With Us, or Against Us — What Herb Thinks

When U.S. President George W. Bush said, “You’re either with us, or you’re against us,” the world knew what he meant. However, I wonder if the rest of us did.

One day, after mourning and fasting for three weeks, a very unique man appeared to the Jewish prophet Daniel. Daniel wrote:

I lifted my eyes and looked and behold, a certain man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz. His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult (Daniel 10:5-6 New American Standard Bible).

By this time Daniel was somewhat accustomed to dreams, visions and visitations from God’s angels. But, this person who appeared to him was different than any of the angels who had appeared to him before. When this spiritual being appeared, all Daniel’s strength immediately left him, and the prophet fell on his face in a deep sleep. In fact, it took a touch from this unique spiritual being’s hand to restore to Daniel his strength.

Who was this “certain man” who appeared to Daniel that day? Well, I’ll tell you what I think. I think it was Jesus. Here’s why. If you recall, the Apostle John also had a certain man appear to him. And he had a similar experience. John wrote:

And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His breast with a golden girdle. And His head and hair where white like wool, like snow; and His eyes like a flame of fire; and His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been caused to glow in a furnace, and His voice like the sound of many waters (Revelation 1:12-15).

We know, of course, the identity of this person who appeared to John — it was the risen Jesus. And, not only is John’s description of Jesus similar to the description Daniel gave for the man who appeared to him, when Jesus appeared to John, the same thing happened to him that happened to Daniel — all John’s strength immediately left him. And, once again it took a touch from this powerful being’s hand for strength to be restored (Revelation 1:17).

Since we know that God chooses His words carefully and for a reason, I believe it’s safe to assume the same person who appeared to John appeared to Daniel. It was Jesus. And, this realization brings to us some interesting insights into the nature of the ongoing spiritual battle for control of this earth.

You see, this very powerful being who appeared to Daniel— the one we now believe to be Jesus — spoke as if His powers could sometimes be limited or hindered. He told Daniel He would have appeared sooner, but He’d been prevented. He said:

But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came and helped me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia (Daniel 10:13).

Then, at the end of His visit with the prophet Daniel, this spiritual being said:

Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia … the prince of Greece is about to come … Yet there is no one who stands firmly with against these forces except Michael your prince (Daniel 10:20-21).

Here’s my point. If this is Jesus who is speaking to Daniel, then that means at this time in history Jesus had no one standing with Him in the fight against those wicked spiritual forces of the world — He was standing alone.

However, when Jesus appeared to John, He was walking among His seven lampstands. In other words, now things were different than in Daniel’s day. Now Jesus had some who were standing with Him against these wicked spiritual forces — His churches.

So, when President Bush said, “You’re either with us, or you’re against us,” I believe the world — and the coming Roman prince — knew exactly what he meant.

The question is, do we?

— Herb Peters