Weighed in the Balance.... The Writing is on the Wall of the Church
Updated: Apr 13
At one time, Israel was taken captive in Babylon because of their sin and because they disregarded the Lordship of God in their lives. The book of Daniel tells us a specific story of a king in Babylon named Belshazzar. The story goes like this....
One night Belshazzar was eating and drinking with a thousand Lords of his kingdom and he decided to take the articles that had been confiscated from the temple of God in Jerusalem and fill those glasses, bowls and articles with their own wine and they began to worship their own Gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone.
Things were going well and the party was hopping.... until a hand supernaturally began to write on the wall!
Daniel 5:5-7 In the same hour, the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lamp stand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees knocked against each other. The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers.
None of the king's astrologers or soothsayers could give the interpretation of the writing. But Daniel was a follower of the true God and it was suggested that Daniel be brought in to give the interpretation of the writing.
The king brought Daniel in to the royal courts and Daniel was able to give the interpretation of the writing on the wall to Belshazzar.
In Daniel 5, Daniel tells Belshazzar that he had not humbled his heart and that he had lifted himself up against the Lord of heaven.
Daniel goes on to explain to Belshazzar that when he filled the vessels of the temple with his wine and drank from them, he was worshiping other gods and that he had not glorified God. He explained that the fingers of the hand were sent from God and this was the writing that was written:
“MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN"
This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”
The temple in the Old Testament is a picture and type of the church in the New Testament. Believers now minister directly to the Lord – just as the priests ministered to the Lord in the past.
The articles in the temple that are used in worship in the Old Testament are a picture and type of how God uses believers in the New Testament church. We are to be vessels of honor to be used for His glory. (2 Timothy 2:21)
Teachers are plates and spoons to feed the church the word of God to make it strong and healthy. Worshipers flow and release the fragrance of heaven into the atmosphere. Pastors bring the bowls of the healing
balm of Gilead to individuals who are hurting or need guidance. The new testament says the apostles and prophets lay the foundation of these things – They are the tables in the temple. Their placement is on the foundation of Christ and simply allows the plates, bowls, and spoons and glasses to have a solid place to sit. Evangelists call the children to the dinner table and let them know that it's time to eat. We are all part of God's family and we all have a place in the kingdom of God and in His temple.
As we look closer, we can see there are last day Belshazzars in God's kingdom right now that have set up their own temples and are building their own kingdoms. In some churches, there is no regard for true biblical teaching as pastors and teachers make people feel good with positive mantras and affirmations.
The focus has shifted from the true God and His kingdom, to enhancing offerings and building bigger and better buildings. Just like Belshazzar, these false teachers, pastors and leaders are blinded – they can see the writing on the wall but even in looking at it, they can't understand what it means.
The writing on the wall in this story took place opposite the lamp stand. The writing was clear but there was no revelation from the Lord for Belshazzar to understand it himself.
The body of Christ has always been made up of brothers and sisters with one father – God. The modern church has become out of order from the way the original church was set up. Often, the office of pastor has become so elevated that it is the only ministering office in the church.
The need for pastors cannot be denied. They rally the troops. They have been given the duty from the Lord to lead and shepherd. Unfortunately in many churches, this function doesn't take part as brothers and sisters gather together as one body under King Jesus... but the pastor himself becomes the “father” or the “king”.
This presents many problems. It's actually unfair and dangerous for pastors to have to carry the full load of leading a church alone. Besides being unbiblical, it is tiring and too heavy of a burden for one person to carry. Also, when the enemy strikes, he only needs to hit one person to destroy a whole church. That leaves the pastor to bear all the attacks of the enemy alone.
Still, in spite of this detour from the way the original church was set up, the pastor has a unique way of leading and dealing with people that other members of the five fold ministry are often lacking in. If a pastor's heart is for God and they are surrounded with a team of other people who also hear from God and are walking in unity with the same purpose, God's will can still be fulfilled in a church.
However, it becomes dangerous for a church when any leader (whether it be the pastor, a prophet, apostle, teacher, or elder) begins to fulfill the role of a king with his own kingdom. When the focus becomes on building a church kingdom instead of a heavenly kingdom, we start to see the parallel with Belshazzar in the book of Daniel.
When a pastor calls for the vessels (people of God) to display their gifts and callings in the church for entertainment or for the purpose of making the church look like a living spiritual body instead of actually being a healthy spiritual body of Christ, that pastor is behaving like Belshazzar. God will never allow His people or the gifts He has put in His people to be prostituted for a church or man to gain membership, money or reputation of it's own.
Here is the declaration... If anyone takes the articles and vessels of the temple of the Lord to use it for entertainment or to grow dynasties and kingdoms besides the Lords kingdom... They are the exact same as Belshazzar. They will be judged, weighed in the balance and found wanting. The kingdom they are trying to build and rule over will be divided and fall.
The story of Belshazzar would have had a totally different outcome if he would have honored the true God instead of the things of the earth (gold, silver, wood, stone, etc). Let's all come together to build God's true kingdom. Jesus is returning soon for a bride without spot or wrinkle.
Let's prepare ourselves in humility and work together to bring in the final harvest for the kingdom of the Lord!
Teresa Kelton is a Christian writer and speaker. She is the founder of Daughters of Zion - Ellis County and loves to see women find their place and purpose in God's Kingdom.
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