King Belshazzar of Babylon, grandson of King Nebuchadnezzar, was personally judged by God when his cup of rebellion (iniquity) was filled! Daniel also warns King Belshazar that his grandfather also personally came under divine judgment by God and temporarily repented.
Daniel 5:18-28: “O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom and majesty, and glory, and honour: And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified: Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this 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.”
We are all servants of God whether we realize it or not. One can be a slave without their agreement. King Nebuchadnezzar did not know that he was serving God’s purposes when he destroyed Jerusalem. But, when Israel’s cup of iniquity was full, God used King Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Israel, and God used King Darius to overthrow the Babylonian empire Daniel 5:30-31: “In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.”
Daniel 5:30-31:“In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.”
King Cyrus of Persia was another unwitting servant of God (Ezra 1:1-2 and Isaiah 44:28, 25:1). God raises up military leaders to take the sword and use it to bring judgment on those whose cup of iniquity becomes full, even though the leaders chose to do what they wanted.
In Romans 2:5, 6, 8 Paul warns the sexually immoral Romans of “the full cup principle”: “...you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed, God will give to each person according to what he has done. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.” Paul clearly understood the “full cup of iniquity” rule. Colossians 3:5, 6: “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.”
In I Thessalonians 2:14-16, the believers in Thessalonica are encouraged to be patient until the enemies of Christ had filled their cup of iniquity. “…You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches (in Judea) suffered from the Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They (the Jews) displease God and are hostile to all men in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.” At the time of this writing Paul knew that the Jews had “filled up their cup” and that they were doomed to destruction by the Romans, which began in 70 AD.
Jesus warned about the “full cup rule” during a discourse with the Scribes and Pharisees after pronouncing seven curses (woes) upon them for their hypocrisy. Matthew 23:32-33 states: “Fill ye up then the measure of your forefathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?”
When a nation, city, people or a person’s cup of rebellion has been filled, then divine love manifests itself in judgment. God breaks His silence, for divine mercy has its limits, and out of divine grace for the innocent, His wrath is poured out.
Matthew 23:34-38 tells us: “Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the Temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”
Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14 reads: “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”
Revelation 18:4-8 warns of the principle of the “cup of iniquity”, and of redemptive and utter destructive judgment: “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and god hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”
God’s behavior toward the nation of Israel is no different than toward any other nation. God’s behavior is universal and unchanging. The “full cup principle” with Israel is as follows: Israel becomes wicked; Warnings are sent from God through prophets; When the warnings are repeatedly rejected by the people or nation, then God sends destruction!
Note: For example, God sent eight prophets to Israel over a period of 130 years prior to the destruction of the ten northern tribes to warn the people to repent and obey the laws of God or He would send destruction. God sent the prophets Elisha, Obadiah, Joel, Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Mica. When the majority of the people continued to reject the warnings of God, which is the grace and mercy of God, finally the cup of iniquity became full. God broke His silence and used the Assyrian king to bring His judgment upon Israel by destroying the ten tribes of Israel in 722 B.C. Later, when the Assyrian nation’s cup of iniquity became full, became full, God sent another nation to destroy the Assyrians. The cup of iniquity principle always takes place as it is a rule/law of design by God Himself. It is the Science of Judgment!
Prior to the destruction of the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin, God sent five prophets out of compassion to warn them to repent. For 65 years the prophets Nahum, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Jeremiah and Ezekiel tried to warn them of God’s anger toward their sins, but they continued to reject the warnings of the prophets. We must realize that God is predictable. There are certain patterns of apostasy that are scientific for all nations. God’s character of justice and mercy is known and balanced into what I call divine love.
When patterns of apostasy continue and the cup of iniquity becomes full, then first redemptive and finally destructive judgment falls. God sends a destroyer upon a nation to judge it. God uses kings of nations as His arm of destruction. He uses them as His destroyer to conquer and destroy that nation in apostasy. The people of Israel were warned about violating the terms of God’s covenant!
Leviticus 26:14-33 reads: “But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits. And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate. And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied. And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary to me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcasses upon the carcasses of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours. And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.”
The above passage from Leviticus shows how God uses four judgments. God does not leave us guessing how He will execute His wrath! God uses famine, wild animals, sword and plague. When you are reading and re-reading this article, notice throughout the Sciptures how God uses famine, wild animals, sword, and plague. Also, notice the sudden terror upon nations God sends when He breaks His silence because their cup of iniquity is full. Destruction comes quickly, as with the Seattle earthquake on February 28, 2001. Destruction comes without warning unless you are a student of the science of judgment, and then it still comes as a shock.
I Thessalonians 5:3 warns us: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”
Revelation 6:7, 8 reads: “And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth."
Jeremiah 15:1-7: “Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth. And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? Then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the Lord; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity. And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the Lord: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy. And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem. For who shall have pity upon thee, O Jerusalem? Or who shall bemoan thee? Or who shall go aside to ask how thou doest? Thou hast forsaken me, saith the Lord, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting. And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy my people, since they return not from their ways.”
Ezekiel 5:5-17: “Thus saith the Lord God; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her. And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you; Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, am against thee; and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations. And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations. Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds. Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord God; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity. A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them. Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the Lord have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them. Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by. So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the Lord have spoken it. When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread: So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee: and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the Lord have spoken it.”
TO BE CONTINUED
© 2001 World Ministries International