788. It was Daniel who prophesied that this church would take the place of those which had come into existence since the world began, and would last for ever and ever. It would thus be the crown of all the preceding churches. He made this prophecy first when he recounted and explained to Nebuchadnezzar his dream of the four kingdoms, which mean the four churches, represented by the statue he saw:
In the days of those kings the God of the heavens will cause a kingdom to arise which shall not perish for ever; and it will consume all those kingdoms, but itself will stand for ever. Dan. 2:44. This was to be brought about by a stone becoming a mighty rock filling the whole earth (Dan. 2:35). Rock in the Word means the Lord in respect of Divine Truth. Elsewhere the same prophet says:
I was watching in the visions of the night, and I saw, one like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of the heavens. And to Him was given dominion, glory and the kingdom, and all peoples, nations and tongues shall worship Him. His dominion will be a dominion for ever, which will not pass away, and His kingdom one that will not perish. Dan. 7:13, 14.
He says this after seeing four great beasts coming up from the sea (7:3); these too represent the four former churches. Daniel prophesied these things about the present time, as is evident from his words at 12:4; as well as from the Lord's words, Matt. 24:15, 30. Similar things are said in Revelation:
The seventh angel sounded; and loud voices were heard in heaven saying, The kingdoms of the world are made our Lord's and His Christ's, and He shall reign for ever and ever. Rev. 11:15.