Ancient of Days & Son of Man

December 18, 2022

David Sorn

Daniel’s amazing prophecy about the future reveals two amazing names of God in one prophecy!

Ancient of Days & Son of Man

December 18, 2022

David Sorn

Daniel’s amazing prophecy about the future reveals two amazing names of God in one prophecy!

SERMON TRANSCRIPT | Daniel 7: 1-14


(Generic Renovation slide)

Morning. My name is David Sorn, and I’m the Lead Pastor here.

Before I get into our message this morning, I wanted to personally tell you about an opportunity you have to change the world with us.

Some of you know that our church has been going to Africa with SHINE and our dear friend Sammy Wanyonyi for years.

And it is one of the most fruitful things our church does for the Kingdom.

Last year we went to Tanzania, and our team of 11 was able to share the Gospel with over 12,000 people and we personally led over 450 people to Christ

And, we were part of a larger mission that shared the Gospel with a half a million people in 7 days!

And we are going to do a similar thing again this summer, and we want YOU to come with us

(Mozambique Slide)

This summer we will be going to Mozambique, in Southeast Africa.

It is a faith-bending, faith-risking, faith-expanding trip!

I guarantee you won’t come back the same.

And, even more importantly, people need to hear about Jesus.

And right now, sub-Saharan Africa is one of the best places to share.

Because for now anyway, we can still easily share on the street, and easily set up events in public spaces.

Thus, we can share the Gospel with thousands very quickly!

Take a look at this video preview

(Mozambique video)

(back to Mozambique slide)

If you come with, you’ll be sharing your faith, often, and we will teach you and train you how to do so!

Every year, we see God use our people who just “step into the Jordan River of Faith” (like we talked about in Joshua this summer), and it’s scary, and intimidating…

But there is NOTHING like watching God use you to reach someone for Christ and change their eternity.

God can use you for that this summer.

It can be one of the most impactful and important things you’ll ever do with your life.


You can pick up an application (which are due on January 15th) at the Welcome Table in the lobby or on our website.

It’s not cheap to fly to Africa, but let me say, that most of our people raise at least half the costs (which we will teach you how), and plenty raise all of the costs and go for free.

And so even if you’re only 10% interested, pick up an application.

And turn one in sooner than later, as we’re expecting a lot of interest, and this trip is capped at 25 people.


(Names of God Series Slide)

All right, let’s get into our passage.

We are continuing in our Names of God series where we are looking at unique names of God in the Bible.

Today, we are going to cover TWO fascinating ones: Ancient of Days & the Son of Man

So everybody grab a Bible

Daniel 7:1-7

Page 610

We are going to look at an absolutely amazing prophecy that God gave Daniel

Daniel was a Jew who had been exiled to Babylon

And while he was there, he had an incredible dream and vision about the future.

This occurred about 550 BC.

Our 2 names of God are not in this first section, but this section is an important lead up to them.

Let’s take a look


(Daniel 7:1-7) – NIV

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.

2 Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. 3 Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.

4 “The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it.

5 “And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’

6 “After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.

7 “After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.

(Names of God Series Slide)

Okay, that sounds like crazy dream, but it’s actually an amazing prophecy

Let me walk you through it as you keep God’s Word open here.

Each of the beasts represents governments, or empires that would eventually dominate much of the civilized world after Daniel’s life.

The first beast (verse 4) is a lion with the wings of an Eagle.

(Show Animal Empire Year Chart #1)

This represents the nation of Babylon, which was in power at the time of Daniel’s dream

Babylon was often symbolized as a lion or an eagle.

You can even see Babylonian lions with wings in museums today

The second beast (verse 5) is a bear

(Show Animal Empire Year Chart #2).

The bear represents the combined empire of Medo-Persia

This is the people group that about a decade or so after Daniel’s vision came in and conquered Babylon.

..and then asserted their dominance on much of the region.

The bear is raised up on one side because Persia was so much more dominant than the Medes, and in fact, Persia eventually took over.

The 3 ribs in the bears mouth represent the 3 great military conquests of the Medo-Persian empire:

Babylon, Egypt, and Lydia.

The third beast (verse 6) is a leopard

(Show Animal Empire Year Chart #3).

The leopard represents Greece, who by 330 BC, had taken over Persia and ruled all the way from Greece to India

And their leader, Alexander the Great, quickly conquered the civilized world, like a leopard, by the time he was 28

And then notice in verse 6 that this strange leopard has 4 wings and 4 heads?

After Alexander the Great’s surprising death at age 32, the Greek Kingdom was divided into, guess how many kingdoms? FOUR!

Remember, this prophecy was from hundreds of years earlier!

And then we see the fourth beast (verse 7) is not any animal we know

It is terrifying and very powerful and crushes and devours its victims.

(Show Animal Empire Year Chart #4).

And this, is the Roman Empire

Which, in 63 BC became the dominant empire and eventually stretched all the way from England to Iran at its height.

And as we go through these amazing prophecies, half of you in the room are like, “I love prophecies, I love the end times, THIS is the greatest Sunday of my life”

And the other half of you are like, “Please tell me why this even matters!”

I would love to!

It matters, because this Ancient of Days that we’re going to meet in a second…

Why it Matters that God is the Ancient of Days & Son of Man

#1: God knows and is in charge of the past, present, and future

I mean think about what these prophecies say about God.

Could you have predicted something like this?

I mean, we can’t even predict 5 years into the future, let alone 500

2020 always makes me think of this.

Every business and corporation said, “We have 2020 vision! THIS is what we are going to accomplish in the year 2020!”

I feel like God was like, “Oh you are, huh? That’s cute! Try this on for size”

And yet, here’s Daniel, in 550 BC (through the inspiration of God) telling us what the next 4 major empires will be like.

That’s amazing.

This is the Word of God.

And so when you read prophecies like this in the Bible, this should increase your faith that what you read in God’s Word is TRUE…

…and also, it should remind us, that if God is in control of empires, He is in control in your life right now, okay?


(Ancient of Days Title Slide)

All right, now prophecy is hard to decipher sometimes, but most scholars see a time break between verses 7 & 8

Daniel was talking about the Rome of the past…but now, in the future something like the Roman empire will rise up again…

…and so now, as we keep reading, the passage is going to fast forward to the end times.

Daniel 7:8-14

Page 610

(Daniel 7:8-14) – NIV

8 “While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully.

9 “As I looked, “thrones were set in place,

and the Ancient of Days took his seat.

His clothing was as white as snow;

the hair of his head was white like wool.

His throne was flaming with fire,

and its wheels were all ablaze.

10 A river of fire was flowing,

coming out from before him.

Thousands upon thousands attended him;

ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.

The court was seated,

and the books were opened.

11 “Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. 12 (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)

13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

(Ancient of Days Title Slide)

Okay, let’s talk through this one.

Let me give you the traditional interpretation of this.

Later in chapter 7, we’re told that the ten horns on the 4th beast represent 10 kings…10 key leaders in the end times.

The horn that rises up and uproots 3 of the 10 kings, is the leader who is traditionally referred to as the antichrist.

This antichrist speaks boastfully and is wooing people over to himself, and in the process, this chapter says, He’s persecuting “God’s holy people”

By the way, if a lot of this feels new, or even a bit confusing today, that’s okay.

Many of you are just learning, and you’ve never studied this part of the Bible before.

I want to encourage you that when you don’t know something, the best thing you can do is see that is an opportunity for you to dive deeper.

Get out your study Bible (or ask for an NIV study Bible for Christmas!) and study what IT says on this chapter… start digging in so you can learn.

So this horn that rises up to control the final beastly government, the antichrist, starts to persecute believers and amass power, but then what happens?

Here comes the Ancient of Days.

This is verse 9.

This is God the Father, and one of his most amazing names.

We see a very similar name in Isaiah 43, and it basically means “before days were”

Before time began, God was.

The Ancient of Days.

And what does this Ancient of Days look like?

White clothes, white hair (that’s his splendor, wisdom, purity)

And he’s on a throne of fire, with a river of fire coming out of it

His judgment is holy, and right, and cannot be argued with

The antichrist and his government, despite all their earthly power, our thrown into the blazing fire.

He doesn’t stand a chance against the Ancient of Days.

And here’s why this matters for right now.

Because when we rightly see God as the Ancient of Days, not just “Hippy Jesus” like American want to see Him, but the Ancient of Days…

Why it Matters that God is the Ancient of Days & Son of Man

#1: God knows and is in charge of the past, present, and future

#2: It reminds us that evil will be defeated

Evil will be defeated, by the Ancient of Days, AND, by (v.13)…”one LIKE a son of man”

And my friends, this is Jesus.

Did you know that Jesus calls himself the Son of Man over 80 times in the Bible?! 80 TIMES!

And when He does so, He’s referring to this exact passage!

He explicitly wants people to know that He is not just a man, but the Son of Man from Daniel chapter 7, who is this DIVINE figure who will do what?

What does it say?

Come on the clouds of heaven to reign eternally!

And when this Son of Man, Jesus Christ, comes back, verse 14 tells us that HE (the Son of Man) will be given authority, glory, and power.

And the time of the beasts, and corrupt governments, and evil conquering nations will be over.

The Son of man is on the throne for once and for all.

And do you ever think about that? Cuz we ought to.

Passages like Daniel 7 are passages that the persecuted church in China, and the Middle East, and parts of India, hold on to.

And as things grow darker in our future, we must hold on to them too.

There is no evil, not even the antichrist, that can defeat the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man.

I know many people have been feeling a lot of fear lately about how our culture has changed so much in the last 20 years.

And it has.

But let me explain something: Every once in a while, when I read to my kids, we’ll read a story that is a bit more suspenseful for them than I anticipated it would be.

And they begin to fear.

And sometimes, not always, but sometimes, I’ll say, “It’s okay. It all works out in the end. Good will win!”

And some of you, for that same reason, need to press deeper into this chapter.

And into the end of this whole book.

I’m telling you, spoiler alert, God wins in the end!

And even if you’ve experienced evil in your own life…

And some of you have…you’ve been treated horribly, and you’ve experienced trauma.

Know that the Bible says that you are not the judge, but there is a real judge

And all evil will be dealt with and defeated.

Evil does not go unpunished.


And when the day of judgment comes, what will your personal reaction when the books are opened for judgment as our passage says?

See, this is the 3rd reason why it matters that we see God as the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man:

Why it Matters that God is the Ancient of Days & Son of Man

#1: God knows and is in charge of the past, present, and future

#2: It reminds us that evil will be defeated

#3: We are warned of God’s holy judgment

We see very clearly in this passage that sin and evil will be judged

In verse 9, the Ancient of Days is on a throne of fire with a river of fire coming out from his throne.

Verse 10 says “the court was seated and the books were opened”

This kind of language for judgment is also used in the Book of Revelation which describes the end times

(Revelation 20:11-12a) – NIV

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life.

The Bible says that when Jesus comes back (or if we die first), we will be judged by a Holy God

And the only way you can be found not guilty, the only way you can make it through judgment and enter heaven is if your name is written in the “Book of Life”

(Ancient of Days Title Slide)

And there is only one way you can have your name written in that book.

And it’s not by you doing good deeds…you can’t earn your way into the book.

Because the Bible teaches that we all sin.

In our own way, we’re all beastly…

We want to control our own little kingdoms where we live against God’s ways.

And for our rebellion against God, the Ancient of Days, we deserve his holy justice of fire…

And I know this isn’t what preaching normally sounds like in your typical MN church, but I’m telling you what this actually says.

And listen, after you die, there is not a person in this room who will be mad at me for what I just said to you

Actually, you’ll be mad at the Christians who skipped these parts of the Bible because they just didn’t want you to feel uncomfortable.

I want you to know the truth…because your eternity is coming and I want you to be ready for what is actually going to happen.

See, when the Son of Man, Jesus, returns, He’s coming to bring judgment.

But, please, don’t miss, that when Jesus came the first time, He came to offer salvation!

Look at how Jesus describes himself on this:

(Mark 10:45) – NIV

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus, The Son of Man, first came to give his life for yours.

As a ransom.

That means that currently some of you are being held captive to sin and will face the judgment of God for your sins.

And if you don’t have true faith in Christ, that when you die, you won’t be saved.

You won’t go to heaven, but to hell.

(Ancient of Days Title Slide)

But the son of man, Jesus, came as a ransom, to trade places with you.

And here is where the judgment of God and the mercy of God comes together in a shockingly beautiful way.

Because, even if you’re the person who says, “David, when you talked about the evil person getting judged by God for the horrible things they did, that’s me. You don’t know what I did. That’s me. The judgment’s coming for me!”

I’m saying, “God knows what you did, and yet and Jesus came, so that the judgment meant for your sin, would instead fall on Him”

He took your punishment on the cross.

He died in the place of your sins.

And if you would believe in that, He would wipe you clean, and write your name in the Book of life.

But He’s coming back, and I want you to be ready.

Hear me on this, if the Bible was laser accurate about the coming of the 4 Kingdoms in Daniel’s prophecy

… then you must believe that the Bible will also be accurate about the Son of Man returning on the clouds to bring judgment.

Are you ready?

For those of you that already know this amazing forgiveness of Jesus Christ, we want to remember the “Ransom of the Son of Man” today by celebrating communion.

The New Testament describes communion this way at Jesus’ last supper

(Luke 22:19-20) – NIV

19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

This is a way that we remember that Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, came from heaven to offer his body, and his blood in place of ours.

And that when He comes again on the clouds, that our name is written in the Book of Life.

Not because of anything we did, but because of what he did for us!

And THAT is worth remembering, often!

That’s why we do it here, and often in our House Groups

(Ancient of Days Title Slide)

And so if you are a believer in Jesus, at any time during our last song today, we’d love for you to leave your seat and go to a communion table stationed around the room (4 in the front, 2 in the back)

You can take an individual piece of bread, and dip it in the juice.

If you need gluten free or prefer our usual communion chalices, they are available at those table too to bring back to your spot.

But I want to encourage you to do something.

Communion is always a good time to reflect.

So before you just get up, take a few minutes, and thank God for who He is and what he has done.

If you would like prayer while you’re up, I encourage you to seek out our prayer team in the back corners during this last song as well!

We really just want you to encounter God during our service.

And if you’re not yet truly a believer in Jesus, I encourage you to do 1 of 2 things.

#1: If you’re just starting out on the journey of looking for Him, just keep coming every week…even take a Bible with you…and that’s great.

Or #2, some of you are ready to give your life to Him.

Some of you may have even been coming here for months, maybe even years, and truthfully, you know that you’re not saved.

You’ve never turned from your sins, and offered your life over to Him in faith

If that’s you, come to Jesus today.

He is here.

And he is ready to save you and forgive you by your step of faith

To write your name in that Book of Life.

If that’s you, while everyone is up and walking around, rather than walking over to a communion table, I want you, instead, to walk out to the lobby, where I and someone from our follow-up team will meet you, and help you start walking with Jesus.

All right, let me pray.

Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

You may use this material all you like! We only ask that you do not charge a fee and that you quote the source and not say it is your own.