Volume 48

The Lord's Coming (11)

J. Taylor

Page: 502

Daniel 2;31 - 45; Daniel 3:16 - 18; Daniel 7:9 - 14; Daniel 6:10; Malachi 3:1 - 4

J.T. It has been suggested that we look at the post-captivity prophets in relation to the subject of the Lord's coming. Before proceeding to the scriptures bearing on our subject, it would be well to have Daniel before us in a personal sense, as we considered Isaiah at our last reading. Isaiah's history indicates how we come into the prophetic ministry. Daniel is exemplary, for in the presence of direct personal persecution he would have the service of God go on as before. The enemy's aim always is to interfere with what God is doing. To have a personal example is an advantage in the consideration of any scriptural subject or phase of a subject, and Daniel is this in what is before us now; that is, he would have the service of God go on as aforetime. The enemy undoubtedly, at the present time would cause a tremendous commotion in public affairs, affecting some of the saints directly, and affecting us all more or less, to the end that the service of God should be interrupted, or stopped entirely. So that Daniel is an example for us. It says of him, "And when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and, his windows being open in his upper chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled on his knees three times a day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime", Daniel 6:10. This was his normal procedure. He did not open the windows for the occasion. And then, our passage in Malachi links on at this point as a result of the Lord coming in suddenly to His temple. The passage says, "he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he will purify the children of Levi, and purge them as gold and

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silver; and they shall offer unto Jehovah an oblation in righteousness. Then shall the oblation of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto Jehovah, as in the days of old, and as in former years", Malachi 3:3,4. It seemed to me that we should have these facts before us at the outset, so that we may continue at all costs with the service of God. That is the point for the moment, and the enemy would either interrupt it, interfering in various ways, or stop it.

L.E.S. Would Daniel's name have a bearing on this? I think it means 'God is judge'.

J.T. And the name of God that is used, signifies 'the Mighty One'. He is Judge of all the earth and has power to operate as He judges.

A.A.T. Can one man carry on the service of God?

J.T. We see an example here. The service is seen in Daniel's house and, of course, is limited. The question is whether, in our houses, we have our windows open towards Jerusalem so as to have daily, or more, services.

A.R. In Daniel 6:5, it is said, "We shall not find any pretext against this Daniel, unless we find it against him touching the law of his God". What they had in mind was to stop him from serving God.

J.T. Quite so. So that this matter of carrying on the service as aforetime is most important. If we have had no household readings or prayer, this is the time to begin, but if we have had them, keep on with them ; do not let them be interfered with; even persecution should not be allowed to interfere with them.

W.B-w. In the book of Daniel, the enemy's first attack was in regard of food, in chapter 1. Then the second effort was to bring in false worship, in chapter 3. The third attack is to prevent true prayer, in chapter 6. Substitutes for the real thing are brought in - defiling food, a false image, and then prayer to Darius only; all were against the service of God in that sense.

J.T. You see how the man's house is ordered. "He

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went into his house; and, his windows being open in his upper chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled on his knees three times a day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime" (Daniel 6:10). The order of his house was always ready, his windows being open toward Jerusalem for this service, and he was ready to kneel even in what must have been extreme pressure, because he knew what the enemy was aiming at.

E.S. Was Joshua's language the same: "as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah", Joshua 24:15?

J.T. Yes. That was a resolution.

A.P.T. In the case of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego there seems to be an understanding of what worship means according to man; the cornet, pipe, the lute, and other instruments are all involved.

J.T. "Therefore at that time when all the peoples heard the sound of the cornet, pipe, lute, sambuca, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, the nations, and the languages fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up", (Daniel 3:7). According to the facts mentioned, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego did not do it. They said they would not do it; that is, they represent conscientious objectors. That is the true sense of conscientious objection. It is not sentiment; it is conscience . They stand for the true worship of God as knowing that the other was idolatry.

F.H.L. In Acts 4, following the prayer, it is said the disciples were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness. That would be carrying on the service.

J.T. Conscience is seen in the fullest sense here, because it is a question of the worship of God. They have no hesitation in saying what they will do and what they cannot do. "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer thee in this matter", verse 16.

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That is, in any other legitimate matter, they would acquiesce at once, but not in this matter. "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thy hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image that thou hast set up", verses 17, 18. That is, I should say, a true testimony where conscience is involved -- that God must be served.

A.R.S. What about Daniel? He does not figure in this.

J.T. He would not have been there. God orders for His children in detail. He, apparently, is not called upon to go through this. Undoubtedly he would have done as the others had he been there.

A.N.W. God must be obeyed rather than man under such conditions. Peter says, "God must be obeyed rather than men", (Acts 5:29).

J.T. The point now is that if we were tested, should we be like these three servants of God, answering unequivocally that we cannot do a particular thing on the ground of conscience -- a good conscience -- "the demand as before God of a good conscience", (1 Peter 3:21).

C.N. This objection is in relation to idolatrous worship. Now, the conditions that we may be called to face may be of a different character. Would you just say something about that?

J.T. It is only the principle of which we are speaking; whatever it be that you cannot do as an enlightened believer, having a good conscience before God, your answer is definite. That was all I was thinking of as entering into the present time. It is remarkable that at the beginning of those monarchies, the question of conscience should appear so distinctly; and that Nebuchadnezzar, the first king, the head of gold in the great image, should be converted. He was not converted by

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the first interpretation of Daniel. He was converted later, and this image that he set up, apparently would be the outcome of the other great image that he saw. Instead of being affected by Daniel's interpretation of it, he seeks to insist on this image as an object of worship.

W.R. Would you say that Daniel's conscious knowledge of God evidenced itself in his movements? He says, "Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever; for wisdom and might are his", Daniel 2:20. Further, he says, "I thank thee, and I praise thee, O God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might", Daniel 2:23.

J.T. You might say he is a young brother that has grown in the knowledge of God. The refusal of the king's meat and the choice of pulse showed his godliness and purpose. He is an excellent example for every one of us.

W.B-w. The first image had a governmental character; the second a religious character.

J.T. The first image represents what God has set up; it was seen in a dream from God; it was light for the king. Daniel says to him in the interpretation, "Forasmuch as thou sawest that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold - the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter. And the dream is certain, and the interpretation of it sure", verse 45. But the light did not save Nebuchadnezzar from setting up an idolatrous image.

C.A.M. I suppose Nebuchadnezzar's repentance, as seen in the end of chapter 4, would demolish, in his mind, the second image. He would never again set up that image after his conversion.

J.T. He would not; in fact chapter 3 would demolish the second image. It says in verse 28, "Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said. Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and

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delivered his servants who trusted in him, and who changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God! Therefore I make a decree, that in every people, nation, and language, he who shall speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be cut in pieces, and his house shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that is able to deliver after this sort", Daniel 3:28,29. He, so to say, demolishes the thing at once, but the next chapter is where his definite conversion comes in.

W.B-w. The faithfulness of the saints demolishes the second image, whereas the stone without hands will demolish the first one.

J.T. Yes, the stone without hands will demolish the first as having degenerated to the iron and clay.

W.B-w. That will take place with the beast, according to Revelation 19.

J.T. Quite so; the whole image is included in that, but judgment is executed on the worst feature of it.

L.E.S. Would you say a word about these four young men being in the employ of the government?

J.T. Well, I think they show that, as Christians, we can well afford to serve the government in legitimate matters. We should be very glad to do it in the hour of their need. It is surely right that we should regard government in a sympathetic way.

F.S.C. What is there in Nebuchadnezzar that corresponds to the head of gold?

J.T. Well, I think that he represents the head of gold, taking his whole history as he stands, including his conversion; not, of course, as casting these men into the fiery furnace. That would not be the gold; that would be the very opposite. But he became converted, and we are told that a man's heart was given to him. Evidently he came to have the right feelings of a man. So that Daniel says, "thou art this head of gold",

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chapter 2:38. It does not seem as if the immediate successors of Nebuchadnezzar came into it; giving emphasis that it was only Nebuchadnezzar, because of what he became -- a converted man -- that personally, he represented God. God gave the four monarchies a wonderful start in that way. He says, "And after thee shall arise another kingdom", verse 39. It is after thee ; not simply after Babylon.

A.B.P. Does the image represent deterioration in the form of government as well as in its administration?

J.T. Yes. The whole thing has deteriorated, and that is why the judgment is of God. The stone cut out without hands breaks in pieces the whole image. Although Babylon had existed for a long time before, it was in Nebuchadnezzar that it took its place as the first of the four monarchies which fill out "the times of the nations (Luke 21:24)". Including Babylon, the whole image went on to degeneration and the terrible conditions that arose in it, according to the book of Revelation.

C.A.M. One reason why it would be necessary for these Hebrew men to give the government everything possible in their service, is that as long as they were there they were really a voice to the king; and do you not think that was so even in the time of Darius?

J.T. Quite so, both Daniel and the other three would be in testimony to God; their position was quite legitimate in serving the government.

A.N.W. It has been said that the government has a right in an extremity to go so far as to claim my body, but it cannot claim my conscience and soul. Is that right? The blessed Lord remained a prisoner in the Roman power.

J.T. I would not say that, because my body is the Lord's, I should not like to hand my body over to them unconditionally. As to the Lord Jesus, they came and arrested Him. Of course. He delivered Himself up, but it was on the principle of the government seizing Him.

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They seized Him. He did not go to give Himself up to the authorities until they came to take Him with swords and sticks.

J.T.Jr. Is the same idea seen in connection with the bodies of the three who refused to worship the image? It says, "delivered his servants who trusted in him, and who changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God!" Daniel 3:28

J.T. They yielded their bodies to God in that. It was a sacrifice. They yielded them on the altar of God for the truth. They were martyrs, in effect.

C.N. Would Daniel's continuing until Cyrus indicate that such characteristic persons as Daniel will continue until the Lord comes?

J.T. Well, it would seem as if he is honoured in that he lived so long, till the reign of Cyrus -- the man that ordered the building of the house of God. It seems as if God would have him there. He then would be a very old man. "Go thy way, Daniel; ... and thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days", (Daniel 12:9,13). He was a man highly pleasing to heaven, and undoubtedly God had that in mind in leaving him so long down here.

A.Pf. I would like to ask you about Cornelius the centurion and the pious soldier under him. What was their duty in being soldiers? Would they go out to battle?

J.T. No doubt they would. Cornelius was an officer in the Roman army, and he had a soldier for his servant.

A.Pf. Would the conscience not come into play with them?

J.T. As coming into the truth, they had already addicted themselves to military service. The Spirit of God mentions it, and we have to accept it. Of course, there are brethren today who entered the army and

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navy before they were brought into the truth. Military work in this sense is not on the same level of evil as idolatrous worship required of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego.

W.F.K. They were converted in it.

A.B.P. Would you say that the conscience clause, in that sense, is not only a means by which the Christian can maintain a clear conscience, but also offers opportunity for public testimony today?

J.T. It gives opportunity to bear testimony to the truth of the Spirit of Christ. It is an extraordinary situation, because an army is as necessary to a government today as it was in Nebuchadnezzar's time - a police force and such like are essential for government. But the Lord Jesus has come in in the meantime, and He has introduced another spirit into the world. His followers are outside of all this, and they are a peculiar people, a heavenly people, and have to suffer, but it certainly is incumbent upon them to make clear that they are not against government, that government is of God, and they are willing to serve the government as far as they can, in keeping with the teaching of the Lord Jesus. But when the Lord comes back Himself, He will use the sword; He will come out of heaven with the armies of heaven after Him. Our position now is therefore unique. There never has been a position in the testimony like the Christian's position; Christians are now in it, and hence we have to suffer.

A.R. These three men were promoted in the kingdom. They would help in the kingdom of Babylon afterwards.

A.P.T. A lawless nation is no different in the eyes of God than a lawless man.

J.T. Not at all. Lawlessness is as objectionable to God in a nation as in a man. Well, we want now to get on more definitely to our subject; that is, the coming of the Lord. What we have been saying is really causing the truth to bear on our own consciences at the moment,

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but this image that Daniel saw, sets out the truth of the Lord's coming in a certain peculiar way, and we want to see that. His kingdom comes in in the figure of a stone . "And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth", chapter 2:35. Now that stone is Christ -- Christ's kingdom - and it is alluded to again in verse 45: "Forasmuch as thou sawest that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold, -- the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass here -- after". That is the stone, or the kingdom, "which shall never be destroyed; and the sovereignty thereof shall not be left to another people: it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, but itself shall stand for ever", verse 44. That phase of the coming of the Lord is presented in this section of scripture.

W.F.K. Is this the kingdom of God, as we know it; and will it last for ever?

J.T. Well, it is the kingdom of God; we have it now in a moral way, but this is literally a kingdom set up in this world, and it breaks in pieces all that preceded it. It is seen in the book of Revelation: "The kingdom of the world of our Lord and of his Christ", Revelation 11:15. Here, however, it is seen in its power as dealing with other kingdoms, which God had owned for a time, but now He is judging them and breaking them up; so that all these kingdoms that we are having to do with today and are subject to, will be broken up by this kingdom, which is pictured here as a stone.

A.A.T. There will be no Christians in that kingdom, will there?

J.T. It has the millennial day in mind; the kingdom of the Lord and His Christ, but it is to be divinely powerful, breaking up the four empires spoken of in Daniel, and it will never be superseded.

F.S.C. What is the force of the stone breaking the

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iron as over against the iron itself breaking and subduing, as seen in verse 40?

J.T. Stone usually represents permanency, I think, and "cut out without hands", alludes to the deity of Christ. It is to be a heavenly kingdom and He will establish and inaugurate it. It is permanency.

A.R. When the Lord said to Peter, "thou art Peter" -- a stone -- did He have in mind the same idea, that he was going through to another kingdom?

J.T. He was material of a permanent quality. You see what is said about the breaking in pieces: "whereas thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron doth not mingle with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of the heavens set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the sovereignty thereof shall not be left to another people: it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, but itself shall stand for ever", verses 43,44. The stone, as a figure, is then alluded to, "forasmuch as thou sawest that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold -- the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter", verse 45. That is, the stone is the type, spiritually of the final kingdom, but it is simply a kingdom -- "the kingdom of the world of our Lord and of his Christ" (Revelation 11:15) -- only that it is all-powerful.

N.P. Is that the thought in 1 Thessalonians 5:2, "the day of the Lord so comes as a thief by night"?

J.T. Yes; only what we are speaking of follows that; we have considered it before, that it comes suddenly and unexpectedly. But this passage is dealing with the great image, the head of which was of gold, the finest thought, representing what is of God, and set up according to God. You can see what is of God in a man

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like Nebuchadnezzar, who was converted, but there is constant deterioration. "After thee", in verse 39, refers to the next kingdom -- not the next king -- so that the kingdom of the Medes is said to be "inferior to thee". And so it goes on to say, "then another third kingdom of brass", which is inferior to the second; and another -- the fourth -- "part of potter's clay, and part of iron ... partly strong and partly fragile". That is the most degraded feature, and that having run its course, the kingdom of the heavens comes in and breaks to pieces all these kingdoms; the whole image is broken and looked at as one thing because of this degeneration. There is a moral reason for it because it was never intended to be anything else but provisional , for the sake of the testimony till the coming of the Lord.

A.R.S. Everything that is set up here finally degenerates if man has anything to do with it whereas Christ's kingdom does not degenerate.

J.T. The millennium, in a general sense, does, alas! But abstractly, the kingdom does not. The millennium is seen as ending in a perfect way, but Numbers 29 indicates decline throughout. The passage refers to thirteen bullocks, twelve bullocks, eleven bullocks, ten bullocks, nine bullocks, eight bullocks, and seven bullocks, but it does not go below seven bullocks. That is, the thing is perfect spiritually, but there is diminution in the appreciation of it. At the end of the thousand years Satan, as loosed from his prison, shall deceive the nations, and they shall surround the camp of the saints and the beloved city. This is a solemn consideration as a further testimony to the incorrigibleness of man in the flesh.

A.R.S. The Lord Jesus delivers up the kingdom at the end.

J.T. That shows it is intact. "Then the end, when he gives up the kingdom to him who is God and Father; when he shall have annulled all rule and all authority

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and power. For he must reign until he put all enemies under his feet", (1 Corinthians 15:24,25).

F.H.L. Is that the kingdom in mind in John 18:36 "My kingdom is not of this world"?

J.T. Yes. The Lord speaks there of its origin and character.

A.N.W. Do you think "without hands" suggests Deity?

J.T. I do.

A.N.W. However strong the iron might be, it is made with hands.

Ques. Is this the kingdom that God had in mind from the outset?

J.T. Quite so; the Lord Jesus is in view as King. He told Pilate that He had been born for this, and His kingdom stands. "If my kingdom were of this world, my servants had fought", (John 18:36). It is a heavenly kingdom that comes in, symbolised by stone because, I think, it is divine, and intended to be permanent; it is never to be superseded. The idea of "rock" or "stone" is much attached, in scripture, to divine Persons.

L.E.S. The features of the head of gold would be seen in Nebuchadnezzar, in Daniel 4:3, where he refers to God's kingdom as an everlasting kingdom. The testimony to what we are saying is rendered there.

J.T. Quite so; that is what we want to come into now. It has already come in; Christ in heaven and the Holy Spirit here implies the kingdom; it is in a provisional state in view of the present character of the testimony, but it goes through; there is no end to it. It will take another form presently, when He comes out of heaven; it will take a form suited to "the kingdom of the world of our Lord and of his Christ (Revelation 11:15)". But it is the same thing going right through. So that we want to get into that. Even Christians are set up as a kingdom, Revelation 1:6.

L.E.S. So Nebuchadnezzar goes on to say, "How

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great are his signs! ... His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation", (Daniel 4:3).

A.R. Is that the meaning of the word, "a kingdom not to be shaken", (Hebrews 12:28)? It cannot be shaken.

J.T. And we have received it.

R.W.S. So that even as coming in a moral sense, without observation, it is universal, is it not? And it will have no frontier in a coming day, in a public sense. It will do away with all other kingdoms.

J.T. Yes. The Lord says it "does not come with observation", (Luke 17:20). It has already come in this way, and it is here now. It is here by the Spirit -- Christ in heaven, and the Holy Spirit here. The Lord said, "the kingdom of God is in the midst of you (Luke 17:21)". It was there in Himself. Now it is in the Holy Spirit as here in the assembly. Presently it will be here in full public display, "as the lightning goes forth from the east and shines to the west, so shall be the coming of the Son of man", (Matthew 24:27). He comes out in public display and power, and that is what is alluded to here in the kingdom that breaks all in pieces. But the divinity, permanency and greatness of Him that is Head of it is seen in the stone that is cut out without hands, filling the whole earth. It is a wonderful thought, and the Lord would bring us into it now.

W.B-w. Would you not put the gold before the stone?

J.T. Well, what Nebuchadnezzar represented was the principle of government according to God, but being in a creature, it degenerates. The stone is by itself; as representing Christ, it does not degenerate but remains for ever. Now, chapter 7 gives us another view of His kingdom. It is said, "I beheld till thrones were set", (the footnote reads, "'cast', placed as cushions, for sitting upon") "and the Ancient of days did sit: his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like

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pure wool; his throne was flames of fire, and its wheels burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came forth from before him; thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened", Daniel 7:9,10. And then later, it says, "I saw in the night visions, and behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like a son of man, and he came up even to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed", verses 13,14. I think we ought to take these two passages in particularly. The first is the magnificence of Christ's kingdom, the number of persons ministering to Him. It is what He is - a divine Person. In the second passage He is seen as Son of man coming from our side, as belonging to the race, and approaching the Ancient of days. He is Himself seen as the Ancient of days in verse 9; but in verse 13 He comes "even to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him". It is the acceptableness of Christ before God, corresponding somewhat to what He is in chapter 5 of Revelation. He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah who opens the seals.

C.A.M. Is the purpose in His being presented in two different Personages to bring out the greatness of the Person of Christ?

J.T. The first is what He is on God's side, corresponding with the stone cut out without hands. It is what He is Himself divinely, in verses 9 and 10. And then in verses 13 and 14, it is what He is on our side; the Son of man, and He is brought near to the Ancient of days.

C.A.M. That helps, because it would look as if it is God considering for the fact that we are not capacitated

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to think of two different presentations at the same time, and yet we do hold both those glorious views of Christ.

J.T. We do, indeed, so that He presents Himself as the "root and offspring of David (Revelation 22:16)". What He is divinely -- from the divine side -- the Root of David, would correspond with verse 9; but as the Offspring, He is on man's side.

A.N.W. The description of the Ancient of days and the title "Son of man" are linked together in Revelation. He is said to be "one like the Son of man ... his head and hair white like white wool", Revelation 1:13,14.

A.R. In your remarks as to verse 9, you mean the truth goes back; whereas, in verse 13, it goes forward?

J.T. Yes; the former is Deity, bringing in what Christ is in the kingdom. We bow down to Him; He is King; He is a divine Person. But then He is on our side, too. He comes before the Ancient of days. His life here upon earth was delightful to God, and He was made Lord and Christ. God made Him that.

E.E.H. Verse 13 is mediatorial.

L.E.S. Would that help us in filling out our position here in relation to the thought of government and the ways of God?

J.T. I think so. The Lord says, "that ye may ... sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel", (Luke 22;30); and the twenty-four elders are on thrones, too. To the overcomer in Laodicea He says, "to him will I give to sit with me in my throne", (Revelation 3:21).

W.B-w. Chapter 7 opens up with four beasts, suggesting the four monarchies, I suppose, and then is the point to show that He supersedes all these?

J.T. That is the point. Chapter 2 is an image - one idea -- an image like a man. In appearance it is a monstrosity, you might say, but these are four separate kingdoms, and to one "like a son of man" is given "dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, ... his dominion

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is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed".

M.O. Does the remnant in Luke 1 see this kingdom filling the whole earth. Mary says, "He has put down rulers from thrones, and exalted the lowly", Luke 1:52. And Simeon says, "a light for revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel", (Luke 2:32).

J.T. Just so; it works out there. So the angel's announcement is "for today a Saviour has been born to you in David's city, who is Christ the Lord", (Luke 2:11). That is the One who rules; but it is unto us . He is on our side.

A.N.W. Daniel 7:18 says, "the saints of the most high places shall receive the kingdom, and they shall possess the kingdom for ever, even to the ages of ages". I was wondering, is that our family, or is it another family?

J.T. That is another side of the position. The saints come into it, so it is viewed as our kingdom. And then you see the saints judging five or ten cities. How many cities there will be, who can tell? But the saints will have authority over them. So that, publicly, that is just how the truth stands, that the saints have a kingdom. We are suffering now, but if we suffer, we shall reign publicly. No doubt those who form the assembly will have part in all this. According to Ephesians they are "saints of the most high places (Daniel 7:18)".

F.H.L. Daniel was waiting until God's throne was set up and until the beast was slain. It was a faith time.

J.T. Quite so; these things are most exhilarating, if we can only get into the spirit of them. He has "made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father", (Revelation 1:6). So that publicly we are carrying on, but the first presentations here are to bring out the greatness and glory of Christ in His coming in the future, in His kingdom.

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J.T.Jr. Would the "clouds of heaven" always be the evidence of His coming? We have the same expression in Revelation.

J.T. I think such allusions call attention to Deity. What is suitable to a king in his public appearing, is well known in the ways of man. I think the clouds are a sort of symbol to denote what properly belongs to divine Persons in their public appearings.

C.N. According to verse 15 this vision would seem to have a great effect on Daniel. Would you say a word as to that?

J.T. Yes, he says, "As for me Daniel, my spirit was grieved in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the certainty of all this. And he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things: These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, that shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most high places shall receive the kingdom, and they shall possess the kingdom for ever, even to the ages of ages", Daniel 7:15 - 18. The interpretation given would have quieted Daniel. That the saints should possess the kingdom for ever would no doubt cause him joy. Whatever may happen in the history of the beasts, the saints will have the kingdom. This is very assuring. Verse 28 shows, however, that Daniel continued to be troubled.

Ques. Would you say that the demolition of these four kingdoms starts now in men like Daniel?

J.T. Yes; although set up of God for a purpose, their degenerated principles must be overthrown in all our hearts. The Christian begins to disallow what is evil, and allow the Lord Jesus to rule there. That is the point. We are thus in the kingdom of God in a practical way.

A.R. The Lord says to Daniel, "And thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days", Daniel 12:13. Would that confirm what you are saying?

J.T. It would. The whole book has Daniel in mind

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personally; he is exemplary. You would seek to be like Daniel. Thus heaven has confidence in you; that is the idea. The gospel of Matthew is on that principle. "And behold, I am with you all the days", Matthew 28:20. This implied that the Lord had confidence in the disciples.

C.A.M. Would you say that Daniel, personally, is seen in the first half of the book, differently to the second half; in the first the testimony can be understood on the outside; in the second half it is more the private view?

J.T. Yes. I think he is presented in the early chapters -- chapter 1 particularly -- as a model for us, just as we were speaking of Isaiah. We come into the prophetic spirit and testimony by the way indicated by Isaiah -- self judgment. Here it is the personality of Daniel, how he refuses the king's meat, and evidencing his godliness (God being with him, giving him distinction) he is brought before the king; he stands before great men. That is what the book of Proverbs indicates.

L.E.S. Would the position of Daniel here be analogous to the position of the Lord in Matthew in the presence of the ways of God governmentally? Daniel is referred to as a man "greatly beloved".

J.T. Yes. His personality is seen right through the book, and in other books, too. Think of the distinction that man had in the testimony of God! A young man may thus acquire power and distinction to stand before great personages; God promotes him as one pleasing to Him.

W.F.K. Heaven is interested in him and sends Gabriel to him.

J.T. And he is addressed as greatly beloved! The angel is there to make Daniel skilful of understanding. I think that is a point for us now. And then the thought of the personality of Daniel, added to the great facts before us relative to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in His kingdom.

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C.A.M. The key to that would be that, in his soul, he was very near to the altar.

J.T. Quite so; he was at the centre of everything in prayer. If we are with God, we get inklings from Him about current things. You could not speak in a prophetic way, perhaps, but you get impressions from God of what is happening; all, of course, in view of the Lord's coming.

A.P.T. Who are those millions of verse 10?

J.T. The thought is in the number ; they stood before Him.

A.P.T. The verse says, "thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened", Daniel 7:10.

J.T. The time of reckoning had come, confirmed in verses 11 and 12. Verse 27 is very assuring as showing that the kingdom is Christ's, it is given to the people of the saints of the most high places. The place they have in this vision is remarkable and comforting. Revelation 20 teaches that those who have part in the first resurrection reign with Christ a thousand years.

C.A.M. We get an impression from Mr. Darby's hymns of the vastness of the number of the redeemed and the immensity of the range of Christ's kingdom.

J.T. We do -- from hymn 14 particularly.

J.T.Jr. Verse 22 says "The appointed time arrived". The thing is set to arrive at a given time.

J.T. Yes. "I beheld, and that horn made war with the saints, and prevailed over them", Daniel 7:21. Presently he will make war with the Lamb, too, but here it is the saints; "and judgment was given to the saints of the most high places; and the appointed time arrived, and the saints possessed the kingdom", Daniel 7:22. There is no question about it. All will be finalised in this way. And then you see again, "But the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole

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heavens, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most high places. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. So far is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my thoughts much troubled me, and my countenance was changed in me; but I kept the matter in my heart", Daniel 7:27,28. As having the Holy Spirit we ought to take these things in and be restful in them.

R.W.S. Verse 20 says, "... whose look was more imposing than its fellows Daniel 7:20". There is a divine answer to it. Would not all this help us today -- the imposingness of this kingdom on the one hand, but over against that the inward power to overcome it?

J.T. Quite so.

A.N.W. Would you say how you view the "age of ages" in connection with the kingdom?

J.T. The Spirit of God uses the word "everlasting", verse 27 -- eternal conditions; the same as in Ephesians 3:21, glory to God "in the assembly in Christ Jesus unto all generations of the age of ages".

A.N.W. Do you carry the kingdom thought right through?

J.T. Christ delivers it up to His Father. But the principle of the kingdom will remain. "Then the end, when he gives up the kingdom to him who is God and Father", (1 Corinthians 15:24). It is further said, "the Son also himself shall be placed in subjection to him who put all things in subjection to him, that God may be all in all", (1 Corinthians 15:28).

W.B-w. Would you tell us why these two angels are mentioned in the following two chapters? Gabriel comes in giving skilful understanding, and Michael comes in in connection with strength.

J.T. I think the first -- Gabriel -- is the priestly angel, having to do with prayer. He makes a great deal of Daniel's prayer. He is seen in Luke in the same way, going in to Zacharias. Michael is seen more in relation

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to the military side. He is called an archangel, and "Michael your prince", Daniel 10:21. He wars with the dragon and casts him and his angels out of heaven, Revelation 12:7.

W.F.K. Had you something in mind as to the Lord's coming, in Malachi?

J.T. Well, it was just the thought of finishing our subject in the post-captivity prophets. "Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord whom ye seek will suddenly come to his temple, and the Angel of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he cometh, saith Jehovah of hosts", chapter 3:1. This would be preliminary, really, to what we have already spoken of, only it brings out the testing time for the saints. "Who shall stand when he appeareth? For he will be like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' lye. And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he will purify the children of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver; and they shall offer unto Jehovah an oblation in righteousness. Then shall the oblation of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto Jehovah, as in the days of old, and as in former years", verses 3,4. It was just to bring out the thought that He comes in "suddenly", but He comes into His temple . It is in view of the service of God . It is not military, but that the service should go on as it used to "in the days of old, and as in former years".

C.A.M. Is that the reason the Lord is stressing the matter of the temple and its holiness?

J.T. I thought so. It seems to fit in with the present exercises of the saints -- how the service of God involves the temple.

A.R. Why is so much said of the temple in Revelation? Is that the same idea?

J.T. It is; the temple of God and the worshippers are measured. It is of utmost importance that through all the present turmoil, the service of God should continue.

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R.W.S. Is this temple a physical thing?

J.T. It will be. It alludes to the coming position at Jerusalem. The Lord had appeared suddenly there, and He will again, but the result is that the service is to continue.

W.B-w. Daniel opened his windows toward Jerusalem, but here you get the temple.

J.T. Quite so; Malachi has the temple in mind. He makes a great deal of the sons of Levi, the priests.

A.R. Like Zacharias at the beginning of Luke's gospel?

J.T. Malachi links on with Luke; the New Testament links on with the Old in the priesthood, showing that the service of God must go on. So the Lord comes into the temple . Simeon takes Him up in his arms. Simeon came in as a priest. He came in by the Spirit -- it is a spiritual priesthood -- and he blesses God. He takes the Babe in his arms, and Anna, one who served God day and night in the temple , rejoices at the same time.

W.B-w. "There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon", (Luke 2:25). He was in Jerusalem.

J.T. He was a provision, ready to receive the Lord in a truly priestly way. That is what is meant; so the service of God is to go on in these lines; thus the gospel closes with the disciples in Jerusalem full of joy, continually in the temple praising God. The service goes on. That is the thing to keep in our souls, I am sure.

"The ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them ... to search out a resting place for them", (Numbers 10:33). "They drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ", (1 Corinthians 10:4).

The Rock went behind and the ark went before. All the pioneering work involving the severest conflict and drudgery, so to speak, belonged to the Lord. The

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allusion, I suppose, to the Rock which followed them gives the thought of water-carrying -- a sort of drudgery, divine love expressing itself thus.

In Numbers 10, we find that the proper position of the ark was in the centre, the divine intent being that Christ should be honoured among the people, and that all should serve Him. Instead of that, however. He breaks through the ordinary rule and goes before. It is a very remarkable thing that there is nothing said previously about the ark going before, showing how divine love reserves its own liberty. It acts from itself, as the Lord did when He sat at table; then rising from supper He laid aside His garments. The divine way is to give up for the good of others and to accept the drudgery.