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Daniel's Kingdom of the Son of Man

Updated on March 18, 2014

Daniel 7:4-7 "The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. 5 “And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!6 “After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it. 7 “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns."

Matthew 16:27-28 "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. 28 “Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

Kingdom of the Son of Man

"I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14)

"But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever." (Daniel 7:18)

In our last article we did a cursory study of Matthew 16:27-28 where the “Kingdom of the Son Of Man“ is introduced. as promised, in this writing we will look to the genesis of that topic; which would be Daniel’s prophecy concerning it. For that, we go to Daniel chapter 7.

“I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13-14)

Daniel outlines the history of world governments, by sketching, for his readers, five world empires. The first four are secular, and appear progressively upon the stage of world history. The fifth empire is a godly kingdom that will be eternal. Because the first four world empires are of human origin and satanically inspired, they are represented by beasts: namely, a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a “beast, dreadful and terrible,” respectively. (See verses 4-7.) The characteristics of each beast are representative of the particular kingdom it stands for: e.g., the lion represents Babylon; the bear represents Medo-Persia; the leopard represents Greece; and the “dreadful and terrible beast” represents Rome.

Daniel sees a fifth world empire that would not possess the characteristic of any beast. This fifth kingdom would be represented by a human person (see verse 13). When Daniel uses the term “Son of Man” (KJV), in verse 13, the intention is to represent the fifth Kingdom by a man, in contrast to the beasts of the first four kingdoms. Daniel does not have Jesus in mind, per se. The term, “Son of Man,” is used in the sense of a human being. (Ezekiel employed the phrase in the same manner: i.e. Ezekiel 2:1, 3, 6, 8; 3:1 etc..) The KJV translators have capitalized the “s” in the word “son,” which has led to a misunderstanding of this passage, altogether. (The last statement is true from Daniel’s perspective; but Jesus did, indeed, appropriate Daniel’s title for the eternal Kingdom into his personal nomenclature.)

This fifth kingdom, of Daniel chapter 7, would be the rule of God throughout the earth. Its nature would be as diverse from the first four kingdoms as the nature of man is diverse from that of beasts. Here, man is considered in his pre-fallen state, as the likeness and image of God (see Genesis 1:27).

Having set forth the nature of the world kingdoms that are presented in Daniel chapter 7—the remainder of this paper will concern itself with the particular’s of Daniel’s prophecy which relates to the Church.

Daniel's Fourth Beast

In verses 4-7 (of chapter 7) Daniel outlines world history up to the Roman empire. The fourth beast of this chapter, which is described as “dreadful and terrible,” is one and the same beast as is introduced in Revelation chapter 13 verses 1 and 2:

Revelation 13:1-2 “And I stood upon the sea of glass, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was likened to a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”

Notice that the beast of Revelation 13 is a composite of the first three beast of Daniel chapter 7 (i.e. the lion, the bear, and the leopard). Therefore, the fourth kingdom would have assumed all the characteristics of the previous world empires. Remember that these beast kingdoms represent human government (secular) which is inspired by Satan and deified by mankind.

In Daniel 7:9 the prophet sees the beasts cast down, and the judgment-seat was set in place to judge the kingdoms of the beasts (godless secular governments). In verse 9 the Ancient of Days is described in terms used to describe Christ in Revelation 1:14-15.

Daniel 7:9 “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.”

Compared to:

Revelation 1:14-15 “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.”

By comparing the two prophecies, it is clear that they are parallel the one to the other. Both the prophet Daniel, and the prophet John see the Lord God of heaven coming in judgment upon the beast kingdoms of human government, which had usurped prerogatives belonging only to the Almighty.

The Fifth Kingdom, The Kingdom of the Son of Man

The judgments upon the kingdoms of the beasts (the fourth kingdom in particular) comes in the person of a fifth world kingdom that will be eternal. In verses 13-14 Daniel sees the establishing of this kingdom of Heaven. Here the imagery is that of a human being (a son of Man, not a beast as before), receiving world dominion from the Ancient of Days (see verses 13-14).

Daniel 7:13-14. “I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”

In verses 15 and 16 Daniel asks to know the interpretation of his vision. In verse 18 comes a startling revelation: namely, the kingdom of “the son of Man” (of verses 13-14) is interpreted, by the angel, as being the “kingdom of the saints.”

Daniel 7:15-16 “I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and ask him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.”
Verse 18. “But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.”

It is important to read and receive the truth found in verse 27; here “the people of the saints of the most High” receive the kingdom and dominion under the whole heaven.

Daniel 7-27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

Now, concerning the judgment of the kingdom of the beast, by the Ancient of Days (verses 9-10), verse 22 states: “... the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom” (of the beasts). This is a parallel to Revelation 17:14 were we read: “These” (the kingdom of the beast) “shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is the Lord of lords, the King of kings: and they that are with him” (the saints) “are called and chosen, and faithful.” Also, see Revelation 11:15, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”

Notice, in Daniel 7:26 (concerning the “judgment” of the beast’s kingdom) the Prophet states: “But the judgment” (of the Ancient of days, verses 9, 10, 13, 14, 22) “shall sit, and they” (the people of the saints of the most High, verses 18, 22, 17) “shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it unto the end.”


THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER:

This “Kingdom of the saints,” that will execute judgment upon the beasts, in behalf of the Ancient of Days, is also called the “kingdom of the son of man” in Daniel 7:13-14 (see above).

IMPORTANT NOTE: The secular world kingdoms are symbolized by beasts; the Heavenly kingdom of the “Saints of the most High” is symbolized by a human person.

It is this very kingdom of the Son of Man, a.k.a. the “Kingdom of the Saints of the most High” that Jesus claims as His own when he appropriated to Himself Daniel’s title of “Son of Man.” Therefore, the Kingdom granted to Him (literally the whole earth) is invested into his saints (“the people of the saints of the most High”). The “saints” are the ones will exact judgment upon the “kingdoms of the beasts,” on behalf of the Ancient of Days.

Moreover, according to Christ, this kingdom (of the Son of Man, a.k.a. “the kingdom of the people of the saints of the most High”) came in power and glory within the lifetime of Jesus’ disciples (those to whom Jesus personally instructed). See the following passages:

Matthew 10:23 “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of Man be come.”

Matthew 16:28 “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Matthew 23:35-36 “That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation.”

Matthew 24:34 “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”

Matthew 26:63-64 “But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said into him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether (or if) thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus said unto him, Thou hast said: Nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”

I pray you, my fellow disciples, meditate upon these truths. In that we are, indeed, 2,000 years into the “Kingdom of the Son of Man” (which is also called “the kingdom of the people of the saints of the most High”) we must be about Kingdom business—not waiting on a kingdom to come that is, in truth, already here!

My dear fellow disciples, walk in Kingdom power!

Educate and engage!

Because the only escape from the weight of the argument, I have just presented, is to assign a specialized meaning to the word “generation ;” because, some have done just that, our next paper will address the way Jesus uses this all important word.

Until then: The God of all peace keep you all in the love that passes all understanding.


Apostolically Speaking

☩ Jerry Hayes


Enjoy This Book By Bishop Jerry Hayes

Letters to my Children on Apostolic Kingdom Theology: An Apostolic Answer to Dispensationalism Concerning the Mission of the Lord's Church and End-Time Events
Letters to my Children on Apostolic Kingdom Theology: An Apostolic Answer to Dispensationalism Concerning the Mission of the Lord's Church and End-Time Events

After spending over forty years in the dispensational doctrine, and having raise my children in that theological framework, I became a convinced adherent to a "kingdom" theology that recognizes the Church as the Israel of God, and that the first century actually saw the fulfillment of most of Matthew chapter 24. "Letters to My Children on Apostolic Kingdom Theology" is a compilation of twenty four letters written to my children explaining my journey, and showing how we were led astray from the apostolic teaching of Scripture to embrace a view recently come into the Lord's church, of which the apostles knew nothing. These "Letters" provide a systematic approach to Apostolic Eschatological study of Scripture. It is sure to interest all students of Scriptures.

 

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    • Bishop J L Hayes profile image
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      Jerry Lynn Hayes Sr 3 years ago from Texas City, Texas

      Amen and amen.

    • AdamMaarschalk profile image

      Adam Maarschalk 3 years ago from Bowling Green, Ohio

      Bishop Hayes, you're welcome, and thank you for your thoughtful response as well. You reminded me that the Roman kingdom was a composite of the previous kingdoms, and that's helpful in considering how God's kingdom was to break those kingdoms into pieces. I had forgotten about that, but that's exactly what we see in Revelation 13:2.

      "Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion."

      Yes, God's kingdom is to crush all the other kingdoms "in time." The way I was programmed, as a former premillennialist, was to view Daniel's language ("...it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms...") as something that would happen instantaneously. Most people I get into conversations with have that same programming.

      Instead, God has declared that all earthly kingdoms are temporary, but His is eternal. Also, as you're saying, this verse expresses our mandate, as the saints who possess His kingdom, to fill the earth with His kingdom. That makes sense.

      Peace to your house as well.

    • Bishop J L Hayes profile image
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      Jerry Lynn Hayes Sr 3 years ago from Texas City, Texas

      Praise the Lord, Adam. Thank you for your thoughts and question. I suppose I would answer that question by saying that the Rock that destroyed the kingdoms of man is the Messianic kingdom we are now in. Each kingdom of Daniel's vision continued in some form or another in the kingdom that came after it. So that the Roman kingdom (Republic) was a composite of all that had come before. The feet of iron and clay is the blending of republic and democracy ( as we have in the western governments). The stone crushing Daniel's image is the kingdom of the Saints of the Most High crushing, in time, all kingdoms of man and establishing the kingdom Christ until it fills all the earth. This has not yet happened, but will. It is written.

      Adam, thanks for stopping by. I would like to hear your thoughts on what I have written in this comment.

      Peace to your house.

    • AdamMaarschalk profile image

      Adam Maarschalk 3 years ago from Bowling Green, Ohio

      Amen to your statement that we are nearly 2000 years into God's kingdom. The body of Christ could walk in a lot more kingdom power if we embrace this truth. I fully agree with your view of Daniel's prophecies about the everlasting kingdom being given to Jesus in heaven after His ascension, and being given into the hands of the saints during the time of the fourth empire (Rome).

      Do you have much insight into Daniel 2:44 (b), or a good way to explain the second half of that verse to naysayers? The verse reads this way: "And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever."

      It's the second half of this verse that I haven't found so easy to explain. In what sense has God's kingdom broken in pieces and consumed "all these kingdoms"? The word "these" seems to be a reference to Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, the first three of which had already passed by the time God's kingdom was established in the first century. Does "broken in pieces and consumed" simply speak of their temporary nature versus the eternal nature of God's kingdom? Does it further suggest that kingdoms will continue to come and go, while God's kingdom will remain, or is that saying more than Daniel communicated? Naysayers have said to me things like this: "See, no kingdom was visibly broken up and consumed when you say that God's kingdom was established. It hasn't happened yet, but when it does happen God will destroy all earthly kingdoms."

      I appreciate any insight you may have on how to answer such objections and make even more sense of Daniel 2:44 (b).

    • Bishop J L Hayes profile image
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      Jerry Lynn Hayes Sr 3 years ago from Texas City, Texas

      Daniel outlines the history of world governments, by sketching, for his readers, five world empires. The first four are secular, and appear progressively upon the stage of world history. The fifth empire is a godly kingdom that will be eternal.