The Prince of Persia

October 15, 2020

Daniel 10:11-14

11And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.

13The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia,14and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.”

The book of Daniel is a literary marvel. The ideas expressed and the information given by the angel Gabriel while the archangel Michael stood watch are the most intriguing display of prophesy in the old testament. Evidently, Satan did not want these things to be made public, therefore he fought against the messenger Gabriel to keep these things from being revealed to Daniel.

The enemies here are identified as “princes” a term which denotes authority but retain submission to an ultimate king. The prince of Persia and the prince of Greece are spiritual authorities who direct the activities of human kings in their own particular region. I think we can assume there are “princes” in all regions of the earth, Rome, Egypt, Syria, perhaps the isles of Britton and even the United States.

These fallen angels who rebelled against God, who have declared Satan as their leader have established themselves in territories of the earth. The prince of Persia was particularly powerful, as he was able to resist the messenger of God for 21 days. It was only after he was overcome by the archangel Michael that Daniel received his message.

Ephesians 6:12

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Paul wrote this passage under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and it tells us that the cosmic powers and spiritual forces are still very much in play today. As the people of God we have a common enemy who would have us direct our attention towards other people and material things and even our own comfort so that we will be unprepared to deal with the spiritual battle taking place.

In the political world of today, we can see evil forces at work all around us. When the apostle Paul tells us to pray for those who have authority over us, our leaders, he knew about the spiritual powers who were working to subvert and control them for their own evil purposes. How does he suggest we combat these forces? Pray. Our political leaders are very susceptible to the influence of power exhibited by the spiritual authorities in the present darkness. We need to continually pray for them.

God allowed these princes to have power over the kings of the earth. The prince of Persia is still active in the world today, he is still exerting power and control over the leaders of Iran, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and all the countries in that region. It is no coincidence that this region of the world has been a problem for mankind for the entirety of human history.

Gabriel tells Daniel that the prince of Greece is coming into Daniel’s territory and will soon exhibit his control over the nations of the world through the man Alexander the Great. We know from history he will die of malaria and alcoholism at the age of 32 and his kingdom will be divided among four generals.  Humans come and go but spiritual wickedness in high places continues.

The moment Gabriel reveals these prophesies to Daniel we understand that nothing can be done from a human perspective to change history. These things will come to pass. Terrible events are about to happen and there is no satisfaction in knowing what will take place. God is in charge, both in the things he has purposed and in the things he allows. Our job is to keep ourselves in fellowship with God through Jesus Christ so that we can pull people from the fire and Jude tells us in the New testament. Our job is to share the gospel with as many people as we can, knowing that or time is short. Our job is to pray. 



Final Vision

October 14, 2020

Daniel 10:1–14

1In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a word was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar. And the word was true, and it was a great conflict. And he understood the word and had understanding of the vision. 2In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks.

3I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks. 4On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river (that is, the Tigris) 5I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. 

6His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude.

7And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. 8So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and I retained no strength.

9Then I heard the sound of his words, and as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep with my face to the ground. 10And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees.

11And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12Then he said to me, “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words.

13The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia,

14and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.”

Daniel tells us that in the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a word was revealed to him.  He understood the word to be true, but it caused him great conflict, so much so that he fasted for 3 weeks following this vision. He had asked God to give him greater understanding of the word as he had done in other visions, but no communication followed.

Finally, on the 24th day, as he was standing by the Tigris river he saw a man whom he described in verses 5 and 6. Daniel’s companions did not see the man, but evidently saw the brightness of his glory and were frightened enough to run away.

Daniel falls to his knees in fear and finally, face down, he falls into a sleep until the messenger angel Gabriel touches him and speaks to him. So, are there two angels? One who stands by the river and one who speaks? If the one doing the talking is Gabriel, who is the other?

I believe the answer comes in verse 13 where he tells Daniel that he tried to come to him but was opposed by the prince of Persia for 21 days. God sent Michael, one of the chief princes to overcome him so the message could be delivered to Daniel.

Some think Daniel saw the preincarnate Christ by the river because of the similarity to the description John gives of Christ in chapter 1 of Revelation. But there is a problem with that because if it were Jesus, he would not have had a problem delivering the message, nor would he have been delayed. 

I think this is Michael the archangel, the chief prince of the armies of God Daniel sees by the river. This whole story gives us insight into the mysterious power of Satan and his fallen angels who control the earth we live on. But we can rest assured that God will overcome this enemy, and that is what he has come to tell Daniel.



Abominations

October 13, 2020 

Daniel 9:27 

27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.” 

After this ruler gains worldwide political power, he will assume power in the religious realm as well and will cause the world to worship him. 

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 

Revelation 13:5-8

5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them.  And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. 

To receive such worship, he will terminate all organized religions. Posing as the world’s rightful king and god and as Israel’s prince of peace, he will then turn against Israel and become her destroyer and defiler. 

Daniel was told that “the ruler who will come” (v. 26) will place abominations on a wing of the temple. Christ referred to this incident: 

Matthew 24:15

15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 

John wrote that the false prophet would set up an image to this ruler and that the world will be compelled to worship it (Rev. 13:14–15). But then his end will come (the end that is decreed is poured out on him). With his false prophet he will be cast into the lake of fire when Christ returns to the earth (Rev. 19:20; cf. Dan. 7:11, 26).

As stated, the Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel at the beginning of the second half of the 70th “seven,” that is, it will be broken for three and one-half years. 

This is called “a time, times, and half a time”. The fact that this is the same as the three and one-half years, which in turn are equated with 1,260 days in Revelation 11:3 and with 42 months in Revelation 11:2 means that in Jewish reckoning each month has 30 days and each year 360 days. This confirms the 360-day Jewish year used in the calculations in the chart, “The 483 Years in the Jewish and Gregorian Calendars”. 

Since the events in the 69 sevens found in Daniel 9:24–26 were fulfilled literally, the 70th “seven,” yet unfulfilled, must likewise be fulfilled literally.

 

 




Daily Devotions 2020