The Son of Man: Human and Divine (Daniel Sermon 11 of 17)

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The Son of Man: Human and Divine (Daniel Sermon 11 of 17)

March 04, 2001 | Andrew Davis
Daniel 7:1-28
Deity of Christ

I. An Eternal Plan For Christ’s International Glory

If you would and open to Daniel 7, which describes what we just sang about. The second coming of Jesus Christ is one of our great doctrines and as we look this morning at Daniel 7:9-14, we come to what I consider to be one of the peak, one of the pinnacle verses of the Old Testament. Scripture says that all stars shine but some shine more brightly than others. And as we come to Daniel 7, the Son of Man vision, we come to, along with Isaiah 53, the two greatest verses in the Old Testament or passages in the Old Testament that testify to the glory of Jesus Christ.

In 1987, I was on a mission trip with some friends from Gordon-Conwell seminary, we were ministering to Afghan refugees in Pakistan, and I had the opportunity to go into China and we traveled through the mountains, Karakoram mountains, and saw some of the most majestic scenes that I've ever seen in my life. The Karakoram mountains are the second highest mountains in the world, behind the Himalayas and well over 20,000 feet high, many of these peaks. And as we drove through and crested through the Karakoram mountains and came down, into the tundra, the far, far western part of China, very few people live out there, we came to a wide valley, it seemed to stretch out as far as I could see, it was the biggest valley I had ever seen in my life, and it took us six hours in a bus to drive across it. And as we made our way halfway across, we saw four men standing with shovels and they were digging a ditch along the road, and I just shook my head and I said, How long is it going to take them to finish that ditch with shovels? We had been driving for three hours on the road, we had another three hours to go. I thought they must have been perhaps criminals of some sort on a work detail.

Well, it just so happened, we had with us some tracts and some New Testaments in the local language, the Uyghur language, and we gave them out to them, they were overjoyed to receive them, they could understand them. We couldn't say a word to them, but we had the materials to give them. Well, as we crossed that valley, we got to the other side, we were detained at a way station, this is common procedure, and the government authorities just wanted to be sure that we weren't bringing anything into the country, that shouldn't be brought in. I don't know what that would be, a variety of things, I suppose, but they all had machine guns, AK-47s, and it was very unnerving to see them go through my bags, all of the things that I had, and they put them back together. They didn't touch our printed material. I was surprised at that. There's been numerous testimonies of people who have brought Bibles and other things into countries where they're not welcome and the guards inspecting just don't even see them, for some reason.

And we were able to distribute them in the city of Kashgar for a little while until one of our team members stood in front of some Muslim clerics, and just said the name Jesus until he got arrested. Now, you may say that's not the wisest thing to do, but that's exactly what happened. He spent the day in jail. And yet we were able to get the word out, we distributed all of those New Testaments, the tracts that we had, and then we went back into Pakistan.

Now for the last three weeks, we've been talking about the Voice of the Martyrs, we've been talking about persecution, we've been talking about governments that oppose the advance of Christianity, you heard earlier what's happening in Kazakhstan. Oh, by the way, I don't know if you noticed, their pastor is from South Korea, is that right? Isn't that beautiful? South Korean pastor, ministering in Kazakhstan, the name of Jesus Christ.

Do you realize that God has an eternal plan for Christ's international glory? And the very question that they asked, namely what about other religions? What about other truth systems? What can we say? We can say that we have at least two things to offer that no one else has. We have the Scripture and fulfilled prophecy, and we have the empty tomb of Jesus Christ, amen? Two things, the fulfilled prophecies of Jesus Christ, which I have been working through for the last nine months through Psalms, Isaiah and now here in the Book of Daniel that no one else has. And the empty tomb, which answers the question everyone around the world is asking, What about death? What happens at death? What about myself? What will happen to me when I die?

We have the fulfilled prophecies and we have the empty tomb of Jesus Christ and therefore we have the answers to give to the nations and the nations are hearing, aren't they? They're listening and they're coming to faith in Jesus Christ. God has an eternal plan for Christ's international glory and it's eternal because we read it in passages like the one we're looking at today. Daniel 7:9-14, read along with me as I read.

"As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took His seat, His clothing was as white as snow, the hair of His head was white like wool, and His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before Him, thousands upon thousands attended Him. Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated and the books were opened. Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking, I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire, the other beasts had been stripped of their authority but were allowed to live for a period of time. In my vision at night, I looked and there before me was One like a Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven, He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into His presence, He was given authority, glory, and sovereign power. All peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed."

And so you have heard one of the two great passages in the Old Testament that explain fully the first and the second coming of Jesus Christ, the other is Isaiah 53. For example, in verse 6, "All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way, and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." The suffering servant of Isaiah 53, bearing sin, bearing iniquity on His body on the cross that we might have eternal life, and then in Daniel 7, the glorious coming Messiah, riding on the clouds of heaven, coming back to rescue His people from a persecuting power. The glory of the first coming in Isaiah 53, the glory of the second coming in Daniel chapter 7.

II. Review

Now the context here in Daniel 7, we covered last week. We have the story of a nighttime vision. Daniel has a dream at night or a vision in the first year of Belshazzar, and he sees the ocean, and the ocean just represents humanity I believe, all the nations, and we see the four winds striving on the surface of the ocean, all the turbulence stirred up, and up out of all that churning turbulence come four beasts, each different from another, one after the other. The four beasts we saw were four world empires, human empires, the Babylonian Empire, the Medo-Persian Empire, the Greek Empire and the Roman Empire. The fourth beast received special attention, the fourth beast had 10 horns and then one little horn that grew up and overthrew three of the horns and then took control and then grew to be awesome and powerful, to speak blasphemous words. And we saw that this is the antichrist. In the second half of the chapter, the fourth beast receives even greater detail and attention, for this beast is there at the second coming of Jesus Christ. And so therefore interpreters believe that there must be some kind of revival of the Roman Empire for the fourth Empire must be Rome.

The first coming of Jesus Christ happened during the Roman Empire. And so here we have this fourth beast, some kind of perhaps revival of this, and we see a time of great persecution unlike any that has ever been seen on the Earth. Not different in kind, because Christians are suffering all over the world even now, aren't they? Suffering persecution, being kicked out of their home cities, unable to worship in their buildings, incarcerated, even surrendering their lives, that's going on now, but apparently it's going to escalate greatly under the reign of this final human Emperor who we call the antichrist. And so we're left asking two questions which I referred to last time, Why does the Lord permit this to happen? And how long will it go on, will it go on forever? Will there be no end to the persecution and suffering? And we answered the first question last time.

2 Peter 3:15, "Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation." Aren't you glad He waited until you were born? Aren't you even gladder that He waited until you were born again through faith in Jesus Christ? And so, there are others that will be called and they will believe and they will come from every tribe and language and people and nation. The Lord's patience means salvation, but it's patience with a world that hates Him, and that hate His people, and so there's this attack on the people of God, and it's going on. Well, will it go on forever? No, it will not. And this vision that we have here is the answer, it's the end, when Jesus Christ comes in glory on the clouds and He interrupts that reign of antichrist and He overthrows him by the word of His power, simply by the breath of His mouth and establishes His kingdom forever and ever. And the time of suffering for His people ends. All of that is found in the vision that we have today.

III. The Heavenly Court and the Ancient of Days (vs. 9-10)

Look at verse 9-10, we have the heavenly courts, and the Ancient of Days. Now, it's right in the middle of the words of blasphemy spoken by that little horn, the antichrist, right in the middle of the speaking of blasphemous words, the court is seated. Look what it says again, ""As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took His seat, His clothing was as white as snow, the hair of His head was white like wool, and His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before Him, thousands upon thousands attended Him. Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated and the books were opened."

Thrones Established

This is a heavenly court seated right in the middle of the reign of antichrist, and it says thrones are established. In the era of the Kings, they understood who the judge was, it was the king. The king was the judge, he was the lawgiver, he was the ruler. In the American system, we have a division of branches don't we? We have the legislative branch and the executive branch and the judicial branch. But in medieval Europe for example, they're all in one, the king, and so it is with God, He is the king, He is the lawgiver, He's the judge, and so His throne is seated, but He's not alone. There are other thrones around it. Look what it says, thrones, plural, are set in place. And so this is somewhat of a heavenly court. There are other rulers, perhaps archangels, perhaps even Christians, it says, "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?" So perhaps these are thrones of the elders, for example, in Revelation 4:4, The 24 elders on their thrones seated.

The "Ancient of Days" takes His seat

And so He takes His seat. And who is it that takes His seat? It's the Ancient of Days. "As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat." Now this name describes God's eternal nature, His unchanging nature, the Ancient of Days. Moses wrote a Psalm, Psalm 90, and it says, "Before the mountains were born, or You brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, You are God." He is the Ancient of Days and we in our human arrogance and our pride in all of our empire building, we forget that there was a time when there was only God and God alone, there was a time when Father, Son and Spirit were in perfect happy fellowship with one another and not one thing had yet been created. There was a time when there was no light for He had not yet said Let there be light, when there was no Earth, there was no sun, no moon, no stars, no seas, no beasts and no man, when God alone existed. And you know, He hasn't changed at all from that time, He's the same, He's always the same, the Ancient of Days eternal. And we see the attributes of God, we see His holiness in His white clothing, and the fire that surrounds His throne, we see His eternity, as we mentioned in His white hair, and the title Ancient of Days, and we see His mobility. His throne has wheels. What are these wheels?

Well, in Ezekiel, the vision of God, the expanse moves and it's got these wheels and they're turning but not turning and they're always moving. You get the image of a throne just set and that's where it is, and maybe you'd get the mistaken idea that His authority is just kind of out from that throne and it gets weaker as it gets further from the throne, but God's throne can move. He's everywhere, He's omnipresent, there's no place that He doesn't exist, He brings His power right where you are. He moves and we see His judgment, fire, fire, fire. It's a throne of fire and a river of fire flows from the throne. The fire does represent God's absolute holiness, but it's an active holiness. It moves out in judgment against evil, it's not going to tolerate this blasphemy, this human empire that's blaspheming and attacking His people. There's going to be a river of fire flowing out.

It says in Hebrews 12:29, "Our God is a consuming fire." And in Isaiah 30:27-28, it says, "See the name of the Lord comes from afar with burning anger and dense clouds of smoke, His lips are full of wrath and His tongue is a consuming fire, His breath is like a rushing torrent rising up to the neck, He shakes the nations in a sieve of destruction." This is our God. And a river of fire flows from His throne to judge the nations. And He's not alone, is He? He's got an angelic host, a big army, so big that no one can count them. Thousands upon thousands attended Him. 10,000 times 10,000 stood before Him. Don't bother multiplying it out. The answer is 100 million. But that doesn't really matter, the point is that there's countless angels ready to do His bidding. Anything He asks, they will do.

They stood before Him ready to serve. They stand before to serve, they stand before to worship. And they will stand before Him as warriors, won't they? They're ready to go at a moment's notice. Somewhat like all those men and machines coiled up like a spring on January 5th, 1944, right before D-day, ready to go. Just give the word and we'll go. And so the angels are, they're ready any time, send the word and we will go. Jude 14-15 spoke of Enoch, the seventh from Adam, that's a long time ago, isn't it? Seventh from Adam. Adam's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson. That was a long, long time ago. What was he looking ahead to? Second coming of Jesus Christ. "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of His holy ones to judge everyone and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way. And of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him." Enoch saw it, that the Lord is going to come with His angels and He's going to judge sinners. And Jesus Himself said in Matthew 16:27, "The Son of Man is going to come in His Father's glory with His angels, and He will reward to each person according to what he has done." Second coming of Jesus Christ.

Judgment Day: Court is Seated, Books Are Opened

And then there's this little phrase that has been burning in my mind. "The court was seated and the books were opened." Write that on a card and put it on a mirror somewhere, put it in your car, put it where you work next to your computer. "The court was seated and the books were opened." Do you realize that every single solitary human being is going to face God on His throne, on Judgment Day? The court was seated and the books were opened. What are in these books? Well, everything we've ever said and done, everything we didn't say and didn't do, everything we thought, every careless word, Jesus said, Matthew 12:36, every careless word we have spoken, written in the Book.

Revelation 20 speaks about this. "I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened." It's the same teaching. Books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. Oh, may your names be written in the Book of Life, because if your name is not written in the Book of Life, God the Judge will look at what's written in the other book, everything you've ever said and done, every sin. Well, I can't remember everything I've said and done. That's alright, you don't need to, the Judge does, and He won't forget anything. He's a meticulous God, He's very careful, He notes everything.

With the Lord, one day is like a thousand years, that's a real slow day. Have you ever had a day like that? Every day is like that to God. One day is like a thousand years. He studies everything minutely, and it all goes in the book. Oh, that you may not be under that book, but free through the blood of Jesus Christ, your name written in the Book of Life. Well, who else is judged? The antichrist. That's the context here. Let's not forget, He's coming because of the Antichrist's blasphemy and his attack on the people of God. That's why the Second Coming occurs, the time is full, the time has come and Jesus returns, so the court is seated, it's intervening judgment.

IV. The Intervening Judgment (vs. 11-12)

Verse 11 and 12, "Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking, I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time." Do you realize that God actively rules now on earth? Look at Verse 12 again, "The other beasts had been stripped of their authority but were permitted to live…" for a little while. Well, what were the other beasts? Well, Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece, they are able to continue living, but without their authority and power, isn't that what happened? It's exactly what happened. Babylonians continued to be Babylonians and Medes continued to be Medes. Persians continued to be Persians and Greeks to be Greeks. But they no longer had authority and power, they lived. They were permitted to live for a period of time.

But that final beast, the final form of human government, in opposition to Jesus Christ is the focal point of the second coming and of the wrath of God and the judgment. So God actively rules now but He's going to actively rule then. In Verse 11, "I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking, I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire." The boastful words come to an end and Jesus Christ comes back and the court's decision is enacted. Look at verse 26. I know it's not in our text this morning, but it's there. Verse 26 it says, "But the court will sit and his [that is the Antichrist's] power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever." That's the verdict, it's the judgment. And what judgment is given? The blazing fire.

Do you remember Nebuchadnezzar's boast to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? "But if you do not worship it [the statue], you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?" Do you remember that? Did God give him an answer? Oh yes, I can do it, God said, This is the God who can deliver from your hand, Nebuchadnezzar. I want to ask you a question, what God can deliver from God's hand when He throws this beast into the blazing fire? Is there any? There is none. Is there a higher court of appeals? There is none. Is there an appeal process? There is none. Deuteronomy 32:39, "See now that I myself am He, there is no God besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand." Do you understand? Isaiah 43:12-13, "'You are my witnesses,' declares the Lord, 'that I am God, yes, and from ancient days, I am He, no one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?'"

And in Daniel, the book we've been studying, verse 35-36, Nebuchadnezzar himself testified in this way, "His dominion is an eternal dominion. His kingdom endures from generation to generation, all the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him, 'What have you done?'" Judgment Day is final. And when God makes His decision, it's final. Our God is a gentle, compassionate merciful God to all who humble themselves and ask for mercy but He's a terrifying enemy to the unrepentant rebel. Oh, may God be your Savior and not your Judge. May God be your Savior through Jesus Christ and not your Judge.

The Beast is slain. Its body thrown into the fire, eternal fire. This is a consistent testimony of the Scripture. And some have said, "Well the fire is just a metaphor." What is a metaphor? It's comparing something to something else, because we don't have words for it. Is the reality less than the words or the metaphor? No, it's greater, we just can't get the words. It's just like a lake of burning sulfur, that's all... That's all it's like, it's just a metaphor. No, the reality is worse than the metaphor. It's just that we don't have any other way to experience it, to get hold of it. Alright, the beast is destroyed, the antichrist is destroyed, the lake of fire is their destiny.

V. The Son of Man: The Incarnate King for an Eternal Kingdom (vs. 13-14)

But how does it happen? It happens with the coming of the Son of Man and in verses 13-14, we have the Son of Man, the incarnate King for an eternal kingdom. "In my vision at night, I looked and there before me was One like a Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven, He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into His presence, He was given authority, glory, and sovereign power. All peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." The antichrist is destroyed by the Son of Man. The antichrist wars against the saints, he assembles his forces possibly to destroy them forever, so he believes. Jesus Christ returns, the Son of Man returns, from heaven on a white horse with the armies of heaven. Final battle is Armageddon, read about it in Revelation 19. I'm not preaching on Revelation 19 this morning, so I'm not going to read it to you, but read it. It's all written there. Jesus Christ returns, and He defeats him simply by the breath of His mouth.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 says "And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming." That's all it takes. That's why in Revelation, it shows Him with a sword coming out of His mouth. He doesn't literally have a sword, it's just that's His weapon. He speaks and it's done. That shouldn't surprise us, that's how He created the universe. He spoke and it was done. That's all. This is the full story, but let's not miss the significance of this text, verses 13-14, the Son of Man text, because this is the greatest text in the Old Testament for the deity of the Messiah, this is the greatest text in the Old Testament for the deity of the Messiah.

Now think about this, the Jews were expecting a Messiah, weren't they? They were expecting one who would come, they called him the Son of David, they thought he would be another physical king like David was. Maybe greater, maybe not, but just another time like we had with David. Well, they didn't read Daniel, they didn't understand the Son of Man vision. Look at the Son of Man. First of all, His humanity is clearly established by the term Son of Man. He's a human being, right? Or else He wouldn't take the title Son of Man. He's a human being. But look at it, He rides on the clouds like Jehovah God. He approaches the Ancient of Days, He comes right into His immediate presence, and yet He is not the Ancient of Days. Do you see that? The Ancient of Days is there on the throne, and here comes the Son of Man into His presence, so He's not the Ancient of Days in the Daniel 7 vision. And He's given sovereign authority over all nations and He's given glory and He's worshipped by all nations and languages and peoples, they all worship Him. And He's given an eternal kingdom over which He rules forever and ever.

Who is the Son of Man? Who is He? This is a deep problem for modern Judaism, isn't it? It's a big problem, the Old Testament testifies that there is one and only one God, "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one." And there is no one like God, Isaiah 46:9. "Remember the former things, those of long ago. I am God and there is no other, I am God and there is none like me." And God gives His glory to no one else, Isaiah 42:8, "I am the Lord, that is My name. I will not give My glory to another or My praise to idols. My glory is My own and I will give it to no one else." And no other gods can be worshipped, for that would be idolatry.

In Jesus' temptation the devil took Him to a very high mountain, showed Him all the kings of the world in their splendor. "All this I will give you if you will simply bow down and worship me," and Jesus said, "Away from me, Satan, for it is written 'Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only." And yet here is the Son of Man riding on the clouds of heaven, coming into the presence of the Ancient of Days, receiving glory, sovereign power and dominion, and guess what else He receives? Worship. He receives worship, the very thing that no one else can receive but God.

Who is the Son of Man? Well, Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of Man, He used the title for Himself over and over. We looked at that this morning, you remember? In Mark 2, in your Sunday school classes, the Son of Man? Jesus called Himself Son of Man 30 times in Matthew's Gospel alone, 80 times all together. Matthew 8, "Then a teacher of the law came to Him and said, 'Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.' Jesus said, 'Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.'" Who's He talking about? Himself. Matthew 9:6, He says, "The Son of Man has authority on Earth to forgive sins." Matthew 12:8, "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." In Matthew 17:22-23, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men, they will kill Him and on the third day, He will be raised to life." It was His favorite title for Himself. The Son of Man.

Only once in my research did I find that this title was used by anyone but Jesus. None of the disciples used it, Paul doesn't use it when he writes about Him. Calls Him the Christ or other things. Jesus used it about Himself and He's about the only one that did. But, once, John 12:34, "The crowd spoke up, we have heard from the law that the Christ will remain forever that he's not going to die. So who is the Son of Man?" The Jews asked him that. Well, that's the burning question, isn't it? Who is this Son of Man? Jesus was standing right in front of them. He is the Son of Man. The Jews couldn't deal with it, couldn't accept a suffering Messiah, couldn't accept certainly not a crucified Messiah. Their big problem with Jesus was that He claimed to be God in the flesh, He claimed to be God in the flesh. And so they arrested Him and they brought Him before the tribunal, before the high priest, and the high priest was listening to false testimonies from false witnesses. None of it was making sense. Finally said, Let's cut to the heart of the matter. "I charge you under oath, [he said to Jesus] by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God."

It's a key moment, isn't it? A key moment. And what did Jesus do at every key moment? He quoted Scripture. He does it over and over and over again. Do any of you have too high a view of Scripture? Every time Jesus needed it, He quoted Scripture. Tell us if you are the Christ the Son of God. "Yes, it is as you say… but I say to all of you, in the future, you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." What Scripture did He quote? This one. This is the peak, this is the pinnacle, this is the one Jesus reached for when He is about to be rejected by the Jews, to prove His deity. In effect, He said, Who do you think, Mr. High priest, that the Son of Man of Daniel 7 is? Who is He, if not Me? Well, they killed Him, because the time of Daniel 7 hadn't come yet, it was time for Isaiah 53, wasn't it? "All we like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way, and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." And so Jesus died. He suffered and died.

And the whole problem with Judaism back then and now is that they didn't understand the glory of the first coming, neither do they understand the glory of the second coming. What is the glory of the first coming? To die on a cross and then to rise again on the third day. So that sinners like you and me can survive Judgment Day.

VI. Eternal Kingdom for the Saints (vs. 22, 27)

And what is the glory of the second coming? It's power, far greater power than they ever expected, the power of Heaven unleashed in wrath on the earth for all those that reject, for all the rebels, and to rescue His people, and to give them an eternal kingdom that will never end.

Verse 21-22, "As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints and the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom." And then in verse 27, "Then the sovereignty and power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints." That's you and me, brothers and sisters, we get the Kingdom. And it's an Earthly kingdom 'cause it's under heaven. And we are under Him because it's His kingdom, and we will reign on earth.

It says in Matthew 5:5, "Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth." We get the Kingdom, but no more rebels, no more beasts up out of the sea, just a kingdom forever and ever, and the saints will submit to Christ and it will never end. Well, what application do we take out of this? Well, first, if anyone says to you, How do you know that you have the right truth system and that all the other religions are wrong, we have fulfilled prophecy, do they? We have an empty tomb. Do they? We have the truth, brothers and sisters, and people from every tribe and language and people and nation are seeing it, aren't they? And they're coming to faith in Jesus Christ, in fulfillment of this prophecy. But please, don't miss the description of God here. The throne of fire and a river of fire flowing from the throne. I've come to the conclusion that all of us has to stand under the fire. All of us do. And the fire will either burn our soul eternally, or it will burn up all of our works done in the flesh, done not by faith. That's what's going to happen, it's going to burn something, that's just the purity of God. He can allow nothing into His presence that doesn't glorify Him.

Now, how do you escape the fire burning your soul? Through simple faith in Christ. That was the purpose of the first coming, through trusting in Christ. You will have what we've called the asbestos robe of Christ's righteousness, protecting you from the fire that will come. But what of the second? Can I urge you to live your life, live your lives in the light of that fire, that nothing you do be consumed on that day, that everything you do be for the building and the glory of this kingdom that we have described today. Everything, no wasted time, no wasted words, no wasted money, no wasted gifts, no wasted moment, everything for the glory of Jesus Christ. Won't you close with me in prayer.

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