Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
The Statue and the Stone of Israel
"But as for me, this secret has not been revealed to me because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but for our sakes who make known the interpretation to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart" (Daniel 2:30, NKJV).
by John D. Keyser
Some people scoff at the intense interest given to end-time prophecies. When the year 2000 rolled around, many people stocked up on food and weapons and were ready to head into the wilderness. They were on edge and fearful -- and rightfully so! We live in terrible times. Think about the social, moral, and economic problems that face people today. Over 65 million people have contracted the AIDS virus (about 25 million having died from it), and about 5 million are being added yearly to the total. That's one issue that makes the world a little tense. Terrorism is another, as recent headlines testify to. And people feel insecure when they hear about tampering with the genetic makeup of plants and animals, or violating the structure of atoms. And since roughly half of all marriages end in divorce and growing numbers of couples don't even bother making a commitment to stay together, people tend to worry about the future of society.
The reality is, there never has been a time like this. Even when a nation or empire was in decline, or verging on moral collapse, there was always another society standing by, ready to take over when it fell. This is the only time in over 4,000 years that a global civilization and a global culture have been within man's reach. Within a generation, the whole earth could very likely be united in a federation of governments, much like the European Union is today. And many people fear that when this coming civilization falls, as we currently see in the European Union, it's going to take everything down with it.
So there are good reasons why men are looking to Bible prophecies for direction. People want to have something secure and unchanging to put their confidence in. The world is mutating much too fast for them to keep up, and they have no assurance that most of the changes are for the better. They want to know how it's all going to turn out, and they've heard that the prophets in the Bible have been right. Haven't many of their predictions already come true?
The Fall of the Statue
The prophet Daniel is a good example of a man whose words are trustworthy. 2,600 years ago, he interpreted a dream for a Babylonian king. The focus of the dream was a huge statue with a gold head, a chest and arms of silver, a bronze belly, iron legs, and feet and toes of iron mixed with clay. From this dream he predicted a succession of empires which would dominate the earth. And history has proven him right. The Babylonian, Median, Persian, and Islamic Empires followed one another, corresponding exactly to the statue -- especially the legs of iron -- which depicted the two ideological branches of the Islamic Empire (Daniel 2:36-40). (See our article, Islam and Daniel's Four Kingdoms).
As for the feet and toes of iron mixed with clay, many scholars have imagined that this would be a revival of the Roman Empire in a modified form. However, since the last part of Daniel's statue represents the Islamic Empire, the toes themselves represent ten Islamic nations that will rise to the forefront at the time of the end -- see Psalm 83.
It was easy to see how the recent movement known as the "Arab Spring" would eventually bring about the feet of iron mixed with clay, ending with ten iron-and-clay toes (Daniel 2:41-43). Even now, Satanic forces are at work to unify all the Arab nations for the purpose of making them a dominant political force in the world. When the ten nations of Psalm 83 reach fruition, the governments of the world will be amazed and alarmed at the new world order.
The phrase "iron mixed with clay" is clearly defined in Daniel 2:43, as follows: "You saw iron mixed with common clay; that means: they shall intermingle with the offspring of men, but shall not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay" (Tanakh). We see this today in the spread of Islam around the world -- there is hardly a country left that does not have an Islamic component to its population. While these activist Muslims "intermingle" with the citizens of these countries, they do not form a bond or "hold together" with them. This has been highlighted recently by the comments of British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel regarding the assimilation of the Muslim elements in Britain and Europe.
This mixture of iron and clay will resolve itself into a federation of ten nations that will array themselves against the future Kingdom of Israel. Many people -- even within Christianity -- see this much about Daniel's predictions. What they do not understand, however, is the end of this vision.
The Mystery of the Stone
In the dream, a stone was mysteriously being hewn out of a huge mountain. Without human hands it was chipped away, little by little, until it broke free and plummeted toward the statue, striking it on the feet. The iron and clay mixture shattered, and the entire statue fell to the ground and disintegrated. Then a mighty wind came up, blowing away the dust, until no trace was left of the once-mighty statue. Only the stone remained. Then, amazingly, that stone grew into a huge mountain that filled the earth.
The fifth-century theologian Augustine claimed that this stone was the Roman Catholic Church, and that it had already become the mountain that filled the whole earth (Augustine, in Answer to the Letters of Petilian, Book 2, Chapter 38, paragraph 90). What Augustine failed to consider, however, was that the Catholic Church had not removed very much of the pagan Roman Empire, but was instead preserving it. The past history of the Catholic Church -- with its pogroms and inquisitions that murdered millions of people during its time in power -- speaks volumes that it could not, in the wildest realms of imagination, be the prophesied Kingdom of YEHOVAH God on this earth!
Daniel made it clear that the stone is not merely a religion, but also a kingdom (Daniel 2:44-45). And it is not just any kingdom, but the Kingdom which YEHOVAH God of heaven will set up in the days of "those kings" -- the ten kings and kingdoms that will form out of the "Arab Spring" represented by the toes of the statue and predicted in Psalm 83. This can only happen at one time in history -- the last days of this age. Obviously so, because when the Stone Kingdom falls on the statue's toes, it brings this age to an end.
The relentless progress toward power, political unity and religious domination that is now driving the Islamic Arab world shows that we are clearly in the beginning stages of that federation of kings. Once again, Daniel's interpretation of the dream is proving trustworthy. So we must also be living at the time when YEHOVAH God is preparing the stone that is being cut out of the mountain of the world of Israel.
Daniel said that this Stone Kingdom will not be left for another people. It will endure forever because it is completely separate from the society of the end times and is made up of resurrected Israelite individuals who dedicated themselves to YEHOVAH's way of life. This is the meaning of the stone being cut out of the mountain. Those who make up this kingdom are hewn out of the world of Israel, not by human effort, but by the divine act of YEHOVAH God sharing His holy spirit with them.
Many groups are forming today, taking their cues from such prophecies as Daniel and the book of Revelation. They are taking steps to isolate themselves from the corruption they see in society, and even to arm themselves for a conflict with what they believe to be an emerging one-world order. The FBI estimates that there are hundreds of such private armies in the United States alone. These survivalist groups think that by stockpiling weapons and supplies, they can make it through the collapse of the present society and take over. But what they do not see is that, contrary to prophecy, they are trying to cut themselves out of the mountain with human hands.
Such alternative societies are based on reactions to the current culture, hatred of other races or religions, and even insane plans to force a confrontation with the "antichrist government." But their efforts will prove to be futile. Those who are subversive will be surrounded and disarmed, or perhaps even destroyed. And others will be assimilated back into society -- as many have been already. A movement based on mere reactions to moral decline will not stand. Subversive or reactionary groups cannot overthrow the current order because they are still connected to its source. They are still controlled by the same spirits that control the society that they are reacting to. The whole world lies in the power of the evil one (I John 5:19). So the only society that will be able to endure is one that comes out from under the control of the evil spiritual forces that work in the unseen realm.
This is how the Stone Kingdom will bring an end to the kingdoms of this world -- not through subversive activity against those kingdoms, but through overcoming the evil spiritual forces that control them. Those of Israel in the Stone Kingdom have been given power over the unclean spirits that stir up fear and hatred and greed and pride and every kind of selfish desire and self-centered thought.
The Radical Solution to Sin
The Stone Kingdom does something truly radical. It lays the axe to the root that has caused the downfall of every civilization since the beginning. That root is human nature. Human nature can be defined as vanity, lust and greed toward self -- and as jealousy, envy, hostility and resentment of authority against others. The Bible defines it as follows: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked...." (Jeremiah 17:9) -- and "...the carnal [natural] mind is enmity [hostile] against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7). At the re-gathering of physical Israel YEHOVAH God states:
"...I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a NEW SPIRIT within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put MY SPIRIT within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them" (Ezekiel 36:24-27).
We shall never have real utopia on earth until human nature is changed, and that human nature -- assisted by Satan and his spiritual realm -- is the cause of all this world's evils. Although man cannot change his human nature, YEHOVAH God can -- and will! This is exactly what YEHOVAH God is going to do when He returns to this earth and rules from Jerusalem. Those of Israel who choose to follow the King of this kingdom choose to put self to death. This is called repenting. When they repent, their King lavishes on them His holy spirit. Then we read in Revelation 20 that Satan will be bound for 1,000 years and no longer able to influence mankind:
"He [an angel] laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished" (Revelation 20:2-3).
With human nature changed and Satan's influence removed, the prophet Isaiah predicted that the tribes of Jacob will be a light to the nations, and will carry YEHOVAH's truth to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 49:6).
As the restored tribes of Jacob live in obedience to the commands of YEHOVAH God and the Messiah, they will demonstrate the life that Israel was always meant to live. They will exhibit a culture that does not come from the world around them and is not a reaction to it. Their way of doing business, their art and music, and the festivals that celebrate their dependence on their Creator will be given to them from YEHOVAH's throne in Jerusalem and will have a radically different quality from the culture that surrounds them (Colossians 2:16-17). Every part of their life will be focused toward the goal of being worthy to be under the rule of the Stone Kingdom.
These tribes of Jacob will be standing on an unshakable foundation. The God of heaven will give them a way of life that does not pass away, a way of life that can be passed on from generation to generation. Even their obedience to the divine command that Israel should let their land rest one year out of every seven (Leviticus 25:1-10) -- a command which Israel of old never obeyed (II Chronicles 36:21) -- will prepare them to live a life that overflows with abundance. "I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations" (Ezekiel 36:29-30).
While the physical aspect of this kingdom will take the form of the restored tribes of Jacob, those ruling over them will be the resurrected Israelite saints of YEHOVAH God -- Daniel's Stone Kingdom. "...on whomever this stone falls it will scatter him like dust" (Matthew 21:43-44). This is a clear reference to Daniel's prophecy. The Stone Kingdom will be raised up in this age like a stone cut out of the mountain without hands.
This then is the message of the prophets for the end times. Daniel, Isaiah, and Yeshua the Messiah all point to the one life, the one culture, the one kingdom that will survive. If men derive any other message from the prophets and use it as an excuse for pursuing a course of their own invention, their plans will perish. It does not matter if they react militantly against the governments of this world or try to influence and dominate those governments, their agenda will perish. Only those whose life is based on the spirit of YEHOVAH God, who live the demonstration of the coming age, will endure. Whoever is truly looking to the prophets for direction -- for a way out of the destruction and corruption of today -- will only find it in this unshakable kingdom (Hebrews 12:28-29).
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!
Hope of Israel Ministries
|Scan with your