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In a statement urging Israel to abandon idolatry and return to the Lord (Jehovah) Samuel says:

And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines. - 1 Samuel 7:3

This theme of serving God only as illustrated by forgoing the service of idols or false prophets and returning to the service of Jehovah God is oft repeated in Scripture:

Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. - Deuteronomy 13:3-4

Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. - Joshua 24:14-15

 

This theme is picked up by Jesus in responding to the temptations of Satan in the desert and recorded almost identically in both Matthew and Luke:

And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. - Matthew 4:9-10

If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. - Luke 4:7-8

It is interesting to note how, in responding to the temptation to worship Satan, Jesus links worship and service of God together. To worship an idol is to serve that idol and to serve a false God is to worship that God. Jesus categorically declares (and also echoes all of God's revelation to us) that only God, Jehovah God, the Lord Almighty should be worshiped and served.

Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. - Colossians 3:22-24

And in another place, regardless of what is meant by the strange Chaldean word mammon, Jesus says that two different masters (one God and one non-God) cannot both be served:

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. - Matthew 6:24

My question, therefore is, given Jesus exhortation to serve the Lord thy God only and the apostle Paul's reminder that it is the Lord Christ whom Christians serve: Whom do Jehovah's Witnesses serve?

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    I serve my boss who works for a company owned by a wealthy Powerful businessman. My checks come from the company. Am I serving 2 bosses? Ultimately I am working for the company but I follow my bosses directions. My boss does what the big guy wants done.
    – Kris
    Jan 27, 2023 at 1:54
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    @User14 Jesus says that only God should be served, putting God at the top of the hierarchy. According to Colossians you should be serving kurios christos in all that you do for all your earthly masters with no mention that kurios christos is merely part of the heirarchy. Why did Paul stop there and not say it is the Lord God that you serve? Jan 27, 2023 at 13:43
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    When Gods chosen people served King David were they guilty of serving 2 masters?
    – Kris
    Jan 27, 2023 at 19:36
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    @user14 In a sense yes because Israel was rejecting God as King when they demanded to have a human king over them (1 Samuel 8:7). That David was the Lord's anointed was a condescension until God as King would be enthroned again in the people's hearts. If Jesus is still just another proxy then the rebellion of 1 Samuel 8:7 has not been rectified. Jan 28, 2023 at 13:41
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    Closely related christianity.stackexchange.com/a/94305/23657. Of course JWs and Unitarians differ on Jesus pre existence but the answer to this question is very good.
    – Kris
    Jan 31, 2023 at 13:50

2 Answers 2

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Jehovah’s Witnesses worship only Jehovah God. They neither worship nor pray to Jesus. Here is an extract from their official web site that may help to shed light on the subject:

Jehovah's Witnesses honor Jehovah, the God of the Bible and the Creator of all things.

We worship the one true and Almighty God, the Creator, whose name is Jehovah.

We follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ and honor him as our Savior and as the Son of God. Thus, we are Christians. However, we have learned from the Bible that Jesus is not Almighty God and that there is no Scriptural basis for the Trinity doctrine. Jesus is the King of God’s Kingdom in heaven. He began ruling in 1914.

We do not venerate the cross or any other images. Key aspects of our worship include praying to God.

The Governing Body, a small group of mature Christians who serve at our world headquarters, provides direction for Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide. https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/jehovah-witness-beliefs/

From this it is clear that they honor and worship Jehovah God (the creator of all things) and they honor Jesus as their Savior and as the Son of God. However, they have only one principal Savior, Jehovah God. Jesus Christ is exalted as the “Chief Agent and Savior (Acts 5:31) because it is THROUGH Jesus that salvation is accomplished. Source: https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1960161#h=14

They pray only to Jehovah God (in the name of Jesus). Their Governing Body serve and provide direction, which is somewhat ambiguous.

Since they reject the Trinity doctrine, and say Jehovah God created the mighty spirit creature that came from heaven to earth to be born of a woman, then they designate Christ Jesus as “a god”, whereas Jehovah is the one, the only, Almighty God. That is the main reason they only give obeisance or honor, to Jesus, and not worship.

An old Watchtower article (1 January 1956) had this to say on who they serve:

Men and women who want to live, not die, must give to Jehovah exclusive devotion. Each of such must willingly choose to dedicate his life to Jehovah’s service and follow his commandments... the person who comes to Jehovah and dedicates himself through Christ Jesus to Jehovah’s service makes himself God’s slave.... One who has dedicated himself to Jehovah’s service... is willing to be a slave to time indefinite. As to members of the New World society, this means for eternity. https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1956004#h=25

They take Jesus’ exhortation to “serve the Lord thy God only” as literal. As for Colossians 3:24, their New World Translation says “SLAVE for the Master, Christ.” Their translation does not say “it is the Lord Christ you are serving”. Perhaps a Jehovah’s Witness would be kind enough to explain this.

Therefore Jehovah’s Witnesses dedicate themselves to Jehovah’s service, which is another way of saying they serve Jehovah. They do this by dedicating their lives to his service through his earthly organization.

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  • Perhaps more distinction could be made between worship(proskuneo) and service (lateria) your answer is heavy on why JWs worship only Jehovah but light on how they can serve both Christ and Jehovah simultaneously
    – Kris
    Jan 29, 2023 at 18:06
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    That subject belongs in Biblical Hermeneutics. Me, I'm still struggling with English. What's needed here is for a Jehovah's Witness to tackle the issue. Care to have a go?
    – Lesley
    Jan 29, 2023 at 18:32
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Jehovah’s Witnesses serve Jehovah as the only God. He alone is the eternally existing uncreated Universal Sovereign.

They also recognize that Jehovah’s plan of salvation for sinful mankind is accomplished by means of Jesus. Thus they direct proper honor and service to this one without worrying about idolatry since serving the son of Jehovah, who is in subjection to his father, is in fact serving Jehovah.

Just as a soldier serves his commanding officer while simultaneously serving the president or king of his country is not conflicted,so too since there is no rivalry between Jesus and Jehovah, no charge of divided loyalty can be leveled.

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  • +1 for a direct statement that "JWs serve Jehovah as the only God." From this it can be understood that they do not categorize Jesus Christ as deity. However, taking your further points to a logical conclusion, does this mean that if you believe Jesus is in command over his church (which is said to be found only amongst JWs) and the leaders of the JWs are the Governing Body, do JWs also serve the Governing Body equally as they claim to serve Jesus? I'm not wanting to debate, just thinking what else 'service' might entail for JWs.
    – Anne
    Jan 30, 2023 at 13:53
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    Nope all anointed are just fellow workers all imperfect all aware of that fact.
    – Kris
    Jan 30, 2023 at 14:34
  • @Mr.Bond Comments are not for posting potential arguments, but making suggestions how to improve answers. You ask for Jehovah witness point of view so that suffices here.
    – Ken Graham
    Jan 31, 2023 at 16:27

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