The Kingdom of God on Earth - 14

After the untimely death of Alexander, there followed 22 years of conflict among the 17+ generals, until 301 BC at the battle of Ipsus. The four generals left standing had combined against the others and now carved up the Greek empire under four kings, represented as the “four notable” horns of the goat - Daniel 8:8.

We mentioned earlier about the dream of Daniel concerning the wild beasts. The four horns on the goat of the Greek empire are parallel with the four heads of the leopard of the Greek empire in Daniel 7:6. Both the four heads and the four horns of the goat which “came up toward the four winds of heaven” - Daniel 8:8, represent the rulers who replaced Alexander -

Cassander had the western parts; Lysimachus had the northern regions; Ptolemy possessed the southern countries; and Seleucus had the eastern provinces.

God, who “rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses” - Daniel 5:21, revealed His plans to Daniel concerning the Greek empire. The vagaries of human politics, as we have seen, might have developed into a Greek empire with many rulers - a multi-horned goat! But divine providence ensured that it would be four. Concerning this the historian wrote,

“We can never sufficiently admire, in this and the other places, wherein the completion of the prophecies of Daniel will be observed, the strong light with which the prophet penetrates the thick gloom of futurity, at a time when there was not the least appearance of any thing he foretells. With how much certainty and exactness, even amidst the variety of these revolutions, and a chaos of singular events, does he determine each particular circumstance, and fix the number of the several successors !”

“...Can any one possibly ascribe to chance, or human foresight, so many circumstantial predictions, which, at the time of their being denounced, were so remote from probability; and may we not evidently discover in them the character and traces of the Divinity, to whom all ages are present in one view, and who alone determines, at his will, the fate of all kingdoms and empires of the world ?” - Rollin, vol.3, p.386.

The exactness with which Daniel’s prophecy has been verified in history provides all that we need for confidence that God will continue to oversee events to fulfil the remainder of the vision. We are now living in the time represented by the feet of the image, and the end of the fourth and last great power, which was predicted in the prophecy.

But what comes next? A careful reading of the second and seventh chapters of Daniel clearly shows that the next step in God’s program is the visible intervention of divine power in human affairs.

Remember the stone in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream - it was said to be “cut out of the mountain without hands. This is saying that the Stone will not come through human effort, and if not human, then it’s arrival is arranged by God.

Also, the Stone was to appear after the image has taken its final form from the four metals and clay. It will hurtle down on the feet of the statue and smash the human shaped image to powder, which will be blown away by the wind. After that, the Stone will expand to fill the entire earth. What does it mean?