Who is Jesus? To learn more about Jesus Christ, we should also investigate how people who lived in union with God, have dealt with Him. In this paper, it shall be about whether people can pray directly to Jesus Christ.
The series of "Search carefully" is to encourage you to read the Bible faithfully. When the Apostle Paul came to Berea (Acts 17, 10-11), people believed him, not because he is a special authority, but because they have carefully examined his statements on the basis of Scripture. This setting is praised by God's word and by God Himself as "noble".
God thus has no difficulty in people rethinking on the basis of his word and changing their faith life.
Unless otherwise stated, the biblical passages are taken from the New World Translation (NW) of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Where this is not the case, the New International Version (NIV) is used. This is as follows: The name Jehovah is not found in the basic text of the Christian Greek Scriptures (New Testament), but in the (NW) it was inserted for more than 200 times. The result is that the reader imputes some statements to God the Father, where the biblical connection aims to the son.
God says very clearly that every person can and should pray to him.
All people who are in distress, are encouraged to call God. Now, if someone experienced the help of God, the conversation with God will be furthermore important to him. He will glorify God then. God desires that we pray to him. The Bible is full of events which make it clear that believing people pray to God.
"What does the Bible really teach?" This book, which has issued the religious community of Jehovah's Witnesses, is written to give the thought-provoking impulses on the subject: "Mai we pray to Jesus?". In chapter 17 "Come closer to God in prayer" is in paragraph 9:
The question on this section is: To whom should we pray, and through whom? The answer from this section should thus been read: We should only pray to Jehovah God.
It must be prayed solely and exclusively to Jehovah God.
A prayer that is addressed directly to Jesus Christ, is thus forbidden.
These passages of the scriptures make one thing very clear: Calling is praying. We are praying to God when we call Him. (See also 2.Sam.22,4; Ps.80,18; Ps.86,5-6; Ps.99,6 and many more.) Now we can say: God is called by praying or speaking to him. Jehovah is one and therefore any attempt is ruled out trying to prove that it is also prayed to Christ.
But does also the Bible show this human logical conclusion? Could it be that our minds can not grasp (Proverbs 3, 5) the greatness of God (Isaiah 55,8-9)? Do His disciples pray to their Lord Jesus?
Christ is called! He is called by all the saints, i.e. by all Christians! The Greek word "epjkaloumenois", which is used in 1 Corinthians 1.2, means the caller. Thus, Christians are designated as the "callers of the name of Jesus." Or, in other words, Christians are the to Jesus praying ones.
In the New Testament "epjkaloumenois" i.e. "call" is used for God, the Father. He is thus called just as the son.
Some try to distinguish between calling the Father and calling the Son. It is said that only the father is called, and only through the Lord Jesus. In practice this means that the father is the sole address man is worshiping. To him, the father alone is spoken in prayer. Only to Him are offered the praise of thanksgiving and prayers. The Lord Jesus is to make this prayer agreeable for the father. So we pray at the end: "in the name of thy beloved Son Jesus Christ".
The father is seen pictured the one who is the addressee of the letter and the Lord Jesus is the stamp that makes the letter valid and carries it to the recipient. Or, the Lord Jesus is like the telephone line or the telephone and the father is the one who is called by the phone call. The Father picks up the phone and with Him is spoken. There is this difference in "Calling" really? Is it wrong if you start a prayer like this: "Lord Jesus Christ, I thank you that you have sacrificed yourself for me."?
The Bible is not only a book that says that you should pray. It also shows how the early Christians have prayed. The theory can be learned in the former practice. How was it for the first Christians?
Festus, the Roman authority over the city of Caesarea, has a problem. His predecessor, Felix had left the Apostle Paul in prison. Since there is no clear count of an indictment of the Romans, Festus, is discussing the whole thing with King Agrippa. He says of the Jews:
So that was known: the Jews pray in a different way than the Christians.
For this text, it is clear:
With this name, the name Jesus is meant. The Christians were not distinguished from the Jews by the fact that they used the name Jehovah in prayer, but the outstanding feature was the prayer to Jesus. This made the Christians for the Jews worthy of persecution. It is worth noting in this context that Paul should bear the name of Jesus to the nations and suffer for him.
The biblical text shows:
Christians believe in the person (the name) of the Lord Jesus. They have compared to Him that He hears them. They pray to him and ask things of him. This makes it clear that we should not only pray to the Father through Jesus, but also directly to the Son of God!
What does that mean in practice? Paul explains it in his 2nd Letter to the Corinthians clearly. Here, he explains, how and to whom he prayed.
Paul asks the Lord, i.e. he prays to the Lord. That Lord replies by saying "... My strength is made perfect in weakness." Paul shows that the strength of the Lord is the strength of Christ. The only possible conclusion from this section is: Paul prays to Jesus.
How you can now come directly to Jesus Christ, if not by an address by prayer? How can I unload the trouble if I can not pronounce? Today, you can also pray to Christ, as John Paul has recommended it, and how he practiced. The Lord Jesus asked directly about (John 14, 14). Unfortunately, the (NW) doesn't have the little word "me" not in the text. However, the Interliniar Translation of the Jehovah's Witnesses makes clear that it is in the basic text.
Thus says the Lord Jesus: "All you ask me in my name, I'll do that". This can and should happen today.
The biblical passage Revelation 7, 11-12 shows how to worship God. One prays to God by speaking to him in great awe! The content of the prayer to God the Father and the content of the prayer, which received the Lamb, are almost 100% identical. Before him were even symbolically placed the prayers of the saints.
In Revelation 5, 13-14, even is done no difference between the worship of God the Father and the worship of the lamb. It is also important to note that the elders can see the father and the son directly. Thus, the argument is eliminated, only then can be worshiped, if the relative person is not seen.
In this section, the claim is made that all the angels, without exception, will worship the firstborn of God, who is the Lord Jesus. The word "render homage" is in Greek "proskynäsatohsan". This is usually translated as worship, such as Offb.14, 7; 1.Kor.14, 25; Lk.4, 8, John 4, 21 and many more. Also, the (NW) in its edition of 1963, has here the word worship.
As biblical people pray to Jesus, it is clear that neither he can be the Archangel Michael nor another created being. Otherwise, then all Christians would have violated the terms of Kol.2, 18 and Rom.1, 25th
Peter and John stand after the healing of a paralytic (Apg.3) in front of the Sanhedrin (Apg.4) to answer for themselves. Here Peter speaks in terms of Christ (Apg.4 ,10-11) this sentence:
But only the name Jesus, i.e. Jesus as a person can save the people for God's kingdom. Without Christ, man is lost hopelessly. On 1st Chapter of John's Gospel is reported that Jesus Christ came into this world and experienced rejection (John 1 ,10-11). In this context, there is also a wonderful promise:
Humans can come into the family of God when they receive the Lord Jesus by faith into his life. The Son of God is determined to administrate the life of man by the forgiveness of sins and by the authority of kingdom. This also means that any can take up (no matter how many) Christ and not only just a specific group.
The apostle and missionary Paul writes in his Epistle to the Romans:
The focus of this text is the Lord Jesus. He is the end of the law. No one can come to Him by human efforts. Faith alone is necessary for this. He makes the human justified. The content of this justifying faith is: Jesus is the risen Lord. This is imperative to believe and confess personally.
Now the from God inspired Paul applies posts from the Old Testament to the faith in Jesus. Verse 11: Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame. - Verse 12: Jesus is Lord over all. (See Mt.28:18) - Verses 12 b+13: Jesus saves who pray to Him.
As shown in the interlinear translation, is held in the verse 13, "Lord" instead of "Jehovah". Although this verse is also known from Joel 3:5, but one must always see it in context. Examples of this situation are the passages Hebr.2 .5 to 9 and Ps.8 ,4-10. Although in both texts there is almost the same wording, the Hebrew text is specifically for Christ and the verses in Psalm 8, for the people in general.
Therefore, if a man wants to be saved for the kingdom of God, he has to pray to Jesus and ask him for salvation. He will also take Christ as his Lord in prayer into his life.
Praying to Jesus and beeing included the rescue in the prayer to Jesus, was formerly known by the Watchtower Society. Their faith-book of 1929, readers were encouraged to:
»... No one is able to understand these things, and valuing, except the ones who have given their hearts to the Lord. The Apostle Paul says: "But a physical man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know [them], because they are examined spiritually." (1. Corinthians 2:14) Jehovah has arranged it so that only those whose meaning enlightened by the Holy Spirit (what follows their dedication, justification and adoption by the Lord) are able to understand the mystery of God, and cherish. « P. 177
In other words, this means:
Only those who are consecrated to the Lord and have accepted Him are enlightened by the Holy Spirit and understand God's secret. All others are not able to do so. How did happen this very consecration?
»... He hears that it will cost him a lot. So Jesus says to him: "Sit down beforehand and calculate the costs." (Luk. 14:28) He hears that it will cost him everything he has, that is the devotion of himself to the Lord. The next step for those who want to be a Christian, therefore, is to consecrate themselves, that is entirely handed over to the Lord and his orders. This he may do, as he says briefly: Acclaimed Lord, I surrender myself to all your orders, here I am. Do with me according to thy holy will. I want to do your will. Neither the Lord Jesus, nor the Heavenly Father do force anyone, but we need by our own free will to come to the Lord in which we seek his help. That this is necessary in order to become a follower of Jesus, is clearly expressed in the words of the master, when he says: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Matthew 16:24) Denying oneself means to explain the willingness to give up the selfish course and to do the will of the Lord. It means a total and complete surrender of oneself to the Lord. That means dedication: to set oneself entirely aside to do the Lord's will ...« S.181
This consecration is a complete surrender to the Lord Jesus, and this act is performed with a prayer to Christ. What conclusions must therefore be drawn? - Anyone who wants to be saved from this perverse generation (Apg.2, 40), must pray to Jesus! (Romans 10:14) - He has to include in his life Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
It is interesting that this time the Watchtower Society also knew this and made it a condition. In other words, it means that we without the consecration to the Lord Jesus Christ will not be enlightened with the Holy Spirit. Now the question arises to Jehovah's Witnesses: Became the people believing at that time because of this "food" at all? If so - and this can not be denied, otherwise the known as 144,000 were still not complete - so people, who are converted by Jehovah's Witnesses, can not today really come to faith. The biblical life committal to Christ is missed.
In the book "What Does the Bible Really Teach?", Chapter 18, paragraph 14, there is a dedication to Jehovah God, but no commitment to Jesus Christ. I hope that one sentence, which appears in "Revelation - Its Grand Climax at Hand!" is heeded by all Jehovah's Witnesses. It is found on page 319, paragraph 19:
Mai this prayer to the Lord Jesus be the beginning of a change in the Jehovah's Witnesses.
I realize that I have brought the Messiah of God in this post very strongly into the center. This is mainly because:
Yahweh's desire is that the son is honored as much as his father. This honor is also given in prayer to Jesus. So far my preliminary understanding on this issue.