A Revelation of A Great War
Comments for Study 10
Memory Verse: 18
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* Daniel 10, 11, and 12 are all the same event in Daniel's life.
I. You Humbled Yourself and Prayed (1-3)
>1. Who controls the new world power? (1; Ezra 1:1-2, 3:8)
* Daniel 10:1a "In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia"
* "In the third year" -This is the third year after Cyrus defeated Babylon. Therefore, it would be 537 B.C.
* "Cyrus king of Persia" -Cyrus was the third king of Anshan. He assumed the throne about 550 B.C. According to the best histories Cyrus was reared by a shepherd after his grandfather, Astyages, king of Media, ordered that he be killed. As an adult, Cyrus organized the Persians into an army and revolted against his grandfather and father (Cambyses I). He defeated them and claimed their throne. He defeated first Lydia and then Babylon. The people of Babylon welcomed him seeing him as a liberator. His son, Cambyses II (530-522) defeated Egypt. Cyrus' last years are obscure. He was killed while fighting a frontier war with the nomadic Massagetae people. His tomb is in Pasargadae (modern Murghab). (Holman Bible Dictionary)
* See a picture of a clay cylinder to the right. "When I entered Babylon in peace, and took up my royal abode in the palace of the princes amid acclamation and shouts of joy, the mighty lord Marduk inclined the great hearts of the Babylonians towards me... I liberated those who dwelt in Babylon from the yoke that chafed them... I am Cyrus, king of all things, the great king... king of all the earth..." So runs the inscription in Babylonian characters on the clay cylinder of Cyrus. The last words might almost suggest that the biblical Chronicler had them in mind: "Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me..." (2 Chronicles 36:23). In 539 B.C. -a year after Cyrus had beaten the army of Nabonidus, the Babylonian king- the occupation of Babylon by the Persians settled the fate of the last great empire of Mesopotamia. The time had come of which it was said: "...after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you... in causing you to return to this place" (Jeremiah 29:10). (The Bible as History in Pictures, Werner Keller)
* "Persia" -Persia and Media were a dual country controlled empire. Cyrus' (539-530 B.C.) defeated the armies of Babylon in 539 B.C. to become the world power. Here only Persia is mentioned. Other places in the Bible both countries are mentioned. Daniel 6:8 states Media before Persia in Darius I reign (522-486). Daniel 9:1 states, "In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom" meaning Babylon only, not the entire kingdom. Later, Esther 1:3 when stating Xerxes reign (486-465/4) Persia was mentioned first.
* Ezra 1:1-2 "In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing: 'This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: "'The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.'"
* Ezra 3:8 "In the second month of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jozadak and the rest of their brothers (the priests and the Levites and all who had returned from the captivity to Jerusalem) began the work, appointing Levites twenty years of age and older to supervise the building of the house of the Lord."
* The LORD moved Cyrus' heart to allow the Jews to return to the promised land the same year he defeated Babylon in 539 B.C. (Ezra 1:1-2) He did this by issuing a decree to have them rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. The Lord brought the people back first in 538 B.C., then 458 B.C., and finally in 432 B.C. The Lord made the way for the people and materials to be readied for building the temple. (Ezra 3:8) They started in 536 BC and stopped in 530. The Lord rebuked the people when they stopped. (Ezra 4:6-8, 21; Haggai 1:1-3, 12, 14-15, 2:18) The work was restarted in 520. The Lord moved the leaders hearts to finish the temple in 516 and dedicated it in 515 B.C.
* The year is 537 BC, three years after Cyrus, king of Persia defeated Babylon in a great war, and over two years after Cyrus issued the decree allowing Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. 50,000 returned. Then in 536 BC they laid the foundation of the temple. Daniel, an old man remained in Babylon. The Jews who returned began building the temple in the year that followed this vision that explained the revelation of a great war.
Daniel's chapters 10, 11 and 12 are the same event. They concern the vision that explains the meaning of the revelation that Daniel had seen concerning a great war 3 weeks ealier. Daniel's revelation of a great war which proceeded these 3 chapters occurred right after the war between the Babylonian empire and the empire of the Medes and Persian with Cyrus as the commander. Daniel probably would not have been present during the battles between the two great powers. However, he would have known of them. As is common in Semitic prophecy each progressive revelation and vision that Daniel recieved concerned more and more and in greater and greater detail the events of the end. Each new revelation concerned events farther and farther in Daniel's future and closer and closer to the end of the age. This war is the end of the age I am now in.
The revelation greatly troubled Daniel. So he morned and partook in the same type of food as he did as a teenager shortly after arriving in Babylon for three weeks. Then the messanger came. Here is a one of those rare glimpses as to what is happening in the hidden spiritual world all around us.
I learn the importance of patience. Understanding and answers to prayer do not come right away. Some do. But most do not. Yet I can be assured that my prayers are heard as soon as I speak them. And I see that my prayers can set into motion things that I am not and may never be aware of.
On Tuesday late night I had a vision as I lay on the bed. I do not understand the meaning of it. Yet one thing is sure. When it was over I awoke full of the Holy Spirit's peace, strength and confidence; totally opposite of what I was when I went to bed and fell asleep. Tuesday was a day of disturbing words of my future. I thank God for the vision, though I don't understand its meaning. God is always at work for the good of his people.
>What did the revelation given to Daniel concern?
* Daniel 10:1b "a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war. The understanding of the message came to him in a vision."
* "a revelation was given" -The original Hebrew here is "dabar gala". The KJV translates this "a thing was revealed". Revelation is usually translated from the Hebrew "hazon" and refers specifically to a prophet's vision. The KJV always translates "hazon" as "vision". Hazon has in it the meaning of sight, dream and oracle. The Hebrew word "massa" the NIV translates as "oracle" and the KJV as "burden". (1 Chronicles 17:15; Proverbs 29:18; Isaiah 1:1)
* "Belteshazzar" -Daniel's name given by the Babylonians, not the Persians. Daniel must have been known by this name, not his Hebrew name.
* "it concerned a great war" -When studying this revelation it is important to know that it is about one great war.
* "vision" -A vision is not a dream nor a trance. Vision is an English word translated from the Hebrew work "hazon". These days vision has many meanings. The use here and in many other places in the Bible has to do with the Lord God's revelation to man. One definition of a vision is, "A prophet's ability to see the revelatory nature in the meaning of a historical event." A vision is a reality displayed in our mind while asleep in a dream or while awake in a manifestation. Most visions in scripture convey revelations from God. Biblical visions concern immediate situations (Genesis 15:11, Acts 12:7) and more distant ones connected with the development of the kingdom of God, as may be seen in the writings of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Micah, Daniel, and John. In the Old Testament false prophets feigned visions and were denounced by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 14:14, 23:16) and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 13:7).
* History scholars says that there has only been one very short time, a few years where there hasn't been a war someone amongst the kingdoms of men.
* Daniel was given a revelation. As with earlier chapters the understanding came later in the form of a vision. The revelation and the vision are two separate events. The revelation concerned a great war, not just any war.
* As is common in Semitic prophecy each progressive vision that Daniel was given concerned more and more and in greater detail the events of the end.
>2. What did Daniel do for three weeks? (2, 12)
* Daniel 10:2 "At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks."
* Daniel 10:12 "Then he continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them."
* "At that time" -The time between the revelation and the understanding Daniel mourned.
* "mourned for three weeks" -The grief and sorrow was great. The great war to come was so terrible. When the messenger arrived one of the first words he said was, "Do not be afraid."
* "you set your mind to gain understanding" -Understanding the meaning of the revelation.
* "to humble yourself before your God" -Daniel was an intellegent man. However, he recognized that everything we have, including wisdom comes from God. Daniel humbly asked.
* "your words were heard" -Daniel prayed for three weeks.
>What did Daniel do during the three weeks of prayer? (3)
* Daniel 10:3 "I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over."
* Chapter one started with Daniel not wanting to defile himself by eating the food from the king of Babylon. (Daniel 1:8) The verse here seems to imply that Daniel at sometime after that started to each choice food, meat, and drank wine.
* "lotions" -In those days as well as today using lotions is part of the daily hygiene when things were going well and routines are enjoyable or at least tolerable.
* "until the three weeks were over" -The time between the revelation and the understanding was three weeks. See question 3 below for the day and month he received the revelation.
* We should not expect our prayers to be answered right away just because Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:21-22)
* Prayer is communication with God. Jesus taught his disciples how to pray when they asked. (Matthew 6:5-15 ;Luke 11:1-13) He also taught them parables about prayer.
* Currently things look pretty bad in my life. I have many problems to pray about. I've been asking for relief for quit some time. To me it seems that God decided to not answer my prayers. The fact is that they have not been answered in the way I want them to be answered. This does not mean that God hasn't answered them, nor does it mean that my idea of the answer was the best.
>Why might Daniel pray so fervently? (Ezra 1:1, 3:6, 8, 10, 4:4-5)
* Ezra 1:1 "In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing:"
* Ezra 3:6 "On the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the LORD, though the foundation of the LORD's temple had not yet been laid."
* Ezra 3:8 "In the second month of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Jeshua son of Jozadak and the rest of their brothers (the priests and the Levites and all who had returned from the captivity to Jerusalem) began the work, appointing Levites twenty years of age and older to supervise the building of the house of the LORD."
* Ezra 3:10 "When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the LORD, as prescribed by David king of Israel."
* Ezra 4:4-5 "Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. They hired counsellors to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia."
* The first group of Jews had returned to the promised land, celebrated the first Passover, and started the foundation of the temple. However, opposition was causing problems. Daniel had received several visions concerning the coming troubles God's people would endure. Daniel was seeing the troubles start in his life. However, in the previous visions Daniel was only given a general time line. Daniel must have wanted to know what would happen when. When would the end start? Daniel must have wanted to know what was in store for God's people.
>What can we learn about persistent prayer? (Luke 18:7-8)
* Luke 18:7-8 "And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
* Continue to pray and not give up on God.
II. The Man in Linen (4-11)
>3. Where was Daniel and when was he there?
* Daniel 10:4 "On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris,"
* "On the twenty-fourth day of the first month" -The first month in the Hebrew calendar, Abib has three feasts of the Lord. (Leviticus 23:1-22; Deuteronomy 12:1-12) None of them fall on this day. Perhaps this day may have been special to the exiled Jews. Since Daniel prayed for three weeks (21 days), he would have started on the third day of the month. The third day of the first month Daniel must have received the vision.
* "the first month" -The first month in the Hebrew calendar, Abib has three feasts of the Lord. (Leviticus 23:1-22; Deuteronomy 12:1-12) The first, Passover starts on the nightfall of the fourteenth. (Leviticus 23:4, Deuteronomy 16:1-6) The second, Feast of the Unleavened Bread was from the fifteenth to the twenty-first. (Exodus 23:15; Deuteronomy 16:8) The third, the Sheaf Wave Offering (from the Barley harvest) was to be the first Sunday after Passover. (Exodus 23:16; Leviticus 23:9-14) The next feast was not it the first month, but is connected to the three that are. The Feast of Weeks (later called Pentecost) was seven Sabbath weeks (fifty days) after the Sheaf Wave Offering. (Leviticus 23:15-21; Deuteronomy 16:9-12)
* "the Tigris" -The Tigris River was one of two of the greatest rivers of Western Asia. The other is the Euphrates River. They originate in the Armenian mountains and unite about ninety miles from the Persian Gulf. Nineveh, the ancient capital of the Assyrian Empire, was located on the Tigris River's east bank. Farther south was the site of Asshur, religious center and original capital of Assyria.
>Considering the description of the visitor, who might he be? (5-6; Eze. 1:25-28; Matt. 17:1-2; John 17:5; Rev. 1:12-16)
* Daniel 10:5-6 "I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. His body was like chrysolite, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude."
* Ezekiel 1:25-28 "Then there came a voice from above the expanse over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. Above the expanse over their heads was what looked like a throne of sapphire, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking."
* Matthew 17:1-2 "After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light."
* John 17:5 "And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began."
* Revelation 1:12-16 "I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lamp stands, and among the lamp stands was someone "like a son of man," dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance."
* "a man dressed in linen" -The messenger was a man. Priests wore linen. (Exodus 28:6-8)
* "with a belt of the finest gold around his waist" -The belt would pull the linen garment together at the waist. The high priest has a gold breast plate to represent the twelve tribes of Israel. (Exodus 28:9-30)
* "His body was like chrysolite" -Chrysolite means golden stone. It is a transparent variety of olivine, a mineral silicate of iron and magnesium, principally found in igneous and metamorphic rocks and used as a structural material in refractories and in cements. The color varies from light straw yellow, gold-yellow, to yellowish-green. See picture to the right. This magnificent specimen photo was borrowed from: http://silver-rockets.com/tag/meteorites/ of the Fukang (meteorite). The Fukang meteorite was found in the mountains near Fukang, China in 2000. Pallasites are a type of stony-iron meteorite with beautiful olivine crystals.
* "his voice like the sound of a multitude" -Powerful and loud. John in Revelation wrote that Jesus voice sounded like a trumpet. (Revelation 1:10)
* Daniel did not describe the previous angels that came to him. (Daniel 8:15-16) This messenger was different. He couldn't take his eyes off of this messenger.
* Psalm 89:5-8 "The heavens praise your wonders, O LORD, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings? In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him. O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you."
* Angels are spirits (Hebrews 1:13-14; Psalms 104:4) created by God (Nehemiah 9:6; Colossians 1;16) before the creation of man (Job 38:7).
Angels comes from two Hebrew words. The first is "ben." It means; "a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of lit. and fig. relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc.,"
The second is "elohiym." It is plural of the Hebrew word "elowahh" which comes from the Hebrew words "el", "ayil", and "uwl". "Elohiym" means; "gods in the ordinary sense; but spec. used (in the plur. thus, esp. with the art.) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: -angels"
>4. Why did only Daniel see the messenger? (7; Acts 9:3-7)
* Daniel 10:7 "I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; the men with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves."
* Acts 9:3-7 "As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" "Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. "Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone."
* "the only one who saw the vision" -The passage does not say why Daniel was the only one to see the vision of the messenger. We do not know who was with him. We can assume it was other exiled Jews praying with him, or perhaps those in the service of the king. We can also assume they didn't see the messenger because as in Saul's case only one was allowed to see the vision.
* "such terror overwhelmed them" -Though the other men could not see the messenger, they felt of his presence. Being in the presence of the Lord God brings awe and terror. (Isaiah 6:4, 8:13; Luke 5:8) Sometimes the same feeling happens when angels appear. (Daniel 5:5-6, 8, 8:17, 27)
>What was his condition before the messenger? (8)
* Daniel 10:8 "So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless."
* "gazing at this great vision" -Daniel does not describe any of his previous visions as "great". The vision is of a glorious man he could not take his eyes off of.
* "I had no strength left" -People can be so overwhelmed with emotions that we lose strength, even falling to the ground.
* "my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless" -The blood drained away from his face. Compare earlier visions of angels. (Daniel 6:22, 7:13-14, 16, 28, 8:14-17)
* The engraving to the right is by David Martin (1639-1721) published in 1700. Courtesy of the Digital Image Archive, Pitts Theology Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University: http://www.pitts.emory.edu/
>As he began to speak what happened to Daniel? (9; Eze. 2:1-2)
* Daniel 10:9 "Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground."
* Ezekiel 2:1-2 "He said to me, "Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you." As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me."
* The presence of God has a profound and powerful effect on people. Even those who have been in the presence of God retains some of the holiness and power that emanates from him. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai this was the case. (Exodus 24:17-18, 33:18-20, 34:29-35)
>What can we learn about being in the presence of the glorious Jesus? (Rom. 14:9-12; and 1 Cor. 3:12-15, 13:13)
* Romans 14:9-12 "For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written: "'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'" So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God."
* 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 "If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames."
* 1 Corinthians 13:13 "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
* The passage does not reveal the identity of the messenger. He is not Gabriel (8:16, 9:21) or Michael (13, 21; 12:1). He has more presence, majesty, and power than them. His touch gives strength. His appearance resembles the glorified Jesus.
* Humanity believes they are powerful and beautiful. Yet in the presence of the holy God Almighty not even the holiest of men are able to stand. The Bible says that all will fall to their knees before Jesus, not so much out of reverence, but because before him we have no power or beauty.
>5. How was Daniel able to stand?
* Daniel 10:10 "A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees."
* We are not directly told whose hand touched him, but we can assume it was the man in his presence. No other identity was known to be in his presence.
>How did the Lord consider Daniel?
* Daniel 10:11 "He said, "Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you." And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling."
* "you who are highly esteemed" -Three times Daniel is told that he is highly esteemed. (9:23, 10:11, 19)
* God election stands alone. God chose Daniel.
* "for I have now been sent to you" -If this is Jesus some may question who could send him. People think that only angels are sent as their name implies. However, Jesus told his disciples several times that the Father sent him. (Matthew 15:32, 21:37; Mark 9:17, 12:6; Luke 4:18, 43, 9:48, 10:16, 20:13; John 3:17, 34, 4:34, 5:23-24, 30, 36-38, 6:29, 38-39, 44, 57, etc.)
>What did he instruct him to do?
* "consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you" -Daniel needed to pray attention and think about the words of God. They were not going to be easily understood. We should do the same when we study the Bible.
* "and stand up" -We are not told why Daniel must stand to receive the message.
>Though trembling, what did he do?
* "I stood up trembling" -Daniel was told to stand and so he stood even though it wasn't easy.
>In light of this, what can we do? (Phil. 2:12-13)
* Philippians 2:12-13 "Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."
* Jesus told us to go and preach the gospel. We should obey. Jesus said to love God with all our heart. We should obey. Jesus told us to love our neighbor as ourself. We should obey. Jesus told us to ask the Lord of the harvest to send workings into his field. We should obey. Jesus told us to turn the other cheek. We should obey. Jesus told us to ask in his name and seek the kingdom of God first. We should obey.
III. Speak, Oh Lord, Since You Have Given me Strength (10:12-11:1)
>6. What word of encouragement did Daniel receive?
* Daniel 10:12 "Then he continued, 'Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.'"
* "Do not be afraid" -Daniel had seen a lot of horror in his life. He had seen his nation defeated by the Egyptians and then the Babylonians invaded and conquered. He and others were taken captive. He had seen the hedonistic lifestyles of the Babylonians. Then he had seen the Babylonians fall. He had several visions before, some terrifying. Yet of all the horror this one affected him the most.
* "your words were heard, and I have come in response to them" -It's always a wonderful thing to know our prayers are heard and answered.
* Daniel wanted understanding. The answer was more than he could endure. Without the help of God he would not have been strong enough to hear it.
>When Daniel received the revelation, what did he set his mind to do?
* "since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding"
* "since the first day that you... humble yourself before your God"
>What can we learn from him? (Phil. 1:6; 1 John 5:20; 1 Cor. 2:14)
* Philemon 1:6 "I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ."
* 1 John 5:20 "We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true--even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life."
* 1 Corinthians 2:14 "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."
* Bible study is important. Bible study is needed. Understanding only comes from the help of God. Pray for the Holy Spirit.
* Daniel was blessed with a revelation again. Yet he was not proud.
>7. When the messenger was sent to deliver the message what happened? (13)
* Daniel 10:13 "But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia."
* "resisted me twenty-one days" -The three weeks in verse 2. See question 3 for a time line. The reason for the delay seems to imply a struggle between the two. If this was the Lord Jesus, could there have been a struggle? Probably not, however Jacob struggled with God. (Genesis 32:28)
* "I was detained there with the king of Persia" -The messenger was stopped. The king of Persia does not appear to be a man, but perhaps a fallen angel behind and working with the king. The antichrist and the devil work together, so this is not some far fetch theory.
>Who is Michael? (13b, 21b; Jude 1:9; Rev. 12:7)
* Daniel 10:13b "Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me,"
* Daniel 10:21b "No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince."
* Jude 1:9 ("But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"
* Revelation 12:7 "And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back."
* "Michael" -Only two angels' names are known.
* "one of the chief princes" -A prince is a son of a king. Angels are known as sons of God.
* The context demands that this antagonist be considered a supernatural being rather than a royal human individual... There is no clearer evidence than this chapter on the biblical concept that conflicts in human history are paralleled by conflicts in the supernatural realm. Indications of this concept are already evident in the concept of the divine warrior. (The IVP Bible Background Commentary Old Testament)
>What does this tell us about the nature of the battle we are in? (Eph. 6:10-13)
* Ephesians 6:10-13 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."
* The spiritual battle and the influence of the invisible spiritual world is becoming more and more visible. Modern culture and media is promoting the spiritual battle. However, they promote a lie that there is no God in total control. If not for a firm belief in the sovereignty of the Lord God Almighty people can become afraid and do foolish and evil things. Several years ago I went on a short term mission trip to Africa. The Bible students there told me that some of their home villages had witch doctors that everyone was afraid of until they accepted Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord. The spiritual battle was visible to them too. Consider this, once our physical body dies God promises and is fully able to protect us from the influence of fallen angels. The one who is for us is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4) Submit yourself, then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee. (James 4:7) Walk in the truth. (1 John 1:6; 2 John 1:4; 3 John 1:3-4) God is not some high power weapon for anyone to use as a weapon or protection. God is someone to have a love relationship with. Do you love God? He love you.
>8. Who does the vision concern?
* Daniel 10:14 "Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come."
* "Now I have come to explain to you" -Daniel already had the vision. He just didn't understand it. Even the visions in the previous chapters he had a hard time understanding.
* "what will happen to your people" -Many claim that "your people" here refer to the Jews. They may be right. However, this may also be anyone who calls on the name of the Lord. There was physical descendants of Israel and there was true Israel. (John 1:13) There were Jews who returned from exile and there was only a few who followed Jesus and called him Messiah. There is the church who claims Jesus without obeying him and there is the few true church who loves him and obeys him in spirit and truth. To many try to separate Messianic Jews and Gentiles who accept the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is Jesus. There is only one God and only one Messiah. There are many in one body with Jesus the head. There is only one congregation. Therefore we can consider "your people" here refers to the church consisting of both Jews and Gentiles.
* Defining "your people" here will shape the way that chapters 11 and 12 are interpreted. Daniel prayed for the Lord's people who came out of Egypt two years before this. (9:15-16, 19, 24) Does this mean that when two years later the messenger in this chapter refers to "your people" he is only going to talk about the Jews? Consider Paul's words, "If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! " (Romans 11:17-24) Jesus' teaching confirms that the Gentiles and Jews are a part of one congregation. (Luke 13:28-30, 14:23; Matthew 22:8-14) So I believe we can consider chapters 11 and 12 to be about that one congregation.
>When will these things take place (from Daniel's point of time)? (14, 11:40, 12:4, 9, 13)
* "in the future... a time yet to come" -The original Hebrew is "aherit yom... yom". The KJV translates this "in the later days... is for many days". "Yom" can be translated as day, age, or any expanse of time with a beginning and an ending. The meaning depends on the words around it. The statement in verse 14 must be linked with the rest of the explanation of the vision. (See Daniel 11:40, 12:4, 9, 13 below.) Everyone who claims that chapters 11 and 12 have to do with the Jews of second century B.C. fail to explain what ended. Did Daniel rise yet? No. Clearly the vision is about the time of Jesus' first and second coming.
* "at the time of the end" (11:40) -The original Hebrew is "et qes". The KJV translates it the same. There is no other way to consider this phrase.
* "until the time of the end" (12:4, 9) -The original Hebrew is "et qes". The KJV translates it the same. There is no other way to consider this phrase.
* "till the end... at the end of the days you will rise" (12:13) -The original Hebrew is "qes... amad goral ges yom". The KJV translates it the same. There is no other way to consider this phrase.
* Peter used the Greek words "epi eschatos hemera" translated "in the last days". (2 Peter 3:2) "Epi" is a primary preposition properly meaning superimposition (of time, place, order, etc.). "Hemera" has the meaning age, day, and judgment. Hermera is used more with the light part of a twenty-four (24) hour day. "Eschatos" narrows the time period to the end time. With other New Testament writers, Peter viewed the whole period beginning with Christ's first coming (more precisely his ascension) to his second as the last days. (Acts 2:17, and 2 Timothy 3:1, Hebrews 1:2, and 1 Peter 1:20) They understood this to be the "last" of the days because neither former prophecy nor new revelation concerning the history of salvation indicated the coming of another era before the return of Christ. The word "last" in "last days," "last times" and "last hour" also expresses a sense of urgency and imminence. I as a Christian am to be alert, waiting for the return of Christ. (Matthew 25:1-3) Last day also refers back to the six days of creation and the one day of rest. We are now at the last hour of the sixth day. The next day, the Sabbath rest, starts when Jesus comes again.
* The Old Testament prophets often spoke of "The day of the Lord" as the time when God reveals His sovereignty over human powers and human existence. For example "The day of the Lord" is the dominant theme of Joel. Besides Joel six other Old Testament prophets (Isaiah 13:6,9; Ezekiel 13:5, 30:3; Amos 5:18,20; Obadiah 1:15; Zephaniah 1:7,14; Malachi 4:5; perhaps Zechariah 14:1 too) uses the term "the day of the Lord". Sometimes the prophets of Israel and Judah abbreviated it to "that day". It was familiar to their audience, a term by which the audience expected light and salvation (Amos 5:18), but the prophets painted it as a day of darkness and judgment (Isaiah 2:10-22; 13:6,9; Joel 1:15; 2:1-11,31; 3:14-15; Amos 5:20; Zephaniah 1:7-8,14-18; Malachi 4:5). The Old Testament language of the day of the Lord is aimed at warning sinners among God's people of the danger of trusting in traditional religion without commitment to God and to His way of life. It is language that could be aimed at judging Israel or that could be used to promise deliverance from evil enemies (Isaiah 13:6,9; Ezekiel 30:3; Obadiah 15). The day of the Lord is thus a point in time in which God displays His sovereign initiative to reveal His control of history, of time, of His people, and of all people.
* The apostles Peter and Paul also used the term "day of the Lord" (in place of "Lord" they also put "God" and "Lord Jesus"). (Acts 2:20; and 1 Corinthians 1:8, 5:5; and 2 Corinthians 1:14; and 1 Thessalonians 5:2; and 2 Thessalonians 2:2; and 2 Peter 3:10-12)
* The apostles used the terms "last times" and "last days" referring to the whole period introduced by Jesus' first coming. (John 11:24; Jude 1:17-18; Acts 15:16-18; Hebrews 9:36; and 2 Peter 3:3) These days are last in comparison to Old Testament days, which were preliminary and preparatory. (Romans 16:25-26; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:26) Also, the Christian era is the time of the beginnings of prophetic fulfillment. (1 Corinthians 10:11) The "days" can be interpreted as "ages" (Matthew 12:39, 13:39-40, 49, 24:3, 28:20; Ephesians 1:21, 2:7; and 1 Timothy 6:19; Titus 2:12; Jude 1:25) (periods of time) that reflect the six days of creation with the seventh day as a day of rest. Indeed the apostles very clearly call the one thousand year reign of Jesus as "the Lord's Sabbath" and "the day of rest". (Hebrews 4:1-11, 6:5; Revelation 14:13) Jesus himself invited us to his day of rest (Matthew 11:19; Luke 18:30, 20:34-36) and to work now and rest in the future (John 9:4). Since this is the time just before the Sabbath rest, then we are in the sixth day, the time when man and woman (Adam and Eve) were created. The Lord God Almighty is called the "King of the ages". (Revelation 15:3)
* Blackstone wrote in his book Jesus is Coming The division of time into sevens, or weeks, permeates the Scriptures. A fundamental enactment of the Mosaic Law was the keeping of the Sabbath (Ex. 20:8). This was based upon God's great rest day in Genesis 2. Upon this is founded not only the week of days, but also the week of weeks leading to Pentecost (Lev. 23:15-16); the week of months, with the Atonement and seven day feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month (Lev. 23:27-28); the week of years, ending with the Sabbatic year (Lev. 25:4); and the week of weeks of years, ending with the seventh Sabbatic year, and followed by the year of Jubilee (Lev. 25:8-12). He continues with more and quotes 2 Peter 3:8 then continues,
so we also have the great week of Millenniums. Six thousand-year days of labor and then the Millennium, or blessed seventh thousand-year of rest. He is not the first to see the significance.
* For more on this time period read the manuscript "The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires" found on this site.
* Imminence is about being ready even though we don't know when Jesus will come, more than what most understand as the Christian meaning of the word.
* Habakkuk 2:2-3 "Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."
* Jesus often told us the same thing in parables about his return; the nobleman who went to a far country, the servants given talents while their master is away, the ten virgins, etc. The letters of the apostles also address the timing of Jesus' return. Many who call themselves Christians believe in immanence, that is, that Jesus can return at any time since his ascension. Is this in line with Jesus' parables? And what of claim that the gospel must be preached in the whole world before he came again? This did not happen until recent years. Below is a quote from "The Church and the Tribulation" by Robert H. Gundry in chapter 3 under the heading "Expectation and Imminence".
* If the second coming could not have been imminent for those originally commanded to watch at the time they were so commanded, then the commanded expectancy could not have implied imminence of the event looked for. It then becomes unnecessary for us to regard Jesus' coming as imminent, for we have received no further and no different exhortations. In other words, if a delay in the Parousia of at least several years was compatible with expectancy in apostolic times, a delay for the several years of the tribulation is compatible with expectancy in current times. Jesus clearly indicates to the early disciples that His coming will be delayed for some time. The express purpose of the parable concerning the nobleman who went to a "far country" is that the disciples should not think "the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately" (Luke 19: 11-27). "While the bridegroom was delaying" also intimates delay (Matt. 25:5). In the parable of the talents, Jesus likens His return to the lord who "after a long time" came back from a far country (Matt. 25:19).
Jesus bases the parable of the servants on the presupposition of a delay in His coming, for without the delay no interval would have provided opportunity for the servants to display their true colors (Luke 12:41-48; Matt. 24:45-51). And when Jesus has the wicked servant say, "My master will be a long time in coming," He tacitly admits that there will be a delay. As the wicked servant's eternal judgment "with the unbelievers (or hypocrites)" shows, the contrast in servants distinguishes true disciples, whose characteristic it is to watch, from false disciples, whose characteristic it is not to watch. The necessary delay made no difference to the expectant attitude of the true servant, but it revealed the falsity of the wicked servant. Jesus does not condemn recognition of delay, but the attitude which takes selfish advantage of the delay. Moreover, readiness denotes not so much tiptoe anticipation as faithful service day by day: "Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants to give them their rations at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes" (Luke's version).
We might suppose that the long period of delay required in the parables would be satisfied by "a few years." But a few years is all the delay post-tribulationism requires. Jesus could not have given in good faith the great commission with its worldwide extent -"all the nations" and "the remotest part of the earth" -without providing a considerable lapse of time in order that the "disciples might have opportunity to perform the task. The long-range missionary endeavors of Paul may not possess independent argumentative weight (Paul's journey to Rome was contingent on the Lord's will, Rom. 1:9, 10). Yet as the Lord's commission for him to go "far away to the Gentiles" (Acts 22: 21) and to witness before "kings" (Acts 9:15) and as the promise in Jerusalem that he would "witness... at Rome" (Acts 23:11; cf. 27:24) link up with the great commission generally, they gain considerable weight.
It may be countered, with an appeal to Paul's statement "the gospel... was proclaimed in all creation under heaven" (Col. 1:23), that "the extensive preaching of the gospel in the first century might . . . satisfy the program of preaching to the ends of the earth." However, Paul wrote his statement during his first Roman imprisonment, some thirty years after Jesus gave the great commission, an interval more than four times as long as the tribulation. And Paul had not fulfilled his intention of visiting Spain, where the Gospel had not yet been preached (Rom. 15:20, 24). Evidently he himself did not regard the great commission as fulfilled. Apparently, then, in Colossians 1:23 Paul is not affirming a fulfillment of the great commission, but is setting the universality of the Gospel (the good news is for all men, even though it has not reached all men) in opposition to the esotericism of the Colossian heresy.
Of corroborative value is the personal history of Peter (John 21:18, 19; 2 Pet. 1:14) . Jesus foretold that Peter, then middle-aged ("when you were younger ... "), would die at an infirm old age ("when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will gird you ... "). If we try to save the imminence of the Parousia by saying that Peter could have been martyred at any time, we forget that his infirmity and old age were not imminent. And if we say that the prediction concerning Peter was not common knowledge among Christians until long after his death, we overlook the presence of other apostles on the occasion of the prediction. Furthermore, John writes of the incident in order to correct a misimpression which had arisen concerning his own death. The whole matter, then, must have received some publicity in the early Church.
To claim that these delays were "general in nature, without specific length;" merely avoids the issue. Whether general or specific, long or short, the delays were delays and, by being stated, rendered the second coming non-imminent to the apostolic Church. Moreover, the delays were not entirely general in nature. The specificity of the great commission ("in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth"), of the promise that Paul should bear witness at Rome, and of Peter's old age as a time of infirmity to the degree of inability to dress himself make the delays much more pointed than the doctrine of imminence can allow.
Again, to claim that "the delays had been fulfilled by the time the exhortations to watch were written" runs afoul of historical facts. At least those exhortations to watch in the epistles appeared in writing before the disciples could have fulfilled the great commission, before Paul had completed his extensive missionary efforts, and before Peter had reached old age, become infirm, and died. From the very beginning, even before the written exhortations, Christians knew that they were to watch through the oral ministry of Jesus and the apostles and prophets. In one of his earliest epistles Paul already commends believers for their watchfulness (1 Thess. 1:9-10). The point remains that if watching could not have connoted imminence in the apostolic age, it need not connote imminence now.
But should we not think that all else was contingent upon the second coming, that an "only if Christ does not return beforehand" qualified every other expectation? Possibly, but only possibly, in connection with the personal circumstances of Peter and Paul. It is very hard to think, however, that an imminent return of Christ might have taken away sufficient opportunity to fulfill the great commission. Moreover, when imminence becomes the ruling principle by which all else was and is rendered contingent, even the events of the tribulation do not have to take place; they might "die on the vine" just as the great commission and the predictions concerning Paul and Peter would have done had Jesus returned beforehand.
* This ends the quote from "The Church and the Tribulation" by Robert H. Gundry.
>9. What was Daniel's request before he was told the meaning of the vision?
* Daniel 10:15-17 "While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless. Then one who looked like a man touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing before me, "I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I am helpless. How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe."
* "While he was... the one who looked like a man" -The same identity. So far all we know is that only one person is with Daniel.
* "I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless" -Respect, awe, and humility.
* "touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak" -The touch of this one has the ability to give power.
* "I am overcome with anguish because of the vision" -Daniel had already seen the vision.
* "I am helpless" -Daniel had very little strength. He could do nothing to gain more strength. The ungodly think that they will be able to stand before God on judgment day and challenge God, a foolish and laughable thought.
* "your servant" -Daniel would not be a servant to an angel nor would an angel accept this claim from Daniel. In other appearances angels said, "I am a fellow servant." (Revelation 19:10, 22:9)
>What did the one who "looked like a man" do?
* Daniel 10:18 "Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength."
* Again the touch of this messenger, the one who looked like a man gave power. Does an angel have this ability? When Isaiah was ashamed of his lips before the throne of God an angel brought a coal from the throne of God to give cleanse him. The coal used in the sacrifices did this, not the angel.
>Even though Daniel was highly esteemed, what did he need?
* Daniel 10:19 "Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed," he said. "Peace! Be strong now; be strong." When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, "Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength."
* "Do not be afraid" -Repeated.
* "O man highly esteemed" -Repeated
* "Peace! Be strong now; be strong." -Jesus said the same thing to his disciples after he rose from the dead and stood among them. (Luke 24:36; John 20:19-23, 26)
* "When he spoke to me, I was strengthened" -The messenger that looked like a man didn't need to touch Daniel to give his strength. His word alone could give him strength. This and the other things stated above leads me to believe that this messenger that looked like a man was a pre-incarnate Jesus.
>What can we learn? (Isaiah 40:28)
* Isaiah 40:28 "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom."
* The Lord Jesus Christ is the life and light of mankind. He is our strength and our shield. He is our everlasting hope. He is our everlasting love.
>10. Who will the messenger help defeat the Persians?
* Daniel 10:20 "So he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come;"
* "Do you know why I have come to you?" -Daniel had prayed for an answer. The messenger had already told him that he had the answer.
* "Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia" -The prince of Persia is apparently a demon exercising influence over the Persian realm in the interests of Satan. His resistance was finally overcome by the archangel Michael, "the great prince who protects: the people of God (12:1). (NIV Study Bible)
* "when I go, the prince of Greece will come" -The prince of Greece is apparently another demon who must be resisted.
>What else did he do? (10:21b-11:1; 5:30-31; 6:21-22)
* Daniel 10:21b-11:1 "(No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince. And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him.)"
* Daniel 5:30-31 "That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two."
* Daniel 6:21-22 "Daniel answered, "O king, live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king."
* "No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince"
* "in the first year of Darius the Mede" -Perhaps Darius is another name for Gubaru, referred to in Babylonian inscriptions as the governor that Cyrus put in charge of the newly conquered Babylonian territories. Or "Darius the Mede" may have been Cyrus' throne name in Babylon. (See study 5 question 11.)
* "I took my stand to support and protect him"
>11. Since the future events in the next two studies were already written, what can we do? (21a; 7:25-27; Acts 1:7)
* Daniel 10:21a "but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth."
* Acts 1:7 "He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority."
* Daniel 7:25-27 "He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him."
* "the Book of Truth" -A book of truth was written by God and stored in heaven. Daniel 7:10 says "the books were opened". Revelation 20:12 says, "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books." The word that the Lord has given mankind is also called "the Book of Truth." Jesus came full of grace and truth. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
>What do we learn about God?
* God is in complete control.
* God reveals his truth in his time, in his way, and to the people he chooses.
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