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July 16, 2021 4:00 am
Sin brings destruction. Be a man or woman is a nation doom is inevitable in the world as it gets worse and worse.
The Bible promises that those who put their faith in Jesus Christ, associate Dir., delivered from the hour of tribulation saints will judge the United States competent politician, probably no one would say arrogance. After all, how could pride bring down a powerful nation. Well, I encourage you to find out today on grace to you as John MacArthur looks at how pride brought down ancient Babylon white could do the same to the United States or any nation and the destructive effect pride has on individuals. The title of today's message divine graffiti. It's part of John's current study called the rise and fall of world powers.
And with that, here's John MacArthur. We have the privilege of going to the fifth chapter of Daniel.
Daniel chapter 5 in our continuing study of this amazing prophet Daniel one of the great Hebrew prophets of old man whose record of the history of his time is without equal, and by the way, for many years critics attempted to discredit the prophecy of Daniel to say that it wasn't true that his history was ill formed and unfounded. Some of the characters that he referred to were just not real but false. Some of the interpretations he gave to the dreams and the visions were those of his own whims, but after years and years of criticism, archaeology in the last hundred years. The last 50 years and even later as uncovered evidence upon evidence, upon evidence that Daniel's prophecy is absolutely accurate and there have been no contradictions at all. Found.
In fact, from the Babylonian record at the time of Daniel. We have no less than 10,000 fragments to indicate to us the truthfulness of this tremendous prophecy is the word of God and therefore it is true and will become verified by history and that is in fact exactly what is happened.
So when you read Daniel chapter 5 you are reading an eyewitness account of the fall of the Babylonian empire by one who was a prime minister of that very empire itself and even though it was a prime minister in a pagan culture in a pagan society in a palace of Babylonian monarchs.
He never compromised his faith in the true God, and thus every time he appears on the scene we find them somehow unrelated to everybody else that's there. He always makes a grand entrance alone, never with the magicians and soothsayers and Chaldeans who come to give their human wisdom so is set apart as God's man in the record. He is given us his wonderfully true as we come to Daniel chapter 5.
These 31 amazing and marvelous insightful verses we see the end of an empire. We see the movement from the head of gold is the image in chapter 2 indicated to the breast and the arms of silver, which indicate the Medo Persians who followed the Babylonians.
This great transition takes place at the close of this, the fifth chapter now to pick up the story in chapter 5 we meet Bill Shatzer. This adopted son of Nevin -itis. The defect okay now who sits on the throne in Babylon and it says he made a great feast to a thousand of his lords and drank wine before the thousand he sat up on an elevated deal where kings would sit and he drank bells jazz her while he tasted the wine commanded to bring the gold and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem that the king and his princes, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. The Medes and the Persians literally surround the entire city of Babylon there everywhere, and depending on which historian you take. They had already been besieging the city of Babylon either two months. Some say three months.
Some say and four months.
One historian said so bells, jazz, or is in Babylon and all around them is the seeds from the Medes and the Persians who have exiled his adoptive father destroyed his army and are doing all they can to cut off the city of Babel. Now it's hard to conceive that the guy could be that stupid to get a drunken orgy going while the city is in rapt by the Medo Persians but Babylon was so formidable, you realize the city supposedly was Fifteen Mile Sq. according to Herodotus.
Herodotus says if the walls were 87 feet thick. That's sick folks and there were 100 massive bronze gates and they had no problem with water because the Euphrates River flowed right through the middle of the city. I want you to know what happened.
Herodotus, the historian tells us this Medes and the Persians outside the city in the night in which Bill Shatzer had his feast and by the way, the night is marked for all history. The 16th day of Tishri, 539 BC in October around the 11th and 12th of that year by our months. That night the Medes and the Persians build a dam on the Euphrates.
It flowed out of the wall of the city. They diverted all of that water coming into the Euphrates except a little shallow portion. They diverted to a swampland and when the water began to fall in the midst of the banquet.
It came down to be about to the knees of the waste of the soldiers marched underneath the wall on that shallow river bed went into the inside and the whole Medo Persian army descended on that city and one fell swoop. Babylon fell on the 16th day of Tishri in the year 539 BC and someday someday the Babylon of Revelation 17 and 18. The final world system of antichrist is going to fall in the Holocaust infinitely greater than this one, but between the Babylon of old and the Babylon of the future nations keep falling all along the history of man and they fall for the very same reasons that Babylon fell. I believe that all of the elements of rejecting God that I see in Babel and I see also in America and so as I draw a conclusion. I want to take you to the thoughts of the application. I just gonna run by how do we apply this today. What were the devastating sins of babbling. It cost her fault. I listed them for you and I want to show you how these are the things that I see in our own country and the doom is inevitable people. It is inevitable.
We have passed the point of no return as a nation.
First of all, verses 1 to 4. I see the sin of drunkenness. You see if there when he was drunk. It all really began to happen. Cyrus. It had all all except babbling in Babylon look to be unassailable. And so, in a drunken stupor of debauchery. They thought themselves impregnable.
Alcohol is destroyed many rulers.
It's destroying some in our own country drunkenness. We have millions of drunks in this country where a drunken nation. Secondly, pleasure madness. They were having a party. While the end of the world was a few hours away. They didn't understand how serious it will last pleasure mad crazy about entertainment wives and concubines and sex and dancing and drinking, and feeding themselves in here.
We are the same kind of a condition.
Sports and movies and TV shows and sex in restaurants and on and on. We spend billions of billions of my dad used to say it could be said of the society. Merrily we go to hell completely freaked on entertainment. The whole country is drowning in pleasure madness unwilling to face the reality that we are on the brink of doom. Thirdly, morality.
The worship of the Canaanite gods involve sexual perversion and sexual stimulation that I would not speak of archaeologists have discovered artifacts in the digs around Babylon that have engraved on them pornographic pictures from this era. They had their pornography, but I don't think it could be any worse than what we have in America were so sin sick and wretched. We've abandoned the vice and lust.
Fourthly, this society was destroyed because of its idolatry there worshiping all are man-made gods and blatantly rejecting the true God. There were thousands of deities that clutter their culture and we have the same thing.
We have zillions of false Christ, false Messiah is really just ponies, cults and occult gods of sex and money and things in pleasure and education. We have literally clouded God out of our whole country except for vestiges here and there of those who really know. Fifthly, blasphemy. This nation was destroyed because of blasphemy wasn't enough to reject a blaspheme God they mocked God you can't believe how fearful the thing that is I couldn't conceive of doing that.
We mock God with our empty prayers before congressional meetings and football games. We mock God with religious charlatans or uses holy name to get rich and fill the needs of their empty egos. Sixthly, I believe Americans characterize like Babel, and was of willful rejection. No nation I know of, and in the history of the church has had any greater opportunity to hear the gospel in this nation is not true was founded for Christian freedom. We have heard it but we don't care about it were not interested is a full rejection over verses 18 to 22 Daniel said to Belshazzar you know all the facts about how God revealed himself to Nebuchadnezzar. You know the whole story and you willingly sin against light humanoid to do good and with a nod to him as soon we got churches all over this country on every block and all the way down the streets of this country and every little town there are churches and they are empty and they are liberal and schools are pumping out people denying the word of God supposed to pastor those churches we are turning our backs, willfully rejecting the very thing we know to be true. No nation ever had greater opportunities in America and I'm fast believing that no nation ever turned its back on it either as severely as we have. We don't learn anything from history. How foolish seventh. Another problem that I see in this particular thing is unrelieved guilt this country. This Babylonian society was basically written with guilt, because sin brings guilt and you know what this the king saw the writing on the wall, and his countenance was change his thoughts were troubled in the joints of his loins were loose. Verse six and his knees smashed together. Why Matthew and I were here. All of a sudden we saw some writing on the wall, we might say hey the Lord is given a message, but that would only be because we know the Lord and we have a secure heart. But if we were a bunch of ungodly people in the midst of an orgy and supernatural finger started to write a message we react differently. The reason they reacted the way they did was because there guilt convicted them see we interpret everything that happens to us according to our consciences and conscience makes a coward of us all the enemy on the inside condemn them like Adam and Eve. As soon as they send, God came along and got said Adam. Adam. Normally Adam was set here I am Lord.
One of the conversation ran.
Why God didn't give away anything in his introduction, but he had it in his heart. Our nation is so guilt ridden. It's unbelievable were literally written with guilt. Never have there been so many psychiatrist, psychologist, counselors, mental illness, alcohol, drugs, misery, sorrow, suicide, it's all over the place because we are totally unrelieved and argue eight Americans characterized by greed and impure motives. That's what was part of the destruction of Babylon in verse seven he says I'll give you a golden I'll give you Scarlett now making the third ruler in the kingdom in verse 17 he says the Daniel boy, I'll give y'all a set verse 16. I'll give you all the stuff Dennis is I could care less what you know some that's how our entire system works thing about the whole American system is based upon greed, selfish motives, characterized by lack of honesty, no integrity all away from the house on your block to the White House so it goes by. People don't buy these verses .2. A system so corrupt the king said boy if I just give him enough gold in the fancy close and a high enough position.
Bill tell me what I want to know why because the whole operation was built on that approach.
People didn't speak the truth because it was right they said what they said when they got what they wanted for it.
That's the way the system works today in America corruption, greed, impure motives number nine materialism.
That's the parallel to that same versus power was acquainted with their close your gold decadence of living for prestige and riches. I don't think there's ever been a country in history the world to know the wealth of America for such a long period of time. Spread over so many people there are wealthier people in the Arab states, but the mass of people don't really experience that we are wealthy and decadent number 10. Another thing that struck me about this was their confidence in human security, their confidence in human security.
Did you notice that they were having this feast because they thought the city was impregnable.
What could happen to them and a lot of people have that fortress America concept.
Hey this is America, we can't lose will always when were impregnable but were not going to get conquered maybe so fast from the outside as we are from the inside. You know were corrupted on the inside were in the same kind of drunken debauchery. When the enemy is ready to take us. It will be easy. Probably not even with a fight. One historian says there wasn't even a spirit thrown that night in the fall of Babylon and Belshazzar was systematically execute, as were others, but there was no battle, just execution it will come just so fast while because they believe their own resources were enough. It's a form of humanism people. They forgot that it is the most high God who rules in the kingdom of men they lifted up themselves against the Lord of heaven. We live in a humanistic day. One man says I am the master of my fate I am the captain of my soul.
I'll decide what's right. I'll do what I choose to do and humanism has taken the place of God the ultimate stupidity is to think that we have the resources in ourselves we are swallowed godless atheistic humanism preoccupied with all of our rights instead of God.
Next, another thing that hit me in this passage is indicative of a dying society is corrupt leadership.
What were all these princes doing getting just as drunk as the king corrupt leadership and all the soothsayers in the Chaldeans and the magicians had actually no help. They couldn't give many answers the whole bunch of Moore's drunken, immoral, and as inept as everybody else whole thing pictures leaders who are godless practical atheists, humanists, who at the end of their guilt and lust and folly can only brazen it out with the help of alcohol and sex will and I think about that I think about our own leaders. Some of them. Such lascivious lustful people that were the truth known across America certainly Christian people, which are I throw another thing I read one author this week. You said one of the problems with Belshazzar was that he wasn't as good as his father. He wasn't as good as his adopted father never night as Cindy wasn't as good as his father or grandfather Nebuchadnezzar.
But there's a big gap from Nebuchadnezzar to Belshazzar illustrates to me the decline of the family. I see that in America to where is the godly seed. Where is the righteous generation last one and this is the sum of it. What made Babel and fall pride. Verse 22 we didn't humble your heart you didn't humble your heart cry.
Listen to this at the feast of Belshazzar into thousand of his lords while they drank from golden vessels is the book of truth records in the night as they reveled in the royal palace hall. They were seized with consternation at the hand upon the wall see the brave captive Daniel as he stood before the thronging rebuke the hottie monarch for his mighty deeds of wrong, as he read out the writing towards the doom of one and all for the kingdom was not finished in the hand of the hand upon the wall see the faith and seal encourage that would dare to do the right which the Spirit gave the Daniel this the secret of his might, in his home in Judea captive in its hall. He still understood the writing of his got up on the wall so our deeds are recorded.
There is a hand it's writing now sinner give your heart to Jesus to his royal mandate bow for the day is approaching, it must come to one and all. When us sinners condemnation will be written on the wall. Sin brings destruction. A man, a woman is a nation doom is inevitable in the world as it gets worse and worse.
The Bible promises that those who put their faith in Jesus Christ shall escape the wrath to come shall be delivered from the hour of tribulation should be saved from judgment taken to heaven. What I ask used to search your own heart and see that you know Christ living in this dying decadent society in America. The country, turning its back on the things of God so blatant and flagrant. We are salt and light, we must come to Christ and stand for truth that others may here come to know them as well. God is not willing that any should perish, not his desire wants us to come to him. It's needful for you in your life. First of all to come and confess your sin in receiving the Savior and then for those who know him to preach the message of judgment and salvation in Christ. From that judgment. The good news that Jesus saves, and keeps us from the wrath to come.
You don't know Christ right now in your heart when you inviting me prayer quiet silent prayer to Christ.
If you do know I'm reconfirming you're willing to stand for is truth in this day. Father bless you, Lord, I can't express the joy in my heart to see the faithfulness of these people to be here thrills me Lord just rules me. Thank you for bringing them for their wonderful faithfulness and for them wanting to open their lives to the conviction of the word of God bless them for the Lord for one or so were here and they don't know Jesus Christ. This be the night they come for forgiveness for salvation for those of us who do Lord give us a new zeal to preach his truth stand against the decay of our time boldly and courageously take our stand for Christ sake, I trust he will share this message with others.
I believe it's important that our people in our country see that we are paralleling the same track because the fall. Babel people is a great, great, great task isn't there ahead of us to reach men and women. God doesn't want perishing, and neither do we sit back and say it's inevitable we going to the highways and byways a compound in the coming disease, grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. Today's lesson looked at specific sins that can destroy any nation. It's part of John's study titled the rise and fall of world powers. Note John to bring our study to a close.
You made a comparison today between our current moral state and the condition of ancient Babylon and you said that we've come to the point where we think we are invincible. In essence, people don't see the handwriting on the wall so let me ask you what is the best way to help others see their true condition and the doom that lies ahead. Let me get above that little bit in and just say this. I think many people assume that this is the worst the world's ever been, but this is only the worst the world exposed to Christianity as urban right the world before Christianity, the world of Babel in ancient Babylon.
What would've been infinitely worse than this culture right because there were no influences. There were no godly influences at all. There was just this small little nation Israel that was disobedient for for the most part they were custodians of the will of the word of God, but they weren't very faithful in making sure the rest of the world heard infected even irritated them when Nineveh repented saw the pre-Christian world was far worse than this world.
The world of Noah was worse than our world God drowned that entire world so but we have to do we have to agree and say look this is the worst post-Christian world that we've ever seen you say what he what he said. I say that because Scripture says evil men are going to get worse and worse for us to understand that all we have to do is look at Scripture and just look at every passage where God such a righteous standard and judges.
People who fall short of that righteous standard and reject the only forgiveness and the only hope in Christ, so we aren't surprised that what's happening in our world there are only so many sins you can commit in this generation is busy committing the same ones Babel and committed it's just for us. Difficult to understand that on this side of Christianity's influence in our world so we been looking at the rise and fall of world powers. Based on Daniel, two, four and five and we've seen that while times are different in some ways in terms of culture and how society functions, the heart of mankind is evil and judgment is always going to be inevitable when people turn their back on God, and especially when they turn their back on the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
So what I'm saying is the series on the rise and fall of world powers is as relevant today as it was in Daniel's time and you would do yourself a great favor if you got a copy of the series, you can get six CDs. It's an album so you can download the MP3 firstname.lastname@example.org right and friend Daniel stood firm and glorified God in an evil society. And that's a great example for us to follow to study this story again at your own pace pickup John series called the rise and fall of world powers. Contact us today. The six CD album is reasonably priced and shipping is free to order, call 855 grace or visit our website TTY.org and as John said, you can download the messages from the rise and fall of world powers free of charge and MP3 or transcript format at the website TTY.when you visit their TTY.org.
Make sure to download this study Bible. If you haven't done that already. This free app gives you the full text of Scripture in the English standard King James and new American Standard version along with instant access to thousands of online resources and within inapt purchase very affordable. You can add the notes from the MacArthur study Bible, the app again. It's called the study Bible is free to download from TTY.org. That's TTY.org now for John MacArthur in the entire Greece to use staff. I'm Phil Johnson encouraging you to take some time this weekend to watch grace to you. Television, check your local listings for availability and then join us Monday when John shows you how to talk to a heretic. That's the study begins next week. It's another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you