A common accusation by Trinitarians is that Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the deity of Christ. That certainly sounds sinister. Denying the divinity of Jesus makes Jehovah’s Witnesses out to be unchristian, even anti-Christs.
But such is not the case. In truth, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not deny the divinity of Christ. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus had a prehuman existence and in that state he was divine. Although not Almighty God, the Word, was/is a god. He exists as the very image and likeness of the only true God.
However, upon his becoming human Jesus left off his heavenly nature. Paul explained it this way at Philippians 2:5-11: “Keep this mental attitude in you that was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God. No, but he emptied himself and took a slave’s form and came to be in the likeness of men. More than that, when he found himself in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake. For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every [other] name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”
Some translations, like the King James Version, mutilate Philippians 2:5 to read: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God…”
If that rendering were true, though, it would seem that Paul was exhorting Christians to presumptuously seek equality with God – after all, that is what they have Christ doing by such shoddy translating.
In reality, the apostle is telling Christians to follow Jesus’ sterling example of humility, because even though Jesus originally existed in God’s form, as the verse clearly states, Christ Jesus did not consider himself God’s equal. (It is no wonder many Trinitarians prefer the King James Version.) Instead of grasping for equality with God, Jesus emptied himself. The question is: Of what did Jesus empty himself? The answer: Jesus divested himself of his divinity. He was in God’s form – a deity, to be sure. He forsook his divine nature and “took a slave’s form and came to be in the likeness of men.” Does that not indicate that Jesus changed from divine to flesh? And as a man Jesus submitted himself to a tortuous death. For that reason God exalted his son to his very throne.
But while Jesus was on the earth he was not a deity. He was a man. Jesus was not part God and part man. He was not a god-man or demigod. In the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians Paul explained that Jesus corresponded in value to the original human God had created. Quoting Genesis in the first part of the passage below, the apostle wrote: ‘“The first man Adam became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. Nevertheless, the first is, not that which is spiritual, but that which is physical, afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is out of the earth and made of dust; the second man is out of heaven. As the one made of dust is, so those made of dust are also; and as the heavenly one is, so those who are heavenly are also. And just as we have borne the image of the one made of dust, we shall bear also the image of the heavenly one.”
Jesus is called “the second man” because he is only the second perfect man whom God has created. Similarly, Jesus is called the “last Adam” because he was the last human that God will ever produce. But the point is, Jesus was human, just as Adam was human. This is why Jesus’ death is called “a corresponding ransom for all.” The value of Jesus’ perfect human life corresponds to what the first man originally possessed before he became a sinner against God. Had Jesus been a god-man or a human deity of some sort he would not have had a corresponding value to the original man.
In actuality, those who accuse Jehovah’s Witnesses of denying the deity of Jesus, themselves, deny the vital ransom Christ provided. They do so by denying that Jesus was solely human. By making him God incarnate they disqualify Jesus from being the equivalent of Adam. Trinitarians unwittingly deny the great act of humility Jesus performed too, when he willing left behind his divine nature and became a lowly human.
Trinitarians also unwittingly deny the love of God as well, because had Jesus been Jehovah, as the popular myth would have it, then it renders meaningless the fact that God rewarded Jesus for his great humility and sacrifice. Or, are we to believe that Jehovah rewards himself for being loyal to himself and he gives himself gifts and honors that he has always possessed? Although enwrapped in high-sounding theological language and endorsed from the highest pulpits, to believe that Jesus is God himself is to embrace the absurd.