April 28, 2014
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Revelation 13: 4 – 18
Verse 4: And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
Another reason that verse 3 may speak of an actual resurrection is that millions who previously would not believe in the Antichrist now begin to worship him-and Satan.
In the second half of this chapter, we will see that the false prophet or religious leader of the Tribulation period actually enforces the worship of the Antichrist! Since the people think of him as God, they cry, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? Yes, who can combat this self-proclaimed god and be victorious?
Verse 5: And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
The Antichrist’s blasphemy during the final three and one-half years of the Tribulation hour most likely has to do with his mockery of the Almighty. One of the reasons God hates idolatry (the use of images in worship) is that He wants no rivals. Hear Jehovah in Exodus 20:4 and 5: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God. Think of the insult to the Eternal One when the Antichrist says, “I am God,” and teeming millions bow to him, to Satan, to the false prophet, and to the image-the abomination of desolation-erected in his honor. This blasphemy continues.
Verse 6: And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
Jesus, the true God, was accused of blasphemy in His day because He claimed to be God (see Matthew 9:3).
Ironically, the world accepts the Antichrist’s claim to deity, and this perpetrated lie is blasphemy to God. The blasphemy is undoubtedly intensified because Satan himself is speaking.
Now, here is a thought-provoking theory: during the first forty-two months of the Tribulation, the Antichrist acts under the influence of Satan. However, after Satan is cast out of heaven (in chapter 12) and comes to earth, he may actually incarnate himself in the dead body of the Antichrist who had the wound by a sword, and did live (chapter 14). Thus, the beast is raised from the dead by the counterfeiter (Satan), who dwells in that body for the final forty-two months, claiming deity. As a result, he is able to experience that which he sought when he was cast out of heaven, crying, I will be like the most high (see Isaiah 14:1214). Satan’s ultimate desire is now realized-he is worshiped as God. The blasphemy is unspeakable! He desecrates everything his filthy hands touch, including the Tabernacle and its worshippers.
Verse 7: And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
The fight is on for the saints of the Tribulation hour. Remember, this is not the Church. Satan battles the Church as they return with Christ (chapter 19, verse 14). In the scene before us, he is attempting to destroy the millions who washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (chapter 7, verse 14) and who also refused the mark of the beast (chapter 20, verse 4). Instead of experiencing defeat, they overcome (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony (chapter 12, verse 11).
During this time, the Antichrist controls the entire world. He is an international despot exercising power over all kindreds, tongues, and nations. Such a one-world government is almost upon us. Consider for a moment the global organizations which have become existent in our day: (1) the International Atomic Energy Agency, (2) the International Labor Organization, (3) the Food and Agricultural Organization, (4) the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, or World Bank, (5) the International Development Association, (6) the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, commonly called UNESCO, (7) the World Health Organization, (8) the International Finance Corporation, (9) the International Monetary Fund, (10) the International Civil Aviation Organization, (11) the Universal Postal Union, (12) the International Telecommunications Union, (13) the World Meteorological Association, (14) the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultive Organization, and (15) the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trades Organization. The formation of such international alliances has led outstanding thinkers to state that “a New World Order” is on the horizon.
Presently we may be witnessing mankind’s final approach to the much-publicized New World Order, or one-world government, of the Antichrist. At this point in history, all the world will be amazed as this self-styled deity takes control, and the majority will submit to his authority. However, God always has a remnant who will not bow to Baal or other deities.
Verse 8: And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
The true believers of the Tribulation hour will have nothing to do with this satanic monster, even though they will not be able to buy or sell without his approval (chapter 13, verse 17). Their love for Christ will mean more than life, shelter, and food. They will love Christ to the end, for John declares, I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years (chapter 20, verse 4).
Is the Tribulation hour approaching? Will a demon-possessed or devil-incarnate human claim deity and be accepted as world leader and be worshiped as God? I believe so. Why? Henry Spaak, a spokesman for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIET) in Brussels, Belgium, headquarters for the Common Market, made a profound statement relevant to that organization’s goals and operations a few years ago. He said, “We do not want another committee. We have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of the people and lift us out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and be he God or devil, we will accept him.” Mr. Spaak, your wish will soon become a reality! The life-and-death matter of verses 1 through 8 is so important that God repeats the warning He so often presented to the seven churches.
Verse 9: If any man have an ear, let him hear.
Beware! Take heed! Think seriously! Why?
Verse 10: He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
This is the exact caution Paul stressed in Galatians 6:7: For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Verse 11: And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb [identifying him with Christianity], and he spake as a dragon [tying him in with Satan].
Verses 11 through 18 introduce us to the second beast (the religious fake, or false prophet) who is the third member of the satanic trinity. The devil imitates the Father, the Antichrist imitates the Son, and the false prophet imitates the Holy Spirit. This religious hypocrite fulfills the prediction of the Saviour who said in Matthew 24:24, For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Verse 12: And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
Clearly, the power of the false prophet is in the realm of religion. He is coequal in power with the Antichrist. One heads up the secular world, while the other controls the religious scene. These two work closely together. The Antichrist shares his authority with the false prophet, protecting him and his religious colossus in return for a promise of loyalty and devotion. Thus, as head of the world church, the false prophet sees to it that the Antichrist-who was wounded and resurrected-is worshiped. What a team! This second beast is also one of the greatest miracle workers in history.
Verse 13: And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
These great wonders are called lying wonders in 2 Thessalonians 2:9. They are not magical, “sleight of hand” manipulations, but the result of supernatural power from the dragon that enables these men to even produce fire. Since God often revealed himself by fire (see Genesis 19:24, Leviticus 10:1, 2, and 1 Kings 18:38), the false prophet also uses fire. Satan shares his supernatural power for one reason:
Verse 14: And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
The sole purpose of all these miracles is to prepare the people for idolatry. The false prophet actually entices mankind to build the greatest statue in history in the very image of the Antichrist. This monstrosity will be erected in Jerusalem and will be placed in the Jewish Temple. Such a blasphemous act is against the Jewish conscience and is forbidden by the second commandment (see Exodus 20:4). This is why the image is such an obnoxious, hateful, and abominable thing and is labeled the abomination of desolation by the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 24:15.
Verse 15: And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
Since the image is able to speak, it might well be the ultimate achievement of our present-day computer systems, already capable of conducting intelligent conversations.
The processing power and speed of computers is growing each and every year. IBM’s Roadrunner computer has just shattered the previous speed record. It is capable of processing 1.026 quadrillion calculations per second. That is over 1,000 trillion calculations per second. The previous record was held by another IBM computer; Blue Gene/L which could process 478.2 trillion calculations per second. Personally, I believe that the Antichrist will enslave and control earth’s billions of inhabitants through such an all-knowing, monstrous computer. Such a system is absolutely essential to his having all the facts on every member of the human race at his fingertips. As a result, he will, with unerring precision, be able to know who receives his orders, obeys his commands, and honors his laws. His computer will also tell him who earth’s rebels are!
The Antichrist will most certainly use such a computer-and it will be fashioned in his own image.
Verse 16: And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
Verse 17: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Verse 18: Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
As we have seen, the Antichrist will undoubtedly use a computer to enslave earth’s population during the Tribulation hour. Also we discover that he will effect and maintain this control through commerce- the buying and selling of products. In order to make his plan operable, the Antichrist will also introduce an international identification system in the form of a mark (possibly a laser tattoo) placed in the right hand or forehead of every individual participant. Without this mark, no man-no man-will be permitted to purchase or sell even the smallest item of merchandise.
According to verses 17 and 18, this identification mark will be-or will include as a prefix-the digits “666.” The use of “666” as a prefix appears most plausible, as this is the only way one person could be differentiated from another. If all numbers were identical, mass confusion would ensue. Therefore, prefixes preceding the “666” or using the “666” as the prefix code are essential for marketing purposes.
With specific reference to verse 18, one should be aware of the fact that there have always been, and always will be, individuals who claim to know the identity of the Antichrist. They take the number “666” and, through all kinds of mathematical formulations, attempt to come to a conclusion. Their efforts, however, can amount to no more than mere speculation because we cannot know who the Antichrist is until he arrives on the scene, and he cannot arrive until the Church is raptured. Still, God’s Word admonishes the Christian to be wise (see Matthew 10:16) and watchful (see Matthew 24:42), especially as the day of Christ’s return approaches (see Hebrews 10:25).
As shocking as the information presented in this chapter may seem, such a day is at hand. A cashless, checkless society is in the planning stages and a number of countries are already experimenting. To be sure, “It’s later than you think!” The reign of the Antichrist is upon the horizon. This new Hitler, with a monstrous computer which will enslave millions, may soon control the earth. Unbeliever, Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near (Isaiah 55:6).
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
Have you ever wondered how the world must look to a little baby? After nine months of confinement, tucked close beneath its mother’s heart, the world must seem a strange, vast place.
Looking up from its crib, perhaps a little one’s first awareness is of faces looking down. Probably the first person to attract the baby’s attention would be its mother.
“Who is this person?” might be the baby’s first question, if it could speak. I’m told that the miraculous, divinely-planned bonding between child and mother begins almost immediately after birth. Many experts believe a baby even recognizes its mother’s voice from months of hearing it inside the womb.
And the baby’s next question might be, “Who is that man?” Given the proper time, care, and attention from the male parent, the infant will grow to recognize and love its father, too. Throughout every stage of its growth and development, that child needs the influence and nurture of both a mother and father. Expressing affection to the child in a positive way, like hugging, is important in developing a sense of security.
Sorry to say, too often there is not enough of a relationship between fathers and children. There is too little male bonding. Some recent studies have determined that a great many men spend only about ten minutes a day with their children. As a result, fathers are virtual strangers to their offspring. Children can’t identify with their father-they don’t know who he is or what he stands for. They would find it impossible to say what their dad’s outlook and philosophy is.
This condition is one of the sad and serious consequences of homes broken by divorce. There are millions of single-parent homes where children grow up never knowing the influence of a man in the house.
Even in homes with mothers and fathers, sometimes dads spend too many hours watching TV, or involving themselves in hobbies or activities that take them away from their children. Sometimes, even church activities can keep men really busy with Sunday and Wednesday services, and perhaps one or two other nights of serving on boards or committees.
Because of the hectic pace of modem life… and possibly even because of the demented, evil behavior of a small percentage of men who victimize and abuse youngsters-the normal, healthy bond of intimacy between father’s and children is deteriorating.
In recent months, there seems to be a new emphasis on developing positive parent-child relationships-especially with fathers. I applaud this and encourage every Christian father to invest more time and interest in his children. Almost nothing is more important to the whole family’s welfare than for the man of the house to be a real father.
As I look back over my childhood and teenage years, I realize what an important role my dad, Rex Shelton, played in my life. And looking around at the multiplied thousands of youngsters who have absolutely no father-image, or a father who takes little or no interest in them, or even worse, a father who persecutes and abuses them, my heart goes out to them.
No wonder our youth are out of control, our families deteriorating, and our nation veering disastrously off course! God, give us fathers-godly men like my precious dad!
Caring and sharing
I knew my father. He was a real, flesh and blood, down-to-earth person. He was not afraid to share his struggles and troubles openly…not to burden his children but to let us see how he worked through hard times and faced adversity…and how he trusted God. He openly showed us the reality of Christian living.
Dad had a big heart. He cared for others, and always was quick to extend a helping hand. Dad came from a family of eight children, and he even helped take care of his brothers and sisters, taking responsibility for them until they were old enough to be on their own.
My dad was tenderhearted… and not afraid of tears. He was moved by the feelings of others. If I cried, often he cried too, sharing my sorrow, and offering comfort and encouragement. I always knew he cared.
He also was free-spirited and fun loving, and never outgrew the joy of playing. I remember going swimming and water skiing, and tobogganing with him in the snow. Once, when I was just a little girl, Dad and I were out walking in the snow and I got so cold I couldn’t stand it. Dad picked me up, put me inside his coat, wrapping it snugly around the both of us. I felt so secure in his arms-protected, safe, warm, and loved.
That’s really how Dad made me feel all my life. I never remember him saying, “Leave me alone-I don’t have time for you right now.” He made time for me when I needed and wanted him-he was always there, physically and emotionally.
When I had a serious tooth problem and had to go to the dentist for a root canal, it was Dad who took me and held my hand through the frightening ordeal. And it was Dad who taught me to face reality, putting Merthiolate on a scrape and saying, “Rexella, this WILL hurt-but it will help you get well.”
Dad knew how to make me feel special. Sometimes I’d follow him out into the backyard garden-just because I enjoyed walking with him and looking at the vegetables. He’d find the biggest and best red tomato in the whole garden and give it to me, along with a salt shaker he’d carried in his pocket just for that walk.
Children love to know what their fathers do. My dad was a quality control inspector on a General Motors auto assembly line. I’ll never forget when he took me to see his work. I was so proud of him-I thought he was so important. It made me look up to him even more.
My father did not send me to church with my mother-he took us to church as a family. I started singing at church when I was about five years old. When I’d look out at the congregation, Dad was always there and his face shone with approval!
Years later, when Jack and I were young evangelists, whenever we were within 50-100 miles of home, Dad would drive over to be in our services. Sometimes it meant he could only sleep four or five hours that night because he was up each morning at 5:30 a.m. for work.
I’ve always thought it must be profoundly painful to be publicly ridiculed or disciplined by one’s parent. Dad always corrected me privately. I sometimes needed correction-and I got it! But Dad never humiliated me or made my misdeeds a public spectacle. And he used my mistakes as opportunities to teach me a better way.
Once I was trying to train a puppy to do tricks-with little results. I got so exasperated that I was yelling! Dad came out with a handful of treats and said, “Try using these as rewards-it will work better.” Then he told me that when he was a boy, his mother had taught him to use sugar cubes instead of a stick to train his horse. I never forgot that lesson.
I was so fortunate-so blessed to have a good father. It was never difficult for me to understand or receive God’s love because I had experienced the love of an earthly father. I could believe God would take my burdens (Psalm 55:22), supply my needs (Philippians 4:19), protect me (Psalm 91:11), direct me (Proverbs 3:5,6), and give me everlasting life and love (John 3:16). My earthly father had exemplified all these things to me. If Dad had these qualities, how could I doubt that God had them to the ultimate degree?
My dad taught me how to live. And he also taught me how to die. When my father’s life came to an end, I remember the whole family gathering in his hospital room to spend the last precious hours with him. He suffered in dignity…and died in peace.
Shortly before he crossed over into heaven, I was alone with Dad for a few minutes. I asked, “Dad, we don’t have a lot of time left to be together here in this world. Is there anything you have to tell me?”
He was quiet for a long moment, then he squeezed my hand gently and said, “Fulfill the reason for which you’ve been born!” Those words have been my goal ever since. And with all the strength and wisdom I can summon, each day I try to give my best…to the work of God that is my life’s calling.
Walking through the valley
Not long after this happened. Dad stirred a bit and said, “Look, I’m walking through the valley!”
“Who is waiting for you on the other side?” I asked, as tears streamed down my cheeks.
“My Lord,” he said. “My Lord is waiting.”
In a few minutes, Dad said he needed to rest, but he wanted to pray before he went to sleep. I held his hand as he prayed. He said, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord, my soul to take.”
I knew Dad could lay down to sleep, knowing he had been a good father-that his primary work was done. Like the Apostle Paul, he could say, “I’ve finished the course.”
Looking back fondly, somehow it seems just right that, in his last supplication, Dad would revert to that simple, beautiful child’s bed-time prayer. After all, he was moving into the presence of his Father.
The other day, after an exhausting session before the TV cameras, I was feeling a bit weary and under the weather. For some reason, when I got home I opened an old scrapbook, and a piece of paper fluttered loose. It was a church attendance slip from my childhood days. Written on the back, in Dad’s handwriting, was a note he’d jotted down for me after I’d sung at church. But his words reached across the years and blessed me once again. “Dear Rexella,” I read through my tears, “this was your most beautiful and best yet. Love, Dad.”
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Jack and Rexella,
I enjoy your weekly show so much. I record it so I can see again and again. I just want to be sure that I don’t miss a word. I bought the JVI bible. Love it. Wish you were on more often.
God bless both of you.
Dear Jack and Rexella:
I travel back and forth from Texas to Oklahoma and when I am not able to watch JVI Ministries on TV, I catch up on JVI Ministries Internet TV. I greatly enjoy the both of you as you have such sweet and gentle spirits, yet packed with power when you explain what is happening in the world today along with the Word of God.
I eagerly awaited each email as I am following along in my bible making notes from your message of hope in the Revelation of John. You have enlightened my understanding of the current and future events and given me much hope and peace in spite of the insanity of our nation and world being turned upside down. (What was good is indeed evil and what was evil is now considered good).
May God bless you both and keep you in good health as you continue to bring enlightenment to those of us that are hungry for the prophetic truth.
Thank you for your humble service,
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