The King’s Coronation (Daniel 7:13-14)
On Tuesday June 2, 1953, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was coronated Queen of the United Kingdom. For her coronation, the Queen wore a diamond diadem, crimson velvet robes bordered with gold lace, and a special coronation gown incorporating all the floral symbols of the UK and Commonwealth. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, anointed the Queen with oil, made to a formula originally devised by Charles I. The Archbishop of Canterbury held St. Edward’s Crown high in the air and lowered it slowly on the Queen’s head. The shout rang out: “God Save the Queen.” Trumpets sounded, bells rang, and gun salutes were fired. Prince Philip, her husband, was the first to pay homage to the Queen.
Surely, Queen Elizabeth Il’s coronation was a sight to behold. But, how much more the coronation of the King of kings! Daniel sees the glorious scene of Jesus’ coronation. This evening we want to examine the coronation of Jesus.
The Kingdom’s King, v 13
“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.”
Daniel saw One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven. This one like a “son of man” had to be human, for the Hebrews used the designation “son of man” to mean “human.” Numbers 23:19 uses the phrase “son of man” to mean “human.”
It’s important to note that the ruler of this kingdom would be human. The four kingdoms just described in this chapter are described using beasts – the lion represents Babylon (7:4), the bear represents Medo-Persia (7:5), the leopard represents the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great (7:6), the dreadful and terrible beast that was exceedingly strong represents the Roman Empire (7:7). Instead of being a fierce, monstrous king, this king is gentle, approachable, because he is like man.
The one like the Son of Man must be Jesus, for “Son of Man” was Jesus’ favorite designation of himself. “Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head'” (Matt. 8:20). “The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” (Matt. 9:6). Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (Matt. 16:13).
The King Jesus is here depicted as divine, for he comes “with the clouds of heaven.” In the Old Testament, the Lord is often depicted as in the clouds. “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way” (Ex. 13:21). “It came to pass, as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud” (Ex. 16:10).
Notice that the text simply says the Son of Man came with the cloud of heavens. Many make the mistake of applying this to the Second Coming and saying that Jesus was coming to earth with the clouds of heaven. They say the kingdom in view is a millennial kingdom. But, the Son of Man cannot be coming with the clouds to the earth, for he comes and appears before the Ancient of Days, in heaven!/p>
The most logical understanding of this text is that this is a depiction of Jesus’ ascension to heaven to receive the kingdom after the resurrection. As the apostles watched Jesus ascend into heaven, “a cloud received Him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). The kingdom then is the church, which was established shortly after Jesus’ ascension.
Scripture makes clear that this “coming with the clouds of heaven” occurred after the ascension. “After the Lord had spoken to them, he was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God” (Mk. 16:19). Acts 2:32-34.
The Son of Man was brought before the Ancient of Days. Who brought the Son of Man before the Ancient of Days is not at all clear. That he came before the Ancient of Days shows that the Son of Man received his kingdom from him; he did not receive the kingdom, the church, by his own power or glory; he received it from the Father. “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18). “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand” (Jn. 3:35). In his prayer to the Father, Jesus said, “You have given [Your Son] authority over all flesh” (Jn. 17:2). 1 Corinthians 15:27.
The King’s Kingdom, v 14
Here we’re told why the Son of Man was brought before the Ancient of Days, to receive dominion, glory, and a kingdom; this emphasizes the point that he received authority, power from the Father. He received dominion – authority, rule. He received glory. The Hebrew root of this term means “to be precious;” the idea is to honor that which is precious. Jesus received his glory from the Father – “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where l am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me” (Jn. 17:24). The Father is going to have every knee bow at the name of Jesus and have every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:9-11). He received a kingdom. Christ received the kingdom, the church, from his Father. Therefore, the church may rightly be called the “church of God” (1 Cor. 1:2).
The King’s kingdom is a universal kingdom – “all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.” Isaiah prophesied that all nations would flow into the church (Is. 2:2). Jesus said that he had other sheep which were not of the Jewish fold and he would bring them in (Jn. 10:16). Jesus’ commission to the apostles was to go into all the world with his message (Matt. 28:19). This condemns any form of racism or prejudice – the church is a universal kingdom, for all peoples. This speaks of the importance of being involved in mission work – like the work in Panama and Scotland – the church is for all people.
The King’s kingdom is a permanent kingdom – “His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.” This everlasting kingdom juxtaposes with the four kingdoms represented by the beasts that will (and have, from our vantage point) pass away.
But, the church will not pass away. “And in the days of these kings [the Roman emperors] the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall not be destroyed” (Dan. 2:44). “We are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken” (Heb. 12:28). Obviously this does not mean that the church will have no end, for after the Judgment, the Son will deliver the kingdom back to the Father (1 Cor. 15:24).
What this does mean is that as long as the world stands the church will not cease to exist. From the day the church was established until now the church has not ceased to exist – Even in the Dark Ages there were men and women faithful to the God of heaven. From this time forth, until the Lord destroys this world, a remnant of men and women will be faithful to the God of heaven. The United States of America may not stand until the Lord comes back, but the church will. We may not live until the Lord comes back, but the church will be here.
Are you a part of that church?
This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Alum Creek church of Christ in Alum Creek, West Virginia.