What did Prophet Daniel prophesy about events of the end times?
Are those visions relevant to the Second Coming of Jesus?
Would Jesus return before these visions come to pass?
A Bible Study to equip us with the Truth of the Scriptures about the Second Coming of Jesus which will be when all that has been written of Him will be fulfilled
To read the previous articles click on the links below
Part 1 – The Second Coming of Jesus
Part 2 – ‘The Earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord’
Part 3 – ‘The time is near, I am coming back quickly’
Part 4 – ‘The sign of the fig tree that shows when the summer is at hand’
Part 5 – ‘This generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place’
In the previous 5 articles we have more or less established a solid Scriptural foundation of understanding the Second Coming of the Lord, as the Holy Spirit would teach us through the written Word of God.
Today’s article will add to our understanding very important pieces of information about the end-times that were given to us through Daniel the Prophet.
shows that the Kingdom of God will grow and spread throughout
the Earth and subdue the kingdoms of this world
before the Second Coming of the Lord
Daniel 2:1 Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was [so] troubled that his sleep left him. 2 Then the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. 3 And the king said to them, “I have had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to know the dream.”
In this story that we shall read below, God reveals His plans for the Kingdom that He would set up on Earth, through the image of “a stone that became a great mountain and filled the whole earth“. It is the Kingdom of God, as Jesus proclaimed “from the days of John the Baptist…” which would/will grow as the parables show:
Luke 13:18 Then He said, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19 “It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.” 20 And again He said, “To what shall I liken the kingdom of God? 21 “It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”
This is in perfect alignment with the prophecies of Isaiah (v. 11:9) and Habakkuk (v. 3:3) that we studied in Part 2 – ‘The Earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord’.
Daniel 2:25 Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel before the king, and said thus to him, “I have found a man of the captives of Judah, who will make known to the king the interpretation.” 26 The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name [was] Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?”
27 Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise [men,] the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. 28 “But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.
Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these: 29 “As for you, O king, thoughts came [to] your [mind while] on your bed, [about] what would come to pass after this; and He who reveals secrets has made known to you what will be. 30 “But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but for [our] sakes who make known the interpretation to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart.
31 “You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor [was] excellent, stood before you; and its form [was] awesome. 32 “This image’s head [was] of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 “its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
34 “You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.
35 “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
36 “This [is] the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. 37 “You, O king, [are] a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; 38 “and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given [them] into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all–you [are] this head of gold.
39 “But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 “And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, [that kingdom] will break in pieces and crush all the others.
41 “Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. 42 “And [as] the toes of the feet [were] partly of iron and partly of clay, [so] the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. 43 “As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.
44 “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
45 “Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold–the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.”
There have been various efforts to interpret historically which the four kingdoms of Daniel’s prophecy have been, but I think that is irrelevant to the purpose of the prophecy for which the Holy Spirit passed it on to us.
A historical analysis of which the 4 kingdoms have been, may be a good academic subject for study but does not build up more of God’s Kingdom in/through any believer, in any way. What is of relevance is 2 things:
-> the historical manifestation of the territorial spiritual powers that have ruled over regions and peoples (which continue to manifest in our days through new expressions in the natural, but the spiritual powers which empower the human agents are the same throughout the ages – so e.g. the spiritual power behind Iran is the same territorial spirit that has ruled in that land throughout the ages; same for Egypt, Syria, etc.)
-> the stone… It is quite obviously the stone that Jesus spoke of:
Luke 20:17 Then He looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone’? 18 “Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
Jesus here declared before the experts in the law and the chief priests that Daniel’s prophecy of the stone was about Him – Jesus is that stone (that would be) grinding to powder the great kingdoms of this world.
“on whomever the stone falls, it will grind him to powder”
Does that also apply to Islam?
Will the stone [that is Jesus] also grind to powder
this modern “kingdom” of Islam that desires to rule the world?
That process began 2000 years ago when Jesus came to proclaim that the Kingdom of God was/is at hand – as Daniel prophesied:
the stone that struck the image
became a great mountain and filled the whole earth
The Kingdom of God will continue to grow until it has filled the whole earth!
Jesus will not return to the Earth before His Kingdom has filled the whole earth!
This is the same message that we have seen through various Scriptural witnesses and perspectives throughout this study in the previous 5 articles.
The same principle of the four Kingdoms is shown again later in the book of Daniel, where the Lord gives us more insight and understanding about the fourth Kingdom, which clearly pertains to the era of the New Testament – it is the “kingdom of this world” in all its expressions which the “stone” will confront until it has completely broken it to pieces. However, as we shall see, this speaks of a particular “kingdom”.
Daniel 7:15 “I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit within [my] body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 “I came near to one of those who stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things:
17 ‘Those great beasts, which are four, [are] four kings [which] arise out of the earth. 18 ‘But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.’
19 “Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, [with] its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, [which] devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet;
20 “and the ten horns that [were] on its head, and the other [horn] which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance [was] greater than his fellows.
21 “I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, 22 “until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made [in favor] of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.
23 “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, Which shall be different from all [other] kingdoms, And shall devour the whole earth, Trample it and break it in pieces.
24 The ten horns [are] ten kings [Who] shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first [ones,] And shall subdue three kings.
25 He shall speak [pompous] words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then [the saints] shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.
26 ‘But the court shall be seated, And they shall take away his dominion, To consume and destroy [it] forever. 27 Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.’
It is not possible to fully unwrap these words about the “fourth kingdom” in one brief article. Here I will briefly share a few thoughts. Then, next week we shall study additional evidence through a different vision that Daniel saw at a later time.
Pre-Christ historical facts reveal post-Christ prophetic fulfillment
While all four beasts are kingdoms which existed in the pre-Christ era, all four reveal a post-Christ manifestation for which purpose the Lord makes them known to us.
The key for the sake of our study is the fourth beast, which is also the fourth kingdom according to the dream that Daniel explained to Nabuchadnezzar (in 2:40):
“the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, [that kingdom] will break in pieces and crush all the others”
This is the same as in 7:19:
“Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, [with] its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, [which] devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet”
While in the pre-Christ era there was a historical sequence of which kingdom prevailed as the most powerful over a period of time, in the post-Christ era of our “age” (the dispensation of the New Testament) the spiritual powers (the beasts) which manifest through modern “kingdoms” (areas of sovereign power and control), can be simultaneously ongoing – yet, the confrontation and competition for power remains the prevailing characteristic of all the expressions of Darkness (it is the fruit of arrogance).
To understand the nature and manifestation in our days of the fourth beast/kingdom we need to study the next major vision of Daniel; the ram and the male goat. That will also help us identify with clarity how the Lord is showing us through the Scriptures that Islam will indeed be defeated and will no longer be a dominating power in the world before the end of this age, i.e. before the Second Coming of the Lord.
We shall do that next week.