THE CONSUMMATION OF DANIEL’S REVELATION
Daniel had a laid out a course of humbling himself to understand deep and hidden things which came as a revelation from God. We are told that the secret things belong unto the God of heaven, but those things which are revealed belong unto us, and to our children. It is our privilege to be as the children of Daniel, to whom many secret things were revealed. From Daniel’s time, we’ve inherited prophecies from the fourth chapter of Daniel, the seventh chapter, with the eighth and ninth. Each one builds upon the other; Daniel relating the eighth to the seventh in the introduction to this vision: “In the third year of the reign of Belshazzar, a vision appeared unto me…after that which appeared unto me at the first.” (Daniel 8:1) In this article, we will be laying a foundation for understanding the prophecy of Daniel 11, whilst answering the question: Who is Michael the archangel?
Two years prior, Daniel had received a vision of the rise and fall of kingdoms, with details regarding the establishment of the kingdom of God. This vision repeated some details of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, but expanded on it. It further brought to view some details of a mysterious prophecy of judgment related in Daniel chapter four. Yet the “repeat and enlarge” principle of the visions and dreams of Daniel’s book continued in the eighth chapter, which built upon certain details of the seventh chapter of Daniel. The ninth chapter of Daniel was giving a critical understanding of the eighth chapter of Daniel after he was overcome by the force of the vision, because he “was astonished at the vision, but none understood it” (Daniel 8:27). Yet Daniel sought for still more understanding of the great unfolding of revelation revealed to him already in chapter nine (why is explained later in this article). This is where chapter ten begins to expand upon the proper understanding of the previous prophecies. And it will be this understanding which lays a foundation for understanding the final three chapters of Daniel. Since we are building upon the foundation of the former prophecies, now might be a good time to review those prophecies if you haven’t already:
Daniel 2: Unlocking the Forgotten Dream of Prophecy
Daniel 4: The Judgment of Seven times
Daniel 7: The Rise and Fall of Empires
Daniel 7: The Identity of the Antichrist
Daniel 8: Entering into the Holiest of all
Daniel 9: The Coming of Messiah the Prince
THE WARFARE OF ISRAEL
“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.”(Daniel 10:1) Daniel had been taken as a captive in Babylon; he desperately anticipated the emancipation of his people who had gone into captivity for their sins. Formerly, the king of Assyria had scattered the northern kingdom of Israel in 722BC who “went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land” (1 Chronicles 5:25) [As explained in Daniel 4].
The king had further made a slave of the king Manasseh, who sat on the throne of David of the tribe of Judah, whose kingdom was in the south. He was carried away into Babylon, the capital of Assyria in 677-676BC. When he was permitted to return, the southern kingdom of Judah was to pay heavy taxes under the Assyrian yoke. But they persisted in their rebellion still, and when Nebuchadnezzar II overthrew Assyria, he required Judah’s submission under him. The prophet Jeremiah foretold their destruction if they revolted against Nebuchadnezzar, but they despised his words. As a result, the king of Babylon carried Daniel and many other Hebrews away captive, and later destroyed Jerusalem. From the north, the king of Babylon razed the northern kingdom of Judah to the ground (Jeremiah 4:5-6).
After Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians from the north (Jeremiah 50:1-3), Cyrus and Darius reigned jointly together. Now Cyrus had issued a decree that the temple in Jerusalem should be built, and it’s foundation laid. Yet Daniel was not satisfied. His people were still under bondage to the heathen nation; the once sovereign and independent nation no longer had a king to sit upon the throne of David, according to the prophecy of the prophet Ezekiel during the captivity of Babylon (Ezekiel 21:25-27). The land still was lying desolate. The Messiah was to be seated upon the throne of David someday, but every evidence to Daniel was that this great reign of the everlasting kingdom was an event very far off.
“A THING” WAS REVEALED TO DANIEL?
It was under these circumstances that Daniel said “a thing was revealed to Daniel…the thing was true, but the time appointed was long.” That “time appointed” in Hebrew is better translated as “warfare”; Daniel saw, from the matter revealed to him, that there was a great warfare before the everlasting kingdom would be established and “stand forever” (Daniel 2:44); before Messiah the Prince would be seated upon the throne of David, and reign in everlasting righteousness; before the “the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” (Daniel 7:22) This warfare is explained in great detail in the eleventh chapter of Daniel, which continues from chapter ten.
Originally, to God’s commandment keeping people, God promised if they walked in righteousness before Him that He would set them “above all nations of the earth” (Deut. 28:1). But now, it seems the pagan nations were to reign above them. It was in anticipation of this great deliverance and promise that made the disciples ask the Messiah, “Will you now, at this time, restore the kingdom unto Israel?” (Acts 1:6) What was the Lord’s response? “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in His own power…” (Acts 1:7) Shall that promise ever be fulfilled to the people of God? Daniel wonderfully exclaimed as he saw king Nebuchadnezzar’s vision the one who “changeth times and seasons, who removeth kings, and setteth up kings.” (Dan. 2:21)
Daniel’s petition was to better understand the vision of the 2300 day prophecy, and the relating matters which were revealed in earlier revelations. We know from the Hebrew that it was the vision of Daniel 8, and not the dreams previous to this time that Daniel was most eager to know about. In the Hebrew, this vision is called the “chazon” vision; this vision is only mentioned as accompanied with a vision in Daniel 8, explained in chapter 9, and made reference to in the answers from a mighty angel, whose name is Gabriel, in chapters 10 & 11. We can be most certain that “the thing” and understanding Daniel was given therefore was regarding Daniel chapter 8 & 9.
What did Daniel come to understand about Daniel 8 & 9? Daniel painfully came to understand that the 2300 day prophecy was in fact 2300 years, and set himself to fast until he received answers. How did Daniel come to learn the prophecy of eighth chapter was 2300 hundred years, and not 2300 literal days? It was because he fainted without getting an answer. He petitioned to know the beginning of the time when the vision of the 2300 days would begin. The following year, the first year of Darius & Cyrus, it was revealed to him as he sought for understanding, and the period of 70 weeks (490 days) was given him to bring in the first coming of the Messiah, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem. In literal days, this would have been little over a year. To Daniel’s disappointment, two years later in the third year of Cyrus, the thing had not even come close to taking place. With sobering realization, he saw the words of Gabriel from the eighth in a clear light: “And the vision [chazon] of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.” (Daniel 8:26) Daniel knew without a doubt that it was years, and not days, as pertaining to the 490 day and 2300 day prophecy. This is why he said “the third year of Cyrus…a thing was revealed to Daniel…the thing was true, but the time appointed was long.” (Daniel 10:1)
In answer to Daniel’s petitions to better understand the chazon vision, a mighty angel came down from heaven, having great power and lighted with the glory of God; so great that it shook the earth, and many of Daniel’s companions would not endure the sight of it. The angel, Gabriel, would now remind Daniel of the lengthiness of the matter, while also unfolding the impending warfare brought upon God’s people for continual apostasy from truth. “Now I (Gabriel) am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision (chazon) is for many days.” (Daniel 10:14) Daniel’s people were the tribes of Israel; specifically, of the tribe of Judah, concerning which the Lion of Judah, Messian the Prince, came. The understanding that Gabriel was to impart, was chiefly to make known the events which should “befall thy people”, and lead to the everlasting rule of Messiah the Prince, and when He would take the throne of David.
Remember, this is what “thing” was revealed to Daniel in the third year of Cyrus:
(1) The lengthy duration of the time prophecies.
(2) What should befall God’s people.
(3) The developments which take place before Christ takes the throne of David and reigns forever.
Therefore the thing revealed by Gabriel must definitely deal with the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel in their captivity under the dominion of the pagan, secular, and papal rulership; given that this was what Daniel 2, 4, 7, and 8, speaks at length regarding in their prophecies. As with those previous prophecies, the understanding given is to “repeat and expand” in the same manner as each prophecy did before it. Yet since the probation of the Jews closed in 34AD as a nationally significant people, the identification of the “thy people” (Daniel of the tribe of Judah) speaks here of the spiritual Jews of the last days; and the vision itself serves to identify who those people are. Fearful things are spoken of regarding what shall befall the spiritual tribe of Judah “in the latter days” before “the kingdom shall be restored unto Israel” when “the lion of the tribe of Judah” shall take the throne of His father David.
THE TIMES AND SEASONS
As Daniel pleaded for understanding after fasting for 21 days, and receiving the answer, he was told the reason for the delay. It was the same reason for the delay in all of the purposes of God, and the answers towards His people. Gabriel explained to Daniel, “Fear not Daniel,: for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and to chasten yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but lo, Michael, the first and chief prince, came to help me; so I remained there with the kings of Persia.” (Daniel 10:12-13)
In the rise and fall of kingdoms, the enemy of God seeks to counteract His purposes in world affairs by working through the kings of the earth. Yet angels of God, who excel in strength, seek to influence them for good and the divine purposes of benevolence. The God of heaven restrains wicked purposes and devices of the enemy, until he proves and tries His people by letting the devil have his way in the affairs of men. Thus the warfare that John the apostle saw between Michael and his angels, and the devil and his angels in heaven is the war also taking place upon the earth. It is not uncommon for Satan to be unmasked through the prophetic word. While Isaiah was given a word predicting the fall of Babylon, he identifies the king of Babylon with Lucifer. Ezekiel, concerning the prince of Tyre who espoused himself as god, called him that “anointed cherub that covered” that was “in Eden, the garden of God”.
Michael and his angels fought and were victorious over the devil and his angels, and thus the devil, after the victory of the cross, fell like lightning from heaven to earth. The angels heralded from that time, “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Revelation 12:12) While Gabriel must strengthen and bring influences to the mind of the king of Persia for good, that the chazon vision may commence it’s lengthy unfolding. The fallen angel knows this, and is on the heels ready to overthrow this very purpose. Therefore, he cannot attend to Daniel until the chief prince, Michael, comes to the aid of Gabriel. When this warfare is understood, the unfolding events of Daniel 11 take on a much deeper significance, as the contending powers of Michael and his angels, and the devil and his angels, is more clearly discerned. For in this great controversy between Christ and Satan, the war in heaven has everything to do with God’s people.
THE IDENTITY OF THE CHIEF PRINCE MICHAEL
Gabriel declares the importance of Michael in this battle, declaring that it is only Michael which strengthens Gabriel for this mighty conflict. “Do you know why I come to you? And now I will return to fight with the prince of Persia, and when I have gone forth, lo, the prince of Greece shall come. However, I will show you that which is noted in the Scripture of truth, and there is none that strengthens me in these things but Michael, your Prince.” (Daniel 10:20-21)
Gabriel was an exalted angel, “that stands in the presence of God” (Luke 1:19), but only Michael could give him strength. Only Michael could aid Gabriel to fulfill the purpose he was sent to accomplish. And Michael is given the honor of “the first and chief prince”, and is called Daniel’s prince. Who is Michael?
In the Hebraic culture, names mean something. In fact, since the creation of Adam, names meant something. Therefore, names in heaven, before the fall of man, had significance. For example, Lucifer, before he fell into darkness, had the name meaning “Light bearer”, but now is called Satan, meaning “enemy”. Gabriel means “God is my strength”; why then should Michael, being the archangel, be the one who can strengthen Gabriel? And what does Michael mean? It means “One who is like God”. The Scripture further tells us that Michael “the archangel” (Jude 1:9) had the right over Moses’ body after death, so that the devil could not prevent him from being raised to life. In connection with the resurrection, Gabriel calls him “the Great Prince which stands for the children of thy people”, whose standing up will bring the deliverance and resurrection from the dead (Daniel 12:1-3).
The Scripture declares that Michael is the leader of the battle against the devil, and who prevails in heaven against him (Revelation 12:7-8).
Archangel in Greek means Chief of the angels, which is why Michael is the first and chief princes as the commanding angel, but why Daniel’s prince? The prince of God’s people? The Angel that has power to impart strength like God? That has right over the righteous dead and power to resurrect them with His voice (more on that in a moment)?
This Angel in a special manner was the Angel of Jehovah’s presence (Isaiah 63:9). The Angel appeared in the burning bush to Moses (Exodus 3:2), and in the pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night (Exo. 14:19). In fact, it was the Angel of His Presence which claimed to be worshipped by Abraham (Gen. 22:11-12). Jacob wrestled with him at night, and he took away the name Jacob (meaning deceiver) and gave him the new name Israel (meaning prince of God), for which cause he called him “The Angel which redeemed me from all evil” (Gen. 48:16). Lastly, Paul the apostle clearly identifies this Angel who has power over the righteous dead, to resurrect them with His voice: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first…” (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
It is Christ who is Michael the Archangel. Christ is “the first and chief prince”, the prince which strengthens Gabriel, and is the Commander of the angels. In Daniel, He is called “the Prince of princes” (Daniel 8:25), “Messiah the Prince” (Daniel 9:25), “the Prince of the covenant” (Daniel 11:22), “Michael your Prince” (Daniel 10:21), “the Great Prince” (Daniel 12:1); etc. He is also called “the Prince of the host” in both Daniel 8:11 and Joshua 5:14-15, where Joshua worships Him, taking his shoes from off of his feet. With all of these evidences furnished in Scripture, it is evident that Michael can only be Christ, “One who is like God”; Lucifer had aspired to be “like the Most High” (Isaiah 12:14) but that privilege belonged to the Great Prince Michael alone, who is the divine Son of God, called the chief over the angels.
THE FOLLOWING CHAPTERS
Daniel 10, 11, and 12 are one continuous chapter, divided up by the translators into three sections which will be divided up into four articles, of which this is the first. Chapter 10 gives us the background of Daniel’s conflict, and the appearing of the angel to impart understanding, and to reveal what powers are at play in the warfare of God’s people, and to demonstrate the overruling prove of God. Chapter 11 deals with the unfolding events to take place prophetically on the world stage, leading up to the crisis that shall befall the people of God. Chapter 12 reveals the crowning of the Messiah, and a more complete explanation of Daniel 11’s prophecy.
To better understand Daniel 11, go here.