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Daniel 2—A Vision for the Latter Days

Norman McNulty

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Part 2 of 11 in Daniel Prophecy Series given at Maraval, Trinidad SDA church.

Presenter

Norman McNulty

Neurologist at Southern Tennessee Regional Health System, Lawrenceburg, TN

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Recorded

  • August 10, 2011
    7:00 PM
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Well, good evening. It’s great to be here again at the Maraval Church, and I’m very excited about our presentation this evening because we are going to be covering Daniel, chapter 2, which is the foundational chapter for all prophecy related to the end of time. So, tonight is our first night in the series where we’re really going to get into some of the prophecies, and I’m excited about that.

 

So, before we get into the message for this evening, let’s bow our heads for a word of prayer. Father in Heaven, we thank You for the privilege of coming into Your presence. We thank You for bringing us here tonight, and I pray as we go through a study of Daniel, chapter 2, that You would be with us and that You would speak through me and that all of us would learn something that will draw us closer to You and to help us to be ready for Your soon coming. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

So, the title for tonight’s presentation is “Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream,” which of course is found in Daniel, chapter 2. Now, again, I like to know my audience to some extent. How many of you have never studied Daniel, chapter 2? This is the first time you’re going to be hearing Daniel, chapter 2. Okay. And how many of you have maybe heard it a few times, but you don’t feel that familiar with the story of Daniel, chapter 2? Okay, very good. So, this is going to be very helpful as we lay a foundation for the rest of the book of Daniel.

 

So, Daniel, chapter 2 is very interesting. As we saw in Daniel, chapter 1, we saw that God’s chosen people, the nation of Judah or the Jews, they were taken into captivity into the land of Babylon, and obviously God’s chosen people never could have expected to be taken into captivity by a pagan nation. But, of course, if you study the history, you will see that because of their disobedience to the laws and ordinances of God, finally He had to try something to wake them up and allow them to witness to others.

 

Now, Daniel, chapter 2, continues this amazing story because when we see the vision of Daniel, chapter 2, that Nebuchadnezzar had, we realize that God gives a vision or a picture to a pagan king of what will happen down through history to the very end of time. Now, there were lots of men and women among the Jews and the nation of Israel, and of all the people that God chose to give this vision to, He chose to give it to a pagan king so that He could speak to that king so that His name could be glorified. And we’re going to see how God worked in Nebuchadnezzar’s life tonight and tomorrow as well.

 

So, of course, here we see Nebuchadnezzar has this dream, and you have this famous image, the head of gold, the chest of silver, the thighs of brass, and the legs of iron, the feet of iron and of clay. And we’re going to talk about this. And Ellen White, who we quoted from last time, she has a lot of interesting things to say about prophecy and other topics.

 

And in Prophets and Kings, page 491, she says, “Soon after Daniel and his companions entered the service of the king of Babylon, events occurred that revealed to an idolatrous nation the power and faithfulness of the God of Israel.” So, God is speaking to Nebuchadnezzar to say, “Look, you may be the king of Babylon, but I am the faithful God of Israel, which is the nation that you took into captivity, so don’t start thinking too highly of yourself.”

 

“Nebuchadnezzar had a remarkable dream, by which ‘his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.’ But although the king’s mind was deeply impressed, he found it impossible, when he awoke, to recall the particulars.” Now, if you look through the story, Nebuchadnezzar does something that is really, it’s actually very ridiculous. He has this dream; he wakes up, and it’s obviously astonished him, and he can’t remember what it is. He can’t remember anything about it, and so he calls for the wise men and the magicians of Babylon to come and tell him what he had dreamed and what the dream meant.

 

Now, can you think of anybody, any human being, that could tell me what I dreamed about last night and what it meant? Now, first of all, I didn’t have a dream like Nebuchadnezzar. But if I had, there’s not a human being in the world that could be able to do that unless God gave him that gift. Now, Nebuchadnezzar, perhaps in his mind he was being reasonable because he thought that these wise men had power from the Babylonian gods, and the Babylonian gods should be able to speak through them to tell him what he had seen.

 

But obviously that didn’t happen, and they said, “You know, we can’t do this, King. This is ridiculous. I don’t know why you’re expecting us to tell you what the dream was.” And if you read the verses, they say, “If you tell us what the dream was, then we’ll give you the interpretation.”

 

Now, Nebuchadnezzar says, “Well, anybody could do that. I want you to prove that you are supernatural. I want you to tell me what the dream was and give me the interpretation.”

 

And they say, “There’s not a man alive on Earth who can do this.”

 

And Nebuchadnezzar got so angry that he said, “All of you are going to die. You’re worthless to me. If you can’t tell me what this is, I’m putting you to death.” Now, guess who was included in the wise men of Babylon? Guess who had just had a death decree placed upon his head? Daniel, Daniel was one of the wise men. In fact, if you recall from chapter 1, he was ten times wiser than the other wise men. And it’s interesting, Nebuchadnezzar didn’t call Daniel; he called the guys that he knew, even though Daniel was ten times wiser than them.

 

Perhaps, and we don’t know for sure, perhaps he didn’t want to call someone from captivity and make his Babylonians look bad. I guess you could say that he was being political, whatever the case may have been. So, obviously he puts a death decree upon the wise men, and obviously if you’re a wise man and you’re being put to death for something you think is unreasonable, it’s going to be very scary and very frustrating, obviously.

 

Now, continuing on, Daniel, if you read the story, he goes in. He asks the king’s captain, starting in verse 15, and I’m just summarizing in the interest of time because we’re going to get to the actual dream itself. Daniel goes in to the king’s captain, and he says, “Why are we being put to death? What’s going on?” He wants to know for what reason he’s going to be put to death. What has he done?

 

And at this point his life is already marked, and what he decides, he says, “Hey, tell the king, let me talk to the king, that if he gives me a little time, I will be able to tell him what the dream was and give him the interpretation.” Now, think about this, and this is where we tie together what we talked about on Sunday night. If Daniel had compromised in chapter 1, do you think he would have had faith to believe that God would hear his prayer now when his life was on the line? And do you think God would have listened? You know, it’s a debatable question, but most likely not.

 

But because Daniel had been faithful in chapter 1, and because he had seen God work in a miraculous way so that his health was blessed, so that he was healthier than everyone else, and not only that, he was wiser than everyone else, and he knew that he was faithful to God, he was not being presumptuous to then go to the king and say, “If you give me time, my God, the all-powerful God, will tell me what your dream was so that I can give you the interpretation.”

 

Daniel, because of his faithfulness, knew his God, and he had faith that God would hear him, and so, when you read the story, he and his three friends, they come together, and they pray earnestly. And then you read in verse 19, it says in chapter 2, “Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.”

 

Now, notice what he says here in verses 20 through 22, “Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever.” Now, can you imagine how Daniel must have felt at this point. His life was marked for death. He tells the king, “Give me some time,” and God hears his prayer and reveals the secret to Daniel. Can you imagine that? “Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever.” You know, if that had been me, my excitement would not have been containable. I would have been so thrilled, that, not just that my life was being saved, but that God’s name was going to be glorified to the leading king in the whole world.

 

“Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons.” Now, notice this, “He removeth kings, and setteth up kings,” and this is what the vision of Daniel, chapter 2, is all about. “He removeth kings, and setteth up kings,” and, you know, we can make a practical application for that. God chooses who He chooses for leadership in whatever situation you may think of, whether it’s in leading the nation of Trinidad and Tobago or where I’m from, the United States of America, or even at the church level. It’s God who sets up, and it’s God who removes. “He giveth wisdom,” and I might say sometimes we don’t necessarily understand why, and in our human wisdom, we may have seen it differently, but God is the One who’s in control.

 

“He giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:

He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter.”

 

So, Daniel is thrilled that God has revealed this secret to him, and he knows that God has marked out his life for a very special purpose. Because he was faithful, because from his training up, his parents had taught him to love God, to obey Him and to always seek to do what would bring glory to God. Now, as a Hebrew captive, he is being put in a position to be in a position of influence to the leading kingdom of the world.

 

Notice what Ellen White says, Prophets and Kings, this is pages 494 to 497, “Behold the Jewish captive, calm and self-possessed, in the presence of the monarch of the world’s most powerful empire.” Notice, Daniel walks in, and he’s walking in before the most powerful monarch of the world, but because he knows that he’s the child of the heavenly King, he’s calm and self-possessed. “In his first words he disclaimed honor for himself and exalted God as the source of all wisdom.” Do you know why God could give this thing to Daniel? Because He knew Daniel wasn’t going to take the honor and glory for himself.

 

You know, sometimes God can’t work through certain human beings in whatever the situation may be because He knows if He gives them power, then they will misuse it to take the glory for themselves rather than to give God the credit and the glory. Daniel gives the honor to God. “To the anxious inquiry of the king, ‘Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?’ [Daniel] replied: ‘The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king; but there is a God in heaven.”

 

“Hey, Nebuchadnezzar, you know those guys you tried to get information from. They can’t tell you this, but there is a God in Heaven. He’s my God. I serve Him, and He is the One who has revealed this. There is a God that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.’” Isn’t that fascinating that God revealed to Nebuchadnezzar what would be in the latter days.

 

Do you wonder why did God reveal to Nebuchadnezzar what’s going to happen down to the end of time? Notice what happens, and this is quoting from Daniel, chapter 2, “‘Thy dream,’ Daniel declared, ‘and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter.’” So, here’s Nebuchadnezzar. He’s lying on his bed before he goes to sleep at night, and he’s thinking, “I’ve worked so hard to build up this amazing empire.” And Daniel 2, verse 1, tells us that this was in the second year of his reign, so this is very early in the empire of Babylon. And he’s thinking, “You know, I’ve worked so hard to build up this kingdom, and I want my kingdom to last. What’s going to happen after I pass off the scene? Is Babylon going to last?”

 

And as he falls asleep, God gives him this vision that shows what will happen all the way, not just after Babylon passes off the scene, but it goes through all the kingdoms of the world down to the very end of time. Fascinating.

 

So Daniel says, “Thy dream,” continuing on, “‘He that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.’”

 

So, Daniel is saying, “God gave this to you so that you would know what you were thinking about, what’s going to happen after.” And so, here we see Daniel, and this is a nice demonstration of what Nebuchadnezzar saw. And we’re going to read the verses now, starting in Daniel, chapter 2, verse 31.

 

Here we read, “Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image.” And if you read it in the original languages, when Daniel is speaking here, this word “behold,” it’s like Daniel says, “Behold! A great image!” So, this image immediately captures Nebuchadnezzar’s attention. “This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible,” or another way to say that, “It was awesome.”

 

“This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands” (now, how does that happen?) “which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.”

 

Can you imagine how frustrating it would be to see such an awesome dream and then to not be able to remember it at all? And so, here you can see why Nebuchadnezzar so desperately wanted to know what this dream was about. And in this dream, you see the grace of God. God is already reaching out to this pagan king in an effort to bring salvation to Nebuchadnezzar.

 

Now, this is what Nebuchadnezzar saw, and Daniel is now going to tell Nebuchadnezzar what the interpretation is. And if you look, starting in verse 36, this is what Daniel says. And I’m going to read through verses 36 through 38 on my screen, “This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. Thou, O king, art a king of kings…Thou art this head of gold.” Okay, I skipped a few lines in there.

 

So, here Daniel is coming right out, and he’s telling Nebuchadnezzar, “You are the head of gold.” Now, that has to be very fascinating to Nebuchadnezzar because if, as you study Daniel 3 and 4 as well, Nebuchadnezzar is a very proud man, and when he hears that he is the head of gold, that’s got to feel pretty good. Gold is the most precious of the precious metals, and clearly, at least with this image, all the metals that come after aren’t as good as the gold. Silver, brass and iron and definitely iron and clay, they can’t hold, you know, they can’t measure up to the gold. So, Nebuchadnezzar is the head of gold.

 

Not only that, he is the head; he is the first, so that’s got to feel really good. And here’s the thing, you know, and, again as a neurologist, as a physician, the head, that’s where you think, and that’s what drives everything else in your body. And, in fact…Let me see. Oh, I guess I have it later on…

 

But here we see that Babylon, the Kingdom of Babylon that Nebuchadnezzar raised up is the head of gold; it’s the best kingdom in the image. And so, right off, Nebuchadnezzar knows, “Okay, this is an image that describes kingdoms because my kingdom is the head of gold.” And at least for Nebuchadnezzar, he can think, “Wow, I am the best of all the kingdoms.”

 

But, you know, Nebuchadnezzar was obviously a smart guy; I mean, he was the king of Babylon, and immediately his mind had to be clicking, “Okay, there are more kingdoms after me, and eventually they all get destroyed, and they get blown away like chaff in the wind. That doesn’t sound so good.” But at least he knows he’s the head of gold. Now, historically this is what we can say, and this is the fascinating thing. This was I guess what you could call present truth for the kingdom of that time. Babylon was the head of gold, so at this moment in history, we are at a present point in history: Babylon is this kingdom. But we know from history, Babylon lasted from 605 B.C. to 539 B.C., and you can get that from any modern history textbook.

 

Now, we continue. There’s another king. Daniel 2:39 says, “And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee.” Now, what’s interesting, when you read the description here. There are two full verses to describe the Kingdom of Babylon, and then in verse 39, two kingdoms are described in one verse, and the first one is just described as “another kingdom inferior to thee.”

 

Now, did Daniel tell Nebuchadnezzar which nation would replace him? No, Nebuchadnezzar doesn’t know at this point who is going to replace him. But can we determine, just by studying the book of Daniel, which kingdom came after Babylon?

 

Yeah, actually, if you go to Daniel, chapter 5, verse 28, and this is going to be the chapter for our Sabbath sermon, which will be entitled “The Fall of Babylon.” Daniel, chapter 5, verse 28, you have the handwriting on the wall, and Daniel once again comes in to provide the interpretation. And the last thing among the things that are written on the wall, it’s the interpretation of Peres or Uparsin is, “Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”

 

So, we know from Daniel, chapter 5, that after Babylon comes Medo-Persia. So, that’s pretty straightforward. And the Kingdom of Medo-Persia lasted from 539 to 331. Now, this is probably review for many of you, but for those of you who are learning this for the first time, this is important because we see the accuracy of prophecy.

 

And then, continuing on in verse 39, it says “and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.” So, clearly these metals are being identified as kingdoms, and the kingdom of brass is identified in the Bible as the third kingdom. Now, how do we know which kingdom comes after Medo-Persia? It’s interesting, in the book of Daniel, we find the answer again.

 

In Daniel, chapter 8, verses 20 and 21, you see that there is a ram and a he-goat, which were described in the first part of chapter 8, and you see that the he-goat destroys the ram. And in these verses we see that the ram are the kings of Media and Persia with its two horns, and the goat is the king of Grecia or Greece. So, Daniel 8 clearly shows that Greece replaces Medo-Persia as the third kingdom.

 

So, what I am showing you here is, you don’t even have to go to the history books to prove who the first three kingdoms are. The book of Daniel itself interprets itself to show you the order of the kingdoms, and it names them. Daniel, chapter 2, Nebuchadnezzar is told, “You are the head of gold,” so that’s Babylon.

 

Daniel, chapter 5, we see that the Kingdom of Babylon is divided and given to the Medes and the Persians, so that we know that the chest of silver has to be Medo-Persia. And then Daniel 8 tells us that Greece replaces Medo-Persia, and Greece reigned from 331 to 168 B.C.

 

Now, after those three kingdoms, the kingdoms are not named, but we have the legs of iron, so we know this is the fourth kingdom. And Daniel, chapter 2, verse 40, it says, “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.”

 

Now, when you study history, you can go to the history textbook and see, yes, there was Babylon, followed by Medo-Persia, followed by Greece, and in the book of Daniel, the next kingdom is never named, but everybody in history knows that the kingdom that defeated Greece was the kingdom of Pagan Rome, the Western Roman Empire, and they were famous…Their army was known as the “iron legions of Rome,” so they were named, and the pagans who called them that didn’t even know about the prophecy in Daniel, were the legs of iron. But they were known as the “iron legions of Rome,” and this kingdom reigned from 168 B.C. to 476 A.D., and the iron denoted the strength of the kingdom and its persecuting power, and Rome was very good at persecution and demonstrating its might.

 

Now, after we get through those first four kingdoms, we see that the kingdom becomes divided, and let’s read verses 41 to 43, so we’re moving right along here. It says, “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.”

 

Now, here is an interesting thing to consider. When you look at the metals, gold, silver, brass and iron, they are decreasing in value from one kingdom to the next, but when you actually measure them by strength, iron has more strength than gold. So, in a sense as you’re going down, their strength in a certain sense is increasing even though they’re decreasing in value.

 

But then you come to the feet of iron and clay. Now, this is interesting, when you are standing, and this is an obvious point, but when you are standing, what gives you support to stand? It’s your feet, so this is something that God is trying to point out about this image: the feet are what provide support to the entire image, and the feet are the weakest part of the image. It’s divided between iron and clay; it’s partly strong, partly broken, partly iron, partly clay.

 

Now, I don’t have a lot of time to talk about the iron and clay, but if you notice, you have potter’s clay, and then it’s mentioned as miry clay. When you put iron and clay together, what’s going to happen to the clay? The clay is going to conform to the image that the iron puts on it, right? Because the iron is stronger than the clay. Now, the iron and the clay can’t mix together, and it shows that there is an attempt to mix two things that cannot come together, and the clay is going to conform to the iron.

 

And I don’t have time to go through it now. If you’re interested in getting the verses, I’ll show them to you later, but you may remember from the book of Psalms where God says, “I am the Potter; you are the clay”? You can show that potter’s clay represents God’s people; they’re potter’s clay, but then it shows how they become miry clay. Miry denotes the idea of becoming corrupted.

 

So, God’s people, the people who are supposed to be shaped by the work of His hands now become shaped by iron. And we saw that the iron represented Rome, so God’s people, rather than being shaped by the Potter, God, now becomes shaped by iron, and they become corrupt. Do you see that?

 

So, you have Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Pagan Rome, the legs of iron, and then you have iron and clay mixed together. The iron and clay don’t mix, and God is supposed to be the one who shapes His people as the Potter. He’s the Potter; we are the clay. But God’s people choose to let iron shape them instead of Him, and they become corrupt.

 

Now, can you think of a power that followed Pagan Rome that could represent such a characteristic? You know, after Pagan Rome, there was Papal Rome. Now, Seventh-day Adventists have also understood that the feet of iron and clay represent divided Europe, and I definitely believe that because in the nations of Europe, there was an attempt to intermarry and to make Europe into one nation, and it never happened. And that’s clearly part of the mixing of the iron and clay. Europe today is still mixed with all these different languages.

 

But Ellen White…Before I go to her quote, what I’m showing here is that, yes, you have the divided kingdom of Europe, and you also have the kingdom of Papal Rome, which ruled from 538 to 1798, and that’s part of a 1260-year prophecy that we will study in more detail when we come to Daniel, chapter 7. But notice what Ellen White says about this iron and clay.

 

This is Manuscript 63, 1899, “The mingling of church craft and state craft is represented by the iron and the clay.” So, notice this: Church craft and state craft are represented by iron and clay. Iron and clay are not supposed to mix. That means, church and state are not supposed to mix, but the power represented by Papal Rome united the Church and the state for a period of 1260 years, and when they did that, they used the power of state and force to try to get people to worship God the way the Church said to worship. People no longer have the ability to do that of themselves. And so she goes on to say a few other things, but the point of that quote is church craft and state craft is represented by the iron and the clay.

 

Now, I want to do something that perhaps you may not have thought of before because what we’ve done so far, we’ve laid the foundation for the main kingdoms that are described in the book of Daniel, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Pagan Rome and Papal Rome. Those kingdoms are mentioned again in Daniel, chapter 7, Daniel, chapter 8, although actually Babylon is missing starting from Daniel 8 onward, and then Daniel 11 and 12, these kingdoms are mentioned.

 

So, what I want to show you is that there is a synthesis or a combining of these kingdoms as the characteristics come together down towards the end of time. Proverbs chapter 23, verse 7, says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Now, the heart in the Bible represents the mind, and in this image the head of gold represented which nation? It was Babylon. So, here’s the interesting thing: Babylon is the head, and the head guides the way the rest of the image thinks. So, Babylon, even though it lost its kingdom in the literal sense in 539 B.C. when Medo-Persia replaced it, the head still remained and guided the rest of the image.

 

The head of gold is Babylon. Now, what did Babylon bring as far as the kingdom? What did it represent? Well, first of all, we find, and we’re going to study about this more in our next presentation, we find defiance to God’s Word because God says, “Another kingdom inferior to you, of silver, is going to replace you,” and what happens in Daniel, chapter 3? Nebuchadnezzar builds an image that is all gold. So, one of the things that we find about Babylon is that Babylon tries to go against the plain statements of God’s Word. That’s part of what Babylon is. God says one thing, and Babylon tries to counter that. That’s the first thing.

 

Then in chapter 3 we also see, and we’re going to study this, we see false worship with the image. Everyone was told to bow down to this image, but the Bible says to worship only the God of Heaven. And then in chapter 5 we find that the sacred vessels taken out of the temple were used for common purposes, and they worshiped the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood and stone. So, Babylon participates and leads out in false worship, worshiping things that God said not to worship and making things sacred that God said are common and making things common that God said are sacred, and we’ll talk about that more.

 

And, of course, pride is a big part of Babylon where Nebuchadnezzar says, “Is not this great Babylon that I have built?” That’s in chapter 4. So, Babylon brings defiance to God’s Word, false worship, and pride. That’s what Babylon brought. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,” so I can guarantee you those characteristics show up in the kingdoms that come after.

 

Now, the chest of silver, Medo-Persia what do they bring? We’re going to study this in Daniel, chapter 6, but in Daniel, chapter 6, when the king made a decree, it was a law that could not be changed. And another way to look at that is to say, “When we make a law, this law is so good that we never need to change it. We make perfect laws. What we say is the way it should always be.” That’s another way to say, “We are infallible. Our laws can’t be changed because we know what we’re doing.”

 

So, Medo-Persia introduced the idea of “Hey, we’re infallible,” but again remember the head of gold guides the thinking, so pride causes you to start to think, “Hey, whatever we do can’t be wrong.” And then you come to the thighs of brass, and Greece comes along and says, “You know what? That’s all nice and great. You guys have your worship of your gods, and Babylon and Medo-Persia, you think you’re infallible.” Greece said, “You know what we want to do? Plato and Socrates, they came along and said, “You know what? Human beings are so smart, that we can figure out for ourselves how to be our own gods, how to think so well that we can just have it all figured out,” and this is what we call humanism.

 

And basically the philosophy that the Greeks introduced, introduced a mindset of thinking that would place human traditions and thoughts above the Word of God. That’s what happened in the nation of Greece.

 

And then you come to the legs of iron with Rome, and Rome showed the world forever after how to do persecution really well. They said, “If you don’t do what we say, we’re going to put you to death.” Now, certainly there was persecution in all the other kingdoms, but Rome really perfected it. And not only that, they were the ones that put Jesus to death.

 

So, then you have a synthesis in the feet of iron and clay. Papal Rome synthesizes all of these characteristics; thus, Papal Rome is identified as Babylon in Revelation 14 and Revelation 17. (Let me see where I’m at. Okay.) So, Papal Rome, let me just go back here. Papal Rome, they also have contributed to false worship. They are the ones that are setting up a day that is not the day that God has ordained. They are the ones who claim that when the pope speaks ex cathedra, he is infallible. They place human tradition above the Bible. During the Dark Ages, they persecuted anyone who disagreed with them.

 

And it’s in the feet of iron and clay that all of those characteristics are synthesized, and that is why, when you get all of those characteristics coming together, that is why the feet represent the weakest and the least valuable part of the entire image. It just gets progressively worse.

 

Now, continuing on, Daniel 2, verses 44 and 45, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed.” Now, notice what Daniel is doing here. He showed Nebuchadnezzar what he saw. Now he’s giving him the interpretation. So, you can parallel, when God sets up His Kingdom, that parallels the stone being cut out without hands and a mountain filling up the entire Earth. This is God setting up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, and you know what? I am thankful that God is going to set up His Kingdom in contradistinction to those kingdoms which show what happens when human beings try to be in power.

 

“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.”

 

You know what this means? Daniel says, “This dream is certain. The interpretation is sure.” And just as this dream predicted, there was another kingdom that came after Babylon, and then a third kingdom, and then the fourth kingdom, and we are living now in the feet of iron and clay just before the stone hits the image and Jesus comes back the second time in the clouds of Heaven to set up His Kingdom that will never be destroyed.

 

Do you realize that we have the privilege to live in the latter days of this vision? Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar were living way back when this vision happened in 604 B.C.; that’s a good 2800 years ago, or 2700 years ago. We are way down at the end of time, the toenails of time. The dream is certain. The interpretation thereof sure. God is going to set up His Kingdom.

 

Now, what about the stone? Where did the stone strike the image? The stone struck the image in the feet, and why did it strike the image in the feet? It struck the feet because that is where Babylon resides just before Jesus comes, and that is the kingdom that will be destroyed when the stone strikes the image. The stone is cut out without hands; it fills the whole Earth; this represents the second coming, and in Revelation 11:15 we see that, “The kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms or our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”

 

How many of you have heard that verse, Revelation 11:15? Do you know what the kingdoms of this world are that become the kingdoms or our Lord and of His Christ? Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Pagan Rome, Papal Rome, and the kings of the earth who form an alliance with Babylon at the very end of the world. Now, it strikes the feet. This is where Babylon is synthesized into the end-time Babylon, also known as Papal Rome.

 

Now, here’s something interesting: In the ancient Eastern mind, as Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel see this, they see a stone striking an image. Now, this image in the Eastern mind very well could easily represent an idol because you would build an image to represent your god. And if you don’t believe me, what did Nebuchadnezzar do in chapter 3? He made an image of all gold to represent a god that you bow down and worship. So, in Nebuchadnezzar’s mind, this should be something that you could bow down and worship, and yet the stone is coming to strike the image.

 

What do you think Daniel thought of when he saw this stone striking this image? You know, in the Hebrew mind, he would think of stoning because you use a stone to destroy something, and God, of course, ordains certain times for people to be stoned. So, this idol and its kingdoms of false worship is stoned by God Himself at the very end of time.

 

Now, this is interesting because there are certain things, and this is where I’m going to wrap up here, there are certain reasons in the Bible that you would be stoned. And I’m just going to show you; we won’t look up the verses; I’ll give you the references. The first reason to be stoned, found in Deuteronomy, chapter 17, verses 2 through 5, is for worshiping other gods than the true God, specifically the gods of the sun and the moon. And interestingly, Papal Rome calls for worship on the ”venerable day of the sun.”

 

Second reason, stoned for Sabbath-breaking, that’s in Numbers 15, verses 32 to 36, and Papal Rome has thought to change times and laws and to desecrate the holy Sabbath day.

 

Also, stoned for blasphemy, for claiming to be God, and in John 10, verses 31 to 33, the Jews wanted to stone Jesus because He was claiming to be God. Now, Jesus could claim to be God because He was, right? So, they couldn’t really stone Him because He really was God. But Papal Rome claims to be the vicar of the Son of God or the voice of God on this earth. They claim to speak for God.

 

You also could be stoned for adultery or fornication; that’s in John, chapter 8, verses 4 and 5, the woman caught in adultery. It’s also mentioned in the Old Testament in Deuteronomy 22, verses 20 to 24. And in Revelation 17 and 18, it talks about how the kings of the earth have committed fornication with the end-time Babylon, which is Papal Rome.

 

So, isn’t that fascinating that this image, it gets stoned, it gets destroyed, and it meets all the specifications, Papal Rome meets all the specifications for being stoned in the Bible.

 

So, we as a people have a message to call people out of Babylon because God in His great mercy wants to save every person that He can before He comes. Amen? We have a message. Revelation 14, verse 8, it says, “And there followed another angel, saying, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’” This is the second angel’s message, and as Seventh-day Adventists we have been entrusted with what are known as the Three Angels’ Messages found in Revelation, chapter 14, verses 6 through 12, and part of that message is to identify Babylon and the system that it represents as being fallen.

 

And then we see why in Revelation 18, verses 1 through 5. And this is a repetition of the second angel’s message just before Jesus comes. And here we read, chapter 18, starting in verse 1, and this by the way is the loud-crying message given just before Jesus comes. Here we read, “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.” Now, notice what the message of this angel is, “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.’” Now, notice, this was not a soft whispered voice, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen. Let’s not talk about who Babylon is,” no. the loud-crying message is, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen.” Now, not only is this message given in clear, direct lines, notice that the earth has been lightened with the glory of this message; we’ll talk about the significance of that later in our series, but this represents the character of God being demonstrated with latter rain power to the entire Earth. “He cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her.’”

 

And skipping on to verse 4, “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her’” (who?) “‘my people.’” Do you realize God has His people out there? And He wants us to call them out into His remnant group that will help to be a means of preserving their salvation before He comes. And the reason why they need to come out is so they will “be not partakers of her sins, and that,” they, “receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”

 

So, it seems to me that when Babylon’s sins reach to heaven, and God remembers her iniquities, that would seem to represent the time that the stone would come and strike the image. Does that make sense? Because when that image has reached the measure of its iniquity, God is going to send the stone to destroy it, represented by His second coming.

 

And here we see, the final message says, “Her sins have reached unto heaven.” Ellen White talks about what that means. Testimonies, volume 8, page 94, “‘She made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’ How is this done? By forcing men to accept a spurious sabbath.” And then in Signs of the Times, June 12, 1893, “When do her sins reach unto heaven? When the law of God is finally made void by legislation,” and we’ll talk more about this as we go through our series.

 

This is where I’m going to end. Ellen White ends this story of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar. She talks about how the nations of this world should reign and how these kingdoms actually did. And this is on pages 499, 500 of Prophets and Kings, “In the annals of human history, the growth of nations, the rise and fall of empires, appear as if dependent on the will and prowess of man; the shaping of events seems, to a great degree, to be determined by his power, ambition, or caprice. But in the word of God the curtain is drawn aside, and we behold, above, behind, and through all the play and counterplay of human interest and power and passions, the agencies of the All-merciful One, silently, patiently working out the counsels of His own will.”

 

So, you notice that? God is silently and patiently working out the counsels of His own will. Nebuchadnezzar thought that he could make Babylon last forever? It didn’t. God worked out the counsels of His own will.

 

“Hundreds of years before,” this is page 501, “Hundreds of years before certain nations came upon the stage of action, the Omniscient One looked down the ages and predicted the rise and fall of the universal kingdoms. God declared to Nebuchadnezzar that the kingdom of Babylon should fall, and a second kingdom would arise, which also would have its period of trial.”

 

Continuing on, I’m skipping down, “Had the rulers of Babylon—that richest of all earthly kingdoms—kept always before them the fear of Jehovah, they would have been given wisdom and power which would have bound them to Him and kept them strong. But they made God their refuge only when harassed and perplexed.” Could we learn a lesson from that? You know, we shouldn’t be treating God as an emergency room physician; you know what I mean? You only go to the doctor when you feel sick? You shouldn’t only go to God when you are reaching a point of trouble in your life.

 

Yes, you go to Him during those times, but we should be so connected to God each and every day that we are not only going to Him at moments of difficulty. And Babylon showed that they only went to Him when things were going bad.

 

I’m just going to read the last paragraph here on this quote. This is page 502 of Prophets and Kings, “In the word of God…it is shown that the strength of nations, as of individuals, is not found in the opportunities or facilities that appear to make them invincible; it is not found in their boasted greatness. It is measured by the fidelity with which they fulfill God’s purpose.”

 

You know, God has raised us up as a people to identify these prophecies, not so that we will just know what the kingdoms are and the beasts and the horns and the metals and whatever those may be. God has raised us up as a people to understand these prophecies so that we will know the signs of the times so that we will know that is just about time for that stone to come and strike the image, that it is just about time for Jesus to come and take His children home. And because of that, we should be dedicating our lives and our energy and our resources to the proclamation of the coming of Jesus so that His beautiful, wonderful children who are out there still in Babylon will come out so that they will not be in Babylon when the plagues are poured out and when the stone strikes that image.

 

God has a special work for us to do, not because we are scared of God, not because we are afraid that if we don’t do the right things, He’s going to zap us in the judgment, that’s not why we go out and do the right thing. We do these things because we love Jesus. We do these things because God so loved the world that He sent Jesus to this earth to die for us. He gave the best gift He could have ever given. And as we think about what Jesus has done for us, we want the world around us to experience that joy of salvation throughout eternity as well.

 

So, this is where our presentation concludes this evening. What we are going to do on Friday, we are going to see how the drama within the Kingdom of Babylon continued, and how God’s servants continued to be faithful to the point that God used Hebrew captives as a means for the salvation of the most powerful king in a pagan nation on this earth. And if God could do that through them, He can do that through us.

 

And then on Sabbath, we are going to see the fall of Babylon with Belshazzar as the king, and we are going to see how it prefigures the fall of Babylon at the end of the world and of the message that we should be giving. So, that’s just a foretaste of what’s coming.

 

So, at this time, we’re going to have a closing hymn, and then we will have our closing prayer. So, may we be faithful and may we remember the message of Daniel 2 as it lays the foundation for the rest of our prophetic studies. Amen.

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