The Final Kingdom

The Final Kingdom

Scripture: Genesis 10:8-10, Isaiah 13:19-21, Daniel 2:1-49
Date: 09/15/2006 
The Bible speaks of great kingdoms of this world that will come and go. There is only one kingdom that will last forever, the Kingdom of Heaven. The focus of this sermon is Daniel 2 and a colossal image dreamed about by Nebuchadnezzar. It outlines the major kingdoms of the world. Will you be a part of the final kingdom?

Three Steps to Heaven (PB) by Joe Crews

Three Steps to Heaven (PB) by Joe Crews
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Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the opening night of what I believe--and I hope you don't think I'm overstating the case, is going to be a high-octane journey into an incredible theme, "the most amazing prophecies." I'm Dwight Nelson, your host and I am standing in this site that will be the home base for "most amazing prophecies." This happens to be the pioneer memorial church on the campus of Andrews university in a little Michigan village called Berrien springs and we are going, tonight, to the world. There is no question in my mind, ladies and gentlemen. I think this is not rocket science now. We are living in an age of human history when there is an unprecedented interest in ancient prophecy living in the uncertain times that we are. And so tonight, we begin a journey with Doug Batchelor that is gonna take us into the heart of the greatest prophecies in human literature.

I'm delighted, tonight, to be able to introduce to you my friend and our speaker for "the most amazing prophecies" satellite seminar. Before he comes on, let me just say a word about Doug Batchelor. I hold in my hands his best-selling life story, "the richest caveman." If you caught the national telecast on the fifth anniversary of September 11th, you heard doug share snippets of that story. He started out as this pampered rich kid in New York city. But the story ends up--not quite ends up, but the story moves eventually as a young adult to this naked drug addict in a mountain cave high over palm springs, California.

And wouldn't you know it, in that cave in which he lived all alone, doug found an abandoned Bible. And that Bible became the radical paradigm shift in a life that moved from that mountain cave to a mission now to the entire human race. It's an incredible story. Doug Batchelor, president of Amazing Facts television and radio ministries, author of numerous books. Doug Batchelor, besides being an author and head of this global mission and ministry is an authority.

He is an authority on ancient prophecy. Hey, doug. I'll be through in about five minutes, actually. They told me to come out. They said, "he'll go on forever.

" Oh, bless your heart. Put your hands together for my friend and the speaker of "most amazing prophecies," Doug Batchelor. [Applauding] wow. Welcome, doug. Thanks, so much, dwight.

I appreciate this. But tonight, doug, come on, what's up with this? "Most amazing prophecies," what's behind this? Well, I'll be very honest. I love teaching prophecy. I used to do a series that was 36 presentations on Daniel and Revelation and the prophecies. But we're living in an age now where people want fast food.

And so what I did is I coalesced, into this one series, what I think are the most important prophecies in the Bible for the day in which we're living now. And so we are handpicking what I think are the most relevant, most exciting, most amazing prophecies and that's what we've incorporated in this series. Simply because the nation and the world are preoccupied with the future and trying to assess, get a handle on that future. In fact, doug, I risked my life and reputation today because I had to go into a little drugstore here in berrien springs to buy a tabloid. I don't read these.

I wore my dark glasses going in. I did. And just as I was going in, one of my members said, "hey, pastor, why you going in there? The meeting's tonight." And I said, "I'm looking for a tabloid," and he didn't know what that meant. But I found the tabloid, doug. Look at this, look at this.

"Nostradamus most terrifying prophecy, 4,000 die in al-qaida airliner horror," and they're nostradamus has predicted it. The point being, doug, look, the nation is preoccupied with this. So nostradamus, Bible prophecy, what's the difference? Well, there are a lot of self-proclaimed prophets out there these days, and there are modern clairvoyants and astrologers and some people study their stars to find out what the future says. But the only source of Bible prophecy that is proven reliable, and tonight's presentation will focus on that, is Bible prophecy. And that's why it's so effective and that's why so many people are searching.

People want some security. They want to think there's some purpose to life. And the very fact that God can say, "I'm gonna tell you what's coming--" somebody said one time, "if I a person could foretell 24 hours in the future, they could rule the world." Just 24 hours, think what they'd do with the stock Market if you knew 24 hours in advance. But God foretells in His Word, "millennia" in advance. And people just want to know, is there a plan for my life or is it all just circumstances that are serendipity.

Let's go to the textbook that you're gonna be taking us to night after night. We got a library on this university campus second to none. We've got tens of thousands of volumes. Human literature is replete with books. What is it that distinguishes this textbook for this seminar from all those books? That's a good question, and I could probably talk four hours about that and not even touch the tip of the iceberg.

The Bible is different from every other book. First of all, it's different to me because before I picked up the Bible and read it, I had no intention of believing it. I thought it was a collection of fairytales and fables. I had been reading a lot of other different eastern religions and spiritual books that had a lot of profound thoughts. But the Bible changes lives.

And that, to me, is I think, the greatest evidence of its power. Written over a period of 1,500 years by about 40 different authors, 66 books. Some were shepherds, some were fishermen, some were Kings, some were homeless prophets. And yet, there's one voice that speaks through this message about one God. And the Bible, really, it's the sacred oracles that have stood the test of time.

There's a reason it's the bestseller. It addresses science. It addresses history. It addresses politics. It addresses health and sanitation.

Every realm of life is touched on, the family, by the Bible. Finances, it's all in here. And so it's a life--it's the book of life is what it is. One last question. You promised to say something about your family and I said you would.

Your religious background, your family, just a word. My mother was Jewish on that side. And so I've got that heritage. I take a little more after my mother, probably, than my father. She was bald.

And--no. My father came from a baptist background, but they pretty much raised me an atheist. And I went to--maybe I'll share more another night but I went to 14 different schools, catholic schools and protestant schools and public schools and schools that taught atheism. I mean that was what their flag was. And one wife, she got married and became a Batchelor and five children and they will be joining us, not all five, but two out of five and my wife will be joining us later in the seminar.

We're delighted to have you. God bless you tonight. Thank you so much. You bet. God bless you.

This has been an exciting adventure getting up to the runway ready for liftoff for this series. There are some lessons that correspond with each night's presentation. And we have a presentation tonight, two lessons. You'll find some of these mentioned online in the offers. It's "the millennial man" and that is our theme for tonight's study.

And a corresponding or a complimentary lesson for that is called, "back to Jerusalem," talks about the inspiration of Scripture and how you know you can trust it. And so some of the sites have these lessons. There's more online if you go to mostamazingprophecies.com, and you'll find that information there. You might wonder where did Amazing Facts get the name Amazing Facts. It started about 40 years ago with a radio broadcast by Joe Crews and he would begin with some amazing fact from science or nature or history, and then he would introduce spiritual, biblical subjects and it became very popular.

People love Amazing Facts. And I like to start each program with an amazing fact. Everybody, of course, has heard about the story of the titanic. And there have been many books, several editions of movies written on the subject. There was a seaman by the name of morgan robertson, and he had a dream.

And based on these impressions, this vision he had, he thought, that would make a great story. So he wrote a story about this luxury cruise liner that was 1,000 feet long and 11 stories tall called, "the titan." And on its maiden voyage filled with millionaires, it struck an iceberg 'cause they were trying to break a speed record, and he tried to get the publishers to publish it. But of course, you're figuring why would they want to publish that? I mean it's basically the titanic all over again. Matter of fact, he named his book, "the titan." They thought, "oh, why try to rewrite that story?" But what most people don't know is was not the titanic. "The titan" was actually written in 1898 by morgan robertson.

Now look at some of the amazing parallels between his story--and I think I've got a few of them here in my notes tonight that I'd like to share with you. His book that he wrote about the titan and the titanic 13 years before the titanic was built. In his book, "the wreck of the titan," the length was 800 feet, the titanic, 882 feet. Titan, 90 feet wide, the titanic was 92 feet. Top speed for the titan, 25 knots, the titanic 23 knots.

Water compartments of both ships were deemed unsinkable, 19 watertight compartments in the titan, titanic had 16. Both had three propellers which was unheard of in the day when he wrote that. Capacity, 3,000 tons for the titan, 3,200 tons for the titanic. Number of people on board, 2,000 and the titan, 2,250 on the titanic. There weren't enough lifeboats on either boat.

Only 24 on the titan, 20 on the titanic. Catch this, in robertson's book written 13 years before the titanic was built, it sailed in April from New York. The titanic, of course, sailed in April to New York. And I could go on and on with the parallels. It's absolutely uncanny and you wonder if this dream he had about writing a novel, if it was some kind of a divine premonition.

Can anyone really know the future? I believe the answer is yes. There was a day when I would have said no. Life is just a series of spontaneous accidents. The study we're going to look at tonight dealing with the final kingdom is a good preview to help you understand that there is a plan that God is watching over you and he has a plan for your life. There are kingdoms that are in conflict and they're fighting over the dominion of your mind and your heart.

Well, before we go to the last kingdom, probably a good idea to start with the first kingdom in the Bible. If you go to the book of Genesis, you'll find there in Genesis 10:8-10 talks about the first kingdom and the first king... Now that may sound familiar to you. Probably, Babylon sounds a little more familiar which was the title that it evolved into. And then, of course, you've heard about the tower of babel that was built in nimrod's kingdom.

And you remember that they wanted to make a name for themselves. They did not trust that the Lord was not going to destroy the earth with a flood again. They built this massive tower, represents man's desire to save himself. They wanted to make a name for themselves, Genesis 11 tells us. God was not pleased.

He confounded the languages of the earth there. The construction project to build this tower reached to heaven, sort of man trying to build his way to heaven. It was destroyed and men began to scatter. And it's interesting that there are connections between all the different dialects of the world today and they can be traced back to that tower of babel. Now one of the most interesting pieces of geography in the world is the land of iraq.

Matter of fact, second only to Israel, iraq is mentioned more in the Bible than any other country. Iraq is the place, of course, where you find Babylon, nineveh, assyria, the Garden of Eden. This is where Jonah went, the land of Daniel, Ezekiel, Esther and some surmise that even job, the land of uz could have been within its realms. The assyrian empire, did I mention nineveh? Iraq is constantly in the Bible, the country that now encompasses now. Some people may not be aware but this famous despot, saddam hussein, he had aspirations that iraq would be the next world empire.

Think about it. When he invaded iran in 1980, he knew that between the resources of oil in iraq and those he would get by conquering iran, he would hold the major oil reserves of the world. You think it was an accident that he went to kuwait? He was very interested in world dominion. It's interesting that one of the heroes for saddam hussein was the greatest king of Babylon. I'm talking about the one who came after nimrod, his name was Nebuchadnezzar.

Babylon at its zenith. Saddam has tried to Market himself and brand himself as the reincarnation of this great king of Babylon named Nebuchadnezzar. Part of the reason that he idolized Nebuchadnezzar is because saddam hussein, like many but not all of the arabs, hates Israel, hates the jews. And Nebuchadnezzar conquered Israel. He conquered Jerusalem and he destroyed and burnt the Jewish temple.

So saddam has reveled in the idea that he is the reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar. Matter of fact, he's had himself photographed in Nebuchadnezzar's ancient war chariot. You can see murals and paintings around Babylon where it's got Nebuchadnezzar and saddam hussein side by side, his hero. He wanted to rule the world from iraq. That's right.

That probably doesn't surprise you. He spent 500 million dollars trying to rebuild the ancient ruins of Babylon. If you go over there now, and a lot of our marines and soldiers have been there and taken pictures, and you can see some of the construction progress. Part of the reason he wanted to do that is because he knew that there was a Jewish prophecy that said, "Babylon would never be rebuilt." And we wanted to show that the Jewish prophecies cannot be trusted. "They're not dependable.

I'll rebuild Babylon." Now you can't thwart the prophecies of God. Let me read that prophecy to you. You'll find it in Isaiah 13. Listen to what he says there. And this is verses 19-21.

.. It would be barren. It would be empty. Matter of fact to this very day, it's considered cursed by the arabs that live in the vicinity. Well, as saddam was first trying to build it, desert storm happened about ten years ago.

He began to recover from that and he redirected attention to try and rebuild the city and then we had the latest iraq war. And what do you think? Is he gonna succeed in his final goal? You can read in Jeremiah. It doesn't look like he's in charge of filling the throne of Nebuchadnezzar anymore. Jeremiah 25:12. That prophet in the Bible said.

.. "It will not be inhabited again." And he tried to thwart that. Well, would you like to see a picture today of what it looks like? This was e-mailed to me just recently by a marine who is in the vicinity. The streets are deserted. It's almost as though God put a pox on the place and nobody goes.

You can't overrule--you cannot thwart a prophecy of God. Well, I think we're all in agreement that iraq is probably not going to be the final kingdom in the world, though there was at least one person who was hoping that. We know about the Egyptians, had a great world empire and the assyrians. What will be the last world kingdom? Where do we go for the answers? In the Bible it tells us that the prophecies show us the answer. You can read in 2 Peter 1:19, "we also have a more sure word of prophecy.

" Go to the prophecies to understand these things. And again, Amos 3:7, it tells us there in that ancient prophecy, "surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets." Anything major that God is going to do that will affect his work of his kingdom here on earth, the prophecies and the prophets have seen these things, and they've revealed them. Now we're gonna jump from Genesis to the book of Daniel. And this is the central focus of our study tonight, what I believe is one of the most amazing prophecies. I've taught this chapter for years, and I never tire.

I never cease to marvel at how amazing it really is. If we go back to ancient Babylon, we're gonna return to the time when king Nebuchadnezzar was at the zenith of his power, the undisputed ruler of the middle east during this time. Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and he dreamed about this strange, colossal image. And by the way, you know where the word "colossal" comes from? It was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The colossus of roads, this great big bronze statue bigger than the statue of liberty that flanked the harbor there at roads.

Well, Nebuchadnezzar had this dream. And now if you'll turn in your Bibles, you're gonna see the dream on your screen here. I'm gonna read it to you from Daniel 2:31-35, "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.

His chest and his arms were of silver. It's belly and its thighs were of bronze. Its legs of iron. Its feet partly of iron, partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut without hands which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and it broke them to pieces.

Then the iron and the clay and the bronze and the silver and the gold were crushed together and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors. And the wind carried them away so no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. Now in this dream, in this vision, we find an outline for the major kingdoms of the world. And we're gonna take a look now--and I use a question-answer format.

I find people remember better when you do it that way. When Nebuchadnezzar had this dream, he knew it was not the ordinary dream from eating too much. And he woke up, he realized, "God has just revealed something to me." This was a three-dimensional apocalyptic dream, a vision, that was very real and tacit. And he called together the wise men and the counselors in his kingdom and he said, "I've had this dream and I want you to tell me what it means. But as often happens, sometimes you have a dream and you say, "wow!" And you try to tell it to somebody later and that part of your brain that remembers it, it shuts down.

And you say, "you know, it's foggy now. I can't remember." And the wise men said, "well, Nebuchadnezzar, king, you tell us the dream. We'll tell you the interpretation. And he sort of suspected. He was a very smart king.

You don't get to be a world ruler by being a numbskull. And he suspected that they were charlatans. And he said, "look, if you're really in touch with the Gods and you're able to give the interpretation of my dream, then I'm having trouble remembering it. The thing is gone from me. Tell me what the dream is, and then I'll know you can tell me the interpretation.

" Well, he called their bluff and they began to shuffle their feet and say, "well, no, no. That's not how it's supposed to work. You tell us the dream and we'll concoct--we'll manufacturer an interpretation." And he said, "you're frauds." And he, in his fury--cause he knew that God had told him something in this dream. He'd gone to sleep that night wondering how long his empire would last. He issued a decree in his haste that all the wise men should be gathered together and they would set a date on which they would all be executed.

So, now I'm gonna use my question-answer format. Question number one, "when the King's counselors failed to reveal and interpret the dream, what was Nebuchadnezzar's command?" Daniel 2--and the way, I hope you'll read Daniel 2 when you go home tonight. "the King commanded to destroy all of the wise men of Babylon." Now park that thought there and I need to wind the tape back to Daniel 1 and give you a little history. I mentioned earlier that king Nebuchadnezzar was the one who was responsible for conquering Jerusalem. And he destroyed the city and he carried away the captives.

It was burned in 586 b.c. He carried away the captives to Babylon, many of them. Among the captives that were carried away, he handpicked young men that he thought showed the greatest promise for intelligence and ability and quickness. And he said, "I'm gonna train them in the university of Babylon--" which was the best in the world at the time. "So that they are prepared to live in the court of a king and they can mediate between me and their people and give me some of the advice from their culture.

" Among those young men that were carried into that Babylonian university for this training were Daniel, hananiah, mishael and azariah. Now, they were, basically, freshmen wise men, if there is such a thing. Probably have some on your campus here, don't you? And in question number 2, "when Daniel learned about the death decree, what did he ask of the King and what did he tell his friends?" The Bible tells us in Daniel 2:16, "Daniel went in before Nebuchadnezzar and he asked the King that he would give them time." He says, "you're never gonna find out your dream by executing everybody. You give me time and I will pray and I believe my God will give the answer." And he said, "and we will show the King the interpretation." What would you do if you had to dream somebody else's dream? "Then Daniel went to his house--" 2:16, "and he made known the thing to hananiah, mishael and azariah, his companions, that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret." Secret things belong to the Lord. Question number three, "when the Lord revealed the dream to Daniel, to whom did he give praise and credit?" Now this important 'cause a lot of people who claim to be prophets, they say, "you know, you pay my bill.

I've got this special power and it's in me. It's because of my wisdom and my insight." Daniel said, "I'm not gonna take the credit." Daniel said, "there is a God in heaven that reveals--" what's it say on the screen there? "Secrets." This is a Revelation in the book of Daniel. A secret is being revealed. He was giving God the credit. And then Daniel was finally brought before the King because he had said, "I've had the dream.

" They praised the Lord for giving them the answer and he began to unfold, for king Nebuchadnezzar, his dream. Now I think this is very interesting, only time in the Bible I know of that two different people had the same dream. And it's interesting that here you have the King has a dream. He doesn't know what it means. He must go to a Hebrew captive, essentially, to understand what the dream means.

Reminds me in the book of Genesis where Joseph must come before the pharaoh 'cause the pharaoh's wise men can't tell him what his dream means. Why is it that these Hebrews seem to have the answers? I think the Lord is telling us that among all the wonderful things in various religions of the world that God had committed to the Jewish people the oracles of God. That's what Paul says. The true prophecies--the truth had been committed to this people and here you've got these pagan Kings that are going to these Jewish captives saying, "what is truth?" That's what pilate said to Jesus. Number four, "why did Daniel say that God gave the King this dream?" Answer, he said, "there is a God in heaven that is revealing secrets and he's making known to the King Nebuchadnezzar, what shall be--" what's that say? "In the latter days.

" Is that past or is that future? God is making known something about the future. Let's move on, question number five, "what two objects did Daniel say the King saw in his dream?" There are two principle things that were in this vision that you find here in chapter 2. He says... So you've got this great image. Matter of fact, I just happen to have Nebuchadnezzar's image right here tonight.

I--someone saw me carry this to my room where I'm staying and they thought that I lit candles before the night. And they thought, "do you take that with you everywhere you go?" This was given to me by a group for teaching prophecy, but maybe I'll just set him up here and he can stare you down while I'm teaching. You can keep that before you, don't want to knock him over, not until later. It doesn't happen yet in the vision. So question number six now, as Daniel begins to interpret this vision, he begins to go through the various minerals.

And these minerals represent the Kingdoms of the world that would have a profound influence especially on God's people. And he begins be telling king Nebuchadnezzar. "What does the head of gold represent?" Question, number six, Daniel 2:38, "thou art this head of gold." Babylon was a golden kingdom. Matter of fact, a couple of wonders of the ancient world, according to the historian, herodotus, the hanging gardens of Babylon that Nebuchadnezzar built for his queen, were considered to be some of the most beautiful in the world, exotic plants had been brought from all different parts of the world. Ancient Babylon was laid out--it's almost unbelievable, but I've read it if the historians aren't exaggerating, 15 miles on each side.

Avenues 150 feet wide. You almost looked--you looked at the ruins that we saw that saddam had excavated and they were very wide streets, weren't they? Twenty-five intersecting avenues like this. The walls 67 feet wide at the bottom, wide enough at the top for 4 chariots to run abreast across an interstate, going across the top of the walls. Euphrates river ran underneath the walls of Babylon. It was the golden empire.

Gold was everywhere. Great temple of marduk was in the middle. The Babylonian empire ruled for comparatively a short period of time from about 606 to 536 b.c. And you get an idea there of what the scope of their influence was. It was the golden kingdom.

But as you can tell from our friend here, the whole thing's not gold. Nebuchadnezzar wanted that and that comes up in chapter 3. But next comes another metal. Chapter--question number seven, "would the Babylonian kingdom last forever?" No. Daniel 2:39, "and after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee.

" Just as silver is a little bit inferior to gold, there would be another kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar did not want his kingdom to pass away. Matter of fact, they found among--you know there are millions of bricks you can go to ancient Babylon and find today where they're all stamped with Nebuchadnezzar's seal. And it says, "this is the Kingdom which I have built, may it last forever." And they also found this in the clay tablet that they have, a letter from Nebuchadnezzar. And on this letter in cuneiform, they've translated, "Babylon, this city which is the delight of my eyes which I have glorified, may it last forever.

" Matter of fact, that quote where he says, "I've built it. I have glorified it," you can find that in chapter 4 of Daniel where he says, "is not this the great Babylon that I have built?" Nebuchadnezzar, in Babylon, was this great head of gold. Again, from about 605 to 539 b.c. But it didn't last. Matter of fact, in the Bible in Daniel 5 it tells about the fall of Babylon.

See, after Nebuchadnezzar died, he had a son nabonidus, some call him evil merodach. And then he had a grandson named belshazzar. While belshazzar's father was out trying to preserve the empire that Nebuchadnezzar had built, belshazzar had sort of a wild party. Even though he knew the persians were camped outside, he thought, "oh, they're just a mosquito. They're not gonna bother us.

They could never get through our walls." And so to mock the army, camped outside the walls he had this party. And you've heard the expression of, "the handwriting on the wall." Belshazzar had this feast, this big banquet hall of Babylon that was supposed to be hundreds of yards long. They had peacocks pulling chariots with the different beverages. And he wanted to show that he wasn't afraid of anybody and he said, "go get the sacred vessels that we captured from the temple of Solomon. We're gonna bring them in here and we're gonna show that jehovah, the God of the Hebrews, he's not a God.

And we're gonna use their vessels and we're gonna toast our Gods." Everything was about a battle between the Gods. And so he brought those sacred vessel that had been captured from the temple of God and they filled them with alcohol. They began to drink and toast their various pagan idols. And while he was making a mockery of the God of heaven, a bloodless hand began to appear in burning letters write--this cryptic writing on the walls of the banquet hall. Mene mene tekel upharsin.

I remember the first time I read the Bible, up there in the cave and it talked about the handwriting on the wall. I went, "oh, that's where that phrase comes from." I had no idea. People always said, "handwriting on the wall." I had no idea it came out of the Bible. I had a lot of epiphanies when I was reading the Bible about all the sayings people use. It says that, "there by the candlestick--" we're in Daniel 5:5.

"Fingers of a man's hand wrote over against the candlestick on the plaster of the wall of the King's palace." And the words were, and here's a translation. Oh, by the way, once again, belshazzar, his knees smote together. He was terrified. He said, "what does this mean?" I mean wouldn't it make you nervous if right now all of a sudden a fiery hand appeared and began to write on the walls in our church? That'd be sort of ominous, especially if it happens during a drunken party. It's not good.

And he's wondering, "what does this mean?" And the wise men, they're just as scared as he is, and they don't know what it means. So guess who they call? Guess who's still alive 70 years later? Daniel who's now an old man. They knew in him was the Spirit of God. And they said, "tell us, what does this writing mean? We'll give you all these gifts." And Daniel said, "keep your gifts because I know what the writing means." And he translated it. Mene, which means God has numbered your kingdom and finished it.

The time for Babylon's curtain had come down. Tekel, thou art weighed in the balances. There's a judgment, and you are found wanting. He was not Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar ended up turning to the God of heaven towards the end of his life.

And peres was the last cryptic saying. Daniel said, "that means your kingdom is divided and given to the medes and the persians." That very night, as I said, cyrus, the persian general, was outside the walls and they were having a party inside. They thought, "he'll never get through these walls." But what cyrus did, very brilliant, the Euphrates river actually ran under the walls of ancient Babylon. They found a dry lake bed. They dug a canal miles upstream.

They diverted the Euphrates river into this dry lake bed. The water level going under the walls of Babylon dropped and the army of cyrus Marched underneath the walls through the mud. Everybody in the city was drunk. They'd left the doors open because they didn't anticipate that there would be an attack. They thought this would be a long siege.

And it was even foretold in the Bible hundreds of years before cyrus was born that Babylon would fall to this general and it names him by name. Isaiah 45:1. This is an amazing thing to me 'cause we know from the dead sea scrolls that this was written before the event. "Thus says the Lord to his anointed to cyrus, whose right hand I have holden to subdue nations before him." Just names them out of nowhere, this persian name. "And I will loose the loins of Kings to open before him the two leaved gates and the gates will not be shut.

" Once they went under the wall within the inner city, the gates giving access had been left open. That's just amazing. Matter of fact, you can go to the british museum in london, and they've unearthed this cylinder. It's called the cyrus cylinder and on that cylinder, cyrus recounts how amazed he was how easily this great kingdom fell. He thought that it would be a siege lasting many years and a fierce battle, and they just fell over.

The Bible had foretold in Jeremiah and in Isaiah, that the soldiers of Babylon would be weak like women and would not be able to fight. This, then, brings us to the next persian--the next empire which is the medo-persian kingdom. And it goes a little longer. It goes from 539 to 331 b.c. And unless you fell asleep during your history class in elementary school, you've all heard of the persian empire, started out as the medo-persian empire.

You notice here the statue, the silver has two arms. Later in Daniel, we've got a bear raised up on one side. It's talking about a dual or two parallel kingdoms later simply known as the persian kingdom. One of their most beautiful capitals was not just Babylon but it was persepolis and these are some of the ruins, a magnificent kingdom, very powerful war-like people, the persians. And they have depicted in many of the graphs and the museums, you can see that they like to portray those they had conquered being humiliated.

Some have speculated that crucifixion may have originated with the persians and then been picked up by their carthaginians and then eventually by the Romans. We have a silver goose here that they unearthed in persepolis. One reason I showed you that, you've heard of the goose that laid the golden egg? This is the silver goose. It lays titanium eggs. No, we don't know that.

But I showed you this because silver was the currency in the persian kingdom. So it makes sense that it was typified by silver. Now we go to question number eight, "what metal would represent the Kingdom that followed the medo-persians?" Daniel 2:39, "in another third kingdom of brass that will bear rule over all the earth." What kingdom do you think this is? If you were awake in history class, we know that greece came on the scene. Now I need to pause here and just mention something that people often ask and I'll see if I could preempt a question. "Doug, are you telling me that the only kingdoms that were world kingdoms back during that time were Babylon and medo-persia and greece? What about the great chinese empire and the inca and the aztec? Weren't there other world empires? Yes.

In the vision of Daniel 2, it is principally dealing with those kingdoms that had a profound impact on God's people whether it be Israel, or later, the church. Those are the ones that are addressed. It's not that the others weren't important or that God did not factor them in. Here you've got of map of what the Greek dominion looked like. They have, of course, a very vast empire that's stretched all the way from india to the eastern mediterranean.

One historian, speaking of this famous king--who is the famous king, the first macedonian king of the Greek empire? Alexander the great... Alexander, considered to be a genius of a general, just went from one victory to another, employed these extremely amazing tactics, creative tactics in battle and rose very quickly. The Greek influence spread. Alexander, though, as he continued with his success, he began to--began to think he was a God. He went to Egypt and went to one of the temples there and had himself pronounced a God.

And that wasn't long after that, he went to Babylon and he died. They don't know if it was a combination of drinking too much and malaria, but he died very suddenly as a young man. Matter of fact, as he was dying, he had not had an heir yet. His wife, roxanna said, "who will rule in your place?" And supposedly his parting words were, "the strongest," because he had not chosen an heir. And that's exactly happened.

His four generals began to fight among themselves over the territory of the Greek empire. Bronze was what they used for their armor. Oh by the way, if you read in the Bible it will say that this next kingdom is a kingdom of brass. Brass, as we know it today, was not really developed by the alchemist until about 16--the 16th century. This is really bronze that we're talking about.

But the old english word used the word "brass" there. Greece ruled from about 331 to 168 b.c. That was the next world empire. Now what's really interesting about this, Daniel lived to see the persians come on the scene. Daniel, even in the book of Daniel, foretells that greece would be the next world empire by name hundreds of years before it happened.

Only God can do that. That's why many of the skeptics have said, "Daniel could not have been written when they claim it was written. It could not have been written by the prophet, Daniel, because no one can have that much prophetic knowledge of the future." So their critics have always tried to find some way to attribute Daniel to some other late author. Next question nine, "what metal represents the fourth kingdom?" Now we're getting down here to the legs. It says in Daniel 2:40, "the fourth kingdom shall be strong as--" say it with me.

"Iron." I want to make sure we're still awake here in Michigan... Rome was known as the iron monarchy. Matter of fact, they had iron swords. The Greeks had bronze swords. I was in a welding class one time and my teacher, who studied history, he said, "back then you could take an iron sword and you could cut a bronze sword in two if you had a sharp iron sword.

" And you remember when David managed to get the sword of Goliath, the philistines had iron swords and he said, "there is none like it." And so this was the iron kingdom, and it was during the time of the iron monarchy of rome that Jesus was born. They were iron swords that went into Bethlehem and slaughtered the baby boys there. It was an iron spear that pierced Jesus' side. This was the iron monarchy. Edward gibbons, who did not claim to be a Christian, actually drew from the prophecies of Daniel in describing the roman empire in his famous book, "the decline and fall of the roman empire.

" He said, "the images of gold and silver or brass that might serve to represent the nations and their Kings were successively broken by the iron monarchy of rome." So rome ruled now from about 168 b.c. To the mid 4th century. The scholars and historians are--they're not agreeing about exactly when rome fell. Because rome was not conquered decisively like some of these other kingdoms. Instead, the roman empire sort of disintegrated which actually leads us to our next question.

Question number ten, "what would happen after the fall of the roman empire?" We're tracing our way down from the head through the feet here into the legs, rather. It says... Little by little, because of the excesses in rome, because of the encroachment of other empires from the outside, they were being attacked by the huns. Edward gibbon, in his book, he attributes the fall of rome to the moral erosion within the empire. Matter of fact, if you study some of the five elements that proceeded the fall of ancient rome, you can find many of those same things in our country today.

It talked about the breakdown of the family, government spending irresponsibly. A lot of it was on armaments or the bulk of it. And just a moral collapse. The people were preoccupied with entertainment. Did you hear that? The Romans became preoccupied with the theater and entertainment and sporting events instead of the other nations that were coming in from the outside.

Life began to be a big party. And little by little, rome disintegrated, not all at once, but it fell. And what did it turn into? It didn't turn into one more power, one more kingdom. It was divided in what you see today split around europe. And some of the names that are traditionally used, the ancient divisions of the roman empire are the alamanni which we know as the germans.

The franks or the french. The burgundian, which is switzerland. The suevi, portugal. The lombards which is italy. The visigoths, spain.

The anglo-saxons, england. And there are three others you'll find in Daniel 7 talks about three horns that are uprooted and that would be the heruli, the vandals and the ostrogoths, and they don't exist today. But you can still see the remnants of the roman empire. All you gotta do is go to Washington, d.c. Matter of fact, many of the world rulers wanted to reproduce the power of ancient rome.

That leads us well to our next question. Question 11, "would these kingdoms ever succeed in uniting again so that there would be another world empire, another kingdom?" What did Daniel say? Chapter 2:43, it says, "they'll mingle themselves with the seed of men." A lot of inter-marriage. "But they shall not cleave one to another even as iron is not mixed with miry clay." They all wanted to re-create the empire of the caesars. Some of you remember--you may not remember czar nicholas. I don't think there's anyone here that old.

Oh, yeah, actually there may be. Czar is the russian way of saying caesar. Kaiser--anyone speak german here? Kaiser is the german word for caesar. And a lot of these monarchs wanted to take the title of the ancient caesars. There's even somewhere you can go in las vegas called caesars where you can fantasize that you're living back in the roman empire days.

People are preoccupied with that era because they figured it was one of the greatest empires. Now something's happening here, I want you to notice. What's worth more, gold or silver? Gold's worth more than silver, right? What's worth more, silver or bronze? Silver. And what's worth more, bronze or iron? Bronze. Well, I don't know, china's made iron pretty expensive right now.

And you would think before you get to the feet of iron and clay, iron by itself must be worth more than clay. It's in abundance. Something's happening here as you go down, the metals are less valuable but they're harder. They're stronger. Gold is very soft and malleable and silver is softer than bronze which is softer than iron.

And I'll get to the last mineral here in just a few moments. But many have tried to reunite the world empire that they had under ancient rome. You had queen victoria. You realize that during her long 60-year reign, this golden era of england, she had 40 grandchildren. She really just wanted to be a grandma.

That was her greatest joy. But because they kept trying to forge peace through marriages and alliances, by the time of her death, she was related to virtually every head of state in europe in one way or another because they were trying to weld this fragile real estate back together again into one empire. And they're trying to do it again today with the european union and the euro through a common currency. But what does the Bible foretell what happened? It said, "they will not cleave one to another. There will never again be another one-world kingdom.

" "Pastor Doug, wait a second. Doesn't the Bible tell us in Revelation that just before Jesus comes, there's a one-world kingdom and that kingdom forces everybody to worship?" No, that's not what it says. It's not a one-world kingdom. It talks about many Kings. There's one-world worship.

It says, "he compels all to worship." But the government's of the world are going to remain divided until the end. Of course, we know that you've got charlemagne tried to do it. Louis xii tried to do it. You've got napoleon who tried to do it, mussolini, hitler, and some of them came close. At waterloo, napoleon was stopped.

And if it hadn't been for some misdirected orders and bad weather, we'd probably all be speaking in french right now. But God intervened. Matter of fact, napoleon, when we talked about why he failed to reclaim the Kingdom, he said, "God is against me," because everything said that he should have won. It's not going to be another world empire with one of these kingdoms. Question number 12, "who is going to set up the final kingdom?" The Bible tells us, "and in the days of these Kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed.

" Friends, it's not going to be charlemagne. It's not going to be napoleon or hitler, mussolini or louis xiv or saddam hussein. It's gonna be king Jesus is gonna be the next king. Now when we get down to the feet, which is where we are now, I want you to think about something interesting. The feet are what? It says, "they are iron mixed with clay.

" And then later it says, "miry clay." Someone who used to teach at this university told me, he said, "that is a perfect definition for the number one building material in the world today," which is concrete. Some of you have heard of the pantheon. You the pantheon, Romans began to use concrete. But it wasn't all reinforced at first. They had a primitive method of using it.

But what do you think the number one building material is in the world today? It is iron mixed with miry clay. We've got some video footage here that a friend in Sacramento took and just everywhere you look, Sacramento's exploding. See the iron, reinforced iron? And what does that mush look like? If you were the prophet Daniel and you had to describe what you saw as the final material, what better description could you find rather than iron mixed with miry clay? We are living in the age of concrete. Something else that's interesting is if you ever have to bust up a concrete foundation, you find that the iron is not mixed with the clay. The rebar is still separate.

And even though there's an appearance of unity, it is not co-mingled. It's still separate. We're living, right now, in the very last part of this vision. Again, I want to remind you, this is one of the most important prophecies in the Bible because, first of all, it is a dream that is repeated twice. Nebuchadnezzar has this dream.

He's wanting to know what the future will be of his kingdom. God gives him this supernatural vision, but he doesn't understand it. The pagan wise men do not understand it. So a Jewish boy is called in and he is given the same dream. You know, sometimes, you might say, "I forgot the dream but then something happens during the day and you have deja vu and it comes back.

Can you imagine what the look must have been on that mighty monarch's face as this Judean captive comes in and he says, "by God's grace, I will tell you the interpretation of your dream, and I'll tell you what your dream is." If someone can tell you what your dream is, would you think you could trust them to tell you what the interpretation is?" I think that we can trust that this is one of the most amazing prophecies in the Bible because it is giving us an outline for the Kingdoms of the world. We're living in the last days, friends. I believe that. We're down in the feet of iron mixed with miry clay. I was gonna say, "as a footnote," but that would sort of a be a pun, huh? We're in the toenails of the image right now because rome fell hundreds of years ago.

What does that mean? That means God has a plan for your life, doesn't he? Question number 13, "what does the stone do to the other world kingdoms?" It says, "you watched while a stone was cut out without hands." Don't miss that. "And it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay and it broke them in pieces. And the stone that struck the image becomes a great mountain and it fills the whole earth." Now, I deliberately wanted to put this out here to help you realize-- what does this look like to you? Pretend that you had not read Daniel 2. If somebody brought this and set it down and knelt before it, what would you call it? This is an idol. What does the Ten Commandments say? And by the way, what are the Ten Commandments written on? Stone.

Jesus said, "he that hears these words of mine is a wise man building on the rock." Christ is the rock of ages. Christ is the word. The word is written on rock. What is it that destroys all the counterfeit pagan idols and false religions? It was an idol. An idol, especially in the Ten Commandments, it represented all of the counterfeit, false religions in kingdoms.

Whenever you pray the Lord's prayer, "thy will be done, thy kingdom come." Why would you pray, "thy kingdom come," if it's already here? Now the Spiritual kingdom has come. But God's final kingdom hasn't come yet, has it? Some people say, "the stone happened way back in the days when Jesus came the first time and that was the end of that vision." No, I'm sorry, friends. That leaves out the rest of rome and the divisions of rome. That's not what happened. It's talking about Jesus' literal kingdom.

"Blessed are the meek. They will inherit the earth." And he is not going to share his kingdom with any other kingdom according to Daniel. When Jesus' kingdom comes, it will fill the whole earth and all the others are pulverized. That idol, and all those other metals, they are pulverized and they are blown away like the chaff of the summer threshing floor. So no place for them is found.

They are gone. So it's telling us that when that stone strikes it--by the way, that stone cut out without hands, out of a mountain without hands. You know, in the Bible, you can read in Exodus 20:25, all of the pagan nations, they made Gods and when they worshiped their God, they always had these idols. It could be a cow. It could be a man, a fish.

But the jews were told to be very careful to avoid idolatry. And it said in Exodus 20:25, "if you make an altar of stone," they can make an altar of stone. "You shall not build it of hewn stone." Don't chisel on it, don't hue it, don't cut it. Matter of fact, he says, "if you lift up your tool on it, you've polluted it. Don't even be tempted to shape it into anything.

It must be without man's hands." It's a battle between the worship of the true God and counterfeit worship. When did Babylon fall? When they worshipping the wrong Gods. Furthermore, 2 Corinthians 5:1, Paul says, "for we know that if our earthly house, this tabernacle, were dissolved, we have a building of God in a house not made with hands." So when God makes something, it's talking about not with man's hands, 'cause God speaks and it happens. When Christ brings his kingdom, it's coming because of His Word. That's the rock that's going to come and destroy everything else.

You know one reason I think that this prophecy is so important is because I want you to know that God has a plan for your life. Now before I close, I want to quickly review because I want these thing to settle into your mind, and I'm gonna come back over here to frederick and use him. First kingdom, head of gold is what kingdom? Babylon from about 600 to 536 b.c. The silver represents what kingdom? You who are watching at your very sites, you can speak too. It's the medo-persian kingdom.

Then you've got the bronze which is what kingdom? Greece. The iron is? Rome. About 168 to approximately 476. The feet of iron and clay, they're the divisions of the roman empire which is where we are now. We're here.

So what happens next? The next thing to happen is the Lord coming. Now I travel all over the world and sometimes I don't know where I am. Matter of fact, I travel sometimes so much that I wake up and I fumble around the hotel room to find a piece of paper that tells me where I am. It's true. You ever wake up a little disoriented in your own house? When you travel a lot, you wake up and you go, "this doesn't look familiar.

" Sometimes I get out of bed and I walk into the wall 'cause things have moved from my home. And as I travel, sometimes I'll go to foreign subway systems, and I don't like being lost. And I found that it really helps if you can get a map. And I remember when I was back in New York city, they've got a great subway system there and it's all color coded. And you'll find that in France.

You'll find that in russia. You'll find that in korea. You'll find it in japan. I've done all these different subway systems, and it can be very confusing if you're from another country and you're trying to get underground from one place to another. But it's really helpful if you've got one of these maps.

And it says there on the map, "you will be taking the green line and then you'll run into the yellow line." And so I get on and pretty soon, sure enough, everything in the terminal is yellow. I think, "this must be it." So I get out and it says, "you switch over to a blue train and it will say 23rd street." You get over there and I'm trying to get to grand central. And I look at my map and it says, "you're gonna go from 23rd. You're gonna go to 19th. You're gonna go to 8th street.

You're gonna go to--" these various names. And all along the way, I look at my map and I say, "everything is right on schedule." And you know what's really nice is when you get to the place just before grand central and you say, "this is the last stop. I know the next stop is my destination." What's our next stop according to this vision? Jesus is coming. And in future presentations, I'm gonna tell you why I believe it is imminent, friends. That it's going to happen, very soon, sooner than most people think.

Question number 14, "after hearing Daniel's clear interpretation of the dream, what did Nebuchadnezzar say about the Lord?" He said, Daniel 2:47, "the King answered and said to Daniel, 'it is of a truth that your God is a God of Gods and a Lord of Kings and a revealer of secrets.'" Daniel closes by reminding him, he says, "the dream is certain and the interpretation is sure." Do you know what's gonna happen tomorrow? Do you worry about what's gonna happen tomorrow? Do you worry about your future? Especially here at a university, sometimes young people are wondering, "what am I supposed to do? Is there a plan for my life? What's the future?" Is it all just haphazard, indiscriminate, coincidence or is there a plan? Is somebody at the wheel? Does God have a plan for my life?" I'll tell you, friends, if you had told me about 30 years ago when I was up there in the mountains running around like a nut, where I would be today, I had no idea. But I know now God had a plan for my life, and I want you to know he's got a plan for your life. It's a good plan. Why do you think the Lord gives us these prophecies, to entertain us, to prove that he's God and impress us? No, it's because he wants to redeem us. Don't forget this, the purpose of all prophecy is redemptive.

It's not so we can know what movie stars are getting married next. It's redemptive. Prophecy is not so we can know how to invest in the stock Market. It's to know how we can be saved. It's teaching us that you and I can know that we can trust the Lord.

Have you trusted your life to the Lord? God brought you here tonight, if you're at your locations, wherever you are, you might be watching at home on tv, you might be in a church gathering, God brought you. I believe that. And I want you to come back. I believe the Lord wants you to come back. He has a plan for your life.

He brought you because he wants you to know that he wants to save you, desperately. So much so that that same rock of ages that's coming soon, Jesus, he died to forgive you and to save you, to activate his plan for your life. Have you trusted your life into his hands? I'd like to invite John to sing as you pray about that decision, and then we'll have some closing prayer and comments. [Music] 'tis so sweet to trust in Jesus just to take him at His Word. And just to rest upon his promise, just to know, thus saith the Lord.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him and how I've proved him o'er and o'er. O, Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus, o for grace to trust him more. I'm so glad that I've learned to trust him, precious Jesus, my Savior and my friend. Now I know that thou art with me, will be with me 'til the end. Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him.

How I've proved him more and more. Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus, o, for grace to trust him more. What will be the final kingdom? Well, do you know, to some extent, that may depend on you. Because the Kingdoms that are battling out for this planet, they're not really fighting over real estate. The titanic battle between Christ and satan is fighting over the territory of your mind and your heart.

Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of God does not come with observation, saying, "here or there." the Kingdom of God is within you. Jesus is the King. He's the only rightful king. Everyone else has tried to steal the throne. Have you given him his place on the throne of your heart? Is he your king? If you're gonna be ready for that final kingdom, you can be a citizen in that final kingdom.

But in order for your to be naturalized into that kingdom, you must give him your heart. Have you surrendered your mind and your heart to God? He's got a plan for your future. It's a good, eternal plan that he has devised for you, but you must surrender to him. Would you like to say tonight, "Lord, I think I can trust you, and I'd like to surrender my life into your hands?" Is that your desire? Why don't you pray with me right now? You at home, I know the Holy Spirit is striving with you. You were probably amazed, as I was, when I first read this prophecy and you realize, "wow, God does know the future.

It's all mapped out. And I know what the next stop is, Christ is coming. I want to be ready." You just invite Jesus into your heart. Say, "Lord, I don't know what the next step is but I'm a mess. I'm your mess.

Take me where I'm at." Will he do it, friends? He'll take you. He's got a plan for your life. I'd like to invite you to pray with me. Father in Heaven, we want to thank you for the power of Your Word that makes it very clear that you are on the throne, that the squabbles and battles in this puny speck of dust out in the cosmos, they don't amount to very much when people think their ruling down here because you are on the throne. But yet, there are some rebels, Lord, in this world and we're all part of that.

We've all rebelled. We've all gone our own way. You've created us and you have a right to our hearts. You have a good plan for us and we want to be in that kingdom you've prepared. Please, Lord, I pray that every person here will soften and open their hearts right now and invite Jesus to be enthroned within their mind and in their hearts.

And when He comes, we will be part of that kingdom that will fill the whole earth. Please rescue us to that end and hear this prayer because we ask in Christ's name, amen.

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