Daniel’s Vision of the Messiah
I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him…” Daniel7:13.
This “Son of Man,” theMessiah in human form, came riding on the clouds of heaven. And more than that: “He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him.” The term “Ancient of Days” is the prophet Daniel’s special name for Jehovah God, the eternal God. Picture, if you will, the awe-inspiring scene of the Messiah in His state of glory being led and escorted by the angel hosts into the presence of His Heavenly Father, the Ancient of Days!
Dare to be be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone;
Dare to have a purpose firm;
Dare to make it known.
All this is a picture of Jesus after He successfully completed His earthly mission to redeem sinners. He ascended again into heaven in glorious victory as a cloud received Him out of the sight of His disciples. He is now seated at the Father’s right hand in glory from whence He shall come again to judge the living and the dead. In this connection we think of Jesus’ own words to Pilate: “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62).
This had practical application for Daniel, and it surely does for us too. For Daniel this vision of the Messiah in a state of glory strengthened his faith while living in exile in the heathen land of Babylon. The man of faith he was, Daniel would not and could not join in the idolatry of the land. Rather than worshipping Nebuchadnezzar’s heathen god, he knelt daily in prayer to the living God, even though the price of that faithfulness was facing hungry lions.
The applications for you and me become obvious as well. “Dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone; dare to have a purpose firm; dare to make it known.” Who or what is it at this time which is tempting you or threatening you to forsake your beliefs, your faith, your Bible-based knowledge of right and wrong? “Dare to be a Daniel; dare to stand alone…!” Who or what is it that would have you believe it’s no big deal if you compromise your beliefs and go along with the unbelieving world? “Dare to be a Daniel; dare to stand alone…!” After all, is it more important to be popular with so-called friends who would lead us astray from God’s Word or to be true to Jesus, the King of Glory, our Lord and only Savior? “Dare to be a Daniel; dare to stand alone…!”
An Everlasting Kingdom
In his vision of the Son of Man, Daniel saw that “Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed”
The book of Daniel is an interesting book on prophecy. In chapter two we are told of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The king of Babylon had seen the most powerful kingdoms of the world at that time (Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome) break up into pieces and subsequently be succeeded by the far greater and more powerful spiritual kingdom of God.
Here in chapter seven Daniel sees that kingdom given to the Messiah, the Son of Man! Different from the nations of this Earth, all of which are eventually brought down or destroyed, the Messiah is given complete and unlimited dominion or rule over all people, and this rule or dominion lasts forever!
How this part of the vision must also have buoyed the faith of Daniel and the little remnant of other true believers who had been carried away into exile! Though they were held in bondage and often tempted to despair, they held on to the truth that the Kingdom of the Messiah—to which they belonged by faith—would be victorious and triumphant.
It is likewise so for you and me. The number of those who follow Christ as Lord and King is becoming an ever more shrinking minority. Many churches today preach what sinners want to hear, not what they need to hear — about their sin and its wages, and their desperate need for a Savior from sin. At the same time many churches today bend over backwards to accommodate ungodly lifestyles rather than taking a stand for true Bible standards and values.
In spite of all this, let us not doubt that Jesus is on the throne in glory. He is our Commander in chief, the Captain of our salvation. Under the rule of the King of kings the Church survived the early persecutions, the Dark Ages, the eras of rationalism and modernism. And the true Church of Christ will also survive today—the era of postmodernism which denies even the existence of absolute truth, for “all truth is relative; your truth is not my truth, etc.” Be assured that the Word of Him who conquered sin, death, and hell for us cannot be bound, and the doors He opens cannot be shut.
So let us not hesitate to preach the Truth, to believe, follow, and practice our holy faith in accord with the Word of Truth, for Christ’s kingdom shall not pass away. It shall not be destroyed. Jesus has promised that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against” His Church, and He will soon come to take us to heaven.
Luther adds this about Jesus’ second coming: “Upon His return on that Day, when He will come against the high and mighty, it will be different. Now He comes to the poor, who need a Savior; but then He will come as a Judge against those who are persecuting Him here” (What Luther Says, Vol. I, p. 155, #462).
Indeed, the day is coming when “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and of those on earth and of those under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10f).