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.”
“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. After a period of “two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings,” says the angelic messenger, “the holy place will certainly be brought into its right condition,” or “shall emerge victorious.”—Daniel 8:13, 14; The New English Bible.
25. How long is the prophetic period of 2,300 days, and with what event must it be associated?
25 The 2,300 days constitute a prophetic period. Hence, a prophetic year of 360 days is involved. (Revelation 11:2, 3; 12:6, 14) This 2,300 days, then, would amount to 6 years, 4 months, and 20 days. When was this period? Well, in the 1930’s, God’s people began to experience increasing persecution in various countries. And during World War II, Jehovah’s Witnesses were fiercely persecuted in the lands of the Anglo-American dual world power. Why? Because of their insistence on ‘obeying God as ruler rather than men.’ (Acts 5:29) Therefore, the 2,300 days must be associated with that war.* But what can be said about the beginning and the end of this prophetic period?
26. (a) From when, at the earliest, should the counting of the 2,300 days begin? (b) When did the period of 2,300 days end?
26 For “the holy place” to be “brought,” or restored, to what it should be, the 2,300 days must have begun when it previously was in the “right condition” from God’s standpoint. At the earliest, this was on June 1, 1938, when The Watchtower published part 1 of the article “Organization.” Part 2 appeared in the issue of June 15, 1938. Counting 2,300 days (6 years, 4 months, and 20 days on the Hebrew calendar) from June 1 or 15, 1938, brings us to October 8 or 22, 1944. On the first day of a special assembly held at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., on September 30 and October 1, 1944, the Watch Tower Society’s president spoke on the subject “The Theocratic Alignment Today.” At the annual corporate meeting on October 2, the Society’s charter was amended in an effort to bring it as close to a theocratic arrangement as the law would allow. With the publication of clarified Biblical requirements, theocratic organization was soon more fully installed in the congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
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.
28, 29. (a) As World War II drew to a close, what development took place in Jehovah’s organization? (b) What can be said of the enemy’s vicious attempts to desolate and destroy “the holy place”?
28 As we have noted, during the closing months of World War II, Jehovah’s Witnesses reaffirmed their determination to magnify God’s rulership by serving him as a theocratic organization. It was with this objective that the rearrangement of their work and governing structure was initiated in 1944. In fact, The Watchtower of October 15, 1944, contained an article entitled “Organized for Final Work.” It and other service-oriented articles of the same period indicated that the 2,300 days had ended and that “the holy place” was again in its “right condition.”
29 The enemy’s vicious attempts to desolate and destroy “the holy place” had failed completely. Indeed, the remaining “holy ones” on earth, along with their companions of the “great crowd,” had come off victorious. (Revelation 7:9) And the sanctuary, in its rightful theocratic state, now continues to render sacred service to Jehovah.