I would like to point out that proclaiming thetruth about the church’s most deceptive enemy and exposing her lies, her sins, and her false doctrines is an essential part of the gospel.
Revelation 14:6 ¶ And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come:……
(this is clearly present truth teaching for the final generations just as the apostles teachings were present truth for their generation see 2 Peter 1:12)
…..and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
8 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.…..
(Part of the gospel for the last days is to proclaim the apostasy of Babylon)
…..9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation;….
(surely we should not cease to warn others of the impending crisis)
…. and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name…..
(All the above form the full gospel for the last days. You neglect teaching and proclaiming any one part, you are nor preaching the gospel.)
….12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.(The above is a description of the church, the remnant against whom the dragon is waging war, see Revel. 12:17, that proclaims this message in direct contradistinction to the vast majority who receive the mark….which do you belong to?)
Finally, we are to plead for those who are locked into this system,to
Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
God has a people in Babylon. They are not predestined to destruction and judgement, but have the opportunity to repent and take a hold of the truth. It is our calling, nay our duty, to expose untruth and warn people to flee error.
Speaking of Babylon….
v 37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom…
God in His Sovereign wisdom allowed Babylon to exist.
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” Rom 13:1.
…power, and strength, and glory.
v 38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
Nebuchadnezzar the king of BABYLON personified his kingdom.
The golden head represented not just Nebuchadnezzar but his kingdom, for after it there would arise “another kingdom” (v 39). Daniel uses “king” as a synonym for “kingdom” as he does elsewwhere in his book. Compare with Dan 8:20.
Babylon was called the “golden city” (Isa 14:4; Jer 51:7) and boasted the wondeful hanging gardens, built by Nebuchadnezzar for his favourite wife who loved the tree- covered hills of her home country, Media.
A century and a half later the Greek poet Aeschylus (who died 456B.C.) similarly wrote of Babylon as “teeming with gold.” Heredotus (who died 424B.C.) was amazed at the lavishness of the gold within the sanctuary of Bel-Marduk.
See Loeb Classical Library, Aeschylus, Vol. 1, p115; Loeb Classical Library, Herodotus, Vol. 1, p227, 229. Also Charles Boutflower, In and Around the Book of Daniel, p25.
A great religious centre, Babylon was the centre of world idolatry. Under Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon became the superpower of its day. Fortified by massive walls and watered by the river Euphrates which flowed under its walls and through the city, it was thought to be impregnable.
v 39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom…
History and Scripture show that in 539-8 BC the combined kingdom of “the MEDES and the PERSIANS” (Dan 5:28-31), led by Cyrus, conquered Babylon. They diverted the river Euphrates, upon which Babylon sat, (i.e. was built over) and they went up the river bed, under the river gates, and took the city by surprise to fulfil the prophecy: “The word that the Lord spake against Babylon…A drought is upon her waters; they shall be dried up.” Jer 50:1, 38. See also Jer 51:11, 28; 2 Chron 36:20.
“[Babylon had] stored provisions enough for very many years; so they cared nothing for the siege; and Cyrus knew not what to do…whether, then someone advised him in his difficulty, or he perceived himself what to do, I know not, but this is what he did…drawing off the river by canal…he made the stream to sink till its former channel could be forded. When this happened the Persians who were posted with this intent made their way into Babylon by the channel of the Euphrates…and brought them to a miserable end.” Herodotus, Book 1, sec 191; A.D. Godley, Loeb Classical Library, p239.
…inferior to thee…
Medo-Persia was “inferior” to Babylon not in size, as Medo-Persia was more vast than the Babylonian Empire, but in moral worth.
Daniel probably did not know who this succeeding kingdom was until he read the handwriting on the wall years after Nebuchadnezzar’s death. See Dan 5:28.
The historian Herodotus says Persia received tribute from subject states, paid mostly in silver talents.
…and another third kingdom of brass [or bronze], which shall bear rule over all the earth.
About 200 years later, at the battle of Arbela in 331 BC, GRECIA, (the semi-Greek Macedonian empire) led by Alexander the Great, ended the Persian reign and began to “bear rule over all the earth” that is, it conquered everything it attempted to.”
It is interesting to note that the Greek soldiers were known for their bronze armour. Herodotus tells that Psammtichus I of Egypt, an older contemporary of Nebuchadnezzar’s father, saw in the invading Greek pirates the fulfillment of an oracle that foretold “men of bronze coming from the sea.” Herodotus, i, 152, 154.
Nebuchadnezzar was probably already aware of the Greeks “another king from the west, clad in bronze,” as Josephus puts it.
See Josephus, Antiquities, book 10, chap. 10, sec. 4, in Loeb Classical Library, Josephus, vol. 6, p273, and note i.
Javan’s “vessels of brass” (Eze 27:13) takes on new significance when one learns that Javan is seen to refer to the Ionian Greeks.
In Dan 8:5-7, 20-21 the angel Gabriel clearly foretold that “Grecia” would conquer “Media and Persia.”
v 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron…
Like the other metallic sections, the iron represents a singular “kingdom.” The iron of the legs represents ROME, from its coming to power until its break-up into the nations of Europe.
…forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
Following Greece, Rome rose to worldwide power, as is shown by the fact that Cæsar Augustus could issue a decree “that all the world should be taxed” (Luke 2:1).
“…the images of gold, or silver, or brass, that might serve to represent the nations or their kings, were successively broken by the iron monarchy of Rome.” Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon, chap. 73, par 43.
Polybius, a Roman historian, wrote:
“…the Romans have subjected to their rule not portions, but nearly the whole of the world (and possess an empire which is not only immeasurably greater than any which preceded it, but need not fear rivalry in the future.)” Polybius the Histories, translated by W. R. Patton, Loeb Classical Library, Vol. 1, p7.
No single rival conquered Rome, but Rome fell apart.
The four metals thus represent, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.
Any decent History book will confirm the sequence. Stewart C. Easton’s college textbook, The Heritage of the Ancient World, lists on its table of contents, “The Chaldeans and the New Babylonia,” “The Great Persian Empire,” “The Greek Civilization,” and “The foundations of the Roman Empire.”
v 41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided…
TEN divisions – THE NATIONS OF EUROPE WHICH AROSE FROM THE ROMAN EMPIRE
The Roman Empire was broken up in the fourth and fifth centuries A.D. among Barbarian invaders from Northern & Eastern Europe.
The toes of the image suggest that the fourth kingdom, Rome, would be divided into ten, but the interpretation in Daniel 2 makes no mention of their number. We find the number of divisions in Daniel 7 where the same series of four great kingdoms is described again, under the symbols of “four great beasts.” From the fourth beast come ten horns, declared to be “ten kings [kingdoms].” These ten kingdoms correspond with the feet and toes of iron and clay into which the image’s legs divided.
The Roman Empire was weakened by wealth, luxury, and excess, and she could not withstand the onslaught of the rude barbarian tribes from the north and east of Europe. By 476AD 10 kingdoms had been established. Those which survived make up the nations of Europe today, and are still distinctly divided. Some have been notably strong, others weak. The prominent barbarian tribes which became the kingdoms of Europe are:
1. Alemani- Germans
2. Franks – French
3. Burgundians – Swiss
4. Suevi – Portugese
5. Vandals – Extinct
6. Visigoths- Spanish
7. Saxons – English
8. Ostrogoths – Extinct
9. Lombards- Italy
10. Heruli – Extinct.
…but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
The iron was Rome and the Roman influence continued into the feet and toes in the form of Roman Catholicism.
v 42 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.
Some European kingdoms are strong, some weak.
v 43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry [from a word meaning “damp “or “sticky”] clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men…
The four metals had represented earthly governments – State powers. The clay represents a new distinct element – the religious or Church power.
UNION OF CHURCH & STATE
Evidently “they” who mingle with the seed of men are not the seed of men. They must therefore be the “seed,” or children, of God. Here then is foretold the mingling, or attempted union, of the church with the world. Such a union is as unnatural as attempting to mix iron & clay, and is destined for dissolution.
Ezra 9:2 “… the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass.”
…but they shall not cleave one to another.
Royal and common marriages among the nations of Europe have also failed to bring about unity.
A partial unity was brought about by the uniting of the Roman Catholic Church (the papacy) and some of the European nations during the Dark Ages, but this Religious-Political system – The Holy Roman Empire – did not last. With the advent of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, protesting the errors & abuses of misdirected Catholicism, Europe began to withdraw their support from the Vatican. In France, papal hypocrisy and abuses led to a rejection of all religion, giving rise to the Atheism of the French Revolution.
“All the reigning princes in Europe are closely related.” The Royal Relatives of Europe, World’s Work, Oct. 1914
…even as iron is not mixed with clay.
The Roman Empire has been described as history’s Humpty Dumpty. After Rome’s downfall in 476 AD “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men (the warriors and statesmen of fifteen centuries have failed) “couldn’t put Humpty together again.”
Six notable rulers who have tried in vain to defy the prophecy & reunite Europe were:
1. Charlemagne (of the Franks) 8th century
2. Charles V (of Spain) 16th century
3. Louis XIV (of France) 18th century
4. Napoleon (of France) 19th century
5. Kaiser Wilhelm (Germany) 20th century
6. Adolf Hitler (Germany) 20th century
The image of chapter 2 exactly parallels the vision of the four beasts in chapter 7. The fourth beast of chapter 7 represents the same kingdom as the iron legs of chapter 2. The ten horns of the beast correspond to the divided feet and toes of the image. These horns are said to be ten kings which should arise; and they are just as much independent kingdoms as are the beasts themselves, for the beasts are spoken of in precisely the same manner; namely, as “four kings which shall arise.” Dan 7:17. The ten horns do not denote a line of successive kings, but kingdoms which exist contemporaneously; for three of them were plucked up by the little horn. The ten horns represent the ten kingdoms into which Rome was divided, and these horns correspond to the divided feet and toes of Dan 2.
v 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed…
Daniel uses the words “king” and “kingdom” interchangeably.
CHRIST’S KINGDOM SET UP
At the time this kingdom is set up, there will be a plurality of kings existing contemporaneously. These kingdoms cannot refer to the four preceding kingdoms; for it would be absurd to use such language in reference to a line of successive kings, since it would be in the days of the last king only, not in the days of any of the preceding, that the kingdom of God would be set up.
The Kingdom of God was set up after the stone hit the image on the feet. The stone cannot refer to Christ’s first advent, because when Christ came Rome was one united superpower, whereas the stone hit the image upon the feet AFTER Rome had divided into the feet and toes of iron and clay (the 10 nations of Europe AD476.
Christ is the stone which will pulverize the image. Speaking of Himself, Christ said, “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” Matt 21:44
The reigns of the various kingdoms get longer and longer:
Babylon605 – 539
Medo-Persia539 – 331
Greece331 – 169
Rome (pagan & papal)169 – the Second Coming
Christ’s Kingdom Second Coming to eternity!
…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.
v 45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone [compare with Matt 21:44] was cut out of the mountain without hands…
Christ’s kingdom is not to be brought in by human devising. Thus all efforts to establish Christ’s kingdom by political or military means are misdirected.
Mountains represent kingdoms (see Dan 2:35). The stone is Christ. The mountain from which he was cut is the great universal kingdom of God.
…and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold…
God sees past kingdoms as still present:
(1) Though the earlier nations represented by the metallic sections had their dominions taken away, yet in a certain sense they live on and will be fully destroyed when the stone strikes.
(2) The end-time beast of Rev 13 is made up of the previous beasts (nations) of Dan 7. This shows that though the previous nations lost their dominion, yet in a sense they still exist, amalgamated in the beast.
(3) Of the first three beasts in Dan 7 we read, “they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.” Dan 7:12. The fourth beast itself exists till its destruction after the judgment.
God clearly sees all previous powers as still living even though their dominions have been taken away. Thus their complete destruction is to occur at the brightness of Christ’s Second Coming. (2 Thess 2:8)
…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.
The fact that Daniel could tell the king his dream, confirmed to the king that the interpretation was also correct.
Thus far, the reformers, in their study of prophecy, had good reason to believe the RCC was the Antichrist, however, when prophecy is being used as in this case to identify someone or thing, it must meet the requirements or criteria of every single aspect of the prophecy. So far the RCC fits the bill of 2 Thess. and Daniel 2. Will it continue to pass the test?