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Chapter 1

This Launching Place and 
The Heavens –

Cyrus and Christ:

The Figure and the Fact

Comparison and contrast

The Jagged Peak that Pointed to the
Soaring Matterhorn: aloft in light,
over the dim and rubbled valleys ...

A Stunning Predictive Prophecy,
A Study in Opposites, A Place for Parallels

- understanding Daniel and hence movements in our own times: looking at the present through the past and the divine predictions

In Daniel 8, there is traced a remarkable prediction. It was made at the time of Babylon's ascendancy among world empires, when Daniel, captured as a young man in Judah and brought into exile to the land of the Babylonian invader, had become prominent in the affairs of his new nation. Daniel had excelled in one of the greatest examples of loyalty to God in high places in world history: now granted to him was a prophecy of coming things. Having been faithful in much, he was given more, for the service of the people of God. What was this prophecy?

It concerns the predicted coming after Babylon's little day of splendour, of what is depicted as

1) a two-horned ram, interpreted explicitly as the empire of the Medes and Persians (8:20), which would subdue the Empire of Babylon, and later,

2) a one horned goat (8:20-22), shown to be the Greek or Macedonian empire (of Alexander the Great). At Alexander's (early) death (feasting in the midst of his amazing conquests), the one empire became four segments. Power was divided among the princes. When we have looked further at Daniel, we become exposed to the vast perspectives on coming history, revealed to him by God in even broader predictions than this one.Then we shall begin to survey in terms of Christ and antichrist, events foretold by Isaiah and foreshadowed in the (next) Persian era for our own, moving indeed down to the Messiah and His powers and life, with echoes reaching to the present: rich with joy and  warning.

For the moment however, we turn to the four power blocs following Alexander's early death. From one of these, a "little horn" of amazing arrogance was to arise.


The Little Horns of Political but Murky Dynamic

Let us look first at the "little horn" or vehement arrogant ruler, of Daniel 8:9ff., 8:23ff..

One of these four kingdoms or parts of Alexander's Empire is traced by Daniel. It is the one which was to concern the people of Israel - who were to find its blasphemous expression in a deceitful, devious man of paranoid pretensions. There, in that kingdom,  it is that the vile and vehement ruler is to parade himself with pomp and pretension unthinkable. It is he, "little" yet absurdly magnified even towards heaven, who would violate the integrity of the Jewish temple, polluting it with his idolatrous wares and blasphemous follies for 2300 days (Daniel 8:9-14). He could not let the faith of the Jews alone, but provoked with lustful schemes against it, just as Daniel predicted.

All this then came to pass.

It is interesting to an even greater degree because not merely was the predicted 2300 day period of blasphemous pollution of the temple fulfilled (8:14), but it included the pretender's acme of pride in that this "little horn" would "stand up against the Prince of princes" (8:23). In this, he had that sort of unbridled asininity of braggadocio (Daniel 8:25, Isaiah 41:26-29, 44:6, 45:7-12 *1) which appears to characterise the South Australian thrust against the reality of the God of revelation and of grace, in its invasive Circular to Principals of 1988, becoming a self-appointed arbiter in the field of religion with no sign of adequate reason, if indeed, reason at all. So this "little horn" acted in his day; and what was to follow was likewise remarkable.

The time of this antichrist figure who in fact put an evil image in the Jewish Temple (around 171-165 B.C.), was followed by one of a great series of military exploits on the part of the Jewish Maccabees after whom the Book of that name is called. There is however another such paranoid ruler in view, when we turn to Daniel 7.

The time set for the follies of this second "little horn" predicted in Daniel 7 however , even symbolically, is shorter than the 2300 day period, by far (7:25 with 9:24-27). Further, while the "little horn" of Daniel 8 comes in the third of the four kingdoms named in Daniel 7's augmented list, the one following Babylon and Media-Persia, that in Daniel 7's statedly comprehensive coverage (7:9-14) is in the fourth of the four kingdoms. As to that one, we have travelled far since the preliminary run in Kingdom 3: it is much nearer to hand. In fact, it is breathing down our necks NOW!

Duration and kingdoms differ for each of these two "little horns". What they have in common*2however is instructive for our own time, to which this, our Mark II version of the "little horn", is yet to come! It is well to be informed, and to see it in its place. Although as we see in Chapter 2 below, there is a whole congregation representing the evil resources of folly in history, these two classical "little horns" allow a direct comparison of great significance which it is profitable to consider in our concern for the Jews on the one hand, the Gentiles on the other, as the world progresses towards, if you like, its Niagra...

Daniel 7's Little Horn Sitting on the 4th Beast

It is now time to consider that list of kingdoms or world powers shown in Daniel 7, illustrated or symbolised  in terms of four animals or beasts. It is here the Mark II little horn resides. That list:

Kingdom 1, Babylon, 7:1-4, cf. 2:31-34,36-38 is first. Then comes:-

Kingdom 2, Medes and Persians as traced in Ch.8 above, the Medes and Persians containing the Babylonians to make a bear with 3 ribs.

Kingdom 3, seen in Daniel 7:6, as likewise in Ch.8 following the day of the Medes and Persians, is Greece (8:21), or Macedonia to its North - including and focussing the time of Alexander the Great's Empire in its own fourfold division,  marked by the four wings of the leopard symbolising the Empire. It was in his day that the extraordinary, sudden and short-lived conquest of vast tracts of the known world occurred, with a panache and recklessness, courage and determination which appeared to have religious bases, especially as shown when Alexander 'visited' Egypt.

Kingdom 4 comes last: it is the Roman Empire, which in fact followed this earlier division of the known global span, the "world", swallowing up the foundations of Alexander, and their divisions. It is in this fourth and final kingdom that the little horn of Daniel 7 is met.

Daniel 2's Parallel: The Fourfold Standing Image ending at its feet,
instead of Successive "Beasts"

Before proceeding to contrast and compare these "little horns" which arise in the Jewish and in the Gentile eras of history as seen in this remarkable overview and oversight, let us make a brief excursion to Daniel 2, leading to Christ.

Here the 4 kingdoms - which in Daniel 7 are traced in 4 SUCCESSIVE beasts, in a horizontal time line, in a simple series - are traced vertically downwards, in a composite image. It is a STATUE that is shown to Daniel in Daniel 2's vision. Its golden head is explicitly stated to be Babylon (2:38), where Daniel was then residing as a Jewish exile from Israel, at the court of Babylon's king.

Then a silver chest and arms area is identified and the third bronze part of the image represents the third kingdom as history progresses. The last of the kingdoms in line in Ch.2, is then said to proceed to the legs of iron and to the feet, themselves made of iron and clay, partly strong and partly broken, partly tough and partly weak (Daniel 2:41-43). It is this kingdom, in the figure, at the feet, which will be hit and smashed (2:35) by a stone which on arrival in this smashing form, will become a great mountain to fill the earth (2:35, cf. 7:8-14). This kingdom, world empire, is the fourth: it is the last, the Roman, and it is this which chiefly concerns the perspective of the coverage and its purpose. (For a coverage of this Kingdom, see SMR pp. 904-931, tracing it to our time.)

The Fourth Kingdom the Extended Step
before the

THEN at the destruction of the 2nd Little Horn, at the base, feet, or end of the empire train, shown to Daniel in the upright figure of a man, and indeed dynamically terminating this fourth of the kingdoms listed: then indeed the everlasting Kingdom of God is to arrive, so that this is the period of the manifest rule of the Messiah or Christ (Isaiah 2:2-4, 4:6, 7:14, 9:1-7, 11:1-10 with many others). As shown, He is stated to be the son of Jesse - who as father of David indicates that he is the promised King of Kings to follow in the descendants of David. Though human in form and according to promise in the Davidic line, yet He is in the place of God - that is, He is the definitive incarnation of God which He purposed, predicted, performed: cf. Isaiah 48:16, Psalm 45, Psalms 72, 45, 110, 2.

He, called the Messiah (our Christ, the Greek form of the term) is sinless: and as to that, there is no mere man who is without sin - Ecclesiastes 7:20, only God Himself in human form, displays this attribute - Isaiah 53:9. This and His sublime, divine sufficiency, enables His effective sacrifice for sin in His own person for all who receive Him by faith; for a pure, unmarred condition was required in the sacrifice, from the days of Moses. The Messiah or Christ, being both God and sin-free, is enabled AS A MAN at last to perform what many animal sacrifices had merely typified, indicated, or symbolised. Only once in human history could this happen, that God came and met death to liberate us, so fulfilling what is REQUIRED of the sacrificial lamb, blemish-free - Leviticus 3:6, Malachi 1:11-13, Galatians 3:10-13, 4:4-6, Romans 8:32. Imperfection yields to perfection which covers through sacrifice, the case for the repentant believers in Him!
(Ephesians 1:6, Hebrews 9:15, 22-28).

Little Horns in Comparison: One of the Jewish Era,
One Waiting in the Wings for the Gentile World

Now we may revert to the little horn of Daniel 8 in comparison with that of Daniel 7 (8:9 and 7:8); for it is here that we find our coming parallel. We have noted that Daniel 8 has the little horn highlighted for kingdom 3, whilst the Daniel 7 little horn is at a terminal point of history itself, in Daniel 7's fourth and last kingdom!

The similarities*2 are notable for all that. That later "little horn" in Daniel's fourth kingdom (counting from that of Babylon in the world empire series) also "speaks great things" or utters pompous words, and these words are likewise "against the Most High", and he further "thinks to change the times and the laws", arrogating supreme pretensions to his agenda. He also passes like a mist. That "thinks to" or plans to, or aspires to is a fascinating term. How well it exposes the petty superficiality of the proud pagan heart!

In view of the facts of the numerical system used, the 70 sevens of Daniel 9:24-27, as explained elsewhere (SMR pp. 889ff, 959ff.), we cannot be sure of the arithmetic length of the antichrist supremo period at the end. However, the clear parallel of Daniel 8, though different in much, has something to teach us.

One of the biproducts of one of Alexander the Great's 4 pieces of Empire, the one concerning Israel, was the Syrian quarter: there we find the historical name of the devious tyrant, Antiochus Epiphanes. That was the ruler who fulfilled the paranoid pomp against Israel at that time as detailed in Daniel 8. From this amazingly systematic assemblage of history, it is clear that a fierce but quite short period is in view.

The ferocity itself in Kingdom 4's little horn would also be a guarantor of this: for in this later period, power is augmented by technicalities, as Daniel indicates in Ch.12; knowledge increases; and men run to and fro across the earth. Prying, peering at the race, and gearing men - this is all the rage! Thus Christ indicated that unless those days were shortened, no flesh could be spared, but for the elect's sake, shortened they will be (Matthew 24:22). The time at this level is limited! As to WHEN it is, this remains purposefully undisclosed, though its leads are obvious enough (Luke 21:20-28), disclosing THIS: that it is near! (See SMR Ch.8.)

Likewise, in Acts 1, after the resurrection, when specifically asked by the disciples whether this was the time of the Kingdom - and time was a specialty of Daniel's, and the Messiah HAD now been crucified as foreshadowed by Daniel in 9:24: Christ's answer speaks volumes!

Ignorance is Part of this Test:
It comes when GOD is ready - but Power to Live is Always Ready

"It is NOT for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father has put in His own power"! -

that was the word the Lord then gave to His friends.

In other words, there is no simple arithmetic available. Christ is not, as Messiah, providing no answer, in order to have it found out anyway, so that when He comes people will be watching, knowing full well when the "thief by night" will come! (Matthew 24:43-51). "It is not for you to know..." THAT is the criterion!

It is now, at the present time area, within the phase of the last and MESSIANIC "sevens" of the 70 specified in  Daniel 9:24-27; and it will be given a unit magnitude and status with His Father, at His own selection, concerning the return of His Son whom the world murdered, instead of receiving blessing (see SMR pp.889, 959ff.). This was not then to be known. It would be counter-productive to know it.

"But," said Jesus Christ to His disciples ...

"you will receive power, after the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth."


Meanwhile the time is increasingly testing...

It is necessary that there should be testings of faith, integrity, sincerity, reality, intentions, that the thoughts of many hearts should be exhibited for what they are, as Simeon told Mary concerning her child to come (Luke 2:33-35). ONE REASON why Paul preached the gospel to the Gentiles, of the unsearchable riches of Christ was this (Ephesians 3:8-11): that BY the church, some great thing should be made known before the principalities and powers of the spiritual realm, indeed before the face of the whole assemblage of heavenly created powers. And that ? what was that great thing ? It was the multi-faceted wisdom of God, as purposed eternally in Christ Jesus.

There is creation, redemption, salvation, and there is also demonstration. There is the wind-tunnel, and there is the flight. It is all there. God is most wise. Christian, you bear a banner (cf. Isaiah 59:19), therefore make sure you bear it well, for time and for wisdom: for before earth and heaven, it shows, it speaks. God spoke you into life; now speak that life into the world!

Let us however retrace our steps in this vast perspective of prediction, to the era of the Babylonian Empire, to the positive side.

Now we come to the prince Cyrus, still to come at the time of Daniel's vision, who would deliver the Jews from that disciplinary EXILE, so that they could return. At this point, we have a special privilege. Although this is back at Empire 2, as it crushes Empire 1, yet in some remarkable ways, the Liberator at the start of Kingdom 2 is a preliminary picture, of Jesus Christ the Redeemer from sin, who marked Kingdom 4 with His glory, and will terminate it shortly (Daniel 7:11-14, Matthew 24:30ff.). The similarities and the contrasts between them here tend to focus Christ for us, in a way which is striking, instructive and enlightening. It will also help us to see ourselves and our time in historic overview, with the lights God has given for us.

In this time, then, at the start of Kingdom 2, when the Jews would go free from captivity (reminding one a little of the D-day Second Front in Europe which released so many of them from Hitler's reign), there is special detail. GOD FORETOLD WELL OVER 70 YEARS BEFORE IT HAPPENED,

  • NOT ONLY  the name of the Empire which would break up the Babylonians,
  • BUT BOTH the release the Jews to go home at last,
  • AND the name of the KING or RULER who would be FAMOUS enabling this, liberating them!

Here Isaiah had predicted the very name of this deliverer, when the divine discipline would be complete to the very year as announced - 70 years in exile. That name ?

Back to Babylon -
the Crush of Empire 1

by Empire 2

That name ? It was Cyrus (Isaiah 44:27-45:4, esp. v.4 - the much famed 'Cyrus cylinder' of archeology, deals with his release of the Jews to their land and their worship). And he? a Prince of Medes (Isaiah 13:17) and Persians (Daniel 8:20).

As we have been looking down the tube towards the coming of Christ, and indeed of the antichrist epoch of testing, before His divine power as the Prince of Peace is made manifest on earth, as earlier it was in His resurrected body, we find there is significance in all these things. They speak to us both in terms of a parallel feature which we must now consider, which helps understanding of
New Testament teaching to which we return shortly.

This it helps in two immediately clear ways. It highlights features of Jesus Christ, focussing their wonder; and it exposes important elements in the tests to come, concerning the antichrist and his lair, "Babylon" - mystery Babylon (Revelation 17:5). Stimulating concerning good and instructive for circumspection concerning evil, therefore, it is: doubly valuable.

In its context then, let us look at Cyrus. His case ?

1) a mighty prince.

2) sealed and named, indeed, in advance by God, as a LIBERATOR.

3) His actions will result in the rebuilding of the temple (44:28), gutted with fire.

4) His progress when his time comes, will be irresistible by any power on earth (45:2, 46:11), because God wills it to be so.

5) Cyrus will perform this wonder on behalf of the people God has chosen, NOT FOR PRICE NOR FOR REWARD (45:13).

6) The words which, to the captive Jews in Babylon - forced to complete their time before deliverance and return to the promised land was consummated - may have seemed "afar off", were in fact to be fulfilled precisely at the appointed and the stated time. In that case? after 70 years! Nothing could lengthen it, nothing reduce. Jeremiah, who made this prediction (Jeremiah 25:11), did so under duress, in imprisonment in foul clay, reeking in the dungeon, in the pit, where he was sinking before rescue; and in this in essence, he was a type of  Christ, Himself crucified and sinking, till rescued in the bodily resurrection, likewise at the appointed time, after 3 days.

So, as you see in Daniel and Matthew and in Luke and in Paul, there are many things which had to happen - Christ made it most emphatic for example in Matthew 24:6-8 - before this could be. "The end," said Christ, unlike Albert Schweitzer, is "is NOT YET". The mass of adverse features to come were merely "the beginning of sorrows", said the Saviour. Schweitzer's ideas did not stand; Christ's thoughts are those of God, to all generations, and it is more inconceivable that one of these should pass unfulfilled than that the sun should at once forget to shine, the moon decline and pass, and the heavens depart like a scroll. They in fact WILL DO THAT (Isaiah 51) when the time set, comes, following Christ's return (Acts 1:7), but not yet. So in the end, even that  is not unlikely, but the odd occurrence of such a thing before the time is, like all else under the divine jurisdction, out of the question.

Modern history indeed has shown just HOW likely it is, at a given time! Yet to the tiring mind, both time and test may seem long, and involved; and of course, the wisdom of God IS deep; but His saving word is SIMPLE! Take this and live! All the world has to hear and that time is nearly fulfilled (Matthew 24:14).

But to return to Cyrus!

7)Though he DID NOT KNOW GOD, yet he is the prototype in much, of One who IS GOD, the Christ. Why ? For this reason: Cyrus was to, and did carry out the word of God's messengers. In his case, this made him a standing attestation that God can use tyrants, or unbelieving princes or people to realise, to fulfil His aims. Thus in your life, your boss, your wife, your children, your government can be turned to effect by the word of God. LOOK AT DANIEL! There he was shut up if anyone ever was, long before the lions were his companions, in an alien system, and he COULD have said, 'Oh these people do not KNOW God! It is hopeless. I will compromise and do sundry things to survive.' This however Daniel did not do! Instead, He believed in his God, who is true!

Fortunately, this rattish doctrine of survival is not the life-support system of children of God, who find their life in Christ, who is noble and pure and peaceable, and who is followed NOT by SELLING truth, but rather buying it, which is free, but demanding to the double-minded. Daniel did NOT AT ALL compromise, indeed he left his windows open when forbidden to pray, so that anyone could see him still praying to God, if wanting to do so.

THERE is a test passed with high honours! Let the Christian be fearless!
God then used the very power structure to deliver Daniel and to make such an impact on the King who admired him greatly, that it affected the entire kingdom: not through sodden pseudo-spirituality, but through honest and upright realism, with God leading in a way clear and contradistinct from anything else. If a flag was there, Daniel bore it brightly! Do you? If not, be with it! These are testing times and a test is a beautiful thing when it is to show something beautiful, so let it be shown!

Thereis  then is a CONTRAST to Christ in Cyrus, who did not know God: but even here there is at least one more parallel. Cyrus fulfilled precisely what he HAD to do! according to the previously announced word of God, and showed in this indirect but highly impactive way, the amazing power and resourcefulness of God, who illustrates His power and wisdom in such a fashion! Without KNOWING God, this king Cyrus PERFORMED the divinely predicted work, in accord with the mercy of God, as He had formulated it for this purpose, in advance.

Now let us look down the 6 points, yes 7, of parallel between Cyrus and Christ. This is the more interesting in this, that Isaiah has Cyrus in terms of deliverance at a near time (in fact 70 years) from the Babylonian discipline on the Jews, in chapters 43-45; and in chapters 48-55 he deals at a more distant time when the Gentiles themselves will figure in the "deliverance", with Christ.

It is a matter of contrast: From Cyrus to Christ: from the Jewish captivity for sin to the WORLD'S captivity IN sin; from the near deliverance to the far one, from the little (though amazing) one, to the vast one; from the preparatory school to the senior school! As Antiochus Ephiphanes is a prototype of the antichrist, with some parallels, and some marked differences, so Cyrus is a prototype of Christ, with parallels, and of course, some marked differences. The parallels in both cases, however, are both stimulating and expressive. Let us examine some of these.

In comparison with Cyrus, Christ: the surpassing parallel


2) ChristIS as Messiah, named, the Christ to come, and set apart with many prophetic testimonies in the prophets, so that what He HAD to do was demarcated in advance with admirable precision, delightful detail and assured sovereignty from the mouth of His Father.

3) Christ will likewise rebuild the "temple", not as Peter shows (I Peter 2) - and indeed Isaiah in Chs.65-66, 60 and elsewhere - in stone, but with holy and prepared people. These are like the stones of Solomon's temple, which were prepared OFF SITE, through the power God supplied, and THEN built into the temple. Thus Christians are MADE BY GOD and only then FITTED INTO THE LIVING BODY OF CHRIST, which is the church, though the current and predicted falling away might make it hard to recognise such a phenomenon in the many dead "churches" which illicitly abound. Nevertheless it is there, and its voice may be heard beyond those of the many ecclesiastical betrayers, its works seen and its testimony clear.

Indeed, Christ is already building this temple against that day. The outwardly large "temples" are increasingly obviously then, gutted with fire and brought to the ground, like the Jewish temple at the hand of Babylon, as the exile approached. Indeed, Christ is already building this temple against that day. The outwardly large "temples" are now increasingly obviously seen, in effect gutted with fire and brought to the ground (cf. SMR pp. 683ff., 743ff.,  837ff., like the Jewish temple at the hand of Babylon, as the exile approached. Indeed, ‘Babylon’ the false church of misrule, is literally to be so gutted (Revelation 17-18, see SMR pp. 946ff.).

4) Christ is to come manifestly. Just as the word of God is ordering (see SMR Ch.8, and also 9) ALL the structure of current history in amazing and relentless precision, so the Christ when He returns will show outwardly that healing and abounding power, which currently is spiritual by His Spirit, in  historically manifest form,  in fulfilment (Psalm 72, Revelation 20, Isaiah 65:19-25). 

In other words, what NOW is a matter of engineered history going through the test phases according to divinely stated plan, will soon appear to the world, as for the Jews earlier did the release from Babylon, following the discipline of the exile: each alike has been predicted, and each prophesied amidst intervening and predicted events, both manifest and obvious.

In the meantime, just as theJews were encouraged to LEAVE BABYLON, type and prototype of false religion,  and go on this amazing free journey back to a delivered Jerusalem, and REBUILD, so people now are called to ABANDON "BABYLON" and to be delivered (see SMR pp. 946ff. and Member , Contribution 6, The Wonder and the Witch, and *3 below ). Hanging about Babylon, to use the historical parallel with the Jews actually in that place, is not the site for blessed spiritual work.

You see this charge and challenge well expressed in Revelation 18:4, II Corinthians 6:4-16, I Corinthians 5:9ff and elsewhere, as shown in The Kingdom of Heaven, Ch.7, Separation In and For Christ!

5) Christ also releases HIS people FREELY, but from an infinitely greater doom. He delivers from the penal bondage of SIN, and not for price or for reward does He do it, though HE pays the price and there IS a reward (cf. Isaiah 55, I Peter 1:18-20). He does it out of love, like a shepherd, like one who seeks the lost because they ARE lost, the great physician who not satisfied with redeeming FREELY (Romans Chs. 3,6, Luke 15) His people, insists on a beautiful sending in the interim before the final appearance of His temple in the magnificence which HE confers on it (Revelation 21-22). And this sending ? It is that of  His Holy Spirit to indwell His people, so that they are not left ORPHANS or COMFORTLESS (John 14:17-24, 15:26-27, 16:22).

6) Christ has the prepared preliminaries. The MANY things which had to happen - because as Christ said of His own day, "the time is not yet" - are happening for us in our time, as they did in preparation for Cyrus in their time. The abandonment of principles is going on as Christ predicted in Matthew 24 and Paul in II Timothy 3 and elsewhere. The immoral hoax
frequently found masquerading as life is at its peak and climax. The churches in large measure are becoming empty hulks, based on tradition, sacraments or other superstitions, in this joining areas of their testimony with alien religions, as the basis of life (cf. The Kingdom of Heaven, Ch.10, Appendix, Biblical Blessings Appendix IIII, pp. 246ff.); while the Bible is becoming less and less EVEN a guide book, as you see for example in the Uniting Church in Australia, where lesbianism is proudly added to the Confession by one of the leading ministers who is, incidentally, a woman (see A Question of Gifts, pp. 79ff., 14.)

Indeed, in view of the testimony given by the author to the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, and rejected in 1966, it is scarcely surprising that now something not dissimilar in defilement, appears to be exercising that body (cf. Challenge Weekly, New Zealand, May 4, 1999, p.3). Again, small wonder the report adds of the forthcoming church Assembly: "If they are in favour of allowing practicing (sic) homosexual, many churches say they will break away." In 1998, only 56% are reported to have voted against this very thing, and the issue to be put in June 1999.

7) Christ Himself, like Cyrus, fulfilled what was written of Him: but He WITH HIS WHOLE HEART, with a perfect understanding (Matthew 26:54). This parallel of fulfilment spiced with the contrast of the understanding which Christ added to it, the incisive awareness of His part in the intimate comradeship with His Father, from whom He came, to whom He went: it is an appetite sharpener, assisting the impact of the beauty of what the Lord did.

Let me add one further point. Alexander the Great, whom we mentioned earlier, who was a long way down the predicted line towards the coming of Christ as a babe, which Isaiah predicted: He also has an interesting parallel for us. us. As we read in p.17 of The Guiness Book of Espionage (Guiness Publ., Middlesex, England,1994), we find that this Alexander  had an early system of code, in sending secret messages. He would wind around a stick a certain paper, and then write on it, finally removing it from the stick. Unless it were bound on a similar stick, so that it could be read crosswise, it simply would not make sense.

So the Bible is like that to many whose eyes are shut, whose ears are closed, whose hearts simply do not understand. They do not look, using their opportunities; and yes,  many do not consider. We had such a group or club,  earlier at Adelaide University. They were faced with a challenge and allowed to answer the author of a book on the spot, so that it could be shown that the word of God is undefeatable, and that it is true and like nothing else, able to stand. They clapped and went, and discussed it all where the author did not come, on the Internet, which they knew and he at that time did not. One of this particular group returned, achieved nothing to his purpose (the Lord being present and active, cf. II Cor. 10:5), and then joined the rest in the marvellous occupation of hiding from the opportunity to TEST.

They were apparently more interested in TALKING than in finding, or in sustaining confrontation where it would be met; but rather, like those who having an opportunity to discover by experiment what the fact is, let it pass, they appeared to imitate Mars Hill (Acts 17:16ff.), spending their time in idle chatter, where the test was not to be found: free from contest, at rest from the challenger who in person successfully sustained the much advertised word of truth, for years to come on campus. Such is the power of God, the grace and the strength of His truth in Christ Jesus (cf. Psalm 100, and the spiritual sword of God - Psalm 149, Hebrews 4:12, II Cor.10:5, Ephesians 1:19). It was almost inconceivably sad, like the case, in some ways, of the rich young ruler who wanted life, but not at Christ's cost. (Cf. Questions and Answers 7, pp. 69ff..)

All quality costs. With Christ, He paid; all we must face, is this - following Him in His way, having first been put upon it by His sacrifice and resurrection, through faith in Him (Romans 10:9-10): but the ONE we follow is the Creator, who surely is creative enough! It is facts, what stands, we need to examine; not fictions in a hot-house.

A Personal Note

Do YOU run also from the word of God. It will run after you; and while it does, be glad. But in the end, if you run over the horizon, to your own lair, you may be left there - the saddest thing on earth, worse then dismembered babes, whose bodies are ruined; this is your own and only SOUL! (See SMR pp. 348-353 for terminology.)

"Do you also want to go away?" Jesus asked His disciples, when many took offence at His teaching that He was the prophesied sacrificial lamb for sin.

"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!" - came Peter's reply.

"Also we have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God" -John 6:67-70.




Some Cited Passages of the Bible - Daniel 8:25, Isaiah 41:26-29, 44:6, 45:7-12

a) "By his scheming, he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity: he shall even rise against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without human means" - Daniel 8:25. (Emphasis added, re this prototype!)

b) "Who has declared from the beginning that we may know ?
and former times, that we may say, 'He is righteous ?'

"Surely there is no one who shows. Surely there is no one who declares. Surely there is no one who hears your words. The first time I said to Zion, 'Look, there they are!', and I will give to Jerusalem one who brings good tidings.

"For I looked and there was no man: I looked among them, but there as no counsellor, who, when I asked of them, could answer a word. Indeed they are all vanity {worthless}; their works are nothing: their moulded images are wind and confusion" - Isaiah 41:26-29. {Mental images are none the less images.}

c) "Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and His Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the First and I am the Last: Besides Me there is no God" - Isaiah 44:6.

d) Isaiah 45:9-12 is here given: "Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth!

"Shall the clay say to Him who forms it, 'What are you making?' or shall your handiwork say, 'He has no hands'? "Woe to him who says to his father, 'What are you begetting?' or to the woman , 'What have you brought forth?'

"Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: 'Ask of Me of things to come concerning My sons; and concerning the work of My hands, you command Me. I have made the earth, and created man on it. I - My hands - stretched out the heavens, and all their host I have commanded.' "

*2 See Chapter 2, The Tender and the True, pp.15ff.. Note also the parallel that just as the Maccabees delivered the Jews from Little Horn Mark I, so Christ will doom for ever from Little Horn,  Mark II, so delivering ALL His people - Romans 11:26, Isaiah 59:16-20, II Thessalonians 2:8-11, Revelation 19, Daniel 7:8-11.

*3 See in Chapter 2, A Glance Askance at Mystery Babylon, pp. 19-26.