"THE BOOK OF DANIEL" The Kingdom That Shall Never Be Destroyed (2:1-49) INTRODUCTION 1. In Dan 2, we read about Nebuchadnezzar's dream and Daniel's interpretation... a. Nebuchadnezzar challenges his magicians, sorcerers, et al, to tell him both the dream and its interpretation, and they are unable - Dan 2:1-13 b. God reveals the secret of the dream to Daniel in a night vision - Dan 2:14-23 c. Daniel approaches the king and explains that God has made known to him both the dream and its interpretation - Dan 2:24-30 d. Daniel then tells the dream, and gives the interpretation of it, to the amazement of Nebuchadnezzar - Dan 2:31-49 (read) 1) The king had seen a great image a) With head of gold b) With chest and arms of silver c) With belly and thighs of bronze d) With legs of iron, and feet mixed with iron and clay 2) The great image was destroyed by a small stone made without hands a) The image representing the rise and fall of four world empires b) The stone representing a kingdom that God would set up 3) The king praises God, and exalts Daniel along with his three friends 2. There are certainly two key thoughts expressed in this chapter... a. God is a revealer of secrets - Dan 2:19,22,28-29,47 b. God can make known the future and bring it pass - Dan 2:28-29,21 3. But of particular interest to us ought to be the "kingdom" in verse 44... a. Which the God of heaven Himself shall set up b. Which shall never be destroyed, but consume other kingdoms and stand forever 4. Several questions naturally come to mind concerning this "kingdom"... a. When would God set it up? b. Has it been set up as foretold? c. If it has, and if it shall never be destroyed... 1) Where is it now? 2) What is the future of this kingdom? 3) Can we be a part of this indestructible kingdom? [In this lesson, we shall endeavor to provide the answers to these questions. Let's start with the first: When would this "kingdom" be set up...?] I. THE PREPARATION FOR THE INDESTRUCTIBLE KINGDOM A. "IN THE DAYS OF THESE KINGS..." (44) 1. Daniel describes the image as depicting four kingdoms which shall rise and fall 2. The first one is definitely Babylon - Dan 2:37-38 3. With Babylon as the starting point, world history confirms that the next three kingdoms would be: a. The Medo-Persian empire, represented by the chest and arms of silver b. The Grecian empire, represented by the belly and thighs of bronze c. The Roman empire, represented by the legs of iron, with feet mixed with iron and clay 4. Thus one could look for the establishment of the "indestructible kingdom" in the days of the Roman empire B. WHEN "THE TIME IS FULFILLED"... 1. Notice what John the Baptist began preaching during the days of the Roman empire ("the kingdom of heaven is at hand") - Mt 3:1-2 2. Jesus proclaimed this also, adding "the time is fulfilled" - Mk 1:14-15 a. What "time" was fulfilled? b. The time described by Daniel! [So the "indestructible kingdom" was to be set up in the days of the Roman empire. During Roman empire both John and Jesus anticipated its establishment. This leads to our next question: Has it been set up as foretold...?] II. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE INDESTRUCTIBLE KINGDOM A. DURING JESUS' EARTHLY MINISTRY, IT WAS "AT HAND"... 1. This is what both John and Jesus proclaimed - Mt 3:1-2; Mk 1: 14-15 2. Yet after Jesus' death, there were those who were still waiting for the kingdom - e.g., Joseph of Arimathea, Lk 23: 50-51 B. BUT FOLLOWING THE ASCENSION OF JESUS... 1. He is far above all principality, power, might, dominion - Ep1:20-21 2. All has been made subject to Him - 1Pe 3:22 3. He is ruler over the kings of the earth - Re 1:5 4. He rules the nations with a rod of iron - Re 2:26-27 -- He truly has all authority in heaven and on earth! - cf. Mt28:18 C. THIS SUPPORTS WHAT IS REVEALED LATER IN DANIEL... 1. Consider Dan 7:13-14 a. Where one like the Son of Man approaches the Ancient of Days (God) b. And is given dominion, glory, and a kingdom which shall not be destroyed 2. Compare this with Ac 1:9 a. Daniel describes the ascension from a heavenly perspective b. Whereas Luke describes it from an earthly perspective! [It is clear, then, that the King (Jesus) has received a kingdom, that the indestructible kingdom was set up when He returned to heaven! But one might naturally ask: Where is it now? The answer is found when we consider...] III. THE NATURE OF THE INDESTRUCTIBLE KINGDOM A. THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT THIS KINGDOM... 1. It was described by Daniel as a "stone cut...without hands which became a great mountain and filled the whole earth" - Dan 2:34-35 a. "without hands" suggests it is not your ordinary kingdom b. Also, it would start small and then grow larger 2. Compare this with what Jesus taught about the nature of His kingdom a. His kingdom is not of this world - Jn 18:36; cf. Ro 14:17 b. It would start small, and grow to encompass the earth - Mt13:31-33 -- Thus this "indestructible kingdom" would start small, and be spiritual in nature B. THIS KINGDOM THEREFORE INVOLVES THOSE IN THE CHURCH... 1. The Christians at Colosse were in the kingdom - Col 1:12-13 2. Those at Thessalonica likewise - 1Th 2:12 3. Along with the seven churches in Asia - Re 1:6,9 4. Indeed, all Christians receive their part in this "indestructible kingdom" - He 12:28 a. Including us gathered here this day! b. Fulfilling the statement that this kingdom would fill the whole earth! c. For here we are, on the other side of the planet from Jerusalem, yet citizens of this kingdom foretold by Daniel! [Whoever is willing to "repent and believe in the gospel" (Mk 1:15) can be a part of the kingdom Jesus established when He sat down at the right hand of God following His ascension to heaven. This leads us to yet another question: What is the future of this kingdom...?] IV. THE FUTURE OF THIS INDESTRUCTIBLE KINGDOM A. IT WILL LAST FOREVER... 1. As Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar - Dan 2:44 a. "which shall never be destroyed" b. "it shall stand forever" 2. As the writer to the Hebrews stated: "a kingdom which cannot be shaken" - He 12:28 3. As the angel Gabriel spoke to Mary: "of His kingdom there will be no end" - Lk 1:31-33 B. AT CHRIST'S COMING, IT WILL BE DELIVERED TO THE FATHER... 1. As taught by Paul to the Corinthians - 1Co 15:23-26 a. When Christ comes, He shall deliver the kingdom to God the Father, having put an end to all rule, authority and power b. Until then, Christ shall reign until all enemies are placed under His feet, the last enemy being death 2. As Jesus taught in the parable of the tares - Mt 13:40-43 a. At the end of the age, His angels will gather out of the kingdom those that offend and practice lawlessness b. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father CONCLUSION 1. And so this kingdom... a. Foretold by Daniel, proclaimed by John the Baptist and Jesus Himself b. Was begun in the days of the Roman empire, with Christ as its king and His disciples as its citizens 2. It is an indestructible kingdom... a. That continues on, ever growing b. With the hope of a glorious future in eternity 3. But let us not forget the last question raised in our introduction: Can we be a part of this indestructible kingdom? a. Yes! For Jesus and His apostles tell us how 1) We must be born again of water and the Spirit - Jn 3:5; cf. Tit 3:5 2) An allusion to baptism, commanded of penitent believers -
Mt28:19; Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38 b. But beware, some in the kingdom may one day be cast out! 1) As Jesus warned in the parable of the tares - Mt 13:41-43 2) Telling us later of the necessity of an enduring faith - Re 2:10 Therefore, once we have been obedient to the gospel (cf. Ro 6:17-18) we must remain diligent in our faith, if we wish to experience the future glories of "The Kingdom That Shall Never Be Destroyed"!