July 13, 2015
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption (Ps. 16:10). The apostles Peter and Paul both identify the above verse as a prophecy of the resurrection of Christ (Acts 2:27;13:35).
Jesus prophesied His resurrection and called it the sign of His deity. When questioned about His power to perform miracles and to minister with authority, He replied: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19).
The Savior openly announced His coming resurrection to His disciples (Matt. 16:21), but after His death the disciples seemed to forget that promise.
His enemies had better memories. They petitioned Pilate for a guard at the tomb. Attempts to prevent the resurrection were futile, however, and the security measures taken by unbelievers only added to the evidence that proved He arose. The tomb was empty in spite of the Roman guard placed there. And the resurrection of Jesus has become one of the best-attested facts of history.
The Destruction of Jerusalem
The rejection of the Messiah by the Jews brought Him untold suffering. But those who rejected and crucified Him also suffered. Foreseeing the sorrows that would come to those who chose unbelief, He wept and warned. Desperate days were ahead for His persecutors and He mourned over their coming calamities.
On the day of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, on the day prophesied by Daniel in his vision of the seventy weeks, Jesus said through tears:
If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench before thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation (Luke 19:42-44).
As the time of His betrayal and crucifixion drew near, His warnings of coming destruction grew more intense:
And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Luke 21:20 — 24).
Israel had experienced chastisement for unbelief in the past. Because of their lack of faith and unwillingness to enter the land to which Moses had led them, they had wandered in the wilderness for forty years, permitting an entire generation to die. As a result of their disobedience and neglect of the commandments, they were taken captive by the Assyrians and the Babylonians. Now in the rejection of their Messiah they would secure their longest and most severe judgment. Jerusalem would be destroyed, the temple leveled, and the people scattered, killed, and made slaves. And the beginning of these sorrows would take place in the lifetime of those who shared in Jesus’ crucifixion.
Did it happen?
History is witness to the total fulfillment of this frightening prophecy.
In A.D. 66 the Jews revolted against Roman rule because of heavy taxation. They massacred the Roman garrison at Jerusalem, bringing the wrath of Rome upon them. The governor of Syria marched with his army against Jerusalem to bring the Jews into line but did not have enough men to put down the uprising and so did not attack. Instead, the city was put under siege.
The burning of Rome and the death of Nero prevented settling the problem for some time. The awful siege brought famine and chaos, but the Jews held out.
Finally, in A.D. 70, a Roman general named Vespasian was sent to take command of the army and put down the rebellion. However, at the death of Nero he was called back to Rome to be made the emperor and his son Titus was given charge of the army and assigned the task of taking Jerusalem.
When Titus and his army entered the city they were ruthless. Roman soldiers cut down all the trees in the area that were suitable for crucifixions and carried out hundreds of executions. Josephus the historian says that 1,100,000 Jews were slain and thousands of others taken into captivity. Many were sold as slaves and some were sent to be used as gladiators to fight wild beasts for the entertainment of those in Rome.
Titus had hoped to save the temple, but the Jews chose that location as their last point of resistance, perhaps hoping for the Messiah to come and deliver them in the final hour of struggle. During the battle, a Roman soldier set fire to the magnificent structure, bringing about its total destruction. Even the stones of the temple were pried apart in an effort to salvage precious metals that had melted between them.
Many years before this tragic hour, the Messiah of Israel had turned to speak to a group of weeping women who were following Him down the road to Calvary where He would be crucified. “Daughters of Jerusalem,” He said, “weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.”
Now it was A.D. 70 and the weeping had begun.
A trail of tears would follow the Jewish people through the centuries. We will walk with them through their incredible sufferings, as they struggle on toward a return to their homeland, the acceptance of their rejected Messiah, and ultimate peace.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
LET THE DOVES SPEAK
I had the great privilege while I was growing up to sit under the ministry of a great teacher, Dr. H. H. Savage. He was the only pastor I ever had, a brilliant man with a great passion for souls and a far-reaching vision for missions. He was an articulate speaker who could reach out and touch one’s heart each time he entered the pulpit.
He was one of the first ministers to start a Christian radio program in the state of Michigan, along with the “Radio Bible Class” in Grand Rapids. On the air or in person, he was able to make Christianity a dramatic and exciting adventure. For example, out of the 103 young people in my teenage class, more than twenty of us felt a call to enter the ministry and ultimately went into full-time Christian work.
Because my brothers and I were musically talented and began singing at a very young age, I had the privilege of singing in the church and on Dr. Savage’s radio program from the time I was five years old. He was such an encouragement and blessing to me. Yes, he gave me the vision of being part of God’s work.
I have been so privileged and blessed from the beginning of my walk with Christ to be associated with people of excellence and having pure and godly motives. I was married very young, and when I left Dr. Savage’s church, I entered into the ministry with Jack Van Impe, who was already a marvelous preacher and well established in his evangelistic work. So I have been under some of the greatest preachers in the world with both my pastor and with Jack, my husband and ministry partner.
For as long as I have known him, Jack has been a great student of the Word, and it has blessed my heart to see him develop into one of the greatest prophetical teachers and preachers in the world today. Truly I believe that God chose Jack to be born for this day and age, and I certainly know that I was born to serve with him. How wonderful that is!
Recently in my personal devotional time, I read and reflected upon Matthew 5:3-11, the part of Jesus’ monumental Sermon on the Mount known as the Beatitudes. It had been some time since I’d read this passage, and it struck me that no one else could have given such a compelling sermon as this-not even Dr. H. H. Savage or Dr. Jack Van Impe.
This powerful message is not legalistic or impractical idealism. Instead, it is a call for a new way of life. Our Lord would not have given it to us if it were not attainable and workable. If He has called us to do it-and unquestionably He has-then He also has provided the grace and the help of the Holy Spirit to enable us to achieve it in our daily practical living.
Let’s take a look at these eight simple but profound statements-the Beatitudes. We will look at the first three this week and then conclude next week:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs
is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).
Each of the beatitudes begins with the word blessed, which means “to be highly favored, honored, or set aside.” It speaks of the deep soul contentment that comes not from what we experience as much as who we are. I want to be blessed, don’t you?
In this first Beatitude, I believe “poor in spirit” refers to humility, the authentic attitude of the heart that recognizes it is absolutely nothing-poor-without the Lord. It is the kind of spiritual poverty that is overcome only by total dependence upon Christ. At the same time, the person who is truly poor in spirit also recognizes that everything is his because of God’s great gifts.
Jesus demonstrated true humility when He knelt down and washed the feet of His disciples (see John 13:3-9). I can hardly imagine the God of this universe kneeling to wash the feet of these men, including Judas; the man Jesus knew would betray Him. This kind of humility comes only from the Lord.
The gospel account says that Peter’s initial reaction to the humility of Jesus was to refuse to allow his feet to be washed. But Jesus said, “If I don’t wash you then you have no part with me.” So impulsive, reactionary Peter then pleaded, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.”
Maybe the essential point of this whole exchange was the Lord’s declaration that experiencing His humility is essential to relationship with Him. If we don’t have that kind of humility, we have nothing. But if we experience it, we are blessed…and the kingdom of heaven is ours! What an amazing promise.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they
shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4).
How can mourning be blessed? When it is for the needs and hurts of others! Our mourning is blessed when we are moved with a tender heart and compassionate spirit for the lost and those who suffer. Bob Pierce, the wonderful missionary who founded both World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse, once prayed, “Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God!” That’s the kind of mourning about which this verse is speaking. And without it, it is almost impossible for us to give comfort-or to receive it.
Do you remember Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 30-35)? A traveler was attacked by thieves who robbed him, beat him, and left him for dead by the side of the road. A priest came by and then a Levite, but they passed by without helping him. Then a Samaritan saw him and had great compassion on him. He gave the man first aid, put him on his donkey, and carried him to an inn. There he paid for the man’s care.
Perhaps the priest and the Levite felt pity for the unfortunate man, but they passed by. Pity says, “Oh, that’s terrible. I’m so sorry.” But the Bible says the Samaritan had compassion, which mourns with one’s suffering and says, “Here, let me help!”
During His earthly ministry, Jesus certainly demonstrated compassion to people everywhere He went. He once ministered to a crowd of 5,000, and when they became hungry, He fed them all. When He saw sick people, He healed them. When He saw lost sinners, He loved them. Do you see the pattern? Pity costs nothing. But compassion feeds, heals, and loves!
Have you ever needed to be comforted? Is there a chance you will ever need it again? That blessing comes only to those who weep and mourn for the suffering of others…and give until it helps.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth
Blessing comes to those with a gentle spirit and a calm attitude. Meekness is not weakness-it is the kind of strength that remains calm in the face of calamity. It is the person who can confront someone who has done wrong and keep his emotions under control, reaching out as a gentle servant of the Lord to lift up and restore the fallen.
Jesus sent His disciples out to minister, telling them to be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16). Have you ever heard the voice of a dove? Their singing may be soft and soothing, but it is persistent. The voices of doves will not be hushed. The wisdom of the Lord enables us to deal with problems, with opposition, with the pressures of the world in meekness-not with anger and violence, but with gentle strength.
During one of the huge crusade rallies Jack and I conducted several years ago, a crisis situation arose. Jack was still speaking to people in the auditorium after some had already gone to the prayer room for counseling. Someone came to me and said, “Several motorcycle gang members are causing trouble in the counseling room-can you come do something?”
As I entered the room I saw seven or eight big tough-looking guys, mocking and laughing at what had happened as another counselor spoke with them. I said, “I’m Mrs. Van Impe, and in this room we ask everybody to stay in an attitude of prayer.” One of them replied, “Aww, your husband spoke on hell tonight, and there’s no such place-it’s just a joke!”
With that, the Holy Spirit came on me, and I leaned close to the young man, looked him straight in the face, and said, “You may not believe it, but one day you will feel it. Every word Jack spoke tonight is backed up by the Bible, God’s Word, whether you believe it or not.”
The biker and the rest of his friends looked startled – almost shocked. They didn’t know what to do with gentle strength. However, the Holy Spirit did His work and before they left the prayer room I led them all to the Lord. Praise the Lord! God blesses when we stand upon the Word and show gentle strength.
I believe we need to be different from the world. In the midst of the rush, let’s not forget to be gentle and have time for people. I believe once more we can experience what Solomon described-The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land (Song of Solomon 2:12 NKJV). Walking in the gentle strength of meekness, we shall inherit the earth.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Dr. Rexella,
I have been watching your program for a very long time. I am inspired by the revelation you and Dr. Jack brings to our generation from the scriptures. ‘Dr. Jack – a living walking Bible’ – The Lord bless you.
Your article ‘Let Me Cry’ is a blessing. A new perspective of the ministry I have just realized – ‘Weeping Ministry’. Thank you
Thank you to Dr. Jack for your passion and love for the Lord and for the Word. I watched your program and ordered several of your videos back in the early 1990’s. I have always been fascinated by prophecy in the Scriptures. For years though I did not watch and fell away from my passion of prophecy. Earlier this year I came back to your show and now watch it every week here online and get the daily news updates from your site. I can’t get enough of your weekly newsletter with the prophetic insights that you bring to light each week. There is no doubt at all that Jesus is the Christ written about by Old Testament prophets. The Lord has truly blessed you Dr. Jack and has given you this insight to proclaim to a fallen world. Dr. Rexella, your love and passion for Jesus and for the souls of those who need Him are a blessing as well. The two of you are truly a wonderful team. Dr. Jack I keep you in my prayers and cannot wait for your return to the program. I have greatly enjoyed your guest hosts, but cannot wait to have you back where you belong to proclaim the truth of His coming.
In His love,
P.S. COME SOON LORD JESUS
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Dr. Jack Van Impe
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