BOOK OF DANIEL – Now the Good News!

Posted by on May 10, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on BOOK OF DANIEL – Now the Good News!

Now the Good News!

The entire contents of Daniel chapter two is Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, its interpretation, and what Nebuchadnezzar thought it meant for him. However, as we have seen, the dream wasn’t really meant for him at all. In fact, only a small portion applied to Nebuchadnezzar from a personal perspective which satisfied his morbid curiosity. Rather, it was God’s Divine plan detailing the start of the Times of the Gentiles to its culmination with Christ’s Divine kingdom replacing all kingdoms forever. We should not forget that the original message was initially provided by God to the Jewish nation.  But it clearly is a message for Gentiles also who would become followers of Christ. Ever since the days when the Jews insisted they wanted a human king to rule over them, just like other nations (See 1 Samuel chapter 8-9), they continued on a downward spiral. Their demands blatantly rejected God Himself and they refused to listen to Samuel’s pleading. God ordered Samuel to grant their wish by appointing King Saul as the first Jewish king whose rule is traditionally placed in the early part of the 11th century BC. Still, they continued their deliberate sin and gross intentional idolatry [which included many of the Jewish kings after Saul]. Despite warnings by God through the prophets he had placed to deliver His messages, they ignored every warning, which finally led to God turning them over to Gentile rule. This occurred in 605 BC when Babylon, under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, sacked Jerusalem, the first of three attacks which finally led to the temple of Jerusalem being destroyed. Each attack saw Jewish captives taken away to Babylon. Daniel was one of those first captives to be carried off into Babylon.

We’ve seen that during the Times of the Gentiles there were four kingdoms with the fourth still remaining at this time, albeit in a dormant state for now. We can track the start and end of the first three kingdoms by the facts of history. We know when the fourth kingdom rose but we do not know when this fourth kingdom ends. This is where, as Christians, we must not only listen to the prophecies given in Daniel but we must dismiss any notion by secular scholars’ altogether who reject the idea that the Roman Empire is dead and gone. God clearly tells us in Daniel that there are only four kingdoms before Christ establishes His own here on earth. When the old Roman Empire rises up again it will, of course, be very different to how we view the ancient Roman Empire. But it will be far more ferocious than what was ever seen in antiquity and it will affect every human living when it appears. The good news is that we know it does meet its final end because of what we will read today. In Daniel 2:44 we are told, “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.” (NASB)

We have now arrived at the main point God intended all along with the image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. That point is the establishment of a kingdom that God will set up. This kingdom will never be destroyed nor will it pass to another ruler. To understand the beginning phrase, “In the days of those kings” and who is specifically referred to we need to simply glimpse back at Daniel 2:42-43. There we saw the description of the toes of the feet. Many commentators have argued that the “kings” referred to in Daniel 2:44 refer to each king from the four kingdoms. This is problematic for two very specific reasons. The first reason is none of the four kings or kingdoms co-existed or ruled alongside each other. Each had their own exclusive rule (singular). Daniel says in the “days of those kings” (plural) “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom.”

The second reason is that Daniel plainly tells us that this kingdom of God will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms (again, plural). We are clearly told in Daniel 2:40 that the fourth kingdom would crush and break all these pieces [referring to the previous metals or kingdoms]. If those kingdoms have already been crushed and broken by Rome, then God’s action upon these kings in Daniel 2:44 (who will in fact co-exist) must refer to something future as Rome is not yet crushed if it is to rise again. Daniel 2:42 specifically says “toes”. Daniel 7:24a refers to ten horns who Daniel refers to as ten kings. They ALL co-exist at the same time! These ten kings refer to a confederacy of rulers under the fourth kingdom of Rome.

By the way, when we arrive at Daniel 7:24, Nebuchadnezzar is dead and gone. You will see that after chapter two Daniel’s description of the image and its interpretation is never mentioned by Nebuchadnezzar ever again. This, again, shows the dream was never really meant for Nebuchadnezzar. It is a prophecy that plays out through the entire book of Daniel. You’re watching historical events, flashed in a moment of time, which actually happened. Daniel wanted to understand the full explanation of the interpretations that we will read toward the end of the book that bears his name. But this was not granted to him. We have been privileged to know much more of those explanations by the further light of Scripture. We must pay attention to Daniel for it reveals not only the future for mankind but, rather, what faithful followers of God must do now to be part of that everlasting kingdom described in Daniel 2:44.

 

See, I told you, it was good news!!