Proof of God – Bible Prophecies Fulfilled – World Empires

World Empires –

A prophecy about what would come to pass over the next few years, bringing the Messiah to Jerusalem in about AD

Nebuchadnezzers Dream – Daniel 21:31-45

“Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of pure 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 baked clay. While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.

“This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.

 “After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.

 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands —a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.

“The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

Note that the diminishing value of the metals from gold to silver to  bronze to iron representing the decreasing grandeur and individual power of the successive kings and their empires. Yet each successive metal was stronger than the previous, indicating that each succeeding empire would last longer than the previous one.

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream – How this prophecy is worked out

The great world empires that would dominate the world from the time of Daniel until the end of the age.

The Symbol: Head of gold
The Empire: Babylon (608-538/9 B.C)
The Prophecy: “You are that head of gold” (2:38)

The Babylonian empire under King Nebuchadnezzar was strong, powerful and wealthy, aptly fulfilling the position as the image’s head of gold. As predicted by Jeremiah, Babylon was destroyed within 70 years by the rise of Medo-Persia under the rule of king Cyrus.

The Symbol: Chest of silver
The Empire: Medo-Persia  (538 – 331 B.C)
The Prophecy: “After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours” (2:39)

The second empire was represented as a chest of silver. This indicated that the next empire would be stronger since silver is a stronger metal than gold but of inferior value. True to Nebuchadnezzar’s vision, the Medo-Persians raised enormous armies and were powerful in battle, yet they lacked the nobility and wealth of Babylon. The Medo Persian empire lasted only 207 years until it was destroyed by the armies of Alexander the Great in a climactic battle in 331 B.C.

The Symbol: Belly of Brass
The Empire:
Greece (331- 168 B.C)
The Prophecy:
“Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth” (2:39)

The third world empire was symbolized by brass, a stronger metal than silver but a metal of less value. The Greek empire, based on the democratic governments of the Greek city-states, broke its world empire into four divisions led by Alexander’s four generals.

Alexander the great exacted his revenge on the Persians for the Persian king Xerxes’ earlier attack on Greece. Alexander conquered the known world from the Mediterranean to India with only 32,000 men in less than 10 years.

Greece continued to rule from the borders of India to Europe until 63 B.C when the Roman army successfully attacked Israel and captured the temple. Romes occupation of Palestine marked the end of the Greek empire.

The Symbol: Legs of iron
The Empire: Rome 
(168 B.C – A.D 476)
The Prophecy:
“Finally there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron…iron breaks and smashes everything” (2:40)

The 4th world empire of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision was represented as two strong legs of iron that broke in pieces all which stood before it. This 4th world empire was Rome. One of the characteristics of the Roman empire was its incredible military might, and Rome transformed the various parts of its empire into an enormous military machine. Combining strength with an efficient military and judicial system. Rome ruled the known world longer than any of the other three. 

Rome split into two portions after the rule of emperor Constantine. The western arm of the empire was based in Rome, and the eastern arm of the empire ruled from Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey).  

Barbarians destroyed Rome’s influence in the west in A.D 476, while the eastern arm of the Roman empire became known as the Byzantine empire and continued its rule until its defeat by the Turks in A.D 1453.

The Symbol: Toes of iron and clay
The Empire:
This is the iron (legs) mixed with clay (other nations), this represents Roman rule over other nations, who were not allied to Rome, such as Israel etc…
The Prophecy:
“this will be a divided kingdom…partly strong and partly brittle” (2:41-42)

Iron, rather than being a different metal to the rest of the statue, is the same metal used for the Roman Empire, it means a time when Rome would be integrated with other nations, making it partly strong and partly weak.

No clearer description could be found than the Roman Rule of Israel, because the Jews were completely opposed to the Roman Empire, and the Romans were in control of the country, not understanding Jewish laws and customs etc, remember it was Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, who had Jesus crucified.  Likewise, Rome ruled many countries who were not allied to Rome, those nations who were controlled by Rome had privileges such as Roman citizenship etc, and the Romans had use of the land and resources of the country.

It is in this environment, where the Government was partly strong and partly weak, with Romans ruling over Judea, that the Christ was born in Bethlehem, indeed, it was because of the Roman edict of a census requiring everyone to return to their home town, that Jesus’ parents had to go to Bethlehem.  

The Symbol: Stone cut without hands
The Empire:
Messianic Kingdom –
The Prophecy:
“In the time of those kings (Iron / Clay Empire), the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed” (2:44)

A stone cut without hands basically means – that which is not manmade, that which is made from something higher.  The scripture here reads:

While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them …… In the time of those kings (Iron / Clay rule), the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people.”

Understanding what is meant by:  “The God of Heaven shall set up a kingdom” 

This means that someone not created of man (“a rock was cut out, but not by human hands”), shall set up a new kingdom – the kingdom of God. 

Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit, and a virgin gave birth to the Messiah, the message of Christ was this “The Kingdom of God is upon you” – Therefore this prophecy is speaking about the message found in the four Gospels.

This shall be a kingdom like no other, for it shall be the law of God written on the hearts of those who believe, opposing every world system of philosophy, social goodness, or status-quo etc etc, and would destroy all other kingdoms (ultimately over a period of time).

The fruit of this new kingdom would be a people who could now receive the Holy Spirit from God (because this could not be given – in full measure – to sinners who were not cleansed).  Through Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, he brought to fulfillment the laws and requirements of God, and took the punishment for the worlds sin on himself, so that those who believe would not have to receive Gods judgment.

This then made a way for God to legally bless those who put their trust in the Messiah (for God is limited by His own integrity and Holiness) – this is why Jesus had to die on the Cross – if he didn’t there would have been no legal way for the entire world to go to heaven (as for those who never heard the gospel – they were held accountable for the light they received – this is another teaching – God requires all people now to believe on Jesus Christ to be saved from Hell, neither is there salvation in any other name.)

The kingdom of God written on people’s hearts is an ongoing kingdom until the return of the Messiah – it shall never be destroyed, and soon all Governments shall bow before Jesus Christ who is Lord, and the new reign of Messiah shall be brought to pass (high probability in our lifetime, as all prophecies are now being brought to pass).  This is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel.

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: