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SermonLooking Forward – Godly Visions
An all-creatures Bible Message

Looking Forward – Godly Visions
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
29 November 2015
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

2 Chronicles 7:13-14
Daniel 7:1-18
Luke 21:27
Revelation 1:7

Looking forward – Godly visions can be the kinds of visions we read about in the Bible, or they can be goals that we are working to achieve in the heavenly will of God.
 
One of these looking forward – Godly visions could be our working to free creation from its present corruption, and establishing a peaceable kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.
 
By definition, this means a time when neither humans nor other animals will kill and eat one another for all will have returned to eating the plant food diet that God originally created for us to eat (Genesis 1:29-30), which we discussed last week.
 
Let’s take a look at one of these looking forward – Godly visions that Daniel wrote about in Daniel 7:1-18, and who, by the way, was a vegetarian.

1. In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel saw a dream and visions in his mind as he lay on his bed; then he wrote the dream down and related the following summary of it.

Daniel wrote about this dream because he believed it to be important, and that God was really communicating with him in this way.
 
We all need to be open to receiving these kinds of looking forward visions and unctions from the Holy Spirit, even if they are quite small or flash through our minds, and not only should we be open to receiving these heavenly messages, but we also need to be willing to act upon them, that is, as long as they are in the heavenly will of God as Jesus taught us to understand His will.

2. Daniel said, "I was looking in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea.
 
3. "And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another.
 
4. "The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it.
 
5. "And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, 'Arise, devour much meat!'

We know that the killing and eating of another living being is part of the corrupt ways of this world, and not part of the heavenly will of God; thus, when seeing such a vision, we need to understand that it is not part of what we are to accept in this world, but one of the things that we have to overcome.
 
We also need to understand that Daniel seems to be having a double vision: one that led to the first coming of Jesus, and one that looks forward to His second coming, which is appropriate for us today, also, because this is the beginning of the advent season.

6. "After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.

As we talked about last week, “dominion” means to be a steward and caretaker of this world who protects it from evil, but unfortunately most worldly people want it to mean domination.
 
Domination is also a part of this corrupt world, and something to be overcome in our looking forward visions and goals.

7. "After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.
 
8. "While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts.

Sometimes these looking forward or futuristic visions can be terrifying like this one, or they can bring us an inner peace and hope, for we can and should plainly see whether or not they are in the peaceful and heavenly will of our Father.
 
Hopefully, these kinds of visions inspire us to peacefully help us remove the ungodly things in this world and make a peaceable kingdom a reality, even if in small ways, here on earth as they are in heaven.

9. "I kept looking Until thrones were set up,
And the Ancient of Days took His seat;
His vesture was like white snow,
And the hair of His head like pure wool.
His throne was ablaze with flames,
Its wheels were a burning fire.
 
10. "A river of fire was flowing
And coming out from before Him;
Thousands upon thousands were attending Him,
And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him;
The court sat,
And the books were opened.

This is referring to the future time of God’s final judgement.

11. "Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.
 
12. "As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.

This is all part of God’s judgement, a part that we have to leave to Him.
 
Our job is to overcome the evil in our own lives and the world around us the best we can; what we cannot accomplish, we must leave to God, and this also should be part of our looking forward vision and goal.

13. "I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.

Think about the Son of Man as being Jesus, and the Ancient of Days as being God our heavenly Father.

14. "And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language
Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.

This is Jesus’ dominion, the one that will bring about the final and everlasting peace that also should be part of our looking forward vision and goal, but we are not to leave everything for Him to do, we must do our part now to the best of our abilities.

15. "As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed within me, and the visions in my mind kept alarming me.
 
16. "I approached one of those who were standing by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things:
 
17. 'These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth.
 
18. 'But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.'
NASB

This should be the final understanding for all our looking forward visions and goals.
 
With these things in mind, let’s take a look at 2 Chronicles 7:13-14…

13. "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people,

This is an example of the way the world is today with all its warring madness, corruption, and indifference to the killing and eating of billions of animals every year.
 
And, we need to understand that this is one of the easiest plagues upon this corrupt earth to overcome in our own lives, and can make us a witness against the corrupt people of this world.
 
Then we are told what we need to do as a society to truly begin to free creation from its present corruption.

14. if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
NIV

We humble ourselves by having a truly repentant spirit, and the desire to completely and forever live in the heavenly will of God and help free creation from its present corruption in the here and now.
 
Looking forward is not to let God do everything, for that has been the attitude of the corrupt people of this world for thousands of years; it’s time for us to stand up against the forces of evil in the world around us, and peacefully bring God’s heavenly will to earth as it is in heaven.
 
If we are faithful believers, then we should be looking forward to the second coming of Jesus Christ as we are told in Luke 21:27.

27. "And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
NASB

And this is confirmed in Revelation 1:7…

7. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen.
NASB

So, if we have the faith to be looking forward to the second coming of Jesus Christ, then we should also have the faith to want to help end the present corruption of the earth.
 
As part of our faith, we should also be looking forward to the time when we end the pollution of our air, soil, water, and our human-caused global warming.
 
The greatest contributor to these pollution problems is animal agriculture with its immense water usage, the millions of tons of urine and feces that are produced, and the tremendous amount of methane emissions that go into the atmosphere.
 
These methane emissions are 23 times more destructive than carbon dioxide in contributing to global warming.
 
As we’ve discussed, we are not to be simply waiting and looking forward to the second coming of Jesus Christ for Him to end these problems; we are to do our part to peacefully end these problems in the here and now.
 
If we know that it is evil to cause animals to suffer and want it to end, then we can stop eating animal products and wearing their skins and fur; and we can encourage others to do the same thing, and at the same time we can be looking forward to the time when the whole world is vegan.
 
This is what we are to be looking forward to.
 
This is having the Godly visions we are supposed to have.
 
This is being peacemaking children of God who do everything in their power to peacefully end the corruption of His creation.
 
Amen.

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