SBS Sermon Notes

SBS     Sermon Notes     Note 15/02

The Rod of Iron

Reading: Luke 19:1-27


King Nebuchadnezzar of ancient Babylon had a divinely inspired dream one night. In that dream God gave the idol-worshipping king a preview of world events right up to the second coming of Jesus Christ. Briefly, here is how the prophet Daniel described what Nebuchadnezzar saw:
Daniel 2: 31: Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
32: This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
33: His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
34: 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.
35: Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

With Jehovah's help Daniel then explained to king Nebuchadnezzar that all the earthly empires that would follow the kingdom of Babylon (the head of gold) would be replaced by the Kingdom of God, which was represented by the stone that smote the image and broke it to pieces. The Kingdom of God would then fill the whole earth and it would last forever! In other words, it would never be overthrown by another kingdom.

The prophet continues:
Daniel 2: 36: This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
37: Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
38: 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.
39: And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
40: And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
41: And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
42: And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
43: And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
44: 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.

2. Father & Son

Daniel's prophecy is well understood by millions of Christians. But as to what happens when the Kingdom of God is set up on earth, comparatively few have any idea. Many also have a warped understanding of Jehovah's character.

They think:

3. Christ's Millennial Reign

How wrong they are. How terribly wrong. This morning we will study what Bible prophecy tells is about the millennial reign of Jesus Christ; a reign which will begin when the 'stone shatters the metal image and becomes a great mountain that fills the whole earth.' The millennial reign of Jesus Christ is sometimes described in Scripture as the Rod of Iron! At the moment Yeshua the Messiah is at the right hand of his Father awaiting the day when he will return to earth and rule all nations. Amazing as it may sound, when he does arrive to take over the kingdoms of this world, not all will welcome him. Many millions of people from all nations will object to the high standards of morality the Messiah sets. This fact is detailed in several Bible passages.
Luke 19: 14: But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying,
We will not have this man to reign over us.

Jehovah is unmoved by this rebellious reaction. He laughs at it. The Psalmist writes:
Psalm 2: 1: Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2: The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
3: Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 4: He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
5: Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6: Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
7: I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me,
Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
8: Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9: Thou shalt break them with a ROD OF IRON; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
10: Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
11: Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12: Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

4. The Iron Rod of Yeshua

In the New Testament we have several passages which tell of Yeshua's rule with a ROD of IRON. Carefully note how the Saviour handles rebellious mankind. Gone are the days when he was as a 'lamb led to the slaughter.' Gone are the days when he wouldn't retaliate because his mission was to save mankind from sin. It will be very different during the Saviour's millennial reign. Bible prophecy tells us:
Rev:12: 1: And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
2: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
3: And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4: And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
5: And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a ROD of IRON:
and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

Rev:19: 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a ROD of IRON: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

A rod has many uses. Its symbolic uses are even more significant. Here are a few examples:

5. The Rod of Moses

Exodus 4: 2: And the LORD said unto him (Moses), What is that in thine hand? And he said, a rod.
3: And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it
4: And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:
Exodus 4: 17: And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.
Exodus 4: 20: And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the Rod of God in his hand.

6. The Rod of Aaron

Like a king's sceptre, the Rod of God is a symbol of spiritual authority. This authority comes, not via the ballot box, but from Jehovah Himself. It is a gift of God.
Num:17: 6: And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers' houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods.
Num:17: 8: And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.
Num:17: 10: And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron's rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.

7. Yeshua's Reign

Psalm 110: 1: The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
2: The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
3: Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
4: The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
5: The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
6: He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.
7: He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.
Isa:11: 4: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

Reproof, Discipline & Punishment

As we can see from the above, the rod is also used to judge, reprove and discipline. Failure to use the rod of discipline (we're talking about controlled punishment here, not the abuse of children or adults) always results in ill-temper, lack of respect and outright rebellion. The Bible says:
Prov:23: 13: Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
14: Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
Prov:29: 15: The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
Isa:13: 11: And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
For further information see: Penal Laws in Scripture.

The Measuring Rod

A rod was also used to point out, separate and select certain sheep.
Ezek. 20: 37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.
Rev:11: 1: And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

8. Authority Over the Nations

When the Saviour returns to earth he will sweep away every local and national authority in every nation on earth! Bear this fact in mind when you cast your vote at the next general or local elections.
Daniel 2: 34: 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.
35: Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

Once this seemingly incredible political clean-out is accomplished, Jesus Christ will appoint faithful and capable officials over every city on earth. His appointments will be very, very different from what takes place today. In these appointments there will be:

We see all this outlined in the parable of the talented servants.
Luke 19: 12: He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13: And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
14: But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
15: And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
16: Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
17: And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over TEN cities.
18: And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19: And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over FIVE cities.
20: And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
21: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
22: And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
23: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
24: And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
25: (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
26: For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
27: But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

9. The Overcomer

In the prophecy of the Revelation we see the same picture of divinely appointed authority; of overcomers being placed in charge over the nations!
Rev.2: 26: And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.
27: And he shall rule them with a ROD of IRON; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Who are these overcomers?

The Bible tells us:
Rom:12: 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
1 John 2: 14 ... I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
1 John 5: 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
1 John :5: 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
Rev. 2: 26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.

In other words, the believers who will be divinely appointed by the Saviour to govern the nations with him will have overcome:

In short: Overcomers will be faithful and obedient believers to the end; and, under Christ, they will rule in the Kingdom of God during the coming millennial reign.

10. Summary

You cannot afford to ignore these questions. They are vital. They must be answered - now!   Putting them off will accomplish nothing of any value. You must answer them.

My prayer is that all of us, and the millions who read this file on the Internet, will live with them in mind. And now may the Spirit of the LORD God of Israel be with each and every one who seeks to learn and do His will.

SBS     Sermon Notes     For further study see: Sermon Note 09/07

Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
July 2000