Kingdom of God
- Daniel 7:7-9
- ". . . behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it
had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the
feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and
it had ten horns . . . I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of
days did sit . . ."
- The Church of Christ attempts to argue that the kingdom of God was established at
Pentecost (in the time of the Roman Empire). The reasoning goes as follows:
- The fourth beast refers to the Roman Empire.
- It is then noted that it is at the time of the fourth beast that the Son of Man receives
- The kingdom of God must have been established when the Roman Empire existed, i.e., at
- There are a number of assumptions in the above reasoning which are erroneous and
invalidate the conclusion. These are as follows:
- It is not at the time of the fourth beast that the Son of Man receives his kingdom. It
is at the time of the little horn phase with "eyes like the eyes of man, and a
mouth speaking great things". (See vs. 20). This phase can be identified with the
ten-toed phase of the image of Daniel 2. An examination of Dan. 2 and 7 indicates that the
image of the former parallels the four beasts of the latter. This is an important
identification since the kingdom is not set up in Daniel 2 until the ten-toed phase. (Dan.
2:44). The Roman Empire formed into its eastern and western "iron-leg" sections
after Justinian (A.D. 529-533), and since the ten-toed phase would be entered after
this time, then clearly the kingdom was not set up at Pentecost.
- The rest of the beasts are said to have had "their dominion taken away: yet their
lives were prolonged for a season and a time". (Dan. 7:12). But who would assert that
the lives of the Babylonian, Persian and Grecian kings extended even to the time of the
Roman Empire? They had been dead for hundreds of years. It was only the influence of the
empire within its successor which continued to exist (Cf. Dan. 4:15 - "stump banded
with brass and iron").
- The events outlined in Daniel 7 require a long period of persecution to exist before the
setting up of the kingdom. This is indicated by the little horn which would arise to make
war with the saints and to prevail against them until the saints possessed the kingdom.
(Dan. 7:21,22). Even if it be argued that a persecution arose against believers at the
time of Pentecost, such an interpretation must be rejected since the Jewish leaders did
not prevail against the believers, and therefore, the persecution must have been
subsequent to this time. It can be concluded by implication that the kingdom could not,
therefore, have been set up at Pentecost.
- Dan 7:10 refers to the judgment which was "set" and the "books" were
opened. It is known from other parts of Scripture that this time will only occur at the
return of Christ to the earth to judge the dead. (See, for example, 2 Tim. 4:1; Matt.
25:21-34; 1 Cor. 15:23; Jn. 6:39,40,44,54; 11:24).
- Christ cites Dan. 7:13 ("coming in the clouds") with the words of Psa. 110:1
("sitting on the right hand of power") and applies them to his second
coming. (Matt. 26:64). This application by Christ indicates conclusively that the time for
the saints to possess the kingdom is established at his return.