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God’s staff team: the court in session (Dan 7)

God’s staff team is a fascinating study. There’s cherubim and the Council of seraphim and innumerable angels. Let’s look at the Court in session in Daniel 7.

“As I looked,” said Daniel, “thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire … and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.” Then notice, “the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened” (Dan 7:9-10). Thrones were set in the Court of heaven, along with the angels, around the all-powerful, sovereign, Ancient of Days. A verdict was about to be announced. Wow. This is better than binging on a season of The Lincoln Lawyer!

Suddenly, one “like the son of man” arrives riding the glory-cloud “and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him” in a resurrected body that still bore the marks of nails and a spear on his body (Dan 7:13; cf. Acts 1:9). Hooray, it’s Jesus! “And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed” (Dan 7:14).

So, when Jesus ascended to heaven, God gave him a seat “at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come” (Eph 1:20-21). The verdict would set things right!

Amazingly, the apostle John got to see what happened next! While the Court of heaven was still in session, the risen King Jesus rightfully holds the earth’s title deed (a scroll) and takes responsibility to cleanse the cosmos of evil in preparation for the new earth. For by him (Jesus) all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him” in the first place (Col 1:16)!

One fine day, Jesus will return and “the court shall sit in judgment” again “and the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them” (Dan 7:26-27). Ah, the way God had intended it to be all along!

What can we learn from all this? King Jesus is just like his Father; he’s not a dictator. He is a loving, relational, covenant Lord who shares his rule. “The one who conquers,” Jesus said, “I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne” (Rev 3:21).