Text: Daniel 12:1-3
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they
will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a
stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion
and the serpent. Psalm 91 There is something decidedly triumphant about those words.
Stones, snakes and lions, beware! God’s people are on the march!
Daniel in the words today saw another something that was triumphant. It was the
presence of the angel Michael. At that time Michael, the great prince who protects
your people, will arise. Michael! “Who is like God?” (That’s what the name Michael
means.) Who wins like those who have Michael on their side and God on their side??!!
Does it sound like there can even be any question about this?
There has to be triumph. If at the end of the year (and this is the end of the year),
there is defeat, then…bad. Second place is the first loser. This day we call “Saints
Triumphant Day” is when believers can get in the face of unbelievers and say, “We
win…you lose.” This is the time of triumph and triumph means beating enemies. You
don’t rejoice when you beat your friend. You rejoice when you beat your enemies.
God has enemies. Everyone who trashes his Son and his Son’s work is God’s enemy.
Even if they trash it with a yawn or a bored and indifferent look away. It says
in the words from Hebrews this morning, “Since that time he waits for his enemies
to be made his footstool…” There is the word…ENEMY! The triumph part comes because
this is the struggle against enemies. And God’s Saints triumph! They are triumphant.
THE SAINTS ARE TRIUMPHANT
1. Triumphantly written
2. Triumphantly wise
3. Triumphantly winners
1. Triumphantly written
But at that time your people---everyone whose name is found written in the book---will
The cause for this day of triumph is something that has already happened. Germans
say, “Es steht geschrieben.” Our literal translation of that German expression
is our hope today. “It stands written.” Something has been written down in a great
book someplace that assures our great joy today. Actually, the book we speak of
is in heaven. It is called the book of life. Revelation tells how it will be and
how God sees it already, “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the
throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life…If
anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake
of fire.” (Revelation 20:12ff.) This is like going to watch a great contest where
you know the end result. There is no question as to whether the saints are going
to be triumphant. They are! It is an accomplished fact. This does affect how we
are going to be watching the struggle. We watch it knowing that the person is going
to win. Do you see that Christian over there…that one who is struggling with debt
or depression or demons? That Christian is going to win. That Christian’s name
is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Bad times and hard times are going to come. Jesus promised that it would be so.
“In this world you will have trouble,” he said. Daniel saw the hard times and
trouble too. “There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the
beginning of nations until then…now.” But do not despair. Do not doubt. Triumph
is yours. Heaven is yours. And what we hear the Apostle John say, we know to be
true, “Nothing impure will ever enter (heaven), nor will anyone who does what is
shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book
of life. Revelation 21:27 And it was true in Daniel’s eye too. “But at that time
your people---everyone whose name is found written in the book---will be delivered."
Thieves can’t steal this book away. It can’t be hurt by rain or mold. No one can
doctor this book. No one can tamper or alter. Es steht geschrieben! God has put
his wish and intention in writing. It happened when you came to faith. The book
of Revelation says that angels even watch when a sinner repents and they rejoice.
This crowding around the book happened at your baptism too. That’s why we consider
Baptism such a lovely and dear thing. That’s when God wrote your name in indelible
ink into his book of life. You are safe. You are saved. It is about you that Daniel
wrote his words this morning, “But at that time your people---everyone whose name
is found written in the book---will be delivered.
How could you not be triumphant today? Your name is written in God’s book of life.
You are triumphantly written.
2. Triumphantly wise
Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead
many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
Those who are wise… A second reason for you to be triumphant this day is that you
are wise…triumphantly wise.
It didn’t happen by yourselves. You didn’t acquire this knowledge because you were
so studious or because you had someone who led you to a magic library or enrolled
you in an especially good school. Your wisdom came about through your God. Remember
what Romans 16:27 says, “…To the only wise God”? That is your God! He doesn’t have
ignorant children. All of his children are wise. He makes them so. He leads them
to his wisdom. He tells us with Timothy, “and how from infancy you have known the
holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ
Jesus.” (1 Timothy 3:15) And we read about the only wise God, “For since in the
wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through
the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.” It says there too
that Jesus is “…Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:12)
It is very easy to know someone who is triumphantly wise like this. You can see
it. You can hear it too. “Jesus, loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me
so.” There you have it! That person is the only wise person around. That person
knows the Bible which is able to make him wise for salvation through faith in Christ
Jesus. That person knows Jesus. That person knows that Jesus is not only the power
of God but also the one who brings him into this power of God too. The person who
knows Jesus is his Savior has a spiritual I. Q. that is off the charts.
There is something else you should notice about the words of Daniel. He says, “Those
who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many
to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. There is a connection between
being wise and in leading people to Jesus…many of them. There is no wiser way to
spend your money or your time or your energy. Be triumphantly wise! Tell many people
about Jesus---bring many people to Jesus.
3. Triumphantly winners
And thirdly on this day of triumph, notice that God’s saints are triumphantly winners.
Saints Triumphant is about saints like you winning.
It does come down to this. Life is simple. Either you win or you lose. There are
no draws and no ties. So that’s what is happening right now. Either you are in
the process of winning or you are in the process of losing. Either what you are
doing now and what is going on in your life is happening to make you a winner or
what is going on in your life right now is happening to make you a loser.
There is no such a thing as a good loser. You have to win. In Jesus you do. It
is an absolute thing. Rest in it. Rejoice in it. Triumph in it. Everyone whose
name is found written in the book---will be delivered. There are no poor losers
among Christians because Christians win. Believers in Jesus win. There are no good
losers among Christians because Christians win. They don’t have to try and be good
losers. No need. They win. There are no poor winners among Christian believers
either. They are gracious about this fact of their winning because God was gracious
in his actions with them that brought it about. To God the credit for our winning.
Thanks be to God who gives us the victory in our Lord Jesus Christ. This the one
who will one day call us from the dust. This is the King who sits astride his charger.
This is the one with his Name written on robe and thigh. This is the one who has
his robe dyed red in his own blood. This is the victor…the champion…the King. This
is the one who gives us the victory and makes us triumph.
We triumph because of our King Jesus. You can’t have saints triumphant without him.
With him you cannot have anything but triumphant saints. Amen.