Part 23—“Your Will Be Done on Earth”
Before World War I ended on November 11, 1918, American President Wilson proposed a League of Nations. Before the Paris Peace Conference opened in 1919 the executive committee of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America adopted a Declaration stating that the proposed League was “the political expression of the Kingdom of God on earth.” The executive committee also appointed a Special Commission to present officially the Declaration to the Peace Conference then soon to convene at Paris.
32. What record do we have that the Special Commission presented the Declaration to the Paris Peace Conference?
32 Did this Special Commission present the Declaration to the Paris Peace Conference after it opened on January 18, 1919? In the annual report of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America for the calendar year of 1919 there appeared on page 11 this sentence:
At the Peace Conference in Paris a representative committee of the Federal Council was received by officials of the government and presented the actions of the executive committee which they were instructed to convey to the Peace Conference.
33. What further action was taken by the Federal Council of the Churches toward idolizing the League of Nations?
33 More action than the above was taken. The Peace Treaty was signed on June 28, 1919. The Federal Council Bulletin as of June, 1919, on page 94, said the following in an article entitled “Resolutions Adopted by the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in Special Session at Cleveland, Ohio, May 6-8, 1919”:
I. Social Justice . . .
II. National and International Affairs
RESOLVED: That we express our gratitude for the establishment of the League of Nations as agreed upon by the Paris Peace Conference and pledge our support in securing its ratification by the Senate of the United States and our devotion to make it a success.
34. How did the Council’s efforts prove vain?
34 Vain were their efforts. The U. S. Senate never did adopt the Paris Peace Treaty, with its League of Nations charter. The devotion of the Federal Council of the Churches never did make the League of Nations a success. Neither did the devotion of the religious organizations in the British realm of the seventh world power. The League of Nations failed to prevent World War II and the introduction of the atomic bomb. It was formally dissolved on January 10, 1946.
35. As respects God’s Kingdom, what was that Declaration as presented to the Paris Peace Conference? and what action did the churches of Christendom thus take toward the nominal temple of God?
35 Even apart from the prophetic Word of God, the telltale facts of history disclose that the League of Nations was not an earthly image of the Kingdom of God rooted in the Gospel but was a blasphemous man-made counterfeit for the Kingdom of God. It was an idolatrous “image of the wild beast,” to which political beast the great dragon Satan the Devil had given “its power and its throne and great authority.” (Rev. 12:3, 4, 7-9, 13-17; 13:1, 2) The Declaration that the Church Council’s executive committee adopted in Atlantic City and presented by its Special Commission to the Paris Peace Conference in the last part of January, 1919, was a foul blasphemy against the true Kingdom of God. It was a false prophecy that deceived the world and was a disgusting act of idolatry to a beastly “image.” By this action in January, 1919, the religious leaders of Christendom and the politicians of the seventh world power and its allies set an abomination before Jehovah God, a thing disgusting to him. Since the churches of Christendom claimed to be the temple of God, they in effect brought an abominable idol into the religious temple.
36. Whom did Christendom’s churches thus imitate, and what was the seventh world power the instrument in setting up?
36 By setting up this “abomination that makes desolate” the religious clergy of Christendom imitated those who rejected Jesus Christ in 33 (A.D.) and who cried out to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate: “We have no king but Caesar.” (John 19:15) Here the seventh world power became the instrument of the “god of this system of things” in setting up the “abomination that makes desolate,” “the disgusting thing that causes desolation.” (Matt. 24:15) This marks an important point in the count of prophetic time.
“THE TRANSGRESSION THAT MAKES DESOLATE”
37. What is there connected with this desolating abomination, and what did Daniel learn about it from the angel?
37 However, there is a “transgression” that is connected with the “abomination that makes desolate.” Daniel says that an angel asked a question about it: “Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said unto that certain one who spoke: ‘How long shall be the vision concerning the continual burnt-offering, and the transgression that causeth appalment [the transgression that makes desolate, RS], to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled under foot?’ And he said unto me: ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings; then shall the sanctuary be victorious [be restored to its rightful state, RS].’”—Dan. 8:13, 14, JP.
38. What questions arise concerning the “transgression that makes desolate,” and why are the answers needed?
38 The “continual burnt-offering” was taken away at the culmination of the “time, two times, and half a time” on May 7, 1918.a It was toward the end of January, 1919, that the “abomination that makes desolate” was set up for adoration. But at that time the “transgression that makes desolate” had not been committed, so as to begin counting the two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings. What, then, was this “transgression”? When was it committed, and by whom? Jehovah’s witnesses present these facts:
39. How did the postwar witness work open up following World War I, and what revelation and action concerning the League of Nations occurred?
39 On March 26, 1919, the officers and writers of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society were released on bail from their detention in the Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia.b The following day the Society’s officials began to formulate plans for organizing and carrying on the postwar witness work by the sanctuary class of Jehovah God. This resulted in a great reviving of Jehovah’s sanctified people. He poured his energizing spirit out upon them that they might discern his work for them and brace up their minds for performing it. On September 1-8 of that year they held a general convention at Cedar Point, Ohio. There the erstwhile imprisoned president of the Society laid out the fearless witness work to be performed from then on until the universal battle of Armageddon. Prophecy became clearer, and on page 12 of its issue of January 1, 1921, the Society’s official magazine The Watch Tower pointed out that the League of Nations was the “abomination that makes desolate” as foretold by Jehovah’s prophet Daniel. (Matt. 24:15) The following year a still larger international convention was held, again at Cedar Point, Ohio. By a Resolution adopted there on Sunday, September 10, 1922, the nations of the earth that adhered to the abominable League of Nations were challenged and notified of the League’s failure decreed by God.c
40. What did the second Cedar Point convention begin, leading up to what in London, England?
40 This second Cedar Point convention began a series of yearly conventions of world-wide importance. The fifth one was held in London, England, the capital of the globe-girdling British Empire. In attendance were delegates from Britain’s partner in the Anglo-American dual world power and from other foreign lands.
41. What was adopted by that convention on Friday afternoon, and what did the fifth clause have to say to the world rulers?
41 The convention opened on Tuesday, May 25, 1926, and continued through the following Monday, May 31. Friday afternoon, at the close of his address on Isaiah, chapter 49, the Society’s president submitted to the convention a Resolution entitled “A Testimony to the Rulers of the World.” It called attention to the responsibility that was placed upon all rulers because all the evidences of the times bore testimony to the establishment of God’s kingdom in the heavens in 1914. The fifth clause of the Resolution then said that, despite this conclusive proof, “contrary to the Word of God the commercial, political and ecclesiastical rulers attempted to stabilize the world and keep the peoples under control by adopting that makeshift which is called the League of Nations and which was wrongfully and blasphemously hailed as the political expression of God’s kingdom on earth; that the real author and father of the League of Nations compact is Satan the Devil, the god of this evil world, [it] was put forward by him as his last desperate effort to deceive the peoples, turn them away from the true God, and hold them under his wicked control; that now after seven years of laborious effort on the part of the proponents of that compact to establish peace and prosperity, it is practically conceded that the League of Nations is a complete failure and that its utter collapse is a matter of only a brief space of time; . . . ”
42. How was this Resolution submitted to a public audience, and with what reception?
42 Not only was this Resolution enthusiastically adopted by the convention of Jehovah’s saintly people that Friday, but the following Sunday night it was submitted to a public audience that packed out the Royal Albert Hall. Then the Society’s president gave a masterly address in support of and in enlargement upon the Resolution. The League of Nations was exposed to all, not alone as the “abomination that makes desolate,” but also as the “eighth” king of Revelation 17:11, the British Empire being the seventh “king” and being the main support of the League of Nations. “Let Britain withdraw from it tomorrow, and it will go down immediately,” declared Joseph F. Rutherford, to a round of applause. After the close of the address, which described the blessings of mankind under God’s kingdom, the vast audience rose solidly in expressing itself in favor of God’s government just described.
43. Upon whom was this Testimony then served, and how was the “transgression that makes desolate” thus committed?
43 Next day, except for the full page devoted by the Daily News to reporting the Resolution and the public address, the London newspapers hushed up the biggest, most important news of the times.d Still reprints of the full page of the Daily News of May 31, 1926, were widely circulated, and the Resolution was published around the earth. The Testimony was served upon the nations of the earth, the League of Nations was exposed for what it was, and the responsibility fell where it belonged. But the seventh world power and the other political powers of the earth did not heed the Testimony. They did not turn from the “abomination that makes desolate” to the support of God’s proclaimed kingdom. Their continued worship of this “image of the wild beast” was dramatized on September 8, 1926, by the readmission of Germany into the family of nations in good standing and this by the admission of Germany into the League of Nations. What did such spurning of Jehovah’s message concerning the League of Nations as the Devil-schemed, man-made makeshift for God’s kingdom under Christ constitute? A “transgression” against God, a “transgression that makes desolate,” that appalls and astonishes all who long and pray for God’s promised kingdom of his Christ. What disgusting conduct on the part of the worldly nations!
44. From when, therefore, may we count the 2,300 evenings and mornings, and when do they end?
44 If we accept this as fulfilling the prophecy of the “transgression that causeth appalment” or “that makes desolate,” when is it that the sanctuary should be “victorious” (JP), “vindicated” (Ro), “justified” (Le), “cleansed” (AS, AV, LXX), or “be restored to its rightful state” (RS)? It should be “two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings” after that transgression so appalling and so certain to result in a desolation. If the Bible rule for counting prophetic time is applied as already set out,e a prophetic year of 360 days being taken as the basic unit, 2,300 evenings and mornings would amount to six years four months and twenty days, each day being composed of an evening and a morning. (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31) Count now from the beginning of this International Convention of London on May 25, 1926, and we shall find that the 2,300 days of evenings and mornings bring us to October 15, 1932.
45. As of that date, what did the Watch Tower Society’s official Journal point out?
45 How was Jehovah’s “sanctuary” cleansed, vindicated or restored to its rightful state by that date? Examine the official journal of Jehovah’s witnesses, The Watchtower, as of that date. Note page 319. That page sets out the Resolution adopted by the New York company of Jehovah’s witnesses on October 5, 1932. It called for a cleansing of the congregational organization, a restoring of it to the rightful state of Jehovah’s sanctuary class. How? By the ridding of the organization of “elective elders,” or elders that had been elected to the office of eldership by the stretching out of the hands of the members of the congregation in a popular or democratic election, after the political style of the ancient Greek states and the democratic Anglo-American dual world power.
46, 47. (a) How had the congregations been proceeding in the matter of putting elders into office, and in what had this resulted? (b) What Resolution did the Watchtower magazine submit for adoption?
46 For decades the congregations of Jehovah’s sanctuary class had been locally electing men to eldership by local congregational hand-voting. This, of course, was due to misunderstanding the apostolic procedure of the first century as described in the Christian Greek Scriptures.f Now at God’s chosen time the article entitled “Jehovah’s Organization” appeared in The Watchtower, Part 1 in the issue of August 15, 1932, and Part 2 in the following issue of September 1. This exposed the system of “elective elders” as conforming to the democratic part of this world and hence as being unclean and not theocratic, not submissive to the great Theocrat who rules his sanctuary from the top down. This democratic electing of elders had resulted in many being appointed to this office who were not really mature or spiritually grown up, who felt independent of superior control, who felt self-important in their local congregation as having the assignment to run the local congregation, being responsible primarily to the congregation to which they had looked for votes. This had resulted in much obstruction by such type of “elders” to the world-wide witness work that the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society was encouraging by its service representative in each congregation. The article on “Jehovah’s Organization” closed, submitting for adoption by all congregations a Resolution, which said, in part:
47 “Therefore be it resolved that there is no Scriptural authority for the existence of the elective office of elders in the church and that henceforth we will not elect any person to the office of elder; that all of the anointed of God are elders, as that term is defined by the Scriptures, and all are servants of the Most High. . . . A service director who shall be nominated by us and confirmed by the Society’s executive or manager, and which service director shall be a member of the service committee of this company.”
48. What therefore, did the announcement in the October 15, 1932, issue of The Watchtower constitute, and how did this harmonize with the meaning of the “twenty-four elders” and the “seven stars”?
48 This Resolution was adopted by congregations of Jehovah’s witnesses throughout the earth. The announcement in the Watchtower magazine of October 15, 1932, at the end of 2,300 evenings and mornings was the official notification made by Jehovah through his visible channel of communication that his sanctuary of anointed “living stones” had been cleansed, vindicated and justified. It had been restored to its rightful state as regards the elimination of democratically elected “elders” and as regards the theocratic appointing of the congregational overseer. Certainly the twenty-four elderly persons whom the apostle John saw in his heavenly vision crowned and seated on thrones around the throne of the Most High God were not “elders” democratically elected by the congregations on earth below. They were “elders” chosen by the Sovereign of the universe because of their full Christian growth and proved integrity. Certainly, too, the “seven stars” whom John saw upon the right hand of the glorified Jesus Christ and who pictured the “angels” or overseers of the congregations of Jehovah’s anointed sanctuary class were full-grown “elders” chosen and controlled, not by the congregations after the democratic procedure of the seventh world power, but by the Supreme Head of the theocratic organization through Jesus Christ. (Rev. 1:16, 20; 2:1; 4:4, 10, 11) Rightly the remnant of the sanctuary class on earth was brought into accord with this theocratic rule in Jehovah’s due time.
(To be continued)
b See The Watchtower, August 15, 1959, page 506, paragraph 26; also the publication Light, Volume 1, page 249.
c See The Watch Tower as of November 1, 1922, pages 324, 325.
d See The Watch Tower as of July 15, 1926, pages 211-217 also The Golden Age as of September 8, 1926, pages 780-791.
e See The Watchtower, April 1, 1959, page 216, paragraph 40. Remember that a thirteenth Jewish month is regularly added seven times every nineteen years in order to equalize lunar time with solar time with its leap years.
f See the book The New Creation, by C. T. Russell, copyrighted 1904, pages 276-282; Zion’s Watch Tower as of March 15, 1906, on page 91, paragraph 7. See also The Watchtower, July 15, 1959, pages 442 (paragraph 29) to 444, paragraph 38.