Sunday, July 3, 2016

Nebuchadnezzar's Nightmare.

The king's nightmare  was nearly the death of many of his subjects. He couldn't remember it and expected his wise ment to conjure it up and interpret it. They couldn't. Nechadnezzar  wasn't a tolerant ruler. Fortunately Daniel came to their rescue by Yahweh's intervention through  him. 
What was given by God then is still relevant for us to day.

Nebuchadnezzar's vision of the four World Empires outlines the Biblical view of History. The huge statue portrayed  Babylon, then Medes and Persia followed by Greece and climaxing in Rome. The final Empire is seen to break down into ten distinct divisions yet belong to the one idolatrous system. It is interesting to note the degenerating nature of the Empires and their ferocity according to Daniel 7.

The Roman Empire has come and gone, apparently. So how authentic is the vision Daniel interpreted for the king of Babylon? Something must have intervened to forestall the climax when the Stone from Heaven smashes the fourth (and including the previous three) empires. From Ephesians 3 we understand this to be the Church, the Body of Christ.

In the book of Revelation we come face to face with the fourth Empire and its 1o toes. This book actually helps us to understand Daniel’s presentation to Nebuchadnezzar. We tend to separate the empires when in reality they are infused by the one spirit, the one guiding life force and the one aim.  The head is Babylon and whilst the Kingdom state has ceased the ‘head of the Idol’ continues to rule. It is the energising power of the other three empires.

The first mention of Babylon in Scripture is in Genesis 10:8-12 and 11:1-9. Its founder opposed the Lord Yahweh and initiated a religious system diametrically opposed to the character and purposes of the eternal God. It is the occult and has influenced all the anti-Yahweh, anti-Christ, anti-Judeo/Christian Scriptures across history. The Bible at the appropriate time unveiled the animating power of Babylon. Isaiah 14:12-14. It is Lucifer, the one known as the Devil, Satan and the Serpent.

It is the longing of the Babylonian spirit to rule. It is its desire to occupy the land Yahweh has described as His own. It is the underlying reason for all the effort by Gentile nations to claim the holy mount Zion and raise a statue called in Revelation 13:14-15 ‘the image of the Beast.’ At present such a scenario painted by John is held in check. This is the teaching Paul stressed in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 which in turn is preceded by 1Thessalonians 4:13-18.

Whenever that happens the final week [0f years] as foreseen by Daniel (9:24-27. 12:1-11) is about to begin. What he didn’t explain the apostle John detailed! In Daniel the demolishing force is described as ‘the stone cut from the mountain without hands’ is revealed in Revelation as Jesus. He is the Warrior Lord, the Lord of Hosts. He and He alone has the power and the authority to overthrow the spirit of Babylon. By the breath of His mouth Jesus prevails. By His presence returning to His land, Israel, His mount, Zion, the kingdoms portrayed in the idol are shattered and scattered into eternity’s dust. He comes to fulfil His promise to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David. He comes to vindicate the Covenant of God with the nation of Israel. Amos 3:2 declares that ‘you [Israel] only have I known of all the families of the earth…’ (Psalm 147:19-20). He comes and then Scripture will be fulfilled which says every creature and all creation will bow before Him and through Him render praise to the Father!

When that takes place the promised 5th kingdom begins. It is the Kingdom of God on earth. The number 5 is significant. For that number speaks of God’s grace shown to humanity. The redeemed across history are appointed a place in the promised 5th kingdom. He who is the Son of God and Son of Man, King of Israel and Head of the Church is our Redeemer. We should be thankful to king Nebuchadnezzar for his nightmare as it laid a foundation for us to understand God’s sovereignty in and over history.

© Ray Hawkins July 2016.

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