The On-Line Commentary
on the Book of Daniel

By Brother Given Blakely.

The Prophecy of Daniel

Lesson Number 21
TRANSLATION LEGEND: ASV=American Standard Version (1901), BBE=Bible in Basic English (1949), DRA=Douay-Rheims (1899), ESV=English Stand Version (2001), KJV=King James Version (1611), NKJV=New King James Version (1982), NAB=New American Bible, NASB=New American Standard Bible (1977), NAU=New American Standard Bible (1995), NIB=New International Bible, NIV=New International Version (1984), NJB=New Jerusalem Bible, NLT=New Living Translation, NRSV=New Revised Standard Version (1989), RSV=Revised Standard Version (1952), TNK=JPS Tanakj (1985), YLT-Young’s Literal Translation (1862).
7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. 14 And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. KJV (Daniel 7:13-14)
In the book of Daniel, the grandeur of earthly kingdoms is diminished by the glory of God. As soon as men appear to be invincible, and their kingdoms unconquerable, our attention is turned to the God of heaven. If circumstances arise that seem to put the people of God in an impossible situation, our hearts are made to consider the Living God who both intervenes in the affairs of men and controls them. The consistency of this is most remarkable, as the following instances confirm. These are all recorded in Daniel prior to our text.
CONTROLSWhen Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem, captured the king, and carried away vessels of the Temple, we are told the Lord gave these things into his hand (1:1-12).
God gave Nebuchadnezzar a kingdom, majesty, glory, and honor (2:37-38; 5:18-19).
The breath of Belshazzar was in God’s hand, and his ways were from Him (5:23). God numbered Belshazzar’s kingdom, finished it, weighted Him in the balances, found him deficient, and gave his kingdom to the Medes and Persians (5:26-28).
The affairs of this world are under the control of the God of heaven. If this was not the case, He could not work all things together for our good (Rom 8:28), and would be powerless to not allow us to be tempted above what we are able to bear (1 Cor 10:13). Neither, indeed, could He nourish and sustain the people of God through the various difficulties and vicissitudes of life. All of those things presume the control of God.
INTERVENES God brought Daniel into favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs (1:9).
God gave the four children of Judah knowledge, skill, and wisdom (1:17).
The Lord revealed the secret of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to Daniel (2:19,23).
God made known to Nebuchadnezzar what would take place in the latter days (2:28,29).
In the reign of powerful kings, God would set up a kingdom that would never be destroyed (2:44,45).
God sent His angel, delivering the three from the fiery furnace (3:28).
God decreed the humbling of Nebuchadnezzar by driving him from men, and causing him to live with beasts and eat grass (4:24-25).
In one hour, God humbled Nebuchadnezzar as He had decreed, deposing him from the throne (4:31-33; 5:20).
God delivered a message to Belshazzar during a feast, sending a hand that inscribed a message on the wall of the palace (5:5).
God numbered Belshazzar’s kingdom, finished it, weighed Him in the balances, found him deficient, and gave his kingdom to the Medes and Persians (5:26-28).
God sent an angel and delivered Daniel from the lions (6:22).
Daniel sees Divine judgment intruding into the affairs of men, ridding the world of despotic governments (7:9-10).
The saved of the Lord are not left to their own, and their enemies do not operate with a free and unhindered hand. God, because of His great power and nature, can break into the affairs of men for either blessing or cursing, for lifting up or casting down.
DECLARATIONS OF SOVEREIGNTY God changes times, removes and sets up kings, gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to those of understanding (2:21).
God reveals deep and secret things, knows what is in darkness, and light dwells with Him (2:22).
The God of heaven reveals secrets (2:28).
God is the God of gods, Lord of kings, and Revealer of secrets (2:47).
God was able to deliver Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace (3:17).
There is no god who can deliver as the God of heaven (3:29).
God’s signs are great, His wonders mighty, His kingdom everlasting, and His dominion from generation to generation (4:3).
The Most High rules in the kingdoms of men, giving them to whomever He pleases (4:25).
God lives forever, His dominion is everlasting, and His kingdom from generation to generation (4:34).
God does what He desires in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth, and no one can hinder or question Him (4:35; 5:21).
All of God’s works are truth, His ways judgment, and He is able to abase those who walk in pride (4:37).
God is the living God, is steadfast forever, His kingdom will not be destroyed, and His dominion will be to the end (6:26).
God delivers, rescues, and works signs and wonders in heaven and earth (6:27).
This is a point God wants the world to know. He taught the world this aspect of His nature in the flood, the dispersion at Babel, the calling of Abraham, and the deliverance of Israel. It is also seen in the sustaining of those who live by faith, and the inability of the devil and his hosts to carry out their will.
As if this remarkable and consistent testimony is not enough, Daniel has been shown the throne of God – a throne established for judgment and reckoning with His creation. That judgment is seen not only as incontestable, but irresistible. While some theologians have concocted jargon like “irresistible grace,” they ought to be thinking more about the inevitability, certainty, and finality of Divine judgment.
Now the Divine manner is once again chronicled in Daniel’s vision. Because the final phase of worldly history is governed by “the Man Christ Jesus,” He is now introduced to Daniel. This is the One who appeared “to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb 9:26). He is the One who “destroyed” the devil (Heb 2:14), “blotted out” the “handwriting of ordinances that was against us” (Col2:14), and plundered “principalities and powers” (Col 2:15). He is the One through whom God speaks to men in “these last days” (Heb 1:1-2). This is the One who alone enabled God to be both “Just and Justifier” (Rom 3:26).
This is the One through whom God will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31), and to whom all judgment has been committed (John 5:22). It is not possible, therefore, to focus upon the demise of worldly kingdoms without bringing “the Son of man” into the picture. Nearly six centuries before “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), Daniel is given to see Him in majesty and splendor.
The intention of this section is to confirm that the most powerful and successful governments of this world could not delay the promised coming of the Messiah for one millisecond. From Daniel’s vantage point, He would enter the world on schedule, return to heaven, and would receive all power in heaven and earth. For the believers of succeeding generations, this is intended to confirm that Divine purpose drove the entrance of Christ, not mere human need – although that was in the Divine equation. Not only did Babel, the Medo-Persians, Greece, and Rome, rise when God had determined, and continue only as long as He had purposed, the ultimate King also appeared when God had appointed. Satan was powerless to thwart the coming of Christ, His atonement, His resurrection, His ascension, or His enthronement. Neither, indeed, will he be able to delay His judgment for a moment, nor will those who oppose “the Son of man” be able to avoid that judgment. The reins of the Kingdom are in His hand alone, and He ie wielding that power wisely for the good of the saints.
“ 7:13a I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven . . . ”
While we may have grown accustomed to hearing of the humanity of the Savior, this aspect of His person has not always been clear. Although there were frequent references to the Redeemer being a Man, the experience of the people of God was quite different. The grandest displays of Divine intervention came through the disposition of angels, not mere men. This was true of the flood, when God came “with ten thousands of His saints” (Jude 1:14), the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 10:1-15), the deliverance Israel from Egypt (Num 20:16), and the giving of the Law (Acts 7:53; Gal 3:19). Even the personal deliverances recorded in this book came through the hands of holy angels (3:28; 6:22).
Now Daniel will be shown a Man with Divine qualities – one who, although He is like man, is also like God. There is only one person in all of history who was 100% man and 100% God. That is the Lord Jesus Christ, and this part of the vision pertains to Him.
“I saw in the night visions . . . ” Daniel keeps looking at the vision, and more of God’s purpose is unfolded to him. Thus other versions read, “I kept looking in the night visions,” NASB “As I watched in the night visions.” NRSV
It should be noted at this point that those who cannot concentrate on the things of God during the night, when there are fewer distractions, will not be able to adequately ponder them during the day, when there is more competition for their attention.
“ . . . and, behold, one like the Son of man . . . ” The magnificent visions that commenced in the first year of Belshazzar’s reign continue. They does not end with the appearance of beastly governments. Nor, indeed, do they conclude with the revelation of God the Judge. Daniel will be shown the means through which God will judge the world. It will be through a Man.
This is the only place in Moses and the Prophets where the coming Messiah is referred to as “the Son of man.” Although the expression is used 107 times in Genesis through Malachi, only here is it used exclusively of the coming Redeemer. One other possible allusion is found in the eighth Psalm (80:17). However, it is not marked with the clarity of Daniel.
When the Spirit says “like the Son of man,” He means this Person had Divine qualities and exercised sovereign prerogatives, yet did so in the form of a man. “Like” does not mean He really was not a man, but that the appearance of a man was prominent in Him. Daniel was not seeing the Word “in the form of God”(Phil 2:6), but in His redemptive capacity as a man. Because the Word had not yet been made flesh, Daniel saw Him prophetically as “like the Son of man.” He was given to see the crucified, risen, exalted, and reigning Christ. The Savior never “took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men” until He appeared as a Babe in Bethlehem of Judea.
Because the humanity of Christ is so critical to our redemption, and the reason judgment has been given to Him, some time must be given to establishing this aspect of the Savior. We are saved through the humanity of Christ, and that is why much is made of this in Scripture.
Representations by Moses and the Prophets
Early in history, God revealed redemption from the fall would come from within humanity itself – the offspring of the woman. The offspring would be unique, to be sure, yet would be altogether “the Son of man” as well as “the Son of God.” Among other things, this meant the Savior would be discernible to men, and would be able to empathize with their condition.
Seed of woman. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel” (Gen 3:15).
Here is the first promise of a Savior, and it was spoken to the devil, with the whole human race being present. In it both the greatness of God and the minuteness of salvation are seen. The demise of the devil would come from the appointed Offspring of the very one Satan deceived! The Rescuer of humanity would come from the race itself – the very race of which it is said, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23).
Seed of Abraham. “For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham” (Heb 2:16). “Now to Abraham and His seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy Seed, which is Christ” (Gal 3:16).
A man without a background of knowing God, whose lineage was traced back to idolatry (Josh 24:2), became the progenitor of a race through which the Savior would be brought into the world.
Prophet from the midst of Israel. “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken” (Deu 18:15).
From among the Israelites themselves, would come the Prophet bearing the message of salvation – the One through whom recovery from the fall would be accomplished. It would not come by an angel, but through a Man.
Son of David. “The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; He will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne” (Psa 132:11). “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham” (Mat 1:1). “Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Rom 1:3).
Jesus Christ came from the kingly lineage of David. He was David’s ultimate Offspring, who would sit upon the throne from which the salvation of men and the open subjugation of the enemies of God is accomplished.
A Son is given. “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isa 9:6-7).
The ultimate “Jew” is the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus Jesus Himself affirmed, “salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22). In a very real sense, He is the Son of that nation, the Child given to them by the Living God.
Representation by Jesus and the Apostles
Word made flesh. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . .
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:1,14).
Jesus entered the world, coming from the eternal realm. Micah said His goings forth were “from everlasting” (5:2). Notwithstanding, He entered the world as a Man, being “made flesh.” His humanity is the Divinely appointed agency through which we are saved. That salvation consists of two parts. First, His atoning death Col 1:22; Heb 2:14). Second, His effective intercession (Heb 7:25). Both of these required the humanity of Jesus – the Word becoming “flesh,” and dwelling among us.
Son of man. “The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity” (Mat 13:41). “And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56). “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle” (Rev 1:13). “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle” (Rev 14:14).
The term “Son of man” not only accents the humanity of the Savior, but His preeminence among men. He is the premier Man, the ultimate Offspring of woman, and the appointed Representative of our race. He is, in fact,
the ONLY Man God has accepted upon the basis of His person. All others are accepted by virtue of their identity with Him.
Made of a woman, made under the Law. “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal 4:4-5).
The woman, who was deceived by the devil (1 Tim 2:14), became the vehicle through which humanity is rescued from the fall! This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes. Having been brought into the world, the manhood of the Savior was confirmed by being subject to the Law of God. This is said of no angel, seraph, or cherub. Such holy personages obey God’s commandments, but are not subject to “the Law,” which is made for the lawless and disobedient.
The “Son of man,” however was “made under the Law,” not because He was disobedient, but because under it He would “learn obedience by the things that He suffered” (Heb 5:8). Although He did not sin, yet He “suffered being tempted” (Heb 2:18). All of that is involved in Jesus being called “the Son of man.”Incidentally, Jesus referred to Himself as “the Son of Man” no less than eighty-four times.
Likeness of sinful flesh. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom 8:3).
By saying “the likeness,” the Spirit is not suggesting the body of Jesus was not real. His was a very real body of flesh and blood: one in which He grew in wisdom, and stature, and favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). It was a body in which He was not only “tempted in all points like as we are” (Heb 4:15), but “suffered being tempted” (Heb 2:18). Yet, because Jesus was “undefiled” and “separate from sinners” (Heb 7:26), He is said to have come “in the likeness of sinful flesh.”
Made like unto His brethren. “Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted” (Heb 2:17-18).
In order for Jesus to save us, He had to be made like unto us. He had to meet the enemy of humanity on his own turf, so to speak. He had to pass through the same waters that had overflowed our race, and triumph over death as a Man. In particular, this qualified Him to be a merciful and faithful High Priest. He could now be touched with the feelings of human weakness. Because He Himself survived the assaults of the devil and the lure of the flesh, He is able to succor, or minister to, those who “are tempted.”
Last Adam. “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (1 Cor 15:45).
Jesus was a Man whose lineage could be traced all the way back to Adam. Yet, He was “the last Adam.” That is, because He had no fleshly offspring, and from heaven’s view, the Adamic lineage actually ended with Him.
The fleshly lineage of Jesus is traced from Christ back to Adam (Luke 3:23-38), and from Abraham to Christ (Matt 1:1-17). That fleshly lineage abruptly terminated at Jesus, for He had no fleshly offspring as did all of the predecessors in His lineage. As the prophet said, “He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living”(Isa 53:8; Acts 8:33). Yet, His offspring are more numerous than all the others. This is why He is called “Everlasting Father” (Isa 9:6). His “children” were given to Him by His Father (Heb 2:13-14), and are “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” (Rev 7:9). Until Jesus comes again, members of this generation will remain on the earth as salt and light. Satan will not be able to remove this generation.
The precision of this view is confirmed in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus. He cites forty-two generations, grouping them in three clusters of fourteen. He affirms fourteen generations to have passed “from Abraham to David” (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judas, Phares, Esrom, Aram, Aminadab, Naasson, Salmon, Booz, Obed, Jesse, David). Fourteen generations “from David to the carrying away into Babylon” (Solomon, Roboam, Abia, Asa, Josaphat, Joram, Ozias, Joatham, Achaz, Ezekias, Manasses, Amon, Josias, Jechonias). Fourteen remaining
generations were “from the carrying away into Babylon until Christ” (Salathiel, Zorobabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Sadoc, Achim, Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, Joseph the husband of Mary, Jesus).
In counting these generation, it will become apparent that only forty-one are listed, not forty-two. Fourteen are listed from Abraham to David, and fourteen from David to the carrying away into Babylon. But only thirteen are listed from the carrying away unto Babylon to Christ Jesus. Some have attempted to explain this by saying David and Josiah are counted twice. That mode of reckoning, however, leaves Christ out, terminating with Joseph. Still others are of the opinion the third list includes Mary as well as Joseph. Some believe Matthew made a mistake. Still others account for the difference by saying David is listed twice.
These explanations are wholly unacceptable. The word “begat” is mentioned thirty-nine times in this passage. Add to that number Joseph, who is not said to have begotten anyone, and Jesus who is not declared to have begotten any fleshly lineage, and you have forty-one generations, not forty-two.
The forty-second generation is accounted for in Christ’s own generation, which was a spiritual one, not a fleshly one. That generation is His by virtue of redemption. It is written of them, “And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal 3:29). The word “Christ’s” denoted, then, His peculiar generation.
Second Man. “The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven” (1 Cor 15:47).
Jesus began a new race – a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17), or new generation. He is, in this sense, “the Firstborn among many brethren” (Rom 8:29). In this view, all of “the brethren,” including Himself, “are all of One (the Father),” for which cause He is not ashamed to call them “brethren” (Heb 2:11). From the standpoint of them being His generation, they are His children. Thus it is said of Him, “Behold I and the children which God hath given me” (Heb 2:13). It is in this sense that His name includes “Everlasting Father”(Isa 9:6).
Took the form of a servant. “But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Phil 2:7). The humanity of Christ required unequaled humility and condescension. By making Himself “of no reputation,” He “emptied Himself,” NASB divesting Himself of the prerogatives of Deity. In doing this, He did not cease to be Divine, but refused to conduct Himself in that capacity. He stooped to enter earth in “the form of a servant,” humbling Himself to such a degree as to be “tempted” (Heb 4:15), “trust” in God (Heb 2:13), be “led by the Spirit” (Matt 4:1), grow in “wisdom,” and “in favor with God and man” (Lk 2:52), and have “the grace of God upon Him” (Lk 2:40).
No person can afford to take lightly the fact that “the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
Made a little lower than the angels. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb 2:9).
Again, the condescension of the Savior is accented. Although in His most humble state, when He first entered into the world, all of the angels of God were commanded to worship Him (Heb 1:6), yet He was “made a little lower” than that mighty host of “ministering spirits.”
Temptation of. “For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted” (Heb 2:18). “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15).
I have already said considerable about this aspect of Christ’s humanity. Yet, a few further observations are in order. There are some spiritual novices who say Jesus did not sin because it was impossible for Him to do so. His “temptation,” in their view, was no temptation at all, but only a mere technicality. Such notions are more than foolish, and display a serious lack of understanding. Jesus “suffered, being tempted” (Heb 2:18). On the eve of His betrayal, the temptation was strong that “there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him” (Luke 22:43). He thrice pled with the Father to let this cup pass from Him if it was possible to do so (Matt 26:39-44). His agonizing prayer during this time was accompanied with “strong crying and tears”(Heb 5:7). Let no one be so foolish as to suggest Jesus was not really tempted, or did not feel the tug of contrary influences. If
such a postulate is true, He is not able to be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. Such a view is a heresy of the worst rank.
Some of the Involvements
These are some of the involvements of “the Word becoming flesh” and dwelling among us. The humanity of Christ is the emphasis of appellation “Son of man.” God the Father is never referred to in this sense, nor is any angel. As I have shown, the Savior’s personal identity with the humanity was prophesied from the very beginning. It is expounded extensively in Apostolic doctrine. Some of the things accomplished by His humanity include the following.
Humbled Himself (Phil 2:8). Took the form of a servant (Phil 2:7). Was obedient to His parents (Luke 2;41). Grew in stature and spirit (Luke 2:52). Became obedient (Phil 2:8). Suffered being tempted (Heb 2:8). He feared (Heb 5:7) Suffered death (Hen 2:9). Is able to succor those who are tempted (Heb 2:18). Is an effective Intercessor (Heb 7:25). Is able to be touched with the feeling of human weakness (Heb 4:15). Was led by the Spirit (Luke 4:1). Trusted in God (Heb 2:13). Spoke only what His Father taught Him (John 8:28). Did only what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19). Has been given all judgment because He is the Son of man (John 5:22).
It is particularly in this last capacity that Daniel now sees Him – as One who has received “all judgment.” As Jesus Himself affirmed, “For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:26-29).
The emphasis here will not be the final judgment, but the sagacity associated with the government being now placed upon His shoulder. This will be made more clear in the verses that follow. What marvelous things were revealed to Daniel!
“ . . . came with the clouds of heaven . . . ” Other versions read, “coming with the clouds of heaven,” NKJV and “with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of man was coming. NASB
Those familiar with Scripture will recall the Lord’s use of these very words when referring to His return to earth. “they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Mat 24:30; Mk 13:26). “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (Mat 26:64; Mk 14:62). In these texts, Jesus is referring to His second coming, when He returns to be seen by “every eye”(Rev 1:7).
This text, however, refers to Him coming to “the Ancient of days,” or “God the Father,” as Jesus called Him (John 6:27). This has reference to His ascension into heaven when “a cloud received Him out of their (the disciples) sight” – but into the presence of the Father (Acts 1:9).
Luke reminds us He will also return “in a cloud” (Lk 21:27). However, Daniel is being shown the return of the Messiah into heaven where He is presently enthroned in glory. That enthronement is the result of His triumphant death. This too will be made more clear in the verses that follow, which speak of the very time in which we presently are living. Suffice it to say, the level of revelation on this matter that is given to Daniel is most remarkable.
“ 13b . . . and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him.”
Allow me to clarify once again that Daniel is now being shown the exalted Christ. Later, he will be shown the vicarious death of Christ (9:26). But for now, the Son of man returning to the Father is what He sees.
“. . . and came to the Ancient of days . . . ” Other versions read “He came UP to the Ancient of Days,” NASB/DARBY “He approached the Ancient of Days,” NIV and “and unto the Ancient of Days He hath come.” YLT
The entrance of the risen Savior into heaven is a key point of Apostolic doctrine. Here, as well as some other places, it is seen in prophecy, which, by its very nature, is not as specific as the declaration of the fulfillment of the prophecy. The fulfillment of the prophetic word is what Peter referred to as “a more sure word of prophecy,” KJV or “the prophetic word confirmed” NKJV (2 Pet 1:19). It is to our advantage to acquaint ourselves with the ascension of Jesus. Once again, this is the point at which He “came” “with the clouds of heaven,” and “unto the Ancient of Days.”
In Prophecy
The Psalms contain allusions to the ascension of Christ. The immediate use of this language applies to the return of the ark of the Covenant. However, it was a foreshadow of the return of the conquering Savior to heaven.
“God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet” (Psa 47:5).
“Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: Thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them” (Psa 68:18). This passage is quoted in the book of Ephesians, where the ascension of a victorious Christ is declared (4:8-9).
The twenty-fourth Psalm contains an especially vivid picture of the ascension of Christ. “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah” (Psa 24:8-10). In this Psalm we have a Man, for the first time, entering into the very presence of the throne of glory. It provides a most glorious picture of the returning Conqueror with the spoils of warfare, having soundly defeating the foe..
In the Gospels “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19).
“Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:26).
“And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up His hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven”(Luke 24:50-51).
“What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before?” (John 6:62).
“Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto Him that sent Me” (John 7:33).
“In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).
“Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I” (John 14:28).
“But now I go my way to Him that sent me; and none of you asketh Me Whither goest Thou?” (John 16:5).
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you” (John 16:7).
“Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more” (John 16:10).
“A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me, because I go to the Father” (John 16:16).
“I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father” (John 16:28).
“Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to My Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father; and to My God, and your God” (John 20:17).
Apostolic Doctrine “And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
“Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21).
“And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set him at His own right hand in the heavenly places” (Eph 1:20).
“Wherefore he saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that He ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things” (Eph 4:9-10).
“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Tim 3:16).
“Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:3).
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession” (Heb 4:14).
“For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Heb 9:24).
“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 12:5).
All of these are a depiction of the Lord coming on the clouds, as it were, into heaven. Daniel saw it nearly 600 years before it occurred. This was unquestionable evidence that Daniel was especially precious to the God of heaven. Three times Daniel is referred to as “greatly beloved” of God. I will tell you that no other kind of person would have been vouchsafed such precious insights! Those who live close to the Lord get more, as is confirmed in the prophet Daniel, to say nothing of the Apostles’ like Paul and John.
“ . . . and they brought Him near before Him.” Other versions read, “and was presented before Him,” NASB “was led into His presence,” NIV and “He reached the Ancient of Days and was presented to Him.” TNK This is a characterization of the risen Savior returning to the One who sent Him on a mission determined from the foundation of the world.
Returning to the One Who Sent Him
At this point, we know more of the One Daniel sees than he himself knew. This is only because “the Son of man” is the subject of Divine illumination and proclamation through the Apostles. Thus, we are seeing Jesus “presented” to the Father, or “Ancient of days,” as One returning from the fulfillment of God’s commission.
In the Gospels, Jesus refers to the Father SENDING HIM no less than thirty-eight times (Matt 10:40; Mk 9:37; Lk 4:18; 9:48; 10:16; John 4:34; 5:24, 30,36,37; 6:38,39,40,44,57; 7:16,28,29,33; 8:16,18,26,29,42;9:4; 11:42; 12:44,45,49; 13:20; 14:24; 15:21; 16:5; 17:18,21 ,23,25; 20:21). It is good for us to ponder that commission for a moment, for much is said about it.
THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD. “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14).
A PROPITIATION FOR SIN. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
THAT WE MIGHT LIVE. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9).”
TO REDEEM THE CONDEMNED, AND ENABLE THEIR ADOPTION. “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Gal 4:4-5).
DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL. “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).
DESTROY THE DEVIL AND LIBERATE THE CAPTIVES. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb 2:15).
TAKE AWAY OUR SINS. “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin” (1 John 3:5).
PUT AWAY SIN. “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb 9:26).
DO GOD’S WILL, TAKE AWAY THE OLD COVENANT, AND ESTABLISH THE NEW COVENANT. “Wherefore when He cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared Me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do Thy will, O God. Above when He said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin Thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said He, Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second” (Heb 10:5-9).
TO SAVE SINNERS. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Tim 1:15).
BEAR WITNESS TO THE TRUTH. “Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (John 18:37).
ACCOMPLISH HIS DECEASE. “And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: who appeared in glory, and spake of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem” (Luke 9:31).
DO GOD’S WILL AND FINISH HIS WORK. “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34). HEAL, PREACH, RECOVER, AND SET AT LIBERTY. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:19).
As the “Son of man” is brought to the Father, He comes as one who has fulfilled every joy and tittle of His staggering commission. He has taken away the sins of the world, dashed the foe to the ground, liberated the captives, and given the people a glimpse of the Father and His will.
He has thrown open the door of hope, demonstrated Divine power by putting the devil and his hosts to flight, and brought in ever lasting righteousness. Sin has been put away, the world has been reconciled to God, and the time of Divine acceptance has been announced. Special messengers have been prepared, death has been defeated, and an acceptable and effective sacrifice for sin has been offered.
Now God can be both “Just and the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus” (Rom 3:26). Now, for the first time since the fall of man, “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Psa 85:10).
We should expect, therefore, for significant things to take place upon the return of the conquering Savior – the “Son of man.”
“ 14a And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom . . . ”
Because there has been such corruption of this glorious text, I again want to emphasize this is a declaration of something taking place in heaven. This is the result of the “Son of man” being presented to the “Ancient of days,” the “God of heaven.” This is not the chronicling of an earthly, or fleshly, kingdom. The vision has to do with the exaltation and enthronement of Jesus, a matter declared and emphasized in Apostolic doctrine. I fear that a considerable amount of contrived theology regarding this text reveals earth-mindedness rather than Divine purpose. This is a condition that must be avoided at all cost.
When speaking about accomplishments and issues relating directly to Christ Jesus, there is no latitude allowed for error. If the Gospel, or good news, of Christ is God’s “power unto salvation” (Rom 1:16), improper presentations of Him cannot be allowed, for God does not bless through error, or work through vain imaginations. One will search the Scriptures in vain for the slightest hint that God is tolerant to any degree of those who misrepresent His Son. Our salvation is hinged to our faith in Christ. We simply cannot be wrong about Him. While it may seem totally unnecessary to say this, we live in a religious climate that demands that this point be repeatedly affirmed.
“And there was given Him dominion . . . ” Other versions read, “He was given authority,” NIV “to Him was given authority,” BBE “and He gave Him power,” DOUAY “and He gave Him dominion,” GNV and “on Him was conferred rule.” NJB
Here Daniel is given to behold more precisely what was revealed to Nebuchadnezzar in his first dream. “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” (Dan 2:44). This kingdom was “set up” when “the Son of man” was invested with authority and dominion, as declared in this text.
Let it be clear that the Word, prior to His incarnation, was not without power and authority. Nor, indeed, was He without it when He walked among men. Frequently He exhibited His power and authority in healing diseases, expelling demons, stilling the sea, calming storms, withering fig trees, calling for a fish to deliver a coin, etc., etc. He also had “power on earth to forgive sins” (Matt 9:6). However, that is not the power of which our text speaks.
The power, authority, or dominion, delivered to “the Son of man”
was nothing less than laying the government upon His shoulder. Thus He was given “power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou (the Father) hast given [to] Him” (John 17:2).
He is given this power in the capacity of a Man – “the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5). Not only was the Word required to become a Man in order to pay the penalty for sin, He also had to be a Man, or “the Son of man,” in order to effectively intercede for them and bring them all the way to glory (Heb 2:10).
Declared by the Prophets
The prophets declared an authoritative Savior – One that would be given dominion.
A KING SHALL REIGN IN RIGHTEOUSNESS. “Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment” (Isa 32:1).
A KING THAT IS IN PLACE. “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel” (Psa 2:9).
DOMINION FROM SEA TO SEA. “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth” (Psa 72:8).
RULING IN THE MIDST OF HIS ENEMIES. “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of Thy strength out of Zion: rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies” (Psa 110:2).
THE GOVERNMENT IS UPON HIS SHOULDER. “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isa 9:7).
HE WILL OPEN AND SHUT. “And the key of the house of David will I lay upon His shoulder; so He shall open, and none shall shut; and He shall shut, and none shall open” (Isa 22:22).
A SAVIOR THAT REIGNS. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” (Isa 52:7).
REIGN AND PROSPER. “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth” (Jer 23:5).
Jesus Declared This Dominion
The Lord Jesus spoke of this power while upon earth. His works confirmed the nature of that power. His words provided assurance that it would be devoted to the execution of the will of His Father and the salvation of men.
ALL POWER IN HEAVEN AND EARTH. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth” (Mat 28:18).
POWER OVER ALL FLESH. “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” (John 17:2).
ALL THINGS DELIVERED TO HIM. “All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him” (Mat 11:27). “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand” (John 3:35).
ALL JUDGMENT GIVEN TO HIM. “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22). “And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man” (John 5:27).
Apostolic Declarations
What Daniel saw briefly in a vision of the night, the Apostles expounded extensively, confirming Jesus has been exalted and invested with all power. The conferment of this power, authority, or dominion, is the consequence of Him finishing the work God gave Him to do upon the earth. That work was laying His life down, and taking it up again.
SEATED AT GOD’S RIGHT HAND. “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19).
AUTHORITIES AND POWERS MADE SUBJECT TO HIM. “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him” (1 Pet 3:22).
FAR ABOVE ALL PRINCIPALITY AND POWER. “And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Eph 1:19-21).
HIGHLY EXALTED. “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:9-11).
HE HAS THE PREEMINENCE. “And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the Firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell” (Col 1:19).
EXALTED TO GIVE REPENTANCE AND FORGIVENESS. “Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31).
MADE SO MUCH BETTER. “Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” (Heb 1:3-4).
BOTH LORD AND CHRIST. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).
MADE HIGHER THAN THE HEAVENS. “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” (Heb 7:26).
Dominion Associated with Salvation
It is imperative that we see the dominion of “the Son of man” in its relationship to the salvation of mankind. The rule of Deity over all opposing forces, whether human or evil spirits, has never been questioned. The rule of Deity is absolutely uncontested, and has always been. The God of heaven has always raised up and deposed kings and kingdoms at will. There is not a solitary instance in all of revealed history where the enemies of God engaged in an extended initiative against the God of heaven. It has always been true, “the heavens do rule” (Dan 4:26).
Our text is not about the God of heaven ruling. Rather, it is about “the Son of man” ruling – the glorified “Man Christ Jesus” being given dominion (1 Tim 2:5).
Although Christ’s dominion involves the total public subjugation of His enemies, the last of which is death (1 Cor 15:26), it is primarily associated with salvation. Our deliverance from sin had to come from a man – a member of our own race. We must be kept safe by a Man, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah:“And a Man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land” (Isa 32:2). The Divine resources required to make it safely from earth to glory must be ministered to us by a Man, who mediates the covenant (Heb 9:15), and ever lives to make intercession for us (Heb 7:25).
Daniel is being given to see the Savior after He has been exalted. He is beholding what is required to bring the sons to glory, and bring men to God (1 Pet 3:18). Jesus did not have to be exalted to subdue God’s enemies. Michael and his angels could easily do that. The exaltation of Jesus was required in order that eternal benefits might pass from God to man. It was necessary in order that the effects of Satan’s destruction and the spoiling of principalities and powers might be realized by redeemed men.
While this may seem quite apparent, a significant amount of contemporary theology appears to ignore these facts. Men are brought to consider Jesus primarily as a Subjugator of our enemies. However, before the Word became flesh, He possessed such power. The “Son of man” is primarily a Savior. That is why He was sent into the world, and that is why He has been enthroned in heaven, being given unquestionable dominion.
“And there was given Him . . . glory . . . ” In Jesus “power and glory” have been brought together in the fullest and most extensive way. “Glory” has to do with honor, or recognition. Presently, the glory of “the Son of man” is fully beheld in heaven, where He is seated at the Father’s right hand. No heavenly personality has any doubts about the glorification of Jesus. Nor, indeed, is there any ignorance of it among the hosts of darkness who were all decimated by Him in His death on the cross (Heb 2:14; Col 2:15). It is only upon earth that Jesus is not seen in all of His glory. Therefore, it is declared to us, in order that we may grasp something of its magnitude by faith.
“Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God” (1 Pet 1:21).
“Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow” (1 Pet 1:11).
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb 2:9). Here we see that Christ was made lower than the angels in order to die, but crowned with glory and honor in order that His death might be effectual for all men. Thus the glory, which He received after His death, validated that death for all who will believe.
“The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified His Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied Him in the presence of Pilate, when He was determined to let Him go” (Acts 3:13).
The glory with which Jesus is presently endued was given to Him when He returned to heaven, having completed His mission in the world. It was in answer to His own prayer on the eve of His betrayal: “And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own Self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was” (John 17:5). That very glory will be openly displayed “when He shall come in His own glory” (Luke 9:26).
Once again, let it be clear that this glory is necessary for us to be saved. An un-glorified Christ could not save us – His death and resurrection notwithstanding. The glory given to “the Son of man” sanctified His death, resurrection, and intercession. Also, He was glorified as a man – “THE Man Christ Jesus,” and “the Second Man” (1 Cor 15:47). Now this glorified Man is our official Representative, and the Pledge that all who believe on Him will finally be with Him, also appearing “with Him in glory” (Col 3:4).
“And there was given Him . . . a kingdom . . . ” Other versions read, “sovereign power,” NIV “kingship,” NRSV “THE kingdom,” Septuagint and “royal power.” NLT
Once again, I must emphasize that this is related to “the Son of man” being brought to the Father – not with Him coming back to the earth! It has to do with His return to heaven, not His return to earth. Daniel is being given to see the impact of Christ’s vicarious death in heaven, not the impact of His glorious coming among men.
The kingdom given to Jesus commenced with His return to the glory -- starting with His glorification and consequent enthronement at the right hand of God as “the Man Christ Jesus.”
Peter’s Exposition of this Truth
Peter alluded to this when He declared God had “made” Jesus “both Lord and Christ.” His reasoning is unusually powerful, shattering misconceptions of the nature of the salvation and Divine rule. Peter spoke these words on the day of Pentecost when He was “filled with the Spirit.”
First, He affirmed God had made promises regarded a coming Sovereign – the “Lord.” “For David speaketh concerning Him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is on my right hand, that I should not be moved . . . For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on My right hand” (Acts 2:25,34). Secondly, Peter announced the coming of a Christ, or Messiah, that would be enthroned. “Therefore [David] being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He [God] would raise up Christ to sit on His throne”(Acts 2:30).
Inspired by the Holy Spirit to see the Scriptures with clarity, Peter goes on to relate all of this to the resurrection of Christ. “He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell [hades], NKJV neither His flesh did see corruption” (Acts 2:31).
Confirming that the resurrection of Christ did, in fact, include His ascension and enthronement in glory, Peter further declared, “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’ Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:33-36). NKJV
Therefore, Jesus is presently sitting at the right hand of God in the capacity of the reigning “Lord.” He is presently the “Christ” God promised David He would seat upon his throne. This was one of the very first things proclaimed about the Lord Jesus. It ought not be so little known among those who claim identity with Him. The glorified Christ has received a kingdom!
The Apostles refer to this kingdom – the one “the Son of man” has received. It is called “the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph 5:5).
It is “the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 1:11).
When in exile on Patmos, John referred to himself as “your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ” (Rev 1:9).
Our own reconciliation to God is described as the work of God, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son” (Col 1:13).
The Spirit represents the Father as saying to the glorified Son, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Thy kingdom” (Heb 1:8).
In one of His parables, Jesus likened the kingdom of God to “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for Himself a kingdom, and to return” (Luke 19:12).
Jesus will judge the living and the dead when He AND His kingdom appear. “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom” (2 Tim 4:1).
At this present time, the Lord Jesus is ruling and reigning. The government is now upon His shoulder (Isa 9:6), and He is reigning in righteousness (Isa 32:1). From the earthly perspective, however, this does not appear to be true. It seems as though Jesus is not really reigning, for things do not appear to fall out to the apparent advantage of the saints. Thus foolish people become “upset with God,” or “angry with God,” supposing they have become the victims of happenstance or uncontrollable forces of evil. Notwithstanding, Daniel saw “the Son of man” receiving a kingdom, and Peter and Paul both affirmed that kingdom is now in place. The only thing that remains is for Christ’s rule and kingdom to be made known, or revealed.
God Will Reveal Him
The Spirit informs us that God has determined to openly display His Son in all of His glory. While men may doubt His exaltation now, no one will doubt it then. Thus it is written, “that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ's appearing, which He [God the Father] will manifest in His own time, He who IS the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen” (1 Tim 6:16). NKJV
Who is the person willing to affirm Jesus is not presently “blessed?” Is there an individual who will stand up and say Christ is not presently “the only Potentate,” or all-powerful One? Will anyone dare to say He is not at this present time “King of kings and Lord of lords?” Is He not deserving of “honor and everlasting power” right now? All of that is another way of saying He has been “given a kingdom.”
The “Son of man” receiving a kingdom is referred to by Jesus Himself when speaking to the church at Laodicea. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne” (Rev 3:21). When Jesus was seated with His Father in His throne, He was “given a kingdom.” At that point He received the reins of the kingdom in order to bring the sons home to glory – and Daniel was given to see it.
“ 14b that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him . . . ”
Now Daniel is told of the marvelous extent of the kingdom given to “the Son of man.”
“ . . . should serve Him . . . ” Other versions read, “might serve Him,” NASB “Worshiped Him,” NIV “were His servants,” BBE “shall serve Him,” DOUAY “became His servants,” NJB “would obey Him,” NLT “must serve Him,” TNK and “do serve Him.” YLT
Thus, considering the various translations, and from a linguistic point of view, a number of views are possible. The “Son of man” received “dominion, glory, and a kingdom,” in order that:
All people should, or ought, to serve Him.
The result would be that all people worshiped Him.
The result would be that everyone will eventually become His servants.
All people would, indeed, serve Him.
It would become an obligation to serve Him.
While men will be tempted to do so, they must avoid philosophizing about the glorification of Christ, as well Him being served by all.
First. Those who are not in Christ are “not a people” (1 Pet 2:10). Hence, the legitimacy of all peoples, nations, and languages is owing to the remnant who have believed through grace. In this sense, believers are the “salt of the earth” (Matt 5:13). From this perspective, the glorified Christ is being served by Divinely recognized people “out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Rev 5:9). That sanctified remnant brings genuineness to the various visions of humanity.
Second. A comparison is being made between the temporal global kingdoms of the world (Babylon, Medo-Persian, Grecian, and Roman) and the kingdom given to Christ. In a fuller and more extensive way, “all people, nations, and languages” serve Him – as compared with Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Alexander, etc., each of whom all nations also served. In this case, the emphasis is on “HIM” – the “Son of man.”
In this sense it was said of Nebuchadnezzar, “all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down” (Dan 5:19). Also, when Darius wrote to his subjects he addressed them as “all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth” (Dan 6:25). When Cyrus addressed his subjects he confessed, “All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD God of heaven given me” (2 Chr 36:23).
In this view, the language is that of universal dominion and power, where the ruler does his will, governing the world with his interests in mind. This is certainly true of the Lord Jesus, who presently has, and is using, “all power in heaven and in earth.”
Third. Because Jesus has, in fact, received all power in heaven and on earth, and the government is upon His shoulder, ONLY His interests are truly being served. Whether men are aware of it or not, He is the Governor of the nations, and “all people, nations, and languages” are actually serving Him.
Jesus often spoke of His kingdom in this manner, showing that all men are involved in the heavenly kingdom, whether they know it or not. Thus, He said “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away” (Mat 13:47-48). Those likened to “bad” fish were in the net. That is, they were serving a Divine purpose, just as surely as Pharaoh was – even though they were eventually discarded.
The same perspective is given in the parable of “the tares of the field.” They were in God’s field, and were allowed to remain there until the end. They were ignorant of it, but they were serving Divine objectives, even though they were seeking their own.
Other parables highlighting this aspect of the Kingdom over which Jesus now presides include the talents (Matt 25:15-28), pounds (Luke 19:13-25), and wise and foolish virgins (Matt 25:1-13). In each of them the righteous and unrighteous were involved, the good and the evil, the saved and the lost. All of them were, in the broad sense, within the Kingdom – some accepted like Moses, and others rejected like Pharaoh.
In this regard, no persons live unto themselves, or purely for their own interests and objectives. As it is written, “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself” (Rom 14:7). This passage has particular regard to our relation to other people. Thus the Basic Bible English Verison reads, “For every man's life and every man's death has a relation to others as well as to himself.” If that is true of our peers, much more it is true of the One who created and redeemed us! Thus the New Living Translation reads, “For we are not our own masters when we live or when we die.”
If a person can rise high enough, everything is of God, through God, and to God (Rom 11:36). Now that God has turned the government over to the Son, whether men acknowledge it or not, they are serving Christ’s interests – either to their own salvation or condemnation.
Fourth. Because of the dominion, glory, and kingdom that have been given to “the Son of man,” it is the obligation all people, nations, and languages to serve Him. Should men refuse to do so, they will still be governed by Him, and will give a strict account to Him. Prior to Christ, God Almighty declared “all souls are Mine” (Ezek 18:4). God will excuse no person who does not willingly serve the “Son of man.”
Serving the Son of man is to the advantage of the individual when it is done willingly, and without the imposition of Divine power. Egypt served God when they gave their wealth to departing Israel (Ex 3:22; 12:36; Psa 105:37). However, it brought no benefit to them, for they did not do it willingly. It took the death of the firstborn of all the houses in Egypt to move them to give their goods to Israel. When Jesus was put to death, those who did it, in a very real sense, were serving God, for they did “whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done” (Acts 4:28). However, it brought no advantage to them, for they had no thought of serving God.
However, when the power of salvation is experienced by a person, willingness becomes the hallmark of his service to Christ Jesus. As it is written, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power” (Psa 110:3).
Fifth. Eventually, and in an evident way, all peoples will be shown as subjects of Christ. Thus the Scriptures declare a time when “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev 11:15).
Again, in the song of Moses and of the Lamb, the redeemed sang, “Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? for Thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before Thee; for Thy judgments are made manifest” (Rev 15:4).
These texts specifically have to do with the overthrow of the enemies of Christ – when His enemies are made His “footstool” (Heb 1:13), and He has “put down all rule and all authority AND POWER”(1 Cor 15:24).
The point of our text is that until the appointed overthrow of these powers, all nations, peoples, and languages are not continuing because of their own self-will. It is not that they are strong, and it will take two-thousand or more years for the Lord to put them down, or make them His footstool. They are continuing under His government, even though they are largely ignorant of that circumstance. They are clay in His hand, and He is shaping them for His own purposes, even though they do not know it. Things are not out of control!
This is no strange teaching, but is confirmed elsewhere in Scripture. It is this very circumstance to which the seventy-sixth Psalm refers: “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain” (Psa 76:10). This principle was seen in the conspiracy of Joseph’s brothers against him. They worked their will against him, throwing him in a pit, and selling him to a band of Ishmaelites. Yet, when all was said and done, “God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Gen 50:20). They actually were serving God, even though driven by their personal hatred of Joseph.
Other Prophecies
This certainly is not the only prophecy of all nations and peoples serving the Lord Jesus Christ – “the Son of man.” One of the premier declarations of their subjugation is found in the second Psalm. “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 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” (Psa 2:10-12). Paul clearly affirmed this Psalm was speaking of the risen Christ (Acts 13:33).
Also, the seventy-second Psalm speaks of the Messiah in a veiled, yet poignant, manner. “Yea, all kings shall fall down before Him: all nations shall serve him” (Psa 72:11).
The Point of the Text
The point of our text is that commensurate with Christ’s exaltation and enthronement the whole world was made subject to Him. There is no place on this earth over which He does no preside, or where His interests are not being served. This circumstance began with Christ’s enthronement in heaven, and will continue until the end of time. If He faces His enemies, they are used to serve His purpose, like Joseph’s brothers, Pharaoh, Judas Pilate, and Herod. If they are heathen kingdoms, they serve Him in the same way as Babylon, the Medo-Persians, Greece, and Rome. He is at the helm of the Kingdom, and blessed are the people who know it.
This government, and the service of all peoples, is with the saints in mind. Jesus is presiding over the world in order to bring the saints home to glory. He is ensuring that all things are worked together for their ultimate good (Rom 8:28). His rule guarantees we will not be tempted above our ability, and that a way of escape will accompany every temptation (1 Cor 10:13). His reign is why we continue to enjoy all things that “pertain to life and godliness” (2 Pet 1:3), and are “more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Rom 8:37).
At this time, men may argue about this subjugation, or imagine that it does not exist. However, God has appointed a day when He will unveil this entire circumstance, making His Son known in the capacity He presently occupies. Thus it is written, “Which in His times He shall show, who IS the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only HATH immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom BE honor and power everlasting. Amen” (1 Tim 6:15-16).
It must be remembered that Christ’s kingdom is “not of this world” (John 18:36). That is, it is not readily apparent to the flesh. Yet, it is a very real kingdom, a very real rule, and involves very real subjugation and service. It does require more wisdom and power to rule over tyrants, while using them to fulfill Divine purpose. After all, every “great house” has two kinds of vessels: “some of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble” NIV (2 Tim 2:20). Just as those vessels serve the householder, “all people, nations, and languages” are now serving the exalted Christ.
“ . . . that all people . . . should serve Him . . . ” The word “people” views humanity from the ethnic point of view – those with a common origin.
The most general view of “people,”or “peoples,” views humanity as springing from a single source – Adam. “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth” (Acts 17:26).
A more restricted view traces everyone back to the sons of Noah. “The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the earth” (Gen 9:19).
Other people groups specified by Scripture are the descendants of Abraham (Gen 17:5), Ishmael (Gen 25:16), Esau (Deut 2:4), etc.
ALL NATIONS“ . . . that all . . . nations . . . should serve Him . . . ” The term “nations” views humanity from a political and geographic point of view. The offspring of a progenitor may be scattered throughout the world. A nation remains grouped together. This circumstance allowed for the judging of the nation of Israel to be distinct, for they were (as a nation) “scattered” among other nations (Esth 3:8; Psa 44:11; Zech 7:14). Yet, they remained a people, even though dispersed among the nations. Thus, according to Divine appointment, they became “an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD” led them (Deu 28:37).
ALL LANGUAGES“ . . . that all . . . languages, should serve Him . . . ” The expression “languages” views humanity from the standpoint of their speech, or means of communication. A “people,” for example, may be divided in their language. This can also be true of a nation. One language can be embraced by several different people groups, or several different nations.
Thus, from every vantage point, the “Son of man” is being served by humanity. The descendants of every progenitor are under His rule. Every government and every continent are embraced by His kingdom. All languages, whether crude or refined, are within His domain. There is no place where Jesus does not rule. There are no people that are not governed by Him. There are no nations, governments, or land-masses that are not subservient to Him. There is no language that is not under His control.
What Does This Mean?
The implications of this are staggering to consider. This means wherever a person seeks the Lord, regardless of the people group to which that person belongs, God will be found. It means that any individual that seeks the Lord, regardless of the government under which he lives, or the continent in which he resides, will find Him. It means that any male of female, young or old, bond or free, that reaches out for God, regardless of the seeming barriers of language, will find Him.
If that seems too difficult to receive, sift it through the words of the Sovereign Himself. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Mat 7:7-8). Weigh it in the balance of the truth revealed in Paul’s Athenian discourse. “From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are His offspring'” NIV (Acts 17:26-28).
If “the Son of man” was not reigning over all people, nations, and languages, no one could be saved. In such a case, a quest for the Lord could be frustrated, and reconciliation to God would be rendered impossible. If that is not true, then men are able to overcome evil forces that on their own that have held the world captive for centuries. Such a postulate is too foolish to embrace.
This is precisely why the government has been placed upon Christ’s shoulders! That is why all peoples, nations, and languages serve Him. It is in order for Him to bring “many sons to glory”(Heb 2:10). For that to be accomplished we needed a Man in heaven who had passed through this valley of tears, and gained the victory. We needed a Representative in heaven to whom every personality is subject, who can get Divine resources to us and subdue our enemies – One who is able to be touched with the feelings of our weaknesses. We needed One to whom Satan and his hosts are subject. We required One whom the Father honored, and to whom He listens. We had to have a Man next to God who has, in fact, received all power in heaven and earth! By the grace of God, we have such an One – praise the Lord! It is the glorified Christ whom Daniel saw!
“ 14c His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”
One of the primary purposes of “all Scripture” is “that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” NKJV (2 Tim 3:17). No word of Scripture is the mere statement or commentary of a man. No word of God is a lifeless account of history, a mere human biography, or the recollection of mortal man. There is purpose in Scripture, and intention in revelation. That purpose or intention is not to ensure we obtain all of the facts, or have an exact and thorough view of history. Although, to be sure, such things are involved, they are not the paramount reason for the Word of God.
The aim of the inspiration of God, and the moving of holy men by the Holy Spirit, is to stabilize the children of God – those who are in Christ Jesus. It is to make their faith strong, ensure the validity and power of their hope, and increase their joy in the Lord. If we read the Word of God without these objectives in mind, we will inevitably be drawn into fruitless bypaths.
If this is not seen, scholarship becomes a thief and a robber, and history is reduced to a mere distraction. One of the great disservices of contemporary Christian education is that is sorely lacking in an emphasis of Divine objectives. The Bible is too often viewed as a compilation of facts, rules, and proof texts, without due regard for what God is actually accomplishing through Scripture. Such an approach allows for the assignment of too much value to academic pundits who have little or no expertise in the things of the Kingdom. Such people have no rank in God’s Kingdom!
The text before us is one in which Divine objectives must be seen. These things “were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rom 15:4). Thus Daniel is given a view of the Messiah that will be of incalculable benefit to succeeding generations of believers. He will be shown things that bear directly upon the faith and hope of those in Christ Jesus. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Daniel will now confirm the solidity of our hope, assuring our hearts that, by grace, we have become part of a glorious Kingdom that will never end. In perfect harmony, it will blend with the eternity toward which everything is moving by Divine appointment.
“His dominion . . . ” Other versions read, “His authority,” BBE “His power,” DOUAY and “His rule.” NJB This is the “dominion” that was given to Him upon His triumphant return to heaven (14a). A “dominion”is an empire, or area over which the sovereign rules. We have already been told this area includes “all people, nations, and languages.” The Gospel message informs us it includes the heavenly host and demonic hosts as well (Matt 28:18; 2 Pet 3:22).
This is “HIS” dominion! It was given to Him because of His exploits – because He fulfilled the Father’s commission – a commission that would throw open “the door of faith” (Acts 14:27), and usher in “the day of salvation” (2 Cor 6:2).
This dominion, power, or authority already belongs to Him. It is not something He is going to receive, but what He presently possesses. It is a “dominion,” and will grind to powder all competing governments – just as surely as it has already decimated the four beastly governments that rose from agitated and fomenting society.
“ . . . is an everlasting dominion . . . ” Other versions read, “eternal authority,” BBE “everlasting power,” DOUAY “everlasting rule,” NJB “His rule is eternal,” NLT and “a dominion age-enduring.” YLT
Nothing can interrupt this rule, stop the Divine time-clock, or interfere with Christ’s dominion. Since the “Son of man” has been given the Kingdom, there has never been a period of time when it was not dominant. The Kingdom did not begin with Christ’s exaltation, but was given to Him at that time. It was already in existence, for God has never been without a kingdom. This Kingdom will outlast both the world and time.
This is the same kingdom of which the Psalmist spoke. “Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Thy dominion endureth throughout all generations” (Psa 145:13). That very kingdom has not been given to “the Man Christ Jesus,” and it remains everlasting.
It is the one of which Peter wrote. “For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 1:11). Peter means we will be inducted into this kingdom in the fullest sense, with no vestiges of mortality or the curse remaining with us, as they do at this present time. We are now in that Kingdom (Col 1:13), but not in the fullest sense. There remains a part of us that is now within the control of that Kingdom, but cannot enter into it – namely “flesh and blood”(1 Cor 15:50). Yet, even that part is under the Lord’s dominion, and in His power can be subdued and brought under subjection (1 Cor 9:27).
“ . . . which shall not pass away . . . ” Other versions read, “which will not come to an end,” BBE “that shall not be taken away,” DOUAY and “it will never end.” NLT
Dominion was given to the lion-like kingdom of Babylon – but it was taken away. Power was given to the bear-like Persian empire – but it was taken away. Authority was given to the leopard-like kingdom of Greece – but it was taken away. Dominance was given to the ruthless beastly empire of Rome – but it was taken away. What of this Kingdom – the one that God “set up” in the days of those ancient, and now defunct, global powers? The answer: “it will NEVER end!” NLT
“ . . . and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” Other versions read, “that will never be destroyed,” NIV “which will not come to destruction,” BBE and “His kingship will never come to an end.” NJB
Some of the versions are a bit confusing on this verse. The words “come to an end” do not convey the real meaning of “destroyed.” “Come to an end” can refer to something passing away simply because of time or age – like mortality. Death, for example, is not necessarily a destruction, as it was during the flood. In this verse, the “destruction” is more Divine judgment than the termination of a government by another government.
Each of the four preceding governments were judged by God. He raised them up, and He put them down. However, the Kingdom given to the “Son of man” will never be put down by God – and He is the only One who can put a kingdom down. This Kingdom will never be renounced by Him, or give way to another kingdom of His own appointment. This is the final global kingdom, some theologies notwithstanding. It will not compete with other kingdoms, but will instead put them all down with finality.
It is true that, after “the end,” Jesus will “deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.” Then, “when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all” (1 Cor 15:24-28). However, this will be the very same Kingdom that was delivered to Him when He returned to heaven leading “captivity captive” (Eph 4:8).
The Presence of the Saints
As will be later confirmed, all of this presupposes the presence of the people of God in the world until it passes away. The reason for this is simply that “the Son of man” is governing the world with their interest in mind, and to bring them to glory. There is no reason for the world apart from the saints of God. The world is God’s “field,” made for His wheat, and not for tares. In this sense, the children of the wicked one are the intruders – the ones that do not belong. Hence, they are the ones who will be “gathered first,” as the holy angels, upon command from the King, will “gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and then which do iniquity”(Matt 13:37-41).
Those who teach the saints will be removed from the world in a secret rapture, leaving it with only the wicked who will be oppressed by a fierce earthly ruler, have demeaned the Lord’s Christ. They have wholly misrepresented both God and His Purpose, His Son and His Kingdom. They have an improper view of the world, the redeemed, and the Redeemer.
The significance of the Son of God has been introduced to Daniel. Although nearly six centuries would pass before He entered into the world as the Word made flesh, yet a most remarkable revelation of Him is vouchsafed to this faithful prophet. He is the One for whom the government of God is reserved, and in whose hand the will of the Lord will “prosper” (Isa 53:10). All other kings and kingdoms are only temporary. The world was not made by them or for them. While they were employed in the purpose of God, that purpose did not center in them. The heart and core of the heavenly Kingdom finds its clarity and realization in the Person of Jesus Christ – “the Son of man.”
The Lord revealed to Daniel the rise of ruthless and world-dominating kingdoms. But He did not end there. He made clear that these kingdoms were under Divine control. They did not rise, nor would they fall, apart from Divine intervention.
In order to fix this firmly in the mind of His faithful prophet, the Lord pulled back the curtain to His own throne, showing Daniel the throne from which “the heavens do rule.” That throne has been prepared “for judgment,” and no person, king, or even kingdom, is exempt from the assessment and activity of that throne. The Lord thus turns our attention from the activities and influences of men to the Person and purpose God.
Even more has been revealed in our text. From the beginning, God determined that the overthrow of all power, beginning with the devil himself, and concluding in his most lowly vassal, would come from the hands of a man – the “Seed” of the woman (Gen 3:15). That “Seed” has now been witnessed as “one like unto the Son of man.” He is the One to whom all power in heaven and earth was given. He is the One who will subdue all enemies, and bring the children of God safely to their appointed haven of rest.
In the words of the prophet, “He shall not fail nor be discouraged” in this great work (Isa 42:4). The kingdom over which He now presides will never end. No other kingdom will succeed it. God will never remove it. No competing government – and ALL other governments DO compete against it – will survive the expansion of this glorious Kingdom.
In view of this, the saints of God are to take courage. They are to engage in the good fight of faith, taking advantage of the “good hope and everlasting consolation” that belongs to them in Christ Jesus (2 Thess 2:16). Already, through their faith, the Father has shown them some of the glory of His Son – a glory that will ultimately be displayed to an assembled universe. What we have been given to see will perfectly blend with that appointed full revelation. When we see Christ Jesus “as He is,” it will be perfectly harmonious with what we have seen thus far. The perceptions of faith will be in full accord with what we see “face to face” (1 Cor 13:12). The glory we have beheld now is the introduction to the glory that will be seen then. Presently, we are witnessing the periphery of that glory. Then, we will see the effulgence of it.
If such marvelous revelations ministered comfort to Daniel in Babylon, much more will they do so to those who “are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1; 1 Pet 5:14). You have every reason to expect the overthrow of all evil. You also are now able to anticipate beholding Jesus in all of His glory, with nothing to distract you!

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