This vision is recorded to give understanding of the purpose of God for the latter days, v28. Cp 1Cor 10:11. Taken as a whole, this revelation encompasses the height of human power, dominance, rule and splendour over long ages from Nebuchadnezzar to the end of the age. All of that must submit to the purpose of God and to the kingdom which He will inaugurate in the earth.
I SOME PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
Any reference to the kingdom of God must be carefully analysed and defined for there are a number of ways in which the kingdom of God is considered. It is important not to confuse them!
- The Sovereign rule of the Creator over His creation. Cp Ps 103:19. In this sense, His kingdom includes all men, saints and sinners. The earth is the domain of the devil to some degree, and wicked men live in open defiance of God’s rule. Cp Eph 2:2. Yet all of these actions are subject to this rule.
- His rule over the affairs of the nation of Israel. OT Israel was in a narrower sense the kingdom of God. Cp 2Chron 9:8, Is 44:6, John 1:46, Matt 8:12. Again this includes saints and sinners. This view of the kingdom of God has historic, present and future implications for the nation of Israel.
- A spiritual or gospel kingdom. This is the kingdom entered by regeneration, Jn 3:3, 5; including OT and NT saints, both Jew and Gentile. Cp Luke 17:21, Matt 8:11.
- A future, natural manifestation of the kingdom of God in the earth. Cp Luke 19:12, 15, Dan 7:9-14, Matt 16:28. It is this aspect of the kingdom that is under review in Daniel 2.
II WHEN THIS KINGDOM WILL BE SET UP.
- The days of the ten kings, v44. Even within the terms of the information given in this chapter, these kings/kingdoms are the final phase of the Roman empire. That empire, in terms of Biblical prophecy, is considered as existing in various phases right until the return of Christ. They are presented in Chapter 7 and 8 as being the political/military empire of the Antichrist. They appear again in Rev 13:1, 17:12-14. Such a political arrangement encompassing both ‘legs’ of the Roman earth does not at present exist. But it must exist prior to the return of Christ.
- When the One represented by the stone comes. This is a picture of the Saviour. Cp Matt 21:42-44. It is a reference to his return. This is clear from the representation of the Roman Empire in the vision. The stone appears after the division of that empire into two parts represented by the two legs of iron. That division occurred around 284 AD. This stone is not the first advent of Christ and the spread of the gospel to the world as some insist.
- The end. The vision is specifically related to the latter days, v28. It is the final chapter of human history on earth. Nothing will succeed or replace this kingdom in the government of the earth, v44. See 1Cor 15:22-26.
III WHO WILL SET THIS KINGDOM UP.
- The God of Heaven. Cp v44, 45, 47. This kingdom is founded as the result of the direct intervention of God in the affairs of men. Note the significance of the expression without hands, v45. It will not be human endeavor that will establish this kingdom or shape its development.
- The role of the stone. It is very important to notice the description of this stone. It is cut out of a mountain and becomes a mountain. A mountain is seen here as a figure of the government/rule exercised by a king/kingdom, v44-45. Cp Jer 51:25. This is a derivative/aspect/expression of government that becomes the government of the earth.
IV WHERE IT WILL BE SET UP.
- In the territory of the ten kings. It will replace the rule of these kings. The focus is on the Roman earth. There can be no question about the fact that this kingdom will be on the earth. Cp Rev 5:10.
- It will extend to the whole earth. Cp Rev 11:15, Ps 2:7-8, Is 11:9.
Cp Jer 23:5-6, Is 42:4.
Other messages in this series can be seen here.