Chapter 4

The Divine Purpose of the Ages

The "God of the whole earth" does not purpose to tolerate forever this rebellion against His righteousness. "By myself have I sworn, the word is gone forth from my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear." Ere this can be accomplished, the instigators to human rebellion must be cast down. In this regard the divine method is clear. "The powers of the air" are allowed to retain their seats only while their successors are being prepared. God, having redeemed a people and purified them, has introduced them potentially into the heavenlies. When they have approved themselves, they will in actuality take the seats of the "powers of the air," thereby superseding those who have manifested their unfitness and unworthiness.

This purpose, present and future, is very definitely stated in chapter 3:9-11. Here it is revealed as the divine will that "now (nun, the present time) unto the principalities and powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the chinch the manifold wisdom of God." The Church is to be God's instrument in declaring to these rebellious, and now usurping powers, the divine purpose, and in administering their principalities, after they have teen unseated and cast down.

This is further declared to be "according to the eternal purpose (prosethin toga aionon, the purpose of the ages) which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." That is to say, God, through all the past ages, has had in view this wonderful plan of preparing in Christ Jesus a people, chosen and called and faithful, whom He might place in these heavenly seats to rule through the ages yet to come. It is spoken of, in the verses just preceding, as "the mystery, which for ages hath been hid in God," one phase of this mystery being the wonderful veiling of the deity of the Son of God in our human nature, that we through Him might "become partakers of a divine nature" (2 Peter 1: 4) .

This exaltation of the saints and its object were revealed to Daniel in the . midst of his own great world-visions. In verse 22 of chapter 7, after the coming of the Ancient of days, "judgment was given to the saints of the mot High," and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." A ,tittle later (verse 27) we read that "the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people o f the saints of the most High." The meaning is clear. The saints of the Most High are the overcoming Church, raised to sit in the heavenlies. Below them, and as objects of their care, are the people of Israel, called here "the people of the saints of the most High." Israel will administer the earthly kingdom, and will be head of the nations. But, over all, will rule the exalted Church, as the executive of God.

 Chapter 3 Table of Contents Chapter 5