In the 1930’s, Strange as It Seems was a radio program of strange and unusual tales about fantastic people and events, based on the daily syndicated newspaper. Succeeding that production was a show called Stranger than Fiction. Opening lines for the two programs might be:
- The sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog.” uses every letter of the alphabet!
- Butterflies smell with their feet.
- A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle; a group of geese in the air is a skein!
Note the pithy statements contained provable facts, which the average person did not know, facts that often sparked an interest in searching for truth. Today I hope to spark your interest in searching into the workings of the spiritual world, just by giving you a few seldom studied details from Hebrew Scriptures. Keep in mind what our Heavenly Father says are miracles and what are His ordinary works in the world today:
Daniel 10:1-21 generally deals with Daniel’s response to the Being that appeared to Daniel and brought the details of the prophecy in his vision. In Daniel 10:2 we read that Daniel was in mourning three full weeks (21 days). Was it because he had not understood chapter 9? Do we?
In the prophecy of the 70 weeks, everything appears to be centered on Christ and what he would accomplish when he appeared. The reader can be relatively sure the vision of Daniel chapter 9 ended about 70 A.D. New Testament history records that that Christ died, was resurrected and established the church. Approximately thirty-six years later the total prophecy was fulfilled in A.D. 70 with the abomination of desolation destroying the temple and the entire city. All the curses listed in Deuteronomy 28:15-68, which God had promised Israel would come if they did not obey his commandments, were also fulfilled by A.D. 70.
Going back to Daniel 10, we read that in the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (called Belteshazzar). Its message about a great war was true. The understanding of the message came to Daniel in a vision (Daniel 10:1). He understood the vision and what was prophesied through that vision. Later, in Daniel 12:4, he was told to shut up the words and seal the book even to the time of the end.
Daniel had seen Gabriel and other angelic beings before, but there is no record of any Being like the one he saw in this vision, unless it was the Being that John saw in Revelation 1:10-18. “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John” (Rev. 1:1). Carefully compare this angel to the Being Daniel saw in Daniel, chapter 10.
In those days Daniel was mourning three full weeks (Dan. 10:2). He ate no pleasant bread, neither did he eat meat, drink wine, nor anoint himself at all, until three whole weeks were fulfilled (Dan. 10:3). In the twenty-fourth day of the month, he was by the side of the great river Hiddekel (Dan. 10:4) and saw a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz. So far the Being seems to be normal except that he has gold on his loins.
Next we read that this Being’s body was like the beryl (Greek: topaz – which is a crystal that can be clear or of several different colors), and his face as the appearance of lightning. His eyes were as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass. Like the voice of a multitude was the voice of his words (Dan. 10:5-6). Only Daniel saw the vision; those with him fled to hide themselves. Even Daniel fainted when he heard the voice. A hand touched Daniel and set him on his knees and the palms of his hands. The Being tells Daniel he has been sent for his words (Dan. 10:7-12). Daniel was apparently seeking understanding to a vision. God heard his words and sent the Being to answer Daniel’s request.
In Daniel 10:13, there is an interesting side note. Is this talking about another angel or some different type of spiritual Being? The Being sent to Daniel was stopped from his work by another like himself. Even though it is a spiritual being, we can tell from the fact that he opposed God’s messenger that he was not one of God’s servants. We also perceive there must be a limit to the strength these great beings have. To win in this battle it required that Michael (a chief prince) come to help him. Michael is “one” of the chief princes. How many other chief princes are there? Notice several other accounts of God’s spiritual servants who were used to accomplish his work.
What did this Being finally tell Daniel about his next duty (Dan. 10:20-21)? The Lord informs us that the angels are all ‘sent for the sake of those who shall be heirs of salvation’ (Heb. 2:14). That scripture is present tense. What work do these angels do for the heirs of salvation? How much does God do on this earth that we never see?
- When the “angel of death” went throughout Egypt killing all the firstborn, he had to kill the firstborn of every family and of every beast. Did anyone see the hand of the angel that night (Exod. 12:12-13)? When God brought all those plagues on Egypt, did anyone see the hands that caused these things? Egypt perceived that the plagues were brought by God, because Moses prophesied that each plague would come to pass at a certain time. However, no one saw the hands that caused those plagues.
- When David had inquired of the Lord whether he should go to fight the Philistines, he was told circumvent the armies and go behind them, then wait until he heard the sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees (2 Sam. 5:22-25). Was it man or God that went in the tops of the trees? God said that he would go before David to fight his battles for him. Did anyone see the hand of God in those battles? Yet, God promised David that “then shall the Lord go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines.”
- Three nations, Ammon, Moab and Mt. Seir (Edom) came against Jehoshaphat and two other nations. Jehoshaphat sought the Lord and the Lord went to battle for Israel. The Lord “set up ambushments” and these three armies were defeated because God confused their understanding (2 Chro. 20:22-25). Ammon and Moab first fought against Edom and destroyed their entire army, and then Ammon and Moab turned on each other until there were no soldiers left alive to fight Israel. Did anyone see the hand of God that day? There was no physical sign that God worked for Israel that day, but we see his hand through the eye of faith.
- When the angel destroyed seventy thousand men of Israel in one day, did the people see the angel’s hand destroying seventy thousand souls or did they think it was just a plague? When God’s angel in the sky, with his sword stretched out over Jerusalem, appeared to David and the elders of Israel, they were all afraid and knew that God’s angel had killed those men with a plague (1 Chro. 21:13-16).
- We see that God commanded the angel to put up his sword and so the plague was stayed (1 Chron. 21:27-30). Again we ask, did anyone besides David and the elders see the angel put his sword into his sheath? Whether David saw the angel or not, God had done his work that no man could see. The Psalmist describes what happened when God became angry and sent evil angels among the people (Psa. 78:49-53).
- Ezekiel 9—who had charge over the city and what were they commanded to do? Did any man see or even know who it was that had charge over the city? What was to be done for the people who sighed and that cried for all the abominations done in the city? What was to be done to the others? Who was the ”man with the inkhorn?”
Go back to Daniel 10:13. Who was actually doing the fighting? Was it the kings of Persia? What would have happened if the Prince of Persia had not opposed this Being? Men see the result of God’s work on earth through his angels, but do we comprehend how much God is actually doing? When he says that all things work together for good (Rom. 8:28), and that he works ‘all things’ after the counsel of his own will (Eph. 1:11), how much does that include? If God does not give us a heart to understand, can we know or understand? When Daniel’s strength waned, who was sent to support him (Dan. 10:16; Dan. 10:18-19)?
Consider one New Testament reference (Matt. 8:5-10—esp. 9-10).
- What did the centurion tell Jesus when he wanted him to come heal his servant?
- What happened when Jesus did what the Centurion suggested?
- Did the Centurion understand what happened when his servant was healed?
- Do we have as much understanding as this Centurion?
- Why did Jesus say the centurion had more faith than all Israel?