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with them, but it will be found as of old a very brittle and uncertain affair, and of a very temporary nature.
THE INTERPRETATION Thou, O king, art a king of kings, for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory, and wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven hath he given into thine hand and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold, and after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass which shall bear rule over all the earth. 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."
The Feet and Toes of the Image “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes of potter's 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 the miry clay.
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. 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.”
Now the peculiar feature of this image is the clay element, called "miry clay.” The house of Israel is represented at the judgment of the latter days, as potter's clay, and as potters tread clay, so is this clay to be trodden by the Assyrian, or king of the north. And therefore the Lord says by Isaiah, "I have raised up one from the north and he shall come, from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name, and he shall come upon princes (the princes of the rebellious house of Israel) as upon mortar, and as the potter treadeth clay.” They came from the northeast, and are therefore called in the Revelation, “ kings of the east,” or the east wind" elsewhere, and they come upon the Israelitish clay as upon mortar, for that, as Isaiah says, is a day of treading down, and crying to the mountains (“saying to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the wrath of him that sitteth upon the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb ").
Again, the children of Israel confess that they are clay, saying, “But now, O Lord, thou art our father, we are the clay and thou our potter, and we all are the work of thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquities for ever” (Isa. 64: 8-12). This is said at a time when their holy cities are reduced to a wilderness, and Zion is a wilderness, and Jerusalem a desolation, and when their holy and beautiful house where their fathers praised the Lord is burned up with fire, because of their wickedness. We will cite another Scripture to confirm the fact that the clay element is the people of Israel in that day. The Lord said to the prophet Jeremiah, "Arise and go down to the
, potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter's house, and behold, he wrought a work upon the wheels, and the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter, so he made it again another vessel as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, 0 house of Israel, at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up and pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil ways, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them; and at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom to build and to plant it, if it do evil in my sight that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good wherewith I said I would benefit them.
"Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I frame evil against you; return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways good. And they said, There is no hope, but we will walk after our own doings, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart. Therefore thus saith the Lord, Ask ye now among the heathen, Who hath heard such things? The virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing. Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon, which cometh from the rock of the field, or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forgotten ? because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths in a way. not cast up, to make their land desolate and a perpetual hissing, every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and wag his head. I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will show them the back, and not the face in the day of their calamity.”
This parable and prophecy refers unmistakably to the day of Israel's trouble in the latter days, called by Jesus also a time of trouble such as never was, no nor ever shall be.” And this and other Scriptures, as well as the image, point out the house of Israel as clay to be fashioned and moulded as God, their potter, sees fit at the judgment, because of all their doings.
Again as iron does not mix with clay, so the people of Israel do not readily blend with the Gentiles, and all covenants that have been made with them have soon been broken, because it was forbidden; and the covenant that they will make in the latter days with the nations who compose and make up this great image will soon be disannulled, and they, together with the nations that they mingle with, will be ground to powder, as Jesus taught them in the parable, saying, “Upon whomsoever this stone shall fall, it will grind him to powder ” (Matt. 21:44). '
Again it is said in the interpretation (verse 43), “And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they (the children of Israel) shall mingle themselves with the seed of men."
This passage is unmistakable in its meaning, for Jesus said, "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” Not that there is anything wrong in marrying or giving in marriage, because marriage is honorable and was instituted by God himself. But when we refer to the Scripture annals as to what transpired before the flood, we find that it is written, “And it came to pass when men began to multiply upon the earth and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and they took them wives of all which they chose.”
And what was the result? The Lord said, "My spirit shall not always strive with men, for that he also is flesh; yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years." The antediluvian world was divided into two classes of men, as distinct as Jew and Gentile; namely the vagabond posterity of Cain, simply called men, and the posterity of Seth, who was born and took the place of Abel, whom Cain slew, whose posterity were called the sons of God. And when the sons of God had so far apostatized and corrupted God's way upon the earth that they began to mingle indiscriminately with the vagabond posterity of the godless Cainites, to eat and drink with them, and to marry and give in marriage with them, there was no more hope, and God destroyed them with a flood. So it will be when the stone falls upon the image; they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men, intermarry among the Gentiles, and worship their gods, until the stone of Israel falls upon them and grinds them to powder with the unbelieving nations which forget God.
The Toes of the Image The ten toes of the image are the same as the ten horns of the beast in Daniel's vision, and of the beast and the dragon of the Revelation. And they consist chiefly of those little nations who dwelled as squatters on the outskirts of Israel's land that the Lord gave his people by deed of covenant, but which the house of Israel never occupied but in part, for they early showed signs of revolt and traits of a rebellious character; therefore the Lord left these nations as thorns and briers in their sides. And the Lord speaks of them as "his evil neighbors, which touch the inheritance," by the hand of Jeremiah, saying, "Thus saith the Lord, against all mine evil neighbors that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people of Israel to inherit. Behold I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. And it shall come to pass after that I have plucked them out, I will return and have compassion, and I will bring them again every man to his inheritance, and every man to his land. And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to sware by my name, The Lord liveth, as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then shall they be built in the midst of my people. But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck and destroy that nation, saith the Lord” (Jer. 12: 14-17).
The Stone of Israel And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth ” (verse 35). This is interpreted as follows:
“And in the days of these kings (that compose this great confederation of nations), 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 forever" (that is, for a thousand years, which fills the cycle forever).
The kingdom of God which is elsewhere called " the new heavens and new
earth," as it will be visible to men and the nations of the earth in the flesh, will consist of the remnant of Israel who, though few in numbers at the beginning, consisting chiefly of the hundred and forty and four thousand, will soon be reinforced by a multitude from among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, and peoples, who, for the truth's sake in the dark and cloudy day were driven out of their own country by the evil shepherds of Israel, and who will speedily return to their own land after the wicked are consumed out of the earth, and who are spoken of in the Revelation as follows: "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
This multitude of refugees will add to the numbers whom the Lord will have spared in Israel in the day of his anger. The Man Child, one of David's descendants according to the flesh, will reign over them and will also rule the nations with a rod of iron. And although this people will be small at first, they will soon become great, even as the Lord himself says by the mouth of Isaiah the prophet (Isa. 60: 22), “A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation, I the Lord will hasten it in his time.” And in this same chapter (verse 12) the Lord says of this people, “The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall utterly perish, yea those nations shall be utterly wasted."
This nation will for the last time rebuild the Temple and re-establish the service of the sanctuary according to the plans and specifications that the Lord by his angel furnished to the Prophet Ezekiel, as they are found recorded in the end of his book. This house will then constitute a house of prayer for all nations, when “they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered into it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem; neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart (Jer. 3 : 15-18).
While this visible condition of things will exist in the earth among mortal men, Jew and Gentile, Christ and his brethren, having been made perfect by resurrection or translation, will constitute a kingdom invisible to men in the flesh, seen only by immortal men like themselves; as Jesus said to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” That is, a mortal man has no power in himself to see immortal men as angels, but his eyes may be opened so that he may see their persons.
Christ will reign as the Lord God of Israel in the holy of holies in the Temple, in the thick darkness, where he will “reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before his ancients gloriously,” while his brethren, immortal like himself, will reign with him, and run to and fro throughout all the earth, as the eyes of the Lord, beholding the evil and the good, and causing God's will to be done in the earth, as it is done in heaven. Christ and his body will constitute an angelic and invisible body of people, called "the third heaven" to which is accorded no earth. There is the first heaven and the first earth, and the second heaven and the second earth, but the third heaven hath no earth connected with it. They compose the heaven of heavens, or in other figurative language, “the waters which be above the heavens.”
(Verse 45) "Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it break in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold, the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter, and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure." And again Daniel said to the king, “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut without hands, which smote the image upon his feet, that were of iron and clay. 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 threshing floors."
The important point which I wish to call attention to here, is the fact that when the image is destroyed by the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, at that time the image is complete in all its parts and stands erect upon its feet, when its brightness is excellent, and the form thereof terrible. Then all its different parts are broken to pieces together. This did rot occur in the former days, because then there was but one section of the image in existence at a time; one passed away as the other came in its place. But in the latter days the image will be complete in all its parts at the time when it will be destroyed. That is, all the nations dwelling upon the lands occupied by those mighty empires of the olden time, and much more, will be organized under one head and will constitute one vast confederacy of the greater and smaller nations of the earth; and the mighty armies of all these countries will be gathered together and concentrated and encamped upon the mountains of Israel in the holy land, where they will be taught a lesson that they will not forget, or will not be allowed to forget for a thousand years. The Lord said, “It shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues, and they shall come and see my glory; and I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the isles afar off that have not seen my glory and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles " (Isa. 66: 18-19).
DANIEL'S VISION OF THE FOUR BEASTS (DAN. 7) The four beasts brought to view in Daniel's vision answer to the four divisions of the image. This vision presents before us the same great combination of nations, kindreds, and tongues, and peoples, their destiny and what succeeds them, as is shown by the image that the king of Babylon saw. But this vision presents some very important features of the latter days, which the other does not. The Israelitish element is brought to view in this vision in the person of the little horn of the fourth beast. The ten horns, it is said in the Revelation, are ten kings. So this little horn also is a king. He will be a famous king in Israel, and some of his remarkable works are pointed out in this place.
The vision runs as follows (Dan. 7):
" Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from the other.” The heavens are employed to symbolize persons, as well as are the waters and the beasts that rise up out of the sea, of which we may speak again.
“The first was like a lion, and had eagles' wings, I beheld till the wings