The Kingdom Of Daniel Two
I. Six centuries before Christ came into the world, Nabopolassar, the king of Babylon, began his rise to power (626–605 B.C.).
A. His son, Nebuchadnezzar, was made commander of his armies and marched against Nineveh around 612 B.C.
B. In 609 B.C. there was a decisive battle in which the Assyrian armies were defeated—it was the battle Pharaoh-Necho sought to join but was hindered by Josiah at Megiddo.
C. In time, the Babylonians defeated Pharaoh-Necho’s armies.
D. Shortly after this Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were taken captive by the Babylonians (Dan. 1:6–7).
E. These four young Hebrews, all men of the royal family, were to receive training in order to serve in Nebuchadnezzar’s palace (Dan. 1:3–5).
II. In the second year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign he had a dream that left him deeply troubled (Dan. 2:1).
A. Nebuchadnezzar demanded his wise men tell him the dream and give the explanation of it (Dan. 2:2–3).
B. His counselors wanted Nebuchadnezzar to tell them the dream (Dan. 2:4). C. Nebuchadnezzar knew that if he told them the dream they could make up a
story about what would happen after he died (Dan. 2:5–9).
D. Nebuchadnezzar threatened to kill all of his counselors if they did not tell him the dream (Dan. 2:12–13).
III. In the process of time, Daniel, the young Hebrew prince who became a slave, stood before Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2:26).
A. Daniel said the God of heaven could make known the dream (Dan. 2:27–30). B. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was about “a great image” (Dan. 2:31–35).
C. The interpretation of the dream was given by Daniel (Dan. 2:36–45).
I. The Great Image Of Daniel Two
A. The great image that Nebuchadnezzar saw was not an idol, but a statue of a man made of four metals and clay.
1. The image stood shining before Nebuchadnezzar, and he was full of dread and terror.
2. Commentators usually point out that the metals degenerate from most precious to least precious—gold, silver, bronze and iron.
3. While Nebuchadnezzar gazed at the image, he saw a stone that had been cut out of a mountain without hands and it struck the image on it’s feet.
4. The great image was broken into pieces, crushed and ground to powder. 5. The image was destroyed, never to exist again.
6. “And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled
the whole earth” (Dan. 2:35).
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B. Daniel’s explanation of the dream.
1. Daniel explained to Nebuchadnezzar that God had given him his kingdom, power, strength and glory (Dan. 2:38).
2. The head of gold represented Nebuchadnezzar and his kingdom. a) Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom was not the greatest in territory. b) Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom was important because it was the
beginning of these kingdoms—others sprang from it.
3. The “chest and arms of silver” (Dan. 2:39) represented the Medo-Persian Empire (539–330 B.C.).
a) Darius the Mede was 62 years old when he took control of the Chaldean kingdom following the death of Belshazzar (Dan. 5:28–6:2).
b) Daniel, though an old man, prospered under both the Median king’s rule and that of Cyrus the Persian (Dan 6:29f).
4. The “belly and thighs of bronze” (Dan. 2:39) represented the Grecian Empire (330–63 B.C.).
a) Beginning with Philip of Macedon.
b) Brought to its greatest glory under Alexander the Great.
c) When Alexander died on June 10, 323 B.C. in Babylon at the age of 33, his empire was divided by his four generals into four parts.
(1) Ptolemy gained Egypt and made Alexandria the capital.
(2) Seleucus and the Seleucid Empire centered in Syria with Antioch as the capital.
(3) Lysimachus ruled Thrace and Bithynia. (4) Cassander ruled Macedonia.
5. The legs of iron represented the Roman Empire (Dan. 2:40).
a) The Roman Empire was strong as iron in conquering, crushing, breaking in pieces and bringing conquered peoples under its control.
b) As they conquered nation after nation, they gained control of the known world.
c) There was a weak point—it had feet of iron and clay.
d) Rome’s division was not geographical, but social and cultural. e) As iron and clay cannot be fused together, so Rome could not
amalgamate its conquered people.
f) It tried to unite the world by emperor worship, but this failed. 6. In the days of Rome, God would set up His kingdom (Dan. 2:44).
a) As Jesus began His earthly ministry, He proclaimed “the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17).
b) Jesus said some in His audience would “not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power” (Mark 9:1).
7. A small stone is cut out of a mountain “without hands” (human aid) and struck the image and broke it in pieces (Dan. 2:45).
a) The stone “became” a great mountain (Dan. 2:35).
b) The stone was to begin the smiting the image during the days of the Roman Empire.
c) I would submit unto you this is a picture of the militant church.
d) The Roman Empire no longer exists!
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e) “The greatest of historians held that Christianity was the chief cause of Rome’s fall. For this religion, he and his followers argued, had destroyed the old faith that had given moral character to the Roman soul and stability to the Roman state. It had declared war upon the classic culture—upon science, philosophy, literature, and art. It had brought an enfeebling Oriental mysticism into the realistic stoicism of Roman life; it had turned men’s thoughts from the tasks of this world to an enervating preparation for some cosmic catastrophe, and had lured them into seeking individual salvation through asceticism and prayer, rather than collective salvation through devotion to the state. It had disrupted the unity of the Empire while soldier emperors were struggling to preserve it; it had discouraged its adherents from holding office, or rendering military service; it had preached an ethic of nonresistance and peace when the survival of the Empire had demanded a will to war. Christ’s victory had been Rome’s death.”
(Will Durant, Caesar And Christ, p. 667).
II. The Kingdom Of Christ Has Come!
A. Christ came in the days of the Roman Empire (Mark 1:14–15). B. His kingdom was “without hands” (human aid) (John 18:36). C. He broke other kingdoms into pieces (Matt. 3:10).
1. By the preaching of the gospel (cf. Jer. 1:10).
2. This is a picture of the militant church (Matt. 10:34–36; 2 Cor. 10:3–6). D. His kingdom will never be destroyed (Heb. 12:28).
E. His kingdom filled the earth (Col. 1:23; Isa. 9:7).
1. It had a slow and humble beginning (Matt. 13:31–33). 2. There are only three ways a kingdom can increase:
a) It can increase in territory. b) It can increase in power.
c) It can increase in the number of subjects.
3. Christ’s kingdom cannot increase in territory (Col. 1:16–18). 4. Christ’s kingdom cannot increase in power (Matt. 28:18).
5. The only way His kingdom can increase is in the number of subjects, or citizens, in His kingdom.
a) The kingdom of Christ does not increase by physical generation. b) Being a spiritual kingdom it grows by regeneration (1 Pet. 2:5).
6. In the growth of His kingdom you will not hear the roar of canons, the unsheathing of carnal swords, or the explosion of munitions.
7. There will be no field of carnage.
8. His kingdom will grow by the preaching of the gospel (Rom. 1:16).
I.vitatio Right now in heaven Christ rules and reigns over His kingdom!
II. Christ has an invitation for you to share in His glory (Rev. 3:20–21).
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