April 25 - Message Update

Dream Come True – Daniel 7 – Pastor Scott

God defeats all evil and He will reign with His saints forever.

 

Daniel had dreams and visions that will one day become true. And as we look at chapter 7, we will see how those dreams and visions can impact us now. Chronologically, chapter 7 is supposed to come before chapter 5. Why does it show up a couple chapters later? Well, the first 6 chapters of Daniel present history while the last 6 chapters are visions relating to the future. And chapter 7 explains visions that detail what the future will be like. Even though it was written 2,500 years ago, it brings hope to us now and do we ever need it with everything going on in this world.

 

The main take home thought this morning is, God defeats all evil and He will reign with His saints forever, so I want to answer the question: What does the future hold for us?

 

1)  Evil powers are present around the world. (vv.1-8, 15-17) Daniel has visions of four beasts. Each represents a world

power that would be cruel and powerful and reign over Israel. “Came out of the sea” = represents chaos and disorder. The sea was viewed as dangerous and changeable. The sea is also where the antichrist comes from. (Rev.13) Chaos and disorder are good words to describe these days. Covid concerns, civil unrest, financial anxieties, Zoom fatigue, hybrid learning, etc. The world is a mess and evil powers are present much like how they were 2,500 years ago and how they will be in the end times.  But it’s good to note that while the seas represent chaos, God is still in control. Everything – even things that seem scary and uncontrollable, like the sea, are under God’s rule. Jesus showed that when He calmed the seas and spoke storms out of existence! Later, it says in verses 15-17… “these beasts represent four kingdoms on the earth.” Four kingdoms that will be powerful but also not last forever. Only God lasts forever.

 

v.4 – The first beast represents Babylon. Statues of winged lions have been found in Babylon’s ruins. In Chapter 4, we saw Nebuchadnezzar was humbled by God and grew hair like the feathers of an eagle and he ate grass like cattle and then was restored (lifted from the ground and stood on two feet and given the heart of a man).

 

v.5 – This beast represents the Medes and Persians. Previously, with the writing on the wall, Belshazzar, the Babylonian King, was killed and Darius the Mede received the kingdom. This chapter 7 chronologically comes before chapters 5 and 6. So, it fits in line. Babylon was in power and then the Medes and Persians. “Raised up on one of its sides,” – signifies that one part of the kingdom would be more prominent than the other – The Persian element surpassed the Median. “three ribs,” – three nations that were conquered – Babylonians, Lydians, Egyptians. “Get up and eat and fill your flesh,” – Much like how a bear is an all-devouring animal, the Medo-Persians were known as great robbers and spoilers.

 

v.6 – The third beast is Greece and more specifically, Alexander the Great. Leopards are quick and Alexander the Great conquered much of the civilized world in only 4 years! The leopard’s four heads represent the 4 divisions of the Greek Empire after Alexander’s death.

 

v.7 – And now the fourth beast is different. It says 3 times that it is different. It is not called by any known animal like the lion, bear or leopard. More terrifying than the previous 3 beasts, the fourth beast represents both Rome and the end times.

Rev. 17:12-13 - Horns represent power – These horns have one purpose and will work for the beast and oppose God.

 

v.8 – little horn – the antichrist. He will have eyes and a mouth and appear to be a man. We see later in verse 25 that he will speak against God and God’s people. He will change laws and cause chaos and destruction. There will be much evil!

Evil powers will continue to exist everywhere but good news will come later. What else does the future hold for us?


2)  All mankind will be judged.  (vv.9-10) The scene shifts here to the end times and is similar to what we see in

Revelation 1. Ancient of Days = God. This name emphasizes God’s ability to be the final judge over all mankind and of history. He has seen everything and knows all. Clothing white as snow – represents purity. Hair white like wool – deep depths of wisdom acquired over endless ages. Fire all around – flashes power to conquer any challengers.

Daniel saw God judging ten-thousands upon ten-thousands. A countless number of people. We will all one day stand before Him and have to give an account of our lives.

 

God knows all and has seen all. If you were judged today, what would God have to say? How would He measure how you have lived with His will for your life? Make no mistake, when our time on earth is over, God will judge everyone – including you! What else will the future hold for us?

 

3)  The enemy is defeated in the end. In the end, Satan loses. (vv.11-12, 19-26) The world may seem out of control. The devil may seem to be winning. But in the end, he loses and God triumphs. In fact, it’s not even close. Remember… first of all, Satan only has a third of the demons (for every demon, there’s 2 angels). God is everywhere at all times (omnipresent). Satan is only one place at a time. God has unlimited knowledge (omniscient). Satan’s knowledge is limited. God is all powerful (omnipotent). Satan has limited power. So, we already know that Satan is no challenge for God.

 

And then we see here in Daniel 7 what happens in the end. (vv.11-12) This represents the fall of the Roman empire. But is also a glimpse of the end times and what will happen. Nations will rise and have power but their reign will be limited.

Babylon – 66 years. Medo-Persia – 208 years. Greece – 162 years. Roma – 308 years. While God reigns for all time! (vv.19-21) Sounds terrifying! It says this horn was actually prevailing over the saints. The saints are no match for this beast. But then God… (vv.22-26) An enemy rises up, takes power, looks like he is going to win. But God wins in the end.

 

Those two words have power. “but God…” Things seemed hopeless but God brought hope. The doctors had no cure but God is the Great Physician. We couldn't pay the bills but God brought help. I was lost and didn’t know what to do But God showed the way. We live in a time where anxiety has run rampant. When despair, depression and hopelessness seem to be the fate of so many. But God. But God will always provide a way. No matter how dark it looks. No matter how much pain there is. No matter how hopeless life seems.

 

Don’t give up. This will get better. How do I know? Because God says so. He has a perfect track record. He has never failed us. There is no reason to believe He will start failing now. We know the end is better. It is full of hope and triumph and glory. We just need to persevere through the bad times. I want to encourage you not to give up! It may seem dark. It may seem hopeless. But God is and always will be in control and He will defeat all evil in the end! And not only does evil get defeated, but we get to enjoy the victory! What else will the future hold for us?

 

4)  Saints will reign with God forever. (vv.13-14, 18, 27) “One like the son of man,” is Jesus. Jesus even used this verse to describe Himself in Matthew, Luke and in John. In the Bible, clouds would represent His majesty and awesome presence.

Not only does God defeat the enemy but it says here that He will reign forever. He has been given dominion and glory and a kingdom. It is everlasting and will never be destroyed. Awesome, right? There’s more!

 

v.18 – We also shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever. Who are the saints? It’s not based on how well you live. Not based on how smart or rich you are or how successful you are. It is based on one thing and one thing alone. Are you a follower of Jesus? What makes you a follower of Jesus?

 

You ask Jesus to forgive your sins. You give Him full control of your life. You trust Him and follow Him and allow Him to be the Lord of your life. You do these things and you will not only live the life God intended you to live but you will reign in Heaven, in Paradise forever and ever! We can take part in God’s victory! How? Because He allows His saints, His followers to be a part of it. That is grace. We do not deserve it. But He makes it possible in the end. When the time comes to be judged by God, only one thing will matter. Because we are all guilty as no one is perfect, no one is innocent. Will the Judge recognize you as one of His own? Have you asked for His help? Have you asked for forgiveness and have you allowed God the opportunity to save you?

 

Because we were given a chance to see what happens at the end of time, we know God wins. Will you be a part of His victory or will you be on the outside looking in. If you wait until then, it will be too late. But right now, you have time. You can make the one decision that can secure your eternity and allow you to be a part of God’s reign forever and ever!

 

Praise Songs: Great Things, The Creed (This I Believe), Ancient of Days, Holy Holy Holy, Doxology