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But first must come to pass the words of Revelation 11:15 – “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord. ” Throughout the ages, earthly kingdoms have arisen to challenge the kingdom of God. There has been a battle for the throne, a battle brought into sharp focus in the Old Testament Book of Daniel. Scripture contains two books of end-time prophecy: Daniel and Revelation.
Unlocking Daniel’s symbols makes Revelation’s prophecies clear. And Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24:15 directs us to understand “Daniel the prophet . . .
whoever reads, let him understand. ” One of the most fascinating Bible chapters is Daniel 2. A king dreamed of world events that spanned 2,500 years. Those events have come to pass with such precision that only the hand of God could have been involved. It’s a prophecy that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is in control of history. It is a prophecy that’s been almost totally fulfilled .
. . almost, but not quite. Daniel 2:1 says: “In the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was so troubled that his sleep left him. ” This was the king who ruled the great Babylonian Empire 500 years before Christ, the king who built the luxurious Hanging Gardens—one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Nebuchadnezzar had a dream which seemed of great significance, but when he awoke, he could not remember what he had dreamt.
So he called his wise men—who claimed to see into the future—and asked them to tell what he had dreamt. When they admitted that they could not, Nebuchadnezzar condemned them to death. Now young Daniel, though a prisoner of war in Babylon, was counted among the “wise men” for his gifted intelligence and understanding. When the king’s captain came to execute Daniel, he asked for time to pray for God to reveal the dream—and God did! Then Daniel, taking no credit to himself, went before Nebuchadnezzar and told the king that no mortal man could reveal the dream. “But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has revealed .
. . what will be in the latter days. ” Daniel 2:28.
The king’s dream focused on end-times, the close of earth’s history. The dream starts with Nebuchadnezzar and marches through history to the current day. So Daniel told the king what he had dreamed: “You, O king, were watching: and behold, a great image. .
. This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 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. 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. ” Daniel 2:31-35.
The King was excited! “Yes, that’s it! That’s it!” he cried. “That’s exactly what I saw! But Daniel, what does it mean?” What does it mean not only to Nebuchadnezzar but to you and me? Daniel continued: “You, O King, . . . are this head of GOLD.
” Daniel 2:37-38. The Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar (which made more lavish use of gold than any kingdom since) was secure as the dominant world power from 605 B. C. .