Daniel 2:34-35

What do you know about "the Kingdom of God"? Observe the revelation given by God to Nebuchadnezzar, which Daniel told him and interpreted for him:

Daniel 2:34-35

"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"

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If you have compared this rendering of NIV with the Aramaic/English in the Interlinear Bible then you have seen that it is a very good, literal translation. To go further, in order to get the revelation of the things to come, which were prophesied by Daniel, let's see what is it that the king saw and that was revealed to the prophet, with its interpretation. Even when this revelation is wider, some hints in these two verses lead us to ONE truth:

The king dreams with a "rock" - which verses 44-45 identify with a special kingdom which will come after the "feet of iron and clay" (if you read the previous message then you know that those "feet" of the image are the last human kingdom on earth before the coming of the Kingdom of God) That rock is cut out "not by human hands" because that kingdom doesn't come through human efforts (it comes directly from God, not using human leaders to establish it) "It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them" because that kingdom will defeat the last human one, to establish the Kingdom of God. Daniel 2:44 tells us that this will happen "in the time of those kings" (the kings represented by the feet of iron and clay, and by a "little horn" in Daniel 7:21-22)

Let's put together all the things revealed up to now:

1) The golden head of the statue represents Babylonia
2) There will be three more kingdoms, represented by the rest of the image
3) The fourth and last kingdom suffers some kind of change (mixing iron with clay)
4) The eternal and indestructible Kingdom of God comes; all the others disappear

Through centuries, many people have misinterpreted this "Kingdom of God" because they have not noticed that there are (at least) two different meanings of the same words. See Luke 21:31, "...when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near". "These things", in the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, are some signs which mark the last times of human government on earth (you can read about many of them in this chapter of Luke, and in Matthew 24) The declaration of our Lord shows that the Kingdom of God would come after all these things. But He declared also that the kingdom of God "is in our midst" (already), that "everyone is forcing its way into it" (the present kingdom) and that there's "wheat and weeds" mixed in the kingdom (this arrangement is not supposed to endure in the eternity) These and many other examples show us a present kingdom of God, on earth.

The first so called "Hebrew", the patriarch Abraham, is the father of the nation of Israel. But it would be a little exaggerated to call Abraham's family as "nation of Israel", or even his grandson's family (a most numerous one which went to Egypt and became slaves there) If God wouldn't raise Moses - or other prophet with the same mission - those "Hebrews" should be only a family which came to Egypt and became slaves there. But they knew the true God, they knew that they were sons of Abraham - who received God's call - and they had many prophecies about what they would become in a time to come. They could be just "slaves" for the Egyptians, but they knew that they were called to be a "great nation" and get "obedience of nations" (see for instance Genesis 49:10) Into Egypt came a family, but from Egypt came out to the desert the people of Israel, to occupy the land which God showed Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (and Moses also) This people should abide in Israel, and would have Jerusalem as their capital.

The church of the Lord is also a people, constituted by the former "slaves" of sin, which were set free by a second "Moses" (the Lord Jesus Christ) and we are going through a "desert" to the "promised land" (heaven, the kingdom of heaven, paradise, the Kingdom of God, etc) We call ourselves a "spiritual Israel", even when we are not yet in eternity, together with the people of God of the OT in the New Jerusalem. The kingdom of God is "among us" as it was among the people of Israel in the desert (they had God's guidance, they were receiving God's laws and commandments, they were organizing themselves into a nation, building the tabernacle - a temporary temple - etc. But they had not yet occupied the promised land, their country, and they were surrounded by nations which worshiped other "gods") We hope to come to eternity, when the whole world will be under the "Kingdom of God", and where we will forget even the remembrance of our "Egypt" - the world which we have left behind us, and with which we live now, side by side. As Israel in the desert was spiritually a "nation" and they were on their way to conquer their land, we Christians are "foreigners and exiles" in a world which doesn't know our Lord, and we are on our way to the Kingdom of God, which for the present is a spiritual one.

Now listen: that kingdom which Nebuchadnezzar saw as a rock that struck the feet of the image (the last human kingdom) and Daniel interpreted by the Spirit of God, is it the spiritual "kingdom of God" which is already among us, or the "kingdom of God" that's coming and will be real and physical? For many of us it could seem an academic question, and the answer seems to be only the obvious and logical one. But there's a "theology" sustaining the contrary, and because of that, the good news of the gospel have been misinterpreted and have misled peoples and even nations.

In Luke 22:16, when eating the "last supper", our Lord told his disciples, "I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God" He was talking about the Passover, which He didn't eat again with them, because He would die on the cross, get up on the third day and be taken to heaven forty days later. Next time we see Him in a great meeting is in the wedding supper of the lamb, Revelation 19 (after the resurrection of the believers) This resurrection is described in 1 Corinthians 15, where the verse 50 proclaims clearly that in the kingdom of God don't enter "flesh and blood" (the perishable, our natural bodies) but those who have been transformed through the resurrection (with "glorious bodies" like that one of the resurrected Jesus) The meaning of this verses is clear: a time will come when the dead in Christ will rise, and the kingdom of God will be no longer a "spiritual" one, but physical and literal. The book of Revelation shows this, at the Second Coming of the lord Jesus Christ and in the beginning of the Millennium (Rev 20).

This "Kingdom of God" or "Millennium" which will begin after the Second Coming of the Messiah was prophesied often in the Old Testament and also in the New one. One of the prophets who mentions it often is Isaiah, who told about worldwide knowledge of God and religion (Is 11:9; 45:23-24) and also about an eternal, universal kingdom (Is 9:6-7) and the end of sin, a world in which every one will be righteous (Is 32:16-17) If we take a look over this world we are living in, we'll see countries with democracies (people's elected governments) or monarchies (hereditary) or even dictatorship, or countries in anarchy. We'll see also a multitude of different religions, even atheism, and many kinds of sin happening (we could hardly say that Satan is imprisoned, as we read in Revelation 20 that occurs in the Millennium) Anyway, it is impossible to identify any period in human history until now as the "Millennium".

Daniel's prophecy in this verses corroborates a Kingdom which is coming (the "rock, which was cut out, but not by human hands") that literally destroys all human governments which have existed on earth ("without leaving a trace") and that kingdom becomes a "huge mountain that filled the whole earth" (a worldwide kingdom) If you have been believing that "Millennium is happening on earth" or "Millennium is being reached through church activity", receive a new revelation of the truth. To ignore about those events of the eternity takes away from us the blessed hope us the brilliant future that our Lord Jesus promised us, and even worse, could lead us to try to achieve "now" things that God has never promised (for this time we are living in) There will come a time when everyone on earth will know and follow the God of Israel, but "now" is the time to call those who are without Him - and without hope - and the time to "teach them (the ones who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior) to obey everything Jesus has commanded us"

May the Lord bless you. In the love of Christ, your brother

Israel Leonard

PS Jesus comes quickly!

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