Intro. We have just elected a new president who has just completed the selections for his cabinet posts, and many people are looking to the government to provide jobs, health programs, a stronger economy, and cure whatever ails us, while reducing the National debt. They feel that we are entering into a new age, and have great hopes for the future. I wish I could share their optimism, but being a realist, I have given up hope on man's ability to properly govern his fellowman.
I. THE FORMS OF GOVERNMENT TRIED IN ISRAEL.
A. The first was a Theocracy, a people ruled by God.
1. The man at the head of the people was in direct contact with God receiving instructions from God for every situation.
2. The people were aware that God ruled.
B. There came a dark day in their history when they came to Samuel, who was the man through whom God was ruling, and they demanded a king like the other nations. A monarchy is the most efficient form of government outside of a theocracy, and the best form, providing you have a good king.
1. The first king though he had great potential was a dismal failure. Chiefly because he refused to take orders from God and began to do his own thing. God rejected him from being a ruler over the people.
2. The second king was much better and brought the nation into the Zenith of it's glory and power. He was a humble shepherd who had the heart of a shepherd and ruled over the people like a shepherd watching over his flock. He sought the Lord for help in the decision making.
3. The kings gradually became worse, until they began to reign for their own benefit, rather than the benefit of the people.
C. The time of the kingdom of Israel has come to a close, the nation has been conquered by Babylon and the people are now to be ruled by outside Gentile powers. There will be five major Gentile powers that will be given rule over them.
1. These major powers are represented in the dream of Nebuchadnezzer the king of Babylon.
2. His dream of a great image of a man with a head of gold, chest of silver, stomach of brass, legs of iron, and feet and ten toes of iron and clay.
a. It is significant that the image was that of a man. Man's attempt to govern over man. The elevating of man. Humanism, where God is eliminated, and man is supreme.
b. Karl Marx the German Jew who founded Communism, had set for a goal the eradication of what he called four abominable things.
1. The idea of God.
2. The superstition of religion.
3. The dictates of conscience.
4. The sanctity of the home.
c. These are the goals of the humanist today Norman Leer with the PAW and their ilk. It is frightening to see how well they are succeeding.
3. The first Gentile power to rule over them was Babylon the head of Gold.
4. In 538 B.C. the head of gold was conquered by the chest and two arms of Media and Persia.
5. The Medo Persian empire was conquered by the stomach of brass, or the Grecian empire headed by Alexander the Great, in 330 B.C.
6. In 63 B.C. the Grecian empire was subdued by the Romans, and after the Roman Empire fell, there has not been a major world dominating power.
7. This leaves one part of the image unfulfilled, the feet and ten toes of iron and clay.
D. In as much as the iron represented the Roman Empire, the fact that the feet are part iron, means that it will be related in some way to the Roman Empire, yet the clay being mixed with it weakens the strength tremendously.
1. The clay being common represents the rule of the common people through a democracy, democracy is fine if the people are godly, but if they are not godly, power is given over to the devil.
2. That is exactly what is to happen when these ten nations formerly a part of the Roman Empire are united together with treaties, seek to dominate the world. The leader who will emerge from this coalition of nations will be none other than the anti-christ.
3. It is interesting that the Lord said of the iron and clay mixture, "They will mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another even as iron is not mixed with clay."
4. We see the difficulties that they are experiencing in bringing to pass the European Community. It is as a clumsy giant trying to rise to his feet while drunk. Every nation seeking the best for itself, and not anyone willing to give much to another. Some nations are even threatening to pull out of the union.
5. In a few days from now they are expected to take a giant step forward as the border guards will be removed within the community and goods will travel freely from one nation within the community to another.
6. It would appear that slowly but surely the iron and clay feet with ten toes are emerging.
D. The truly exciting aspect of this whole scenario are the words of Daniel, that in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
II. THE STONE CUT OUT OF THE MOUNTAIN WITHOUT HANDS IS NONE OTHER THAN JESUS CHRIST.
A. He is the precious corner stone that God has promised to lay in Zion. He is the stone that was rejected by the builders or religious leaders of the nation, but will become the chief corner stone.
1. Israel began as a Theocracy, they degraded to a monarchy, and for centuries have been under Gentile domination first by the Babylonians, then the Medo-Persians, in this period of time known in the scriptures as the time of the Gentiles. The Gentile rule over Israel.
2. Jesus said that Jerusalem would be trodden under the foot of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles were fulfilled. i.e. When Jerusalem again came under the authority and control of the Israeli government it would be a sign that the times of the Gentiles had come to an end.
3. In 1967 Jerusalem again came under the control of the Israeli government.
4. Israel is presently trying to operate as a democracy, but finds itself deeply divided between the Labor party and the Likud, neither party can gain a firm control.
B. Israel is about to become a Theocracy once again. The Stone not cut with hands is about to appear on the scene and put an end to the miseries and suffering that man has experienced through corrupt governments. He will bring down the governments of man, and establish His kingdom in righteousness and justice and peace. His kingdom shall never be destroyed.
C. Daniel closes this section with the words, God has made known to the king what is to come to pass, the dream is certain, and the interpretation is sure.
1. What can we say? Up to this point, it has been totally accurate in the presenting in advance the ruling kingdoms of the world.
2. At this very moment we see the nations of Europe seeking to combine the iron and clay, the final attempt of man to develop a government that can rule the world, and bring in an economic utopia.
3. We are talking here of the second coming of Jesus Christ. When He first came they declared "We will not have this man to reign over us." When He receives His kingdom, He will come again, and begin His reign over the earth as King of kings, and Lord of lords. And He shall reign forever and ever.
4. Sometime before this event, He will come for His church, that they might escape the great tribulation that is coming upon the earth as a judgment from God for their rejecting Him from ruling over them.
5. If the signs of His second coming are all about us, then that puts the rapture of His church that much sooner. Look up, lift up your head, for your redemption draweth nigh.