If I could put it in teenager terminology, Seth, speak cool, man. Trust God. That's important. But the second part of the same picture is that God gives to us, through His Word, key insights into the factual data related to the future. Dr. Don Wilton, well-known author, evangelist, pastor, and today as we dive into this particular topic in Daniel, Chapter 2, we'll be gaining insight on perspective.
And again, he describes it as looking forward from behind. As we dive into the Word of God, know that we're here for you. We'd love to pray with you and for you as well. We can connect on our website at www.tewonline.org. Or we'd love to have a conversation with you, to pray with you on the phone at 866-899-WORD.
That's 866-899-9673. And now today's message, looking forward from behind with Dr. Don Wilton. Let's read together from Daniel Chapter 2 and verse 30. Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. He forgot what he dreamt about. And Daniel is now about to interpret this dream to him.
Look at verse 30. As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than other living men, but so that you, O King, may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind. You looked, O King, and there before you stood a large statue, an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, and its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 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 broken to pieces at the same time 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. This was the dream, and now we will interpret to the king. You, O King, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory. In your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them.
You are that head of gold. After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, for iron breaks and smashes everything. And as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom. Yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay. In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain but not by human hands, a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold to pieces. The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future.
This dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy. Couple of things I want to say to you. What have we learned so far?
Eight things. Number one, we've learned that Daniel was composed before the crisis that he faced. Number two, we've learned that Daniel was courageous before his captors. Number three, we've learned that Daniel was uncompromising even before the king of kings, Nebuchadnezzar. Number four, we've learned that Daniel was convicted before his peers. Number five, we've learned that Daniel was controlled before his tormentors. Number six, we've learned that Daniel was careful before his God.
He was confident before his God and he was contrite before his God. Now, the key verse in Daniel chapter one. Does anybody remember what the key verse was in Daniel chapter one?
Just shout it out. Verse eight. Look at verse eight.
But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself in this way. The key verse in this section in Daniel chapter two that we are looking at now, looking forward from behind, is verse 44. In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people.
It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever. Folks, just to leapfrog a little bit, if I might, that verse there is talking about the new heaven and the new earth. That verse there is taking us to the end of the book of Revelation. So you might as well put the end of the book of Revelation chapter in verse 44 there. That leapfrogs us over a whole vast array of historical fact and prophetic utterance. And I'm going to show you that in fact there is a difference between historical fact on the one hand and prophecy yet to be fulfilled on the other hand.
Some things that I want you to remember. Remember that Daniel had been selected. He was chosen. God went and chose him. And folks, I don't believe that God has changed his tactics at all. I really believe that God is choosing people today.
I believe that he's pointing at men and women, young people like you and me, and he's saying, I'm choosing you, I'm selecting you. Number two, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. Let's not forget that dream.
The dream is very important. Let's not forget that God used an imperfect being in order to try and get a message through to people like you and me. Let's not forget the significance of a dream that Nebuchadnezzar had, an evil king, a godless man, someone who had violated the precepts of everything that God stood for.
God chose to use him. Third, Nebuchadnezzar called in the experts. You will remember in chapter two, he called them in and he said to them, you people are wise and you are the experts, you are the Chaldeans and the astrologers and the sorcerers.
You tell us what's going on. They were horrified. Chapter two and verse 11, what the king asked is far too difficult. Besides that, his wise men said, no one can reveal it to the king except the gods and they do not live among men. Well, in the fourth place, let's remember how Daniel's life became jeopardized. He was threatened at a very deep level because they couldn't find a solution to the problem and Daniel had now become associated with the wise men.
So Daniel was amongst those who was about to be executed. Let's remember in the fifth place how Daniel managed the crisis of his life. Remember, if you go back a week or two ago, how I made some suggestions about some of the lessons we can learn about handling a crisis. You'll remember that I suggested based upon Daniel's experience, don't be in a hurry. If you've got a crisis, just stop doing what you're doing.
Most of us are in too much of a hurry when we get into a crisis. Remember to return to your roots. Remember to seek godly counsel. Remember to praise the prayer of faith. Remember to be very specific in your prayer time.
Remember to praise God in advance, to thank him ahead of time for what he has done. Daniel knew how to handle a crisis and so God gave him an incredible solution to an unbelievable set of circumstances. God took him and rescued him. And then in the sixth instance, let's remember that Daniel turned to God. When Daniel turned to God, God took control. God had a plan and God was about to reveal that plan. And here in these verses, we're going to see how that God through his servant allows you and I to look forward from behind. That's what prophecy is. Prophecy means that you and I can stand over here and we can look at the year 2020 and we can look ahead and we can predict or we can prophesy and say 20 years from now the following things are going to happen. Well, let's see what the significance of this dream interpretation really was.
I want you to look at it with me. First of all, Daniel tells us from verse 30, Daniel says, listen, I want you to know the purpose for the revelation of this mystery. The purpose for the revelation of this mystery, Daniel says, is in order so that you might know what is going on. God, when God gives to us prophecy, God is trying to show us what God wants us to know. God is in the business of allowing us to know what's going on.
Isn't that incredible? Now, folks, listen to me. Wanting to know about the future involves two things. Number one, it involves trust and faith. Trust and faith means that, hey, wait a minute, I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, but I know that God loves me enough that I can entrust my tomorrows to Him.
Maybe there's someone here tonight and you fall into that category and there is something going on in your life. Maybe it's even a sickness, cancer or you're undergoing treatments or you're facing surgery or something is going on and you're afraid you don't know about tomorrow. The first element of tomorrow is the element of trust. We just accept the fact that God is the God of tomorrow and He holds our future in the palm of His hand. Now, there is a sense in which we can rest our case in Him.
That's what trust is. It's total abandonment of ourselves for the future in God's hands. But the second element of the future concerns that which we know to be true, based upon the revelation of God through the word of God, by the Spirit of God to the people of God. Now, folks, the interpretation of this dream puts two elements upon all of us. Number one, it invites us to trust God implicitly about tomorrow. Can I make a suggestion to you?
Here it is. Watch me. Let's just trust God. Amen. Let's trust God. Forgive the interruption, but that concept of trusting is something you do not have to do alone. You're listening to The Encouraging Word with Dr. Don Wilton.
We'll be back more with the completion of today's message. But you need to know that we're available to pray with you. If there's something going on you'd like to have a friend praying with you right now, call us. 866-899-WORD is our phone number. That's 866-899-9673. And we'd love to spend some time praying with you and for you.
If you'd rather go keyboard to keyboard, we'll meet online as well. On our website, www.tewonline.org. That's www.tewonline.org. There are also great resources there online that you might discover, like the daily Encouraging Word email from Dr. Don.
You can sign up today. After the Encouraging Word broadcast is over, there's still a wonderful place to connect 24 hours a day. It's theencouragingword.org. You can visit our message archives, download Dr. Wilton's sermons, or sign up for our weekly podcast. A favorite button on our website is the prayer request button where you can share a prayer request or personal need. Maybe you have a praise report or a testimony. Let us know so we can rejoice with you as well. You can also sign up for our daily Bible guide and have devotion sent to your email every single day. Now if you have a question about your salvation, perhaps questions about how to share your faith with a friend, let us walk you through the steps to a personal relationship with Jesus and the ability to share that with others. If you're looking for a book from Dr. Wilton or maybe a CD or DVD, we have resources ready to send to you at the click of a button. No matter what the reason, we hope you'll connect with us today online at theencouragingword.org.
Now let's get back to today's message with Dr. Don Wilton. These are irrefutable facts that have been presented. We're going to notice both of these things juxtaposed together.
They're going to run like parallel tracks together. The implicit demand of God in Christ Jesus through His word for us to place our trust and our faith in Him, that God is going to work all things out, that God is in control, that God is not going to allow us to suffer, that God is going to take care of us. But on the other side, let's look at the facts, shall we? Well, here are the facts. Daniel says, and we're going to begin basically in verse 31 in the interpretation of the dream. He said, you looked okay and there before you stood a large statue. So we've got a large statue.
It's enormous, it's dazzling, and it's awesome. Now, the first thing I want to tell you is when you look at the statue, what do you see? You see a man, a person, right? This statue represents the history of man. This statue represents the history of man.
I want you to watch me now, folks, you need to stay very close to me. I'm going to tell you a couple of things before we get into this. First of all, we are going to notice descending value.
We're going to start with the head and we're going to end up with the feet. We're going to start with gold and we're going to end up with clay. Value is going to increasingly go down. Also, weight is going to go down. Gold is heavier than clay. Strength is going to diminish. Purity is going to diminish.
Gold is pure. Clay is rubble. It's dirt. Now, I want you to watch here, folks. Everything is going to start at the head. This is the history of mankind. And everything is going to go downhill until eventually the history of mankind is going to end up in the toes. And when it ends up in the toes, something's going to happen. Because a rock not made by human hands is going to come flying out symbolically and is going to smash the remaining part of the body of mankind. It's going to hit man at his Achilles heel, at his weakest, most useless point.
The point at which man no longer has the capacity to do anything for himself. Now, let's go on this journey. First of all, the head of the statue was made of pure gold. Second of all, the Bible says that its chest and arms were made of silver. Let me just remind you that silver is a precious metal, but it is of less value than gold. Third, its belly and thighs are made of bronze in verse 33. Bronze is of less value than silver. Fourth, its legs are made of iron. Iron is of less value than bronze, is of less value than silver, is of less value than gold. But I am going to say to you that iron is very strong. That's very significant.
When we begin to connect the connection between the history of man and the interpretation of this dream. And then last but not least, its feet have got a mixture. Now folks, this mixture is a very interesting thing that I'm still grappling with a little bit. Because the Bible says there is a mixture between iron and clay.
Now by the way, I'm not into all this kind of stuff. So I've had to go back and read about some of these things and those of you that are experts in precious metals, I willingly and gladly stand corrected in all things that I'm saying. But I do believe according to some of the things that I've read that you will never mix iron and clay together. You will never to get them to become the same substance. They just don't go together.
And when you use both of them together, the whole lot becomes weak and ineffective. Now look what happens here. What Daniel was saying to King Nebuchadnezzar, beginning from verse 36, is that this statue of this huge, awesome, dazzling, wonderful man. I've tried to ask myself why the statue is so enormous and dazzling. Some people say it's because of the prominence of Nebuchadnezzar. Well, that may be true. But I personally believe that it's enormous and dazzling and strong because God created man.
That's why. How did God create man? God created man in his own image. Powerful message and there's so much more to come in this Bible study. But perhaps the very next step is the most important. Not about studying the Word, but about applying it to our own lives and our own hearts.
Coming up next, Dr. Don with perhaps the most important question of the day. God has spoken to you, hasn't He? Are you ready to give your heart to Jesus?
I'd love to help you right now. Would you pray this prayer with me and accept Jesus into your heart and life? Dear God, I know that I'm a sinner.
I know that Jesus loves me and died for me on the cross. Right now, I repent of myself and I confess my sin to the Lord Jesus Christ. Come into my heart and save me today and forgive me for my sin. In Jesus' name I pray.
Amen. If you've prayed that prayer, we'd love to get alongside of you and celebrate with you and send you some literature and help you as you begin to grow. And I want you to know that I love you very, very much. And by the way, don't leave. Don't go away, whatever you do, because I'll be right back. Now, if you've just given your heart to Christ, you need to tell someone.
Let us be one of the first to celebrate with you. You can reach us online at www.tewonline.org or pick up the phone and let's talk about it at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673. We'd love to put resources in your hands that will help you move to the next, the next step of growing in your faith and becoming ultimately an encourager yourself to others. That's also a term we use for people that are helping us financially and prayerfully reach people for Christ with the Encouraging Word ministry. Would you consider becoming an encourager? Hello, my friends. I want to speak to you personally today from my heart to yours. I don't think there is ever a better or more important time for us to respond to our world by standing up for righteousness. Now, with this in mind, I would like to invite you to become an encourager ministry partner.
You see, together we can impact lives both now and for all time and all eternity. The Encouraging Word is a viewer and listener supported ministry and to know that you are standing with me financially enables me to move forward with confidence to do the work God has called me to do. So please call the number on your screen and just simply say, I want to become an encourager.
Thank you so much for helping me. That number to call is 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673. And not only would we be happy to give you more information about becoming an encourager, but we stand ready to encourage you, to pray with you and for you. That's 866-899-9673. Or meet us online at www.tewonline.org.
That's www.tewonline.org. Tomorrow we'll continue in this concept of looking forward from behind. I hope you'll join us for more from Dr. Don Wilson. Well, here I am again.
What a day this has been. You know, one of the things I want to say to you is let's stay connected. You know, we've got so many means to be able to do that.
You can write to us, email us. You've got all the details right there in front of us. We are, we're a family together. We stay connected in so many ways. And your life is very important to me. I see you there. And God shows me. And I want to be able to pray with you and connect with you and be a vital part of your relationship, your growth. Your needs are maintained. I'm walking in your shoes. And I want to pray for you.
Please don't stop. Call us, write us, keep praying, keep giving, keep connecting, keep rejoicing, keep celebrating, keep striving. God is on his throne. This is the encouraging word.
And now you know why. Dr. Wilton, I had my husband watch First Baptist Spartan Merc Services on Sundays because he fought me on going to church here in our hometown. Last October, I was able to get him to go to a local church. Now we attend every Sunday.
He does not have to work. Praise the Lord. Sunday, January the 19th, 2014, he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior while watching your services on television. Your program got him curious and in return helped me get him into a local church. Now I know that we will be together forever even after we die. I have been so happy, are we?
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