Instead of being fearful of prophesy passages in the Bible, it’s important to remember that behind all of the imagery is God who knows the future, rules the world, and is coming back to rule all things forever.
King Jesus is Coming on the Clouds!: Daniel Chapter 7
2 Ways to View Future
- Future is open, everything hangs in the balance = stressed/depressed
- Future is closed, there is a God who knows & rules all = fearless/faithful
- lifetime fearless/faithful
- 2500 years ago, slave to godless nations 700 miles away from home
- Daniel 7 – 58X NT quote or allusion (most Revelation)
- Others had dream, he interpreted. Now he dreams, angel interprets
- Shifts between seen/unseen realms
- Prophecy is history looking forward versus backward
- Apocalyptic literature/imagery (“like” “as” plain vs figurative literal)
1. Horn – king/kingdom
2. Sea – Gentile nations scattered globally (Is 57:20-21; Rev. 17:15)
- open vs closed hand issues
God Knows the Future
Daniel 7:1-8 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter. 2 Daniel declared, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. 4 The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it. 5 And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’ 6 After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it. 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. 8 I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.
God’s people under rule of 4 empires – disobedience = discipline (same order ch 2)
- Bible – demons referred to in animal terms – wild dangerous beasts
1. Lion – Babylon (Dan 1-4) London/Germany museums Ishtar gates Babylon winged lions, sign of the nation like US eagle
- Wings plucked off, mind renewed – Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4)
2. Bear – Medio/Person (then Persian) (Dan 5-) one side bigger is Persia
3. Leopard w/wings (speed)– Greece Alexander Great died 33 after conquering known world, sat down to weep, died no sons left divided empire to 4 generals
4. Beast – Rome demonic monstrosity of animals & weapons, 5X normal horns, overtook more land than the previous empires. Caesar ruled when Jesus came, largest longest empire in history 1700 years falling 1453 AD
- Prophecies jump from Jesus 1st (Roman) to 2nd Coming (Renewed Roman)
- Why wait from 1-2 Roman Empire – “time of Gentiles” (Luke 21:24)
Next major event in World History
- Renewed Roman Empire – today Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Holland are remnants to be renewed
- “Little horn” – antichrist/man of lawlessness starts small & quiet gets big & loud
- Against 2. In place of
- spirit of antichrist in every age. Counterfeit King Jesus (Spirit vs Satan), Counterfeit Kingdom (economic, political, spiritual)
- Comes up from the sea vs comes down from Heaven
=Where do you see the demonic spirit of antichrist at work in our culture today?
The God Who Rules Over the World Is Coming to Rule in the World
Daniel 7:9-149 “As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire.10 A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. 11 “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. 13 “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. 14 And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
1. Ancient of Days – God Father
2. “Like” Son of Man – Jesus Christ God and Man (Jesus 81X NT, 41X Matthew)
- Wheels – God’s Kingdom is not static/stationary (books – evidence)
- Fire- judgment, purifying, destroying
- White – purity, holiness
- Beasts come up from the sea/below the earth. Jesus comes down from heaven
“the court sat in judgment” – Divine Council
Psalm 82:1 “God [Elohim] has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods [Elohim] he holds judgment.”
· Other titles “assembly of the holy ones”, “council of the holy ones”, “hosts”, “the seat of the gods,” “the mount of assembly,” “court…in judgment,” “heavenly host.”
· Divine Counsel – “a watcher, a holy one” “the holy ones” cf. 4:23, 8:13
· Angel 3:28, 6:22; 1k X 1k’s – 10k X 10k 7:31; host of heaven 8:10; Prince of the host 8:11; Gabriel 8:15-16, 9:21; prince of Persia & Michael & chief princes 10:13 10:20-21, 12:1; “man” clothed in linen 12:5-7, a “lord” 12:8
· Daniel, Isaiah, John and others saw Divine Council & “throne”
= Doom, nations unify save planet antichrist rises–Jesus comes Civil War reenact
Worshippers of God Will Rule with King Jesus
Daniel 7:115 “As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me. 16 I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things. 17 ‘These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’
- Exists eternally
- Began on earth w/1st Coming (Mark 1:15)
- Exists now in the unseen realm
- Culminates w/2nd Coming (Acts 1:9,11)
· Holy Ones/Saints – ? people or angels?= both (1 Cor 6:2-3)
History Gets Worse Before It Gets Better
Daniel 7:19 “Then I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet, 20 and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions. 21 As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom. 23 “Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces. 24 As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings.25 He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. 26 But the court shall sit in judgment, and his dominion shall be taken away, to be consumed and destroyed to the end. 27 And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’ 28 “Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly alarmed me, and my color changed, but I kept the matter in my heart.”
Counterfeit Demonic Kingdom of the Beast
- Antichrist – 1). Against 2). Replacing (1 John 2:18,22, 4:3, 2 John 1:7)
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 9-10 the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God…. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
Rev 13 – counterfeit resurrection of beast by dragon, make war saints, blaspheme God, counterfeit miracles, mark of the beast
Rev 17 – spirit of Babylon, sexual sin, martyr saints, riding the beast
- Devolution of humanity
- Preach against God
- Wear out saints – demonic power
- God’s people far away from home, under persecution, weary, fearful
- Reveals God’s sovereign rule and complete victory in the end
- We have way more information/revelation than Daniel & are closer to Home!
- Your deepest longings will not be fully satisfied in this life (Dan. buried Iraq)
Son of Man – Let’s give Jesus the Final Word
Jn 3:13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
Matt 9:6 the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”
Mk 10:45 the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,& to give his life as a ransom for many.
Lk 19:10 the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Matt 12:40 as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Matt 17:22-23 “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.”
Matt 26:64 you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power & coming on the clouds of heaven.
Matt 16:27 the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.
Matt 24:44 you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.