The Testimony and Its Vessel Unto the Time of the End (continued)
The Mighty Significance of the Insignificant (continued)
Oh, that something of that might just dawn upon you, for we are today in no small thing. Tremendous things have gathered us here at this time and there is a very great deal of history of our being here.
Daniel continued unto the first year of king Cyrus. When was that? Open your Book of Ezra and how does Ezra begin? "Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of Jehovah by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, Jehovah stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia" (Ezra 1:1; Daniel 1:21). What did he do? Gave command for the return of the Jews to their land, opened the way and facilitated the return of the remnant, the recovery of the testimony. Daniel continued unto then. He must have been an old man, but that very fact is a declaration which spites hell, for Babylon sought to engulf Daniel.
Hell's Hatred of the Vessel of Testimony
The powers of evil back of Babylon marked Daniel out for destruction. Oh, you can see it. Nebuchadnezzar dreamed a dream, sent for all his wise men to interpret - no one could, impulsively he commanded that they all should be destroyed, and it says: "And they sought Daniel and his companions to be slain." That means Daniel was a marked man by those who had this power in their hands. Why does it say: "And they sought Daniel and his companions to be slain" (Daniel 2:13). Well, he was not one of the Chaldean or Babylonian wise men or magicians, but they included him and his friends. They had not asked him if he could interpret the dream, they had not given him a chance, but they sought to kill him. You see the impulsiveness of hell back of that, to get four men who had not been given a chance, to kill them, to sweep them in, to stampede this whole thing in order to get those four men. That is what Herod did; he swept in all the babes in order to get one. That is what Pharaoh did. This is hell's method, just to get one, to engulf the vessel of the testimony. We know the fiery furnace and the den of lions. We know from this book of the "animus (enmity, hostility) in the hearts of men toward these. How they were scheming and designing so that they could entrap them, catch them, get rid of them. How they gloated over the signing of that command by the king which could not be cancelled and had to go through when Daniel was caught. How they gloated over it. "Now we have got him." Well, that is there coming from the spiritual background, but: "Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus." Why is that added just there? What is that put in? Is that only just a little bit of historic information thrown in for narrative? No, the Holy Spirit is saying something tremendous. Daniel continued. Then when all this is passed, they have done their worst: "... and shalt stand in thy lot, at the end of the days." The vessel of the testimony will be there when all else is spent. It continues unto the end; it is indestructible, it is the nature of the permanence of heaven. It does not mean we may not die, although we may not be executed, - but never was a vessel of the testimony more alive than the Apostle Paul today. He was executed. He will stand in his lot at the end.
(continued with # 43)