Scriptural Insights from Biblical Overlooks, Pt. 8
Study Guide, October 29, 2023
Pastor Clay Olsen
On our trip to the Mountains, we were treated to seeing some amazing scenery of the brilliant fall colors. We didn’t have time to drive the Parkway, but just along I40 the trees were remarkable. But the Parkway is where you get to pull over at the Overlooks and take your time and take it all in. Well, on our last Overlook we were looking into the behind-the-scenes activities of the Spirit world. And we need to pull over and look further today because the better we understand what’s going on in the Spirit world the better we can then deal with what’s going on in the physical world.
And that’s just another blessing from the treasury of the Scriptures because most people in the world are constantly just reacting to ‘what’s’ going on around them. They know the ‘what’, but they don’t know the ‘why’ or the ‘how’ or the ‘what to do’ or ‘what will become’ of whatever it is that is going on in their world. But with the wondrous revelations of the Scriptures, our gracious God has enabled His people to not only know the ‘what’, but also the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ and the ‘what to do’ and ‘what will become’ of whatever it is that is happening in the world. Again, without the understanding of both the reasons for what is happening as well as the ‘what to do’ about whatever it is that is happening, most people are simply left with… “What?” “What’s happening?” “What’s going on?” “What do we do?”…and on and on.
In one of the clearest revelations of Scripture God pulls back the curtains and shows us exactly what is happening behind the scenes in the spirit world, especially in connection with all the nations and governments on Earth. And once you understand this reality, you will never be left with just staring at ‘what’ is going on around the world…and in our own country…you will also know ‘why’ it’s happening and ‘how’ it’s happening and ‘what to do’ about whatever is happening, and ‘what will become of whatever is happening’. Let’s look…or let’s go to the ‘Overlook’ of Daniel chapter 10.
Let’s check out the scene…Dan 10:10-14- “Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble 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; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.” NKJV
We are looking into a scene of powerful spiritual warfare in action! But did you notice what God first wanted Daniel to clearly understand in order that he could more clearly deal with the understanding he was about to be given? “O Daniel, man greatly beloved…” This is the second time that Gabriel reminds Daniel of his identity in the eyes and heart of God. The other is right before the prophecy given to Daniel of the Seventy Weeks that gives the timeline of the Cross of the Messiah and concludes with the Tribulation Age and the return of Christ to set up His Kingdom on Earth. Notice the identity again: Dan 9:20-23- “Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God, yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision…” NKJV
Did you realize that one of the greatest strengths that you have as a Born Again child of God’s is the understanding that your identity in the eyes and heart of God is that of a son or daughter that is greatly beloved by God? Before anything else, before any explanation of the spiritual warfare going on or what to do about it, there is one thing that Daniel had to understand, and that you and I need to understand so that we can then rest in that truth before we begin to do anything else about the issue. For when you are assured of this, then you will be rightly prepared to deal with anything else. But until or unless you are assured of this, you will be ill-prepared to rightly deal with anything else. What God wants us to be assured of is ‘who’ we are in His eyes and heart. And then we can deal with whatever it is that is happening around us and in our world. God says to Daniel and to us…you are “one greatly beloved”… “you are greatly loved”.
Brethren, that understanding is not only your identity in the eyes of God, that is also your greatest power to face every battle that you have to face. Oh, go ahead and question everything else in the world, but get it settled in your mind and in your heart that beyond anything else in the world that, as saved child of God’s, who you are is that you are one that is ‘greatly beloved by your God and Savior’! As in… “The world is decaying around me, but I am greatly beloved by God.” As in… “My circumstances are crumbling around me, but I am greatly beloved by God.” As in… “My physical body is wasting away, just as the Apostle Paul revealed, but I am greatly beloved by God”…and so on. Only when your heart is filled with the reality of God’s love for you are you then ready to face the realities of your world around you…like the reality of spiritual warfare.
So Gabriel then reveals to Daniel that the delay in his meeting with Daniel was due to the warfare that he was dealing with in connection with a certain ‘prince of Persia’, and other ‘kings of Persia’…until Michael, one of God’s chief princes came to his aid. Wow…and what does this reveal about the spiritual warfare going on the world? Gabriel was not talking about just any human prince or any human kings. Humans are no match for Angels. Remember, one Angel slew 100,00 enemy soldiers in one day. And the Angel that Jacob wrestled with, was actually the Lord Jesus in a pre-incarnate form. And He was simply allowing Jacob to have that unusual wrestling experience with God in order for Jacob to learn some key lessons of complete dependence upon God, among some others. But the point is that Gabriel was giving Daniel a revelation about the reality of these spirit rulers that the devil had assigned to the regions and to the governing powers of Persia. He was talking about exactly what the Apostle Paul was talking about in Ephesians 6 concerning the rulers, the powers, the world forces of darkness, and the spiritual forces of wickedness!
From Eph. 1:20,21 we learn that God has arranged the angelic realm in differing ranks referred to as “rule, authority, power, and dominion”. “…which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” NKJV So, in imitation of that, and since Satan counterfeits everything of God’s, the devil has also assigned high-ranking demons to positions of authority over each kingdom. The prince of the Persian kingdom was a satanic representative assigned to Persia.
So again, what the Scriptures reveal to us is that in the ranks and orders of the demonic realm, there are specific evil angels assigned to the nations of the world; sometimes referred to as “territorial spirits.” That’s why Paul told the Ephesian believers that the Christian’s battle was not against flesh and blood but against demonic forces that always do the devil’s will, and they oppose the holy angels who always do God’s will. What we are to know is that for every government in every country of the world, there are corresponding spirits, certainly God’s holy ministering spirits as well at work in any of the lives of God’s holy people there, but also the unholy and demonic spirits are working through the lives of the unrepentant and unregenerate leaders of those countries.
How do you think governments around the world come up with things like laws promoting death, like we have seen in Abortion, or laws that promote immorality and destroy families, or rules that basically steal from their people their rightful personal property and harm their personal well-being, and on and on? Look at the Earth’s history of War, with the hatred and greed of governing authorities going off like flames against neighboring countries and people. Who do you think is fueling the flames? Who is it that lives for the purpose of stealing, killing, and destroying human beings created in the image of God…especially God’s own people? Mark it down: Yes, unholy humans in governing positions are making unholy rules in whatever country they are in…but the reason they are making those unholy rules is because they themselves are being ruled by the unholy spirit rulers that have been assigned to them by the unholy ruler of this world, the Devil.
Whenever you see a government assembly, realize that whatever governing officials are in that room, they are not the only rulers that are there. Spirit princes are there prompting, promoting, and pushing any unsaved rulers that are there to do the will of the one to whom they are being held captive…remember… ‘being held captive by the devil to do his will’. And that’s just another reason that we are to pray for and to work for the promotion of godly leaders in governing positions, because spiritual warfare is going on in every government of the world. And the more ungodly leaders there are in positions of authority, the more the unholy spirit rulers will use them like pawns to push and promote the will of the devil for that nation and its people. And the result is what the Proverbs state: Prov 29:2- “When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.” NLT You can sure hear the groaning of hardship across our country and around the world due to ungodly rulers who are being ruled by ungodly spirit rulers!
When we look at ‘what’s’ going on in the chaos and confusion and moral decay and human destruction and the foolish ways that many governments, and so many in governments around the world are at work, we are to understand that it is these spiritual forces of wickedness that are influencing and using those governments any way they want, and there’s nothing those human government pawns can do to stop them. However, there is something that God’s people can do, praise God! What was Daniel doing? Daniel was praying and working and speaking truths from God whenever and wherever he could.
And speaking about Daniel’s prayers…did you notice what Gabriel told Daniel about his prayers? “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.” He had told Daniel the same thing once before: “At the beginning of your supplications the command went out…” What we are to realize about our prayers here is this: Prayers that are offered to God in a spirit of humble confession and petition immediately set things into motion from the throne of God. We may not immediately see it, just as in this case of Daniel’s experience, but we are to know that humble prayers cause godly effects. Again: Humble prayers cause godly effects! There may be things happening behind the scenes concerning the effects of our prayers, just like with Daniel, and some of the effects caused by the prayers may take time or may come to pass later in time, but as far as the prayer itself, or the prayers themselves…our prayers set things into motion that God will use, some for use now and some for use in the ages to come. But we are to know that our prayers are not only our special way to commune and fellowship with our God, but our prayers are also ‘essential tools’ that God has chosen to use in working out His plans in this world, and for working all things together for good, for those who love God and are called according to His purpose!
One more thing about the Spirit world…for while the unsaved of the world are being ruled by the unholy spirit rulers, from world rulers to other unsaved citizens of this world, on the contrary, the citizens of Heaven, God’s saved children, are being ruled by the Holy Spirit and by God’s holy Angel spirits. And these blessed holy Angels are ministering to us in ways that we often do not realize, but surely are day after day. For God has assigned His holy Angels to be ‘ministering spirits’ to His children on Earth. Look closely at one of the most comforting and encouraging and inspiring verses in the Bible. And we have posted it in three versions to help us grasp the wonder of it.
Heb 1:14- “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” NASU
Heb 1:14- “Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation.” NLT
Heb 1:14- “All the angels are spirits who serve God and are sent to help those who will receive salvation.” ERV
How wonderful is that to know that every day you are attended by a holy Angel or more holy Angels that God has assigned to care for you…again, care for you in ways that we not even aware of now, but will one day learn about all the ways that our Angels…often referred to as ‘Guardian Angels’…have cared for us and ministered to us. Perhaps in the Kingdom ahead those Angels that we did not know in this life will become some of our closest friends throughout our eternal days in Heaven. Plus, it is very possible that at some time you may have already seen one of your unseen Angelic guardians. For the Scriptures also leave that possibility wide open to us, as in: Heb 13:2- “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” NASU
And there are also many other settings where you may have already or will one day encounter one of your Guardian Angels that God allowed to take on human form for some special assignment to minister to you in a special way. So, be on the look-out, right?! For we live in the midst of Angels…both holy and unholy…but always knowing that for us, God’s children, we even have God the Holy Spirit living within us, and “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.” (1Jn. 4:4)