Daniel 7, A Vision Of God’s Great Work
1. God Can Declare The End From The Beginning (v1-8)
2. God’s Kingdom Will Last Forever (v9-14)
3. God Invites Us Near With Mysteries (v15-19)
4. God Will Give His Kingdom To His People (v19-27)
5. God Uses Prophecy To Change Us (v28)
Daniel 7, A Vision Of God’s Great Work
Daniel 7, A Vision Of God’s Great Work
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Well, this morning we have an incredible chapter before us. Daniel Chapter 7 and it's the beginning of a new section of the Book of Daniel, the last half of the Book of Daniel is the prophetic visions that Daniel had. And so I've titled the message this morning, a vision of God's great work.
And here Daniel gives us insight into this dream.
This vision that he has.
And it's fanciful, it's incredible.
There's all kinds of interesting things and hard to picture things and great details and great prophecies that are included here in Daniel Chapter 7.
Now, as always with this type of passage in chapter, it would be impossible for us to walk through all the.
Details all the scenarios, every verse you know and and there's so much depth here, and so I'll be touching on some of these things.
But I do want to encourage you as the Lord pumps your heart and piques your interest.
Just to maybe later on, dig into some of these things and find out you know more and understand better the things that God is saying here to Daniel through Daniel Chapter 7.
But we're going to work our way through five points this morning here in the chapter and the first one begins, and the verses we just read verses one through 8 God can declare the.
End from the.
Beginning God can declare the end from the beginning.
That's really what these first eight verses illustrate to us.
Jumping again to verse one, it says in the first year of Belshazzar, King of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed.
Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts.
Here we get some context into where Daniel was and what was going on.
As he has this vision.
Chapters one through six of Daniel really kind of happened consecutively.
It's chapter one happens, then chapter 2 happens, then chapter 3 happens, but once you hit Chapter 7, it's a a different part of the book where Daniel here is recording visions and and revelations that God gave to him, and so it's not that Chapter 7.
Happens after chapter 6.
Instead he says this happened.
During the first year of King Belshazzar, now Belshazzar was the Last King of the Babylonian Empire.
You might remember the famous events in Daniel chapter five with the handwriting on the wall, right, that saying comes from Daniel Chapter 5 where God intervened and wrote on a wall there at Belshazzar.
Was a party that he was throwing and Daniel was brought in to give the interpretation.
Well, it was that very night that Babylon was conquered by the Medo Persian Empire.
And so that happened in Chapter 5.
That was, Belshazzar, the end of his reign, but at the beginning of Belshazzar reigned.
Daniel has this vision, so it's right at the beginning of the the.
The last guy who began to reign there so that puts it around 553 BC, about 20 years before.
Or no, that's not right. 553 to 539. My math is bad. No, that's about right, yeah?
So 1815, sixteen 20 years round there that ballpark 20 years before Babylon, Babylon fell. Daniel received this vision and then the events of Daniel Chapter 6 happened the 1st.
Year of Darius says Persian Empire now began to rule and so you can see that this is like backing up so.
Placing it in the context, it's probably between Daniel Chapter three and four.
You know chronologically, but so here he is.
He's in the first year of King Belshazzar.
All these details that.
You don't even you know, want to know about.
I understand, but it's important to understand the context because he's about to lay out the next 1000 years.
In history and reveal that to Daniel.
So he says he wrote down this dream, telling the main facts.
And it doesn't say this.
I'm reading a little bit into the text, but I I kind of picture Daniel a little bit frustrated with his ability to capture.
You know, as you go through these details, you can imagine trying to describe these kinds of things right.
So he records the main facts.
This isn't everything that he saw.
It's not all the details, but it's.
It's what he could capture the mean things that we need to know that the Lord was revealing through Daniel are recorded here in Daniel Chapter 7 for us.
And So what did he see?
Well, verse 2 Daniel spoke, saying I saw in my vision by nights, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great seat.
And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other.
So this vision that he has essentially is 4 beasts that come from the Great Sea, probably a reference to the Mediterranean Sea, because, well, as we see these nations that are being discussed here are actually bordered.
On the Mediterranean Sea and around the Mediterranean Sea.
So that was the great see for them, and so he sees this great see and four beasts emerge from the sea.
Now what are these beasts and what is the symbolism and representation here?
It is revealed to us a few verses down in the chapter.
If you'll look down to verse 17, the interpretation is given to Daniel. It says those great beasts which are 4R4 kings which arise.
Out of the earth.
And so as we look at these beasts, it's a way that God has chosen to use to communicate the characteristics of these kings and their kingdoms that are represented here in these four beasts that are presented to Daniel.
Now she began to think about four kings, four kingdoms, you might immediately kind of.
Rewind the tape back in your head to Daniel Chapter 2 where King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream of a great statue and there's four types of medals that God then leader reveals are four different kings and four different kingdoms.
I didn't teach on it this time around in the Bible in three years, but last time around.
So back in 2016, we went through Daniel Chapter 2 together and that's available on the website. If you want to check that out, you can go back and listen to that, but to kind of summarize it, Nebuchadnezzar saw this vision of the statue with the head of gold.
The chest and arms of silver.
The midsection of bronze and then the legs and feet.
The legs were iron.
The feet were iron mixed with clay.
And nobody could give the interpretation.
But finally, Daniel says, hey, I know a God who can give interpretation so he prays.
God gives him the interpretation he comes and he reveals it to the king.
In Daniel Chapter 2, verse 37, he gives the interpretation Daniel says you owe King to King Nebuchadnezzar, a King of kings for the God of Heaven has given you a Kingdom power strength and glory and then on in verse 38.
He ends saying you are this head of gold.
So in King Nebuchadnezzar's dream, he sees the statue.
The head was made of gold.
God says that's you King Nebuchadnezzar.
That's the Kingdom of Babylon, and it has some interesting characteristics related to the material of the nature of gold.
But then the following Kingdom would be the Kingdom represented by silver, and God describes it as a Kingdom inferior to yours.
And then there'll be a third Kingdom which will be ruling over the Earth, and so we're talking about world empires that God is.
Predicting or declaring ahead of time and establishing the order of these nations that will come and so represented by the gold.
The silver, the bronze, and then the iron and.
So these are different kings.
Sense now without getting into all the details about, you know the whys and all of that just kind of jumping to the summary.
We understand the gold of Nebuchadnezzar's statue to represent the Babylonian Empire, which was in power from about 6:12 to about 539 BC.
After the Babylonian Empire came, the Medo Persian Empire they conquered Babylon in 539 and they lasted in power to about 3:30 or 331 BC. Then came the Greek Empire 330 BC to about 63 BC. They rule.
Ruled the world and then came the Roman Empire. They come came on the scene a little bit more slowly than some of the other kingdoms, but about 63 to 475.
AD is the estimated dates there. These aren't meant to be exact precise. You know specific dates and kingdoms you know didn't just happen overnight. Usually you know there's a little bit of.
Build up and then wind down and that kind of thing.
So it's just meant to be estimations.
To give you an idea of the history and so we see these 4 kings.
These four kingdoms.
And and we can immediately begin to connect them to what Daniel is seeing here in Daniel Chapter 7, because there's four beasts, these four creatures so illustrated differently.
There's some things that we learn from the different illustration, but a similar type of concept is being declared.
So first we have the lion in verse.
Four, it says the first was like a lion, so we're back in Daniel Chapter 7.
Sorry if I lost you there, but Daniel Chapter 7 verse four.
The first was like a lion and had Eagles wings.
I watched till its wings were plucked off and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on 2 feet like a man.
And the man's heart was given to it. So the first beast is like a lion. It's not a lion, but it's like a lion and it has like what are Eagles wings? And if you're.
Kind of following along here, so this beast would then represent the Babylonian Empire that is in power at the time when Daniel is seeing this vision and writing these things.
It is interesting to note that God a couple times throughout the prophecies about King Nebuchadnezzar, referred to him as a lion as well as as an eagle.
You can check out Jeremiah Chapter 49 verses 19 and 22 where God refers to him as both a.
Lion as well.
As an eagle, and so there's some similarities.
There there's some parallels.
There between King Nebuchadnezzar, the nation of Babylon, and this lion that has two wings.
But then the wings are plucked off, and the man is lifted up from the earth and given a heart.
And there's these details here that we can kind of play around with in our minds, and like wonder about.
And perhaps it's an illusion to the events that took place.
In Daniel Chapter 4 where Key Nebuchadnezzar learned a powerful lesson from God.
Became like a beast for some time, but then when he recognized the authority and power of God, he was restored back to two feet.
Given a new heart, his heart was changed as he came in contact with God, and so that's perhaps an allusion to those things.
Well, the second beast.
Is like a bear, he says in verse five and suddenly another beast, a second like a bear.
It was raised up on one side and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth, and they said the stuyt arise, devour much flesh.
So as we kind of follow along now as we're looking at the second beast, it corresponds to the silver part of Nebuchadnezzar's statue, and we see there the meet in the Middle Persian Empire.
The Middle Persian Empire was a combination of two nations, the Medes and the Persians, and they joined forces and became one empire.
But we often refer to the Middle Persian Empire as just the Persian Empire because although these two nations joined together, it was ultimately the Persian side of the Kingdom that was more dominant.
And so you'll notice here in verse 5 how it was raised up.
On one side, there was one side that was raised up.
And it was the Persian Empire that was stronger than the the meat part of the empire.
This bear had three ribs in its mouth, and many suggests that that's the three major conquests they conquered Babylon.
They conquered Egypt, they conquered.
India and in doing so conquered the known world at that time.
And so perhaps that is a reference to what those ribs are.
But here we have the bear which pictures for us this next World empire that comes after Babylon.
Well after that, the third Beast is 8 leopard.
In verse six it says.
After this I looked and there was another like a leopard which had.
On its back.
Four wings of a bird.
The Beast also had four heads, and Dominion was given to it.
Now following along in the history here, this would.
Correspond with the bronze section of Nebuchadnezzar's statue, and represent the Greek Empire. The Greek Empire was really brought about by a man you're familiar with.
At least you know his name.
He is Alexander the Great and so he is called Alexander the Great because of his incredible conquests.
Alexander the Great conquered the whole world.
The civilized world at that time.
Quickly and swiftly it was I, I think.
The age 20.
8:00 or so where he conquered, and then he wept because there was nothing more to conquer that that he just you know, really came in and plowed through the nations and armies and conquered the world for the Greek Empire.
After Alexander the Great died, the Greek Empire was split into four and it was split amongst his generals, the four generals and and then there's some conflict between them, but but it's split in four, and so the leopard.
Here you can see has four heads and so the the wings.
The four wings speak to the swiftness and the leopard itself speaks to the swiftness of the.
The conquering of Alexander the Great, but then the four heads allude to that division of the Greek Empire into the four after his death, and you can read more about that in today's reading.
Actually, as Daniel Chapter 11, there's a lot more details about the interactions between those kings, as well as the foretelling of some things.
To come, and so here's the first three beasts, the Lion, the bear, the leopard.
Each one is powerful.
Each one is mighty.
They have different characteristics.
I mean, if you look at these in the animal realm.
They're all predators, but they all hunt and beat and kill and conquer differently in a similar way.
These three empires were all different.
Their world empires, and they're they're predators in that sense, but but they all have different characteristics and are unique and can be aligned up with these different.
Metals, or these different beasts, as Daniel is seeing here.
But then we get to the 4th Beast in verse seven and eight, and there's no easy similarity here.
He doesn't say it's like a giraffe or a rhinoceros or Tyrannosaurus Rex, or you're right, he just there's no easy like it's.
Here's what it looks like, and he has an animal to compare it to.
And verse seven, he says after this I saw in the night visions.
And behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong, it had huge iron teeth.
It was devouring, breaking in pieces and trampling the residue with its feet.
It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had 10 horns.
I was considering the horns and there was another horn.
A little one coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots.
And therein, in this horn where eyes.
Like the eyes.
Of a man and a mouth speaking pompous words.
So now there's this more mysterious beast, can't quite describe it, don't know exactly its form, but one thing we know about it it.
Has 10 horns.
And then three of those horns are plucked out, while this little horn grows and takes their place.
All the while.
This little horn has a mouth and eyes and it's speaking pompous or blasphemous words.
And so this last beast really intrigues Daniel.
And he's going to ask more about it, so we're going to get into a little bit more details about.
The last beast in.
The next few verses.
But coming back to the point here, point number one God can declare the end from the beginning. We've kind of just went through very quickly very briefly. 1000 years of history of the world empires that followed the the Babylonian Empire, that the time where Daniel received this into the conclusion of the.
The Roman Empire.
It was all laid out by God in advance, through the prophecies to King Nebuchadnezzar through the prophecy.
Here to Daniel and Daniel, Chapter 7.
And it illustrates for us the point, God can declare the end from the beginning.
He can tell us what will happen over the next 1000 years and then beyond he is able to speak and and and give real clear insights into what is about to come. He's able to write history in advance. God himself says it this way in Isaiah chapter 46.
He says, remember the former things of old, for I am God and there is no other.
I am God and there is none like me.
Declaring the end from the beginning.
And from ancient times, things that are not yet done, saying my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.
God wants us to know.
He says look, I.
I'm like nothing else.
I'm like no one else.
There is none like me who can declare the end.
From the beginning.
Now, if you and I sit down together.
And put on episode four of Star Wars.
Right from the very beginning of the movie, I can tell you.
How it's gonna end.
I've seen it once.
I know how it ends, so even though it's just the beginning, I can tell you.
How it ends?
However, if we sit down next month and watch Episode 9 together.
From the very beginning I have no idea how it's going to end.
I can't tell you.
I wish I could tell you I really do, but I I've not seen the movie yet.
I can't tell you how it ends.
God, he can tell you the end.
From the very beginning.
From before creation.
He could tell you.
How it all ends from before time, he can tell you how time ends.
He he can tell you he can declare he can speak the end.
From the very beginning.
It's often been described and illustrated as a parade, right?
You can watch a parade, and as you're watching a parade, you you just see the part that's going by you.
But God is outside of that perspective and he can see the beginning and the end and everything in between, and so at any point at any time he can declare anything at any other point, because he knows he can see it all.
He knows all of the details about things that are going to take place about the things that have happened.
He has perfect knowledge of all history, all things past, present.
And future God can declare the end.
From the beginning, and he's illustrated that.
Over and over and.
Over repeatedly through prophecies like the one we see here in Daniel Chapter 7 and other places.
Well, moving on to verses 9 through 14, we get the second point for this morning and that is that God's Kingdom will last forever. After that final beast at the end of that.
He now continues on with the vision in verse 9.
He says, I watched till Thrones were put in place and the ancient of days was seated his garment as was as was white as snow and the hair of his head like pure wool.
His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire, a fiery stream issued and came forth from before him 1000 thousands.
Ministered to him 10,000 * 10,000 stood before him.
The court was seated and the books were opened.
And so, as we have looked at these things, and we've seen the past laid out, it was in advance for Daniel.
But for us, reading these things today, well, we see that history that was laid out by the Lord.
Now we're looking at things that have yet to take.
Place and so he's still, you know, in this vision now going even farther into the future beyond.
Our future or beyond our present and he says I, I watched until the Thrones were put in place and the ancient of days was seated.
Here we have the ancient of DS which.
As you read.
Through this passage seems to be an illustration or a vision of our Heavenly Father.
The ancient of days is seated his garments as white as snow, the hair of his head was like pure wool.
His throne is a fiery flame.
In verse 10, it tells us that 1000 thousands ministered to him, and so it's the Heavenly Father on the throne.
And there's 1000 thousands ministering to him. Now that perhaps is a reference to angels that are there before the throne of God.
Because we also see the 10,000 * 10,000 who stood before him, that that's probably the Saints, so you probably have the combination of the angels and the Saints that are there before the throne of God.
Tells us the court was seated and the books were opened.
There's likely some corresponding passages, though.
Are referred to here or also, you know align with what is being recorded here with the books being opened you can look in Revelation Chapter 19 and 20 and the books being open.
And there's some type of judgment seat scenario happening here.
There's some type of court that is being opened right, and so here's the Heavenly Father.
There's angels before him.
The Saints before him 10,000 * 10,000 stood before him.
At the same time, there's opposition in verse 11.
I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking, I watched till the beast was slain and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame.
And so the throne of the father is established, and there is this opposition to the throne.
With this 4th Beast, and specifically this horn that is on the 4th Beast, speaking against fighting against.
But the beast is slain, and we'll see that further in the next verses.
But verse 13 I was watching in the night visions, and behold, one like the son of man coming with the clouds of heaven.
He came to the ancient of days and they brought.
Him near before him.
Then 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, the one which shall not be destroyed.
Back in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, he saw the image of the statue with all these different metals, but then a stone that was carved without hands was cast, and.
Crushed the statue and it became a mountain that filled the earth.
It was the.
Kingdom of God.
Here we see a parallel to that, only this time a little bit more detail is given.
Here is the ancient of days sitting on the throne and one comes to him that is like the son of man.
Who is this one that comes?
To the ancient of dies sitting on the throne of fire that is like the son of man, who is the one that has been given Dominion and glory, and a Kingdom.
Who is the one that all people, nations and languages should serve him?
Who is that one?
Paul said every knee will bow, every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, right.
This son of man, although it's used in other passages to just refer to a person.
For example, Ezekiel God often referred to him as son of man, right?
But, but here there's something significant about this phrase, the.
Son of man here is Jesus receiving from the father the Kingdom.
As Jesus ascended into heaven, the Father said to him, hey, sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.
This this is picturing the that happening, that the enemies are made the footstool.
The final beast is defeated and now Jesus is given the Kingdom that the father has promised him.
And all peoples and nations and languages.
Should serve him.
That phrase, son of man was a phrase that Jesus.
Used frequently, it was basically that his favorite way to refer to himself in Matthew Chapter 8, verse 20.
He says foxes have holes and birds of the year have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head.
That was in response to someone said, you know, he, Jesus, I want to follow you where you staying.
And he says, the son of man has nowhere to lay his head.
And there's this interesting contrast.
The son of man is the one to whom every knee will bow.
Every tongue will confess he has the Kingdom that always you know, endures and never fails.
And yet, at the same time he came in humility and had nowhere to lay his head.
But Jesus called himself.
The son of man.
As a reference, back to that, he's saying look, this is who I am back to.
Daniel Chapter 7, verse 13.
I'm the son of.
Man, I'm the one who.
You is there with the ancient of days and receives the Kingdom and receives the submission and servitude of all people.
Every tongue will confess and every knee will bow.
He rules gods Kingdom that lasts forever.
At the end of verse 14, his Kingdom is the one which which shall not be destroyed.
It's the Kingdom that is eternal, and so we we referred to the thousand year reign of Christ.
And there is that thousand year reign of Christ, but but that's not the end of his reign. He continues to reign for all of eternity, and so just to help put some perspective on this, here's a kind of a diagram timeline to kind of walk through some of the things that we're seeing here in the vision of Daniel. There's Daniel and 553 BC.
When he receives the vision and it records for us, it describes the the next 1000 years of history with the Babylonian Empire, the Medes and the Persians gathering together as one empire the Greek Empire, the Roman Empire, these four kingdoms, illustrated by the.
These four different beasts.
Then we have kind of a gap of time, and that's where you are.
You're right in the middle of that that gap of time where the 4th Kingdom, the Roman Empire that's concluded.
But but there's still some elements of that prophet prophecy to be fulfilled, and so it's like pause.
It was hit and then it will be resumed at some point in the future.
Correlating this with the Book of Revelation and we know about the Tribulation period that seven year period of trouble that's coming upon the Earth.
All of these things.
The rest of these.
Elements that are not yet fulfilled will be fulfilled in the future and during that seven year tribulation is when you know much of these things will come to.
Pass and so the 4th Beast will be around in some form or fashion during that seven year tribulation.
He'll have 10 horns, a little horn.
There'll be a war against the Saints and he'll be victorious against the Saints.
All this seems to fit within that seven year period of Tripoli.
Question for us as believers.
Of course we are looking forward to the rapture of the church, and so there's some things that you can think through and work through in regards to the timing of those things and how all those things come to order, but.
That's a quick look at.
That and then we enter into eternity where you have the ancient of days on this throne.
The son of man receives his.
Kingdom and the Saints possess the Kingdom, and we'll see.
That elaborated further as.
Well, in the verses that follow.
So that's a quick look at what we've seen so far.
Things that have happened which are important to note so that the things that have not yet happened.
We can recognize well they haven't happened yet, but they will happen just as God accurately detailed that thousand year period of history, he's accurately detailed the things that have yet to come.
To pass as well, and we can know.
That they will come to pass at the right time.
All that being said.
This is not the only way to understand Daniel Chapter 7.
And I'm not going to.
Try to like thoroughly confuse everybody but.
There's some interesting things to consider.
In verse 12 it says.
As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
The Lord revealed to Daniel the four beasts are four kingdoms.
The 4th Kingdom, the 4th Beast.
The ancient of days and Jesus.
They take care of.
There's some elements that are yet unfulfilled, but here as it's talking about the Kingdom that's being established, it's interesting to note that it says the rest of the beasts.
They had their dominion taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season.
And a time.
And so it leaves room for some discussion about these things.
Things that there's room for, perhaps for there to be an alternate understanding of what is happening here in Daniel Chapter 7.
And so I'll picture that here for you.
Revising the diagram a little bit.
Still, there's Daniel, there's you.
And then all these things are future.
That is, these four beasts.
It's possible there's four kingdoms that are yet to come, or four kingdoms that are, you know, information currently, but maybe we don't identify them and recognize them quite yet, but that these are four kingdoms.
Perhaps that will exist at the time of the return of Jesus.
That when Jesus comes back that perhaps it's not just the 4th Beast that is there, but there's these other kingdoms as well that are there, and they're interacting with each other and there's things going on between them.
And and when Jesus returns, their dominion is taken away, because he has dominion, but they essentially enter into the Millennium.
While the beast in his Kingdom is cast down and destroyed.
It's an option, it's a possibility, and then ancient of days and eternity, the son of Man Kingdom, all that stays the same but, but perhaps we're looking at.
And this is one of the challenges and difficulties with understanding prophecy.
And that is we always look at prophecy through the lens of what we know and understand.
Of course we do, right, because that's what we know and understand.
But but as you look back at fulfilled prophecies.
The one of the things that often happened was that people didn't understand the prophecy until after it was fulfilled, and then afterwards.
Then you look back and go.
Oh, that's what God was talking about.
We thought something completely different.
And it's a it's a thing that we need to be aware of so that we are careful not to.
Be dogmatic about things that we don't know everything about.
Now when God says clearly this is what this is and it's going to be this way, well then we know that's what.
It is, and it's going to be that way.
But there's also a lot of things that God he leaves concealed in this imagery, and hey, I've been around long enough to see all kinds of speculation about all kinds of prophecies and no problems speculating over things.
That's fine, you some people really enjoy that you want to dig into that, go for it, speculate, try to connect the dots.
This is this nation.
This is that nation and well, it could work this way.
Great, but I think it's an issue that we need to be aware of that we can't then take it and say here's what the Bible says and then go on and present our speculation as what the Bible says.
It may not be the way.
That you understand it.
'cause you're looking at it from.
What you understand now listen.
We can have nuclear war tomorrow.
And the earth basically starts over from caveman status.
And then later on, there's four kingdoms that fulfill this prophecy.
You know what I mean?
Like we're not imagining that.
We're not picturing that.
No, we're thinking OK, if if this is the case, well, then OK, well, this China has to be one of the kingdoms for sure.
'cause they're a big player and then you know we're taking what?
We know and are familiar.
With and trying to fit it into this.
And maybe it does, and maybe it is.
God for telling some of the things we see and so sure we could speculate.
We could try to figure it out no problem.
But but also it could be something we would never even dream about or think about and and would not understand if we were, you know, told it today and so.
There is alternate interpretation.
There is an alternate understanding.
It doesn't nullify the previous one.
In fact, it might be both.
Are you ready?
Here's the next.
Slide it might be.
Both there is often throughout the scriptures.
What's called a dual fulfillment.
Where God uses a prophecy to speak about something that is taking place right there and then, super, you know, close to the person who's receiving the prophecy, but at the same time that prophecy and the fulfillment of those prophecies foreshadows something that is yet future.
It's a technique only God can use and and he does it a few times and so it could be.
That well, God did foretell the 1000 years of history with the Babylonian Empire.
The Middle Persian Empire, the Greek Empire, and the Roman Empire, and that that all part that's all pictured in these beasts, exactly as we went through in the first point.
And here we are in the in.
Between but then in the things that are yet to come, it's possible that not just the 4th Beast and a you know, revived Roman Empire or something of the sorts will be in existence then.
But it's possible that these other three beasts will be representing and accurate in describing events that are taking place.
Second coming of Jesus and the Tribulation period and the rapture of the church that that these are describing not just the path for us, but the future as well.
Now again point number one is God can declare the end from the beginning and I would maybe revise that if you wrote that in your notes.
Maybe just add the word only to it.
Only God can declare the end from the beginning that that's the point.
As we look at these things, there's some fascinating things.
I mean, all kinds of stuff happening.
You can read the news and get into these.
You know prophecies and make some interesting connections.
And there's fascinating things happening, but only God can declare the end from the beginning.
And the majority of the time we understand prophecy clearly after it's been fulfilled, not before.
That doesn't mean we shouldn't understand it or seek to understand it, but but just to be careful not to conclude that we can declare the end from the beginning 'cause only God can do that.
There's no one else like him.
He's the only one who can do it, and the Kingdom that he establishes.
Will last forever.
That's the point here.
Verses 9 through 14.
Moving on into verses 15 through 19, we get the Third Point for this morning and that is God invites us near with mysteries.
All this imagery, this room for possible different interpretations, man, why is it all so confusing and and difficult to understand well?
It's an invitation.
God good right?
'cause going back to point number one God can declare the end from the beginning.
God could write a history book in advance, right?
He could have given Daniel an outline, just give him a scroll with all the dates and all the names of the players and and told him exactly what was going to happen in advance.
But he didn't do that.
Instead he gave him these images.
This vision, which left room for questions and wasn't quite clear and didn't have all of the dates and details that we might want to.
Why would God do that?
It's an invitation for us to draw near verse 15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit within my body.
And the visions of my head troubled me.
I came near.
To one of those who stood by and asked him the.
Truth of all this.
So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things, and that's where we get verse.
17 those great beasts, which are four or four kings which arise out of the earth, but the Saints of the most high, shall receive the Kingdom, and possess the Kingdom forever, even forever and ever.
So all of those beasts those represent the kings then comes the ancient of days, and he gives the Kingdom the now eternal Kingdom to the Saints.
God's people receive the Kingdom forever and ever, but here's Daniel. He's he's seeing all this vision, and he's grieved.
His spirit is grieved within him.
The visions of his head troubled him.
And maybe that's how you feel reading through Daniel Chapter 7, you're like.
My head troubles me trying to figure all this out and connect all these dots.
And what are these dates and who does this represent and.
Why all this symbolism?
While this mystery?
Well, it tells us that Daniel then drew nearer to one of those who stood by.
He drew near.
He sought out the truth.
And this is one of the ways that God often works.
Although God can reveal more clearly, it's not that you know God wanted to share more, but you know all he had was crayons, so he could only just draw a crude picture, right?
He couldn't really tell all the details, no.
No God could tell all the details if he wanted to.
Why didn't he?
Well, it was an opportunity.
For Daniel to draw on here now there's other reasons as well, because God uses those things to reveal later and again.
So then after the fact that then a lot of times God says I'm telling you now so that later on when it happens, you'll know that I'm God.
And so it's.
A way for God to reveal in advance things.
That are clear later on.
But I would also compare it to parables.
You know Jesus taught in parables.
And it's told us that he taught in parables.
There were those who would hear the.
Parable and they they really.
Had no interest in the things of God.
And so all they would hear was the story and they wouldn't get the truth.
But there are those who were interested in the things that Jesus was teaching.
There were those who did want to follow Jesus and so well they would seek and and there within the parable then would be revealed the truth.
The eternal truths that Jesus taught revealed in the parables for those.
Who would draw nearer for those who would be?
Willing to seek him.
Again, in verse 19, Daniel says then I wish to know the truth about the 4th Beast I I wanted to know the truth and and so we're going to get the truth about the 4th Beast in the following verses because while he was drawing here, he was seeking out he was pursuing after in a similar way, the mysteries that we have in the prophecies.
And the things that we don't understand.
Some of them are just not for us.
But a lot.
Of these things.
That we are going through that we're reading through that God speaks about there's there's things that God wants to show us there's things that God wants to teach us.
And through the mystery through the imagery through the symbolism, he's inviting us and saying, come near them, let me show you, let me talk to you.
Seek out the truth of these things in me and with me.
I like what this commentator, Lemon Strauss says.
He says too often.
Our interest in the prophetic scriptures is of a curious and speculative need.
Or else we conclude that God will carry out his sovereign purpose no matter what we do, and so we do not concern ourselves with those matters.
In our approach to prophecy.
He says look, we can be in one of these extremes.
Either we're we're just.
Curious and speculative, we like the it's like fascinating right to try to connect these dots and it's it's all happening intellectually in our head.
And we can get really excited.
And there are those who get really excited about prophecy.
Without actually connecting to God or seeking the truth from God, they're they're excited about the details.
They're fascinated by, you know, all the possibilities and and there's that side of the approach to prophecy.
But then we can also go to the other side where we just feel like.
I don't understand why does it matter God is going to do what he's going to do.
You know it's?
Not for me to figure out.
We don't need to concern ourselves with.
These matters right that that's.
We need to find ourselves somewhere in between.
Where we do care about what God is said.
And and where?
We don't understand and where we miss.
Well, we can.
Approach him and draw near to him.
As a result.
Think about the blessing that was promised to those who would read the Book of Revelation.
Talk about a book full of imagery and symbolism, right?
There's great mystery there.
Yet, Revelation 1/3 tells us bless. It is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep these things which are written in it for the time is near.
There's a blessing promise to those who read and those who hear.
And those who keep.
And so it's important for us.
To engage with these things, it's an opportunity for us to draw near to God and to seek out his information.
His insight, his will and wisdom in these things, God invites us near with mysteries.
Well, for the 4th point, we're going to move into verses 19 through 27. We're not going to cover all these verses, but just hitting a couple.
Starting in verse 19 and 20, it says then I wished to know the truth about the 4th Beast, which was different from all the others exceedingly dreadful with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured.
Broken pieces and trampled the residue with its feet.
And the ten horns that were on its head and the other horn which came up before which three fell, namely that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows.
By #4 is God will give his Kingdom.
To his people.
But before he gives his Kingdom to his people, he has to deal with this enemy that 4th Beast.
With the horns with the three horns that were plucked out and the new horn that took its place, the horn that had the eyes and the mouth.
That spoke pompous words.
This is all speaking.
About the things to come.
What you might refer to as the revived Roman Empire?
The horn representing the person you might refer to as the Antichrist.
Rebellion against God by man.
There'll be one more final rebellion against God by Satan, but.
Inspired by Satan rebelling against God and one of the characteristics, the chief characteristics of the Antichrist.
And his Kingdom will be that of blasphemy several times throughout Chapter 7.
Here we've seen that horn speaking pompous words in Revelation, chapter 13.
Where it talks about the beast as well as the false prophet.
Verse five and six of Revelation, chapter 13. It says he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for 42 months.
Then he opened his mouth and blasphemy against God to blasphemed his name, his Tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.
I'm sorry those who dwell in heaven.
So here in Revelation Chapter 13 we we see this correspondence between the the beast described there in Revelation, Chapter 13, the Antichrist and the Little horn that's on the beast.
Here in Daniel Chapter 7 it it's again foretelling of those things, and again I'm not going to get into all the details.
I know like there can be some, you know, great fascinating things in in all of that, and that's for you to dive into and seek the Lord on.
But the point here is that.
While this beast is fighting against the plan of God and the work of God and the blasphemies are being pronounced, and the horn is, you know, prominent and coming to power.
It doesn't look like God.
People will receive the Kingdom.
It doesn't look like.
These things will be fulfilled.
It's a time where it's dark and it seems like there's no hope we see the Jewish people throughout history have been attacked and persecuted greatly and severely, but we haven't seen anything compared to what's going to take place under the authority of that last beast and the horn that rises to power there.
There's going to be huge oppression and persecution against the people of God and it it will look like it's impossible for these things to be fulfilled.
As this beast speaks, or as this horn speaks.
Pompously against God, but verse 26.
But the court shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever.
Then the Kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people.
The Saints of the most high his Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
So we get an understanding here of the order that we understand the Saints will inherit the earth, right?
We understand that it will be you.
Know Jesus will be in authority and and all his enemies will be his footstool.
And and that we will rule and reign with him.
And we understand all of those things.
But but here is the order.
It's it's at that last moment where.
Where it seems like there's no hope, and then the ancient of these.
It's set on his throne.
And the son of man.
And establishes his Kingdom.
The the beast at that time is destroyed and then.
God will give his Kingdom to his people.
It's at that time.
And notice here how it happens.
Pastor David Guzik puts it.
In this way, the Saints receive the Kingdom, God gives them the Kingdom at the return of Jesus.
They do not gain dominion over all these earthly kingdoms before the return of Jesus, the Saints don't conquer the world.
The Saints aren't given the world.
Jesus conquers it.
He returns, and so it's an understanding.
It's important to recognize that that it's not us who take over, but it's.
Jesus, who takes over.
We, as a result should not expect things to get better and better and better and better.
Christianity is not going to take over the earth.
Not that we don't seek to evangelize, or, you know, bring people to Christ, but but the point is setting our expectations as it comes to this world that the beast will come to power.
There's going to be great wickedness, great evil, great, horrible atrocities that are done in this world.
Still yet to come that will be defeated and destroyed.
By Christ when he returns and then.
The Saints will be given his king the Kingdom.
God will give his Kingdom to his people.
He gives it.
He conquers it.
He beats it.
And then he gives it.
To his people.
Well, finally, we're going to look at verse 28 for the fifth point, and that is God uses prophecy to change us, and this is just one verse.
It says this is the end of the account.
As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly troubled me and my countenance changed, but I kept the matter in my heart.
I found this verse interesting and it's actually what caught my attention as I was reading through it this week and prompted me to come back and revisit it for our time together this morning.
Here's Daniel at the end.
And his thoughts greatly troubled him.
Now the 1st right before says.
He comes back the son of man.
He establishes his Kingdom.
It's a Kingdom that's forever and ever and it's given to the Saints and they rule forever and ever that that there's this glorious victory at the end.
In the previous verse.
But then Daniel says, my thoughts greatly troubled me.
There's not mystery here.
I mean, there's you know, mystery, but there's not mystery.
It's pretty clear here we win in the end.
Why have troubled thoughts when you know that you win in the end?
I think it's a good perspective for us to.
Wrestle with a little bit.
His thoughts troubled him, he's he's wrestling with these things.
We get caught up in prophecy.
We get caught up in the possibilities.
We get caught up in the jump to the end.
We win in the end.
And we forget kind of forget the middle.
And I wonder here if Daniel is not forgetting the middle.
Yeah, you can read in the previous verse the the victory that takes place, but.
Then you read in the verses that happened before that the Beast Wars against the Saints.
And there's going to be hurt.
There's going to be death.
There's going to be devastation.
It's not just the victory at the end that we're learning about here, but it's, well, the kind of grueling process that takes place up to that victory.
About leashing of evil and wickedness.
I would encourage you to consider something Paul wrote in First Corinthians chapter 13.
He said, though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love.
I am nothing.
It's important as we look at prophecy.
And even as we look at the ultimate victory.
To to not lose our understanding of the love of God.
And to not approach these things kind of in a a dismissive gleeful like hey we have victory in the end and sometimes that happens, especially in regard to prophetic things that.
There are those.
Who would almost.
Joyfully say, you know you're gonna burn right?
And and that's never an accurate representation of the heart of God.
But sometimes we can grasp hold of prophecy to the extent that we let go of love.
I would suggest that Daniel's heart troubled him.
His thoughts are greatly troubled he he's wrestling with these things because yes, he sees the victory and praise God for that but, but he's also not losing sight.
Of all that leads up to that.
And all of the wrestling and there's going to be things that.
'cause great heard in great pain.
We need to make sure we hold on to the love but secondly.
Daniel goes on to say, and my countenance changed, but I kept the matter in my heart.
My countenance changed.
This changed me.
Daniel says I had this encounter with.
Already gave me this.
He's seen a lot up to this point.
He's been used by God in a.
Variety of ways, but he says, man, this this really changed me.
I mean, I didn't have to go tell everybody about it.
I didn't, you know, announce it all.
I I wrote it here for you to read, but.
My face change.
My countenance changed my demeanour changed my attitude changed my heart changed as a result.
Of understanding these things in receiving these things from the Lord.
And how did it change him?
Or he's not going to, you know?
Go on to describe all.
The ways that he did life differently, but.
We know from other scriptures that, well, there's changes that should take place for us when we are looking ahead at the things that got us promised.
Remember first John chapter 3?
John tells us, hey, we don't know exactly everything, but there will be one day that we know it will be revealed what we shall be when he's revealed and will be like him.
We shall see him as he is, and and there's this hope of meeting with Jesus and being with him for eternity.
And then he says in verse three at first John three and everyone who has this hope in him Purify's himself.
Just as he is pure.
That knowing and understanding the prophecies, the things that are to come, has an impact on us in purifying us.
Just as he is pure.
And there's a way to approach the subject of prophecy that doesn't have that purifying effect.
And so I would kind.
Of sum it up this way.
When you're looking at prophecy, if you don't walk away, more loving and more holy, you're doing it wrong.
If you don't walk away more holy and more loving, you're doing it wrong.
That's not what God intended God, God intends.
For these things to draw us nearer to him.
That we might be more like him.
That we might have his heart.
And he would change us.
And so here we have a vision of God.
He can declare the end from the beginning only.
He can do that.
He's got a Kingdom for you that will last forever.
And so he invites you to draw near.
He gives you these mysteries that these symbols and.
It's an invitation for you to draw nearer to.
God to seek.
Him out to find out from him what he has to say about these things.
He's going to give the Kingdom to his people be one of his people.
Draw near to him.
Let these things change you.
Helping you see that.
The heart of God, the love of God.
For the world around us, let's pray.
What is we consider these things?
I do pray that you would help us to draw near to you or there's so much meat here.
There's so much exciting things and potential connections and possibilities and all we can get caught up in.
Those things and.
I pray God that as we do, or that we wouldn't lose sight of you.
But that we wouldn't lose.
An understanding of your love and your care for the people around us, but I pray that you would allow us to receive from you in a way that changes us.
Help us learn not to be distracted.
By the prophecies.
Be distracted from you.
Bring your will for us from your love for us.
And from what you want to do in US and through us?
As we work our way to the conclusion of all the things that you have declared.
But we thank you for the promises.
We thank you for the hope that you give us.
Help us to hold fast to that and to walk with you knowing you and representing you to the world around us.
We pray this in Jesus name, Amen.