October 7, 2018

Readiness: “The Ancient of Days took his seat”

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The most obvious teaching point in all of the apocalyptic literature in the Bible is to be ready. The second is to be encouraged in the meantime, because God’s got this. Everything in this world is under his control and working according to his plan. And this is certainly true of the wild visions in the Book of Daniel. The Jewish exiles, the original readers of Daniel, who were living in Babylon and at home under Babylonian rule, needed to know that God had not forgotten the covenant he had made with them. He hadn’t, of course, and the visions communicate that dual theme of encouragement and readiness.

If you’re tracking with our current series, you’ll know that we looked at Daniel 4 last week. Because we’re following a chronological path through the Book of Daniel, we’ll study the apocalyptic vision of chapter 7 this Sunday, which Daniel received between the events of chapters 4 and 5. You should know that Daniel served three different kings (Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius the Mede) under two empires (Babylon, Medo-Persia) over more than six decades of his life.

Daniel 7-12 has fantastical, bizarre visions and dreams about the future. Some of what Daniel saw has already come to be, but much of it is, as yet, unfulfilled. And in Daniel 7, we’ll examine this matter of readiness as we get a glimpse into the seen and unseen worlds, the kingdoms of this earth and the throne room of God, the Little Horn who devastates the church, and the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man who claim the final victory over him. I’m hoping that we all feel a little overwhelmed in a good way hearing this message. Daniel certainly did.

A word about the Apocalyptic Literature of the Bible…

  • Apocalypse means revealing/revelation
  • No division over interpretive differences
  • No excessive pre-occupation with the end times
  • No ignoring or neglecting of the apocalyptic
  • Progressive dispensational framework
  • The two-fold primary purpose
    • Be encouraged
    • Be ready
  • Other purposes:
    • Remember the unseen world
    • See the darkness of my own heart
  • Interpreting the apocalyptic
    • Respect the original intent
    • Let it wash over you
    • Use reserve and caution
    • Remember that numbers are symbolic
    • Note full and partial fulfillments of prophecies

Timeline of Daniel's ServiceComparison chart showing the dreams and visions of Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel

Sermon Notes

Resolved! Living for Christ when you’re the only one who is
Readiness: “The Ancient of Days took his seat”
Pastor Todd Dugard // Daniel 7
October 7, 2018

I am ready for whatever God is planning for our world when I see…

…both the coming chaos on earth (v. 1–8)

and the current awesomeness of heaven (v. 9-14)

…both the coming devastation of the church (v. 19–25)

and the already accomplished victory of Jesus Christ (v. 17–18, 26–27)

Q. Is it okay to still be somewhat confused and a little anxious about it all? (v. 15–16, 28)