CDPCKL · The One Greater than Angels (Daniel 10:1-11:1)

The One Greater than Angels (Daniel 10:1-11:1)

Way back at the very beginning of scripture, as Cain is making his plans to murder his brother Abel, God tells Cain, “Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” God was warning Cain that sin is not just a matter of human will, sin is actually a kind of living thing that has a will of its own, a living force that wants to actively poison Cain’s decision-making process. 

In other words, human beings do exercise will-power! — but we are not the only beings in the universe that exercise will-power. Apparently there are other elemental spiritual forces in our world that use their will-power to influence and corrupt human will-power for reasons of their own. 

And this becomes clear as the story goes on. Because not only does Cain allow sin to take control of him, he also goes on to build a civilization that is dominated by sin — and dominated by beings that Moses calls “Nephilim”. 

Now, what were these Nephilim? 

The word itself seems to mean “the Fallen Ones”, but Moses never explains what they are, assuming his readers already knew what he was talking about. 

Soon after the time of Daniel, however — 1000 years after Moses — Jewish writers felt that some explanation, some definition, was necessary. So they pointed out that the Nephilim are a kind of fallen angels, elemental spiritual forces that delight in corrupting mankind for purposes of their own. 

So Moses, as he tells the story of Cain’s growing civilization, is pointing out that human nations — just like human individuals — also exercise will-power, but human nations are not the only nations in the universe that exercise will-power. Apparently earthly nations are somehow matched by angelic nations that actively use their will-power to influence human nations for reasons of their own. 

And that is a terrifying concept. 

But even as Moses introduces this terrifying concept, he also gives his readers some Good News: no matter how powerful these angelic nations are, God is even more powerful. So, going back to Genesis, Chapter 6, we are told how God looked at Cain’s monstrous civilization and said, “Enough!” and how he set a countdown timer going: a doomsday clock, counting down 120 years to Judgement Day. 

And we have asked before: why 120 years? Why didn’t God just bring judgement right away and destroy Cain’s civilization along with the Nephilim that ruled them? 

Well, because there was one innocent man left on earth who was not ruled by Cain’s Nephilim: a man named Noah. And it would have been wrong for God to destroy the innocent along with the guilty. So that 120 year countdown was placed there so that Noah would have enough time to accomplish two things: first, to warn everyone that Judgement Day is coming; second, to build an ark, a sanctuary where those who repent could come and enter and be saved from judgement. 

And I think we all know the rest of the story: how only Noah’s immediate family listened to his preaching, and entered the ark and were saved from drowning in the flood. The ark saved them from God’s judgement upon Cain’s violent civilization, and God’s judgement saved them from Cain’s violent civilization. 

But what happened to the Nephilim, the fallen angels that had helped to corrupt Cain’s civilization? Angels are spirits, they cannot drown. What happened to them? 

Well…again, soon after the time of Daniel, as ancient Jewish scholars studied Moses’ writings, they pointed out that, right at the beginning of the 120 year countdown, God sent his angelic armies out to capture the Nephilim. There was a great war in the heavens between the different angelic empires. God’s angels won. They bound the Nephilim and brought them to God for judgement, and he cast them into an Abyss — some kind of spiritual prison — to wait for the final Judgement Day. And in this way God bought Noah a 120 year window in which to preach the truth and build the ark, and carry his family safely through the judgment to a restored earth on the other side. 

But if you are familiar with the story of Genesis, then you know that the newly restored earth went bad very quickly: mankind went right back to building civilizations corrupted by sin. And we are left wondering why mankind didn’t learn their lesson from the first round of judgement? — but then we discover, later on in Moses’ writings, that the Nephilim are still on the earth helping mankind go bad. Moses points out specifically that a new “nation” of Nephilim are are now busy corrupting the Canaanites’ civilization, just as they had corrupted Cain’s civilization before the flood. 

And just as God warned Cain in the beginning that he needed to rule over the living sin that wanted to rule over him, so also God warned his people again and again that they would need to rule over the Canaanite Nephilim — the Canaanite gods — that wanted to rule over them, or they would end up corrupted and destroyed. 

But just like Cain, God’s people failed. 

In fact, if we understand the history of Israel properly, God kept defeating the Canaanite Nephilim, and then God’s people kept reviving the Canaanite Nephilim by worshiping them. Instead of ruling over sin, God’s people kept allowing the elemental spiritual forces of this world to rule over them as individuals and as a nation. 

What they really needed, as a nation, was another great war between angels in the heavenly places, like what happened during the time of Noah. God’s people needed God’s angels to capture and bind the Canaanite Nephilim once and for all. 

Instead, God brought a corrective judgement upon his people: he allowed the Babylonians to carry them off into exile. 

Which brings us back around now to the Book of Daniel, the Book of the Exile of God’s people. 

So far, the Book of Daniel has been all about the clash of empires, the clash of civilizations. We have been seeing this happen on a very physical, human history level: the collision of kings and men and armies resulting in physical death, physical slavery. But we have also been given visions of how this human history looks from the spiritual side: the collision of monstrous, mutated, all-consuming beasts. We have been given visions of earthly kings somehow reaching up to heaven and defeating angels, tearing stars down out of their places. 

And we have had questions about all these things! For instance: if God did not create those mutated monsters, those mutated empires, who did? If earthly kings are just men, how can they affect the world of angels? 

Well, today, finally, we some of these questions will begin to be answered… 


And it begins like this: [1] 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. The understanding of the message came to him in a vision. 

Okay. That is a good start! Because the Jewish people are in need of a great war! They need God to defeat the forces of darkness that are resisting his will and corrupting their own growth in obedience. 

So this is good news! 

Going on, now, in Daniel’s own words: [2] At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks 

And that is an unexpected response. 

Apparently this message Daniel has received does not seem like good news to him. 

So now we are wondering: what is this message Daniel has received? 

Well, the fact that this is “the third year of Cyrus king of Persia” is a major clue for us: 

Three years before this point, King Cyrus of Persia conquered the Babylonian empire, turning it into a colony of his Persian empire. And over the last few weeks we have seen how God preserved Daniel’s life and career through that chaotic transition from Babylonian to Persian rule, so that he could act as a messiah — a saviour — for God’s people. It was Daniel who prayed and confessed his people’s sins and triggered God’s official decree to let his people go home so they could restore and rebuild the city of Jerusalem and its temple. 

And history confirms for us that God’s decree from his throne room in heaven was mirrored by a decree from a throne room on earth: during that same first year, King Cyrus of Persia told the Jewish people that they could go home and rebuild the temple of the LORD. 

And so, over these last three years — while Daniel was busy being promoted, then demoted and given to the lions, then rescued and promoted to Prime Minister — over the last three years a new kind of chaos has overtaken Babylon province: a hopeful kind of chaos. According to the ancient records, during that first year a large company of about 42,000 Jewish families packed up and moved back home, led by a man named Zerubabbel, who was a descendant of King David. They carried with them 5,400 gold and silver dishes that Nebuchadnezzar had stolen from their temple. 

And by the end of the second year the foundations of the new temple had been completed and consecrated! 

But this is now the third year of Cyrus king of Persia. And during his third year, Cyrus led the Persian armies into the far north, into what is now southern Russia, to conquer the Scythian people. And he left his son Cambyses in charge of the empire while he was gone. 

And Cyrus’ son was more interested in filling his own pockets than he was in honest government. And once the various governors of the southern provinces realized they could manipulate the prince by paying him off…they did. And this included some enemies of the Jewish people, who did not want the temple or the city of Jerusalem to be rebuilt. And as a result: 

The ancient records tell us that enemies of the Jews “bribed officials to work against the Jews and frustrate their plans,” and so, during the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, the Jews in Jerusalem were forced to stop their work on the temple. 

So apparently Daniel has just received this bad news. The message he has received was true, and it concerned a great war. But this great war is not a war being fought with swords, it is being fought with bribery and paperwork, this is a war fought by politicians and administrators — and yet somehow it has brought God’s redemptive work to a complete standstill! 

So what does Daniel do? 

In verse 3 he tells us: 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. 

Daniel is obviously a very powerful man. We found out last week that he has an upper room in his house, which is something only rich people had back in those days. This week we are finding out that normally he eats choice food, meat and wine, and that normally he uses high quality skin-care and hair-care products — which makes sense: he is, after all, the Prime Minister of Babylon province. 

He has come a long way from the vegetables and water of his university years! 

But we are also finding out that Daniel still has the same humble character he had back in uni: 

When he was young, he deliberately gave up rich foods in order to leave room for God to work in his life. Here, now, as an old man, he does the same. He could use his position as Prime Minister to demand the rights of his Jewish people to rebuild their temple! but instead he deliberately gives up his rights. He sets aside his political power. He fasts and he prays, asking God for an explanation — because the last time he talked to the angel Gabriel, Gabriel told him that the temple would be rebuilt sometime during the next 49 years or so, and now Daniel is wondering why there is this sudden resistance only three years into the project. So he prays for an explanation, he prays that the work will somehow resume. 

And then he waits. 

And this waiting time must have been especially difficult because — as we are about to find out — he received this bad news right at the beginning of the first month of the Jewish calendar, the month of the Passover. One thousand years earlier, during this very same month, God had led his people out of slavery in Egypt. So this should have been a month of celebration and feasting for Daniel, a time of remembering God’s great work of redemption in the past! 

But here, instead, he spends the month in fasting and mourning, praying for God to do a new work of redemption. 

And then, finally, [4] on the twenty-fourth day of the first month — ten days after the feast of Passover, three days after the feast of Tabernacles — 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. 

What Daniel is seeing here is a man dressed like a Jewish priest — except that he is obviously far more than just a man. This is some kind of extremely powerful spiritual being, a heavenly priest who lives and works in the heavenly temple. This is the OP — the Original Priest; human priests are just earthly shadows, earthly reflections of this heavenly priest. 

Or, to put it another way: human priests are made in the image of this heavenly priest. 

But if that is true, then this heavenly priest Daniel is seeing here must actually be God himself? 

Which would be pretty amazing — if it is true. 

But how can we confirm that Daniel is actually seeing God at this point? 

Well, first of all, because this heavenly priest has a voice like the sound of a multitude: his voice sounds like a million voices. It sounds like…thunder, could we say? 

And when we look back into scripture we find that, from the very beginning, God is described as a speaking God, a God who holds the power of life and death in his voice. And the people of Israel experienced this for themselves soon after the first Passover when they arrived at Mount Sinai and heard God speaking to them in a voice like thunder. 

So this being’s voice is our first clue that this could actually be a vision of God himself. 

Our second clue comes from the fact that Daniel is the only one who sees him: 

[7] 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. 

It is clearly established in scripture that no ordinary human being can see God face to face and live. And even the very few extraordinary people who did get to see God did so only after passing through some kind of purification process and proving their righteousness. 

Daniel is one of those rare people. We learned last week in Chapter 6 that he is actually innocent in God’s sight, and this was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt when he submitted to death and burial in the lions’ den, and then was raised back to life. This is why he is the only man among his companions who can see this vision and survive it — the rest, by God’s mercy, are merely overcome with dread and get the chance to run away. 

But even though Daniel is a truly righteous man, purified by death and resurrection, this vision is not a pleasant experience for him: 

[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. [9] Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground. 

Just like the people of Israel at the foot of Mount Sinai one thousand years earlier, Daniel hears a voice like thunder and it is just too great for him to handle or even to understand properly: this wall of sound hits him, and once again we find Daniel fallen into a deep sleep, caught up in a thick and dreadful darkness just like Abraham was when God visited him. 

But then, Daniel says, [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.” 


Just like at Mount Sinai, when hearing God’s voice directly was just way too terrifying, God has sent Daniel a mediator, a messenger — an angel — a more human-sized voice for Daniel to interact with. 

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.” 

So this is good news: as soon as Daniel started praying about the situation in Jerusalem — the political war, the stalled rebuilding project — his words were heard, and God sent this particular angel to carry an explanation to him. 

This is very similar to what Daniel experienced in Chapter 9, when he fasted and prayed for one day, and then Gabriel arrived with an answer about the time of the evening sacrifice. 

…except that, this time, he has been fasting and praying for three weeks. If his prayer was actually answered on the very first day he started praying, why the delay? 

Here is the answer: 

The angel continues, [13] “But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days.” 

That explains the three week delay: this messenger was blocked somehow. The angelic 4G network was hacked and the message failed to send. 

But, “then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.” 


So at this point, 1000 years after Moses, some of the things Moses just hinted at are now being confirmed: the rise and fall of human nations on earth really are mirrored by the rise and fall of angelic nations in heaven. Specifically, in this case, the Persian empire on earth is powerful enough to resist the rebuilding of God’s temple; the Persian Nephilim in the heavens are powerful enough to resist the movements of God’s messenger angel — so powerful that God had to send extra reinforcements against them to make sure his messenger got through! 

And Daniel has just learned the name of one of those extra reinforcements: Michael, who is apparently one of the chief princes in God’s angelic nation. And this prince Michael was apparently just strong enough to rescue this messenger angel from the chief Nephilim of the Persian empire. 

The angel goes on: [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.” 

Daniel has been praying for an explanation, he wants to understand why God has allowed the rebuilding to stop. God’s answer has finally arrived. At first it appeared as a vision of a heavenly priest speaking with a voice too powerful to understand. Then this messenger angel arrived to translate that voice and that vision into a language Daniel can handle. 

But once again, Daniel responds to this good news in a very unexpected way: he collapses! 

[15] 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 touched my lips and I opened my mouth and began to speak. 

And Daniel says to the messenger angel, “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.” 

But really, we should not be surprised at Daniel’s reaction here. At least two times before this Daniel has recieved a vision and then an explanation of that vision, and both times he ended up feeling worse than he had at the beginning! 

This time is really no different: Daniel has received just a flickering glimpse of the spiritual powers at work in the universe, and that mere glimpse has completely melted him away to nothing. 

Basically, until this point Daniel has been asking for a solution to a rather simple, earthly problem: how to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem in the face of Persian political resistance. But the angel’s answer so far has revealed that his earthly political problems are the just the tip of the iceberg: these corrupt Persian politicians are nothing more than puppets in the hands of vastly more powerful Persian Nephilim! 

No wonder Daniel is overcome with anguish because of this vision! No wonder he says, “I don’t know what to say!” 

But [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.” 

In other words: “Get a hold of yourself, man! I’m not finished yet!” 

When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.” 

“Whew,” Daniel says: “Okay, I’m ready now for the rest of the message.” 

[20] So the angel said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia.” 

From this comment, Daniel has just learned that the heavenly war between God’s angels and the Persian Nephilim is not yet over. Which means that Persian political opposition to God’s temple is also not yet over. 

“And when I go, the prince of Greece will come.” 

And from this comment, Daniel has just learned that after God’s angels have conquered and bound the Persian Nephilim, they are going to be attacked next by a nation of Greek Nephilim, who will grow in power as the earthly Greek empire grows in power. Which means that, even after Persian opposition to the temple is finally resolved, it will be followed by Greek opposition. 

But that detail is not new information for Daniel: he was told way back in Chapter 8 that the Greeks are going to conquer the Persians and then try to destroy God’s temple. 

Still, it must have been a bit discouraging to be told — yet again — to expect continued opposition, to be reminded that the temple is destined to be rebuilt and maintained in times of trouble, through times of constant warfare in the heavens and on earth. Daniel is very close to eighty years old at this point: I am sure he had been hoping to get the temple started and then relax, retire, rest! 

But apparently it is not yet time to rest — not for Daniel, and not for the messenger angel. Because the angel goes on: 

[21] “But first — before I go back to take my place in the battle against the Persian Nephilim — first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth.” 

Before he goes back to the war, this angel needs to give Daniel a detailed answer, a detailed explanation for why opposition to the temple is going to be the norm. And apparently this detailed explanation is written in the Book of Truth. 

So now, of course, we have to pause and ask: what is this Book of Truth? 

This “Book of Truth” is what we would call the Book of History. This is a heavenly book, written by God, that contains all the details of the future course of history. And for God to allow Daniel to read a few of its pages is not just a huge privilege, it is also a huge encouragement. 

Remember, Daniel is in anguish here because of the opposition to God’s  temple. He wants to know what is going wrong and why! And to be told that God has already written all these details down is deeply reassuring for him, because it means that this is not just some random glitch, it means that God has actually planned this opposition for reasons of his own. 

Okay. Finally, after three weeks of battle with the Nephilim of Persia, after all the greetings and apologies for lateness and reassurance that this is good news…finally the angel is ready to begin reading from the Book of Truth 

Oh! but wait: the angel has one final comment before he begins reading, he says, “by the way, Daniel, you should know that no one supports me against the Persian Nephilim except Michael, your prince. [1] And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him.” 

And from this last comment, Daniel has just learned two more things: 

First, that Michael, one of the chief princes, is actually the angelic prince of Israel, the angelic prince who has been specifically assigned to oversee the Jewish nation. So that is encouraging. 

Second, Daniel has just learned that this messenger angel he is talking to is also a commander over his own army of angels. And for the last three years — since Darius the Mede became governor of Babylon — this angel and his army has been fighting alongside Michael and his army. Which suggests that, just as Michael’s army of angels is not fighting alone against the Nephilim of Persia, so also the Jewish people are not fighting alone against the empire of Persia: there is at least one other nation on earth that supports the rebuilding of God’s temple in Jerusalem. 

Which is also encouraging. 

Though it is also discouraging to realize that no one except Michael supports this angel against the Persian Nephilim. It seems that the angelic nations fighting on God’s side are outnumbered by the angelic nations fighting on the Persian side. 

Though it is also encouraging to realize that the Persian Nephilim will still one day be defeated and bound, even if their armies do out-number the armies of Michael and his unnamed friend! 

Though it is also discouraging to realize, once again, that after the Persian Nephilim are defeated there will be a fresh army of Greek Nephilim to fight against — 


But now we are getting into next week’s subject already. So we had better stop here and ask the question we always like to ask: what should this mean for us? How should we apply this to our lives? 

Well, to start with, this passage means that we have some answers to the questions we started with: if God did not create those mutated monsters, those mutated empires of Daniel’s visions, who did? and if earthly kings are just men, how can they reach up to heaven and defeat angels and even tear stars down from the sky? 

These are the answers we have discovered: 

God did not create the monstrous empires of the earth, but Nephilim did. God created human society in his image; but the Nephilim took human society and reworked it into a distorted image of their own corrupted angelic societies. 

Earthly kings are just men, they cannot defeat angels or tear stars down from the heavens — but Nephilim can. 

We have learned today that human princes and kings have corresponding angelic princes and kings. Earthly nations have corresponding heavenly nations among the stars. As earthly princes attack one another, so also angelic princes attack one another. As earthly nations are swallowed up, their people deleted from the pages of history, so also their corresponding stars are swept from the sky, their corresponding angelic nations defeated, stripped of their authority, and allowed to live for a period of time, but bound with everlasting chains for judgement on the great Day. 

So now we know how Daniel’s book can talk about earthly kings reaching up to the angelic, starry host of heaven and defeating them — even sometimes, somehow, defeating the commander of the army of the LORD. When nations war against nations on earth, Nephilim war against Nephilim in the heavens. When nations go to war against God’s people on earth, Nephilim go to war against the commander of the army of the LORD. 

Okay. That is fascinating. 

But what are we supposed to do with this information? 

Well, this is where it can get touchy. Because clearly this whole section here is about spiritual warfare. And that is a very exciting subject for a lot of people. A lot of very exciting books have been written about how to participate in spiritual warfare. Some of those books are better than others. Most of those books, especially if they were written in the last 50 years, are complete speculative garbage that claim to have figured out how the spiritual world is organized and how we can have the key to complete control over it…those books, published by Christians, are actually designed by Satan to destroy the Christian faith, which just goes to show how clever Satan is! 

— but all of that is way too big of a subject for us to address right now. 

So let’s keep our application simple. 

The big idea we should pick up here is this: the world of Nephilim and warfare between angelic nations is really beyond our understanding and our control. Becaues this passage is not about simple, local spiritual warfare against the demons next door. God has given us the power to rule over the demons next door, just as God has given us the power to preach the Gospel to the people next door. But this passage here is about the powers and authorities in the heavenly realms! — forces so powerful that even the archangel Michael has to work alongside other angels to defeat them! 

And who are we in comparison to that kind of power? 

So our response to this information should not be, “Oh, stand back everyone, I got this!” No: our response should be like Daniel’s. We should be overcome with anguish when we think about the scale of our universe and the overwhelming number of the spiritual nations that are arrayed against us. We should feel very weak. We should feel like our strength is gone and that we can hardly breathe. We should bow with our faces toward the ground and lie there speechless, waiting for God to touch us and give us courage and lift us back onto our feet. 

In short: fighting Nephilim is not our job. Unless we are princes among the nations of this earth, fighting angelic princes is not our job. Our job is simply to offer up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the only one who can save us from these powers. 

But…question: how do we know that God can save us from these dark powers and authorities? After all, if one of his angels here can be resisted and delayed for three weeks, and actually needs reinforcements in order to push through…this is not especially reassuring! Sure, God’s angels won this particular battle, but…barely? If God is so powerful, why didn’t he just snap his fingers and simply delete the prince of Persia? 

Those are some heavy questions: how do we know God can save us? and — if he can save us — why doesn’t he just do it instantly, instead of letting angels fight with each other? 

The answers to these questions are related. So let’s go one by one. 

First: how do we know God can save us from these dark powers? 

Because he already has. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul says this in his letter to the Colossian church: See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world. 

Way back at the beginning of scripture, God warned Cain that sin was crouching at his door, longing to take him captive, but he must rule over it. Paul is just repeating the same warning: the elemental spiritual forces of this world want to take us captive — but we must let Christ rule over those elemental spiritual forces. 

And, Paul says, we can trust Jesus to rule because he has actually already disarmed the powers and authorities. He made a public spectacle of them — he humiliated them — triumphing over them by the cross. 

Now, how did this work? 

Because by dying on the cross, Paul says, Jesus paid our debt to these spiritual forces and to the system as a whole. 

See, from the very beginning, elemental spiritual forces have tempted mankind by dangling a desire before us, but hiding the cost. Then, like Cain, when we seize our desire, we find ourselves caught in a debt we cannot repay, because the interest rate is set at more than 100%! — it would cost us our lives to pay it back. 

Jesus spent his life so we would not have to spend ours. He broke the chains of our debt to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, and he did it not by exercising overwhelming spiritual power against them, but by exercising overwhelming spiritual powerlessness against them. 

And the Nephilim totally did not see it coming! They were focused on this huge battle over here against the armies of the archangel Michael! — but all that was just a diversion, while Jesus, the true commander of the armies of the LORD, slipped quietly in through enemy lines, allowed himself to be captured and killed…and by doing this: won the war. The powers and authorities killed the one man they should not have, and as a result they lost their death-grip on mankind. Just as Paul said, the elemental spiritual forces of this world have been disarmed and actually humiliated, stripped of their authority and bound, thus buying Jesus a thousand year window in which to preach the Gospel and build his Church which will one day carry his people safely through the final judgment to a new heavens and a new earth on the other side. 

And that answer to our first question — about how we can know God can save us — has actually answered our second question about why God works through angels instead of just snapping his fingers and deleting his enemies in a moment. Because, look: if God started just deleting the Nephilim — the demonic princes of Persia and Greece and Rome and Malaysia and China and India and America, every other nation on earth — if he did this, then justice would require him to also delete everyone under their rule who calls those princes “Lord”: he would have to delete everyone who still lives in debt to those powers and authorities. 

But God is merciful. He does not rush to judgement. He does not use overwhelming power to simply crush the Nephilim along with all their human followers. Instead, from the time of Adam onward, our Father has entered into a long, slow, costly, angelic war, defeating the Nephilim of the various nations one by one in order to buy himself time to pay the debts of every slave that is longing for freedom, and set them free from that terrible covenant of death. 

It is only when every last innocent captive has been found and freed, that God will finally snap his fingers and bring every prince of every nation — angelic and human — before his throne for final judgement. Those princes who have been bound in darkness for millennia will be brought out blinking to face the light; those who are still roaming the face of the earth will be captured and weighted down with chains and dragged into God’s presence — 

But here, again, we are getting ahead of ourselves. We will be talking more about all these things next week and the week after. So make sure to come back for that! 

In the meantime, let’s just close today with this Good News, this comfort: Jesus Christ is the head over every power and authority. He has purchased us. So while should feel very weak when we think about the powers arrayed against us — like our strength is gone and we can can hardly breathe — we should also remember that our heavenly high priest has already touched us and lifted us back onto our feet. 

So let’s pray now, offering up our petitions with fervent cries and tears to the only one who can save our world from the covenant of death. 

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