RDean/Daniel Lesson 46
Angelic Conflict; Problem of Evil – Daniel 10:10-13
Daniel 10 is one of the key chapters in opening up, as it were, or pulling back the curtain from our eyes to help us understand that there really is more going on in the world than human history in the affairs of man, the affairs of politics, than simply what we perceive with our natural senses, that if we as believers understand what the Bible is teaching here, it ought to sort of give us a new understanding, a new dimension to our understanding of what is taking place. It should make us stop and think that when we hear about, as it has been the last six months with the violence in Israel, and going back to the beginning of this last intifada in September of 2,000 we should stop and think about what might be going on in the angelic realm; in the realm of the demonic struggle and what Satan is trying to do. In fact, when we loot at this passage a couple of things are going to stand out for us. One is that we learn that there is this other dimension of the angels and what's involved there, but also how we as believers are to interact with that, and we also see some things about what Satan is attempting to do in human history.
Last time we got as far as verse 9 so let's get a quick review of this chapter and place ourselves in it again. Daniel 10 begins Daniel's last vision which is covered in Daniel 10, 11 and 12. It takes place "in the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia," and as I stated last time by comparing passages in Ezra 1, Ezra 4, we see the first wave of Jewish returnees has taken place under Ezra, they met with some resistance; there are some problems in the land. Daniel has heard about the problems, it's reminiscent of what will take place 100 years later under Nehemiah. So he's heard that; he's also given this vision and so he is troubled and disturbed by that vision, he goes on a lengthy fast, and after the end, because of what we see in verse 4, "on the twenty-fourth day of the first month," in other words, two days after the end of the Feast of Unleavened Bread Daniel stops his fast and he has another vision. He's left Babylon; he is in the river bank of the Tigris.
Just a point of observation here, when he is so disturbed and he is so upset and he's going through this time when he's not going to shower, he's not going to anoint himself, he's not going to eat, rather than impose his own personal misery on everybody around him, he makes sure that he goes off by himself. That's an important point. Sometimes we forget that when we're going through difficult times, while it is important to have close friends that we can be encouraged by, it's also somewhat of a self-absorbed imposition to expect everybody to want to hear about all of our troubles. So we need to be careful of that and who we share our troubles with. We don't want to come across as whining and being self-absorbed and just focusing on our problems.
So Daniel is concerned, he goes off by himself and in the midst of this, in verse 5, a man appears to him. We compared the representation of this personage in Daniel 10:5 with Jesus Christ and His appearance in Revelation 1 and we recognized that this first figure that appears to him in Daniel 10:5 and following is the preincarnate Jesus Christ. We studied the doctrine of the preincarnate Jesus Christ and His various manifestations, recognizing that "no one has seen God at any time but the only begotten," i.e., the Second Person of the Trinity is the one who has appeared and revealed Him in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament. So we saw the distinction between Theophanies which is an appearance in the Old Testament of Jesus Christ, the preincarnate Christ and a Christophany which is an appearance in the New Testament of Jesus Christ after the resurrection, for example in Acts 8 where he appears to Paul on the Damascus road.
Daniel has this vision in Daniel 10:7, "Now I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision," this is a vision given to him by the Lord Jesus Christ, "a great terror fell on them so that they fled to hide themselves," not unlike Paul's companions on the Damascus Road. Verse 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 and I retained no strength." Daniel is between 85 and 90 years of age and he sees this overpowering vision of what is going to take place in Israel's future and he has an emotional reaction, not that he goes into ecstatics but that it really hits him hard. It leaves him physically shaken, trembling.
And he says in verse 9, where we'll pick it up this week, "I heard the sound of His words," literally it's more like "the noise of His words," he can't distinguish the words, he just hears the reverberation of the words but he can't distinguish exactly and precisely what is being said by the Lord Jesus Christ. This is not unlike what happens to the Apostle John in Revelation 1. At that time John is on the island of Patmos where he was exiled by Domitian, the Emperor at that time, he doesn't have anyone around him, he's out there by himself, he's on the island, frequently he would take walks around the island, it's a rather barren looking landscape from pictures that I've seen. But there's one thing that's common to almost any part of the island, because it's not very large, and that is you can hear the surf pounding on rocks on the shore. Now I don't know about any of you and your experience, but I know that a few times I have been on a coast where there's been some waves coming in continuously and it can be quite a roar.
One time years ago I was attending a wilderness leadership seminar at Wheaton College and it was about three weeks of backpacking and white water canoeing and we ended up on the shore of Lake Superior. Now Lake Superior has a pretty steady drumbeat of waves coming in, in fact it's a dull roar, and we ended up there with four days solo. I never thought I could go more than 24 hours without food but we had to go four days without food. Yet this whole time there's just this study roar as you have one wave after another coming in, it wasn't a sound that changed, it was just like a dull roar and I remember we finally left and got away from the beach how amazing it was, it seemed so quiet all of a sudden.
That's the idea that John has for a point of comparison here when he hears the Lord in Revelation 1, he says the only thing that he could compare Jesus' voice to was like the voice of many waters. So he's thinking about this pounding, the pounding surf on the shore of Patmos. Well, Daniel says much the same thing here, "I heard the sound of His words," and it's this steady drumbeat of noise but he can't really distinguish what it is, but the whole vision is so overpowering, not unlike the vision of God that Isaiah had in Isaiah 6, that he falls on his face and he is unconscious. He says, "I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground." Now this is a sign of obedience or worship to God, recognition of divine authority.
It reminds me of Proverbs 1 where we're told that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." He is demonstrating His awe and respect for the authority of God. And you get the impression when you look at these passages in Scripture like John in Revelation 1 before Jesus Christ and Isaiah in Isaiah 6 before the throne room of God, and Ezekiel and here, that when God appears and you see the manifestation of His glory that it is like there's nothing else you can do except prostrate yourself before God. The presence of God is self-authenticating, you don't say who is that, what's that blinding flash of light; when you come into the very presence of God His presence is so overpowering and so overwhelming and communicates of itself who and what God is that you don't have any choice but to bow down in worship. And I think that is compreable in some sense to the Word of God. When we get into 1 Corinthians on witnessing I will talk about that the Word of God is self-authenticating. When we communicate the Scripture to an unbeliever they may not believe it, they may reject it, they may say well how can you prove it's the Word of God, but the testimony of Scripture is such that when God speaks people know God is speaking, just as every human being knows on the basis of the nonverbal communication of God in the creation in Romans 1, everyone knows God exists but they suppress that in unrighteousness. The testimony of Scripture is that the Word of God also bears that authority behind it, that it is the Word of God and as the Word of God it comes with certain baggage that is self-authenticating. Whether or not people choose to believe it or not is another thing, but in the depths of their soul they know it's the Word of God and they are, therefore, held accountable for how they handle it.
So we come to verse 10, Daniel is in a state of prostration and he is going to be strongly awakened by an angel who appears in verse 10. This is a different personage from the preincarnate Christ, from the personage that appears in verse 5. He's been unconscious and now he says, Daniel 10:10, "Suddenly a hand touched me," he doesn't say His hand touched me, which would be a reference back to the personage in verse 5, he says "a hand touched me," this is another hand and the word for "touched" there is a word that doesn't mean simply to touch, this isn't the angel reaching over and just gently tapping him on the shoulder. This is the Hebrew word naga' which means to touch but it also means to strike or to shake. And so the word here, "he touched me" is really sort of weak and pusillanimous, "a hand shook me," hit me, probably comparable to someone who goes into hysterics and you slap them in order to bring them to a sober consciousness. So the angel here comes up to Daniel and shakes him hard to get his attention.
It says "the hand touch me and set me trembling on my hands and knees," and the word for trembling is the hiphil imperfect of the Hebrew word that means to shake, to recoil, to have the shakes and he is completely upset by this so that he's not just trembling but he is shaking all over as a result of not only the vision but also this shaking by the angel. So the angel comes up and clobbers him to get his attention because God is trying to communicate something to Daniel. God the Son has revealed a certain amount of information to Daniel but he doesn't understand it; it just comes as sort of an overwhelming block of sound and now as the standing procedure throughout Revelation… remember he's seen visions, he didn't understand them, an interpreting angel would come and interpret and tell him exactly what it meant. Here he has heard the noise, he's heard the sound of the Revelation from the preincarnate Son of God but he hasn't understood it, it's just been sort of an audio visual overload as it were and so this angel is going to come and interpret it for him. So this is a time of teaching, a time of instruction.
There are a couple of principles we could pick up from this and that is that before you can start learning you have to be in a sober, stable mindset. You can't just be reacting to the information. That was what was happening with Daniel in verse 8, no strength remains in him, his vigor is turned to [can't understand word] he is passing out in verse 9 and before he can learn the Word he's got to be in a sober, and by that I don't mean nonalcoholic, I mean that he is of a stable focused mindset ready to concentrate and ready to learn and to be taught what the vision means. So the interpreting angel is preparing Daniel for some instruction. "And he," the interpreting angel, addresses Daniel in verse 11.
Daniel 10:11, "And he," that is the interpreting angel, probably Gabriel, it doesn't say but heretofore in the book it's been Gabriel so that's a strong possibility but it doesn't say for sure so we can't be certain, "And he said to me, 'O Daniel, man of high esteem." "He said to me, O Daniel, man greatly beloved," that is the New King James Translation. I think the old King James said "Daniel, beautiful man." The New American Standard translates it, "Daniel, man of high esteem" or man of treasures. Literally the Hebrew word is chamad and it means pleasant. It can also mean in some passages someone who desires something. It has a negative connotation of coveting or lusting after something. But the primary meaning of this adjective is desirableness, something that is precious, something that's desirable, something that can be delighted in. So when the angel is looking at Daniel and he's saying Daniel, you are someone in whom we as angels, and in whom God take delight. He is not looking at Daniel on the outside; at this time Daniel is an old man and even though he still had a lot of strength in his physical body he is still quite aged and would not be in his prime and would not look his best.
What we learn from this is an important principle that our real beauty lies on what's on the inside, not what's on the outside. This again emphasizes the fact that throughout this whole passage the things that we can take from this is emphases on how God looks at history, how God looks at individuals, not just how we look at them in terms of a simple materialistic overt or superficial appearance. The angel is focusing on what the priority is. This is something that you parents can take home; what God is concerned about is developing the soul on the inside and what makes his soul attractive. What makes that soul desirable is that Daniel has been taking in the Word of God. It is the Word of God that has shaped his thinking; it is the Word of God that has shaped his soul that makes it desirable and delightful in terms of God's scale of values.
So when we look at someone we need to realize that what God is trying to promote in our children and in ourselves is an understanding of His Word and that is what has ultimate value because that's the only thing that has enduring value. It doesn't matter how much you succeed in life, it doesn't matter how well you develop your talents, it doesn't matter how well you develop your athletic skills, it doesn't matter how well you develop your artistic skills, if you are not developing that which ultimately matters in terms of the beauty of your own soul based on Bible doctrine, all of that other is just a waste of time. So the principle here is that we have to get our priorities right and it doesn't mean don't spend time developing these other things but that when you have conflicts of priorities and conflicts of schedule the issue is choosing doctrine over everything else.
What destroys most Christians, it destroys most pastors, it destroys most ministers and it destroys most ministries and it destroys most Christian lives, is not necessarily the choice between sin and righteousness. That's what legalist always want to reduce everything to, you're choosing sin and we all know horror stories where people got caught up in certain overt sins and that destroyed a marriage or it destroyed a ministry or it destroyed a church. But where people really destroy their own spiritual lives is because rather than choosing the best they just choose the good. It's not that what they are doing is inherently wrong or sinful. It's not wrong for a pastor, as a pastor of a church, it's not necessarily wrong to spend time visiting people in the hospital or visiting those who are newcomers to the church or spending time doing so many of the people things that so many pastors do, but what happens is that takes them out of the study and they're choosing to spend time with people rather than spend time in the Word and then they don't fulfill the command that Jesus Christ gave every pastor and that is to "feed My sheep," because if the pastor is not spending his time studying the Word he can't feed the sheep. So a pastor demonstrates his love for the Lord Jesus Christ and his love for the congregation by studying and feeding the sheep, not by going out and doing so many of the social things and so many of the people oriented things that many pastors do. Now it's not that those things are sinful; it's just that they are not putting their priority on the things that God puts the priority on. And in that sense you could think that it is a sin for a pastor to spend his time doing the wrong thing and not feeding the congregation.
Parents do the same thing; they make choices for what their kids are going to be involved in and when they make those choices then it keeps them out of Bible class on Wednesday night, it may create problems on Sunday, whatever it might be, all of a sudden they are communicating by how they plan their children's schedule that doctrine really isn't as important as the pastor says it is. The pastor wants you to make doctrine your life, but you know, he's a pastor and that's his job, and people often rationalize it that way. But that's not the pastor's opinion; that's God's opinion because what God is going to say at the end of your life is what do you have of value that's going to last for eternity and the only thing that we have of value that lasts for eternity is what's produced in our soul as a result of learning and applying doctrine.
Daniel is said to be a man of high esteem, a man in whom God delights, whose soul is desirable to God and that's based on the doctrine that is in his soul. I remember years ago I went to a church and I was candidating and one of the leaders in the church made the comment to me, which at the time I did not do what I wanted to was… my gut reaction was it made me so nauseous I really wanted to throw up in his face but I didn't do that, I maintained a little poise. He said, you know, it's great to teach all these wonderful things but you everybody just sits, soaks and sours, you know they just love these little phrases; they just sit there, soak up the Word, soak up all this teaching and then it just sours because they never do anything with it. And it just reflected such an abysmal ignorance about the entire learning process that I knew there were serious problems with this guy's understanding of the spiritual life and how you get there.
Most people don't realize it but to apply anything in life you have to learn about a hundred times more information about the subject than you apply, whether it's carpentry, whether it's medicine, preaching, the Word of God, whether it has to do with management or leadership or teaching school, we know a tremendous amount and we only apply it at any given time, just half a percent or one percent of that knowledge, but the greater the reservoir of knowledge is then the more we can apply it. But we have to learn so much more and its important, because as we study all these things, and for those of you who teach in prep school, one of the things that I try to do when I teach and that you should try to emulate is constantly reminding people of certain key principles and repeating certain key things over and over again, just in one line, two line reminders but that's part of what teaching is, is that when you come to Bible class you're going to be reminded of a certain amount of information that you may have heard a hundred times, you're going to hear some things that are going to hit you a fresh way, but one of the important things is that you're going to leave here, I hope, every Bible class being reminded that God's in control of history, God's in control of your life, God's provided you with a solution to every problem you're going to face and if you're going to get anywhere in life you have to make that the number one priority and you're going to apply it day in and day out, and you're going to be reminded of that. I don't care what else we learn, the rest in some sense are just details. We have to learn those details but the core of what we learn and are reminded of every time, especially when you've gone through difficult times, whether it's unemployment, financial problems, emotional problems, financial problems, emotional problems, marriage problems, is that God is always faithful to you no matter how difficult life may be at that particular time. But it is only the doctrine in your soul that is going to give you the kind of stability you need in those difficult, difficult times. So to get there you have to learn, you have to study, you have to meditate continuously on what is being taught from this pulpit.
Now it says, "O Daniel, man of high esteem," or "delightful man, understand the words that I am about to tell you." So he says to him "understand," this is the Hebrew word bin, and it is the hiphil stem which is the causative stem. So he is telling him in a sense to cause yourself to understand the words. In other words, pay attention, focus and concentrate. Interesting, apply this to your theory of learning. If you're going to learn anything you have to focus, you have to concentrate, you have to think about it, you have to cause yourself to understand. This fits in with what I taught about the grace learning spiral. Remember in learning doctrine it is not simply a matter of your own natural abilities. A pastor-teacher teaches and then the Holy Spirit makes it understandable but you have to understand it.
Now the Scripture never specifically states that Daniel was filled with the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament sense but writing of Scripture I think we can infer safely that he was filled with the Holy Spirit and yet even though he's given all of this information, he's given revelation from angels, he's given visions, he's given revelation from the preincarnate Christ, he was still told, ordered by the interpreting angel, to understand it, exercise your own brain cells. Don't just sit there and soak it up and let it come in one ear and out your fingertips on your pen into your notes, but think about it, understand it, concentrate, focus on it. You need to develop discernment from this so that you can understand and actually perceive what I'm doing in history, says the Lord.
"…understand the words that I am about to tell you," and then he says in the next phrase a very interesting statement, "and stand upright," in other words, posture matters. Your posture, your physical attitude and expression towards learning is important. One of the things that I have emphasized through the years is that it's important how we dress when we come to Bible class. We live in an extremely casual culture now. I remember when I was in high school it was…I mean my parents never once allowed me, except in Texas we had "go Texan" days when the rodeo came in every February, but that was the only time in 12 years of school I was allowed to wear blue jeans to school. And that was pretty much true for probably about 80% of the student body back then; guys had to have hair a certain length, it couldn't touch the ears or touch the collar and girls had to dresses. It was my senior year that a bunch of… that was the year of the hippies and the campus radicals and all that and they forced some lawsuits against the Houston School District and they had to do away with all of the dress code. It made a tremendous difference and I remember hearing people say well how you dress really doesn't matter about how you learn.
And then you go to college and nobody ever goes to a classroom in college, especially in Texas, in anything but cut offs and sandals and T-shirts and you shave occasionally. Of course I was in ROTC so you had to shave a little more than just once a week. But your presentation was not an issue. Then I went to seminary; I went to Dallas Seminary and Dallas Seminary had a dress code. You can't go to class unless you have on a coat and tie, period. That's because they're training men to be professional pastors and ministers and they have to learn to interact with a world of professionals because that's what they're going to do when they go out into the world. Now I don't know of any other seminary in the world that has a dress code like that, but I'm telling you, the attitude in the classroom the first day was so impressive, to walk onto campus and have a thousand men, because back in those days Dallas still had a Biblical approach and no women were allowed in any of the classes outside of a few wives who could sit in with their husbands, so you walked onto campus and there were a thousand men on campus all wearing suits and ties and going to class, and there was such an attitude of professionalism there and such an attitude of respect for the professors in the classroom. In fact, I never once remember the years that I was there doing my ThM work, my Masters of Theology work, I never once remember any student ever addressing a professor by anything other than Dr. So and So or Professor So and So.
Now I'll show you the difference. Six years later when I went back there were many changes. By the time I went back to work on my PhD in 86 a lot of the administration had changed and what had happened, guys who were in my class or a few years ahead of me who were the same hippie generation that tore down the dress codes back in the late 60s had now come through seminary and they were going into administrative positions in seminary and so these things were changing. When I went back on campus they still had the dress code, to my knowledge they still have the dress code, but when I went back to campus they were calling their professors by their first name. I never could call Dr. Ryrie, Chuck. I don't think anybody else could either, he wasn't there by that time, and I just couldn't imagine it, but they were calling the professors by their first name and there was this informality there. And there's an importance to formality in the classroom because it teaches respect for the teacher and respect for authority.
Now I've got a point for all of this because one of the things that's come up that we've been talking about lately is how our kids should address teachers in the classroom downstairs in prep school. Some of you parents say it doesn't matter, you can call your teachers by their first name and other say well then you've got this absurd thing that's come in in the last 20 years, Mr. Jim or Mr. Bill, where you use that first name and I've never understood that because on the one hand it's like you're trying to straddle both worlds, you want to have formality and respect but you want informality and friendship. And those of you who have been in the military, you don't call your superior officers Captain Jim or Colonel Bill or Admiral John, you use a title with the last name. And one of the things that we're trying to communicate and teach to kids in prep school is respect for the teacher, respect for the person who is handling the Word of God, respect for authority because this is part of what has to play out throughout their life and as parents you need to recognize that's something you need be to addressing your kids; don't go with the flow of our silly stupid superficial culture that says that these things don't matter and that your kids can call other adults by their first name because what you're doing in a very innocuous way and a very subtle way is you are preventing your children from learning vital principles about respect for authority, respect for adults and respect for, as they used to say when I was a kid, I haven't heard this in a long time, respect for your elders. So that's an important thing and that's part of the policy that we're trying to implement in prep school is for the kids to call their teachers Mr. Sexton or Mr. Dillon or whomever their teacher is, and that way to develop some level of respect for authority and respect for the teacher. And that's the kind of thing that we're seeing here.
The angel says to Daniel, you need to understand this, you need to focus, you need to concentrate, in order to do that you have to have the right posture, I want you to stand upright, you know, Ten Hut, stand up, listen, pay attention, "for I have been sent to you," in other words, he doesn't want Daniel to miss anything, he wants him to focus completely on everything that this interpreting angel is saying.
Then in Daniel 10:12 the angel says to Daniel, "Then he," the angel, "said to me, 'Do not fear Daniel," for Daniel's still shaking in his sandals or his boots or whatever he had on, "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." Now let's go back and look at verse 2, there Daniel wrote, "in those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks." So he started this prayer 21 days ago or three weeks ago. Now most of us think, and sometimes I've heard people say well, I was going through a lot of difficult times in life and things were horrible and I just kept praying and praying to God and He must have been worried about somebody else because He didn't seem to be paying attention to me. Now let's do a comparison. If you look at Daniel 9 where Daniel spends his time praying, fasting, we've studied fasting, the purpose was to set aside the details of life, to focus and concentrate on your study, when he finally got his study together and he focuses his prayer, we can go back and read that prayer and it would probably take 30 second to a minute and a half to read that prayer, and we know that almost instantly Gabriel shows up and interrupts him in the middle of the prayer. So it doesn't take long for God to respond, but there are times when other factors interfere and that's what we see in the coming verses.
Daniel 10:12, "The angel says don't fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand," now we need to understand that the word there for heart is the Hebrew word leb, which has to do here with the thinking, you don't understand with your emotions. This is one of those verses that demonstrates that heart means the arena of thought; you understand with the mentality of the soul, so he's "set his heart" and that term "set" indicates volition, he made a choice, he determined that he was going to understand something, he was going to understand what God was doing in Israel right now in terms of the problems that these returning Jews were having in Jerusalem. "…from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God," see, in order to learn anything you have to have humility. Humility goes with authority orientation and grace orientation and you can't learn anything if you think you already know the answer. And if a student puts himself on the same level as his instructor by informality then it destroys humility. It is a very subtle attack on humility because all of a sudden you've brought the teacher down to your level and you're up to the teacher's level and so this person is no longer viewed as the one who is authoritative on the subject. So there's an emphasis here on the importance of humility and authority orientation for learning.
"…you set your heart," you made a choice, you made a commitment "to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard," 21 days ago your prayer was heard and God dispatched me to answer the prayer. We have to backtrack here a minute because this happens in our lives, we pray and nothing happens and weeks or months go by, and perhaps there's something going on not unlike what's taking place here. It's not that God hasn't heard, it's that there is another dimension of the battle that's taking place, part of the angelic conflict. And here we see this in this particular instance, "your words were heard and I have come because of your words."
Now let's go on to Daniel 10:13, "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days," so for these three weeks there has been a battle unseen, but a battle royal, between this angel and another angel, a demonic power that is associated with the kingdom of Persia. What we learn here is that this angel is called "the prince of the kingdom of Persia," this is not the human leader of Persia. You don't have an angel fighting a human being. The "prince of the kingdom of Persia" is a demon who is assigned to the territory of Persia and who is particularly responsible for influencing the domestic affairs, the foreign affairs and the decisions of the emperor.
Now the thing to notice here is that even though we know there is this cause/effect relationship, there is an influence going on between the angelic sphere and the physical realm, we don't know exactly what that is. And at no point in this does Daniel try to respond to this by saying okay, now I need to start praying that the demons would be hindered. See, he's to continue praying what he prayed. We need to recognize this is going on in the battle but you don't pray to that effect because we can't see it but we need to know that it's going on. What's happening today in charismatic circles under the guise of what I call the neo-spiritual warfare teaching is that they are extrapolating from these verses some doctrines that really have no foundation in Scripture and end up putting the Church in a terrible position. I think it really demonizes churches and demonizes Christians; it makes them much more vulnerable to demonic influence because they have given up the truth of God's Word and they are completely outside the protection of doctrine. But I'm getting ahead of myself here.
"But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me for twenty-one days, and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, in other words Michael is an archangel, "came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia." So you have this one angel and here he says "kings of Persia," indicating other rulers of Persia and these are all demonic forces. So he's left alone, he's being surrounded, and Michael, whose always associated with the protection of Israel, Michael has to come in order to help him and they have to do this battle in the heavenlies between the holy angels and these demons before they can break through this opposition and get to Daniel.
Now this really opens us up to some important doctrine and that is the fact that Satan is constantly trying to influence and destroy various civilizations and kingdoms and he does this through the divine institutions. Let's review the five divine institutions. The first divine institution is human individual responsibility; we are all responsible for the decisions that we make. The second divine institution is marriage. The third divine institution is family. The fourth divine institution is a human government. The fifth divine institution is national distinctions or nations, that God authorizes individual nations, not internationalism or globalism. So Satan tries to attack these through various different ways. For example, in the fifth divine institution Satan's attack here is always towards some form of internationalism. In the Church this takes the form of ecumenism. Notice I didn't say that the Church is a divine institution. The reason the Church is not a divine institution is the definition of divine institutions or institutions that God has established in human history for the stability and preservation of the human race, they are for believer and unbeliever alike. The Church does not fit that category of a divine institution. These are for believers and unbelievers alike but you have certain manifestations that are parallel. So you have internationalism, globalism, the breakdown of national distinctions, you have the development of world courts and we see that developing more and more in Europe; you really see it develop after World War II with the Nuremberg trials and I had serious reservations about whether the Nuremberg trials were legitimate. I think one of the American Generals observed that after the war and said thank God we won. You know, the Nuremberg trials just sort of coated revenge with the guys of judicial accuracy, so that's something that breaks down. Now we want to go to a world court; see that's where Nuremberg led, was having world courts where nations are responsible and you have this world court developing that just began in Holland in the last two or three months.
Human government, Satan attacks human government through corrupting police, corrupting the military and military leadership and we certainly saw a lot of problems in that in the 90s when a previous Presidential administration made so many decisions that caused really good military leaders to take early retirement and that robs the officer corps of good leaders. You have assaults on your intelligence network; so much that we're hearing about today in the FBI and the CIA and these problems go back several different administrations but some of them go back to even the late 70s. One person made an accurate observation the other night that really the root of what had happened on 9-11 is the fact that when we had the Iran hostage situation in the late 70s the way we handled that, the way the President at that time failed to handle that situation taught the Moslems that we were weak and that we could be had, and that's the root. And so these kinds of things, the weakening of our intelligence services has its root not just in the last five or ten years but in things that have gone on in the last twenty years or so.
You have assaults on the family, all kinds of different breakdowns that occur in the family and some of this comes from government. For example, a passage ran across the other day that most people don't usually pay attention to so I thought it'd be a good illustration here, 2 Corinthians 12:14, Paul writes, "Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you, for I do not seek what is yours, but you, for," and here's the principle, "for children are not responsible to save up for their parents but parents for their children." He refers to that as a universal principle…[tape turns]… part of your responsibility as a parent is not only to train up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, not only to teach them authority orientation, not only to teach them doctrine, not only teach them how to live life, but your responsibility is to store up wealth to pass on to your children when you die.
I heard some idiot one time say well, I hope my money and my life run out at the same time. Well haven't you ever studied the Bible, the Bible says your job as a parent is to die as wealthy as you can be to pass it on to your children, that the parents are to provide for the children even in their old age by saving up and taking care of themselves. But see, what happens in modern government with social security administration is that most of us here who are under the retirement age, our social security money, that amount that you never see that you don't realize is really yours that the government takes out for social security is being paid to your parents who are retired. See, the children are saving up for the parents now; that's just the opposite of what Scripture says. So the whole concept of social security runs 180 degrees opposite to what Scripture teaches and Scripture teaches personal responsibility and parents are to lay up for the future, and Proverbs, in fact, states that "blessed is the man who leaves an inheritance for his children." So we've got things all in reverse in our society and that's just one reason how the government attacks the divine institution of family.
Then you have attacks on marriage, all kinds of attacks from the marriage tax where if you're married then you have to pay more income tax than if the two of you were separate and single and living in sin so that breaks down marriage. And other ways in which the codes are written. And welfare discourages single parents from getting married, these kinds of thing are ways the government breaks down marriage. And individual responsibility, we're just seeing so many examples where people just aren't held accountable any more. In fact, you go out and you sue somebody and we just had an example of that on the news today where these Middle Eastern looking individuals are suing the airlines through that wonderful godly organization called the American Civil Liberties Union (a heavy note of sarcasm there), and they're suing the airlines because somehow they were inconvenienced, and one of these individuals was being interviewed this morning and he made the comment…and he's not even an Arab or a Moslem but he certainly looked that way, he's from Bangladesh, and obvious case of mistaken identity, and he also turned out to be an American citizen, he was born here. But that's his heritage so he looked the part. But he can't really understand why he would be so inconvenienced. Well, I liked the view of the Arab businessman who is living here in this country on a visa and he said look, I want to get home to my parents, I don't care how many times they pull me off the airplane, you have to realize that it wasn't redheaded Irish women who committed the crimes of September 11th. These were Arabs, they're Middle Easterners and they're Moslems and we need to be racially profiling and I want them to, I don't care how many times it affects me personally because I know that if they're doing that then I have a better chance of getting home to my wife. And so these people who are suing through the ACLU are just self-absorbed and it's just another way Satan is using things like that to attack this nation and to attack freedom. So there are these things that are going on behind the scenes as Satan seeks to tear down nations, destroy freedom, and in effect have his agenda in history as opposed to God's agenda in history.
So in Daniel 10:13 we see a picture, God sort of roles back the screen as it were so we can see what takes place behind the scenes and how the fallen angels, how the demons are assigned to various empires are influencing human history. But nevertheless it never gives us the right to bail out of our responsibility and say that somehow the things that are happening are just the result of demons and somehow that we have to pray down these demons. That was not Daniel's response; that is never authorized in Scripture. It is simply to cause us to understand that there are more causative factors in human history than human decisions and human error and when we get involved in warfare there is another dimension. You can't boil it down to just physical causation.
So this brings us to the doctrine of the angelic conflict and let's just do a quick review of the doctrine of the angelic conflict. Point number one; the starting point for understanding the angelic conflict is always related to the doctrine of sin and evil. Evil is not normal to the universe or to creation. God did not create the universe evil; God is good and God can create nothing less than God. God is absolute good and perfect righteousness and whatever he creates has to be absolute good and perfect righteousness. So evil and sin are introduced secondarily into the universe and creation by the creature's decision, first by the decision of Satan in his revolt against God and then by Adam's sin in the Garden of Eden. The Scripture there is Ezekiel 28:11 and Isaiah 14:12 and following. Evil is not inherent in creation.
See, if you reject what Scripture teaches then you're… you always run into the liberal or to somebody out there who's looking for some reason to reject Christianity, they'll look at children who have been maimed or diseased, they're look at the horrible things that happen in an event like September 11th and they'll say well how could a good God let that happen. Well wait a minute, if you throw out Christianity the only thing you're left with is a view of the universe where this is a normal and natural occurrence. This is part of the warf and whoof of reality and ultimately you don't have any way to distinguish between good and evil. To even talk about good and evil presupposes the existence of the God of the Bible because without the God of the Bible you don't have a standard to use to judge what is good and what is evil. That's why in eastern religions, like Hinduism, and Buddhism, you end up with your yin yang symbol that is usually a circle with an "S" looking line between it, one side is dark, one side is white, and what that symbolizes is that ultimate reality is one but its two-sided, there's a good side and a bad side, sort of like the Star Wars force that has the good side of the force and the dark side of the force, but it's ultimately one reality. You go back to what used to be the second, I think it was The Empire Strikes Back, the second Star Wars movie and Yoda is teaching young Luke Skywalker that all is one, and it all flows out of this view of ultimate reality is monism. And in monism you ultimately don't have a way to distinguish between good and evil because all is one. I think there was a Beatle song that George Harrison sang, I am you, you are me, he is she, we are one. That's pure monism. That was communicating to our generation the Hinduism, this monistic belief of Hinduism and ultimately there's no distinction between good and bad. If I am you and you are me, see the other distinctions break down.
So the person that is talking to you that says oh, how can a good God let this happen, say wait a minute, where do you get the idea of good? What do you mean by good? Who determines what good is? Where does that value come from? How can you, if you reject the God of the Bible how can you explain the existence of evil? You know, immediately counterattack, put them on the defensive. I'm so tired of Christians being put on the defensive, put them on the defensive, say okay, you know, let's say there is no God of the Bible, let's say He doesn't exist; now you're left with Darwinianism. Where did Evil come from? How can you distinguish it and call it evil, because now you're left with the fact that the main causative event in Darwinian evolution is death, the survival of the fittest. To get survival something's got to die, so you've got to make that point. Survival of the fittest means something dies. Death is the mechanism of advance in evolution. Death is suffering, death is evil. But in evolution it's the source of the good because it produces advance. So you see you have to turn it back on them and say look, you may question Christianity and say how in the world can a good God let this happen but okay, let's admit that you're right, there is no God, the Bible is wrong, you're left with your view of Darwinistic evolution, everything is natural, you can't even talk about good and evil, what are you talking about? Now that you've got their attention that they're really an idiot maybe they can learn something. See, it comes back to that principle, that basic principle that you have to be humble before you can learn anything.
We don't have time to finish up on the angelic conflict but we'll come back and get into that and I've some great quotes from a book on Spiritual Warfare that talks all about how to engage territorial spirits, I'm sure you're going to find that quite enlightening because so many churches are practicing that and we'll critique that a little bit next time.