Tuesday, August 11
I will walk in your truth. —Ps. 86:11.
How can we strengthen our determination to go on walking in the truth? One way is to have as full a share as possible in teaching Bible truth to others. In this way you will keep a firm grip on our spiritual sword, which is “God’s word.” (Eph. 6:17) All of us can strive to improve our skills as teachers, “handling the word of the truth aright.” (2 Tim. 2:15) As we use the Bible to help others to buy truth and reject falsehoods, we embed God’s sayings in our own mind and heart. In this way, we strengthen our determination to go on walking in the truth. The truth is a precious gift from Jehovah. By means of this gift, we have our most prized possession, our intimate relationship with our heavenly Father. What he has taught us until now is only the beginning! God has promised us an eternity to add to the truth we have already bought. Therefore, cherish the truth like a fine pearl. Continue to “buy truth and never sell it.” —Prov. 23:23. w18.11 8 ¶2; 12 ¶15-17
What the Watchtower says is true: “What he has taught us until now is only the beginning!”
Writing to the Galatians the apostle Paul explained that the Law was a guardian that led to Christ. That meant that the truth changed. Not that the Law was no longer true, but as Paul went on to say, God made the former covenant obsolete. The Jewish adherents to that covenant had to make a change in order to continue to walk in the truth. They had to accept the one who said of himself: “I am the way and the truth and the life.” They had to accept Jesus. Most did not.
The first coming of Christ set a pattern for the second coming. For example, as already stated, Jesus fulfilled the law, thus concluding the first covenant. In the 31st chapter of Jeremiah Jehovah said he would conclude a new covenant with Israel and Judah. The new covenant went into effect shortly after Jesus shed his blood. However, that covenant will be concluded when Jesus returns. That is why speaking of the new covenant Jehovah went on to state: “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares Jehovah. “I will put my law within them, and in their heart I will write it. And I will become their God, and they will become my people. And they will no longer teach each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know Jehovah!’ for they will all know me, from the least to the greatest of them,” declares Jehovah. “For I will forgive their error, and I will no longer remember their sin.” — Jeremiah 31:33-34
It should be apparent that the new covenant is still in force due to the simple fact that there is an ongoing teaching program designed to help Christians know Jehovah. That is what the Watchtower is all about —preaching and teaching. However, when Christ arrives the disciple-making work will be concluded. Then, the Watchtower will no longer be needed. Like the former Jewish system, it will become obsolete. Instead, Christ will take over as the Wonderful Counselor. Isaiah explains it this way: “In the final part of the days, the mountain of the house of Jehovah will become firmly established above the top of the mountains, and it will be raised up above the hills, and to it all the nations will stream. And many peoples will go and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will instruct us about his ways, and we will walk in his paths.”
Another pattern is the length of Jesus’ ministry. In the first century, Jesus walked among the Jews for about three and a half years. The same period of time is expressed prophetically as 1,260 days, 42 months and time, times and half a time. The prophetic time period begins after the crash of the system —after the great tribulation has been cut short.
After the Passover and first evening meal on the last night of his life as a man, Jesus told his apostles: “I still have many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them now. However, when that one comes, the spirit of the truth, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak of his own initiative, but what he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things to come. That one will glorify me, because he will receive from what is mine and will declare it to you. All the things that the Father has are mine. That is why I said he receives from what is mine and declares it to you. In a little while you will see me no longer, and again, in a little while you will see me.” — John 16:12-16
Personifying the holy spirit as a person, Jesus referred to the coming of that one who would guide them into all the truth. The apostles certainly did receive holy spirit 50 days after the Passover when they were anointed by it. Prior to that though, after Jesus was resurrected he revealed himself to them in various ways and one occasion when showing himself to the doubting apostle, Thomas, Jesus blew upon them all and said: “Receive holy spirit.” However, those original Christians were not guided into all the truth. How could they have been? Much of the truth contained in prophecy is yet to be revealed —sealed until the time of the end and the coming of the Son of man. No, the spirit of the truth has not yet arrived and guided us into all the truth.
Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances to his disciples is a pattern for his ultimate manifestation and revelation during his presence. That is when the chosen ones will see him. The spirit of the truth will envelop them. Then the new covenant will be concluded and all will know Jehovah from the least to the greatest. The Kingdom will have come and the truth will reign forever.