3

My understanding of the new covenant is that it was made ONLY with the houses of Israel, not with gentiles:

[Jer 31:31 KJV] 31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

[Heb 8:8 KJV] 8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

It seems to me that they ascribe to the "anointed class" features of the "great army" of the new covenant Jews:

[Eze 37:10 KJV] 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them [IE: the regathered Israel in Jerusalem 33AD], and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

Do they believe that the new covenant is in force today among them (gentile JWs) in any way?

  • Jews and non Jews make up the Israel of God they began to be gathered at Pentecost 33ce and will number 144k when sealed. – Kris Dec 23 '18 at 15:57
  • Thanks. And is this based on the new covenant? – Ruminator Dec 23 '18 at 16:23
  • I’m going to give a sourced answer when I get some time but yes the new covenant is made with this group of Christians selected from all nations for the privilege of becoming heavenly co rulers with Jesus. – Kris Dec 23 '18 at 16:31
  • Yeah, that's a non-starter for me. Thanks. – Ruminator Dec 23 '18 at 16:38
  • 2
    wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102010153#h=2. One link to peruse – Kris Dec 23 '18 at 16:42
3

Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the New Covenant is open to Gentiles. However, they believe that only 144,000 persons since the time of Jesus can be sealed and anointed by Jehovah’s spirit, enter into the New Covenant and have Christ Jesus as their mediator. They believe that since 1919, when they were chosen as Jehovah’s earthly representatives, the “anointed remnant” of the 144,000 have replaced Israel as Jehovah’s chosen people. They see this small number of anointed Jehovah’s Witnesses as being “spiritual Israel.”

Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1 Great Crowd: On the other hand, the view that here Christians of Jewish stock are being distinguished from Gentile Christians runs counter to the apostle Paul’s inspired statement that fleshly distinctions are of no consideration in the Christian congregation, its members being all one in union with Christ Jesus. (Ro 10:12; Ga 3:28)... It thus seems clear that the 144,000 sealed ones are of spiritual Israel, not fleshly Israel—hence include both Jewish and Gentile Christians.—Galatians 6:16. Source: https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200001762

Prior to 1919 they acknowledge that the first Christians (mainly Jews) were members of the New Covenant, who belonged to the 144,000 who will rule, in heaven, alongside Christ Jesus. After the first century, apostasy set in and it wasn’t until the start of the 20th century that “true worship” was restored. That means most of the “anointed remnant” of the 144,000 who are in the New Covenant must now be Gentile Jehovah’s Witnesses. They alone can partake of the bread at wine at the annual memorial of Christ’s death. That’s because they alone have a heavenly hope and they alone are in the New Covenant. The other Jehovah’s Witnesses (8 million or so) are not in the New Covenant, they do not have Christ Jesus as their mediator, and they do not have a heavenly hope. They come under the category of “the other sheep”:

Watchtower 1998 2/1 pp. 18-23 The Other Sheep and the New Covenant: 3 For the 144,000, the blessing of the Abrahamic covenant is administered through the new covenant. As participants in this covenant, they come “under undeserved kindness” and “under law toward Christ.” (Romans 6:15; 1 Corinthians 9:21) Hence, only the 144,000 members of the Israel of God have properly partaken of the emblems during the Memorial of Jesus’ death, and only with them did Jesus make his covenant for a Kingdom. (Luke 22:19, 20, 29) Members of the great crowd are not participants in the new covenant. However, they associate with the Israel of God and live with them in their “land.” (Isaiah 66:8) So it is reasonable to say that they too come under Jehovah’s undeserved kindness and under the law toward Christ. While not participants in the new covenant, they are beneficiaries of it. Source: https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1998085?q=beneficiaries+new+covenant&p=par

Watchtower 2010 3/15 pp. 24-28 One Flock, One Shepherd: 13 Jesus referred to this new covenant on the night before his death when he said: “This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood, which is to be poured out in your behalf.” (Luke 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25) Are all Christians included in this new covenant? No. Some, like the apostles who drank of that cup that evening, are participants in the new covenant.* Jesus made another covenant with them to rule together with him in his Kingdom. (Luke 22:28-30) They will share with Jesus in his Kingdom.—Luke 22:15, 16. Source: https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2010202?q=beneficiaries+new+covenant&p=par

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the New Covenant is still in force today for Jews and for Gentiles who are part of ‘spiritual Israel’, not ‘fleshly Israel’. However, they say the new covenant is now only open to Jehovah’s Witnesses who are part of the “anointed remnant” of the 144,000.

  • Lesley, your last sentence could be clarified given that the JW 'anointed' class includes both Jews and Gentiles (albeit the vast majority have always been Gentiles.) This would mean that the technically correct answer to the asker's Q is that JWs believe the new covenant is for Jews AND Gentiles, up to a limit of 144,000 people. You have stated that in your answer, I know, but for clarity it would help if you repeated that as a firm, unambiguous conclusion. – Anne Dec 28 '18 at 17:05
  • Point taken, but there are no statistics on whether the anointed class are made up of any Jews. That they believe the New Covenant is open to Jews as well as Gentiles may be true, but I suspect that 99 % of all Jehovah's Witnesses are Gentiles. Impossible to get any meaningful statistics on the "anointed remnant" from the annual Year Book. – Lesley Dec 28 '18 at 17:12
  • 2
    That is true Lesley, but do not the JWs agree that there were thousands of Jewish Christians in the first century A.D., all of whom were in the 'anointed' 144,000 class? The NT itself states that even before Stephen was martyred, "The number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith" (Acts 6:7). All those priests were Jews. Also, the apostles were all Jews and all were in the new covenant too. The JW teaching of the 144,000 doctrine may have started in the 1930s but that 'class' began in the first century A.D. they say. – Anne Dec 28 '18 at 19:46
  • Galatians 3:28-29. – Kris Dec 28 '18 at 21:29
  • 1
    @Kris – See paragraph 2 in my answer where I quote from Insight on the Scriptures – Lesley Dec 31 '18 at 12:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.