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Lowell Brueckner

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You Are Greatly Beloved


The Book of the Prophet Daniel

“But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end.”
Daniel 12:4

Chapter 10:1-21                                 You Are Greatly Beloved

1.  In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a word was revealed to Daniel, who was named Belteshazzar. And the word was true, and it was a great conflict. And he understood the word and had understanding of the vision. 
2.  In those days I, Daniel, was mourning for three weeks. 
3.  I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks. 
4.  On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river (that is, the Tigris) 
5.  I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. 
6.  His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound 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 trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. 
8.  So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and I retained no strength. 
9.  Then I heard the sound of his words, and as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep with my face to the ground. 
10.  And behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 

Two years had passed since the vision of chapter 9 took place. In the first chapter (v.21), we saw that Daniel’s governmental position continued through the first year of King Cyrus. He is still alive, of course, but now he can dedicate his time to prayer for the deliverance and well-being of his people. Daniel has seen truth, and the full force of the understanding of truth often brings conflict to the human heart… Daniel said that the truth revealed to him was great conflict and he entered that conflict. For that reason, some prefer to be left in the dark.

I wonder why Daniel mentions the name, given to him by King Nebuchadnezzar, shortly after his captivity. It was an idolatrous name, meant to cause Daniel to forget his godly identity. Could this be part of what he is feeling at this time, when he is in such conflict of soul? Daniel, perhaps, has been beaten down by thoughts of his own sin and the sin of his people and waves of unworthiness and doubt may flood his soul. We studied in the last chapter that he was, first of all, conscious of his own sin (9:20).

The word of God struck him down and left him trembling, but the word of God also heals and strengthens. Daniel has been mourning for three weeks, over the things that he has seen. This chapter does not give us details of the following prophecy, but exclusively describes the nature of the spiritual battle. It involves angels and demons. None of this is symbolic; it is real… more real than the physical situation that unfolds as a result.

He has been in mourning for three weeks through the time of Passover, which began on the 14th day of the month Nisan. The lamb for the Passover was set aside on the tenth day. A vision occurs after this time on the 24th day of Nisan. His residence may now be on the banks of the Tigris River.

A man, unnamed, appears to him and some see Christ in this manifestation. He is clothed in linen with a golden belt, his face is like lightning, his eyes like flaming fire, his body as bronze, and his words like that of a multitude. The description certainly coincides with the glorified Christ that John met in Revelation 1:13-16: “One like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest… His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters.”

As in the case of Saul of Tarsis, only Daniel was able to take advantage of the vision, his companions having run away to hide (see Jn.14:22-24). As John, the beloved, Daniel’s strength melted before Him and at His words, he fell on his face in a deep trance; John described himself, “as though dead”. However, if Daniel has had a vision of Christ in verses 5-9, the hand that touches him in verse 10, is not necessarily the hand of Christ, but likely that of the angel, Gabriel, who appeared to him in the last two chapters.  

11.  And he said to me, "O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you." And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 
12.  Then he said to me, "Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. 
13.  The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, 
14.  and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come." 
15.  When he had spoken to me according to these words, I turned my face toward the ground and was mute. 
16.  And behold, one in the likeness of the children of man touched my lips. Then I opened my mouth and spoke. I said to him who stood before me, "O my lord, by reason of the vision pains have come upon me, and I retain no strength. 
17.  How can my lord's servant talk with my lord? For now no strength remains in me, and no breath is left in me." 
18.  Again one having the appearance of a man touched me and strengthened me. 
19.  And he said, "O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage." And as 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? But now I will return to fight against the prince of Persia; and when I go out, behold, the prince of Greece will come. 
21.  But I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth: there is none who contends by my side against these except Michael, your prince. 

Daniel may be experiencing great conflict in his soul, but there is no condemnation on the Lord’s part. There was only perfect knowledge of Daniel’s need to hear loving words sent from his God.

The words of the angel, Gabriel, from the last chapter were, “At the beginning of your prayers the word went forth, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved.” (Dn. 9:23). The Lord is not wasting space, when His words are repeated in verses 11 and 19: "O Daniel, man greatly loved” and "O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage."

It is plain from the very beginning of the book that God and Daniel had a close relationship, but in the weakened state that Daniel is in, he needs more strength and reassurance. God sends a message from His great heart, concerned that Daniel, as well as all His children, know that He greatly loves them. The original Hebrew denotes passion… to delight in… and so the angel says,“O man, in whom God delights”. If His child needs to hear it again, He sends it the second time, and the third…

Daniel’s strength returned progressively. From the position of prostration and in a “deep sleep”, this angel touched him, and he gained strength to get to his hands and knees trembling. Then he spoke, relayed the message of God’s love, and Daniel was able to stand, but still trembled. It’s a good lesson for us to know that spiritual recovery is not immediate. We do well to recognize the truth about ourselves, that the reception of God’s love does not come natural to us, therefore we need to hear it repeatedly. The faith that springs from love, likewise comes as a process.

When the angel reminded Daniel of the fate of his people, he was stunned and on his face again. It was at this point that, for the third time, he needed to remind Daniel of God’s great love for him. The reception of those words strengthened him: "Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me." 

Joseph’s brothers remembered their hatred and terrible sin against him in his youth. They found it hard to accept his love for them, though he confirmed it with tears, gifts, promises and care for them. A change of circumstances caused their misgivings to surface and they sent word to him, begging his forgiveness. Joseph wept when he received the petition. He comforted and spoke kindly to their hearts.

Good news is apparently hard for us to grasp and even more difficult to retain. Some of the basic truths of the Bible are the ones with which we struggle most. Jacob gave us a classic example of the tendency in human nature to believe the worst and deny the best. He needed only to see some blotches of blood upon Joseph’s tunic to conclude immediately that “a wild beast has devoured him; Joseph has surely been torn to pieces” (Gen. 37:25). Seeming dark experiences caused Jacob’s misapprehensions to increase with age. “Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and you would take Benjamin; all these things are against me (Gen 42:36).

However, a study of the story will show that he was seeing things from an earthly perspective and there was not a grain of truth behind any of Jacob’s fears. On the contrary, heaven was working in love towards the good of all involved. Finally, when his sons came with the news and wagonloads of proof that Joseph was alive, “Jacob was stunned, for he did not believe them (Gen 45:26). How many of us can identify with Jacob’s reactions?

God goes to great lengths to guarantee his word to the sons of men. His word cannot fail, He never lies, and He certainly does not need to swear to validate His word. Nevertheless, when God gave promise to Abraham, and through him to all the heirs of faith, He swore by Himself. We have a Bible full of promises, confirmed and sworn, in order to help us over the huge, obstinate obstacle called unbelief.

Just to remind you, Daniel has been in prayer and we have seen various examples of how angels are involved in prayer. They not only bring the answers, but carry the petition to God’s throne.  God demonstrated his love to Daniel by hearing and answering his prayers: “Fear not, Daniel, for from the first that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard.”

In His love for us, God desires intimacy and, not only hears our words, but will speak with us prophetic messages that have to do with his eternal will and plan. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would show us things to come. God had messages for Daniel that concerned the future of His people and the world, which are still being fulfilled in our day. He will not leave His people in the dark: “Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets” (Am.3:7). Before God destroyed Sodom, he spoke to Abraham about it: “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” (Gn.18:17).

If we see others around us, who are not interested in prophecy, our hearts should be full of gratitude. It is sure evidence that God has placed His desire in our heart and is sharing secret things with us. Abraham, you see, was a friend of God (Is.41:8; Jam 2:23). Jesus told His disciples: “I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” (Jn.15:15). God will enjoy communion with His people to the end of time. Paul said, concerning the return of Jesus Christ, “You, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief” (1 Tes.5:4). From the beginning of time to the end, “The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him” (Ps.25:14).

The angel told Daniel that his prayers were heard from the very first. So are yours and mine, but the angel, who brought the answer from God’s presence was confronted by an enemy spirit. Friends, this is spiritual reality! If there is anything that a Christian does, which the devil fears, it is to pray. Have you noticed the opposition you face, from the very onset, when you go to prayer? During the three weeks that Daniel prayed, angels were involved in spiritual warfare.  

There was a very real and historic empire in Daniel’s day called Persia and there were very real demonic principalities at the head of that empire, influencing its policies and governmental decisions! This was also true concerning the upcoming Greek Empire. No wonder this poor human being, Daniel, has been so mightily affected by this conflict. In Isaiah 14:12-14, God addresses Lucifer, as a fallen angel, who energized the Babylonian Empire and in Ezekiel 28:11-19, this same spiritual king occupied and directed commerce from the powerful city of Tyre. He will give his power to a “beast”, who will rule over the earth for 3 ½ year as the Antichrist (Rv.13:2). He is called the dragon, the devil, Satan, and the ancient serpent (Rv.20:2).

It is a little difficult for me, at least, to distinguish exactly the different spiritual beings, who are with Daniel in this chapter. There are at least two, possibly more. In the Kingdom of God there are angelic forces, who support His people (Heb.1:14). Michael is a powerful angelic force, who is in charge of the people of Israel to the end of this age (see v.13, 21, ch.12:1; Jud.1:9; Rv.12:7). We have seen Gabriel as an important messenger over affairs that have to do with the Messiah and therefore he is assisting Daniel in his prophecies. 

There are four “living creatures”, apparently powerful cherubim (Ezek.1:5-14), who are close to the throne of God, but also seem vitally involved with the formation of the four Gospels (Rv.4:7), their four faces corresponding with the four themes of the Gospels... as a lion, ox, man and eagle. Matthew presents Christ as the King of Israel (a lion), Mark as the Servant (an ox), Luke as the Son of Man (man), and John as the Son of God (the eagle). Obviously, as well, the living creatures are involved in the unfolding of last-day events, according to Revelation 6:1-7.

I will tell you what is inscribed in the book of truth.” The angel has seen a book in the archives of God, which tell of the events, which will still take place. The future is as sure in God’s mind as history. It is already settled in heaven: “Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens” (Ps.119:89). There is no new truth; it is as ancient as God Himself. Jesus said, “I am the truth” (Jn.14:6). 

Do not expect any hidden, unknown material to be discovered, different from that, which we have learned in the Bible. I heard an homosexual "pastor" say that God continues to speak to us up to the present day. trying to make the point that God justifies homosexuality in our times. A legitimate pastor, speaking with him, said that God is not schizophrenic... He cannot be anyone, besides whom He has always been, therefore He cannot contradict Himself. We can be sure that there will be nothing that will surface, from the throne room of God, to contradict the principles, standards and laws that God has already ordained.


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