Nebuchadnezzar surveying his kingdom just prior to being humbled by God.



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PURIFIED perfect





















































































Act 3, Scene 2


The Head of Gold



            Thou, O king, art a king of Kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. Dan. 2.37‑38


    After wheeling the Colossus of Antichrist out onto the stage, "The Redemption Play" is suddenly interrupted when an angel-like being, calling himself a "watcher", comes down from heaven to instruct the "audience" of Mankind about a somewhat puzzling matter which must be explained before the story of the evolution of the Beast can be told. Pointing to a man crawling on hands and knees, eating grass and foraging for bugs; alone, dirty, wet, and disheveled, with scraggly hair and fingernails as long as knives, naked, the "watcher" declares in a loud voice; "This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the words of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men." (Dan. 4.17)

God Allows the Basest of Men to Rule

            We are startled to learn that this figure to whom the "watcher" is pointing was once the greatest of all kings - a king of Kings the Scripture called him - but in a moment of time God reduced him to a grovelling animal to show the world that it is God, and God alone, who raises up and deposes rulers. The "watcher" cites chapter 4 of Daniel telling one of the most bizarre stories in all of history and declaring that it was orchestrated by God simply to illustrate an historical principle for all ages. A proud and arrogant ruler, Nebuchadnezzar was made insane by God and forced to walk on all fours like an animal for seven years.
      His madness came on him at the height of his power and nothing could be done by anyone on earth to reverse it, until at the end of the predetermined seven years, God lifted the curse and miraculously restored him to his right mind giving him back his kingdom and former glory. The restored Nebuchadnezzar testified, "And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and I praised and honored him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion.... And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or saith to him, What doest thou?" (Dan. 4.34-35) So we are taught for all times, and all ages, that by the power of God men are allowed to rule, and the whole earth sits tiny in God's hand.

            But it does seem like a contradiction. Why does God let evil governments stand? Why does God let bad rulers rule? Many in the "audience" of Mankind look at the "watcher" and shrug, confused about the paradox. Many turn to each other and ask, "I thought if God appointed someone as ruler it would be his man, that every leader he Ok'd would be a man after his heart, and he would chose only the godly and just to be leaders?" But the "watcher's" point concerning the judgment that fell on Nebuchadnezzar proves our natural presumptions wrong. The Scripture exclaims, "He setteth up over [Mankind] the basest of men."

            Every ruler is not a holy man, or given to pleasing God, or chosen because he is righteous of just. At first this can be hard to get a hold of because we have been schooled to believe that the world's salvation must lie in an equitable system somewhere, or in some kind of brilliant and fair ideology. but, that the angels sent a "watcher" to instruct us indicates that the angels themselves are concerned about getting this paradoxical truth across to those who have ears to hear it. That God is in control of governments and powers, and raises up base and nasty men to do the dirty work of the kingdoms of this earth is clear; that Babylon is a big part of the overall kingdom that mightily opposes the kingdom of Christ becomes even clearer as the evolution of history unfurls; and yet, God has allowed this opposition to himself to be raised up. It is a paradox through all history, including our time, that those of faith must trust God for, believing and accepting that it is all part of the masterful script of "The Redemption Play" perfectly directed by one who loving cares for those who turn to him with their whole hearts.

    So then, what about this paradox? Why then does God allow this great opposition to himself? First, for salvation’s sake; it is his wonderful mercy and grace to allow for men to be saved. But it is also in God's righteous character that Man be given a chance to rule over his world so free will can run its full course. Satan's lies and deceptions must be exposed for all creation, not merely by word, but in actual experience and deed. The evidence of who the bunglers and workers of evil really are must become evident. Utopia without God is a pot of gold at the end of the blackened rainbow, a vision of vanity for man not under the mantle of God’s love.. God decided in the beginning to allow Mankind to see by experience the results of his vain alternatives to God's plan of redemption; to see the inalterable fact; that without God there is no perfection. In the mean time, in spite of the conspiracy and pressures of sin, some men will find life and perfection even amid the preponderance of false and tricky hearts, because a few will find the way of salvation and will escape to enter into the perfection of hope in Christ, who is the deliverer and hope of glory in every man who has Him abiding within their heart.

    Second, God allowed the empires to grow and thrive because he has manipulated the empires of the Antichrist to perform some of the judgment necessary in the redemption process. Using these beasts to judge unrighteous nations and empires is one of the marvelous recurring ironies of prophecy. Of the greatest embarrassment to Satan must be the continual use of his own kingdoms to perform the fulfillment of God's word. Satan's reason for the empires is to frustrate God's plan and set up his own throne on earth, but God, with characteristic love of irony, has used the very tool forged against him to further his work. Babylon, the first kingdom, set the precedent for all other kingdoms to follow. God dubbed Babylon, the "Hammer of the whole earth", because he had used it many times to administer judgment to deserving nations. By Babylon he judged the Satanic kingdom of Tyre, and mighty Egypt, and most importantly, his own inheritance: Israel. As a rod of iron hard in his hands, God has used the Antichrist Empire time and time again to topple uppity nations. All nations are in his hand, and no king may rule, nor any nation stand against his Will. Period.


God Has Everything under Control

            If this paradox is so, then Christians are in a tenuous position. If we scream to loud about evil in government or judgment falling we may be screaming about God's irony in action. All governments, all rulers, are in his hand. You can believe it.  For this reason all governments are deserving of a certain respect. Jesus testified to Pilate, "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, accept it were given thee from above." Recognizing this fundamental truth, Jesus did not rail against the authorities. He did not preach rebellion, or any kind of political or social reform. His mission was of a different nature and remains so to this day. Men of God, like Daniel and the apostle Paul, have respected the God allowed powers of these kingdoms, so why shouldn't we? They had faith that these governments, as crumby as they were, were part of God's overall plan. The fulfillment of prophecy has proven their faith correct. Through such men of God the Spirit of truth teaches not rebellion or sedition, protest or activism, but instead we are encouraged to have a "what business is it of ours" kind of attitude, all the while heeding the epistle's advice, "honor the king". Daniel honored the kings of Babylon and Persia with great respect, and yet both were pinpointed in supernatural visions of God given to him as being living and integral parts of the Beast that so staunchly opposes the Kingdom of God. And Paul even apologized to the high priest of Israel - that's right, the same man who had been the main conspirator in the Crucifixion - when he accidentally showed disrespect for him, not because the high priest was a righteous man or good servant of God, but because it is God's will that we honor and respect all the authorities and powers he has ordained for the sake of his plan of redemption. This principle is important if we are to understand history and fit into God's plan. If the "watchers" point is well taken, as it ought to be, men of faith will not become deceived about how to fight the "good fight of faith", which is the fight Christians must learn to win. We must not get embroiled in worldly concerns. It is an act of faith because we must believe God is in control of the nations, control of the present, control of the future, control of everything. To believe that God has his hand on all governments: communist, capitalist, socialist, totalitarian, dictatorship, theocratic, autocratic or democratic requires trust and faith in God. Living a reserved respect and showing a patient restraint, even in the middle of the injustices of government, shows we believe God will judge them in their due course and is an act of faith.


No Government Can Be Our Salvation

    But that doesn't mean we have to hide our heads in the sand either. The paradox of governments and their role in "The Redemption Play" must be ingested with a qualification. Just a certain kind of respect and honor is as far as God wants it to go. We must respect these worldly powers because God has allowed their establishment, but we must never allow ourselves to be sucked into believing that a system or a government can save be our salvation. These powers are God's hedge against anarchy and are not to be confused with salvation. To please God we must worship him, and him only, in truth and spirit. This is the true meaning of Jesus' words, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." We render taxes, respect, lawful living, even a kind of honor, but never should we believe that such systems or ideologies are the answer to Mankind's dilemma, never should we worship them or let our faith be stirred by them, that must be reserved for the Hero of Redemption, Jesus Christ, and Christ alone.

    More than any other thing, Daniel's personal life appeals to the believer to keep himself unspotted by false religion and idolatry. We must not render to leaders, or systems, or governments, or ideologies, our hope or our worship.


            “And the Devil taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

            And the Devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will give it.

            If thou wilt therefore worship me, all shall be thine.

            And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord the God, and him only shalt thou serve.”Luke 4:5‑8


            Christ sets the example. Christ is not concerned with the powers of governments, but he is intent on worshipping the Father and serving only him. Daniel too, was tested during his life concerning whom he would worship. He, as a high government official, honored the king, yet he and others like him were called upon to put their lives on the line, and by faith they showed that there can be no compromise when it comes to worship. Given the chance to win worship, Satan would discard all the powers of this world in a heart beat. He is obsessed with stealing the worship of creation from the Creator. So it should not surprise the "audience" to find out that Satan's first beast, Babylon, made the institution of False Religion its number one priority.


Babylon the Great Lion: the Golden Empire

    With God's majesty and omnipotence firmly established, we can now turn our attention back to "The Redemption Play" and the appearance of the first great empire in God's quintessential plan. The "audience" now sees a parade of well-dressed, sophisticated people marching on to the world scene. The inhabitants of the world gawk with envy at this procession of arrogant and proud nation. The world is awed by their resplendent riches as the Babylonians, by their majesty, capture the imagination and the hearts of Mankind.

            Babylonian's may not have had a monopoly on pride, but in their day they certainly cornered the lion's share of it. They ate delicate cakes and sweet things as they reclined in fine linens made from fabrics brought by extravagant caravans from the far reaches of civilization. Woolen cloaks of broad design and color and masterful workmanship protected them from the weather. Babylon's noblemen spent their days in luxury and refinement. Culture was both a pursuit and a product. Writing had been invented by their ancestors. The sciences, like mathematics, engineering and astronomy were highly developed disciplines. The city itself was an engineering feat; no! a marvel, that enabled the citizens of Babylon to live in open spaces with a general cleanliness that would make modern cities like Tokyo, New York, London or Mexico City, with their crowded conditions and burnt out neighborhoods, blush with embarrassment. All first hand accounts - such as the one by the Greek traveler, known as the father of history, Herodotus - are recorded in agreement: everyone stood speechless in the presence of Babylon's majesty and power. It should be no mystery that God labeled Babylon, The Head of Gold.

     Try to envision this "city", though it is impossible to compare it with anything in the modern world. The capital of the empire, it was fifteen miles square (225 square miles), encompassed by walls 350 feet high and eighty-seven feet thick. Six chariots - each six horses wide - could ride abreast on the paved roads that capped off the tops of the wall. Twenty five brass gates better than twenty feet high were stationed proportionately on each of the four sides. The city was divided down the middle by the Euphrates River which allowed for lush farms and gardens, and provided the life blood for one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The city had a comprehensive sewerage system and a municipal water works. On one side of the river the King's glorious palace loomed, while on the other, the Tower of Jupiter Belus (Baal or Bel) as it was called then - it was actually the Tower of Babel which had been restored and even completed by Nebuchadnezzar - rose high above the walls into the skyline and stood as the center and the symbol of Babylon's vibrant, occult religious life. A number of lesser ziggerats (religious towers like the Tower of Belus) dotted the city. In reality the city was more a province than a city having stores and provisions stockpiled in it that could last years and years in case anyone was daring enough, or foolish enough, to lay siege  to her. As the Titanic was billed unsinkable centuries later, so Babylonians - and all who witnessed her majesty - thought she was impregnable. The glory of the city of Babylon is almost impossible to believe or comprehend, even in this day of star wars technology.

             Just a quick scan of Babylon's glory and magnitude shows why God identified it as the Colossus of Empire's Head of Gold. But, calling Babylon the head also has spiritual symbolism. As the Empire's head it is the seat of the mind - the soul - of the Empire, and as the soul of the Empire Babylon injected false religion into it. Through its religion the Empire set its direction: that is, to establish the worship of creation instead of the Creator. With the subtlety and wisdom of Satan behind it, Babylon set precedents about worshipping creation that would stay with the Beast throughout its evolution. In the end, revealed in the book of Revelation, Babylon is synonymous with the word whore which is associated with universal false religion. Even the concept of making everybody, on pain of death, worship a great image was used by the King of Babylon and is a prophetic tip off of the Antichrist's ultimate demand that everyone worship his image at the time of the end.


Babylon's False Religion

    Chapter 3 of Daniel, the well known story about the three Jews, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego, provides a prophetic and graphic warning about the Antichrist and his blasphemous demands at the end.

    These three Jews were accused of treason and sentenced to a fiery death because they refused to do the "sensible" thing: bow down before the idol which the king had set up in the plain of Shinar. To Babylonians the king's request must have seemed a small thing, and it must have been hard for the three Jews to resist, especially when the alternative was to be incinerated in a raging furnace. But they did resist and their faith is recorded as a warning against the Antichrist tactic of the end time when the battle over the issue of worship and faith will also be one of life and death. At the end, those who are not willing to worship the image made in the likeness of the Antichrist himself will be sentenced to death just as Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego were. The strategy, with the image of Shinar, as in the end, was supposed to teach people that those who do not worship the idol will lose their lives in a fiery torment, but as usual the exact opposite is true. The true fate of those who worship the false gods of this world is loudly proclaimed by another "watcher" of the Lord, in the book of Revelation,


“saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

            The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

           And the smoke of their torment ascended up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” Rev. 14.9‑11


    People who worship God will not be put to a fiery death, to the contrary. Those who decline to worship the gods of this world will find life everlasting; and those who do worship the Beast and his image will find a fiery torment in Hell. The faith of Jesus rests outside the worship of things in this world, it does not find its hope in this life or this body, but the faith of God is in the heavens, in the everlasting life to come. Those who worship in truth need not fear the second death of the eternal lake of fire, nor the torment of being lost and alone, forever cut off from the Creator. "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and have the faith of Jesus." (Rev. 14.12) Only people secure in a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ will be able to discern between true worship and eternal life and false worship and spiritual death.

    It is no light thing that an entire chapter of Daniel is devoted to this great similitude of faith. As in this case, we can be sure that Satan will cleverly subvert the truth disguising his purposes as long as possible, but as in the story of Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego the truth will surface when false religion is resisted by faith. The three were thrown into the king's make‑shift "lake of fire", and the flames were so great that even the men who tossed them in were scorched by the terrible heat and died. But moments later, King Nebuchadnezzar saw three men walking around in the flames unscathed, and was astonished to see another man with them, a fourth man, who Nebuchadnezzar blurted out, is "like the Son of God". These men not only survived by refusing to refusing to worship this original image of the Antichrist, they met Jesus too!  There is the true lesson! So impressed was Nebuchadnezzar by the miracle, this man who had set up the Antichrist's prototype image, that even he was forced by the circumstances to give worship to the true God when he said, "There is no other God that can deliver after this sort". Once again God had used one of Satan's evil plots to reveal a prophetic truth, because it is prophesied that in the end Satan, the Antichrist, the false prophet, and all their hosts, will be forced to admit that God is the only true God. "For it is written, as I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." (Rom. 14.11)

    In spite of the merciful lessons taught to Nebuchadnezzar, the beast of Babylon persisted in its prophetic mission to fill the earth with Satan's Creed: the creature must be worshipped rather than the Creator. Who, or what part of creation to be worshipped is secondary. Satan is confident that if he can first rob God of worship that he can ultimately claim victory and get the worship of creation for himself. Babylon, as the regal lion of the beasts of the Empire (Dan. 7), rules over the others by its soulish influence brought to bare by its false religion. This roaring lion even took worship a step further by institutionalizing the incredible idea that the creature could not only be worshipped, but is even capable of being a Creator. Stealing from the truth, that God molded man from the clay of the earth, by his own hands, in his own image, and breathed life into him; Babylon dared to believe that us creatures could also mold something from the earth giving it the power of life and death over people, deserving of their honor and worship. In the end the Lord will allow this foolish deception to reach its greatest depth when the Antichrist will be given a magical power enabling him to give an image in his likeness, life (Rev. 13). To an unfaithful world it will seem as if the Antichrist has created life itself. The image will be able to both speak and kill. It will be the final expression of what is in the vain minds of the creature. The creature aspires to be God. But rest assured, the vanity started in Babylon will end in deadly folly.

    The vain mind of the Babylonian religion has infested the whole earth and shaped politics and cultures everywhere throughout all of history. The world is ever filling with "beautiful", and "loving", and seemingly God anointed ways in which it can worship man and his inventions. How we pat ourselves on the back for creating a living chromosome in a test tube; how we believe we may do anything we desire; how we believe we are God. Deception and false light are at the heart of the "Whore of Babylon's" gospel. Its garbage is not ordained by the true God, but the Whore's religion will insist it is. It will even call on God's name, without shame, whenever it is expedient. Her greatest blasphemy is to dare to say that God is with them. The Whore has no scruples, plays by no rules, and is age-old soul of the Beast. No single force in the hands of men is stronger on earth than these great deceptions passed on by the seductive whore and it is to this soul, this high and mighty head, that the silver body of Persia attached itself when it descended to the Beast's throne by conquering Babylon the Great in 538 B.C.

    All the empires of history have had a spirit, a spiritual power, that controlled it and spurred it on to dominance, but the four spirits of the Colossal image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream which control the four great empires are the ones with the spirit and power of the Antichrist. They not only hold in common the spirit of humanism, they are responsible for filling the earth with it. This humanism is a common enterprise that has its roots in the rebellious tradition started at the Tower of Babel. And certainly the religion and hopes of the Babel conspiracy did not die with the scattering of the rebels over the face of the earth, or the confusing of languages. The ambition of men to control their own destiny by a unity that opposes God's will has never died; and this humanism, this worship of creatures rather than Creator, is what lies at the heart of any imperial power, and never more so than in the four Antichrist Empires of Daniel. For the next 600 years - before the coming of our Hero -  these four monsters march in succession across history's stage, subduing every people and culture in their path, all according to God's script for "The Redemption Play".

                               > Act 3; scene 3: Persia Body of Silver