Systematic, expository study of God’s Word 16/03/2009
Study 33: THE ANCIENT OF DAYS ON THE JUDGMENT THRONE
This is a great revelation of prophetic truth. It is the sublime prophecy of God’s authority as Judge – the Judge of all the earth, and the revelation of the supreme royal position of Christ, the Messiah. Daniel was God’s prophet during the period of Babylonian captivity. The Gentiles thought they were so mighty and powerful. Their despotic rulers and emperors thought they were independent of the God of heaven. The wicked nations thought that their kings had the ultimate and final authority. The kings and the princes of the Gentile world positioned themselves as if they were unpunishable. The prophecy here is a revelation from heaven that God, Who created the earth and all the inhabitants therein, has not abandoned the world to His creatures. This revelation upholds the truth known to patriarchs and prophets from the earliest of times that God is Judge. The God of heaven is “the Judge of all the earth” (Genesis 18:25). “The LORD shall judge the ends of the earth” (1 Samuel 2:10). “The LORD shall endure for ever: and He shall judge the world in righteousness” (Psalm 9:7,8). “The LORD is known by the judgment which He executeth. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:16,17). “The Lord shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, He shall wound the heads over many countries” (Psalm 110:5,6). “And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people” (Isaiah 2:4). “Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about” (Joel 3:12). “Behold, the Judge standeth before the door” (James 5:9). “God, the Judge of all” (Hebrews 12:23). “He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31). “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all” (Jude 14,15). God is still the final Authority in heaven and on the earth, at the present time and in the eternal future. Individual sinners and sinful nations will not go unpunished. The mightiest of men and the greatest of nations will not escape God’s judgment. Even those who tolerate, encourage or delight in evil doers will not escape the judgment of God. “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Romans 1:32).
1. THE DESCRIPTION AND THE POWER OF THE ETERNAL KING
Daniel 7:9,10,13,22; Psalms 90:2; 102:24-27; 104:1,2; 1 Timothy 6:15,16; Psalms 50:3,4; 97:2,3; Isaiah 66:15,16; Jude 14,15; Revelation 1:14,15.
“The thrones were cast down”. The time of solemn judgment had come, thrones of the beastly kings had been overthrown and destroyed, now God’s thrones of glory and splendour, of justice and judgment, of irresistible power and overpowering authority were set. God, the Ancient of days, the great Judge had come forth in His majesty, glory and dazzling purity, to judge and to bring the power and pride of beastly kingdoms, brutal kings, bestial men to an end. Three times in this chapter God is referred to as “the Ancient of days” (Daniel 7:9,13,22). He is the eternal, uncreated, self-existent One, without beginning of days or end of life. This God, the Eternal, is “from everlasting to everlasting”; His “years have no end”.
“The Ancient of days did sit”. As the thrones of judgment were set, the great Judge of the earth sat in awesome position of power and authority. The prophet, Daniel, saw His “garment was white as snow”. This shows His purity and righteousness (Revelation 19:8; Habakkuk 1:13a; Psalm 51:6,7). “And the hair of His Head like the pure wool”, symbolizing His venerable, eternal age, the perfection of His wisdom and the purity of His declaration. “His throne was like the fiery flame”. This judgment will strike the strongest of tyrants with fear and trembling as he will discover what he has never considered that “our God is a consuming fire ” (Hebrews12:29). “The kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men” will seek to “hide from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb”. When “the great day of His wrath is come; who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:15-17).
“Thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened”. There will be an innumerable host, an immense, countless host of angels and saints in attendance as the process of the solemn judgment begins. The judgment will not be arbitrary and there will not be favouritism on the basis of one’s rank, position, status or power. The frightening, final judgment will be based on the books of records, containing the record of men’s sinful acts and evil influence on earth. What a day that will be when God will evaluate each man’s deeds and determine his eternal destiny!
2. THE DAMNATION OF THE PRINCE OF EARTHLY KINGDOMS
Daniel 7:11,12; 2:45; 7:25,26; 8:25; 11:45; Revelation 19:20; 20:10; Matthew 13:41,42; Revelation 14:10,11; 20:11-15.
“Because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake, the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame” (Daniel 7:11). The “little horn” having “a mouth speaking great things” is the Antichrist (Daniel 7:8; 8:23-25; 11:36,45; 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4,8). The little horn with a big mouth spewing out venom toward the Almighty was suddenly destroyed and cast into the lake of fire. The little horn was forever silenced. Both the little horn (the Antichrist) and his empire were judged and cast into the fire. This will be the final fate of the Antichrist and all his followers who receive the mark of the beast. “And the beast was taken and cast into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” (Revelation 19:20; 20:10; 14:9-11).
“As concerning the rest of the beasts (the three beasts preceding the fourth, final beast), they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time” (Daniel 7:12). The other beasts, representing the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian empires lost their authority but were not immediately destroyed. How? When their dominance ceased, they were absorbed into the empires that conquered them. For example, Greece was conquered by Rome and although Greek dominance came to an end, the nation continued to live by being absorbed into another one of earthly kingdoms, the Roman Empire. But the fourth empire under the Antichrist will be completely destroyed and will be replaced by a totally new kingdom, the eternal kingdom of Christ (Daniel 2:44,45).
3. THE DOMINION AND THE PERMANENCE OF THE EVERLASTING KING
Daniel 7:13,14; Matthew 24:30; 26:64; Revelation 1:7; 14:14; Isaiah 9:6,7; Psalm 2:6-8; John 5:22-27; Ephesians 1:20-22; Philippians 2:9-11.
“I saw, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days”. The phrase, “Son of man” occurs in Ezekiel many times in reference to himself but this is the only place in the Old Testament where “the Son of man” is used of the Messiah-King Who will have an everlasting dominion. This title, “the Son of man” is the name and the title the Lord, Jesus Christ used when speaking about His Second Coming (Matthew 13:40,41; 16:27; 24:27; 26:64; 25:31,32; Mark 13:26; Luke 12:40; 21:36; John 5:27). Our Lord, Jesus Christ, has many titles: “The Son of God” refers to His divinity; “the Son of David”, His royalty; “the Son of man”, His humanity. Jesus, the Son of man has a peculiar relationship with the human race and He is coming to reign over the whole world and the whole universe. Christ, the Messiah, our Lord and Saviour, will receive the dominion from God, the Ancient of days. Christ’s kingdom will be universal and perpetual; “His dominion is an everlasting dominion” (Daniel 7:14).
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LO! HE COMES WITH CLOUDS DESCENDING
1. Lo! He comes with clouds descending,
Once for favoured sinners slain;
Thousand thousand saints attending,
Swell the triumph of His train!
Jesus comes, and comes to reign.
2. Ev’ry eye shall now behold Him
Robed in dreadful majesty;
Those who set at naught and sold Him,
Pierced and nailed Him to the tree,
Shall the true Messiah see.
3. When the solemn trump has sounded,
Heav’n and earth shall flee away;
All who hate Him must, confounded,
Hear the summons of that day –
Come to judgment!
Come to judgment, come away!
4. Now redemption, long expected,
See in solemn pomp appear!
All His saints, by men rejected,
Now shall meet Him in the air;
See the day of God appear!
5. Yea, Amen! Let all adore Thee,
High on Thine eternal throne;
Saviour, take the power and glory,
Claim the kingdom for Thine own!
Oh, come quickly!
Hallelujah! come, Lord, come!