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In a third sense, the kingdom of heaven has been since the beginning of time and has no end

We have seen that, in one sense, the kingdom of heaven (with reference to our personal life) has already come.

We have seen that, in another sense, the kingdom of heaven (with reference to the millennium) is yet to come.

There is a third sense in which we can refer to the kingdom of heaven. In this sense, the kingdom of God has always existed.

Dan 4:34 "But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom {endures} from generation to generation."

There is a sense where the kingdom of heaven always exists. This is because God is sovereign, and nothing happens without His permission.

As an aside, notice Nebuchadnezzar saying that he raised his eyes to heaven and reason returned to him. Many times, we behave very foolishly. This is generally because of our pride. But when we humble ourselves and raise our eyes to heaven then our reason returns to us and we begin to behave wisely.

When people read the book of Daniel they usually focus on the life of Daniel. But I have found that it is also very instructive to focus on the life of King Nebuchadnezzar.

You see, during Nebuchadnezzar’s time, Babylon was the superpower of the earth, and Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful man on the earth. He had more power than the president of the USA.

You can imagine him assessing himself and saying:

  • Conquered enemies of the north? Check!
  • Conquered enemies of the south? Check!
  • Conquered enemies of the east? Check!
  • Conquered enemies of the west? Check!
  • Killed internal enemies? Check!
  • Have riches beyond measure? Check!
  • Good health? Check!
  • Good food? Check!
  • Good sex? Check!

And so on.

So here is the situation for Nebuchadnezzar. He has accomplished everything he can possibly imagine. So his next challenge is: how to make this last forever.

He thought that there was no way that anyone could overpower him. He thought that his kingdom would last forever because even after he died his descendants would be able to squash any opposition. He was proud of all that he accomplished and took credit for it all.

Then God gave him a dream, and Daniel interpreted it for him and told him that his kingdom would not last forever, but that after him would come other lesser kingdoms, and then finally, God would set up a kingdom that would indeed last forever.

He did not believe it. He did not think that God existed and so he began toying with God’s people to see if God would intervene.

God did intervene, and later God toyed with his mind and took him out. Then he realized that God indeed does exist, and that He rules forever, and has full control over everything, and that it is God who gives power to man. When he humbled himself and acknowledged the truth that he has no control and that his kingdom will not last forever, but God’s kingdom will, then God restored him.

It is dangerous for a godless man to live in the presence of a godly man. He either gets transformed into a godly man or gets destroyed.

The key lesson to learn is that life is not about us and about our kingdom, but about God and the furtherance of His kingdom.

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