Q728:3 QUESTION (1910-Z)—3—Please explain this text "And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which [Page Q729] is abolished; but their minds were blinded, for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament, which vail is done away in Christ."—2 Cor. 3:13,14.
ANSWER—It was the intention that the Law Covenant should not be perpetual, because of the imperfections connected therewith. It has not yet been abolished, however, in the sense of being totally set aside. It is still operating and is still a condemnation upon those who are under it. But " to those who are in Christ Jesus," there is now no further condemnation; it is abolished so far as they are concerned.
The thought, then, would be that the Apostle is here speaking of the Law Covenant being abolished in the sense that it is condemned or that its passing away is arranged for. "Christ has become the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth," not to every one who has given merely an intellectual assent, but to all who believe in the Scriptural sense—to all those who become his followers, all those who so thoroughly believe his message as to accept the wonderful provisions he has offered; for it; may properly be said that no one is fully a believer who does not accept God's offer of glory, honor and immortality—a proposition so wonderful that any one whose faith truly grasps it would sacrifice every other thing imaginable that he might avail himself of its offer.
If, therefore, some obey partially, the inference is that they believe only partially; but if they believe fully, then all the arrangements are made for them whereby they may make their "calling and election sure"; hence the frequent statements that "all things" are for believers—those who believe in the proper, full, thorough sense. So "Christ is the end of the Law," to all these, and the arrangement is that all the world shall yet have the opportunity of coming to a full knowledge and full belief, during the Millennial Age. The whole Jewish nation will be granted an opportunity of transfer from the Law Covenant, under Moses to the New Law Covenant, under the glorified Christ, in his Mediatorial Kingdom.
Q729:1 QUESTION (1915)—1—What does Hab. 2:3 mean? "For the vision is yet for an appointed time but at the end it shall speak and not lie. Though it tarry, wait for it: for it will surely come; it will not tarry."
ANSWER—This is explained on the first page of every issue of The Watch Tower. God has provided in His Word a great vision, a great revelation. It is a picture, so to speak. He has given this picture of His plan more or less clearly through the prophets and through the Law. The jubilees prefigured restitution to all the world. Other features of the Law, such as the Atonement Day sacrifices, etc., pictured other features of God's plan. The passover represented still other parts. These pictures were all harmonized into one great picture, or view—God's great plan to bless the world. "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed," God declared to Abraham. All this went to make up the great vision, or picture, that God purposed to give His people.
In proportion as we come to have the mind of God, we can understand more and more clearly what these things mean. The most important part of the picture was that Messiah would come, and that He would set up His kingdom. All of these promises would be parts of that great view, or vision. Its fulfillment would seem to tarry long. Does it seem as though God had forgotten that promise to Abraham? the prophet seems to query. It has sometime seemed as though God had forgotten it. "But," declares the prophet, "it will surely come; it will not tarry." It does not really tarry. There might be various times when we would expect to see more than we do see. We may have expected to see more of the trouble upon the world before this. The year 1915 is now more than half gone, and I think it very doubtful whether we shall see all we had expected in this year. It looks as though we were trying to hasten the fulfillment of the vision.
But the vision is still for an appointed time; and we are not to give it up. We trust ourselves to God's arrangement. It was not the Lord's way to have everything go off in October, 1914. I do not know how much may yet happen between now and October, 1915. If I were to give a guess, I would not be able to see how our expectations could all be realized between now and October, 1915. I hope they will. I shall wait longer than October, if necessary. The vision is sure. All these blessed things are positively certain to come; it is simply a matter of His time and of our understanding of His time. When you and I have fully grasped the main feature of all this matter, we are surely close to it. It was a very close hit that this great time of trouble began near October, 1914; and it is going on now at high speed. None of the prayers that it may stop are being answered. If the time of the world war had been merely a guess, it would certainly have been a great hit. It would have been a miracle. We have come very close to it, if not exactly.
ANSWER—I do not know whether you have or not. I believe that it will be published in time to do some good this side of the vail to the Little Flock, for I understand it will be specially for the Little Flock and not for any others except the Little Flock and the Great Company. It is not for the world.
Q849:2 QUESTION—The Lord Jesus taught the Christians to pray, "Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done on earth." Does that mean that all Christian people should join together and vote for the election of only Christian men to office in order that God's will might be done on the earth?
ANSWER—The true footstep followers of the Lord Jesus are called to a "heavenly calling" (Heb. 3:1), to the "high calling of God" (Phil. 3:13.) They are running for the office of joint heirship with Christ Jesus in His Kingdom. The Apostle Paul was one of these runners. He realized that a man cannot well run for two offices at the same time. He said, "Do not be conformed to this world." (Rom. 12:2.) That is to say, do not become entangled with the things of this world. Again he said, "This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:13,14); and in harmony with this Jesus said, "Ye are not of this world"; and again, "My kingdom is not of this world," meaning this present evil order of things; therefore we come to the conclusion that the chief duty of the Christian is to avoid entangling alliance with worldly systems, and to devote himself to preparing for the kingdom of our Lord when He comes. All good citizens should desire righteous men in office, but a righteous government cannot be established by imperfect men, hence the hope of the Christian is in the Bible teaching that Christ Jesus, the great Messiah, will, in God's due time, set up His kingdom, and establish righteousness in the earth.