“We know that we are of God, and the whole world [around us] is under the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19 Amp.).
Wow! That is a shocking statement—“the whole world is under the power of the evil one.” When reading this verse, a lot of people just kind of skim past it, because that’s what people do when they don’t understand something. They kind of put it on the back shelf in their minds and give no further thought to it. But for others, they read this verse and their brains kind of slam on the brakes. What? The whole world is under the power of the evil one? I thought God was in charge of the whole world! If God is the God of the universe, how is it that the whole world around us is under the power of the evil one? If not answered, these questions can become a stumbling block to a person’s faith. Daniel chapter ten provides us with the answers to these questions—and more—in our study entitled, “The Double-Kingdom System.” If you want to learn more, keep reading.
THE DOUBLE-KINGDOM SYSTEM
By Karen Thompson
Second in a Four-Part Series
In our first post, we did a quick run-through of the 21 verses in Daniel chapter ten. In that post, we learned how Daniel was grieving over the revelation he received about his people, the Jews, having to go through the greatest war of their existence in the end times. He was so grieved that he fasted and prayed for 21 days. After the 21st day in prayer, Daniel received a heavenly visitor who had a message for him from God. The heavenly being came to give Daniel the message that God had heard his prayers, and Daniel’s prayers were the reason the angel was sent to talk to Daniel.
The angel then shared with Daniel that on the first day he began to pray, he was dispatched to Daniel with a message from the Lord. But it took him 21 whole days to get to Daniel, because he was delayed by the “prince of the kingdom of Persia.” This prince, or ruler, in the unseen realm was resisting the angelic messenger so that he could not get to Daniel in a timely manner. The angel then described his encounter with this being in the unseen realm called the “prince of the kingdom of Persia.” It is this small description of the activities by beings in the unseen realm that gives us special and unique insight into this realm that humans cannot see.
So let’s begin our study of the verses that give us insight into the unseen realm. They are just four verses: 12–13 and 20–21. We get our first glimpse into the unseen realm in verses 12–13:
Dan. 10:12 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.
In verse 12, the messenger said he had been dispatched the very first day that Daniel began to pray. Yet he didn’t arrive with his message until 21 days after Daniel started praying. The messenger’s explanation as to why it took him 21 days to finally arrive with his message gives us a glimpse into the activities of the invisible realm of the spirit: “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….”
On his way to deliver his message to Daniel, the angelic messenger met resistance from the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” and that this prince was trying to prevent the messenger from getting through to Daniel. When the messenger said the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” was preventing him from reaching Daniel, he was not referring to Cyrus, the ruling king over Persia at that time or any of his generals. He was talking about a celestial or demonic “prince” and his “kings” that ruled over the invisible, unseen realm over Persia. It wasn’t until the angelic messenger received help from the archangel Michael that he was able to break free from the demonic forces and finally deliver the message to Daniel.
Just from this little tiny glimpse of activity in the unseen realm, we are able to discern some of its important features. First, the unseen realm is inhabited by spiritual beings that dwell in the atmosphere over earth. Second, there are forces of good that do battle with forces of evil in the unseen realm.
The spiritual unseen realm is invisible to the natural human eye. This realm is where Satan and the fallen angels rule over the kingdom of men on earth. They dwell in the atmosphere above the earth. Some refer to this setup as a “double-kingdom system.” The double-kingdom system is made up of kingdoms on earth ruled by men and kingdoms right above earth in the unseen realm, ruled by beings in the unseen, invisible realm. Though mankind is unaware of it, the beings in the invisible realm in the heavenlies manipulate the activities in the visible earthly realm.
And from this small portion of scripture in Daniel, we can deduce there is some kind of organization to their dominion. Certain beings in the unseen realm were assigned over earthly Persia, while other beings were assigned over other regions. The angelic messenger had to fight his way through the rulers of darkness in this invisible kingdom above earth to get to Daniel. That’s why the angelic messenger was met with resistance and why he needed Michael’s help to get free.
How Did This Double-Kingdom System Come to Be?
This ruling double-kingdom system in the unseen realm has been in existence since the time of the fall of mankind, when Adam lost his dominion over the earth. After the fall, Satan became what the Bible calls the “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4). The tragic result is that now “the whole world [around us] is under the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19 Amp.). Satan has dominion and authority over the earth; he and his fallen angels rule the heavenlies over earth in a realm we cannot see with our natural eyes.
This double-kingdom system is corroborated in Jesus’ letter to the Pergamos church in the book of Revelation. It gives us a glimpse of Satan ruling in the invisible unseen realm. John starts out the letter to the Pergamos church saying, “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write … I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is…. where Satan dwelleth” (Rev. 2:12–13). In the phrase “Satan’s seat,” the original Greek word for seat is thronos, and it is translated in most other places as throne. Apparently, Satan’s throne was situated in the unseen realm at that time over the area of Pergamos. Some have surmised that Satan moves his seat of power to different areas in the unseen realm and, most likely, has changed locations numerable times down through the millennia to whatever hotspots of action are taking place on earth.
An interesting aspect about this unseen realm is that virtually all of earth’s inhabitants 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! They 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 mankind on earth. In fact, their whole existence revolves around the kingdom of men!
On occasion, God has opened the eyes of natural men and have allowed them to see spiritual forces in the unseen realm. From Genesis to Revelation, there are many stories of people that have been allowed to see into the realm of the spirit. One such example is found in 2nd Kings chapter six involving the prophet Elisha. During the night, the Syrian army had surrounded the city where the prophet Elisha lived. When Elisha’s servant woke up and saw they were surrounded by the enemy, he became terrified. Elisha comforted him saying, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (v. 16). Then Elisha prayed and asked God to open up his servant’s eyes so that he could see into the spirit realm. When the Lord opened up the servant’s eyes, he saw “the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha” (v. 17). This reaffirms to us that there are both good forces and bad forces operating in the unseen spiritual realm.
Seeing into the unseen realm isn’t an experience that was reserved just for those who lived in Bible times. Down through the centuries, many believers have experienced seeing into the unseen realm just like the people in the Bible. That is not, however, the most common way for believers to see into the unseen realm of the spirit. Christians most commonly connect with the unseen realm through prayer. I like the way Lynne Hammond puts it in her book Living in the Presence of God: “Thank God, we don’t have to have our physical eyes open to the realm of the spirit to see into it. We can enter into that realm by drawing near to God in our hearts by faith; and with the eyes of our own reborn spirits, we can ‘look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen’ (2 Cor. 4:18).”
When believers pray, they come into contact with the unseen realm which can result in very unique experiences. And just like Daniel’s angelic messenger, they often find themselves in confrontations with demonic forces in the unseen realm. Ephesians 6:12 confirms that believers do battle against unseen forces: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” This is a list of the kind of beings that dwell over the earth’s atmosphere in the unseen realm.
But thanks be to God, for He has “delivered us from the power of darkness” (Col. 1:13). God has not left us helpless against the powers of darkness; through Jesus, He has provided us with weapons both for offense and defense! Galatians 1:4 says Jesus “gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world….” In Christ Jesus, we have been delivered from the grasp and power of this evil age.
Working With Angelic Forces in Prayer
Let me share with you an experience a great prayer warrior by the name of Phillip had concerning this topic. He has since passed on to heaven, but God used him in a mighty way to pray out His plans and purposes on the earth. Very often, when he prayed, the power of God would come upon him so strongly that he would tremble. One of his experiences describes perfectly the subject of praying and seeing into the realm of the spirit.
It happened one night after he returned home from a meeting in which he had been ministering. He was unusually exhausted. He didn’t bother unpacking his bags, but instead, he just plopped them down in the hallway and went straight to his bedroom to lay down on his bed. When he did, something extraordinary happened to him. As his physical body was lying down, his spirit man sat upright! Instantly, his spirit man ascended into the unseen realm of the spirit. He found himself with a group of people. He said, “We were marching into God, singing and praising the Lord.” He said for the first time in his life, he could go higher and higher in praise. His body was no longer holding him back.
But then he heard the sounds of war off to the side of him. The Lord instructed him to look. When he turned his attention to the side, he saw angels—warring angels. They were in battle with the enemy. And by the look of their armor, he could tell they had been in many battles. Then he heard the voice of the Lord say, “Go with them.” He said he didn’t want to go with them but, instead, wanted to stay with the people, marching into God. He obeyed the voice of the Lord and went over to where the warring angels were. As soon as he did, he said, “I was in a realm of the spirit that I go in and out of many times a day. And I realized that my prayers had already been working with them.” From that experience, he understood that there are levels in prayer in which we work together with angels and that angels go forth into action because of our prayers.
Angels then took him on a sort of tour throughout the earth to where the greatest battles were being fought. He witnessed with his own eyes the battles between forces of good and evil in the unseen realm of the spirit over several places on the earth. Most of these battles were located in the Middle East. The place of the greatest battle being fought in the unseen realm was directly over the temple mount in Jerusalem.
Interpreting the Action in the Unseen Realm
Verses 12–13 make us aware of the invisible realm in the heavenlies where Satan and his fallen angels rule over the kingdom of men on the earth. In verses 20–22, we get a glimpse as to the reason why battles take place between forces of good and evil.
Dan. 10:20 Then he said, Do you know why I have come to you? And now I will return to fight with the [hostile] prince of Persia; and when I have gone, behold, the [hostile] prince of Greece will come. 21 But I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth or the Book of Truth. There is no one who holds with me and strengthens himself against these [hostile spirit forces] except Michael, your prince [national guardian angel]. (Amp.)
This is a very intriguing and unusual portion of scripture. The messenger asked Daniel, “Do you know why I came to you?” He didn’t wait for an answer from Daniel but, instead, told Daniel that he had to return to the fight he was in with the prince of Persia. The reason he broke away from that fight was so he could come and tell Daniel “what is written in the Book of Truth.” He told Daniel the only help he had in this fight was Michael, “your prince.”
The messenger called Michael “your prince,” meaning he is a prince to the Jewish people. The word “prince” in Hebrew is sar, and it means “prince, ruler, leader, chief, chieftain, official, captain.” Michael is an archangel that has been assigned to watch over Israel in the unseen realm. Every time his name is mentioned in the Bible, it has something to do with watching over and protecting the Jewish people. We are told in Daniel 12:1 that Michael will fight for the Jews in the unseen realm during the time of the great war that is coming. Then in Jude 1:9, we read about Michael contending with Satan for the body of Moses. And lastly, we read about Michael in Revelations 12:7 where he does heavenly battle in the unseen realm as prophesied in Daniel 12:1.
The angelic messenger and Michael are in a fight with the prince of Persia. There was a reason they were in battle with the prince over Persia. They were in the process of repositioning the regimes of power in the unseen realm. What was happening is that the prince over Persia was in the process of being deposed. He was being deposed to make room for the prince of Greece to come into power and to take his place. Now remember, we’re talking about princes in the unseen realm, not on the earth. This regime change of the rulers in the unseen realm is what opened the way for a governmental regime change to take place on earth. This repositioning of power in the heavenlies would translate on the earth with Persia losing its place of dominance in the earth, giving way to Greece as the dominant power, resulting in the rise of Alexander the Great. This whole process is what is meant by a double-kingdom system.
In these few verses of scripture in Daniel, we learn a very important spiritual principle: before a change can be made in the natural seen realm on earth, it must first take place in the spiritual unseen realm.
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