We have noted that one of the recurring themes of Bible prophecy is that God has a spiritual kingdom which is more powerful than any earthly kingdom. But people invariably lean in favour of political power rather than spiritual power. When his own people, the Children of Israel, asked to have a king, God gave in to their wishes; but he stated that they only wanted a king because they had already turned away from him. (I Samuel 8:4-8) Their spiritual leader, Samuel, told them it was "great wickedness" to be wanting a king. (I Samuel 12:17-19)

One of the world's greatest sociologists, Max Weber, did a monumental study of the various religions of the world, and came to the conclusion that every major religion exists for one purpose, and that is to teach the people to worship their country and their king. Despite all the talk about God, and about other religious matters, there is precious little evidence that any religion has a commitment to truth, love, faith, or God that is stronger than their loyalty to their country. Their talk of God is all a sham.

So it is little wonder that the King of kings… the God of heaven… the Creator of the Universe would be more than a little upset with our stubborn faith in "the arm of flesh" to save and defend us, rather than his transcendent power. And he makes that point abundantly clear in prophecy after prophecy.
A prophecy which illustrates that point, and which gives us some clues toward understanding the final world government that will be set up on earth, is found in Daniel 2:31-45.

The background to the prophecy is that many of the children of Israel had been carried away as captives by the Babylonian Empire. Daniel was one of them; but he managed to get himself a pretty good position working for Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. One night, the king had a dream in which he saw a statue with a head of gold, arms and chest of silver, stomach and thighs of brass, legs of iron, and feet of both iron and clay mixed together. In the dream, a stone came out of nowhere and struck the image on its feet, totally destroying it. Then the little stone grew into a mountain which eventually filled the whole earth. The king felt that the dream was very significant. He wanted Daniel to interpret it.

Daniel said that the statue was of the king himself; but that it also represented four empires that would come after the Babylonian Empire.
We know from history that the Babylonian Empire was followed by the Medo-Persian Empire (an alliance, symbolised by two arms of silver). This was followed by an empire that Daniel said would "bear rule over all the earth", symbolised by the statue's brass stomach and thighs. (Daniel 2:39) History shows that this empire which bore rule over all the earth was the Greek Empire.

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Then there was to be a fourth empire, represented by the legs of the statue, which would be as "strong as iron". (Daniel 2:40) The Roman Empire succeeded the Greek Empire. Like the two legs, the Roman Empire eventually divided into Eastern Europe and Western Europe.

Since the fall of the Roman Empire, there has been no single world government . Like the feet of the statue in the king's dream, the world has been divided between dictatorships (i.e. iron countries) and democracies (i.e. clay countries). In the Twentieth Century the division was between the two superpowers, America (representing the West) and Russia (representing the East).

Daniel made particular mention of the ten toes, and he referred to them as a kingdom in themselves… a kingdom that is "partly strong and partly broken". So far, this empire has not appeared.

When the stone came out of nowhere, it struck the feet of the statue, and in so doing, it destroyed the entire image. Here is an important point that is illustrated by the statue and by a similar prophecy in The Revelation. Although the statue started out as being a statue of King Nebuchadnezzar, it is also a statue of all the succeeding world empires. In the Revelation prophecy, there is a Beast with several different heads. The heads come and go, but the Beast stays the same. Or as one cynical voter put it, "No matter who you vote for, you still end up with a politician!"

So when a humble little stone comes out of nowhere and destroys the last manifestation of the Beast, it effectively destroys all the empires that have preceded it as well.

And what is the little stone? Daniel says that it is a kingdom which has been set up by God himself, a kingdom "which shall never be destroyed. The kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." (Daniel 2:44-45)

This kingdom which is not in any way associated with all the other kingdoms, is nothing less than the "kingdom of heaven" that Jesus Christ spoke of. The kingdom of heaven was the theme of Christ's message from start to finish. He started out by saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" (Matthew 4:17) And he finished up by saying that "This gospel [or good news] of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matthew 24:14)

The gospel that most of the world has heard from the churches is about a kingdom in heaven (that you only go to when you die). This conveniently leaves the door open for them to continue to promote their various political kingdoms here on earth between now and when we die (including a near worship of the kingdom of Israel). But the gospel that Jesus wants preached is one that dares to challenge the right of any kingdom to stop us from serving and obeying God right now.

The kingdom of heaven does not evolve from the other kingdoms (as each successive empire and government has done throughout history). Instead of evolution, it is represented by revolution. Not military revolution, for that, too, would be like trying to destroy the devil by using weapons that we purchase from the devil himself. A true revolution works on truly revolutionary principles. Instead of hitting back, we turn the other cheek. Instead of fighting our enemies, we love them. Instead of trying to be great, we try to serve. Instead of trying to save our lives, we choose to lay them down. Instead of being a Beast, we become meek Lambs.

That is the good news of the kingdom of heaven. And it is a message that has not yet been preached throughout all the world. The King of Babylon missed it. (He went out and had a huge statue made of himself, and ordered the people to bow down to it!) The people missed it in Christ's day. They killed their Messiah. And they are missing it today. This happens because they are looking for an earthly king who will conform to their earthly ideas about power and wealth.

Jesus said to the Jewish leaders, "Did you never read in the scriptures, 'The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner. This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.' Therefore I say to you, The kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits of it. And whoever will fall on this stone shall be broken; but on whomever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." (Matthew 21:42-44)

The stone is the Kingdom and the stone is the King. The stone is Jesus and all that he taught. The empires of man rest on clay by comparison.

Jesus said in another place, "Whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock… and everyone that hears these sayings of mine and does not obey them, shall be likened to a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. The rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, and it fell. Great was the fall of it." (Matthew 7:24-27) The kingdom of heaven is the kingdom that will destroy all the others and last forever.

But is anyone really listening?

Instead, the world moves relentlessly toward the final world government, as people from all parties and all religions are drawn together by their common lack of faith in a real God who is bigger than politics.

You will recall that we earlier mentioned four "beasts" that Daniel saw in a dream. Three were described as recognisable animals (the panther, the bear, and the lion with eagle's wings), but the fourth was quite different from the others. It had iron teeth and brass claws and ten horns on its head. Daniel said of it (7:7), that "it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it."

What Daniel was describing seems to be a unique world government which is based, not on a single king, but on an international alliance between many nations – a world government that does not come through military conquest, but rather through peaceful negotiation and co-operation… a kind of united group of nations!

This final world government worried Daniel. In particular, he was concerned about the ten horns on its head. He says, "I considered the horns and behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things." (Daniel 7:8)

So the ten horns (and the ten toes) appear to represent ten countries or leaders. But this "other little horn" is the real nasty, the ultimate Beast or Antichrist, the world dictator, who comes to power by destroying (or at least silencing) three other countries, leaving a ten-member council to become the new world empire.

Daniel seeks further information about this unusual Beast, and this is what he gets:
"Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron and his nails of brass; which devoured, broke in pieces and stamped the residue with his feet; and of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows."  "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints. He prevailed against them until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." (Daniel 7:19-22)

Note that this final world leader makes war against the saints. Other references to him indicate that he is actually quite popular with the rest of the world. Far from being a monster, he comes across as a saviour… at least at first. True, he has terrible power; but the power is primarily used against one group of individuals… the "saints". Everyone else seems to benefit.

God's angel explained the vision further to Daniel, more or less restating what we have already guessed: "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms and shall devour the whole earth and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. The ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise. Another shall rise after them and he shall be diverse from the first; and he shall subdue three kings. He shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws. And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." (Daniel 7:23-25)

This phrase ("a time and times and the dividing of time") is translated as three and a half years in most modern translations. It is the same phrase that is used for three and a half years (or 42 months, or 1260 days) in The Revelation. This is the period of "great trouble" that is covered in chapters 8-13 of The Revelation.

The dream about the ten toes and the dream about the ten horns both end in much the same way, with God setting up his kingdom and doing away with the systems of man. In the king's dream, he saw a stone strike the statue on its feet and destroy it. In Daniel's dream he says that he saw the Beast "slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame." (Daniel 7:11)

He says, "The judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his [i.e. the evil king's] dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end… And the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom…" (Daniel 7:26-27)

We have here pretty much the basic message of The Revelation and of all prophecy, which is that God's kingdom is eternal, while man's kingdoms are temporary. A very simple message, and yet one that is missed almost universally. People pay lip service to their various concepts of God in weekly religious rituals; but in practice, they look to the systems of man for all that matters in their lives.

*For more information related to this chapter, please check out the following videos: Survivors Chap. #7 - Refugees

Appendix, Chapter 9

1 Samuel 8:4-7. "All the elders of Israel ...came to Samuel, unto Ramah, and said to him, "Behold, you are old, and your sons walk not in your ways. Now, make us a king to judge us like all the nations." But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, "Give us a king to judge us." And Samuel prayed to the Lord. The Lord said to Samuel, "Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them."

1 Samuel 12:17-19. [Samuel said:] "I will call to the Lord and he will send thunder and rain, that you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great which you have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking for a king." So Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel."  And all the people said to Samuel, "Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we die not; for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king."

Daniel 2:31-45. [Daniel said:] "You, Oh King, saw, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before you; and the form of it was terrible. This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. You saw till a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors. The wind carried them away, that no place was found for them. And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You, Oh King, are a king of kings, for the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength and glory. ... You are this head of gold.

After you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you, and another third kingdom of brass which shall bear rule over all the earth. The fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, forasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things. As iron that breaks all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potters' clay and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided. But there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with miry clay. As the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken. And whereas you saw iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men. But they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever."

Daniel 5:28. [Daniel said to King Belshazzar:] "Your kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians."

Daniel 8:20-21. [Gabriel said to Daniel:] "The ram which you saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia. The great horn that is between his eyes is the first king."

Revelation 17:7, 12-14. The angel said, "I will tell you the mystery… of the Beast… which has seven heads and ten horns … The ten horns that you saw are ten kings that have received no kingdom as yet, but receive power as kings one hour with the Beast. They have one mind, and will give their power and strength to the Beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them; for he is the Lord of lords and King of kings. They that are with him are called… and faithful."

1 Peter 2:6. "Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect and precious. He that believes on him will not be confounded." (Note: The word "Babylon" means confounded or confusion.)

Matthew 4:17. From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Matthew 24:14. "This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness… and then will the end come."