April 30, 2012
And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
Then said he unto me, 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.
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.
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.
And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.
And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.
For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.
Daniel Regains His Strength and Understands the Reason for Christ’s Appearing
Now the scene suddenly changes. It is no longer Christ who stands before Daniel, but an angel. There is a specific reason for us to interpret this section of the passage in this way. If this were still Christ speaking to Daniel, we would be forced to conclude that Christ had little or no power, because the prince of Persia (v. 13) who withstood the messenger would be able to stand firmly against Christ and, therefore, demonstrate more power than the Son of God possessed. This, of course, would be impossible. It is therefore safe to conclude that the one now standing before Daniel is an angel-probably Gabriel-who again has made his incredible journey to Daniel’s side from the third heaven-an astronomical distance, described in chapter eight. This holy messenger speaks words of comfort to this choice servant of God.
But imagine Daniel’s confusion: One moment he sees the pre-incarnate Christ, and the next moment the angel Gabriel, who lifted him up, and delivered a message from the Lord. The words uttered by this heavenly being are words you and I certainly would want Jesus to say to us when that great day arrives as we stand before Him: words of comfort, love, and appreciation for our faithfulness to the cause of Christ during our witness on earth.
But the angel had even more to say to Daniel. We begin to see this revelation take on a new dimension, as Gabriel speaks of the kingdom of Persia’s power, and how a demonic spirit that controlled the ruler of Persia had “withstood” God’s angel, probably Michael, for twenty-one days. Throughout the Bible we read of many rulers of the world who are controlled by these evil, demonic spirits. In Isaiah 14:12-14, we find that Satan fell because he wanted to be like God. In Luke 10:18, Jesus said, “I saw Satan as lightning fall from heaven”-a reference to the third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2).
Today, Satan is still in control of heaven number one, and heaven number two. That’s why he can approach the end of heaven number two and keep up his incessant verbal abuse of God’s people- the brethren (Revelation 12:10). The Bible says that Satan is still the god of this world system.. . that he is the prince of this world (John 12:31). That’s why you and I do not wrestle against flesh and blood-against other human beings-but instead against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual (literally, spirit) wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).
Peace… Not Fear
Fallen angels are everywhere, and Satan is the head of them, holding the designated title of prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). This prince of the first and second heaven, along with millions of his demonic spirits, has the ability to control political leaders.
It was the prince (or ruler) of ancient Persia who was controlled by one of these demonic agents. This enemy of mankind is powerful, but not all-powerful. Ultimate power and control belong to Yahweh. The message here is clear: “Daniel, I know that what you’ve heard in your visions is emotionally devastating to you. You feel sorry for your people and are saddened to realize what will happen to them in the latter days. But don’t be afraid. Your God is strong- omnipotent, or all-powerful. He is in control of the affairs of men. His angels surround you, and they represent the power of your almighty God.”
This sounds much like the comforting words spoken by Jesus in John 14:27:
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
That was the angel’s message to Daniel. He wanted to remove all sense of dread from Daniel’s heart. He wanted him to know that it was exclusively the enemy, Satan, who put timidity into his spirit. If he relied on the mercy and faithfulness of God, that fear would vanish (2 Timothy 1:7).
Gabriel was putting this angelic warfare into perspective: There are good angels, and there are bad angels. The angels of God stand with the Lord’s people to comfort them, and hold them up when times get tough. Such angelic beings were also available to our Savior. Jesus said in Matthew 26:53,
“Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?“
What power-to literally snap His fingers and be able to command the arrival of twelve legions of angels, a legion in a Roman army being seven thousand men! (See also Matthew 4:11.) Hebrews 1:14 says,
“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?“
Our guardian angels are there to protect us. They are the elect or holy angels, numbering into the millions (1 Timothy 5:21; Hebrews 12:22). On the other hand, millions of evil angels also fill the heavenlies. These are the “devils” (literally, demons or fallen angels) mentioned often in God’s Word, and Satan is the prince of these demons (Matthew 9:34). Together he and his minions control the minds of leaders who are the personification of evil-the holocaust-producing Josef Stalins, Adolph Hitlers, and Idi Amins of our world. I have spoken of these heavenly beings in some depth because they are integral to our understanding of this introduction to the last revelation received by Daniel.
Message of the Latter Days
The message was again difficult for Daniel to hear and accept-but this time he understood it. He did not need further clarification. He knew there would be a horrendous persecution of Israel (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:22; Revelation 12:13), and that it would occur during the latter days, a term equivalent to the time of the end.
Today, with an existing European Union, a nation called Israel, and Jews in control of Jerusalem, we find ourselves with an increasing number of signs pointing to the time of the end. As you’ll recall, Daniel’s end-time prediction began when the prophet stated under Nebuchadnezzar’s reign: “There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, that has sent me to tell thee, Nebuchadnezzar, what shall be in the latter days.” For us moderns, the handwriting is on the wall. The seventieth week of Daniel is rapidly approaching. But the good news for believers is that prior to the beginning of the seventieth week, we will be raptured (Revelation 4:1).
At this point, Daniel fell to the ground, speechless. When he recovered, he became aware that the “lord” was standing in front of him. If you’ll notice in the text the word lord has a small l. If this were deity, the word would have a capital L as its first letter. This means that a different angelic being has come to comfort him. Daniel’s response is one of humility. He feels lowly and unworthy, not fit to stand in the presence of this holy being sent by his heavenly Father with a message of comfort, which is to “fear not.”
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Is God Listening?
Several years ago I contracted a dangerous viral infection which threatened the sight of my left eye and produced severe discomfort and pain. Just as I was getting a little better, I came down with pneumonia in my right lung.
During this time of unusual stress and trauma, Jack and I spent even more time than normal praying and seeking God. Thank the Lord, He heard and answered our prayers!
Experiencing those wearisome days when I might have been tempted to ask, “Does God care? Is He listening?”-I found new assurance that the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary (Isaiah 40:28). And I can truthfully say with the psalmist that I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry (Psalm 40:1).
While prayer has always been an important part of our lives and ministry, now it has become even more vital-an integral part of the very fabric of Jack’s life and mine. Prayer has become as natural as breathing to me, and has carried me into the Father’s presence where I draw directly from His unlimited strength.
In the times of testing I often felt as if the Lord comforted me by saying, “Pray.” And in saying “Come to me,” He also said, “Wait patiently.” It has been my experience that life’s difficulties may sometimes be meant for the strengthening of one’s heart and soul.
The power of prayer
When we enter into prayer, we enter into the realm of divine omnipotence and tap into the unlimited power of God. Prayer leaps over boundaries, stops at no distances, and balks at no obstacles. No wonder Jesus said, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27).
The late Dr. M. R. DeHaan recognized the tremendous force God placed in the hands of His people through prayer. DeHaan said, “I would far rather have the power of prayer to move the powers of heaven, than to have the power of preaching to move the masses on earth.”
While some of us may not have the gift of preaching or the anointed eloquence to proclaim the gospel to all who will hear-all of us do have the power of prayer at our disposal. We can commune directly with our Creator, and cry out to the God of the universe with the steadfast assurance that HE IS LISTENING… and He will answer.
Why, then, do we go about laden with burdens too heavy to bear? Why do we endure overwhelming sorrows and pain? Why do we attempt to make the best of living with want and lack? The Lord gently scolds us for failing to seek His help by saying, Ye have not, because ye ask not (James 4:2).
I love the grand old gospel song that asks, “Are you weary, are you heavy-hearted?” then responds, “Tell it to Jesus, Tell it to Jesus!” On and on the song goes, listing man’s most common troubles and fears, and always reminding, urging, commanding-“Tell it to Jesus alone!”
God has invited us to come to Him with our needs and burdens. Jesus said, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened (Matthew 7:7).
Are the answers you need being given? Have you asked?
Are you finding the solutions to life’s problems? Are you seeking?
Are the doors of opportunity being opened to you? Are you knocking?
God is ready and willing to meet your every need. He is more than enough for all your problems. But to receive what He wants you to have, you have to take the first step. Have you ever taught your children to come to you for assistance with their needs? Even though you sometimes knew what they needed before they asked, have you ever waited until they made their petition to you?
Jesus said, If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:11).
So we need to learn to ask-we need to be sure to make our petitions known to God through prayer.
Pray in faith
Then, too, we must pray with faith. Some people feel their faith is too weak, but I believe, with the Apostle Paul, that God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith (Romans 12:3). If our faith comes from God-if He has provided it for us, then we have enough…and it is sufficient!
When in the midst of suffering and in need of healing, many of us may find it difficult to receive healing directly from the hand of God. But the Lord often uses other hands, other instruments to meet our need. Often healing comes through the channel of doctors and medicine. Depending on such healing aids is not necessarily a lack of faith.
An old motto I’ve heard suggests that we should work as though everything depended on us, but pray as if everything depended on God. Perhaps this is the perfect blending of faith and works endorsed by the Apostle James (see 2:20-26).
I thank God for the fine doctors and “miracle” drugs employed in my treatment during my illness. But I am absolutely convinced that prayer helped speed my healing by making my body more receptive to the treatment than it ordinarily would have been.
I recovered with no lasting ill effects, no scars, no permanent damage. Yet, another lady with almost the same condition, being treated by the same doctor, with the same medication, did experience facial scarring and ongoing trauma.
Is God really interested in our individual needs and problems? Aren’t our personal difficulties too small to bring to the attention of the Almighty? Isn’t He preoccupied with wars and cataclysmic events, interested only in global and universal affairs?
Not at all! Nothing is too great or too small to bring to the Lord. He knows! He sees! He cares! Oh, yes, my friend. He is listening…and He will answer.
I know this-when our own strength and provision fail, prayer helps us tap into an inexhaustible divine supply. And it is undeniably true that more miracles are wrought by prayer than this world could ever imagine.
The Holy Spirit intercedes
Dr. Van Impe and I are finding that when we pray, the Holy Spirit directs us and helps us to pray. We do not have to depend on long prayer lists and “vain repetitions” that become meaningless rituals (see Matthew 6:7).
There are times when I feel so overwhelmed by needs or challenges before me that I don’t even know how to pray. But the Holy Spirit does-and He ministers through me to touch the heart of God. Paul wrote, Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit [himself] maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26).
There have been times when I knelt to pray and could only weep-I couldn’t find the words to express what was inside. I would cry out, “Oh God, I don’t know how to put this because I’m so burdened. ” What a comfort to know that the Holy Spirit went right on interceding for me with groanings and expressions too deep to be uttered.
And sooner or later, as I waited before God on my knees, that deep peace that passes all understanding would sweep over me, and my troubled spirit would be at rest. Once again I would have the blessed assurance of knowing that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
My friend, what God has done for me, He will do for you. The Lord is ready to minister to you in every part of your life. He is listening.
TAKE TIME TO PRAY
I got up quite early one morning
And rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish
I took no time out to pray.
The problems just tumbled about me,
And heavier came every task;
“Why doesn’t God help me,” I wondered,
He said, “Why, you didn’t ask!”
I saw naught of joy or of beauty-
The day sped on, gray and bleak;
I asked, “Why won’t the Lord show me?”
He said, “But you didn’t seek!”
I tried to come into God’s presence;
I used all my keys at the lock,
God gently, lovingly chided,
“My child, why didn’t you knock?”
I woke up quite early this morning
And paused ere entering the day;
There was so much to accomplish
I HAD TO TAKE TIME TO PRAY!
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I am sure you have heard this numerous times but I felt I need to say it myself.
Thank you for taking a stand for the Gospel and its integrity!!
May God bless you and you ministry in the Name of our Lord Yeshua!
I would add my deeply felt thanks of others for your faithfulness to the Gospel, for your courage to claim the Bible as inerrant, to state the error of so many others in their deceived interpretation of our Bible and for the love and respect you have for each other which is constantly demonstrated during each of your broadcasts – we need to see and hear such things as you live, speak and demonstrate each week.
May God richly bless each of you during these very last days and may you continue to bring many souls to the truth of Jesus Christ. The creativity and immense amount of energy you invest in your videos are a special blessing to those who purchase them.
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