788. That this church is to follow those that have existed since the beginning of the world, and that it is to endure for ages of ages, and is thus to be the crown of all the churches that have preceded, was foretold by Daniel; first, when he narrated and explained to Nebuchadnezzar his dream of the four kingdoms (which mean the four churches that were represented by the statue that he saw), saying:
In the days of those kings the God of the heavens shall make a kingdom to arise which shall not perish for ages, and it shall consume all those kingdoms; but itself shall stand for ages (Dan. 2:44).
And this, he said, should be done,
By a stone becoming a great rock and filling all the earth (verse 35);
"rock" in the Word meaning the Lord in respect to Divine truth. The same prophet also says elsewhere:
I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven and there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom; and all peoples, nations, and languages shall worship Him; His dominion is the dominion of an age, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed (7:13, 14).
And this he said after he saw the four great beasts coming up out of the sea (verse 3), which beasts also represented the four prior churches. That all this was prophesied by Daniel respecting the present time, can be seen from his words in 12:4, as also, from the words of the Lord in Matt. 24:15, 30. Like things are said in the Apocalypse:
The seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of the world are become our Lord's and His Christ's; and He shall reign unto the ages of the ages (11:15).