But the stone which had struck the statue grew into a huge mountain that filled the whole earth. Dan 2:35b
You remember the dream of Nebuchadnezzar. If you don’t, go, grab your bible, and read chapter 2 of the book of Daniel. If you don’t, the same might happen to you that Nebbi threatened to do to the wise men of his kingdom. And you will never know what it was if you don’t read the story. Now that is a wonderful trap.
So, now that we are all on the same level and know the dream I speak about, let’s dive into its implications for our days, will we?
Four consecutive kingdoms in the area of Babel that all still had influence, and more or less still do today.
Babel is in todays Irak, and just get a newspaper to see that the area is still influential today. In addition, they had lasting influence in medicine and law. But most of all, Judaism, as lived in Jesus’ time, had its roots in a marriage of biblical teachings and babylonian religion.
The Medes and the Persians, the second, silver kingdom, actually founded the tradition of written state laws that even the king, or in todays terms, the government has to submit to. Before that, the king was pretty much the law – apart of course from Israel, where God instantiated a law many hundred years earlier. But if you read Daniel, you will find that the kings of the medo persian empire could not take back a decree they had set into law.
The ancient Greek influence in philosophy and science today is without question, as well as the Roman, an empire that lived on in the catholic church and whose language is used in scientific and professional languages reaching from medicine all the way to floristics.
But there is a fifth kingdom, represented in a stone cut from a rock and growing, grinding the former kingdoms to powder and at the end filling the earth as it itself became a mountain.
There is no doubt that this rock is Jesus Christ.
Mountains are in all cultures believed to be the seats of gods. Just think of the greco-roman gods seated on the mountain Olymp.
And then, the garden in Genesis also was seated on a mountain, as we can derive from the fact that a river originated from there, later splitting into four arms and going into all the earth. Another pointer is the sword and the two angels guarding the entrance in the east after the fall, as there was no other way into the garden.
The mountain in Daniel’s dream – I attribute it to him, even though it was the king’s, but his name is so complicated – is the Kingdom of God. And Jesus did not regard it as loss to leave it and come down to earth – the stone that was cut from the mountain.
We know that Jesus is called the cornerstone, and he called himself the rock that the church will be built upon. We are, as the church, his body, with him being the head. Together we are the anointed one, Christ. The rock growing is Jesus with his body, the church, and it will grow, put away the babylonian, medo-persian, greco-roman influence and finally fill all the earth.
In the dream, the rock grows steadily. No slow start with an interrupt and sudden, explosive, earth-filling growth.
Looking into the past, we see that Paul testified to the steady growth of the Gospel, until everybody in the known world of the time had heard it. One of the signs Jesus foretold as necessary for the end of the age. Fulfilled in Paul’s time, before the destruction of the temple and the end of the Jewish age, or the age of the old covenant.
Since then, the Gospel has been furthered around the earth – with setbacks at times – and still is growing in influence. The fastest growing churches are in Afghanistan and Iran today. Or look at South Korea with a humming and vibrant Christian population of 30%, that was thought impenetrable just a few decades ago.
Steady growth. For me, that does not leave much room for a future of doom and gloom.
The mountain of the church will be the biggest mountain of the earth, the most important thing, the place where God will live.
But never trust just one verse in the bible. Look for witnesses.
And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. Isa 2:2
I would say, we just established a truth.
The latter days follow – and this is no science – the former. There seem to be two ages.
The first age we saw a minute ago – the Jewish age, or the age up to and of the old covenant. It’s last days started with the birth of Jesus, right through his ministry, death and resurrection, the birth of the church, and the destruction of the elements of the old covenant, mainly animal sacrifices and the temple.
The second age, the latter days, started right then. It is the age of the church establishing the Kingdom of God on earth. It’s battle cry: “Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven!” It’s assignment: to grow the garden from within and let the river flow into all the earth. Multiply and subdue the earth. Bring it into rest, as there still is rest available for the people of God.
Why then expect a future of doom and gloom?
Well, look around. It’s an age of war and hunger, and bad things abound.
At the time of king David, about 20% of human kind alive died of a premature death through war or murder. During the time of the Roman empire it was about 8%. And last century, a century with two world wars and lots of conflicts and wars in addition? Just think of the Russian revolution, for example, or China’s. In that century, only 1% of mankind died a cruel death caused by war and such.
On the other hand, the time between Jesus’ death and the destruction of the temple was rife with both wars and conflicts as well as natural disasters.
Again, why expect a time of gloom and doom?
I rather concentrate on the church becoming the greatest thing on the face of the earth. And you?