June 30, 2014
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Verse 10: And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
If there were any portion of the Book of Revelation John would like to omit, this would be the verse. He has just done a foolish thing. He allowed himself to become so enamored with the angel delivering the message that he began worshipping a created being. Such recording of human weaknesses proves that God wrote the Bible, for man would have omitted his mistakes. God, however, records them in order to show the world that all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
As John bows his knee to this created being, the angel cries, “Don’t do it. Angels are but ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation(Hebrews 1:14). Get up! I am only a servant of God, as you are.”
John has just learned an important lesson. Have you? Beware of any religion that honors or reveres angels-including the angel Moroni of Mormonism. Such reverence is wrong: Let no man beguile you of your reward in…worshipping of angels (Colossians 2:18). Even the angel’s command in our text is, “worship God.” Thus, it is obvious that we are not to worship men, women, angels, or idols (see Exodus 20:4, 5). Worship God!
Verse 11: And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Verse 12: His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself
Verse 13: And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Verse 14: And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
Verse 15: And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Verse 16: And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
These verses graphically portray the coming of Christ to earth. This event is called “The Revelation” among theologians because this is the moment the Lord reveals himself to the inhabitants of earth. The same scene was observed in chapter 11, verse 15, as well . Remember, chapters 12 through 19 simply repeat the materials presented in chapters 6 through 11.
For centuries, the world has scoffingly cried, Where is the promise of his coming? (2 Peter 3:4). Now the mocking abruptly ceases. Why? Breathtaking signs accompany the One who sits on this white horse-as He comes to judge and make war on the world: Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect [saved Jews and Tribulation saints] from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other (Matthew 24:29-32).
The scene before us is a literal event because John sees heaven opened. This is thrilling. Heaven’s door is opened but twice in the Book of Revelation- once in chapter 4, verse 1, and now in chapter 19, verse 11. Chapter 4 pictures the Rapture; chapter 19 pictures the Revelation. The door was opened in chapter 4 to receive the saved; now the door is opened again in order that the saints may return with the rider on the white horse-the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Don’t let anyone tell you that there is but one appearing at Christ’s return. Two opened doors tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
The Rider in verse 12 has eyes… as a flame of fire, which are piercing and purging. He can immediately see through the sham and hypocrisy of men. These are the same eyes we viewed in chapter 1, verse 14. As King, Christ has on His head the crowns of royalty. He also has a special name that will only be exposed at the hour of His return. Until then He alone knows this name and its meaning.
In verse 13, we see that the Lord wears a vesture dipped in blood-a picture of the judgment He is bringing to earth. None can doubt that this Judge is anyone but the Lord Jesus Christ, for His name is called the Word of God. John often called Him by this name. In fact, he was the only New Testament writer to use this title. John 1:1 states: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Verse 14 adds, And the Word was made flesh. He again calls Christ the Word of life in 1 John 1:1.
At this moment John sees the Word of God coming in judgment. He also observes a great host called the armies [of] heaven following Him upon white horses. Notice that they come from heaven; they are not already present on earth. They are the saints who were raptured in chapter 4, verse 1-the Bride who made herself ready and [wore] fine linen, clean and white in verse 8 of this present study. Tens of thousands-yea, millions upon millions in number-avoided the Tribulation hour and are now returning with the King for the conflict at Armageddon. They are privileged to stand with Him as He comes to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him (Jude, verse 15). The time of reaping has arrived.
As Christ returns to subjugate the earth dwellers, He does so with a sword in His mouth (see verse 15). This sword is nothing less than the Word of God.
His Word always smites men in their consciences and lives. This is exactly what happened to the officers of the chief priests and Pharisees when they came to the Garden of Gethsemane, seeking Jesus, As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground (John 18:6). Oh, the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12).
We note in verse 15 that Christ and His Word alone smash the nations at Armageddon. The armies of heaven only observe as He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. This moment brings the fulfillment of Daniel 2:34, which predicts that a stone…cut out without hands pulverizes the image-the ten-nation confederacy. Then the stone instantly expands and fills the entire earth with a new kingdom, never to be destroyed. Its leader is the King of kings and Lord of lords. No one can miss Him, for His vesture and thigh coverings bear His title-King of kings and Lord of lords. The King has come! Oh, hallelujah! The King has come!
Verse 17: And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
Verse 18: That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
The devastating scene described in these verses is the result of the Battle of Armageddon (chapter 16, verse 16) fought in the valleys of Megiddo and Jehoshaphat, not Russia’s invasion of Israel (see Ezekiel 38 and 39). Russia made her move in the middle of the Tribulation hour. Why? The Antichrist came to power, made a false peace pact with the nations, and then broke it in the midst of the seven years (see Daniel 9:27). At that point Russia invaded the Holy Land, for she went up to the land of unwalled villages; [saying] I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely (Ezekiel 38:11).
Prior to the appearance of the Antichrist in chapter 13, the nation of Israel is not at rest or dwelling safely. This situation changes when he comes to power, takes control, and initiates his peace plan. Then Israel and all the world proclaim, “Peace, peace,” but it does not last, For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction [comes] upon them (1 Thessalonians 5:3). Russia quickly takes advantage of the opportunity and moves against Israel, for she is at rest, dwelling safely. Moscow’s act of aggression, however, proves to be her “Waterloo,” for she is destroyed by the hand of God (see Ezekiel 39:1 -3).
Conversely, the battle described in this present chapter occurs as God destroys the Antichrist and his ten-homed empire. The following passages vividly portray the terrible, catastrophic judgment which occurs in preparation for, and fulfillment of, Armageddon:
For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, 0 Lord. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down: for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more (Joel 3: 1, 2, 11-17).
Verses 14-20 of chapter 14, and verses 17-21 of chapter 16, already studied, also have to do with the Battle of Armageddon. Thus, we see that before the Marriage Supper of the Lamb becomes a reality, the supper of the great God occurs. This event begins as an angel summons all the fowls (or vultures) of heaven to gather together for a feast, For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together (Matthew 24:28). At this gathering they eat the flesh of deceased kings, captains, mighty men, horses, their riders, and all men from every rank and position of life. What a horrible nightmare as men suffer the consequences of their rebellion against God.
Finally the one who made life so miserable upon earth, who gave men a number (666), who would not let them buy or sell without the number of his name, and who had millions of believers beheaded because they refused his number, is judged by God himself!
Verse 19: And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
Verse 20: And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
What a conclusion! Two world leaders-one political, the other religious; one posing as God, the other promoting him-now discover that their charade is over. They are cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone-the final abode of all God haters and Christ-rejecters for time and eternity. A thousand years later, when Satan joins them (chapter 20, verse 10), they are still suffering torment day and night. Oh, who is foolish enough to preach immediate disintegration or annihilation in the light of such plain texts?
Verse 21: And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
The battle has ended. None is spared!
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Seeing America without Rose-Colored Glasses
Not long ago Dr. Van Impe and I were having dinner in a little restaurant near our home. As we were eating, a friend of ours came in with her little granddaughter for their evening meal.
The little girl ran up to me and exclaimed, “Oh, Mrs. Van Impe, see my new sunglasses! They make everything look so pretty.”
I had to smile at her childish exuberance. And after our darling little friend went with her grandmother to their own table, I exclaimed to my husband, “No wonder everything appears so pretty to her — she’s looking through rose-colored glasses!”
Each year we celebrate the birth of the United States and our nation’s independence. As we gratefully consider the blessings and benefits of living in our great land, it’s easy to allow our view of America to be colored just a bit too rosy.
Having traveled in 50 countries around the world, I must say that each time I return to my beloved homeland I am tempted to look at America through rose-colored glasses. At times I’ve actually had to restrain myself from running from the plane and kissing the ground, as I thanked God for America.
But I recognize that my country has some alarming faults and problems. While the United States may seem to be in great shape when compared to all the other countries in the world, when we measure ourselves against God’s standard there is much cause for concern.
It seems to me there has been too much compromising — too much relaxation among all our citizens.
We’ve relaxed our attitude toward hard work and doing our best. We’ve lowered our standards of excellence and discarded our pride of accomplishment.
Do you ever feel that American workers are more interested in time off and leisure activities than in the quantity and quality of the work they do? Someone has said the prevailing attitude now seems to be, “Don’t put yourself out — that’s good enough.”
And while most Americans are still generous and helpful to people suffering need or calamity, there is a growing tendency to look the other way and say, “It’s none of my business” or “I don’t want to get involved.”
I’m also concerned that our society — in the name of tolerance and individual liberty — has stood by and let our community standards of decency, morality, and ethics be trampled underfoot by vulgar, unscrupulous, and dishonest men. When will we learn there is no virtue in failing to stand up for what we believe? There is no right way to do the wrong thing!
It’s time for us to wake up, rise up, and speak up! It’s time to take off our rose-colored glasses and look at our nation, our neighborhood, and our home in the cold, clear light of day. It’s time to start seeing ourselves through God’s eyes — the way he sees us!
How can we make America better? I believe with all my heart we must stop waiting for someone else to take action and do what we can, where we are! After all, a nation is people, and we can influence people. We can win them, lead them, and guide them. And the best way to accomplish that is by our own personal example.
Be a Christian example of a good citizen
The Apostle Paul urged: Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity (1Timothy 4:12).
That verse doesn’t need much explaining, does it? Our very word, deed, and attitude must be Christ-like and set a leadership pattern that will inspire those around us. Paul went on to say in verse 16, For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
The thirteenth chapter of Romans deals with our Christian duty to the state and the duties of citizenship. We are instructed to obey the government and the laws of the land, and to pay our taxes.
As Christians, we should pray about everything that touches our lives and others. Our desire should always be for God’s will to be done. I believe we should pray for those in authority over us, including our President, and state and local officials.
By being good Christians in our daily walk, we really can make America a better and stronger nation.
Get involved in the issues that shape America
Throughout the Bible, God expected His people to be involved in their country. When a nation was threatened by an enemy force, the king himself led the army. The citizens made up the ranks, or supplied needed provisions…then honored the heroes and celebrated the victory!
It’s time we as Christians get more involved in every aspect of our country. It is right that we let our voices be heard on matters concerning religious freedom. But we must also be interested and actively involved in the social, moral, and political issues affecting America.
Recently I heard about a group of citizens in Oklahoma who were concerned about the blatant pornography being openly displayed in convenience stores before the curious eyes of children. They spoke out against it! So effective were their efforts that one chain of stores removed the offensive magazines from its shelves altogether, others moved them behind the counter, out of sight — and the city government began drafting an ordinance to control the display and sale of sexually-oriented publications.
Involvement is tremendously fulfilling personally — and it gets things done. Look around you for what needs to be done…and set out to do it!
Let’s have revival!
I love to read about the impact some of the great men of God had upon our country in their day. The record shows that when spiritual giants like Whitefield, Wesley, Finney, and a host of others conducted their great revivals in America, they closed down the saloons, and crime decreased.
Now we often have so-called evangelistic meetings that have almost no impact — some church members aren’t even aware there is a meeting going on!
Our nation needs a revival of old-fashioned, Bible-based, life-changing salvation, and faith in God. The people of the United States need a renewed appreciation for God’s goodness and an increased awareness of their dependence upon Him.
You and I must be part of a new emphasis on evangelism and the Church, on winning people to Christ. The more people we get to accept the Lord Jesus, the better our country is going to be.
We must start where we are — in our house, our neighborhood, our community. Perhaps it is true that we personally cannot reach the entire world — but we can reach our world.
I love that beautiful song that expresses the prayer, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” Each of us can adapt that prayer and cry out, “Let there be revival in America, and let it start in my house…in my heart.”
Oh, may we love our country and its people in a real, practical way, like we’ve never loved before. Let’s take off our rose-colored glasses and see America as God sees it. Let’s allow Him to wash our eyes with tears of repentance and intercession.
Let’s join hands across this nation and work together for Christ until we make our country God’s country!
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I enjoy reading, learning, and getting to know Jesus through your newsletters you send. Please never stop sending them. Some days it is my whole world. Thank you
Thank you so much for your weekly sermon I receive on the internet I can hardly wait each week to read it. Thank you and your wife for being a light in such a dark world.
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