Ladies Bible Study
The Book of Daniel
Relevance for Today
We are nearing the end of one of the most fascinating studies of Godís Word that I have taught since I began teaching seven years ago. We will be looking at Daniel Chapter 10. We are "beginning the end" as Chapters 10,11 and 12 are really one vision. I had a difficult time deciding how to teach these chapters. Chapter 10 is short and really an introduction into the meat of Danielís last vision, which encompasses both chapters 11 and 12. Initially I had planned to briefly discuss prayer and fasting, then move on into chapter 11, and begin teaching on the vision. Then the Holy Spirit began to deal with me and I dwelt in chapter 10 and saw how important it is. Even though it is as introduction to the last 2 chapters, it really stands on itís own and needs to be thoroughly taught and meditated on.
Daniel 10: 1. In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar. The message was true, but the appointed time was long; and he understood the message, and had understanding of the vision. 2. In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. 3. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
4. Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris, 5. I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! 6. His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.
7. And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
8. Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength. 9. Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground. 10. Then, suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. 11. And he said to me, "O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.'' While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.
12. Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. 13. "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. 14. "Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.'' 15. When he had spoken such words to me, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless. 16. And suddenly, one having the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke, saying to him who stood before me, "My lord, because of the vision my sorrows have overwhelmed me, and I have retained no strength. 17. "For how can this servant of my lord talk with you, my lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath left in me.'' 18. Then again, the one having the likeness of a man touched me and strengthened me. 19. And he said, "O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!'' So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, "Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.'' 20. Then he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come. 21. "But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince.
Daniel again reveals himself as a man of resolution, reverence and revelation. He set his mind and heart to fast and pray. As you recall, the previous visions were very troubling for Daniel. They revealed what was to come, for both the Gentile and Jewish worlds. They greatly troubled Daniel and as we see in verse 12, he humbled himself and set himself to understand further what God was revealing to him, especially about the nation of Isreal.
Daniel 10:2-3: In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. 3. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
Daniel had been fasting for three full weeks or twenty-one days. I do not think Daniel set a limit of twenty-one days when he begin this fast. Daniel was a man who communed with God on a daily basis, but he really needed answers! Sometimes when we really need answers, the best thing to do is fast! I believe Daniel began to fast and did not plan to stop until he received those answers! Why do I believe that, letís look at verse 12 and part of verse 12.
Daniel 10:12-13a: Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. 13. "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; Ö
The minute Daniel prayed, the minute he set his heart to understand, the minute he humbled himself by fasting, God heard him! Not only did God hear him but he immediately sent the answer, but what happened? Spiritual warfare, is what happened and
that will be the meat of out lesson today.
Look at verse 13 in its entirety and on into verse 14.
Daniel 10:13-14: "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. 14. "Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.''
We can see a description of the messenger. Some believe it is the angel Gabriel and others Jesus himself. The vision of the man so overpowered Daniel that he was "slain in the spirit" as we call it. Daniel was knocked completely down by the holy presence! In fact if you look at verse 7 we see that only Daniel saw the vision, the others with him did not, but they fled. Why did they flee? Because they sensed the overpowering presence of God. We see an example of this in the New Testament with Saul.
Acts 9:3-4,7: And as he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?''Ö7. And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one.
Acts 22:7-9: "And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, `Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?' 8. "So I answered, `Who are You, Lord?' And He said to me, `I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.' 9. "Now those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me.
In chapter 9 Luke, the author of Acts is reporting what happened, in chapter 22, Paul is giving his testimony. Yes, I realize they contradict each other in whether the men with Paul actually heard the voice or not. That is not the issue, the issue is the presence of God, the overpowering presence of holiness. Whether it is an angel or Jesus himself, that awesome power, that holiness will effect you!
When you set your mind to seek God with everything within you, you will get results!
Whether you are as spiritually mature as Daniel or someone God is really dealing with, you will get result!
Fasting and praying is a powerful tool and spiritual weapon. But let me make one thing very clear, fasting does not change God! When you fast, you are humbling yourself before God, you are saying God, you are more important than food, and in Danielís case, even bathing! You are telling God that you have set your mind and heart to hear from him, just as Daniel did. You are telling God that His direction, His answers are more important than anything else is. Fasting does not change God but it does move God.
As we see in verse 12, from the moment Daniel set his heart and humbled himself, the answer was sent. Humble is a Biblical term for fasting. Fasting and praying is an important part of a Christianís life. Jesus went into the desert for 40 days of fasting before He began his ministry. Jesus fasted, Paul fasted, we need to fast as part of our walk. Not because I say so, but because it strengthens you spiritually. I will deal with this more later in this lesson.
Letís talk about spiritual warfare.
Ephesians 6:10-12: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
We must know who our enemy is and how he functions! We are not in battles with individuals but with spirits. We are not fighting against flesh and blood. Sometimes we forget that. We are fighting a very wise organized enemy. Satanís kingdom is divided into principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places. If we go back and look at Daniel 10:13 we see that the messenger was delayed by the Prince of Persia. This is not an actual person, it is the spirit of Persia that was ruling over the kingdom of Persia. This is the spiritual host in heavenly places. Many scholars have designated the different levels of power in Satanís army. I am not going to do that. Suffice it to say Satan is organized, evil and we need to know who we are and where we stand! Amen!
Letís look at what Paul tells us.
2 Corinthians 12:2: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows such a one was caught up to the third heaven.
Logically, if there is a third Heaven, there must be a first and second. The first Heaven is directly above us, it is the know universe, with stars and planets. The third Heaven is obviously the dwelling place of God Almighty and where we go when we die. So what is the second Heaven? Paul tells us, it the dwelling place of the spiritual host of wickedness and all the other rulers etc he describes. Paul also tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:4 that Satan is the god of this world. Some translations say of this age. Until the second coming of Christ, satan rules this world. The one "fly in the ointment" is that he is defeated!
Colossians 2:10-15: and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. 11. In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,
12. buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14. having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
We are complete in Him, Jesus our Lord and Saviour. He is now the head of all principality and power.
Matthew 28:18-20: Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20. "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'' Amen.
The King James Translation say "all power".
Mark 16:17-18: And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18. "they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.''
Here Jesus clearly states what we have power, all these describe the works of the devil.
Matthew 10:1,17-19: And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of diseaseÖ.Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.'' 18. And He said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19. "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Colossians 2:15 tells us he triumphed over the devil and made a public spectacle of them!
This is the difference between Old Covenant warfare and New Covenant warfare. Daniel did not have Jesus we do! The devil is a defeated foe, we already have the victory, but we walk in ignorance.
We either donít know our authority or we allow the enemy to deceive us into thinking we still have to battle on Old Covenant terms.
Hebrews4:14-16: Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Jesus is in the presence of God, bringing our petitions to him, covered in the blood of the lamb. Satan has no legal right to interfere. Legality had never stopped satan before and it doesnít now. His goal is to keep us defeated and beaten, living in weakness and doubt.
Know who you are in Christ, stand and fight as Paul tells us.
How do we fight? I am going to quickly go over several important battle strategies. This is only the tip of the iceberg, you need to mine Godís Word and find out for yourself, how to successfully fight the good fight!
Our number one tool is and always will be prayer. Prayer sent the extra angel to help Danielís messenger and it will always, always bring success for us. I am not talking about regular "religious prayer" I am talking about hard core, fasting, praying. I am talking about fervent prayer.
James 5:13-16: s anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Not only prayer but praise brings results. As we know, God inhabits the praise of His people. I have read where our troops in Iraq, before they go out, pray together and then play Christian music and praise. Why? Because they are in actual physical warfare and they want the presence of the Lord with them! It is no different with us.
The second tool I am going to discuss is our spiritual armor.
Ephesians 6:13-18: Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15. and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16. above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18. praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints
Letís look at each of these pieces of equipment individually. Remember Paul was using a familiar image to the people of his time, the Roman soldier. The equipment used today is very similar and I will try to correlate it for us.
Proverbs: 4:24: Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you.
Proverbs 4:23: Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
prepare us to go on journeys. No one wants to walk long hard distances barefooted.
We need to know what the Gospel of peace is and how to share it. We also need to be
prepared to do so. Jesus told us to "Go thereforeÖ". We cannot go if we are not prepared. Our soldiers in Iraq are never without proper footwear and neither should we be.
4. The shield of faith: I do not know of a comparable piece of modern equipment for the
shield. The roman shield was large over 4 feet wide. It was a formidable piece of equipment. The soldier could protect himself or stand with his comrades and form a wall of shields and protect a larger number of people, also joined together the shield could form a wall of protection as the troop advanced. As we go through life we are tested daily. This refines our faith, obtaining and building faith is not refining it. You hear and believe. That establishes your faith. You obtain faith and build it through studying Godís Word. It is refined and perfected through trials. Then when the enemy comes at you and he will, you raise that shield and Bam! You repel that fiery dart!
5. The helmet of salvation: helmets protect your head or even more important your brain,
or soul. Even today our troops never go even on patrol without their helmet. One of the
most common areas the enemy attacks us is through our mind. Joyce Meyer refers to it
as "The Battlefield of the Mind." If you are not protected the enemy will attack you with deceitful thoughts, depression, worry, anger, jealously.
Todayís modern weapon is a rifle. The Word of God is true and powerful. It is how
Jesus defeated satan and that is how we will defeat him. You cannot do it with reason or argument. You have to use the Word of God on him! That is all that works.
This has been a brief discussion on spiritual warfare. I would like to reccommand several books for further Study.
Spiritual Warfare by Derek Prince.
Rules of Engagement, Preparing for your role in Spiritual Battle, by Derek Prince.
The Hidden Power of the Blood of Jesus, by Mahesh Chavda
The Hidden Power of Prayer and Fasting,by Mahesh Chavda.
The Blood and the Glory,by Billie Brimm.
Additional Scripture for study.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
2 Corinthians 5:21
2 Corinthians 2:14
1 Thessalonians 5:8
Praise God, Jesus always causes us to triumph!
Next lesson, the vision in chapters 11and 12 .
Questions Chapter 10
6. List the spiritual armor Paul tells us to don and describe the importance of each peace.