THE RAISING UP OF MEN WHO TURN THE AGE FOR THE RECOVERY OF GOD’S AUTHORITY AND EXPRESSION
It was at this juncture that Daniel was raised up. Through Daniel’s being raised up, God’s people returned from Babylon to Jerusalem. Those who returned to Jerusalem were of two lines. One was the line of authority, which included men like Nehemiah and Zerubbabel who were David’s descendants. Among them were also some governors. The other line was the line of priests. These men expressed God’s glory in the temple. Men like Ezra and Joshua, the high priest, were Levites. Hence, their return was a recovery of authority and expression as at the beginning. One matter was to rule for God, because among David’s descendants rulers such as the governors were raised up. The other was the expression of God, because there was a return to the priestly and Levitical services of the temple.
In relating these matters, it is not my intention to tell some Bible stories. My only wish is that among the young brothers and sisters here, some would realize what is happening in the universe. If we realize what is happening in the universe, we will easily receive a burden. We will realize that in the present age also, God needs someone to rise up and to turn the age as Samuel and Daniel did. We should agree that the condition of today’s age is like that of Babel and Babylon and that God’s authority is denied on earth and His expression torn down.
In these days the whole world is celebrating Christmas. Look how they celebrate! Outwardly, they are celebrating the holy birth of Jesus Christ, but actually, they are in the flesh and indulging in their lusts. No dancing in the world is worse than the dancing on so-called Christmas Eve! People even call such a dancing party “the holy party”! This is how men celebrate Christ’s “birthday”! Not only do the Gentiles behave this way, but even many Christians also are carried away by the tide of this age. Many send Christmas cards to each other, greet each other with “Merry Christmas,” set up trees at home, and hang little light bulbs on them. It seems that if they do not do these things, they will not be fashionable. I am afraid that among the young brothers and sisters, some have also done this in the past. Please remember that all these are fallen things. Today all of Christianity has fallen into Babel. There is not a trace of God’s ruling, not a trace of God’s expression. It is altogether a condition of men forsaking God. In such a desolate age, God needs young people to rise up to turn the age.
MEN WHO TURN THE AGE BEING THOSE WHO CONSECRATE THEMSELVES VOLUNTARILY
Let us now take a look at Daniel. How did God use Daniel to turn that age? There is an important principle with Daniel as also with Samuel. It is voluntary consecration. Samuel was a Nazarite. A Nazarite was a person who consecrated himself voluntarily (Num. 6). We can see the same principle in Daniel. Apparently Daniel was not a Nazarite. Actually he was, because a Nazarite was a person who did not drink any wine or strong drink. What is the meaning of not drinking wine or strong drink? It means not to enjoy any pleasures of this life. This is the principle with Daniel. Daniel would have said, “I do not want anything that the world considers sweet, joyous, or satisfying.”
Why did Daniel drink neither wine nor strong drink, nor partake of the king‘s diet? It is because all these things were related to idols. What the king of Babylon drank, as well as his meat and grains, must have been offered to the idols. At least those meals were not clean according to the ordinances on cleanliness in Leviticus 11; it was defiled food. Daniel said, “I will not be defiled by that food. The young people of the world may participate in it. But I will not have a part in it.”
In principle, Daniel and Samuel were the same; both were Nazarites. Daniel refused everything that men enjoyed and boasted of. He refused everything that would offer him some position in the world. He was a voluntarily consecrated one.
(Men Who Turn the Age, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)