As you can see, Colossus confidently stands upon the earth, unchallenged and undefeated. What does this statue mean, and why is it composed of different metals? This statue is from a dream that the King of Babylon had 2500 years ago, found in the second chapter of the book of Daniel in the Bible. Hidden in that prophecy is the meaning of all human history from that time until these days, the “end of time.”
Daniel, a Jewish prophet in the court of the King of Babylon, interpreted the King’s disturbing dream as a succession of empires that would dominate the earth. The head of gold stood for the Babylonian Empire. (“You, O King,” said Daniel, “are the head of gold.”) Persia is the breast of silver, and Greece is the bronze belly. The iron legs of Rome are the fourth kingdom. These once mighty kingdoms had their day in the sun, and are no more. Yet the legs of iron merge into the feet and mix with clay. It is in the feet that we find ourselves today. It is in the feet that you will find the secret of our times.
Are you interested in prophecy about the end of the world? Judging from the headlines of the tabloid newspapers at the grocery store, somebody must be. For years movies with thrilling plots about the end of the world have successfully entertained and even scared a lot of viewers. But still, it’s just entertainment. Life goes on” to somewhere.
Even the preachers continue to stir up a lot of business with their books, and now their movies. Once the show is over, it’s out the theater” but to where? For most of us, it’s just back to business as usual, making a living and hopefully finding some pleasure along the way. Yet the world is surely headed somewhere, and even if you don’t like its direction, you’re still a part of it. There is no hope of getting off the planet. Wherever the world is headed, you’re going with it.
Regardless of all the sensationalism and the hucksters out for gain, there are legitimate prophecies in the Bible written by men of character and dignity. One such man is Daniel, a prophet who lived some 2500 years ago. He was a Jew who lived the majority of his life in Babylon. It is in his book that the clearest prophecies of the end can be found. Yet even he was not allowed by God to understand how or when these prophecies would come about. The last chapter of the book of Daniel says, “The words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.”
At the beginning of a new millennium, what would make us think that we are in the “time of the end?” How can we be sure? Is there any way to know? History tells us of many horrible times when men had good reason to believe it was surely the end of the world. Yet the end did not come. Why would this present day be any different?
But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.
If these two things, travel and knowledge, mark the time of the end, then Daniel’s book is ready to be unsealed. To those born in the past few decades, travel and knowledge are no big deal. But only a hundred years ago the basic transportation for people was their feet, or a horse if they had one; and it has been so from the beginning. What used to be a big planet has shrunk to a golf ball, man’s plaything.
Cheap and easy travel is changing the way we live, and how we view the world. It has also brought new and frightening problems. Now a new virus like Ebola can originate in one country and fly around the world in a few hours. Before the health officials even know what has hit us, people drop dead from a foreign invader. Yesterday it was beyond human imagination; today it is commonplace.
Knowledge is the same. Such rapid access to information is storming society so quickly, no one really knows where it is taking us, or even if we want to go there. Want to build a terrorist bomb? The info is out there somewhere; just push a few buttons in the comfort of your living room on your state-of-the-art laptop. This increase in knowledge is pushing us ahead so fast we can barely keep our feet underneath us. Maybe we lost our balance a long time ago, and just haven’t hit the ground yet.
This extreme rise in knowledge and travel is making life radically different from how human beings have always lived on the earth. Science is tampering with the universe like a child let loose in the control room of a nuclear power plant. Some rejoice over this newfound power. Some shudder.
Is this the beginning of a Golden Age of Progress, or is our ship like the Titanic, plowing through the midnight waves, proudly defiant of the icebergs? Are we steaming to a glorious future, or a grisly nightmare? Shall we break out the lifeboats, or order more champagne? Who really knows where the world is headed?
Some would say, “God only knows!”
And to this, Daniel would agree. His God sealed the prophecies until the end. Not until they are unsealed will the mystery be made known. But to whom will He reveal such mysteries? And what will they do with such understanding? Who will listen to them?
We have heard something in our hearts about this “time of the end,” and so we write. Perhaps you will hear in your heart what we have heard in ours. It is taking us to a place worth going.