Month: July 2014

Handwriting on the Wall (part 2)

In my previous article I discussed a relevent issue from the fifth chapter of Daniel. If you read the previous article, and are familiar with the events in Daniel, then you should have seen the “handwriting on the wall” there would soon follow a part two. Usually, I am not fond of sequels. I will make an exception in this case, because I know there is some unfinished business to discuss.

In the previous article I had discussed the fact that Belshazzar had committed a heinous act and should have known nothing good could come from it. Then again, maybe he did and just did not care enough about the consequences. Once the temple instruments were used for vile purposes, a hand appeared and wrote a message upon the wall. The previous article dealt with misusing the instruments that belong to God and how it still applies today. Let us now move forward to another matter, just as relevant:

Daniel:5:7: The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Daniel:5:8: Then came in all the king’s wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.

The king was horrified by the handwriting. His response was to gather all he considered wise, take counsel with them and hope to learn what the writing meant. In his fear he sought the counsel of men, not God. He offered a chair among royalty, a position of power and authority. The men came to the king, and you can only imagine how anxious they might be to ascend to a higher position among men. Yet, none could decipher what the Lord had written.

Today, our kings seek the counsel of men. The leaders today are crafty, well educated, with much experience in affairs of diplomacy, war, spying, intelligence, and finance. When the unthinkable happens, the experts are called in for ideas, strategy, quick fixes and evaluations, predictions of actions and reactions. We, as people, have not really changed that much. I do understand this seems to be a smart solution, but I also understand it is a fleshly solution. Too often decisions are made without the counsel of God, without looking to Him, His Word, His Spirit in prayer. Rarely is a known or perceived man of God approached for insight, understanding or wisdom. The world loves its own.

The king was reminded by his queen there was a man in the kingdom who had served the kings father in similar circumstances and was made head of all astrologers and soothsayers. Daniel, a man of God, was brought in to do what those who were considered professionals or experts could not. You see, right here I am reminded of the verse that says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not unto your own understanding”. Daniel seemed to excel in exactly that.

And now we come to the conclusion of the matter:

Daniel:5:23: But hast lifted up thyself against the LORD of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:
Daniel:5:24: Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
Daniel:5:25: And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
Daniel:5:26: This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
Daniel:5:27: TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.

Man had exalted himself and his gods, he had misused the instruments set apart for God, lived a life of excess, a life of drunkenness, and promiscuity. The king failed to recognize God, he had falied to glorify God in any way. It is because of all these atrocities judgment came, and it came swiftly.

It is no doubt an awesome thing to go before God in judgment, but that is what we see here at the finish. The king had been weighed in the balance, and came up short. We, as a people, as nations are following suit. Counsel of godly men and women fall by the wayside and upon spiritually deaf ears. Men are too eager to please mankind, to eager to seek after riches and power, and no longer care to glorify the soon coming King of kings, Jesus.

My fear for the world today is this: I fear many of todays rulers throughout the world have seen the handwriting on the wall. The counsel of men is being sought to find the reason for all the calamities in the world, maybe because they are afraid of the handwriting on the wall. Today, the rulers look to “global warming” scientists, they are looking to DNA researchers, to biochemists, to doctors, to environmentalists to ease their concerns. I have a piece of advice for them all, look up!! Look up! Seek the One who has set all things in motion, turn from the ways of this world, save yourself, save your people. Judgment is coming, for nations and for individuals. Seek Him while He can be found, seek Him before you too are weighed in the balance. Only Jesus Christ can balance those scales of justice. Let us glorify Jesus, let us look to Him and pray to be accounted worthy of Him and His kingdom.

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Handwriting on the Wall

Have you noticed we live in a world where slogans are everywhere and used to remind us of something? For instance, slogans are one of the most used, most efficient, most reliable ways of advertising. Some examples would be “Just Do It” (Nike), “Made from the best stuff on Earth” (Snapple), “They’re Grrrrrreeaattt” (Frosted Flakes), and “Have it your way” (Burger King). Some of these are a bit old, and probably outdated by now, but you get the idea.

Phrases have a way expressing a big idea using few words. We often hear familiar phrases used in a variety of contexts. Lately, I have heard a phrase used several times, meaning that a person “should have seen it coming”, but the phrase used is: “They should have seen the handwriting on the wall”.

For me this always brings to my mind the fifth chapter of Daniel. This is quite possibly one of my favorite events to read, re-read, and study. It is also a realization, shouldn’t we “see it coming”, should we not be able to discern some of those things which are about to happen? Of course I’m not referring to fortune-telling, nor am I specifically referring to the gift of prophecy. When we are given numerous examples throughout the Bible, when we are given specific actions and reactions, shouldn’t we be able to know what is going to happen? Sure, the consequences of repeated actions may not be immediate, but they are imminent.

In the fifth chapter of Daniel we find that Belshazzar was giving a great feast, a party, and gave orders to bring the gold and silver vessels, which had been used in the Jewish Temple. Once those vessels were brought out and used, something happened:

Daniel:5:5: In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
Daniel:5:6: Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.

The hand and writing caused the king such horror that his bowels were loosed and his knees buckled and began to shake. I suppose the phrase “caught red-handed” could apply here. There is a very important lesson to be learned, you should not mis-use nor tarnish the instruments set apart for the service of God!

1st Chronicles:16:21: He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,
1st Chronicles:16:22: Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

Those instruments were created, finely crafted, and sanctified for use in serving God. The equivalent today are those who are saved and serving Jesus. We have been cleansed by His blood, we are set apart from this world, and serving our Lord. We are those instruments, indwelled by the Holy Spirit, serving a risen, living Savior, seeking to accomplish His will in our lives, giving our testimony, letting our lives be a witness, moving in faith, praying always, loving in truth and in deed, all that the glory be His. We offer our bodies a living sacrifice.

Just as Belshazzar was living it up in the world (eating, drinking, and being merry), he misused the instruments dedicated to God. Today, this world is misusing and mistreating the instruments dedicated to God. Belshazzar did not see the writing on the wall and his reign ended that very night. There is coming a point in time where someone in this world will say “we should have seen the handwriting on the wall”, and just as it was then, it will be too late. Be of good cheer, we will suffer things in this world, we will be hated in this world, but I have good news, Jesus overcame this world and by Him, we shall too! To Jesus be the glory forever, amen.

Atheism Does Not Exist (because I don’t believe in it)

The title of this article is written in jest, tongue in cheek. Yet, I believe there is some truth to be found in it. Does unbelief change the existence of anything? If you believe grass is orange, sand is purple, or blood is green, does that make it true? Of course not, it is only a delusion you have created for yourself.

Atheism, the non-belief in God, or even a god, is really just another way of elevating mankind. What you serve becomes your god. If you choose to serve yourself, your needs, your wants, you have become your own god. If you choose to serve your job, your job is your god. If money is the pursuit of your life, money is your god. You begin to see a pattern here.

Psalms:53:1: The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

Everyone believes in something, even atheists. Some believe in the goodness of mankind, but if you watch the news you can see that disputed nightly. Some believe in science, yet, science has neither disproved or proved God exists. There is no concrete proof for the atheist and their decision of denying the existence of God.

Before you get too carried away in agreement, let us take a step back. Was there not a time where you and I lived in a way that denied His existence? Did we not live in sin, taking for granted our own lives, and fulfilling the lusts of the flesh? Have we not served ourselves, with no regard to God? We have surely walked in those very shoes, and it is because of that walk that we should show compassion and understanding to those that have yet to come to the knowledge of our loving Savior, Jesus Christ. We must understand what a privilege we have in the fact that we could be the chosen vessel to introduce a lost soul to the King of Righteousness.

For me, a very troubling aspect of atheism is not the unbelief. It is the attacks on Christianity. This brings to light another question: Why would you waste energy, money, and effort to attack something you believe does not exist? By effort alone you begin to acknowledge the existence of something!

1st John:2:18: Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

1st John:2:22: Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

Back to the point, atheism (as I see and understand it) is more akin to the spirit of antichrist than true unbelief. The refusal of atheists to openly attack Buddhists, Wiccans, Satanists, and Muslims really shows a pointed attack on Christianity. Atheists have created their own religion, a belief in unbelief. They have monuments, meetings, teachings, literature, evangelists (to help spread the unbelief), and educational institutions. They have become a religion, which I find ironic. Maybe now you understand or see how fitting this title really is and why I do not believe atheism exists. Then, again, I suppose there are those radicals, those splinter groups, that really do believe nothing. God calls them fools, I am not that brave.

All we can do is present the gospel. Continue to spread the good news, give your testimony, let your life be a witness for Jesus, let your light shine, pray, and be a vessel which God can use to accomplish His purpose. Praise Him, for He is worthy!