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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012



Daniel Chapter Five

Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords and drank
wine before the thousand. Belshazzar got drunk enough to commit a great
sacrilege. It says that he tasted the wine. He savored the wine, he sipped
it, he savored it some more and he sipped it some more, he tasted it until
he was drunk. He got drunker and drunker and then he did it. He called for
the gold and silver cups that his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the
temple in Jerusalem. These cups had never been used before except in holy
service and now Belshazzar would profane the holy. This was an “in your
face” insult to God. He used cups consecrated to the God of the universe to
praise every pagan god he could think of.
Perhaps you remember the fable of the man who was told he could have one of
three gifts. The first was all the booze he wanted, the second was all the
adultery he wanted, and the third was all the murders he wanted. He chose
the first, drunkenness and then automatically got all three. That was
Belshazzar’s choice. It was while he tasted the wine that he profaned the
America has profaned the holy. You cannot turn on the radio or television
for more than a few minutes at a time and not hear the name of Jesus, and
the name of God used in profanity. Yet the insane hypocrisy of it all is the
fact that it is politically incorrect to speak of God in school? Then again,
why is it politically incorrect to read the Bible story of creation in
school and yet it is politically correct to teach the theory of evolution as
a scientific fact? Why is it that these laws are made by our leaders and yet
almost every one of them end their speeches on national television with the
hypocritical, “GOD BLESS AMERICA!” Really! How can God bless a country when
these leaders have the murder of unborn infants on the books?
We are all aware that with all its faults the United States is the best
place in the world to live, but we may be enjoying the good life because we
are living on the momentum of a Godly ancestry; when that momentum runs out
its all over.
They drank wine and praised gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood and
stone. They praised every god except the God of heaven. When they performed
this sacrilege it was then that the fingers of a man’s hand came in and
wrote on the plaster of the wall. The king saw the part of the hand that
wrote. Belshazzar’s sin was the fact that he had profaned the holy, and when
he did he saw the hand writing on the wall. This is the sin of America
today-the profane of the holy-the Lord’s Day, the Lord’s word, the Lord’s
baptism, and the Lord’s Supper.
When Belshazzar saw the writing on the wall his knees smote one against
another and the joints of his loins were loosed. He saw what God wrote but
he couldn’t see God. What would you do if you saw a message of God written
on the wall? Even though you couldn’t see God, no doubt your knees would
smite one against another and the joints of your loins would be loosed. Be
it remembered that we do have the writing of God ever before us. We can’t
see God but we can see His writing. We don’t see His writing on the wall but
we can see it in the bookcase, on the table or in your pocket or the pulpit.
We call it the Bible. The Bible is a message from God and it is for you.
Belshazzar could not read the writing, so he called for the astrologers, and
asked them to read the writing. They tried to read and couldn’t. They tried
to read it zigzag, backwards, forwards and upside down then right side up to
no avail. They gave up. The astrologers have never been able to read the
Word of God. When did you ever hear of an astrologer who advised anyone to
become a Christian? When did an astrologer ever advise anyone to attend
services? Few things are condemned in scripture as much as astrology. They
cannot read the writing thereof. They never could and they never will.
Isaiah speaks of Astrology when he promised that evil would come on Judah
because of their transgression and he reminded them that Astrology would not
help. He said in Isaiah forty-seven, “Let now the astrologers, the
stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these
things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall burn as the stubble;
the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power
of the flame.” Astrology is the religion of those who have turned against
the God of Heaven.
Isaiah called them monthly prognosticators. People often ask what sign I was
born under. One writer insisted that I was born under the sign of Taurus the
bull because I think I am right on everything. I always tell them I was not
born under the sign of Taurus the Bull, neither was I born under the sign of
Buster the Bedbug, Horace the Hoot Owl, Charlie the Crawdad, or Samuel the
Salamander. But I was born again under the sign of the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Isaiah said they were stargazers. In the
biblical sense I am a stargazer. I am continually gazing upward for the
appearance of the Bright and Morning Star.
The king’s mother came in and told Belshazzar about Daniel. In the days of
thy father this Daniel was able to interpret dreams and had great wisdom and
could dissolve doubts. She said, “Let Daniel be called.” That is good
advice. Do you have any doubts that need to be dissolved like Belshazzar?
Let Daniel be called. Do you have any doubts about the purpose of baptism?
Let Simon Peter be called. He can dissolve your doubts. Simon Peter said,
“Repent ye and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for
the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Do
you have any doubts about the method of baptism? Let Luke be called. He can
dissolve your doubts. Luke said that Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch went
down into the water and he baptized him. Do you have any doubts about the
frequency of the Lord’s Supper? Let Luke again be called. He can dissolve
your doubts. He referred to the saints at Troas assembling together on the
first day of the week to break bread. Let Daniel be called.
So Belshazzar called for Daniel. Many times Belshazzar has called for me.
Usually Belshazzar sends for me at the time of a funeral. Belshazzar praises
all kinds of gods and profanes the holy every week, but if there is a death
in the family, Belshazzar sends for me to come and read the writing thereof.
It is hoped that the writing is not as ominous as they were led to believe.
Daniel was called in and when it had been established that he was indeed the
very same Daniel; Belshazzar told him that if he could read the writing
which no one else could read, I will give you a chain of gold to wear around
your neck, give you a red coat, and make you the third ruler in the kingdom.
Daniel impressed upon the king that he could keep the gifts. I don’t need
your red coat, your gold chain or the high position you promise, that has
nothing to do with it. But I will tell you what the Lord has to say. The
first thing that Daniel had to say was to speak of the sins of Belshazzar.
He reminded him of the problems that his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar had with
pride and how the Lord chastised him. Then he said, “And thou his son, 0
Belshazzar, hast not humbled thy self though thou knew these things.”
Daniel would have a hard time finding a church that would call
him to be their preacher today if he insisted on reminding people of their
sins. One preacher says he never mentions the word sin in a sermon. Wonder
how he reads, “The wages of bleep is death: but the gift of God is eternal
life through Jesus Christ our Lord?” How would he read, “Arise and be
baptized and wash away thy bleeps?” Then how about, “All have bleeped and
fall short of the glory of God?” Christ died for our bleeps. Behold the Lamb
of God that taketh away the bleep of the world. Shall we continue in bleep
that grace may abound?
Actually to be the third ruler in a kingdom that was going to be destroyed
that night wasn’t that big of a deal anyway. It was worth as much to Daniel
as money to the defenders of Bataan in World War Two when they were about to
be taken prisoners by the Japanese. It is said that they lighted their last
cigarettes with one hundred-dollar bill. Who needs money when the world is
coming to an end?
This was the message that Daniel gave Belshazzar. MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN.
God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it. NUMBERED-WEIGHED-MEASURED!
Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting. Thy kingdom is divided
and given to the Medes and Persians. After this dire prediction, Belshazzar
commanded that Daniel be given the red coat, the gold chain and made third
ruler anyway. Evidently he didn’t believe a word of it. It was good
entertainment but no more than that.
Lord Byron put it this way:
That night they slew him on his father’s throne,
He died unnoticed and the hand unknown.
Crownless and scepterless Belshazzar lay,
a robe of purple round a form of clay.
Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting. Belshazzar may have
weighed over two hundred pounds physically; he may have weighed a ton
socially but spiritually he was a lightweight; weighed in the balance and
found wanting. NUMBERED-WEIGHED-MEASUERED! How much do you weigh if you were
placed on the scales? How much is your spiritual weight? Maybe it depends on
whose scales you use. Let’s check it out.
How much do you weigh in the scale of other people’s opinion? It all depends
on who the people are. Some would judge you heavy, some too light. Paul
said, “It is a small thing if I am judged of you or of any man’s judgment.”
He said, “I don’t even judge myself. He that judgeth me is the Lord.” We are
apt to misjudge our spiritual weight. I heard a person speak of another man
one time and said, “If I could buy him for what he is worth and sell him for
what he thinks he is worth I would be a billionaire.”
One man complained to me one time that he hadn’t done anything for the Lord.
I tried to point out how much he had done and said, “See you have done a
lot.” He said, “That is what you say, but I wonder what the Lord will say?”
Jesus said, “That which is exalted among men is an abomination before God.”
Preachers have preached thousands of people into Heaven with a crown on
their heads and a harp in their hands and at that very time they spoke the
deceased were roasting in torment. Much that some say is a marvelous work
for God will be found wanting on that great day. How much do you weigh in
the scale of opinion? NUMBERED-WEIGHED-MEASURED!
How much do you weigh in the scale of your own works? Some think that they
weigh several tons. Some may look at a preacher and say, ‘Look at all the
sermons he has preached. Look at all the prayers he prayed. Look at all the
money he has given. Surely all of this will carry great weight before God?”
Remember the parable Jesus told about the man who had servants plowing or
keeping sheep in the field? When he cometh home doth he say come straightway
sit down to meat? But will rather say unto him gird thyself and serve me
until I have eaten and drunken and afterwards thou shalt eat and drink. Doth
he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded? Even so
ye also when ye have done all the things that were commanded you, say, “We
are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was our duty to do.”
Did you hear what the Lord said? Suppose you attend every service of the
church for fifty years and never miss a prayer meeting, Sunday night
service, and Sunday morning service, give ten per cent of your money every week
and never miss a single time. Then pray an hour every day and read the Bible
through a dozen times a year, and on top of that drive the church bus and
bring people to services by the dozens. Then suppose you baptize a thousand
converts and go to a third world country and spend two weeks laying block
for an orphanage. What do you think you deserve for all that energy spent in
the Kingdom of God? How much do you weight in the scale of works? Jesus said
you are still an unprofitable servant. You only did that which was
commanded. Evidently we don’t deserve anything for doing our duty. If this
is all you have going for you, “Thou art weighed in the balance and found
wanting.” So, how much do you weigh in the scale of works?
How much will you weigh in God’s scales on that great day? The Egyptians at
one time believed that on the judgment day God would put all your good
works on one side of the scale and your bad works on the other and the one
that outweighed would determine the out come. Some people today figure the
Judgment Day will be that way, if their good deeds outweigh the bad.
I know two men who were on the outs with each other. One man accused the
other of saying bad things about him. The one man asked the other why he was
saying bad things about him. The other fellow told him, “It is true I have
said a lot of bad things about you, but you will have to admit, I have said
more good things than bad.”
If that is the way we are judged, a person might say at the close of day, “I
took God’s name in vain ten times today, but I used His name eleven times in
prayer, therefore I am one up on the Devil.” When it comes to righteousness
versus evil a person might argue his case at the Judgment bar of God like
this. “Lord it is true, I cheated on my income tax, but remember Lord, I am
a tither, and if you will check your books you will see that I gave more
than I stole, so Lord, you owe me one. Give me my robe and crown and open
wide those pearly gates for me.”
It is to be remembered that it doesn’t take a very big piece of lead to
outweigh a mountain of marshmallows. One sin is enough to outweigh all of
your good works. I have read of stars that are so light that they are porous
and of some that are of such density that if it were possible to put a hunk
of one the size of your fist on a table it would sink by its own weight
through the table and through the earth. Sin has a greater density and
weight than that. If any of us could ever look for a moment on our sins as
they really are it would he enough to drive us insane. You would be
horrified if you could just see for one moment the horrendous awfulness of
just one sin. Adam and Eve did not eat a bushel of apples in the Garden of
Eden. One bite of that damnation apple was enough to kill the whole human
Christ died for our sins. There is no word in all of God’s Word to give us
the comfort and hope that statement gives. Have you obeyed? How much will
you weigh on that great day? Belshazzar was weighed in the balance and
found wanting. How do you appropriate that sacrifice when the gospel was
first preached and they asked, “What must we do?” Listen to it again. Peter
told them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus
Christ for the remission of your sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.” How
much do you weigh in the scales of God? WEIGHED-NUMBERED-MEASURED!
Twas the feast of Belshazzar and a thousand of his lords,
Drank their wine from golden vessels as the book of truth records.
In the night as they reveled in the royal palace hall,
They were seized with consternation twas the hand upon the wall.
See the brave captive Daniel as he stood before the throng,
He rebuked the haughty monarch for his mighty deeds of wrong.
As he read out the writing it was doom for one and all,
For the kingdom now was finished said the hand upon the wall.
So our deeds are recorded there’s a hand that’s writing now,
Sinners give your heart to Jesus to His royal mandate bow.
For the day is approaching it must come to one and all,
When the sinner’s condemnation will be written on the wall.
Tis the hand of God on the wall, Tis the hand of God on the wall,
Will the sentence be found wanting or will it be found trusting,
When the hand is writing on the wall. WEIGHED-NUMBERED-MEASURED!