“Doesn’t Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of a statue in the book of Daniel indicate that governments will be destroyed at Christ’s return?”
“And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. That kingdom will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite”
Daniel 2:21-45 has long been preached as representing the destruction of governments on Christ’s return, however neither Daniel nor the rest of the scriptures mean this.
Forced AuthorityThe image presented to Nebuchadnezzar by Almighty God represented not all governments but the five prominent world powers between Babylon and Christ’s return. The control of each successive empire – though possibly more expansive – proves to be less absolute than it’s predecessors, with the final world power being a mixture of strength and pliability. This final world empire is the one which will still exist when the “stone not cut by hands” (v34) — Christ’s return and kingdom — takes place.
Where the book of Daniel says the Christ will “crush, and put an end to all of these kingdoms” it is referring to the specific kind of authority exercised by world powers, that of an earthly kingdom ruling over other nations. This state of dominance and subservience was never
When the Hebrews entered the Promised Land, they were told to drive out the Canaanite nations, not to subordinate them unless they choose that role for themselves.intended by the God Who gave freedom and free will to all men. The Hebrew word for “crush” also means “crumble” — as in, to separate into pieces — showing that there will be no hierarchy under the Christ but that nations will all be under him alone.
Governments in RevelationFurther indications are in the Book of Revelation, which describes the very era of Christ’s reign. In that book, God’s angel explains the “seven kings”, or ruling world powers leading to Christ’s era – the same five of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue plus the two prior to them. At the time the apostle John received the vision, the penultimate king (the Roman Empire) was still active and the final empire not yet born (Revelation 17:10).
Thereafter, ten kings of lesser authority – national leaders — will give their authority to “the wild beast” to serve as an eighth king of kings, or empire, over them (Revelation 17:11-12). It’s purpose
While some have suggested that the United Nations – formed after the slumber of the League of Nations – qualifies as this wild beast, the timing clearly describes a governance within Christ’s reign rather than before it.is to oppose the already-enthroned King of Kings Jesus Christ in his authority, and this happens during Christ’s reign. Similarly, the book tells us of the “kings of the entire inhabited earth” gathering for Armageddon (Revelation 16:14-16), again some way into our Lord’s reign.
Clearly then, there must be governments and national leaders active after Christ’s return, so Daniel’s vision describes the end to domineering earthly world powers such as the Babylonian and Roman empires rather than a crushing of national governments.
Rulers are People TooAs a side issue however, the prophecies of Revelation show that there will be a change in the role of fine-hearted national rulers. Christ’s reign will develop the kind of life which God intended for the first humans, and His shepherding of the Hebrew nation placed them under not a human, but His own care as King. Those who genuinely follow Christ’s guidance during his reign will evolve from being rulers into a finer and more appropriate role for the Divine nature at work in the earth.
So where Revelation speaks of the revolt of kings, these will clearly be the remaining ones who were determined to retain the current flawed and corruptible way of the world. Those ones who die at Armageddon will by no means include any fine-hearted souls who grow to value God’s transformation of the world.