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Sunday, August 4, 2019

posted Aug 4, 2019, 8:45 PM by Site Administrator

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DANIEL’S VISION OF A MAN

 

Daniel 10:1-11:1

Key Verses 10:5,6

5I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. 6His 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. 

First, “A man dressed in linen with a belt of the finest gold around his waist” (1-11). Look at verse 1 through 3. In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, that was 536 B.C., a revelation was given to Daniel. Its message was true and it concerned a great war. The understanding of the message came to him in a vision. At that time, Daniel mourned for three weeks. He ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched his lips; and he used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over. What kind of vision was it that Daniel had to mourn for three weeks? In 538 B.C, two years before this vision, Cyrus issued a decree for the Jews to return and rebuild the temple. He even gave them the sacred articles, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the Jerusalem temple. At this, the Jews under the leadership of Jerubbabel and Jeshua, total 42,360, besides 7,337 menservants and maidservants, returned to Jerusalem (Ezra 2:64,65). When the Lord returned them to Jerusalem, they felt like dreaming; songs of praise and thanks were in their lips. In the seventh month, they built the altar for the burnt offering, and in the second month of the second year, they laid the foundation for the temple (Ezra 3). Then, an opposition rose from the Gentiles; they hired lawyers to report to the government badly about the Jews; thus, the work of the house of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia in 521 B.C (Ezra 4:24). The temple would be completed in 516 B.C. As Cyrus issued a decree in 538 B.C., Daniel hoped that his people would now live in peace and blessing in Jerusalem. But instead, he heard about how his own people in Jerusalem were oppressed by the Gentiles there, how they were so insecure, and how the temple project was halted. Moreover, now God gave him a vision that concerned a great war that would occur around his own nation Israel. He was so troubled, and for his own people in Jerusalem, for the temple of God, Daniel mourned for three weeks. Then, God’s answer came.

Look at verse 5. “On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as Daniel was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, he looked up and there before him was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist.” Linen was used for undergarment for priests, representing the priest’s purity. Gold refers to kingship; the belt represents title, or authority or position. A belt of the finest gold around his waist shows that he is king of great authority and power. When Daniel was so concerned about the Israel people, God showed him that they were not alone, but a priest was praying for them; God was caring for them. Also, through this man in the vision, God showed Daniel that He was king and was in control; even though things were challenging to the Israel people, certainly things were not going out of control, but only according to God’s will and purpose.  

Verse 6 reads: 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.” His body was like chrysolite. Chrysolite is a gemstone with transparent sparkling green. In Exodus 28, we see God commanding Moses to make a priestly garment, and one of its pieces is a breast plate. On the breast plate were to be 12 gem stones in four rows, each row having three gem stones. And one of the three gemstones in the fourth row was a chrysolite. In Ezekiel 1:16, we see the wheel of God’s thronesparkling like chrysolite. Then, in Revelation 21, we see new Jerusalem, coming down from heaven. It has a great high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. The wall of the city has twelve foundation, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And each foundation is decorated with precious gemstone; the seventh foundation is decorated with chrysolite. The gemstone chrysolite or its color represents one of the twelve tribes of Israel and one of the twelve apostles and one of God’s characters. One of the disciples suggests that it represents God as a source of life; another disciple suggests the healing of God, and still another the power of God as green grass springs up in the spring. Anyway, this person with sparkling transparent green shinning throughout his body represents one of God’s nature – he was a representative of God. 

His face was like lightning – so bright and powerfully radiant that no one could look at him directly. Here, lightning represents his power. His eyes were like flaming torches. When people are really angry, we see that their eyes are glowing with fire, but their anger does not mean anything – they are just hot-tempered sinful, and short lived humans. But this person’s eyes were like flaming torches that when he looks at you, you can sense that he sees everything hidden and secret; before his eyes that are like flaming torches, we are all exposed naked and no one can hide anything from him. His arms and legs were like the gleam of burnished bronze – shining, well polished; bronze is heavy and thereby, represents God’s judgment. In the Old Testament, God showed a prophet a bronze mountain and told him his judgment. Here, his arms and legs were well polished shows the imminent judgment of God. And his voice was like the sound of a multitude, representing his authorityWho was this person? Some say that he was a high ranking angel, and others say that he was Jesus in his glory as described in Revelation 1When God saw that his friend Daniel was mourning for sorrows, He quickly sent this glorious being to comfort and strengthen him. Indeed, Daniel was highly esteemed.  

Look at verse 7. Daniel was the only one who saw this vision. The men who were with Daniel did not see it, but they sensed something really big present there and they were terrified. Such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. Daniel gazed at this great vision, trying to see it more clearly, but, unlike his mind and desire, his body did not work as he wanted; as he gazed at this vision, suddenly, all his strength left him, his face turned deathly pale and he was helpless. Simply, despite his desire to gaze at this great vision, his human body could not bear such glory. There, in front of the holy one who was shining in green glory, Daniel was about to faint, barely standing. Then the holy one spoke to him, and at this, Daniel’s body reached the limit, and his computer shut down and he fell into a deep sleep, his face to the ground. Ahand touched him; this touch gave him some strength. So, Daniel came back to his senses but he was then on his hands and knees, trembling. The man gave him more strength, saying, "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." At this, Daniel could stand, yet still trembling. Daniel was a righteous man, having a certain glory; he was esteemed highly by God. But the glory the man in his vision had was totally different; Daniel’s human body could not bear such glory that it just shut down, and it was trembling continually. 

In verses 14 and 15, the man in the vision spoke to Daniel, "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.” While he was speaking, Daniel bowed with his face to the ground and was speechless. His mind became blank, and he was frozen with that posture, for simply, his body could not bear the glory of the holy one in front of him that his system shut down. Then, the holy one touched his lips; new power came to Daniel that he came back to his senses and he said to him, “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.” Even though he was strengthened and thereby could speak, his words were not about a meaningful conversation, but he was just expressing his difficulty. At this, again the one who looked like a man touched him and gave him strength, saying, “Do not be afraid, O man highly esteemed. Peace! Be strong now; be strong.” At this, more strength came to Daniel and Daniel could start a meaningful conversation with him, saying, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.” In the previous passage, we saw how his encounter with Gabriel went – it was amazing and mysterious. But his encounter with the man in today’s passage is more intense. Indeed, in the spiritual world, in the heavenly realm, there are so many things we don’t know; even if we have lived as God’s servants, what we know is really limited. So, let’s not think of ourselves too highly – indeed, we don’t know that much of the spiritual world. Instead, let’s dedicate ourselves to God all the more, then, God will guide us and show us amazing things.

Second, “I will fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come” (12-11:1). Look at verses 12 and 13. 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. 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.” Daniel had prayed for 21 days, but no answer came to him; maybe, he thought that this time, God did not hear his prayer. But that’s not the case. Since the first day when he set his mind and started his prayer, God already heard his prayer and sent his answer by sending this amazingly holy one to him personally. God could have answered his prayer by giving in him such an impression, saying, “I have heard your prayer; don’t worry.” But God didn’t think it proper for Daniel, because He esteemed him so highly. God sent his holy one to Daniel to give him His response personally; God sent such a glorious one to give his answer to Daniel; it was such a royal treatment; God esteemed Daniel so highly. The Bible shows that God honors those who honor him. 

Look at verse 13. Let’s read this verse together: 

“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.” 

Here, “the prince of the Persian kingdom,” or “the king of Persia” refers to the ruler of evil spirits, in charge of the territory of the Persian Empire. This sounds very mysterious. But this is true. The Apostle Paul shows that Satan’s kingdom is well organized. Ephesians 6 says, “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 heavenly realms.” Here, “rulers” are like kings or presidents, and authorities are like senators or commissioners, and powers are like judges, and evil spirits are like FBI agents, sheriffs, or police or soldiers. In this way, under Satan, all the evil spiritual world is well organized. If there was the ruler of evil spirit in charge of the Persian Kingdom, we can understand that there was the ruler of evil spirits in charge of the Babylonia Empire, or the ruler of eachcountry or nation, and under them, there are governors, city mayors, and sheriffs. There is an evil spirit in charge of South Bay area; there is an evil spirit in charge of El Camino College.Instead of fighting with humans, we must fight against these rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world, and the spiritual forces of evil in the spiritual realms and defeat them. 

Once we defeat them, we see that strangely, God’s kingdom work goes very smoothly in that region – people become responsive to God’s words, salvation work goes powerfully, new disciples rise and new churches are established. Not only the one who defeated those evil spirits, but also all God’s people become successful in advancing God’s kingdom in that region, because, simply, that region is disarmed for God’s people to do God’s work. That’s why often we see that repentance movement rises in one country powerfully – it means that someone defeated the Prince of that country; or sometimes, we see God’s kingdom rises powerfully in a region such as California, or Los Angeles County, or South Bay, or Torrance, or CSULB – it means that someone defeated the head demon in that area. Sometimes, we go and do God’s work in a certain area, and strangely God’s work goes very well even though we are not the ones who fought the enemy and defeated it – it means that someone already defeated the enemy there, and thereby, the whole area is disarmed for Christians to go and reap the harvest. Jesus says, "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. 22 But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils.” (Luk 11:21-22) 

God is looking for those warriors of faith to rise, who can wage a war against those rulers, authorities and powers of this world. They are the ones through whom God’s kingdom advances into the enemy’s territory powerfully. Because of them, God has a chance to accelerate the human history, his world redemption plan; because of them, God suddenly ends one empire, and start the next one. Indeed, they are mighty warriors in God’s eyes. Don’t you want to be the ones who defeat the rulers, authorities and powers? Don’t you want to defeat the enemy in your campus so that God’s work can go powerfully there? Then, how can we be such mighty warriors for God’s kingdom work? Pay attention to Daniel’s real dedication to God – how he sought God absolutely as the matter of life and death; he had real zeal and passion for God that he would not slow down or compromise. Also, notice his wholehearted prayer struggle. Such dedication to God, such zeal and passion for God, such wholehearted pursuit of God – these are the secrets that had made Daniel a dangerous weapon for God. When he sought God this way, he was not the dead, but the living, and God became his God; when he sought God that way, he was the one who was serving God in spirit, and thereby, God could work with him freely, revealing his glory to the world, and advancing his kingdom work very powerfully. This is how we can rise as mighty warriors for God too. This is how we can wage a war against the rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world. Actually, Jesus talks about this in the Bible continually. He says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” That kind of complete dedication to God! Jesus talks about a kernel of wheat that falls to the ground and dies – that kind of complete dedication to God’s work, willing to die for God’s mission. Jesus also says, "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Mat 10:37-38) Such dedicated people that are not distracted by anyone or anything. When you have such zeal and passion for Jesus, you are the ones who serve God in spirit just in the same way Joshua and Caleb, Daniel and John the Baptist served God. Then, God becomes your God, because God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Then, God does mighty works of God through you, defeating the rulers, authorities, and powers, and because of you, God’s kingdom advances powerfully into the enemy’s territory, and not only you, but also all God’s people and God’s ministries in your area come to enjoy the benefits of your labor. Today, God wants us to rise as mighty warriors for God, mighty generals who can have duel with those rulers, authorities, and powers. Let’s serve God with such exceptional zeal and passion for God so that God can do mighty works through us.

Look at verses 20 and 21 and 11:1. Let’s read these verses together:

20So 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; 21but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince. 1And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him.) 

Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come. For what would he fight against the prince of Persia? Of course, to end the time of the Persian Kingdom and so that the next page of the world history according to God’s plan would kick in, that is, the Greek Empire. Because of Daniel’s dedication to God and because of Daniel’s wholehearted prayer, this man came to end the time of one Empire and to start the next one.  This is really amazing. Because of one person’s prayer, faith and dedication to God, God accelerate the world history so that he would complete his redemption plan quickly. Indeed, those who have such dedication to God, those who seek God wholehearted are the real movers of the world history – they are the history makers. 

The holy one said, “But first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth.” So, he told Daniel chapters 11 and 12. This shows us what kind of book the Book of Truth is. In this book are written what’s going to happen and how the world history should flow. For example, Daniel chapters 11 and 12 arejust parts of the Book of Truth - the Persian Empire, the Greek Empire, the Syrian Empire, the Egyptian Empire, the Roman Empire, the rise of the Antichrist, 3 and a half years’ persecution, the resurrection and eternal judgment and eternal reward. Most likely the revelation given to the apostle John was another part of it, showing the end phase of the world history and how the redemption plan would be completed - the development of missiles and nuclear weapons, the development of computers and internet for fast knowledge and information, how the world history should proceed – all these are already written in the Book of Truth. It does not mean that the human history is programed. Rather, it means that God has a plan for the history to flow in a certain way so that his world redemption plan would be fulfilled. Only according to the progress of the gospel in the world, God proceeds the world history step by step. That’s what the holy one serves, and that’s what Michael serves. And there, those who serve God in spirit, those who serve God wholeheartedly with such exceptional dedication and zeal for God play such important roles; they are heroes and heroines, because through them, God comes to have a chance to accelerate everything. We are serving God’s work. This is how the heavenly realm and this human world are related. We are the agents of the kingdom of God, the hosts of the heavens, here on the earth. 

The holy one says, “(No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.” He fought to end the time of the Persian kingdom, but the prince of Persia resisted, so that it would enjoy its time a little longer. Then, Michael helped him, thus, the Persian Empire was gone, and the Greek Empire rose. The holy one said that in the first year of Darius the Mede, he helped Michael to end the time of the Babylonian Empire, so that the Persian Empire could start. In this way, Michael and this holy one work closely to fulfill God’s plan on the earth. We all serve this will of God. Let’s pray that we may be the ones who make that major breakthrough on our campuses so that God’s kingdom may advance powerfully there.

One Word:Do Not Be Afraid, O Man Highly Esteemed. Peace! Be Strong Now; Be Strong.

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