Sometimes the WT presents prophecies with an explanation that seems to allow for non-anointed Christians, or what the WT would call ‘friends or companions of anointed Christians.’ Two of these prophecies are:
Zech 8:23, where it mentions 10 gentiles grabbing hold of the skirt of a Jew. (see w09 2/15 p. 27, pars. 13-17)
Isa 45:14, which speaks of the unpaid laborers of Egypt serving as slaves to the Jews. (see w08 1/15 p. 26 pars. 6, 7)
The WT usually mentions these two prophecies in connection with the "great crowd" of Revelation 7 and the need for said "great crowd" to always follow and be subservient to the "anointed" (in practical terms, the GB) .
But what the WT never mentions (at least I have never found a WT publication reference to) is that Paul alluded to a fulfillment of these two prophecies in the 1st century.
In the NWT (both old and new) at 1 Cor 14:25, at the very end of the verse, where it says, "God is really among YOU," the reference column cites Zechariah 8:23 and Isaiah 45:14. The NWT is not being original in citing these two prophecies in connection with 1 Cor 14:23-25. (Even the venerable KJV reference column has these two verses cited at the end of 1Co 14:25.)
In the context of 1Co 14:20-25, the "10 gentiles" and the "unpaid laborers" of Zech 8:23 & Isa 45:14 are, what Paul referred to as, the “ordinary people or unbelievers” (NWT, see other renderings here) who show an interest in Christianity. But once these "ordinary people or unbelievers" become Christian, then, they themselves become part of the Jew(s)/Israel to which subsequent unbelievers seek to associate with.
If these non-Jews in the prophecies of Zech 8:23 & Isa 45:14 were "non-anointed Christians" (i.e the great crowd, as WT understands it), then, there shouldn't be any 1st century application. Nor would it make sense to describe a fellow Christian as an 'ordinary person or unbeliever.' This fact explains why the WT never mentions any such 1st century application.
Concerning 1 Cor 14:25, the Commentary on the NT Use of the OT (G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, p.742), says, in part:
Part of the solution may be found in the relationship between Paul's quotation of Isa 28:11-12 in 1Co 14:21 and his allusion to Isa 45:14 and Zech 8:23 in 1Co 14:25. While 1Co 14:22 mentions both believers and unbelievers, the illustrations in 1Co 14:23-25 focus exclusively on unbelievers and the way they respond to an encounter with a community that is speaking in tongues or one that is prophesying. . . His [Paul's] allusion to Isa 45:14, on the other hand, relates to a later phase in God's relationship with his people, one when even Gentiles would come to recognize the presence of God in the midst of his people and would worship him for who he really is. . .
. . . In Paul's scenario "it is the church - itself a predominately Gentile community - through which God will accomplish the eschatological conversion of outsiders," and the Corinthian believers have "stepped into the role originally assigned to Israel in Isaiah's eschatological drama." Hence the church is the fulfillment of Isaiah's [chap.45] prophecy about Israel.
The NET Bible, in a footnote (# 10) at Zech 8:23 says similarly:
sn This scene of universal and overwhelming attraction of the nations to Israel’s God finds initial fulfillment in the establishment of the church (Acts 2:5-11) but ultimate completion in the messianic age (Isa 45:14, 24; 60:14; Zech 14:16-21).
[Scripture references in the above quote were reworked so as to be compatible with the RefTagger app. - Bobcat]
Comments, criticism, or further elucidation are most welcome.
For further reference:
1. For cross reference purposes, this thread has a similar discussion of this topic. This article on the BP site also discusses this topic, although, from a little bit different perspective.
2. See post # 3 below (here) for comments on the phrase, "ordinary people or unbelievers."
3. Zech 8:23 says that this situation would take place in "the those days." Regarding what time period NT writers understood "the last days" to be, see this post.
4. See this thread for a discussion of the Great Crowd in relation to the Abrahamic and New Covenants.