Daniel 5:7-9

Do you believe in the Spirit of God? And in Satan and his demons?

Observe what happened to king Belshazzar:

Daniel 5:7-9

"The king summoned the enchanters, astrologers and diviners. Then he said to these wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing and tells me what it means will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around his neck, and he will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom”

"Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or tell the king what it meant. So King Belshazzar became even more terrified and his face grew more pale. His nobles were baffled"

If you have compared this NIV rendering with the Aramaic from the original, then you saw that is a good translation. But some words have more than one meaning. The "enchanters" are the "ashfayá", plural of Aramaic "ashaf" which means "astrologer". The "astrologers" are the "kasdayé", plural of Aramaic "kasdái" which means "Chaldeans", and the "diviners" are the "gazrayá", plural of Aramaic "gezár" which meand "soothsayer" or "diviner". All of them where experts in occultism. In this site, you can find under Daniel 2:1-2; 2:3-11 and Daniel 4:1-4 (4-7) other examples of the same thing: all kinds of sorcerers were incapable to explain something to the king but God's prophet was able. "Purple" and "scarlet" are the colors of some textiles which were obtained with expensive kinds of dye, so the clothes made of this textiles were used by rich and high ranked people. As a matter of fact, the colors themselves simbolize high ranked persons in the whole scripture. In addition to the clothes, the gold chain was a symbol of power and authority, and "be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom" was to be made chief of all wise men (the king of Babylonia was Nabonidus, and Belshazzar a coregent, so this third man should be the chief of the wise men, the same position that Daniel got under Nebuchadnezzar but evidently didn't had under Belshazzar) In spite of that great reward, none of the sorcerers could interpret the writing on the wall.

Maybe you wonder about the relationship between this situation and the Spirit of God, Satan or the demons? This is an excellent question and we want to deal with it before we continue forward.

When God created "heavens and earth" we read that the Spirit of God was "hovering over the waters". THIS Spirit is God himself. In Ezekiel 39:29 and in 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 it is clear that God's Presence between us (both the believers of the OT and the NT) is that of His Spirit. To receive a "revelation" through the Holy Spirit (as we have seen in Daniel, and in all of Israel's prophets) is the same as receiving a knowledge from God Himself. Because of this - the anointing of the Spirit of God - the prophets in Israel did speak in the name of God, and performed miracles and healings through God's power.

But God is not the only one who can do supernatural things. The scriptures show that God created "angels", spiritual beings who can bring prophecies also, and work miracles in God's power. One of these angels is called "Satan" or the "devil" (these words proceed from Hebrew and Greek respectively, and they both mean "adversary") This angel rebelled against God, and he took with him many other angels. He and the other fallen angels have also this ability to work in the supernatural, but because they are God's enemies, they use this ability to oppose God's work and to deceive persons, hindering them to come close to Jesus. Many examples in both OT and NT show us how Satan himself or his demons deceive people.

Now, there was not a single prophet from Israel among those sorcerers that king Belshazzar called. In Daniel 2:1-2 in this site you can find a final NOTE with the "professions" of many sorcerers, all of them performed in Satan's power. Between we go forward, let's observe some verses in 2 Thessalonians, where the apostle Paul is prophesying about the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. In that church they believed that Jesus' return was imminent, and some of the members of the congregation had abandoned their job and their business, because "they were leaving with Him". One of the purposes of the letter is to show them that this Second Coming was in the same time frame of other events, that it wasn't at all so "imminent" and that they should continue with their lives:

"And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved"

"For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness"

2 Thessalonians 2:8-12

Now that "lawless one" who "will be revealed" in verse 8 is the Anti-Christ, the same we have mentioned before and who we will talk about if the Lord allows. Observe now that it is Satan who raises him with "signs and wonders that serve the lie" - but to those who are unable to distinguish the spirits, those signs are just supernatural works; not knowing the source, they think "it must be God". They are deceived, and "will be condemned", because "they refused to love the truth" (Jesus) "God sends them a powerful delusion" because He leaves them in Satan's hands.

These verses show us that:

1) There are persons who don't receive Jesus and don't believe in Him
2) There is a deceptive power (Satan's) which makes people believe in lies
3) Those who don't receive Jesus (the truth) are deceived by the "powerful delusion" so that they remain in deceit and be condemned because of their unbelief.

In the book of Exodus we can read about Moses call, how God sends him to save the Hebrews from the opression and slavery they suffered in Egypt. God anointed Moses as a prophet and gave him power to perform miraculous signs. Among these are the plagues which should come upon the Egyptians so that they would fear Israel's God and finally let the people go. But when you read Exodus 7:22 and 8:7 then you see that Pharao's sorcerers were able to imitate some of the signs. God allowed them to, in order that Pharao should "harden his heart" and deny Moses the right to go; when Pharao saw his sorcerers doing the same thing that Moses', then he thought that "the God of Moses" wasn't more powerful than the Egyptian gods.

The sorcerers and conjurers in all times have been able to perform supernatural signs in Satan's power. But this power is inferior compared to God's power. The Egyptian sorcerers had to declare themselves incapable of making gnats or imitate all of Moses' signs. The other ones in Babylonia did also declare themselves incapable of reading the writing on the wall. Because Satan's power works only if God allows him, and He allows it to happen only in His infinite wisdom.

I have witnessed in previous messages how I was born and raised under a communist regime. Now, my father was an officer of the Navy. We were raised as atheists and communists, because in communist countries the state is usually an enemy of the church. My mother believed in God, but because of her respect to my father's position, she never attend a church or taught us Christian doctrine (we got from her a good education, based in many Christian principles, but without calling them "Christian" or "Biblical") It was as teenagers that we began to put into question the anti-Christian ideology we received from childhood, especially in school, where they have a whole "educational" system which goal is to hinder people of coming to Christ.

The "powerful delusion" worked circa 30 years in my life to "teach" me that "religion is the opium of the people", that the Bible is full of fantasy and it is impossible to believe on it, that there is no "Creator" but this world appeared "by chance" and life too, that we descend from amebas or certain Primates, that there is no God but only laws of nature and that we can explain everything through scientific knowledge. For that person I was before thirty, to believe in Satan and demons was "superstition".

But Jesus changed this person when He came to my life. His Spirit came and endowed me with spiritual gifts, and because of that I've been praying for the sick ones, the demon posessed or those who need a miracle, and I've seen the hand of God performing healings, delivering or blessings. It is our faith which makes it possible. It doesn't matter what did you believe or what you've done before you came to Christ. The important thing is that which Jesus Christ believes and what is He capable to do when you surrender to Him. The Lord's purpose is to use us in His work, to make a believer in everyone of us, who does "the works He had been doing, and even greater things than those".

If you are bound by the same "powerful delusion", if you are "separated from the life of God" as those persons which Paul mentions in Ephesians 4:17-18, if your confidence is in your wealth, your position or authority, your education or any other thing but Jesus Christ, let me tell you that He came to deliver you from Satan's deception. It's only He who can do it, and it is only you who can let Him do it. I don't know the sins which keep you bound; it is only known by you and by the Lord. But I do know He came to die on a cross for our sins, all of them, and to give us new life, so that we walk in God's power and not in Satan's. To get acces into this new life the only thing you need is to pray to Jesus Christ, confess Him your sins, repent them, receive Him as your Lord and savior and follow Him. He will lead you through the Holy Spirit so that you are transformed back to God's likeness, He who created us. The time will come when this will not be possible, but if you are reading these words, it is not yet. Receive Jesus today, and begin a new life in Him!

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

Israel Leonard

PS. Jesus is coming soon!

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