Today: [Daniel 10] Spiritual Warfare Lessons in the Book of Daniel. In Daniel chapter 10 the prophet Daniel is in the midst of a 21 day fast when an angel, apparently Gabriel appears to him once again. The angel explains that Daniel’s prayers were heard weeks before, but there was resistance in the heavens by the demonic prince of Persia. The angel goes on to explain that he only broke through to Daniel after the angel Michael comes to his assistance. This all opens to us a deeper understanding of spiritual warfare and the activity of angels in connection to our prayers.
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The Father Says Today: October 6th, 2017
[Dan 10:1-21 KJV] 1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing [was] true, but the time appointed [was] long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision. 2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. 3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. 4 And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which [is] Hiddekel; 5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins [were] girded with fine gold of Uphaz: 6 His body also [was] like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. 7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. 8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. 9 Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground. 10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and [upon] the palms of my hands.
Daniel chapter 10 is set in the 3rd year of Cyrus king of Persia. In studying the kings of Persia in the bible, Darius is placed between Belshazzar the last king of Babylon and Cyrus the Great. However, history knows nothing of Darius, as he is only mentioned in the biblical narrative. Some have suggested they are one and the same person, others suggest that Darius and Cyrus were twin brothers. Whatever be the case, in verse 1 we see Daniel pondering the visions and visitations from Gabriel he has experienced that speak to the rebuilding of the temple and the coming of the Messiah.
In Daniel 9:25-26 the angel Gabriel predicts that the Messiah will come 483 years from the day that the temple is rebuilt. True to the prophecy, Jesus came and as the angel tells Gabriel, he was cut off “but not for himself”, in other words speaking of Jesus dying for the sins of the world, after which the angel further informs Daniel that the city of Jerusalem would be sacked and the temple destroyed. This all came to pass in the number of the “weeks of years” connected with Jeremiah’s prophecies, leaving one week of years, or 7 years yet to be addressed and fulfilled by the “prince that would come”, who is the anti-Christ. This is such an exact prophecy, that proved to be so accurate in the first century that there is little wonder that Jewish authorities after the birth of the church and the destruction of the temple, decided to marginalize, if not completely remove Daniel from the canon of their prophets. If they accepted Daniel as a prophet and his prophecies to be true, then they would be compelled to acknowledge Jesus as Messiah, which they were not willing to do at that time, nor since.
Daniel began in chapter 9 with fasting and prayer and after recovering from the visitation of Gabriel he continues for three weeks (v. 2) fasting and seeking God. Fasting is a large part of Daniel’s life. In this case he ate no food at all for 21 days. Many today think that would put them in jeopardy of their lives, but in fact it is possible and at times profitable for spirit and body to enter into lengthy fasts. In my lifetime, I have undertaken 2 40 day fasts, and many fasts of 10 days or more. Fasting is efficacious for your spiritual life. Lengthy fasting is something that every believer should consider in their lives, and certainly to practice shorter fasts of 1,2 or 3 days which are the duration of fasts that have saved entire nations and cities in the biblical narrative. As in Daniel’s case, he is in crisis and that is when fasting is appropriate. Daniel deeply needs to understand all that his visions and the angelic visitations have conveyed to him and he gives himself to fasting to bring about his answers.
In verse 5 we see Daniel is again visited by an angel. The angel that comes is similar in appearance to the vision of Christ that John the Revelator receives on the isle of Patmos, and may in fact be one and the same. When studying the angel of the Lord – the angel most connected to the person of Christ, at times we find it difficult to distinguish between the angel of the person of the Lord Himself. Daniel sees this intimidating figure and while he alone saw this marvelous sight, there were men with him who saw nothing, but were so moved by the presence of God in the room that they began to shake and fled in fear.
In verse 9 the man in the vision begins to speak and the effect was that Daniel faints into what is described as a deep sleep, or what we might refer to as an ecstatic trance state. In this trance state the hand of the glorious figure touches him, causing his body without his volition to rise up from the floor to his hands and knees, whereupon the angel apparently leans down and speaks in Daniel’s ear:
11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. 12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. 14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision [is] for [many] days. 15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. 16 And, behold, [one] like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. 17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. 18 Then there came again and touched me [one] like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, 19 And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace [be] unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me. 20 Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. 21 But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and [there is] none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
In verse 11 the words of the angel to Daniel are words of comfort which is almost always the case when an angel speaks to men. It is interesting that Belshazzar saw a hand come to write upon the wall and was judged, and Daniel is actually touched by that very hand and was comforted and brought to his feet. He tells Daniel that he is a man greatly beloved for his passion for the things of God and is promised an answer to the cry of his heart. It is very important to note in v. 12 that the angel says “Daniel I am come for your words…” that tells us that angels are involved in responding to our prayers and that angels are moved by the words that come out of our mouths. Solomon spoke of this relationship of angelic activity with our words in the book of Ecclesiastes:
[Ecc 5:5-6 KJV] 5 Better [is it] that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. 6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it [was] an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?
If and angel came for the words that you have been speaking this week, would he destroy the works of your hands or would he speak comfort and deliverance to you as in the case of Daniel. It is important that our words are words of life and that the meditations of our heart and guarded as to their content and what we allow ourselves to meditate on and ponder – because angels that are connected to our lives respond to the character of the words that we speak and the things that we pray.
The angel explains that Daniel’s prayers were heard three weeks prior but the “prince of Persia” withstood the angel, hindering his visit to the prophet. This takes us back to Daniel’s vision of the four winds blowing upon the great sea in Daniel 7:
[Dan 7:2-3 KJV] 2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
Notice there is a different between the four beasts which were described as men coming to power from the sea of humanity, and the four winds that stirred them to arise. The Hebrew word for wind is the same word for “spirit”. The wind that brought the beast that represented Persia was the “prince of the power of the air” or the wind, the spiritual power of darkness over the empire of the Persians and the Medes. Paul affirms this in Ephesians:
[Eph 6:12 KJV] 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
Over every city, every nation there are not just human rulers but spiritual rulers behind them sitting on seats of authority. Where did this authority come from? There is no record in the scripture of God handing over any dominion or legitimate authority to Satan or some other demonic prince. We do however see Adam being handed authority in Gen. 1:26-28 over all the earth and creation. When Adam sinned, his dominion became Satan’s dominion, over which he now dominates the world of men around us. This is where our warfare takes places and this is that which we contend with as Paul says in Eph. 6:12. We are in Christ warring against the illegitimate authority of the enemy till Daniel 7:18 is fulfilled:
[Dan 7:18 KJV] 18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
The angel in verse 13 explains that Michael, one of the chief princes of heaven comes to help the angel speaking to Daniel so that he could break through the demonic resistance and bring Daniel the answers that he seeks. V. 14 discloses that for the purposes of understanding the vision the angel comes to explain to him the evens of the latter days. The question remains is the angel speaking of the latter days of the Old Testamental period or the latter days before the end of the time of man and the setting up of the kingdom of God on earth? The answer would be in the affirmative on both counts. The visions of Daniel are in the process of being fulfilled even in the day he receives them and they continue to be fulfilled with exactitude and accuracy right down to the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. Yet, there are also aspects of these prophecies, and particularly their aftermath that clearly have not been fulfilled. What makes this challenging is because of the 2000 year gap between the prophecies of Daniel that have been fulfilled and that part of his visions that have yet to come to pass.
Daniel is overcome and struck dumb by this overwhelming experience, and the angel’s visit seems to be cut short, as he informs Daniel that he must go and assist Michael the chief prince to war against the demonic ruler of Persia, but that before leaving he will show Daniel in the scriptures what he needs to know. The chapter and the visitation ends there without disclosing to us what the angel revealed to Daniel, as the angel departs and the account of the vision is ended. What we do gain however is an insight into spiritual warfare and the activity of angels connected with our prayers. Our prayers are heard, and there is demonic resistance against angelic hosts commissioned to respond by the love of God in our behalf. This is a great encouragement and an illumination for us regarding the power of prayer and the promised answers to our heart’s cry that will surely come.
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