Daniel 5:24-28

Are you in God's plan, or out of it?

The Word of God says:

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, who have been called according to his purpose"

Romans 8:28

Those who "have been called according to his purpose" are the ones who are in God's plan. To these persons has the Lord given this extraordinary promise: EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING that happens will help them. In each experience, in each word we receive, there will be some good to us.

I've spoken in previous messages about a period when I worked in a hospital that was at the same time a retirement home. My duties including cleaning in some parts of the building, and the one who works with it usually gathers empty jerrycans, from the kitchen, the laundry, the chemicals... The first time it happened to me, I didn't know what to do with all plastic jerrycans: if I was supposed to cast them away, or to spare them, to send to recycling... I asked the boss Anders Josephsson, who was in charge, and he gave me an instruction: crush them and cast away them.

It seems to be nothing special about the holy things so far. But my boss was a Christian and the word I heard had several meanings, as it usually happens with the Word of God. One of them, which the Spirit revealed directly to my heart, was that our daily problems were like these jerrycans: we have to "crush" them, to reduce their "volume", to make them possible to handle with. Some time after that I would find an occasion to remember this word.

As a part of God's plan for my life I use to practise exercises with weights. If you don't know about it, let me explain: you begin with a little weight you can easily manage, and then you put a little bit more next time, and so on until you reach the end of a season - two or three months. Then you give the muscles some rest and start again.

One day, when I was reaching the end of a season, one of the exercises of the day was triceps lying on the bench, with 130 lb (I had reached that weight) This exercise is like this:

It happened that I couldn't complete the last repetition (it is rather common when you reach your limit; the muscles get exhausted and you can't complete the last movement) When it happens, the assistant help you with the bar. But I was alone at home, without an assistant and with those 130 lb (plus the bar itself) in my throat, without strenght to take them away. I thought that maybe would be possible to roll the bar over chest and belly down to the waistline and then incorporate, but my bench was not the one of that guy, it was one of these:

In this bench, the bar had got the "perfect" position to NOT move: between those two columns and my head, pressing my throat. It was then when that word about reducing problems came to my aid. I turn my head a little bit, laid the bar in my jaw - which is rather strong, thanks Jesus - and I held it with one hand, whereas I reached with the other hand the extreme of the bar where there is a nut I could unscrew, then I took away some weights and the whole thing became pretty much easier to handle. The Lord gave me that solution in my situation.

The message of this passage of Daniel 5:24-28 is about a word God gave to king Belshazzar (the same story we have been commenting and that you can find in Daniel chapter 5) But Belshazzar was totally excluded from God's plan; he was commiting sin and desecrating holy things. That word he received was not exactly to "help" him. Observe the following verses:

Daniel 5:24-28

"Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription"

"This is the inscription that was written: mene, mene, tekel, parsin"

"Here is what these words mean:"

"Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians"

Why was it impossible to the king to understand the message? Why was it also hidden for his wise men?
To get the revelation of the message that God spoke to the king it is neccesary to use a spiritual GIFT. Daniel was a prophet with the Spirit of God, the giver of gifts, but the Babylonian sorcerers weren't and didn't have the Spirit. The writing on the wall has at least three levels of interpretation and the spiritual gifts are neccesary to interpret two of them. Observe the three levels:

1) The literal meaning: "MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPARSIN" means literally "mina, mina, shekel and half shekels". This meaning is the easiest to understand; you only have to know Aramaic to understand it. "Mene" is "mina", a coin worthy 50 shekels. "TEKEL" is "shekel" and "PARSIN" is "halves" (in the context, half shekel) But this easier meaning can show us why nobody understood the message. "Mina, mina, shekel and two halves" seems to mean nothing to the king. If our king in Sweden gets a message in the wall of the royal palace with this words, "femtiolapp, femtiolapp, krona och två femtioöringar", written by a supernatural hand, it would be incomprehensible, too. This is an aproximate Swedish equivalent, "50 crowns, crown and two half-crowns". His Majesty should probably get surprised, like king Belshazzar did. Shall I pay someone 102 crowns tribute? Shall my bank account go down to 102 crowns? Has somebody put a price to my head, 102 crowns? This kind of street-seller's cry let everybody bewildered. But not Daniel. God's prophet received from the Spirit od God two more levels of meaning, and the prophecy was in the last one.

2) The word of knowledge: "MENÁ, TEKAL UPERÁS". This is what Daniel read by the Spirit of God. Then the words of the street-seller's cry get another meaning: "numbered, weighed, divided". Both Hebrew and Aramaic are written without vowels, so in the writing on the wall, this phrase is similar to the other one. This "second meaning" is evident in all parables, allegories and other ways of transmission of the Word of God. For instance, we read about a "woman" in the book of Revelation which is described like this:

"The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. The name written on her forehead was a mystery:"

"Babylon the great, the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth"

Revelation 17:4,5

When we read "mother of prostitutes and of the abominations" it means that this "woman" si not a woman. The name on her forehead was a mystery because we read "Babylon" but it is not about the literal Babylon. The meaning of this Babylon we shall see when speaking about Revelation 17 if the Lord allows.

Back with Daniel and his interpretation, "numbered, weighed, divided" makes more sense than the literal meaning, but is rather obscure in itself, also. What is it which was numbered, weighed and divided? Is the same thing, or are three things, one to be numbered, another one weighed and a last one divided? What did God mean with "to number", "to weigh" and "to divide"? These three words seem to be in the same context of a street-seller, and refer to the merchandise you can buy with the minas, the shekel and the half-shekels. But Daniel had, besides the word of knowledge, another spiritual gift: the gift of prophecy. Through this gift he went a level of interpretation beyond this one.

3) The prophecy - this meaning brings a supernatural prophetical message:

- Belshazzar's reign is the one thing which was "numbered", "estimated", "considered" (Aramaic "mená") because it had lasted long enough. In Daniel 2:21 the prophet says, "He [God] changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning". This means that kings are raised or deposed by God himself. When we read Daniel 7:12, there is a prophetic vision: "The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time". It means that the other "beasts" - or kingdoms - got a certain lifetime. All kingdoms on this earth - including that of Belshazzar's - are in God's hands, and it is He who determines if they will remain or pass away. That's why God was able to "number" Belshazzar's reign and "bring it to an end".

- It was Belshazzar himself who was "weighed", "evaluated", "measured" (Aramaic "tekál") and God determined that he would not change. God gives uncountable opportunities to every one to repent, but it doesn't mean that there's no judgement. The final judgement came to Belshazar on that day he desecrated Israel's God.

If we read Genesis 6:5-7 we'll see another case of people being "weighed":

"The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created - and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground - for I regret that I have made them"

We can see in this passage how God "weighed", "evaluated" the men he had created. Because of this evaluation, the Lord decided to send the flood, a judgement of death and condemnation similar to that which Belshazzar received.

- The Babylonian Empire was the "divided" one (or "broken") because the time had come to give the power to Persia (the "Medes and Persians") The Persian Empire was the one which gave freedom to the Jews to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall and the temple, because this was God's plan for them. In the book of Jeremiah we can find the prophetic word that the Babylonian captivity should last 70 years, and in the book of Isaiah, that it would be Cyrus the Great - the Persian king - who would let the Jews go back to Israel. God "deposed" that king who despised the Jews and desecrated the holy objects, and "raised" another one who would permit them to go back to their land and to rebuild their city.

What is the meaning for us today of this fall of Babylon and the death of Belshazzar, it is, the prophetic message of this writing on the wall?

Let me begin with this last interpretation, the kingdom which was "broken" - aka the Babylonian Empire. God had the purpose to let Jerusalem's wall be rebuilt, and the temple, too. We can read about it in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Bible. That's why God took away Babylonia and established Persia. And in most recent times we have seen something similar.

You have probably heard about the "Palestinian-Israeli" problem, about the "rights of the Palestinian people" and about how much we "need" to create a "Palestinian state" which should be the solution for the peace of the Middle East.

"Palestine" is the name that the Romans gave to Judea and Samaria circa 136 AD, when they defeated the Jews in the last war where they fought against the Roman Empire. The Romans called Jerusalem for "Aelia Capitolina" and prohibited the Jewish religion. Their goal was to obliterate from earth the Jewish identity.

This "Palestine" which the Romans named so was in the beginning the territory of Judea, Samaria and Syria (actually it was called "Syria Palestina") This territory was populated by Syrians, Jews and Romans, together with other peoples. NEVER has this "Palestine" been a nation. NEVER has this "Palestine" been populated by "a" people. It was always a colony, a conquered territory, an occupied land, and the population, a mixture of several peoples. We have to know these facts in order not to be deceived by some political propaganda in these times (aka Satan)
Many Jews use the term "Palestinian Arabs" to refer to the so called "Palestinians". Because - if you are going to call Israel "Palestine" as the Romans did - there are "Palestinian Jews" which have been living there for 2000 years, there are "Palestinian Christians" which have also lived there for generations, and other "Palestinian" peoples and religions.

This Roman "colony" - or "province", because in the Roman Empire we don't talk about colonies; every territory they conquered was Rome - passed to the Muslims in 636 AD, and then succesively to other invaders, until the Ottoman Empire. You can see the Ottoman Empire before and after WW I:



After World War I, several territories - among them Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel, the ones you see in the first image but not in the second one - passed from the Ottoman Empire to other hands. Jordan and Israel became "the British Mandate of Palestine".

As you can see, this Mandate included both Israel and Jordan. Isn't it fascinating to see how the same story comes back? We mean, in the same way that the Lord took away the Babylonian rule upon the Jews, he took away the Ottoman Empire and replaced with the Brittish. The cause is easy to see: it were the Brittish which came with the idea of giving their land back to the Jews, that one they lost and was conquered by the Romans.

This is the partition which was determined in San Remo, Italy, in 1920, in a conference where the independence of many countries of the Middle East was the central issue - among them, Israel:

As you see, this "Palestine" is Israel, the Jewish home that the British advocated for, and "Transjordan" is the country we know as Jordan, where other peoples should live. The fact that Israel is a Jewish home and nation doesn't mean in anyway that other peoples and religions are discriminated or prohibited. There are in Israel millions of Muslim Arabs which have the same rights than the Jews have, even many of them are in the government of Israel. There are also Christians in Israel and other peoples and religions.

Why then is this partition so controversial, and why so much war about it? Let me take another partition as an example. British India included nowadays India, Pakistan and several territories more. Because of religion, after the British left, India was divided in two countries, one mostly Muslim and the other one mostly Hindu. This partition was accepted, and most Muslims passed to Pakistan and Bangla Desh whereas the Hindus passed to India - the country we know as "India" nowadays.

But in Israel it was a different story. The Jews were expelled from all Arab countries and had to go to Israel. But the Muslim Arabs have not been expelled from Israel. Many of them didn't want to leave, and many of them don't accept the country Israel, but dream with a Muslim state called "Palestine" with no Jews. Among that minority which accepts the existence of Israel, many are against calling the country a "Jewish State", even when this "Jewish State" accepts Muslim Arabs even as a part of their government (Israel is a democracy)

The existence of Israel is the most outstanding prophetical fulfillment in human history in the XX century. The Jewish people have come back to their country, which the Romans conquered and which they missed for almost 2000 years. Hebrew is back as a nation's language, Judaism is the main religion of a country. All those are miracles which God has done in favor of His people, because of His plan with them. You can not see that in other peoples which have no country. Are you WITH God or AGAINST Him?

Besides this issue about the people of God, the writing on the wall that Belshazzar saw has several other meanings to us. There is another "Belshazzar" which is called Satan. He has got the same message: his reign has been "numbered" and God will bring it to an end, his person has been "weighed" and will go to hell on eternity, and his kingdom has been "broken" and given to the Lord Jesus Christ. These prophecies, which has now a spiritual fulfillment among us who have accepted the King of kings and Lord of Lords, will be totally clear to everyone on earth when Jesus comes.
That "Babylon" which fell that night has a prophetic counterpart in our times in that other "Babylon" which the apostle John saw in Revelation 17-19, and which will fall to give way to the Kingdom of God, the Millennial Kingdom which will commence with the second coming or Our Lord. This new "Babylon" is represented i these chapters of Revelation as a woman who is riding a beast, both of them rising in the power of Satan (who is the dragon of chapter 12) One of their purposes is the persecution of Israel, another "woman" who gave birth to the Messiah, Jesus Christ Our Lord.

I don't know if you belong to the Kingdom of God or to this world, if your king is Satan or the Lord Jesus Christ. But I do know that the kingdoms of this world, now under Satan's rule, will come under Jesus Christ rule, because it is very clearly exposed in the Word of God. And I do know also that Jesus Chrsit will reign on eternity and Satan will go to hell on eternity, because it is very clear in the Bbile, too. This "partition" between Heaven and Hell is determined from before the creation of the world, and our ticket to enter heaven in these times we are living in is Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.

Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If you have not, let me tell you that there's time yet. He came to forgive all your sins, to set you free from them and to give you eternal life. All you have to do is pray, repent your sins and ask Him for salvation. God's plan for mankind is that everyone get save, that nobody goes lost. But you see millions of people going lost because the don't accept God or His plan. Please don't make the same mistake! God will not change His plan because men despise Him. It is men who go to hell because they follow Satan. That's the realm of the Evil one, the portion he got because of his rebellion.

Receive Jesus today as your Lord and Savior!

May the Lord bless you. In the love of Christ, your brother

Israel Leonard

PS. Jesus is coming soon!

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