Saturday, May 07, 2016

The Writing on the Wall Regarding Your Future - Mene Tekel Upharsin: Weighed and Fallen Short

I've often wondered what it would be like to know the future. Think of the opportunities to make money on the stock market if you knew the price of all stocks five years from now. Imagine how you'd prepare for impending disaster if you could foresee it coming. Knowledge of the future is power for anyone who possesses it.

What I write below is for my friends who reject Christ as their Savior and Lord. I want to give you the reason why you ought to reconsider.

Jesus said "I tell you that everyone will have to give an account on the day of judgment" (Matthew 12:36). 

That's your future.

Every person outside of Christ will be examined on the Day of Judgment. The outcome of that examination is already known. You will be found to have "fallen short." 

You will have failed the standard God has established for your life. You will have "fallen short" of being a good parent, a good partner, and a good person. Sure, your life may have been lived better than others, but the standard by which you'll be measured is God's perfect standard of goodness.

Jesus meant it when He said, "Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). Your future depends on it. That's the standard by which you will be measured on the day of judgment. But all "fall short." Jesus said, "No one is good--except God alone" (Mark 10:18). 

Because we all "fall short" of the standard of God (Romans 3:23), judgment from God is coming. We see a picture of what this judgment will be like in Daniel 5:25.  God examined the life of King Belshazzar and then God's finger "wrote on the wall" of Belshazzar's palace (539 B.C.) these words:


Written in either Chaldean or Aramaic (the commercial language of the day), Belshazzar could not comprehend the meaning of the words. The king was fearful and called for Daniel, the Jewish prophet imprisoned in Babylon with the other Jewish exiles, to be brought to the palace to interpret the words. Daniel's interpretation is found in Daniel 5:26-28.
26 This is the interpretation of the message: ‘MENE’—God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it. 27 ‘TEKEL’—you have been weighed on the scales and found deficient. 28 ‘PERES’—your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and Persians.”
Daniel told Belshazzar: "God has weighed you in the scales of His justice, and you have fallen short. Your days have come to an end. You will be handed over to the judgment of death." 

That very night, the Persian army, under the leadership of Cyrus the Great, dug under the ancient walls of the city of Babylon - one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - and put to death King Belshazzar. God told Belshazzar his future - and he had only a few minutes to prepare.

The judgment event that ended Belshazzar's life (539 B.C.) is a "type" or "shadow" of the Day of Judgment for every person outside of Jesus Christ. 

MENE - Your days have been numbered and have come to an end.
MENE - (Repetition in ancient languages is a form of emphasis. You are not in control of the number of days you live, nor are able to escape the judgment that's coming).
TEKEL - You have been weighed and "fallen short."
PERES - You are given over to the judgment of death (in Belshazzar's case, the Farsis, e.g.
"Upharsins," which means Persians or Peres).

TEKEL is the key word. 

The Day of God's Judgment is a process whereby God measures your thoughts, intentions, words, and actions in this life against His standard of perfect righteousness. In the ancient market place, a scale would be used with the "perfect standard" of weight on the left side, and a person's "gold" or "silver" on the right side. If the scales were balanced, then the gold or silver was perfect. But if the scales were imbalanced, and the "perfect standard of weight" dipped down, while the gold and silver went up on the right side, then the merchant's money was "found wanting." 

In Fortune Magazine's stunning biopic of 94-year-old Sumner Redstone, President of Viacom, we read that he was recently asked why he's so mean to everyone. Mr. Redstone's response? "I'm going to hell anyway, what difference does it make?"

Sumner Redstone's thinking is typical of everyone who has a sense of their own mortality. There is an innate understanding that their lives have not been lived in the manner their Creator intended. They haven't always done good for their fellow man, they haven't loved selflessly, they haven't been what God intended. In moments of transparency, they might admit it's fruitless to try to change their lives now, because there is now way that they could ever "make up" for all they've done wrong. What difference, therefore, does it make? 

Enter the Good News. 

Jesus Christ came to balance the scales of God's justice. He lived the perfect life we were meant to live, but didn't. Jesus died bearing the judgment of God for our sin (e.g. "death"), but rose from the grave three days later, conquering sin and death. "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21). 

"For we maintain that a person is made right with God (e.g. "justified") by faith in Christ's work, apart from their own works" (Romans 3:28). 

The Apostle Paul puts it like this Philippians 3:7-11:
"But whatever were gains to me (as a religious Jew) I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage (lit. "crap"), that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
The demons of hell and the prince of demons will let you speak all day of religion, your religious commitments, and your efforts to treat God and your fellow man with respect. But the moment you mention the name of Christ, all hell breaks loose.

The only righteousness that perfectly balances the scales of God's righteous justice is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. He lived the perfect life. He loved the right way. He epitomized what it means to live right before God and man. He is Emmanuel, God with us. 

Your only hope on the day of judgment is to forsake any claim in your own merits and works, and proclaim your faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ. When you kiss the Son of God, the wrath of the Creator Judge is assuaged. Your life, which has "fallen short," is not set on the scales of God's justice; Christ's life is. You'll "stand" on the Day of Judgment beside Christ as an heir of His righteousness, but everyone else outside of Christ will fall. When you try to stand on your own merits, you will always "fall short."

The gift of eternal life is the reward of those who are  "co-heirs" with Christ. Those in Christ will enjoy the blessings of the earth where the curse has been reversed forever. This gift of eternal life is yours because you are not found wanting by God. It's not your righteousness on the scales of His justice, it's Christ's. The righteousness of Christ perfectly balances the standard by which God measures righteousness. You are saved from the wrath to come by the grace of God in Christ.

My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness, 
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name. 

I don't know how long you have before you stand before God in judgment. A friend of mine died suddenly just yesterday, seemingly in perfect health two weeks ago. Another friend of mine died unexpectedly in an automobile accident, leaving his family shocked and saddened. The finger of God writes on the wall of our personal palace when we least expect it.

For this reason, I ask the most important question you'll ever hear:

"What's your plan to balance the scales of God's justice so that you'll not fall short of His standard?"

Don't give up like Sumner Redstone.
Don't try harder like the religious zealots.
Don't trust in your ability to do better tomorrow.

Trust Christ and receive the perfect counterweight to God's standard of righteousness. 

It's your only hope for an incredibly bright and fulfilling future. 


Bob Cleveland said...

It took me a lot of Bible study, trips to altars, prayers, lessons, sermons, and talk to realize that the part that counted was trusting JEsus to take me to heaven when I died. I did that when I was about 10.

Everything anybody sees now that's not a 10-year-old kid who was afraid of death, is 100% the Lord's doing. The scared 10 year old was all I brought to the table.

Christiane said...

Trusting Jesus to take me to heaven when I die

Austin Al said...

Hi Wayne,
As one who rejects the idea that Our Heavenly Father has a "secret will" that is in direct opposition to His revealed will as stated in the Scriptures, I am always caught between not knowing whether to laugh or cry when calvinists write articles trying to convince people whom they believe to be unalterably preselected for Heaven or Hell to make a decision with regard to where THEY want to spend eternity as if THEY have any say in it whatsoever. "What I write below is for my friends who reject Christ as their Savior and Lord. I want to give you the reason why you ought to reconsider." Come on, Wayne, man up and write it the way you REALLY believe it and the way Calvin teaches it! If you believe that everyone is preselected, why not just be forthright enough to say it plainly? Why not just rejoice in God's secret decree and let the chips fall where God has (pre)determined that they will surely fall? You give the clear and inescapable impression that they are able to choose and you know you do not believe any such thing. Why give people the impression you believe something that you do not? Al House

Wade Burleson said...


I won't suppose to answer for "Wayne," so I'll wait to make sure you are addressing me.


Austin Al said...

LOL! My mistake! Thanks!

Wade Burleson said...

Austin Al,

I learned a long time ago that when strangers attempt to tell others what you "REALLY" believe and what you "REALLY" mean, then it's best to simply remain quiet, because there is usually an agenda that has nothing to do with what you've said or written. I write what I believe and my words mean what they mean. I'm a follower of Christ, not Calvin.

Christiane said...


I can assure you that if you look at the fruit of Wade's witness, you will see a great contrast between his service to Our Lord and that of the Big Name Pastors who are neo-Cals who embrace those who have shielded predators. Wade is someone who consistently stands up for people who are abused and, within his ministry, he has offered refuge for those who have suffered from addictions. In the SBC, when Wade has stood up for abused people, it has cost him greatly. This is for me, a real sign of Wade's integrity AND devotion to Our Lord.

There is a wonderful website that serves as a watch-dog to expose those who have enabled abusers. It keeps an eye on the big name neo-cals who receive 'donations' from these enablers and in return offer the enablers support.
Here is the website, and you can see that the administrators have chosen Wade as their Sunday chaplain, which says a very great deal about the trust they have in him:

Rex Ray said...


You said correctly “Every person outside of Christ will be examined on the Day of Judgment.” I don’t mean to split hairs but that contradicts you quoting Jesus saying, “I tell you that everyone will have to give an account on the day of Judgment.” (Matthew 12;36)

Better translations have “you” instead of “everyone” because Jesus was chastising Pharisees.

You mentioned how sudden people leave this earth. Last week the 18 year old girl that sang “Uncloudy Day” at our Sunrise Easter Service was to help pick out a wedding dress for her best friend who was 21.

Instead, the friend’s boyfriend dumped her and while arguing she shot herself in her shoulder thinking her boyfriend would change his mind. The bullet hit an artery and she died.

Wade Burleson said...


When I say "The Titanic has sunk, everyone has perished" do I mean everyone in the world without exception, or everyone on the Titanic?

Everyone is a word that must be qualified, and you are correct, Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, so it is "everyone outside of Christ" or "you" who are not Christians. That's to whom the post is addressed.


Rex Ray said...


Well, I was wrong. I was going to show how many translations had “you” instead of “everyone” because Christians are exempt from Judgment Day by the blood of Jesus.

So I clicked on your (‘red’ Mathew 12:36)
23 translations had “everyone”, “people”, or “men “, while only one translation (NLT) had “you”.

I believe overall the NLT is the best translation.

Austin Al said...

Hi again, Wade,
Probably I should have said that I need help understanding how, since everyone is already elect or reprobate at birth by reason of God's Decree, it could possibly be of any benefit to
attempt to influence any person to repent of rejecting God. The elect will surely be saved exactly when and where God's Decree indicates regardless of any input, good, bad, or indifferent from anyone else and the reprobate do not actually have a savior anyway. Accordingly, I cannot understand making appeals to people who, if elect, will be saved, REGARDLESS. Similarly, I cannot understand making appeals to people who, if reprobate, do not, in fact, even have a savior at all. Thanks, Al

Austin Al said...

@Christiane, thanks for your input. My intent is certainly not to paint Wade as a predator or a enabler or protector of predators. Wade is widely regarded (and respected) as spokesperson with regard to covenant theology which included the five points of Calvinism and the idea that God has a secret will that is diametrically opposed to his revealed will as stated in the new testament. This, to me, warrants discussion and questions. I'm aware of Wartburg Watch and I think they are to be commended for their difficult work in calling out church leaders who are, for whatever reason, predisposed to protect and excuse pedophiles while vilifying and ostracizing the victims. It is incomprehensible that certain leaders who have acted thusly are still very highly thought of and highly sought-after as speakers at various conferences. Thanks, Al

Wade Burleson said...

Austin Al,

I believe the day of one's death is appointed, but that doesn't mean I discourage people from taking medicine, or tell people its a waste of time to have heart surgery, etc...

Likewise, though I may believe that God will save His people, I would never discourage any sinner from faith in Christ and repentance of sin, for without those two things, nobody has any warrant to believe they will escape the second death.

In other words, God ordains the MEANS by which sinners are saved, and for some reason you seem to think it's illogical to encourage sinners from taking the prescribed medicine.


Austin Al said...


Thanks for your reply. I am familiar with the "God ordains the means" assertion. One might almost think that there is some scripture that says exactly that.

With reference to sinners being sick and the prescribed medicine being repentance from dead works and obedient faith toward God, it seems to me that without Our Father, first, granting the new birth, that sinners being dead in their sins would be unable to respond to such urging to take the prescription. And if they are only able to hear after the new birth, then they are already exposed as elect and therefore sure for heaven regardless of any and all events other than just being born (by water) as an elect human being, right?

On the subject of Our Heavenly Father's secret decree, how is it possible for the One who commands us to let our "yes be yes and our no be no" to have a secret decree (not found in the scriptures) that runs diametrically opposed to His express will found in the scriptures? Wouldn't that make His "yes" a "no" for all the non-elect?


Rex Ray said...


Much like Belshazzar didn’t comprehend the “Writing on the Wall”, can Americans see the possibility of becoming a “Social State” as promoted by Saul Alinsky in his book “Rules for Radicals” published in 1971, and he seems to be the hero of Hillary Clinton and Obama?

Alinsky believed a revolutionary’s purpose should be to undermine society by taking power from the Haves and giving it to the Have-nots. This link tells 8 steps how to accomplish his plan of creating a Social State:

The first step is the most important.
1) Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people. [“Obama Care” first goal was to eliminate all other healthcare programs.]
2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
4) Gun Control – Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.
5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income).
6) Education – Take control of what people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school.
7) Religion – Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.
8) Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.
Tells that in 1969, Hillary Rodham wrote a 92-page senior thesis for Wellesley College titled "There Is Only the Fight . . . ": An Analysis of the Alinsky Model'. The subject was famed radical community organizer Saul Alinsky.

Her thesis was not allowed to the public from 1993 to 2001. reveals the many letters of correspondence between Hillary and Alinsky.

Wade, I’ll write more how Alinsky is mentioned in Obama’s books.

Christiane said...

I want to commend the work that Debbie Kaufman is doing over on SBCvoices. She is a brave, strong voice for good.

Ramesh said...

Daniel told Belshazzar: "God has weighed you in the scales of His justice, and you have fallen short. Your days have come to an end. You will be handed over to the judgment of death."

My experience is THIS is the nature of life TODAY AT THIS MOMENT. If anyone suffers from depression they know this instinctively. My views of depression are little different from the world. The source of the problem is misdirected in lot of our thinking because we are up to our nose in the cesspool of the world.

I can not explain the supernatural but my instincts tell me it's the natural at work that becomes supernatural when one is blind to the natural.

This is why Christ's teachings and words turns us inside out and our internal world that is so against the grain of the world.

Lot of times I am almost convinced the heavens, hells and judgements are happening NOW rather than after death at some judgement day.

There is LOT more at work of Christ's words in us physcholgically and much more subconsciously.

I am trying to be coherent here.


Ramesh said...

Wade writes: I've often wondered what it would be like to know the future. Think of the opportunities to make money on the stock market if you knew the price of all stocks five years from now. Imagine how you'd prepare for impending disaster if you could foresee it coming. Knowledge of the future is power for anyone who possesses it.

In reality about 60% of US population who are poor KNOW what their future will be and that it will be worse than now and the past. They are unable to extricate themselves from this foreknowledge.

Life in short.

Rex Ray said...


I’ll ask your help on finding Obama’s thoughts of Saul Alinsky’s book of how to create a social state.

I can’t find the proof under his watch the farmers around here received a questionnaire from the government that they threw in the trash even with the warning not to fill it out would be punished by law.

The paper wanted to know how many acres grew crops, acres for pasture, how many cows etc. It went on and on to the extent what sex used a tractor.

I believe Obama wanted to find ‘poor areas’ to be assisted by federal money. It never happened as far as I know.

BTW, newspaper today: “Texas judge rejects ex-billionaire Sam Wyly’s claim of tax ignorance”. Wyly trusted his tax lawyers which were given immunity at a trial in New York when Obama was President where he was fined $1.4 billion.

After that trial the judge and forman of the jury were seen giving each other ‘high-fives’.

Is this an example of ‘take it from the rich’ to create a social state?

I believe Wyly’s biggest mistake was giving millions to Republicans and not a penny to Democrats.

Ramesh said...

Rex Ray:

My view of Obama, Clintons and even repub presidents and hopefuls is they are all the same. They are not working for the 99.99% of the people but for the rich who bankroll them. Plutocracy.

This article is a good refutation of the alinsky memes floating around 2008 Obama election:

Saul Alinsky: The activist who terrifies the right

From my perspective Obama was never a liberal. Neither is Hillary. They both hold conservative positions and have taken actions that would make Tricky Dick blush with shame!

Sorry for the digression to this post.

Rex Ray said...


Thanks for replying, but that’s about as far as I can go with thanks.

At first you said, “My view of Obama, Clintons…are all the same. They are not working for the 99.99% of the people but for the rich who bankroll them.”

Hillary was NOT bankrolled by the public, but used her position to gain wealth such as the “Clinton Foundation.” Why would a foreign country give her husband half a million dollars for giving them a speech if it was not paying for a ‘favor’ Hillary did for them?
You said, “From my perspective Obama was never a liberal. Neither is Hillary. They both hold conservative positions…”

I actually went to sleep reading your link about Saul Alinsky.

If you think Hillary is conservative, you must think Alinsky’s 8 steps to become a social state is conservative since Hillary’s 92 page college thesis was about him.

She was so chummy in the ‘Hillary letters’ with him he offered her a job.

Ramesh, if I was giving advice to people, I’d say, “Wake up and smell the garbage” just as Belshazzar should have.

Rex Ray said...


Do you agree Alinsky’s first step and most important for a social state was “Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people”?

(You’ll probably ignore the question because Obama set out to achieve this step with “Obamacare”.)

Today the “Tribune Washington Bureau” wrote, “Federal judge rules Obamacare is being funded unconstitutionally.”

With that thinking we may not become a social state. What do you think about Obamacare?

Ramesh said...

Rex Ray: Rather than me answering your queries, I will simply point you to the interview of Corey Robin in a link within the Alinsky article.

The writing on the wall for the past 35 years has been Conservatism has won and has peaked. And many are not aware of this. :)


Carl Schmitt:

The political is the most intense and extreme antagonism, and every concrete antagonism becomes that much more political the closer it approaches the most extreme point, that of the friend-enemy grouping.

Rex Ray said...


Because you won’t reply to questions I’m trying to decide which of these is the reason why.

1. Nothing is as frustrating as arguing with someone who knows what he's talking about. (Sam Ewing)

2. “It’s the bit dog that hollers.” (Bob Cleveland)

3. “Fear not those who argue but those that dodge.” (Paul Burleson)

You wrote: “My view of Obama, Clintons and even republican presidents and hopefuls is they are all…not working for the 99.99% of the people but for the rich who bankroll them.”

How in the world can you say that about Trump?

How can you quote a quack (my opinion) saying “Conservatism has won and peaked in the last 35 years” when the evidence shows the opposite. There are too many to list but the latest is “Same sex bathrooms”.

Ramesh said...

Rex Ray: I simply don't have the energy to try to convince you this way or that way. I don't like Obama or Clinton or Trump. As you are convinced in your mind differently it is OK. I have tried to back up my thinking with one link. Clearly that is not good for you. That is fine. I will cede the argument and the floor to you.

Ramesh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rex Ray said...


I’ve never spent so long in trying to reply…it’s like saying goodbye to an old friend. I found the definition of “cede”: “to yield or formally surrender”.

I don’t want you to quit for a racehorse never runs so fast as in competing with another with the same speed.

That reminds me of a TV lady that said, “Hillary’s been compared to a racehorse anxious at the starting gate; why she’s headed to the glue factory!” (I know that doesn’t upset you because you said you didn’t like her in politics.)

Do we agree the link you gave me said: ““Conservatism has won and peaked in the last 35 years”?

If so, would you please tell an example of it doing so?

Ramesh said...

From How conservatism conquered America

You end the book with a statement that the modern conservative movement has successfully defeated the left. Why do you say that?

Social conservatism mainly came about in response to, broadly speaking, the labor question. Beginning in the 1880s, the working classes started making democratic claims about the reform of the workplace, and many of the distinctive things we associate with conservatism come out of that experience. It was a roughly 100-year battle, and to all intents and purposes, they have won that battle.

When you have a president who celebrates the market; who thinks of the State as maybe necessary, but certainly not the first order of business; who believes that the businessman is the driving engine of the economy, there’s just really no question. And if you want to break it down on policy grounds, look at the level of unionization. Look at the level of wealth inequality. All of those indices that we are always talking about, conservatism has won.

On civil rights, they weren’t able to beat back the fundamental challenge of the civil rights movement, but they certainly were able to beat the movement’s second wave and  really bring it to a standstill. Likewise with the women’s movement. Wage inequality is still quite large, and if you do a survey on all abortion rights and reproductive rights state-by-state, they are clearly winning that battle. They haven’t been able to overturn Roe v. Wade, but, effectively in many states, you just don’t have access to an abortion. Though I think, on a whole wide array, the one area where they probably have lost is on gay rights.

Peaking with Trump. This was another link I posted maybe a week or two ago in this blog.

The reason I didn't want to engage for lack of energy is of our inherent biases that we come with that prevent us from seeing these patterns. Lot of times this is very difficult to overcome. My thinking is in such matters one has to inquire and search outside our biases and this in my case is mostly slow and half hazard based on interests I am pursuing.

Ramesh said...

From the above article on peaking:

You also argue that the defeat of the left is a mixed blessing. Why?

Going back to the fundamentals: If conservatism is a reactionary movement, once it has succeeded in its project of beating back the left, it really has nowhere to go. You see this increasingly amongst more thoughtful conservatives — a real concern that conservative ideas are not what they used to be, that they don’t have the same heterodox, innovative flavor that they in the ’50s and ‘60s and ‘70s. That’s because of their success. I think this is where commentators really get themselves turned upside down where they think the reason conservatism is failing is because its ideas are failing. That gets it complete backward. Its ideas are failing because it was so successful.

Ramesh said...

And that culminates with ascendance of Trump.