But it only looks bleak if we are looking with our physical eyes and not with the eyes of faith! The truth is that God is in control. He has not been taken by surprise and He has not been outwitted by anyone. There is, in the spiritual realm, a war that is being fought. Battles rage around us and spill over into our everyday lives, and yet the victory has already been won.
Daniel near the end of his life is given yet another glimpse into the reality that surrounds us. He sees the reality of spiritual warfare and is given assurances for the present and the future. The last of Daniel’s visions takes us through the last 3 chapters of this Book of Prophecy. The messenger and events surrounding the delivery of this message to Daniel are introduced in chapter 10, the vision is given in chapter 11, and the prologue given in chapter 12.
Daniel 10 finds us in the third year of the reign of Cyrus. At this time, Daniel has been praying and fasting shortly after the time of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Remember, during the first year of the reign of Cyrus a few years before this a decree was made that allowed the Jewish captives to begin returning home to rebuild Jerusalem. Daniel has seen the promised end of captivity. We do not know why he had not returned, but in God’s plan there was one last vision to give His beloved prophet.
In Daniel’s vision, a mighty angel comes to him to deliver a message. This angel reflects the great glory of God and explains how he had been dispatched with his message 21 days before arriving. He had been opposed by a fallen angel who fought him to prevent him from delivering the Word from God to Daniel. The battle between these two angelic beings was so intense that Michael the Arch Angel had to be called to assist so that this demon known as the “Prince of Persia” could be overcome.
Here we see Ephesians 6:10-13 in real life:
The angel charged with delivering this message had to battle against the rulers of darkness wielding influence over Persia. A spiritual battle, hidden from the eyes of the physical world, was raging for almost a month as Daniel continued to pray and fast, seeking God for solace and strength.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
The ultimate battle between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world is being fought in the spiritual realm. While we cannot see this battle, we know it is very much real, and that it very much influences the circumstances around us. We do not seek to understand this realm as some form of mystical religion, but we understand that demons and the devil are real, and that God is going to conquer them, having already won the victory over them at the Cross.
The introduction to this final vision in the Book of Daniel has much to teach us about spiritual reality, spiritual warfare, and the struggle for the souls and minds of men. This week, in a message titled “Demonic Deterrence” (Daniel 10:1-21), we will take a look at the first chapter in the closing of this Book. We will see that world events cannot be seen only from a materialistic or physical perspective, but that we need the eyes of faith to see what God is doing around us. We will also learn that spiritual conflict is inevitable, and so we must be vigilant and prepared for battle, skilled in the spiritual and physical disciplines needed to pray with power and to rely on the Spirit of God Who will never leave us or forsake us.
Join us Sunday at 10:30 as we continue in our series of messages through Daniel titled “Living for God in Ungodly Times.”