“He will come all the way to his end, and there will be no helper for him.” Daniel 11:45
[Study 20 from ws 05/20 p.12 July 13 – July 19, 2020]
The simple answer is NO-ONE.
Please see this article which examines the Prophecy of Daniel 11 and Daniel 12, in its biblical and historical context without any preconceived agenda.
This Watchtower Study article is very shallow in detail, but we will highlight a few points.
Paragraph 1 opens with “WE HAVE more evidence than ever before that we are living at the end of the last days of this system of things”. However, this study article fails to provide any of that evidence. (Perhaps they are referring to the non-study article before this study article entitled “Rival Kings in the Time of the End).
This study article only contains more speculative interpretation of Daniel 11 based upon an unprovable claim that the Organization is God’s modern-day people and an attempt to tie in another prophecy, Gog of Magog, that is chosen to be an end times prophecy, without any suggestion by the scriptures that its fulfillment would be thousands of years later.
- The nation of Israel had a clear miraculous manifestation from Jehovah at Mount Sinai and the Red Sea.
- The Organization has had no such miraculous manifestation from Jehovah, with which to put their being chosen beyond doubt.
Amongst the brothers and sisters over recent years, there had been a lot of speculation that the King of the north would be identified as China by the Organization.
However, in paragraph 4 according to the Organization, it is said to be Russia and its allies. Why? Because “the Governing Body identified Russia and its allies as the king of the north”. The governing body have based their identification on the fact that Russia has banned the preaching work because they are persecuting the Witnesses, because they have competed with the Anglo-American axis and because allegedly they hate Jehovah and his people.
This is a sweeping statement without justification. The Russian government may not be the nicest of governments, but what evidence is there that it hates Jehovah, and it would be unfair to say that they hate the law-abiding Witnesses. However, they do view the teachings of the Organization as a threat to the well-being of their citizens and hence have banned them as extremists.
Allegedly according to paragraph 9 “entering into the land of Decoration” is the persecution being meted out to Russian Witnesses. “Further, he confiscated our branch office in Russia as well as Kingdom Halls and Assembly Halls. After these actions, in 2018 the Governing Body identified Russia and its allies as the king of the north.”
Paragraph 14 suggests that Gog of the land of Magog will launch an attack soon on the Organization (as it claims to be God’s chosen people).
Gog of Magog
How would you answer? Is Gog of Magog
- Russia [i]
- Prince of Demon Origin [ii]
- 8thDemon Prince [iii]
- Satan the Devil [iv]
- A coalition of nations [v]
Gog of Magog has been all of the above 5 different identities, admittedly at different times, according to the organization. Gog of Magog said to be Russia in 1880, while the current understanding is a coalition of nations (2015). Even before I awoke to the lies I was being taught, I never could understand how Gog of Magog could be Satan the Devil, the teaching for the previous 50 years.
Does Jehovah change his mind so drastically and communicate it so frequently? Titus 1:2 states “God, who cannot lie”. To give 5 different identities means that if one is right then it was lies or mistaken identity on the other 4 occasions. So how can these teachings be from God? Clearly, they are teachings of men without inspiration.
What was Magog?
Magog was a place in central Turkey in ancient times. It was named after a real person. When we examine the passage in Ezekiel 38, we find the following interesting points.
- Ezekiel 38:1-2 talks about Gog of the land of Magog, but note who he is: “the head chieftain of Meshech and Tubal”(Ezekiel 38:3). These were two of the sons of Japheth, as was Magog.
- Further on, in Ezekiel 38:6, it reads, “Gomer and all its bands, the house of Togarmah of the remotest parts of the north” are mentioned. Togarmah was a son of Gomer, the firstborn of Japheth.
- A few verses later Ezekiel 38:13 mentions “the merchants of Tarshish” a son of Javan son of Japheth.
- Therefore, on this basis, as the real Gog of Magog lived much earlier than Ezekiel, it is more likely to be a title used to indicate a real ruler from this area. It was not Satan or someone or something else as some have interpreted this passage.
- Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Gomer and Togarmah, and Tarshish were all sons or grandsons of Japheth. (See Genesis 10:3-5).
Furthermore, the areas in which they lived came to be named after them.
For a considerable time after the death of Alexander the Great, the Seleucid dynasty ruled this area of Turkey, and were a number of the Kings of the North foretold in Daniel. Antiochus IV was one of these who came in c.168 BC and ransacked Judea and the Temple.
Ezekiel 38:10-12 talks about “Is it to get a big spoil that you are coming in?” Antiochus IV offered pigs on the Temple altar and forbade Jewish worship. He also took all the Temple treasures that had been brought back from Babylon. This provoked the Maccabean revolt. In it the Maccabees turned on the Hellenized Jews as part of their attempt to restore what they viewed as true worship. They also used guerrilla tactics against the army of Antiochus in the mountainous region of Judea to great effect.
Ezekiel 38:18 talks of the “ground of Israel”. Ezekiel 38:21 says, “and I will call forth against him throughout all my mountainous region a sword.” (See also Ezekiel 39:4). The Maccabees fought a guerrilla campaign in mountainous Judea against Antiochus IV. It then goes on to say, “Against his own brother the sword of each one will come to be”. There was also conflict between the Maccabees and the Hellenistic Jews. Was this the fulfillment of the prophecy? Given that the Jews were fighting each other it is obviously possible. We cannot be dogmatic, however, neither should we use it as an antitype to apply to today, just because we desire it to be so, as the Organization and other apocalyptic Christian groups do. It is certainly wrong to hold this prophecy out as being fulfilled in the future with no good reason.
Paragraph 17 says “(Read Daniel 12:1.) What does this verse mean? Michael is another name for our ruling King, Christ Jesus. He has been “standing in behalf” of God’s people since 1914 when his Kingdom was established in the heavens.”
Yes, that is the total proof offered for Michael being Jesus Christ. He may or may not be, but surely some support should be given to the understanding given. It should not be a ‘this is the Organization’s understanding; this is it because we say so’. But more concerning is the claim that “He has been “standing in behalf” of God’s people since 1914” when no evidence is offered as to how Jesus has been fulfilling that.
As regards the rest of the conclusions of the Watchtower article, they all fall or stand by the following three questions:
- What basis do we have to assume that Daniel’s prophecy applied to more than the nation of Israel, i.e. to God’s people today?
- What evidence is there that God has an identifiable people today, as opposed to only acceptable individuals?
- What proof is there that Jehovah’s Witnesses today are to be identified as God’s people today?
Also, if we cannot offer evidence for question 1 then question 2 is a mute question. Likewise, if there is no evidence for question 2, then question 3 is a mute question.
[i] WT 1880 June p107
[ii] WT 1932 6/15 p179 par. 7
[iii] WT 1953 10/1 par. 6
[iv] WT 1954 12/1 p733 par. 22
[v] WT 2015 5/15 pp29-30