Introduction These transcripts are from Kay Arthur's lectures on the old course on Daniel and not the new lecture series circa 2006. They are provided as a service to the body of Christ with the written permission of Precept Ministries International. This material is the property of Precept Ministries International and all rights are reserved.
The transcripts are for the most part verbatim with deletions identified by the characters (...). The utilization of italics, bolding, hyperlinks and pop up notes represent editorial additions. Any written additions are identified by the designation "Ed note". All references are the NASB unless otherwise indicated.
Please note that these lectures by Kay Arthur supplement the excellent Precept Upon Precept inductive Bible study on the Daniel. Click on the link below and note that you can download lesson 1 free of charge.
Below are links to the excellent Precept study of the Revelation. If you are planning on doing this four part study, I would strongly encourage you to first complete the Daniel study, as knowledge of the prophecies in Daniel is critical to a full understanding of the prophecies in the Revelation. Note that for each part, you may download a PDF of lesson one at no charge.
If you can find a local Precept class studying Revelation, I would strongly encourage you to join the class, as I know of no other study available anywhere in the world that will equip you so thoroughly to discern the signs of the times and cause you to live expectantly as you look for Christ's Return!
- Daniel Resources from literal perspective
- Revelation Resources from a literal perspective
- Great Tribulation
- Day of the Lord
- Daniel's Seventieth Week - chart
- Daniel's Seventieth Week Charted Parallel with other Daniel prophecies
- Millennium 1 - Early Church drift from literal interpretation of Rev 20
- Millennium 2 - Context & events leading up to Millennium
- Millennium 3 - How OT describes Millennial Messianic Age
- Daniel 1 Commentary
- Daniel 2 Commentary -- Da 2:1-23
- Daniel 2 Commentary(2) -- Da 2:24-49
- Daniel 3 Commentary
- Daniel 4 Commentary
- Daniel 5 Commentary
- Daniel 6 Commentary
- Daniel 7 Commentary(1) -- Da 7:1-6
- Daniel 7 Commentary(2) -- Da 7:7-14
- Daniel 7 Commentary(3) -- Da 7:15-28
- Daniel 8 Commentary
- Daniel 9 Commentary(1)
- Daniel 9:24 Commentary
- Daniel 9:25 Commentary
- Daniel 9:26 Commentary
- Daniel 9:27 Commentary
- Daniel 10 Commentary
- Daniel 11 Commentary(1) -- Da 11:1-19
- Daniel 11 Commentary(2) -- Da 11:20-45
- Daniel 12 Commentary
by Kay Arthur
Have you read the handwriting on the wall-party now pay later?
Are you living in light of the truth that you know about God?
Are you living with no fear of God before your eyes?
Is life a party for you? Well, party now, pay later...
DANIEL 5 -Babylonian Party--what do you know about God that has changed the way you live?
In Dan 5 we see the man who threw the party knew the truths about God yet it did not change the way he lived. Have you have humbled yourself?
Are you walking in the fear of God or toying w/ the knowledge you have?
Nebuchadnezzar = Belshazzar's grandfather but no word for that so they used ''father''
THE CONTEXT OF BELSHAZZAR'S PARTY:
For four months the Medes and the Persians had surrounded Babylon. Belshazzar thought he was secure...His father, Nabonidus. had moved to Arabia but did not give up throne. Belshazzar was co-regent with Nabonidus
Babylon's Reputation (see notes) as an UNCONQUERABLE, IMPREGNABLE City = surrounded by 2 sets of walls (25' thick--then a 40' space and then 25' thick walls), 260' towers on walls spaced 160' apart, even if made it over first wall would be in the 40' space; battering rams were not strong enough; food supply for 20 yrs; water source was the Euphrates river (flowed under the walls of Babylon).
Belshazzar's Intentional Blasphemy of God-- used God's vessels to toast his gods!!
Did he know Nebuchadnezzar's prophecy in Chap 2? He did know about Nebuchadnezzar's humbling according to Daniel 5:22 (''you knew all this'' )
Daniel 5:21 = Belshazzar failed to humble himself-...even though he knew God...he had read Nebuchadnezzar's testimony ''God is the Most High God and you are to reverence Him.''
If Belshazzar did know the dream of Chap 2, he was being even more prideful
Archeologists have found a 165' x 55' room-they found a platform opposite the entrance which the king would sit on w/ his back against the wall (the place of ''honor'').
The ''wise men'' = third time was still not the charm- three times and you're out!
Daniel 5:11 = Daniel = a man ''IN WHOM IS A SPIRIT OF THE HOLY GODS''
It's not what a man is born with---BUT---it's what God gives to men who walk w/ Him.
A man of ''extraordinary (Aramaic word = excellent) spirit''
How did Daniel become so wise? God gives wisdom (Daniel 2:20-note) because he feared (respected) God, walked w/ God, obeyed immediately when God gave him a command...Daniel stood fast. In Daniel walks--80+ years he had walked with God without faltering or failing, a man who began and was now finishing the race faithfully.
Elderly Daniel had '
'...fought the good fight, ...finished the course, ...kept the faith...in the future there is laid up for...(him)...the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to...(him)...on that day; and...also TO ALL (YOU & ME) WHO HAVE LOVED HIS APPEARING. (2Ti 4:7, 8-note, cp Da 12:11)
Remember Belshazzar's decision to toy w/ his knowledge of God & to party now:
God gives us choices...He is sovereign but man is accountable
2Cor 5:10-note For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Rev 20:11, 12-note And I saw a great white throne (where all those who died w/o Christ as Savior will be resurrected and brought before the Judge) and Him who sat upon it... And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.
You may choose your way BUT not your consequences...judgment follows choice
Ps 31:15-note My times are in Thy hand...
Ps 75:6,7-note For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. 7 But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another.
We are to walk with INTEGRITY (Ed: see Integrity - A Few Thoughts)...not turning to the right or left...God is responsible for what He wants to do w/ us---we are responsible to obey.
THE MOST HIGH GOD = El Elyon
What kind of God is this God Who has you and I in the palm of His hand so that nothing can touch you w/o His permission? What are we going to do when evil or adversity come? What will you think about this God Who is sovereign then?
You must know His character--love, righteous in all His ways, just, no iniquity in Him, immutable (the same yesterday, today, and forever). There is not a God of the OT and another of the NT (like so many seem to falsely believe). He is a God of love but also of wrath.
Refer back to Daniel 4-Nebby's Beastly Behavior-God humbled him, but Nebuchadnezzar also allowed himself to be humbled.
James 4:10- note Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
Nebuchadnezzar recognized God for Who He is and he saw himself as he really was. Nebuchadnezzar understood that it was right that God humbled him.
Psalm 9:11, 12-note "Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion; Declare among the peoples His deeds. For He who requires blood remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the afflicted."
When we respond (humble ourselves) to God, He responds to us. And so God honored Nebuchadnezzar .
God is not so vengeful that when He gets you down, He's going to squash you.
When He gets you down, it's in order to get you to look up and when you look up, He picks you up.
If you do not look up but lay in pride and rebellion, then He has to deal with you.
Da 4:37-note...all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.
It's an awful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God...His anger is always righteous.
Pr 16:4, 5, 6, 7 The Lord has made everything for its (or His) own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil. 5 Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Assuredly, he will not be unpunished. 6 By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil. 7 When a man's ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Pr 20:24 Man's steps are ordained by the Lord, How then can man understand his way?
God in Whose hand are you life-breath and your ways...you have not glorified...again the awesome sovereignty of God and the mystery of the accountability of man.
WHO HAS OUR LIFE IN HIS HANDS?
Job 14:5 "Since his (man's) days are determined, The number of his months is with Thee, And his limits Thou hast set so that he cannot pass.
Job 12:9 "Who among all these does not know That the hand of the Lord has done this, 10 In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind? " These truths can cause you to fear God but can also give you a blessed assurance when your loved ones die, knowing that God has determined your days.
Don't let thoughts like these bother you: ''If only I'd done this or that''...''If only I had prayed more.'' " Simply bow before the sovereignty of God and know that God holds everyone's life-breath in His hand.
That same night Belshazzar was slain--
Heb 9:27-note And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this [comes] judgment"
Belshazzar will have to give an account for his party--Party now, pay later. Since he did not know God, he was placed in Sheol (Hell) and he will be resurrected.
Rev 20:11-note And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books [see ''BOOKS'' below] were opened;
BOOKS WERE OPENED:
1). LAMB'S BOOK OF LIFE
2). THE BOOK OF LIFE--
Since God does not desire for any to perish, when we are born, He writes our name in the BOOK OF LIFE and when we die apart from Christ the name is crossed out...cf. to ''don't blot my name out of Your book.''--He blots their name out because they would not humble themselves...life was a party...our ''crutch'' is the Cross of Jesus Christ & in Him I now have life.
Isa 47:8, 9, 10, 11--''sensual one'' =Babylon
Is 47:8 "Now, then, hear this, you SENSUAL ONE (Babylon from context of Is 47:1, 4 where ''Chaldeans'' is another word for Babylonian) Who dwells securely, (Babylon says ''I am the captain of my fate'' but not true...you may sail the ship but God determines what shore you end up on!) Who says in your heart, 'I am, and there is no one besides me. I shall not sit as a widow, Nor shall I know loss of children.' 9 "But these two things shall come on you SUDDENLY IN ONE DAY (Medes and the Persians diverted the Euphrates and then went under the walls the very night of the party! The party was over): Loss of children and widowhood. They shall come on you in full measure In spite of your many sorceries, In spite of the great power of your spells. (Babylon was filled with gods) 10 "And you felt secure in your wickedness and said, 'No one sees me,' Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; For you have said in your heart, 'I am, and there is no one besides me.' 11 "But evil will come on you Which you will not know how to charm away; And disaster will fall on you For which you cannot atone, And destruction about which you do not know will come on you suddenly.
ISAIAH 47 describes the PHYSICAL disaster--and REV 20 describes the JUDGMENT TO COME...
Revelation 20:12-note and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. (Belshazzar will give an account for toasting his gods w/ God's holy vessels)13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them ACCORDING TO THEIR DEEDS.
" Why according to their deeds? because the more light you have and the more you reject that light, the deeper your punishment in Hell...some will be tormented less than others
WHERE DOES SCRIPTURE TEACH CONCERNING
VARYING DEGREES OF JUDGMENT IN HELL?
Mt 10:15 "Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for [the] land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Mt 11:21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 "Nevertheless I say to you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in [the] day of judgment, than for you. 23 "And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You shall descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. 24 "Nevertheless I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in [the] day of judgment, than for you."
Mark 12:38 And in His teaching He was saying: "Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and [like] respectful greetings in the market places, 39 and chief seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at banquets, 40 who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation. "
Luke 11:31 "The Queen of the South (Sheba) shall rise up with the men of this generation at the judgment and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. 32 "The men of Nineveh shall stand up with this generation at the judgment and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
Matthew 12:41 "The men of Nineveh shall stand up with this generation at the judgment, and shall condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.42 "The Queen of the South (Sheba) shall rise up with this generation at the judgment and shall condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
Also Luke 10:12, 13, 14, 15
All these Scriptures teach in essence--- WOE TO YOU WHO REJECT THE LIGHT-your judgment is GREATER because you had Jesus' light and you rejected it.
You can PARTY now. You can live the way you want to live and think that you are getting away with it. But my friend, there comes a day when THE PARTY IS OVER and God is a God of love and does not want you to perish. He will bring His rod of judgment against those who reject the knowledge of Him.
Don't party now.
Get on your knees and submit yourself to the MOST HIGH GOD so that He might exalt you in due time. If you are alive, breathing, it is not yet too late. There will come a day when your breath is taken away and your fate is sealed.
We bow before you to allow you to examine our hearts and show us what we are doing with the truth that we have heard because to whom much is given much is required. In Jesus Name. Amen.
THE TRANSCRIPT BELOW IS
FROM THE NEW SERIES OF DANIEL, PART 1
Daniel – Part I
Living Out A Biblical Worldview
Who...What…Are You Toasting With Your Vessel?
This week, we studied a party that happened 2500 years ago in the year 539BC. At the party the vessels that belonged to Almighty God and were used to worship Him were used to toast the gods of this world, the gods of their imagination. God’s message for us is
“Who are we toasting with our vessel, our body?
Who are we praising with our vessel our body which belongs to God?”
Let us look at Daniel 5. Kay has taught this book many, many times. But “Oh God! What a blessing to study this book at this time! What a blessing to look at the life of this man by the name of Daniel, and to draw precepts of life from his life, so that [she] might be in [her] generation, a “Daniel” for these times."
Daniel 5:1-2 Belshazzar the king held a great feast for a thousand of his nobles, and he was drinking wine in the presence of the thousand. 2 When Belshazzar tasted the wine, he gave orders to bring the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them.
This man knew about those vessels. This man knew that those vessels belonged to the Most High God and that they were used in the temple worship of this Most High God; and yet he calls for these particular vessels. They had conquered many, many countries. No one was more powerful than this head of gold, the nation of Babylon. He has his choice of any vessels from which to drink. Yet, very specifically, he calls for these vessels. It says,
Da 5:3a Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God which was in Jerusalem;
Daniel does not want us to miss this. Daniel is saying it once, [then] he is saying it again so that we do not miss the fact that these vessels of gold belong to the God whose temple is in Jerusalem.
Da 5:3b and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. They drank the wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone.
In other words it is like [saying], “This is in Your Face, God. This is in Your Face.” They take those goblets and they hold them up and it is like it is in the Face of God. It is like [saying], “We are taking Your vessels, and we are praising our gods of gold, silver, iron, wood and bronze. We are drinking from Your vessels, God, to the gods that we believe in.” In other words, it is an “in Your Face” kind of party. They do not know that they are going to party now, and pay later. But, right now, they are not aware of this.
We need to present the historical context. If we have Reginald Showers book on Daniel, then we have the history down [in the video lecture, the commentary appears on the screen - The Most High God- A Commentary on the Book of Daniel, by Dr. Reginald E. Showers] because they have found, through many archaeological digs, all sorts of documents and records that the Babylonians kept, and that the Medes and the Persians kept, that tell us all about this time.
They were sitting inside a city that they felt was impregnable because it had this huge, huge, thick, thick wall that surrounded this marvelous, marvelous city. We heard about it when Bob Gilbert so wonderfully taught … how impregnable it was. This wall…was so thick that there was no battering ram, on the face of this earth (at that time) that could bring down that wall. Inside that wall there was another wall. There were fortresses and ramparts inside that city. [With] those fortresses and ramparts, it would have been suicide to try and go over them because of the way it was constructed. In the minds and the hearts of those people, their city was indestructible. So therefore, they were protected. There was no way anybody could get in and do anything to them. We might say that when they came to cities like this, the strategy (in those days) was to starve them; mount a siege so that no food or water could get in. But Babylon felt so secure in the way that they were living because they did not worry about food, or an army camping around there. After all, what people could keep an army around their city for twenty years, because they had a twenty year supply of food for all the inhabitants of that city. Not only that, but also water. They had built the wall of Babylon over the Euphrates River, which was not going to dry up. So they had enough water and food; they had an impregnable city. They felt awfully, awfully secure. And they could take those vessels and party. “Why a thousand nobles and those people there?” In all probability, they had come into the city because the Medes and the Persians had been outside the city for about four months. And who was this man Belshazzar? Well, for years they thought, “Well, Daniel’s wrong. Daniel’s wrong. He hasn’t got his act together. He hasn’t got his facts together.”
There is no record or account of a king that was called Belshazzar, until the last century. We just have to wait long enough. God makes us wait to find out, “Who are we going to believe? Are you going to take Me at My Word? Are you going to live by faith? Are you going to believe this is MY book that I have written it, that I have breathed these words and you are listening to MY very words? And are you going to believe and understand that what I speak is truth and it will come to pass? Do you believe that? Have you embraced that? And will you believe it in the face of the world saying, ‘Oh no. That’s not true because we haven’t found any record of a man called Belshazzar?’”
God lets us walk in faith (2Co 5:7).
Hebrews 11:1-note Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
So, always in life (and this is key in this lesson), we have a choice: are we going to listen to the Word of God and hold to it, no matter what, or are we going to listen to the culture? Are we going to listen to the “intellectuals?” Are we going to listen to the “philosophers?” To whom are we going to listen? We must purpose in our heart to listen to God because it is a wise person that chooses truth over a lie, and the Bible is absolute truth.
In the 1920’s, they did an archaeological dig and found some writings. When they studied those writings, they found out [that] Belshazzar was the son of Nabonidus. And Nabonidus was out in the field and he defending and fighting the battles out there and he had made his son, Belshazzar, king who was taking care of Babylon. It was a dual reign, a co-reign, which is very interesting because all we have to do is keep reading and in verse seven, it says
Daniel 5:7 The king called aloud to bring in the conjurers, the Chaldeans and the diviners. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, "Any man who can read this inscription and explain its interpretation to me shall be clothed with purple and have a necklace of gold around his neck, and have authority as third ruler in the kingdom."
The Word of God just told us that there was a position for the man that could read it: he would be the “third ruler,” which implies there were already two rulers:
1. Nabonidus, [who] was outside and had been in these battles. History tells us that he had fled, but
2. Belshazzar was secure within the walls. It describes him, later on in verse two,
Daniel 5:2a While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem,...
As we trace his genealogy, we find out actually, he is not even in the bloodline of Nebuchadnezzar. And yet, Nebuchadnezzar is called his father. Daniel wants us to know that it was proper to do that within the Babylonian kingdom because he was a king. “Nebuchadnezzar, your father” refers to the "patriarch" Nebuchadnezzar the one who built this great kingdom, with its famous hanging gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We saw, in chapter four, how he looked out and
Daniel 4:30-note he said, "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?"
There was no king, no Babylonian king like Nebuchadnezzar. As we stop and think about it and look at the history, God wants us to know and understand, from Nebuchadnezzar, He jumps all the way over…Nebuchadnezzar died, they say, October 7, 562, B.C. Other expositors say it was in 563 B.C. We know the year is now 539 B.C. Nabonidus, the father of Belshazzar, became king in 556 B.C. All these things add up for us and let us know how old Daniel is at this time. If it is 539 B.C., they estimate that Daniel was about eighty-one years old. So Daniel had been watching all this reign, from the time of Nebuchadnezzar because Nebuchadnezzar takes the kingdom and the throne from his father, Nabopolassar when he conquers Jerusalem and Daniel is brought to Babylon. As we look at it, we see that this is a very secure time.
When Daniel mentions Nebuchadnezzar, this refers to what we have studied in Daniel one through four. Having that knowledge, we know that God has spoken and Belshazzar knew that God had spoken. Belshazzar knew about his father, Nebuchadnezzar. So, let us go back and see what God has spoken, because God had told Babylon, “You’re coming to an end.” Some commentators will tell us that Belshazzar knew that the Medes and the Persians were the next to rule but the Bible does not tell us that. The Bible does not identify who the chest of silver is in Daniel.
Let's review the things God has spoken to Babylon through the dream of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel interpreted that dream. Nebuchadnezzar knew there was an end to his kingdom. Daniel knew there was an end to his kingdom. God had spoken. Yet, Belshazzar acts like there is not going to be an end to his kingdom because he was looking at the natural instead of the supernatural. He was looking at things as they were, looking at his surroundings and he felt that he was secure; but God had spoken. In Daniel 2:36,37, Daniel interprets the dream of Nebuchadnezzar:
Daniel 2:36, 37-note "This was the dream; now we will tell its interpretation before the king. 37 "You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory;”
Nebuchadnezzar received the kingdom, power, strength and glory from God. He lets him know, “God has given you this. ‘You…are the king of kings.’ In other words, there is no king greater than you. You are the ultimate earthly king.” He goes on to say,
Daniel 2:38a-note “and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all.”
When we look at that where you are the one of where all the beasts of the field dwell and the birds of the sky, it reminds us of Daniel 4 and another dream that Nebuchadnezzar had (Daniel 4:10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17-notes), a dream of a tree where the birds of the air rest, and the animals find shelter in that tree. Once again, we see this truth transferred over to Daniel 4 and another dream; we see the parallels here. Then, he goes on to say,
Daniel 2:38, 39a-note “You are the head of gold. 39a "After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you,”
In other words, an inferior kingdom is going to take over a superior kingdom. Is that not interesting, because that is not the way we would think it would happen. We think of superior overtaking inferior instead of inferior overtaking superior. And this is what he is saying here. “In other words, you’re the king of kings, the head of gold, but I want you to know there is an end to your kingdom.”
We know that in Daniel 3:1-note, Nebuchadnezzar—in defiance—said “No. There is no end to my kingdom.” He builds a statue and it is not just gold, silver, bronze, iron and iron-clay: it is all gold. Everybody is going to bow down to this statue. “In other words, you’re going to give your allegiance to my statue that I have set up here in the plain of Dura. We are not going to be taken.”
America is saying, “We are not going to be taken. We are going to win. We are in a war and we are going to win and we are not going to be conquered. Because,” we say, “who is America? Of all the nations on the earth, who is America?” We think that we are the greatest, the strongest. That is what we think of ourselves. We think of ourselves almost the way that Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar thought of themselves. “I’m impregnable. We are okay.” When Kay studies Daniel 5, she thinks about September 11, 2001 that shocking day when we were invaded and attacked, something we never dreamed could happen to America. And so the question comes up where do we find America in prophecy. One man came up to Kay at the Christian Booksellers Convention. wanted to give her a book on Babylon!” The problem was that thing he told her Babylon is really America!
Kay told him his theology was off. America is not Babylon and Babylon is not America. We may be acting like Babylon, but we’re not.” The thing is Babylon is in prophecy in the future, but America is not there. Something is going to happen to our country. In the light of that, Who are we toasting, who we are praising in this vessel. Will we be part of the cause of the demise of America? Will we be like a Belshazzar in this nation? Or will we be like a Daniel who is in the midst of destruction in order that he might let others know what the times signify?
He tells them in Da 2:39,
Daniel 2:39, 40a--note “After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth. 40a "Then there will be a fourth kingdom
This is what Nebuchadnezzar had, what Belshazzar had access to, the information they had access to. Isaiah 44 had been written well over a century, maybe a century and a half before this night in 539 B.C., when Babylon is brought down by the Medes and the Persians. In Isaiah 44, God wants His servant, Jacob, to listen to Him.
Isaiah 44:1, 2, 3,6, 7a -- But now listen, O Jacob, My servant, And Israel, whom I have chosen: 2 Thus says the LORD who made you And formed you from the womb, who will help you, 'Do not fear, O Jacob My servant; And you Jeshurun whom I have chosen. 3 'For I will pour out water on the thirsty land And streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring And My blessing on your descendants; 6 "Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me. 7a 'Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place.
He established the ancient nation with Abraham in Genesis 12:1, 2, 3.
Isaiah 44:7b From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place.
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.
We are not to be in the dark. In Daniel’s life, we see a man who feared God and did not walk in the dark, but walked in the light of the knowledge of God.
Isaiah 44:8a Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it?
God is saying to us that we do not have to be afraid of the future. God has laid out the future and we are about out to study it in a very awesome detail. We are about to understand what is going to happen in the last three and a half years before God Almighty sets up His kingdom. We are privy to these things. God has spoken and we have His Word.
Isaiah 44:8b And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.
Is there any god besides God? Why would we would take our vessel and praise other gods. When we look at the church, we see them praising other gods by what they are doing to their bodies, by the way that they dress; the immodesty, the sensuality. We see them praising other gods by what they watch, and what they listen to and sing. We see them praise other gods by the way that they behave and by the way they spend their money. [Our bodies are] God’s vessel. What are we doing with God’s vessel?
Belshazzar to the vessel, the goblets of gold, and poured into them wine, which was perfectly alright, until he took the wine and he praised his gods of gold, silver, wood, bronze and iron. What are we doing? Whom are we praising? He goes on to say,
Isaiah 44:9a Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame.
America is still probably the most rich population. We live better collectively, than anybody else on the face of this earth. We have all these material things, and yet what have we, as a nation, have done. We have turned away from the One Whose Name is on our money, engraved on our monuments in Washington, D. C., Who was mentioned in the Pledge of Allegiance, Who was mentioned in the Constitution of the United States. We have turned away from Him and we have praised a gods of gold and silver that we have fashioned.
Isaiah 44:9b even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame.
He is telling them, “I’m your redeemer! I’m your redeemer and this is what I do!”
Isaiah 44:24, 25a "I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all alone, 25 “Causing the omens of boasters to fail, Making fools out of diviners,”
Are afraid of those who are into witchcraft, or diviners, or soothsayers, or those who read our palms, or read the crystal ball, or read the Tarot cards? God says,
Isaiah 44:25 Causing the omens of boasters to fail, Making fools out of diviners, Causing wise men to draw back And turning their knowledge into foolishness,”
Think of all the people that said Daniel was wrong because “there never was a king by the name of Belshazzar.” Then they did the dig and found out, and He made that wise man sound like a fool. Listen to what He says:
Isaiah 44:26, 27, 28a 26 Confirming the word of His servant And performing the purpose of His messengers. It is I who says of Jerusalem, 'She shall be inhabited!' And of the cities of Judah, 'They shall be built.' And I will raise up her ruins again. 27 "It is I who say to the depth of the sea, 'Be dried up!' And I will make your rivers dry. 28a "It is I who says of Cyrus, 'He is My shepherd!
We are talking about rivers, seas, the city of Jerusalem, and all of a sudden, we have named the man.
Isaiah 44:28a "It is I who says of Cyrus, 'He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire.'
This is about a hundred and fifty years before Belshazzar’s party. Belshazzar almost assuredly had not read Isaiah! Daniel is probably aware of the prophecy of Isaiah because it was recorded (740-680BC) and he could have read the following words (Just like he read Jeremiah in Da 9:1,2)...
Isaiah 44:28b “And he declares of Jerusalem, 'She will be built,' And of the temple, 'Your foundation will be laid.'"
He is saying that when the Temple is already there, when there is already a foundation. There is already a building and yet He is saying it is going to happen, again.
Isaiah 45:1, 2a 1 Thus says the LORD to Cyrus His anointed, Whom I have taken by the right hand, To subdue nations before him And to loose the loins of kings; To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: 2a "I will go before you”
God Almighty is going before Cyrus!
Isaiah 45:1, 2 "I will go and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars. 3 "I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden wealth of secret places, So that you may know that it is I, The LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.”
Little did his mother know that she was being led by the LORD when she chose the name Cyrus for her son.
Isaiah 45:4, 5, 6 "For the sake of Jacob My servant, And Israel My chosen one, I have also called you by your name; I have given you a title of honor Though you have not known Me. 5 "I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; 6 That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other,”
If He is the LORD, and there is no other, why would we who know Him, take these vessels [our bodies]s and praise the god of this world. We know that He created us for His pleasure. Revelation 4:11 tells us we have the whole counsel of God. God has spoken.
Revelation 4:11-note "Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created."
It is done. It is finished. It is all in the Bible, everything we need. We need to be honoring Him by not only seeking knowledge of Him, but by living out that knowledge in our lives, remembering that we are the temples of the living God, vessels of the Holy Spirit, that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. As Paul asked...
Do you not realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you and whom you received from God? 20 You are not your own property, then; you have been bought at a price. So use your body for the glory of God. (1Cor 6:19-note, 1Cor 6:20-note)
What are we doing with that which belongs to God?
We need to be like Kay who prays “God, remind me, every moment of the day, every circumstance, every situation, that I am to praise You. Remind me that I am to live, not according to what my eyes see, but I am to live in the light of Your Sovereignty and the light of eternity.”
God put Kay to the test recently - She was writing a book: Lord, Teach Me to Study the Bible in 28 Days and she lost a computer file with hours and hours of work, and she panicked. But she remembered that God is Sovereign and His word was “in everything, give thanks” (1Th 5:18-note). And so even in panic, she gave Him thanks. She remembered about the one who translated the whole Bible in India, and after it burned up, he started translating again! Remembering all that she knows about God, and saying, “Okay, what am I going to do in this vessel? Am I going to praise You? Or am I going to use this vessel of Yours to desecrate Who You are and what You say?” God's answer in Isaiah is that He is...
Isaiah 45:7 The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these.
The year was 539BC and as we go back and look at Daniel 5, we know about how the queen comes in because she hears about the handwriting on the wall and hears that Belshazzar is offering to make anyone who can give the interpretation of the handwriting on this wall, to make him the third ruler, the triumvir of the kingdom of Babylon. So the queen comes in. They believe this is the queen mother and in all probability, was the wife of Nebuchadnezzar that has been passed down to the king of Babylon because that was the common thing in that day. The next king inherited the wives and the concubines.
She comes in and tells them about Daniel and says,
Daniel 5:11a "There is a man in your kingdom in whom is a spirit of the holy gods;
Can people say about us, “Oh, hey. There is a person in your office, the PTA, in that beauty parlor, barbershop --- they are unusual. There is a spirit about them that is so different. There is a person in your church [that is] not the ‘run of the mill’ in your church. They are very unusual.”
Daniel 5:11a "There is a man in your kingdom in whom is a spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of your father, illumination, insight and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him.”
Where did he get this wisdom?
Proverbs 1:7a The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
Job 28:28 "And to man He said, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding.'"
Daniel 5:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16a And King Nebuchadnezzar, your father, your father the king, appointed him chief of the magicians, conjurers, Chaldeans and diviners. 12 "This was because an extraordinary spirit, knowledge and insight, interpretation of dreams, explanation of enigmas and solving of difficult problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Let Daniel now be summoned and he will declare the interpretation." 13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king spoke and said to Daniel, "Are you that Daniel who is one of the exiles from Judah, whom my father the king brought from Judah? 14 "Now I have heard about you that a spirit of the gods is in you, and that illumination, insight and extraordinary wisdom have been found in you. 15 "Just now the wise men and the conjurers were brought in before me that they might read this inscription and make its interpretation known to me, but they could not declare the interpretation of the message. 16 "But I personally have heard about you,”
Belshazzar’s name means a tribute to [Bel], their god. Here is a man who is a heathen, who has heard about Daniel, who has knowledge about the fact that this man has the spirit of — so to speak — the gods in him, is a wise man, a knowledgeable man, and yet [even though] he has this knowledge, he has not acted on it. So, the queen mother comes in and tells [Belshazzar] this. [Belshazzar offers to make [Daniel] the third ruler in the kingdom.
Daniel 5:17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, "Keep your gifts for yourself or give your rewards to someone else; however, I will read the inscription to the king and make the interpretation known to him.”
He is saying, “I’m going to tell you honestly and I’m not going to tell you for any financial gain, or any power that you are going to give me. You can have al that. That’s not why I’m going to tell you the truth or the interpretation.” And then he says,
Daniel 5:18, 19, 20a "O king, the Most High God granted sovereignty, grandeur, glory and majesty to Nebuchadnezzar your father. 19 "Because of the grandeur which He bestowed on him, all the peoples, nations and men of every language feared and trembled before him; whomever he wished he killed and whomever he wished he spared alive; and whomever he wished he elevated and whomever he wished he humbled. 20a "But when his heart was lifted up”
He is talking to a man whose heart is lifted up. You know it is lifted up because he has just toasted his gods in the vessels of the God Whose Temple was in Jerusalem.
Daniel 5:20, 21 "But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit became so proud that he behaved arrogantly, he was deposed from his royal throne and his glory was taken away from him. 21 "He was also driven away from mankind, and his heart was made like that of beasts, and his dwelling place was with the wild donkeys. He was given grass to eat like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until he recognized that the Most High God is ruler over the realm of mankind and that He sets over it whomever He wishes.”
He lost his mind, until he came to his senses. When he came to his senses, he recognized that it was God that ruled.
Daniel 5:22 "Yet you, his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this”
America knows that there is a God. If we look at the majority of Americans, they hold values like we hold. But there is an element that has arisen that has let their voice be heard and it is bombarding Washington. But where are the Daniels? Where are we? Part of the problem is that we love God, that we know that our bodies are the temples of His Holy Spirit, and yet we are praising the gods of this world because we do not want flak from the world and we are not standing, with integrity, on the Word of God. He says,
Daniel 5:22b “even though you knew all this,”
Da 5:22, 23 are key verses for us today.
Daniel 5:22 "Yet you, his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this
He knew truth. He knew what Nebuchadnezzar had done. He knew what Nebuchadnezzar remembered. Nebuchadnezzar made a decree and it was read throughout his kingdom:
Daniel 4:35 "All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, 'What have You done?'
Nebuchadnezzar had made that statement. He knew that the Most High ruled over all. God brought him, through a series of incidents, to his knees until he recognized that God was God. Kay along with many other conservative commentators believes that we see a description of Nebuchadnezzar's salvation in Daniel 4. We see him respecting God, up until that point, to different degrees, but we see God humbling him and then bringing him up.
Belshazzar knew all this.
Daniel 5:23 but you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your nobles, 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 your ways, you have not glorified.”
“But the God in Whom your life’s breath.”
We got up this morning because God ordained for us to get up. We are sitting here because God ordained for us to sit here. He has given us our life’s-breath. But not only is our life’s-breath in His Hand, our ways are in His Hand. The question is, are we glorifying Him?
Precept Ministries was about to miss a tremendous opportunity on radio and through a set or circumstances, we thought we had missed it. Kay was not there and Precept Ministries had let it go by because we needed an additional eighty-thousand dollars. When Precept Ministries gets through this year (2006), if all goes according to budget, we will only have six thousand dollars left this year for this ministry that is operating in one-hundred-and-twenty-one countries, in sixty-seven languages, here in the United States, across the United States and across the world. Precept Ministries is not flush, as you can tell. Here is an opportunity that costs eighty-thousand dollars and we say that we have to pass it by, but the thing is, did we have to pass it by, or were we required to simply go to God and say, “Here is this unusual, tremendous opportunity that is on radio. They are slotting me between Ed Young and Charles Stanley, and they are putting a woman in there (which they never do) and offering this time to us. Do we pass it by?” And Kay said, “God, You know that I don’t want to lose this opportunity, and You know that we don’t have the money. God, what do I do?” Kay said, “Is that still available? Should we go back to them?” She prayed and God laid a name on her heart. She made a phone call. The person said they were praying and fasting that day. She said, “You know I’ve never asked you for anything. It’s an opportunity. All I want you to do is pray and fast.” The person said, “I’ll pray and fast. I’ll call my financial person. I’ll call you back this afternoon. But you know that I won’t do it unless really I feel God wants me to do it.” Kay said, “I know, and I thank you for that.” The phone rings. “Go ahead. Get the time.” “I never called my financial man. I just got a phone call an hour after I talked to you, and I was told I was getting fifty-thousand dollars, and I’ll take care of the rest, since I can spread it out over the year.”
God is on His throne, whether it was “Yes,” or “No.” When it was “No,” when Kay thought they had missed it, and it was “No,” she prayed and said, “I will give thanks in everything.” Why? Because this body is to be to His praise. If she does not give thanks in everything, in this vessel [body] that belongs to Him, she is denying His sovereignty.
We know that is written on the wall,
Daniel 5:25, 26, 27, 28 Now this is the inscription that was written out: 'MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.' 26 "This is the interpretation of the message: 'MENE '-- God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it. 27 "'TEKEL '-- you have been weighed on the scales and found deficient. 28 "'PERES '-- your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and the Persians."
America’s days are numbered. America will have an end. We have been weighed on the scales and been found deficient. May we not be weighed on the scales. As Ephesians 4 says,
Ephesians 4:1-note Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
in Christ Jesus. May these vessels be used to praise only One—the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe. Then it says,
There is a Day Of Accounting coming. There is a day when our works are going to be weighed and we are going to give an account to God for what went on in this vessel of His. Whether we walk by the Spirit or walk by the flesh, there is a day coming and we need to live in the light of that day. The handwriting was on the wall. It was very clear because the interpretation was made known. God had spoken.
God has spoken and we need to live in the light of what He has said. He said,
Daniel 5:22 "Yet you, his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this,
We know a lot. May we live in the light of it. Then, he goes on to say
Daniel 5:23a “but you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven;”
May we not do that. He says,
Daniel 5:23c “But the God in whose hand are your life-breath and your ways, you have not glorified.”
May we desire to glorify God, as long as He gives us life, and may we do it in the ways that He takes us. May we honor Him and may we glorify Him. May we be Daniels, and not Belshazzars. May we be Daniels. May we be here to let others know what is happening. He told him very clearly: this is what is going to happen. We need to get the message out: America’s not going to last forever. This is what is going to happen. We better live for God almighty.
Paul wrote in II Corinthians,
2Corinthians 5:9-note Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
May everything in this vessel say, “Holy!” to the LORD.