In our study of Daniel chapter ten, we will look at a vision that was given to Daniel as a reminder that God is in control. This vision was necessary to calm his fears as he was shown the terrible time that was to come upon his people in the last days before Yeshua Messiah's return.
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In the third year of Koresh king of Persia, a word was revealed to Dani'el, also called Belt'shatzar. The word was certain: a great war. He understood the word, having gained understanding in the vision. At that time I, Dani'el, had been mourning for three whole weeks. I hadn't eaten any food that satisfied me - neither meat nor wine had entered my mouth, and I didn't anoint myself once, until three full weeks had passed.
The word that was revealed to Daniel is translated here as great war but it actually is better translated as large army and we also see that, at the same time, Daniel had a vision. We can date this revelation to the year 534 B.C. which was a couple of years after Cyrus had allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem. Daniel had been in mourning for three weeks as he remembered the events of the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. This period of mourning is a tradition that is observed even to this day.
On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, I was on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, when I looked up, and there before me was a man dressed in linen wearing a belt made of fine Ufaz gold. His body was like beryl, his face looked like lightning and his eyes like fiery torches; his arms and feet were the color of burnished bronze; and when he spoke, it sounded like the roar of a crowd.
The first month is referred to as the month of redemption as Passover takes place at this time and it was on the 24th (ten days after Passover) of this month (April) in the year 534 B.C. that Daniel saw Yeshua Messiah. We see that Daniel was on the bank of the Tigris River and we are reminded that, throughout the Bible, this was associated with worship and we see that he was in prayer. His description of Yeshua is very similar to that of John in Revelation 1. This is the first part of the vision and is a reminder that God is at the top of the order of battle (chain of command). This was important for Daniel to remember as he was about to be told of the horrors that were to come upon his people. We should also understand that at the top of the order of battle for the opposing force is Satan. He wanted to assume God's position in heaven but was thrown out and wants to be the god of this world. It is good for us to understand as well as we see the last days approaching. Terrible things are ahead for the people of the earth but God is still in control.
Only I, Dani'el, saw the vision; the men who were with me did not see the vision; however, a great trembling fell over them; so that they rushed to hide themselves.
The fact that the others did not see Yeshua reminds us of the fact that only the Holy Spirit can identify him to men. The Apostle Paul had a very similar experience as well. Although the others did not see the vision, they knew that they were in the presence of God and were not prepared. The same type of thing will happen to men in the final days where they try to hide from the wrath of God.
Thus I was left alone; and when I saw this great vision, there was no strength left in me - my face, normally pleasant-looking, became disfigured; and I had no strength. I heard his voice speaking; and when I heard him speaking, I fell down in a faint, with my face to the ground.
When Daniel heard the Lord speaking to him, he fell to the ground in a deep sleep. We notice that he fell forward with his "face to the ground" which is the normal reaction when man comes into contact with God. There are a lot of phony services today where people are supposedly touched by the Spirit of God and fall backwards. I have seen this happen and usually it is because a man is pushing them back in an attempt to deceive people.
Then a hand touched me and raised me, tottering, to my hands and knees. He said to me, "Dani'el, you are a greatly loved man. Now pay attention to the words I am saying to you, and stand upright; for it is to you that I have been sent now. "After he had said this to me, I stood up, trembling.
Now, Daniel is greeted by an angel sent from God and this is the next level in the order of battle. Angels report to God and are sent to deliver messages to men. People do not become angels when we die and angels may appear like a man but they do not become men. At this level of the opposing force are fallen angels which are referred to as demons. An easy way to tell the difference is that angels always lift man up and refuse to be worshiped while demons are consumed with pride just as their leader is.
Then he said to me, "Don't be afraid, Dani'el; because since the first day that you determined to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words have been heard; and I have come because of what you said.
The angel informs Daniel that he was sent as soon as he had humbled himself and cried out to God. We must understand that God is the same today as he was in Daniel's day and so, when his people humble themselves and cry out, he hears immediately and acts immediately. We may not see the answer immediately but we can rest assured that our Father has heard and sent the answer.
The prince of the kingdom of Persia prevented me from coming for twenty-one days; but Mikha'el, one of the chief princes, came to assist me; so that I was no longer needed there with the kings of Persia.
The angel explains his delay in coming and we see the battle was raging between a demon in Persia and the angel of God. We also see that their are ranks of angels as Michael is referred to as a "chief prince" or archangel. The word for "prince" refers to rulers and we see that certain angels are sent to different areas and groups of people. We might ask the question: Why did the demons want to stop the angel from getting to Daniel? The answer is simple in the fact that Satan did not want the knowledge of the last days to get out. The devil did not want Daniel (or us) to know that he has already been defeated and so we can rejoice. He was defeated when he was thrown out of heaven and he was defeated again when Yeshua Messiah went to the cross and rose from the dead.
So I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the acharit-hayamim; for there is still another vision which will relate to those days."
The angel continues by explaining that the vision was about future events affecting Israel in the last days.
After he had said these things to me, I looked down at the ground and couldn't speak. Then someone who looked like a human being touched my lips, after which I could open my mouth and speak; I said to the one standing in front of me, "My lord, it is because of the vision that I am seized with such anguish; I don't have any strength. For how can this servant of my lord speak with my lord, when my strength and breath have failed me?"
Once again, Daniel's reaction was to bow and this time he was touched by the hand of a man. This shows us the position of men in the order of battle. We were created in the image of God but a little lower than the angels. We do not become angels when we die and our dead relatives are not angels watching over us.
Then, again someone who looked human touched me and revived me. He said, "You man so greatly loved, don't be afraid. Shalom to you; and be strong, yes, truly strong." His speaking to me strengthened me, and I said, "My lord, keep speaking; because you've given me strength."
So, why did God send a vision of a man to Daniel? We see that the man comforted Daniel and gave him strength for the rest of the vision. This shows us man's role in the spiritual battles is to build each other up in the faith. Those who are stronger in their walk should share their faith stories to encourage those who are less mature in their faith. You can share your stories with us and we will share them with the world.
Then he said, "Do you know why I came to you? Although now I must return to fight the prince of Persia; and when I leave, the prince of Greece will come; nevertheless, I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. There is no one standing with me against them except Mikha'el your prince;
The angel in the form of man tells Daniel that he is going to go back to Persia to fight that evil empire but he also says that, after that battle, another empire is going to rise and, as we saw in chapter 8, this next empire would come out of Europe and be the anti-christ. He also gives Daniel comfort by reminding him that, even though there was nobody with Daniel praying at the time, the archangel Michael, who looks out for the Jews, is in the battle.