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Living in Our Modern-Day Babylon

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INTRODUCTION:
A- Background ()
1 – Nebuchadnezzar had a troubling dream.
2 – Nebuchadnezzar sought answer through normal human wisdom and occult practice.
3 – Nebuchadnezzar reacted with anger and harshness, when it appeared no one could provide the answers he sought.
4 – Through Daniel, God was able to demonstrate his wisdom and power to provide the needed answer.
B- The theme of Daniel () “There is a God in Heaven.”

What can we learn from this dream and its interpretation?

Three key facts to remember about the dream:
1. NEBUCHADNEZZAR’S DREAM WAS TRUE AND INVOLVED FUTURE EVENTS (VS. 28, 45).
1- From then until now, there have been four world powers.
As the statue goes from head to foot: the materials decrease in value, but greater in strength. (moral values compromised in order to get stronger)
a.The Babylonian Empire (626-539 BC) (Nebuchadnzzar)
b. The Medo-Persian Empire (539-331 BC) (Cyrus the Great)
c.
2. NEBUCHADNEZZAR’S DEREAM COVERED THE PROPHETIC PANORAMA OF GENTILE HISTORY FROM HIS REIGN UNTIL THE FORTHCOMING REIGN OF ISRAEL’S MESSIAH.(vs. 29).
*( , [ . refers to “period of the gentiles” = what is in the King’s dream.]}
Luke 21:24 NLT
24 They will be killed by the sword or sent away as captives to all the nations of the world. And Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the period of the Gentiles comes to an end.
3. IN THE CENTURIES THAT FOLLOWED, HISTORY RECORDED THE FULFILLMENT OF EACH PROPHECY.
A- Each portion of the statue represents a world empire.
1- From then until now, there have been four world powers.
As the statue goes from head to foot: the materials decrease in value, but greater in strength. (moral values compromised in order to get stronger)
a. The Babylonian Empire (626-539 BC) (Nebuchadnzzar) ().
Daniel 2:37–38 NLT
37 Your Majesty, you are the greatest of kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and honor. 38 He has made you the ruler over all the inhabited world and has put even the wild animals and birds under your control. You are the head of gold.
b. The Medo-Persian Empire (539-331 BC) (Cyrus the Great) ( )
c.
Daniel 2:39 NLT
39 “But after your kingdom comes to an end, another kingdom, inferior to yours, will rise to take your place. After that kingdom has fallen, yet a third kingdom, represented by bronze, will rise to rule the world.
*(, . ) Prophecy about Cyrus (written 150 years before Cyrus was born!)
Isaiah 44:24–28 NLT
24 This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer and Creator: “I am the Lord, who made all things. I alone stretched out the heavens. Who was with me when I made the earth? 25 I expose the false prophets as liars and make fools of fortune-tellers. I cause the wise to give bad advice, thus proving them to be fools. 26 But I carry out the predictions of my prophets! By them I say to Jerusalem, ‘People will live here again,’ and to the towns of Judah, ‘You will be rebuilt; I will restore all your ruins!’ 27 When I speak to the rivers and say, ‘Dry up!’ they will be dry. 28 When I say of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd,’ he will certainly do as I say. He will command, ‘Rebuild Jerusalem’; he will say, ‘Restore the Temple.’ ”
Isaiah 45:1–4 NLT
1 This is what the Lord says to Cyrus, his anointed one, whose right hand he will empower. Before him, mighty kings will be paralyzed with fear. Their fortress gates will be opened, never to shut again. 2 This is what the Lord says: “I will go before you, Cyrus, and level the mountains. I will smash down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. 3 And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness— secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name. 4 “And why have I called you for this work? Why did I call you by name when you did not know me? It is for the sake of Jacob my servant, Israel my chosen one.
Many Jews would not return home because they prospered in Babylon- became like the Babylonians.)
c. The Grecian/Roman Empire (331- 63 BC). (Alexander the Great) ().
Daniel 2:40 NLT
40 Following that kingdom, there will be a fourth one, as strong as iron. That kingdom will smash and crush all previous empires, just as iron smashes and crushes everything it strikes.
d. The Roman Empire (63 BC - AD 476) (, ).
Two Legs
Ten Toes- Ten-nation confederacy (, ) that will operate jointly at the time of Christ’s return.
Revelation 13:1 NLT
1 Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God.
Revelation 14:12 NLT
12 This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus.
Revelation 13:1 NLT
1 Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God.
Revelation 14:12 NLT
12 This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus.
West: centered in Rome
( Began around Mediteranian and then continued through European kingdoms of Spain France, Portugal, etc, and then to the Western Hemisphere in the Americas.)
East - Centered in Constantinople and became the Byzantine empire
(spread north into Russia, and east into East into east into Persia, Iran and Iraq.
Note: The US and European political systems and legal codes reflects Roman political influence.
German Rulers were called Kaiser and the Russian Rulers were called Czars, both were translated fro Cesars.
2- (, ) () ()
Psalm 118:22 NLT
22 The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.
Daniel 2:34–35 NLT
34 As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits. 35 The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth.
Daniel 2:44–45 NLT
44 “During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever. 45 That is the meaning of the rock cut from the mountain, though not by human hands, that crushed to pieces the statue of iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God was showing the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its meaning is certain.”
Joshua 8:30–31 NLT
30 Then Joshua built an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal. 31 He followed the commands that Moses the Lord’s servant had written in the Book of Instruction: “Make me an altar from stones that are uncut and have not been shaped with iron tools.” Then on the altar they presented burnt offerings and peace offerings to the Lord.
Psalm 118 NLT
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. 2 Let all Israel repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.” 3 Let Aaron’s descendants, the priests, repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.” 4 Let all who fear the Lord repeat: “His faithful love endures forever.” 5 In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free. 6 The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? 7 Yes, the Lord is for me; he will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me. 8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people. 9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. 10 Though hostile nations surrounded me, I destroyed them all with the authority of the Lord. 11 Yes, they surrounded and attacked me, but I destroyed them all with the authority of the Lord. 12 They swarmed around me like bees; they blazed against me like a crackling fire. But I destroyed them all with the authority of the Lord. 13 My enemies did their best to kill me, but the Lord rescued me. 14 The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. 15 Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things! 16 The strong right arm of the Lord is raised in triumph. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things! 17 I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the Lord has done. 18 The Lord has punished me severely, but he did not let me die. 19 Open for me the gates where the righteous enter, and I will go in and thank the Lord. 20 These gates lead to the presence of the Lord, and the godly enter there. 21 I thank you for answering my prayer and giving me victory! 22 The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see. 24 This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Please, Lord, please save us. Please, Lord, please give us success. 26 Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord. 27 The Lord is God, shining upon us. Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar. 28 You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you! 29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
4. The Kingdom of God will fill the whole Earth- literally. ().
* Uncut stone by Human hands refer to fact that God directed it. This is God’s Kingdom that will put an end to the rule of men.
The Hallel () used at time of Passover Meal by the Jews.
(, ) ().
Psalm 118:22–23 NLT
22 The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.
Psalm 118:24–26 NLT
24 This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Please, Lord, please save us. Please, Lord, please give us success. 26 Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord.
1 Peter 2:7 NLT
7 Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him, “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.”

So What does this mean to the world today?

There is a God in heaven who knows all of the secrets that the future holds. ( ).
God has not left us to live our lives in fear about the future, but has given us the message of his gospel and enabled us to see the future with hope. ().
The kingdoms of this world have pursued strength through military might and alliances, but the value of earthly life has continued to deteriorate, compromising true strength. ().
God will establish his kingdom, putting the rule of wicked men to an end forever. ().
The people of God must remain true to him, openly proclaiming his glory, his power, his wisdom, and his salvation, leading unbelievers to respond in faith to him. ().

Now what will you and I do in response?

When the world is reacting in fear and uncertainty, we must choose to respond with a confident faith in our Lord ().
2. When God gives the answer to our prayer and responds to our faith, we must respond to him with thankful hearts ().
3. When the world asks questions, we must provide God’s answers, Even though the nature of the world’s response is uncertain ().
prayer and responds to our faith, we must respond to him with thankful hearts ( – 23).
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