July 21, 2014
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
The final two chapters of the Book of Revelation present the glorious future which awaits every believer of all dispensations and ages. The eternal state of both the saved and lost is described in the first eight verses of this chapter. In addition, verses 9 through 27 present a glowing description of the New Jerusalem. The view is absolutely breathtaking. Let’s begin our study.
Verse 1: And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
The passing away of the first heaven and earth occurred at the conclusion of the Great White Throne Judgment. This was part of the renovation of the world which Jesus predicted in Matthew 24:35 when He said, Heaven and earth shall pass away. The time and method are described in 2 Peter 3:7, 10-13. Listen carefully to these solemn words: The heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
In the new world, the sea is eliminated, possibly because of its connotation with wickedness: The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt (Isaiah 57:20). Another reason may be that oceanic vegetation is no longer necessary.
Verse 2: And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Two Jerusalems are mentioned in Scripture (see Galatians 4:25, 26 and Hebrews 12:22). One is earthly and the home of the believers during the millennial period. The other is heavenly-as the New Jerusalem, or celestial city, hovers over the earth during the thousand-year (millennial) reign of Christ and then becomes situated eternally upon earth at the end of the thousand-year period. Revelation 21:1-8 actually follows 21:9-22:15. This is one time the chronological outline of the book of Revelation is different. The New Jerusalem is undoubtedly the one Christ has been preparing for over 2,000 years, for the Saviour said in John 14:2, I go to prepare a place for you. This magnificent masterpiece descending toward earth reminds one of the elegant beauty of a bride on her wedding day.
Verse 3: And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
To this point in time, God’s Tabernacle has been located in heaven. Now we discover a change of address. The Almighty descends to earth with His heavenly entourage, settling in the New Jerusalem to begin global operations from this satellite city. The redeemed-in their glorified bodies-live in the New Jerusalem. Those with bodies of flesh-those who were born and saved during the millennial hour-enter the eternal state with their natural bodies. They live on earth, in and under the light of the Holy City (see chapter 21, verse 24). The true beauty of the entire scene is that God dwells in the midst of His people, for a voice cries, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Another exciting fact is that believers, with their glorified bodies, will be able to travel as fast as the speed of light, yea, as fast as their thoughts. Thus, they will traverse back and forth to earth from their city in space-the New Jerusalem-in a moment of time. Presently the world’s scientists predict that men will certainly be living in space cities within our century. They don’t know the half of it! Amen!
Verse 4: And 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.
This verse should be a favorite among God’s people. Think of it! Pain, sorrow, crying, and death are forever eliminated in this land of eternal life. This, as mentioned in verse 2, is only true after the Millennium when Christ’s Kingdom is recommissioned and eternally established on earth. No wonder the redeemed are able to triumphantly shout, O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (I Corinthians 15:55). Never again will a funeral procession take place, for death, the last enemy, will have been destroyed (see I Corinthians 15:26). In addition, everything associated with death is also eliminated for time and eternity. Glory! No more disease, heart attacks, automobile accidents, wars or rumors of wars. “It is finished” is truly the national anthem of eternity.
Although these truths are wonderful in themselves, the greatest fact is that the Lord’s people see His face (see chapter 22, verse 4). In addition, sin has ceased to exist because Satan is eternally incarcerated in Gehenna, the lake of fire (see chapter 20, verse 10). A new day in a new heaven suspended above a new earth has arrived because…
Verse 5: He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
Verse 6: And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
God speaks to John, saying, It is done. As Christ completed His redemptive work for sinners on the cross, He cried, It is finished. Now God, who has made all things new, again announces, It is finished, or done. His will has been accomplished in Jesus Christ-namely, that the earth should be free from the curse of sin and that its inhabitants should be conformed to His very likeness. This has happened. It is done. God adds, I am [the] Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Alpha and Omega are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet. Hence, the explanation, the beginning and the end. But what does it mean? In Christ, all creation began without sin (see Colossians 1:15-19). Now, in Christ, it has ended without sin.
In this glorious city-New Jerusalem-the spiritual thirst of God’s people is also satisfied forever. While on earth, Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, Whosoever drinketh of this water [in the well] shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:13,14). That time has come, and God states: “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” It is yours to possess throughout the ages. Enjoy yourselves!
However, make no mistake about it. The eternal prize of being in the presence of God in the New Jerusalem, where there is no more death, sorrow, crying, pain, or thirst, is only for those who trust in the merits of the shed blood of Christ.
Verse 7: He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Who is the overcomer? The one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (see 1 John 5:4). Oh, be sure of your salvation, because the next verse mentions a motley group of sinners who miss the eternal paradise upon earth.
Verse 8: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
This text plainly states that those who were condemned at the judgment of chapter 20, verses 11-15, have been cast into the lake of fire, or Gehenna. They were not given a reprieve, a commuted sentence, or a second chance, as some sentimentalists teach. Revelation 21 is the eternal state.
No more changes are possible. Those who stood before God’s Great White Throne did not make it. Who were they?
- The fearful-those who rejected Christ to escape the ridicule of men.
- The unbelieving-those who rejected the doctrine of Christ’s deity and shed blood as the only means of obtaining eternal life. Jesus said, Ye shall die in your sins… if ye believe not that I am he [or that I am God] (John 8:24). In John 5:40, the Saviour again said, Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
- The abominable-those who engaged in wicked practices. They spoke the language of christendom but never lived it: They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate (Titus 1: 16).
- The murderers-including those who carried hatred within their hearts and minds for others. If you don’t believe it, listen to the following: Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:15).
- The whoremongers-those who engaged in fornication (premarital sex), adultery (extra marital flings), or perverted sex.
- The sorcerers-those who practiced drug usage for “kicks” and “highs.”
- The idolaters-those who worshiped or revered anyone or anything other than the living and true God, or who used idols in worship. Remember God’s warning, Little children, keep yourselves from idols (1 John 5:21).
- All liars-those who deceived others, distorted the truth, and destroyed mankind by lies.
Verse 9: And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
Here one member of the angelic host which administered the final seven judgments now speaks to John, saying, “Come here. I want to show you the Bride, the Lamb’s wife, the one who made herself ready [in] fine linen, clean and white (chapter 19, verses 7 and 8) and who returns with Him for the 1,000-year honeymoon (chapter 19, verses 11 through 16).” At this point the Bride is envisioned in her final resting place.
Verse 10: And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.
The Bride is pictured as the city of the New Jerusalem because a city is composed of people. Buildings, streets, and light are but aids to the residents. For example, one refers to a city as “clean” or “wicked.” Why? Because of its people. Now, as John views God’s heavenly creation, he is impressed by (1) the brilliance of the city (verses 9-14), (2) the size of the city (verses 15-17), and (3) the beauty of the city (verses 18-21). He describes the city as…
Verse 11: Having the glory of God and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a Jasper stone, clear as crystal;
Verse 12: And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
Verse 13: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
Verse 14: And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
In Bible times walls were erected for protection. However, since war is forever finished, one may question the presence of this wall in the New Jerusalem. The answer? It serves as a reminder that the God of love protected His people while on earth. This wall is an eternal memorial to the fact that our lives have been hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).
The city also has twelve gates, each inscribed with one of the names of the twelve tribes of the Children of Israel.
The gates are staffed with angels who welcome those possessing the right and privilege of entering the city (chapter 22, verse 14). The twelve angels standing at these entrances are possibly those who worked jointly with each tribe during the earthly sojourn of the people of Israel. We also note that, just as the gates are inscribed with the names of the twelve tribes, the foundations of the wall itself contain the names of Christ’s twelve apostles. Next week we will consider the size of the city.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Through the Eyes of a Child
Just last week I met and talked with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. Right away I said, ‘You look so sad!” I could tell by her eyes.
Certainly our eyes do serve as a barometer of our inner being and can express deep-rooted feelings and emotions without a word being spoken.
The English poet William Blake said our eyes are “windows of the soul.” I’m sure you’ve noticed that the eyes of those around you communicate in a dramatic way their state of mind-anger, fear, mischief, tenderness, love, excitement, boredom, etc.
Doctors often look into the eyes of their patients while examining them to determine their state of health.
So it’s not really surprising to discover that the Bible has much to say about our eyes-there are numerous references throughout both the Old and New Testaments. Only recently have I begun to comprehend just how important our eyes are to our spiritual well-being-that where we look and what we see help determine who we are and what we become.
The Apostle John speaks of the lust of the eyes (1 John 2:16), and Peter warns against those having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin (2 Peter 2:14).
The psalmist, recognizing that what is fed into our eyes affects what we become, affirms, I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes (Psalm 101:3). And the Apostle Paul, in what may be my life’s foundation verse, urges us to continue looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
The lesson of a look
Several years ago, our ministry had an open house in which we invited friends and partners to come tour our World Outreach Center and visit personally with Dr. Van Impe and me and our staff. About 1,500 people toured our headquarters in a single afternoon-it was wonderful to greet so many friends.
I couldn’t help noticing how many little children came through with their parents. And inevitably, when I looked down at them, they would be looking directly into my eyes. I would find myself kneeling to get to their eye level… and happily, many times they ended up in my arms.
But I began noticing how children look at the world. They spend a lot of time looking up! And when they encounter an adult, they look into his or her face, up into the eyes.
Children are very perceptive. They can tell, almost at a glance, if a person is friendly or menacing, if they can trust the person or should run away. By looking into the eyes of the adults around them, they sense if they are welcome or are intruding. And they can tell almost instantly if their parents are pleased with them or disapproving.
Jack and I were having breakfast at a little pancake house not long ago when a mother and her two children came in. They sat at a nearby table-the little boy was unceremoniously dumped into a high chair and the little girl thumped into a chair across from the mother. Once seated, she paid little attention to the youngsters, staring away from them, with a disgruntled look on her face.
When the little boy peered up at the chandelier, pointed a chubby finger and said, “See! See!”-her response was a terse, “Eat!” And when the little girl squirmed and tried insistently to get her mother’s attention, the unseeing, uncaring reply was, “Be quiet- sit up.”
When Jack and I finished eating and he went to pay the bill, I walked over to the table where this mother and her youngsters were sitting.
“You are so fortunate,” I said. With a bit of a start, she asked, “Why?” “You have such beautiful children-they are so sweet.” I said. Then I leaned down and looked into the eyes of the little boy and said, “You are so good.” My reward was a bright, innocent smile.
“I’m good too,” said the little girl.
“I know you are, honey,” I acknowledged. “What a sweet sister you are…and so pretty!” With just those few words, the child blossomed like a rose.
The mother barely smiled, even during the little conversation I was having with her children-she hardly responded, managing a mumbled “Thank you” as I walked away.
I couldn’t help wondering how many children are rebuffed and desensitized by parents whose eyes are too full of other things to really see and respond to their own youngsters.
“You are a delight!”
Jerry Dillon of Century HealthCare, the largest health-care provider for children in the country operates 52 youth programs and 19 facilities in nine states, specializing in treating emotionally-troubled youngsters.
“If parents would look for the things in their children that delight them, and tell them so, what a difference it would make,” says Dillon. “A great prescription to help build a better relationship and a stronger bond between parent and child is simply for the parent to find some reason each day to tell his son or daughter, “You are a delight!”
Much of what we feel-delight or aggravation-is communicated through our eyes, whether we verbalize it or not. So often I’ve noticed how a child will look into its mother’s (or father’s) face for approval, guidance, security, reassurance, and love. Without a word being spoken, so many important things are communicated… through the eyes of a child.
Suffer the little children
No wonder children were attracted to our Saviour during His earthly ministry. The New Testament tells how the children thronged about Him until the disciples were going to send them away. But the Lord said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God (Mark 10:14).
The Bible doesn’t tell us specifically, but I’m very sure each of those little ones came close to the Lord and looked up into His face, directly into His eyes. What they saw there-love, acceptance, safety-made them relax and feel free. I think they wanted to climb up onto His lap and just be near Him.
Many learned and wise theologians have speculated about the meaning of Jesus’ words concerning children and the kingdom of God. Certainly I do not claim to have greater knowledge or wisdom than they have. But I have my own idea about what He meant.
Perhaps He was suggesting that if we looked up into His eyes more often, we would find the peace, direction, and strength we need for our lives. We can find the answer for guilt, sorrow, pain, and loneliness in our Saviour’s loving gaze.
Keep your eyes on Jesus
Our problems come when we take our eyes off Jesus, when we look away from His love, guidance, strength, and sustaining power.
The Gospel of Matthew relates the thrilling story of Peter walking on the water toward Jesus. The Lord had come to the disciples as their boat was tossed by a stormy sea. As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he was fine. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and [began] to sink (Matthew 14:30).
I’ve found in my own experience that when I felt life’s problems were about to overwhelm me, it was because I had taken my eyes off Jesus and fixed them on my troubles. When I looked to Him, He saw me through.
From time to time, I meet an individual who is disillusioned-even cynical-about the Church. Sometimes they say they have lost their faith-they don’t believe in anything anymore.
As I visit with people like this, I usually discover that they have been disappointed in the mistakes and failures of a particular religious leader-their eyes had been fixed on a man. Once they looked back to Jesus, the bitterness and disillusionment lost its intensity, and the healing love of Christ could make them over again.
One of the most beautiful and powerful verses in all of the Bible, for me, is found in Matthew’s account of Peter, James, and John at the transfiguration of Christ. After the disciples had bowed down in the awesome presence of God, Jesus told them not to be afraid. And the scripture says-And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only (Matthew 17:8).
No wonder Jesus said we should become as little children to enter the kingdom of God. Their eyes are focused in the right direction. Lord help us to keep our eyes on You…to seek Your will by looking into Your face-through the eyes of a child!
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Greetings Van Impe Family,
What a blessing to have read your newsletter for the first time today! You three, including Chuck of course, have been in my life for decades, through many struggles and much strife, and love and much joy, I have always been blessed by your ministry. I remember the days of searching you out on television channels in TV Guide where ever I lived, and would plan to watch you, even if it were in the middle of the night! Because I knew I would be blessed with the truth of God’s Holy Word!
You were part of God’s plan for my salvation, as a young person raised it the Lord who was led astray by sin, your truth filled messages of God’s Word always convicted my sinful nature and encouraged me in my walk with Jesus Christ, praise God!
I’ve always appreciated the format of your broadcasts, but have always thought what a blessing it would be to hear your sermons and to know your hearts even more.
And now, thanks to God and this media of the internet, I have your newsletter, and your weekly broadcasts! And what a blessing it is!
I was part of a Calvary Chapel church in Sacramento for many years, raising my three daughters in the Lord their entire lives, and sadly the effects of latter day apostasy took hold of that church, leading them further and further away from the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Your ministry, along with a few others, shed light on the new age, contemplative church movement, including the purpose driven nonsense, and my eyes were opened, and the lights went on, that truly my Redeemer draws very near!
I thank you, and I thank God for you!
I just want to express to you, how much I enjoy your TV show; even though I see it more often on my computer. You both make such great contributions in teaching and explaining the Word of God to all of us. And it is so refreshing to hear a Pastor actually make a stand and “tell it like it is” even when it is not “politically correct” or any other man-made garbage to justify the arrogance of man.
Just know that there are lots of us who listen to and learn from you Jack. It amazes me how you have memorized the Bible. You both are wonderful!!!
Praying that God keeps you safe and in good health.
G. M. B.
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.
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