Part 34—“Your Will Be Done on Earth”
From the fifth verse of the eleventh chapter of Daniel’s prophecy, the prophetic message given to him by the angel of Jehovah God was devoted to the struggle between the king of the north and the king of the south. After dragging on through more than 2,200 years of history, this struggle has now culminated in the “cold war” between the Communist governing power of the Eastern bloc of nations and the democratic dominant governing power of the Western bloc of nations. The prophecy gives us assurance against any future world dominance by the communistic “king of the north” by closing chapter eleven with the declaration: “And he will come to his end without one to help him.” (Le) The angel who brought this prophecy to Daniel said that he was co-operating with the archangel Michael, and that Michael was Daniel’s heavenly “prince.” Michael is therefore the “prince” of the true Christians today who are part of the spiritual sanctuary, the spiritual temple in which Jehovah God dwells by his holy spirit or active force.
THE “PRINCE” OF THE SANCTUARY STANDS UP
1. How is it that the time in which this generation is living is a marked one?
THIS generation of mankind is living in a marked time. Mankind’s Creator has marked it, He who thousands of years ago said: “Let luminaries come to be in the expanse of the heavens to make a division between the day and the night, and they must serve as signs and for seasons and for days and years.” (Gen. 1:14) He wanted man on earth to keep time. He himself keeps time with relation to man, according to His own unerring, unchangeable time schedule that is just as accurate as the sun, the moon and the stars in marking off time for the earth.
2. It it is possible to find out God’s time, how can it be done, and what would we want to know about marking the time of this generation?
2 By studying God’s written Word, the Bible, man can find out God’s time under the guidance of God’s unseen active force, his holy spirit. To reassure his spiritual brothers of this, the Christian apostle Paul wrote: “Now as for the times and the seasons, brothers, you need nothing to be written to you. For you yourselves know quite well that Jehovah’s day is coming exactly as a thief in the night. Whenever it is that they are saying, ‘Peace and security!’ then sudden destruction is to be instantly upon them just as the pang of distress upon a pregnant woman, and they will by no means escape. But you, brothers, you are not in darkness, so that that day should overtake you as it would thieves.” (1 Thess. 5:1-4) In this nuclear space age, when international peace and security are being so frantically urged, for what event is it that the Creator has marked the time of this generation?
3. Why did this marked time begin in 1914, and how does this lead us to want to know what Jesus’ name was formerly in heaven?
3 This marked time began in the year 1914 (A.D.). In that important year the “appointed times of the nations,” 2,520 years long, ran out. If we measure back that many years from 1914 we come to the ancient date of 607 B.C. That year was marked for the overthrow of the earthly “throne of Jehovah” and for the destruction of the throne city of Jerusalem and its sanctuary and for the total desolation of the land of the kingdom of Judah. Nineteen hundred years ago the natural descendant of Jerusalem’s first king of Judah came to earth as the rightful Heir to the overturned throne. He was Jesus. He came to be called Christ because he was anointed with Jehovah’s spirit to reign in the kingdom of God. He had come down from heaven, to be born as a man who worshiped Jehovah God. First on earth it was that he was called Jesus. What was his name in heaven before becoming man? Can we know? We can, and we will.
4. How was it that he got back to heaven, and since then what is there of interest about his identity?
4 Although he was King David’s permanent Heir and was anointed with spirit instead of with holy anointing oil, he was not asked to sit on that overturned “throne of Jehovah,” even when he rode triumphally into the throne city of Jerusalem in the spring of the year 33. The Jewish high priest and underpriests and other religious leaders had him put to death on Passover day. On the third day he was raised from the dead and, forty days later, ascended back to heaven. What is his name in heaven since then? With his proper name up there, he waited at God’s right hand till A.D. 1914. Then at the end of the “appointed times of the nations” God enthroned him as king.
5. In what words did Daniel 12:1 refer to this enthronement of God’s Son?
5 The prophecy of Jehovah’s angel pointed to this enthronement of the anointed Son of God in heaven in 1914, saying to Daniel: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”—Dan. 12:1, JP.
6. (a) Why is the name Jesus not mentioned in this verse, and yet how is a son of God here named? (b) What question arises as to Michael’s location five hundred years later?
6 Where, though, does Daniel 12:1 mention the name of Jesus? It does not do so, because this prophecy was spoken and written down over five hundred years before King David’s Heir was born at Bethlehem and named Jesus. Yet a son of God is mentioned in Daniel 12:1. Who? Michael. In the conversation that preceded or introduced this verse the angel spoke to Daniel of this heavenly son of God as “Michael, one of the chief princes,” and as “Michael your prince.” And in Daniel 12:1 itself the angel called him the “great prince who standeth for the children of thy people.” He was a Prince of God and Prince over the people of God, Daniel’s people. Hence he was a son of God. Jehovah God included him as a son when He talked of earth’s creation as the time “when the morning stars joyfully cried out together, and all the sons of God began shouting in applause.” (Job 38:7) When Jesus Christ was on earth as a member of Daniel’s people and was anointed to be prince or king over Daniel’s people, was Michael then up in heaven and was he then prince in heaven over Daniel’s people, including Jesus? How can we know?
7. What does Michael’s standing up in fulfillment of Daniel 12:1 mean, and at what time did he thus stand up?
7 To determine this, the question must be asked: What does Daniel 12:1 say about Michael up in heaven? This: “At that time shall Michael stand up.” What does this mean? That Michael becomes king in heaven. Repeatedly in Daniel, chapter 11, the expression “stand up” is used to mean taking power and beginning to reign as king: “There shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; . . . And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule . . . But one of the shoots of her roots shall stand up in his place, . . . Then shall stand up in his place one that shall cause an exactor to pass through the glory of the kingdom; . . . And in his place shall stand up a contemptible person, upon whom had not been conferred the majesty of the kingdom.” (Dan. 11:2, 3, 7, 20, 21; also Da 8:22, 23, JP) Michael begins to reign as king in heaven during the final years of the king of the north, or, “at that time.” That time God has marked as A.D. 1914.—Dan. 11:29, JP.
8. (a) Why did Michael stand up or proceed to reign? (b) How long ago was it that Michael was foretold to do this, and in other prophecies who was foretold to do this in 1914 (A.D.)?
8 Since Michael stands up to reign during the conflict between the king of the north and the king of the south, Michael stands up to rule, to go subduing in the midst of the enemies of the people over whom he is “prince.” Hence he stands up in the midst of his own enemies. More than 530 years before Jesus’ birth, or more than 2,440 years before A.D. 1914, Michael was foretold to do this. In 1914, at the end of the “appointed times of the nations,” who must begin ruling as king according to other Bible prophecies? King David’s Heir, the One whose right it is to reign in the restored kingdom of God. Who, according to earthly name, is this One? It is Jesus Christ, glorified in heaven at God’s right hand. He is the Son of man who, in Daniel 7:13, 14, is brought to the throne of the Ancient of Days and to whom are given dominion, glory and a kingdom.
9. Who is the one that was to be commanded to go subduing in the midst of his enemies, and his identification with whom is therefore unavoidable?
9 Furthermore, who is the One whose rod of strength Jehovah sends out of the heavenly Zion with the command: “Go subduing in the midst of your enemies”? (Ps. 110:1, 2) It is Jesus Christ. “This man offered one sacrifice for sins perpetually and sat down at the right hand of God, from then on awaiting until his enemies should be made a stool for his feet. For it is by one sacrificial offering that he has made those who are being sanctified perfect perpetually.” (Heb. 10:12-14) Michael’s identification is thus unavoidable. The Michael that stands up as the “great prince” to fulfill Daniel 12:1 is the Lord Jesus Christ at God’s right hand.
10. Daniel 12:1 foretells that Michael’s standing up would mean what outbreak, on what scale?
10 The rest of Daniel 12:1 (JP) supports this identification, for it says: “And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people [Daniel’s people] shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Michael’s standing up to reign in the midst of his enemies and to go subduing in their midst calls for a war the like of which there had never been before, a time of trouble more distressing than anything previous. This must be so, not Just because the war that flamed up in 1914 was earth-wide, but because this trouble embraced heaven as well as earth.
11. Why was it fitting that Jesus, when prophesying on the world’s end, should quote from Daniel’s prophecy?
11 Since Jesus Christ glorified is Michael the great prince of Daniel’s people at the outbreak of this trouble, it was only fitting that Jesus on earth in prophesying on the end of this world should also predict this world trouble and do so in the language of Daniel’s prophecy. In Jesus’ prophecy he twice quotes from the book of Daniel and says: “Therefore, when you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place, (let the reader use discernment,) then let those in Judea begin fleeing to the mountains. . . . for then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again. In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short.”—Matt. 24:15-22.
12. In answer to what question by his apostles did Jesus say the above, and so of what does the beginning of that tribulation give evidence?
12 Jesus said this as part of his answer to his apostles’ question: “Tell us, when will this happen; and what will be the sign of your coming, and of the conclusion of this state?” (Matt. 24:3)* Or, in the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures: “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the consummation of the system of things?” The beginning of this world tribulation is part of the evidence that Jesus Christ, who is Michael the great prince in heaven, is present in the throne of God’s restored kingdom. This fact betokens that “this state” or this “system of things” must conclude.
13. How many part-quotations from Daniel does the Revelation to John make, and whom does the Revelation picture as leading the war in heaven against Satan the Devil?
13 The last book of the Bible, The Revelation given to John by Jesus Christ, makes more than forty part-quotations from the book of Daniel. In picturing by signs the birth of God’s kingdom by the crowning and enthroning of Jesus Christ in heaven, Revelation foretells that the trouble the like of which had never occurred would include heaven. Telling of the successful birth of the Kingdom like a male baby, the revelation of unseen things in heaven says: “And her child was caught away to God and to his throne. . . . And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled but it did not prevail, neither was a place found for them any longer in heaven. So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God!’” (Rev. 12:5-10) In this war against Satan the Devil, Michael leads.
14. When he was on earth as a man, how was it not to be hinted at that he had been Michael and one of the chief princes in heaven?
14 Is this Michael the resurrected, glorified and enthroned Jesus Christ? Yes. He is here the same as the Michael who helped the angel that brought the prophetic vision to Daniel. (Dan. 10:13, 21, JP) Before 2 B.C. God’s only-begotten Son in heaven was called Michael, this name meaning “Who is like God?” When he emptied himself of his heavenly powers and his life was miraculously transferred to the womb of the virgin Jewess Mary and he was born and called Jesus, did he forfeit his heavenly name Michael? No! Before the birth of Jesus there are ten men in the nation of Israel who were listed with the name Michael,* yet the Son of God was not to be known on earth by that name. “You are to call his name Jesus,” said the angel Gabriel to Mary his mother. (Luke 1:26-31; 2:21) So on earth it was not even hinted at that he had been Michael in heaven and “one of the chief princes.” Daniel 8:11, 25 (JP; AS) speaks of Jehovah God as “the prince of the host” and “the prince of princes.” Jehovah is the chiefest Prince, and with Him his Son Michael is “one of the chief princes.” He has become Prince of Peace.—Isa. 9:6.
15. After he returned to heaven, what was his name, and why was it a just thing for him to be the one to hurl Satan out of heaven?
15 When he died as the man Jesus Christ and was resurrected and went back to heaven, what was his proper name? Was it still or was it only Jesus Christ? No; it was not just his earthly human name. He resumed his heavenly name Michael. The name Jesus Christ was retained in order to show his identicalness with the humanborn Son of God on earth. The name Michael was resumed in order to tie him in with his prehuman existence. As Michael, he was the heavenly member whom Jehovah’s wifely organization of holy angels, Jehovah’s symbolic “woman,” provided in order to be the Seed that should be bruised in the heel by the great Serpent and that should, in turn, bruise the Serpent in the head. (Gen. 3:15) Hence it was a just thing that the glorified Jesus Christ, who had been bruised in the heel on earth, should, as Michael once again, battle against Satan and his demons and hurl them out of heaven to beneath his feet at the earth. Jude 9 calls him “Michael the archangel” who had had a dispute once before in heaven with Satan the Devil, and had won.
16. How is he the “Prince” of the sanctuary, and what was his duty toward the remnant of the sanctuary class?
16 Since Jesus Christ glorified is Michael the great prince who stands for the children of Daniel’s people, he is the Prince of the sanctuary. Daniel’s people today are, like Daniel, witnesses of Jehovah. They are Jehovah’s sanctuary class, His temple of “living stones,” his “spiritual house,” in which he dwells by his spirit. The glorified Jesus Christ, or Michael, is the Chief Cornerstone of this living sanctuary. So he is the Prince of this sanctuary and upon his own self as the rock-mass he builds this sanctuary. Hence it is his duty to stand up for the remaining members of this sanctuary class and to deliver them from their oppressors.
17. Why now more than ever before should he be their Prince?
17 More than ever before as Michael he should be their Prince. Why? Because now he is Jehovah’s Right Shepherd who laid down his human life for his “little flock” of Kingdom joint heirs. “You must call his name ‘Jesus,’ for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21; John 10:11-15; Luke 12:32; Rom. 8:16, 17) As Prince he now has more power than ever, because he “humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake. For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, and every tongue should openly confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:8-11; Matt. 28:18) In 1914 he was made reigning King in Jehovah’s capital organization over all the universe. He will prove himself to be Prince of Peace.—Isa. 9:6.
(To be continued)
Quoted from The Sacred Writings of the Apostles and Evangelists of Jesus Christ, commonly styled the New Testament. Translated from the Original Greek by Doctors George Campbell, James MacKnight, and Philip Doddridge. With prefaces, various emendations, and an appendix. By Alexander Campbell. Fourth Edition. Bethany, Brooke County, Virginia. Printed and Published by M’Vay & Ewing, 1835. In Matthew 13:39, 40 this translation says: “The harvest is the conclusion of this state. . . . so shall it be at the conclusion of this state.” In Matthew 28:20: “the conclusion of this state.”