TITLE: AMERICA, THE HANDWRITING IS ON THE WALL!
Subtitle: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin
It has been suggested that the only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history! Also in that same vein is the belief that history repeats itself. We see this principle repeated over and over again in the Bible—especially where the nation of Israel is concerned. Their checkered history is replete with instances of moral and spiritual failure followed by revival and then back to failure again. It would seem that they (as well as the rest of us) would learn after making so many mistakes, but such has not been the case.
In the Old Testament Book of Daniel, we find a series of incidents that should be both a lesson and a warning to us. The king of ancient Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, had invaded the southern kingdom of Judah, conquered it, and carried away many of its people as captives. A young man named Daniel was among those captives—one of several who were of the royal family or nobility of Judah. God then placed this youngster in just the right place at the right time to allow him to interpret a dream the king had. In this dream, Nebuchadnezzar saw an "image"—a composite man—made up of a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly of brass, thighs and legs of iron, and the feet and toes of iron mixed with clay. As Daniel revealed to him, this image represented the major kingdoms of history: the head of gold being Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian Empire, the chest and arms of silver representing the Medo-Persian Empire, the belly of brass representing the Greek Empire, the thighs and legs of iron representing the Roman Empire, and the feet and toes of iron mixed with clay representing the end-time empire of the antichrist (actually a revival of the old Roman Empire). That the head of gold represented the Babylonian Empire, tells us that Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest absolute monarch in history—a fact which became a source of pride to him and eventually led to his being disciplined by God. In Daniel chapter four we have the account of that discipline. God reduced him to a babbling lunatic and then later miraculously restored him to his former sanity and power. Old Neb got the message and did not hesitate to proclaim Jehovah—the God of Daniel and the Jews—as the true and living God.
Then in chapter five we are introduced to Belshazzar—a relative of Nebuchadnezzar (possibly his grandson)—who is now king of Babylon. Daniel’s Babylonian name was Belteshazzar and scholars tell us that the two names are essentially the same. Some have conjectured that perhaps Belshazzar was named after Daniel, due to the great respect that Nebuchadnezzar had for him. But we quickly find that this new king either did not learn from his grandfather or totally disregarded what he was taught concerning Jehovah God. Beginning in verse one of chapter five we read:
"Belshazzar the king [descendant of Nebuchadnezzar] made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and he drank his wine in the presence of the thousand. Belshazzar, while he was tasting the wine, commanded that the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. Then they brought in the gold and silver vessels which had been taken out [of the sacred area, the holy place and the holy of holies] of the temple, the house of God which was in Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone. Immediately and suddenly there appeared the fingers of a man’s hand and wrote on the plaster of the wall opposite the candlestick [so exposed especially to the light] in the king’s palace. Then the color and the [drunken] hilarious brightness of the king’s face was changed, and his [terrifying] thoughts troubled and alarmed him; the joints and muscles of his hips and back gave way and his knees smote together. The king cried aloud [mightily] to bring in the enchanters or soothsayers, the Chaldean [diviners], and the astrologers. The king said to the wise men of Babylon, Whoever will read this writing and show me the interpretation of it, shall be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold put about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom" (Daniel 5:1-7, Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).
This powerful heathen king, during a drunken feast given to display his wealth and thereby impress his loyal subjects, suddenly decides that he wants to drink from the temple vessels taken from Jerusalem. These vessels which were dedicated to the worship of Jehovah God had been taken from the temple years earlier by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar when they captured the kingdom of Judah. Apparently they had been kept in storage for many years and now in his inebriated state of mind Belshazzar’s intent is to show his disdain for the God of the Jews and defile the vessels by drinking from them. His servants bring in the vessels and they proceed to drink wine from them, but as they do so, the king sees what appears to be a man’s hand—the fingers of which write three Aramaic words (one repeated for emphasis) in the plaster of the wall! Now Belshazzar is drunk, but he still has sense enough to recognize the supernatural aspect of what is taking place! The sight literally scares him to the point that his knees knock together and he nearly faints from fright. With adrenaline still pumping, he yells for his servants to gather all of the official "wise men" of the kingdom in order that they interpret the "handwriting on the wall". Quickly the men are summoned and assembled, but none of them are able to make any real sense of the words. It is quite likely that these learned men understood the basic meaning of the Aramaic words—Mene, Tekel, and Upharsin—but not the actual spiritual message contained within them. As they stand around and discuss the strange happening, the king’s mother remembers that Daniel once interpreted a dream for Nebuchadnezzar and suggested that he be summoned. Daniel is by now an old man but still active in the affairs of the kingdom. When he appears before the king he is told of the honor, glory, and riches that will be bestowed on him if he will interpret the message. Daniel’s answer to this offer is quite remarkable when we consider that the power of life and death was in the king’s hand:
"Then Daniel answered before the king, Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. However, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation" (Daniel 5:17, Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).
Daniel then goes on to remind the king of what God had done to Nebuchadnezzar years before and then beginning in verse 22 of chapter five, we have the following:
"And you his son, O Belshazzar have not humbled your heart and mind, though you knew all this [knew it and were defiant]. And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven, and the vessels of His house have been brought before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines have drunk wine from them; and you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or know; and the God in Whose hand your breath is, and Whose are all your ways, you have not honored and glorified [but have dishonored and displeased]. Then was the part of the hand sent from the presence of [the Most High God], and this writing was inscribed. And this is the inscription that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN—numbered, numbered, weighed, divisions. This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingship and brought them to an end; TEKEL, You are weighed in the balances and are found wanting. PERES, [singular form, same root as upharsin], Your kingdom and your kingship are divided and given to the Medes and Persians. [Foretold, Isa. 21:2, 5, 9]. Then Belshazzar commanded, and Daniel was clothed with purple, and a chain of gold put about his neck, and a proclamation was made concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. During that night Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans was slain, And Darius the Mede took the kingdom; he was about sixty-two years old" (Daniel 5:22-31, Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).
Please note that in verse 22, Daniel says that Belshazzar knew what God had done to Nebuchadnezzar to humble him! Yet Belshazzar remained proud and defiant in face of the facts and was without excuse. That very night, God allowed the Medes and Persians to take the city of Babylon—which was thought to be impregnable—and they killed Belshazzar and took control of the kingdom.
This historical and biblical incident which vividly portrays for us the consequences of disregarding God’s warnings, is of course responsible for the phrase "the handwriting on the wall". Even used in a secular sense today, most recognize the meaning as being a sure sign that the end is near. With all that has taken place in our nation during the past forty years or so, I cannot help but believe that truly "the handwriting is on the wall" where we are concerned. History confirms that every previous civilization and/or nation reached a zenith of power and prestige and then faded. Why should we conclude that our fate will be different? The same unmistakable societal indicators that marked the last days of those earlier peoples are now evident all around us and the so-called "experts" are baffled as to their cause much less their cure. Based upon what has transpired in the past, it would seem to be obvious that the worst possible thing that can happen to any society is for it to experience a protracted time of relative ease and prosperity! The ultimate goal of all humanity is the very thing—when actually achieved—that will eventually destroy those who reach it! Sinful human nature always causes a loss of cohesiveness when the struggle is over. Eat, drink, and be merry becomes the attitude of the masses and degradation is inevitable. Our nation is in the advanced throes of the same malady that has stricken every major civilization since the beginning of time.
The seemingly insurmountable problems that we face, such as the ever-increasing drug use, the AIDS epidemic, alcoholism, violent crime, children murdering children, etc., etc., are but a few signs of a society that is deathly sick. For several years I have referred to us as the "hooray for me and fooey on you" generation! Let’s face it, most people just do not give a roaring red rip about anybody else but themselves and this is manifested in a thousand different ways. One of the latest examples involves what the news media has dubbed "road rage"—where otherwise sane and sensible individuals are instantly transformed into murderous raving loonies—because of some perceived infraction of driving etiquette. We as a people have an insatiable appetite for "action movies"—where the good guys don’t just win battles, they make the bad guys really pay with blood and guts splattered everywhere. Our children—especially the boys—have entirely too much free time on their hands and they are allowed to spend much of that time playing arcade games that feature simulated mayhem. This is also mirrored in the latest craze of Pro Wrestling where choreographed violence is actually resulting in severe injuries and even death for the participants—while the howling mob howls for more! Sports are a national—yes even an international—disgrace because sportsmanship is a thing of the past. Win at all costs, is the motto of the day and "loser" is a tag hung on those who come in second! From the youngest on up, sports participants are taught by example that it is a total disgrace to lose and "nice guys finish last". Parents will not even allow their children to enjoy a little league baseball game without berating them for their lack of athletic prowess—then later on, profess bewilderment when junior rebels against parental authority. Parents also routinely get so involved and worked up over winning and losing that they engage in fistfights with each other in the stands. What, in the name of sanity, is this saying to the kids? Schools are increasingly guilty of allowing—yea even promoting—the near deification of sports heroes, which is not at all healthy for those involved, but also exacerbates the normal feelings of alienation and rejection experienced by the majority. Most kids are not physically gifted enough to excel in sports and they should not be emotionally penalized by an artificially created caste system. Add to these things the very obvious breakdown in public morality where ethics are determined by the situation at hand—right and wrong are merely relative. It is perfectly permissible, and even expected, that everyone lie, cheat, and steal in order "to get ahead". When caught, don’t admit anything and you will probably "beat the rap". Why, the highest officer in our government got away with it, why shouldn’t the rest of us?
Our nation and our very way of life are in grave peril. Millions are living in a "fool’s paradise", blissfully unaware of the approaching storm clouds. Sometimes just before a tornado cuts a swath of destruction across the land, in its path the air will be perfectly still and everything warm and calm. This has been referred to as "the lull (or calm) before the storm." I believe that in many respects, this period of so-called "peace and prosperity" that we are experiencing now, is very similar. Apparently the majority have been duped into thinking that our economy is booming, because they are investing in the stock market like a bunch of sharks in a feeding frenzy! Untold numbers of people are putting their life savings into stocks that, in many cases, have not even made a profit. Supposedly only 15% of the "high tech" stocks are responsible for keeping the stock averages climbing, when 85% are actually declining! Gold is once again gaining value and the government’s financial advisors are either jumping ship, or rumored to do so later. Many "Christian" leaders are inexplicably "poo-pooing" the Y2K problem, stating that the whole thing is overblown and all we should do is pray and trust the Lord. Praying and trusting the Lord is always good advice and I urge you to do so, but God also gives us enough common sense to take refuge from a storm! After having spent thirty years of my life working with electronics, I am here to tell you that this computer programming nightmare is basically a very simple problem—just as a computer is made up of very simple circuits. But the sheer magnitude—the overwhelming size and scope of the job to be done—is beyond the capability of mortal men in the allotted time frame. Even if 100% of the programming work could be done (and it cannot), testing and "de-bugging" the programs take even longer! Much is being made of the outstanding jobs done by certain government agencies and private companies in their quest to be compliant, but unless the success rate is near perfect around the entire world—this technological marvel man has built is going to turn out to be an "Achilles heel"! Computers have enabled fewer men to accomplish more work, both in terms of quantity and complexity. The economies of most nations heavily rely upon computers to keep track of the most routine and mundane of daily tasks—thereby making the "wheels of industry" as well as commerce—to run smoothly. To try to illustrate the problem, let’s imagine a network of thousands of miles of interstate highways that are absolutely vital to the economy of several areas. So vital in fact, lengthy disruptions of the flow of traffic would literally bankrupt many businesses and eventually wreak havoc with the whole economy and the people of those areas. Then let’s suppose we discover that in the process of building the roads multiplied millions of small land mines (time bombs) were somehow inadvertently mixed in with the concrete and asphalt used to surface them. Finally we learn that the only way to detect these mines is to literally dig them out by hand and there is only a short time left before they automatically arm themselves. (After digging them up, extensive repairs have to be made to allow traffic to flow.) Knowing these imaginary parameters, would you be impressed by some of the contractors boasting of a 90-95% (or even 100%) success rate on their particular portion of the roadway? Better yet, would you want to be a driver travelling those roads or betting the future of your business on them? I think not! Admittedly our illustration is an awkward one, but in its overly simplistic way it shows the staggering implications of the task before the programmers of the world. Even if a very large percentage of the systems are made totally compliant, the overwhelming odds are that there will be more than enough isolated failures to eventually upset the delicate balance of economies totally dependent upon them. We must also bear in mind that fully compliant computers engaged in world wide business transactions will eventually be forced to process data generated by Y2K corrupted systems. Only God Himself knows the extent of the damage that will result.
As David Bay has so ably pointed out in his articles on the "Cutting Edge," the New Age philosophy outlined by such writers as Foster and Alice Bailey (actually written by their "guiding spirits"—demons), makes no bones about their aim of destroying much of civilization as we know it. A hatred for technology is also expressed and our beloved Vice President, Al Gore, has made this clear in his book "Earth in the Balance," where he calls for (among other things) the destruction of the internal combustion engine! I mention this merely to point out that the ramifications of Y2K—a well-known and identified programming problem—are potentially disastrous without any outside assistance. But when you consider the "golden opportunity" this poses for those who are pursuing the New World Order agenda to utilize and manipulate it for their own purposes, it becomes ominous indeed.
My job as a preacher is to be "a watchman on the wall"—to warn of impending danger and to awaken God’s people that are asleep. Y2K may pass without significant effect (and I hope that it does!), but the odds are strongly in favor of very significant disruptions occurring which could literally change our way of life. Please be mentally and spiritually prepared for whatever may happen. THE HANDWRITING IS ON THE WALL and sooner or later judgment is coming—you can count on it!
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, but have come to realize His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to accept His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can also do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you accept Him as Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order -- Kingdom of Antichrist -- in their daily news.
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