Do any of you remember the former late-night talk show host and comedian Arsenio Hall? He used to have this routine where he would tell not jokes but rather share things that make you go “Hmmmm.” Things that make you think. I have one of those things. The thing that makes me go “Hmmmm” has to do with the knowledge of the whole existence of beings who dwell in what the Bible calls the “unseen realm”—a realm that humans cannot see with their natural, physical eyes.
Virtually all humans live their lives each day without once thinking about the unseen realm. The majority of humankind isn’t even aware that an unseen realm even exists! For the most part, humans are solely focused on their own activities. They wake up, go to work, come home, eat supper, go to bed, and start the whole process over the next day. Never once throughout the day do they think, Gee, I wonder what’s happening in the unseen realm today?
The ironic twist is that the beings that dwell in the unseen realm are keenly aware of the activities of humankind on earth. In fact, their whole existence revolves around the kingdom of men! And that is what makes me go “Hmmmm.” This whole realm of beings that live in the unseen realm is the next subject we will study in Daniel chapter ten. This study is called “The Double-Kingdom System.”
THE DOUBLE-KINGDOM SYSTEM
By Karen Thompson
First in a Four-Part Series
Daniel’s last vision is described in chapters 10, 11, and 12. For whatever reason, instead of keeping the entire vision in one large chapter, the beginning and ending of this vision were separated from the main portion of the vision in chapter 11. Though chapter 11 contains the essential elements of the vision, both chapters 10 and 12 reveal important insights for us as well. The important insight we get from chapter 10 is that we get a glimpse into the activities that take place in the invisible realm of the spirit, a realm that cannot be seen with our natural eyes. This small glimpse into the invisible realm is a key that opens up to us an understanding of a domain in which we have little to no knowledge.
The time of this vision took place five years after Daniel’s 70-weeks vision. The 70-weeks vision in Daniel chapter nine took place in the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede. Darius the Mede died after reigning over the Medo/Persian Empire for only two years, after which Cyrus took his place. This vision came during the third year of the reign of Cyrus.
Chapter 10 is only 21 verses long, so we’re going to read the entire chapter first to familiarize ourselves with its content before we study the insight we get from it. Chapter 10 begins with Daniel telling us he was emotionally distraught about the great war that was revealed to him that would one day come to the Jewish people.
Daniel Grieved Over Future War
Dan. 10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision. 2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. 3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
Daniel began by saying “a thing” was revealed to him… the thing being the revelation of an end time war against his people, the Jews. And then he referred to himself by the Babylonian name, Belteshazzar, given to him when he was first brought to Babylon as a captive. Daniel knew that the time appointed for “the thing” was long, meaning he knew it was a long ways off into the distant future. It was so upsetting to him that he was in mourning. He had been in fasting and prayer for three weeks straight. After three weeks, he had an angelic visitor.
A Heavenly Messenger Appeared Before Daniel
Dan. 10:4 And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel; 5 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: 6 His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude. 7 And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. 8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. 9 Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.
When Daniel was near the river Hiddekel (better known as the Tigris), he experienced an open vision. An open vision is when you see a vision with your eyes wide open and none of your senses have been suspended. In this open vision, Daniel saw a man whose appearance was quite spectacular. He was dressed in linen with a gold band around his waist. His body was a yellowish, amber color and his feet were bronze in appearance. His face appeared as lightning and his eyes like fire. Beings from heaven are very often described as having the appearance as though they are on fire or came out of fire. The men with Daniel did not see what he saw; however, they sensed something because they became terrified and ran away. This vision had a physical effect on Daniel so that his strength left him and he fell down with his face to the ground. Today, we would refer to what happened to Daniel as being “slain in the spirit.”
A Heavenly Messenger Gave Daniel a Message
Dan. 10:10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. 11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. 12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
The angelic messenger told Daniel to stand up, because he had been sent to give him a message from the Lord. He said the very first day that Daniel began to seek God in prayer about this future “thing,” God immediately dispatched him to bring Daniel a message. He was actually sent the first day Daniel began to pray, yet it took him 21 days to finally arrive. He then proceeded to reveal to Daniel the reason why it took him 21 days to reach Daniel— “the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days” (v. 13). A prince, or ruler, in the unseen realm resisted the angelic messenger, preventing him from getting to Daniel.
Daniel Is Physically Devastated by the Vision
Dan. 10:14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. 15 And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb. 16 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength. 17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. 18 Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, 19 And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.
In verse 14, the angelic messenger again confirmed to Daniel that the vision would not take place until the “latter days,” a long way off into the distant future. He’s referring to what we call the end times. Daniel is physically devastated by the experience. He described in detail the physical weakness he experienced by being in the presence of this messenger from heaven. The messenger touched Daniel, and he was strengthened enough so he could continue listening.
A Glimpse Into the Spiritual Realm
Dan. 10:20 Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. 21 But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.
The last two verses provide us with insight into activity that goes on in the unseen realm, a realm that man cannot see with his natural eyes. We are given only a glimpse of what takes place in the unseen realm. But with that little bit of revelation, we are able to discern what takes place in the unseen realm and how it affects the earth and its inhabitants.
As we study this very small chapter, we will learn insight as to how the “unseen” realm and the “seen” realm are connected. We will learn how the unseen realm in the heavenlies affects human activity in the seen realm on earth. What I’m specifically saying is that the activities of the beings who dwell in the unseen realm have a direct effect on mankind who dwell in the seen realm.
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