“And in the days of these kings shall the God 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 (Daniel 2:44).”
This subject has been so frequently discussed, both through the columns of our paper and otherwise, that we have no new light to give, nor do we intend now to attempt a general explanation of the text. We propose only to attend to the special inquiries of our friend, and if we can help his mind on the points embraced in his inquiry, we shall be most happy to do so.
The great image which Nebuchadnezzar had seen in his vision Daniel, by inspiration, interpreted to represent four successive forms of government, or the four great empires which should succeed each other, filling up the space of time from the date of that vision, as we believe, until the present time. The Chaldeans, then existing, were the head of gold, but soon to be reduced by the Medes and Persians, which were the breast and arms of silver. Its belly and thighs of brass represented the Grecian government, which followed. His legs of iron denoted the Roman empire, in its original strength; and the mixture of iron and clay extending the Roman government to its extremities of feet and toes, partly strong and partly weak, by divisions and revolutions divided into ten kingdoms, embracing the rise and fall of the Papal anti-christ, whose last vestige of temporal power became extinct, in exact fulfillment of prophecy, in 1866, or last year.
The kings, in the days of whom the God of heaven would set up his kingdom, may include all from Nebuchadnezzar to the present time, for the prophecy does not limit the time of the setting up of that kingdom, only that it should be in the days of these kings. But the fulfillment of the prophecy shows that it was in the time of the Roman power, and in the days of the Caesars, that God set up his kingdom. The kingdom to be set up by the God of heaven, in distinction from all earthly kingdoms, and which, unlike these four great empires, should not pass from one dynasty to another, but remain forever under the government of him whose “throne is for ever and ever (Psalm 45:6; Hebrews 1:8)” is beyond a doubt the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. The days of these kings have terminated, and no other kingdom of the kind has been set up. This kingdom was at hand when John came preaching and baptizing; it was delivered from the wrath and dominion of the law when Christ arose from the dead; and it was set up and organized when Christ came in all the glory of his Father and ascended his Mediatorial throne, with his apostles setting on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. This occurred on the day of Pentecost. But this kingdom is not a visible kingdom to any but those who are born again.
April 15, 1867.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 6
Pages 472 – 473