Weekend Message Takeaway: The Ancient of Days

This past weekend, we continued our series, “Revealer of Mysteries: A Study Through Daniel,” as Pastor Doug Sauder shared from Daniel 7 kicking off our journey through the prophetic section of this powerful Old Testament book. In this message, we revisited the prophecy from Daniel 2, but this time instead of seeing the image comprised of different precious metals (Nebuchadnezzar's perspective of the splendor of earthly kingdoms), we examined it as four horrifying beasts (Daniel's perspective of the wickedness and devouring nature of these earthly kingdoms).

Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.


FOR THE NOTE TAKERS
Let’s recap some of the key talking points from Pastor Doug's message this weekend:

The Four Beasts (Daniel 7:1–7): 40 years before Daniel had this vision, King Nebuchadnezzar also envisioned this same progression. However, if you remember from Daniel 2, his version of the vision was quite different. In Nebuchadnezzar’s version, the kingdoms were part of this glorious statue comprised of various precious metals. It was really quite the majestic sight. However, Daniel’s version wasn’t a majestic statue of gold, silver, bronze, and iron. Instead, it was four terrifying beasts that devoured not only each other, but pretty much everything else in their path. The difference is that Daniel saw the earthly kingdoms from God’s perspective, while King Nebuchadnezzar saw them from man’s perspective.

And in that, we see something powerful we must truly embrace in the way we see the world: Daniel’s visions aren’t just about the future, they also reveal the powers of this world for what they really are. And what are they? Destructive, ravenous, wicked, and yet also weak and temporary. This vision was an unmasking of reality. It makes it clear what we’re seeking after when we seek after the things of this world. If we take the powerful lesson behind this vision to heart, we’ll know and embrace the fact that as believers, we are to be in this world but not of it (1 John 2:15), and we are to seek first and above all else His kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33) because as believers, our citizenship is in heaven and not in any earthly nation or kingdom (Philippians 3:20). And with the proper perspective of this world and what all of its “splendor” leads to, we should be all the more inspired and driven to make disciples!

Kingdoms Built on Sand Don’t Last (Daniel 7:8–10): In Matthew 7, Jesus shares a powerful word picture about what we build our lives on. A person who does not build on the foundation of Jesus and His words is like a person building on sand—a weak foundation that will crumble when the storms of life hit. But a person who builds the entire foundation of his or her life on Jesus Christ and His words is like a person who builds on rock—a solid foundation that can withstand storms, waves, earthquakes, and whatever else life throws at it!

If we’re being honest, it’s sometimes hard to see what a person’s life is built upon when looking from the outside. Why? Because one can easily create the appearance of a sturdy house built on a strong foundation. It’s only when the storms of life hit that we can really see what they've built their foundation on.

So, the question for us is, “What am I building on?” Are we buidling our lives on things that don’t last? Things like career, a business, video games, social media influence, entertainment, our kids, our appearance? Or are we truly building our lives on Jesus Christ and on His Word? Are we letting the media, society, culture, or our own sinful desires do the building or are we letting the Holy Spirit do the building?

In the Chaos of Our World, God Is Firmly Seated on His Throne (Daniel 7:11–14): This passage describes the transition from human dominion on earth to divine dominion. Now, don’t for a second think that God hasn’t ALWAYS been in control; that He isn’t sovereign. He is, and He has always been in complete control with His hands firmly upon and over all. But when Jesus died on the cross, the dominion of death and sin over mankind came to an end—the debt of sin was paid for and the resurrection removed the sting of death. The Son of Man is seated at the right hand of power and has conquered the grave and won our freedom!

The Suffering We Experience Is Temporary (Daniel 7:15–22): The cross is our emblem of hope. It symbolizes ultimate suffering and yet ultimate victory and eternal glory! 2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV) tells us, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all,” and Romans 8:18 (NIV) declares, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” As hard as this is to believe or see in the midst of suffering, God brings victory and glory always in every pain. He works all things—even the messy, painful, ugly trials and suffering—for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). He redeems everything and uses it all for our good and His glory.

Your Father Can’t Wait to Share His Victory with You (Daniel 7:23–28): Jesus said His Father is pleased to give us the keys to the kingdom. Romans 8:31–32 (NIV) says, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

As believers, we get to share in the victory with our Father! He has included us in His work of redemption, invited us into the process so that we can experience and share in the victory along with His Son. We live in hopeful expectation, not in fear of judgement and wrath. We are safe in His hands. We are more than conquerors, victors, and heirs! 

Quote to Remember: Is there anything God wants to reveal to me today?Pastor Doug Sauder



QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
As you think about this weekend’s teaching, here are a few questions to reflect on and consider on your own, with your family, or in your group. 

1. What are you building right now that won’t last?

2. What areas have you not surrendered control over to the Lord? What’s keeping you from doing so? What steps can you take to walk in His dominion?

3. How do you view your suffering? How have you seen the Lord move and work in it?

4. What does God want to reveal to you today?


A LOOK AHEAD

This Wednesday, we'll take a deep dive into Daniel 8 as CCA Bible Department Head Pastor Bill Schott explores the antichrist.

Then on the weekend, we’ll be joined by special guest Nick Vujicic as he shares a message of hope! If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, depression, or battling with thoughts of suicide, Nick has a message of victory for you! Invite your friends, neighbors, classmates, and coworkers for this powerful weekend.