Daniel 7:9-11 – “As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire.
When I was in middle school, my classmates hosted a play. As we sat watching the story unfold on the stage, I will never forget that one of the stagehands made a big mistake and opened up the curtain revealing all the workers laboring behind the scenes.
This kind of thing happens often in the Bible. As we see events happening on earth in the seen realm with human beings, we are unaware of what is happening behind the scenes in the unseen realm with divine beings. Daniel, like other Bible books (Genesis, Exodus, Job, Isaiah, Revelation, etc.) shifts between the seen and unseen realms as well as between the present and future.
In the scene of Daniel, the thrones, angelic army, and court in judgment are speaking of the “divine counsel” (Psalm 82:1). Other titles for this meeting in the unseen realm include “assembly of the holy ones”, “council of the holy ones,” “hosts,” “the seat of the gods,” “the mount of assembly,” “court…in judgment” and “heavenly host.” Daniel saw what the divine beings (including angels, watchers, holy ones, the host of heaven, prince of the host, Gabriel, Michael, prince of Persia, princes, and one called a lord, which all appear in Daniel) always see – God the Father (Ancient of Days) ruling over both realms and all beings.
Revealing the future, we are told that the satanic beast will be conquered by God forever. Importantly, when God is done, Satan and all his counterfeit divine counsel of evil human and divine beings will be crushed forever. There is a popular myth that God rules heaven, and that Satan rules hell. This is simply false. God rules everyone and everything. Satan rules no one and nothing. Revelation 14:10 speaks of judgment as “the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger” which will cause the wicked to “be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb”. Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, rules both heaven and hell forever. Therefore, the question is not whether someone will spend eternity under the rule and reign of God, but whether it is in pleasure or pain.
How familiar are you with the unseen realm and divine counsel in the Bible?
In addition to this introduction to and overview of Daniel, you can find the corresponding sermons, daily devotions, men’s ministry resources, and hundreds of additional sermons and Bible teaching resources for free at markdriscoll.org or on the Mark Driscoll Ministries app.
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