Summary: The story gives us insight into an unseen battle that wages in the unseen spiritual realm, but has effect here on earth.
Singing the Songs of the Lord in a Strange Land March 13, 2005
The Heavenly Battle
The story gives us insight into an unseen battle that wages in the unseen spiritual realm, but has effect here on earth.
The angelic being that Daniel sees has been detained by fighting with the prince of Persia (another spiritual being) for 21 days. (Gabriel?) is only freed to go and answer Daniel after reinforcements came in the form of Michael, the Archangel (God’s general of his spiritual armies)
The Spiritual Realms – angels & demons – warfare – just because it is “spiritual” does not make it good.
The Prince of Persia – not the human prince, but a demonic entity that is behind the Persian Empire.
What this story points to is that while there are earthly battles going on between empires – like Babylon & Persia, and latter Greece, there is a parallel spiritual battle going on at the same time – and the spiritual battle affects the earthly battle.
It sounds a bit like the Matrix, except that the physical world that we live in is not an illusion like the movie the matrix makes it out to be. The seen world and the unseen would are both real creations of God, and they effect one another,
Prince of Persia - Demonic entities behind human institutions. Is there a prince of Canada? I would say yes, just as there is a battle for your soul, I would say that there is a battle for Canada, Ontario, Toronto, Bloor West Village.
Daniel is mostly a spectator
In Christ the battle in the heavenly realms is much more visible.
One of the first things that Jesus does in his ministry in Mark’s Gospel is to drive out a demon:
Jesus Drives Out an Evil Spirit
21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, 24 What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are— the Holy One of God!
25 Be quiet! said Jesus sternly. Come out of him! 26 The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, What is this? A new teaching— and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him. 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
All through the Gospels, Jesus engages the spiritual realm, or the demons engage him in fear.
We believe that the cross is the great victory over the spiritual forces of darkness – by paying for our sin, Jesus strips the enemy of the power of his weapons, and his fate is sealed in defeat.
Jesus defeated the devil at the cross, and we are now fighting a defeated enemy – it is like the allies fighting the Nazis after D-Day – their fate was sealed, but the fighting had to continue to complete victory.
Jesus main message was the good news that the Kingdom of God has arrived. He shows the arrival of the kingdom by casting out demons and healing the sick.
Paul describes the Christian walk in terms of the spiritual battle
3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ
Unlike Daniel, who is effected by the spiritual battle, but stays outside it, we are to engage in the spiritual battle.
The Armor of God
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.