Millennium series #2: The background to the kingdom
The words of Dan 2:44-45 indicates the historical context in which the millennial kingdom of Christ is set up on the earth. There is a specific point in time in view. Just as history records the dates of Nebuchadnezzar’s Alexander’s Caesar’s kingdoms etc there is a specific point in time when these things will occur. There is a clear revelation in Scripture of the political, military, and specially spiritual climate that will prevail in the earth as the Saviour comes to reign.
I THE RISE OF ANTICHRIST’S TEN KINGDOM CONFEDERACY.
This empire is in place as the Kingdom is inaugurated. Cp Dan 2:41-44.
The background to the kingdom is one of deepening apostasy. Cp 2Thess 2:1-3, 1Tim 4:1, 2Tim 3:1ff.
Political developments in the Roman Empire. From a Biblical perspective that empire remains in existence until the time of Christ’s return. It is regarded as the fourth and final great Gentile empire. As the kingdom of Christ on earth is set up, the Roman Empire has reached its final phase as represented by the ten toes of Daniel 2. This ten-fold kingdom is represented by the ten horns of Dan 7:7, Rev 13:1, 17:3, 12-17. A political empire without internal cohesion or strength is in view. It must be borne in mind that this confederacy embraces all of the Roman world, both east and west. It will of course include the nation of Israel. Such a entity has yet to emerge.
The emergence of the man of sin. It is from this political entity that Antichrist appears. Cp Daniel 7:8, 8:9, 9:26-27, 11:21 (31), 2Thess 2:8. He epitomizes and personifies apostasy. He is the devil’s Christ and declares himself to be God, 2Thess 2:4. He represents the pinnacle of man’s rebellion against God. He is the completing touch to the image/idol of Daniel 2.
The great tribulation period. Cp Dan 7:21-22, Matt 24:15-21, Rev 13:13-17. Many are unclear about what this expression refers to. It is not the foretaste of wrath that God directs against the wicked in the last days of Antichrist’s kingdom. It is rather, Antichrist’s persecution of the nation of Israel and of the true church, neither of which—for different reasons—will accede to his demands to worship him.
In the light of these considerations it will be seen that the kingdom of Christ comes into existence in the most unlikely and unfavourable circumstances! It is in defiance of every natural indication, event and trend. As far as the wicked are concerned it is an event entirely unexpected and confidently dismissed from the mind. Cp 1Thess 5:1-4.
Other messages in this series can be seen here.