Help for Today — Hope for Tomorrow
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[Darris McNeely] The world has entered a time of crisis. Where all is fluid and we will see a new alignment of power and trade that will lead to the emergence of what the Bible calls Babylon.
Imagine the most famous party of all time. People eating and drinking, feasting with the king in his palace. Suddenly out of nowhere the fingers of a man's hand appeared and began writing on the wall of the room.
When finished, the words "mene, mene, tekel, upharsin" stood in stark relief before the eyes of the astonished gathering. What was the strange message? Is there a meaning for today's world? What does it mean for you? This is a scene from the biblical book of Daniel, Belshazzar's feast. It's one of those powerful dramatic scenes really that you'll find in the Scriptures. If you ever hear or read the phrase, "The handwriting's on the wall," well, it comes from this story. It means something big is about to happen. It means pay attention. Now if you can understand the moment when the handwriting's on the wall, then you can take some action to actually help yourself or to save yourself. You know today, now, is the time to ask the question. Is the handwriting on the wall for America, for Canada, for Australia, for the modern nations of the world? Most importantly for you and I to consider, is it on the wall for us, for you? I think that you understand that we are living in a time of big events. A virus comes out of China, causing the world to shut down. Massive economic upheaval takes place all of it happening overnight, virtually on a sudden basis. Now looking back on it from the perspective as I'm talking here today, it's almost like we woke up one morning and the world was different. So here's what we need to understand. What has happened is the pouring of foundations, some very large prophetic events that are about to take shape, even larger events that are shaping the world for a climax, the close of the age, before God intervenes in world affairs with His Kingdom. All we've seen to this point is really just a warm-up.
We're going to talk about a couple of these prophetic foundations in today's program but let's go back first to the story that we began with, a night in ancient Babylon. Belshazzar, the last king of the mighty nation of Babylon, threw a party. People eating and drinking, they were oblivious to the meaning of the events around them and they were pretty dangerous times then. The leaders of this massive city and state were totally unaware of the approaching danger that was virtually at their gates. The scene, it's a mirror that we can hold up for today's world and there's a lesson for us today for our life. Again I ask, could the handwriting beyond the wall of your life? Meaning that something big is about to happen and a need to make a change. You know in the book of Daniel, where the story comes from in the 5th chapter of Daniel. Bible students are very familiar with the story of Daniel. You know you've got the story of Daniel in the lion's den. You know the prophecies of Daniel where he interpreted dreams and he saw these vast images. Well here's what people mostly miss in the story of Daniel. It's not just some nice little Biblical story you might tell in a Bible class, it actually has application for our world scene and for us today because Daniel lived at a moment of great change and great upheaval in his world. Here's what was happening. The powers of his day, of Assyria and Egypt, they were falling. They were going out of place. Everywhere in the world at that time men sensed that the world was changing. This ancient map shows what was taking place among all of these nations, and they were shifting, and morphing into something. Big changes had taken place.
Things were not the way they were at one time. A large transition of power was shaping a new age at this moment in Ancient World History. And there are actually similarities to our present time for what was taking place then and we should learn from them. They're coming to us out of this book of Daniel. There are two big changes that we could mention. The first was what happened to the Biblical kingdom of Israel which was Daniel's home. It was gone, disappeared from the scene. God had removed the nation that He placed in that location, the Promised Land, Israel, ultimately just Judah. And He had sent the people off into captivity because of their sin against Him, against God. They were great sins. Now in world history you don't necessarily study this or hear about it but it was really a major event, the downfall of Biblical Israel. It was large. It was significant. A huge vacuum was created in that world at that time and the stage was set for four great powers to rise and begin to influence the ages to come. Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. And what happened then as we're told in the book of Daniel continues to influence our world. Now the second big change that was taking place was the appearance of the Kingdom of Babylon, this great city built and ruled over by Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel was taken captive to this very city through those gates, the Ishtar gate, and he found himself promoted to a key role in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar. We see that story in the 1st chapter of Daniel. It's a remarkable story. Daniel went from a slave to actually the corner suite with the king in his palace and God gave Daniel the ability to interpret dreams and visions that he saw. That's what the book of Daniel is all about.
What really Daniel was being given was insight into the big world events that happened then and really the kind that are happening right now in our world. So when we look at the events of that night when the handwriting appeared, time of Belshazzar, we were witnessing God's gift to this devout and righteous prophet Daniel, a man who stood before a great king and others and he testified to the glory and the majesty of the God of heaven. Daniel's example shows us what kind of person it takes to rise to the challenge of great moments in history. In the story of Daniel, we see the power of the Spirit of God moving not only on the face of the earth directing the course of nations, but we see in the noble life of Daniel, a person who humbly would seek God to do His will. In Daniel there's a lesson, a personal lesson of a man, Daniel, who lived in ancient Babylon and survived. And it helps us to survive our modern Babylon today, our modern world, which is another form of Babylon, to do so while maintaining a faith and a commitment to the God of heaven, to the God of the Bible. So let's go back again and let's look at that fateful night where the handwriting appeared on the wall of the king's palace. When the king saw the handwriting on the wall it says his face turned pale with fright. As you can see from this famous painting by the artist Rembrandt, "His knees knocked together," the Scripture says, "and he had fear. His legs actually gave way beneath him. The king cried out, "Whoever can read this writing and tell me what it means, he can have what he wants." And no one, his wisest counselors, none of them could interpret the handwriting on the wall. Well about that time into the room,walked the Queen Mother.
Now she was either the mother of King Belshazzar or his grandmother. But she said to him, it says, "There is a man, oh, king, in your kingdom, who has within him the spirit of the holy gods. This man, Daniel, has exceptional ability that's filled with divine knowledge and understanding. He can interpret dreams that explain riddles and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel. Bring him in. He'll tell you what the handwriting means." That's quite a statement to be made about Daniel. Daniel was called in. He looked at the handwriting and he turned to the king and he said, "You have proudly defied the Lord of heaven. You've not honored the God who gives you the breath of life and controls your destiny." What did that handwriting on the wall say? Well when it appeared it wrote down the following words I've already mentioned on the wall of this banquet room, "mene, mene, tekel, upharsin." Now that's quite a mouthful of an ancient language. But let me simplify it here.
The Scripture tells us that Daniel interpreted it this way. The word mene means that “God has numbered your kingdom, oh king,” and its finished. Time's up. Tekel, “you've been weighed in the balance and you've been found wanting.” You don't have enough. Upharsin, “your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians." You see the Persians were literally just outside the gates of Babylon at that moment. Babylon had been examined by God, this great power, this great city, this great kingdom of the ancient world, they've been found unworthy, and it was brought down and given to a new kingdom. That very night the armies of Persian captured mighty Babylon, rushing in. And in that moment, there was a change of power. Belshazzar was killed. The Persians came. It's what you call today a hostile takeover. Babylon had been weighed and found wanting.
Here's the point. And here's the question for you and I to consider. Can we read the handwriting on the wall in our world today? Can we discern what's happening with today's world events? Can we see God's hand moving through the history that we're living through? And we're living through some big events in history right now. Nations and regions of the world are in turmoil. The world is in crisis. For you and I to consider, do we have what it takes to manage this? To learn from it, to stand up, and to rise to the time, not let it get to us, not let it discourage us, not let it disrupt our lives, and meet the challenges? Because right now, today, there's some big foundations for big prophetic events being laid. I want to talk about those in a moment. But first I want to introduce you to the study guide that we are making available on today's program that will go deeper into the story of Babylon in today's world, "The Final Superpower." It'll help you dig deeper into the Biblical story of Babylon and what it means for today's world. This "Final Superpower" booklet talks about the world today and the world just ahead of us. So call the number on your screen or go online to beyondtoday.tv. The booklet is free. It'll take you deeper into Scriptures and the prophecies of Daniel, and help you to understand a lot of what I'm talking about only by an introductory fashion today.
So I've said that we are living in a time of big events. Right now we're seeing the foundations being laid for the Bible's biggest prophetic events that are described. Let's examine a couple. First let me take you to something that I know is on our minds. It's what we're looking at today and it is the breakdown in law and order in our country.
Recent months in America have shown large cracks opening up in our society, Protests over racial issues has led to riots against the basic order of several cities in the land. Some of the great cities, Minneapolis, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Portland, Oregon. As I'm speaking here, more than two months of siege has nearly destroyed sections of downtown Portland, Oregon. Organized assaults have been mounted against police. Federal authorities and property have been exposed by groups of anarchists whose stated goals are nothing short of overthrowing the existing power structures of the country. And while not every city in America has experienced such scenes as this, it's the exposure of large pockets of support and agreement with rioters that tells us there's deeper problems in America and we should understand that. American cities have had riots and protests before. These matters come and go. Yes I know that. But this time, something's different. And you know that. You sense it. Something bigger is going on. And the affected cities, we've seen Mayors and other elected officials openly support and allow riots to continue, and withhold police action to stop and arrest people who have destroyed property and are openly attacking police, police precincts, and citizens. They have resisted calls from federal law officials to end the unrest and they've openly defied federal authority. More alarming as I've watched this and so have you has been the approach of elected lawmakers in Washington, D.C. in the Capitol. People who have been openly denying these are problems and actually working to resist, support for the government to intervene and to restore order.
All of this while people have been injured and died, and it's created a chilling moment. You've experienced it and so have I as I've watched this. There's another difference you should note. Media outlets have been complicit in covering up the root cause. In some cases they have shown open support, information, and reporting, very important part of our modern world, it's been withheld or distorted or frankly just lied about and it leaves us misinformed. When the public is misinformed in a functioning modern society we have a problem. It's a vital part of a functioning modern world. Now I have lived long enough to have seen the riots and the unrest of more than 50 years ago in the United States of America. I have younger staff members here on the Beyond Today's staff in our set who've come to me as they have watched this and they've asked me to compare. They say, "Is it worse than 1968?" And I say, "Yeah, it is worse." Why do I say that? Because of what I just showed you. The centers of power have directly supported civil unrest and worked against efforts to maintain law and order. Frankly it reminds me of what I read in the book of Isaiah 1 beginning in verse 4 where we see a description of ancient Israel that is a mirror image today. It says, "Alas, sinful nation, people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corrupters, they have forsaken the Lord. They have provoked the Holy One to anger. They have turned away backward. "Why should you be stricken?" God says to the nation." You might be asking that of our nation today.
"You will revolt more and more, and God's judgment is the whole head is sick and the whole heart faints, from the sole of the foot, even to the head. There's no soundness in it but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores. They have not been closed or bound up or soothed with ointment." It's a powerful prophecy out of the pages of Isaiah describing today. The foundations of America and other nations are being undermined by today's events and new foundations of a different kind of world are being poured. It's not a time to wish for the good old days and a return to normal, whatever that might have been. We're not going back to that.
And that leads to point two. It's the second prophetic foundation, a new global order. You know we've lived through the COVID-19 pandemic, a jolt to the nations in many ways, biggest being economic through shutdowns, reordering and realignment of internal economies, and it's shaken the confidence of many, political changes as well. We've seen China's rise as a global power. And we continue to see turmoil in the Middle East. We've watched in Europe, being pushed toward a more fully integrated state there as a result of this. But you know something? This pandemic that we've lived through, it's really a dress rehearsal for bigger events. We've said here on "Beyond Today" that this is not the pandemic of prophecy that we see in Revelation. It's just a dress rehearsal. But the world has entered a time of crisis. We're all as fluid and we will see a new alignment of power and trade that will lead to the emergence of what the Bible calls Babylon. I want to read another Scripture to you out of Revelation 17 that is another dramatic image, flows on out of the book of Daniel but it's in Revelation 17 where John saw “a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and 10 horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand, a golden cup, full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. And on her head, a name was written, Mystery Babylon the great, the Mother of Harlots, and of the abominations of the earth. I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement."
John marveled and the world will marvel at this power that is to come, a scene that connects to what we saw earlier in our program when we talked about Babylon. This is called Babylon Mystery. A world system is described here in the Bible, in this image, as a power that works against the purpose and plan of God. A combination of political, religious, and economic power that works against God's grace and the kingdom of God. The scene from Revelation shows the modern revival of an ancient system, a power so unlike anything in history, that the world marvels. It looks to this as its Savior. This system, the one power that can promise order, peace, and safety. It's a modern Babylon even more sophisticated, powerful, and wealthy than what we see right now. God says to His people in Revelation 18:4, "Come out of her, my people. Come out of this Babylon, lest you be partakers of her sins." The problems of modern nations, including America, Canada, Australia are because we have built a modern Babylon based on false religion, inherited from the ancient Babylon, and a reliance on economic models that are actually passed down from Babylon. We have created a modern world that works. But it doesn't work. We have created pagan forms of Christianity and we call it godly. We're really good at that. We're good at false religion and calling that false religion good, something that is pleasing to God when it's not. God is not pleased.
And so we're seeing the foundations of this final appearance of Babylon being prepared now in the events of our time. The point is this. You can't wait for this final appearance to take place. You have an opportunity to act now. The question is, will you come out of this Babylon or will you be taken in by its sins and suffer what the Bible says will be its doom? That's the question. And that's the opportunity that you have, which is why our free study aid that we're offering, "The Final Superpower," can help you prepare for the emergence of this coming power. This will help you out of the Bible to understand Bible prophecy, the prophecies about ancient Babylon and other powers, and all the revivals, down to our modern world, and help you to understand and know it so that you can come out, and not be partakers of its sins. And frankly by doing so you'll rise to the challenge of our time. You'll be like a Daniel, having understanding of what that power is, and it will be. So call the number on your screen, visit our website at beyondtoday.tv, "The Final Superpower." This is going to be an informative booklet that will help open up the pages of the Bible and Bible prophecy for you.
So let me ask you again. Do we have what it takes to rise to challenges today? Do we have the ability to stand in the face of strong prevailing winds of change, cultural shifts that are taking place, all which threaten to undermine our culture and our civilization in the world that you know? The handwriting is on the wall for our people. Not everyone sees it but you can understand it. You see for us today life's pretty good.
Most of us that live in our comfortable societies, we have a very high standard of living. The poorest, even among us, live like kings compared to people in other parts of the world. We have it very good. And actually we've come through the pandemic and the economic times fairly intact at this point. But we do see problems erupting in the major cities of America. We see all these problems that I've talked about, that reflect deep-seated anger and spiritual deception. Sometimes we still see natural disasters like fires that rage out of control. We see the threat of disease, pandemic, and we still see famine in parts of the world. There's a reason for this. We've cut ourselves off from God. We have not wanted to keep God and His laws in the center of public life for so many decades. And it's been a steady erosion of biblical values and teachings for more than 50 years for all of my adult life and yours too. And we have erected a defiant tower of idolatry that says, "We will not be ruled by this God. We will become gods to ourselves." In America we’ve sown more than five decades of rebellion and today we're reaping the whirlwind of death and confusion. And we grope blindly trying to see our way forward, not knowing that we're poor, blind, miserable, and naked. And we wait and we wonder and we want to know what the future holds ahead of us. I wonder, and I have to share this with you, just where God might be in this evaluation of our world and life among the nations today. Sometimes I stop and I wonder, and think, "God must be standing, looking, and judging, and looking at the state of affairs, pausing in thought and wondering when to act to put a stop to this."
I don't know when that might occur but I do know that you and I, we must come to a place in the time in our lives when we must act and take ourselves away from this generation, turn toward God and change our ways, and understand the handwriting on the wall. So are we big enough for that challenge? The challenge is to turn away from this world and begin to live by the teachings of the world to come, the Kingdom of God. That in itself determines whether we can face the challenges with the only power that makes a real difference. And that power is God's Spirit. It's not your wisdom, mind or anybody's intellect. It's God's Spirit and the teaching of the Kingdom of God that will come to this earth. The booklet we're offering, one more time, I'd like to make it available to you, "The Final Superpower." This will take you through a detailed study of Bible prophecy to help you prepare to read the handwriting on the wall. Call the number on your screen, visit our website at beyondtoday.tv for your free copy. The time is now to take action. The time is now to see the handwriting on the wall and rise to a higher calling and a higher way of life. The time is now to seek the God of heaven and live. Read that handwriting and move to change.
[Narrator] Call now to receive the free book offered on today's program, "The Final Superpower." Incredibly, in the book of Daniel God revealed the shape of history all the way up through our present day. These great prophecies are the key to understanding future events. Our free study aid, "The Final Superpower," makes plain the prophecies that Daniel and how they fit with the book of Revelation. Order now, call toll free, 1-888-886-8632 or write to the address shown on your screen. Learn the truth from your Bible about the coming final superpower. When you order this free study aid, we'll also send you a complimentary one-year subscription to "Beyond Today" magazine. "Beyond Today" magazine brings you understanding of today's world and hope to the future. Six times a year, you'll read about current world events in the light of Bible prophecy, as well as practical knowledge to improve your marriage and family. Call today to receive your free booklet, "The Final Superpower," and your free one-year subscription to "Beyond Today" magazine, 1-888-886-8632 or go online to beyondtoday.tv.