Part 20—“Your Will Be Done on Earth”
In the inspired dream that Daniel describes in the seventh chapter of his prophecy the lion pictures the dynasty or line of kings of the Babylonian world power, the bear the line of kings of the Medo-Persian world power, the leopard the line of kings of the Macedonian or Grecian world power, and the terrible forth beast the fourth expression of world domination, which began with the Roman Empire under Augustus Caesar. This empire was dissolved into political ruling powers pictured by the ten horns on top of the forth beast’s head. The ‘little horn’ that came up among them and before whom three horns fell is the Anglo-American world power, and the three horns that fell before this, the seventh world power of Bible history, were (1) Spain, (2) The Netherlands, and (3) France. This symbolic ‘little horn’ with a talkative mouth and eyes opposes Jehovah God and his holy ones.
23, 24. (a) How did this symbolic horn think to change the “times” of God? (b) How did it think to change His law?
23 To this day this symbolic horn has thought “to change the times and the law” of God. In the autumn of 1914 the “seven times,” or “the appointed times of the nations,” ended also for the Anglo-American dual world power. The time had then passed for the trampling down of the “Jerusalem above,” which is free and which is the “mother” of God’s “saints” or holy ones. The time had then come for the promised Kingdom of God and of his Christ to stand forth as the rightful ruler of the earth. It was the right time for the kingdoms of this world, particularly the kingdoms of Christendom, to bow before that newborn New World government and hand over their sovereignty and their control of the earth.—Ps. 2:1-12.
24 The Anglo-American dual world power thought differently of the “times” and scoffed at the fact that the “appointed times of the nations” had ended in 1914.* It launched off into world war, not for upholding the kingdom of God newly born in heaven, but for maintaining its own political domination and its commercial supremacy. (Rev. 11:15-18) God’s law since A.D. 1914 was that the good news of the setting up of the promised, prayed-for kingdom should be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations by his dedicated witnesses. (Matt. 24:14) The Anglo-American dual world power outstandingly opposed the carrying out of that law by the holy people of Jehovah God. In doing so it fulfilled the angelic prophecy: “He . . . shall wear out the saints of the Most High, . . . and they shall be given into his hand for a time, two times, and half a time.”—Dan. 7:25, RS.
25. How much time did the time, times and half a time amount to, and what kind of war did the symbolic horn make against God’s “saint”?
25 A time, two times and half a time amount to three times and a half, or, all together, to half of seven times. The “seven times” that literally passed over King Nebuchadnezzar during his madness at Babylon amounted to seven literal years. Measured by this, a half of “seven times,” or three times and half a time, amounts to three years and a half.* During this time the “saints” or holy ones of the Most High God were given into the hand of the Anglo-American dual world power, and “this horn made war with the saints, and prevailed over them.” (Dan. 7:21, RS) This occurred during World War I, beginning in 1914, the year when the seven “appointed times of the nations” came to their end. The British part of the dual world power entered World War I on August 4, 1914, the American part on April 6, 1917. But they waged a spiritual warfare against Jehovah’s “holy nation” of spiritual Israelites, especially during the foretold three times and half a time.
26. When did those three times and a half a time begin and end, and how?
26 This period of three years six months corresponds with the forty-two months or a thousand two hundred and sixty days during which Jehovah’s “two witnesses” were to prophesy dressed in spiritual sackcloth or mourning. (Rev. 11:1-3) This period began in the first half of November, 1914, and ended on May 7, 1918. On this latter day the president, the secretary-treasurer and the publication writers of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society were arrested on false charges. They were railroaded off to Federal penitentiary for nine months until bail, improperly denied them, could be furnished and they could be released.* As a consequence of this action the Bible educational work of the witnesses of the Most High God was affected throughout the entire earth.
27. How was this warfare against God’s saints brought to a climax?
27 Meantime, on February 12, 1918, the British Dominion of Canada led off in this final attack. That day the Canadian Secretary of State banned the Society’s seventh volume of Studies in the Scriptures, entitled “The Finished Mystery,” and also its series of tracts entitled “The Bible Students Monthly.” To possess any prohibited books laid the possessor open to a fine of not more than $5,000 and five years in prison. In America, the very next month, or on March 14, 1918, the Department of Justice at Washington, D.C., pronounced the distribution of the seventh volume of Studies in the Scriptures to be a violation of the Espionage Act. Confiscation of literature, searching of homes of Jehovah’s people and seizure of books, and arrests of worshipers of the Most High God followed the above acts of the Canadian and American governments. The arrest, mistrial and imprisonment of outstanding representatives of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society followed in the ensuing months.
28. Despite the postwar righting of matters, what record remains, and how does this stamp the prophecy?
28 True, the governmental release of the banned literature after World War I and the judicial exoneration of the Society’s imprisoned officers and writers came as an obligation of justice. Nonetheless, this did not wipe out the record of fighting against the God of heaven, whose will was being done on earth by his servants. Furthermore, the shameful record stamps the prophecy as true, and gives us the assurance that the rest of Daniel’s vision will come true.
DIVINE JUDGMENT CONCERNING WORLD DOMINATION
29. What heavenly vision does Daniel then see, and who is the one ancient of days, what is the issue to be judged, and what do the opened books disclose?
29 As the eyes of the prophet Daniel turned from the dreadful fourth beast out of he sea, he was given a vision of a heavenly scene. “As I looked, thrones were placed and one that was ancient of days took his seat; his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came forth from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened.” (Dan. 7:9, 10, RS) The One that was ancient of days is Jehovah, the One who from time indefinite to time indefinite is God. (Ps. 90:2) “For God is the judge. This one he abases, and that one he exalts.” (Ps. 75:7) The matter upon which the Most High God must judge is the domination of the earth. For 2,520 years the worldly nations of earth have ruled it without interference from earth’s Creator. But now the autumn of 1914 (A.D.) has come and the “appointed times of the nations” have run out. The books, the records made by the nations during the “seven times,” are opened. A beastly record stares the great Judge in the face. The nations deserve no further lease of sovereignty over the earth.
30. What does Daniel see done to the fourth beast and the others, and who is brought before the Judge, and what is given to him?
30 See there! A certain one is summoned to the divine Court. Says Daniel: “I looked then because of the sound of the great words which the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.”—Dan. 7:9-14, RS.
31. Who is that one like a son of man, and when is it that he appears in the Court, and for what does he ask the Judge?
31 When on earth Jesus Christ repeatedly spoke of himself as the Son of man. (Matt. 16:13; 25:31) When the Sanhedrin or Supreme Court of Jerusalem put Jesus under oath to say who he was, Jesus said: “Yet I say to you men, From henceforth you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matt. 26:59-64) So in Daniel’s heavenly vision the one that came with the clouds of heaven and was presented before the Ancient of Days is the resurrected, glorified Jesus Christ. He is the one with whom Jehovah, the Ancient of Days, has made a covenant for a kingdom, as pictured by the covenant for the kingdom made with King David, David being a prophetic picture of Jesus Christ. Through the inspired King David, Jehovah had prophetically invited his Son Jesus Christ to ask of Him at the right time for the nations as his inheritance and the ends of the earth as his own possession. (Ps. 2:7, 8; Acts 4:24-26) The time is the close of the “appointed times of the nations” in 1914. Now, at the time for which Jesus Christ had waited in heaven, he appears in the court of the Ancient of Days. He asks the Judge for the things that are due to him according to the covenant for the kingdom over all the earth. All the evidence visible and spiritual proves that he was given the dominion over all earth’s inhabitants, to fulfill Daniel’s vision.
32. What must happen to the horns of the fourth beast, and particularly the one with eyes and mouth, and where will this happen?
32 Between the Son of man enthroned in the heavens as New World king in 1914 and the symbolic beasts of Daniel’s vision there can be no enduring peaceful coexistence. According to the vision, the symbolic fourth beast, namely, the Anglo-American dual world power and the other ten “horns” or “kings” that sprang from the Roman Empire and that are still claiming sovereignty and maintaining themselves on earth, must be destroyed. They must disappear as if hurled into a fiery lake that burns with sulphur. (Rev. 19:19, 20) Particularly concerning the symbolic horn with eyes and mouth the angel said: “But the court shall sit in judgment, and his dominion shall be taken away, to be consumed and destroyed to the end.” (Dan. 7:26, RS) This utter destruction will be carried out by decree of the great Judge, the Ancient of Days, at the battlefield of Armageddon, in the “war of the great day of God the Almighty.”—Rev. 16:14, 16.
33. In the vision, what happened to the other three beasts, and how has this been fulfilled?
33 As regards the other three symbolic beasts, Babylonia, the Medo-Persian Empire and the Macedonian (Grecian) Empire, when they were anciently overthrown, their national foundations were not completely destroyed. For instance, in 483 B.C. Babylon rose in arms against the Persian ruling power, and Xerxes I had to capture it by months of siege, after which he plundered it. Alexander the Great died at Babylon in 323 B.C. Turning Babylonish, he had wanted to make Babylon the capital of his empire, but God’s decree was against Babylon. Persia, too, has had a continuous history since Alexander’s death, down to the kingdom of Iran today. Alexander’s successor, General Seleucus Nicator, who died in 280 B.C., transferred his capital from Babylon to Seleucia in Syria, a new city that he had built. Greece has kept its existence till today, and the Republic of Iraq occupies the territory of ancient Babylon.
34. How are the remnants of those three ancient world powers and the horns of the fourth beast united today, but when will their prolonged lives be ended?
34 The remnants of those ancient beastly world powers, together with the symbolic horns of the dreadful fourth beast, are found united today with other nations around the globe in that international organization, the United Nations, which is the eighth world power of Biblical history. (Rev. 17:11) The vision to Daniel foretold correctly: The dominion of the Babylonian, Medo-Persian and Grecian world powers was taken away, but they had their lives “prolonged for a season and a time.” At Armageddon God’s kingdom, like the stone that struck Nebuchadnezzar’s dream image on the feet and then ground it to powder, will destroy all remaining traces of those ancient symbolic beasts, the fourth beast also.
35. Will the One like the son of man be alone in his dominion and kingdom, and how does Daniel’s vision give us the answer?
35 The One like a son of man will not be alone in his everlasting dominion and indestructible kingdom. The “saints” or holy ones of God will be with the glorified, enthroned Son of man in his heavenly kingdom. In support of this, Daniel said: “As I looked, this horn made war with the saints, and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints received the kingdom.” In interpretation of this, the angel told Daniel: “But the court shall sit in judgment, and his dominion shall be taken away, to be consumed and destroyed to the end. And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them.” (Dan. 7:21, 22, 26, 27, RS) The chief one of the “saints of the Most High” is Jesus Christ.—Acts 3:14; 4:27, 30.
36. What do those taken into their Kingdom covenant form, and how do they get into their reigning positions, and where?
36 However, those whom Jesus Christ takes into the Kingdom covenant with him form a “holy nation,” a nation of his spiritual “brothers,” all “called to be holy ones.” (1 Pet. 2:9; Heb. 2:11; Rom. 1:7) According to the covenant for the Kingdom they experience a resurrection from their death in faithfulness and are joined with Jesus Christ in his reign on the heavenly Mount Zion.—Rev. 2:10; Heb. 12:22-28.
37. Those who share in the resurrection to that position on Mount Zion are pronounced what, and for having endured what do they reign with the Son of man?
37 In the vision to him, the apostle John, who was one of those saints or holy ones, said: “I saw, and look! the Lamb standing upon the mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads.” Also: “Happy and holy is anyone having part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no authority, but they will be priests of God and of the Christ, and will rule as kings with him for the thousand years.” (Rev. 14:1; 20:6) These 144,000 followers of the sacrificed Lamb have endured suffering with him during vicious world control by the symbolic fourth beast with its horns. For this they are promised that they will “also rule together as kings.” (2 Tim. 2:11, 12) They will reign that the heavenly Father’s will may be done on earth as well as in heaven.
(To be continued)
See The Watch Tower as of March 1, 1918, pages 77, 78, under the title “Religious Intolerance.”