Daniel’s vision in Chapter 7 was like a Swiss Army Knife when it came to God’s plan for humans.
It predicted the coming Messiah, highlighted the exaltation of Jesus, emphasized the everlasting nature of his dominion, and it foretold end-time events. If you mark your Bible, this passage should be marked, read, and re-read.
As I watched in the night visions,
I saw one like a son of man
coming with the clouds of heaven.
And he came to the Ancient One
and was presented before him.
To him was given dominion
and glory and kingship,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not pass away,
and his kingship is one
that shall never be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14)
Our passage today captures the essence of Daniel 7 and reveals its end-time importance.
Then I looked, and there was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like the Son of Man, with a golden crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand!
Another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to the one who sat on the cloud, “Use your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is fully ripe” (Revelation 14.14-15).
How does the Son of Man, Jesus, “exercise dominion and glory and kingship, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him” (Daniel 7.14)?
When a king establishes his kingdom, he eliminates those who attempt to overthrow his rule. Jesus’ preferred way of conquering his enemies is by making them his friends.
In the end, all who refuse to be Jesus’ friends will experience his judgment. As Jesus concluded one of his parables, he warned his followers about those who choose evil over his righteousness.
He said, “Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.
“The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers,
“And they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:40-42).
Jesus’ parable and Revelation 14 predict the future, but it also serves as a warning to those who refuse God’s love and friendship.
So the one who sat on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped (Revelation 14.16).
The Grapes of Wrath
Jesus concluded the Parable of the Lost Sheep with these words, “Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18.10).
The “little ones” of the earth – the disadvantaged, oppressed, persecuted, marginalized, etc. – are not overlooked by God. This is especially true when the “little ones” are his persecuted followers.
Early in the Book of Revelation, we read the pleas of the “little ones” who have been martyred.
When he broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered for the word of God and for the testimony they had given;
They cried out with a loud voice, “Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long will it be before you judge and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?” (Revelation 6:9-10).
Abraham asked God, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Genesis 18.25). The coming judgment is God’s answer to Abraham’s question, as he holds the powerful of the earth accountable for their actions.
Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he, too, had a sharp sickle.
Then another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over fire, and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Use your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe”
So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and gathered the vintage of the earth, and he threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God
And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for a distance of about one thousand six hundred stadia (Revelation 14.17-20).
The figure, 184 miles, is the approximate length of Palestine. This is the extent of God’s judgment on those who have refused to be transformed by his grace.
The judgment of God extends to all people everywhere who find themselves beyond the pale of divine protection.
Think About It.
Today is a good day to reflect on our choices, consider the plight of the marginalized, and embrace the transformative grace offered by God.
May we heed this prophecy and strive to live in accordance with God’s love and align our lives with his purposes.
Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube today. It is on the Bob Spradling channel.