Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 10, 1952
NUMBER 48, PAGE 3,5c

The Kingdom Of Daniel 2:44

James D. Bales, Searcy, Arkansas

"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." (Dan. 2:44) What days? What kingdom of heaven? And what difference does it make as to the identity of the kingdom and the time of its establishment? Before establishing from the Bible the answer to the questions as to the time of establishment of the kingdom, and the identity of the kingdom, let us consider the importance of this study.

The Importance Of The Study

(a) The premillennial issue. If the kingdom of Dan. 2:44 has already been established, if it is the kingdom of God's dear Son (Col. 1:13), premillennialism, as we know it today, will have suffered a major blow. One of the key ideas of R. H. Boll's The Kingdom of God, 2nd Edition (Louisville 4, Ky.: The Word and Work), will be destroyed. He wrote: "We have seen then, that in the fair meaning of the prophecies of Daniel, the Kingdom of God, in that phase of it which is viewed by Daniel, has not yet come." (P. 33)

(b) The "Jehovah's Witnesses." If the kingdom of Dan. 2:44 has been established, and if it is the kingdom of God's dear Son (Col. 1:13), Charles T. Russell is demonstrated to be a false prophet. Inspiration was claimed for Russell; up until a few years ago when Judge Rutherford planted himself at the head of the "Jehovah's Witnesses" movement and pushed Russell into the background. But at one time Rutherford claimed that Russell was inspired of the Lord to be the special messenger to the last age of the church, and that Russell's Studies In the Scriptures were the first clear explanation of the Divine Plan ever given. (Studies In the Scriptures, Vol. WI: 4-5; 386-387; 417-418; 486) Rutherford further endorsed this in The Harp of God (Preface and last page of advertisement, Oct. 1, 1921. Quoted from the 1925 printing or 1,962,000 Edition), and especially on pp. 238-239 where Russell is called the special servant of Matt. 24:45-47, and his books "the first clear explanation of the divine plan ever published." (p. 239) This is omitted from some later editions, without any indication in the book that Rutherford had changed his mind about this vital matter. Rutherford later claimed to give the first clear explanation of the divine plan as set forth in Ezekiel and Revelation. (Light, Vol. I, First Printing, pp. 5-6; 12; 53; Vindication, 1931, First Printing, 1:5)

Charles T. Russell, in a message which he claimed was "meat in due season" "to the Household of Faith," taught that spiritual Babylon was divided into ten "different wards, each of which represents one of the kingdoms of Christendom, and which corresponds to the ten horns of the symbolic 'beast.' Compare Rev. 11:13; 13:1; Dan. 2:41; 7:7." (Pastor Russell's Sermons, 100,000 Edition, Brooklyn: International Bible Students Association, 1917, pp. 404, 405) He regarded the toes as ten kingdoms, as existing now, and that the establishment of the kingdoms was yet to be made; future that is from the time he made this statement on October 4, 1914. (Pastor Russell's Sermons, pp. 417-418) "This smiting of the image in the feet symbolically represents that it will be by Divine Power that the present institutions will all come to naught preparatory to the establishment of the kingdom of God in their stead." (p. 479 See also Russell's Millennial Dawn, Vol. I (470,000, 1886. Later called Vol. I of Studies In the Scriptures).

Judge Rutherford took the position that the kingdom of Daniel 2:4 was not established in the first century, but in the twentieth century. After quoting Dan. 2:44 he wrote: "Literally the kingdoms of earth are being broken in pieces, and any one who takes a map of Europe today and looks it over can see how completely this prophecy is now in course of fulfillment. Nearly all the kings of earth are gone and their kingdoms are broken in pieces and are being consumed. This is being done because the Lord is present, because the old world has ended and he is clearing away the unrighteous things to make way for his new and righteous government." (The Harp of God. Brooklyn: International Bible Students Association, 1921. 675,000 Edition, p. 246) See also Light. II: 295-, First Printing.

If Russell and Rutherford are wrong the "Jehovah's Witness" movement is based on false interpretations, and they are false prophets and teachers. Of course, there are many other things which show them false, but this within itself discredits them.

(c) Latter Day Saints. If the kingdom of Dan. 2:44 is the kingdom of Col. 1:13 the entire Mormon movement is shown to be false in two ways: First, Latter Day Saints maintain that the church of the New Testament was entirely destroyed and removed from the earth by the apostasy. They maintain that it had to be reestablished by the direct intervention of heaven, or otherwise there would be no authority on earth and no church. So important is this doctrine that Apostle James E. Talmadge, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, wrote: "If the alleged apostasy of the primitive church was not a reality, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not the divine institution its name proclaims." (The Great Apostasy. Salt Lake City: The Deseret News, 1909, p. If the kingdom of Dan. 2:44 is the church established in Acts 2, then there could be no apostasy which would totally destroy the church on earth, for Daniel said that this kingdom was to stand forever. (2:44)

Second, E. H. Roberts, in the "Introduction" to History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1902), maintained that the Dan. 2:44 kingdom was not established until the time of what he calls the fifth kingdom (and which he says was represented by the feet and toes), which he identifies with "the modern kingdoms and states of the world." (p. xxxix) The prophecy he maintained, is a prophecy of the kingdom established by Joseph Smith in the last days, which according to them did not begin in Acts 2:16-17, but in 1830.

(d) The Seventh Day Adventist. One of the most prominent writers, of a past generation, among the Seventh Day Adventist maintained that the toes represent ten kingdoms into which Rome divided. "Thus the subject is clear of all difficulty. Time has fully developed this great image in all its parts. Most strictly does it represent the important political events it was designed to symbolize. It stands complete upon its feet. Thus it has been standing for over fourteen hundred years. It waits to be smitten upon the feet by the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, that is, the kingdom of Christ. This is to be accomplished when the Lord shall be revealed in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. (See Ps. 2:8, 9) In the days of these kings the God of heaven is to set up a kingdom. We have been in the days of these kings for over fourteen centuries, and we are still in their days. So far as this prophecy is concerned, the very near event is the setting up of God's everlasting kingdom." (Uriah Smith, Daniel and Revelation. Nashville: Southern Publishing Association, 1907, p. 88) This is official Seventh Day Adventist teaching, as is indicated in an official brief statement of their doctrines. (William H. Branson, In Defense of the Faith. Washington: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1933, p. 18)

Mrs. Ellen. G. White claimed inspiration and her followers claim it for her. (Publisher's Preface in E. G. White, The Great Controversy. Oakland: Pacific Press, 1887. 7th Edition, p. iv. Branson, 327) She is the one who is responsible for official Seventh Day Adventist doctrine, and if she took a false position here, it is obvious that she was not inspired of God.

(e) Infidelity. If it can be shown that Dan. 2 contains a prophecy, now fulfilled, which could not be the result of human insight, the infidels are refuted and Daniel is shown to be a true prophet of God, and the church a divine institution.

These, then, are some of the things which show the importance of the question which shall be discussed in a series of articles.