Have you ever wondered where we are on the timeline of Bible prophecy and how to unlock its end-time mysteries?

Podcast Transcript:  Click HERE to listen to the full episode.

Maybe you haven’t noticed it – but popular protest movements have swept the globe over the past few weeks, with anti-government demonstrators taking to the streets in Chile, Lebanon, Iraq, Hong Kong, Bolivia, Ecuador, Haiti, Sudan, Pakistan and Spain. Millions of people around the world have participated in these demonstrations, and hundreds have been killed. 

Now I have never personally participated in a protest, and I am certainly not against the right to do so peacefully, but as I have observe this global phenomenon, I can’t help but ask myself, “why is this happening?” and more than “why is this happening,” “why is this happening now?” 

Even in my own country, one would have to have to willfully put his head in the sand not to notice the fragile state of the current political environment.  Not since the Civil War has the United States been so divided on so many issues.  Could the spark that has lit the fire of protests around the world soon be coming closer to home? Could we be on the verge of not just a regional – but a worldwide political and social revolution?  

Now I am not sure how you deal with uncertainty about the future in your own life?   Maybe it energizes and excites you?  But if you are like like me, uncertainty tends to bring with it fear and anxiety.  Maybe even anger.  But what if we could know the future with some degree of certainty?  What if there was a logical explanation rooted in Bible Prophecy that could give context to everything happening around us today and give us hope for tomorrow? Would that motivate you to dig into God’s Word to look for answers?

If you remember the last time we were together in episode 20 we were introduced to the book  of Daniel and his three friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.  In that episode we discovered that the book of Daniel was written specifically for God’s people living at the end of time.  In fact Daniel 12:4 says:

“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”” (Daniel 12:4 NKJV)

This is good news for us – because now the mystery that was sealed by God for centuries has been opened and unsealed for us today as we shall see clearly as we move forward in the this podcast.

Why is the important?  Well because much of the book of Revelation is based on story and imagery of the Old Testament and particularly the book of Daniel.  When I started studying the book of Daniel I was amazed how the book of Revelation become much easier to understand.  And we all know the book of Revelation was written inspired by God not to remain a mystery but to be understood and guide the church in the time of the end.

If you have ever wondered how close we are to the end of time a study of these books together will make it exceedingly plain – at least it did for me.

So just as our last episode set the standard for character development for those who want to be ready for Jesus – this episode sets the standard for establishing God’s sovereignty, the Bible’s reliability, and the history of nations to the close of time. 

It just makes sense that God would want us to know with greater detail what we can expect to happen in the world just prior to his coming doesn’t it?

Before he destroyed the earth with a flood, God sent Noah.

Before Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylon – God sent Jeremiah

And before God sent his son Jesus – He sent John The Baptist

In fact in the book Amos says:

“Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7 NKJV)

So is it possible that Daniel, a prophet who lived 2500 years ago, has been figuratively sent to us today to prepare for the 2nd coming of Jesus through the unsealing of his book at the time of the end when many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall increase?

Well let us see for ourselves as we get right into the first major prophecy of the book: The 1st Dream of Nebuchadnezzar

It has happened to me and I am willing to be it has happened to you as well:  Waking up in the morning remembering I had a dream, remembering how the dream made me feel, but not being able to recall the details of the dream.

This is what happened to Nebuchadnezzar.  But Nebuchadnezzar was no ordinary guy He was a King,   And not just any King but the King of the greatest nation in the world: Babylon. And so, unlike you and me who have to live with the wonder of not knowing what we actually dreamed about – he called together all the wisemen soothsayers and magicians of his realm and asked them not only to interpret the dream but to tell him the dream!

Of course no one was able to do this for the King and so furious – he promptly ordered the execution of all of them.

 Now, if you remember when Daniel and his three friends were being examined by the king just before graduating he had declared them to be 10 times wiser than all the wiseman of his realm.  And so they too had become advisors to the King and so when we ordered the death of all wiseman he was also ordering their death as well.

But God had given Daniel not only mental superiority as a result of his diligence and faithfulness to his commandments – but he had also given him understanding in regards to visions and dreams.

And so on hearing this decree – Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah began seeking the Lord earnestly and in the night visions revealed to Daniel not only the dream but also its interpretation.  And so upon receiving this understanding from God Daniel is hurriedly brought before the king to share the good news.

“Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.” (Daniel 2:27–28 NKJV)

Notice Daniel makes clear to things right at the outset.  1) What the king had demanded only God could deliver and 2) the vision reaches all the way to the end of time.  And from there Daniel begins to recall the dream.  Now visuals are always helpful with theses things so if you would like to see visual of what the Bible is about to describe be sure to check out the transcript to this episode on Adventology.com

Let’s look at the description of the dream together now.  Daniel said:

““You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. 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 NKJV)

As you can see there are 6 distinct parts of this vision that make up the whole – 

  • A head of gold
  • Chest and arms of silver
  • belly and thighs of brass
  • legs of iron
  • feet partly of iron and partly of clay
  • A stone cut out without hands strikes the image at its toes – destroys the image and becomes a great mountain that fills the whole earth.

Apocalyptic indeed!

But what could it mean?

Rather than guess – let us allow Daniel himself to interpret it for us.

“You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all—you are this head of gold.” (Daniel 2:37–38 NKJV)

Wow – how illuminating that Babylon the Great would be the head of this great image that reaches down to the end of time.  And this is why the book of Revelation refers to Babylon as fallen and the mother of harlots – all the other kingdoms of the earth that stand opposed to God and his kingdom are, in essence, birthed out of her.  Likewise all that is spiritually opposed to the true worship of God also originates in her.  

And yet even though her spiritual influence would last to the end of time – her earthly reign was temporary as the King was soon to discover.  

“But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.” (Daniel 2:39 NKJV)

We only need to read a few chapters ahead in our Bibles to see who would be the power that would take down Babylon.  Daniel 5 describes in detail the fall of Babylon to Cyrus and the Medo-Persian Empire. But of course, while Persia’s reign would last much longer than Babylon’s – the empire would eventually crumble and fall into the hands of Greece through the sword of Alexander the Great.  

So far the dream is following the records in our history books to a tee.

Daniel continued… “And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.” (Daniel 2:40 NKJV)

So what was the Kingdom that conquered Greece and then eventually conquered much of the world?  Of course it could be none other than the iron monarchy of Rome.  While Rome was cruel to her enemies and invented an untold number of torture devices to humiliate those who opposed her, including the cross, the world enjoyed a relative amount of peace and stability during her reign which was essential for the later establishment and spread of the church around the world.

But eventually even Rome met her doom – and of course logically we would expect it to be replaced by a 5th ruling empire, right?  Let’s continue reading the prophecy.

“Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. (Daniel 2:41–43 NKJV)

This is the part of the prophecy that surprises people when they encounter it for the first time.  Instead of predicting a 5th ruling empire – the prophecy instead clearly states it will be divided instead.  Not did this happen – but the kingdom was actually divided into 10 setting the stage for the modern nations in Europe we find today.  Interestingly the Ten divisions of Rome matches the number of toes on the feet of the image.  This will be a point we will return to in detail when we study Daniel 7 in our next episode.

Continuing with the interpretation of the this dream now – we can see that Daniel not only states that Rome will be divided, but that it will never come back together again.  Although there will be strength in some of the nations – there will always be weakness in others, and there will never be a time when the former Roman Empire is reestablished as one nation.  Dozens of kings and generals throughout history have tried and failed in their attempts to unite Europe. 

This is not coincidence – this is divine sovereignty.  In the case of this Bible Prophecy as well as the rest of those in apocalyptic scripture – the sovereignty of God always overrules when man tries to altar it.

This is why it is so important to study Bible Prophecy – every prophecy is like a road sign showing us where we have come from, where we are at, and where we are going.  The apocalyptic prophecies all have a past, present, and future baked into them – and that is why they are all relevant for us today.  Each one provides an additional road sign with a little more detail – but they all point us in the same direction.

And what is that direction?

Let’s keep reading…

“And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.”” (Daniel 2:44–45 NKJV)

This is what it is all about – Being ready for Jesus and his kingdom that he will set up on the earth forever.

This is why we study the Bible.  Jesus is coming soon.

The prophecy states in the days of these Kings – that is our day.  Every single aspect of this property has been fulfilled except for one.  The stone cut out without hands is coming – and when we comes all the kingdoms of the earth will mourn.  In describing this same event Revelation says:

“Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”” (Revelation 6:14–17 NKJV)

And why couldn’t they stand?  Why did the nations mourn?  Why were they not full of joy when the Rock cut out without hands was coming down to set up his kingdom?  Because they had set themselves against him just as the Jews had when he came the first time.  They would not acknowledge him as king.  And so what did Jesus say?

“And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”” (Matthew 21:44 NKJV)

The same truth applies to us today?

Why are the people protesting in the streets around the world today?  Why do the nations rage at one another?  Why is there a never-ending stream of sorrow and woe everywhere we look?  It is because the world has not become broken in spirit by falling on the Rock.

Jesus said blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

God’s hand is outreached to save us all but we refuse ro reach back.  We dont think we need him and in our pride continue our journey down the path of destruction that lies at the end of the road.

If you will not fall on Jesus today one day soon he is going to fall on you!

Be Ready for Jesus!

There is nothing to fear in this world when we realize it is all under the control of his mighty hand!  The Commentary Prophets and Kings 536 says it this way

The history of nations speaks to us today. To every nation and to every individual God has assigned a place in His great plan. Today men and nations are being tested by the plummet in the hand of Him who makes no mistake. All are by their own choice deciding their destiny, and God is overruling all for the accomplishment of His purposes. – {Prophets and Kings, 536}

If God has the history of nations secure in his hands, dont you think his hands are secure enough to hold you as well?

Everything happening around us are signs that Jesus’ coming is near – nearer than we realize.

Wont you commit to life to him so you no longer have to fear the future?

Wont you commit to studying and learning more about what bible prophecy teaches is going to happen next?