Part 37—“Your Will Be Done on Earth”
In the twelfth and concluding chapter of his prophecy, Daniel 12, near the close of his prophetic privileges, reports hearing angelic prophecies concerning time periods of a time, times and half a time (or, 1,260 days) and of 1,290 days. This latter period reached its glorious climax in the 1922 international assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses at Cedar Point, Ohio, where the thrilling call to preaching activity was given in the historic words, “Therefore advertise, advertise, advertise, the King and his kingdom.” Additional to this, at the close of the assembly’s public address on the subject “Millions Now Living Will Never Die,” the audience of between 18,000 and 20,000 adopted the courageous resolution entitled “A Challenge to World Powers,” declaring the ultimate failure of the protective society of worldly nations and the inevitable triumph of God’s kingdom by Christ, under which all obedient men “will continue to live and never die off the earth” in a paradise state.
21, 22. (a) What still further time period did God mark in his Word? (b) When did this time period begin, and what happened to the waiting ones during this period?
21 Unquestionably that Cedar Point convention (September 5-13, 1922) was an impressive marker of the climax of the 1,290 days for the sanctuary class. But inspiriting as it was, Jehovah God foresaw something still further that deserved timing in his prophecy, because of what it would mean to his consecrated people. To put them in further expectation, he inspired his angel to say to Daniel: “Happy is he who waits till he reaches the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days!” (Dan. 12:12, AT) This period would be in addition to the 1,290 days and would be forty-five days or a month and a half longer in prophetic time. It would equal three years eight months and fifteen days. This time period would count from the end of the previous 1,290 days, which had culminated at the second Cedar Point convention in September, 1922. The following period of 1,335 days would therefore end in the month of May, 1926.
22 During this period Jehovah God helped his people to wait or endure, carrying on his Kingdom preaching on a widening scale. This resulted in bringing into the sanctuary many more to be members of this remnant consecrated by Jehovah. This was evident from the increasing attendance at the annual celebrations of the Lord’s evening meal, 32,661 participating in 1922; 42,000 in 1923; 62,696 in 1924; and 90,434 in 1925.* Evidently, however, there were some who did not ‘wait’ till the end of the announced time, for in 1926 there was a reported decrease in the attendance on March 27 at the Lord’s evening meal to 89,278. The year 1925 especially proved to be a year of great trial to many of Jehovah’s people. Some stopped waiting and went with the world.
23. How was the month of May, 1926, marked, and where did the grand climax of this month come?
23 Came the month of May, 1926. May 1-3 there was a general assembly at Basel, Switzerland. On May 13-16 another general assembly was held at Magdeburg, Germany, at which President Rutherford gave the public address on “Comfort for the People,” attended by 25,000. But the grand climax in assemblies that marked month was in London, England, the capital of history’s greatest empire, the British Empire. The convention was thus at the seat of the chief backer of the League of Nations, the abominable “image of the wild beast,” the political-religious makeshift for the true kingdom of God. From May 25 to 31 the conventioners held their joyous sessions; and strait-laced, sanctimonious, traditional religious restrictions upon God’s people were exposed and discarded, to their great relief. On May 28 President Rutherford submitted for adoption by the convention the fifth of the series of annual resolutions, this one being entitled “A Testimony to the Rulers of the World.” The thrilling new book entitled “Deliverance” was also released that same day.
24. On Sunday night, May 30, 1926, who were indeed addressed, and what did these commit, to begin the counting of what time period?
24 Sunday night, May 30, in London’s then greatest auditorium, Royal Albert Hall, came the climax. World powers were then addressed indeed, when President Rutherford spoke to the packed Hall on “Why World Powers Are Tottering—The Remedy” in support of the Resolution that had been submitted to them. In consequence of this putting the seventh world power on notice, the Anglo-American dual world power committed the “transgression of desolation,”* and the 2,300 prophetic days began to count, to mark off when Jehovah’s sanctuary should be restored to its rightful state.—Dan. 8:13, 14, RS.
25. For those who had waited, what period began with that London convention, and on what account particularly?
25 With this London international convention there began a period of happiness that has not ended and will never end. How happy those of the sanctuary class were that they had waited till the close of the 1,335 days! They were taking on a newer happiness because of appreciating more their privilege of being the witnesses of the Most High God, whose name is Jehovah. At the beginning of the year the issue of January 1, 1926, of The Watch Tower confronted them with the leading article “Who Will Honor Jehovah?” On Service Day (May 29) at London the conventioners went out on the streets as witnesses of Him and put in the hands of the people 110,000 copies of the new booklet The Standard for the People. Reporting on this successful witness effort, the Watch Tower report (as of July 15, 1926) on the London convention concluded with these meaningful words: “Nothing like this has ever been known on Service Day at a convention. The friends were bubbling over with enthusiasm. They felt that they had done their best to obey the command of Jehovah: ‘Ye are my witnesses that I am God.’” (Isa. 43:12, AS) With still greater happiness the sanctuary class embraced the very name “Jehovah’s witnesses” in international assembly at Columbus, Ohio, July 26, 1931.
26. (a) How will Daniel in a future day be able to know how the time periods that the angel foretold were fulfilled? (b) For what lot will Daniel arise again, and what may he become?
26 Some day in the not distant future the faithful pre-Christian witness of Jehovah, the prophet Daniel, will know how the time periods that the angel foretold were fulfilled upon the sanctuary class in this twentieth century. Jehovah’s angel indicated how it will become possible for Daniel to know, saying: “But thou, go thy way toward the end; and thou shalt rest, and arise again for thy lot at the end of the days.” (Dan. 12:13, Le) When Daniel reached the end of his way in death, he rested in Sheol, mankind’s common grave, in the sleep of death. He did not go to heaven. Jesus, who had come down from heaven, said so. (John 3:13) As a witness of Jehovah, who “did good things,” Daniel awaits the fulfillment of Jesus’ words: “The hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.” (John 5:28, 29) Daniel’s lot will be an earthly one in God’s new world after Armageddon. He will be resurrected and stand up for his blessed lot under Christ’s rule of a thousand years. He will have everlasting life in view. By accepting the ransom sacrifice of his King, the Right Shepherd, Daniel will become a son of the “Father for eternity.” (Isa. 9:6) Because he displayed faithfulness as an earthly prince over Jehovah’s people long ago he will no doubt be assigned among those whom Christ the King will “appoint as princes in all the earth.”—Ps. 45:16.
EARTHLY BLESSINGS WHEN HIS WILL IS DONE
1. (a) Why could the disciples whom Jesus taught the model prayer appreciate praying for God’s kingdom to come? (b) Why must that kingdom come?
JESUS Christ was on earth when he taught his disciples to pray to his heavenly Father Jehovah: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will come to pass, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matt. 6:9, 10) At that time his disciples were all natural Jews. Their earthly forefathers had known Jehovah’s rule as King during the days when he raised up judges to rule over Israel, such as Joshua, Gideon, Barak, Samson and Samuel, and also when King David and his successors ruled, sitting upon the “throne of Jehovah.” In 607 B.C. that typical kingdom of Jehovah God was overturned in harmony with his own decree; and in Jesus’ day the “contemptible person,” Emperor Tiberius Caesar, ruled the land of the Jews through the Roman procurator, Pontius Pilate. Jesus’ Jewish disciples could keenly appreciate praying for the kingdom of Jehovah God to come back and exercise its power over earth, that here on earth the heavenly Father’s will might be done just as up in heaven. That kingdom must come, not to destroy man’s home, the earth, but to see that God’s will is done on earth as well as in heaven.
2. (a) In 1914, what was given to the Son of man, to fulfill Daniel 7:13, 14, and what was its action toward heaven and earth? (b) Why did it not proceed against the king of the north and the king of the south?
2 In 1914 (A.D.) Michael stood up in Kingdom power and authority. Or, according to the vision of Daniel 7:13, 14, the glorified Son of man in heaven was brought before the Ancient of Days and was given the everlasting kingdom to which he was the rightful, sworn Heir. Because he was the one that had the “right” to it, Jehovah, the Ancient of Days, gave it to Jesus Christ. (Ezek. 21:27, RS) At once that kingdom battled against Satan and his demons and cast them down to earth, to await here the universal “war of the great day of God the Almighty.” The Kingdom also directed its power toward the earth in particular behalf of the sanctuary class and the great crowd of “other sheep” who were to be gathered. (John 10:16) Yet that kingdom did not “come” against the king of the north and the king of the south in an Armageddon battle to destroy all the kingdoms of this world. Like the symbolic stone that was cut out of the mountain without human hands, that kingdom, set up by the God of heaven, did not then strike the metallic image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream upon its iron and clay feet and destroy all the earthly governments pictured by the image. There were other parts of God’s will that needed to be done on earth first before the destruction of this system of things at Armageddon.
3. Contrary to Satan’s liking, what is it Jehovah’s purpose not to do by his coming universal war, and hence what does this require in behalf of the people?
3 Much as Satan the Devil would like to do so in his insane purpose of “rule or ruin,” it is not the purpose of Jehovah God to depopulate the earth by his war between his kingdom and Satan’s world. Satan’s four-thousand-year-old world must be cleared out, in order to make way for Jehovah’s righteous new world under the Seed of his “woman,” Jesus Christ. Since it is a world that has to be destroyed in that universal war, the people on earth will be unable to escape that war by space travel or by long-submerged atomic-powered submarines but face destruction. Since 1914 they needed to be warned of what is ahead and to be informed of any God-given way of escape. This required a global witness to be given in all the inhabited earth, to all races and nationalities, before the end should come upon Satan’s world in both its parts, visible and invisible.
4. Was that obligatory upon God, and whom would he raise up for the lifesaving work, and who would be spared at Armageddon?
4 It is not obligatory upon Almighty God to do this, but it has been his loving course of mercy to send advance warning before his unusual work of destruction upon his enemies. To serve this warning notice and this guidance to a safety shelter, there was a need of notice servers and safety guides. Whom would Jehovah provide for this lifesaving work? Angels from heaven? No; but his sanctuary class, a remnant of which was on earth. Hence God’s symbolic stone, the kingdom of his Son, did not strike the symbolic image of Satan’s visible earthly organization and crush it in 1918 when the “place of his sanctuary was cast down” and the sanctuary class were “trampled under foot.” But the heavenly Michael had stood up in Kingdom power, and he delivered these faithful ones, because they were “found written in the book.” These he awakened to activity in giving the foretold Kingdom witness everywhere. (Matt. 24:14) Let reject the “good news of the kingdom” whoever wanted to, but those who took to heart the witness and made the Kingdom their only hope of salvation would be spared at the battle of Armageddon.
5, 6. (a) At what ascertainable date was God’s kingdom by his Son brought to birth, and at what ascertainable date did the flood come in Noah’s day? (b) What did Jesus say concerning knowing when he in his kingdom comes against Satan’s world at Armageddon?
5 At an ascertainable date, at the end of the “appointed times of the nations,” God’s kingdom was born in 1914 and Michael and his angels commenced battle against the invisible part of Satan’s world up in heaven. The demonic part of Satan’s world was hurled down to the unseen vicinity of this earth in the outer space through which the king of the north and the king of the south are rocketing their earth-moons or satellites or spaceships. But the day and the hour when Michael, the Son of God in Kingdom power, again takes up the battle at Armageddon is not known, which leaves also the year of it unknown to us in advance. In the year that Jehovah wiped out the “ancient world,” the “world of ungodly people,” Noah, having finished the three-story ark for survival for his family and animal species, was told of the day that the deluge would come down upon the earth. (2 Pet. 2:5; Gen. 7:1-11) The “ungodly people” were not told the day, but they had had enough hearable and seeable evidence in Noah’s preaching, in his completing the ark and in his gathering the animals and birds in it to know that the globe-engulfing flood was near at hand. Can we today know when the Son of God comes in his kingdom against Satan’s world at Armageddon? Jesus’ prophecy on the world’s end says:
6 “Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father. For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. For as people were in those days before the flood, eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark; and they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be. . . . On this account you, too, prove yourselves ready, because at an hour that you do not think to be it, the Son of man is coming.”—Matt. 24:36-44; Luke 21:26, 27; 2 Pet. 2:5.
7. (a) That flood did not rush in until what had taken place, and for what similar reason did Jehovah’s destruction not rain down on the people in 1918? (b) In illustration, what did Jesus say regarding the “days of Lot”?
7 Let it here be noted that the world-destroying flood did not rush in upon the unheeding people until Noah had got his family and the submissive birds and beasts into that flood-worthy ark. As a happy result there were eight humans besides the birds and animals that lived through the destruction of the ancient world and that started living on a washed earth in the world that has continued till this “appointed time of the end.” Happy were Noah’s family for having heeded and joined in his preaching and in his building of the ark and gathering in the lower creatures! In like manner now, Jehovah’s destruction was not rained down upon wicked, heedless people in 1918. Those upon whom He has mercy must be got out of the danger zone. “Likewise,” said Jesus in prophesying about the end of this world, “just as it occurred in the days of Lot [the nephew of faithful Abraham]: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building. But on the day that Lot [with his family] came out of Sodom it rained fire and sulphur from heaven and destroyed them all. The same way it will be on that day when the Son of man is to be revealed.”—Luke 17:28-30; Gen. 19:1-26; 2 Pet. 2:6-9.
8. (a) What did one of the angels say to Lot about his inability to act? (b) In what words did Jesus say there would be an interruption of tribulation for a similar reason?
8 One of the two angels who helped Lot and his daughters to get out of the doomed city and the danger zone said to Lot: “Hurry! Escape there, because I am not able to do a thing until your arriving there [at Zoar]!” (Gen. 19:22) True to this informative picture, Michael the great Prince and his angels will do nothing to destroy Satan’s Sodomlike world until those pictured by Lot and his daughters, that is, the “other sheep,” have been got out of this doomed system of things by Jehovah’s sanctuary class, his chosen ones still in the flesh. Jesus foretold how Jehovah would provide an interruption of the tribulation upon Satan’s organization to allow for Jehovah’s chosen ones in the flesh to do this lifesaving work toward the “other sheep.” Jesus said: “Those days will be days of a tribulation such as has not occurred from the beginning of the creation which God created until that time and will not occur again. In fact, unless Jehovah had cut short the days, no flesh would be saved. But on account of the chosen ones [yet in the flesh] that he has chosen he has cut short the days.”
9. True to those words, what did Michael do in due time, and hence who will not be destroyed when modern Sodom gets burned down?
9 True to those words of Mark 13:19, 20, Michael delivered the members of the sanctuary class in 1919. Why? That they might renew the “continual sacrifice” of praise to God for their own salvation, as well as for helping the many “other sheep” to take refuge under God’s kingdom. There, under divine protection with the remnant of the spiritual sanctuary, these “other sheep” will not be destroyed with this modern Sodom when destruction flames down upon it in a tribulation such as mankind has never known since creation.
(To be continued)
These total attendance figures earth-wide do not count in groups of less than twenty celebrators of the Lord’s evening meal, excepting some foreign reports.
See The Watchtower as of October 1, 1959, pages 598-602; and as of October 15, 1959, pages 632, 633; or, in all, paragraphs 37-53.