Yesterday we spoke about the coming calamity for the US (and by extension the world) and why God is allowing it. This is a spiritual perspective. To get a financial perspective, read the Coming Storm or for more information, sign up for the newsletter. Nebuchadnezzar’s first dream sheds even more light on these times for believers. Why are the western world and the western Church falling apart today? What’s next for us? Let’s look at the dream:
29 “As you were lying there, O king, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen. 30 As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than other living men, but so that you, O king, may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.
31 “You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. 34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.
36 “This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. 37 You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; 38 in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.
39 “After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. 40 Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. 41 Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. 42 As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.
44 “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 45 This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.
“The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy.” (Daniel 2:29-45)
Let’s start with the explanation of these kingdoms from my Archeological NIV Bible. I didn’t have any special revelation about the two kingdoms in between Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon and the last kingdom, so I’ll go with their explanation and simply supply it as to not have gaps. They give a reasonable explanation that the Kingdom of silver was Media and Persia, the Kingdom of bronze was Greece, and the Kingdom of Iron and Clay was the Roman empire. They give compelling intellectual reasons for this that seem reasonable, but again, I received no insight on this and don’t feel it’s important at the moment.
The focus of discussion is the ending of the kingdom of iron and clay and the beginning of the kingdom that will never end. Let’s say that the kingdom of iron and clay was Rome. This empire was the birthplace of Christ and the church. The church grew throughout the empire until the empire became a “Christian” one. Of course, when this happened, the Church of God, as participated in by men in their hearts and understanding (not in Spiritual Reality), became a mixture. The Church became mixed with the governments of men. This has carried on ever since. Although there was a reformation in the Church and many of the ways that were seen as pagan were thrown off, many more were kept. The Church continued to be a mixture. The old mixture has not stayed united and “will be crushed by this new Kingdom and brought to an end.”
This church age is ending and His Kingdom age is beginning. Of course, the Kingdom began two thousand years ago and has been steadily increasing throughout the world ever since, but our western world has been dominated by a church age that has been largely the product of Man’s machinations. It was not bad, and is what was called for in the season, but this age is over. As Daniel states, the old kingdoms will come to an end. A new age is dawning that will have no end. We are in the birthing pains of this time. It will be messy and painful, but God is doing a new thing in the world.
Just as the world will look totally different, the church structure that we’ve always known will look totally different. Again, I don’t know exactly how things will look in the natural. My guess is the following: many churches today are continuing to go directly against the will of God and choosing their own way; I would expect this to continue. I’m guessing there will probably be “churches” calling themselves Christians who are lined up directly against the actual Body of Christ and with others working unknowingly on behalf of the enemy. I would guess many more will simply fall apart and be no more.
Think about it, when people are hurting really bad financially and worried about eating, do you really think they will continue to go to a church building or congregation where they have never experienced the living God working in their lives? Why would they? Many who call themselves Christians today will no longer do so in the coming years. One downside of this will be that our country will probably become more and more antagonistic to Christianity and to biblical values.
However, I see this actually as mostly good news for the Church. I don’t believe it’s healthy for someone who is not actually saved to go around thinking they are, meanwhile believing they know what it means to be in Christ, while not having a clue what it means. I think it’s far better for someone to not count themselves as a “Christian”, if they in fact are not truly one anyway, so that they and the rest of society are more likely to be confronted by the difference between the body of Christ and those of “the world.” In many countries, and in the early Church, this difference was stark and people come to know the Lord at incredible rates when this line is drawn. In our society, there is a tremendous gray area of people who call themselves Christians, but live completely according to the world. These are disadvantaged eternally because they believe they are something they are not, and the other members of society do not have a clear and compelling picture of the Gospel because of the muddy waters.
The Body functions well when it is unified in Christ. In this coming season, many of the pretensions and religiosity of the past will fall away. The Church will be made new as a living breathing Kingdom. It will not be about the famous preachers, but nameless and faceless “little ones” who love the Lord. He does not need powerful men to do His work. However, He does desire to grow up sons whom He can teach His business and use to bless others to join and grow up in His family. This close knit family culture will be paramount in the coming times. Those who can stay focused on Christ and His Kingdom while chaos reigns in the natural world will be grown up as never before imagined by any of us today. He will raise up sons in His Image and in His Likeness. Of course, it will be messy. We’ll get into more of what this will look like tomorrow.
Photo credit: UltraONEs
This post is Part 3 in the series The Coming Storm Daniel Revelation. You can continue with this series by clicking on Pt 4. To gain more insight about this coming storm, you can read more about it here and in Pt 1 and Pt 2.