The Abiding Message of the Book of Daniel (continued)
God Requires Ultimate Conformity to Original Light
One very brief word in this general outline again. Light is given at the beginning and light is recovered at the end, but with this extra emphasis, that light given at the beginning and recovered at the end is with the special object of that light being conformed to. I want you to get that, because these are abiding features of ages. The beginning of an age is marked by light always. The end of an age is always marked by that same light being brought into view, but an added emphasis of demand for conformity to the original light. Do you get that? In the Book of Daniel, isn't it marvelous, does it not strike you with great force, that the bringing in of Gentile world powers in a man like Nebuchadnezzar should be marked by light. Nebuchadnezzar, what was he in himself? Not much as a man, and yet to that man the God of heaven gave the most remarkable and wonderful fullness of unveiling of world-history, successive dominions of this world. Nebuchadnezzar searched out all his wise men, and his magicians to give him light, to help him in an hour when he was defeated, baffled, and not one of them could give a ray of light upon his perplexity, and he ordered them all to be destroyed. Daniel heard of it and said: "Why is the decree so hasty from the king?" (Daniel 2:15). Then Daniel went in to the king and desired that he would give him time and he would show the king the interpretation. "There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets" (Daniel 2:28). Every confidence in the Lord. And a season was appointed, the order of execution was stayed for a period, and Daniel called a prayer meeting, they went to the Lord. In a night vision the thing was revealed to Daniel and then Daniel praised the God of heaven and went in unto the king. By direct revelation 2,500 years of history were given to a Babylonian king when none of all the wise men of the earth could give him a ray of light. The God of heaven came in. Is that not impressive? Yes, light at the beginning. Light is always a feature of the beginning of dispensation, but as that dispensation closes that light is brought into view anew with God's double emphasis for conformity to the original light. That carries us a long way. If we are in the end, God is going to recover, and is seeking to recover for His saints the original light for His Church, but He is going to demand that the saints conform to that light, and if at an end time we come into touch with the true light, God is going to take great pains to see that we do not just handle this thing as so much truth and teaching, but He will deal with us in such a way as to bring us into living fellowship with the light.
This is just where we should finish, is it not? Light was given at the beginning: much light came in fully through the Apostle Paul. Most of it has been lost, or it has been lost in the main for the people of God through the ages, but God has been slowly recovering it, bringing it back bit by bit. And does it not strike you as significant that the Lord has so mightily recovered the testimony to the truth of the Coming Again of the Lord Jesus, and then brought in on top of that, and is bringing in on top of that, His emphasis about the Church the Body of Christ? Those two things go together. The remnant is related to the Advent.
Well, now we just close here for the present on this. The Lord is out to perfect that instrument of and in the testimony as to the Coming Sovereign One, and to bring that instrument as He brought the instrument in the Book of Daniel, into a living and experimental relationship to Himself for the age-purpose. How practical things were with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego - very practical. The Lord wrought the testimony in them and through them by deep, deep experiences. That is a foreshadowing, making the testimony a matter of life and death. And that is where we are. God is seeking to bring about a conformity to the light at the end.
May the Lord give you hearts that are able to hold all that is in His thought important for this time. This has only been surveying a very broad outlook in order that we may have something to work to after.
(continued with # 40 - (The Testimony and Its Vessel Unto the Time of the End - Hell's Hatred of the Vessel of Testimony)