Message Notes by Pastor Ewings on a sermon based on Daniel 7:13,14
The theme for the Last Sunday of the Church Year is “Christ the King.” When Scripture calls Christ our King, it declares His ruling activity over the whole world and our hearts.
To understand this King better, we need to take a little time to explore His kingdom. This text is the final portion of Daniel’s account of his vision of four beasts. Daniel saw this vision “in the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon” (7:1). The four beasts represented the four great political powers that would dominate the world over the next 500 years.
The first beast, “like a lion” with “the wings of an eagle” (7:4), is generally understood to be the Babylonian Empire; this empire was still in power at Daniel’s time. The second beast was like a bear with “three ribs in its mouth between its teeth” (7:5); it stands for the Medo-Persian Empire. The third beast, “that looked like a leopard” with “four wings like those of a bird” on its back (7:6), is taken to be the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great and his successors. The fourth beast, “terrifying and frightening and very powerful” with “large iron teeth,” which “crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left” (7:7), was a picture of the Roman Empire.
As his vision continued, Daniel saw “the Ancient of Days.” This term for God tells us that He has exercised kingly control and authority long before this lineup of beasts came on the scene, and He would continue to be the ruler long after they were gone. The beasts continued to live, Daniel said, although they were stripped of their authority. Then one “like a son of man” entered the scene. Here, we meet Christ the King.
“His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away.” His kingdom stands in sharp contrast to the kingdoms of the four beasts. They roared and snarled and devoured in their time; when one waned, another grew to take its place. All were destined, however, to disappear from the scene, and later observers would find only traces of their past greatness. The kingly activity which Daniel saw in his vision is one that would be in constant existence and never fade or die. The kingdom of Christ will never be destroyed and His kingly activity can never and will never cease.
As we face the many beasts that rise up against us in our lives, we must remember that Christ is our King and He and He alone has the might to conquer these snarling enemies. So often we seek to exercise dominion, power and authority over matters which are beyond our control. Christ is your King; Jesus must sit on the throne of your heart and He must reign alone! When He rules, He will show you His power to bring you everlasting peace.
Lesson 1: Daniel 7:13,14
Lesson 2: Revelation 1:4b-8
Gospel: John 18:33-37