Friday, August 12, 2011

Daniel 2: Christ, the Rock from the Mountain of God

What does the 'Stone cut without hands' do in Daniel's vision? It smashes the image on the feet, shattering the entire thing to dust, then it grows into a mighty mountain which covers the whole Earth. It is Jesus Christ who will destroy the kingdoms of this world, not His followers. It is Christ's kingdom which will grow to an everlasting kingdom covering the entire Earth, not His followers' kingdom. To say that the Stone represents the followers of Christ is to remove Christ from the prophecy. It is to usurp for ourselves the glory and power that belong to Him alone. What self-exaltation, what self-righteousness, what self-centeredness! As one of my favorite preachers, Lyle Albrecht, said about why he hates the teaching that the last week (seven years) of the 70-week prophecy is applied to antichrist: "They take away the beautiful work of my Saviour, Jesus Christ and apply it to satan! How dare they!"

I will not remove Jesus Christ from the center of my theology which is taught so plainly in the Bible, and apply His work and His power and His glory to 'wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked' humans, relegating Christ to the background as some unseen force simply enabling humans to be the focus. I cannot, will not, remove Jesus Christ from my doctrines...for then they would all be in vain. In John 5:39, He Himself said, "You search the Scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life, but they are they which testify of Me."

What was the vision in Daniel 2 referring to? Kingdoms and their kings! Daniel says to Nebuchadnezzar in 2:38b-39a, "You are this head of gold! And after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours."

So we can see the Bible is clear that the materials in this vision refer to kingdoms and their King.

So how illogical and how much a wresting of Scripture would it be to suddenly change the rules for the last part of the vision and say now at this last part, the material no longer represents a King and His kingdom, but instead the Stone represents a small section of God's people which destroy the kingdoms of the world and then grow to cover it?

Brothers and sisters, I beg, implore and beseech you to never ever ever remove Christ from theology and doctrines which all point to Him and Him alone! To put ourselves in the place of God is to make the same mistake that was made in the very beginning. (Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:17)

Let us remember that we are but dust. Our lives, a vapor in the wind. God is the Almighty.

Here are some verses I compiled while studying the topic of Daniel 2 and whether the Stone cut without hands was indeed Jesus Christ, as Seventh-day Adventists believe, or the 144 thousand, as the Shepherd's Rod believes.

Shepherd's Rod doctrine on Daniel 2 hinges on the mountain always being a symbol of God's people and they give 2 verses to back that claim up, but look at all these verses calling Christ the Rock/Stone and referring to the mountain as the dwelling place/righteousness of God...

Jesus Christ the Rock/Stone:

Matthew 21:44, "And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder."

Psalm 118:22, "The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone."

Acts 4:11, "This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.'"

Deuteronomy 32:4, "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he."

Matthew 7:24, "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock" and again in Luke 6:47-48

1 Peter 2:4, "Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious"

Isaiah 26:4, "Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal"

Matthew 16:16-18, "Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."

Daniel 2:34-35, "You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the 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. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth."

Daniel 2:45, "Inasmuch as 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."

The Mountain as God's Dwelling Place/Righteousness:

Isaiah 14:13, "For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north"

Exodus 15:17, "You will bring them in and plant them
In the mountain of Your inheritance,
In the place, O LORD, which You have made
For Your own dwelling,
The sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established."

Ezekiel 28:16, "By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire."

Psalm 36:6, "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast."

Exodus 19:3, "And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel:"

Hebrews 12:22, "But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly"

Isaiah 24:23, "The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed; for the LORD Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders, gloriously."

Isaiah 27:13, "And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain in Jerusalem."

Psalm 68:15, "A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan; A mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan."

Psalm 68:16, "Why do you fume with envy, you mountains of many peaks? This is the mountain which God desires to dwell in; Yes, the LORD will dwell in it forever."

Exodus 3:1, "Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb."

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