Jesus Christ Prison Ministry

Proof of the Bible


“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever...” Deuteronomy 29:29. The Lord God Almighty wants you to know that He is God and that there are no others. He wants you to be “sure” and “certain” about that. “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD.” “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come... What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.” “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” “Therefore I told you these things long ago; before they happened I announced them to you... From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you.” Isaiah 1:18; 46:10, 11; 43:18, 19; 48: 5, 6.

Prophecy: only God can predict the future with such accuracy that He named specific individuals hundreds of years before they were born and got the names spelled right. 1 Kings 13:2; 2 Kings 23:15-21; Isaiah 45:1-13; Ezra 1:1; 2 Chronicles 36:22. Yet one of the most accurate, continuous, long-term prophecies is found in Daniel chapter 2. Here God lets it be known that He and He alone can call the future. The book of Daniel is chapter after chapter of prophecies. By studying these prophecies we can be sure and certain that God is real and that the Bible has come from God. Let us begin our study with chapter two of Daniel.

 

Daniel 2:26-45 “The king asked Daniel, ‘Can you tell me my dream and what it means?’ Daniel answered: ‘Your Majesty, not even the smartest person in all the world can do what you are demanding. But the God who rules from heaven can explain mysteries. And while you were sleeping, He showed you what will happen in the future. However, you must realize that these mysteries weren’t explained to me because I am smarter than everyone else. Instead, it was done so that you would understand what you have seen.’

 

“‘Your Majesty, what you saw standing in front of you was a huge and terrifying statue, shining brightly. Its head was made of gold, its chest and arms were silver, and from its waist down to its knees, it was bronze. From there to its ankles it was iron, and its feet were a mixture of iron and clay. As you watched, a stone was cut from a mountain--but not by human hands. The stone struck the feet, completely shattering the iron and clay. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed and blown away without a trace, like husks of wheat at threshing time. But the stone became a tremendous mountain that covered the entire earth.’

 

“‘That was the dream, and now I’ll tell you what it means. Your Majesty, you are the greatest of kings, and God has highly honored you with power over all humans, animals, and birds. You are the head of gold. After you are gone, another kingdom will rule, but it won’t be as strong. Then it will be followed by a kingdom of bronze that will rule the whole world.  Next, a kingdom of iron will come to power, crushing and shattering everything.’   


“‘This fourth kingdom will be divided--it will be both strong and brittle, just as you saw that the feet and toes were a mixture of iron and clay.  This kingdom will be the result of a marriage between kingdoms, but it will crumble, just as iron and clay don’t stick together.  During the time of those kings, the God who rules from heaven will set up an eternal kingdom that will never fall. It will be like the stone that was cut from the mountain, but not by human hands--the stone that crushed the iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. Your Majesty, in your dream the great God has told you what is going to happen, and you can trust this interpretation.’” 


Now comes the fun part.  How do we interpret the dream?  As with all doctrines of the Bible we let the Bible interpret itself.  Who does the head of gold represent?  Once we have the starting point the rest is easy.  Nebuchadnezzar was head of the Babylonian Empire.  He built it.  As head of the Babylonian Empire he would be its representative.  Babylon became a “world” empire in 605 BC.  It was the first nation of that region to rule from Babylon all the way down to Egypt. 


“Beginning about 2100 BC, Mesopotamia was subjected to a century-long period of enemy intrusions, by Amorites from the west and the people of Elam from the east. Around 2000, however, the state of Babylonia emerged in Mesopotamia. More extensive and better integrated than its predecessors, it produced in time the famous Code of Hammurabi (c.1800 BC), which defined the legal rights of all sections of the population, including the slave inhabitants. Four centuries (1600-1200) of Kassite rule was followed by the even longer ascendancy of Assyria, an empire based in northern Mesopotamia that eventually included Syria and Egypt. Assyria finally fell (612 BC) before a coalition of the Indo-European Medes from the north, the Persians from the east, and a resurgent Babylonia, under the Chaldean dynasty, in the south.” * 


“The ancient city of Babylon, under King Nebuchadnezzar II, must have been a wonder to the traveler’s eyes. ‘In addition to its size,’ wrote Herodotus, a historian in 450 BC, ‘Babylon surpasses in splendor any city in the known world.’”   


“Herodotus claimed the outer walls were 56 miles in length, 80 feet thick and 320 feet high. Wide enough, he said, to allow a four-horse chariot to turn. The inner walls were ‘not so thick as the first, but hardly less strong.’ Inside the walls were fortresses and temples containing immense statues of solid gold. Rising above the city was the famous Tower of Babel, a temple to the god Marduk, that seemed to reach to the heavens. 


“While archaeological examination has disputed some of Herodotus’s claims (the outer walls seem to be only 10 miles long and not nearly as high) his narrative does give us a sense of how awesome the features of the city appeared to those that visited it. Interestingly enough, though, one of the city’s most spectacular sites is not even mentioned by Herodotus: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.” (Unmuseum.org) 


The interpretation went on to say that Babylon would not last.  In fact, a kingdom that was inferior to Babylon would defeat it.  Just as silver is inferior to gold. 


The second kingdom: the arms and chest of silver.  “Eastward from the Mesopotamian lowlands, the Zagros Mountains and the Iranian Plateau beyond became another area of cultural creativity with the rise of the kingdoms of Media and Persia.”*  


“By the 6th century BC the two great river-valley powers, Egypt and Babylonia, as well as Syria-Palestine and Anatolia, fell to the power of the rising Persian Empire.  Under CYRUS THE GREAT (r. 550-530 BC), this empire ruled all of the Middle East except for Egypt, which fell to his son CAMBYSES II (r. 529-521 BC). Aramaic, the language of the politically impotent Aramaeans, became the language of government documents and of trade throughout the Persian Empire and gradually became the spoken vernacular of Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine.”  “The numerals that the Mesopotamians invented are still used, although now called Arabic.”* 


“Persian domination over southwestern Asia was initiated by two famous rulers, CYRUS THE GREAT (r.549-530) as conqueror and DARIUS I (r. 522-486) as administrative organizer of the vast empire. The empire extended from Persia proper, south of the Caspian Sea, to the Punjab highlands on the borders of India in the east and across Mesopotamia and Syria to Egypt and Anatolia in the west. An effective administration was established, including 21 administrative satrapies, each under officers who collected tax assessments and maintained police control. Courier horsemen maintained contacts between the several administrative segments.”* 


“A particularly noteworthy aspect of Persian rule was the emergence of the monotheistic religious faith of ZOROASTRIANISM. The founder, Zoroaster (c.628-521 BC) developed the concept of the god Ahura Mazda, dedicated to developing an earthly kingdom of justice and truth along with the promise of immortal bliss. At the outset, the novel concept aroused understandable opposition from civil and religious authorities who had a stake in the older polytheistic order, but it later earned the support of King Darius. The monotheistic concept of the Persians related directly to the emergence of the other monotheistic faiths of Southwest Asia—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.”* 


Continuing in Daniel 2:39, we find that a third kingdom of bronze would rule over the earth.  “Alexander III, king of Macedonia, the first king to be called “the Great,” conquered the Persian Empire and annexed it to Macedonia. The son of PHILIP II and OLYMPIAS, he was born in 356 BC and brought up as crown prince. Taught for a time by Aristotle, he acquired a love for Homer and an infatuation with the heroic age. When Philip divorced Olympias to marry a younger princess, Alexander fled. Although allowed to return, he remained isolated and insecure until Philip’s mysterious assassination about June 336.* 


CONTINUING BIBLE STUDY