Western Christian civilization will ultimately become the nucleus of Christ's world Kingdom of God

The Vision of Daniel

by Robert Thornton
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Let us consider one of the most remarkable prophecies in all the Holy Scriptures. In Daniel 2:44 we read these words: 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.

Now what is the time element of this prophecy? The statement, "in the days of these kings", refers to the period beginning in the time of Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon and culminating in the Holy Roman Empire. In the 35th verse of this same chapter Daniel, speaking of this kingdom which God is to set up, says that it will ultimately become a great government and fill the whole earth. This is an extremely important point. The Kingdom of God is going to fill the earth. This is a plain statement that the Kingdom of God, toward which all the prophets and the apostles point, is not to be in heaven but right here on earth. Until Christendom is willing to accept God's Word in this matter the truth concerning the nature and the location of the Kingdom which Jesus preached will never be understood. God's plan, as revealed in the Bible, is to establish a Kingdom of righteousness upon this earth. It is this Kingdom which concerns Daniel in the passage which we are considering. It is worthy of much thought that Jesus did not teach us to pray to be taken to heaven, but rather to pray for the establishment of God's Kingdom in the earth.

What and where is the people which God is going to form into this Kingdom? This is important, for Daniel says that the Kingdom shall not be given to any other people. History is filled with clues in this matter. We find the Danes, Celts, Angles, Saxons, Normans, Britons, Scots, Picts, Vikings, Norsemen, Goths and Milesians all making their appearance during the time period to which Daniel refers. We note further that all of these peoples move westward along the coasts of the Mediterranean and across Europe. These tribal movements continued over a period of time equal to that during which the tribes of Israel were to be dispersed among the nations.

The dispersion of Israel began about 744 B.C. when the Assyrian king Tiglath Pileser came against the ten-tribed northern kingdom of' Israel. The breaking up of' the ancient Israel peoples and their consequent scattering among the nations of the world continued for over a century. Finally Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, destroyed the city of Jerusalem and took captive many of its inhabitants.

The captivity of the city of Jerusalem lasted just seventy years. About 536 B.C., Cyrus the Mede overthrew the power of Babylon and freed the captives of Jerusalem. A part of these returned to build again the temple and the city of Jerusalem. They constituted the nation of the Jews during the time of our Lord's incarnation. It was to these people that Jesus said, "The Kingdom shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." The remainder of Israel, however, which preceded the city of Jerusalem into captivity during the century or more of raids by Assyria and Babylonia, never returned to Palestine. They left waymarks of their movements into Europe and across the continent to the West. Even to this day there is a pass in the Caucasas mountains, between the Black and the Caspian seas, which bears the name of the children of Israel, who passed that way in their migrations through the vast wilderness of Europe. It is still named the Pass of Israel. And on many of the ancient maps this area still carries the name Iberia or Hebrew-Land, thus giving evidence that Israel passed this way. The tribe of Dan-Israel was to mark the trail of God's people. In this respect it is interesting to note that the name of this tribe is to be found even to this day on rivers and valleys and localities clear across Europe to the land of Denmark. The ancient name of this land was Denemerke, meaning literally The Mark of Dan. Other old maps mark the vicinity west of the Caspian Sea with the name of Moesia. Historians tell us that here dwelt a people who traced their beginnings back to Moses and the giving of the Tables of the Law at Mt. Sinai.

Finally these people made their way to the western coastlands of Europe and the Isles of Britain. It is undoubtedly to them the dispersed tribes of Israel living in their new home, that God addresses the 49th chapter of Isaiah saying, "Listen, 0 isles, unto me, and hearken ye people from afar ... thou art my servant, 0 Israel, in whom I will be glorified."

This race, known today as the Celto, Anglo-Saxon and kindred peoples, forms the main body of what is termed the free Western World. It is also important to consider that this free Western World is actually the citadel of Christianity. It is this very people who has carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to all other peoples and nations the world over. Today they are generally identified by their national names of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. It is also true that large pockets of Israel peoples remain in Germany, France, Poland and other areas.

It is both interesting and thought-provoking that we find these people banded together under the leadership of the United States, a great people, and the British Commonwealth, a company of nations. Jacob-Israel foretold this condition, prophesying that the House of Joseph should be divided into a great people and a company of nations, and that they should lead God's people in the latter days. We believe that his leadership will continue until the day when they shall become one people under their great King Jesus Christ.

So we can see the government of which Daniel spoke being formed right before our eyes. The God of Heaven has led His people across the wilderness of Europe and established them as the free peoples of this earth. Not only are they the people to whom the Messiah came, but they are the people through whom God is building a free world by the power that is in Christ Jesus. Let us never forget the source of our freedom. Jesus said that those in whom His words should abide would know the truth, and the truth would make them free. The governments of the free world are the direct outcome of the Spirit of Christ in His people.

Now, let's return to the prophet Daniel and his remarkable vision of the future glory of God's people and the eventual establishment of God's Kingdom in the earth. Daniel looked down the ages and saw, as he termed it, a great stone cut out without hands. This great stone grew until it filled the whole earth. Daniel, inspired by the Spirit of God, explains that this great stone represents an earthly kingdom established by God. He says that it will remain forever.

Look now at the foundation of the Western world. Our most eminent contemporary historian, Arnold Toynbee, sets forth in unmistakable terms the fact that the culture of the Western world is the direct product of Christianity. We may say that the free Western governments are the product of the Spirit of God, rather than the results of men seeking power over their fellows. Is not this what Daniel means when he says that the great stone, or government, was to be cut out without hands? We know that our free way of life has come into being in spite of, rather than because of the plans of men. The Declaration of Independence sets forth this truth very well. We hold those truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator (not man) with certain unalienable rights . . . and we all know that unalienable rights are those rights which are conferred by the Creator through birth. In other words, the framers of the Declaration of Independence claimed for themselves and their posterity the great truth that freedom is the gift of God and that governments should be instituted among men for the sole purpose of protecting that God-given freedom.

It is unfortunate that churchmen have been of so little help in tracing the origin of the Christian West. This is because they have thought almost wholly within the limits of church history. They have used the word Church and Kingdom synonymously; consequently they have been unable to interpret the rise and fall of nations in terms of the gospel of the Kingdom. "The history of this world," says C. R. Dickey, "was in the mind of God when our planet was formed and took its first orbital swing in the universe. Science now confirms the conclusion that there is no sound basis for historical study apart from the Holy Scriptures. Biblical history reveals God's purpose . . ."

It is good to know that the Western Christian civilization was in the plan of God from the beginning, and that just as Daniel points out, it will ultimately become the nucleus of Christ's world Kingdom of God. Wake up . . . America!

courtesy: Kingdom Digest

Orange Street Congregational Church