The Kingdom That Lasts Forever
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Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Image © Pacific Press from GoodSalt.com

Daniel 2:1-48 is a prophecy that assures us God’s Kingdom is coming, and that it is coming soon. But that is not all it teaches. It also shows us the character of the people who make up God’s kingdom.

When the wise men could not tell Nebuchadnezzar his dream, Nebuchadnezzar ordered all the wise men to be killed, and that included Daniel. When they went for Daniel this was the first he had heard about it, and asked for time to tell the king his dream. When God showed Daniel the same dream the king had, notice Daniel’s response.

Then Daniel went in to see Arioch, whom the king had ordered to execute the wise men of Babylon. Daniel said to him, “Don’t kill the wise men. Take me to the king, and I will tell him the meaning of his dream.” Daniel 2:24 NLT

If I had been Daniel my first reaction would probably be to just get myself down to the king, tell him the dream and save my own neck! Not Daniel. His first reaction was to save the other wise men who were actually phony wise men. And so it is, that the wicked will never know how much they owe to the righteous for all the blessings they receive.

Remember when the disciples were with Jesus on that boat in the storm? They pleaded for Jesus to calm the storm and He did. When Jesus calmed the storm He did not just calm it for the disciples’ little boat. All the boats on the water in that storm enjoyed the peace and calm that the disciples requested.

It reminds me of a parable Jesus told about someone needing bread.

 “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.” Luke 11:5-8 NLT

The lesson here is not about persistence only. Jesus is telling us that God blesses our prayers when we are seeking to be a blessing to others. The person in the story is not just asking for bread for himself. He is asking for bread to share with his friend. The disciples’ request on the stormy sea secured safety for everyone. Not just themselves. Likewise Daniel’s prayer not only saved his life. It saved the lives of all the wicked wise men too.

Now I wonder to myself. I realize these are Babylonian wise men, and it was actually the Persian leaders who had Daniel thrown in the Lions’ den, but is it possible that some of those men could possibly be some of the same men Daniel saved in Daniel 2? If so, then it shows us how God cares for us, even when we make ourselves vulnerable in caring for others.

Either way Daniel was being selfless in his prayer life and attitude towards others. His first concern was the wise men and not just saving his own neck. A careful Bible study of the image Nebuchadnezzar saw, teaches us several things about the kingdom of God. It teaches us that while other nations rise and fall, that the kingdom of God will never fall. It is the only thing that is sure to last for ever. Spain won the world cup in 2010 but this year has already been eliminated. Fame and fortune is fleeting in this world. Even though the men tried to kill Daniel he was the lone survivor. Likewise while people try to destroy God’s kingdom, it is the only kingdom which endures forever.

 Those who are righteous will be long remembered. Psalms 112:6 NLT

Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor. The wicked will see this and be infuriated. They will grind their teeth in anger; they will slink away, their hopes thwarted. Psalms 112:9-10 NLT

Daniel 2 also teaches us that we are living in the days of the toes. The next event in this prophecy is the coming of God’s kingdom, and we can be sure, that just as accurately as every other kingdom in this prophecy has come and gone, that God’s kingdom is surely coming and will never end.

Just as importantly as the accuracy of the prediction about the nearness of the kingdom is the description of those who make up the kingdom. All who make up the kingdom of God will be like Daniel. People whose first thoughts, even in the face of death, is for the welfare of others and not just their own. People who have a prayer life that seeks to bless others and not just themselves. Those are the people who make up the kingdom that will last forever.

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The Kingdom That Lasts Forever — 17 Comments

  1. Well said William, I enjoy reading your post for they are well balanced.
    Thank you for taking the time to share I for one definitely appreciate them.

    Like(14)
  2. It is by faith that we believe that there will be no more sin and death in the new earth,yet all the inhabitants will once again be free moral agents with God's moral law in existence not to convict this time but to guide the redeemed into eternal obedience
    A parallel exists between the two mysteries,,how sin was conceived in the mind of a holy angel in a Holy place in heaven and how assuredly the bible gives no room for sin in yet another perfect environment''THE NEW EARTH''with all inhabitants free moral agents,, below is the science of God's moral character in us to ensure we are at no fault with the law of God for eternity as the redeemed in the new eternal kingdom envisaged..

    In Jeremiah 31:28-31,,God writes in our minds and our hearts his law so that his remembrance is eternal,,so that His moral character found in His law is engraved onto our mind(our brains,,conscience) for every decision making,our hearts(hearts,cardiovascular system)for constant supply/reminder of His moral wealth in the soul temple and wired in the genetic make up of the redeemed so that by faith we claim His righteousness and thereby no sin ever be conceived in the mind and perfect universe to come,,

    Blessings

    Like(8)
  3. As a side note to your thesis William. Do you think Elijah understood the concept you have presented here when he had the 400 prophets of Baal executed?

    What do suppose would have happened if after he demonstrated who the real God was he had let the prophets live but to charge them as Joshua charged the children of Israel, "Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD" (Jos 24:14-15 NKJV).

    Like(2)
    • Tyler, You raise an interesting point. Your reference to Elijah does have bearing on William's thesis. First question: Why did Elijah call for the 400 prophets of Baal, and after setting them up for failure destroyed them all; but did not call for the 450 prophets of Asherah, Jezebel's prophets of her god? Elijah's fear and depressive discouragement in fleeing from Jezebel's life-threatening resolve is revealing. EGW points out that Elijah was not able to complete his ministry as a result of losing faith; but God completed his work in his faithful servant, and took him to Heaven. God obviously had no plans for saving any of the 850 prophets of idolatry, in view of habitual refusal to listen to His Word.

      Note the initial response of Daniel, especially in verse 18:

      16 So Daniel went in and asked the king to give him time, that he might tell the king the interpretation. 17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the decision known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, 18 that they might seek mercies from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions might not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of heaven.

      The difference in Verse 24 indicates Daniel's expanding understanding of the will of God: That God's revelation gives opportunity to all for repentance, including both the pagan idol worshiping King Neb, and his "wise men" Chaldean sorcerers. The chances are that many of these sorcerers witnessed the continued revelation of God to King Neb, and with the King made full surrender to become children of God.

      When successor King Bel (carrying the name of his god) succeeded in reversing his grandfather's holy influence, not even knowing of the existence of Daniel and his God, Isaiah's prophecy of Babylon's oppression of God's people must have sealed the doom of both Bel and his Chaldean sorcerers, all restored to full demon worship. Then came the Persians as God's heavy hand of judgment against Chaldean control of Babylonia

      Like(1)
  4. Interesting observation Tyler. lets remember that Daniel was in a pagan nation and the wise men were not threats to the "church." Elijah was in what was suppose to be God's chosen nation or "church" at that time, and the Baal worshipers were a threat to God's "church." The lesson here is threats must be dealt with in the church.

    Like(5)
    • I agree and must also point out the most important fact; the men in Daniel's day had not just seen the fire from heaven burn up the offering, alter and water in response to a simple prayer, and all this after 3 1/2 years of no rain as Elijah has prophesied in the name of God. Also, there had been an agreement that the "winner" of the contest would be acknowledged as the True God of Israel. In the face of this, there is no evidence that the men destroyed had repented of deceiving the people.

      The men in Babylon were going to see God's power revealed in marvelous ways and only then would they be accountable.

      Like(1)
      • Brother Earnhardt, I really liked this and shared it with many people.

        I must disagree though, that Elijah showed us how to deal with threats in the church.
        Elijah should never have killed the 400.

        This is also part of the reason he ran away. If God had wanted to kill the 400, they'd have all died in the fire that came down. In so doing, he missed an opportunity to have these same men carry the news back to their own families. He also, i think, did not portray God in the best light.

        God had a better way, and I believe this is what he tried to show Elijah with the still small voice when he hid in the cleft.

        That is what Elisha learned in 2 Kings 6:

        ----------------
        21 Now when the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?”

        22 But he answered, “You shall not kill them. Would you kill those whom you have taken captive with your sword and your bow? Set food and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” 23 Then he prepared a great feast for them; and after they ate and drank, he sent them away and they went to their master. So the bands of Syrian raiders came no more into the land of Israel.
        -----------------

        Like(2)
        • Andrew, Elijah stood and witnessed the effort of the false prophets to deceive the people on Carmel. These men had endured the drought and knew why it had come, yet held to their determined rebellion against God to the very end. But I would point out above this the lack of reproof from God for taking the lives of those men. We also have no repentance from Elijah concerning this order, while acting as the servant of God in such an hour. Also no objection from Ahab or the people. No one questioned the execution order in the light of what they had witnessed and by God's intervention, these deceivers were now unmasked.

          We can only accept truth that is clearly defined in God's word and not try to explain beyond inspiration without evidence. Some things we just leave in the hands of God and move on.

          None of the other examples you cite are of equal magnitude. The soldiers were obeying a higher command, while the prophets of Baal were practicing deception and teaching lies, deceiving even the king himself, and understood perfectly what they were choosing to do. Baal was not real and they knew it, yet they acted as if he was and told others he was...etc.

          The captain of the 50 who humbled himself before the servant of God was spared. God was guiding Elijah, who acted according to God's will, until his exhaustion from the day's events led him to lose faith at hallow Jezebel's threat.

          Like(0)
  5. William, and Tyler, great thoughts both. William, it seems you are suggesting we ought to be more tolerant, loving, and mindful of those sinners in the world than those in the church. I think you are right. Jesus spent more time with the prostitutes and the drinkers and gluttons in friendship and ministry, while having stern rebukes to those in the 'church', the lawyers, the scribes, and the Pharisees.
    The 'threat' aspect I think is quite apt.

    Like(1)
    • When we are in the church, we represent Christ to the world and when we falsely represent him we do untold damage. I wish that you were cold or hot but because you are neither I will spit you out. Hot on fire for the Lord and Cold outside the church.

      Like(0)
      • Gina, well spoken.
        In referring to Laodicea, you are ascertaining the SDA belief that we today are that church. Are we willing to own the description, given by God Himself:
        15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked....."
        1. Lukewarm - but think we are hot
        2. Self-deception through false self-reflection
        3. Wretched - but think we have it together
        4. Miserable - both poles of ill feeling and mean spirited
        5. Poor - but think we have plenty and set for life and eternity
        6. Blind - can't evaluate ourselves, can't evaluate others
        7. Naked - indecent exposure or prostitution

        So do I listen to what our leaders say of the church today; or do I listen to what God says about our church today?

        I listened to one President: He poured praises the people he invited. Then he poured out his plans with obvious rigor of self-praise. Then he prayed, before he presented the Word: "And now God, come and join us.
        Well said indeed. Where was God while He was waiting for the invite? And where was God when all the accolades were being handed out, and none planned or intuitively recalled for Him?

        So then what is the world seeing when we open our doors and our mouths, according to God's description; and as the President evidences? Seems more like we need to pray for our deliverance, even before we offer eye salve and oil for other persons, who actually see what we are like, unlike the "blind" who believes "I see" (me).

        Like(0)
    • Brendan, Isn't it true that Jesus spent most of His time with those who chose to follow Him, calling them His Disciples and teaching them lessons of the Kingdom, while modeling then assigning Practicum experience in evangelism? And additionally He loved to spend time with those that He saved and who truly appreciated His saving grace, calling them His friends (like the family over in Bethany)?

      In ministry, He asked us to follow His lead: First, those in Jerusalem and Judea, then to the populace of the fullest extension of the corridors of sin.
      It turned out like this: Apostle James - Pastor of the Church in Jerusalem; Apostle Paul and Evangelist Saul - Church planting among the gentiles; Apostle Paul - Regular supportive correspondence and yearly sometimes prolonged revival services and support for the Churches he raised up.

      Like(0)
  6. Like what you said William as Christ church we must not for get Christ came to his own but they receive Him not but to many as receive him He promise eternal life I remember reading that in my bible.

    Like(1)
  7. i wish if God iz to give us the spirit that was in Daniel, in real life it iz very difficult to save or pray for threats in our lives

    Like(0)
  8. ... And the second is like the first , love your neighbor as you love yourselves. upon these two commandments hangs all the law and the prophets.

    God bless you William, thanks for sharing

    Like(1)

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