Dr. S. Lewis Johnson concludes a two-part exposition of God's view of the world powers in earth's history. An interpretation of the fourth kingdom symbolized in the Gentile king's vision is given.
[Prayer] We turn to Thee Lord through the Lord Jesus Christ and ask Thy blessings upon us as we study again in this great prophecy of Daniel. Enable us to understand and profit from the things that we think about in this hour that is before us. We pray for each one present, that we may learn things that will help us in the understanding of the plans and purposes that Thou dost have for the human race. Now, may Thy presence be with us through the Holy Spirit in the illumination that He gives as we read Thy word. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
[Message] Tonight is the second of our series of two studies on Daniel chapter 2 under the title of “God’s Portrait of Man’s History”. In the introduction to the study last week, I commented upon the fact that Oswald Spengler, in that strange book which finds the clue to history in nature, The Decline of the West, wrote, “We await today the philosopher who will tell us in what language history is written and how it is to be read.” And I just made the obvious suggestion that what we and Spengler need is not a philosopher but a divine prophet and we do have one.
Daniel, with the king of Babylon, was given a visualized portrait of Gentile dominion and its catastrophic demise in the last days. Daniel’s secret spans human history from 605 B.C. on down through 1979 or at least our stage of 1979 plus the seven years of the period of the future marked out in the same Book of Daniel in the ninth chapter, and then plus an indeterminate time between the present time and the beginning of that final seven-year period of our human history, or at least history under the present circumstance. So we have then, in the second chapter, a kind of visualized portrait of 2500 plus years of human history.
Now, I said also that Daniel’s revelation required two things: One, as we shall learn when we go through the Book of Daniel, is that there should be Jewish national survival. Now we know in our stage in the plan of God that that is precisely what has happened. The Jews have survived nationally and since May 14, 1948, we do have a nation of Israel. Only those of us who lived before that time can understand what it really means to have a nation, Israel, or at least fully understand. Because when I first started studying the Bible, there was no Nation Israel, and we used to talk about how the future would unfold and that there would undoubtedly one day be a Nation Israel. And then a few years afterwards there was that nation.
The second thing that is necessary is the reemergence of the Gentile world powers of the Near East because, as you read the prophecies of the Old testament, you will learn that figuring prominently in the events of the last days are those ancient nations. And, of course, what we have seen is the reemergence of the nations of the ancient East and they have become the important nations, largely through the energy crisis, which has come upon us in the last few decades.
So both of these things have come to pass. Israel has survived, and the ancient gentile powers are also surviving and, in fact, are very well getting stronger as the days go by. So the 2nd chapter of Daniel has a very distinct bearing upon this whole program of God, which is being unfolded before our eyes. Now in the last study, we looked at the opening part of the chapter in which the dream was revealed to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and then was revealed to Daniel.
And also, we studied, as we looked at the first part of the chapter, Daniel’s unfolding of the contents of that dream to Nebuchadnezzar. And in the concluding few moments of the hour, you will remember that I had suggested to you that there are three principal features that appear in the description of the dream that he gives in verse 31 through verse 35. These three principal features are this: In this remarkable vision of this giant figure – incidentally, it was a figure of impressive size and reminds one of the colossi of ancient Egypt. Some of them were 50 or 60 feet high. And then in some of the other parts of the ancient east, there were other figures that were of similar importance and of similar size. So it was an impressive figure, a figure of impressive size that Nebuchadnezzar saw. And in this figure, the first of the important features or principal features of it was that it was a figure of four metals – gold, silver, brass, and iron. And then of course, in the latter part of the description, the iron is mingled with clay. But four principal metals, and these are important because they represent, we shall learn, four great empires that shall have dominion over the earth.
The second thing that was a principal feature of the dream as Daniel describes it, is the stone cut out without hands. Now that in itself is remarkable, suggesting the miraculous origin of this stone. Now the stone is not specifically identified in Daniel. One thing about the Bible that we learn is that all of the features of biblical revelation are not fully expounded in every passage in which they occur. If that were so, then the world could not contain the books of God’s revelation. He expects us to search the scriptures and, as many have pointed out, one of the most fundamental principles of the understanding of the Bible is the “analogy of faith”. And the analogy of faith is the principle that we popularly express in the words: “Scripture is to be understood by Scripture”. Scriptura ex scriptura explicanda est or “Scripture is to be explained by Scripture”. Scriptura sui interpres or “Scripture is its own interpreter”. There are a number of the rules that express very much the same thing.
So when we see the stone, it is necessary for us to look in other parts of the Revelation to find out the identity of the stone. And all the way back in the Book of Genesis, we have reference to the “Stone of Israel”, the “Shepherd”. And then on through the Old Testament into the prophecy of Isaiah reference to the “stone”. And finally, in the New Testament, it is given identification as our Lord Jesus Christ and passages such as those in Matthew chapter 21 and 1st Peter chapter 2, Romans 9, and a number of others. So the stone cut out without hands is a reference to our Lord Jesus Christ. We commented on the three great focal points of world history: The Creation, The Cross of Christ, and The Second Coming. And the reference here to the stone cut out without hands is a reference to the supernatural origin of the Son of God and the smiting of the image, a reference we suggested to the second coming of the Lord Jesus by which He will take over dominion over the earth.
The third thing that I commented upon was the statement in verse 35 regarding the great mountain, “But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” And I suggested to you that again by the analogy of faith that the mountain that takes the place of the image is the mountain of the Kingdom of God. I also suggested to you that if this prophecy is a prophecy of the whole of Gentile times, and it seems to be that, then we can infer from it but there are only four great world empires in the history of the human race since the time of Nebuchadnezzar. Other men who had sought to have the world empire have failed. Charlemagne, Genghis Khan, Napoleon (the French are still hoping to get back to the glories of the past thinking of Napoleon), Kaiser Wilhelm (peace be to his ashes), Mao, and Jimmy or anyone else you may want to establish a world kingdom.
Now we want to turn tonight to the interpretation of the dream. One thing we need to remember as we turn to verse 36 through verse 49 is that Nebuchadnezzar is a gentile. He was the king of Babylon. And so consequently this image is an image of the times of gentiles. That is suggested of the very fact that it begins with Nebuchadnezzar and he being the head, the head of gold, gives identity to the whole figure. So we are to expect that this is a figure of Gentile kingdoms. So, bear that in mind.
Now, let’s notice verse 36 through verse 43 where we have the kingdoms identified. Let me read verse 36 through verse 43, “This was the dream; now we shall tell its interpretation before the king. You, O king, are the king of kings to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength, and the glory. And wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, he has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them. You are the head of gold.” Well, that seems very plain.
Now, the next are much more difficult at this stage in the Book of Daniel. The Book of Daniel is a book in which we have broad features and then as we read, details are filled in, very much a like a painter who blocks out a portrait and gives you the major outlines as you observe him beginning his picture but then, as he continuous his portrait through various sittings, he fills in details. And so here we are given a point from which to begin Nebuchadnezzar as the head of gold, but notice what he said about the other kingdoms. “And after you there shall be another kingdom inferior to you.” That’s all that’s said.
Later on, I say this will be filled in, and we will read about the kingdom to which that statement refers. “Then, another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth. Then, there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron. Inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. And in that, you saw the feet and toes partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron. It will be a divided kingdom. But it will have in it the toughness of iron inasmuch as you know the iron mixed with common clay.” I noticed incidentally the vast amount of material in comparison with the material concerning some of the others given about this fourth kingdom. That will let you know this is undoubtedly the most important one. Verse 42:
“And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay; they will combine with one another with the seed of men.”
Now, that expression is very difficult and it is almost impossible to be certain of the rendering. You have a Bible, I am sure, with marginal notes and that you should, of course, pay attention to that. I am going to read it as if they will combine with one another with the seed of men. But they will not adhere to one another even as iron does not combine with pottery. The kingdoms are identified.
Now, first of all verses 37 and 38 make it very plain that the first kingdom is Babylon. Now, this is not surprising, of course, because Babylon, remember, is the place where the first collective rebellion against God took place. So, it’s very proper that Babylon should head the list of the kingdoms, and also because you may remember from history that Babylon continued as the capital of the two succeeding world empires. Medo-Persia, the capital was Babylon and the world’s center of the Grecian empire became Babylon when Alexander the Great established it as the headquarters of his empire. And finally, we know from the Bible that Babylon emerges in the Book of Revelation as a world city again. And the climax of the destruction of Gentile world power is epitomized in the expression of the Book of Revelation; “Babylon is fallen, is fallen”. So it’s very fitting then that we should have here Babylon as the head, and it gives identity to the whole of the stature. This is organized, collective rebellion against God manifested in world political empire. So, you should not be surprised if in world empires there is organized rebellion against spiritual things as they are found in the word of God. Babylon was a monarchy.
Due to the lack of time, we do not have time to trace these things out of the Book of Daniel. We will come across these things later on, but if you turn to chapter 5, verse 19, you would notice that now, I say I am not going to turn to it and read it. You just make a little note of some of the text and look them up.
So the first kingdom is the Kingdom of Babylon. The gold of Babylon represents the exceedingly fine nature of this empire of which Nebuchadnezzar was the head. It was a great empire over which Nebuchadnezzar presided and it is fitting that his kingdom should be likened to gold. The second is described in the first clause of verse 39. “And after you, Nebuchadnezzar, there will rise another kingdom inferior to you.” Now we know that from the Book of Daniel as well as from history. “The kingdom that arose after him, that was inferior to him” was the kingdom of Medo-Persia. Again in chapter 5, verse 31, this specific historical reference is made, that Babylon is overthrown and the kingdom of Medo-Persia becomes the world empire.
In the eighth chapter we will have much more detail given to this second world empire. The second world empire Medo-Persia was an autocracy, not a monarchy but an autocracy, and of course, since this part of the body that has the silver is the part of the body with the two arms. It is fitting that that should represent Medo-Persia because we have the Kingdom of the Medes and the Kingdom of the Persian’s, so that Medea and Persia are represented even in the figure in the two arms of that figure. Again, later on in the eighth chapter, further details will be given which will bear this out.
The third kingdom is described in the latter part of verse 39, “And then another third kingdom of bronze which shall rule over all the earth.” The only thing that is stated about this is that it is bronze and that it will rule over all the earth. Now we know that the kingdom that succeeded the Medo-Persia kingdom was the Kingdom of Alexander or the Kingdom of Greece. Greece was a stratocracy; that is it was a military empire. It was weaker in character than the Babylonian and the Medo-Persian empires, but stronger in strength and the fact that a special clause is suggested, it is added, which will rule over all the earth, lays a little bit of stress upon Alexander’s conquests, which were remarkable.
The fourth kingdom is the one to which the prophet devotes the greatest amount of time. Now again from the 9th chapter, in the 26th verse and also from the New Testament, when we read of our Lord’s birth in connection with Caesar Augustus, we learned that this fourth kingdom is the Roman Empire. “Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things.”
Now in the 9th chapter in the 26th verse we have a statement, which identifies this as being the Roman Empire. I would like to turn to it because I think that occasionally this verse has been overlooked, but chapter 9 and verse 26 is in that part of Daniel in which the 70 weeks of Israel are being unfolded. This, probably, is the greatest prophecy in Daniel in one sense. And we read in verse 26, “Then after the 62 weeks, the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing.” Now that is a reference of course, to the death of the Messiah. But then he adds, “And the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city.” Some have thought that that is a reference to our Lord. The people of the prince that shall come will destroy the city.
But the prince that shall come in the light of the context here and also in the light of the unfolding is the antichrist and not the Christ. So the people of the prince that shall come will destroy the city. Now we know that the city was destroyed by the Romans. Consequently from this, we learned that the antichrist will be a part of the Roman Empire. Now that helps to identify this fourth kingdom as the Roman Empire. But also it helps to establish the fact that this Roman Empire will persist down through the years until the time of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. So what we may say about this fourth empire is that it is a reference to the Roman Empire in its original form and also in its revived form.
Now there are people who object to this, and I have cause to pay attention to what they say, but I think in this instance that they are wrong. Let me illustrate how the kingdom of the last days may be the revived Roman Empire. Later on we shall talk about it probably in more detail. You may remember that the first capital of the United States was New Amsterdam. Did you know that? That was the first capital of the United States. That is the present city of New York. Washington was the first president, but Washington ruled over only 13 colonies.
Imagine the present 48, 50 states now; imagine the present states to be invaded and the government to be pushed to the West. Let us just imagine that we were invaded and finally the government had to move to Kansas City. Well this country would still be known as the Unites States of America, although it would not hold one foot of the original soil when it came into being. So it would truly be the United States of America because it had an unbroken connection with the past. It would consist of people of the same stock and race, the same Constitution, same type of government, same culture, same ideals, same outlook on life, and so on.
Well, the Roman Empire has left a very long shadow. And as you know, many of our institutions in the United States of America are Roman in their nature. So we really are part of that ancient Roman Empire. And that the prince that shall come shall be of that particular kingdom.
Now let us notice the features of this final kingdom. In the first place, it is the important kingdom. We know this because in verse 28 we read, “However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days.” So the important feature of his prophecy is what takes place and the latter-days. The expression the latter days occurs 13 times in the Old Testament. Now here it’s in Aramaic and in other places it’s in Hebrew but the language is equivalent. The expression is the same expression. It is just in the case of Daniel, we have instances here of a couple of places in the Book of Daniel in which it is in the Aramaic form.
Aramaic and Hebrew are very similar and so it is the same expression. This expression “in the latter days” in almost all of these occurrences; some think all. I say almost in case you should come up and argue one particular occurrence of it, but most of the occurrences, and I have looked at every one of them, have to do with the days of the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ, and so this expression is an indication to us that this prophecy is designed to stress the things that occur just preceding our Lord’s second coming when he shall establish the Kingdom of God upon the earth.
Now the next thing that we notice about this last kingdom, the fourth kingdom, is that it is characterized by strength instead of grandeur. It is an empire and then we have the empire becoming democratic in form or becoming weaker and weaker. Characteristic of democracy is its weakness. Was it Winston Churchill who said that “The worst form of human government is democracy, except for all of those other forms of human government”? It is a weak form of government.
Now characteristic also of this last image is that is has two legs and of course two feet. Now the history of the Roman Empire is the history of its division. I am sure you will remember that in the times of Diocletian around 285 B.C., we had a division of the Roman Empire and, in fact, often you will find references to the Eastern and the Western division of the Roman Empire. Another thing that is characteristic of this image is that as you look at the image with the head of gold and the breast of silver and the rest of the materials, the thing that is the longest part, or that part of the image that is the longest is, of course, the legs and that is precisely what we find in history. So the picture of the image itself suggests that the final empire will be one that will last a considerably longer period of time than the other empires. The unusual length of the fourth kingdom then is suggested by the fact that it is represented by the legs and the feet.
Now we also have legs and then feet described and that suggests the early and latter aspect of the kingdom, and there is deterioration in this empire because we read about iron and then we read about the mixture of iron and clay. It will have in it, in verse 41, “The toughness of iron, but it will also be brittle because of the clay and so there will be no adhering to one another even as iron does not combine with pottery.” That may suggest a lot of things, but it suggests, at any rate, that there is an earlier and a latter aspect of the kingdoms. Stress is given to the two aspects of it: the legs and then the feet, but also the deterioration in the history of that fourth kingdom.
Now, we would construct this, of course, in a considerably more different way from the way that God has constructed human history, would we not? We would probably construct it by saying that Nebuchadnezzar should be represented by the iron and that the modern kingdom should be represented by the gold, because we like to think that we are getting better and better. But now the picture that we are given here is deterioration in the value of the metal; and that I believe is true to human history. We are seeing deterioration in human government, so we would construct it I say, in quite a different way.
Some of the men who have been prominent in modern times have an entirely different picture of human government. For example, Nikolai Lenin, he had as a myth the view that the present world would be a proletarian world in which all possessiveness should disappear and every policeman could be dismissed. “No more pigs,” according to the language of the 60s at least. Now that was his idea and that of course has been the some of the philosophy behind the construction of the Soviet Union.
Now another thing that we noticed, which is not specifically stated here, is that the toes are specifically mentioned. Now, we need to turn over just for a moment to chapter 7 because I want to make the statement that the toes are a reference to kings. So will you turn to chapter 7, verse 7 and then we read verse 24 also after this. Now, in the 7th chapter incidentally, of course, we will get to those ultimately, but someone has suggested in the 2nd chapter that we have a picture of Gentile world dominion from the standpoint of the Gentile, and what you see is an impressive figure, very impressive to us as we think about it, but then in the 7th chapter we have God’s picture of Gentile world dominion and what he sees is four beasts, four wild beasts. That’s the divine picture of Gentile world dominion.
In the 7th chapter we read after this, “I kept looking in the night visions and behold the 4th beasts,” this corresponds with the 4th kingdom…”dreadful and terrifying, extremely strong and had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet and it was different from all the beasts that were before it and it had ten horns.” Notice how the beast corresponds to the metal and how the 10 toes correspond to the ten horns.
Now read verse 24. Now this is the interpretation of this vision. “As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.” A reference to the antichrist, but I want you to notice the 10 kings represented by the 10 horns; and since these two visions of 7 and 2 are parallel, we are, I think, following the analogy of Scripture and suggesting to you that the toes of the vision of the statue in chapter 2 are a reference to the kings that shall be prominent in the last days.
Now prophetic students like to make a great deal over this because we have lived in the 20th century and days when we once thought of the big three: Great Britain, France, and the United States…. the big three, and then for a period of time we read about the Big Four and then the Big Five. And now in modern times we have had prophetic students speaking about the common market and the 10 members of the Common Market. Prophetic students went way overboard on the 10 nations and the Common Market. We have not heard much about it recently because, as you know, the 10 became 9 and that overthrew a lot of prophetic exposition. Now there is a group of 10 nations that are worldwide, who have enormous economic influence. And if we are to look for 10 nations we should not look to the 10 nations of the Common Market. In my opinion, we will again talk about this more in the future, but rather the 10 significant world nations because the empire that shall exist on the earth in the last days will be a world dominion, not a Western dominion; but at any rate, the toes are kings and so we will leave you in a little bit of suspense; drop it at that point.
Let me suggest this, finally. The kings are Eastern and Western kings, represented by the two legs and by the two feet and the division in the empire. We also notice that there is an attempt at a union of these kings. We read in verse 43, “And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay; they will combine with one another with the seed of men but they will not adhere to one another even as iron does not combine with pottery.” So there is an attempt in the last days to have a union of the important nations of the Earth.
And we have a lot of tendencies that suggest this; we even have had recently an election of a world parliament. That is rather remarkable. In Time magazine for this week, there is an article about election of a woman as the head of this. I exercise great restraint and say nothing about that. But you see that there is a tendency to want to unite. Isn’t it a striking thing? The world would love to be able to unite, but is it not ironic? In fact, I think in some ways it’s the supreme irony of the human situation in every age. That the one thing, the only thing in which mankind is concretely at one is sin. And this sin at which mankind is in perfect union is the thing that prevents mankind from ever being at one until Jesus Christ comes.
Take the history of Communism. Now when the Communist Manifesto in 1848 was published and word went out like a clarion call over all of Europe, “Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!” Today, we cannot probably in the United States realize that that held a great deal of hope for a lot a people because they were in chains. Many people were in chains. Capitalists are not saints. They are not. Now, you know how I feel so far as philosophy of economics is concerned. I believe that capitalism is the best system that has been devised to this point, but capitalists are sinners just like anyone else, and give them enough authority and they can be great sinners. They have been great sinners. No question about it. So when the word went out- “Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!”, it offered a great deal of hope to people who were in economic strata from which they could never have been able to extricate themselves.
But what’s the history of communism? Well, Marx said, “That all history is the history of class struggle.” Isn’t it interesting? He said that you could divide the classes into two: The proletariat and the bourgeoisie. And of course, what he hoped was to get rid of the bourgeoisie and have only the proletariat and then everything would be peaches and cream. But even Marx and Engels failed to even secure a semblance of unity. The First International was composed of the leaders of the various national labor movements and there conflict came. The first conflict was the conflict between Marx and Lasalle and the result was that that was resolved in the death of Lasalle in a duel.
And then, there rose a bitter and vicious division between Marx and Bakunin. Now that resulted in the destruction of the First International. The Second International went the same way and the Third International and so on. You see the one thing at which we are at one is our sin and self-interest.
Our sin is the one thing that prevents us from ever having worldwide union. It cannot be accomplished because of the Calvinistic doctrine of total depravity. Now if you do not like that, because of the biblical doctrine of total depravity. That is why. That’s why this doctrine is so important. It really is the clue to the understanding of everything that transpires. It’s the clue to understanding the first page of your newspapers everyday. It is the clue to understanding human history.
Well, let me in a few moments that we have now, turn to the installation of the final kingdom. It is described in verse 44 and verse 45. Now we read “In the days of those kings.” What kings? The kings represented by the 10 toes. Later on that would be, of course, expounded by the analogy of faith. “In the days of those kings, the God of Heaven;” probably, also inclusive of the fact that the last great world empire contains within it all the features of the four great world empires, from the day of Nebuchadnezzar to the day of Christ. “In the days of those kings, the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed.”
Now isn’t that interesting? How many people do you have today who say the Church is going to bring in the kingdom? No, the church is not going to bring in the kingdom. I grew up in a, it was a Christian church; the minister was a very godly old man, almost as old as I am. And he had a long beard and he also had a very fine name in the denomination. His name was Alexander Spratt. I can remember him calling at our home in Charleston. A very lovely, lovable man, but he and others spoke about our bringing in the kingdom and everything in our church was geared to activity to bring in the kingdom. We are not going to bring in the kingdom. God is going to bring in the kingdom because of the biblical doctrine of total depravity; that is why. So when the God in the days of these kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall 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.
You notice it is going to crush them. It is not going to persuade them to relinquish control. “In as much as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold. The great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future. So the dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy.” So, we do not then look to world kingdoms to bring us peace. We do not look to individuals to bring us peace, individuals among men, but our hope is the same hope as the hope of David, a ruler over men, just, he said in his last days, a ruler in the fear of God.
Hudson Armerding is the President of Wheaton College. Fifteen years ago May of this year, he spoke here in Dallas, and he spoke about being in the Navy during World War II and of the discussion with some non-Christians. The discussion was a discussion characterized by the apparent hopelessness of the international situation. As they discussed the possible solutions. Finally one man who was not a Christian suggested as a final remedy, and I am quoting his words exactly – “Perhaps an impartial benevolent dictator might do.” Now that is exactly what our Lord Jesus Christ is. He is an impartial benevolent dictator and he is the one who will set up this kingdom in his second advent. He is the shepherd of Israel, the stone of Israel. He is the stone that tested stone in whom if a person believes he shall not be put to shame. And it is through him that the kingdom that is “The kingdom” shall be set up and he will do it at his second advent. The Scriptures, I think, make that quite plain.
Well, this is a glorious panorama of world history and the prophet says it is certain and it is sure. To use the words of the New American Standard Bible, “The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.” The key issue is obviously the condition of Jerusalem and the Jews. Lord Jesus said when he came, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled.” Jerusalem is still trodden down of the Gentiles. The very place at which the heart of Israel really is, that place where the Dome of the Rock is, is not theirs yet and consequently the times of the Gentiles roll on.
Bismarck said, “The statesman must try and reach for the hem when he hears the garment of God rustling through events.” And when we look today and see the things that are happening in world history, those who know something about Scripture can understand, I think, something of the sense of excitement that would have gripped one of the prophets had they seen what we see. The nations of Europe, the United States are absorbed in political conflicts and worldly interests and business, but the sands in their hourglass of time are ebbing away and God is fulfilling his purposes. As Daniel puts it, “He is sovereignly accomplishing his will.” And he will do it. We look forward to the consummation in the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ. The key personal issue, of course, is where do you stand with reference to the stone?
Now Matthew says, “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” I hope that your faith and trust is in the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is able to save you from your sins and also from the catastrophe that faces this world of which we are a part. Let’s bow in a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Father, we are grateful to Thee for this wonderful overview of the future and we pray, Lord, as the time goes by that we will study the Scriptures and then seek on the basis of them to minister as Thou dost give each one of us opportunity to minister. Lessen the hours that follow and in the further studies of this great prophesy of Daniel. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.