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The Relevance of Prophecy
In our day Bible prophecy has become irrelevant in the eyes of many. Man believes he already has all the answers through science and human intellect. Many think the Bible is just a book of old tales drummed up by bored old men who call themselves prophets, teachers, and apostles. Is this the case? Is the Bible just a book of old stories?
Agnostics and atheists today are ruled by an egotistical spirit and they will not believe in a supernatural being who created the universe. Many want to take the Bible out of all facets of modern life because they believe it is just “another book composed of tall tales.”
One has to wonder why there is such an animosity against the Bible by so-called “learned people” today. Could it be that many choose to believe science over Yahweh simply because they don’t want to evaluate themselves by the Word of Yahweh? Maybe they are afraid of what they might find. It’s like avoiding the doctor because it might mean an adverse prognosis of their health. By not going to the doctor they somehow think a potential illness will just go away.
Prophecy proves the Bible. The surety of prophecy gives one a sense of stability in an otherwise unstable world. Prophecy makes the Bible come alive, it makes one step back and say, “Wow, what I just saw on the 10:00 news is right here prophesied in the Book of Revelation!” How could men thousands of years ago write about the calamities we see today? How did they know Persia was going to fall to Greece? How did they know Jerusalem was going to be a hotbed in the latter days? How did they know men would journey to outer space? The prophet Obadiah tells us just that: “Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith Yahweh” 1:4.
How did these men know these prophecies? Did they just make some extremely good guesses? Or were they given divine inspiration? Why do many leading archaeologists today use the Bible to find hidden, ancient ruins? I’ll tell you why. The Bible is not just a book of stories, it is a book of knowledge about mankind by the Maker of man himself. It is a user’s manual for the human race. It is a shame more people don’t apply Scripture to their lives. We would live in a much better world if that were the case.
One of the most important prophecies for our time is found in the Book of Daniel, chapter 2. We see a Babylonian king who has some inspiration of his own. He dreams a very strange dream in which a statue of himself is before him when it suddenly is crushed by a rock. He is distressed because no man in Babylon is able to describe or interpret the dream. Very upset, the king orders all the wise men, astrologers, magicians and wise men of the land to die. Daniel hears this, tells his three companions Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah about the King’s decree. They all pray to Yahweh to intervene, so their lives would be spared. Yahweh blesses Daniel and his companions and gives Daniel the essence of the dream and it’s interpretation in a night vision. Daniel then confronts King Nebuchadnezzar.
Very eagerly the king asks Daniel to explain what he saw. He tells Nebuchadnezzar that there is a Mighty One in heaven Who reveals such secrets. Daniel 2:31 reads: “Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
|32: This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,33: His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.34: Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
35: Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
36: This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
37: Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the Elohim of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
38: And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
39: And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
40: And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
41: And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
42: And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
43: And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
44: And in the days of these kings shall the Mighty One of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
45: Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; Yahweh hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
46: Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odors unto him.”
In this article we are focusing specifically on verses 41-43 because everything before this point in the chapter has already been fulfilled.
Where are the Toes?
Verse 41 says, “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.“
What do the 10 toes represent? The most popular belief held by Christians today is that these toes represent a Europeanconfederacy or EU. This belief is backed by Rome‘s historical possession of Jerusalem for 666 years starting from the battle of Actium in 31 B.C.E. until C.E. 636. The belief is that Rome (Europe) is the only country of the four mentioned by way of the statue that has trodden down Jerusalem utterly.
We find some problems with this belief, however.
At last count there were14 nations in the EU with more planning to join. This statue does not have 14-plus toes!
We see these toes do not adhere well, being made of an iron-clay mix. They do not get along, so to speak. Yet we do not see any vast problems among and between European nations today. In fact they get along quite well, and even have their own currency, the Euro dollar.
The country of Israel is a power once again. Jerusalem is again a flourishing city, it has not been “utterly” destroyed.
So if not Europe, what do these toes represent?
Bible prophecy always centers on the Middle East, Israel and Jerusalem. Could these 10 toes be 10 nations surrounding Israel? Let’s let scripture answer that question. We need to find some cross- reference in the Bible dealing with this description in verse 41.
We can find that scripture in the 83rd chapter of Psalms. This important Psalm tells us that the enemies are confederate against “Thy People” and want to “cut them off from being a nation,” verse 4. The avowed purpose of many Arabs is to destroy Israel. Witness the many wars throughout history, and the recent wars in 60s and 70s that were attempts to do just that. Even in Desert Storm Iraq launched missiles against Israel.
“1: Keep not thou silence, O Elohim: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O El.
2: For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
3: They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.
4: They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
5: For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:
6: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
7: Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8: Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot.
9: Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison:
10: Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth.
11: Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna:
12: Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of Yahweh in possession.
13: O my Elohim, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind.
14: As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire;
15: So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.
16: Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O YAHWEH.
17: Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:
18: That men may know that thou, whose name alone is YAHWEH, art the most high over all the earth.” (Psalm 83).
Verses 6-8 speak of 10 nations surrounding Israel. Some scholars have defined these territories this way:
Edom =southern Jordan
The “children of Lot” in verse 8 equates historically to the Jordanians and Yemenites.
They Are Not Cohesive
Notice again verses 41-43 of Daniel 2:
“41. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
42. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
43. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.”
The prophecy goes to great lengths to point out an important fact: These 10 toes (nations) are not cohesive. They do not get along. We know that the Middle Eastern nations are always fighting amongst themselves, they are indeed “broken” on most issues. The key here is iron. What is that iron? It is this iron that makes them “partly” strong. Let’s again refer back Psalm 83, verses 3-5.
“3. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.
4. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
5. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee.
“The nations surrounding Israel have one thing in common with their Arab neighbors—their mutual hatred of Israel. Notice again verse 5: “They are consulted together with ONE consent: they are confederate against thee.” It is precisely this dislike for Israel that unites an otherwise weak and divided coalition.
We can see that Daniel chapter 2 goes hand–in–hand with Psalm 83. As you watch and read world news, notice the problems surrounding Israel and Jerusalem. The Middle East nations are indeed confederate against her (Israel).
We cannot draw absolute conclusions about the identity of these nations, but what we are saying is, watch the Middle East and keep an open mind. Bible prophecy has many variables, and one can easily be deceived by falling in with popular interpretations. If we are looking in the wrong place for prophecy fulfillment…Satan may take us by surprise!
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