Rexella: Well now Daniel is going to remind Belshazzar of something that happened to his grandfather. "o thou King, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a Kingdom and majesty, and glory, and honour: and for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him:..." Why? "whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his Kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: and he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the Kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. And thou his son, o Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; but hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives and they concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the Gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:..." Here he was drinking to a God that couldn't even see him Jack.
Dr. Van Impe: And that's what idolatry is all about. David the psalmist said in chapter 115, verses 4 to 8, the idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have eyes, but they see not, ears have they, but they hear not. They have noses, but they smell not; mouths have they, but they speak not. They have hands, but they handle not, feet have they, but they walk not, neither speak they through their throats. They that make them are like unto them. So is everyone that trusteth in them. He says look, it is just a piece of wood covered with some kind of metal. You made it with your own hands, it can't see, hear, talk, move, nothing, but you worship it. Isn't that strange that men do things like this breaking the second commandment of God in Exodus 20, verses 3 to 5
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.and that was the principle upon which all these young Hebrew men suffered because they wouldn't break that commandment. And he says, don't you ever learn. Your grandfather paid such a terrible price. He ended up eating grass like an animal. He had Boanthropy and now after knowing this story you've ignored it and you took the vessels from God's house and made a mockery of the utensils that picture redemption. You will pay the price, God shall bring every work into judgment, Ecclesiastes 12:14,
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.including your's.
Rexella: All right. Now this is what was written on the wall by that hand. "Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written. And this is the writing that was written, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. This is the interpretation of the thing: Mene Mene; God hath numbered thy Kingdom, and finished it. Tekel; thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. Peres; thy Kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians." Now I知 sure you noticed something if you were following along with your Bible. There is a change in the word from Upharsin, to Peres. I had to get it there for a second Jack. Upharsin and Peres. They are changed. Why the change?
Dr. Van Impe: Well Rexella, imagine the King sitting there with all of his guests making merry, the music is going, he's there with his mistresses, his concubines, it's a sexual orgy, they are using the vessels of God and a disembodied hand appears and writes on the wall, Mene, Mene, Tekel Upharsin. Then the prophet explains what God was trying to say in Aramaic. Mene, Mene, your days are numbered. Now the spirit of God showed me this. The reason for two Mene's when the rest of the words just are singular is because the Medes and Persians were even now waiting to move into the city. So a Mene for each one, Medes and Persians, as they were gathering for the attack by two nations upon his Kingdom, so his days were numbered because it would happen any moment. Tekel, you are weighed in the balances, and that's the old word for scales. You are weighed in God's scales and are found wanting, you're lacking. Your morals, your everything. And Upharsin, your Kingdom shall be divided.
Now God uses irony. Later he comes up with the word Peres. And this is interesting. If you just move the vowels of Peres it becomes Persia. He said not only is your Kingdom divided, but I値l tell you one of the nations right now, Persia, Peres. What was happening, Rexella, while they were sitting there drinking and this reminds me of Pearl Harbor. Our sailors got drunk that night. In fact the Japanese bartenders loaded them, polluted them with liquor as they were preparing to attack. They weren't ready. These Babylonians weren't ready. You see, Babylon was built upon the Euphrates River with a huge wall like a fort surrounding it, nobody could get over it and motes loaded with water so they would have to swim first to get there. So we are safe; nobody can touch us. But, when it's God's time, beware. The Medes and Persians under Darius and Cyrus got an idea. Let's block off the Euphrates River flow and then we'll dig under the wall and march in. They did it and took over and in that night, that very night, where the warning appeared on the wall Belshazzar died, verse 30.
5:30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.Don't fool with God.
Rexella: Oh, let's go on, verse 29, "then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet,..." He didn't want the reward, but he insisted that he have it. "...and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the Kingdom. In that night was Belshazzar the King of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the median took the Kingdom, being about threescore and two years old." Or 62 years old. Well as Jack said, it was swift judgment for him. Wasn't it Jack. My, my.
Dr. Van Impe: And when any of us fool around with sin too long judgment comes. Proverbs 29:1,
29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.he that being oft reproved, often warned, hardeneth his neck, hardeneth his heart, I won't listen. Shall suddenly be destroyed and that without remedy; without hope. Remember Pearl Harbor, remember Belshazzar.
Rexella: Chapter 6 and we will give this a title also, the hungry lion's den. I was telling someone the other day that we were going to be doing the book of Daniel and he said oh is that where Daniel was put in the lion's den? Everyone seems to know about this and that's where it's found now, in chapter 6. Verse 1, "it pleased Darius to set over the Kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole Kingdom; and over these three Presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the King should have no damage. Then this Daniel was preferred above the Presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the King thought to set him over the whole realm." Now, maybe we could call Daniel the Billy Graham of that era of time Jack. He was with Presidents and with Kings and he gave a positive testimony for God.
Dr. Van Impe: Well he was with six administrations and I think Graham has been leading the invocations for the inaugurals for about six Presidents. Very interesting point there Rexella. Right away, because the Medes and Persians had captured Babylon, they executed 3,000 political prisoners, all of their princes and Presidents and you know right at the last moment of his life, Belshazzar makes Daniel, called Belteshazzar at that point, the third in command. Now that again proves the Bible is true. Because Nebunitus was number one but he's away on a military journey. His son, number two, Belshazzar, is in control and he makes Daniel the third in command again proves that Belshazzar existed. But imagine when the Medes and Persians take over and they find out that he's the third in command. Surely he would be put to death. No, God sets up the ones he wants elevated, and debases the others. And he had a plan for Daniel's life and now even the new Kings, Darius and Cyrus, like him and they make him a President in their Kingdom. It's marvelous.
Rexella: Marvelous. "Then the Presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the Kingdom;" now here we have some more treachery. And you know our friends, I wish that the only thing they could see against me is what they found in Daniel. You'll see what it is. "but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, we shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God." The only thing they could find wrong with him was that he served God. That's simply tremendous.
Dr. Van Impe: Wouldn't that be wonderful if everyone of us who named the name of Christ lived such exemplary lives, obeyed the book, which says be ye holy for I am holy, I Peter 1;16, and we did it to such an extent that the world could say there's nothing wrong with that man. Now they said it about Daniel and Joseph. You can't find one thing against them in this book from cover to cover. That can only happen when a man lives on his knees. That's why Jesus said in Luke 18:1, men ought always to pray and not to faint, become weary. And I just love this story Rexella because of Daniel's elevation because of his ministry for the Lord and one day we have to stand before the Lord and like he was chosen the President, I trust that God will give these two humble servants some kind of reward. It isn't going to be wonderful for everyone. Christians are going to be there but some will not have an abundant entrance, II Peter 1:11.
1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.They'll make it by the skin of their teeth and be saved as by fire, I Corinthians 3:15.
3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.Multitudes will stand there ashamed, I John 2:28,
2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.having no gifts, rewards, crowns presented to them to lay at Jesus feet in Revelation 4, verses 10 and 11.
4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,Rexella: The greatest reward of all.
4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Dr. Van Impe: Daniel was a man honored because of his Godly life. That's what all of us need.
Rexella: Yes. The greatest reward of all though Jack I think will be not even the crowns although we want to lay them at Jesus' feet, will just be to hear Jesus say, well done, good and faithful servant. Wouldn't that be marvelous.
Dr. Van Impe: Amen.
Rexella: All right, verse 6, "then these Presidents and princes assembled together to the King, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever." They really buttered him up. "all the Presidents of the Kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, o King, he shall be cast into the den of lions." You see how trickery, what trickery they were using? "Now, o King, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Wherefore King Darius signed the writing and the decree." Once he signed that it could not be changed according to the law of the Medes and Persians Jack.
Dr. Van Impe: There were 120 princes, and 3 Presidents. That means that 122 of the servants in government, under the Medes and Persians, turned against this Daniel. 122 against one and you know what caused it all? That little rotten, vile, dirty sin called jealousy. Well some of you say I don't go out an get drunk, I don't commit adultery, I don't steal, I致e never murdered a man. But you're full of envy and jealousy and you know that sin will take you away from God's heaven forever. Listen to this, Galatians 5:19 to 21,
5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,the works of the flesh are manifest which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, divisions, heresies, envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Seventeen sins and others like them and one of them is based on jealousy. And he adds of the which I have told you before as I tell you now again, that they which do such sin shall not, shall not, shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. Check your heart. Are you envious of someone else? You know a Christian doesn't try to keep up with the Jones and Smith's. He's got higher goals.
5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Rexella: Well you know, you might think that when Daniel learned about this he would put off asking something of God for about 30 days and then he wouldn't have to go into the den of the lions. Well that's not what he did. Listen to what he did. "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime." He wasn't impressed at all. He wasn't intimidated at all. What a mighty man he was Jack, of God.
Dr. Van Impe: And Rexella, he's about 85 years of age now and he goes home and it's the time for his evening prayer. He prayed three times a day and that was the custom of the Jews, Psalm 55:17, evening and at morning and at noon will I pray and cry aloud and he shall hear my voice. But he goes further. He opens the windows. I want everyone to see what I am doing, bows toward Jerusalem, not toward the headquarters of the Medes and the Persians, but toward Jerusalem and I wish we Christians weren't so ashamed. You know we sit in the restaurants and we won't pray for our food, we won't thank God. Daniel was different. And one day we'll pay for it, for Jesus said in Matthew 10:32, whosoever shall confess me before men him will I also confess before my Father which is heaven, but whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Christ added in Mark 8:38, whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the son of man be ashamed when he cometh in the glory of the Father with the holy angels. This book talks about the return of Messiah, the return of Christ and Jesus said when I come at that moment, if you've been ashamed of me, I値l be ashamed of you. It works two ways.
Rexella: A sobering thought. Verse 11, "Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. Then they came near, and spake before the King concerning the King's decree; hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, o King, shall be cast into the den of lions? The King answered and said, the thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Then answered they and said before the King, that Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, o King, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petitions three times a day." You know I think this is a beautiful verse, verse 14. "Then the King, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him:" he really loved Daniel, respected him. "and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him." He tried to think of all kinds of ways. He couldn't find sleep that night because he loved Daniel so he didn't want him to go into the den of the lions Jack.
Dr. Van Impe: No and the reason he didn't Rexella is because of love and we've got to keep two names straight again, Darius and Cyrus. Darius was the head of the Medes, Cyrus the head of the Persians, the two united and took over Babylon and this is Darius now of the Medes who loved Daniel, this 85 year old saint, probably just one of the sweetest men around and it really bothered him that his 120 princes and 2 other presidents had tricked him to come to this point where he had to put a man to death that meant so much to him. And he was willing to overlook his own decree and that's what love does, I Peter 4:8,
4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.love covers a multitude of sins. You know the person who doesn't like you can hardly wait to get out there and gossip. The person who loves you will try to cover for you because that's what love does. And the Bible says in I Corinthians chapter 13 verse 4,
13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,love suffereth long and is kind. Again, more of us as Christians need this kind of love.
Rexella: Verse 15, "Then these men assembled unto the King, and said unto the King, know, o King, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, that no decree nor statute which the King establisheth may be changed. Then the King commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the King spake and said unto Daniel,..." Oh this is a different attitude, oh I tell you, from the other Kings. "...thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee." Even the King had faith in God. Verse 17, "and a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the King sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. Then the King went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him." Oh how he loved Daniel and he knew that God was going to deliver Daniel Jack.
Dr. Van Impe: This is powerful Rexella. Why did they use a lion's den when the fiery furnace was still in existence? Because the Babylonians used the fiery furnace to execute people, but the Medes and Persians had a religion called Zoroastrianism and they worshipped the fire God Atar and for them to cast men into a fiery furnace would desecrate their teachings and be sacrilegious so they went to this idea of a den full of ravenous lions. And the picture of that is that a large square hole cavern was prepared in the ground about the size of a large home and in the middle of the cavern was a partition with doors. And they could, from above, lift the partition or manipulate the doors so that they would open and close. When they wanted to clean this den, they would jump down the one side because the lions were held back through the partition and locked door and vise versa. When they wanted to feed them they would throw the meat in one side, open the doors and let the lions go to it. They would drop their individuals into one side, open the doors and let the lions devour them and this now was going to happen to Daniel. But the old saint didn't fear and it's like Martin Luther said, my favorite verse is Psalm 46, verses 1 and 2,
46:1 <<To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.>> God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.God is our refuge and our strength a very present help in trouble, therefore will we not fear. And the psalmist said in chapter 23, verse 4, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me. Daniel knew all these verses.
46:2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Rexella: Yes I should say he did. Verse 19, "Then the King arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable or a pitiful voice unto Daniel: and the King spake and said to Daniel, o Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Then said Daniel unto the King, o King, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, o King have I done no hurt." Oh I know that that King must have really rejoiced Jack. He got up very early to see that he was all right.
Dr. Van Impe: He loved this old saint so much that the night before he refused to eat, spent the night in fasting, he wanted no music and it was the custom of the King when the music was played to bring in dancing girls and it would just be a night of revelries, said I don't want food, I want no music, I want no dancing girls, I want nothing. My heart is crushed because I love this man. And I致e sealed this thing with my signet and my ring and it's got to happen. Why did I do it? Because I must fulfill the law of the Medes and the Persians. I知 the King. My 120 princes and 2 other Presidents expect this of me. But I believe that Daniel's God will take care of him. And you know it's interesting that over in chapter 11 of Hebrews which is the great faith chapter, verse 33
11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,says, by faith the mouths of lions were stopped. So it happened to more people than Daniel as far as God's protective care is concerned, but there is something further there, even though they weren't hungry, they could have taken their claws and mauled him to death and there may have been 50 to 100 lions as we'll prove in a moment, but they sat there paralyzed. What power there is through faith in God.
Rexella: Why you know Jack, we were talking at home before we came to the studio that in the first century there were many Christians who were devoured by lions in Rome for their faith you know. That sort of troubles me just a little bit but only because of this. God allowed it for his glory somehow. He could have stopped all those lions with the Christians in the first century.
Dr. Van Impe: Well, that's what the three Hebrew children said about the fiery furnace as discussed earlier. They said if not, if God doesn't protect us it doesn't matter. We will be with the Lord. All we want is the will of God. They said we know that some of the Israelites passed through the Red Sea. Thousands of them safely, but we also know that some were slain by the sword, Hebrews 11:37.
11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;Rexella: Those Christians
Dr. Van Impe: All we want is the will of God and for suffering there is a special reward and a special crown.
Rexella: Right. I was just going to say that Jack.
Dr. Van Impe: Right. James 1:12 and Revelation 2:10.
1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.Rexella: Those Christians will have that special crown then won't they?
2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Dr. Van Impe: Yes, yes, yes.
Rexella: That's beautiful.
Dr. Van Impe: They can't lose with God.
Rexella: "Then was the King exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. And the King commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den." Before they actually were in there they were devouring them Jack but that's what sin does. They brought this on themselves didn't they?
Dr. Van Impe: They really did Rexella and I want you to get the picture because as I said there were 120 princes, 3 Presidents of which Daniel was one, 122 turned against him so now all 122 are going to be thrown into the lion's den and the law of the Medes and Persians said that when it happened to a leader his wife and children would be put to death with him so we are now talking about 122 times 4 if that were the size of the average family meaning that close to 500 people were thrown into that lion's den. So there must have been at least a hundred or maybe 200 lions waiting there ferociously to devour them and now they were so hungry and so wild that as they were dropping these people into the den the lions caught them in mid-air and killed them and broke their bones before they even reached bottom. They were dead before they got to the floor. Do you know what it all says? Be careful when you attack God's prophets, God's duly ordained ministers. Touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm, Psalm 105:15. Let's obey God.
Rexella: Verse 25 to the end of the chapter, "Then King Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth; peace be multiplied unto you. I will make a decree, that in every dominion of my Kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and steadfast for ever, and his Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions." He certainly knew who to give the glory to. "So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian." Well God blessed his servant Jack.
Dr. Van Impe: And I値l tell you Rexella that really blesses my heart. Old Zoroaster couldn't do the job, but Yahweh God could. And I don't know why Darius didn't immediately say I want to be converted, I want your God. He keeps you from being mauled to death and devoured by lions. Zoroaster can't do that but he didn't. Why? Because there comes a time in a man's life when only the Holy Spirit can do the job. No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him, John 6:44.
6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.And let me conclude by saying chapters 1 through 6 are the historical portion of Daniel though there are some prophecies therein. Now it's going to really get meaty because chapters 7 through 12 are the great prophecies about the antichrist, the future, what's going to happen to all of us just preceding the coming of Moshech, Messiah and in this chapter again we see as we did in chapter 3 that when the children were preserved through the fiery furnace and Daniel was preserved in the lion's den it's a picture of Israel, many of the remnant of the Jews being preserved through the tribulation as described in Jeremiah 30, verse 7; Daniel 12:1 and Matthew 24:22 as already quoted in these tapes.
30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.
12;1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.