he Image of Daniel chapter two represents a sequence of the kingdoms of men. The last phase is represented by feet and toes of iron and clay. It is the feet phase that is in existence when Christ comes, because Daniel declares in his interpretation: "Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the Image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces" v. 34. We can follow through the ages of the gold, silver, brass and iron and the two legs of iron roughly describing the Roman Empire with its Eastern and Western parts through many centuries.
Thus far the sequence has been fulfilled. But the feet, which contain elements of the iron, are shaped by a moulding of miry clay. The feet belong to our time. "Iron mixed with miry clay" is exactly Europe of today. The clay represents "the seed of men", common man in a position of rulership, under the titles of democracy, socialism and communism. Yet in this present order of things there are still elements of iron--the hard totalitarianism of the Roman system. Despite forms of democracy, there are still near dictators; there was De Gaulle in France, Franco in Spain, the despotic heads of the various countries of Eastern Europe, the State Absolutism of Russia, the military dictatorship of Greece. In addition there is the authoritarian system of the Papacy spread over Europe.
The iron-clay feet develop from the previous iron state of things, and there is a continuity of the iron into the feet. So we should expect the feet to represent the final phase of the Roman Empire. The whole of Europe, East and West, is involved in the feet. So the Stone power striking the feet is the conflict between Christ and his people, and a dominantly European assembly of nations.
Daniel chapter 7 helps us in understanding this last feet phase of the Image. Daniel's 4th beast at the time of judgment is equivalent to the feet and toes of the Image: they are both the final phases of two visions. Two items of the 4th beast in the time of judgment should be noted. First, after an earlier stage of tearing with its great iron teeth, it "stamps the residue with its brazen feet", vv 7, 19. So the military power of this 4th beast in the time of the end is brazen; that is to say, it is Eastern.
Brass stood for the power of Greece, and when incorporated into the 4th Roman beast, stands for the Eastern, or Byzantine part of the Roman Empire. This strikingly confirms that the military leadership belongs to Russia--Eastern. The second point of importance is that at this time of judgment we read: "I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake". So the little horn with eyes and mouth is active against Christ: the Papacy has a big part to play in this final activity of Daniel's 4th beast. So Russia and the Vatican both have their part in the final stage of Daniel's 4th beast. Eastern and Western Europe are brought into one system. This agrees with what we said about the feet of the Image.
The Image to stand complete
We have considered the Image as a sequence of materials, with the Stone smiting the feet, and breaking the feet to pieces. But a further idea is involved: the Image, in some way, is to stand complete in the latter days. The very language "smote the Image on its feet" requires there to be a complete Image. This is confirmed by verse 36, which says "Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together". All the metals must be there. So the question is, what does the complete Image represent? and when exactly is it erected?
The fact that in the vision all the metals are finally assembled together, teaches that there will be a confederacy of all the kingdoms of men. It is the greatness, the totality, of world empires assembled together at the time of the feet phase that stands out here. This is the impression made upon Neb-uchadnezzar. "Thou, 0 king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee: and the form thereof was terrible", v. 31. So he was shown "what shall be in the latter days", v. 28. Clearly the Image is more than just the feet part. It needs feet to stand on; and therefore the Image belongs to the time of the iron-clay state; but the Image is a colossus. Nebuchadnezzar made his replica of it a 100ft. high!
So in this "great image", "with excellent brightness", "with terrible form", is human power joined together in conflict with the Stone Power. Can this be any other than the great assembly of nations of which all the other prophets have spoken? There is no other time in the course of events in the setting up of the kingdom for the Image to stand erect, than at the crisis of the gathering to Armageddon in the land of Israel. After Armageddon only the Papacy, the scarlet coloured beast and the ten horns of Western Europe continue to have an ability to make war on the Lamb. The time has gone for the erection of such a colossus.
Christianity part of the Image
One other useful feature emerges from considering the Image as erected complete at this time. The Image has a golden Babylonian head. The head is the most important part of a man; it directs, it rules the body. The Bible speaks in clear terms about a Babylon that "reigns over the kings of the earth" when Christ comes. So we have the Revelation filling out this feature of the head of the Image. Babylon the Great in its religious aspect has the Papacy as its head and it must therefore play an important part in the erection of this Image on the feet phase of Europe. This confirms the idea that the great confederacy coming down upon Israel has a religious element in it; it comes as a crusade.
The Bible shows that a form of Christianity will hold sway at the end. The Russian and the Vatican systems are very similar and will coalesce quite easily. Russia has long conceived the idea of establishing a "third Rome", and combining with the Vatican, will succeed in so doing. Then as a last final stage after this system has been broken, the Vatican will become a last rallying point of the powers of Western Europe, to be destroyed by the Lamb and his followers in the European "Lake of fire". This is described in Rev. 19, vv. 11-21, after the fall of Babylon the Great in Revelation ch. 18.
In Daniel chapter 2 all the metals are ground to powder; in Daniel chapter 7, only the 4th beast is destroyed, the other three beasts, equivalent to the first three metals, are said to have their dominion taken away. There is no conflict between these two ideas. They are looking at different matters. In terms of a human confederacy of power expressed by the Image, this is completely abolished, and only the divine Mountain of the Christ body remains, filling the whole earth. But as far as the nations of the earth are concerned, they continue in the millennium, but subject to Christ. Many scriptures indicate there will still be distinct nations; only Europe, the 4th beast, will be destroyed.
Extracted from: Russia, The Vatican &the Invasion of Israel . (written 1970)