Error of Jehovah’s Witnesses (a.k.a. The Russellites) Part 11
Is Jesus the Son of God? Did He become such? The Russellites claim Jesus is the Son of God through creation by God before the world existed, by Mary in human birth, and by the resurrection from the grave in the Spirit.
In eastern usage the terms “son of” and “father” primarily denoted sameness. Look at the verses where it is used and you will see for yourself. Genesis 4:20 states “Jabal was father of such as dwell in tents and have cattle.” Again, “Jabal was father of such as handle the harp and pipe”, verse 21 Abraham was father of many nations, Genesis 17:4 Now, for the “son of” usage. Mark 3:17 tells us James and John were the “sons of thunder” (they had a bad temper). Jesus calls peaceful men “sons of peace”. In John 17:12, Christ calls Judas the “son of perdition”. Barnabas is called the “son of consolation”, Acts 4:36, meaning he was a very helpful and consoling man. In John 10:30-36 there is no question that the Jews recognized that Jesus calling God His Father meant He was claiming to be God!
As discussed, when Jesus is called the Firstborn and Only Begotten, what is being taught is His position, not derivation. So to, when He is being called the Son of God it denotes the uniqueness of His position with respect to the Father! In all reality, the term Son of God is used as a title-equal to the title of Messiah which name is used as an equal title to both Christ and King of Israel. If you will read again the statements made by various people at the crucifixion of Jesus, you will see that they were very aware of the equality of these terms. Read Matthew 27:40, 43, Mark 15:32,Luke 23:35,37, 39.
Hebrews 1:5 cites a statement which must be understood as a dual prophecy. “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son.” This dual prophecy is given of both Solomon and Christ. It is the picture of relationship of father to son, of the subordination of the son to the father. In reference to Christ, it speaks of His coming into the world and the role He would play of submission to the Father. In reference to Hebrews 1:5, the Book says more than meets the eye. The sense of servitude DID NOT pre-exist Christ coming into the world by Mary. In like fashion Philippians 2:8 teaches the same time constraints. Watch: “and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death, even the death of the cross.” Being found, humbled, becoming, are all in the Aorist tense which denotes a time in which this all began. There was a time when Jesus began His servitude; the time was WHEN He came into the world!! Verse 6 of this chapter tells He “existed in the form of God”. “Existing” denotes a continuous action; it is in the present tense. If He became a servant when He came into the world, that’s when it began, then He wasn’t a servant of God BEFORE He came into the world!! Again, in Hebrews 5:8, “though He were a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which He suffered.” shows there was a time WHEN He was NOT a man, to learn as a man to obey. The learning took place AFTER He was born of Mary!! In the Old Testament, we find plurality of persons in one God, and different functions of the three, BUT NOT IN SUBJECTION. We see where Jehovah sends Jehovah to Sodom and Gomorrah, but one is NOT in subjection to the other, this is done by mutual agreement!! Genesis 1:26 teaches us “And God said, Let Us make man…” Here, and in other passages, the term for God is plural, with plural pronouns. It shows mutual agreement in the Godhead!! Jesus WAS NOT created, born, did not begin to be, nor was He caused to become. He is the ancient one “who inhabited eternity”, Himself the “creator of all things”, and the “originator”.