Part 30—“Your Will Be Done on Earth”
The age-long conflict between the symbolic king of the north and the king of the south, foretold in Daniel’s prophecy, chapter 11, has now entered the twentieth century of our Christian era. On January 1, 1871, the German Empire was re-established and shortly it formed a Triple Alliance or “Dreibund” with Austria-Hungary and the Kingdom of Italy. On the other hand, in 1882 the British Empire established virtual control over the land of Egypt. Thus the Anglo-American dual world power in effect stepped into the shoes of the king of the south. A.D. 1914 war broke out between the two kings. Regarding this, Daniel 11:29 prophesied that it would not now be the same for the king of the north as it had been in former times, for now he was but a second-rate power and he faced not only a first-rate power, the Anglo-American dual world power, but also the kingdom of God established in heaven in 1914.
16. At first what mainly were the “ships of Kittim” that came against the king of the north?
16 Commenting on this lack of sameness with former times, the angel said to Daniel: “For there will come against him the ships of Kittim; and he will become fainthearted, and return, and will rage against the holy covenant; and he will do it: and he will return, and have an understanding with those that forsake the holy covenant.” (Dan. 11:30, Le) Although armed with the second-largest navy and many destructive U-boats, the king of the north proved no match for the “ships of Kittim” that came against him. These were not literally ships of Cyprus, the ancient Kittim, although on November 5, 1914, Great Britain annexed the island of Cyprus, to keep pro-German Turkey out. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, the term Kittim was applied not only to Cyprus but also to the coasts of Italy. Interestingly, Italy joined the warring Britain in 1915, according to the Treaty of London, and thus put her own Roman navy alongside that of the king of the south. But the “ships of Kittim” were at first mainly the great British navy.
17. How did more ships of Kittim come later when the seventh world power fully got into the war with the king of the north?
17 More “ships of Kittim” came from the west later, after the German submarine, U-20, sank the British Cunard Liner Lusitania off Ireland on May 7, 1915, and 124 American lives were lost. A diplomatic controversy arose between America and Germany. Matters worsened, and on April 6, 1917, American President Wilson declared a state of war existed with Germany. Then from the west came the American warships in the fight against the king of the north, and American troops were poured onto the European continent. The king of the south, the Anglo-American dual world power, was now fully at war with the rival king. In September, 1916, however, the British had introduced a strange kind of armor-clad land battleship against the king of the north, in the form of the tractored “tanks.”
18. In 1917, how did the king of the north help world communism?
18 Significantly, in 1917, after Russia’s czar abdicated, Kaiser Wilhelm sent Nikolai Lenin from Switzerland across Germany and Sweden to Russia to spread Bolshevism or communism, for the purpose of weakening and destroying the Russian armies. (So says General Ludendorff, the ally of Adolf Hitler, in his memoirs.) By this war strategy the king of the north helped the cause of world communism.
19. When did the king of the north “become fainthearted, and return,” and how, and by what world events had 1914 now become stamped as significant?
19 However, in November, 1918, the king of the north grew “fainthearted” and returned, withdrawing from the war, whipped. Kaiser Wilhelm, who had ruled since his father, Frederick III, died in 1888, gave up the throne and fled into exile, and Germany became a republic. So World War I ended. But it, together with the food shortages, pestilences and the persecution of Jehovah’s sanctuary class, stamped A.D. 1914 as the year when the “seven times,” “the appointed times of the nations,” ended and when God’s kingdom was born in the heavens and this Devil-ruled old world entered in upon its “appointed time of the end.”—Matt. 24:7-9; Luke 21:10-17.
20. With Kaiser Wilhelm now in exile, how did the king of the north “rage against the holy covenant”?
20 In Kaiser Wilhelm’s case, his heart had been against the holy covenant. (Dan. 11:28, JP) With him in exile till his death on June 4, 1941, how did the king of the north now “rage against the holy covenant” and “do it”? This was by the rise to power of Adolf Hitler, the Austrian, aided by German Catholic politicians, for example, Franz von Papen. In January, 1933, President von Hindenburg put out Schleicher and put in Hitler as German chancellor, with Von Papen as vice-chancellor. Then President von Hindenburg declared: “And now, gentlemen, forward with God!”* It was really ‘FORWARD AGAINST GOD!’ By then Jehovah’s witnesses numbered more than 19,200 in Germany and were very prominent. One of the first things that the Nazi Fuehrer Hitler did was to ban Jehovah’s witnesses, seize their witnessing equipment and consign them to prisons and concentration camps.* On April 1, 1933, Hitler became dictator, for the German Reichstag delegated its lawmaking powers to Hitler’s government for a term of four years. By this stroke the German republic ceased and was followed by the “Third German Empire.” The First had been the Germanic Holy Roman Empire from 962 to 1806; and the Second, the Hohenzollern Empire from 1871 to 1918. The Third was the Hitler dictatorship.
21. How did the king of the north now “do it” by having an “understanding with those that forsake the holy covenant”?
21 Still, how did he “do it”? On September 8, 1926, Germany had been admitted to the League of Nations, but Nazi dictator Hitler marched Germany out of the League on October 14, 1933. Boldly he went from one worldly success to another, annexing Austria and then Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia and forming the Axis Powers, including faraway Japan. Much of his success was due to his having an “understanding with those that forsake the holy covenant.” Those who claimed to be in favor of God’s covenant for the Kingdom were the clergy of Christendom, particularly those of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. These had not waited upon the rightful Heir, Jesus Christ, to come into his kingdom in 1914, but established a religious-political government of their own and set up the Holy Roman Empire. Early in July of 1933 Vice-Chancellor von Papen negotiated in Hitler’s behalf a concordat with Pope Pius XI; and through this the pope agreed to dissolve the Catholic Center party in Germany in return for Hitler’s pledge that the Catholic Church should keep on having full religious freedom in Germany. This paved the way for Hitler to decree that there should be a single political party in the land, the National Socialist party.
22. According to Roman Catholic information, what were the war aims of the king of the north, and how were the imperial ambitions of his Italian partner disclosed?
22 During World War II the New York Times as of February 17, 1940, stated in a dispatch dated “Washington, Feb. 16,” the following Roman Catholic information: “The German war aims were outlined tonight as a re-establishment of the Holy Roman Empire by [the Roman Catholic priest] Dr. Edmund A. Walsh, regent of the Foreign Service School of [Catholic] Georgetown University, . . . Dr. Walsh said that he had heard Adolf Hitler say that the Holy Roman Empire, which was a Germanic empire, must be re-established.” It is well-known that the Axis Powers partner of baptized Catholic Hitler was the Italian Duce Mussolini, who signed a concordat with Pope Pius XI in 1929 by which Vatican City was set up as an independent state. Years later, under the blessing of Catholic priests, Mussolini’s troops invaded non-Catholic Ethiopia, and on July 9, 1936, Mussolini proclaimed the restoration of the Roman Empire of the Caesars and proclaimed King Victor Emmanuel to be Emperor of Ethiopia. In December of 1937 Duce Mussolini withdrew Fascist Italy from the League of Nations.
THE “SANCTUARY” AND THE “ABOMINATION”
23. At this point, how does Jehovah’s angel make reference to the sanctuary class in connection with the king of the north?
23 However, what about those who refuse to come to any understanding with the king of the north and who hold fast to the holy covenant for the kingdom of Jehovah’s reigning Son? The angel answers the question. Rather than discuss the many details of World War II he confines his words mainly to these of the loyal sanctuary class. In doing this the angel points to a remarkable transformation in the personality and nationality of the king of the north, saying: “And arms shall stand up on his part, and they shall profane the sanctuary, even the stronghold, and shall take away the continual burnt-offering, and they shall set up the detestable thing that causeth appalment [the desolating abomination, Le].”—Dan. 11:31, JP.
24. Aided by Kaiser Wilhelm in 1917, what did the Communists do in Russia, and to what League was the new Russia admitted?
24 The mention of “arms” that “stand up on his part” denotes supporters of the king of the north, military forces with which he engages the democratic king of the south in a second world war. But before, during and after this second war for world domination, surprising developments took place. The king of the north had already aided world communism in 1917, when the revolutionary Lenin went back to Russia from exile in Switzerland under safe conduct from Kaiser Wilhelm’s government. Since then the Communists had seized the Russian government and set up the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics with its totalitarian government and dictatorship. This U.S.S.R. was admitted to the League of Nations September 17, 1934. It carried on negotiations with the western democracies.
25. How did the “betrayal of the western democracies” come by the Communist Soviet government, and why was it read out of the League?
25 In August of 1939 Britain and France were negotiating with the Communist government when suddenly came what was called the “betrayal of the western democracies.” The Nazi king of the north was about ready to launch World War II and needed to protect his eastern flank. To this end he entered into co-operative pacts with Russia. So on August 19 the Russian capital announced that it had concluded a seven-year trade agreement with Nazi Germany. Stranger still, on August 24, Moscow again caused surprise and consternation in the West by signing a ten-year nonaggression pact with Germany. Was there a deal between them? Time told. On September 1 the Nazi “arms” or military forces invaded Poland, to light the fires of World War II.* In lightning warfare or Blitzkrieg they moved forward. Then on September 17 the Communist government ordered its own troops into Poland from the other side. Five days later Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union announced an agreed-upon dividing line across Poland between the territories grabbed. Two months later Soviet Russia attacked Finland, and Russia became the first member to be read out of the League of Nations.
26. How did the Third German Empire lose the position of king of the north?
26 For almost two years Communist Russia continued as an ally of the Nazi king of the north. It was dictatorial; it was aiming at world domination, like its ally. Only Hitler’s crafty action in attacking Russia on June 22, 1941, forced Russia onto the side of the democratic king of the south. But Russia’s fighting on the side of the western democracies would help it to defeat Nazi Germany and take over the position of the totalitarian, dictatorial king of the north. In 1945 Communist Russia shared in the Allied victory over the Nazi-Fascist foe. The dividing up of conquered Germany between the Big Four, namely, France, Britain, America and Russia, followed. According to the Yalta agreement, Russia took over eastern Germany. The Germanic king of the north as a rival of the seventh world power, the Anglo-American world power, no longer existed. A new politically strong power must step into his shoes, that the rivalry between the two kings for world domination might go on to a final decision or a draw, a standstill.
27. How has rivalry between the king of the north and the king of the south gone on since the end of World War II in 1945?
27 Who could do so? Who did? Events quickly revealed—the Soviet Union, the Communist power that, since it seized power in Russia in 1917, has held world domination as its aim to this day. It felt its strength. It did not reduce its military forces below a war footing. It began to act according to its position of strength, against its chief rival. The United States of America had stepped forth from World War II as the most powerful nation on earth. So a propaganda and economic warfare was begun against the American democracy, a cold war. In effect, Communist Russia declared it early in 1947. The Communist land blockade of western Berlin, beginning June 26, 1948, was a tense feature of the cold war, but was overcome by the American airlift. Communist Russia long blocked the reuniting of all Germany under one government. It held on to eastern Germany as a satellite, making sure that a Communist form of rule was set up there before it recognized Eastern Germany as a political state inside the Communist sphere. There is no mistaking the identity of the king of the north since World War II.
28. What was the “sanctuary, even the stronghold,” that was profaned?
28 Before and during World War II the angelic prophecy was fulfilled: “They shall profane the sanctuary, even the stronghold.” This sanctuary is the remnant or remaining ones of Jehovah’s “spiritual house” made up of “living stones.” In this house he dwells by his spirit. Jesus Christ, the reigning King, is the Chief Cornerstone of this sanctuary or spiritual house. It is Jehovah’s house and is dedicated exclusively to his worship. Associated with it now is a “great crowd” of dedicated persons of good will who worship and serve Jehovah God in company with the sanctuary class of holy ones or “saints.” The sanctuary is a stronghold, because it is filled with unconquerable spiritual strength. It is filled with strength from Almighty God. Its strength is a tested one, proved by the fact that it has survived World War II and the collapse of Nazism, Fascism and Stalinism clear down to this day.
29. How did the profaning of this sanctuary proceed, and by whom was it done?
29 Daniel 8:11, 13 foretold the casting down of the place or base of this sanctuary and the trampling of it underfoot. That occurred during World War I. It took place at the hands of the symbolic “little horn,” the “king of fierce countenance,” that is, the seventh world power, the Anglo-American dual world power.* But the later profaning of the “sanctuary, even the stronghold,” was the terrible persecution of the sanctuary class before, during and since World War II at the hands of the king of the north in the lands of the Axis Powers and of the Soviet Union. All the loyal “great crowd” of good will who worshiped Jehovah with his sanctuary class suffered along with these holy ones or “saints” of Jehovah’s “holy nation” of spiritual Israel. This persecution by means of concentration camps, prisons, slave labor camps, firing squads, beheading, banning of meetings and of Bible literature, and by other means, was a profanation of Jehovah’s sanctuary, an abuse of it. The king of the north was not alone in this outrage to God. The king of the south showed the same spirit as during World War I and committed his own wicked profanations. But was the sanctuary and were those who worshiped at it destroyed by this rabid persecution? Not at all. But why not? Jehovah’s angel explains later.
30. How, too was the “continual burnt-offering” taken away in fulfillment of Daniel 11:31?
30 Along with the profaning of Jehovah’s sanctuary went the taking away of its “continual burnt-offering.” In the English translation the word “burnt-offering” is supplied. In the Hebrew text the word “continual” is applied to a number of sacred things having to do with Jehovah’s temple and its priesthood. So here the word “continual” could apply to numbers of things besides a “burnt-offering.” “Continual” could embrace the entire worship at the sanctuary that was to be performed daily, constantly, regularly. During the Nazi-Fascist heyday of power the king of the north did take away the means of spiritual sacrifice from the sanctuary remnant and from their fellow worshipers of good will. By banning and by seizing Bibles and Bible literature and by penning up Jehovah’s witnesses or by driving them underground, the king of the north and his allies caused the open, public offering of the “sacrifice of praise” always to God to cease. To observers it was seemingly taken away; but underground and wherever Jehovah’s witnesses were held prisoner it went on fearlessly.
(To be continued)
See Contemporary Europe Since 1870, by C. J. H. Hayes, pages 583ff.
See 1934 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses, pages 127-146.
“Principal Events in 1939.— . . . on 1 September, at the outbreak of the war. Egypt proclaimed emergency measures. The following day German nationals were asked to leave the country and to return to Germany.” (The Encyclopedia Americana, 1940 Annual, page 259b, paragraph 2) Egypt, though not declaring war on Germany and Italy, played a vital role as the base from which Britain and its allies could launch a campaign against the Italian and German forces. Throughout July and August of 1940, British planes bombed the Fascist Italian base at Tobruk, Libya; and Italian planes bombed the British bases at Mersa Matruh and Alexandria, Egypt. On July 9, 1940, the French naval authorities at Alexandria, Egypt, demilitarized the French warships in that port rather than risk a battle with the British Mediterranean Fleet.—Ibidem, 1941 Annual, page 233.
By July 1, 1942, German General Erwin Rommel had driven through with his Nazi forces to El Alamein, Egypt, only 70 miles west of Alexandria.—Ibidem, 1943 Annual, page 819b.
See The Watchtower, 1959, pages 571-573, paragraphs 22-28.