The Testimony and Its Vessel Unto the Time of the End (continued)
The Mighty Significance of the Insignificant
Now what we have to see is not only that vessel, but how it fulfills its ministry in relation to the Lord's testimony in this time. And that vessel, we have said, is represented in this book by Daniel and his three companions. There are these two things; the world, under Divine planning, governed by Gentile powers, for the most part hostile to the Lord, antagonistic to the Lord's purposes, but in the midst thereof that which is related to the Lord and His purpose, and joined to the heavens - through which the heavens are ruling in the midst of the kingdoms of men; and what comes out in this Book of Daniel very clearly is, that while the Gentile powers are operating, and operating strongly, in opposition to God, God is imminent in His instrument and that instrument is really ruling in the midst of the world powers and bringing in that which speaks of the superior and transcendent government of the heavens. Now that is a very simple statement, but it has bound up with it tremendous things for us and for the people of God. It is no small thing to see that right there in the heart of the great dominating world system, the organized systems of this world governing the earth, there is a small thing, out of proportion to that system in its natural constitution, which so represents the supremacy of the heavens over the earth that although that world system goes just as far as it can, and the spiritual forces back of it, to bring to an end that apparently small and insignificant thing at its center, it is said of that, firstly, that continued unto the reign of Cyrus, king of Persia, continued unto then. Then there is seen that testimony right at the end of everything, the last thing when the pageant of the empires has passed, mighty empires rising, having their day, dominating, waning, passing; and they have all come and they have all gone and they have spent themselves to the full, the instrument of that testimony stands at the end of the day: Thou ... shalt stand in thy lot at the end of the days." And then withal the kingdom handed to the saints of the Most High and they take the government. That instrument, that vessel, is no insignificant thing; it may appear to be to the natural eye, comparatively from human standpoints it may be a mere nothing, but it is the instrument of heaven's rule and government and it is something which is greater than all the world powers with all the satanic forces behind them.
Now that is saying immense things, beloved, immense things. Do you catch something of the application of that yourself? Do you realize and recognize that you in all the weakness, the feebleness, the poverty, the insignificance of your own personal life, your own human constitution, your position, if vitally, truly spiritually linked in with God's eternal purpose in and concerning His Son Jesus Christ, chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, called by grace and having responded to that call, a partaker of the heavenly calling, you are moving with God in the Holy Spirit. If that is true of you then you are a part of that vessel though which the government of the heavens is being made manifest in the unseen, and vitally related to the course of this world's history, giving significance to all the happenings of the course of this world; that you are spiritually what Daniel and his three companions were in Babylon. What was that? The vehicle, vessel, instrument, for showing that God and the kingdom of the God of the heavens is a mightier thing than all the force and power of men and devils combined. That is no small calling for you or for me, we are in that, and mark you, that involves this - if my interpretation of the Scripture is right (and there is a great deal more than the Book of Daniel with which to support it) - it involves this, that when the devil has done all that he can do, and men have done all that they can do against us, that testimony which we represent is going to abide to the end and we are going to stand upon the wreck and ruin of all the world empires triumphant in that testimony in Christ, indestructible. Let them kindle the fires seven times, let them starve the lions! Now this is not romancing, this is the meaning of the issue of the testimony in the power of Christ's resurrection. That is the thing you and I are called unto, the power of His resurrection, which is to have its final manifestation in a company who have conquered death, and the authority of death, or in whom the Son of God has conquered death. That is the meaning of the fire and the Son of God in the midst (Daniel 6).
(continued with # 42)