May 14, 2012
Daniel 10:18 – 21
Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,
And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.
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: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
Daniel Regains His Strength
The angel does not give up on Daniel. He touches him again, giving him more strength as he encourages this prophet to be strong. This is as important a message for us today as it was for Daniel ages ago: Our strength comes from the Lord, and it comes by degrees. The Bible says that we should partake of His strength on a daily basis. We don’t receive a month’s, or a year’s worth of strength instantaneously. Instead, God gives us grace for each day. That’s why we are to pray without ceasing, because it is when we become lackadaisical that the “prince of the power of the air” attempts to “devour us” (1 Peter 5:8).
Daniel knew he needed help, and he did not decline assistance when God sent it to him. By now, the angel had completed his mission to Daniel and asked Daniel if he understood why a heavenly being had been sent by the Father to encourage him. What kindness, patience, and compassion. I wonder if we are that loving and kind when we try to communicate Christ’s gospel of love to those who are confused and doubtful about the veracity of God’s Word. Perhaps we could take a lesson from this heavenly being.
At that point the angel announced his departure because he, Gabriel, needed to get back to the battle zone-but not until he was sure Daniel fully understood what God had shown him about the future of his people, the Jews. Gabriel was going to join Michael in battle against the fallen spirits controlling the ruler of Persia. Later, when the battle in the heavens would cease after defeating the demons controlling the ruler of Persia, there would be yet another skirmish with the leader of Greece. Simply stated, Medo-Persia would ultimately fall to Greece and another satanic spirit would control the ruler of this conquering nation. Isn’t the Word of God amazing? This is precisely what happened, just as the angel told Daniel it would-two hundred years in advance.
There’s a double meaning in the text when the angel states: There will come a time when the nations will fight again. So when will Persia again war against the Jews? This will happen when the Russian army marches against Israel, as mentioned in Ezekiel 38:1-2 and 5. Ancient Persia is known today as Iran and Iraq. Then when Russia invades Israel, the European Union leaders will say, “This simply cannot happen” (Daniel 11:40-41). Then the western forces march to try to put an end to the northern army of Russia and her allies: Egypt, the Arabs, and others. This is when we find the prince of Greece involved.
How can we be sure of this? Because Greece became the tenth nation to join the European Union on January 1, 1981. The powerful revived Roman Empire, including Greece, is already beginning to form its own army-an army that will one day move with great strength into the Middle East. It will happen in our generation The time is coming. The seals that kept the lid on the mysteries of Daniel are now coming off, and with their unsealing we see how close we have come to the time of the end.
Michael, the Warrior
Gabriel is the one who, while able to do battle, and battle well, is usually cast in the role of announcer of the message. But the archangel who leads the military hosts of heaven is Michael, and he is the one mentioned here in the Book of Daniel as well as in the Book of Revelation. One of the most significant predictions Daniel received is in 12:1 where Michael stands for (protects) the people of Israel. And when will Michael arise to do battle for the Jews? When the greatest anti-Semitic purge in history takes place, when Satan is cast Out of heaven (Revelation 12:7-13).
Michael will be there to fight for-and defend-God’s people. Michael is that warrior angel, and Satan, once god of the heavens, loses, and is cast out. He adds woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea, but he knows he has limited time to do his work-only forty-two months. Half of the Tribulation period is over by then, the first half having been ruled and energized by Satan empowering the Antichrist. But now as Satan comes down to earth, he incarnates the body of Antichrist, and this world leader-once applauded by the world’s nations and people-goes berserk. What does he try to do? He attempts to obliterate every Jew on the earth. Revelation 12:13 states:
“He persecutes the woman who brought forth the man child.”
This woman is Mary, the Jewish virgin who depicts the greatest anti-Semitic onslaught in history. Nevertheless, the good news is that there will be a time of victory, and the archangel Michael will be in the middle of the fray. Michael is going to win the final battle, because the Lord intervenes. He stops the terrorism being inflicted on the Jewish people and saves them from their distress. Jeremiah 30:7 and Daniel 12:1 talk about their glorious day of deliverance, a great day that is yet to come. Even now, we pray for the peace of Israel, because they who do shall prosper (Psalm 122:6).
Following this time, Christ descends to begin His thousand-year reign upon earth, and Michael rids the world of its vilest enemy. Revelation 20:1-2 says,
“I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.”
Amazing mysteries have been revealed in chapter ten, but the vision is only partially unsealed to our eyes. As we now move on to the final two chapters of Daniel, angelic beings persevere in providing us with information about the time of the end and how the role of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ-and legions of angels-will continue to intervene in the affairs of men and women everywhere. Behind the headlines of CNN, the believer can be assured that God remains in control of our world as international events unfold-circumstances we will grasp more fully as we peel back more mysteries hidden for centuries.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
I’m Looking . . . But Which Way?
What is the first thing you notice about a person? Some would say the color of their hair, their stature or even their weight. I must admit that I am immediately drawn to the eyes. Perhaps this is why I like the statement; The eye is the window of the soul. It was Benjamin Franklin who related this good thought, Learn to be gracious with the eyes; look deep into their eyes, and say with your eyes, I like you.
I especially enjoy looking into the eyes of children. Often I find myself wanting to get down to their level since they, above all, have that gentle, yet intense and honest way of looking directly into our eyes. They have discovered a secret which sometimes gets lost as they move into adulthood – it is this, the eyes reveal so much. Perhaps it’s the child in me, but conversation seems more personal when I am able to look into the eyes of the one with whom I am conversing. There seems to be an openness in communication when we can express our thoughts through our eyes as well as by our words.
The eyes also can be a barometer revealing the state of our health. Doctors, for instance, look into the eyes when one is sick, and ophthalmologists detect many bodily illnesses the same way. The Bible has much to say about the eyes. The writer of Proverbs speaks of the bloodshot eyes of those who drink (Proverbs 23:28, 29). In fact, there are 499 references to eyes, and 98 to the eye in God’s Word. Since God has given such prominence and importance to the eye gate, Satan, with all of his sly and cunning ways brought sin into the world by persuading Eve to look and then partake of the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:5-7).
God often speaks of His own eyes. How comforting it is to know that His eyes are lovingly upon us. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him (2 Chronicles 16:9 – also notice Deuteronomy 11:12; Job 34:21; and Psalm 33:18).
Why are our eyes so important? It is because what we see goes into our emotions (the soul). The light of the soul is what gives understanding, sound judgment, and the ability to discern between good and evil, truth and falsehood. Jesus spoke of this: The light of the body is the eye; therefore when thine eye is single (a clear conscience), thy whole body is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness (Luke 11:34.35).
What do others see when looking at us? If they are to be rightly influenced, how important it is that what they see is God-like. We are walking visuals. The Apostle Paul cautioned that we should be careful how we walk, not as unwise, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15, 16).
I heard the story of a little girl who told her pastor she knew Jesus and was saved. Which one of my sermons brought you to Christ? he asked. It wasn’t your preaching, it was my aunt’s practicing, she responded.
Indeed! What we do and say is being noticed. Man looketh on the outward appearance (I Samuel 16:7). That’s why we are to let our light so shine before mankind, that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven (Matt. 5:16).
On one occasion, when the Apostle Paul was accused of being a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews and a ringleader of the Nazarene sect, he stood before his accusers and Governor Felix saying, I strive to always have a conscience without offense toward God and man (see Acts 24:16). What a wonderful way to live!
With all the discouraging news in the world today, seeming inconsistencies in the lives of those around us, and despair on the faces of millions of people, which way can we look to find peace and satisfaction?
Three Different Directions
We can look in three different directions: (1) Backward, to be discouraged; (2) outward, to be disheartened; and (3) upward, to be delighted.
More often than not, looking back leads to defeat and discouragement and possibly self destruction like Lots wife. We have a good biblical example in the Apostle Paul, who said, Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13, 14).
God can be counted on to give a silver lining to our dark clouds if we’ll begin looking forward. A friend has written: Let your life be a statement, more than your words, that Someone else is in charge. Let your demeanor reflect quality inner control, stability that comes from knowing and accepting that God is in charge. In God’s perfect timing wrongs will be righted, circumstances will change, He will come to your rescue. To believe this is to move ahead and live with hope.
I have been asked, How do you forget the bad times, the hurts, the injustices? My response is that we can’t blot out the past, but forgetting means not allowing the past to affect the present.
We can put whatever has hurt us under the blood of Christ. We can forget by imitating the way Christ forgives us – just as if it never occurred (Hebrews 8:12).
As one looks around at the world today, he or she could become disheartened and disillusioned. The world is in a mess. Just pick up the newspaper, or turn on the evening news and it’s enough to disturb any thinking person.
How do we avoid the disillusionment and anxiety? David the psalmist said, It will not fasten its grip on me (see Psalm 101:3). There you have it; don’t allow it to grasp hold of your thinking.
What does God say? He tells us to cast our burdens on Christ (I Peter 5:7). We are human and feel concern, but we can turn it over to Him saying, God, this is too big for me to handle. By keeping our eyes on Jesus and the eternal truths of God’s word, we will be focusing our attention on that which enables us to handle all the bad things happening around us (see Hebrews 12:2).
Remember what David the psalmist said? I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help (Psalm 121:1). This is surely the only direction to look for help, comfort, and yes, for delight in our souls and lives. We can bring our thirsty and wilting minds and bodies to the everlasting well of water, Jesus Christ Himself (John 4). All He asks is that we keep looking up, and as we do, look forward to an eternity with Him. Let us pray this beautiful prayer of the psalmist, I will direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up (Psalm 5:3).
I WILL LIFT UP MINE EYES UNTO THE HILLS…
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
DO NOT EVER, EVER, EVER, stop the Good fight!!! You are one of the LAST to adhere to and profess and proclaim the TRUE Word of God. You have been diligent and that has brought me GREAT meaning to what God’s Plan is. The Truth is the Truth and you are to be COMMENDED for sticking to the Principles of Truth. God is pleased. I thank you.
J. A. J.
Every week I read you part of the newsletter and print it out, because I want to read it over and over.
What you write encourages me time after time while going through a difficult time in my life.
It really helps me to see Jesus again when my heart is in fear and sadness.
Thank you so much!!!!!
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
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