Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 6 (1889-1890)


Ms 35, 1890

Loyalty of Daniel and his Three Companions



Previously unpublished.

Daniel is a representative of what a youth may be. He was placed with his three companions in the king’s court. These youth were greatly surprised at the advantages that were accorded them. They could not know the end from the beginning; but all four were decided, as they considered that their religious instruction must be carefully and strenuously guarded, that the Lord Jesus, who led the armies of the Lord’s host from Egyptian bondage, would be their guide and their counsellor. These youth prayed individually, and were favored with opportunities to pray unitedly, to the Lord for understanding as to how to conduct themselves in such a way that they would not, in spirit, in word, or in action [engage in] any idolatrous [practices]. The Lord could instruct them in this place, if it was indeed His purpose for them to make known in this heathen court the glory of the true God. As is seen in the lives of Daniel and his three companions, they decided to resist temptation and to be true to the only true God. 6LtMs, Ms 35, 1890, par. 1

Many things were revealed to Daniel in figures, for he had his appointed place to fill in the history of the kingdom of Babylon. 6LtMs, Ms 35, 1890, par. 2

In (Ezekiel 14:12-14) the Lord Jesus speaks to Ezekiel: “The word of the Lord came again to me saying, Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it: Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.” 6LtMs, Ms 35, 1890, par. 3

Although these righteous persons were in the land, they could not deliver any soul by their own righteousness—not even their own sons or daughters, who were, through their own negligence of His requirements, dishonoring God and pursuing a life of iniquity. However much knowledge they might have acquired, God would not spare them from His judgments. They would feel the wrath of their offended God. 6LtMs, Ms 35, 1890, par. 4

(Verse 22): “Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their doings: and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it. And they shall ... know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord.” 6LtMs, Ms 35, 1890, par. 5

(Ezekiel 28:3): “Behold, thou [Ezekiel] art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee.” The Lord God favored Ezekiel, the old and experienced servant of the Most High God. He was older than Daniel. Daniel was growing in favor with kings and with nobles. He was about to fill the important place of Ezekiel, and yet Ezekiel was not at all envious, but was glad that God was bringing in younger men—Daniel and his fellows—to stand firmly for the honor of God. As these men honored God, serving Him with purity of principle, exalting God above all kings and nobles, Ezekiel gave encouragement to them as a father would to his children. 6LtMs, Ms 35, 1890, par. 6

The whole book of Daniel is a wonderful prophetic history. Great honor was conferred upon Daniel because Daniel honored God and cooperated with God. Daniel did not place himself in the Babylonian king’s courts, where there were idolaters and irreverent and careless people, but he and his companions were taken in warfare and carried to Babylon. Now they began their plans. They would be true to God’s commandments not to practice any species of idolatry. The education of their youth was to them of value if they would practice the instruction which they have received. 6LtMs, Ms 35, 1890, par. 7

God says, “Them that honor me,” by exalting the principles of the Lord’s government, by their own steadfast principles, “I will honor.” 1 Samuel 2:30. The constant fidelity of Ezekiel and the four youthful captives gave strong representations of the character of God. The Old Testament gospel is very precious because of the convincing power of its inspiration. 6LtMs, Ms 35, 1890, par. 8

Daniel was from his very youth a living, active agency for God. He was a participator in the wonderful events in Bible history which he records. His exaltation in the king’s business did not spoil him. It will be observed that his writing in the book of Daniel bears the right stamp and the right ring. Daniel’s reverence for God caused him, throughout the whole history, to keep the proper distinction between human and divine agencies. While he exalts the divine agency, unfolding the great and holy God as above all things, the human agencies are placed in their proper position of limitation. God is exalted as the Most High God, controlling all kingdoms. All human authority is treated respectfully, but it occupies its own place as merely human. Monarchs and statesmen, the highest and the most learned, were as the dust in the balance, and God alone was Ruler of the destinies of all men. He would, by His might and by His power, exalt whom He would to carry out His purposes. He would cast down one and set up another in his place. As the Monarch of an everlasting kingdom, the Ancient of Days, as the living, omnipotent Ruler, He wills to do and accomplishes His purposes. 6LtMs, Ms 35, 1890, par. 9

We will speak of Daniel in his youth. It is because he was so true to God that God gave him wisdom and understanding to know how to treat himself in harmony with God’s great plan and not spoil the Lord’s purpose and design by a heart set to do evil. He must understand that he must cooperate with God if he would have God cooperate with him. There must be no departing from the living principles of heavenly requirements. He must understand his own physical frame, its structure and its laws, and how to guide wisely the living machinery. God would keep it in order if he did not, through the selfish indulgence of appetite, imperil God’s workmanship. This was the greatest lesson: practical temperance in all things—the study of how to keep his own God-given wonderful human machinery in perfect order. His knowledge of himself would be of more value than any branch of science or languages. The right use of his God-given powers was his special responsibility. 6LtMs, Ms 35, 1890, par. 10

Daniel and his fellows saw that the many youth who ate at the king’s table were losing their power of acquiring the highest class of education, because they gave their digestive organs too heavy a task to perform. Consideration must be given to the denial of selfish desires in order to preserve the God-given faculties of body, head, and heart, so that the physical, intellectual, and moral powers may all work as perfectly, nicely adjusted human machinery, conducted intelligently and to the honor and glory of God. “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” [Psalm 139:14.] What for? That I may understand the science of being good and doing good. 6LtMs, Ms 35, 1890, par. 11

There was a soft, heavenly light shining in the soul. It did not remain there, shut up as under a bushel, but it was diffused, for it was the practical working out of God’s will. There was holy living, a sanctified, holy love, sanctified in Christ Jesus. 6LtMs, Ms 35, 1890, par. 12