*** dp chap. 15 The Rival Kings Enter the 20th Century *** THE KING ACTS "EFFECTIVELY"
"He [the king of the north] will actually go back and hurl denunciations against the holy covenant and act effectively; and he will have to go back and will give consideration to those leaving the holy covenant." (Daniel 11:30b) So prophesied the angel, and so it proved to be.
After the war ended, in 1918, the victorious Allies imposed a punitive peace treaty on Germany. The German people found the terms of the treaty harsh, and the new republic was weak from the start. Germany staggered for some years in extreme distress and experienced the Great Depression that ultimately left six million unemployed. By the early 1930’s, conditions were ripe for the rise of Adolf Hitler. He became chancellor in January 1933 and the following year assumed the presidency of what the Nazis called the Third Reich.
Immediately after coming to power, Hitler launched a vicious attack against "the holy covenant," represented by the anointed brothers of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 25:40) In this he acted "effectively" against these loyal Christians, cruelly persecuting many of them. Hitler enjoyed economic and diplomatic successes, acting "effectively" in those fields also. In a few years, he made Germany a power to be reckoned with on the world scene.
Hitler gave "consideration to those leaving the holy covenant." Who were these? Evidently, the leaders of Christendom, who claimed to have a covenant relationship with God but had ceased to be disciples of Jesus Christ. Hitler successfully called on "those leaving the holy covenant" for their support. For example, he made a concordat with the pope in Rome. In 1935, Hitler created the Ministry for Church Affairs. One of his goals was to bring Evangelical churches under state control.
THE"ARMS" PROCEED FROM THE KING
Hitler soon went to war, as the angel had correctly foretold: "There will be arms that will stand up, proceeding from him; and they will actually profane the sanctuary, the fortress, and remove the constant feature." (Daniel 11:31a) The "arms" were the military forces that the king of the north used in order to fight the king of the south in World War II. On September 1, 1939, Nazi "arms" invaded Poland. Two days later, Britain and France declared war on Germany in order to help Poland. Thus began World War II. Poland collapsed quickly, and soon thereafter, German forces occupied Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France. "At the end of 1941," says The World Book Encyclopedia, "Nazi Germany dominated the continent."
Even though Germany and the Soviet Union had signed a Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation, and Demarcation, Hitler proceeded to invade Soviet territory on June 22, 1941. This action brought the Soviet Union to the side of Britain. The Soviet army put up strong resistance despite spectacular early advances of the German forces. On December 6, 1941, the German army actually suffered defeat at Moscow. The following day, Germany’s ally Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Learning of this, Hitler told his aides: "Now it is impossible for us to lose the war." On December 11 he rashly declared war on the United States. But he underestimated the strength of both the Soviet Union and the United States. With the Soviet army attacking from the east and British and American forces closing in from the west, the tide soon turned against Hitler. German forces began losing territory after territory. Following Hitler’s suicide, Germany surrendered to the Allies, on May 7, 1945.
"They [Nazi arms] will actually profane the sanctuary, the fortress, and remove the constant feature," said the angel. In ancient Judah the sanctuary was part of the temple in Jerusalem. However, when the Jews rejected Jesus, Jehovah rejected them and their temple. (Matthew 23:37–24:2) Since the first century C.E., Jehovah’s temple has actually been a spiritual one, with its holy of holies in the heavens and with a spiritual courtyard on earth, in which the anointed brothers of Jesus, the High Priest, serve. From the 1930’s onward, the "great crowd" have worshiped in association with the anointed remnant and are therefore said to serve ‘in God’s temple.’ (Revelation 7:9, 15; 11:1, 2; Hebrews 9:11, 12, 24) In lands under his control, the king of the north profaned the earthly courtyard of the temple by relentlessly persecuting the anointed remnant and their companions. So severe was the persecution that "the constant feature"—the public sacrifice of praise to Jehovah’s name—was removed. (Hebrews 13:15) Despite horrible suffering, however, faithful anointed Christians together with the "other sheep" kept on preaching during World War II.—John 10:16.
‘THEDISGUSTING THING IS PUT IN PLACE’
When the end of the second world war was in sight, another development occurred, just as God’s angel had foretold. "They will certainly put in place the disgusting thing that is causing desolation." (Daniel 11:31b) Jesus had also spoken of "the disgusting thing." In the first century, it proved to be the Roman army that came to Jerusalem in 66 C.E. to put down Jewish rebellion.—Matthew 24:15; Daniel 9:27.
What "disgusting thing" has been "put in place" in modern times? Apparently, it is a "disgusting" counterfeit of God’s Kingdom. This was the League of Nations, the scarlet-colored wild beast that went into the abyss, or ceased to exist as a world-peace organization, when World War II erupted. (Revelation 17:8) "The wild beast," however, was "to ascend out of the abyss." This it did when the United Nations, with 50 member nations including the former Soviet Union, was established on October 24, 1945. Thus "the disgusting thing" foretold by the angel—the United Nations—was put in place.
Germany had been a leading enemy of the king of the south during both world wars and had occupied the position of the king of the north. Who would be next in that position?
WHATDID YOU DISCERN?
· At the end of the 19th century, what powers filled the roles of the king of the north and the king of the south?
· During World War I, how did the outcome of the conflict "not prove to be at the last the same as at the first" for the king of the north?
· Following World War I, how did Hitler make Germany a power to be reckoned with on the world scene?
· What was the outcome of the rivalry between the king of the north and the king of the south during World War II?
15. When did the king of the north become "dejected"?
16. According to the prophecy, how would the king of the north react to his defeat?
17. What led to the rise of Adolf Hitler?
18. How did Hitler "act effectively"?
19. Seeking support, Hitler courted whom?
20. What "arms" did the king of the north utilize, and against whom?
21. How did the tide turn against the king of the north during World War II, resulting in what outcome?
22. How did the king of the north ‘profane the sanctuary and remove the constant feature’?
23. What was "the disgusting thing" in the first century?
24, 25. (a) What is "the disgusting thing" in modern times? (b) When and how was ‘the disgusting thing put in place’?