Ancient of Days

daniel ancient-of-days god

I once heard an evangelist say that God the Father is invisible (John 1:18, Colossians 1:15, 1 Timothy 1:17, Hebrews 11:27) and God the Holy Spirit is like the wind (John 3:8). Therefore, the only God that people will see on the throne in heaven is the incarnate Jesus Christ (John 1:14). This description sounds plausible, but is it biblical? No.

moses god exodusTo mortal eyes, here on earth, God the Father is invisible. Yet everyone is visible in heaven. It’s another dimension that earth-bound beings know nothing about. Therefore, immortals – both angels and saints in heaven – can see someone. So do prophets in visions. The invisible becomes visible. After Moses asked, “Show me your glory,” God said, “You cannot see my face, for no man shall see me and live” (Exodus 33:20).[1] This reply didn’t mean that God can’t be seen, only that the sight of him by mortal eyes causes instant death. Moses still saw God’s back (33:23). How could he see anything if God the Father is invisible?

Brian Ming’s “Unto the Lamb” says, “All praise unto the Lamb who sits on the throne.” Hillsong’s “Worthy is the Lamb” says, “Worthy is the Lamb, seated on the throne.” I love both songs, but their lyrics are wrong. Even Ron Kenoly’s “Ancient of Days” is flawed, since it describes how we’ll worship Jesus (Philippians 2:9-11). The Son isn’t on the main throne; God the Father is. The Son is seated at his right hand,[2] but the Father still has a throne. How do I know? In Daniel’s vision, the “Ancient of Days” seated on the throne is God the Father (Daniel 7:9). His clothes are “white as snow” and his hair is like “pure wool” (7:9). But this God isn’t Jesus. “One like the Son of Man” approaches him (7:13). A similar vision takes place in Revelation. John sees “a throne set in heaven” (4:2). The One sitting on it is “like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance,” with a “rainbow around the throne” (4:3). His vision matches that of the prophet Ezekiel (1:26-28). But this God isn’t Jesus. The Lamb of God takes the scroll from his right hand (Revelation 5:6-7). Then every creature – in heaven, on earth, and under the earth – says, “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb” (5:13).

God the Father’s earthly roles are no less confusing to Christians than his heavenly appearance. After his sacrifice on the cross, the Father exalted the Son and gave him “the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:8-9). So, one day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess “that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (2:10-11). We rightly exalt the Son today, but our worship songs suggest that we don’t glorify the Father as we should.

jesus_prayingEverything that Jesus said and did during his earthly ministry glorified his Father, not himself. He did “nothing of himself but what he saw the Father do” (John 5:19, 8:28). Jesus sought and performed his Father’s will because he “always did those things that pleased him” (5:30, 8:29, 10:18, 12:49-50, 15:15). He prayed, preached, and performed miracles. Jesus didn’t seek his own glory, honor himself, or speak on his own authority either (8:50, 54; 12:28, 49). Instead, he came to this earth to reveal the Father to those who believe in him (8:19, 14:7). We must also pray to the Father and he is the one whom we must worship (4:21-23, Matthew 6:9).

The Trinity is a mystery. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are God, three-in-one. However, we shouldn’t confuse their identities and roles. We shouldn’t deny the Trinity altogether either, as some cults have done. Only to mortal eyes is God the Father invisible and we must glorify him.

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[1] New King James Version (NKJV), unless otherwise noted
[2] Psalm 110:1, Luke 22:69, Acts 7:56, Romans 8:34, Ephesians 1:20, Colossians 3:1, Hebrews 1:3, 8:1, 10:12, 12:2; 1 Peter 3:22

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2 thoughts on “Ancient of Days

  1. Very astute. “I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them say: Blessing and honor and glory and dominion to the One seated on the throne” … “and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” (Rev 5:13 ESV). Don Moen’s “To Him Who sits on the throne And unto the Lamb” matches the text.

  2. i luv this-God is given less glory than He deserves and thats y three angels appear to give a message and warning in rev 4:6-11……

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