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Thrones and Kingdoms


Thrones and Kingdoms
Daniel 7:9-14, 25-28
God is giving to the prophet Daniel a series of prophecies which have to do with the end time. During the lifetime of Daniel, God gave him these prophecies which had to do with events which would begin in his lifetime but would extend far beyond his lifetime. In fact, it would go all the way to the end time. Daniel saw some things here that are yet to be fulfilled. Some of the things we will study about the prophecies of Daniel are past history for us, but when he wrote it, it was all future for him. Some of the things that Daniel says have to do with events that are yet to come in the future. 
In the opening vision, which we find in this seventh chapter, God gave Daniel a series of visions of animals or of beast-like nations. There was the lion which represented the Babylonian Empire. There was the bear which represented the Medo-Persian Empire. There was the leopard which represented the Greek Empire. 
In the seventh verse he tells about a fourth beast which is a representation of the Roman Empire. At the conclusion of the Roman Empire, Daniel says that he saw 10 horns and out of those 10 horns there was a little horn. The little horn is a prediction concerning the one described in the book of the Revelation, chapter 13, as the beast out of the sea. It is a description of the Antichrist. 
In the midst of this, if our hearts may be troubled, and we may be concerned about the future of the world, God again gives us a very positive vision about God's sovereign plan and sovereign rule over the universe. One of the great themes of the book of Daniel is that God is on His throne in heaven, and God rules on the earth from the heavens. 
Whatever you may see and however troubled you may be about the events of current affairs, just keep in mind, one of these days God is going to bring it all to conclusion. When it's all said and done, and when the dust is settled, God's still going to be on His throne and everything is going to be all right. Amen, and Amen!
Daniel has a series of vision about some thrones. I want to look at these thrones because in these thrones we have a message from God to our hearts. 
I.       The Eternal Throne.
Beginning in verse 9 Daniel has a vision of the eternal throne. He looks around at all of these nations and these world powers, and then God cast His vision to the skies. In verse 9 he says that he saw the Ancient of Days sitting on a throne. The eternal throne. God gives to Daniel a revelation of the eternal throne of the eternal God. 
As you read these verses, always keep in mind that the Bible communicates to us many times by pictures. We do not take these literally, but we take them as pictures representing literal truth. The Ancient of Days is a way of describing the eternality of God. God is eternal. He is the Ancient of Days. 
That means that from everlasting to everlasting God is God. There was never a time when God was not. There will never be a time when God will not be. Daniel saw the Ancient of Days on the throne. 
Then you have a description about His garments which are white as snow and the hair of His head like pure wool. There's a picture of the absolute purity of God. Then Daniel saw the throne and the throne was like a fiery flame and His wheels as burning fire. Fire is a picture of the omniscience of God and the intelligence of God. Wheels are pictures of the providential working and activities of God.
In verse 10 he saw a fiery stream issuing forth from before Him. This is a picture of the judgment of God flowing out from the throne. We clearly have here an eternal throne, and it is a judgment throne. 
The question arises to what judgment does this picture refer? There are many judgments given to us in the Bible. There's not just one judgment. There are many.
For instance, the Bible talks about the judgment of our sins at the cross of Calvary. Two thousand years ago, when Jesus died on the cross, the Bible says that our sins were laid on Him. God judged our sins in the person of His Son, Jesus, when He died on the cross. Romans 8, verse 1, says, "There is therefore now no condemnation (no judgment) to them which are in Christ Jesus." If you have received the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, that means spiritually you have come to the cross of Calvary and you will not be judged for your sins. Those sins were judged when Jesus died on that cross. Your sins have been cared for. God will hold them against you no more. The judgment of our sins at Calvary's cross.
The Bible talks about the judgment seat of Christ. The Bible says that believers are going to appear before the judgment seat of Christ. There will be an examination of believers not having to do with the sin question, that's already been dealt with, but having to do with the service question. This is how we have worked for the Lord and how we have served the Lord as born again believers. We are going to be examined concerning our works. There is the judgment seat of Christ for believers. Not to determine whether or not you get into heaven but to determine your rewards. 
The Bible also talks about the judgment of the nations in Matthew 25. The Lord Jesus Christ says in this chapter that one of these days the nations of the world are going to be gathered before God and nations of the world are going to be judged. 
None of those judgments seem to be in view in the scene which Daniel has here, but rather what we seem to have here is a picture of that judgment known in the Bible as the Great White Throne Judgment.
In the book of the Revelation, chapter 20, those verses tell us about the Great White Throne Judgment. One of these days there is going to be this Great White Throne Judgment and evidently God gives Daniel just a little glimpse of God on the eternal throne and the Great White Throne Judgment. 
In verse 10 it says that thousands and thousands ministered unto Him. Maybe this is a reference to the fact that the saints of God and the angels will be gathered there, not in order to be judged but to witness to those and against those who refused to received the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. It says that ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. 
Evidently this is a picture of the lost universe that will be gathered one day before the Lord.   There is going to be a time when those who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ are going to have to face the God of eternity. They will stand that day before the eternal throne of God. The Bible says that the judgment was set. They'll all be there. All of the atheists, God haters, Hitlers, Mussolinis, Saddam Husseins, and all of the wicked rulers will be there. Those who have hated the things of God such as the pornographers, the alcohol crowd, all the sinners of the universe are going to be gathered there and the judgment will be set.
The Bible says at the conclusion of verse 10 that the books were opened. In Revelation, chapter 20, we have a little insight here and I want to add to this scene. As he describes the Great White Throne Judgment, in the twelfth verse, it tells us about this scene. In verse 12 it says, "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God (that is the lost sinners): and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." That corresponds with what Daniel says in the tenth verse, "And the books were opened."
In the book of the Revelation we have a little more specific information about just what kind of books are going to be opened. Evidently, the books of works are going to be opened at the judgment. The deeds that people have done and the works they have done will be brought before them at the judgment bar of God. Everything they have done, all of the wickedness, the depraved influence which has been theirs, all of it is going to be there opened before the universe, before the Great White Throne Judgment of God. 
There is going to be another book opened. In John 12 it shows us another book. In John 12, verse 48, Jesus says, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." There's going to be another book at the judgment and it is going to be the book of God, the Word of God.
People today pass judgment on the Bible. They say, "I don't believe the Bible. There are mistakes in the Bible. There are errors in the Bible." They make fun of the Bible and belittle the things of the Word of God. People today sit in judgment on the Word of God, but the day is going to come when the Word of God is going to sit in judgment on people.
The real question is going to be, "What did you do with My Son, the Lord Jesus Christ?" There's going to be another book there. In Revelation 20, verse 12, it says that also the book that will be opened will be the book of life. 
Revelation 21, verse 27, says, "And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth (this is talking about people going to heaven), neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie." Then notice who is going to be in heaven. "But they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."
The Lamb's book of life is going to be at that Great White Throne Judgment. A search will be made. The Lamb's book of life is composed of all the born again, all of those who receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. 
Here are the assembled sinners of the universe and the Lamb's book of life is opened. The Word has been given, what it takes to receive Christ as your Savior. Only those who are saved, only the born again are in the book. Can you imagine the solemn scene at the Great White Throne Judgment when the book is opened and the names are not there? 
Is your name in the Lamb's book of life? That's what really matters. The eternal throne.
II.     The Temporal Throne.
In verse 11 we see the temporal throne, that is the temporary throne, thrones on this earth. 
verse 11
There are predictions that the Roman Empire will have a revival in the end time. Some people believe that the European Union is a fulfillment of this. We don't know exactly. 
The Bible predicts that there is going to be a ten-nation coalition somewhere in Europe. If this is the beginning of it, we will follow it with interest, but we really don't know. But whatever, the Bible indicates that there is going to be some kind of revival of the Roman Empire, and it will be like this beast. It will be beastly in its character. Out of that revived Roman Empire there is going to come this Antichrist. 
Notice what the Bible says about this Antichrist in verse 21. 
This is the tribulation saints, those who will come to Christ during the tribulation. 
verse 25
The Bible predicts that the Antichrist is going to do what nobody has been able to do. He is going to bring peace to the Middle East. You and I look at the Middle East, and every day there's a new outbreak somewhere. We look at the battle in Iraq, and we look at the war going on over there. There is the bombing and all of the animosity in the land of Israel and the Palestinian and the Israeli conflict. There seems to be no hope for peace whatsoever.
But the Antichrist is going to come. He's going to sign a treaty, as we'll learn later on in the book of Daniel, with the Jewish people. He will allow them to rebuild their temple, and for three and a half years there will seem to be peace in the Middle East. 
But notice he will change times and seasons. In the midst of that, in the very middle of that seven-year period of time, after three and a half years, he will issue an order that there will be no more sacrifices in the temple and they will be given unto his hand for three and half years. It will look like it is all over for God's chosen people. 
In verses 11 and 12 concerning the rest of the beasts, their lives are prolonged for a season but their dominion is taken away. 
III.    The Millennial Throne.
verse 13
"One like the Son of man." 
That is obviously a reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, when you study the gospels you will discover that of all the titles that are used to refer to the Lord Jesus Christ, this is the title which Jesus Himself used to refer to Himself. About 82 times in the Gospels alone, Jesus is referred to as the Son of man. 
Why is this the favorite title Jesus uses for Himself?   This is an Old Testament title of the Messiah. When the Messiah would come, He would be known as the Son of man. Why is this a title of the Lord Jesus Christ? 
Son of man, that refers to humanity. Many times people in the Old Testament were referred to as a son of man, a son of David, or a son of some person. It is a reference to humanity. Jesus does not call Himself "a" son of man. 
He calls Himself "the" Son of man. This is a reference to His deity. He is the Son of man. The Son of man, He is human, but He is the Son of man, He is deity. He is God. 
I want to take you on a journey in the book of John. Let me give you a few statements that Jesus made about Himself and He used this term, the Son of man. 
John 3, verse 13, Jesus said, "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." Jesus talked about Himself as the Son of man, the preexistent one. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but that was not the beginning of Jesus. Jesus was the preexistent one. He was the Son of man who existed eternally with God before He was born the Son of man who came down from heaven. 
John 3, verse 14, Jesus said, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up." Jesus uses that term to refer to His own crucifixion on the cross of Calvary, the Son of man must be lifted up. He is talking about Himself dying on the cross; and by the way, Jesus said, "If I be lifted up, I'll draw all men unto me." There's a tremendous drawing power about the cross of the Son of God. When Jesus was crucified it was the Son of man crucified that men might be drawn unto Him.
In John 6, verse 53, we see a strange statement of Jesus. He says, "Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." What a strange statement. 
Except you eat His flesh and drink the blood of the Son of man, you have no life in you. What does He mean?   The eating of the flesh and the drinking of the blood was a metaphor for faith. It simply means that by faith we receive Christ. When you eat and drink you assimilate. You take it into you. By faith, we receive Jesus Christ into our heart. Here is a reference of salvation. You are saved when you receive the Son of man, the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 5, verse 27, says, "And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man." As you move through the Word of God, you will discover that the eternal God has assigned judgment authority to the Son of man, the Lord Jesus Christ.
At the Great White Throne Judgment there is the eternal God. And the eternal God is none other than the Son of man, the Lord Jesus Christ. 
At the end of the reign of the Antichrist, at the conclusion of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes in great power, the Bible says that Jesus is going to set up His millennial kingdom on this earth.
In Matthew, chapter 24, we see a statement about the Son of man that ties in with what Daniel has just predicted. Matthew 24, verse 30, says, "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." One of these days the Son of man, the Savior, Jesus, is going to come back to this earth. He'll do away with the Antichrist, and the Bible says He'll have dominion. He'll have a kingdom and rule and reign on this earth for a thousand years. At the conclusion of that thousand years, it will usher right on into eternity and the kingdom of Jesus Christ will be that kingdom of eternity forever, and forever and forever.
Don't worry about what's going on in this earth and all the little things that seem to be so prominent. God is on His throne in heaven. Jesus Christ is going to come and He's going to reign on His throne on this earth, and all you need to worry about is do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and as your Savior?
Let's bow our heads and pray.
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