This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all–you are this head of gold. But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold–the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure. (Daniel 2:36-45)
A Kingdom That Will Stand Forever
Nebuchadnezzar was king of the most powerful nation on earth. Babylon would rule for a short time but its influence would last for centuries to come. The great Babylonian nation was used by the Lord to punish His people for their disobedience and through the power of God Nebuchadnezzar became a conduit of the scheme of redemption for all men. A Gentile king, He was the son and successor of Nabopolassar, the founder of the Babylonian empire. In the year 586 B.C., the city of Jerusalem and the Temple were laid waste by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar. Many captives were taken to Babylon including Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; young men that would form the stories of the book of Daniel.
Not long after the arrival of Daniel and his friends, King Nebuchadnezzar had a terrible dream. Troubled by this dream he demanded his wise men to explain the dream but they must also tell him the dream. No one could tell the dream and the king in his fury began killing the wise men. Hearing of the decree, Daniel implored the king to give him time to seek an answer from the Lord. He went home and prayed with his three friends and the Lord revealed the dream and its meaning to Daniel. The king had dreamed of a great image who head was fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. Suddenly a stone was cut without hands that struck the image on its feet and broke them in pieces. The stone destroyed all the parts of the image pulverizing it into dust. When it was finished, the stone became a great mountain that filled the whole earth.
Daniel explained to the king that his dream showed four kingdoms. The head of fine gold represented the Babylonian empire. The kingdoms that came after were the Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman Empires. Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed of the events leading up to a day when a powerful kingdom would be established that would never be destroyed. History records the four nations coming in succession with each nation greater than the preceding one. During the days of the final kingdom, the Roman Empire, Jesus came to build His church. The fullness of time came in the days of the final kingdom. Luke records the establishment of the kingdom of God on the Day of Pentecost. The New Testament declares the nature of the kingdom and church of the Lord as without end and will never be destroyed. The four kingdoms of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream have all vanished from the face of the earth but the kingdom of God remains – two thousand years – and the kingdom of God will never be destroyed.
The church and the kingdom are one. Jesus built His church as the kingdom of His Father. There will never be a nation that will have the dominion as the Roman Empire enjoyed. No people, religion or nation will cover the earth with the influence as the kingdom of God. There is no force, no power, no kingdom or nation that rules the hearts of men as the gospel of Jesus Christ. It will never be conquered and it will never be destroyed. As King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ is the sole authority over all men. Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Catholicism, atheist, agnostics, amoral, immoral, political, or Satan himself will never destroy the kingdom of God. It will stand forever. It is the stone cut without hands that destroys all nations and is the mountain of God filling the earth. Praise God for His great power. Thank God for His kingdom. The church of Christ is the glory of God forever. It will not be shaken.