RDean/Daniel Lesson 45
Daniel's Last Vision; The Preincarnate Christ – Daniel 10:1-9
I've been using the Nelson Study Bible, I like it, I like the notes, but I don't know why it is when certain editors do certain things and decide on type faces and font faces and things of that nature that they decided to use the tiniest numbers possible and the lightest font face possible to indicate where each verse is. I'm going to try to use it from the pulpit; last time I tried this I couldn't find any of the verses I was looking for. Open your Bible to Daniel 10. Just by way of review at the end of the last session, the conclusion of Daniel 9, we finished Daniel's third vision, the third revelation given to Daniel and that took place in the first year of Darius which is also the first year of Cyrus. Now we're going to emphasize the distinction here in verse 1, and we looked at the outline of this great panorama of history.
The reason that we're going to back to this is that Daniel is given this vision in about 538 BC. The vision that he's given in Daniel 10 does not come for two years and so he has two years to think and to meditate on the significance of what was revealed to him in chapter 9. Then we saw that God gave a timetable, a clock for the history of Israel and that clock was to start with the decree to restore the city, to restore it in terms of plaza and mote which refers to both its economic as well as military defensive structure and that from the date of that decree, which would start the time clock, from the date of that decree to the coming of Messiah the Prince, 69 weeks would go by and we studied that and we saw that was equivalent to 173,880 days and that when you work out that time clock it began on March 5, 444 BC, a date that's fairly certain, there's always a little caveat here that if our understanding of the calendar system is off then that throws everything off but at this stage I think there's a fair degree of certainty that Artaxerxes decree was on the 5th of March, 444 BC, and 173,880 days later is March 30, AD 33, the day Jesus enters into Jerusalem in the triumphal entry.
It is after that, according to the text, that Messiah the Prince is cut off, and then the city and the sanctuary are destroyed. That indicates that there's a clear interval between the sixty-ninth week and the seventieth week. The seventieth week begins when the coming prince, the antichrist, signs a peace treaty with Israel. It is the last week or a seven year period divided into two segments, a half week each, or three and a half years and three and a half years. Messiah returns at the end of that period, ending the plan for Israel. Both segments have to do with Israel and not the Church which is one reason why we believe the Church must be removed before the Tribulation begins. Again I remind you that it is not the rapture that begins the Tribulation; it is the peace treaty that the antichrist signs with Israel that starts that prophetic time clock going again.
Daniel has been reflecting upon this and it's had a lot of impact on his thinking and now two years later we come to the beginning of chapter 10. Here we're going to see that after three weeks of prayer concerning the difficulties that are facing the Jews who've returned to the land…see between Daniel 9 and Daniel 10 Cyrus gave his first decree in 538 BC, just about the time or very close to the time that Daniel had the vision in Daniel 9. Cyrus gave a decree for the first people to return to the land and they've gone back but they're having problems, they're running into opposition from some of the inhabitants of the land, they're not getting enough military support, economic support and so they're having numerous problems establishing themselves back in the land. And as Daniel gets reports on that he's extremely concerned and discouraged and he's trying to relate what he has heard from God because…if you were Daniel, put yourself in Daniel's place. He's been told that there is a decree, from the coming of this decree until Messiah there's going to be 69 years and now there's this decree from Cyrus for people to go back to the land. It would be easy for Daniel to assume that that's the right decree. He would not know, there's no indication that he was given additional revelation identifying which decree it was, until we come to Daniel 10:1, so there's a level of uncertainty in Daniel's understanding of how all these factors come together.
We read in Daniel 10:1, "In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a message," that is a word, "was revealed to Daniel, who was name Belteshazzar, and the message was true and one of great conflict, but he understood the message and had an understanding of the vision." So at this time he is given additional revelation and it is one that is overwhelming; it is one that is not what he expected in light of what he had already understood from the previous revelation. It is one, the text says, "of great conflict" and the Hebrew there for "conflict" is the word tsaba which is the root noun of the noun that we use, Sabaoth, when we sing A Mighty Fortress is our God, it refers to the "Lord Sabaoth," and as I have pointed out, that's not sabbath, that is the Hebrew word Sabaoth which means armies, and so the root word, tsaba refers to conflict, it refers to military conflict and war and so the vision that Daniel gets, this final fourth vision that actually is covered in three chapters, it begins in Daniel 10 and goes to the end of the book.
This is the last vision in the book; this is what everything has been heading to is this final detailed vision that is not given in symbols. That's one thing we'll note here is that it's not in symbols. Remember in Daniel 7 you had the symbols of the animals and you had animals again in Daniel 8 but there's no animals here and it covers basically the same information but in a lot more detail, like what Daniel covered in Daniel 8. Remember, for those of you who are not all that enchanted with history, that we spent a good deal of time in Daniel 8 going through the history of the Seleucid Empire. One of the reasons we did that is because I knew that when we got to Daniel 10, 11 and 12 the Holy Spirit goes into enormous detail about what will happen during the time period of the Seleucid Empire. So it's a matter of inculcation, repetition and inculcation for you to get that initial overview of the history of the Seleucid Empire and then be able to come back and look at it a second time in Daniel 10 and 11 and 12 because that becomes a type of the Tribulation, as Antiochus Epiphanes is a type of the antichrist.
So in Daniel 10, 11 and 12 we see that there is one unit here; this one unit is the climax of the book of Daniel. You might think the way Daniel is normally taught by a lot of people is that the vision at the end of Daniel 9 is the climax because it's such a pivotal prophecy, so important, but the climax of the book is God is revealing it to Daniel is relationship to His plan for Israel; the climax is contained in these last three chapters. It is a report from heaven on exactly what will take place in Israel's future and it is not a pleasant look. As verse 1 indicates, it's a message of tremendous warfare. And so as Daniel sees this, rather than anticipating the coming of Messiah, a rebirth, perhaps, of the glories of the kingdom of Israel as it was under Josiah, or even further back, under David and Solomon, Daniel is faced with a vision that indicates that their future is going to be one of horrible suffering, of warfare, of violence throughout the land, and it leave him overwhelmed. We read in this verse that the message is true, it's one of great conflict, and he understood the message and had understanding of the vision. The word translated "understood" in the Hebrew is the word bin in the Hebrew and bin, I always remember this from studying Hebrew, you have to learn all kinds of little…use all kinds of pneumonic devices to bin means between, it has to do with discernment and making a decision between two options, so it's not simply understanding, it has to do with discerning issues and being able to apply doctrine in the process of decision making. So this goes far beyond an academic comprehension of the message; it indicates that Daniel is able to apply the meaning of the message to his philosophy of history.
As we get into this section, chapters 10-12 there are two things that are important here. First, they give us as believers a framework for understanding history. One of the problems that we often face when we go to modern history classes is we're just faced with a plethora of details and nothing seems to orient or bring those details together; nothing seems to tie all of the detail together because very rarely do history teachers have a coherent philosophy of history and if they do it's usually on the order of some sort of Marxist or Hegelian, or Darwinian, it's just a matter of time and chance as one thing happens after another, and as Henry Ford once commented, history is just one damned thing after another. That's the view a lot of people have of history. But history is God's story; it is the outworking of God's plan and purposes for mankind, and as we look at this chapter we can see, get an understanding and a framework so that when we look at history we can put those pieces together and they're not just random events and facts hanging out there unassociated with anything else but they have meaning and value because they're in God's plan.
The second thing that we're going to see, more of next time than this time, and that is the role of angels. I think more than any other book in the Old Testament Daniel tells us about angels. There's a tremendous amount of angelology here and Daniel 10 starting in verse 10 indicates some information about the fact that there are demons as well as elect angels associated with the leadership of most national entities and empires. I will save it to next time but this doctrine that's contained in this passage has been exploited and distorted and magnified into an entire category of doctrine among charismatics that has introduced a whole new realm of vocabulary in many churches. I've heard people use this vocabulary who don't know a thing about the charismatics simply because somehow they heard someone use this vocabulary and they just sort of picked it up and it's amazing that the greatest lies in history are lies that are built on 90% truth and not lies that are built on 90% error. So the distortion of this passage has led to some tremendous heresy in the realm of angelology and demonology in contemporary times so we'll get into that next time.
Now the purpose for this vision is given in Daniel 10:14, "Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future." By the time we get down to verse 14 there is a personage that shows up on the scene and this is an angel, and this angel, probably Gabriel, this angel is unnamed but it has been Gabriel throughout this book that has been revealing and interpreting the visions for Daniel so this is probably Gabriel speaking here and there are three things we see in this verse. First of all, the prophecy in chapters 10-12 applies specifically and directly to the Jews, Daniel's people. They are for "your people." So this does not apply to the Church, does not apply directly to the Church Age but it again will be an indication that God has a plan and a purpose for Israel. That has an application today in that we must recognize that the return of Jews to the land today, while they're not saved, it's not a regenerate nation, it's not a nation that is concerned about spiritual things, it is nevertheless, as we saw last time, part of God's plan and purposes to restore Israel as an unregenerate nation before the Tribulation can begin. And so any thinking that is anti-Israel is also anti-Semitic and there's no place for anti-Semitism or anti-Israel thought among Bible-believing Christians.
This is one of the problems with what is known as replacement theology. Replacement theology is not the same as Covenant theology. We've gone through replacement theology and it is all of the theological systems, except for dispensationalism, all of the theological systems that think that the Church replaced Israel in God's plan; so that's Roman Catholicism, Lutheranism, Wesleyanism, Methodism, Episcopal Church, Congregational Churches, many Baptist Churches have forms of replacement theology. The only people who are consistently dispensational reject replacement theology. So that means that in a system of replacement theology where the Church replaces Israel, these folks no longer see a spiritual significance to Israel; Israel is no longer the apple of God's eye, Israel is no longer in that privileged position of blessing or will no longer return to that special place of blessing, and so they really don't have a basis, theologically, for rejecting anti-Semitism. In fact, historically replacement theology has always, rightly or wrongly been sort of seed bed for anti-Semitism.
One of the greatest anti-Semitic institutions in the history of mankind is the Roman Catholic Church, and that is because they have completely got into replacement theology. So we have to be very attune to that and recognize that as evangelical believers who hold to dispensationalism and a distinction between Israel and the Church that we believe there is a future, God does have a future plan for Israel and we are to be supportive of Israel. That does not mean that we necessarily agree with every political decision, every military decision that Israel makes. That's not what it means to be pro-Israel, but it does mean that we recognize that the ultimate goal of the Arab terrorists, the ultimate goal of the Arab nations is to destroy Israel, they've stated that time and time and time again in their own language. If we had reporters with integrity they would be broadcasting that on the evening news but since we have few reporters in the media with any kind of integrity it never seems to make the news.
In Daniel 10:1 we read that the date is somehow significant. We saw in previous studies that in Daniel 7 the first vision took place in the first year of Belshazzar. The second visions, in chapter 8 took place in the third year of Belshazzar. Then a number of years went by, about eleven years, and in the first year of Darius, the third visions. And now in the third year of Cyrus…now the third year of Cyrus is the same as the third year of Darius, Darius is the Median nephew of Cyrus who was set to rule over Babylon, it was Darius who was in charge of the old Babylonian Empire and he was the one responsible for sending Daniel to the lion's den. One theory is that between chapter 9, between 538 BC and 536 BC, Darius died. Another view is that the reason Daniel is emphasizing Cyrus here, rather than Darius is not that Darius is no longer ruling over the old Babylonian Empire under Cyrus but that Cyrus is the one who was named by Isaiah as God's anointed, who would be used by God to bring the Jews back from captivity, back to their land, and so by saying "in the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia," Daniel is emphasizing this connection, that this is the Cyrus, he's reminding his Jewish readers that this is the Cyrus of whom God had spoken that would send the Jews back to the land.
It's always important that when God puts a historical notice in Scripture that we pay attention to it and see if we can discover why that notice is there. God the Holy Spirit is economic with His use of words and doesn't just put stuff there just to randomly give information. It always has some significance. So we need to pay a little more attention to this, and he states clearly that this is the third year, not the second or the fourth year, but "the third year of Cyrus." This means that perhaps we should look at other passages of Scripture following the time honored principle of comparing Scripture with Scripture and correlate Daniel 10:1 with other passages of Scripture to discover what was going on in that third year of Cyrus, which is 536 BC.
What was troubling Daniel and other believers and other Jews in that particular year? To find out what happened we need to turn to Ezra 1. Ezra is a book that was written during the third year of Cyrus, at least portions of it because Ezra was one of the leaders of the Jews that returned to the land as a result of Cyrus' decree in 538 BC. Ezra was a priest; Zerubbabel was a descendant of royalty, although he was not a king he was the political leader so we usually speak of this time period as the time period of Ezra and Zerubbabel, Ezra being the priest, Zerubbabel being the political leader.
In Ezra 1:1 we read, "Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia," that was 538 BC, "in order to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying." Now just a little note, now and then you will recognize that there's a controversy and that controversy is, based on what I've been teaching Sunday morning, that is, that we have a human spirit, that we are born spiritual dead, without a human spirit according to Jude 19, not having a spirit, and yet someone will go to a passage like this and there are passages in Genesis and Exodus that talk about the spirit of Pharaoh, and people will say here's a use, so obviously Cyrus was an unbeliever, Pharaoh was an unbeliever, yet the Bible says they have a spirit. Well, you have to recognize that there are about eight or ten different uses of the word "spirit" in the Bible and this is just the generic word referring to the thinking of the individual. And as I pointed out, even in 1 Corinthians 2 spirit is used there, when it talks about who knows what's in a man except the spirit of a man, it's talking about that inner most part of the thinking of a man.
So, "the LORD stirred up the spirit," that is the thinking of Cyrus, king of Persia, so that the sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,  Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia, 'The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth," now there seems to be an indication here that perhaps Cyrus is a believer because of his recognition of Yahweh, the God of Israel, as the God of heaven. "The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah." So he recognizes the significance of Isaiah's prophecy, that he was to be appointed or anointed by God to send the Jews back to rebuild the temple. So it's very possible, based on this verse alone, not the verses in Isaiah because you don't have to be a believer to be appointed by God, but it's very possible based on this verse alone that Cyrus was a believer but you can't be dogmatic about that.
Daniel 10:3, "Whoever there is among you of all His people, may his God be with him! Let him to up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the LORD, the God of Israel, He is the God who is in Jerusalem." The reason you can't be real dogmatic is that his terminology towards the end of the decree is still the terminology of a pagan talking about a regional territorial god. So while he sounds like he might be a believer at the beginning he doesn't sound like it at the end so we can't be too certain about his spiritual status. So in Cyrus' first year which is 538 BC he issues a decree for the Jews to return to the land of Israel. So in Daniel 10:1 we're talking about the third year of Cyrus, which is two years later. The way they counted the years the first year would be 538; the second year would be 537; the third year would be 536, we're in BC time so we're going backwards. So it's 536 C when this takes place so people would already have been returning to the land. Now Daniel did not return to the land because at this time Daniel is a bit old. He is in his golden years, he is a senior senior because he is at least 85 years of age, he might even be as ripe as 90. Whenever the Scripture talks about living to a ripe old age, that was not a slang term. So he did and he maintained most of his mental faculties; if you don't know it by the time you're 75… by the time your 75 10% of you will have Alzheimer's; by the time you're 85 50% of you will have Alzheimer's; the rest of you won't remember because you'll just have regular old senility.
Then we come to Ezra 3:1, "Now when the seventh month came, and the sons of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered together as one man to Jerusalem," so here we see that the Jews in the land during their first year of regathering to Israel and they meet to Jerusalem in order to be challenged by the Word of God from Ezra. In Ezra 3:8 we read, "Now in the second y ear of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem in the second month, Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak and the rest of their brothers, the priests and the Levites, and all who came from the captivity to Jerusalem, began the work and appointed the Levites from twenty years and older to oversee the work of the house of the LORD." Notice they're building the temple, not the plaza and moat that Daniel talked about in the prophecy in Daniel 9. So in the second year they're back in the land, pioneers recolonizing the land that God had given them but he points out that they still had problems with sort of an early proto-Palestinian people, they aren't related to the Palestinians by any means, but whenever the Jews go back to the land, whoever happens to be living there really puts up a fuss and puts up a lot of terrorizing activity in order to prevent them from returning.
Then in chapter 4 there are even more events recorded about the problems that those returning to the land. In Ezra 4:1 we read, "Now when the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the people of the exile were building a temple to the LORD God of Israel," notice the similarity with today, see, nobody who's in the land that's not Jewish wants a temple there. The ancient inhabitants who were resettled there by the Chaldeans didn't want it and the modern Arabs that lived there who are called Palestinians by a misnomer, don't want it, because ultimately what energizes their opposition is Satan. Satan does not want the presence of God in Israel; he didn't want it then because he was thwarting the plan and he doesn't want it now because he doesn't want the Tribulation to begin. So he is preventing these things, trying to hold up and stop God's plan, but the message we see in all of this is that God controls history and Satan can't stop it.
In Ezra 4:2 we read that "they," that is these who oppose the Jews, "approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers' households, and said to them, 'Let us build with you, for we like you seek your God,'" see, their attempt is to work alongside in order to sabotage, in order to keep them from being able to complete the temple. Now where does the word sabotage come from? Sabotage comes from a Dutch word, sabot, which has to do with a shoe because back around the end of the 19th century a bunch of factory workers went on strike, took their shoes off and threw them into the industrial works to stop the machines. So they were called saboteurs. That's where that word comes from; just a little extra insight, trivia, something you can show off with.
So these early saboteurs want to infiltrate the ranks in order to stop the construction of the temple. So they ask, "let us build with you, for we like you, seek your God," they're so sanctimonious; notice the enemies of God always want to use God's name in order t justify their cause, "and we have been sacrificing to Him since the days of Esar-haddon, king of Assyria, who brought us up here.  But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of the fathers' households of Israel said to them, 'You have nothing in common with us in building a house to our God; but we are ourselves will together build to the LORD God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia has commanded us."
So even in the Old Testament we see this doctrine of religious exclusivism that Israel is held exclusively to God and there is really only one way to worship God and that's according to the way He has described it in His Word. But these saboteurs, these opposers, filed various lawsuits with Cyrus back in Babylon in order to prevent the rebuilding of the city, according to the rest of the chapter, down through verse 21.
So by the third year of Cyrus the entire Jewish rebuilding and restoration movement has been brought to a standstill and this is what's bothering Daniel in Daniel 10. He's thinking about the prophecy at the end of Daniel 9 and the reports that he's getting from the land that they are no longer able to work and everything is falling apart, and it's distressing him. And then he receives this message, and this message piles on the distress because the theme of the message is that the future of Israel is going to be bathed in bloodshed, it's going to be covered in violence and the result of that is that it has an impact on him.
I think it's interesting to see how this impacts a mature believer because too often I think as Church Age believers we have a tendency to be a little anti-emotional sometimes and we also have a tendency to think that if you're in fellowship and walking with the Lord, and as we see in John 15, abiding in Christ, and the Holy Spirit is filling you, that you're going to have the joy of Christ and there won't be any sense of sorrow or sadness. But as I pointed out, when believers are faced with real life difficulty and pain the loss of loved ones, difficult situations in life, whether it's unemployment, the breakup of a marriage, whatever kind of problem it may be, it's not wrong to be sad, it's not wrong to be sorrowful, it's not wrong to go through that mourning process. That is not something that is doubting the provision of God because you see, even Jesus went through times of mourning, He wept, He mourned over the people, not for Lazarus, He mourned when He looked at the crowds because He saw the impact that sin and death was having on their mental attitude. So at the time though He still had maximum joy. See, we want to juxtapose mourning and grief and legitimate sadness with joy and what Scripture presents is the fact that you can have both at the same time. You can have stability and joy and at the same time have legitimate sorrow and sadness over circumstances and situations in life. We don't have to act like we're untouched by what's going on around us; that's part of what it means to be compassionate.
Daniel is mourning for three weeks, he is so overwhelmed by what he sees that he's devastated; he's not despairing, he's not depressed, he's mourning though, because he sees the horrors that the nation is going to have to go through in the future, and it has an emotional impact on him. It's not wrong to have an emotional impact; what's wrong is to let that emotion dictate wrong behavior and wrong mental and give into mental attitude sin such as anger, bitterness, resentment, hostility things of that nature.
So Daniel is mourning and this mourning takes particular form because he is going to turn to God in that mourning which is what should take place when we go through those times, it should drive us to dependence upon God, and he is going to turn to God and seek for God's provision. So for three weeks he goes through this mourning process; for twenty one days. Now this is an important time in the feast calendar of Israel. If we put together the passage we'll discover that this 21 day period covers the first month of the feast calendar and goes to the 24th day. Remember it is the 14th day of the first month, this is in verse 4, it is the 14th day of the first month that is Passover; the day after Passover the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins and that lasts for a week so that goes from the 15th to the 22nd, and then two days later Daniel ends his fast. So he is going to express his mourning by fasting.
He fasts, he says in Daniel 10:3, "I did not eat any tasty food," and he's really listing three things here, the punctuation is poor here. What he says in the English is first of all he did not eat any of the prime gourmet delicacies that were available to him because of his high position in the Persian court. So he says I didn't eat any of the wonderful food that was available to me, not only that, I didn't eat any common food, I didn't eat any just bare necessities. I not only didn't eat any of the great food available to me at all, "I didn't eat any meat, I didn't drink any wine," and the entire structure here is to exclude any kind of eating that for this 21 day period he is on a fast, and he says "nor did I use any ointment at all," and this is an emphatic construction in the Hebrew to emphasize the fact that he didn't use any ointment. Now the reason that you use ointment is in the ancient world is just for daily cosmetics. It would be comparable to the fact that he's saying look, I didn't take a shower, I didn't put on any deodorant or after shave, I didn't comb my hair, I was distraught. He is indicating the fact that he is focused on something and the details of life in terms of food and in terms of the daily structure of taking care of himself are just irrelevant to him.
He's focusing on one thing and that's studying doctrine and praying, and that was the purpose of fasting, not to impress God. Remember Jesus told the Pharisees, see religion takes stuff like this out of context. Religion looks at this and says oh, if I want to have a word from God then I need to pray and not get a hair cut and not take a bath or put on deodorant. But what they're talking about here is the fact that he's so focused on God the details of life are not important and what we'll see is that he left town; he doesn't do this in the context of his normal social life. He leaves town so he's mostly off by himself. Now the Pharisees and Sadducees really distorted this so that by Jesus time they think this is a sign of super spirituality. You run into people every now and then today think so and they'll go without food and they'll go without bathing and that's some kind of a sign of super spirituality. What the Pharisees did, and Jesus when you're fasting, still anoint yourself so that nobody knows. Remember if you're doing any of these things it's between you and God, it should not be done in a way to impress other people and that's how religion had distorted this by the time of the First Advent. So religion always looks on the superficial and distorts this so that it becomes some kind of system for impressing God and impressing other people with our own spirituality. So Daniel says he didn't eat any food, any of the good food that was available to him, any meat or wine, he didn't anything, not only that, he didn't take a shower, didn't take a bath, didn't anoint his hair with oil, he didn't do anything like that for three weeks.
And then in Daniel 10:4 he says, "And on the twenty-fourth day of the first month," that is two days after the end of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, "while I was by the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris," which is a good distance from Babylon, so obviously he's not at home. That's why I can say he left town, he's not with his normal social surroundings, he's not with other people, he has left town during this time of mourning. He is not going to impose his sorrow, his sadness, his emotional state on other people. That's just good manners. When you're distraught, when you're upset, don't run around telling everybody about it and don't impose yourself on other people. You probably have a good friend or two that you can share that grief with and spend that time with but don't just run around emotionally out of control, putting yourself on everybody else.
So Daniel left town and he goes up to the Tigris River, and he says, "And on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, while I was by the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris,  I lifted up my eyes and look, and behold, there was a certain man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz." So he sees this individual while he is down by the river and by this time we know that he is with some friends so he's finished his fasting, he has joined some other friends in some location, we don't know where it is, down by the Tigris and at this point a man appears before him.
In Daniel 10:6 we go on to get another description of this individual, "His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult." Now I want you to pay attention to the details of what Daniel sees in his description of this individual and we'll compare to another passage for a little surprise. A lot of people look at this and up to this point there have been appearances of angels, and at this point they want to think because of the way that things move through the passage that this is Michael or Gabriel, but this is not a description of an angel.
Revelation 1:12-15, this is John's vision of the ascended Lord Jesus Christ while John is on the island of Patmos before he receives his revelation. Actually the title of that book is "The Revelation of Jesus Christ." Verse 12 we read, "Then I," the "I" being John," Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands;  and in the middle of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, girded about the chest with a golden band.  And His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire;  and His feet were like fine brass as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters." Notice the similarity with the man that appears to Daniel along the banks of the Tigris, the same type of clothing, the same appearance of the eyes, a similar description of the sound of the voice. So it doesn't take a whole lot to see the parallel between these two visions.
So what we have in Daniel 10 is an appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ prior to the virgin conception and the virgin birth, prior to the incarnation of Christ. So in Daniel 10 we have what is called a Theophany. "Theo" for Theos, God, and "phany," from phanos meaning appearance, phaneroo is the verb we've studied in 1 John 3 for manifestation or appearance. So this is an appearance of God. Now throughout the book of Daniel we've had various revelations and various appearances to Daniel…[tape turns]… there is special revelation by means of a dream to a Gentile king. In Daniel 4 there's a vision given during the daytime to a Gentile king. In Daniel 5 there's a public appearance of an angel's hand at the feast of Belshazzar, the handwriting on the wall. In Daniel 7 there is a dream given, not to a Gentile king but to Daniel himself. In Daniel 8, another vision given in the daytime to Daniel. In Daniel 9 he has a direct encounter with the angel Gabriel, who interprets a dream for him. And now in Daniel 10 we have an encounter with God the Son plus two other angels.
So let's close this evening with a review of the doctrine of the Theophany. Point number one: a definition, a Theophany is a manifestation of the person of Jesus Christ in a preincarnate state. All the appearances of God in the Old Testament are appearances of God the Son, not God the Father. We'll see the Scripture on that in just a minute. But that's a definition of a Theophany. A Christophany is the appearance of Christ after His ascension. For example, when Jesus appears to Paul on the Damascus Road, that is a Christophany, the appearance of Christ after His ascension. So a Theophany is a manifestation of the person of Christ in a preincarnate state and a Christophany is a manifestation of Christ after the ascension.
Point number two: Jesus Christ is the only visible member of the Trinity. This is clear from Scripture, that Jesus Christ is the only visible member of the Trinity. No other member of the Trinity manifests himself visibly. This is based on two Scriptures, John 1:18, "no one has seen God at any time," that would exclude Moses, that would exclude Abraham, that would exclude Adam. That would exclude everyone in the Old Testament who saw God. So that God, i.e. Yahweh that they saw was really Jesus Christ in His preincarnate state. Again in John 6:46, Jesus said, "Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God, He has seen the Father." That again indicates that Jesus is the only one who has seen the Father, no human being has ever seen the Father. So this is clear from these direct statements in the New Testament.
Third, the various Theophanies in the Old Testament demonstrate that Jesus Christ is the God who appeared to the prophets in the Old Testament. For example, as a starting point we should look at Deuteronomy 6:4, this is a famous passage known as the shema, based on the Hebrew qal imperative of the verb shamam meaning to hear or in the imperative to listen. "Hear, O Israel," this is probably best translated, "listen up," that's a little Texas slang there, "Hear, O Israel," pay attention, "Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one," and a little better translation, "Yahweh, our God," Yahweh Elohenu, "Yahweh our God, Yahweh is one." Now this word "one" is the Hebrew word echad; echad is not the only word for one in Hebrew; it is the word for one in composite as opposed to a singular or unitary one. Let me give you an example: when God created man and woman, when they are joined together they become one flesh, echad, they are two components but they're one flesh. When all the twelve tribes of Israel appeared before God on Mount Sinai, they were said to be one nation, echad. And yet there is another Hebrew number for one that indicates a singularity, a non-compound one. So the word translated one here does not exclude a division in the Godhead.
Furthermore, when it is used in this kind of a construction it has the idea of unity, not the idea of singularity, just as in the statement that when a man and woman are joined together they are one flesh, the emphasis is on unity, the emphasis here is: "Hear, O Israel, Yahweh our God, Yahweh is a unity." Yahweh is a unity! So it is emphasizing the unity of the Triune God, just another glimpse of the fact that the Trinity while not overtly revealed in the Old Testament is clearly referenced in the Old Testament. This is further substantiated by the appearance of the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament. You have this one particular individual appear again and again who is described as the angel of the Lord.
For example, he appears in Judges 2:1-4 and warns the leadership of Israel. Again in Judges 6:11-24 he appears to Gideon and Gideon worships the angel of Yahweh as Yahweh. No other angel accepts worship from man. Every other time a human being tries to worship God the angels stop him, but in Judges 6 this angel encourages it; in fact Gideon directly calls the angel Yahweh. In other passages in the Old Testament, for example, in Zechariah 1:12-13 this angel of the Lord is said to be carrying on a conversation with Yahweh himself so that you have a conversation between Yahweh and the angel of the Yahweh and they are both referred to as God. In Genesis 22:11-18 and Genesis 48:15-16 you have the same kind of thing, you have the angel of the Lord appear but the angel of the Lord is also referred to as Yahweh. So the fact is that in many passages the angel of the Lord is identified as God. And then in Zechariah 1:12-13 and some other passages the angel of the Lord is distinct in personality from Yahweh as well so that indicates multiple personalities in the Godhead.
Point number four: the Theophanies ended with the incarnation of Jesus Christ at the First Advent. Following His incarnation there is a manifestation of Jesus Christ in His resurrection body and that is referred to as a Christophany.
So we come to Daniel and Daniel has this appearance, this man who appears to him and when he hears the sound of his words he falls into a deep sleep. This is in verse 9. Daniel says in Daniel 10:7, "Now I, Daniel, alone saw the visions, while the men who were with me did not see the vision; nevertheless, a great dread fell on them and they ran away to hide themselves." So he receives this vision that will be described in chapters 11 and 12 during this particular time.
Then in Daniel 10:8 he says, "So I was left alone and saw this great vision," now when he says he was left alone that means not only that these men left, but this personage who is revealing this to him also leaves and is replaced by an angel. He says, "I was left alone and saw this great vision; yet no strength was left in me, for my natural color turned to a deathly pallor, and I retained no strength." Isn't it interesting, when there is a manifestation of Christ that people other than the one to whom He is revealing Himself tend to run away. When Paul is on the road to Damascus and the Lord Jesus Christ appears to him, everybody else runs away. When God appears, those who are not the object of His appearance tend to run away terrified because they are confronted with the integrity and the righteousness and the holiness of God.
Daniel 10:9, "But I heard the sound of his words; and as soon as I heard the sound of his words, I fell into a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground." Then in verse 10 things are going to change. Get the picture, he falls into the trance, he is going to get this revelation, and then at the conclusion of receiving the vision a hand shakes him, physically, violently shakes him awake. And this is a different individual. "Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees.  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. And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up, trembling." So there is a shift between the first man who appears to him back in verse 5 and this individual. One of the reasons we say that is the description in verse 5 is so clearly that of the same description of Jesus Christ in Revelation 1, but this individual as an angel has to do battle with a demon called the prince of the kingdom of Persia.
So next time we're going t get into some important angelology and demonology to understand a little bit, or get a glimpse, we're not going to push it like some people do, but we recognize here we get a little bit of…God peels back the envelop a little bit so that we can see and get a glimpse of how the angelic conflict and the war in the heavenlies impacts the geopolitical strategy on planet earth.