The Book of Daniel Chapter Ten
by Cooper P Abrams III
Daniel's Third Vision
Introduction: The Bible tells us there is an invisible spiritual world that exists outside our physical world that has orders, positions, powers. There is a separation between the physical and the visible world and the realm in which God and the angels exist.
God created the angels before He created the universe. Their name "angel" means "messenger" and there are two groups of angels the good and the evil. There was a rebellion by Satan in heaven and a part of the angels joined him. (Matthew 25:41, Revelation 12:9) Like man, angels have a will an 1 d the ability to choose right from wrong. The Bible says that their number is innumerable. The angels who followed Satan are the fallen angels and they continue today serving Satan under his command carrying out his evil designs. The Bible after their rebellion calls them demons, devils and evil spirits. 2 Matthew 25:41 the Lord Jesus, says that God initially prepared hell for the devil and his angels.
Matthew 25:41 "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
Jude "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."
The Bible tells us much about angels and what they do:
Colossians 1:16 gives us incite in the spiritual realm saying, "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him." Angels such a Michael and Gabriel are the highest rank of angel being arch angels and having "thrones." Other angels are identified as cherubim and seraphim having "dominions." Further there are "principalities" which would be the angels in positions over other lesser angels. The "powers" would be the rank and file worker or "ministering" angels. 4
There is spiritual warfare going on and here is much we do not know. Ephesians 6:10-18 explain that believers are not just fighting with the flesh, but with "but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph. 6:12). Such as the case as Daniel earnestly pondered over the visions he had received in deep concern for his people. Behind the scenes God dispatched the answer when Daniel began praying, but the heavenly messenger was hindered for two weeks by the "prince of the kingdom of Persia." This "prince of Persia" clearly is a demon that influenced and directed the affairs of Persia. This explains to us that though it appears that we are fighting men and nations we are in truth fighting with the forces of darkness maneuvered by Satan's demons. It greatly enlightens us when applied to the current world situation in which the Moslems so hate Israel and America. We can understand why they are so fanatical being under the influence of demons.
Daniel, named by Nebuchadnezzar, Belteshazzar, was an old man by the time God gave him this vision which occurred in 536 B.C. 5 This was four years after Daniel's vision of the seventy weeks and approximately two years after Cyrus officially ended the Babylonian captivity. In 538 B.C. Cyrus, King of Persia, issued a decree to Zerubbabel to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-3; Ezra 6:1-5). 6
Daniel was in a state deep emotional state, mourning because he was greatly concerned for his people and trying to understand the visions he had received. He had not taken a bath (anointed myself -Verse 3), nor had he had any decent food or drink for three full weeks. Only a few Jews had returned to Israel with Zerubbabel and things did not appear to be going well. He was praying and beseeching the Lord to give him the understanding of all this. The Lord certainly heard his prayers and sent Gabriel with the answers.
Daniel states he received this vision in the month of Nisan, (April) on the 24th day. It is worth noting that he gives exact dates. Liberal critics of the Bible purport that the Book of Daniel was written close to the 1st Century because of the accuracy of the prophecies concerning the emergence of the various empires as Daniel prophesied. Yet, the book used specific dates which can be verified and establishes the authenticity of the Book of Daniel. Daniel gives the exact place where he was at by the great river, Hiddekel, which seems to be a reference to the river Tigris.
God gives Daniel the answer in a different way than the earlier visions. This time he sees a very distinctive supernatural person. The description of this person is strikingly similar to the description of the Lord Jesus in Revelation 1:12-15:
Apparently this was a preincarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus the Messiah, Himself came to Daniel to answer his prayers and give him the revelation of restoration of Israel and future events. Some object to this being the Jesus Christ citing the fact that the "prince of Persia," a demon, hindered Him coming for three weeks. However, Christ could sovereignly permit this to happen. He certainly permitted Himself to be crucified because it was God's will. God has allowed Satan to war against God throughout history which is clearly in keeping with God's sovereign purposes. 7 The description of this Person is so profound and specific it precludes it being anyone other than the Lord Jesus Christ. No angel is ever described in such a way.
Daniel reports that only he saw the vision of the Lord Jesus Christ although others were present. This is identical to what Paul reported happened to him on the Damascus road when the Lord Jesus appeared to him. Both Daniel and Paul saw the Lord Jesus and heard His voice, but the others only experienced the great quaking. J. Vernon McGee states in his commentary on Daniel that this was not a preincarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus, but postincarnate vision of Christ after He is glorified.8 Those with Daniel, experiencing the quaking, ran away and left him alone. Daniel was left without any strength and was so weaken he could not even get to his feet. He heard the Lord Jesus talking to him, but Christ's words are not recorded for us. The effects of hearing Jesus speak is such that Daniel is rendered unconscious and is laying face down.
Like Paul, Daniel heard the voice of the Lord and was so affected that he felt into a deep sleep on his face on the ground. He is then awaken from his unconscientiousness by being touched by someone's hand and he is set upon his knees and the palms of his hands.
Christ addresses Daniel as "a man greatly beloved" which was the same statement made to him when he received the previous vision as Daniel 9:23 records and is repeated in Daniel 10:19. It is a wonderful thing for the Lord Jesus to say to Daniel that he was greatly beloved. Certainly, the Bible tells us that God loves all His creation, but by using the term "beloved" it shows that Christ held Daniel in high regard. The reason is obvious as one can see by reading the preceding chapters of the Book. Daniel was a godly and faithful servant of the Lord Jesus. Because he was faithful and served the Lord, God as able to use him numerous times to carry out his work. Today, believers are no different from Daniel, and each Christian can be "beloved" in this special way by the Lord Jesus if they will commit themselves to the Lord and in faith and by righteous living make themselves available to the Lord. As Ephesians 5:18 says, "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." Daniel rejected worldliness, rather than enjoy the temporal and vain pleasures of Babylon kept himself undefiled by the sin around him. Being a righteous man, God could use him as a testimony of God's righteousness. Sadly, so many believers are not usable testimonies for the Lord because they love the world. 1 John 2:15 makes this chilling statement that should cause each of us to examine our lives, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
The Lord Daniel to set up and understand the message that He was going to reveal. Daniel then got up off his hands and knees and stands although weakly because his is still shaken by the experience. The Lord explains that the moment he prayed his prayer was heard in heaven and He was sent to bring him the message. However, He reveals that the "prince of Persia" withstood him for twenty-one (21) days and He was delayed in arriving. As stated earlier Satan not wishing the Lord to reveal this prophecy to Daniel, resisted Him and there was spiritual warfare for a period of three weeks. It is not clear if Satan himself opposed the Lord, or sent his demons to fight against Christ. Either way this incident reveals the extent of Satan's work in attacking the word of God.
The Lord Jesus then states that Michael, who is a chief angel or arch angel (Jude 9) came and assisted in the battle. In Genesis 3:15 which is the first Messianic prophecy of the coming of the Savior, God said, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." In other words Satan would oppose Christ, but Christ in the end would deal him a fatal blow to the head and destroy him. Clearly, the Bible tells us that in God's sovereign purposed He has allowed Satan to oppose and hinder the work of the Lord, but has not permitted him to stop God's plan. Daniel 10:21 states that Michael the angel is appointed to be the prince or protector of Israel.
Christ explains to Daniel that He is come to explain to him what would happen to Israel in the "latter days." They term "thy people" without question refers to Israel. This is the key to understanding the rest of the Book of Daniel. All that is revealed after this deals with God's plans for the future of Israel. The term "latter days" is a term used to denote the end or the last period in the history of Israel. The period of time is from approximately 530 B.C. until the Second Coming the Lord Jesus, the Messiah. Christ is come to reveal the destiny of Israel. This of course has been a long period of time presently covering about 2500 years so far and still the final destiny of Israel is future to us.
The final accomplishment of God's purposes for Israel are said to be completed in the "latter days" or Daniel's 70th Week (Dan. 9:27) which is the Tribulation identified as the time of "Jacob's trouble." (Jer. 30:7). At the end of this "week" or seven years the Messiah returns and sets up His kingdom which is the Millennium or 1000 year reign of Jesus Christ. Therefore the vision will be finalized at the end of Daniel's 70th Week.
It is hard for us to realize the emotional stress that Daniel was experiencing. He clearly was a man of God and beloved, yet what he is experiencing is draining him of all physical strength. When Christ stops speaking, Daniel once again falls to the ground and is not able to speak. However, the Lord referred to a "one like the similitude of the sons of men" came again and touches him on the lips enabling him to speak. Daniel pleads with Christ. calling him "O my lord," explaining how weak he was. Daniel is asking for help that he might be strengthened and stating he can hardly breath. Christ comes again and touches Daniel and his strength is restored. It is well to note that both times the reference to Christ is as "one like the similitude of man" and "one like the appearance of a man" the statement is that the One Daniel saw was "like" a man, but clearly not a man. This further identifies the Person Daniel saw as the Messiah.
Many people through the years have reported that they saw a vision of God or the Lord Jesus Christ. However, one thing is always missing from their account of their supposed experience. They mention nothing of their reported encounters effects on them. Most relate little or no physical effects them. Clearly they did not see God, as God says no man has ever seen Him (John 1:18, 1 John 4:12). Further if they had seen God or the Lord Jesus their would have experienced severe physical stress as did the others as recorded in the Old Testament who saw the Lord (Isaiah 6:1f).
Once again the Lord refers to Daniel as being "greatly beloved" and Lord seeks to calm him by telling him to not to fear and to be a peace twice is told to "be strong." Daniel feels his strength return and he asks the Lord to speak because he was now strong once again.
Christ asks Daniel does he understand why He had been sent to him? The Lord was emphasizing the importance of His coming to Daniel and the message He brought making sure that he fully understood His purpose. Christ then explains to Daniel that after He had completed His message He would return once again to fight against the "prince of Persia" and that afterward he would have to fight with the "prince of Greece" who also was opposing the work of the Lord. The implication is that Persia would fall to the Greece and that the demon who was controlling Persia would be replaced by a new one who would be influencing Greece. 9 This once again gives us some incite into what is happening behind the scenes in the spiritual realm that man can not see. Can there be any question that throughout history evil men in high positions have been directed by demons. Is there any question that men like Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, and many present day leaders under Satan domination? Yet, this passage also assures us the God is a work and that He is winning the spiritual battles and that His plans will not be hindered or set off course. Satan is truly the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4) is frantically working to hinder and stop the work of God, but his efforts are in vain and his final doom with the evil angels that follow him is sealed (Rev. 20:10).
Christ then states that He and Michael were opposing the evil forces of Satan on behalf of Israel. Daniel is assured that all he will hear is the truth that is noted in Scripture. He will hear nothing but God's truth. God's plans for Israel and for the world are on course, though opposed by the Devil. As discouraging as it is to see Satan and his demonic forces winning battles....the final battle and the war is won by the Lord. It is as sure as God's word is sure and you and I should take great encouragement and be strengthened in our faith because we know the victory that is coming! Maranatha, even so come quickly Lord Jesus! (Rev. 22:20)
6 In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, Zerubbabel led the first band of Jews, numbering 42,360 (Ezra 2:64), exclusive of a large number of servants, who returned from captivity at the close of the seventy years. In the second year after the Return, he erected an altar and laid the foundation of the temple on the ruins of that which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (Ezra 3:8-13; ch. 4-6). All through the work he occupied a prominent place, inasmuch as he was a descendant of the royal line of David. 7 Showers, p 142.