Sunday, September 07, 2008

What Happens Next (4) - Birth Pangs of the Kingdom

The fulfilment of Daniel's vision is not a sign that the second coming is close. His vision has nothing to do with the second coming. Nor is it a description of the rise of the antichrist. The antichrist as we know him does not exist in the scriptures.

Daniel’s vision is a description of the collapse of human political power. For all of human history, the people of the world have been controlled by various kings, emperors and sundry political power. Over the last few centuries, various democratic demagogues have taken over this controlling role.

Before the Kingdom of God can come to fullness on earth, human political power will have to be swept away. Daniel’s vision describes how this will happen. God raises up first three beasts to bring this about. The fourth beast is the “last hurrah” of political power. Enormous political power will be accumulated into one institution in a united states in order to resist God’s shaking over the world. This terrible human empire will collapse into such a mess that the people of the world will never trust human political power again. Confidence in politics will crumble.

But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever (Dan 7:26).
Once human political power is smashed, the Kingdom of God will emerge.
His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him (Dan 7:27b).
God will replace human rulers will local judges applying his law.
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 (Dan 7:27a).
This is what we are all seeking. When political power is chopped up, pushed down and spread around ordinary people who trust and obey Jesus, the Kingdom of God has come.

No comments: