him"' (1:6, citing Deut. 32:43). `Of the angels he says, "Who makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire." But of the Son he says, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever ..." and, "Thou, Lord, didst found the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of thy hands"' (1:7-8, citing Ps. 104:4, 45:6, and 102:25). Here the author of Hebrews not only separates Jesus from angels, he even commands the angels to worship him (Heb. 1:6; cf. Rev. 5:13-14, 14:7). The first issue of Zion's Watch Tower magazine agreed: `"Let all the angels of God worship him" [that must include Michael] and "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever."' [Zion's Watch Tower, July 1879, p.9. Brackets and italics original]" (Evert, J., "Answering Jehovah's Witnesses," 2001, pp.72-73).
See my two-part series, "Is Jesus Christ Michael the archangel?" for other reasons why the Watchtower Society is wrong in its claim that Jesus is Michael the archangel.* Jesus' true followers are known by their worship of the true and almighty God, Jehovah, who is not a Trinity. Jesus is Jehovah, come in the flesh. See my previous post, "Jesus is Jehovah!" So Jehovah's Witnesses who deny that, are not Jehovah's witnesses, but are witnesses to a false god of the Watchtower Society's making.
* Jesus was raised from the dead, not with a physical body, but as a mighty spirit creature. This is indeed what the Watchtower teaches, "God ... raised Jesus Christ to life ... Jesus became a living spirit creature, as he had been before coming to earth:"
"God, in one of history's most important acts, raised Jesus Christ to life after he had been dead for days. Jesus became a living spirit creature, as he had been before coming to earth ..." ("Happiness-How to Find It," Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, 1980, p.118-119).
"God raised Jesus back to life as a glorious spirit creature":
"Lovingly, Jehovah provided a perfect solution. How so? First, by performing the miracle of transferring the life of his beloved heavenly Son to the womb of a virgin so that he could be born as a perfect human ... Then, after Jesus' enemies put him to death, Jehovah performed another outstanding miracle. God raised Jesus back to life as a glorious spirit creature." ("Righteous Ones Will Praise God Forever," The Watchtower, March 15, 2009, p.24).
"Jesus today ... is a mighty spirit creature":
"Where Is Jesus Today? Jesus died on a torture stake at the age of 33 1/2. But death was not the end of his life course. The third stage of his life began about three days later when Jehovah God resurrected his Son as a spirit person. ... Jesus today is neither a man nor God ... Rather, he is a mighty spirit creature ..." ("Who Is Jesus Christ?," The Watchtower, September 15, 2005, p.6).
But the Bible teaches that Jesus'body was resurrected:
"While Jesus was passing through the temple in Jerusalem, some Jewish people asked him for a sign. He replied, `Break down this temple, and in three days I will raise it up' (John 2:19). They understood him to be speaking of the temple building, but John clarifies that Jesus had something else in mind: `He was talking about the temple of his body' (John 2:21; emphasis added). The Greek here is somatos autou, `the body of himself.' Jesus unequivocally teaches that he will raise up his body after three days. ... After he had risen, Jesus showed that his promise had been fulfilled, `See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; feel me and see, because a spirit does not have flesh and bones just as you behold that I have... . Do you have something there to eat?' (Luke 24:39, 41; emphasis added). Jesus also insisted that Thomas place his finger into his wounded side, to prove that he had indeed risen from the dead (John 20:27). But why would Jesus offer a body to prove that his spirit had risen? In Matthew 28:6, why would the angel offer the empty tomb as proof that Jesus rose if his body is forever dead?" (Evert, J., "Answering Jehovah's Witnesses," 2001, pp.106-107. Emphasis original).
"JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES, as has been observed, deny the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and claim instead that He was raised a `divine spirit being,' or as an `invisible spirit creature.' They answer the objection that He appeared in human form by asserting that He simply took human forms as He needed them which enabled Him to be seen, for as the Logos, He would have been invisible to the human eye. In short, Jesus did not appear in the same form which hung upon the cross, since that body either `dissolved in gases or is preserved somewhere as a memorial to God's love.' [Russell, C.T., The Time is at Hand, 1907, p.129] The Scriptures, however, tell a completely different story, as will be evident when their testimony is considered. Christ Himself prophesied His own bodily resurrection, and John tells us `he spake of the temple of his body' (Jn 2:21, KJV). In John 20:25-26 the disciple Thomas doubted the literal physical resurrection of Christ only to positively declare his belief in verse 28, after Jesus (v. 27) offered His body, the same one that was crucified and still bearing the prints and spear wound, to Thomas for his examination. No one would say that the body the Lord Jesus displayed was not His crucifixion body, unless he either ignorantly or willfully denies the Word of God. It was not a body `assumed' for the time by a spiritual Christ; it was the identical form that hung on the tree-the Lord Himself; He was alive and undeniably tangible, not a `divine spirit creature.' The Lord foresaw the unbelief of men in His bodily resurrection and made an explicit point of saying that He was not a spirit but flesh and bones (Lk 24:39-44), and He even went so far as to eat food to prove that He identified with humanity as well as Deity. Christ rebuked the disciples for their unbelief in His physical resurrection (Lk 24:25), and it was the physical resurrection that confirmed His deity, since only God could voluntarily lay down and take up life at will (Jn 10:18)." (Martin, W.R. & Klann, N., "Jehovah of the Watchtower," 1981, pp.69-70. Emphasis original).