Picture of Pastor Gettys

Sermon delivered August 12, 2006 by Pastor Donald J. Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Biblical quotations are from the New International Version NIV unless otherwise noted. Divine pronouns and titles are capitalized.

Daniel: The Beastmaster

Daniel 7

(RealAudio Version available)

Yesterday I held in my hand an old postcard that was yellowing, and was dated way back about 1970. It was from the Social Security Administration and they were sending me some information on a post card. On the back of the postcard was my full legal name, and my full legal social security number. They don't do that anymore do they?

Identity Theft! Did you know that 1 out of every 10 people in Great Britain has been a victim of identity theft? It's bad. There are a lot of people being victimized by things like that. In fact, in the United States, 10 million people have had their identity taken away from them. If the Social Security system used postcards today, it would be a travesty.

But, we're living in the last days. The 70's were so tranquil, weren't they? We didn't think that at the time, but they were.

Daniel 7 is our subject today, Daniel 8 next week.

Daniel 7:2 Says, The wind was churning the sea. That's the great vision that Daniel had. The wind was churning the sea, and what that means is great trouble was coming upon the people. And this trouble lasted until the coming of the Ancient of Days (verse 22).

And what awful times we're living in today. These are not good times at all. The economy is unstable; morality is at a historic low. Words like Al Zawahiri, Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah have entered our vocabulary. The world has changed. Peace is still in the dictionary; I saw it there the other day. I don't know where else it might be. Somebody has gone and turned the thermostat of the sun up! It's not good!

Oil is running out, pipelines are corroding, major earthquakes are overdue, and combined with the super storms we very well could see the demise of our insurance industry. And that would end life as we have been accustomed to it.

You turn on CNN, and after the main evening news Glen Beck comes on and starts talking about World War III. Maybe things are happening. Muslim extremists are obtaining prodigiously dangerous weapons, and we Americans are in their gun sites along with every other non-Muslimin the world, even in India. And they're using cutting edge explosives, liquid bombs.

Therefore as of August 10, Americans that are boarding commercial aircraft can no longer carry hair-spray and toothpaste. Ipods, cell phones, and remote controls will all be left at home. They're taking away our finger-nail clippers, all metal devices. What's going to happen? I guess maybe we're going to have to travel with empty suitcases, maybe, or all wear split tail gowns. Islamic terrorists are affecting everybody one way or another.

Will an Islamic Jihad, someday, take control of America? You may laugh at that, but will they? Will our men soon be wearing turbans? Will all our women be wearing dark long cloaks? Will towering Mohammedan minarets voice loud calls to prayer, five times a day, in your Middle American town, in the next 20 to 25 years? It could happen.

Many protestant theologians believe that the little horn of Daniel 7 is actually referring to Roman Catholicism, and we would concur with that. But some other thinkers are now considering the view that Mohammedanism had it's beginning at the same time as Roman Catholicism. Did you know that? This non-Christian religion is indeed subduing powers and overcoming them, and Islam is now waging war against the saints. Moslems comprise twenty percent of the world. So do Roman Catholics.

Could the true meaning of Daniel 7 include a duel application? I don't know. We need the messages of Daniel 7 to set our perspectives straight. Time is quickly coming upon us, the time of the end. I think, without Daniels message, we could very well be worrywarts. But with Daniel's book we could see the solution. The first section, Daniel interpreted the dreams of others. Now he begins to have his own dreams, and his own dreams terrify him.

He sees in Daniel7:1, 2, a vast ocean, it is whipped up, it's foaming like several dozen tsunamis with their waves all crisscrossing each other. No ship would dare to sail on that. Suddenly, a large head begins to surface, and it's a lion. And in verse 4, The first was like a lion, and had wings of an eagle: I watched until its wings were torn off, and it was lifted up from the ground, so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it.

The next beast was a lopsided bear, a large bear, followed by a leopard, followed by a terrifying grotesque beast. And these represent Babylon, Medo/Persia, Greece and Rome. Now let's look at four major beacons of hope in Daniel 7.

Beacon Number 1: World powers are transient; God's kingdom is eternal.

That gives me hope. The lion will be defeated. The lopsided bear will fall. The winged leopard will crash land. The terrible beast will be crushed. Kingdoms come, kingdoms go. Don't worry about communism. Don't worry about terrorism. Don't worry about our shaky future. Though the nations act like beasts, God is the beast master. God is in charge, and God will take care of these beasts. Even this huge evil fourth beast, with iron teeth and bronze toenails, will fall. This monster crushes, it tramples everything down, but God will subdue it. And to demolish this monster, God eventually called a homeless Baby, gathered from the backwaters of the Roman Empire, to take charge. Is this beast dead yet? No, not really. It is defeated but not dead. Not yet. Evil nations still persecute Christians. They still bulldoze our churches down, from Zanzibar to Tasmania, but God is the beast master.

Daniel 7:13,14. In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was One like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days, and was led into His presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations ad men of every language worshiped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Beacon Number 2: Wickedness itself, will end.

It's going to disappear. Daniel was very troubled in verse 15 about his vision of the future. So, God sent an angel and gave him some hope.

Daniel 7:17,18 The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth. But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever--yes, for ever and ever.

Praise God for that! Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Alexander the Great, the Roman Caesars, Kaiser Wilhelm, Adolph Hitler, Napoleon; they all faded away, wickedness will come to an end! Each kingdom rises, but each kingdom fades away.

Could you have predicted that the Soviet Union would break into fragments a few years ago? Two hundred thirty years ago, could you have stood here in Tennessee and predicted that this nation of the United States of America would be the super power of the world some day soon?

Evil will not prevail. Satan will finally fall. Wickedness will cease and never come back again.

Nahum 1:9. Whatever they plot against the Lord He will bring to an end; trouble will not come a second time.

Beacon Number 3: You will win with Jesus.

If you stick with Jesus, you're going to be the winner. You're going to share victory with Jesus. Satan has sinners, but God has winners. I want to be a winner, don't you? I want to be an over comer. I don't want my chemical addictions to keep me out of heaven. I don't want my sexual weaknesses to keep me out of heaven. I will not allow this to happen. Jesus' task is to end evil, in this world and in your life.

And he will end evil. Jesus wants to end it, and help is on the way. Jesus will provide power to live the Christian life. When Daniel finally comprehended this, he could sleep at night.

Beacon of Hope Number 4: Walk to the Judgment seat with confidence.

Look at Daniel 7:26,27 But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.

There's going to come a great judgment day. You will be there, and God Himself will be there. This is described in Daniel 7:9,10. As I looked, "thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.

Daniel tries, within the confines of human language, to describe this event. He describes God. He is very old, He has white hair, He's sitting on a chair that has wheels under it. It sounds like a wheelchair doesn't it. But it's not a wheelchair of an old person, although God is old. It is God's throne, and the wheels are on fire. The throne is on fire.

Now I want you to picture yourself standing before somebody who has existed forever. He's awesome. His eyes have fire coming out of them as he examines you. You're going to be standing before God on the judgment day. Do you have an awesome wave of respect come over you as you stand there before God? Do you respect very old people? Have you ever been in a nursing home, do you respect them, or do you feel sorry for them? Sadly we have lost respect for the very elderly, but we must respect God for He is the Ancient of Days. God does not know any old people, you realize that. All of God's acquaintances are younger than He is.

God is the Ancient of Days. He's an old judge, he's been around. His IQ is 100 billion. And soon each person, who ever lived, will stand before him.

2 Corinthians 5:10. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

When you stand before the Ancient of Days, He will not be fooled. God has done his homework. It will not be a kangaroo court. He will use the yardstick of the scripture, and His truth. God is wise, and God is fully Holy. His clothing is a clean glistening white. His head is covered with Holy white hair. His eyes blaze with penetrating fire, as he looks right into the core of your very depths. To stand there could be the most terrifying experience you've had in your whole life. His throne is flaming with fire, its wheels are on fire. The Ancient of Days is attended by millions and millions of perfect holy beings surrounding him.

And what do they do? Daniel 7:10 says, They attended Him. Their job description is to serve God. That ought to be your job description. Heaven revolves around Jesus.

Daniel 7:10. The court was seated, and the books were opened. There's a book there, your book. God will open your book, and your record will be exposed. The stark accurate record of everything you ever said or did, whether in public or in secrete, will be opened. Do you want your book opened? Do you want God to open your book? Do you want the whole universe to hear what you did and what you said? If your book were made into a movie, what would it be rated? Would you want your kids to watch the entire movie, every part of it? Do you want God to open it? Your book will lay out the whole truth to the world. At stake here is your eternal future. The great Judge has full authority to accept or reject you forever.

Now, picture God's face as He opens your book. As He looks at your book, picture the possible shock on His face as he opens your book, only to discover that all your records have been tampered with. Somebody has taken scissors to your book and taken out page after page. Somebody has taken a blotter, and blotted out all the bad things, erased the record. It's all gone. The only thing God sees is the good in your life.

Jesus Himself has been working on your book, editing your book, redoing your book, and cleaning your book up. It's a much thinner book now. Jesus has made you look good. Jesus had tampered with your book, in fact so much that His record seems to be confused with your record. As God looks at that, He sees Jesus' works in there. Jesus' record seems to be standing in place of your record; Jesus has mixed His life into your book.

What gives him the right to do that? He bought your book; He purchased it at a great price. You can look in Revelation 21:27. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written ine the Lamb's book of life. It calls it not your book but the Lamb's book of life. It's His book now, and he has the right to tamper with his book, it belongs to Jesus. It's no long your book, he has earned that right at a great price.

Isaiah 44:22 says, "I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you."

Our Great Judge, I want you to know, is none other than Jesus Christ. Our Savior is our Judge! Our defense attorney is also our Judge. Our Judge is our very own brother, Jesus Christ. Is there any doubt that the verdict will be 'not guilty'?

1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness.

You ask Jesus to forgive you, and that forgiveness will be given to you. You ask Jesus to cleanse you, and it's all cleansed away. The books will be tampered with, they will be blotted out, and you will be saved.

And that's the message I see in Daniel 7, what an awesome thing. The Ancient of Days will sit, and you will come before Him, and he will give you a hug. He's your Savior. He died to save you. How could a father refuse his son, how could a mother refuse, unless you refuse. So come to Jesus, give your life to Him and you will be in His kingdom.

Let's sing our closing hymn, Number 596, Look for the Waymarks.

 Hymn of Praise: #538,  Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
 Scripture:  Daniel 7:21-22
 Hymn of Response: #596,  Look for the Waymarks

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