Summary: Part 2 of a series on the prophecies found in the book of Daniel. A look at Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a giant statue.
The Prophecies of Daniel
Part 2: The Colossus Continued
Two weeks ago I laid the foundation for the teaching series that we are in the midst of concerning the prophecies of Daniel. I took the time to show you how important it is to rightly divide the word of truth or another way of saying that is how to handle the Word of God correctly. We need to have a good understanding of the plan of God for the ages if we are going to be able to read a Bible passage and put it in its right context.
This is especially true when it comes to interpreting prophetical passages. Because when we don’t understand who God is talking to, who He is talking about, what dispensation is being spoken of, etc. then we can easily misinterpret what God is saying to us. In fact, that is why there are so many different interpretations of Bible prophecy today.
[And just to refresh your memories, the book of Daniel, is written by a Jew, about the Gentiles, and has absolutely nothing to do with the Church, because the church was a mystery that wasn’t revealed until the New Testament book of Ephesians.]
I told you that Daniel was unique among the prophets of the Old Testament in that he was given visions by God concerning the Gentile kingdoms of the world. Specifically, he prophesied about the period of time called the Times of the Gentiles. The Times of the Gentiles is a specific time period in which the Jews will be stripped of their king and the Gentile nations will rule over them and the whole earth. It began in 606 BC when the Babylonian Empire took that last two Jewish tribes captive. And it will continue until Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation period to set up His earthly kingdom.
I. Brief Review
For this series we are going to be looking specifically at the visions and dreams that are given in Daniel and not at each and every event that is recorded there. We began our study of the prophecies with the second chapter of the book of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a giant statue or Colossus. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, had a troublesome dream one night, but when he awoke from it he could not remember what it was about. None of Nebuchadnezzar’s chief advisors could tell the king what he had dreamed about either or how to interpret the dream. But God gave a young, Jewish boy named Daniel the ability to do so, and even though he was a captive, Daniel saved the lives of many people in the process.
The Colossus that Nebuchadnezzar dreamed about was a visual picture of the Times of the Gentiles. Through the use of various metals and the statue of a man, God was revealing in great detail who would hold sway over the earth from the time of Babylon until the last days when Christ returns to earth.
[I hope you were able to bring your handout of the Statue back with you today. Let’s look at it as I briefly run through the metals and the empires they represented.]
The statue’s head was made of gold and represented the Babylonian Empire, the world Empire that was in power at the time of the giving of the dream. The people of the Babylonian Empire are the ancestors of today’s Iraqis.
The chest and arms of silver represented the next world Empire – the Medo-Persian, which was is sometimes called just the Persian Empire. It was made up of a union of two peoples the Medes (today’s Kurdish people) and the Persians (today’s Iranians). The two arms of the statue exemplify these two peoples.
The Persian Empire was followed by the Grecian Empire under the leadership of Alexander the Great. At his death this kingdom was separated between his four generals, making the Grecian Empire a fourfold kingdom instead of a single one. The brass or bronze of the statue’s belly and thighs represent the Grecian Empire.
The Greeks were followed by the Romans. The iron legs of the Colossus stand for the Roman Empire, which is the Empire that lasted the longest period of time. The two legs show us how the Empire was divided between its eastern and western divisions in 364 AD.
And the last Empire we discussed last week was the one that we can see forming all around us today. It is the Empire of the Last Days represented by the feet of iron and clay. I showed you how the presence of the iron indicated that the influence of the Ancient Roman Empire would be present in this final kingdom. We can see that today because almost all the modern technological countries of the world have governments, economies, culture, etc. that have been influenced by or based upon the structure of the Ancient Roman Empire.