World History Outlined By Daniel

The purpose of God,

as far as the earth is concerned, is clearly revealed in a remarkable prophecy contained in Daniel 2. Every confidence can be placed in it inasmuch as most of the prophecy has been fulfilled.

In a few verses, it outlines world history since the days of Daniel to the present, and on to the future.

NebNewIsolatedVSM-107Daniel the prophet was taken a captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. That mighty Babylonian monarch had brought the whole world to his feet, and was concerned as to what might be the destiny of the empire he had established. God revealed the answer through a remarkable dream in which the king was shown the Divine plan of the ages.


The king, however, did not understand the dream. He sought the assistance of the “wise men of Babylon,” and demanding as an evidence of their ability to correctly interpret it, that they first tell him the dream and then explain it. Naturally, they were unable to do this, and in his anger and disappointment, the king issued a royal edict against them, threatening them with death if they did not reveal the desired information within a given period.


Daniel was among those involved in this edict. He made his plight a matter of prayer. The God of Israel answered him, revealing the dream to the prophet, and making known to him its interpretation.


Armed with this knowledge, Daniel sought an audience with the king, and revealed unto him the desired information:

“Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. The image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and arms of silver, his belly and thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon its feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 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; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them; and the stone that smote the image became  a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Dan. 2:31-35).

This was the dream as the king instantly recognized. Daniel continued by giving the interpretation. He showed that the four different metals of the image represented four world empires that would arise: the 10 toes represented a multiplicity of nations that would replace the fourth  empire; and the stone which smote the image and completely destroyed and supplanted it, represented the Kingdom of God which shall be set  up on earth, overthrowing the kingdom of men.

Here is Daniel’s 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 hath made thee ruler over 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 whereas thou sawest the feet and the toes, part 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 …. but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. 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 forever. . The great God hath made known what SHALL BE HEREAFTER: and the DREAM IS CERTAIN, AND THE INTERPRETATION THEREOF SURE” (Dan. 2:37-44).

A brief consideration of this prophecy will reveal that it outlines the history of the world leading to the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. It predicts the uprise of four world powers followed by a time when individual and antagonistic nations shall arise prior to divine intervention upon the setting up of God’s reign on earth.

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 “Thou art this head of gold,” declared the prophet in interpreting the vision. Nebuchadnezzar stood as a symbol of Babylon. He was a competent general, whose military exploits laid the foundation of one of the most magnificent empires the world has known. The mighty power of Assyria submitted to him; the smaller nations of the Middle East: Syria, Lebanon, Moab, Ammon and Israel, were conquered: the ancient power of Egypt acknowledged his sovereignty. Throughout the earth, Babylon was dominant.

NebNewIsolatedVSM-107At great expense, and with slave-labor recruited from the conquered nations, Nebuchadnezzar rebuilt and fortified the city of Babylon, intending that it should become the permanent metropolis of the earth. The vain boast of the king was: “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of my kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30).

But already the answer had been given in Scripture. Over 100 years before Nebuchadnezzar rose to power, Isaiah the prophet had declared:

“And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah” (Isaiah 13:19).

The desolate ruins of Babylon today, on the banks of the Euphrates in Iraq, testify to the truth of these words.


Nebuchadnezzar rose to power in the year 606 B.C., and Babylonish power came to an end 70 years later in 536 B.C. when Cyrus of Persia (Iran) conquered the city.

The golden head of the image had given way to the breast and arms of silver!

Next time….




NebNewIsolatedVSM-107Babylon was conquered by the joint armies of Darius of Media and Cyrus of Persia (Iran), and world power passed to the joint kingdom of Medo-Persia.


Daniel described the “breast and arms of silver” as “another inferior kingdom” that would arise.

Persia (Iran) was “inferior” to Babylon in wealth, luxury and magnificence, but not in duration. The empire continued for 203 years until its power was superseded by that of Greece. It was appropriately identified with silver, for, according to the historian Herodotus, the taxation and tribute was paid to Persian authorities in silver tablets.

In the year B.C. 333, at the battle of Issus, the power of Persia (Iran) was broken by Alexander the Great of Greece.

Next time…



NebNewIsolatedVSM-107“Another third kingdom of brass shall bear rule over all the earth,” declared Daniel. By  such expressions as this, he clearly showed the king, that the diverse metals in the image represented different world powers.

In the year 333 B.C., Persia (Iran) gave way to Greece as a world power. Greece was noted for brass or copper, which featured in the armor of its soldiers, who, in  consequence, were called the “brazen-coated Greeks.”

Alexander the Great of Macedon, was one of the most successful generals in history. Swiftly he extended his conquests throughout the world, until, as legend has it, “he wept because there were no more worlds to conquer.”

But his triumph was short-lived. He died at the age of 33, during the course of a drinking bout in Babylon, after his army had incurred terrible sufferings in an attack deep into India. Upon his death, the Grecian Empire declined. His empire was divided up by his four generals who proceeded to wage war upon each other. And ultimately they were each in turn conquered by a new power that arose from the west: Rome.




NebNewIsolatedVSM-107“The fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, breaking in pieces and subduing all things,” declared Daniel (Ch. 2:40). These words describe the ruthlessness of Rome in its march to world power. Its legions triumphantly carried the flying eagle (the symbol of Roman power) in all directions. Gaul, Spain, Britain, Europe, Syria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, were all conquered in turn.

Under Augustus Caesar, the confines of the Empire were pushed to the Rhine, and at his death it covered an area 100 times greater than the original State.

Rome was never conquered by a foreign power; it deteriorated from within. And this is indicated in the amazing prophecy of Daniel. No longer does he speak of another universal empire taking over; he indicates that there will be four world powers, and then a division: first into two parts (the legs of the image), and then into many parts (the toes of the  image).

And time has completely vindicated the prophecy. In the fourth century A.D., the capital of the Roman Empire was transferred from the city of Rome to Constantinople in the east. Ultimately the Empire became divided into two parts: Eastern and Western Rome, answering to the two legs of iron, seen in the vision of Daniel 2.



NebNewIsolatedVSM-107Rome encouraged plunder from the conquered cities and states. It became a parasite feeding on its dependencies. Its legions marched into Palestine, and destroyed Jerusalem, as Christ had prophesied. He declared:

“They (the Jewish people) shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away  captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).

In A.D. 68, war broke out between Rome and Judah. It was a most sanguinary conflict in which quarter was neither asked nor given on either side. Jerusalem was besieged, and the city reduced to terrible straits. Over a million Jews perished in the holocaust. In A.D. 70 it fell, to be ultimately destroyed by the Romans, and its people, the Jews, were taken captive into all nations.

But they were never destroyed; they retained their identity. This, also, is in accordance with the purpose of God. Notice that Jesus limited the period of the down-treading of Jerusalem, and the scattering of its people, by the use of the word, “until. . . ” Today, the Jewish people are returning to the land, and Jerusalem itself has been freed from foreign domination. For the first time, in over 2,000 years, the Jews are again masters of the city, indicating that “the times of the Gentiles” are about to “be fulfilled.”

Why was Rome permitted to gain the ascendancy over Jewry and Jerusalem?

Because of their opposition to the Lord Jesus Christ. When even Pilate wanted to free him, they demanded his crucifixion, impiously declaring: “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15), “His blood be on us and on our children” (Matt. 27:25).

They were given into the hands of Caesar, and paid the terrible penalty in blood.

They were mistaken in Christ. They desired a Messiah who would deliver them from Rome; they did not comprehend that though Christ will ultimately reign from Jerusalem as King, and will “rebuke strong nations” (Micah 4:1-3), brining all dominions into subjection to his rule (Isa. 60:12; Zech. 14:9; Rev. 11:15), he had first to provide the means  for individual salvation.  At his first advent, he came as “the lamb of God” to take away “the  sin of the world” (John 1:29). He will come again (Acts 1:11), to reward the faithful (Rom. 2:7,16), to bring about national redemption (Acts 15:16-17; Jer. 23:6-8), and to establish the Kingdom of God upon the earth.

Next time….



 NebNewIsolatedVSM-107The Son of God was born in turbulent times. He had come to save his people, but was considered a revolutionary and slain.

Three days later, however, he rose from the dead, and proclaimed himself as having the keys of the grave and of death (Rev. 1:18).

But he was rejected by the Jews, and this brought about the development of Christianity. This had been predicted by Isaiah:

“It is a light thing that thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob; and restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth” (Isa. 49:6).

Rejected by the Jews, the message of salvation was eagerly embraced by Gentiles, and the foundation of Christianity laid in the preaching of the Apostles.


 Rome, particularly under Nero, made determined efforts to stamp out this new sect, but instead it conquered Rome. The arms of the Empire had widened the borders and extended the scope of human experience, as well-made military roads made possible easy access to all parts of the wide-flung Empire. Those roads heard the tramp of marching legions, and also the preaching of the Apostles, calling upon people to separate themselves from Gentilism and give themselves unto God (Acts 15:14).

They proclaimed the hope of a risen Christ who will return to put down all rule and authority, and to assume his rightful place as King over the earth (Acts 2:30; 3:19-21; Isa. 9:7; Zech. 14:9), at which time he will raise his faithful servants from the grave to inherit life eternal (1 Cor. 15:20-25, 51-58).

The world was turned “upside down” by the power of this message (Acts 17:6).  In fact, it  is claimed that the preaching of the Gospel was a part cause of Rome’s decline. The early Christians were conscientious objectors; they disregarded the call to war. The Gospel had caused them to turn from seeking the things of this world, to seeking salvation at Christ’s coming. This was a stumbling block to national  aspirations and ambitions, and Gibbon,  the historian, traces the victory of Christianity as partly the cause of Rome’s collapse.

But in the end it was paganism that conquered. The prophecy of Paul was fulfilled in that he predicted the rise of false teachers (Acts 20:29-31) and apostasy (1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 4:1-4). Christianity gave way to a divided and antagonistic Christendom which perverted the original Apostolic faith. Pagan doctrines (such as the immortality of the soul, the trinity, etc.) were superimposed upon the truth, and the two main cities of the Empire – Rome and Constantinople – became the headquarters of the Greek and Roman Catholic systems, which divided the Empire ecclesiastically as it also became divided politically.

Thus the Empire was separated into its western and eastern divisions, as foreshadowed  by the two legs of iron in the image-vision recorded in Daniel 2. The prophecy clearly and correctly predicted the course of human history.



NebNewIsolatedVSM-107Meanwhile, hordes of barbarians from the east, pressed heavily upon the northern borders of the Roman Empire. Some were absorbed therein; others made inroads  by force of arms. In 476 A.D. Rome was occupied by Odoacer, King of the Heruli. But the Empire as such was never really conquered; it disintegrated. It became divided by factions, and in course of time, 10 smaller nations, answering to the 10 toes of the image, quarrelled over the corpse of the Empire, and laid the foundation for modem Europe.

The Papacy arose to unite these independent nations by religion and force of arms, so that the Holy Roman Empire was established in the west. But politically, the old Empire was replaced by a number of quarrelling smaller nations, independent of each other, some strong and others weak.  It answered to the requirements of Daniel 2:

“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 day, 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.”

“Iron and clay”: Imperialism and Communism: “partly strong, partly broken”: some powerful, some weak; “shall not cleave, nor mix:” a disrupted divided state among the nations.

These are the requirements of the prophecy, and they are exhibited in world conditions today.

Since the Roman Empire broke up, there has arisen no power capable of welding the diverse nations of Europe into one strong, united power. The Continent remains disunited, with some nations strong and others weak. Several have attempted to revive the Roman Empire, but all have failed. Frederick the Great, Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini, all saw it as  an objective, but destiny was against them. Others have attempted to bring unity through such organizations as the League of Nations and the United Nations Organization, but failure has underlined these efforts also.

The prophecy of Daniel 2 has been completely vindicated by 2,500 years of history. He predicted the uprise of four great world empires known to history as Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, and then correctly showed that these would be followed by a number of independent and antagonistic nations.

The remarkable fulfilment of his prophecy shows that every confidence can be placed in the predictions of the Bible, and that they do reveal the shape of things to come. The Bible constitutes the light of truth and Divine revelation in the midst of the darkness of man’s philosophy and rule. Individual salvation is promised in its pages, for all who will embrace its truth, and fulfil the requirements of the Lord Jesus Christ (see Mark 16:16).



 As King Nebuchadnezzar listened to the words of the prophet, and recalled the dream he had of the warrior-image (Dan. 2:31), he was enabled to anticipate the course of world story. He saw in the head of gold, the glory of Babylon; in the breast and arms of silver,  the might of the Persian Empire that would succeed it; in the belly and thighs of brass, a reference to the swift conquests of the Grecian Empire; in the legs of iron, the ruthless power of Rome; in the feet and toes of iron and clay, the divided state of modem Europe.

NebNewIsolatedVSM-107But, in addition, he saw the image standing upon its feet as a united whole, and then witnessed a “stone” divinely “cut out of the mountain” which “smote the image upon his feet,” causing the top-heavy structure to fall and be broken into pieces. The stone then grew, and crushing the metals of the image into powder which the wind blew away, it became a mountain and filled the whole earth (Dan. 2:34-35,45).

In recording these things, Daniel told the king that “the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter” (v. 45), in “the latter days” (v. 28).

How is the Image to be united together and stand upon its feet?

Only by the coming together of the various parts of the image (most of these countries are now belong to the European Union), and by the uniting together of all these various  nations (Russia, Persia (Iran), Libya, Turkey and Ethiopia) so that all the territories  covered by the image are included together in a confederacy of Nations.

How is this to be done?

 Bible prophecy reveals that Russia and the European Union will accomplish it. Russia will influence the European Union, which now relies on her oil and gas. Russia will also influence Turkey and Persia (Iran) under its plan to build a trading block in Eurasia. She  will extend her power westward becoming in the words of Ezekiel 38:7 “a guard” to the European Union. By mutual compromise, the European Union (Rome) and Russia will come to agreement, and the image will again be caused to stand upon its feet.

Ezekiel 38 shows that Russia will influence all the modern powers found on the territories represented by the image, into one great military confederation that will invade the Middle East, esp. Israel and Egypt. The prophecy speaks of this mighty power “from the north” (Ezek. 38:15), coming against the “people of Israel” (v. 16), and involving “all nations” in war (Zechariah 14: 1). The Middle East will thus become the battle ground of nations, but the issue will be resolved to the glory of God and to the praise of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Meanwhile, current Russian intrigue in the Middle East, the influence of her power within the European Union, and her “Gog” (Hebrew sig. ‘chief one’ ie. President Putin) like leader who continues to show antagonism towards the English speaking world, are straws in the wind showing that these prophecies are about to be fulfilled. Everything is happening in accordance with the predictions of the Bible and as its students have anticipated, and placed on record for over 100 years.

Next time…



 But Russia and her confederacy of nations will fail in her attack on Jerusalem and the Middle East because her ambitions run counter to God’s purpose. He has not arranged for the modem revival of Israel that Russia and her confederacy might take over; the Jewish return to the land is in preparation for the establishment of the Kingdom of God under Christ the King. Russia and her confederacy will only be permitted to involve the Middle East in war in order to humble the Jewish people, and force them to seek the help of God and of Christ whom they have ignored and opposed for so long (Jer. 30:4-9; Ezek. 37:21- 22).

NebNewIsolatedVSM-107Russia and her confederacy will fail because of what was revealed in the image-prophecy of Daniel 2. The king, in his dream, had seen a “stone cut out of the mountain without hands” (v.45) smite the image on the feet, and destroy it. The stone then became itself a mountain, and “filled the whole earth” (v. 35).

This stone represented the Kingdom of God, as Daniel told the king. It was “cut out of the mountain, without hands” or without human agency, because the nucleus of the Kingdom is through Divine instrumentality.

Its nucleus is Christ the king, and those who will reign with him. The latter are those who embrace Divine truth, and are obedient to the Divine will. Their destiny is to be raised from the dead to incorruptibility (1 Cor. 15:51-58), and to reign with Christ on earth (vv. 22-25).

They are pictured as saying:

“Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and  WE SHALL REIGN ON THE EARTH” (Rev. 5:9-10).


“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4,6).

The stone is represented as crushing the image and growing into a mountain that fills the whole earth, because the Kingdom of God will only be established by the exercise of  Divine power. Christ returns as the Lion of God (Rev. 5:5), to manifest Divine power in the subjugation of the nations. The Scriptures declare:

“In righteousness he doth judge and make war” (Rev. 19:11).

He shall “destroy them which (would) destroy the earth” (Rev. 11:18).

“The kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11:15).

“The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted” (Isa. 60:12).

“Yea all kings shall fall down before him; all nations shall serve him” (Psa. 72:11).

“The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:8).

“God hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained, whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).

“The Lord shall be king over all the earth” (Zechariah 14:9).

And now take heed of Daniel’s interpretation of the stone” smiting the image:

“In the days of these kings (divided Europe) 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. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone …. brake in pieces the iron, brass, day, silver  and gold; the great God hath made known what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure” (Dan. 2:44-45).

This is the clear, certain declaration of God’s purpose, forming a key to the interpretation of the Bible. It required the personal, visible return of the Lord Jesus to the earth (Acts 1:11; 3:19-20; Rev. 1:7; 22:12), and the establishment thereon of a Divine kingdom that will  bring man’s rule to a complete end.

This clear declaration of Scripture promises a most desirable, happy consummation to the present evil state. It provides a satisfactory solution to the deterioration in moral and other conditions evident in the earth today, whilst, at the same time, giving men and women of faith an incentive to obey Christ.

This is the hopeful future to which the world will ultimately come, and towards which a true Bible student can look with joy. An understanding of these things can enrich your life, and provide your children with a spiritual heritage that will enable all the family to look beyond the iron curtain of trouble that encloses most people today, to the glorious Divine purpose when Christ will reign from Jerusalem over a world at peace (Jer. 3:17). In another place, Daniel declared:

“And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him” (Dan. 7:27).

Here, again, is a clear declaration of the Divine purpose. And notice, that the kingdom embraces that which is “under the whole heaven,” or, in other words, on the  earth. “Blessed are the meek,” declared Christ, “for they shall inherit the earth” (Matt. 5:5). The meek are those who “receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save  their souls” or lives (James 1:21).  They “search the Scriptures” with “readiness of mind,”  to see whether these things are so, and when they find them so, they “believe” and act (Acts 17:11).

Thus in truth, sincerity and understanding, they utter the Lord’s prayer: “Thy kingdom come, that Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”

The conditions that will then exist on earth are predicted in the words of Isaiah 2:2-4:

“It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established (a Temple of worship in Jerusalem) …. and all nations shall flow unto it.

And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Consider the state of things thus pictured: one unifying religion; people heeding the Word of God and walking in righteousness; nations in subjection to Divine law; perfect peace replacing the antagonism and bloodshed of today!

A changed world; a new world order to the glory of God and wellbeing of man.

That is the destiny the world is coming to in the mercy of God! And you can be  a participant in it if you seek God’s way.

Next time….  Final Part –WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO US?


 A consideration of Daniel’s prophecy will make manifest that the course of history reveals  a Divine purpose that is bringing humanity slowly but surely to the point where God will intervene in world events, to set up His kingdom on the earth.

The realization of this constitutes a challenge to each one of us. It is good to know that God has a plan for the world, and in due time He will move to establish His purpose and  rid the world of current evils; it is comforting to learn that the wise administration of Christ will result in “glory to God in the highest, and upon earth peace and goodwill towards  men;” but that is no guarantee that we will participate therein. If we desire to enjoy the benefits of that time we must do something about it now.

Paul declared that the Gospel “is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Rom. 1:16); and Jesus instructed the Apostles to “go into all the world and preach the gospel: he that believeth and is baptised shall be saved” (Mark 16:16).

To believe the Gospel, we must come to understand the Bible. But that is not so easy as may first appear. There are so many different sects and religions, each claiming  to proclaim the truth, that one despairs of attaining unto it. That is the challenge each one of us must face. If salvation is worth having, it is worth seeking, and that is what each one of us must do. If we were suddenly faced with a serious illness that threatened our life, we would leave no stone unturned in seeking an effective remedy.

Each one of us has a serious illness: mortality! We need to seek a remedy. It is found only in one place, and we must, with independence of mind, search the pages of the Bible to attain unto an understanding of the will and purpose of God, that we might obey and embrace it.

We remind you again: the times are significant; the issues are vital; you owe it to yourself and your family to seek God’s way.If you would like to find out more about the Bible’s message for you, then please go to our website and explore the True Bible Teaching concerning the Purpose of Almighty God with this earth and your opportunity to be a part of it.

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