I listened to a recent podcast from Kris Vallotton entitled “The Improving State of the World”. It is a completely different take on end time eschatology than what I am use to and really challenged some of my concepts.
Kris Vallotton is one of my favorite speakers, but I was reluctant to accept the message at face value without digging into the scripture. I didn’t want to just accept someone else’s interpretation without searching it out myself. Then I realized something, that is what I have already done!
Yes, that’s right, my own eschatology and end time beliefs are based on what others have told me. So I decided to start with a clean slate and see what I dug up. Daniel 7 seems like a good place to start.
Daniel is caught up in a vision, a spectacular vision in which he beholds the “Ancient of Days” and the “Son of Man”. The Son of Man is presented to the Ancient of Days and all authority is given to him.
I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed.
Daniel is having this vision of Heaven. In verse 13 he sees the Son of Man, Jesus, presented to the Ancient of Days. It is important to note in verse 13, Daniel says the Son of Man is Coming and He Came to the Throne.
This is assumed by many to be when Jesus is returning to earth in the clouds. However, Daniel is seeing a vision of Heaven and the “Son of Man” coming, then he says the “Son of Man” came to the throne in the very next line. The vision is depicting the scene in Heaven as Jesus is given authority and dominion.
So, to simplify:
- Daniel sees the Son of Man coming in the clouds
- Daniel sees the Son of Man has arrived at the Throne
- Daniel sees the Son of Man presented to the Ancient of Days
- Daniel sees the Ancient of Days give the Son of Man all dominion and kingdom power
The confusion in Eschatology on this point stems from one main issue (all though a second much more serious issue plays a role as well). Mathew 24 and Revelation 1:7 both refer to Jesus coming in the clouds and use Daniel 7:13 as a reference. If that is the case, than Daniel 7:13 has not taken place and Jesus has NOT been given all dominion and authority.
As Jesus returned to Heaven, his disciples watched him float upwards in the clouds. Angels appeared and said that Jesus would return in the same manner, in the clouds.
And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into [h]the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. 11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into [i]the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-11
Could Acts 1 contain the precursor to the scene Daniel beheld in His vision. But, there is another verse that alludes to Jesus ascending to the Father after His death in John 20.
17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” John 20:17″
Jesus instructs Mary not to “cling” to Him because He has not ascended to His Father. Why would it matter, unless Jesus is waiting for a specific event to occur before He takes His place with “all dominion” over the nations as Described in Daniel 7.
Judgement made in favor of the saints
Daniel 7:22 says the Ancient of Days came and “judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.”
Jesus makes more than 200 references in the four gospels to the Kingdom, especially that the Kingdom is at hand.
When Jesus died on the Cross, went to hell, defeated Satan, and returned to Heaven He was given dominion and authority by the Ancient of Days as the Ancient of Day’s proclaimed over the “Saints” that they were in right standing with Him.
If this scene in Heaven has not already transpired, than Jesus does not have:
- The Glory given Him on that day
- The Kingdom
Who has the Kingdom then? Well, that would be Satan. He held the lease for Planet earth since He was given it by Adam.
This is of course not the case. Jesus took possession of the “key” from Satan and was given dominion and He has all authority over earth and the heavens. He has shared that with us, the saints.
There are many more aspects to these scriptures, can’t wait to dig into them a little more.