21. Who occupy a “holy place” that the seventh world power attempts to desolate?
21 Today the remaining ones of the 144,000 are earthly representatives of the “heavenly Jerusalem”—the citylike Kingdom of God—and its temple arrangement. (Hebrews 12:22, 28; 13:14) In this sense they occupy a “holy place” that the seventh world power tries to trample on and make desolate. (Daniel 8:13) Speaking of that holy place also as “the established place of [Jehovah’s] sanctuary,” Daniel says: “From him [Jehovah] the constant feature was taken away, and the established place of his sanctuary was thrown down. And an army itself was gradually given over, together with the constant feature, because of transgression; and it kept throwing truth to the earth, and it acted and had success.” (Daniel 8:11, 12) How was this fulfilled?
22. During World War II, how did the seventh world power commit a notable “transgression”?
22 What was the experience of Jehovah’s Witnesses during World War II? They suffered intense persecution! It started in Nazi and Fascist countries. But soon ‘truth was being thrown to the earth’ throughout the vast domain of the ‘small horn whose power had become mighty.’ “The army” of Kingdom proclaimers and their work of preaching “the good news” were banned in almost all of the British Commonwealth. (Mark 13:10) When these nations conscripted their manpower, they refused to grant ministerial exemption to Jehovah’s Witnesses, showing no respect for their theocratic appointment as ministers of God. Mob violence and various indignities were experienced by Jehovah’s faithful servants in the United States. The seventh world power, in effect, tried to take away a sacrifice of praise—“the fruit of lips”—regularly offered to Jehovah by his people as “the constant feature” of their worship. (Hebrews 13:15) That world power thus committed the “transgression” of invading the rightful domain of the Most High God—“the established place of his sanctuary.”
23. (a) During World War II, how did the Anglo-American World Power stand up “against the Prince of princes”? (b) Who is “the Prince of princes”?
23 By persecuting “the holy ones” during World War II, the small horn put on great airs “all the way to the Prince of the army.” Or, as the angel Gabriel states, it stood up “against the Prince of princes.” (Daniel 8:11, 25) The title “the Prince of princes” applies exclusively to Jehovah God. The Hebrew word sar, translated “prince,” is related to a verb meaning “exercise dominion.” In addition to referring to the son of a king or a person of royal rank, the word applies to a head, or a chief one. The book of Daniel mentions other angelic princes—for example, Michael. God is the Chief Prince of all such princes. (Daniel 10:13, 21; compare Psalm 83:18.) Can we imagine that anyone could stand up against Jehovah—the Prince of princes?
“HOLY PLACE” BROUGHT INTO RIGHT CONDITION
24. What assurance does Daniel 8:14 give us?
24 No one can stand up against the Prince of princes—not even a king as “fierce in countenance” as the Anglo-American World Power! This king’s attempts to desolate God’s sanctuary do not succeed.
27. What evidence was there that “the constant feature” was restricted during the persecution-filled years of World War II?
27 While the 2,300 days ran their course during World War II, which began in 1939, the offering of “the constant feature” at God’s sanctuary was severely restricted because of persecution. In 1938 the Watch Tower Society had 39 branches supervising the work of the Witnesses worldwide, but by 1943 there were only 21. Increases in the number of Kingdom proclaimers were also small during that period.