|Q290 : Has Daniel 7:13 been Fulfilled?|
To Tony Garland
Hi, I am reading your commentary on Daniela at the moment and I must say it is the most objective and exhaustive analysis of this book ever posted on the Internet.
When you reach chapter 7 can you please comment on why many Christian websites claim Daniel 7:13 is referring to the Ascension of Christ rather than His Second Coming?
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.1
As far as I'm concerned it's a no-brainer - the 'son of man' of Daniel 7:13 is seen after the fourth beast is destroyed & therefore this cannot be an event taking place before the fourth beast is destroyed - needless to say the Ascension took place while the fourth beast system was growing in power.
I shake my head in bewilderment. HOW DID CHRISTENDOM GET IT SO WRONG?!
|Dan. 7:13||Unless indicated otherwise, all Scripture references are from the New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.|
|A290 : by Tony Garland |
Some of the primary reasons some commentators teach that Daniel 7:13 was fulfilled at Christ’s First Coming are:
Concerning #1 - some take Christ’s statement to the high priest as requiring that the high priest be alive at the time of its fulfillment. If this were true, then a First Coming fulfillment is required. But is that the best way to understand what Jesus is saying? I think not. These interpreters fail to recognized the use of the “prophetic you” — a common occurrence in Scripture — where a prophecy is spoken to contemporaries, usually in the 2nd-person plural, which ultimately applies to their descendants long after the generation of the contemporaries (e.g., Deu. 18:15; 30:1; Isa. 7:14; Zec. 14:5; Mat. 10:22-23; 23:39; John 14:2-3).
- Jesus told the high priest, “hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mat. 26:64; Mark 14:62).
- Jesus said that some people alive at the time of his ministry would live to see “the Son of Man Coming in His kingdom” (Mat. 16:28; Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27).
- Many Christians mistakenly believe that the Church is fulfilling the promise of God’s kingdom on earth now, functioning as the stone which is presently destroying the pagan world powers represented by the statue of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Dan. 2:34-35, 45).
However, as noted earlier, the second-person plural may be employed of those who are not contemporaries. Illustrations of this are found in the immediate context. In Mat. 23:35 the Lord Jesus, referring to the death of Zechariah, used the words “whom you murdered.” Obviously Zechariah was killed centuries before Christ. And Jesus said, “You will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (v. 39). This speaks of a future generation of Israel that will yet make that grand profession. The pronoun “you” may look backward or forward.1
Although Jesus initially responds to the question of the high priest using a 2nd person singular pronoun (“It is as you (συ [su]) said . . .”), He purposefully switches to a 2nd-person plural pronoun when describing who would see Him coming on the clouds of heaven, “you-all (ὑμῖν [hymin]) will see . . .”. This is a typical pattern when the “prophetic you” is used. Jesus is speaking past the high priest to the religious leaders (and perhaps others) who will be alive at the time of the Second Coming.
Concerning #2 - In all three gospels where Jesus makes this statement, the gospel writer immediately follows the statement with the record of Jesus’ glorification on the Mount of Transfiguration. This is by design. Peter, James, and John did see Jesus as he will appear when He eventually comes in His kingdom (at the Second Coming). They were given a “sneak preview,” as it were on the Mount of Transfiguration — which fulfills Jesus’ prediction in their lifetime.
Concerning #3 - When it comes down to it, it is really the third reason which drives the other two interpretations: the desire to be part of an overcoming militant church which is primarily engaged in issues of social (and now environmental) justice with a view of successfully converting the world to Christ in this age thus ushering in God’s kingdom on earth (Mat. 6:10). For that to be true, then Christ must have struck the statue of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream at his First Coming—which is exactly what they believe. All that remains, in their view, is a “mopping up” operation where the church brings about the inevitable fall of godless world powers and their conversion to Christ (e.g., the so-called seven mountain mandate of New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement.3
This is underwritten by the belief that the New Testament reinterprets the plain meaning of Old Testament passages concerning the kingdom to find them spiritually fulfilled in today’s church. This, in turn, requires that the plain sense meaning of many of God’s promises and covenants be denied in favor of the idea that Jesus, at His First Coming, taught that the kingdom was something out-of-step with what the Word of God had already established in the Old Testament. This also infers that the Old Testament cannot be understood on its own: the “decoder ring” of the New Testament is required before one can understand not to take the Old Testament at face value! This leads to additional problems, not the least of which is inferring that God is an equivocating and unclear communicator (see the answers to Q194a, Q204b).
Instead, we concur with the late J. Dwight Pentecost regarding Daniel 7:13:
When the Son of Man was brought into the presence of the Ancient of Days, all the authority, glory, and sovereign power that had been exercised by rulers in the four kingdoms over all peoples, nations, and men of every language (cf. Dan. 3:4, 7; 4:1; 5:19; 6:25) was conferred on Him and those peoples worshiped Him. This is in keeping with the Father’s promise to the Son in Psalm 2:6–9, and will be fulfilled at Christ’s Second Advent (Matt. 24:30; 25:31; Rev. 11:15).4
For more on why Daniel 7:13 was not fulfilled at Christ’s First Coming, see When Does the Stone Strike?c.
|1.||Ref-0200, Vol. 161 No. 644, October-December 2004, 469-490 p. 488|
|2.||NAR, Seven Mountains Mandate|
|3.||“There are 7 Mountains of Influence in Culture... In 1975, Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade, and Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With a Mission, had lunch together in Colorado. God simultaneously gave each of these change agents a message to give to the other. During that same time frame Francis Schaeffer was given a similar message. That message was that if we are to impact any nation for Jesus Christ, then we would have to affect the seven spheres, or mountains of society that are the pillars of any society. These seven mountains are business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family and religion. There are many subgroups under these main categories. About a month later the Lord showed Francis Schaeffer the same thing. In essence, God was telling these three change agents where the battlefield was. It was here where culture would be won or lost. Their assignment was to raise up change agents to scale the mountains and to help a new generation of change agents understand the larger story.”2|
|NAR||http://www.7culturalmountains.org accessed 20160211.|
|Ref-0038||John Walvoord and Roy. B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Wheaton, IL: SP Publications, 1983).|
|Ref-0200||Stanley D. Toussaint, A Critique of the Preterist View of the Olivet Discourse|