Merritt Seventh-day Adventist Church

Prophecy Part LIII

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We concluded last week's column with the ten toes of iron and clay that don't mix. Today I want to look at the image the king saw and Daniel's meaning.

The head of gold represented Babylon and the king Nebuchadnezzar the golden empire of a golden age.

The images arms and breast of silver represented the next empire. In 538 BC the Persians under Cyrus beat the Babylonians and took the empire. The Persians liked silver and they even wanted their taxes paid in silver.

The images belly and thighs of brass represented the Greeks which took the empire from the Persians in about 331 BC. The Greeks had shields of brass, helmets and swords of brass. As the army marched they were a sight of beauty with the brass glistening in the sun.

The legs of iron in 168 BC Rome beat the Greeks and became the Roman empire. The iron of Rome was hard. When Rome took over a country they all became slaves and could only become Roman citizens by buying citizenship. At one time there were 3 slaves to one free man in Rome. God allowed this so in the time of Jesus and the early church the gospel could go from one country to another without interference for everything was Rome.

In the years form 300 through 400 A.D. were rocked by internal strife and at the end of 400 Rome had broke up into 10 countries as the 10 toes. By 538 through war, three were taken over so seven were left. In the book of Revelation we read of seven heads and 10 horns speaking of the Roman empire.

Ambitious men had visions of a united Europe and in 800 A.D. Someone tried and failed. In 1200 Louis of France tried and failed. In about 1500 the Moslems tried invading from the east and also from north Africa into Spain and they failed. In 1700 Napoleon of France gave in a good try but failed. Then Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany had visions of being the head of a European empire and he failed. Lastly Hitler from Germany gave it a good try. There was fear that he would make it but God had said “No” and all of these ambitious men shed much blood in Europe fighting the forewords of the prophecy “they shall not cleave.”

He mentions mingling with the seed of men. At the time of world war I several of the big countries of Europe had intermarried and were related through Queen Victoria. Her husband was a German but this made no difference.

Hitler came the closest to success. He had Europe fairly well under his control. I remember the announcement on the radio the morning after France fell, one of the bigger, stronger nations of Europe. It fell 17 days after being invaded and the world suddenly felt insecure.

Now the might of the German war machine was turned to the one toe of the image left of the Roman empire, England. England now felt the sting of the German power and it almost seemed unthinkable they could last. In those bad days of England a man from America, his name Maxwell, a minister of the Seventh Day Adventist church, to which I also belong, was from England (but had lived in America for a number of years) went to England to help encourage the church there. The church met in a room in London below ground for fear of bombs which were a constant threat at that time. What would be the subject of his sermon? It was Daniel 2 just what we are looking at. The great image that the king had seen and Daniel's interpretation.

When he came to the toes and saw how accurately the prophecy had been fulfilled until then he said to his people, “England will not fall. England cannot fall. If England falls that will destroy the prophecy and if we cannot trust this prophecy we cannot trust any. Then, we might as well throw the book, the Bible away for we cannot trust it. So England will not fall!” What courage that gave to those people to see such confidence in God and His word.

God had not forgotten England or the prophecy. Japan hit Pearl Harbour and the US entered the war. Hitler thinking he had England, moved most of his offence and invaded Poland and Russia and we know the outcome. Hitler lost the war and his life.

God's word still stands “They shall not cleave.” The stone that came down and hit the image is the second coming of Jesus. The prophecy has been, so far, exactly fulfilled and so will the rest. The problems of earth today are a sign of the nearness of that last great event. Jesus' invitation, “come unto me and be saved all ye ends of the earth.”