"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."
This event happened during the third year of Cyrus, on Nisan, day 24, five years after the vision of the seventy sevens of years. Cyrus was the son of Astyages and Queen Esther (of the book of Esther).
Cyrus was the subject of a number of prophecies of Isaiah, concerning the restoration of Israel from Babylon and the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple after the captivities.
"That saith of Cyrus, He is My shepherd, and shall perform all My pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the Temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden."
Thus, the name of Cyrus was predicted by God through Isaiah 150 years before he was born, and about 200 years before he made the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple.
"Now in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, that the word of the Lord, by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus, king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah."
The appointed time of the fulfillment of this vision that Daniel saw is in the last days. He saw a vision long before it was to be fulfilled.
"the time appointed was long."
"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."
An exciting part of this vision is the viewing of Jesus the Messiah. Daniel saw the Lord Jesus hundreds of years before Jesus came to this earth as a babe.
"Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in lined whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz; 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 color to polished brass, and the voice of His words like the voice of a multitude."
Compare the description of Jesus by Daniel, with the description of Jesus by John in the book of Revelation.
"...One like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword...
The vision has a profound effect upon Daniel. "There remained no strength in me..." (vs 8). His "comeliness" (Hebrew = hod, beauty) was "turned into corruption" (Hebrew = ashchith, was made ugly) (vs. 8). Then Daniel was slain in the Spirit (vs 9). After a hand touched him and sat him upright, Daniel was still so shaken that he "stood trembling" (vs 11). Daniel then was told to "Fear not!" The whole confrontation was so devastating to Daniel, that he became speechless (vs. 12).
Our Lord has promised to never leave us, and we know that the Holy Spirit abides with us always. There is also a guardian angel about us. Demonic forces come to try to hinder and defeat us. These spiritual presences are constantly about us, but we don't normally see them. If, suddenly, we were allowed to view some or all of the unseen, spiritual beings about us, we too-- like Daniel -- would be speechless, afraid, weak, and trembling.
There are two worlds -- the natural, and the supernatural. Both of these worlds are inhabited. Both of these were created by God.
"For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him."
Some don't want to believe in angels. The Sadducees of New Testament times were a group that denied the existence of angels. There are some in our day also who likewise deny their existence. Angels are mentioned 294 times in the Bible. Spirits are mentioned 540 times. To believe the Bible to be inerrant, and true - one would find it hard to deny the existence of the spirit world.
Mankind is unique. Mankind has a spirit being within the physical body. We too are part of the spirit world. Temporarily, we are confined to this physical body. Soon, we will be given a new body, one that is a spiritual body.
There are many kinds of spirit beings.
(God the Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit)
e. SPIRIT ANIMALS
(Michael, Gabriel, Lucifer)
g. UNNAMED ANGELIC PRINCES OF NATIONS
h. COMMON ANGELS
j. DEMONIC HORSEMEN
k. MAN'S SPIRIT
Some of the spirit beings are good, and some of them are evil.
Ephesians 6:12 BAD ONES ARE MENTIONED
"We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and against rulers of the darkness of this world, against the spiritual wickedness in high places."
Mark 8:38 GOOD ONES ARE ALSO MENTIONED
"Whosoever is ashamed of Me... of him shall also the Son of Man be ashamed when He cometh with His holy angels."
The word "angel" is from the Hebrew word "mal'ak". It means "ambassador," or "messenger." The Greek word is "angelos" which means "messenger." Usually, the word brings a the connotative idea of a heavenly being not of this earth. However, the word "angel" is sometimes used to refer to these heavenly beings, sometimes used to refer to Christ, and sometimes used to refer to men. The reason we usually think of a heavenly being, is that most often when mankind encounters a heavenly being, it is being used as a messenger, and therefore called an "angel."
There are some ARCH-ANGELS mentioned in the Bible. The word "arch" means "chief, great, as a prime minister." Therefore these are some of the heavenly beings that were created to be leaders amidst the other created heavenly beings.
Michael, whose name means "who is like unto God", is a heavenly authority who is charged with protecting God's people. He will lead the last war in heaven against the devil and his evil cohorts. We will see the devil defeated by God's holy angels, and cast down upon the earth in the middle of the tribulation. This final expulsion of the devil from heaven is recorded in Revelation 12:7-12.
Gabriel, whose name means "God is great", seems to always bear good news (Daniel 8:16, 9:21, Luke 1:9, 26). He must love being the chief of the messenger angels.
Lucifer is described in the Bible as being a beautiful angel. He fell through sin (Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 28:12-17). He led many other spirit beings, and one third of the angels of God fell in the revolt instigated by this Lucifer. We call him Satan, the devil, etc. It is because of his fall into sin, and the rebellion that he started that we, the saints, are involved in a spiritual battle. The devil and all his cohorts hate every human being, but especially, the saints of God.
Many evil beings in the spirit world are at work in this world against the saints. Daniel 10:13 speaks of an evil being called the "prince of Persia." This evil angel tries to control and make evil the nation of Persia. He tries to hinder Gabriel from getting the message of God to Daniel.
"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."
This refers to a 21 day battle of evil angelic forces, whom the devil had stationed about Persia, against Gabriel and Michael, two of the arch angels of God. A spiritual warfare is continuing to this day in the unseen, invisible world about us. We may be often, or usually, unaware of it - yet, it continues.
Daniel's prayer was heard the first day that he prayed it. The answer was sent to Daniel. Yet, it took 21 days for it to reach Daniel. Daniel continued to fast and pray for those 21 days.
"In those days, I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. 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."
The purpose of Daniel's prayer and fasting is revealed in Daniel 10:12:
"...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."
This "prince of Persia" delayed the great arch angel Gabriel for 21 days. Finally, Michael was dispatched to help Gabriel. This should tell us something. This should make us aware that delays are not denials. Sometimes our prayers are not answered as quickly as we would like them to be. There are probably reasons that we cannot see. Spiritual warfare is going on, and God is having His good angels do battle against the evil ones of the devil.
In the last days, there will be a great warfare going on, because the devil knows his time is short. The devil had his "prince of Persia" desperately fight Gabriel to try to keep Daniel from receiving this prophetic message for the last days. Even in those days, the devil was trying to keep the saints of the last days from learning about prophetic truth. Even then, the Lord was making sure that His prophets would receive and record their prophetic words for the people of these last days.
Many battles have been fought already to bring these prophetic books to you. You are already involved in spiritual warfare. Unfortunately, many of the saints of today are unaware of their foe, their part in the battle, their weapons, their goals, etc.
It is time for the saints of the last days to fight back. We have a work to do, and many saints have wondered why the work seems so hindered. Many have wondered why their loved ones are not responding to conviction, why the way seems so hard, and why the persecutions seem so well organized. The answer is that the forces of the devil are fighting against you.
Michael held back the hindering forces of the "prince of Persia" while Gabriel took the answer to Daniel. Then Gabriel returned to the battle, and continued to fight these evil forces.
"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. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth (this is a reference to a book in heaven which foretells all human events); and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince."
Michael and Gabriel finally defeated the "prince of Persia", but the devil immediately sent in another evil force to inspire the people of the next ruling empire to persecute the Jewish people. The "prince of Grecia" is the demonic power that inhabited Alexander the Great. This evil demon inspired him to conquer the known world in 13 years. This is the same evil demon who will inhabit the Antichrist. This evil demon is now bound in the abyss within the earth, and will return to inspire the Antichrist to his evil conquests.
"The beast that thou sawest was (this demon inhabited Alexander the Great), and is not (now he is confined in the abyss): and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit (he shall come out of the abyss to inhabit and empower the Antichrist), and go into perdition (he will spend eternity in the lake of fire)."
All kingdoms of this world have evil angelic beings who seek to dominate the nation to evil. God sends His forces out in answer to the intercessory prayers of His saints. The spiritual warfare ensues, and though unseen, it is VERY REAL. Nations rise and fall as a result of these spiritual wars. We are more involved that we know. Our prayers (as Daniel's) are heard, and become part of the battle.
Are you doing your best in this last day battle? Or - are you hiding in a foxhole somewhere? The parable of the ten virgins, with 5 wise and 5 foolish, shows us that all slumbered and slept. We must not only have our lamps trimmed and filled with oil, but also remember to stay alert and awake in the last hours before the coming of the Bridegroom.
The Bible warns us that in the last days, it will be like it was in the days of Noah. Noah preached the right message, but few listened. Today, the cares of life have many unaware of what is happening. We need to awake, and get involved with God's plan.
"As in the days of Lot..." indicates that many people are like Lot and his family. They had to be practically forced to leave Sodom and Gomorrah. The angels compelled them to leave. Even then, Lot's wife had her heart so much in that place, that she looked back.
The devil is out to deceive the very elect, if possible. He is out to distract us from the spiritual battle if he can. He will work all the harder to distract us, as we approach the rapture and second coming of Jesus.
We are in the final generation.
"...verily this generation shall not pass away till all these things be fulfilled..."
We have seen many signs fulfilled! We should be anxiously awaiting the coming of Jesus. Yet, many are like the lukewarm Laodiceans of Revelation chapter 3. These ones feel comfortable, relaxed, and are not in any spiritual battle against the devil.
Luke 21:29-31 tells us to "know ye that the kingdom of God is at hand" when we see the "fig tree" bud (Israel become a nation). This, and other signs, should make us as anxious as John was when he penned the last words of the book of Revelation:
"Even so come, Lord Jesus."
Until Jesus comes, we are to be a hindering force in the spiritual warfare that continues. Until the rapture takes us "out of the way" (II Thessalonians 2:7), we are to hinder the devil's plan. Too many church people are hindering God's plan, not the devil's plan. Their eyes are not anxiously looking for Jesus to come, they are distracted from their main goal, and they are not in the spiritual battle to defeat the devil.
The early church had a greeting that needs resurrected. They greeted each other with the word "MARANATHA" which means -"The Lord cometh." We are to anxiously await the Lord, and do battle for Him so He may return soon.
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him that heareth say, Come! And let him that is athirst, Come! And whosoever will let him take of the water of life freely."
The book of Daniel is primarily written to inform the saints of the last days about the prophetic messages that they need. This chapter 10 is designed to awaken the last day saints to the nature of the spiritual battle in which we are to be engaged. Wake up! We must do battle! We are still on the battleground. Too many Christians are trying to afford their Mercedes and yacht!. Too few are defeating and hindering the plans of the devil!