As God’s prophetic plan unfolds on the earth and in the lives of believers, there is still great resistance from the devil and his demons. There is a great invisible war on the saints. The reality of this invisible war is evident in Scripture!
As Daniel prayed for three straight weeks for God to reveal His mercy toward Israel toward the end of their prophesied 70 year captivity in Babylon, finally he had an angelic visitor who told him what God was planning to do. But he also gives Daniel and us an insight as to the great invisible War on the Saints that is happening all the time. The angel said to Daniel:
“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. (Daniel 10:12-13)
There is an invisible world of which every serious and biblical Christian should be aware. Notice that as soon as Daniel began to pray, the Lord responded by dispatching an angel to go to him and to reveal what God was planning to do. But along the way the angel was actually hindered and delayed by the prince of the kingdom of Persia, which was a powerful demon, who delayed and resisted this angel for fully three weeks. Then another angel, Michael, one of the most powerful angels, came to help him. Interestingly, ancient Persia is present day Iran. There is obviously still an evil and powerful principality over Iran today. Yet, there are also Bible believing Christians there and churches! We should pray for them as persistently and believingly as did Daniel prayed for the Jews dwelling in Persia!
From this we see that there are battles raging in the heavenly realms between the angelic powers of light and the Satanic powers of darkness; angels against demons. There is a great invisible war on the saints going on!
In reality, in Daniel’s day and certainly in these latters days, there is a vast and highly organized structure of demonic beings that hinder and work to thwart God’s purposes as they are directed through the active ministry of His angelic hosts. Both angels and demons are structured in ranks.
We find a description of the ranks of God’s angels described by Paul in his letter to the Colossians. These are described in descending order as thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers. (Colossians 1:16)
The demonic ranks are also described by Paul in his letter to the Ephesians. These are also described in descending order as principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)
It is likely, I think, that the angel that was sent to Daniel was of the rank of a “power.” He may have been one of the lower ranking entities of the angelic realms. He was stopped by a demon spirit probably of the rank of a “principality.” This “prince of Persia” was responsible to oversee and promote the religious, political, philosophical and moral evils of Babylon. Thus, this principality as a powerful demonic spirit under the authority of Satan, had dominion over the king, idolatrous priests and administrators of Persia. This “prince of Persia,” purposed to stop this angelic messenger and he evidently had the authority to “resist” him for a period of time or until a higher authority showed up.
Therefore, Michael, one of the chief princes came to help him. Michael, being an archangel, had the power and authority to overcome this “prince of Persia” and to make the way clear for God’s messenger angel to get to Daniel with his vital prophetic information concerning God’s intention for Israel’s future.
This is why Daniel’s prayer was so persistent. He refused to stop asking until the Lord answered with the truths he was seeking. We should pray the same way: persistently, until the Lord answers. Of course, God is sovereign and He can bring us answers without the agency of angels. But God sometimes chooses to use people, circumstances, and angels as means of answering our prayers. He even uses the delays that demons cause to time His purpose to the very moment that glorifies Him the most. We know that we can trust God for His timing and the ways and means He uses to bring His purposes to pass in our lives.
As Christians, we should realize that Satan is the instigator of political and religious conflict and unrest in nations today. In spite of his evil plans, God’s prophetic plan is still very much unfolding today. But, remember that there is a great invisible war on the saints! I know that this all sounds very mysterious, but it is true none-the-less. The Bible says that there is a “mystery of iniquity” at work in the world today. This is a reference to the fact that the devil is even now seeking to prepare for the coming of the Antichrist onto the world scene and he is deceiving the nations to bring this about. (2 Thessalonians 2:7)
We know that Satan, as the “god of this world,” has and is blinding the minds of those that do not believe. (2 Corinthians 4:4) Believers must understand the nature of the enemy’s methods and devices. Satan intends to fully employ the tools of moral and spiritual compromise and worldliness. He already has possession of the Gentile world powers. But when Christians become yielded to the schemes of the Devil then they give up ground to the powers of darkness. Demons can then establish strongholds in our lives. From these strongholds will come lusts, anger, bitterness, conflict, immoral deeds and false beliefs.
Often, we might allow principalities and powers to defeat our study of Scripture, or our prayer life, our families and even our nation. We must stand against these powers in full spiritual battle dress which Paul describes in Ephesians 6:10-18 as the “whole armor of God:”
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—
Remember that Satan must respond to God’s authority. You and I have authority against the powers of darkness through Jesus’ name, by faith in His cross and resurrection. Demons hate to hear the truth prayed about Jesus’ dying for sinners and rising again. The devil also distains the truth about the second coming! This is why he has been so successful in getting entire denominations away from teaching and preaching on the personal and any moment return of Jesus Christ!
The devil is also interested in gaining ground in the believer’s life. If you have given ground to Satan through immorality, forgiveness, false cult beliefs, etc., you can and should take back all ground that he has taken by prayerfully putting on the whole armor of God confessing and repenting of sin and walking in obedience to God’s Word. We should also pray against the powers of darkness in their all out assault on the Church in the United States through compromise and shallow teaching, and in many countries around the world in his attack against Christians through violence and persecution. Again, Paul teaches us in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 how our weapons are powerful because they are spiritual, this is because the Christian’s war is spiritual:
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
Remember, that all believers who are truly committed to the Bible and to holy living will be targeted by the demonic realms. You can walk in victory against them as you walk in total abiding trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Your persistence and patience in your faithful yieldedness to the power and direction of the Holy Spirit will bring you victory through Jesus Christ. Especially in these latter days, We need to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might to experience daily triumph against the attacks of our enemy who is waging a great invisible war against the saints. “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)