Contending For The Faith

January 7, 2009

Daniel 7: The Coming Kingdom of Christ

Filed under: Bible Study,Daniel,John MacArthur — Lynda O @ 7:53 am
Tags: , ,

For study of Daniel chapter 7 I look again to John MacArthur’s sermons — a three-part message called “The Coming Kingdom of Christ.” 

Here are links to part1, part2, and part3

This chapter begins the second half of the book of Daniel. After giving a narrative history of the political events of Daniel’s life, from the beginning of captivity in Babylon, to the beginning of the reign of Darius near the end of Daniel’s life, this section involves prophetic revelation from God to Daniel, during the years described in the preceding narrative. We have seen one prophecy, in chapter 2, but that was given to Nebuchadnezzar and reflects his Gentile perspective. Here, Daniel himself receives the prophecies, of which chapter 7 is the overview of all history — from Daniel’s time to the end, Christ’s return; chapters 8 through 12 reveal more of the details. Also of note, all of the visions in this section come after Nebuchadnezzar’s death: the first two visions during the reign of Belshazzar, and the next two visions during the early years of Darius the Mede. The Babylonian empire was stable under its great ruler, Nebuchadnezzar, but after him the empire declined rapidly, and so in this time of turmoil and confusion God reveals more of His plan to Daniel and subsequently his Jewish readers.

The major theme of chapter 7 is the coming of the King, and the establishment of His eternal kingdom. Three aspects of the kingdom, brought out in this chapter, are the coronation of the King, the character of the kingdom, and the chronology of the kingdom.  (Here I’m going to review the first two parts, leaving the chronology for a later blog update.)

The coronation is described in verses 9, and 13 – 14. As MacArthur says, this is the crucial moment, the greatest event in all of God’s time and eternity: the coronation of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. This is not new revelation within the Old Testament, though — the earliest reference can be found in Genesis 49, the promise the one will come named Shiloh (meaning: the one whose right it is), to take the scepter, which belongs to a king. In 2 Samuel 7 we learn of God’s promise, that David’s son will build a house for God. MacArthur: “‘And beyond Solomon, I will send a greater than Solomon, a greater than David. I will send one who will establish a kingdom and it will be forever, and forever, and forever.’ So even then, the promise had been made that the Messiah would come and establish a kingdom.”Several psalms picture the King and His coronation, includings Psalms 2, 45, 72, and 110. Zechariah 9 also describes the coronation of the king.

Daniel 7 describes the “Ancient of Days” and another figure, “one like a son of man” — references to the Father, and the Son, Jesus Christ. As MacArthur points out, Jesus often applied this title to Himself, in direct reference to Daniel’s prophecy.  Interestingly enough, Jesus specifically uses this title when He is referring to His second coming. The scene here in Daniel 7 describes the Ancient of Days (God the Father) giving the kingdom to the son.

Now to the character of the kingdom:  MacArthur describes this with five key words that describe what His kingdom will be like: authority, honor, kingdom, saints, and duration. Verse 14 describes Christ’s absolute authority, and honor. Christ will have complete control, and He will be honored. This world has plenty of dictators who have absolute authority, but the people chafe under their rule; Christ will be honored. Same as MacArthur says — yes I get weary of Christ being dishonored; believers can identify with the saints under the altar in Revelation 6, who cry out “How long, oh Lord?”

The third word, kingdom, emphasizes the structure of His government. The context of Daniel 7 and its statements indicates that Christ will literally reign on earth. MacArthur says it well:

The kingdom is a word that speaks of the structure of His government. ‘Shall be given unto Him a governmental structure.’ In other words — This is very important. The kingdom is not simply some spiritual entity. There are some who say, well, the kingdom is just the rule of Christ in the hearts of believers. It’s just a spiritual thing. … the context of Daniel is a series of statements about how the earth will literally be ruled. There will be four gentile world powers and then the kingdom of Christ. And I believe the context demands an earthly literal kingdom of Christ. I think it’s more than that. I think he’s talking about an eternal kingdom. But the first element of that kingdom is to be that millennial earthly kingdom. The contrast you see in all of the vision of Daniel is between the earthly empires of men and the earthly empire of Christ. I think we’re gonna see a real literal kingdom on this earth.


Saints — verse 18 — the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever-yes, for ever and ever.

The word saints is used in scripture to refer to all believers — the angels, Old Testament believers, the apostles, the tribulation saints, and us believers in the New Testament church age.

The kingdom’s duration is forever, a wonderful promise, described in verses 14, 18 and again in verse 27.


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