DANIEL: THRIVING IN A GODLESS CULTURE
IX: The Angel's Uplifting Words On The Vision Of Antichrist And Christ
A. As believers living in a spiritually decaying, godless culture, we need to live affirmatively in victory over sin.
B. Daniel as a young man was taken captive by godless Babylonians, and he lived through Persia's conquest of Babylon, righteously and wisely serving the Lord in a godless culture as a great example for us.
C. We view Daniel 7:16-28 on the angel's uplifting words on the vision of antichrist and Christ for our insight:
II. The Angel's Uplifting Words On The Vision Of Antichrist And Christ, Daniel 7:16-28.
A. We before learned that the Daniel 7-12 visions describe challenges God's people would face after Daniel's era under future godless empires until the arrival of Christís Kingdom.† Daniel knew firsthand what kinds of trials this involved, and it troubled him, but even his experience of getting upset over these visions helps us to apply these messages, for we ourselves are similarly experiencing some degrees of similar troubles today.
B. We thus view Daniel 7:16-28 on the angel's encouraging comments on the vision of the antichrist and Christ:
1. Following the Daniel 7:1-14 vision of the rise and fall of the antichrist and of the rise of Christ, Daniel was greatly troubled (Daniel 7:15), so he asked an angel of God who was standing nearby him for clarification on the vision, and the angel graciously provided a commentary on it for Daniel, Daniel 7:16.
2. However, very significantly, the angel's comments provided a truth that had not been presented in the initial Daniel 7:1-14 vision, a provision that emphasized a truth meant to encourage a troubled Daniel and so to encourage all saints between his era and Christ's Kingdom who faced trials similar to Daniel's trials.
a. God's angel initially briefly summarized the vision, stating that the great beasts in the vision represented four kings of great kingdoms that would arise in the earth, Daniel 7:17.†
b. However, in this brief summary, the angel also stated that God's saints [of all the ages] would take possession of a worldwide kingdom for ever and ever, Daniel 7:18.† This truth is not mentioned in the initial vision, but it is added in the angel's commentary with an emphasis on the eternality of the saints' rule!† This statement acts to encourage saints of all ages to handle their being troubled at what current temporary troubling rulers they face [i. e., Babylon's godless Belshazzar in Daniel's case, cf. Daniel 7:1]!
c. Daniel then requested more insight on the fourth beast that we know represents Rome and the rise and judgment of what we now know is the still future dreadful antichrist, Daniel 7:19-22.
d. Accordingly, God's angel commented on the kingdom of Rome, speaking of the rise and judgment of the antichrist in the Revived Roman Empire, the final phase of that kingdom (as follows), Daniel 7:23-27:
i. The angel of God explained that the fourth beast that we know represents Rome would be diverse from all the others, and though its power would be greater than that of the previous three kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece, we know from 2 Thessalonians 2:6-9 that its power would nevertheless be restrained until the end time. (Daniel 7:23a; Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1353)
ii. However, in the latter era of Rome, in its Revived Roman Empire in the Great Tribulation, Rome would devour the whole earth, breaking institutions under ten kings, Daniel 7:23b-24a; Ibid.† [We may be witnessing a foretaste of such vast destructiveness in bits and pieces even in our era now!]
iii. The antichrist would then rise by subduing 3 of the first 10 kings, and he would be diverse, speak great blasphemies, wear out the saints and try to change the world's system of dates and laws, Daniel 7:24b-25a; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Daniel 7:24-27.
iv. He would destructively rule for the last half (3 Ĺ years) of the Great Tribulation Period (Daniel 7:25b with 9:27), but God's judgment would remove and destroy him and his reign, Daniel 7:26.
v. Notably, the angel then emphasized that the kingdom of the whole earth will then be given to God's saints forever, with all dominions serving and heeding God, Dan. 7:27.† This emphasis on the rule of God's saints, not given in the Daniel 7:1-14 vision, repeats the same emphasis of Daniel 7:18.
3. God's prophet Daniel was still alarmed at this information, but he kept it to himself, Daniel 7:28 ESV.
Lesson: When Daniel was troubled at the vision of the rise of the antichrist and asked God's angel to explain it, the angel did so, but he also added and emphasized the fact that the saints will eventually eternally rule under God.
Application: May we be encouraged that though we face troublesome rulers now, the day will come when all the saints of all ages will rule in an eternal kingdom under God.† May we then be encouraged to keep living for Him.