Bible Prophecy Unfolding
These are exiting times in which we live to literally see end time Bible Prophecy unfold before our eyes. In this article I will show you the partial fulfillment of the iron and clay prophecy, which will see its final fulfillment during the Seven Year Tribulation predicted in the book of Daniel and the Revelation.
Nebuchadnezzar’s wonders what will happen in the future after his kingdom
The book of Daniel tells the story of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon’s dream. The king went to bed wondering about what will occur after his kingdom and into the future. God Himself answered Nebuchadnezzar’s question and gave him a dream. The dream greatly disturbed Nebuchadnezzar and he sought his wise men for its interpretation.
Cruel King With an Impossible Demand
Nebuchadnezzar was a cruel king. He expected his wise men to accomplish an impossible feat. They were to both to tell him the dream he dreamed and provide its interpretation. If they were unable Nebuchadnezzar’s soldiers were to cut them up in many pieces and burn down their homes. When the King’s advisers told him that he requested an impossible feat, he became angry and began to have his wise men, sooth sayers and astrologers killed.
Daniel Makes A Request to the King
When it came time for the soldiers to kill Daniel and his companions, Daniel asked the Captain Arioch (with counsel and wisdom) why the urgency for the King’s decree. Immediately he went to King Nebuchadnezzar and asked for time to give him his interpretation.
Daniel Prays To God for His Mercy
Daniel went to his house and informed his companions and they all prayed for God’s mercy and for their lives. That night God revealed to Daniel in a dream Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and its interpretation.
The prophet Daniel went to Arioch who the King commanded to kill the wise men and told him not to kill them to take him before the king and he will provide the interpretation.
Nebuchadnezzar saw an image with a head of gold, arms of bronze and legs and of iron and feet and toes of iron and clay. A stone formed out of a mountain and smashed the image and broke it in pieces. Daniel interpreted the dream and Nebuchadnezzar rewarded him with many gifts and a place serving in his kingdom as ruler over the kingdom and chief of the wise men.
Nebuchadnezzar’s dream revealed the empire that would come after his including the final world empire that would precede and usher in the second coming of Christ.
The alignment of the books of Daniel and the Revelation
In Daniel Chapter 7 under the reign of Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson, Daniel has a visions referred to as the night visions. These elaborate and provide more details of the kingdoms seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Seven hundred years later, on the isle of Patmos, during the reign of Nero with the Roman Empire ruling, the apostle John is given the Revelation prophecy and within are even more details.
These line perfectly with those provided in the book of Daniel, among many other parallels between the two books. We find in other passages in both the major and minor prophets, specific verses that also provide further details to what is forecast in the books of Daniel and the Revelation.
Daniel Tells Nebuchadnezzar his dream
Daniel in Chapter 2 tells to Nebuchadnezzar what he dreamed, which is as follows in Chapter 2;31-35:
1 “You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. 32 This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and [k]thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of [l]clay.
34 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. 35 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.
The Kingdoms that will rise after Nebuchadnezzar’s
In the following verses Daniel gives to Nebuchadnezzar the dream’s interpretation which are the kingdoms that will follow his. The fourth kingdom is introduced and from this we learn that the fourth kingdom is divided. The passage reads as follows:
36 “This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. 37 You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; 38 and 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. 39 But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40
The Fourth Kingdom of iron and clay
And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. 41 Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly [m]fragile. 43 As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.
Christ’s Coming Kingdom
44 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 [n]break in pieces and [o]consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. 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 Night Visions
In Daniel Chapter 7 we learn more details of the fourth beast:
7 “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. 8 I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking [c]pompous words.
We see the power and dreadfulness of the fourth beast. While the other beasts compare to animals, the fourth is metallic and monstrous with great iron legs and teeth.
The Fourth Beast: the Revived Roman Empire
From all of the passages in the book of Daniel and the Revelation, we know that the fourth beast is future and is the Revived Roman Empire.This is clear in the prediction in Daniel 9: 24-27, in which Daniel forecasts the destruction of the second temple in AD 70 and specifies “the people of the prince who is to come” will destroy the sanctuary.
The prince who is to come is the one who signs the covenant-the Antichrist-which he breaks, which is also predicted in this passage. It was the Romans who destroyed the temple under Titus. This is not the only passage in Daniel that pinpoints the area of Roman Empire. Daniel 8 predicts the four broken horns and from one of them arises the little horn, which was Macedon.
The European Union: The Revived Roman Empire
With the beginnings of the European Union at the signing of the European Coal and Steel Community and also the Treaty of Rome in 1957, which established the European Economic Community, came the beginnings of the Revived Roman Empire predicted in Bible Prophecy.
The Bible Describes an Economic Power
Even the EU’s economic union is mirrored in the prophetic forecasts of Ezekiel Chapters 27-28., Jeremiah Chapter 51, Isaiah 14: 4-6 and Revelation 18. These all describe the final world power as synonymous with trade. More specifically it gains its strength through trade and acts as a hub for trade. This was further solidified in the June 1985 White Paper Completing the Internal Market by 1992, through a series of directives that were to be adhered to by the member nations.
The EU Empire
The EU through the 1990’s and 2000’s further evolved into an empire. This was confirmed by former Commission President Manuel Barroso who stated in 2007 that the EU is a non- imperial empire.
Iron and Clay-Simple Yet Complex Description
Another evidence that proves that the European Union is the final world empire, or the Revived Roman Empire is the prediction of the iron and the clay that has already unfolded. The description is simple as if out of a children’s story book and yet profound in its depth.
Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay.
And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly [m]fragile. 43 As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.
The iron and clay do not mix
The iron and clay which makes up the image’s feet and toes do not mix. The iron legs have power to break in pieces and crush all that opposes the Beast. The Bible states that clay represents the seed of men. The potter’s clay signifies a divided kingdom and the complexity within this kingdom—iron is firm, clay is brittle. The kingdom divides at the legs into feet and toes mingled with clay. John F. Walvoord, in his book Daniel: The Key to Prophetic Revelation, discusses this passage and relates the various interpretations from well known Bible expositors.
A. C. Gaebelein states that “monarchies and clay represent democratic rule.” Lutheran Hebrew Old Testament scholar Johann Karl Friedrich Keil argues that “it is all the means employed by rulers to combine the different nationalities, a sort of intermarriage.” Walvoord concludes that this diversity, “whether this refers to race, political idealism or sectional interests,… will prevent the final form of the kingdom from having any real unity.”
Iron and Clay describes the European Union’s sovereign nations
The vision depicts an analogy of the European Union’s institutional structure as it exists today. The toes mingled with clay represent the sovereign nations who still hold elections and rule their countries while handing over specific powers to the EU Commission. The Scriptures stand unprecedented in their accuracy. One must pay tribute to those Bible scholars who successfully interpreted prophetic passages while there no telltale signs in world affairs manifested.
The iron and clay is in the feet and toes of the beast. The beast could not stand or walk without its feet or toes or the nationals of the countries that put their leaders in place.
The Iron and Clay represents the kingdom’s division
Dwight Pentecost sited Kelly’s observation who that: “
The EU is a kingdom divided. While linked by the Treaty of Rome, each government still holds autonomy. The Member States speak their own languages and retain identity with their individual histories and cultures. EU citizens elect the leaders of the EU Parliament and Council of Ministers, and clay (i.e., the seed of men) represents this democratic practice. The EU’s motto is “united in diversity,” which literally can be the plaque underneath the image of toes mingled with clay. It is the clay element that has given rise to populism and nationalism. It is also the reason the EU has only moved forward slowly for the last several decades.
As the EU Moves Forward, the Bible Provides the Direction
In the EU’s final form it will be ruled by ten nations along with its leading presidency, which will be the Seat of the Antichrist
One of the issues the EU has is that it is currently too large and with its unanimity rule where all nations must agree, the EU cannot move forward. One remedy is to go forward with a smaller core, which nations will agree to unity.
The Bible numbers this core at ten. The fact that this is an EU aim that lines with the future depiction of the EU in the Bible is another amazing piece of unfolding prophecy.
God Leads the Kings to accomplish His aims
The Revelation tells us it is God Himself who puts in the hearts of these kings to give their kingdom unto the Beast.
17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.
The Clay Will Still Be An Issue at the Height of the EU’s Power
The EU will most likely break into the ten nation federation under the Antichrist’s reign. He is the little horn that grows to the height of heaven and brings the EU to its height of power. Even at its height, the clay will be an issue.
According to the book of Daniel, although the empire will have these divisions, the empire will possess iron’s strength. Each nationals culture and nationhood will remain the part that does not mix with the Beast and which causes the empire its fragility. Despite its weakness in this area, it will remain as the most monstrous, powerful, dreadful empire to have existed.
To be be this close to the start of the Tribulation that I can even pen an article this specific on the prophetic forecasts is unprecidented. For the remainder of the fulfillment Habakkuk 2: 2-3 reads:
2 Then the Lord answered me and said:
“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.