Dr. S. Lewis Johnson expounds Daniel's theophany and interactions with archangels before the final revelation given to him as recorded in his prophecy. The saint's relationship to unseen spiritual forces is discussed with prayer as the main example.
[Prayer] Father, we are thankful for the opportunity to turn again to the scriptures. We thank Thee for the revelation that was to given to us and we thank Thee for the assurance that we have of the truth. We know Lord that as we look around us and see the things that are happening in the world. We sense that men’s hearts often do fail them for fear, and some of that fear also grips us as Christians. And we thank Thee for the encouragement and the comfort on the consolation that we derive when we — from turning to the Scriptures and listening to Thy voice through the Holy Spirit.
We thank Thee for the certainty of the truth of the word of God. We know that there is nothing really certain in this world of sins. But we thank Thee that we can rely upon the things that were given to us by divine inspiration. Give us Lord direction in this hour enable us to understand that word, we commit this hour to Thee and the hours that follow in Jesus name, Amen.
[Message} Now, tonight I must apologize because I am not going to speak on the subject that was announced, “Edward J. Young and The Prophecy of the 70 Sevens,” for two reasons. Number one, it became such a complicated thing that I thought that probably it would be not as edifying as it might be for our general audience, which we have at 7:30 on Wednesday nights, and so I would like sometime to take that topic for one of our advanced study center sessions. And incidentally on Friday night, Mr. Sam Storms is giving a study of John 3:5 in the advanced study center and you’re all invited to that. But this topic is really the kind of topic that is more suitable for a classroom than our Wednesday night sessions, which are designed to have a little bit more general appeal.
And then in addition, Daniel chapter 10 is so suitable for the occasion since it has to do with the spirit world, and tonight’s Halloween with the goblins all around, I thought it was probably more appropriate that we turn to Daniel chapter 10 and attempt to treat this chapter, which is the next in our series of studies in the Book of Daniel. So, I hope you will excuse me or pardon me for not undertaking the subject that was announced. We just continue our study of the Book of Daniel. So, if you have your Old Testaments turn with me to Daniel chapter 10.
Daniel chapter 10 is one of the important chapters on the subject of angelology. And as we get through particularly near the later part of the chapter and read about the prince of the kingdom of Persia and realize that that is not a prince of a human character, but of a spirit world character, you will understand I am sure that this is a rather unique chapter if it has never come to your attention before.
Many people think that all angels are good. In fact, we have a Church in this city, which is not too far from here, which is named St. Michaels and All Angels, and I am sure that they don’t intend to honor the evil angels in that title. But the Angels are not all good. There are evil angels as well as good angels. And there is a great deal going on in the spirit world around us, of which some of us at least are unaware and the rest of us of course have no way of really checking out.
This is the last of the visions of Daniel and it will begin with a chapter of introduction and then in chapter 11, Daniel is given the great Scripture of truth, which is really the last of the prophetic passages in the Book of Daniel. It is a rather lengthy one and a very important one, and that I think is why it has such a lengthy introduction in chapter 10. So, now let’s turn to the vision of the Messiah, which Daniel has in verses 1 through 9. Well, you listen as I read beginning at verse 1, and I think again I will just read along and make a few comments as we go along, so that we will have a rather more informal kind of session.
In verse 1, Daniel gives us the time of the situation. He says,
“In the third year of Cyrus King of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel who was named Belteshazzar; and the message was true and one of great conflict.”
But he understood the message and had an understanding of the vision. It was the year 536 B.C. and Daniel was now a prophet who has largely reached the end of his ministry. He has 85 years of age at this time. Still, however as you can see, a very vigorous man. When he says here that this message was true and one of great conflict, he refers to the contents of the vision in chapter 11. So in chapter 11, when we get to that chapter we will read of a great deal of conflict and that is what he has in mind when he says, the message was true and one of great conflict. Lets read on now to the description of the vision itself of the Messiah.
“In those days I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. (Evidently, Daniel was disturbed over the condition of the Nation Israel, and so he has been mourning and praying and fasting for that particular reason. Verse 3) I did not eat any tasty food nor did meat or wine enter my mouth nor did I use any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed. 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 my eyes and looked and behold there was a certain man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz. His body 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 reading this vision of this, as Daniel describes Him certain man dressed in linen, one immediately of course has a question arise in his mind, is this a vision of an angel or is it a vision of the Lord Jesus Christ? Now if you turnover to the Book of Revelation, and we don’t have time to do that, but if you did turnover to the Book of Revelation and read in chapter 1 verses 12 through 15, you remember that there is there a vision of our Lord and the language of that particular vision is language that in several spots is derived from this particular vision here. And while there has been debate over whether Daniel has a vision here of an angelic being or of Christ — and the evidence is not easy to sort out — I think that probably all things being considered, it is probably to be understood as a vision of the Messiah.
So in a sense, this is a climatic experience of the Prophet Daniel. He has had visions of dreams that Nebuchadnezzar the heathen dreamed, he has also had his own prophetic visions. But now at the climax of his life, a man 85 years of age nearing the end of the ministry as a prophet and an important man in Israel and also in Persia, he has this great experience of having to do with a theophany; an appearance of the second person of the Trinity.
Now, look at the description that is given of our Lord. It’s really primarily a revelation of a moral type, and the description that is given stresses the moral side of things primarily. Incidentally in the vision in the Book of Revelation that is really the purpose the description there. Those physical things that are given are things that are symbolic of spiritual things and so, the idea back of the Holy Spirit in both this vision and that vision is to express certain moral characteristics of our Lord.
This is the sense of the whole of the Bible too, that is why I guess that we have no real picture of our Lord in the Bible. We do not know what color hair he had, we do not know how tall he was, we don’t know how much he weighed, we don’t know physical characteristics about him, they are, studiously it seems, avoided in the word of God in order that our, that the stress of the word of God might be upon the moral side of things, upon the spiritual teaching which our Lord was giving. There are many people of course who do have pictures of our Lord and I don’t want to rave and rant about pictures of our Lord because some of you probably have pictures in your house. But pictures of our Lord really in the final analysis are always bound to be things that actually corrupt the idea of our Lord because he is an incorruptible person. And being an incorruptible person to portray him and in a corruptible way such as a material way is bound to be a limiting feature, therefore not very satisfactory. So, if you like you picture that’s alright. I don’t really have any pictures of the Lord in my house, and I am not going to be legalistic about it. I will come and admire your picture, but it seems to me that, so far as the major thrust of the Bible is concerned the stress is on the spiritual side of things and not on the physical.
Now, if the Scriptures did say something about our Lord physically, if it did say that he had red hair for example instead of brown or blondish hair, that would not be important, because that would be part of the historical manifestation of the Son of God. All of the things that are historical would be important because all the historical things that I mentioned would be important because our Lord’s revelation did occur in history and so that would be significant for us, but those things I say they are studiously avoided. There is a contrast in the gospels between the revelation of our Lord there and the revelation of our Lord in a vision such as this and in the Book of Revelation. In the gospels, the great stress rests upon the love of our Lord, upon the humanity of our Lord, upon the humane and human things of our Lord. Whereas in this vision and in the Book of Revelation, the stress rests upon the majesty and the power of our Lord. In the gospels, he is especially presented to us as a Lamb of God. Whereas in the Book of Revelation, he appears as a lion of the tribe of Judah, now he is a Lamb there too, but even when the description is said to be of a Lamb there things that are said with reference to the Lamb that reveal that he was more than that.
Well, this was a magnificent vision and Daniel received it, and we noticed the reaction of the prophet in verses 7 through 9. He writes now,
“I Daniel alone saw the vision. While the men who went with me did not see the vision, nevertheless a great dread fell on them and they ran away to hid themselves. So I was left alone and saw this great vision. Yet no strength was left in me, so my natural color turned to a deathly pale, and I retained no strength. 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 with my face to the ground.”
Well, the reaction of Daniel is the reaction of a sinful, frail man to the revelation of a holy, majestic Lord. It’s the same revelation that the Apostle John had in the Book of Revelation when he received that vision of the Lord from the Lord there. He fell on his face as if he were dead and so here, it is that kind of response that the prophet describes. He also describes it in words that are very reminiscent of Paul’s encounter with the Lord on the Damascus road. And so these particular types of experiences are experiences that have a great deal in common.
Let’s turn now to the more interesting part of the section so far as the angelic beings are concerned. Beginning at verse 10 now, we have the angelic visitor.
“Then behold a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. (And evidently this was Gabriel. We don’t have time to go back and compare a few verses in Daniel, but most of the commentators agree that this is probably a reference to Gabriel.) And he said to me, ‘O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell 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. Then he said to me, ‘Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this, and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. 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’.”
Here the angelic visitor Gabriel reveals the purpose of the mission and in revealing what he is going to tell Daniel, he describes the obstruction that came to Him as he sort to come. And this I think is the section of the chapter that is so enlightening with regard to the angelic world about us. Notice what he says. He says that from the first day that Daniel began to pray and the desire understanding with regard to the future as he was humbling himself before the Lord, fasting and praying, from that first day, this angelic being, we will say as Gabriel was sent in order to reveal the Scripture of truth to Daniel. But it was twenty-one days before he arrived in Daniel’s presence. He says, “The prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days, and then behold Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.”
Now this, the prince of the Kingdom of Persia and the kings of Persia are evidently part of the evil kingdom of the wicked one because these individuals are withstanding Gabriel in the answer that God was giving to the partition of Daniel, most interesting thing going on in the spirit world of which we of course have no power to observe.
Now, we learn from the teaching of the word of God that Satan does have a kingdom. Will you turnover to Matthew chapter 12 and verse 26 and look at just a few of these passages that reveal something of the spirit world that is about us and since it’s Halloween this is designed of course to scare you a little bit. [Laughter] Matthew chapter 12 in verse 26, the Lord Jesus is speaking and he says, “If Satan curses out Satan, he is divided against himself, how then shall his kingdom stand?” So, you can see that our Lord is authority for the view that Satan has a distinct kingdom.
Now, if you turn back to chapter 4 verses 8 and 9 we have a passage that also bares on the question. In the temptation, we read in verse 8 of Matthew chapter 4, again the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these things will I give you, if you fall down and worship me.” Evidently Satan has some kind of mediatorial rights with reference to the kingdoms of the world.
Turn over to Ephesians chapter 2 and verse 2. The apostle after verse 1, “While you are finding that I will read verse 1, and you were dead in your trespasses and sins;” Ephesians 2:2, “In which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” And here, Satan is called the prince of the power of the air. So by the very term prince, we know that Satan has a kingdom. He is a prince, he has a kingdom.
There is also an organization in this kingdom of Satan. Turn to Colossians chapter 1 and verse 16. So Satan has a kingdom, he is a prince that suggests organization. In Colossians chapter 1, we have further indication of organization within the kingdom. Colossians 1:16, “For in Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities, all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Now notice these expressions thrones, dominions, rulers, or authorities. And evidently from the context of that passage, they are spiritual thrones and spiritual dominions that are in view.
But just turn back a page or two to Ephesians chapter 6 and verse 12. The apostle writes here, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of the darkness, (now notice) against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” So you see, the apostle states that the struggle that he speaks of which we are a part is a struggle with spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places, but he calls them rulers, powers, world forces of darkness.
So the idea that all of this suggests is that Satan is a prince of a vast kingdom, a kingdom that is well organized with rulers and authorities, dominions, powers, evidently a kind of scale-down organization. Wouldn’t you love to see the organizational chart of the Satanic kingdom, with Satan at the top and all of the organization of that kingdom? And then you would come down to the kingdom of Persia and also the individuals who had apparently authority territorially over certain parts of the world? It would not be surprising at all if we were able to see everything that exists in this spiritual world that we would find that the world has been divided up and that there is a spiritual authority, a spiritual ruler, a spiritual power from the evil one that does have a particular jurisdiction over that particular territory.
Now, we know that God also of course has his kingdom, and he also has a well-organized kingdom. In Ephesians chapter 3 in verse 10, the apostle writes concerning the divine kingdom by saying, “In order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.” And so there he speaks of the rulers and authorities and heavenly places that are angelic orders under our great triune God. So what Daniel is told then is that, this whole world is a world in which there is a great deal of activity going on which we cannot see.
In one of the books on Daniel that I have been reading as I’ve been thinking through Daniel again, in opening one of the chapters, the author of this book has said, “According to the Canadian Army Journal, a conscientious study of history has revealed the following fantastic figures concerning men’s evil warlike nature. Since 3600 B.C., the world has known only 292 years of peace. During this period, there have been 14,531 wars and that does not count neighborhood wars. Wars between neighbors who are next-door to each other and family struggles as well. These are large wars in which three billion six hundred and forty million people have been killed. The value of the destruction would pay for a golden belt around the world about 100 miles wide and 33 feet thick. Since 650 B.C., there have been 1656 arms race, only 16 of which have not ended in war. That’s an interesting thing. Only 16 out of 1656 arms raises have not ended in war. The remainder have terminated in the economic collapse of the countries concerned.
“Since the world cast out the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ by crucifying him almost 2000 years ago, there has not been one year without a war. In fact, in the last 500 years, England has engaged in 78 wars, France 71 wars, The Netherlands 23 wars, (Just think of the Dutch 23 wars) Spain 64 wars, Australia 52 wars, Germany only 23, Italy — Germans are peace loving people — Italy 25, China 11, Denmark 20 and so on. And European nations alone engaged in 74 wars during the lifetime of the first generation born in the 20th Century. This was written in 1962, incidentally, and does not take into account a few more since then. Even America in its short history has engaged in 13 wars. And so, man’s — inhumanity to man continues.” Now the article ends.
Well and looking at this chapter, we get a rare glimpse behind the scene of world history. There are spiritual forces at work that are far in excess of what man who disregard revelation with suppose and they struggle behind the struggles that are written on the pages of history. A book that I greatly enjoyed reading a number of years ago is the book Christianity and History by Herbert Butterfield, and this is a copy of it in paperback. It has some very interesting facts about it and Professor Butterfield was one of the outstanding philosophers of history of the 20th Century.
He is an interesting statement in this book. He says, Von Ranke who was a great German historian, Von Ranke one of the greatest analysts of the historical process more than once called attention to something settle in history, which remained at the finish as a sort of residuum, unexplained. He said that it fell sometimes as though an occult force were it work in the midst of the apparent confusion. So, he was an historian looking at things simply from the standpoint of history and saying, that there were things that were settled in human history that he really could not explain according to his historiographical principles, but it did seen that when all was set and done there was a kind of occult force at work in our human history. Well perhaps, the things that Daniel is speaking about here in Daniel chapter 10 have something to say about that. There is going on about us, say a spiritual struggle and Daniel speaks of it here.
Now in verse 14, Gabriel tells him why he has come. He says, now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the later days for the vision pertains to the days yet future. And this will be important as we think about Daniel chapter 11. In chapter 11, he will begin to unfold the great prophetic — the last great prophetic message and this prophetic message is called the Scripture of Truth, we will come to that in just a moment and then in chapter 11, it’s called the Truth. And he is telling Daniel right now that what I am going to give you an understanding of is of something that will happen to your people. So, we should be looking for things that happen to Israel in chapters 11 and 12, for this vision will cover chapter 11 — and this message will cover chapter 11 and chapter 12, and also that it will happen in the later days.
Remember, this expression in the later days in the Old Testament is an expression that looks on to the times of the end or the Messianic days, the times of the second return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth. And so, the Angel Gabriel has said to him then, what I am going to talk to you about is something that has to do with the future and it has to do with the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ and furthermore, it will have to do with your people Daniel, the Nation Israel. That’s important to bear that in mind, this is the introduction to chapter 11.
Now we read of Daniel’s reaction in verses 15 through 17,
“And when he had spoken to me according to these words, I turn my face towards the ground and became speechless. And they all want to resemble to human being was touching my lips. Then I opened my mouth and spoke and said to him who was standing before me, ‘Oh my Lord as a result of the vision, anguish has come upon me, and I have retained no strength. For how can such a servant of my Lord (he is speaking about himself.) How can such a servant of my Lord talk with such as my Lord? (That is how can I take it upon myself to speak to you, one of the archangels). As for me, there remains just now no strength in me nor has any breath than left in me.
(Now Daniel concludes chapter 10 by speaking of the strengthening of the angel. He says) “Then this one with human appearance touched me again and strengthened me. And he said O man of high esteem. (When I think of this statement, if you look back at chapter 9 and verse 23, we read there,) At the beginning of your supplications, the command was issued and I’ve come to tell you for you are highly esteemed.”
(And then in chapter 10 and verse 11, and he said to me) “O, Daniel, man of high esteem.” And here again, verse 19 and he said, “O man of high esteem.”
This incidentally is one of the illustrations of how the New American Standard Bible has failed to catch the literary beauty of the Authorized Version. And while it is more accurate as a version, it nevertheless has a lot to be desired so far as the beauty of the English language is concerned. You probably remember that the Authorized Version renders these references to Daniel as something like, Oh! man greatly beloved, which is a whole at better “Oh! Man of high esteem.” “Oh! Man greatly beloved.” In fact that phrase has been so catchy, and so catchy that sermons have been preached on it. And there was a particular preacher under whom I’ve studied actually at the University of Edinburgh, James S Stewart. He is still living in Edinburgh although retired from teaching.
Professor Stewart has an outstanding sermon on all — I think he calls it, “Daniel – O man greatly beloved, or something like that, and Presbyterian preaches all over the south, preach that sermon every now and then because it’s a great sermon preached by one of their great Presbyterian ministers and this is the expression. It is a magnificent tribute to the prophet Daniel to call him, “O man of high esteem.”
“Do not be afraid, peace be with you, take courage and be courageous. Now as soon as he spoke to me, I received strength and said, “May my Lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”
Daniel speaks of course of the strengthening that has been given to him and this is really an illustration of the work of angelic ministry. Remember in Hebrews chapter 1 and verse 14, the writer of that apostle speaks about the ministering angels who ministered to us. In chapter 1 and verse 14, he says,
“Are they not all ministering spirits, speaking about the angels, send out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation.”
So, Daniel receives the ministry of the angel.
And then the angel speaks of what he is going to reveal in chapter 11. He says, in verse 20 and 21,
“Then he said, do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia. (He still engaged in the struggle in the unseen world.) So, I am going forth and behold the Price of Greece is about to come. (This evidently is another of the divisions of the Satanic empire. There is a Prince of Greece, there is a Prince of Persia, and there is a struggle going on and Michael and Gabriel are engaged in the support of the Nation Israel. However he says,) I will tell what is inscribed in the writing of truth.”
The writing of truth is the great message that is given in chapter 11 and chapter 12. Look at verse 2 of chapter 11, “And now I will tell you the truth,” and then he unfolds in that lengthy prophetic message of chapter 11 and 12 the future. So, the Scripture of truth or the writing of truth is the title of the last of the great messages of the Book of Daniel. So, the purpose of the struggle going on is the protection of Israel and especially in the light of the fact that Greece is about to arise as one of the major kingdoms in the world at the time that Daniel writes this.
Now, let me close tonight by just relating this particular chapter to a few subjects that are important. The first place, this chapter has I think, a very significant bearing on prayer. Notice again the 12th verse. Then he said to be, “Do not be afraid Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this, and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard and I have come in response to your words, but the price of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me.”
Now, we know if we have engaged in much prayer life at all, we know that often we pray and we do not seem to receive any answer at all. Now, we know from the Bible, that our prayers are always heard. We know in one sense that they are always answered. We know of course the answer may be no, and the answer may be yes, and then there are times when we, it seems, are asked by the Lord to wait. We do not have any indication of his will, and this may persist for rather lengthy time.
In fact in the Scripture, we have the Lord Jesus telling parable or too in which we are urged to engage in importunate prayer. There is continued supplication. Now of course the continuous supplication is particularly relevant to those occasions, in which we do not have an answer. If we do have an answer from the Lord and it’s no, then of course we should not engage an importunate prayer. We shouldn’t seek to override His word, because usually when that happens, we receive the kind of answer that’s not very good. But when the Lord has not indicated his will, it is proper to keep praying. But is it not reasonable in the light of this chapter to imagine that or to think that occasionally, when we do not receive any answer, it may well be that there is a struggle going on in this unseen spiritual world, of which we of course are ignorant, because we do not have the faculties by which we can test that.
Now we know that the delays that God sends us are not denials. They are not necessarily His nos. It may well be that is going to give us a yes answer, but he is asking us or he is not giving it to us for a while. But the delay may not be anything other than this struggle going on in the world about us. I think there is a great encouragement here to continued supplication and petition.
I know that in my own spiritual experience, and I am sure that most of you would echo the same thing, that the benefits of petition and prayer are just immeasurable for the Christian. Now, of course if you believe in the sovereignty of God, you do believe that things are ordered by the Lord. But you know also that though things are ordered by the Lord, they are ordered through prayer. That is, the things that are going to come to pass, the Bible says are going to come to pass. In one sense, prayer does not change anything because he works all things according to the counsel of His own will. So, when something happens, we know that was the decretive will of God. And there’s a great comfort in that too, because if it was the decretive will of God, it is a comfort to us to know that it was his will and then our responsibility is to adjust to it.
But of course we do not know the decretive will of God until it comes to pass. And He has also told us in His word that we are to pray. Now how can we harmonize all things trends come to pass according to his will with the urgent exaltations to prayer? Well the Reformers and the greatest of theologians down through the years have unanimously agreed that in God’s determinations of what is going to come to pass, He has also determined the means as well as the end. And consequently, if He has determined that a certain thing will come to pass, He determines that it comes to prayers through prayer. It comes to pass through witnessing. It comes to pass through evangelism or perhaps all other means, so that we pray because prayer is a means to the accomplishment of the will of God.
There is great benefit for us in that it is an opportunity to enter into a relationship with the Lord that is most intimate, and to be a link in the chain of the accomplishment of the will of God. I cannot think of any greater incentive to prayer and to realize that when you get down upon your knees and pray over a specific matter, you are a link in the accomplishment of the will of our great triune God. What a tremendous privilege that is. How any one could think that because we read in the Bible that God determines that all things come to pass according to His will and therefore that is a stultification of the prayer life — how anyone can say that in the light of the teaching in the word of God is something that is very difficult for me to understand. In fact, I think it’s just the other way around. For those who do not believe things like that, prayer becomes a very difficult thing.
There is a story about a man who is sharpening an axe that is a kind of hortatory story and with reference to the prayer life. The perspiring wood chopper who was not doing so well was urged to stop and sharpen his axe. And he snorted in reply, it’s tough enough now getting this job done without taking timeout to grind the axe. While there are people who are finding it very difficult to get along in the Christian life and when it comes to prayer, how often have you ever — have you felt like this? Well, it would be nice to get on our knees and pray, but I really don’t have time. Have you ever felt like that?
Well, I think with many of us that is a very common experience. We get up in the morning and say will it be nice? You just stop for 15 to 20 minutes and just have a time of communion and fellowship with the Lord in prayer. But I am already late, and so I have to do that another time. And then at night, you get down by your bed, you get down by your bed every night, turn out the light, have a word of prayer. Do you get down on you bed? Do you ever fell like this? Get down and you say, Lord and then you say I am really tired. [Laughter] I am really tired, and just a brief prayer and you get in the bed and say in the morning, I will say the things that I want to say.
One of the greatest experiences in a Christian life is the experience of prayer, and I do hope that it is a kind of experience that enriches your own prayer life. If you get some of those answers that seem to be delays; that is, God does not seem to answer, remember it may be that He want to exercise a little patience and it also may mean that there is some struggle going on in this spiritual world. You may have touched a very tender spot in the program of God with your petition. And it’s a very encouraging thing to realize that you can have a part in the working of our great God in the accomplishment of his purposes.
This chapter has a relationship to the nations too. I think this explains men like Hitler, explains men like Mussolini, it explains the problems that we have today because in Satan’s kingdom, he is very well organized and he is seeking if at all possible to obstruct the accomplishment of the perfect will of God. And the men that rise up in one spot and rise up in another spot are often the direct result of the activity of the evil one and of his kingdom. The final manifestation of the evil one in this kingdom will be the rise of the Beast and the false prophet. And they are individuals who will carry out their ministry according to the direction and motivation and incentive and ennoblement, empowerment of the prince of the power of the air.
Of course for us who are believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, they Apostle Paul says that we have been identified with the Lord and his death, burial and resurrection. We have now been raised up and we have been made to sit together with him in heavenly places and then Paul says, “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion.” They authority of the world of the evil one cannot touch us if our great God does not will it; that’s great encouragement. May God help us to take advantage of our opportunities to pray and have a part in the accomplishment of the will of God. Let’s close and go to prayer.
[Prayer] Father we are grateful to Thee for these words of exhortation and explanation that have come to us from the prophet. We realize Lord that we are engaged in a great struggle; give us wisdom and the spiritual intelligence to realize just exactly what kind of a warfare we are engaged in. Enable us Lord to take advantage of the opportunities that are ours, while we are here. O God, give us great desires to pray, to commune with Thee, to be links and the accomplishment of Thy great purpose. This we ask in Jesus name and for his sake, Amen.