Kingdoms in Time

Kingdoms in Time

Scripture: Daniel 2:1-49
Date: 01/01/2019 
An extraordinary adventure through history where you will discover the astonishing evidence that Bible prophecy has been precisely fulfilled throughout the ages—and what it means for the ones that have yet to come true. God’s Word stands forever and can be trusted.

Cosmic Conflict - DVD or Digital Download

Cosmic Conflict - DVD or Digital Download
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Two, one. Liftoff, we have a liftoff.

Doug Batchelor: Time, what is it? All that is, and all that was, and all that is to be lies within this dimension that we know as time. Of course, time is made up of three distinct parts, the past, the future, and then each of us experiences life on a brief, razor thin slice of it called the present. An ever-sliding moment between two seeming eternities from the far reaches of the distant past to the horizon of a never-ending, mysterious future. As far as we know, mankind is limited to moving only forward through time, never backwards, but what if it were possible for a person to escape the bonds of time, to stop it in its tracks, and maybe even move around within time at will? What would you do? Where would you go? Would you travel to the distant past to view the building of the pyramids? Maybe witness firsthand the birth of Jesus. Or perhaps even go back in time to prevent the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Then on the other hand, what would you do if you could transport yourself into the future, to go forward to any moment in time and to discover in advance the outcome of every decision you can make, to step out of the dimension of time and space and have a good look around? Who wouldn't want to do that? What would you do with that kind of power? Is this just a wild fantasy? Well, maybe not completely.

In the early 20th century, Albert Einstein introduced to the world the theory of special relativity. When it was later tested and proven to be true, it revolutionized our understanding of time and space. Einstein discovered time can actually be slowed down or accelerated depending on how fast you move relative to something else. For example, an astronaut inside a spaceship flying away from the earth at near the speed of light would age more slowly than a twin brother who remained on the earth. By the time our space traveler returned, his earthbound twin would have aged many years by comparison to the time he aged while in space. The returning astronaut would feel as though he had traveled to the future.

But what if there was a powerful being who is unbound by the constraints of time, a being with absolute power over time and space, and one who knows the future even better than you know your own past? Impossible? Well, what if I could prove it? I can with this book, the Bible. Within its pages are more than 2,000 distinct and verifiable predictions. If I were to tell you that over 1,800 of these prophecies have already come true, would you be interested in knowing more?

Now, I want to be clear, the Bible is not an almanac revealing who will win the next World Series or a way to find those lucky lotto numbers, but it does answer the really important questions about our future and about your future. And while you might already know the Bible is a book brimming with prophecy, are you aware how accurate those predictions have turned out to be? Well, strap on your seatbelts, friend, you're about to find out.

Announcer: He removes kings and sets up kings, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion. "Kingdoms in Time."

Doug Batchelor: "In the beginning." See, the Bible does talk about time. Let's begin with maybe a little background. The Bible is actually a book comprised of 66 books written by about 40 different authors in three languages on three continents over a period of about 1,500 years. Its writers came from all walks of life. They were shepherds, kings, priests, rulers, and fishermen, each with a unique personality. They also wrote from many different situations. Some were in prisons, others in palaces. Some lived in caves, others were captives in foreign lands.

Yet the Bible fits together into one cohesive story with a clear beginning, a constant theme, and logical ending, all while surrounding a central character. Perhaps this is why the Bible is the bestselling book of all time, with over 5 billion copies sold and distributed. With that, let's take a look at our first prophesy.

The Gospel book of Matthew records that in AD 30, Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem in great detail 40 years before it took place. He pointed to the immense polished marble stones and columns and he stunned the disciples by saying—

Male: "Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

Michael Hasel: When Jesus made the prediction that there would be not one stone left upon the other of the temple, you can just imagine how the Jews of that time would have felt. This was a building project that had been going on for almost 100 years.

Johnathan Roth: Jerusalem is where the presence of God, the shekinah of God, was, in the temple. God was there, literally there.

Doug Batchelor: The disciples were astonished by this prediction because the temple was the crown jewel of the nation. It was constructed with tons of massive and precious stones. One foundation stone you can still see today is 41 feet long by 15 feet deep and it weighs more than 500 metric tons. That's more than 100 elephants. But Jesus's prophecy came true. According to the renowned historian Josephus, during the conquest of Jerusalem, when the Roman soldiers set fire to the temple, the extreme heat melted the abundant gold that adorned the place of worship. This caused the precious liquefied metal to seep into the cracks of the foundation stones. After the battle, the Roman soldiers came and toppled every single stone in order to recover the gold.

Announcer: "This generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place."

Doug Batchelor: Amazingly, there's another biblical prophesy concerning the Jewish struggle with Rome that actually predates the time of Jesus.

Announcer: "The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young. They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down."

Doug Batchelor: And indeed, the Romans did swoop down on Jerusalem and they lay siege to the city. In harmony with Moses's prophesy, the Roman flags bore the image of eagles in flight blazing in the sun. Today, all that's left of the original temple complex is the outer structure that is known as the Wailing Wall.

Martin Klingbeil: Interestingly, if you walk nowadays from the Wailing Wall down south, there is a road there that is full of toppled stones. You have these huge layers of just broken stones on top of each other that were thrown over and pushed over.

Michael Hasel: Today, there's no historical doubt at all that this was destroyed by the Romans, that it was destroyed in AD 70, that this culminated in that century, and that this was the end of a temple in Jerusalem. And that to me speaks to the validity of a prophecy given decades earlier by a person who knew that that was going to happen.

Announcer: "Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets."

Doug Batchelor: The Jewish people and the nation of Israel have a mind-boggling history. No other nation on earth has been so widely and frequently displaced, surviving multiple genocide attempts. These resilient people have made one amazing come back after another, going on to reclaim their homeland and to thrive again.

Johnathan Roth: One thing that's remarkable is after the Romans forbid them being there, after Christians forbid them being there, after Muslims, Jews have always returned to Jerusalem. Long before the state of Israel, at least by the 1870s, probably as early as the 1860s or 1850s, the Jews were a majority population in Jerusalem under the Ottomans. Why? Because that's where they wanted to go.

Announcer: "Thus sayeth the Lord God: 'Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel."'

Doug Batchelor: In May 1948, the Jewish State was re-established as an independent nation. And today, this comparatively small country has grown into a globally recognized nuclear power that leads the world in innovation and technology. Jeremiah 25 contains another astounding prophecy regarding the destruction of Jerusalem and its miraculous restoration.

Announcer: "And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years."

Doug Batchelor: Six hundred years before the time of Christ, it was foretold that due to the nation's disobedience, Jerusalem would be conquered, the Jewish temple destroyed, and the people would be carried off as captives in Babylon for 70 years. This happened BC 607, when Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, conquered Jerusalem. Johnathan Roth: The king of the Jews, priesthood, and the nobles were taken from Jerusalem, from Judea, to Babylon. We know they were there. And in a way, this is where modern Judaism begins because they worshiped God in Babylonia, not in Jerusalem.

Michael Hasel: The Babylonian chronicles are a set of tablets, and one particular tablet that is now at the British Museum in London, the 597 campaign by Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned by name. And his conquering of Jerusalem and Judea is also recounted in that particular chronicle.

Doug Batchelor: The prophecy goes on to say that they would return and rebuild the city and the temple. Right on schedule, after 70 years of captivity, in BC 537, the Persian King Cyrus conquered Babylon, and in the first year of his reign, he issued a decree allowing the Jewish people to return to Jerusalem and to rebuild the city.

Johnathan Roth: When King Cyrus the Persian becomes king, he issues a decree, allowing the nobles and the Jewish people who are in Babylonia to return and to rebuild the temple.

Announcer: "All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of Heaven has given me. And he has commanded me to build him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you as all his people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He Is God), which is in Jerusalem."

Doug Batchelor: In fact, catch this. In 1879, archaeologists unearthed the Cyrus Cylinder, which contains a Persian king's policy to repatriate conquered peoples like the Jews.

Michael Hasel: The Cyrus Cylinder is one of the most amazing discoveries made in Babylon. It recounts Cyrus, who comes into the city. He is welcomed by the people. He's regarded as a kind of savior, if you will, which is ironic given that he just conquered Babylon. Ezra gives us a very strong indication in the Bible that this was the time that the people were allowed to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild and to reestablish themselves in the land, just as Jeremiah had predicted would happen after 70 years of captivity.

Doug Batchelor: Friends, we are about to delve into the most magnificent and undisputable Bible prophecy that proves the validity of Bible inspiration. In ten amazing verses containing only 340 words, this prophecy outlines the rise and fall of empires all the way from the time of ancient Babylon through to the second coming of Christ.

One night about 2,500 years ago, the powerful Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar fell asleep while contemplating the vast glory of his kingdom. As his grand architect of one of the world's most powerful empires drifted off into a restless sleep, he wondered what the future held for his kingdom. God took this opportunity to reveal to him through a vivid dream not only the ultimate fate of his nation, but also the rise and the fall world empires from his day all the way to the end of earth's history.

In this amazing prophetic dream found in Daniel chapter 2, God showed Nebuchadnezzar a colossal statue with a head of gold, the chest of silver, thighs and belly of bronze, legs of iron, and the feet and toes mixed partly of clay and iron. Then suddenly, a huge stone plunged from the heavens and smashed the idol, pulverizing it into dust. And the stone, it grows into a gigantic mountain that fills the earth.

Nebuchadnezzar knew this was no ordinary dream, so the troubled king called for his wisest counselors to come and relate to him the dream and explain its meaning. They of course were powerless to tell the king his dream, but then God gave the same dream and its interpretation to a Jew stationed in Babylon, a young man by the name of Daniel. He went before the king and presented the precise details of the dream, and then gave the interpretation.

In doing this, the Bible prophet divulged the next two millennia of world empires that would impact God's people. And so far, all of this has transpired just as predicted. Daniel told the King that the head of gold represented Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom. Babylon, which ruled the world from 612 to 539 BC, was one of the wealthiest and most powerful empires of antiquity, one that could aptly be described as the head of gold.

Michael Hasel: Babylon was probably one of the most sophisticated, most opulent cities ever built up to that point in history, and Nebuchadnezzar, who was the longest reigning king in Babylonian history, really rebuilt the city as a showcase to the entire world.

David Trim: Most cities of the ancient world were really walled villages. Even Jerusalem in King David's time was really rather small, but Babylon was a city even by modern standards.

Michael Hasel: The city of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrians, was a city of about 2.9 square miles. Rome was a city of about 1 square mile. You have Athens, which of course was a philosophical capitol, if you will, with, 0.8 square miles. And then you have Babylon with 4 square miles, so that's four times the size of Rome. And what we have really in this amazing city is some of the most incredible architecture. We have the city surrounded by eight gates, each named after a particular deity. The most famous of course is the Ishtar gate, which is now in the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin. The Euphrates River flowed through the city. You also had walls surrounding the city. These were double walls. The outer wall, 22 feet thick. The inner wall, 12 feet thick. So, you had just a great polytheistic society, a great civilization that was bent on conquering the world, and Nebuchadnezzar was really the power and the force behind that.

Doug Batchelor: Daniel explained to the King that Babylon would eventually fall as a world power and be replaced by another kingdom, one that's represented by the chest and the arms of silver. Led by King Cyrus in 539 BC, the Medo-Persian Empire conquered Babylon in a brilliant military maneuver. In one night, the immense city was conquered with its walls and gates still intact. Even more incredibly, the specifics of this victory were all foretold in prophecy over 150 years earlier.

Michael Hasel: Heroditus tells us the story actually. He tells us that, after his horse drowned, Cyrus got furious with the river itself and decided to take that river. And he had his soldiers dig 540 channels to divert the river and to destroy the river from its flow. And in doing that, he actually accomplished something that would help him conquer the city of Babylon itself. Alan Parker: And when the river was diverted, they were able to march in underneath the city walls, because the river gates had been left open.

Doug Batchelor: They entered the city, overthrowing the world's mightiest nation.

Alan Parker: And that's what the army did. They marched in. They were able to open the top gates and totally conquered Babylon, which was unthinkable at that time. But that's what the prophecy had said would happen and that's exactly what happened.

Announcer: "Thus says the Lord to his anointed: 'To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations before him and loose the armor of kings, to open before him the double doors so that the gates will not be shut. That you may know that I the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel."'

Alan Parker: One hundred and fifty years in advance, Cyrus had been named. Here is the Prophet Isaiah looking ahead, and by, we believe, divine inspiration, naming the very person who would come in and conquer Babylon according to prophecy.

Michael Hasel: In Isaiah chapter 44, we have this amazing prophecy where it says to the rivers, "Be dry." "I will dry up your river," says the Lord. "And to Cyrus, my anointed, my shepherd, he's the one that's going to accomplish this." So in this text which dates 150 years before the event, you have already Isaiah predicting the very means by which Cyrus would take the city of Babylon, which is quite incredible when you think about biblical prophecy.

Announcer: "Who says of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd, and he shall perform all my pleasure,' saying to Jerusalem, 'You shall be built,' and to the temple, 'Your foundation shall be laid.'"

David Trim: The Persians, they worship one god. They are monotheists. They have that in common with the Jews and there may well be a spark of sympathy there.

Michael Hasel: With Cyrus and his conquering of Babylon, it ushers in the Medo-Persian Empire period, which lasts from 539 all the way down to 331.

an Parker: When Medo-Persia came, it was almost as if there was a shift. They moved from gold to silver. Silver became the common currency. And while you'd had silver before in Babylon, they didn't have much use for it because they had so much gold. And silver became the currency that they used for trading with other nations, and that became almost the standard way of referring to Medo-Persia, was the Silver Empire.

Announcer: "After thee shall arise another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth."

Doug Batchelor: All Bible scholars agree that the brass kingdom in the image symbolizes Greece. They came into power when Alexander the Great conquered the Persians at the Battle of Arvella and 331 BC.

David Trim: Alexander the Great is often described as Greek, and strictly speaking that was true.

Michael Hasel: He had been trained under Aristotle. He was a very charismatic young ruler. His father, Philip II of Mastodon, had been killed, and Alexander assumed power. And he immediately began to dream about fulfilling his father's goals, and that was to conquer the Persian Empire.

David Trim: Alexander the great becomes king when he's only 18, but he's military prodigy. Indeed, even today, Alexander the Great is a byword for military genius and military conquest.

Alan Parker: He would come up to a city and they would say, "Why should we surrender to you?" And one of the stories is that there was a city right on the edge of a cliff and he told his men, "I want you to start marching off the cliff to your death in the sea below," and the men obediently started marching off the cliff. And Alexander the Great said, "If my men are this willing to be obedient to me, there is no way we cannot conquer your city." And that particular city just surrendered.

Michael Hasel: He was able to accomplish in a very short time what some people are not able to accomplish in a lifetime. And in a series of campaigns, after he was crowned King of Egypt, he continued heading to the east and he began to encounter the Persian King, Darius III.

David Trim: And Alexander doesn't pursue Darius, who flees back east towards his heartland. Alexander turned south because he wants to occupy the coastal lands, what would be Palestine, and then Egypt. But to move forward, he has to conquer Tyre.

Announcer: '"They shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers. I will also scrape her dust from her and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for spreading nets in the midst of the sea, for I have spoken,' says the Lord God."

Doug Batchelor: For over a millennium, beginning in 1,500 BC, the Phoenicians were the undisputed naval power of the ancient world. They created and controlled a vast array of trade ports throughout the Mediterranean Sea.

David Trim: And in fact, the Phoenicians are so known as experts that they are brought into the Red Sea ports. The Bible describes how Solomon gets mariners from the King of Tyre to take his fleets down the Red Sea.

Doug Batchelor: In 597 BC, the Prophet Ezekiel predicted that every building in the city of Tyre would be toppled by an invading army. In fact, every stone would be thrown into the sea.

Michael Hasel: Tyre was an amazing city during this time. It was one of the largest trade cities of that period. Alan Parker: And here was this prophecy saying that the city would fall. Even Alexander the Great it seemed couldn't make it fall. He sieged it for seven months, but then he came up with a plan.

David Trim: So Alexander says, "Right, if they're out to sea, I'll just have to take the land to them."

Alan Parker: And he used the blocks of the old city, the big stones, threw them into the sea, and built a causeway to be able to overcome the walls of the new city where the island was.

David Trim: And so, then he can bring his army to bear. Tyre is stormed, utterly destroyed.

Alan Parker: That was an exact fulfillment of prophecy because prophecy had said that those stones would be cast into the sea and become a place where fishing nets were cast over. That's exactly what happened.

Doug Batchelor: Keep in mind, the idea that the Greeks would rule the world was a very bold prediction. Remember that at the time that Daniel's prophecy was given, Greece was just a collection of warring tribes with very little world influence. Greece remained in power 'til about 168 BC, when it was conquered by the next world power waiting in the wings.

Announcer: "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."

Doug Batchelor: Who followed Greece? It's an undisputable fact of history that the iron monarchy of Rome conquered them and enjoyed supremacy for the next 600 years.

Johnathan Roth: Once iron is introduced, the fundamental effect and especially military effect is that the price of weapons goes down considerably. So, the price of making an iron arrowhead, or an iron spear point, or an iron helmet is much less than that of bronze, and mainly reason is that bronze contains tin. And tin can only be obtained in two places in the ancient world, Afghanistan, or what's today Afghanistan, and what's today Cornwall in England. And trading it made it very expensive, so the Iron Age lowered the price of war, which meant armies got bigger.

Alan Parker: Rome was violent. They were ruthless. They were determined to conquer everywhere they went and they were like iron, crushing everything in its way.

Announcer: "Kingdoms in Time." See what happens next and why you can trust the Bible with your life. Get your copy today.

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