Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Daniel, and more specifically, is found in verses nineteen through thirty-eight of the second chapter. When we transition from the previous portion of this particular chapter, we find Nebuchadnezzar seeking to destroy all the astrologers, all the magicians, all the sorcerers, all the Chaldeans, and all the wise men within the Babylonian Empire because of his anger toward those who stood in his presence. The king of Babylon perceived that they were attempting to bide their time in an attempt to somehow persuade the king to reveal his dream. When we come to the twelfth verse of the first chapter we find these words describing the king’s state of mind at this particular point during his reign: “For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain” (Daniel 1:12-13). As the fourteenth verse of this chapter unfolds, we find Daniel’s response to those who came unto him to slay both he and his three Hebrew companions: “Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon: He answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch. Made the thing known to Daniel. Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would shew the king the interpretation” (Daniel 1:14-16). The more I consider Daniel’s response to Arioch’s revelation of the king’s decree, motives and intentions, the more I can’t help but consider that there was a level of risk that was taken on Daniel’s part. Not only was Daniel brave in inquiring of Arioch why the hasty actions within the realm, but Daniel was also brave in entering the presence of the king to request for more time—and not simply time for the sake of time, but time that he might shew the king the interpretation of the dream. Scripture reveals how Daniel responded with counsel and wisdom to Arioch, yet I am convinced that directly connected and associate with that wisdom and counsel was an element of bravery and courage. When we come to the sixteenth verse of the chapter we find Daniel going in unto the king desiring that the king would give him time, and that as a result of that time, he would provide the king the interpretation of the dream.
I can’t help but see a direct correlation and connection between Daniel’s entering the presence of the king with such tremendous hostility and tension within the realm and that of Esther when she dared enter into the presence of the king of Persia. When you come to the fourth chapter of the Old Testament book of Esther you will find Mordecai discovering the murderous plot of Haman toward and against the Jewish people. Mordecai immediately sent word to Esther making known unto her the murderous threat and desire of Haman toward and against the Jews. “When MOredcai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry; and came even before the king’s gate: for none might enter into the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth. And in ever province, whiethersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes. So Esther’s maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not. Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king’s chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was. So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king’s gave. And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them. Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people. And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai. Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai; All the king’s servants, and the people of the king’s provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. And they told to Mordecai Esther’s words. Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether boldest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:1-16).
As I’m sitting here considering and pondering both the accounts of Esther and Daniel, I can’t help but see a tremendous amount of courage both displayed. Esther was raised up from a lowly Jewish captive within the Persian Empire who was elevated to the queen of the Empire, while Daniel consistently and regularly was promoted and exalted among his peers within the Babylonian and Persian Empires. If you consider both of these accounts, you will see how both Daniel and Esther took their own lives into their hands on behalf of those around them. Esther was made aware of the desire to destroy and annihilate all the Jews throughout the Empire, while Daniel was made aware of the decree and commandment to destroy all the wise men in Babylon—a decree which would set the wrath of the king toward and against himself and his three Hebrew companions. There is a tremendous amount of selfless courage and bravery that was displayed by both Daniel and Esther, for both were willing to take their lives into their hands to appear before a king on behalf of those around them. When Esther appeared before the king, she didn’t immediately reveal her true intention for appearing before the king—only extending an invitation to a private dinner she herself would host. Daniel came and appeared before the king of Babylon knowing full well the commandment and decree of the king to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. There was absolutely nothing to stop Nebuchadnezzar from striking Daniel down himself, or having one of his servants or soldiers strike Daniel down for him. When Daniel appeared before the king, there was absolutely no certainty the king would even entertain any request or petition he would present unto him. What’s actually quite remarkable about Daniel’s first appearance before the king is that when he first appeared before the king—and even when he appeared before the king the second time—he made absolutely no plea for his life, nor the lives of the wise men in Babylon. Though Daniel was made aware of the king’s decree and intention, he did not enter the king’s presence seeking to preserve his own life, but rather to fulfill the original request of the king. Though Esther was made aware of Haman’s murderous threat and desire to annihilate the Jews from within the empire, she didn’t enter into the presence of the king and immediately petition for her life, or for the lives of her people.
THE SELFLESS RISK OF INTERCESSION! THE COURAGEOUS ACT OF INTERCESSION! THE BRAVE ACT OF INTERCESSION! In both the case of Daniel and Esther we find two Jews entering into the presence of the king in order to accomplish something very specific. When Daniel appeared before the king, I can’t help but consider the strong reality that his appearance before the king wasn’t merely to make known the dream of the king, and to provide the interpretation of the dream, but to also make intercession as a direct result of that act. It’s quite remarkable to consider and think that Daniel’s intercession on behalf of the wise men of Babylon came not only in his first appearance before the king—perhaps even unsummoned as Esther would later do—but also in his second appearance before the king. Esther’s intercession would first begin with her entering into the presence of the king without being summoned, and would continue through to the private banquet she would hold for the king—a banquet in which Haman himself was invited. Consider what we read in the fifth chapter of the same Old Testament book of Esther regarding Esther’s entrance into the presence of the king, as well as his response to this seeming intrusion: “Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre. Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? And what is thy request? IT shall be even given thee to half of the kingdom. And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him. Then the king said, Cause Haman to make haste, that he may do as Esther hath said. So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared. And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? And it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be performed. Then answered Esther, and said, My edition and my request is; If in ave found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to morrow as the king hath said” (Esther 5:1-8).
I am completely and totally overwhelmed by the tremendous selflessness that surrounded Esther’s appearance before the king, for Esther was willing to take her own life into her hands in order that she might petition the king on behalf of the lives of her people. What’s worth noting, is that Esther could have been struck down on the spot within the inner court before she even had the chance to make petition unto the king regarding her people. Had Esther not found favour with the king in the inner court, and had the king not extended the golden sceptre unto her, Esther could very well have been struck down by sword, or spear, or some other instrument intended for death. This is quite remarkable when you consider it, for we wouldn’t think that there is an element of risk that is involved with intercession and interceding on behalf of others. I am reminded of specific instances in the Old Testament when men of God interceded on behalf of those around them—those whom they knew were either facing the judgment of the Lord, were already experiencing the judgment of the Lord, or who were living in a place of displeasing the Lord. I am reminded of men such as Abraham who passionately interceded on behalf of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Samuel who interceded on behalf of the nation and kingdom of Israel, and Moses who regularly and continually interceded on behalf of the children of Israel. The Old Testament books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and even Deuteronomy are replete with examples of Moses’ passionate intercession on behalf of the children of israel, for the continually provoked the Lord of hosts unto anger within the wilderness. Ultimately the children of Israel—those twenty years and older would not only be forced to wander in the wilderness for forty years, but would also die and perish in the wilderness. WANDERING TO YOUR DEATH! WANDERING UNTIL YOU DIE! How absolutely tragic it is that an entire generation would spend forty years wandering in the wilderness with absolutely no purpose for anything other than dying in the midst of it. What’s worth noting about this particular experience is that while they were still led by the Lord of hosts as He led them by a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day, they would follow the Lord’s direction without a definite end other than death. Pause for a moment and consider this reality—the reality that an entire generation would worship the Lord in the wilderness for forty years, an entire generation would be led by the Lord through the wilderness for forty years, and yet despite their worship and following of the Lord, they essentially were doing so without any hope or promise of inheritance.
I can’t help but wonder if there aren’t men and women who are presently in this place within their lives—worshipping the Lord, and perhaps even following His leading, His guidance and His direction, and yet they seem to have no hope, no purpose, no future, or anything else to look forward to. An entire generation would follow and worship the Lord in the wilderness knowing that they had the chance to enter into the inheritance prepared for and promised unto them, yet they were prevented from doing so. Is this type of reality possible within the lives of men and women within our generation? Is it possible that there can be men and women who had the chance to enter into that which the Lord prepared for and promised them, and yet because of their own stubbornness, their own fear, and their own unbelief, they not only complained against the Lord, but they also refused to enter into what was before them? Is it possible that there are men and women who may still be known as the people of God, may still worship the Lord at His holy sanctuary, and even follow the leading of the Lord within their lives, yet they are prevented from entering into and taking possession of that which had been promised unto them? I can’t help but think about the ten other spies aside from Joshua and Caleb, and how they were perhaps different from the rest of the children of Israel, for they actually entered into and saw the land of Canaan—the land of promise, which flowed with milk and honey. The children of Israel were prevented from entering into and taking possession of the inheritance, yet they never entered into it, nor did they have the chance to witness the provision and blessing that was found within it. The ten spies, however, entered into the Promised Land, saw its provision, saw its abundance, saw its blessing, saw it’s promise, and yet returned from such an experience with a negative report. Oh, I can’t help but wonder if there aren’t men and women among us within this generation who perhaps have entered into, tasted, and partaken of the inheritance to some small degree and measure, and yet instead of returning full of faith, confidence, trust, hope and belief in the Lord, they returned with a negative report—a report that centered around walls, gates, giants, and weapons of the enemy and adversary. It’s one thing to refuse to take possession of the inheritance having never seen or tasted it, but it is something else altogether to have actually entered into the Promised Land, to have tasted of and seen its fruit, and to even bring back some of that fruit—proof of the abundance and blessing that is contained and found within the land. I would dare say there are a number of men and women right now have tasted of the fruit, the promise and the blessing of the inheritance, yet have chosen to give themselves to a negative report, and as a result, are unable to go up, to enter in, and to take possession of the Promised Land.
Oh what I wouldn’t give to know what it was like for those ten spies, as they not only had to spend forty years wandering in the wilderness knowing that they had tasted and experienced the inheritance, yet were prevented from ever entering into it. I would absolutely love to know what it was like for these ten spies to not only know that they themselves wouldn’t enter into the land of promise and blessing, but that there would be an entire generation that would not enter into and take possession of it because they believed the report of these ten spies. I recognize and realize that this doesn’t have anything to do with what we read in the prophetic book of Daniel, or even what we read in the Old Testament book of Esther, but it is absolutely vital and necessary that we recognize and consider it. I am becoming increasingly convinced that it is possible for men and women to have not only tasted of the inheritance, but also to have been given the chance to rise up and take possession of it, and yet they chose to shrink back in fear, in unbelief and in doubt. There are men and women who have spent a considerable amount of time within their life knowing that they had the chance to rise up and take possession of what was before them, yet they chose to complain and murmur against the command and instruction of the Lord. Such men and women may very well have heard two different reports concerning the inheritance and of the ability to rise up and take possession of it, yet they chose to align themselves with the negative word and negative report that emphatically believes and declares that it can’t be done. Oh how many men and women are spending their days and nights right now doing the very same thing the children of Israel twenty years and older did for forty years—wandering in the wilderness until that moment comes when their number would be called, and they would pass from this life into the next? How many men and women are spending their days and their evenings worshipping and following the Lord in the wilderness, yet in the back of their minds while worshipping and following the Lord, they know they would never enter into the Promised Land? Is it possible that for each time a new year would pass, the children of Israel would pass by the Promised Land at least once? In other words, is it possible that this entire generation passed by the opportunity they missed forty times over forty years, knowing full well that they had the chance to rise up and take possession of it, yet never did? I am convinced the Spirit of the Lord is not only challenging our trust and our confidence, but also our belief, our courage, and our commitment to bravery with that which the Lord has placed before us. Let me ask you a question: Do you consider yourself brave? Do you consider yourself courageous? Do you consider yourself a man or woman of faith? Of trust? Of confidence? IN these Last Days, the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is directly challenging these realities within the lives of men and women like never before.
WHEN INTERCESSION REQUIRES COURAGE! WHEN INTERCESSION REQUIRES BRAVERY! WHEN INTERCESSION IS RISKY! Both the accounts and examples of Daniel and Esther bring us face to face with the fact that there are times when intercession—specifically intercession on behalf of those around us who are facing threats and dangers more than they are even aware of—will require great risk, and will present a great challenge for us. There are times within our lives when the greater the intercession, and the greater the need of the intercession, the greater the risk. Both the intercession of Daniel and Esther would come directly and straight on the heels of threats of destruction and annihilation. For Daniel, his intercession would come directly in the face of a threat to all the wise men of Babylon, while Esther’s intercession would come directly in the face of the threat of the annihilation of her entire people. It’s quite special and unique that the intercession of Daniel would not include a plea for the sparing of the lives of the wise men of Babylon, but would be demonstrated and manifested in his prayer with Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah for the God of heaven to reveal the mystery of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The intercession of Daniel would not come in entreating the king to spare the lives of the wise men of Babylon, but would be manifested in his entering into the king and not only revealing the dream, but also providing the interpretation of the dream. The intercession of Daniel would not be seen in any type of formal request of the king—other than asking the king for time in order that he might present unto him the interpretation of the dream. The only thing Daniel really asked for was time, and it would be time that would provide critical for Daniel and his three Hebrew friends, for that night, the Lord appeared to Daniel in a dream, thus revealing unto Daniel both the dream and its interpretation. It’s quite fascinating that it would be through interpretation that intercession would actually be made for the wise men of Babylon, which would include Daniel and his three Hebrew companions. WHEN INTERPRETATION BECOMES INTERCESSION! WHEN INTERCESSION FLOWS FROM INTERPRETATION! It was in, through and by the revealing of mysteries that intercession would be made on behalf of the wise men of Babylon, for while I believe the Lord sought to reveal the mysteries of heaven and time unto Nebuchadnezzar through dreams and the interpretation of those dream, I would also suggest that the interpretation would be a means of intercession on behalf of the wise men of Babylon, which would include Daniel, Hananiah, Azariah and MIshael.
When we come to the nineteenth verse of this passage of Scripture we find these words written concerning that night—the night Daniel and his three friends prayed unto the God of heaven and earth. “Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: and he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: he revealeth the deep and secret things: He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desire of thee” (Daniel 2:19-23). Through these verses we learn how the Lord revealed the secret of the king’s dream in a night vision unto Daniel, and how the Lord made known to him that which was previously concealed and hidden. Daniel’s response to the Lord not only acknowledges the wisdom and might of the Lord, but also how the Lord is sovereign over times and seasons, and how HE gives wisdom and knowledge to them that know understanding. Furthermore, Daniel praised the God in. Heaven, for He reveals the deep and secret things, and knows what is in the darkness, for the light dwells with Him. What’s more, is that Daniel also acknowledged within this prayer that it was the Lord alone who sets up kings and removes kings, thus the Lord of hosts is sovereign over the governments, the kingdoms, the nations, the empires of the earth. While the prophetic book of Daniel is a book about kingdoms and empires, it is also about the Lord’s sovereignty and control over those kingdoms and empires. While within this book we read of two distinct empires and kingdoms to have emerged upon the earth during the days and time of individuals such as Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah, Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, and the like, this book is also about the Lord’s direct involvement within and His direct control over those kingdoms and empires. In all reality, it is the Lord alone who establishes and sets up kingdoms and empires within the earth, and it is the Lord alone who sets up and establishes thrones and kings among and within those empires. There has never been a single king, a single ruler, a single kingdom, a single throne that has ever been set up and established that has been as such without and apart from the direct sovereignty of the Lord of hosts.
BRING ME IN BEFORE THE KING, AND I WILL SHEW UNTO THE KING THE INTERPRETATION! In the twenty-fifth verse of this chapter we read how Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said unto the king, “I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation” (Daniel 2:25). When Daniel appeared before and in the presence of the king, Daniel made it perfectly clear unto the king that the secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king. With that being said, however, Daniel also declared unto the king that there was a God in heaven that reveals secrets, and made known unto the king what shall be in latter days. The vision which the king saw was an image of very distinct materials—an image that would represent kingdoms and empires that would emerge upon the earth. Beginning with the head of gold which was Babylon, Daniel would reveal unto the king that there would be four kingdoms and empires that would rise up within and upon the earth in the coming days. Thus the interpretation not only speaks of and reveals what is to come, but it also reveals the reality that Babylon would not endure forever. This dream reveals the sovereignty of the Lord of heaven and earth, for no kingdom which rose upon the earth would remain and last forever. Oh they would certainly remain upon the earth for a specific period of time, but the days and time of such kingdoms and empires had an expiration date. I believe this is perhaps one of the two most distinct realities surrounding the revelation of this dream, for not only did it reveal the sovereignty of the Lord over the kingdoms and empires of the earth, but it also revealed that every kingdom and empire has an expiration date. One of the most popular arenas we witness this concept of an expiration date is in the realm of politics, for consider the fact that within our own nation, each Presidential term is four years, although that same President can run for the office again the following year, and quite possibly get re-elected. Even if the president does get re-elected by the people, he is limited to only a second term as President of the United States, and once that second term is up, that individual can no longer serve in the function or capacity of the President of the United States. This type of reality is also seen in terms of Congress—both the house and the Senate, for there are specific terms that are assigned for such offices, and the end of each term can carry with it an expiration date. What’s worth noting about the government and kingdom of God is that once the expiration date has passed, the clock cannot and will not reset, for when the clock strikes midnight—time is officially up. The Lord had decreed seventy years for the captivity of the children of Israel, which reveals that not only did their captivity have an expiration date, but so also did the days and influence of Babylon.
AND THERE COMES ANOTHER! The dream and interpretation of the dream which was given unto Nebuchadnezzar revealed the fact that there was an expiration date on the kingdoms and empires, as well as the fact that there is always another kingdom and empire that can emerge upon the earth. The Assyrian Empire would be followed and succeeded by the Babylonian Empire; the Babylonian Empire would be followed by the Medo-Persian empire; the Medo-Persian Empire would be followed by the Grecian Empire; the Grecian Empire would be followed by the Roman Empire. By the time the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ draws to a close we find five distinct empires emerging from the time Israel became a nation within the earth—Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. The interpretation of the dream given unto Nebuchadnezzar not only revealed the Lord’s sovereignty over kings and kingdoms, but also that there is one kingdom that far surpasses, and one kingdom that is far greater than any other kingdom that has ever emerged upon the earth. Oh, it would be true that there would be kingdoms and empires that would emerge within and upon the earth, but there would be one kingdom that would utterly destroy all of these kingdoms and empires together, and would eventually fill the entire earth. The Lord of heaven and earth is not only sovereign over every kingdom and empire that has existed, exists, and will ever exist upon the earth, but the kingdom of our God in heaven is far greater than any other kingdom upon the earth. Consider the fact that the kingdom of heaven began to manifest itself as early as the days of John the Baptist, and would continue through to the days when the apostle John wrote the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and that kingdom would effectively bring Rome to its knees. I believe the only reason Rome persecuted the Christians with the ferocity and intensity it did was because it was directly threatened by these groups of individuals who were claiming a different king and a different allegiance. This is essentially what we witness within the Old Testament prophetic book of Daniel, for within it we find four Hebrews who were claiming that there was one King who was greater than any earthly king that ruled and reigned upon the earth. In all reality, I would dare say the prophetic book of Daniel has a strong similarity between the book of Acts and the persecution that would ensue upon and against the saints, for within the book of Acts we find the saints and Christians being persecuted, while in the book of Daniel we find Daniel and his three Hebrews being persecuted because of their commitment to the Lord their God. What began as a choice not to defile themselves at the king’s table would eventually translate into refusing to bow down to the golden image Nebuchadnezzar had set up and established in the plain of Dura, and Daniel’s refusal to cease praying three times a day unto the Lord his God.
If the prophetic book of Daniel provides examples of how to live in the midst of the culture and society of Babylon, the words of Jesus, and the book of Acts provides examples and teaching of how to live in the midst of the culture and society of Rome. For Daniel and his three Hebrew companions it was Babylon, while for the disciples and the saints it would be Rome. Daniel found himself cast into a den of lions, while Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael would find themselves cast into a furnace of fire. In the New Testament book of Acts we find the disciples imprisoned, flogged, and we even find one who was stoned to death within the city of Jerusalem. Within the New Testament book of Acts we find the Christian church finding itself facing persecution from the Jews, as well as persecution from Gentiles as well. Eventually Rome would rise up as the dominant force persecuting the saints and Christians, for Christians would be crucified, slaughtered in the arena by soldiers and fighters, slaughtered in the arena by wild beasts, burned at the stake, or a host of other things. There is not much difference between Babylon and Rome, and yet within both empires we find men and women who were willing to take a stand for their commitment and devotion to the true and living God. Daniel’s stand would be taken in the Persian Empire, while Hananiah’s, Azariah’s, and Michael’s stand would be taken in Babylon. Both of these stands found their origin in their refusal to delight in the king’s table and the king’s portion. I do not believe it’s any coincidence that we find a fourth man in the fire, and even language of one who will seek to wear down the saints within the prophetic book of Daniel, for it has a strong connection to what we read in the four Gospels, as well as the book of Acts, and the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. The dream which Nebuchadnezzar had would reveal the rising up and emerging of four more kingdoms and empires that would emerge upon the earth after the days and time of Babylon would come to an end. At the end, and when it’s all said and done, all of these kingdoms would come crumbling down atop and upon themselves, for a stone would be cut out from the mountain which would strike the statue of the kingdoms upon its feet, and all these kingdoms and empires would come crumbling to the ground. The one difference between the book of the Acts and the book of Daniel is that in the book of Acts we not only have Christ crucified, resurrected and ascended, but we also have the presence and person of the Spirit as a result of Pentecost, as well as the manifestation of the kingdom of heaven within the lives of the saints and people of God. Oh that we would allow ourselves to be challenged by what we read in this Old Testament prophetic book—challenged by the emergence and expiration dates of kingdoms and empires, as well as kings and rulers within the earth.