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July 6, 2021 4:00 am
Four world empires from Lib wickedness are to Jesus Christ. No longer is Jerusalem under Israel's rule to be the center of God's dealing with men, and for great world powers will exist until Christ comes and restores his bondage to spiritual faith, then from faith to courage, from courage to liberty and from liberty to abundance, that sounds good but then comes the bad news. They then moved from abundance to selfishness to complacency to dependency and then back to bondage again. That certainly sounds like the downward spiral. We see right now. In many nations, which raises the question good. The strong countries of the world fall by the wayside. Could they ever experience a collapse similar to that of ancient Greece or Rome. Those issues come to light in John MacArthur's current study here on grace to you. It's a look at key prophecies from the book of Daniel titled the rise and fall of world powers and now with the lesson. Here's John Daniel chapter 2 in the first 31 verses of Daniel two. We have the dream received the dream received in the first 31 verses first 30 verses, then 31 the dream recall from the dream received in the dream recall become thoroughly to the dream revealed verse 36 and just so you don't miss it. Verse 36 is explicit. This is the dream I just given that and we will tell its interpretation before the king not gave you the dream here comes the interpretation. What amazes me is Nebuchadnezzar never says anything in this holding. He never says a word. He has a say.
Well, you're right. That's it. You got what it is a not strong. He doesn't say anything, you know, I think you couldn't say anything.
His mouth was hanging open because Daniel was right as the end of the story in chapter 2 will tell us Daniel was right when he makes a prime minister. The whole area but he says look at this little thought verse 36. We will tell its interpretation, who is the week so you will save Daniel and his three friends who pray together about this and with whom he shared the dream. Some say is Daniel and God and commentators argue back and forth about that. I don't have any problem. I think it's God and his three friends.
They were all in, we asked to include anybody who knew about the work to tell you the interpretation and here comes what's this that hello King Arctic King of Kings for the God of heaven have given the kingdom, power and strength, and glory, and wherever the children of men dwell, the beast of the field and the fowls of the heavens.
Hath he given into thine hand, and made the ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold that you and after these shall arise another kingdom he authorizes inferior will talk about that were no well to the and another third kingdom of bronze, which shall bear rule over all the earth, and the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron for as much as iron, break it in pieces, and subdue with all things, and as iron. The break up all these, it shall break in pieces and bruise and whereas thou sauce the feet and toes, part of potter's clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron for as much as thou sauce. The iron mixed with the miry clay and as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle and whereas thou sauce to iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men, but they shall not adhere one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. I will stop right there.
I say let and help a lot. It will if you just concentrate for a minute.
This is phenomenal. The image represents market for world empires in succeeding stages from Nebuchadnezzar to Jesus Christ. Israel is no longer God's leading nation no longer the rulers of that part of the world no longer is Jerusalem under Israel's rule to be the center of God's dealing with men, and for great world powers will exist until Christ comes in restores Israel. Let's meet the first one verse 37 thou, locating Arctic King of Kings for the God of heaven have given the a kingdom, power, strength, and glory, and wherever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heavens at the given into thine hand, and it made the ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
Nile noticed that Nebuchadnezzar is addressed in verse 37 is a king of kings, a title that was given him by God noticed that is not interesting for the God of heaven have given the kingdom, power, strength, and glory. The powers that be, says Paul in Romans 13 are ordained. What by God. Acts 17 Paul says God has sent the nations up and determined their boundaries. God is in the business of ruling over Kings and nation, and God granted to the the power the kingdom. The strength and the glory, thou art a king of kings. In other words, the supreme monarch in the earth. By the way, in Ezekiel chapter 26 in verse seven, Ezekiel calls and the same thing. So Ezekiel got from the Lord. The very same message Nebuchadnezzar was a unique King. By the way his kingdom lasted 70 years. The exact number of years that God wanted to chasten Israel and the Babylonian captivity before he sent them back, God raised up Nebuchadnezzar, God raised up his kingdom to be a chastening agent and when there chastening work was done. They passed out of existence.
So the God of heaven granted him his kingdom and his kingdom spread over the important portion of the world of his day from all the way down into Egypt around the Mediterranean area clear to the Persian Gulf. All of that part of the world was under the dominion of this man. He was a supreme monarch. He was the king of the kings of his day. He ruled over everything and everybody, and as I said, the idea that extended over the beasts and the birds is simply a hyperbole to show the tremendous degree and extent of his authority so far as any man of his time. Nebuchadnezzar had gone beyond them in his power and his authority. Subsequent kingdoms to him.
Note this are identified as kingdoms not as king in the four world empires. It says Nebuchadnezzar is the head.
From then on, no monarch is ever mentioned it passes from a king to kingdoms. The second kingdom. The third kingdom in the fourth kingdom, but the first time. It is a king. Why because the first one was the only real single United absolute monarchy. The rest of the image is a change in the way the rule is rendered, Nebuchadnezzar was a king of kings who literally, personally, uniquely, was responsible for attaining and maintaining his status and the status of his empire and after him the power rapidly diminished. It was far more his kingdom. Then he was, its king says Leon would in his right same is not true.
The succeeding empires only tell you something else is very interesting. You noticed it says the head is the head of gold. Why gold well gold was big in the Babylonian Empire. Herodotus was a historian, visited babbling 90 years. He's an ancient historian, visited babbling 90 years after the era of Nebuchadnezzar and Herodotus is written that never in his life on the earth. Did he see such an abundance and proliferation of gold as he saw in babbling. He describes the chapels and the vessels in the accoutrements of the embellishments of made of solid gold all over the Babylonian empire 90 years after the era of Nebuchadnezzar. This the residual was delivered. Nebuchadnezzar wanted to build a golden throne in the midst of a golden city. Isaiah 14 four refers to Nebuchadnezzar's preoccupation with gold, but lasted only 70 years, just long enough to fulfill God's chastening purpose. So Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold great solidarity because it was a one-man rule. He called all the shots. But in verse 39. The second kingdom follows and after the shall arise another kingdom inferior to the and then another third kingdom of bronze, which shall bear rule over all the earth. Let's look at that second kingdom from it. It tells us back in verse 32 that its arms were of silver.
So the second kingdom is represented by silver and you'll notice as you come down you come down to the breasts and the arms right its arms of silver, the breasts and arms and now no longer do you have the solidarity of the head. You have a a two-part situation and the second one, verse 39 can only refer to the Medo Persian Empire.
It has to refer to the Medo Persian Empire because the Medo Persian Empire succeeded Babylonian is no other way you can interpret. Commentators agree that it's the Medo Persian Empire because it followed immediately after babbling its breast and arm's. According to verse 32 were of silver, and it implies a twofold division and the Medo Persian Empire was just that, made up of the Medes and the Persians no longer is there solidarity there and also you will note that the metal is not as valuable. It is silver noticed the word inferior. In verse 39 after the shall arise another kingdom inferior, literally. And I want you to stick with me on this. The word means lower. I don't think the inferior is the right translation. I don't think will make a qualitative or a value judgment on it. I think he simply saying lower and lower and lower. That is the literal Aramaic reference, he simply talking about lower down the statue start with gold lower you come to silver it's not really a quad commentary on quality or size or anything. By the way the last three empires were larger by far. In fact, they get larger as they go. Medo Persia was larger than babbling grease was larger than Medo Persian room is larger than Greece. They get continuously larger. Not only that each of them was stronger than the one before, so to say inferior is really not the best thing to say they word inferior in size and a word inferior in power. It's better to see. It is simply the meaning of the word is lower, since there was a growth of power and the growth of territory now. It's always interested me in verse 39 it simply says and after the shall arise another kingdom lower lower from the are lower than the down the image. It says nothing about of all four kingdom. This is the one it says nothing about the next one. It says it will bear rule over all the earth. He says nothing about the second.
Why will I think he did want to make Nebuchadnezzar paranoid worried about what this one was going to be and who was going to be aware of the come from because this is the one that would topple his empire, and so is passed rather rapidly, but we know that it refers to the Medo Persian Empire now silver in Aramaic is the same as money. Same word the characteristic of this Medo Persian Empire would be money or silver in history bears this out.
Medo Persian Empire developed a vast system of taxation they require that their taxes be paid in silver and they literally fill their coffers with tons and tons of silver. The kings of the Medo Persian Empire.
There were many of them just gobbled up silver money. The prophecy here then is that there would come another kingdom and that kingdom would be characterized by silver Xerxes, who was one of the kings of the Medo Persian Empire inherited the incredible silver fortune of his father Darius. He also inherited more silver from other Persian kings and used it to finance his massive war against the Greeks, so they had a tremendous amount of silver Babylonian Empire made until 538 BC and then came Cyrus the great and was Cyrus the great became the Medo Persian Empire.
That Empire lasted 200 years about until 330 BC when you come to the third one in verse 39 look at it another third kingdom of bronze, which shall bear rule over all the earth and what is it back to verse 3032.
It's the belly and thighs of bronze snake come down to another kingdom of bronze the belly the thighs.
This is Greece. How do we know that because following the Medo Persian kingdom came the Greek Empire under Alexander the great who received the power and the authority initially from his father, Philip of Macedon, so moving down, babbling Medo Persia and Greece.
It's interesting that Greece descends to the thighs because the great Greek Empire primarily had two major facets, and although it was divided among four generals. Two of those generals took Syria and two of them took Egypt and they became the two facets of the great Greek Empire now want you to notice that this kingdom was characterized by bronze. Bronze is not as valuable as silver or bronze is stronger than silver it's characterized by bronze. I think for other reasons. One writer says this is easy to imagine what an astonishing impression.
The Greeks must've made on the civilized world.
Consider the contrast between their soldiers and the soldiers of the Persian army. They knocked off the Medo Persian Empire had you seen a soldier of media or Persia in the days when they control the civilized world he would've looked like this is what a Medo Persian soldier look like on his head would've been a soft turbine he would've been clothed with a tunic with sleeves and trousers full and long that would've been a Medo Persian soldier when you saw Greek soldiery would've had in his head a helmet of brass on his body, a breastplate of brass before and you be carrying a shield of brass and believe it or not, a sword made out of brass.
That is why the classic writers of ancient days refer to the brazen coded Greeks brass became a sign and symbol of Greek conquest in the Greek Empire gold why because Nebuchadnezzar was preoccupied with gold, silver, why because the Medes and the Persians were preoccupied with silver, brass, why because it symbolized the power of the forces of Alexander the great and again that Empire splits into two thighs, Syria and Egypt again and still separated when we come to the fourth and final kingdom in verse 40 the legs of iron, by the way, may I add the the end of verse 39 it says that this third kingdom would bear rule over all the earth, and on of that bear rule over all the earth.
Alexander the great.
This is amazing. He ruled your he ruled Egypt and he ruled all the way to India and died in his 30s finally come to the fourth kingdom and that is Rome.
How do we know that because Rome follows Greece in history and the stress again is on strength. The Greek Empire lasted only a little under 200 years, the Medo Persian Empire lasted about the same amount of time somewhere near 100 BC, give or take 50 years. It's really hard to say exactly what started Rome became empowered by the way, Rome was never even heard of before, that they emerged out of nowhere to rule the world and the Roman Empire. Believe it or not even went further than Alexander's conquests. Incredible Rome was to legs. You know that Rome existed in a divided state didn't.
It was the Eastern Roman Empire in the Western Roman Empire.
Now Daniel says it will hasten to conclusion that the fourth kingdom. Verse 40 shall be strong as iron strong as iron. By the way, in Daniel's day iron was believed to be the strongest metal in Rome. No question was the strongest empire the world is ever known. Babbling lasted 70 years Medo Persia lasted around 200. The Greek Empire lasted around 200. The Roman Empire lasted 500 years in the West and all the way to 1453 until Constantinople was knocked off in the East.
That's a long time. No Empire even comes close. They were strong. He goes on to say, for example, it break the thin pieces it subdues.
He says it break. If all these it breaks in pieces and it bruises all of those terms refer to a smashing crushing shattering power of Rome. In fact, the verb break us in the Aramaic means to crush with a hammer and loophole the Bible scholar says, quote the Roman legions were noted for their ability to crush all resistance with an iron heel. There's apparently little that is constructive in the program of this Empire in spite of Roman law and Roman roads and civilization because the destructive work outweighed all else, for we have the double verb crush and demolish at the end of verse 40 Roman Empire came to crush and demolish. By the way, the legs of the longest part of the image in the Roman Empire lasted the longest given who wrote the famous fall of the Roman Empire said this, the Empire of the Romans filled the world and when the Empire fell into the hands of a single person. The world became a safe and dreary prison for his enemies to resist was fatal and it was impossible to fly." Gibbons says. The Romans ruled the world you know why the Romans lasted so long because they ruled with an iron rod.
There were strong. The iron regions of Rome or the final world power in the image. As you can see folks. Rome is the last world Empire say women gotta be more to this Rome passed away long time ago over. There's more to the privacy you have gotten to the toes.
Yet in the toes are not iron but iron mixed with what Clay what is at Telus know what I believe it tells us. I believe that we're going to see a return of the ancient Roman Empire Robert Culver writes two millennia ago.
Rome gave the world the ecumenical unity that the league of Nations and the United Nations organizations have sought to revive in our time but are the revivals of the ancient Roman ideal that never since the time of Augustine. Caesar has been wholly lost. It is probable that the Pax Romana, the Roman piece the piece of a well ordered prison with plenty of iron gates steel doors train guards in high walls is still the best the world will ever achieve till Jesus, the history of the world is reaching its climax is no question about that.
Listen, can America survive candy were succumbing listen were succumbing already to the deadly inexorable, inevitable, unchangeable deterioration of man.
Our people are selfish and their selfishness will self-destruct. Alexander Tyler said it from bondage to spiritual faith from spiritual faith to great courage from courage to liberty from liberty to abundance from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy were somewhere in there right now.
Then from apathy to dependence and were asking for that from dependency back to bondage in somebody else will rise from our ashes and start the cycle all over again. How will it end. That's for next spring father, thank you again for fascinating truth that your word reveals less every heart here. Lord we think of the words of Blessed Peter, who said, seeing that you know all these things shall come to pass. What manner of persons ought you to be. If we know the history is winding down, but the image of man's dominion in the world is a precarious image balanced on feet of clay top-heavy to be crushed and smashed by a stone cut out without hands to blow away as dust. Oh God, we would not be a part of that system, we would not want to be a part of what shall fail and die. We want to be a part of the living kingdom of Jesus Christ and so Lord, we would pray for those tonight. You might not know Christ. They might step out of the deteriorating process of sin where the gold of man is turning to dust and into the kingdom of God where he takes the dust of yard and turns it into Google touch each heart. Father with how we should respond. Give us a sense of urgency to reach the multitudes around us were caught in this terrible cycle.
May we be able to touch their lives for Christ whose name we pray. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. John's been our featured speaker for over five decades.
He's also Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary is current series is showing you how the book of Daniel predicted the rise and fall of world powers. Will John as we think about the ebb and flow of history.
It's hard not to look the other direction to the future and wonder where things are headed. But how much value is there in thinking about what's coming down the road. Well, I think the value is summed up in what the Bible says he that has this hope in him purifies himself what the Scripture is saying is when you know the Jesus is coming and you know that he says my reward is with me to give you every man according as his work shall be, you know the Lord is going to show up and you're going to be going to be evaluated whether your life is wood hay and stubble or gold silver and precious stones, and on that basis are to be given an eternal reward. I think that accountability is very very important. Also, when you know you're going to see face-to-face. The one who gave his life for you the one who loved you and died for you and the one who sent his Holy Spirit to live in you. Your love and affection for Christ as a motivating effect on your life. So yeah II think the second coming is the believers motivation to a holy life because we have to have that kind of accountability. I used to think about what happened in school when I was in elementary school when the teacher left the room and it was chaos until you heard the feet heading toward the door and everybody dove back into the desk and it it's kind of that we we need to have that accountability with one we love and the one who will come to reward us and to evaluate our love. At his return. I think we need to know not only that he's coming but I think we need to know everything possible about his coming and the most full presentation of the elements of his coming is the book of Revelation and a number of years ago I I decided I would teach the entire book of Revelation. In one message and I went for an hour and 1/2 and out of touch. It was called a jet tour through revelation. We went through the entire book based on the it begins. Blessed is he who reads and understands this book so since it can be understood and we are blessed if we do, we went through that jet tour high-altitude panoramic view of Revelation. We have an in a booklet it's available free to anyone who asks you will understand the flow and impact of the book of Revelation and details about the coming of our Lord Jesus.
That's right and friend to make sure you're not missing out on life-changing truth found in the Bible's final book, request a free copy of John's booklet called a jet tour through revelation when you contact us today. Call 855 grace or go to GT Y.org if you have questions about the tribulation, the Antichrist, or what Christ's second coming will mean for the church and for the world. This book and give you the biblical answers you're looking for the title again a jet tour through revelation will send it to you for free. Just call for your copy today 855 or go to our website.
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I'm Phil Johnson encouraging you to be here tomorrow when John continues his study on biblical prophecy and the future of the world. Join us for another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on race to