“Until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24).
Two kingdoms are spoken of in the Bible: the holy Kingdom governed by God through truth and justice and Satan’s evil one. Hurled to earth because of self-exaltation, Satan set up a kingdom controlled through deception and domination. While the two are rivals, they are not equal in power. Satan must present himself as an angel of light to offer humanity special privileges and appeals to the individual’s pride. He has limited control, and his rule has a definite end.
He offered Jesus a special status in his earthly kingdom “and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours” (Luke 4:5-7). Satan could only tempt Jesus with what was already in Him just as we are tempted.
Jesus taught His disciples about the Father’s Kingdom. It’s different than any other kingdom. Keep in mind that the Jewish kingdom had been conquered repeatedly by powers greater than themselves because of their pride and failure to follow God’s instructions. Jesus’ followers found His words strange: “The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12, ESV).
Many things about God’s Kingdom seem upside down—the first shall be last, last first; meek inherit the earth; principles very different from earthly kingdoms (Matthew 5:5; 19:30). During the time of Constantine, Christians thought they could (and should) take over the world through man’s authority and force. End-time events were greatly misunderstood at that time, so church leaders assumed they could usher in the Millennium with forced conversions and killing all who did not comply. This is an example of abused authority in the name of Christianity. Daniel foretold of a time when gentiles would dominate the Kingdom of God and Israel (Daniel 2).
Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s metallic man foretold four successive gentile empires and a coalition of ten kingdoms at the end of the age that would dominate the civilized world through brutish power. We read about it in the book of Daniel.
Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar, “…wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given [them] into your hand and has made you ruler over them all–you [are] this head of gold” (Daniel 2:37-38, NKJV).
Babylon had glorious years but was defeated by a greater power—the Medo-Persian Empire (chest and arms of silver, Cyrus). The Jews were allowed to return from Babylonian captivity under the provision of Cyrus.
The next dominating kingdom was ruled by Alexander the Great (trunk and thighs of bronze), who broke the powers of the Persian empire (534 BC). That dynasty changed the world. We know that era best for the Greek Hellenistic influences, including Hellenizing Judaism.
Rome, legs of iron, eventually established a religious empire with Christianity as its state church. During that time, the church’s thirst for power and dominance looked nothing like the ecclesia Christ established. The clergy ruled with an iron fist.
“Then, iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found” (Daniel 2:35). That represents over 2500 years of history. God raises kingdoms, and he brings them down in His time.
The final gentile rule, feet with ten toes partly iron and partly clay, represents the current age. As Daniel put it, iron and clay do not hold together. Our world as we knew is falling apart. It seems globalism is the norm of the day with powers that mandate masking and injections for every person on the face of the earth. One world order, invasions, nuclear bomb threats, famine, worsened depravity, deadly viruses, and all the other evil schemes poised against God’s creation are the new normal for every city—not just in underdeveloped countries.
The Final Kingdom
All the powers in the world are not equal in authority to God’s sovereignty. The sudden final destruction has been declared, but the timing belongs to God. The old will pass away, and we will see a glorified Kingdom.
“And in the days of these kings, the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever since you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold–the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure” (Daniel 2:44-45).
The stone cut from the mountain, Messiah, will hand the restored Kingdom over to God the Father; all oppositions will be judged and destroyed. “Then [comes] the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet” (1 Corinthians 15:24-25, NKJV).
“Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” … And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, … But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. … And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. … And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it” (Revelation 21: 5, 10, 22, 24, 26).
“And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name [shall be] on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:3-5).