The kingdom of the beast
Mystery Babylon is explained as the corrupted kingdom of heaven that grows up and becomes a great tree so that”the birds come and rest in its branches” (Matt 13:31-32).
Daniel prophesied that the tree will be cut down and a band of iron and bronze would be put around its stump, until King Nebuchadnezzar, “the beast” learns that “the most High rules in the kingdom of men.”
We’ll pick up the story with Nebuchadnezzar’s description of his second dream.
the tree was great – we’ll see this description for Mystery Babylon, the false kingdom of heaven in Dan 8:9, which “grew exceedingly great.”
This is the kingdom of heaven, as a great tree, that grew so great, that Jesus said, “the birds of the air came and nest in its branches,” Matthew 13:31-32. Jesus was quoting Daniel 4:12. Originally this tree, whose root, Paul told us was the Jews (Romans 11:16), was holy, and the Gentiles, who were the branches grafted in, were also holy. However, this great tree became so great that the birds of the air rested in its branches. These birds are best described in Revelation 18:2.
In the next verse, Matthew 13:33, Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to dough that was leavened with 3 pecks of meal. Jesus compared leaven to false teachings. If we were to pick the three most significant initial corruptions, we would probably chose the change in the method of baptism, Sunday rest and the Trinity. These three were promoted by Tertullian at the end of the second century.
As Paul said, initially the dough was holy (Romans 11:16), but Jesus told us it would all become leavened.
in it was food for all – Rev 18:3 describes Mystery Babylon to say: “the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury”
the birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches – Rev 18:2 called it: “a cage for every unclean and hated bird;” Jesus said “the birds of the air come and rest in its branches” (Matt 13:31-32). In Matt 13:4, Jesus described the birds as the workers of Satan who snatched away the good seed of the kingdom of heaven.
chop down the tree – the kingdom of the beast will be chopped down; a similar analogy is in Daniel 2:35, the stone struck the statue. In this moment, Babylon as the tree, is fallen, “Babylon is fallen, fallen,” (Revelation 14:8; 18:2).
leave the stump and roots in the earth – the root of the tree of the kingdom of heaven (to which the Gentiles were grafted in, will be left). The root was holy (Romans 11:16), this was the pure gospel given by the Apostles.
a band of iron and bronze around it – this prevents a tree from growing without killing it, allowing it to grow later when desired.
Let him be given the heart of a beast – Nebuchadnezzar is the prefiguration of “the beast” in Revelation.
your dominion to the end of the earth – the kingdom of the beast will “sit on many waters” (Revelation 17:1).
til you know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men – this describes the sin that caused “desolation” in Daniel 8:11. The Bishop of Rome tried to rule over the kingdom of God. He “exalted himself as high as the Captain of the host” – as high as Christ. The end of the “the kingdom of the beast” is explained in Daniel 7:14: “then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom.” See also Dan 7:26 “they shall take away his (the beast’s) dominion.”
seven times – he will remain a beast for “time, times and half a time,” 2 + 4 + 1= 7, that is 42 months which are described in Revelation 12-13, and 17.