His Everlasting Dominion

Key phrases from Daniel’s vision of four beasts “ascending from the Sea” and the “one like a Son of Man” are applied in the New Testament to the future coming of Jesus and descriptions of the Kingdom of God and the sovereignty of the Messiah. What follows is a handful of examples.

Jesus declared that “all the tribes of the earth” would see the “Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven.” This saying is derived from Daniel’s vision of the one like a “Son of Man” who approached the “Ancient of days” on the “clouds of heaven.”

Great Mountain - Photo by Samuel Ferrara on Unsplash
[Photo by Samuel Ferrara on Unsplash]

The term “
Son of Man” is the self-designation heard most often on the lips of Jesus - He is “THAT Son of Man,” and every New Testament reference to the “Son of Man” is dependent on the passage in the seventh chapter of Daniel.

  • I continued looking in the visions of the night, when, lo, with the clouds of the heavens one like a son of man was coming, and unto the Ancient of days he approached, and before him they brought him near, and unto him were given dominion and sovereignty and kingship, that all peoples, races and tongues to him should do service. His dominion was an everlasting dominion, which should not pass away, and his kingdom that which should not be destroyed” – (Daniel 7:13-14).

The Prophet Daniel saw this figure coming on the “clouds of heaven” to receive sovereignty over “all peoples, races, and tongues.” Likewise, after his resurrection, Jesus declared his receipt of “All authority in Heaven and on Earth,” and therefore, he sent his disciples to proclaim his sovereignty to “all the nations” – (Daniel 7:13-14, Matthew 28:18).

In Revelation, the “slain Lamb” approached the “One Who was sitting on the Throne” to receive the “Sealed Scroll.” Upon his arrival before the Throne, loud voices proclaimed him “worthy” to receive all “power and authority” since he “purchased men from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation, and made them a kingdom of priests” – (Revelation 5:5-14).

The “Son of Man” approached the Ancient of Days in Daniel to receive his “dominion.” Similarly, Jesus will “come on the clouds” and gather his “elect” to himself. He received his sovereignty following his Death and Resurrection, and he will return at the end of the age to gather all his saints and consummate his Kingdom.

When the High Priest challenged Jesus whether he was the Messiah or not, he responded - “I am he, and you will see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.” By doing so, he not only confirmed his identity as the Messiah, but cemented the identification of the Messiah forever with the figure of the “Son of Man.”

Paul described how both living and resurrected saints will “meet Jesus in the air” as he descends to the Earth. On that day, his saints will be “gathered to him on the clouds,” and thereafter, they will be with him “forevermore” – (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 5:1-6, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2).


In Revelation, Daniel’s four beasts are transformed into a single “Beast from the Sea.” It possessed the animal characteristics of Daniel’s four “beasts,” it was a composite of those previous beasts. The single “Beast” in Revelation is related to Daniel’s four beasts, but it is also something beyond them - (Revelation 13:1-5).

However, Revelation is not concerned with simply reiterating what Daniel wrote. It uses material from Daniel to draw a more complete picture. Daniel saw four beasts, and John saw only one, and in Revelation, this single beast combines all the worst elements of its four predecessors along with those of the “Little Horn” of Daniel who persecuted the “saints” – (Daniel 7:21, Revelation 13:7-10).

The “Beast from the Sea” appears again in Chapter 17 of Revelation where it is under the economic sway of “Babylon, the Great Harlot.” Its seven heads represent “seven kingdoms,” and already in John’s time, five of them had “fallen,” the sixth existed, and the seventh was yet to come - (Revelation 17:7-17).

The “Beast from the Sea” is a trans-historical reality – It is a political entity that appears periodically in history, one that “ascends” repeatedly from the Abyss/Sea to wage “war against the saints.”

A passage used several times by Revelation is from Daniel’s description of the assault against the “saints” by the “Little Horn.” It “made war with the saints and overcame them.” This phrase is applied to the attacks by the “Dragon” and the “Beast” against the “Two Witnesses,” the “seed of the woman,” the “saints,” and in an ironic twist, to Satan’s war with the “Lamb” - (“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them” – Daniel 7:21, Revelation 5:6-12, 7:9-14, 11:7, 12:17, 13:7, 17:14, 19:19).

Mountain Twilight - Photo by Daniel Gregoire on Unsplash
[Photo by Daniel Gregoire on Unsplash]

The authors of the New Testament interpreted the vision of Daniel in new and unexpected ways. Jesus was the “
Son of Man” who received “dominion” from his Father on behalf of his people because of his Death and Resurrection.

At the end of the age, he will appear on the “clouds of heaven” as he arrives to gather his “elect” and to render judgment on Satan and all his forces. Jesus is “THAT Son of Man,” and his dominion that he now holds because of his Death and Resurrection is an everlasting kingdom.

  • The Son of Man - (The one like a Son of Man in Daniel is the source of Christ’s self-designation as the Son of Man and his authority)
  • Coming on Clouds - (The whole earth will see the Son of Man arriving on the clouds of Heaven, and he will then gather his elect to himself –Mark 13:21-27)
  • Age of Salvation - (The Gospel of the Kingdom announced by Jesus offers salvation and life to all men and women of every nation and people)



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