The very document that records these epochs, with their shared DNA, also tells of one kingdom that will rise, not only be more magnificent and glorious than all that have preceded it; but unlike its predecessors, will never fall. It will, the record reveals, last forever.
That document is the Holy Bible. To some it is simply a collection of ancient fables. To others it is no more than a piece of good literary exposition. Yet, to many, it is the work of the Creator God, who created all humanity and allowed these empires to rise and fall. What’s undeniable, however, is its uncannily accurate predictions of the existence and fate of world empires hundreds of years before they appear on the world stage. That very record assures us of the perpetuity of the World’s Final Superpower.
The year was around 606 BC., Babylon, having conquered the Assyrian empire thereby becoming the world superpower of its time, invaded the Jewish nation and took many of its citizens captive. As was customary of the times, Babylon’s ruling monarch, Nebuchadnezzar, seized the brightest, smartest, and strongest of his conquered prey to serve him and help fortify his empire. Among those that he acquired were four very intelligent and God-faring young men who showed great potential of being valuable in the king’s court. They were thus given the best treatment and considerate care that the king could offer. Their Hebrew names were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. But King Nebuchadnezzar changed their names to what has now become so recognizable as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendigo.
Not too long after their captivity in Babylon, a crisis arose. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream which was extremely impressionable and he thought was of great importance. The king could not remember what he dreamt and demanded of his wise men and astrologers that they must not only tell him what he dreamt; but also give him the interpretation of his dream.
To his raging displeasure, the wise men informed the king that such a task is impossible to accomplish. An angry and frustrated King Nebuchadnezzar, yet fiercely determined to remember his dream and have it interpreted, decreed that the wise men must either fulfill his request of have their heads chopped off and their houses burned to ashes.
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendigo, being part of the king’s cadre of wise men, now faced the real possibility of experiencing the king’s wrath. As word got to them of the impending death decree, Daniel pleaded with the king’s chief advisor, who was charged with carrying out the king’s death decree, to allow him an audience with the monarch. His petition was granted and Daniel was afforded an audience with the king. After listening to the king’s dilemma, Daniel asked of the king that he be granted some time to speak with his God who would be able to answer he king’s requests.
Upon receiving the king’s permission, Daniel met with his three companions. They held a prayer meeting in which they presented the king’s petition to their God, asking that he would grant them the wisdom to help the king recall his dream and give him the interpretation thereof. Daniel’s God, the God of all creation, not only revealed the king’s dream to them, but gave them the interpretation and meaning of it.
Daniel returned to the king with the message his God gave to him to share with the king. The powerful monarch was of course excitedly eager to hear what Daniel had to say. God’s ambassador began his conversation by telling the king that his God, who knows the beginning from the end and who sets up kings and takes them down, had given him the great kingdom of Babylon over which he ruled. As Daniel proceeded to reveal the king’s dream, the ruler grew increasingly attentive, amazed, and relaxed. He showed his amazement even as he expressed agreement. For Daniel related to the king precisely what he dreamt.
Daniel related to Nebuchadnezzar that he dreamt of an image of a man. This was no ordinary man. It was unusually large. The head was of gold. The chest and arms were made of silver. The belly was composed of brass. The legs were constructed of iron. The feet and toes were a comingling of iron and clay. Finally, there was a stone that descended out of the heavens and struck the image on the feet of iron and clay then grinding the gold, silver, brass, iron and the clay into oblivion. No wonder King Nebuchadnezzar had problems remembering his dream. He confirmed to Daniel that this was indeed what he had dreamt.
Daniel and his companions then went on to give the king, what none other of his wise men were able to give, the interpretation of the dream. They related to King Nebuchadnezzar: “This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure” (Daniel 2:36-45).
What Daniel’s God had revealed to the monarch of Babylon through His servants was the history of the world from his
With the precision that only Creator God can orchestrate, Daniel revealed to the Babylonian monarch the superpowers that would hold sway over the affairs of men taking center stage in the drama of human experience at the times of their existence. As was prophesied through Nebuchadnezzar and later through Daniel, those epochs have come to pass with unerring accuracy.
Following the reign of Babylon (609 BC-536 BC), symbolized by the head of gold, the empire of the Medes and Persians, depicted by the chest and arms of silver, ruled universal from 536 BC to 331 BC. Then arose the Grecian Empire which held universal sway from 331 BC to 168 BC. The legs of iron is a most fitting representation of the iron monarchy of Rome which seized the scepter and ruled from 168 BC to about the middle of the fifth century AD. Rome was never conquered by another superpower; but her internal disintegration gave rise to the Roman Papacy. Historian Will Durant writes, “The armies of the state were replaced by the missionaries of the church, moving in all directions along the Roman roads; and the revolted provinces, accepting Christianity, acknowledged the sovereignty of Rome. The church with the shadows of the ancient authority behind it, was the only symbol left of imperial Rome. Its bishop, the Pope of Rome, was the city’s only recourse for leadership and protection. The Roman Empire in Europe would be replaced by the spiritual empire, which came to be temporal as well, whose reigning seigneur was the bishop of Rome” (Caesar and Christ, page 672).
The feet and toes of a mixture of iron and clay quite aptly describes this condition of church/state union which is a foundational characteristic of the Roman Papacy. The iron is clearly identified as a state entity. The prophet Isaiah educates us: “But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand” (Isaiah 64:8). The clay here quite plainly refers to a religious entity. But Daniel alludes to the clay as miry clay (Daniel 2:42). What then is miry clay? The Psalmist David answers: “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings” (Psalms 40:2). Obviously, God’s revelation to King Nebuchadnezzar, through His servant Daniel, is that of a universal amalgamation of state powers with false apostate religions that will permeate the earth just before Jesus comes, crushes it and establishes the Final Superpower, His eternal kingdom. For it is at this time, in the era of the feet of iron mixed with miry clay, that the stone that is cut out without hands descends to demolish the entire image (Daniel 2:44).
Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of lords is that stone. The apostle Paul tells us: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20). His co-laborer Peter concurs: “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious. Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” (1 Peter 2:4-6).
When He comes, ushering the Final Superpower, He indeed will bring justice and equity. We are living in a time when the nations of the world are clasping hands with apostate religions rapidly cementing a universal bond of unity. They promise peace and justice. But they cannot, and will not deliver. Only Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace can bring justice to the human family. His servant John assures us: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:3).
Question is, will you be ready?