Spiritual Forces in High Places
- Daniel's Vision (Daniel 10:1-8)
- Daniel Encounters a Heavenly Visitor (Daniel 10:9-12)
- Spiritual Forces at Work (Daniel 10:13-21)
Central Truth: God is supreme over all spiritual forces.
Focus: Recognize there are spiritual forces behind earthly power and submit to the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Evangelism Emphasis: Salvation comes only through receiving Jesus Christ as avior and Lord.
Key Scripture (Daniel 10:14): "Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”
- God's people are long-suffering
- Humans are engaged in an unseen spiritual warfare
1. Daniel's Vision
A. A long Fast
Key Scripture (Daniel 10:1-3): In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war.[a] The understanding of the message came to him in a vision.
2 At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.
B. an imposing figure
Key Scripture (Daniel 10:4-6): On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, 5 I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. 6 His body was like topaz, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude.
Several years ago, as I was preaching in a small church, I became aware of a powerful presence standing behind me. I didn't see anything, but I could feel a heavenly visitor. At one point, I felt as if the visitor placed his hand on my shoulder. After the service, an elderly saint, Sister Bertha, approached me and asked, "Who was that man standing behind you tonight?" I replied, "What man?" SIster Bertha explained, "As you were preaching, a man in a white suit was standing behind you, and he put his hand on your shoulder." That night we experienced an angelic visitation.
-- Dan Tomberlin
c. overwhelming experience
Key Scripture (Daniel 10:7-8): I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; those who were with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. 8 So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless.
2. Daniel Encounters a Heavenly Visitor
A. Powerful touch
Key Scripture (Daniel 10:9-11): Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground. 10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.
b. divine response
Key Scripture (Daniel 10:10-12): A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.
Our Evangelical culture tends to take the awesome reality of a transcendent God who is worthy to be feared and downsize Him so He could fit into our "buddy system." The way we talk about Him, the way we pray, and, more strikingly, the way we live shows that we have somehow lost our sense of being appropriately awestruck in the presence of a holy and all-powerful God.
-- Joseph Stowell
3. Spiritual Forces at Work
a. supernatural warfare
Key Scripture (Daniel 10:13-14): But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia. 14 Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come.”
b. enabled to speak
Key Scripture (Daniel 10:15-19): While he was saying this to me, I bowed with my face toward the ground and was speechless. 16 Then one who looked like a man[a] touched my lips, and I opened my mouth and began to speak. I said to the one standing before me, “I am overcome with anguish because of the vision, my lord, and I feel very weak. 17 How can I, your servant, talk with you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe.”
18 Again the one who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength. 19 “Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said. “Peace! Be strong now; be strong.” When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.”
We face dangers every day of which we are not even aware. Often God intervenes on our behalf through the use of His angels.
-- Billy Graham
c. the scripture of truth
Key Scripture (Daniel 10:20-21): So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come; 21 but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.
- We underestimate the power of demons and angels
- Jesus is far greater than the angels
M - Delivered by Angels (Genesis 19:12-22)
T - Strengthened by an Angel (1 Kings 19:1-8)
W - Celestrial Nature of Angels (Psalm 104:1-4)
T - Christ's Birth Announced by Angels (Luke 2:8-14)
F - Encouraged by an Angel (Acts 27:21-25)
S - Satan Bound by an Angel (Revelation 20:1-3)