SHORT CHRISTIAN READINGS SELECTED FOR FORMER JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
Reasoning with Jehovah's Witnesses: Israel
By Kevin Quick
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that:
a. [Israel and the Jewish people have not been "Jehovah's Witnesses" for nearly 2000 years.] Unfulfilled [Old Testament] prophecies [relating to] Israel/Jews [will soon] have fulfillment in "spiritual Israel," [or, today's "Jehovah's Witnesses".] (Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 225.)
b. Jehovah's [future earthly] Kingdom [will not] include the restoration of natural Israel. (Reasoning from the Scriptures, p. 224)
Scriptures commonly used by Jehovah's Witnesses:
Matt 23:38,39: "Behold, your house [Jerusalem, vs. 37] is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me UNTIL you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'"
Luke 13:34,35: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem ... How often I wanted to gather your children together...and you would not have it! Behold, your house is left to you, and I say to you, you shall not see Me UNTIL the time comes when you say, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!"
Q1. What does the Old Testament indicate as to the future restoration and blessing of the nation of Israel?
Gen 3:15: And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel. [cp. Gen 37:9,10, Rev 12:1,5]
[Gen 12:3: "... I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curse thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."]
Gen 13:14,15: And the Lord [Jehovah] said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, "Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever."
Gen 17:7,8: "And I [Jehovah] will establish My covenant between Me and you [Abram] and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."
2 Sam 7:16: "And your [David's] house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever."
Ps 2:6: "But as for Me, I have installed My king upon Zion, My holy mountain."
Is 2:1-4: The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Now it will come about that in the last days, the mountain of the house of the Lord [Jehovah] will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord [Jehovah], to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways, and that we may walk in His paths." For the law will go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord [Jehovah] from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.
Is 11:9,11,12: They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord [Jehovah] as the waters cover the sea...Then it will happen on that day that the Lord [Jehovah] will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people, who will remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And He will lift up a standard for the nations, and will assemble the banished ones of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. [cp. Matt 24:31, Rev 7:1-8]
Is 25:6-10: And the Lord [Jehovah] of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; a banquet of aged wine. And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations. He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord [Jehovah] God will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; for the the Lord [Jehovah] has spoken. And it will be said in that day, "Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the Lord [Jehovah] for whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation." For the hand of the Lord [Jehovah] will rest on this mountain.
Is 27:6: In the days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will blossom and sprout; and they will fill the whole world with fruit.
Is 33:20,24: Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts; your eyes shall see Jerusalem an undisturbed habitation, a tent which shall not be folded, its stakes shall never be pulled up nor any of its cords be torn apart. And no resident will say, "I am sick"; the people who dwell there will be forgiven [their] iniquity.
Is 35:5-10: Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness and streams in the Arabah. And the scorched land will become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, its resting place, grass [becomes] reeds and rushes. And a highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean will not travel on it, but it [will] be for him who walks [that] way, and fools will not wander on it. No lion will be there, nor will any vicious beast go up on it; these will not be found there. But the redeemed will walk [there]. And the ransomed of the Lord [Jehovah] will return, and come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Is 45:17: Israel has been saved by the Lord [Jehovah] with an everlasting salvation; you will not be put to shame or humiliated to all eternity.
Is 52:1: Awake, awake, clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; clothe yourself in your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city. For the uncircumcised and the unclean will no more come into you.
Is 65:17-21,24: "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem [for] rejoicing, and her people [for] gladness. I will also rejoice in Jerusalem, and be glad in My people; and there will no longer be heard in her the voice of weeping and the sound of crying. No longer will there be [in it] an infant [who lives but a few] days, or an old man who does not live out his days; for the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred shall be [thought] accursed. And they shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall also plant vineyards and eat their fruit ... The wolf and the lamb shall graze together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall do no evil or harm in all My holy mountain," says the Lord [Jehovah].
Is 66:20,22: "Then they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as a grain offering to the Lord [Jehovah], on horses, in chariots, in litters, on mules, and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem," says the Lord [Jehovah], "just as the sons of Israel bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord [Jehovah] ... For just as the new heavens and the new earth which I make will endure before Me," declares the Lord [Jehovah], "so your offspring and your name will endure."
Jer 3:17,18: At that time they shall call Jerusalem "The Throne of the Lord [Jehovah]," and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name of the Lord [Jehovah]; nor shall they walk anymore after the stubbornness of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers as an inheritance.
Jer 23:3-8: "Then I Myself shall gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and shall bring them back to their pasture; and they will be fruitful and multiply. I shall also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the Lord [Jehovah]. "Behold, [the] days are coming," declares the Lord [Jehovah], "When I shall raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, 'The Lord [Jehovah] our righteousness.' Therefore behold, [the] days are coming," declares the Lord [Jehovah], "when they will no longer say, 'As the Lord [Jehovah] lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt,' but 'As the Lord [Jehovah] lives, who brought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from [the] north land and from all the countries where I had driven them.' Then they will live on their own soil."
Jer 33:14-16: "Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord [Jehovah], "when I will fulfill the good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth. In those days Judah shall be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell in safety; and this is [the name] by which she shall be called: the Lord [Jehovah] is our righteousness."
Ez 16:60: "Nevertheless, I [Jehovah] will remember My covenant with you [Israel] in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you."
Ez 21:25-27:"And you, O slain, wicked one, the prince of Israel, whose day has come, in the time of the punishment of the end," thus says the Lord [Jehovah] God, "Remove the turban, and take off the crown; this will be no more the same. Exalt that which is low, and abase that which is high. A ruin, a ruin, a ruin, I shall make it. This also will be no more, until He comes whose right it is; and I shall give it to [Him]."
Ez 37:25: And they shall live on the land that I gave to Jacob My servant, in which your fathers lived; and they will live on it, they, and their sons, and their sons' sons, forever; and David My servant shall be their prince forever.
Hos 3:5: Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the Lord [Jehovah] their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness in the last days.
Joel 2:32: And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord [Jehovah] will be delivered; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.
Joel 3:20: "But Judah will be inhabited forever, and Jerusalem for all generations.
Amos 9:14,15: "Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, and they will rebuild the ruined cities and live [in them], they will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, and make gardens and eat their fruit. I will also plant them on their land, and they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them," says the Lord [Jehovah] your God.
Ob 15,17: For the day of the Lord [Jehovah] draws near on all the nations ... on Mount Zion there will be those who escape, and it will be holy. And the house of Jacob will possess their possessions.
Mic 4:1-4,7:"And it will come about in the last days that the mountain of the house of the Lord [Jehovah] will be established as the chief of the mountains. It will be raised above the hills, and the peoples will stream to it. And many nations will come and say, "Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord and to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us about His ways and that we may walk in His paths." For from Zion will go forth the law, even the word of the Lord [Jehovah] from Jerusalem. And He will judge between many peoples and render decisions for mighty, distant nations. Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they train for war. And each of them will sit under his vine and under his fig tree, with no one to make [them] afraid, for the mouth of the Lord [Jehovah] of hosts has spoken ... I will make the lame a remnant, and the outcasts a strong nation, and the Lord [Jehovah] will reign over them in Mount Zion from now on and forever."
Zeph 3:8,9,14-17: "My decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out on them My indignation, all My burning anger; for all the earth will be devoured by the fire of My zeal. For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord [Jehovah], to serve Him shoulder to shoulder ... Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion! Shout [in triumph], O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all [your] heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord [Jehovah] has taken away [His] judgments against you, He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, the Lord [Jehovah], is in your midst; you will fear disaster no more. In that day it will be said to Jerusalem: 'Do not be afraid, O Zion; do not let your hands fall limp. The Lord [Jehovah] your God is in your midst'"
Hag 2:6-7,9: For thus says the Lord [Jehovah] of hosts, "Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. And I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations; and I will fill this house with glory," says the Lord [Jehovah] of hosts ... "The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former," says the Lord [Jehovah] of hosts, "and in this place I shall give peace," declares the Lord [Jehovah] of hosts.
Zech 2:10-12: "Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst," declares the Lord [Jehovah]. "And many nations will join themselves to the Lord [Jehovah] in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that the Lord [Jehovah] of hosts has sent Me to you. And the Lord [Jehovah] will possess Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem."
Zech 8:20-23: Thus says the Lord [Jehovah] of hosts, "[It will] yet [be] that peoples will come, even the inhabitants of many cities. And the inhabitants of one will go to another saying, 'Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the Lord [Jehovah], and to seek the Lord [Jehovah] of hosts; I will also go.' So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the Lord [Jehovah] of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord [Jehovah]." Thus says the Lord [Jehovah] of hosts, "In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."
Zech 12:9,10: "And it will come about in that day that I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born."
Zech 14:3-4,16,17: Then the Lord [Jehovah] will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east...Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord [Jehovah] of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord [Jehovah] of hosts, there will be no rain on them.
Zech 14:4: His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives ...
Acts 1:9,11,12: And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight ... "This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven." Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet ...
Q2. What does the New Testament indicate as to the future restoration and blessing of the nation Israel?
Matt 5:35: "or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King" ...
Matt 10:23: "you shall not finish going through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man comes."
Matt 19:28: "you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
Matt 23:38,39: "Behold, your house [Jerusalem, vs. 37] is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me UNTIL you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'"
Luke 1:32,33: "And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end."
Luke 13:34,35: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem...How often I wanted to gather your children together...and you would not have it! Behold, your house is left to you, and I say to you, you shall not see Me UNTIL the time comes when you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'"
Luke 21:24: "Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles UNTIL the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."
Acts 1:6,7: "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them: "It is not for you to know the TIMES or DATES the Father has set by his own authority ..."
Acts 3:19-21: "Repent therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive until [the] period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time."
Rom 11:25-29: For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in; and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins." From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Rev 7:4: ... 144,000 sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel ...
Rev 12:1,5: And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the SUN, and the MOON under her feet, and on her head a crown of TWELVE STARS ... And she gave birth to a son, a male [child], who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron ...
Gen 37:9,10: Now he [Joseph] had another dream, and related it to his brothers, and said, "Lo, I have had still another dream; and behold, the SUN and the MOON and ELEVEN STARS were bowing down to me." And he related it to his father [Israel] and to his brothers [the 11 other tribes]; and his father rebuked him and said to him, "What is this dream that you have had? Shall I and YOUR MOTHER and YOUR BROTHERS actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?"
Rev 14:1: ... standing on Mt. Zion ...144,000 ...
Rev 20:9: And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. [cp. Is 52:1]
a. Unfulfilled prophecies given to natural Israel [millenia ago] will have fulfillment in natural Israel [in the near future].
b. The restoration and blessing of natural Israel is a critical element in the outworking of Jehovah's Kingdom ...