Part 36—“Your Will Be Done on Earth”
The long conflict, of thousands of years’ duration, between the king of the north and the king of the south, as foretold in Daniel’s prophecy, chapter eleven, was to be brought to an end after Michael, the heavenly Prince who stood for Daniel’s people, stood up in Kingdom power. Prince Michael being the same as the now glorified Lord Jesus Christ, Michael’s standing up in his heavenly Kingdom took place at the close of the “appointed times of the nations” A.D. 1914. After the close of the first world war on earth, which marked the beginning of his heavenly reign, he aroused the remnant of his faithful followers from their deathlike sleep of inactivity and set them to enlightening the peoples of all nations by preaching the good news of the established Kingdom. Under the enlightening influence of God’s holy spirit, these awakened Christians ran to and fro through the pages of God’s Word and he blessed them with an ever-expanding increase of spiritual knowledge. At his command through Michael, they arose and began shedding the light of God’s revealed truth, shining thus like the sun with glorious brightness, to turn a great crowd of “other sheep” to righteousness.
PROPHETIC “TIMES” AND “DAYS”
9. Where was Daniel when he had this vision, and what question did he hear asked?
9 When Daniel received the final vision in the third year of Cyrus the king of Persia he was alongside the Mesopotamian river Tigris, anciently called Hiddekel. (Dan. 10:4) After the vision he received time measurements that are of high interest to us who are seeking happiness during this world’s “time of the end.” Says he: “Then I Daniel looked, and behold, there were two others standing, the one on this side of the bank of the stream, and the other on that side of the bank of the stream. And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?” (Dan. 12:5, 6, Le) The angel that appeared like a man clothed in linen and was miraculously above the waters of the Tigris River was Michael’s associate, the angel that had brought the vision to Daniel in answer to his prayer. Two other angels appeared, one on the same bank of the river where Daniel was. For Daniel’s benefit, but particularly for ours today, one of these asked the angel that had brought the vision to Daniel just how long it would be to the “end of these wonders,” that is, how long till the wonderful details of the vision should be accomplished in completeness. Here we listen in with Daniel:
10. What answer did Daniel hear to the question, and how was the answer made more certain as to its fulfillment?
10 “Then heard I the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; and he lifted up his right hand and his left hand unto the heavens, and swore by the Everliving One that after a time, times, and a half, and when there shall be an end to the crushing of the power of the holy people, all these things shall be ended.” (Dan. 12:7, Le) This prediction of time is sworn to in the name of the Immortal God, the King of eternity, Jehovah. Its being sworn to with both hands lifted heavenward would seem to make the sworn oath doubly strong. However, this raising of both hands in oath enabled one on either side of the Tigris River to see an upraised hand. Being thus sworn to, the coming true of this time prophecy is just as certain as that Jehovah lives immortal.
11. What count of time must here be considered, and is it literal or symbolic, and before when could it not start?
11 The count of a “time, times, and a half” must be taken into consideration here. The Hebrew word translated “time” here is translated “appointed time” earlier, in Daniel 8:19, and means a space of time. How long a space? An American Translation renders the entire Hebrew expression “a year, years, and half a year”; James Moffatt’s translation, “three years and half a year.” This entire time period falling inside the “appointed time of the end” that began in 1914 (A.D.), the period must be a literal three years and a half. It could begin counting no earlier than the start of the “appointed time of the end” in the fall of that year 1914.
12. With what time period in Daniel 7:25 does the time period here correspond, and how at the culmination of it was the organizational work crippled in a way not duplicated?
12 When these three years and a half end, there should be an end to the crushing of the power of the holy people of Jehovah God, his saints, his sanctuary class.* This time period doubtless corresponds with the time period of equal length given in Daniel 7:25 (JP) concerning the symbolic horn, the Anglo-American dual world power, and its abuse of the sanctuary class: “He . . . shall wear out the saints of the Most High; . . . and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time.” These three years and six months were found to begin in the first half of November, 1914, and to end on May 7, 1918.* On this latter date the king of the south, comprising Britain and America as war allies, went to the limit in dealing Jehovah’s sanctuary class a shattering blow by striking at the very summit of Jehovah’s consecrated visible organization, the central headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, and laying hold of the president of the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society together with its secretary-treasurer, and breaking up the relations of the Society’s Brooklyn headquarters with its branch offices and agencies in foreign countries. On June 20, 1918, the said officers, together with six others prominent in the Bible publication work, were sentenced to eighty years’ imprisonment. All their brothers in the sanctuary class around the earth were shocked, grieved and benumbed. This crippled the organizational work of Jehovah’s sanctuary in a way that has never been duplicated since then, not even during World War II.
13. Who was behind this shattering work, and what now indicates that his power to shatter has come to an end?
13 The main one behind this shattering of Jehovah’s holy ones was Satan the Devil, who claims possession of all the kingdoms of this world and their glory. (Matt. 4:8, 9; Luke 4:5, 6) In 1914, when Michael stood up, the war in heaven was begun to oust the Devil and his demons. He was defeated by Michael, and there is Scriptural reason to believe that by the time of the annual celebration of the Lord’s evening meal on March 26, 1918, Satan the Devil was hurled down to the earth. For the reason that he now knows that he has yet a “short period of time” before he is bruised in the head in the battle of Armageddon, he has great anger, especially against the remnant of the sanctuary class. On these he has waged war by all means at his disposal. (Rev. 12:7-17) But to this date he has failed to show the power to shatter that he was permitted to show in 1918. Neither will he shatter Jehovah’s sanctuary in their “beauteous land” when he plays the part of Gog of Magog and comes down from the north with all his visible and invisible hosts to destroy the holy remnant and the “other sheep.” He himself will be bruised. His power to shatter has come to an end.—Ezek. 38:1 to 39:16.
14. The three times and half a time having ended, what other things must be ended in due time, and why has Daniel not received an understanding of the things heard, even till now?
14 The period of three times and half a time having ended in 1918, the other important things of the vision must “be ended” or be brought to accomplishment at their appointed time. The prophet Daniel away back there could not decipher the meaning of the things seen in vision. He confesses: “And I heard, but I understood not; then said I: ‘O my lord, what shall be the latter end of these things?’ And he said: ‘Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are shut up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be refined; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but they that are wise [the intelligent, Le] shall understand.’” (Dan. 12:8-10, JP) Daniel did go his way into death sometime after the writing down of the vision about 537 B.C., shutting up the words and sealing the book.
15. Who has been used to unstop the words and unseal the book for us, and what must we do in order to be among the intelligent who will understand?
15 Great understanding of the book of Daniel was displayed by Jesus Christ on earth. In this “time of the end” since 1914 he is the one whom God uses to open or unstop the words like a well of knowledge and information and to unseal the book in all its meaning. (Rev. 5:1-5) Do we want to understand the book with its marvelous references to our day? Then with Jehovah’s help through Christ we must purify ourselves from this world, we must make ourselves white with righteousness through the Lamb’s blood, and we must be refined in our sincere devotion to Jehovah God and his kingdom. Only the Scripturally intelligent ones will be allowed to understand the book of Daniel and all the rest of the Bible. However, none of the wicked can and will understand it and gain salvation. In these critical times hard to deal with they will go on in their wickedness, especially against Jehovah’s witnesses, until they are destroyed as unhappy fighters against God.—2 Tim. 3:1-5.
16, 17. (a) For whom is this the “time of the end”? (b) From when is it the time to begin counting the 1,290 days?
16 The shattering or crushing of the power of Jehovah’s holy people in 1918 did not make an end of them. This is the “time of the end,” not of the holy sanctuary class, but of the king of the north and of the king of the south and of all the neutral nations. It is a time of deliverance for the sanctuary class and for the “other sheep” who worship with them. After saying that these spiritually intelligent ones would understand, Jehovah’s angel added: “And from the time that the continual sacrifice will be removed, even to set up the desolating abomination, there will be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”—Dan. 12:11, Le.
17 This taking away of the continual sacrifice of praise to God was already foretold in Daniel 8:11. It took place in 1918, when the time, times and half a time were fulfilled.* The taken-away condition of the daily or continual sacrifice lasted into the following year, until March 26, 1919, on which date the release occurred for the Watch Tower Society’s president, secretary-treasurer and six fellow prisoners, under bail. The setting up of the “desolating abomination” occurred when the worship of the “image of the wild beast,” that abominable makeshift for God’s kingdom, the League of Nations, was set up by the religious organizations of Christendom. By action of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America this was dated from the close of January, 1919.* By the time of this latter date both of these two mentioned things had taken place. Consequently this is the point of time from which to count.
18. With relation to the 1,290 days, when did Michael deliver his people, and how long a period in solar time do those 1,290 days equal?
18 After the 1,290 days had begun to count, Michael their great Prince delivered his people, in March of 1919. On April 13, 1919, there were more than 17,961 that celebrated the Lord’s evening meal earthwide.* During the rest of the 1,290 days the work of God’s holy organization was reorganized, improved and strengthened for the global witness that had to be given before the complete end should come upon this old system of things. In due time, what happened that outstandingly marked the end of those divinely numbered days? The 1,290 days must be treated from the standpoint of the lunar calendar. Hence divine prophecy treats a month as being thirty days long, on the average. The 1,290 days are just thirty days or one lunar month longer than 1,260 days in prophecy. Revelation 11:2, 3 definitely shows that 1,260 days equal forty-two months. Forty-two months amount to three years and six months. In prophecy these three years and six months are not affected by any leap year or by any Jewish Veadar year in which a thirteenth lunar month is added to the Jewish calendar to bring the series of lunar years up to the length of the series of solar years. Since 1,260 days in prophecy equal three years and six months, then 1,290 days equal three years and seven months. Counted from the close of January, 1919, where do those three years and seven months end?
19. Toward the end of those 1,290 days, what electrifying message was delivered, and what judgment work was called to our attention?
19 They bring us to the end of August and the beginning of September of 1922. It was in the first half of September, 1922, that the electrifying words rang out: “Be faithful and true witnesses for the Lord. Go forward in the fight until every vestige of Babylon lies desolate. Herald the message far and wide. The world must know that Jehovah is God and that Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. This is the day of all days. Behold, the King reigns! You are his publicity agents. Therefore advertise, advertise, advertise, the King and his kingdom.” This came on The Day (September 8) of the nine-day international convention of Jehovah’s witnesses at Cedar Point, Ohio, at the conclusion of the address of the president of the Watch Tower Society on the subject “The Kingdom.” In this address J. F. Rutherford proved from Scripture and fact that Jehovah’s “messenger of the covenant” had come to the temple, the spiritual sanctuary, in the spring of 1918 for judgment work. The judgment that was to “start with the house of God” was now in progress! (1 Pet. 4:17; Mal. 3:1-5, AS) In expression of this judgment upon Christians a resolution was adopted.
20. What expression of judgment upon professed Christians was then sent forth, and thus the series of what things began?
20 Sunday afternoon, September 10, President Rutherford delivered his public address on the challenging subject “Millions Now Living Will Never Die.” At its conclusion he introduced a resolution entitled “A Challenge to World Rulers,” which was adopted with acclaim by the 18,000 to 20,000 present. This notified the nations that the “appointed times of the nations” had run out in 1914; that God’s kingdom by Christ had then been set up in heaven; that the League of Nations was a fraud and “must fail, because God has decreed it thus”; that the kingdom of Jehovah’s Messiah was the complete cure-all for the ills of humankind; and that by obeying the laws of that righteous kingdom men will continue to live and never die off the earth.* This bold resolution was the first in a series of seven resolutions adopted at annual general assemblies of Jehovah’s witnesses from 1922 to 1928. Like plagues, these resolutions were poured out upon apostate Christendom. Of the initial resolution, “The Challenge,” there were eventually 45,000,000 copies distributed worldwide in many languages.
(To be continued)
It is only by changing the vowel pointing of the Hebrew Bible text of Daniel 12:7 and by rearranging the Hebrew words that the translation is forced: “after the power of him who shattered the holy people should be ended, all these things should be ended.”—AT, Mo.
See The Watchtower as of August 15, 1959, pages 506, 507, paragraphs 25-27; and as of September 15, 1959, pages 571-573.
See The Watchtower as of September 15, 1959, pages 571-573. During the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945 the king of the north tried to take away the continual burnt offering, but it was not with the same results as in 1918.—Dan. 11:31, AS.
See The Watchtower as of September 15, 1959, pages 573, 574, and as of October 1, 1959, pages 597, 598.
See The Watch Tower as of May 15, 1919, page 151. The figures there given do not include groups of less than thirty in attendance.
See the issue of November 1, 1922, of The Watch Tower; also the issue of October 11, 1922, of The Golden Age, pages 22-26.