How and When the Kingdom of God Comes
The dream in Daniel Chapter 2 is about world politics as seen from God’s perspective. In simple fashion, the dream presents the progression of governmental systems and their demise at the hands of the Kingdom of God at end of the ages.
In short, the dream provides us insight into how God views political history. The dream in an outline form, maps governmental systems that will succeed each other in history until they are all replaced by a totally different type of government, called the Kingdom of God. The dream’s main focus is on the Stone that represents the Kingdom of God, how this will destroy all types of political systems and itself becomes the sole governing body of the earth.
The Metallic Statue
In the dream, human governmental systems are represented by a statue crafted in the image of man. The statue is made up of various metals, like the head made of gold, the arms and chest made of silver, the belly and loins made of bronze, the legs made of iron, and the feet made of a mixture of iron and clay. On the other hand, the Kingdom of God is represented by a boulder that comes down from a mountain and destroys the statue totally.
The long-standing and universally accepted interpretation of this dream says the various metals which make up the body parts of the statue represent the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman empires, and the Antichrist kingdom, in that order. Since in another essay I have presented a different line of interpretation of the various metals, here I will focus on the Stone that crushes the statue. This is the boulder that rolls down the side of a mountain to overthrow, pulverize, and replace all kinds of governments and later grow itself into a universal kingdom. I will discusses various aspects the rolling Stone in order to show what God is intimating about the Kingdom of God as it is revealed in the last days to become a political force to reckon with.
The Stone Cut Out of a Mountain
Mountains in the Word of God represent kingdoms or center of authority and influence (Ps. 68: 15; Is 2:1; Mich. 4:1; Rev. 17:9). The Stone that crushes the statue is not a stand-alone stone; it is part of a mountain. Since the Stone comes out of a larger or well-established body; figuratively speaking, the Stone is part of the larger economy of God.
The well-established and larger economy of God on the earth is the Church. Since the Stone comes out of mountain; figuratively speaking, can represent a revival movement that starts from the church; or as sometimes happens. it can represent a major prophetic or reformation figure like Moses or Martin Luther, etc.
The lesson from this context is simple. Whatever God does on earth, it comes out of the church. The Church is God's base from which He launches any action related to save the world. Any man or woman God has used to advance God spiritual purposes has come out of the church.
The Stone Is Activated
First it appears that the Stone is self-activated in its rolling down the side of the mountain, rushing towards the statue. But Daniel discloses that actually it is God who activates the Stone, making it roll down the mountain and strike the colossal statue. (Dan. 2:44-45)
The lesson is this: God will initiate a major historical event at the end of the age and what God starts no one can stop. For example, the Church God started on the day of Pentecost went on to conquer the Roman Empire. No one has been able to stop the growth of the church. Its detractors have come and gone; but it still stands, growing every day.
The Stone Rushes!
Obeying the law of motion, the Stone will attain greater speed as it tumbles down the side of the mountain. That means the Stone will keep accelerating and its momentum (i.e., force) reaches the maximum as it strikes the statue. The stone's force (momentum) is implied; its power is observed only in the final result it attains.
When there is a clash of civilizations or governmental powers, God's Word predicts a gathering of speed on the attacking party's side. (cf. 1 Sam. 17:48; Dan. 8: 5-7)
In the last days, God will start a process which will conquer all governmental systems. Since the process is God initiated, the progress of the Stone will be unstoppable. The process will gather speed.
The message here is clear. The closer we get to the manifestation of the Kingdom of God, the tempo of God’s activity will pick up. God has stated that He will accelerate His activities towards their fulfillment in the last days (see Is. 60: 22; Hab. 2:3). For example, visions and prophecies about the Kingdom of God will multiply, and more people will be equipped with divine skills to run government.
The Stone Comes in a Sudden
The Stone comes like an accident. It will come suddenly, unannounced. If the statue represents the world’s governments, they will be taken unawares and overthrown suddenly. The Stone (The Kingdom of God) will come against them without warning.
Just like the statue before the Stone, world governments will become a sitting duck before the Kingdom of God. This idea agrees with the statements Jesus has made about His Coming. His coming will be like a thief in the night, or like a snare. Jesus said the Day will take the world unprepared. (Cf. Mal. 3:1; Matt. 24: 36-40)
Had the world known better, they would likely have taken some preventive action to divert or stop the Stone. Therefore, it is likely that God has made the Stone invisible to the eyes of the world. For example, one way God can do this is when He makes people to see but despise what they see. (Cf. 1 Sam. 17: 41-44; 2 Chr. 36: 16; Is. 53:1; Ps. 118: 22; Luke 17: 22-37)
The Stone Has a Mission
God launches (i.e., activates) the Stone for His grand purpose. God launches the Stone to overcome and smash the kingdoms of the world. Therefore God has charted the course of the Stone, which means that the Stone would never veer off course. The Stone attain its mission only by remaining on course, by moving towards the Statue.
The lesson here is this: Whom God uses in the last days to overthrow the kingdoms of the world will be characterized by a relentless focus. God will keep His agents on course until they attain His objective of setting up the Kingdom on earth.
God's command to His agents will not be much different from what He reminded Joshua never to turn to the right or to the left in the mission God has ordained (Joshua 1: 1-9). God used Joshua to overthrow several Canaanite kingdoms so that He can set up God's government (i.e., theocracy) in the promised land.
The Stone Achieves a Revolution
Once it comes into contact with the Statue, the Stone does not keep moving on; but goes to work right on the spot. It starts the second phase of its mission; it starts grinding the statue to fine dust. The Stone acts like a programmed robot; it is directed to target the set statue (the embodiment of human government).
Later the wind completes what the Stone has started. The wind carries away and scatters the crushed pieces. The “funeral ashes of the late-great-statue” are scattered to the four corners of the earth.
What the Stone in its mission represents is this: The Kingdom of God will appear out of nowhere and overcome all existing forms of human kingdoms. Some of these governments could be quite powerful, being armed with nuclear weapons and commanding armies of millions of men. But the Stone attacks all forms of human government and overcomes all of them. Basically there will be no future for these governments. In that way, for the level of change it achieves in politics, the Stone can be considered a thoroughly revolutionary force, but whose every action is ordained and directed by God. (Is. 41: 25-29; Is. 45: 1-7)
The Global-Power Stone
Once the Stone has crushed the Statue, it keeps growing and grows until its fills the whole earth. That means the kingdom of God will not be limited to a certain place and time. Rather, it will keep expanding to become a universal kingdom whose expansion and authority no one will be able to limit or end. (see Mt. 13: 31-33)
The Stone is organic and dynamic. It grows until its presence fills the earth. Overthrowing the metallic statue was its first mission, but as its expands, its outreach grows from local to global, the Stone enters its second mission. It must universalize its influence. Its reach must be global. If anyone tries to resist its expansion, to hinder its progress, it will be crushed. As Jesus warned whoever contends with the Stone will hurt himself, and anyone who stands in the way of the Stone will be destroyed. Both types of enemies will be destroyed – those whom the Stone decidedly targets, and those who decide to stand against it. (Luk. 20: 18)
The Stone is Eternal
Equally, the Stone is not only growing, but also it is Eternal. That means as a representation of the Kingdom of God, the Stone stands forever. Contrast this with human built empires. None of them lasted more than a few hundred years at most. All the empires that have come before have passed away, including: Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Holy Roman, Arab-Islamic, Ottoman, British, and Soviet Union. All these have declined and subsequently passed away. On the other hand, the kingdom of God, which the saints will inherit, will last forever. The inheritance the saints will receive will not wither, fade, or pass away (1 Pet. 1: 3-4). It will be a kingdom that will never lose its power, glory, or its luster as time passes. However, the kingdom the saints will inherit will never decline or pass away. God guarantees that it will last forever, continuing in vigor and shining in luster. (Is. 9:7)
Glory be to God!
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