I will Shew Thee that Which is Noted in the Scriptures – Daniel 10:21

 
Five months ago, we had a message about the Word of God, taken from the scripture which we read a few minutes ago. Daniel 5:5 – “In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.” There can be no doubt that the words written on the wall of Belshazzar’s banquet hall were from God. The hand which carved them into the plaister was miraculous, even though it looked human. It was a disembodied hand – it wasn’t connected to an arm, shoulder or human body.

What I wanted to do in that message was to make a comparison. There is a parallel between the words which God’s hand wrote on the wall and the words which the Lord has recorded throughout all His Holy Bible. In order to refresh your memories, let me remind you of that outline – Both the writing on the wall and the writings of the scriptures are God’s words. They are both gifts of the Lord’s grace. We don’t deserve any sort of revelation from the Lord – not even His warnings against our sin. Both revelations involved the hand of man, even though the words were divine. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” “The Holy Ghost spake by the mouth of David and by the hand of Samuel, Moses, Daniel and others. Yes, a man’s hand was sometimes used to pen the words of God, as did Moses on the second set of the tables of the law. And yes, a man’s mouth was used to speak the Word of God on many different occasions. But those words were “God-breathed” – inspired – not in the sense of encouraged, but as in coming directly from a divine source. Then just as it was with Belshazzar’s inability to understand the writing on the wall, “the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God.” There is a spiritual nature to the Bible which lifts it above the Chaldean, the Hebrew, the Greek and the English in which we read it. It is not that we can’t grasp the vocabulary and grammar of the Bible. It is that even though we may know the words on the page, the divine nature of the message which they reveal takes that language up and onto a higher plain. Without the Holy Spirit of God we will never truly grasp the spiritual lessons of any scripture.

One of the important things to note in regard to the writing on the wall is its absolute authority and accuracy. Belshazzar thou “hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven… Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written. 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. In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom…” The revelation given to Belshazzar was with the authority of God, and it was not mere prophesy. It is interesting to notice that it was not written in the future tense – as to say “this is going to happen.” Even though it had not yet taken place, it was written in the past tense – telling us that it is done (completed) as far as the eternal decree of God is concerned. And every page of the Bible – the Word of God – is as guaranteed & true as that prophecy of Daniel 5.

My last point was that the Word of God had a terrifying effect upon that wicked Babylonian king. And similarly, there are hundreds of other scriptures which should terrify the wicked today. For example, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” And, “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” “The wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

During the course of that earlier message, I mentioned the verse which is before us today. To quote myself, I said that we often use the words “scripture” and “scriptures,” with most of us automatically picturing the Bible. But that was not the case for the people in the Bible, because to them the word simply meant “writings.” The word “scripture” is found only once in the Old Testament – right here in Daniel 10. The other 52 references are translations of the Greek word “graphe” – and in both languages the words simply mean “writings.” But Daniel 10:21 as well as all of the New Testament references clearly draw a line between common, secular writing and “the HOLY scriptures” – God’s words – God’s handwriting. The writings of men are temporary, mistake-filled and often frivolous, but the words of God’s hand-writing are absolutely important and as such are inscribed in eternal granite.

This week, as I began to meditate on this second scripture, another parallel began to take shape in my mind. Most Bible scholars agree that Gabriel was not talking about the Bible when he said “the scripture of truth.” The writing to which he referred was the eternal DEGREE – or WILL – of God. It is in the next two chapters that we see the divine hand of providence to which this scripture refers. It is amazing to see the detail with which God’s revelation describes an upcoming portion of ancient history. This “scripture of truth” is what God has decreed to take place some years into the future. You could say that it was written in annals of Heaven. But unlike the ANNALS of men, it is not just past history, but pre-written history.

This morning I’d like to develop a message similar to that of five months ago. But this time, we aren’t comparing the writing on the wall to the Bible, but rather we are thinking about the eternal decree of God to what we possess in our hands – the Holy Word of God.

Just as Gabriel says, both are SCRIPTURES OF TRUTH.
This perhaps today’s greatest front in the battle between faith and unbelief, between God and Satan. The world is being taught that there is truth in every philosophy and every religion. Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and the rest are only different paths toward the same destination. The Book of Mormon and the dictates of Catholicism are just as true as the Bible – even though they teach different things. But the idea is not only logically preposterous, but morally and spiritually ridiculous as well.

Did I say that the world is being taught that there is truth in every philosophy and every religion? Actually that isn’t quite true, because it seems that every philosophy and every religion is true, except for that one which declares that spiritual truth can ONLY be found in the BIBLE. Everyone seems to be right except you and me. So many people scream at the Bible-believer, telling him to be tolerant towards the ideas of others, when there is almost no tolerance bestowed upon us – there never has been. The reality is that there is no one more despised and rejected than the loyal follower of Christ and the Bible. “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord… If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” When the Lord Jesus said that He was the Son of God, declaring himself to be divine, the people tried to stone Him to death. And when His disciples say that Christ is God, or they say that the Bible is the only revelation of the truth about God, the world virtually tries to stone us as well.

I might have a hard time convincing the unbeliever of this – but the Bible is absolutely true. I might even have a hard time convincing you – but here is something to consider. Of the Bible, the Psalmist said to God, “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Over and over again the Bible declares itself as a true declaration of the truth. “All thy commandments are faithful…” “Every word of God is pure…” “Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.” “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.” “Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.” “Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Here is a spiritual and mental conundrum – Since the Bible makes such statements about its absolute perfection, and about the truthfulness of God then if it is in error in one point it shouldn’t be trusted in any point. If it declares itself to be the truth and nothing but the truth, and yet there is a lie therein, then it can’t be believed for anything that says.

If you have yet to prove to yourself mentally that every verse in the Bible is a scripture of truth, then accept all of those statements by faith. Lord, “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” If you can’t mentally convince yourself, then in the mean time accept it by faith. And if you can’t do that, or you refuse to do that, make sure that you reject everything that it says. If there is any Biblical blessing, any hope, any divine promise to which you are drawn, then you are logically obligated to accept every word – even though some of it must be accepted by faith. But I aver, attest and declare that this Bible – in every part – is the very word of Truth.

Second, both the unalterable decrees of God as well as the Bible, are THE VERY BREATH OF GOD.
Can you picture God, calling Michael, Gabriel and a few other high-ranking angels together int a war counsel to determine what should be done with the kingdom of the Medes and the future kingdom of the Greeks? Did the omnipotent God, study the relative merits and demerits of the Alexander the Greek, then spend a night thinking about what He should predestinate for him? Yes, there is a sense in which the triune God took counsel, but that was within the Godhead. Everything was determined, designed or decreed before the creation of the world. What we shall study in the next two chapters was declared to Daniel by the breath of God.

That eternal decree of God was no more the breath of God than any other verse in the Word of God. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” The words “inspiration of God” are the single Greek word “theopneustos.” “Theo” is Greek for “God.” “Pneustos” refers to breath or breathing. The declaration of God is that the Word of God is the breath of God. It has Jehovah as its source and substance.

Third, it goes without saying that both the decrees of God and the Word of God are HOLY.
Here is something which you have probably never thought about, but which is absolutely unique to the Lord. There are physical laws – laws of physics – which say that when energy is changed, its new form is never as powerful as its old form – some of it is always lost through one means or another. Friction makes the car slow down, unless more and more gas is poured into the engine. Electricity, as it travels from its generator to the light bulb, loses power in its transmission. And similarly, the things that men do, are never as good as they could be. The athlete knows that with more effort he can go faster or higher. The intellect knows that he can be smarter. But here is one more difference between creation and its Creator – Unless God directly permits interference, what He does is equal to Himself.

For example, His decrees and his Word are just as holy as He is. Take as proof our memory verse for today. Speaking of the Lord, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” There may not be a more clear and direct Biblical statement about the character of God.

Practically speaking, nothing that God has decreed or inspired to be written as scripture is anything less than absolutely holy. God is not the creator of sin, even though in eternity past He permitted it and even guaranteed it. The Lord decreed that Adam would sin, but as we can clearly read in the Bible, He didn’t cause Adam’s sin. That responsibility falls on the shoulders of Adam and his tempters. And perhaps the record of Adam’s sin is an illustration of God’s separation from the guilt of Adam’s sin. I have often said that “God is not the author of sin.” Even though that is perfect correct by definition, perhaps I should use a different word than “author.” Because God is the “author” of the Bible – He gave every word of it by inspiration. But the Bible is filled with the historical record of sins – Adam’s, Abraham’s, Jacob’s, David’s and others. The Holy Spirit may have authored the record of those sins, but he didn’t cause, or lead those men into sin. And in the same way, the decrees of God are in no sense corrupted by sin – they are holy.

Fourth, to briefly repeat a point from the earlier message –

The scripture of truth is ALWAYS ABOVE the brightest of hearts and minds.
The only way to fully grasp what the Lord has written or decreed, is through the leadership of the Lord Himself. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” In the case before us here in Daniel, it takes the help of an angel of God before Daniel can understand the decree to punish the Medes and Persians with the Greeks.

And I close this message with what may be our most important point –

The scriptures are OUR PRIMARY POINT OF REFERENCE.
Gabriel introduces what he is going to tell Daniel in the next couple of chapters with the words – “I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth.” In this case he is talking about the eternal decree that God had made. Before the existence of the Greeks as an Empire, the Lord revealed that they would defeat the apparent indestructible armies of the Persians. Before the rise of Alexander of Macedon, Jehovah declares that his empire would be divided into four parts upon his death. Before the birth of Alexander, God speaks about Antiocus Epiphanes and even Cleopatra of Egypt.

And the point is this – it is in the scripture where we find the truth that we need. The Bible is our point of reference for the really important and eternal truths. How did we all get here? The answer is in Genesis 1 – creation. Who is God and what is He like? The answer is in Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. Why is there so much pain and problem in this world? The answer is in Genesis 3 – sin. Why does the innocent baby die? In essence, for the same reason that Abel died. Where does that baby go after he dies, and where did my grandmother go? The answer is to be found in the Bible – not in the fictional books of men. And what is the solution for our sin – for my sin? The world has its many suggestions ranging from psychology to astrology, but they are wrong. Our point of reference is the Word of God – the only answer to such questions is the Bible. “I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth.”

Sin is a spiritual problem between fallen man and our Holy Creator. Sins are those acts which we commit against the will of God – which will is revealed in the scriptures of truth. And we commit sins against God’s will because we are sinful creatures – it is a part of our nature. We are all sinners, the Bible tells us, because the first man, someone who represented all of us – the father of all of us – chose to rebel against the command of God. Sadly, very sadly, the wages of sin is death – both physical, spiritual and eternal. Every man, woman and child on this earth is headed toward an eternity in the Lake of Fire. It is the just reward for our sins and our sinfulness.

Ah, but the scripture also reveals God’s salvation. The Second Person of the God-head – the Son of God – the Lord Jesus Christ, took upon Himself the sins of those whom He intended to save. When He died, He placed His blood upon the Altar and Mercy Seat before the Father. That blood covered the sins of multitudes. And the Bible, our only point of contact with these facts, tells us that those who repent before God and who put their trust in Jesus Christ to deliver them from their sins, are saved souls. Those who honestly and fully repent and who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, are children of the Lord. Christ is the only solution to the problems of the world, and to our personal sin problem – so says the “Scripture of truth.”