HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
•’ Tekel; Thou art weighed In the balances, and art found wanting.” Daniel. 5: 27.
You will find my text in one short word, “Tekel,” meaning: “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” In the 5th chapter of Daniel, we read the history of King Belshazzar. It is very short. Only one chapter tells us all we know about him. One short sight of his career is all we see. He just seems to burst upon the stage, and then disappears. We are told that he gave a great feast, and at this feast, he had a thousand of his lords; and they were drinking and praising the gods of silver, of gold, of brass, of iron, and of wood, out of the vessels which had been brought from the temple at Jerusalem. As they were drinking out of these vessels of gold and silver from the house of God,—I don’t know but what it was at the midnight hour, all at once came forth the fingers of a man’s hand and began to write upon the wall of the hall. The king turns deathly pale; his knees shake together, and he trembles from head to foot. Perhaps if some had told him the time was coming when he would be put into the balance and weighed, he would have laughed at him. But he knows the vital hour has come, and that hand has written his doom in the words, “Mene, Mene, tekel u pharsin.”
- He calls the wise men of his meme pharsin.”
- He calls the wise men of his kingdom; and, and who can interpret this will be made the third ruler of his kingdom, and be clothed in scarlet, and have a chain about his neck.
One after another tried, but no uncircumcised eve could make it out and the king was greatly troubled. At last, one was spoken of who had been able to interpret the dream of his father Nebuchadnezzar. He was told if he would send for Daniel, he might interpret the writing. And now the prophet came in and looked upon the handwriting, and told him how his father had gone against God, and now he, Belshazzar, had gone against the Lord of heaven, and how his reign was finished. And this was the writing:
- “Mene: God hath numbered the kingdom and finished it;
- tekel: Thou art weighed in the balance, and art found wanting:
- Peres: thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and the Persians.”
The trial is over, the verdict is rendered, and the sentence brought out. That very night the king was hurled from his throne. That very night the army of Darius came tearing down the streets, and you might have heard the clash of arms, shouts of war, and have seen the king’s blood mingling with the wine in that banquet hall.
Now I want to call your attention to the word “tekel.” We have weighed in the balance. Now you make gestures and objections at the Word of God; you make light when all is going well in the hour of your prosperity. But when the time of trial comes, and we are called into judgment, it will be altogether different. Suppose the sentence should come down from heaven, upon every man and woman reading this message, to be weighed in the balance today, how would it be with you? Come, my friends, my brothers and sisters are you ready to be weighed today? Not in our own scales, but in God’s balance. Suppose the scales were dropped now from the kingdom of God; are you ready to step into the balance and be weighed. Are you willing to be weighed by the law? I can imagine some of you saying, “I wouldn’t be weighed by that law (meaning the ten commandments); I don’t believe it.” Some men think we are away beyond the Mosaic law; we have got out of it. Why Christ said in the book of Matthew chapter 5: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy but to fulfil. Heaven and earth may pass away, but my law shall never pass away;” but not until heaven and earth shall be removed will the Word of God be removed. Now the commandments that I read to you tonight are as binding as ever they have been. Many men say that we have no need of the commandments, only of the Sermon on the Mount. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy but to fulfil. Now, my friends, my brothers and sisters are you ready to be weighed by the law of God—by that magic law? What is the first commandment? “Thou shalt have no other Gods but me.” Are you ready to be weighed by this commandment?
Now, the question is, have you fulfilled, or are you ready to fulfil, all the requirements of this law’ A great many people say if they keep the commandments they don’t need Christ. But have you kept them? I will admit if you keep the commandments you can be saved by them; but is there a man in this Internet audience reading this message who can truly say that he has done this?
- Young lady, can you say, ” I am ready to be weighed by the law today?”
- Can you, young man? Can you say I am ready to step on the scales of the balance?
Now, suppose we have these commandments written upon pieces of iron. You know, when you go into a grocery store, you see them taking weight and putting it into the scales against what you have bought. Now, suppose the pieces of iron as weights, and the law of God written on them. Take this first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other God but me,” upon one of the weights. Put it in one of the scales and just step on the other. “Thou art weighed in the balance.” Is your heart set upon God today? Have you no other idol? Do you love him above father or mother, the wife of your bosom, your children, home or land, wealth or pleasure? Have you got another God before him? If you have, surely you are not ready to step in and be weighed against that commandment, “Thou shalt have no other God before me.” That is the commandment of God, and it is binding today. Then take another. You will say there is no trouble with this one. We might go off to other pages or other lands, and we can find people who worship idols, but we have none here. But how many idols have we in our hearts? Many a man says: “Give me money, and I will give you heaven; what care I for all the glories and treasures of heaven; give me treasures here. I don’t care for heaven; I want to be a successful businessman.” They make money and business their god. Although they don’t make gods of silver and gold, they bow before them. There are more men who worship silver and gold In St. Vincent and the Grenadines than any other god. But take another one: “Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Is there a swearing man ready to put the weight on the scales and step in? Young man, young woman have you been taking the Name of the Lord in vain today? What does he say? “The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his Name in vain.” I don’t believe men would ever have been guilty of swearing unless God had told them not to. They don’t swear by their friends, by their fathers and mothers, by their wives, by their children. But because God has forbidden it, a man wants to show how he despises the law of God. “Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Blasphemer, go into the scales and see how quick you will fly out. You will be like a feather in the balance. A great many men think there is nothing very serious in swearing; they don’t think there’s much wrong with it. Bear in mind that he sees something in it when he says: “Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.” You cannot trifle with God. Some men say they never swear except when they get angry. Suppose you swear only once in six months, or a year—suppose you swear once in ten years, do you think God will hold you guiltless for that one act? A man that swears once shows that his heart is rebellious to God. What are you going to do, blasphemer? If the balances were here today, and God told you to step in, what would you do?
I can see many Christians stepping back to allow another person in front of them. They will be afraid to step up to the scale of justice, the scale of balance. Whenever a man is charged by the police, in most cases they will find a lawyer, because of fear and they do not want to stand alone. The lawyer will use the same scales to weigh you before the law that charges you, and if you are found wanting, you will feel the judgement of the law. However, the lawyer has another role to play in your trial and that is to plead before the trial judge (magistrate) for leniency or a reduced sentence.
But take the fourth commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.” Suppose you could see the law written over these walls, “Remember to keep the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” could you say that you had observed it?* Are you ready’ to be weighed by the weight, “Remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy”? Some of us may be professed Christians, but do we observe the Sabbath? If this country falls into neglect of the observance of the Sabbath, it will go the way of France, Mexico, and Spain. Every nation that gives up the Sabbath must go down. It is only a question of time with them. Look when the children of Israel refused to obey the injunction of the Lord in regard to the cultivation of their land, how he took them into bondage and kept them for seventy years, to let them know that God’s land was not to be trampled under their feet. Are you guilty or not, guilty or innocent, in reference to this law: “Thou shalt keep the Sabbath day holy?” In 1867 in France, you could not tell one day from another. On Sunday stores were open, buildings were being erected, the same as on other days. See how quick that country went down. Only a few years ago it stood breast to breast with other nations; it stood side by side almost with England. But it didn’t have any respect for the Sabbath; it trampled God’s message underfoot; and when the hour of battle came, God left it alone. My friends, my brothers and sisters, every nation that tramples the Sabbath under its feet must go to ruin. Are you innocent or guilty? Do you keep the Sabbath day holy, or not?
¶I have been talking to those car conductors—and if there’s any class of men I pity more than another it is them, and they have to work on the Sabbath. Some of you are breaking this law by coming down here on Sunday in the cars. “What will you do? Foot it. It will be better for you. I make a point of never allowing myself to break the Sabbath of any man. When I was in London, and it’s a pretty big city, you know, in my ignorance I made arrangements to preach four times in different places on Sunday. After I had made the appointment, I found I had to walk sixteen miles; and I walked in, and I slept that night with a clear conscience. I want no Hackman to rise up in judgment against me. My friends, if we want to help the Sabbath, let businessmen and Christians never patronize cars on the Sabbath. I would hate to own stock in those horse-car companies, to be the means of taking the Sabbath from these men, and have to answer for it at the day of judgment. No man can work seven days a week and save his soul. And the very best thing we have is being taken from these men by us Christians. Are you willing to step into the balance and be weighed against “Thou shalt keep the Sabbath day holy”?
Well, there is the fifth: “Honor thy father and mother.” Are you ready to be weighed against this? Have you honoured them? Is there anyone here today who is dishonouring father or mother? Now, I’ve lived to be sixty-one years, and I’ve learned one thing if I’ve learned nothing else, that no man or woman who treats disrespectfully father or mother ever prospers. How many young ladies and gentlemen have married against their father’s wishes, and gone off and just made their own ruin. I never knew one case that did not turn out bad. They brought ruin upon themselves. This is a commandment from heaven: “Honour thy father and mother.” In the last days, men shall be disobedient to parents, void of natural affection; and it seems as if we are living in those days now. How many sons and daughters treat their mothers with contempt, make light of their entreaties. God says, “Honour thy father and mother.” If the balances were placed in this hall would you be ready to step into them against this commandment? You may make light of it and laugh at it; but young men, remember that God will hedge your way. No man shall succeed that disobeys his commandment. But bear in mind you are not going to be weighed only against this solitary commandment—every weight will be put in.
“Thou shalt not kill.” Most of you say, “That doesn’t touch me at all; I never killed anyone; I’m no murderer.” Look at that sermon on the Mount, which men think so much of. Look at it. Did you never in your heart with a man dead who had done you an injury? That’s murder. How are you? Innocent or guilty? If you have, you are a murderer at heart. Now come, my friends, are you ready to be weighed against the law? Ah, if most of us were weighed today we would find this word written against us: “Tekel, Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.”
But let us take another, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” I don’t know any sin that afflicts us like this. It is a very delicate subject to approach, but I never preach without being compelled to touch upon it. Young men and women among us are being bound hand and foot with this evil. Young men and women, hear this law today: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Are you guilty even in thought? How many would come into the Tabernacle but that they are tied hand and foot, as one who has been in the halls of vice, and some harlot, whose feet are fastened in hell, clings to him and says: “If you give me up, I will expose you.” Can you step on the scales and take that harlot with you? “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
- You may think that no one knows your doings;
- You may think that they are all concealed, but God knows it.
“He that covers his sins shall not prosper.” Out with it, today. Confess it to your God. Ask him to snap the fetters that bind you to this sin; ask him to give you victory over your passions. Shake yourself like Samson and say: “By the grace of God, I will not go down to hell with a harlot;” and God will give you power. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” As I said the other day, I don’t know a quicker way to hell. How many men have, by their excessive or offensive sexual desirous life, broken their mothers’ heart and gone down to their grave rotten, leaving the effect of their sin to their posterity?
Well, let us take up the next. “Thou shalt not steal.” How many have been stealing to the day! I may be speaking to some clerk, who, perhaps to-day, took five cents out of his employer’s drawer to buy a cigar; perhaps he took ten cents to get a shave and thinks ho will put it back tomorrow—no one will ever know it. If you have taken a penny, you are a thief. Do you ever think how those little stealings may bring you to ruin? Let an employer find it out. If he doesn’t take you into the courts, he will discharge (fire) you. Your hopes will be blasted, and it will be hard work to get up again. Whatever condition you are in, do not take a cent that does not belong to you. Rather than steal, go up to heaven in poverty—go up to heaven from the poor house; and be honest rather than go through the world in a gilded chariot of stolen riches. A man who takes money that does not belong to him never gets any comfort. He never has any pleasure, for he has a guilty conscience. “Thou shalt not steal.” Are you ready to be weighed today in the balances?
Then let us take the ninth commandment: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour;” or, in other words, thou shalt not be guilty of lying. If you had a chance to make $1000.00 or $3000.00, are you not willing to go into a court and lie to get it? “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” Are you ready to step into the balances against this? So when you began to speak against the people that only meant good to you and who were assisting you when you were down trying to get your head above water, consider what you say about them. Remember your story does not always hold water. It is wrong to scandal another person simply because you are no longer in agreement with that someone. You have to know as men and women of God that you cannot find favour when you have to step on the scale of a balance. Are you ready to make that bold step when the scale is placed in front of you?
Then take another. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods.” Are you innocent or guilty? How many times I used to covet that which belonged to other people before I was converted. I believe that is one of the greatest sins among us. My friends, brothers and sisters, how is it? Innocent or guilty? But suppose you are innocent of all these ten commandments; let us take that eleventh commandment of Christ’s: “A new commandment I give unto you; thou shalt love one another.” My friends, brothers and sisters, how is it today? Is love reigning in your hearts? Do you love your neighbours? Do you try to do them good; or are you living a life of selfishness, merely for yourself?
Now I can imagine that nearly every man or woman is saying to himself or herself: “If we are to be judged by these laws, how are we going to be saved?” Every one of them has been broken by all people. The moral man is just as guilty as the rest. There is not a moralist in St. Vincent and the Grenadines who, if he steps into those scales, can be saved. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” “Except ye repent, ye shall all perish.” That is on one side of the scales, and he will see on the other, “Except ye be converted, ye shall not enter the kingdom of God.” I have heard a good many Pharisees saying: “These teachings are reaching the drunkards and gamblers and harlots; they are doing good;” but they don’t think they need these teachings. They are all right; they are moral men. “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” I don’t care how moral he is. Nicodemus was probably one of the most moral men of his day. He was a teacher of the law; yet Christ said: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” I would love a good deal rather preach to thieves and drunkards and vagabonds than preach to self-righteous Pharisees and church folks. You don’t have to preach to those men weeks and months to convince them that they are sinners. When a man learns that he has need of God and that he is a sinner, it is very easy to reach him. But, my friends, my brother and sisters, the self-righteous Pharisee needs salvation as much as any drunkard that walks the streets of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
There is another class I want to speak of. If I had time, I would just like to take up the different classes in the city. That class is the rum-sellers. Put the rum-sellers in the balances. They ignore God’s laws; but by and by he will say to them, Tekel: “Woe is the man that puts the bottle to his neighbour’s lips.” My friends, brothers and sisters, I would rather have that right hand cut off before I would give the bottle to a man. I would rather have my right arm cut off than deal out death and damnation to my fellow-men. If any poor drunkard here should be summoned into eternity today, and be weighed in the balances, what would he hear? “No drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of God.” I can see how he would reel and stagger when he heard that. “No drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of heaven.”
My friends, brothers and sisters, if you don’t repent of your sins and ask him for mercy, there is no hope for you. Let me ask you today to take this question home to yourself. If a summons should come at midnight to be weighed in the balances, what will become of your souls, because the law of God must be kept? Now there are many of you only making professions. You belong to the Methodist Church, Anglican, Catholic or you may be a member of a Spiritual Baptist church; but are you ready to be weighed—ready to step into these scales today? I think a great many would-be found like those five foolish virgins. When the hour came, they would be found with no oil in their lamps. If there is a person here today who has only an empty lamp or is living on mere formalism, I beg of you to give it up. Give up that dead, cold, miserable lukewarmness. God will spit it out of his mouth; he will have none of it. Wake up. Some of you have gone almost to sleep while I have been trying to weigh you in the balances. God will weigh you, and then if you have not Christ it will be ” Tekel.”
I can imagine some of you saying: “I would just like Patriarch Godfrey to be put to those tests himself. I wonder what would become of him.” My dear friends, brothers and sisters, if God were to ask me today, I would tell him, ” I am ready.” I don’t say this in any spirit of egotism, of self-righteousness, remember. If you ask me if I have broken the law of Moses, I would answer, ” Yes, sir.” Ask me if I have broken the commandments, “Yes, sir.” You may ask me, then, how I am ready to be weighed. If I step on the scales today, the son of God will step into the scales with me. I would not dare to go into them without him. If I did, how quick the sales would go up! If a man has not got Christ, when the hour comes for him to be weighed, it will be “Tekel, tekel, tekel.” How are you today, my friend, brothers and sisters, are you ready to be weighed? (pointing to one of the audience).
Mr. Daniel—Have you got Christ?
Mr. Daniel—That’s right. Suppose I put the question to every man and woman in this audience. How quick many of them would begin to colour up. Oh, my friends, if you haven’t got him, get him today. May God open your eyes and your minds to receive him before you leave this page today. Christ kept the law; Christ was the end of the law. If he had broken the law, he would have had to die for himself; but he kept it, and we are enabled to be clothed in righteousness. My friends, brothers and sisters, it is the height of madness to go off of this page today and run the risk of being called by God and have to answer without him. Now is the day and hour to accept salvation, and then He will be with us. Then there will be no alarm with us. I pity those Christian people who are afraid of death. They need not be afraid of death if they have Him. When He is with us, it is only a translation. We are absent from the body to be present with the Lord. Here is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Will you be saved today? If you do not, when by-and-by God summons you into these scales, it will be written over you: “Tekel, tekel; thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting.” My friends, brothers and sisters, what will you do today? Remain as you are and be lost, or accept salvation and be saved?