DARE TO BE A DANIEL

A Vision About the Future

Daniel 7

Jerry A Collins

SCC

10/10/04

 

*               Are we in a battle as we determine to live righteously here?

*               Who are the beasts and the horns in Daniels vision?

*               How can we expect to have victory in the spiritual warfare?

 

Just returning from Albania I learned of the oppression and hardship that people lived with in during the dark years of communism. Albania was the first nation to declare itself an atheistic one. No one could read or own a Bible for instance. There were no churches to attend. No believers. Even now, in the city of Shkodra, there are about 350 believers in a city of 100000 and that after 14 years since communism fell. The government was your god and it was where you placed your faith and trust. The govt would take care of you. So for nearly 45 years millions of people were in the dark, lost and blind to the reality of Jesus Christ. No witness. No testimony. No Bible. Now that that dark curtain of communism has been lifted, the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ has begun to shine. The Word of God has now been translated into the Albanian language. Yet another dark force threatens the truth. The country is Muslim and Islam wages a concerted effort in that land to drown out the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ with a holy Jihad against all xians. This spectacle between the dark forces in the spiritual realm and the gospel of Jesus Christ in Albania and in many places throughout history is revealed in Daniel 7. What is it that lies behind these kinds of powers? It is ugly and it is monstrous. It is evil and it is appalling. There is a hidden evil that drives these leaders. It is a power and a battle being waged all around us every day that we cannot see and touch.

1. THE REALITY OF THIS BATTLE IS ALARMING VS 15

When we look at the response of Daniel in vs 15, we realize that we are up against something that is unimaginable. It is alarming. In vs 28 at conclusion of this vision after waking up in the morning he is sick and pale. This information is terrifying. It is not given to us for our amusement or for our curiosity. But God lifts the veil behind the realities of this oppression so that we mite see what is driving all of it in the world both historically and even today. And like Daniel, we are troubled or should be. You can see it all over his face. It is now given to us in all of its grotesqueness. This vision should also trouble us! Actually, it should leave us feeling very small and powerless with the sense that we can only find our security in Him and his presence. That we are driven there by overwhelming sense that we have nowhere else to go. Helpless.

2. OUR ENEMY IS POWERFUL, DETERMINED TO DESTROY US

There are 4 beasts in vss 4-7.

(1) Lion & wings of eagle beast. Jer 49:19ff describe this leader sweeping across the land in brilliant combination of power and swiftness. Babylon and Nebechadnezzar.

(2) Bear beast with lumbering power and appetite of a bear Dan 2. Kicking up the dust and approaching in horrific rythym--medo Persia.

(3) Leopard beast with 4 wings and 4 heads and dominion. The swift advance of greek empire the 4 heads being 4 generals divided up.

(4) Monster beast vs 7 terrifying, powerful and frightening. Overbearing arrogance with 10 horns and a little horn vs 8. This horn arrogant does not stop speaking boastfully vs 11. It may be little but it is lethal. Daniel asks for explanation of this 4th beast vs 19 and gets it in vs 23-25. This little horn will be different than all other kingdoms. He will assert himself and become very powerful and arrogant, full of himself. It is the AntiChrist. Tho he comes again and again in differing guises throughout history, he wants to make up the rules. He wants to have all power and this is who we are up against. The little horn behind it all. The Lord has given a measure of sovereignty to government and as result history does from time to time seem to be in the grip of tyrants. This little horn is on a mission and we cannot stand against him. This is what turned Daniel pale. Paul tells us that we do not battle against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers in the heavenly realms. Materialism, hedonism, and sexual revolution are his weapons. Even religion is a toolholy jihad of islam, centuries of false catholic teaching in west, and hinduism and Buddhism in the east. Whatever it is and whenever it is, it raises its ugly and defiled head and we are waging war, fighting battles of a spiritual dark forces. This is not a fair fight. He does noit play by the rules but makes up his own. There are no boundaries no limitations. No morals vs 25. This is not an even fight either. It is a war against a super heavyweight power that is bent on our destruction our values, our beliefs. Until we comprehend the depth of our opposition we cannot appreciate the relief in 14-153. GOD WILL ULTIMATELY HAVE THE VICTORY

We find ourselves in Gods throne room in 9-10. And what a relief to see God ascending His throne. Ultimate power is not centered in the governing authorities in the past or today. It is in God! First, His kingdom is not limited. Kingdoms will rise and kingdoms will fall but His endures forever! Second, his is describe with purity in contrast to the darkness of the little horns rule. White like snow and wool. His power is never compromised by greed and ambition and arrogance. His power is not motivated by lust or rage or fear. Third, His rule and power brings justice to everything and to everyone. Like a buring fire vs 11 his divine judgment will prevail over this beast. His pureness and wholeness will eradicate evil in the world. He cares about evil. God does get angry when he sees injustice and oppression. Vs 11 we hear the little horn again. Boasting, arrogant this pompous enemy dares to speak again. But vs 26 says he will be destroyed and his power will be taken from him forever. His dominion will disappear and in a moment he will be non-existent. His pompous words a distant echo fading into oblivion. He will be slain and no memory will be left of him. Full of hot air, putting on a display of power, he will be wiped out never to rise again. The horn is gone in a moment of judgment. Even in history vs 11, there have been glimpses when the beasts have been broken. The fall of communism. The end of apartheid. Rome was lost in a day, Hitler with an embarrassing end. So it goes. But on our own we are helpless to prevail. Our living God is so much bigger than these culprits of history. In the spirit and power and ego of the little horn they have tried to take their place by storm. But God is so much more powerful and awesome in judgment. We are introduced to the son of man in vs 13. He has the rite to come into the presence of the Ancient of Days. He gives up his service to the ancient of days and does not assert himself. What a contrast to the little strutting horn. This is why he is given dominion forever in vs 14. He has been given all that the beasts, the horns and the little horn has always wanted. Mt 20:28 he came to serve not be served. He will come again in power and great glory and all will bend their will toward him Mt 24:30. This son of man will be sitting at the rite hand of the father in power coming in the clouds Mt 26:64. We are on the winning side even to it may not look like it sometimes in this world!

(1) Dont underestimate the severity of the spiritual battle waged against us. It is for the hearts and minds for which we battle. And that battle is life and death.

(2) This battle is intense enough to destroy us. We are vulnerable. The enemy is powerful. We cannot win this on our own.

(3) We can wage war for the hearts and minds of people confidently because we have the truth and God is sovereign. Victory is sure.