August 11, 2014
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Revelation 22: 1 – 21
This closing chapter of the Book of Revelation continues our thrilling “sightseeing tour” of the New Jerusalem, and reaffirms the fact that only those who possess the righteousness of Christ are granted admittance and residence.
Verse 1: And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Verse 2: In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
The first two verses of chapter 22 establish the fact that, in our new glorified bodies, we, as inhabitants of the Holy City, will continue to enjoy the habit of eating. Why not? When we see Jesus, we shall be like him (1 John 3:2). Since He ate in His glorified body (see Luke 24:43), why wouldn’t we? Our text also describes the best drink we will ever enjoy- pure, refreshing water direct from the throne of God. Think of it! Distilled or chemically treated water is no longer necessary, for pollution has become nonexistent!
Not only do we have crystal clear water to drink, but we also enjoy delicious health-producing fruit. In fact, the tree of life bears twelve manner of fruits and produces them monthly.
This is interesting.
When Adam and Eve sinned by partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17), God drove them out of the Garden of Eden. He then stationed an angel before its entrance in order to keep them from eating the fruit of the tree of life, lest they eat and live eternally in their sinful state.
Now a new day has arrived. The saints are in the very presence of God, and may eat of the tree of life to their heart’s content. Undoubtedly this tree plays a part in promoting one’s endless existence, for even the leaves contain healing or health for the nations living under, or in the light of, the city. The word health is the proper translation, not healing. Since there is no sorrow, sickness, or pain, healing is unnecessary because eternal health is for all. In the heavenly city, doctors and nurses are permanently retired. Hallelujah!
Verse 3: And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
The curse, which originated in the Garden of Eden and was partially removed during the Millennium, is now obliterated forever.
Verse 4: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
Think of it! We will observe the beauty of our Saviour’s countenance daily as we live in His presence forever and ever.
When we look at the One who is altogether lovely and He, in turn, looks at us, He will observe His name indelibly inscribed upon our foreheads. This is our seal of eternal ownership! Oh, how wonderful to belong to Jesus!
Verse 5: And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
Because Christ, in all His glory, illuminates the city and its inhabitants-those who walk in the light of the city-no other type of natural or artificial lighting is required. Even the sun which warmed the former earth for so many centuries is no longer necessary. The warmth of the love of God shines upon His people for the ages of ages in this land of eternal day.
Verse 6: And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
At this point the angel tells John the reason God has allowed him to experience this vision of the revelation. He says, “The God of the holy prophets who is truth and cannot lie, sent me to tell you that the things you have heard and seen must come to pass speedily.”
Verse 7: Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
In verse 6, our Lord told John that the things written in this Book of Revelation must shortly be done or “come to pass speedily.” Then He adds in verse 7, Behold, I come quickly [or speedily]. The term speedily is not used in relationship to hours, days, months, or even years. Rather, it speaks of a series of events happening in rapid succession once they begin. In other words, when these things begin to come to pass (see Luke 21:28), the signs and events will fall into place so speedily-one after another-that a state of preparedness should be maintained. Hence, the admonition: Blessed [or happy] is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. Such an individual will be ready for the Lord’s return.
Verse 8: And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which sheaved me these things.
Verse 9: Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
Poor mortals never learn! John had already made the mistake of bowing before an angel and being rebuked in chapter 19, verse 10. Now he does it again! Fortunately, we have a God of love. He is willing to forgive the same mistake seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22). Only by His grace, love, compassion, and forgiveness are any of us able to continue. Thank you, Lord Jesus!
Verse 10: And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Following God’s revelation to Daniel, the prophet was told to seal the book [until] the time of the end (Daniel 12:4).
John, however, is forbidden to seal the Book of Revelation because the time is at hand, or has come. In the Greek, the word time is kairos, and means “opportune moment” or “correct season.” Thus, the angel is saying, “The time for the revealing of prophetic truth has come. People are to be made aware of the future. They must learn the history of the churches and the plan of the ages. Then, as they live in these periods of time, they will understand God’s program. They will also realize that, once the events begin, they will speedily come to pass. Knowing this, they will prepare. Therefore, do not seal the prophecy of the sayings of this book.”
Our study of the Book of Revelation has revealed that the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the Great White Throne Judgment will soon come to pass. As a result, some will realize that little time is left and will ask Christ to save them. Others will continue to harden their hearts. The decision is every individual’s to make. One’s acceptance or rejection of God’s truth and the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s personal Saviour will determine where one spends eternity and what one will be forever. Hence, the next statement…
Verse 11: He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Choose this day what you shall be eternally!
Verse 12: And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
God’s prophetic time clock is ticking, and every event will certainly and speedily come to pass.
Verse 13: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
God is saying, “When I come, I will finish the work of redemption which I began, for I am the Alpha and Omega, the author and finisher of [the] faith (Hebrews 12:2).” If you receive the gospel invitation, you will be happy for…
Verse 14: Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
According to Dr. C. I. Scofield, a better rendering of verse 14 is, “Blessed are they that wash their robes that they may have right to the tree of life.” If one is seeking rights to the tree of life by commandment-keeping, he is planning to arrive in the eternal state by his works. This, of course, is impossible as we have learned through Titus 3:5, Romans 4:5, and numerous other texts.
Dr. A. C. Gaebelein, Dr. H. A. Ironside, Dr. J. A. Seiss, and practically all noted Bible scholars also translate the verse, “Blessed are they that wash their robes (in the blood of the Lamb) that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Those who reject the message of the blood and salvation by grace through faith in the completed work of Christ (see Ephesians 2:8, 9) are reminded:
Verse 15: For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
This is the crowd pictured in Revelation 21:8. The dogs are identical to the abominable of chapter 21. The abominable never lived it (see Titus 1:16), and the dogs went back to their dirt-their old sinful habits (see 2 Peter 2:22). Both verses speak of individuals who lack the “new birth” experience-the one and only way a person can become a new creation in Christ Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). There is absolutely no doubt about the destiny of those who reject God’s message and the truths revealed in the Book of Revelation, for…
Verse 16: I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
The message of the revelation is true because Christ inaugurated and guarantees it. Who would dare question Him? In this verse, the Lord also calls himself the root and offspring of David. As the root, He is David’s Lord-the preexistent God (see Psalm 110:1). As his offspring, He is David’s son, the incarnate Christ (see Matthew 22:41-46).
This is a beautiful picture of the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is also the bright and morning star. In fact, Peter calls Him the day star (2 Peter 1:19).
Now listen intently, for this is deeply moving. God so loves sinners that His compassionate heart must extend the gospel call one last time before the book closes. Oh, that modern-day ministers were as evangelistic as the Heavenly Father! Hear Him:
Verse 17: And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
In this text, God compassionately declares, “Believe in Me; come to Me. Invite Me into your heart and life. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Everyone and everything is pulling for you: (1) the Holy Spirit is, (2) the bride of Christ is, (3) everyone who hears and believes is, (4) the glorious city in which the Bride dwells is saying, ‘Don’t you want me for your eternal home?’ Finally (5) your own spiritual thirst is crying out, ‘I want to be satisfied.”‘ Why not come and drink? The water of life is free. It is without cost or obligation for everyone, and whosoever will may come!
If you have rejected this invitation, if you have considered the message of the Book of Revelation unimportant, or if you are among those who believe that the Book of Revelation is not part of the canon of Scripture-that it is but a collection of riddles, simply a symbolic hoax perpetrating a myth-beware! For God himself warns one and all…
Verse 18: For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Verse 19: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
What a strong judgmental warning! What a serious admonition from the Almighty to take the Book of Revelation seriously! God means what He says and says what He means. One is not to meddle with or handle lightly the truths which mean so much to the God of heaven and earth, for…
Verse 20: He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
God’s last promise as the Book of Revelation closes is, Surely, I come quickly. When one sees the beginning of these events and the rapid succession of signs following speedily, Jesus will come quickly- or suddenly. The response of His people is: Amen. This expression literally means, so be it (Jeremiah 11:5). And then they immediately add, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
The final message to the Church is that our Lord will return. Until this glorious event takes place and He calls us to himself in the twinkling of an eye, my prayer for every born-again child of God reflects the benediction of this blessed book:
Verse 21: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Let Me Cry!
I’ve been doing some crying, lately.
A while back I noticed that a young waitress who often serves Jack and me when we go out to eat seemed unusually quiet and withdrawn and there was a strain on her countenance. When I went to wash my hands in the ladies room, I had a chance to pull her aside and ask if something was wrong. Tears spilled down her cheeks as she told me her husband had just asked her for a divorce.
Imagine the pain of having your husband or wife look you in the eye and say, “I don’t love you anymore-I want out of this marriage.” I can’t even begin to comprehend the shock, sorrow, and grief one would feel in such a situation.
I didn’t know what to say to this poor girl -but I put my arms around her and comforted her the only way I knew how…with my tears.
Also in recent months, I have felt an increased burden for my unsaved friends and loved ones. Bible prophecy makes it so clear that time on this old earth is running out fast and that surely Jesus is coming soon…perhaps today! So I have been praying…and weeping …for my unsaved loved ones. It is the only way I know to minister to them!
What is a tear?
The great preacher, T. DeWitt Talmage, once wrote, “Help me explain a tear. A chemist will tell you that it is made up of salt and lime and other component parts; but he misses the chief ingredients-the acid of a soured life, the viperine sting of a bitter memory, the fragments of a broken heart. I will tell you what a tear is: it is agony in solution.”
These are powerful, moving words. And perhaps all of us have either witnessed or personally experienced the truth Talmage sought to convey.
But I suggest to you that there is more to tears than sadness, sorrow, regret, and pain. Tears can be a release from stress and anxiety, a vent for frustration, a safety valve for overpowering emotions. Tears can be the most sincere expression of compassion and love. And just as raindrops wash the smoke, smog, and impurities from the atmosphere, so tears can wash away the stains of bitterness and disappointment from our souls.
A time to weep
As Solomon, perhaps the wisest man who ever lived, once declared, To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…A time to weep, and a time to laugh (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4).
We live in a time when everyone wants to laugh all the time, but no one is willing to weep. And if someone does cry, it makes people really uncomfortable. Children are hushed and told not to cry. Men are taught that tears don’t go with a macho image…that only sissies cry. And women who weep at some sadness or loss are interrupted and advised to wipe their eyes and get control of themselves.
No! No! No! Let me cry. It’s all right to cry. I need to cry. In fact, one of my goals is to minister to those who are weeping. I want to do all I can, to say what I can…and when there are no deeds or words that can help, to weep with them.
Perhaps my resolution is best expressed in the words of the late Bob Pierce in his moving book, Let My Heart Be Broken With the Things That Break the Heart of God.
When Jesus wept, His tears were for others. Both Matthew and Luke describe how He wept over the city of Jerusalem for those who would not hear and accept the Truth! We, too, should weep for others.
Weep over souls
Should we be less concerned over lost souls than our Saviour? Why are we not crying and praying for the lost to be saved before it is eternally too late?
I’ve seen people moved to tears by the plight of fictional characters in a paperback book. A melodramatic film may jokingly be described as a “two-hanky” movie, and it’s perfectly all right. But the same people who get involved and empathize with artificial stories can see real live people around them dying and slipping into eternity without God and never feel a twinge or shed a tear.
I wonder-if the unsaved friends and loved ones I’m praying for don’t seem to be any closer to the Lord than when I first started, could it be because I haven’t shed any tears for them? The Bible says, They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him (Psalm 126:5, 6).
Weep over sin
Sometimes I can hardly watch the news on television or read the daily paper without crying. My heart breaks at what is going on in our nation and the world today. There is such evil and perversion, such wickedness and violence. How long will God allow men’s hearts to be filled with such deliberate, willful sin before calling them to judgment?
I believe we are to weep over sin, whether our own, our family’s, or our nation’s.
The Apostle Paul wrote, For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10).
I am reminded of how Peter, after denying the Lord during the awful hours before the Crucifixion, went out, and wept bitterly (Matthew 26:75). Those tears of repentance led to his being forgiven and restored.
Weep over sorrow
Just as there is a time to weep over souls and a time to weep over sin, there is also a time to weep over sorrow. Do you remember when Mary and Martha showed the Lord the tomb where their brother Lazarus was buried? The Bible says, Jesus wept (John 11:35).
There is a time for sorrow… and when it comes, tears are appropriate. Paul instructed, Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep (Romans 12:15).
Notice that the verse did not say to laugh with those who are laughing and to tell those who are crying to stop and cheer up. No, it says to cry with those who are crying! That means to share their sorrow-to get down under the burden with them. And when you share their tears-when all you can do is cry with them-you’ll find it is a tremendously effective way to minister your compassion and love.
I once interviewed a pastor who had suffered the traumatic loss of his little son. This man told me that in the midst of his grieving, the people of his church did not understand or know how to weep with him. They would come to him and say, “Pastor, why are you crying? Don’t you have any faith?”
After a while this minister wrote a book about what he had learned during his sorrowful experience. He called it, Jonathan, You Left Too Soon. But the main lesson I learned from his experience was that in the day of sorrow, it’s okay to weep. In fact, for most people, it’s a really good way to cope with loss and grief and begin to heal the broken heart and crushed emotions. Tears can be tremendously therapeutic.
I know I have been made acutely aware of the value of tears. And I pray that God will make me willing to weep with those who weep, whether they cry tears of pain, heartache, sorrow…or joy! I encourage you to consider whether God can also use you in a ministry of tears.
Remember, though, that our tears will not -cannot-last long. The psalmist sang, Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
I’m here to tell you that a great morning is coming soon, when we will all be in the presence of the Lord. Oh, what a glorious promise and steadfast hope! For on that glad day, God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Revelation 21:4).
No wonder Jesus said, Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh (Luke 6:21).
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Until you get your reward in Heaven you will never know how many people you have blessed with your programs, books & tapes. We are very thankful for your continued faithfulness to Jesus, His Word and His work. Well done good and faithful servant.
Dear Jack and Rexella,
I just want to say Thank You for your Inspiration and I always watch your program, your Passion and Knowledge is contagious and I know God is with you, I just wish that I had a thimble full of the Faith that you have and could understand the Bible words like you do, I know there is a lot of Study that goes into this and I Thank you for it.
As for myself I will keep Jesus in my heart and keep going forward with your help. Please Pray for my Son as he will be going into the Military soon and he does know of Jesus but feels this is what he has to do. Rexella you are a Beautiful singer and I know You both are a Match made in Heaven. Please Pray for the U.S. as we are backsliding away from the Morals and Values I was raised with.
Thank You for caring. God Bless us all.
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
Discover 15 amazing biblical signs that prove this generation is the one that will see the Lord Jesus returning in the clouds! Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe use current events, Bible prophecy, scientific facts, and more to show you the answers to critical questions such as:
- Is Mark of the Beast technology going to be globally deployed by the year 2017?
- Why are Russia and China conducting joint military maneuvers; and why is Iran cozying up to China?
- Who is deceiving President Obama right now, and how does his role as ‘peacemaker’ for Muslim nations signal the rise of the Antichrist?
- What world leaders are calling for global Islamic law, and where is it actually predicted in Bible prophecy?
- Will our enemies attack North America with nuclear bombs?
- And much more!
This is a powerful teaching for believers and will show non-believers the truth of the soon return of Jesus!
Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe have prepared this powerful new video teaching to show you the Enemies of the Cross and how to defeat them. You will discover the answers to critical questions such as:
- Who is calling the cross ‘useless’, and why?
- How can we know if Jesus is the only way to heaven?
- How do contemporary church services fit into the great ‘falling away’ predicted in the Bible?
- How are new Bible translations destroying the Christian faith?
- How does Pope Francis signal Christ’s soon return?
- What will the final one world religion look like?
- Where will the False Prophet come from?
- Who has been lured into the New Age Movement?
- And many more!
Do not allow your family and church to be deceived.