THE WRITING ON THE WALL!
Do you remember the story of Belshazzar and the writing on
the wall? To refresh your memory; it’s in the Book of Daniel:
"Belshazzar the king of Babylon held a great feast
for a thousand of his great men, and he was drinking wine in the presence of
the thousand. When he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave orders to bring in
the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from
the temple which had been in Jerusalem, so that the king and his
great men, his wives and his concubines might drink from them ... They drank
the wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and
stone. At that moment the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and began writing
on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lampstand. And
the king saw the form of the hand that did the writing. Then the king’s face
changed and his thoughts alarmed him, and his hip joints went slack and his
knees began knocking together." (Daniel 5:1-2, 4-6)
When all Belshazzar’s wise men could not explain the
phenomenon, they brought in Daniel. The king promised to richly reward the man
of God if he would explain the strange signs.
Daniel told the king to keep his gifts, but nevertheless, he
would reveal the meaning of the writing on the wall.
First, Daniel told Belshazzar about his father – the great
Nebuchadnezzar. The Most High God granted sovereignty, grandeur, and glory to
Nebuchadnezzar, but this great man became proud and arrogant; and he lost his
throne, and his mind. He was driven out and lived and ate like cattle.
Then Daniel laid it on the line for the present king:
"‘And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your
heart, even though you knew all this, but you have exalted yourself against
the Master of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of His House before
you, and you and your great men, your wives and your concubines have been
drinking wine from them; and you have praised the gods of silver and gold,
of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which do not see, hear or understand. But
the God in whose hand are your life-breath and all your ways, you have not
honored or glorified.
"‘So the form of the hand was sent from Him, and this
inscription has been written out. Now this is the inscription that has been
MENE, MENE, TEKEL UFARSIN.
(Numbered, numbered, weighed and divided.)
"‘This is the interpretation of the message:
God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it.
You have been weighted on the scales and found wanting.
Your kingdom has been divided and given
it to the Medes and Persians.’
"That very night Belshazzar, the king of the
Chaldeans, was slain." (Daniel
Make no mistake about it! Yahweh the Most High is keenly
interested in the nations, both past and present. He looks down and sees the
affairs of men. He sees the corruption of leaders, and the abandon of the
peoples. God weighs the nations today, and finds them wanting! He sees
soul-destroying addictions, society-destroying violence, and nation-destroying
anarchy. And He is neither amused, nor nonchalant! It is
"God now commands all people everywhere to repent
(that is, to change their minds and to amend their ways with abhorrence for
their sins), because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world
in righteousness through a Man (Y’shua the Messiah) whom He has
appointed, having furnished proof to all by raising Him from the dead."
My friends, there’s a lot of "writing on the wall" today! And
it’s not meaningless graffiti; it’s a warning from
"You have been weighted on the scales
and found wanting!"
You can read that "writing" every day as you read your
newspaper or watch the television. The writing is in the frequent Prophecy
around the world; you can read it in the alarming conflicts and instability of
nations, in the shaking of our global economics, in the buildup of weapons of
mass destruction, and in our world disorder. Take for example:
OUR GEO-PHYSICAL CATASTROPHES
are not new. There have been some
massive quakes in past centuries. But it is the increase of earthquakes that are
The quake in Gujarat last January measured a massive 7.9 on
the Richter Scale. It was India's worst earthquake for 50 years; the power was
equivalent of 20,000 atom bombs.
Earthquakes of this size, according to a recent news report,
are no longer rare; at least eighteen 7.9 quakes occur around the world each
year. Major earthquakes are no more than 100 each year, and smaller tremblers
are recording in the thousands.
The quake in Indonesia in December 2004, measured 9.0, and it
triggered the Asian tsunami that destroyed nearly 300,000 people.
The "writing on the wall" with each earthquake is a warning
of the ultimate earthquake
that is scheduled for the Tribulation – the period of which Y’shua warned:
"Then there will be great tribulation, such as has never
occurred since the beginning of the world until now; and there will be
nothing like it again."
Why! modern seismologists are also warning of the ultimate
earthquake – "the big one."
The Bible describes this "big one" in two passages:
"The earth is broken asunder; the earth is split
through; the earth is shaken violently. The earth reels to
and fro like a drunkard, and it totters like a shack, for its transgression
is heavy upon it, and it will fall, and not rise again."
"Then there were flashes of lightning and sounds and
peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not
been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake
was it, and so mighty. … And every island fled away, and the mountains could
not be found." (Isaiah 24:19-20.
Revelation 16:18, 20)
DROUGHTS and FAMINES
also are not new. But you would expect that in
century, when we seem to have much global
goodwill and are seeking to build a global village, when we have big
international food and water organisations, and when we have had great advances
in agriculture such as the "green revolution," that we would be conquering the
plague of famine.
Of course, we can blame war, which often works together with
drought (as in Afghanistan and Sudan), for the havoc of famine that ravages
millions of people. But regardless, droughts are periodically afflicting many
countries. Apart from Sudan and Afghanistan, droughts have been badly affecting
Korea, Iran, Israel and parts of China, Russia, India, Africa, America and
Droughts and famines are "writings on the wall." They are
warning the nations of the times of famine and drought that are scheduled for
the closing years of this present era. The prophets have warned of very severe
"By the fury of YHWH of Hosts the land is burned up, and
the people are like fuel for the fire. No one spares his brother. They slice
off what is on the right hand but still are hungry. They eat what is on the
left hand but they are not satisfied; each of them eats the flesh of his
own arm." (Isaiah 9:19-20)
erratic weather conditions
are also "writings on the wall," for in the
Great Tribulation, there’s going to be some scorching times:
"The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun; and
the sun was given power to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with
fierce heat; and they blasphemed the Name of God (Yahweh) who had
control over these plagues; but they did not repent and give Him glory."
Prophesying of Commercial Babylon, the Revelation says:
"… in one day her plagues will come; death, mourning and
famine - and she will be burned up with fire; for YHWH the LORD God
who judges her is mighty."
PLAGUES and PESTILENCES
are certainly not new, but it has
been reported that new diseases are arriving at the rate of one every year. And
the only disease we have really eliminated (or at least, we hope we have), is
Modern plagues such as Ebola and AIDS, as well as
recalcitrant diseases including Foot & Mouth, Mad Cow, TB, Influenza, Heart
Diseases and Cancer, SARS and Bird Flu are not only of great concern, but they
are warnings of the plagues that are scheduled for the Tribulation.
"I looked and saw a pale, ashen horse; and he who sat on
it had the name ‘Death’; and Hades (the realm of the dead) was
following close behind him. And authority was given to them over a fourth of
the earth, to kill with sword, with famine, with plague and
pestilence, and by the wild beasts of the earth."
"And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous,
seven angels having the seven last plagues, for the wrath of God was
ended in them."
Here’s one of those seven endtime plagues:
"The first angel went and poured out his bowl upon the
earth, and loathsome and malignant sores broke out on
the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshipped his image."
OUR SOCIAL DEGRADATION
CORRUPTION and VIOLENCE
Rampant corruption and violence in the nations today are more
of the "writings on the wall." Y’shua specifically prophesied that the days
prior to His return would be as the days of Noah. And of Noah’s day we read:
"Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight; and the earth
was full of violence." (Genesis
I don’t need to give you examples of corruption and violence
in the nations today. But I do remind you that the Great Tribulation will be a
period of great violence.
"Then another horse, a fiery red one, went forth. Its
rider was given power to take peace from the earth and cause men to kill one
another. A huge sword was given to him."
Drugs are a major problem in most nations, and most
governments and agencies are waging a losing battle against this evil that’s
crippling the younger generations in particular. The writing on the wall warns
of judgment coming upon the peddlers of dope. Y’shua warned about harming
"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in
Me to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung
around his neck, he had been thrown into the sea."
In the Tribulation, drug-related sorcery will be rife. Men
will be in deep bondage to this evil.
"And they did not repent of their murders, their
drug-related occult practices, witchcraft, magic and sorcery,
nor of their sexual immorality and their thefts."
So what we see today is indeed, a lot of "writing on the
There are more slaves in the world today than when slavery
was abolished. It is a big business in many parts of the world. It’s horrific!
The US State Department estimates that 2 million women and
children are sold into slavery every year. They claim that perhaps 40,000
women in the US are in those numbers.
Another report from London says that children in slavery are
counted in the millions.
The International Labour Organisation estimates that there
are 250 million children
between the ages of 5 and 14 in
slave labour around the world.
This is large writing on the wall, for Yahweh the Almighty
God – the God who so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever
believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life – sees the injustice,
the suffering, and all the agony. In Egypt …
"the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and
they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose
up to God. So God heard their groaning."
And so it is today. God hears the children, the women, and
the men in their indescribable, inhuman, misery of slavery.
"He is coming to judge the earth. He judges the world in
righteousness, and the peoples with equity."
Abraham reasoned with God concerning the destruction He had
decreed for the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham entreated:
"Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the
righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are
treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth
He will indeed!
ETHNIC CONFLICTS and ETHNIC CLEANSING
It’s happened in Ruanda and Sierra Leone, in many other parts
of Africa, in Chechnya, in Kosovo, Bosnia, Turkey, Kurdistan, North Ireland,
Spain, and South America; and it’s still happening in Indonesia, Fiji, PNG,
Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Macedonia, Israel, Burma, Sudan, Iraq,
Afghanistan, and periodically in the US and UK. Nearly every country in the
world has some form of growing, or dormant, ethnic trouble.
Y’shua the Messiah prophesied of this endtime conflict in six
"For nation shall rise against nation."
If you look at the Greek text you will see the word ethnos.
"Ethnos against ethnos." From the Greek word "ethnos" comes our
English word ethnic.
The Saviour is speaking of the ethnic conflicts such as we
see today; and every one of them is a writing on the wall, warning of the war
when "the kings of the whole earth," are "gathered together for the War of
the Great Day of God, the Almighty … to Armageddon."
(Revelation 16:14, 16)
OUR ECONOMIC WOES
You’ve heard about the Asian economic crisis, and the
bankruptcy of Eastern Europe and Russia. You’re now hearing about the Japanese
economic crisis and the fear of a US meltdown. You’ve heard about the crash of
technology stocks; you’ve heard probably about the trillions of dollars of
Government bonds that have been issued; you may have heard of the widespread
bankruptcies in the US, as well as in many other countries. (In the year 2000,
two million Americans filed for bankruptcy.)
All of this is writing on the wall that says "mene,
"God has numbered your kingdom ...
you have been weighted on the scales and found wanting."
The nations are in debt up to the neck – both people and
governments. God is warning that there is a day of reckoning coming. It’s in the
"Come now, you rich, weep and wail because of the
miseries that are coming upon you. Your wealth has become rotten, and your
garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their
corrosion will testify against you and will consume your flesh like fire.
You have hoarded wealth in the Last Days! See, the wages of the laborers who
reaped your fields, and which have been withheld by you cries out against
you; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of YHWH of
Hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and self-indulgence; you
have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and
murdered the righteous who were not resisting you."
A word of encouragement, however, is given to believers in
this period of economic turbulence:
"Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the
Master. See how the farmer waits expectantly for the precious ‘fruit of the
earth,’ waiting patiently until the land receives the early and late
rains. You too be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the
Master is near. Do not complain against one another brethren, so that you
yourselves may not be condemned. Look! The Judge is standing right at the
door!" (James 5:7-9)
THE MIDDLE EAST TURBULENCE
JERUSALEM and ISRAEL
Here you have writing on the wall every day. Look what Yahweh
has said in Zechariah 12:2-3, 9:
"Look! I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes
reeling to all the people around. Judah will be besieged as well as
Jerusalem. And on that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered
against her, I will make Jerusalem a very heavy rock for all the nations.
All who try to move it will be severely injured . . . And it will come about
in that day that I will set out to destroy all the nations that come up
You can see it coming, can’t you, my reader? All the world is
becoming involved in the conflict over that one square mile of old, walled city
The United Nations General Assembly has condemned Israel’s
occupation of Jerusalem in spite of the fact that history, geography and
archaeology all declare the city to be the ancient capital of the people of
The fact that Israel
exists today as a nation, in its
God-given land, is another writing on the wall, for God long ago said to the
scattered people of Israel:
"For I will take you from among the nations; I will
gather you from all countries, and bring you into your own land ... And you
will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be
My people, and I - I will be your God . . . I will multiply the fruit of the
trees and the produce of the field, that you may not receive again the
disgrace of famine among the nations. The Master, YHWH says: On the day that
I cleanse you from all your iniquities - your wickedness, crookedness,
and sins, I will cause the cities of Israel to be inhabited; the
ruins will be rebuilt, and the desolate land will be cultivated instead of
lying waste in the sight of all who pass by."
(Ezekiel 36:24, 28, 30, 33-34)
The nation of Israel is here to stay. God has planted her
here. There is, however, a "time of Jacob’s trouble" that's coming - the time
when Israel will be brought through the fire, and purified as gold and silver is
purified. (Zechariah 13:8-9)
Yes, there’s a lot of handwriting over the land of Israel
today. Israel itself is also being weighed in the balances. And so it is with
every nation in the world today – they are being weighed in God’s scales.
There are many, many more mene tekels in our news
channels, dear friends, but there’s one more I should draw your attention to.
It’s the widespread increase of …
THE WIDESPREAD INTOLERANCE AND PERSECUTION
ANIMOSITY to the Gospel,
and PERSECUTION of the followers of the Messiah
Today more Christians are dying for Christ than at any time
in church history. Some 160,000 Christians are killed every year because they
There’s an uproar in the nations - a movement that is seeking
to do away with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Word. And that Gospel is put
simply by the apostle Paul:
"Now brethren, I again declare to you the Good
News which I have already preached to you - the Good News
which you have received, and on which you take your stand; by which
also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the words that I preached as
Good News to you - unless you believed in vain. For what I received I passed
on to you as of first importance, that the Messiah died for our sins,
according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised
on the third day according to the Scriptures."
(1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
The atoning work of Christ on the cross and His resurrection
– the very centre of the Gospel - is being attacked today, from within and
without. But on this Gospel, as Paul says, we take our stand.
I’ve just received the following short story:
"It’s a lie!" exclaimed Alfred H Ackley.
"Why are you shouting so early in the morning?" Mrs Ackley
asked her husband.
"Didn’t you hear what that good-for-nothing preacher said? He
said it didn’t matter whether Christ be risen or not!"
It was Easter morning, 1932, and across the radio waves this
"good-for-nothing preacher," as Alfred Ackley put it, attacked the Biblical
record of the risen King of Kings.
"Listen here, Alfred Ackley; it’s time you did that which you
do best," his wife said. She knew her husband was furious and there was only one
At the piano, the words and melody came forth with a powerful
I serve a risen Saviour; He’s in the world today.
I know that He is living, whatever men may say.
I see His hand of mercy; I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him, He’s always near.
He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.
- Alfred H Ackley