First, consider the Old Testament references to the eternal nature of Christ. Isaiah 9:6-7 alone should establish the point beyond any doubt.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.
This child who would be born and sit on David’s throne can be no other than Jesus Christ. And yet this child who graced Bethlehem’s barn was to be called “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father.” The Jehovah’s Witnesses dodge on this passage is that Jesus is “mighty” God but not the “almighty”. However, the same term is applied to Jehovah in Isaiah 10:20-21. Further, Micah 5:2 indicates the ruler who would come from Bethlehem was one whose “goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.” (NASV)
Isaiah 43:10 and 44:6 make it clear that there was no God but Jehovah (“LORD” in NIV). Either the term Jehovah (from the original “Yahweh”) refers to the Godhead (Father, Son, and Spirit), or Jesus is not Deity. The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ claim that Jesus is a lesser god is unscriptural polytheism. A number of passages demonstrate that Jesus is in fact Jehovah. Some people mistakenly assume that Jehovah is a name applied only to the Father. In Jeremiah 23:5-6, however, the righteous Branch from David’s lineage is called specifically “the LORD (Jehovah) our righteousness.” Let’s look at that passage in its context:
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.”
Consider also the following parallels. Isaiah 45:18-23 states that unto Jehovah every knee would bow and every tongue swear because he was the only God. Philippians 2:11 shows that this event refers to Judgment when all confess and bow to Christ. A comparison of Joel 2:32 and Romans 10:9-13 shows that calling on the name of Jehovah is equated with confessing Christ and calling on him. Since John the Baptist was to prepare the way of Jehovah (Isaiah 40:3-5) and he did prepare the way for Jesus (Mark 1:1-7), Jesus must be Jehovah. Again, Jehovah is said to have created all things (Isaiah 42:5; 44:24), and the same is recorded of Christ (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16). Thus, Jesus must be Jehovah. Many other such comparisons demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is Jehovah. Compare Isaiah 45:5 with Titus 2:13; Revelation 1:8 with Revelation 22:13-16; and, Exodus 3:14 with John 8:58.
But also there are the claims of the NT. The New Testament contains numerous passages which directly affirm the deity of Christ. Jesus is called “God” in John 1:1; 20:28; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 1:1 and 1 John. 5:20. The Jews understood that Christ’s claim to be the Son of God meant that he was equal to God in his nature (John 5:18). They had no doubt that his claims about himself were claims to be God (John 10:33). Men may be sons of God by adoption, but Jesus was the unique Son by nature (John 3:16, Philippians 2:6).
It is of course true that certain New Testament passages relegate Jesus to a lesser position than that of the Father (see John 14:28), but this was due to Christ’s temporary fleshly existence. There was a voluntary departure from his pre-flesh glories (Philippians 2:5-8; John 17:5), but his ascension back to heaven changed this temporary humiliation (Ephesians 1:20-21). This lowered earthly role of Jesus concerned his position, not his person or nature. A person in a job setting may have a superior position over another person, but that says absolutely nothing about the one in submission being inferior in nature. The same situation exists in the case of Jesus and his heavenly Father.
A third and final observation about the Deity of Christ involves his reception of worship. Matthew 4:10 clearly teaches that only God is to be worshipped. Men could not be worshipped (Acts 10:25-26; 14:12-15), and neither could angels (Revelation 19:10; 22:8-9). However, Christ was worshipped by both men (Matthew 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; etc.) and angels (Hebrews 1:6). Therefore, the only possible conclusion is that Jesus is God. The very foundation of the church is the Deity of Christ (Matthew 16:16-18), and any teaching that would reject this marvelous truth must be firmly and convincingly resisted by the Book of books. Christ is indeed eternal, “the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13).
—Gordon Ferguson (April 2001)