And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. Revelation 16:12-16.

The Sixth Vial

Part II
by Brother Emerson A. Wilson

 

 

Present Enjoyment Versus Eternal Destruction
Let's consider the handwriting. The handwriting appeared in the king's palace. Belshazzar lived in a king's palace. Guards may have been posted every two feet apart, with the ability to shut out human intruders, but NOBODY can shut out the divine message and the divine messenger. Now you can just mark it down: if a ministry will be true and go to work with a real old-fashioned burden, God will get the message through to every honest heart. There will be some way or circumstance where the honest hearts who need to see the handwriting of God will be exposed to it.

The same God who looked down in displeasure on Belshazzar is looking down on you and me. The handwriting appeared at a time (season) of pleasure. The intoxication of pleasure may blind you to judgment for a while, but it cannot stay the hand of judgment. God WILL get through to you. We're living in a world today that is pleasure mad and drunk on pleasure just as much as Belshazzar was drunk on wine. We have people who are trying to be Christians who are drunk on pleasure. Brothers and Sisters, when the handwriting appears, the fun is all over, just as it was for ole' Belshazzar.

If we could only realize it, it's very foolish for us to rest our security on our experience of present enjoyment. Too many hold the attitude, "Don't bother me preacher, I'm enjoying myself." Yet they are blinded to the fact that judgment may come on them today. God may see fit to let a gas leak cut loose in your house and blow you to smithereens before morning. God may see fit to let a jet lose its power and crash into your house. These things have happened to others, and they can happen to you and/or me. We can become so enveloped in the pleasure we're enjoying that we don't think that judgment could be possible.

Tragedy is never planned. Let's get back to some real solid thinking for a little bit. Don't you think God would have a man prepared for that if he knew it was going to happen? He would if He could get through to him, but man's mind is so taken up, cluttered, and self-satisfied that he is busy enjoying life the way it is.

I say again, it's foolish to rest our security on our experience of present enjoyment. The moment of greatest pleasure may bring us to the brink of deepest ruin. The same hour that Belshazzar reached the height of his pleasure, the same hour he reached the depth of his ruin and went straight to hell. Will he pay for that pleasure. He has been paying for several hundred years, and hasn't taken off a year.

God wants us to see something: these three unclean spirits like frogs, the spirit of the beast, of the false prophet, and of the dragon, have gone out into the whole world. These spirits have been out there for quite a number of years. What are they doing? They will do to us what they have been doing to Babylon, what they did to Belshazzar. If we allow them, they will get us so wrapped up in our living in the present, that we never give a thought that our foundation might be undermined this very night.

In the midst of sinful revelry, drunkenness, profanity, where people were turned to lasciviousness and rioting in a feast, judgment came. Friends, it is a foolish thought that the devil throws to you, that you will have time to pray, time to "get right". It is not so in this lesson and it is not so enough for you to "bank on it".

Consider Belshazzar again: his end came with the handwriting of God. The final judgments of God appeared to him under the circumstance of gross negligence. While the king was busy in sinful revelry, the enemy was at the gate: destruction was at the door.

These things happened unto them for our example so that we might learn. Learn what? Don't get so carried away in your daily living that you fail to keep in mind that death may be at your door tonight.

Ignored Examples
When Belshazzar called Daniel in, he only wanted him to interpret the meaning of "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin". But God's man had more than that to say. Daniel began by reminding Belshazzar of Nebuchadnezzar, how his heart was lifted up in the same way, and how God had sent him out to live as an animal for seven years. Then in Daniel 5:22 he said, And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this.

How much do you know today? How many times have you seen God make an example of somebody? How many times have you read through the Word of God about what God did to people who inflated themselves? God is a just God. In the case of Belshazzar, just like He always operates, He wasn't bringing judgment on someone who did NOT know! Belshazzar knew! He knew how he OUGHT to live, how he OUGHT to do things. He knew how God felt about such as attitude as the one he had. Too many people today are living without excuse: they know exactly how and what they OUGHT to be doing, but they don't do it! They know better than to live the way they are, but they still go on, living Godless lives.

Belshazzar did not humble himself, even though he knew he should. Daniel told him, But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven…the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified. Daniel 5:23. This is exactly what Babylon is STILL doing: lifting herself up against the Lord of Heaven. When you put the preacher's words right against God's Word, they turn down the Word of God and follow the preacher and what he says for them to do! Verse 23 tells us, …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.

Daniel then told Belshazzar about the handwriting: And this is the writing that was written, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. This is the interpretation of the thing: 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. Daniel 5:25-28.

There in verse 22 we see infidelity, or unbelief against past revelations. Every movement has fallen, and infidelity against past revelations of truth from God's Word was their downfall. Verse 23 shows how we substitute shadow for reality. Instead of the true God, we have images of all kinds. Back then, it was images of gold, hay, wood, stone… Today, it is the many different images that man has built: images to the beast, to human organizations, and to the humanist doctrines preached.

In the latter part of verse 23, you can see Belshazzar's failure in mankind's prime duty. What is our prime duty? To glorify God. You glorify God when you TURN FROM sin. Romans 3:23 says, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. As long as there is sin in your life, you cannot glorify God. You glorify God by TURNING FROM sin. You honor God by obeying His commandments, day by day, just as you honor your mother and dad when you obey them. Belshazzar had failed in the express purpose for his being created: to glorify God. My friends, a revelation of judgment follows all the misuse of talents and opportunities of life. The handwriting on the wall was a message to him straight from God, a revelation of judgment that follows all misuse of talents and opportunities of life.

Friends, when you go along after pleasure and get tied up in everything but glorifying God, you are wasting time that can never be redeemed. Somewhere down the line, you are going to have to answer to God and give answer for your deportment, your time, your words, your talent and your efforts. This is why God put such a judgment on Belshazzar: he knew better. He could have done better. God could have found him worshipping God, putting in his time serving God, helping the people to serve God. Here is a sentence that awaits anyone who neglects and abuses his (or her) mission to the world. Our mission, if we are The Church, is to reach a lost and dying world.

Life Has Its Limits
The first part of the summons, Mene, meant that God had numbered Belshazzar's kingdom and finished it. Not only was the king to be killed that night, but that was the end of [literal] Babylon as an empire. It would become a divided kingdom between the Medes and Persians. Just as the days of [literal] Babylon were numbered, so were the days of its king numbered, too. The end had come, and the nation itself was called to give an account of its stewardship.

Friends, yours and my life have their limits. The Bible teaches this truth over and over and over. Moses prayed, So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalm 90:12. Why? God has set our bounds, and we can't go beyond them. What was the first message to Belshazzar that night? Numbered. He had thought he was going to live just like he wanted to for as long as he wanted to; he was just getting things "set up" the way he wanted where he could really enjoy his position, but death was on his trail. God gives us all sufficient time and opportunity for the work He requires of us. He is a just God: He doesn't require any more of us than our faculties are capable of. He is just. Since this is TRUE, we have no reason to murmur at the shortness of life, or to try to use the excuse that life is too short for neglecting our proper duty.

Friends, there is a limit to our opportunities. You know what the cry is today: "Well, don't get in a hurry. There is plenty of time." Is there? Can you show me scripture and verse in the Word of God where we are told there is "plenty of time"? That is the spirit of the age and it is coming out of the mouth of the dragon. He doesn't want you to have any zeal or punctuality. Many people feel they have "plenty of time", but the truth of the matter is, our time on this earth is very short. Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:13,14.

Yes sir, we cannot postpone the work of today without interfering with the work of tomorrow. If you put off until tomorrow what could be accomplished today, you have interfered with tomorrow's work. You won't get done tomorrow what tomorrow held for you to do. Jesus said in John 9:4, I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

We know that "night" did come: there were 1,260 years of it when Christians could NOT work. They just stayed in the dens and the caves to hold the seed for The Church. Now we are over here in the end of the Gospel Day. Prophetically, day is running out and evening has been going on for over 100 years. The night cometh. That eighth beast is forming, and when they complertely surround the camp of the saints, your work is finished.

It's already working, and they are already surrounding the camp of the saints. That beast has formed and is forming. They are going to cut us off. The time is coming when we will not be able to speak as freely as I am against conditions. When that time comes, God is going to send fire down from Heaven, and that will be the end. God is not going to leave us here when we are not able to work. But we had better work now as never before.

We Have A Course To Finish
It is VERY foolish to not consider what our position will be at the end of our days. Who of us will be able to say, when God is ready to lift the spirit out of the body, "It is finished"? There are those who will contend, "That was Jesus." Paul said the same thing before he lay down his head, and Peter could say the same. You and I, too, have to finish our course. I don't know what your course is, but you have one, and it has to be finished. Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1,2. Paul said in Acts 20:24, But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. Paul also said, in II Timothy 4:6-8, For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness…

Let me remind you, there will be no work done in eternity. If you put off until tomorrow what you should have done today, you will not only have wasted today, but tomorrow's will not get finished, either. I want you to understand one thing: the devil's main aim is to get us to just "wait ONE more day", just one more day. "Not today: tomorrow." Then on the morrow, it is still, "Not today: tomorrow."

Did you know, God did NOT save you for you to sit around and wait for Jesus to come? There is a course for each and every one of us to follow; we must be able to stand before God and say, "I've finished my course." God has given us time, faculty, and everything we need to do everything He would have us do, so we can stand, without excuse before His very presence. If we are not diligent, that old spirit of "putting things off" (procrastination) will get hold of us. It will make you feel there is plenty of time to do the things of God. Not a one of us has a promise of tomorrow, did you realize that? ALL of our tomorrows are at the discretion of God. Saints, if we are to ever have the reassurance of a crown of righteousness, we MUST say, "I've finished my course."

Some people's courses may be shorter than others, and the requirements on some are greater than on others. We stand as individuals before a just God. Gifts are passed out according to our individual ability. Luke 12:48 tells us, …For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required… My friends, whatever course God has laid out for us, whatever faculties He has given us to work with, whatever direction He has sent us in, we must be able to say, "I have finished it."

The next thing Daniel revealed, after what must have shocked King Belshazzar ("Thy kingdom is numbered…"), was the king's abuse of opportunity. Just as it did with him, the abuse of opportunity will lead to the loss of it. The king and the people would have been given a longer life if they had lived better. Remember, King Belshazzar KNEW what had happened to King Nebuchadnezzar, and he knew why, but he disregarded the meaning of the lesson. So what brought God's judgment on him? His debauchery, his trying to drag the things of God down into the corruption of the world. This is still what Babylon, the Babylon (false religion) of today is guilty of. Had Belshazzar not turned to that debauchery, had he not stirred God to the place of judgment, they could have lived longer. This is the same thing that is causing the hand of God's judgment to come down on people yet today.

The first word of God's judgment against Belshazzar meant "numbered". The second word, Tekel, meant that he had been weighed in God's balance and found wanting (lacking). What does this have to do with Babylon? In Revelation 6:5, we see the black horse, and he that sat on him had the balances in his hand. In other words, putting the Word of God out at starvation rate, and at the same time, giving people a false weight of their true condition.

The balance of God's Word says, …the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Ezekiel 18:4. The true balance says that you cannot be a servant of God and a servant of sin, but the rider on this black horse, with the balances in his hand, weighs people and gives them a false weight. This spirit tells people, "Everybody does it. Everybody else is sinning, too. I sin and you sin. Don't worry about it." Following that black horse was the gray horse, and death and hell followed. What follows apostasy? What follows letting up on God's Word? What follows seeking a false weight in your experience? Death and hell. It will follow it every time.

Weighed According To Knowledge
So the second word was Tekel, meaning "weighed". Proverbs 16:2 says, All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits. He doesn't weigh us according to profession, whether we join the church or not, or whether we've been baptized. He weighs the spirit first of all. You MUST be BORN AGAIN. There is NO chance of anybody even getting on the way to Heaven (much less getting into Heaven) without them being born again. That is the starting place. You must be born of God's Spirit to have any weight with God at all.

"Well," someone might say, "I've been born again. I'll make it all right." I Samuel 2:3 tells us, Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. He weighs the spirit, and He weighs our actions. How does He weigh them? According to knowledge. Belshazzar KNEW better. That is why he came up short when he was weighed. If he had not known better, God would not have put that judgment on him. Brothers and Sisters, when we step into God's balances, He puts our knowledge of truth on one side of the balance and we stand on the other. By our action, we had better balance off to what knowledge of truth we have, or we will be found wanting and end up in hell.

Let's now read Micah 6:9 and 10. The Lord's voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it. Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is abominable? What is "the rod"? The Word of God.

After God's voice has cried out, after people know what they ought to do, even yet there is still scant measure. People sitting right under truth, where the Word of God is given, should be up to full measure, but they have only scant measure. They are behind on measuring to the message of truth.

That scant measure, or that standard which isn't according to God's Word, is an abominable thing unto God. When Babylon took the balance, the Word of God was in their hand. What happened? It was no time until they were not putting out any Word of God. They were measuring people by the teachings of the church instead of the Word of God.

Let's consider verse 11, there. Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights? Back then when they used the scale, they carried the weights in a bag tied to them. When they weighed something out, they put the weights on them. Well, they had deceitful weights.

In other words, these filthy dreamers (Jude 8) dream they will be clean by the sacrifices of God, in spite of their daily sin. This is what is going on in Babylon. It has no reality; it's a dream. What do they dream? "Well, because I went down yesterday, ate a wafer, drank some grape juice, even though I've smoked and cursed today, I'll be pure because of what I partook in at Babylon's table." People who are still living in wickedness think they are going to be pure because they went through some kind of ritual of false religion. Brothers and Sisters, there is NOTHING which can make you pure EXCEPT the blood of Jesus Christ!

The deceitful weights are just a picture of the kind of weight that is used in the balance to give the untrue weight of judgment of the individual life. This is why many people who have attended religious organizations think we are terrible when we set up the plain old Word of God and start weighing people for what they are. It is so far different from what they have been told they are in Babylon.

That happens right around the church. People have one weight they put in the balance when they are going to weigh themselves, and another they use for others. In any case, we must use the same measure on someone else that we use on ourselves. God hates deceitful weights. It is a practice of spiritual Babylon, and it doesn't belong around the Church of God.

Not only was Belshazzar weighed, but he was found wanting. If you come up short according to God's standard, you are found wanting. My friends, there are many lacks in Babylon today. She is found wanting for truth, she is found wanting for light. That is why there is a cloudy condition, and much of that cloudiness in Babylon has turned to darkness by now. It used to be cloudy, a mixture of truth and error, but it has moved to a place of error, or darkness. As darkness is the absence of light, even so evil is the absence of good.

"Thy Soul Shall Be Required Of Thee"
In Romans 12:21, Paul said, Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Only one thing will overcome evil: good. It is very plain. We can only keep out sin by being filled with holiness. Be filled with holiness, or the Spirit of God, and you can keep out sin. The true judgments of God's Word will dry up Euphrates, take away Babylon's security, and take away the means by which she holds God's people in bondage. It will dry up the many lies of the devil which have you bound in sin as an individual, and the kings of the east (knowledge and understanding), will come to you and make a way for you to get out of sin.

You will be without excuse if you stay in bondage. When Cyrus dried up Euphrates, he gave the command that all the Jews could go back to Jerusalem and build the temple, but many of them didn't go. Why? The knowledge and understanding came, the way of access was opened up, but many of them didn't go. Why? Because they had gotten established in Babylon. They had found a "comfort zone" they did not want to leave. Because of it, they were lost and died in Babylon.

The same thing is true with sin today. When the Word of God comes, the devil will tell you many lies. He gives you many reasons why you can't get saved, but the truth will dry up that river. Knowledge and understanding will come,m and when the way is opened up, if you die in that condition, you will be without excuse before the judgment bar of God.

It is very likely that Belshazzar heard no rumor or word of alarm while he was carrying on and drinking, have his good time, until the handwriting appeared. No thought even came to his mind that there was anything to be alarmed about. Everything was secure. No one could get across Euphrates (or so he thought). But right while he felt so secure, Euphrates was being drained, and the enemy would soon be ready to come in. When you think about Belshazzar, you're thinking about a man who never woke up to die. The message that Daniel gave him did no good because he was not in control of his faculties. He had drowned them in the wine cup.

We read in Revelation 17:2, …the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication (filthiness). My friends, the only hope of some people in Babylon ever ever seeing their true condition and getting out is for them to reach a point of soberness. They are not going to reach that point, however, if they keep going back to Babylon and drinking more wine. History says that Belshazzar stumbled from the hall to his bed, a soldier crawled through the window and ran a sword through his body, and he went straight to hell.

What is the message? "Behold, I come as a thief." He came as a thief on Belshazzar, at a most unguarded time. He was not even thinking about judgment. He was "under the influence", his senses numbed, his faculties unable to operate correctly. He reached his appointed time to leave this world in that terribly hopeless state.

Friends, I just want to say this: it's time to sober up! Whether you are drunk on Babylon's wine, on the pleasures of this world, or with the spirit of the age, It's time to sober up. It is time to get sober to the place that we can bring our faculties together and do some serious thinking. Everything may seem all right just as it is now, but will it be all right if God chooses this night to require your soul?

The rich man was so taken up in riches that all he could think about when he sat down in his easy chair, was more barns, more fields, more money. It never entered his mind that he was going to die that night. God's Spirit said, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee… Luke 12:20.

What did Jesus teach His disciples? Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. Luke 12:40. When it is going to be so much like a thief, at such an unguarded time, that even God's people who are thinking about spiritual things won't be thinking about His coming, what kind of shape will the world be in? What chance is there for the world? Their only chance is for you and me to sound the alarm. It is time for the handwriting to appear. It is time for people of God with a burden to not only read and explain the handwriting, but to bear God's message to lost and dying souls while there is still opportunity.

I Thank God for truth that will dry up Euphrates. It will dry it up and bring knowledge and understanding. It will make a clear way for every person to get out of whatever bondage he (or she) is in. When knowledge and understanding come and the way is opened up, and we refuse to go, we will be lost without excuse.


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