I was doing research on another topic and this question came to mind. Notice how the WTS dances around the question below and then my comments about that and whether historically did the WTS see Isaiah as applying to all jws or only anointed members, spiritual Israel (Galatians 6:16)?
ARE CHRISTIANS TO BE WITNESSES OF JESUS OR JEHOVAH?
‘Christians are supposed to be witnesses for Jesus, not for Jehovah’
You might reply: ‘That’s an interesting point you have brought up. And you are right that we do have a responsibility to be witnesses for Jesus. That’s why Jesus’ role in God’s purpose is emphasized in our publications. (You may want to use a current book or a magazine to demonstrate this.) But here is something that may be a new thought to you. (Rev. 1:5) . . . Of whom was Jesus “the Faithful Witness”? (John 5:43; 17:6) . . . Jesus set the example that we should imitate, did he not? . . . Why is it so important to get to know both Jesus and his Father? (John 17:3)’
Notice, that at Rev. 1:5 the complete quote is
There is no mention of Jehovah here or being witnesses of Jehovah at John 5:43 and 17:6, but the following quotes from the scriptures say:
Acts 1:8 from the mouth of Jesus himself:
1st Corinthians 1:6
just as the witness about the Christ+ has been made firm among you,
So the dragon became enraged at the woman and went off to wage war with the remaining ones of her offspring,*+ who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness concerning Jesus.+
And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the holy ones and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.+
Only anointed JWs are a nation of witnesses for Jehovah
*** jv chap. 7 p. 83 Advertise the King and the Kingdom! (1919-1941) ***
At that time the Jonadabs were not considered to be "Jehovah's witnesses." (See The Watchtower, August 15, 1934, page 249.) However, a few years later, The Watchtower of July 1, 1942, stated: "These 'other sheep' [Jonadabs] become witnesses for Him, on the same wise that the faithful men before Christ's death, from John the Baptist all the way back to Abel, were the never-quitting witnesses for Jehovah."
The following spring, several issues of The Watchtower, beginning with the April 1, 1935, issue, carried this announcement: "Again The Watchtower reminds its readers that a convention of Jehovah's witnesses and Jonadabs will be held at Washington, D.C., beginning May 30 and ending June 3, 1935." The Jonadabs eagerly awaited the convention.
*** w81 2/1 pp. 21-22 par. 6 The Time for a Watchman like
Ezekiel’s people were the ones to whom Jehovah had earlier said by his prophet Isaiah: “‘You are my witnesses,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘even my servant whom I have chosen.’” (Isa. 43:10-12) So Ezekiel pictured the organized body of Jehovah’s spirit-anointed witnesses at the present time, the spiritual Israelites.
*** w58 11/15 p. 698 par. 17 Reading the Meaning of the Signs and Wonders ***To the anointed remnant of spiritual Israelites Isaiah 43:10 says: “‘You are my witnesses,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘even my servant whom I have chosen.’” This servant class has to be seen; it has to let itself be heard in order to be witnesses of Jehovah. And in order to join with the anointed servant class in the world-wide witness work, the great flock of dedicated sheeplike persons has to be seen in union with them and let themselves be heard in unison with them.
Isaiah 43:10-12 = literal Israelites are called Jehovah’s witnesses
If only the 144,000 are “spiritual Israelites” only they can truly be called “Jehovah’s witnesses.” Notice how the WTS separates another group from the group of jws.
*** w50 3/1 p.70 par.12***
Jehovah’s witnesses and their companions testify to the people concerning the Kingdom and its blessings. They call upon the people to join in praising God
*** w53 4/1p.214par.21***
Only Jehovah’s witnesses and their associates are bearing the fruits of the Kingdom by public proclamation. (Heb. 13:15) They alone are heralding forth the good news that God’s kingdom under Christ is man’s only hope.
*** w56 2/1 p.96***
To be sure, all of Jehovah’s witnesses and their good-will companions will be active this month presenting from house to house
*** w68 3/15 p.174 par.24***
And today the anointed remnant of Jehovah’s witnesses and their companions, who serve under the Greater-than-Hezekiah, Christ, find strength and comfort in times of stress in zealous service to God and association together as his temple worshipers.
Reading Galatians 6:16, who is the spiritual Israel of God, the anointed Christians, per Paul:
As for all those who walk orderly by this rule of conduct, peace and mercy be upon them, yes, upon the Israel of God.+
So only the anointed Christians are spiritual Israelites, not the other sheep.
Thus, only anointed Christians are the witnesses of Jehovah spoken about in Isaiah 43:10-12
For information as to how the WTS after 50 years of existence took on the name of Jehovah’s witnesses see: