“And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.”
The popular doctrine of the worship of angels and archangels has attracted the attention of many people. The authorial host has been written about in prose and poetry and they have been painted and sculpted all according to the speculations and conjectures of the mind of man.
The only ‘archangel’ spoken of in the scriptures is Michael, ‘he who is certain God’. He is the “great prince who stands for the children of your people” (Dan. 12:1). Since He alone stands for His people, He is the Anointed Prince (Is. 9:25). He has confirmed the covenant of peace with them, being the Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6), who has caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease, being the perfect sacrifice, who appeared in the end of the world to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb. 9:26). The people, for whom He stands, being justified by His faith, have peace with God (Rms. 5:1).
When this Messenger of Yehovah disputed with the wicked one about the body of Moses, that single group of those ‘drawn out’, He did not bring a railing accusation against the Adversary but said, “Yehovah rebuke you”(Jude 9). This is the same thing He said unto Satan when the Adversary withstood the Salvation of Yehovah being adorned in filthy garments (Zech. 3:2). Since there is only One ‘who certainly is God’, who alone stands for His people as the propitiation for their sin and their ‘advocate’ (to stand beside) with the Father, when it pleases the Father to reveal Himself in His people, then shall He Himself “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” (I Thes. 4:16). This Michael is the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah.
Gabriel, ‘the warrior of God’, is not referred to in the scriptures as an archangel (ruling messenger). Yet He is the One who was seen in the revelation of Jesus Christ as coming forth upon the white horse, conquering and overcoming (Rev. 6:2). His name is Faithful and True and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes are as a flame of fire and on His head are many crowns. He has a name written, that NO MAN knows, but He Himself and He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood. His name is called The Word of God has overcome sin, the wicked one and the world (Rev. 19:11ff). This work was finished before the founding of the world and manifested in the fullness of time. He is seated in the place of the authority of God (right hand) as the Lord God Omnipotent reigns supreme.,p>He is the Messenger of Yehovah who came to Zachariah, as he was in the course of his order in the service to the sanctuary. He told the old priest that he and his aged wife would have a son (Luke 1:19). This son, named John, was the messenger which the Spirit of God had foretold would come in the spirit of Elijah, whose coming was to be before “that great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Mal. 4:5). He also came to Nazareth to the virgin Mary, to announce that she was chosen of God to be the means whereby the Anointed One should enter into this world (1:26). This is the Messenger of God who possesses the eternal gospel to preach ‘glad tidings of great joy’ unto them that dwell on the earth; of every nation, kindred, tongue and people (Rev. 14:6). Thus when the Holy child was born, “the angel of Yehovah came upon them and the glory of Yehovah shone round about them and they were sore afraid” (Luke 2:9). This warrior of God is the one who came unto Daniel to give him understanding.
“And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man” (8:15)
Daniel was given to have an earnest desire to know the things of God. He was renowned as one “in whom is the spirit of the holy gods” who in the days of the King manifested light, wisdom and understanding like the wisdom of the gods. His ability and expertise were such that the King promoted him to the master of the magicians, astrologers, the ‘clod breakers’ (Chaldeans who perform divinations from breaking apart dirt, rocks and dried fundament) and soothsayers; “Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard riddles, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar” (the prince of the father of the gods).
This reputation was not easily earned and Daniel did not take it upon himself. The pagans of the foreign land where Yehovah God had scattered His people were ordained of old to recognize the gift in this young man as the hand of the sovereign of the universe worked many signs and wonders by his hand. And when the fullness of time was come and the kingdom passed from the Babylonians to the Medes and then the Persians, Daniel remained the earthly representation of the judgment of God, yet when the vision was given unto him, he could not discern the meaning thereof.
Each time the hand of God placed His chosen vessel in the exact location, performing that which was contrary to the intentions and designs of his captors, Daniel proclaimed that the power was not in him. He was not the source of the excellent spirit or the wondrous abilities; Daniel gave the answer of a good conscience before the Lord as he praised God in all that was done. The people around him were well steeped in their own beliefs and the king was exalted to the rank of deity but each was made willing and able to bow before the power and majesty of the King of Kings and Lord of Lord as His will is performed on the earth as it is in heaven.
Now Daniel was given to see the vision but he did not know the meaning. Many of the doctrine of Adam will attest to the premise that the diligent desires of a ‘christian’ will procure the blessings of God while disobedience will cause these blessings to be withheld. This obedience is found in the outward activities of having an effective prayer life, ardent and faithful evangelical endeavours and ‘spending time on the Word’ yet many questions are asked with regard to Daniel. Was he being obedient when he went to the guard and asked if he and his comrades of the captivity could have pulse instead of the king’s portion? But wait; was he not of the children of captivity upon whom the hand of the judgment of God was set for idolatry, wickedness and spiritual adultery?
Indeed he was testifying to the power of God when he made known the dream and interpretation thereof to the king but how many converts did he secure? Certainly the only proof of a good work is the fruit thereof yet there is not recorded one single Babylonian coming to the knowledge of the truth through the ministry of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, rather there is a certain manifestation of a renewed and intense hatred for these men.
Daniel was given to see a vision which he described in detail and he sought the meaning thereof. He did not have it in him to know the hidden things of God even though the men and women around him thought he did. He sought the meaning because he did not have the meaning in the natural man nor did the natural man care what the meaning or the vision was. Daniel was not trying to convince himself of the vision or his worth before God; the Spirit of God came to him and, causing his eyes to be opened, gave him to see the vision. Then He gave him a desire to know the meaning. He did not send Daniel to read a commentary of the opinion of man, nor direct him to the nearest Bible study course nor did He delegate the matter to a subordinate;
“...behold there stood before me as the appearance of a man”
God came to His servant to give wisdom for there is none other who possesses the Wisdom of God; “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and does not revile; and it shall be given him” (Jms 1:5). He came to this servant who saw Him as the appearance of man because Adam was first created in His image after the Wisdom of God, which is eternal. Since there is none other equal to God, the directive was given of God to Himself “in a man’s voice” to grant this wisdom and understanding to His chosen vessel that His will be done. He did not come to offer the man this understanding or to set before him a list of duty faith to follow in order to receive the blessing of God unto this understanding. The Word of God commanded that the warrior of God (for there is no man worthy) to MAKE Daniel know the vision.
Has God changed since the time of Daniel? If He has then He is not God for He who alone inhabits eternity does not change. He cannot deny His eternal purpose whereby He has decreed all things whatsoever comes to pass by the power of His will nor can there be any shadow of change in Him. His faithfulness demands that He be the same yesterday today and forever that according to His eternal love for His Beloved the sons of promise are not consumed.
When the precious blood of the Lamb of God was shed before the founding of the world, it was poured out in exact measure; “By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when He makes all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up” (Is. 27:9). Could God now demand that there be any additional sacrifice made to cover some unforeseen sin? Could the Father now discover that the sin of His people has become more wicked than He ever imagined and that the Life of the Son was insufficient? God forbid, these things shall never exist!
The eternal self-existing One never changes for He cannot. He has sworn an oath by Himself and according to this immutability He preserves and protects His children. He has blessed them with all spiritual blessings in the heavens, He provides their daily bread, knowing their needs before they ask and, “according as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (I Pt. 1:3). He sent the vision to Daniel and gave him the meaning by His Spirit who teaches every child of the Kingdom to know through experience the Lord.
“And whiles I was speaking, and 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;” (Dan. 9:20)
Daniel was a man given to the study of the scriptures. He desired to know the things of God and he had the testimony of the Spirit upon him that he was a sinful man. His prayers before God were of his sin and the sin of his people Israel for “the holy mountain of my God”. He had the same scriptures as are today yet without the organization in book form and they were as hidden from him as they are today.
Reading and intense study did not cause Daniel to obtain the favour of God nor did he have the ear of God with his prayers. The disciples confessed unto Jesus that they did not know how to pray and Jesus showed them the hypocrisy of the Pharisees in their attempts to pray, Even today the theologians profess that prayer changes things as a tool into the inner workings of God and even though this sentiment denies the immutability of God yet it is endorsed and accepted by the nature of man.
Prayer is the intimate communication between the children and their Father. Jesus taught His disciples to pray for the Spirit had given them the understanding that they did not know how to pray. The prayer of the Lord was not after the manner of the scribes or the Pharisees and so when Jesus taught them, He said pray after this manner: “Our Father”. Daniel was taught of the Spirit as his supplication before the Father reveals but this did not move God or coerce Him into action.
Daniel’s attention, like every son of Adam, was for the condition of something tangible. He spoke of the condition of Jerusalem as it had been destroyed by the invading armies and left desolate but this was a small prelude of what was to come. God had given His word unto Jeremiah concerning the time period between the destruction of the natural temple and the coming of Messiah and He came as the ‘warrior of God’ to explain this to Daniel; “I am now come to give you skill and understanding”. These two attributes were not natural to this man even though he was renown for them, thus “the commandment came forth and I am come for you are greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter and consider the vision” (9:22f).
This period of seventy weeks was upon “your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression and to make an end of sins and a reconciliation for iniquity and to bring in everlasting righteousness and to seal up the prophecy and to anoint the most Holy” (24). All these things were contained in the fullness of time when Messiah should be revealed as the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world. This word for told of the day of Yehovah when He should make known unto all flesh His salvation and though Daniel had read every writing available to him yet he would not have known this.
Flesh and blood no more revealed this to Daniel than did the good intentions or diligent undertakings of the fisherman reveal to him that Jesus was the Anointed Son of the Living God. The Father teaches His children by His Spirit, leading them in all truth and righteousness. All who are joined unto Him as the eternal seed are partakers of the “covenant that I make with the house of Israel; After those days says Yehovah, I will put My law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts and I will be their God and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour and every man his brother saying, Know Yehovah, for from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says Yehovah; for I will forgive their iniquity and will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:33f).
Now some may sincerely say; How do I know if I am being taught of the Holy Spirit? There can be no sufficient proof that can soothe the natural heart and mind of man. He has been assigned of God to seek after the things of this world so that the natural man cannot find out the work which God has done from the beginning. Being carnally minded and full of labour that cannot satisfy, the desire of the flesh is for evidence that can prove to him that he is accepted of God and whereas the evidence of the scripture indicates that when the Father reveals Himself in His children something is known and felt it is insufficient to appease the flesh.
The visions which Daniel received would not be revealed for five hundred years and though Noah, Daniel or Job should stand before Yehovah yet could He not be moved from this manifestation of the grace given to His Beloved before the foundation of the world or the outpouring of His wrath upon the ungodliness of man (Ezek. 14:14). This matter was ordained of old by the sovereign all encompassing will of God though Himself and for His good pleasure (Rev. 4:11). Therefore these things come to pass by the power of His will and none can stay His hand; “I am God none other.”
“And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (9:27)
Messiah did not come to start anything new or to usher in a new dispensation; He came to do the will of the Father “and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished” (Luke 18:31). The seventy weeks of Yehovah as proclaimed by the prophet were fulfilled in “a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness as the morning spread upon the mountains a great and strong people, there has not been ever like neither shall be any more after it even to the years of many generations” (Joel 2:2). The coming of the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah confirmed the oath which God swore to Himself, since He could swear by none greater, and though the world has trampled the blood of the covenant calling it common, yet the Spirit causes it to be precious unto those for whom it was shed.
The testimony of the Spirit is personal to each and every son, every man in his order, but it is the same yesterday, today and forever. No man comes to the Father but through the drawing of God of the wandering pilgrim unto Himself. He has given unto His children the witness, from faith to faith, of the hidden mysteries of the Spirit comparing spiritual things with spiritual things. This excuses and eliminates the presence and (in)abilities of the flesh who walks by sight. He has set in His called out assembly spiritual gifts for the edification of the body. Daniel’s vision was for those who delight after the law of God after the inner man and being taught of the Spirit, Daniel proclaimed the truth.
Herein is the evidence of the testimony; is there truth within? Each child is shown the truth in the fullness of the Godhead and even though the flesh rebels against the truth, being diametrically opposed to it, yet the children of the Israel of our God know the truth and that truth has set them free from the vanity of this world and the limitations of the flesh; “You shall now the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
“In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks”
When God revealed that there indeed was an abomination that would cause the desolation of the nation of Israel as His wrath was poured out, Daniel was weak and full of sorrow. God first revealed through the warrior of God the warfare and the enmity between the flesh and the Spirit. He shows the uncleanness of the way of man which causes the child of grace to groan within. He sees the corruption of his flesh and the inability to change his ways which are abominable before the righteousness of God.
They find they have confidence in the flesh in that which cannot satisfy and all that they took comfort in has become a vexation upon their soul, thus they cry out unto their Father for forgiveness and peace. They know they cannot satisfy the Law of God, nor hope or comfort from it draw. They know nothing of taking dominion over their sin as the law in their members, warring against the law in their mind, brings them back into the captivity to the law of sin which is in their members, thus they grieve, O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of sin?
But He does not leave His Beloved in such despair. He also reveals that there is one who has stood up (a sign of the resurrected Christ) for His people. This is the advocate that his people have with the Father that He who is equal in the Godhead and knew no sin became the sin of His people and removed that sin as far as the east is from the west. Many may insist that they have seen their allotment of angels and therein they have hope but the Messenger of the gospel has been revealed to the children of the Kingdom in the testimony of the Spirit, which the natural man cannot perceive.
The effect upon the natural man is evident as the Spirit mortifies the deeds of the flesh which causes the redeemed of Yehovah to loathe themselves. But thanks be unto God He will never leave His children without the earnest expectation of being delivered form the body of this death. When the time has come when the transgressions are full and the sin is complete they shall put off this tabernacle, being clothed upon with the tabernacle not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Thus as they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will the Spirit continually manifests the warfare and the wonders of His love.
“Show me Your ways Yehovah and teach me Your paths” (Ps. 25:4)
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
June 11, 2017