May you have peace!
<i>"1) Jn 1:3 says that Jesus created "all things", but in Isa 44:24, God says that he "by himself" created the heavens and the earth and asks the question "Who was with me?" when the heavens and the earth were created. How can this be since if Jesus was created by God, then he would have been with God when everything else was created?</i>
You might try reading John 1:3 again, perhaps even in the Greek. My Lord created nothing; my Father created ALL things and did so THROUGH my Lord, and by MEANS of my Lord. What do I mean? My Lord was the 'conduit' by which all 'life' came into existence... for he IS 'the Life'. <B>John 14:6</B> All life was created through the life that was in him.
Satan, however, was not a product of life, but a product of Death... of Darkness (Life = Light; John 14:6; John 8:12). And if you review <B>Genesis 1:2-5 and 14-16</B>, you will see that the Light and Darkness, or Day and Night, that is spoken of here, is NOT that which is caused by the sun and moon. For the latter 'luminaries' were not created... until the FOURTH creative day. The Light... was Christ (John 8:12); however, notice, the Darkness was already there.
<i>"2) The Watchtower Society teaches that the 144,000 of Rev 7:4 is to be taken literally. If chapter 7 of Revelation is to be taken literally, where then does the bible say the 144,000 will come from?"</i>
Verse 4 of Revelation 7 says that the 144,000 are taken from 'among the sons of ISRAEL', 12,000 out of each tribe. This 'Israel' is the fleshly seed of Abraham who accepted the Christ as messiah (God's chosen one). This is a literal number, taken from among a literal people in fulfillment of God's (who CANNOT lie) PROMISE to Abraham, that by means of his (Abraham's seed), all nations of the earth would bless themselves.
Where the Watchtower errs is separating this group from the 'great crowd', the latter taken from people of EVERY nation, tribe and tongue, including those not counted in the first 144,000 of Abraham's seed. This was the 'sacred secret' that resulted in Paul having to be an 'apostle... to the NATIONS'. The 12 were apostles to ISRAEL... but because God was making a new people not out of Israel only (which would have been the case had they remained faithful), but out of every man, Jew OR Greek that was 'acceptable' Him. The 'partiality' that was created by the Law Covenant... was 'done away with'... by means of Christ, who mediated a NEW Covenant into which ANYONE who wished it could enter.
THAT is why the great crowd is ALSO 'before the throne', ALSO 'rendering sacred service', ALSO 'in the temple', why God is ALSO 'among them'... and why they are ALSO a part of the 'nation of kings and priests.' <B>Revelation 7:9, 15; 5:9, 10</B>
The WTBTS keeps these ones separated, however, in fulfillment of Matthew 23:13: such ones 'shut up the kingdom of the heavens' before these ones. How? BY TELLING THEM NOT TO EAT AND DRINK THE FLESH AND BLOOD OF CHRIST... which is how such one comes INTO the New Covenant... in DIRECT OPPOSITION to Christ's words at <B>John 14:23; 15:4-7; 6:56, 6:48, 51 and 53</B>.
Indeed, just as there was to be ONE law between Israel and the alien resident, and as ALL who went out of Egypt celebrated the Passover, ate the manna and drank from the rock-mass that is the Christ... Israel AND the 'vast mixed company' that went with them... so, too, both the 'holy ones', those of Abraham's seed... AND the great crowd... are the eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ. <B>1 Corinthians 10:1-5; Ephesians 4:4; 2:19-21; Exodus 12:48, 49; John 6:53</B>
<i>"3) The WTS teaches that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will not reside with Christ in his heavenly kingdom. How then do you explain Mt 8:11 in which Jesus says,"But I tell you that many from eastern parts and western parts will come and recline at the table with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of the heavens?"</i>
Again, the WTBTS is in error. Proof? <B>Hebrews 11:10, 16</B>
<i>"4)If Jesus was executed on a torture stake, with both hands together over his head, why does Jn 20:25 say "...Unless I see in his hands the print of the nailS...", indicating that there was more than one nail used for his hands?</i>
Again, WTBTS propaganda, to support their assertion that my Lord was hung on a stake and not a cross. In all truth, it was neither, but it was more a cross that a lone pole. In actuality, it was a "T", with just enough stake appearing above the board or limb attached across the top to allow for the nailing of Pilate's declaration above my Lord's head.
<i>"5) Jesus uses the phrase "Truly I say to you,..." over 50 times in the bible. IN the NWT, the comma is placed after the word "you" every time except in Lk 23:43, where the comma is placed after the word "today". Why is the comma placed after "today" instead of after you "you" in this verse? If the translation of this phrase in Lk 23:43 was consistent with the translation of this phrase in all the other verses in which it appears, and the comma was placed after "you", how would it read?"</i>
Another WTBTS error. For what purpose? To support their erroneous teachings of a paradise... earth. Indeed, paradise will again be ON earth, just as it was when Eden was visible. However, Jesus said, "My kingdom is NO PART of this world." What did he mean by that? That his kingdom did not have its origins to do with anything physical. His kingdom, New Jerusalem, is one 'out of the heavens', that will 'come down out of heaven' to the earth... and, like Eden was SUPPOSED to be, be spread to encompass the earth. That spreading, however, will do away with every <i>physical</i>, and replace it with that which is <i>spiritual</i>. Adam saw it; so did Moses, Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Stephen and the Apostle John. Abel, although not 'beholding it', put faith in it, as did Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Samsom, Sarah, Jepthah and others.
Those loyal to the WTBTS, however, and who, by default, 'put [their] trust in earthling man', are those who 'have their minds upon the things on the earth'. And it is they who are condemned by doing so, for it was Daniel who said that the 'constant feature' (the 'daily sacrifice', which today, is the DAILY eating of the <i>spiritual</i> 'bread from heaven' or 'manna'... the Christ), would be 'removed'... and 'truth'... would be thrown to the earth'. The WTBTS has both removed the daily sacrifice by convincing people NOT to eat and drink the flesh and blood of my Lord, but have also thrown him (my Lord, the 'Truth')... and his kingdom... down to the earth, where their 'hope' rests. They have, indeed, rested their hope upon that which is earthly, and stored up treasures... 'on the earth'. But, it is not too late; they can STILL 'turn around and repent, that seasons of refreshment might come upon them.' <B>Matthew 11:28</B>
<i>"6) If Christ will not have a visible return to earth, then how will he be seen by "ALL the tribes of the earth" (MT 24:30) and by "EVERY eye" (Rev 1:7) when he returns?"</i>
Another WTBTS error. He will indeed be visible to every eye. This is just another way they have to support their erroneous teachings. If they can convince you that Jesus' return was/would be invisible, they can convince you that he has already returned... right? And <i>then</i> they can then convince you that THEY are 'the faithful and discreet slaves', for it is upon his return that the Master appoints such one... yes? So, if he returned invisibly, then he could have made such appointment invisibly. That's how they get away with calling theirselves that 'slave', for only THEY 'saw' it. Yeah... right. (HEAVY SIGH!)
My Lord has NOT returned, for when he does, his holy ones will be gathered from the four extremities of the earth... and heaven... and taken back home with HIM, so that where HE is... they [we] shall also be. Or he would not have TOLD us. <B>John 14:2, 3</B>
<i>"7) If the spirit of a man has no existence apart from the body, why does Stephen just before his death in Acts 7:59, pray to Jesus to "receive my spirit?" How could Jesus receive Stephen's spirit if a man's spirit ceases to exist when the body dies?"</i>
Try here: "<B> http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/forum/post.asp?id=48769&method=edit&site=3;
<i>"8) In Rev. 19:1, where does it say the "great crowd" will be?"</i>
See response to 2), above.
<i>"9) In the sermon on the mount, when Jesus was addressing the "great crowd" (lk 6:17), why did he tell them in Lk 6:22-23, "...your reward is great in heaven..."</i>
See responses to 2), 3) and 5), above.
I hope this serves to help you find what you are looking for. But, in truth, I don't think you are seeking a 'what', so much as a 'whom'. <B>John 5:39, 40; 14:6; 7:37, 38; 10:1-8, 27; Matthew 11:28</B> For it is my Lord who said, "COME TO ME!" and it was of my Lord that my Father said, "This is my Son... listen... to HIM!"
I bid you peace.
Servant to the Household of God, Israel, and a slave of Christ,