March 31, 2014
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Revelation 10: 1 – 11
In chapter 10, we again discover a parenthesis similar to the one in chapter 7. Between the sixth and seventh seal judgments, there was a lull before the storm. Now we experience a break between the sixth and the seventh trumpet blasts. The study of this parenthetical period continues through chapter 11, verse 14.
Verse 1: And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire.
This angel is Christ. Remember, Christ was and is eternal. In fact, He was before the angels because He created them. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him (Colossians 1:16). Thus, I believe that such Theophanies and Christophanies were appearances of Christ throughout the Old Testament, usually in the form of angelic manifestations. This angel of Jehovah has always acted and worked as a deity. Proof? Isaiah 63:9: In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
On three occasions to this point in time, we have observed this angelic messenger in action. In chapter 7, verses 2 and 3, He holds back the tides of judgment for a special hour of grace. In chapter 8, verse 5, He stands as the messenger of the covenant, pouring out the fire of judgment upon the earth. Now He appears again in the text before us. In the first appearance, He is a prophet, in the second, a priest, and now, in the third, He appears as a King. This is the threefold ministry of the Saviour. Hence, this angel is Jesus. As He comes down from heaven, He is clothed with a cloud, has a rainbow upon His head, exhibits a countenance that shines like the sun, and has feet like unto pillars of fire. What do these attributes signify?
First, Christ, in His deity, is usually surrounded by a cloud: Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne (Psalm 97:2). Bickering Israel witnessed the glory of the Lord [appearing] in the cloud (Exodus 16:10). When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments of judgment, He descended in a thick cloud, and immediately the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud…and it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount (Exodus 19:9,16). At the completion of the tabernacle, a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34). This was the cloud of the Lord (Exodus 40:38). On the Mount of Transfiguration, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him (Matthew 17:5). When Christ ascended to heaven, a cloud received him out of their sight (Acts 1:9). And as He departed He said, they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory (Luke 21:27). When He returns, He will come with clouds; and every eye shall see him (Revelation 1:7).
Second, the God of all eternity made a covenant with Noah, placing a rainbow in the sky as a symbol of His mercy. The rainbow pictures mercy in the midst of judgment. Ah! Who but the Lord could wear it?
Third, Christ is often pictured as One who has a shining face as unto the sun. In fact, Saul of Tarsus met this One whose countenance was and is light: And as [Saul] journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus (Acts 9:3-5).
Finally Christ’s feet as pillars of fire picture judgment, as we saw in chapter 1, verse 15.
Verse 2: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
This verse pictures Christ preparing to take control of the earth and sea, which have always been rightfully His. He created them, for all things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:3). When Christ came to take control over 2,000 years ago, He was rejected, crucified, and buried, but He rose again. Since then He has been at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for His people (see Hebrews 7:25). At a given moment He will rise from the throne and make a request. The picture is presented in Psalm 2:6-8. God says, Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree. Then Christ says, The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Immediately the Father asks His Son to make a request, saying, Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. At the granting of the request, the Lord Jesus sets His right foot upon the sea and His left foot on the earth, and He unrolls the scroll (or book) which contains the record of the judgments He plans to unleash.
Verse 3: And [he] cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
This is the cry of the Lion of the tribe of Judah (see Hebrews 7:14). Immediately prior to executing the judgments listed in the book, He cries loudly (or roars as a lion) to warn of impending danger. Other portions of Scripture also speak of His roaring when He comes as the Judge of the universe. Hosea 11:10 states: They shall walk after the Lord: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west. Joel 3:16 adds: 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. Again, Amos 1:2: The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem.
When the Lord roars, seven thunders utter their voices. Though thunder is usually associated with judgment, no attempt will be made to explain the meaning, since God forbids it in verse 4.
Verse 4: And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
Well, someday we will know! For the present, however, God commands that this one portion of Scripture be kept secret.
Verse 5: And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
Verse 6: And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer [or literally no waiting period].
Here we see our God taking an oath. Though this is forbidden in our dispensation of grace, it was not under the Law age of Moses and will not be during the Tribulation and Kingdom periods. This oath is by the eternal Creator, based upon His creation of heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things contained within them. The oath is that time should be no longer or, more accurately, that there should be no more delay. The time has come for the seventh trumpet blast and nothing can stop it or hinder its execution. There will be no further waiting.
Verse 7: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
The seventh angel does not sound at this point, but rather in Revelation 11:15. When he does, all the warnings of the prophets concerning judgment will be fulfilled. Then the mystery of God will be finished, and the Tribulation hour will end. At that time the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9). When this knowledge floods the land, the mystery disappears.
The Old Testament prophets could not understand all the scriptures concerning this mystery. They could not see God’s timetable as we can. First Peter 1:10, 11 describes their situation. The text states: Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when [he] testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. This glory has to do with the return of Christ to earth to establish His millennial kingdom. Though the prophets knew this would happen-as evidenced by their many predictions-they did not clearly foresee the 2,000-year interval between the time of Christ’s rejection and the establishment of His kingdom. Still their writings reflected the fact that a suffering Saviour preceded a ruling King, as can be seen in Psalm 22:14-16. This is Christ, speaking prophetically concerning His suffering and crucifixion: I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
Again Isaiah mentions a cross preceding the crown in chapter 53, verses 4 through 6: Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
The centuries have now passed and, in our study, we are presently at the moment in history when the mystery of God is finished. The final pieces of the puzzle have now fallen into place. The prophetic time clock has struck midnight, or the “zero hour?’ There will be no further delay. The final trumpet is ready to sound and the Tribulation hour is about to come to an end. There is great rejoicing as the heavenly host proclaims the joyous news. Listen to them: The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever (Revelation 11:15).
Some may find it strange that the Tribulation hour ends in chapter 11 especially in light of the facts that chapters 18 and 19 contain seven more bowl judgments and the Lord Jesus Christ does not return until chapter 19, verses 11-16. The answer? Chapters 12 through 19:15 run concurrently with the judgments already discussed. They are a repeat of chapters 6 through 11. Actually, the simplistic outline of the Book of Revelation should be as mentioned in chapter 1, verse 19: the past-chapter 1; the present-chapters 2 and 3; the future chapters 4 through 22, with chapters 5 through 11 and 12 through 19:15 running neck and neck.
Verse 8: And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
At this point John is told to take the book out of the hand of Christ, who stands upon the sea and upon the earth. This he does.
Verse 9: And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
The little book John is commanded to take is either all or a portion of the Word of God dealing with the judgments. John obeys.
Verse 10: And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
This verse pictures a devouring of God’s Word-assimilating it through study and personal application. At times it is both sweet and bitter. The Prophet Jeremiah stated: Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart (Jeremiah 15:16). The psalmist also declared in Psalm 119:103, How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Now John, following the angel’s instructions, also finds the Word of God sweet as honey. This is because he can see the light at the end of the tunnel. As he reads the prophecies, he envisions the established kingdom, the Bride sitting beside the Bridegroom, and the peace and prosperity prevalent in the land with Satan bound and sin abolished. What sweetness! What blessing! Yet, as John learns of the remaining judgments still to be released, the Word becomes bitter in his digestive tract.
How true for us today! How precious is the good news of the gospel. Jesus loves sinners. He shed His blood for the remission of sins. By trusting in Christ, one obtains eternal life, yea, he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life (John 3:36). However, this message becomes a bitter pill to swallow when one realizes that the rejection of the beautiful gospel appeal brings judgment, for he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark 16:16). Get in on the honey! Believe and be saved! It’s for all! For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13). This bittersweet message is now about to be propagated by John.
Verse 11: And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
John does this, as we will discover in the remaining chapters. He is faithful unto the end, proclaiming both the good news and the bad, presenting both the sweet and the bitter. He warns of the remaining judgments-the seven bowls or vials, the Great White Throne Judgment, and the dissolution of the present heavens and earth. May we be found as faithful in proclaiming all of God’s Holy Word. For God commands that we preach the Word: Be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine (2 Timothy 4:2).
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Just to Say, “Thank You!”
No story in the Bible more movingly pictures human gratitude than the healing of ten lepers in Luke 17:12-18 . . .
And as He entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
And when He saw them, He said unto them, “Go shew yourselves unto the priests.” And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. And he fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
And Jesus answering said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? They are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.”
Have you too found that sometimes when a person gets what he wants, he forgets to say thank you? Throughout Jesus’ ministry, He was giving examples of how we should live. He knew – as He knew all things – that only one man would return to express appreciation. Thus, Christ wanted this story of the ten lepers recorded for future generations, so that we would know the importance of giving thanks.
Give Without Expecting Thanks?
I’ve heard it said that we should not “expect” thanks in return for the kindnesses we show. If we don’t expect it, we will never be disappointed in our fellow man. However, I believe that the attitude of being grateful and showing it is a biblical principle. Notice verse 17; it seems as if Jesus expected a “thank-you” from all ten lepers. He said, “But where are the nine?‘
Jesus was showing us a practical example of Colossians 3:15, “Be ye thankful.” Obviously, thanksgiving is expected of us. This is one reason mothers and fathers, while teaching their children to speak, emphasize the importance of saying “please” and “thank you.”
We expect such “common” courtesies even from toddlers. Naturally, it is disconcerting when adults are ungrateful in response to God’s kindnesses to them. How many of us follow the dictum of Colossians 3:15, “Be ye thankful“?
Bless the LORD, O My Soul!
In Psalm 103, we read a beautiful song of thanksgiving:
Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;
Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord executeth righteousness. . . (Psalm 103:1-6)
Notice in this text that the psalmist recalls the “benefits” of serving God, and even lists them in his song of praise. Have you ever created such a list? The little Sunday School song that I learned as a child implores us to “count your blessings; name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” When we pray and give thanks to God, let us remember all the wonderful blessings He has bestowed on us!
I want to extend my gratitude to every supporter and friend of our ministry. Thank you all, dear ones, for your financial help, prayers, letters and encouragement.
We especially thank you whose lives have been changed for your notes and letters of testimony. Jack and I have had many praise sessions because of God’s word in your hearts.
The Impact of Encouragement
It would be virtually impossible to carry on this ministry to which God has called us without help and encouragement from precious friends like you. We need your encouragement: we thrive upon hearing about your triumphs and victories because God used our ministry to reach you. It is difficult to express the impact we feel as we receive hundreds of thousands of letters each year sharing such blessings. It is like a warm ray of sunshine on a cold winter’s day.
At His last supper, Jesus showed us exactly how important encouragement is at the darkest hours of our life. When Jesus had thus said, He was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.” Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom He spake. Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved (John 13:21-23).
John could feel the Master’s burdened spirit and leaned his head on Jesus to express his love and concern. John wanted to give his Lord a measure of additional strength and encouragement. This example of human love from this disciple is so beautiful that it cannot be overlooked.
I am sure Jesus absorbed a great deal of love and respect from His apostles. I do believe, however. God laid it on their hearts to be extremely compassionate and supportive of the Lord Jesus especially because of the agony which lay ahead.
The Most Important Person on Earth
Jack and I thank you for the encouragement you have been to us. May our example help you to express appreciation to special people in your life for the blessings they have been to you.
For instance, when was the last time you said “thank you” to the person you hold dearest on earth? Remember your mate is a gift from God, and the Bible teaches us to love and respect each other. Read Ephesians 5:20, 25, and 28.
Ladies, when the man in your life opens the door for you, do you say, “Thank you, sweetheart”? Gentlemen, when the lady of your dreams fixes your favorite meal, do you remember to say, “Thank you honey, that was delicious!” (You might even say “thank you” when the roast is tough, especially when you have only been married for 10 weeks!) When your son or daughter plans a surprise birthday party for you, do you give him or her a loving hug and express gratitude? Oh how important it is to be mindful to say “thank you,” especially to those closest to us.
Thanks for the Memories
Parents, also, deserve our thanks. In fact, the edict to honor our father and mother is one of the Ten Commandments – and it is the first commandment with a promise. Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee (Exodus 20:12).
I am sure that there are many people who made an infinitely important impact upon your life, but who probably are not aware of it. Perhaps there was a teacher somewhere along the line who captured your imagination and helped you to learn. Would it not be a wonderful idea to write a thank-you note telling him or her of the great contribution that they made toward the success of your career and personal life?
I heard the story of a grown man who remembered his best school teacher from years past, and sent her a letter thanking her for all she had given him and his classmates. The teacher was in her 80’s now, and gratefully replied, saying: “I taught school for 50 years, and this is the first note of gratitude I have ever received!”
Likewise, your thank-you note would mean so much to someone today.
Most of us don’t take the time to thank our pastors or Sunday School teachers or ministers of music and youth for the hours they spent studying and preparing to help us in our spiritual walk. I feel confident they would appreciate knowing you are grateful and have been blessed by their ministry.
Saying “thank-you” will also enhance your opportunities to witness for Christ. When the clerk at the supermarket is helpful, look that person right in the eye and say, “Thank you.”
I know this is appreciated, because one young lady who has helped me many times at the store said to me, “You know, Rexella, you are the only customer who really looks at me, and this tells me I’m important to you.” I pray she sees more than just a look, but that through my eyes she sees Someone who cares for her deeply.
Of course, we could go on and on with a list of people who deserve our thanks, but as you open your horizon of opportunities to show appreciation, let me assure you that you will experience a great sense of satisfaction in expressing it.
H.W. Beecher said, “Pride slays thanksgiving. A proud man never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.”
The Bible tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. In light of eternity, none of us “deserves” the many wonderful blessings which have been bestowed on us. Our sinful humanity deserves only eternal punishment.
Yet Christ in His infinite mercy provided a way of escape for us through His shed blood, and rewards us with eternal life. How can we not be thankful every moment of our lives? We did nothing to deserve all of His blessing; Christ did it all.
So there is no room for pride in our lives, and oh – so much room for thanksgiving! Let us rejoice this day and obey the command of Colossians 3:15: “Be ye thankful.”
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Dr. Van Impe and Rexella,
I have been researching end times for months now in view of this current leader of America and his agenda. As I was watching YouTube on the subject of end times, the rapture, etc. I stumbled to your programs. Wow…I was memorized. I spent all of this past Sunday watching program after program. I could not turn you off…your knowledge using God’s word to back everything you had to say. All I can say is thank you for your ministry and speaking boldly God’s truth. I will continue to listen to your programs and grow in the truth.
Dear Jack and Rexella,
Your ministry is truly a gift from God. Words cannot adequately express my gratitude for you and your teachings and someday soon when we are bowing at the feet of Jesus I will know in my heart that you and your ministry had a significant part to play in my life as well as so many others. God bless you both.
In Christian love,
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This is a must-see video for you and your family.
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