Handwriting on the Wall
The prophet Daniel, one of the Jewish captives taken to Babylon under King Nebuchadnezzar, was a servant to King Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar's son. Approximately 500 B.C. Belshazzar held a banquet for the lords and ladies of his court. While the guests were drinking from gold and silver cups that had been taken from the Jewish Temple, the House of God in Jerusalem, praising their idols of gold and silver, a mysterious hand began writing on the wall of the banquet room. Daniel was called on to interpret the message, which was from the God of the Israel; he informed the king that his reign was ending. That very night the king was slain.1
Undoubtedly, this is where the term, "the handwriting on the wall," originated. It is used today as a warning that something significant is about to happen or come to an end. In a very real sense God's handwriting "is on the wall" again today; that is, on "the wall of world history"—warning all mankind of the coming climax of world history—a climax that will be marked by two spectacular worldwide events the likes of which have never ever been seen before—one exciting; the other terrifying!
What Are the Two Events?
One, the exciting: This will be the return of Jesus Christ to earth to rapture (the catching up to heaven) of every Christian who has accepted Jesus Christ as his/her Savior, and whose sins have been forgiven by God.
Two, the terrifying: The other dramatic event will be the entrance of the Antichrist onto the stage of world history to launch his worldwide reign of terror during the seven-year Great Tribulation period which will be a horrific time of hell on earth. The Antichrist will be a world-leader who will violently oppose anything and everything that has to do with God, with Jesus Christ, and with Christianity. While there is not always agreement as to which of these two events will happen first, the critical issue, however, is that we are ready for Christ's return so we won't be left behind when he comes.
God's Handwriting Today
So what is God's handwriting today telling us? It is all but flashing in neon lights that the world as we know it is about to end, perhaps more quickly than we think. As Jesus said, "When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption [the return of Jesus Christ] is drawing near."2
The Bible refers to "these things" as signs to indicate the approaching nearness of these two major events we are discussing today. While it is true that some of these signs—especially those relating to wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and the like—have been happening since Jesus Christ was on earth 2,000 years ago, today, as another has said, "THEY ARE ALL STANDING UP AT ONCE!"
The final signs of the times have to do with the nation of Israel; the entrance, or preparation for the entrance of the Antichrist; the mark of the beast; the new Jewish temple in Jerusalem; an exponential knowledge explosion; and the worldwide gospel outreach—all of which are either happening right now or in the process of getting ready to happen.
For an explanation of each of these final signs in detail read this complete article online at: http://tinyurl.com/wall-handwriting … It is exciting to see how the predictions of God's Word are happening right now in our day and age. In a vital way they are God's warning to us, in the words of Jesus: "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man [Jesus Christ] is coming at an hour you do not expect."3
Suggested prayer: Dear God, thank you for your Word that informs us of the signs that will precede your return and that will take place immediately prior to the end of this world age. Please help me to know and understand your Word, be aware of what is happening, and be prepared for your coming by accepting your Son, Jesus Christ, as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you for this blessed hope and assurance of your salvation and for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
If you are not sure that you are ready for Christ's return, please read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian," at: www.actsweb.org/christian.
1. See Daniel 5.
2. Luke 21:28 (NIV).
3. Matthew 24:44 (NKJV).
Special Note: May we always stay conscious of the fact that people without Christ are lost for all eternity. To help reach family, friends and contacts with the saving message of Jesus Christ so that they, too, will be fully prepared for the day Christ returns, we have set up a very simple program—GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS OUTREACH—an attractive, non-threatening, and very effective outreach ministry that is without cost except for having an e-mail account. Please see this program at: http://www.actsweb.org/people_power_invite.php.