May 12, 2014
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Revelation 14: 9 – 20
Verse 9: And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
Verse 10: The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Verse 11: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
This third angel announces the doom of those who are worshipping the Antichrist and his image, and who have received the mark “666” in their foreheads or hands. For the weak-kneed sisters of Christendom who claim that “the God of love could never punish sinners,” verses 9 through 11 are probably the Bible’s most graphic picture of judgment. Although the text before us is self-explanatory, I feel it prudent to practically state the same truths twice, in order that mockers may see that there is a judgment of hellfire taught in this book, as well as throughout the Bible. Those individuals who have received the mark of the beast taste of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture [without dilution or weakening of his wrath as it is stirred up] into the cup of his indignation. The judgment is so horrendous as it is administered in the presence of Christ and his angels that the smoke of [the Antichrist’s partners and pawns] ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Contrary to the teaching of certain cultists, this judgment is also endless. The words everlasting for the lost and eternal for the saved are identical in the Greek, both places-heaven and hell-last for the ages of ages-eternally, everlastingly. Thus, Matthew 25:46 states: [The lost] shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. I repeat, both are of equal duration.
Some may raise an objection that this punishment cannot be eternal because of the words “day and night.” Nonsense! The apocalypse, or Book of Revelation, constantly uses this terminology in place of “unceasingly.” For example, in chapter 4, verse 8, the four living creatures before the throne of God rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. Isaiah declared this truth in chapter 66, verse 24, For their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched. Jesus himself had this text in mind when He said in Mark 9:43, And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off. it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched.
The most terrible experience of time and eternity is to be lost. My wife, Rexella, sings a song that creates a soul-winner’s heart within those who hear it. The chorus states:
Think what it means to be lost forever,
No one to guide you across that cold river.
Darkness, crying, none to deliver
Think what it means to be lost.
Thank God, this awesome portrait does not have to be the future of any human being, for Romans 10:13 victoriously announces that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Don’t delay making life’s most important decision.
Now, the subject of fire also causes us to recall that time during the Tribulation hour when one-third of the earth’s population is reduced by fire, smoke, and brimstone (chapter 9, verse 18). Possessing a foreknowledge of all these events, and knowing that earthly sorrows can last only as long as one has life, the Holy Spirit, through John, gives an assuring promise about the future.
Verse 12: Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Verse 13: And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
This will be especially true during the Tribulation hour when the toils of life are so great. Remember, this is the worst time of heartache in history. Jesus said, For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be (Matthew 24:21). Now, at last, it is over for some. They have died and happiness is theirs. They rest from the heartbreaks of life, exchanging them for rewards as their good works and deeds follow them.
Verse 14: And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
A white cloud-the Shekinah or “glory of God” cloud-is usually associated with Christ. This is the same cloud that went before the Children of Israel as they wandered through the wilderness (Exodus 13:21, 22). It was also present at the giving of the Law (Exodus 19:9). This glorious cloud illuminated the transfiguration scene (Matthew 17:5) and received [Christ] out of their sight at His ascension (Acts 1:9). At the Rapture, all church-age saints, living and dead will be caught up together… in the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Finally, when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to planet earth, he cometh with clouds (Revelation 1:7). Thus, in verse 14 of this chapter the Son of Man is seen situated upon the cloud as He comes to thrust in His sharp sickle of judgment.
Verse 15: And another angel came out of the, temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
Verse 16: And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
One cannot get away with sin forever: Be sure, your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23). Sin will catch up with you, and when it does, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same (Job 4:8). The time of reaping has come, and the sickle, sharp and steady, does its judgmental work. Verses 17-20 describe this hour as the greatest bloodbath in history.
Verse 17: And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. Verse 18: And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
Verse 19: And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
Verse 20: And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
This final scene of Revelation 14 describes the work of two angels. The one with a sharp sickle comes from the temple in heaven, while the other with power over fire emerges from the altar. The one in command is the angel from the altar. He immediately orders that the vine be cut off and cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God. Since true children of God are branches of the vine (see John 15:5), the members of the one-world church of the Antichrist and false prophet are called members of Satan’s vine. The time of their pruning or destruction has arrived at last, and they are cut off and cast into the great winepress of God’s indignation.
Oh, what a purging of branches takes place during this hour! The conflict begins in the Valley of Jehoshaphat and becomes centered in the Valley of Jezreel, which is on the plain of Esdraelon near the hill of Megiddo (chapter 16, verse 16). 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. Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O 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 (Joel 3:2, 10-14). Eventually the battle encompasses the entire nation of Israel and is, of course, global in involvement as the armies of the world meet in the Middle East for the final holocaust of history-the Battle of Armageddon (see Zechariah 14:2).
The result is a 200-mile-long area soaked with blood, (one thousand six hundred furlongs, in American mathematics, is a distance of 200 miles.) Interestingly, the nation of Israel is 200 miles long, from north to south. According to Ezekiel 39:8-16, seven months will be required to bury the dead and the armaments of war will be burned for seven years afterward! The tense Middle East situation certainly signals the return of Christ.
In light of the unprecedented devastation just described, a few additional thoughts are appropriate at this time. First of all, when Russia, under the names Gog, Magog, Mechech, Tubal, and Rosh, invades Israel, the largest armies in the history of the world will converge on the Middle East. Ezekiel states that they will come up like a cloud (see Ezekiel 38:16). John tells us that the number of the army of the horsemen [is] two hundred thousand thousand-or two hundred million (chapter 9, verse 16). No wonder the conflict is so incredible.
Secondly, the weapons are the deadliest ever used in the history of mankind. A fire goeth before him (Psalm 97:3). For, behold, the Lord will come with fire (Isaiah 66:15). The flaming flame shall not be quenched (Ezekiel 20:47). A fire devoureth before them (Joel 2:3). Who? The northern army from Russia that is driven back to Siberia. Hear God’s statement: But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things (Joel 2:20).
The retreat is effectual in Joel 2:30, for the prophet states: And I [saw] wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars [or literally columns] of smoke. These are the exact characteristics of a nuclear blast! The whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy (Zephaniah 1:18). For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven (Malachi 4:1). Now we understand why the nation of Israel will be drenched with blood. No wonder Jeremiah 30:7 says, Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it. Daniel 12:1 adds, There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was. This time is so horrendous that there will never have been anything like it in the past nor shall there be anything like it again in the future. Jesus agreed. He said in Matthew 24:21, For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. Revelation 9:18 adds, By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
Finally Russia is going to be smashed in the Middle East. Proof: Therefore, thou son of man prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee (Ezekiel 39:1,2). Later, the Battle of Armageddon will be fought and will assuredly become history’s most terrifying holocaust. However, the good news is that, as a Christian, you will not be present-and if you are not yet a believer, you do not have to be present. So I plead with you to receive Christ without delay.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Searching for security in a world without meaning
Take a walk down main street in your hometown, or visit the local shopping mall. Look at those around you, and study the faces in the crowds coming out of sports arenas or entertainment auditoriums. Notice how few seem to be really enjoying themselves, or laughing, genuinely having a good time.
Even if they put up a jovial front with those around them, watch how soon the laughter dies and the smiles fade when they are alone again and confront the reality of daily living. For too many individuals, the world seems to be a grim and joyless place.
My husband, Jack, and I hear from so many people each week, and often they say, “I can’t stand to watch the TV news anymore. Everything that’s on is bad or ugly. The way the world is going is frightening and depressing. The more I see and hear, the more baffled, bewildered, and befuddled I get!”
A good many of these folks go on to say, “We just couldn’t make it through the week without seeing the ‘Jack Van Impe Presents’ telecast. It’s the only good news we hear. You always have a message of hope-that God is still in control!”
What does it all mean?
Baffled! According to the dictionary, means ” confused, puzzled, frustrated.” Bewildered speaks of losing one’s bearings, being perplexed and overwhelmed by the complexity and the multitude of considerations. Befuddled means to muddle about, virtually stupefied, unable to cope with the complications.
Have you ever had feelings like these?
Certainly there seem to be more concerns and problems in the world today than ever before in human history. Perhaps many of them were there but we just didn’t know about all of them. Today’s communications technology makes us aware of conflicts and trouble going on in every part of the world.
One thing we do know is that Jesus didn’t say that if we saw wars or famines or pestilences or persecutions, His coming is near. In Matthew 23:33, He said, when ye shall see ALL these things, know that it is near, even at the doors (emphasis mine). It seems to me that all the signs are now there!
Lately I’ve been asking the people I meet in my weekly activities about what issues they are concerned about and I feel sure that what they’ve told me probably includes the same things that trouble you. I believe the world once again has plunged to the low point of being as it was in the days of Noah, when the earth was totally corrupt and filled with violence. So surely this means that it’s time to look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh (Luke 21:28).
When and where will terrorists strike again?
The number one thing on people’s minds, I think, is the threat of international terrorism. The 9/11 attacks certainly changed the outlook of all Americans. And the later terrorist attacks in England and other European countries have made millions of other people realize that the whole world is vulnerable. Most thinking people now realize that it’s not a question of if there will be major terrorist attacks again, but when!
Another concern is the growing threat of nuclear war. It seems everyone is talking about nuclear proliferation involving more countries, like North Korea and Iran. And of course, huge nations like India, China, and Russia are flexing their muscles and saying, “you can’t tell us what to do.” So there are opportunities for confrontation on every corner. There’s no peace in the world at all.
In fact, there have been more wars in the twentieth century than in all prior centuries put together. In the last two thousand years it’s constantly been nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom. As a result, millions have died from warfare, including genocide-the systematic slaughter of entire ethnic groups, as well as from starvation and famines. But the frightening part today is that more nations have nuclear weapons that could wipe out entire continents!
Is the world getting too warm?
There is also a growing concern around the world about global warming. Many scientists believe that the impact of mankind’s pollution is upsetting the delicate balance of nature. Our oceans and waterways are becoming fouled, and the very atmosphere is being damaged. The resulting increases in average temperatures, say the experts, might already be affecting weather patterns, producing record numbers of violent storms like typhoons, hurricanes, and tsunamis. They say the warming trend ultimately could kill most marine life, destroy agricultural food production, and eventually melt the remaining glaciers and ice packs, putting more low-lying land under water. Not everyone agrees with these dire predictions, but while the debate rages on, more and more people are becoming fearful of what the future holds.
Is sickness and disease getting worse?
In addition to these major concerns, there is heightened awareness of the expansion of both new and old diseases. Cancer, heart disease, mental disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and other deadly maladies affect millions. In America, the cost of medical care is so great that even major corporations are saying they cannot afford to provide health insurance for employees. Often the elderly have to choose between buying food or the prescription drugs that help keep them alive!
Worldwide, diseases once thought to be eradicated are coming back with a vengeance, especially in poverty-stricken areas where there is poor nutrition and virtually no hygiene. AIDS and HIV-related disease have literally decimated the populations of many African nations, producing millions of AIDS orphans.
Add to these fears the problems of animal disorders like Mad Cow disease and avian (or bird) flu that could threaten food supplies and perhaps even pose the threat of infecting humans.
World health experts have no answers, no workable plans to conquer the threatened pandemics of killer diseases. No wonder there is a growing universal lack of confidence.
The curse of pharmakeia
Perhaps these things help explain why so many have turned to drugs and alcohol in their desperate attempts to cope with such grim problems in their world. It seems obvious that the war against drugs is over-and we lost! Drug trafficking appears to be almost unrestrained, not only in the United States but worldwide. And the abuse is not limited to illegal drugs, but also to over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs as well. The battle against drug abuse of all kinds seems almost hopeless. In 2003 there were 1.74 million arrests for illegal drug abuse in the U.S.-probably only a small percentage of the people actually involved!
The Bible refers specifically to this problem in Revelation and Galatians using the Greek word pharmakeia, which is the source word for our term, pharmacy. Sometimes the word has been mistranslated as “sorcery” or “witchcraft,” but many biblical scholars, including my husband, Jack, believe the scriptures are actually referring to drugs and drug abuse!
The number one drug problem-or substance abuse-in America is alcohol! Over 50 million Americans are dependent on alcohol-500,000 of them between the ages of 9-12! Our citizens spend $90 billion a year on booze-and $5.5 billion of it is spent by students. Alcohol is involved in half of all U.S. driving fatalities, 40 percent of all industrial fatalities and 47 percent of industrial injuries.
The problem certainly is not isolated to America. There are similar-or worse-statistics for virtually any country in the world. Throughout Europe alcoholic beverages are served freely to children, and in certain areas in Russia alcoholism has helped to produce extremely high unemployment.
“Without natural affection”-why?
Space does not permit me to list all the other issues that trouble people today-things like the decay of morality, virtue, and values that has produced unprecedented sexual promiscuity, and the alarming rise of physical and sexual abuse against children, women, even animals! Hardly a week goes by without a major news report of a father destroying his whole family, or a mother maiming or killing her children-a direct fulfillment of the prophetic sign that people will be “without natural affection.” Spousal abuse is epidemic. There are 50,000 reports of suspected child abuse or neglect every week in America. And how often do you read news accounts or see TV reports of pets or livestock being tortured, abused, and killed?
No wonder so many can’t stand to read the newspaper or watch the evening news! No wonder people are baffled, bewildered, and befuddled by the goings on in their neighborhood, their city, their world. How can one understand, rationalize, or explain what is happening? How can one deal with the resulting confusion, perplexity, anger, and frustration, or cope with the endless barrage of bad news and challenges that defy human solution?
Has anyone you know tried to “end it all?”
Sadly, suicide is on the rise-it is the eleventh leading cause of death in the U.S. Suicide deaths outnumber homicide deaths by a five to three margin, numbering 29,350 in the year 2000. And among children, adolescents, and young adults, the suicide rate is escalating. Suicide was the third leading cause of death of youngsters in both the 10-14 and 15-24 age ranges. And older adults, who comprise 13 percent of the U.S. population, account for 18 percent of the suicide deaths! So suicide knows no age boundaries, striking victims from childhood to age 85.
These statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are alarming. But America is not the only nation with this problem. Suicide rates are soaring around the world. In fact, Japan is the number one country in the world for total suicides.
So we can see that people around the world are in deep despair, feeling baffled, bewildered, befuddled…and totally hopeless. Feeling that life is not worth living, too frightened to face the future, they destroy themselves. How tragic! How my heart aches for those whose pain and desolation sweeps them to utter destruction.
Is there no hope for the world and its people?
Oh, yes! There is hope and healing and deliverance! This is my Father’s world, and He is still in control. Man’s wisdom may fail. Scholars and scientists may admit defeat. Politicians can seldom deliver on their promises of peace. But God is all powerful. And He is never baffled, bewildered, or befuddled!
God has given us His wisdom and direction-His mind-on every subject in His Word, the Holy Bible. He gave us the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17) as guidelines for happiness and success. The commandments were not to restrict us or make us unhappy, but to keep us from things that could hurt us.
Then, Jesus told us not to fear when we saw today’s world conditions coming to pass. Don’t be terrified! Don’t be anxious! Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (Matthew 24:6, Luke 21:9, John 14: 27).
We know that human agencies and alliances can never solve the problems of the world. They never get it quite right. For example, on the front of the United Nations building in New York City is a scriptural quotation from Isaiah 2:4-they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. The implication is that this is what the U.N. will accomplish.
There’s just one problem-they left out God. In the previous verses (see 2:2,3), Isaiah says these things will happen “in the last days” when people begin to say, “Come, let us go up to the house of God-He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths.”
The Word of God is quite specific that the answers mankind is seeking will not come from the U.N., the European Union, or any other earthly alliance. Acts 4:12 says, Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Yet, we can clearly see where the world is headed. Paul-Henri Spaak, the founder of the European Common Market and the general secretary of NATO, emphatically declared in a speech:
“We don’t want another committee-we already have enough of them. What we want is a man of such stature that he be capable to gain the alliance of peace-the politics to pull us out of the economic chaos into which we are sinking. Send us this man, and be he god or the devil, we will welcome him!”
This is the baffled, bewildered, befuddled mindset that will usher in the Antichrist. For the day will come-and soon-when such a man will emerge out of the European Union and bewitch the political leaders of the world. He will announce a grand scheme for universal peace and prosperity that the world’s leaders will agree to, and draw up a seven year contract. All nations–even Israel–will sign it. But in the middle of the peace, after three and a half years, everything falls apart and deadly conflicts break out again, culminating in the prophetic battle of Armageddon, in Israel’s Valley of Megiddo.
Then, thank the Lord, Jesus does come back and stops all the warfare before mankind destroys the whole world and all its inhabitants.
It’s all spelled out for us in the Word of God, the Holy Bible. Everything we need to know is there so we can do all God wants us to do. As we rely on the Word and seek God in prayer every day of our lives, we can live in calm assurance. As we keep out attention focused on Him, we can have peace in the midst of the storm.
How can you overcome the desperate feelings of being baffled, bewildered, and befuddled in today’s world? George Mueller wrote, “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith; the beginning of faith and trust is the end of anxiety.”
In the following newsletters, we will explore together how to overcome the obstacles and challenges of modern life that can keep you from living in quiet confidence and strength. As we discover how to deal victoriously with the world’s complications and confusions, you will be able to affirm, in the words of an old, old gospel song-
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand,
But I know Who holds the future,
And I know Who holds my hand.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I just wanted to express my extreme gratitude for your telecasts. I learn so much from Rexella and Jack and I look forward to watching the telecast every week. I live far away from my family and when I tune in every week, I am comforted by a sense of “home” as I watch. I can only attribute that to the fact that as Christians, we are all truly brothers and sisters in Christ.
Thank you so much for your service and I eagerly look forward to the day when I can meet all of you in person in Heaven. Blessings.
I’d like to thank both the Van Impes for the years of teaching shared with me through the media. Admittedly, when I first became a Christian I would love to watch it but it would put me in a daze because of the hour it was. But now I love to watch and HAVE TO WATCH 10 years later and I rejoice at everything that is about to happen! Jack is my go to prophecy guy and Rexella is just the sweetest complement to the show. You guys are the best combination of truth and love out there. Thank you both.
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
Reclaiming & Restoring Biblical Christianity
The Bible says in these latter days the love of many will grow cold – apostasy will set in – and supposed religious leaders will have a form of godliness but lack its power.
We’re seeing these prophecies fulfilled today!
You and your family deserve to know the facts – the truth that many supposedly ‘Christian’ leaders want to hide from you!
There is only one way to heaven, through salvation in Jesus Christ. Choosing Christ means a change in lifestyle – and many preachers today just don’t want to tell people that they must be transformed!
But Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe set the record straight in their landmark teaching video, Reclaiming and Restoring Biblical Christianity
Christ’s Return: Millions Deceived
Too many Christian leaders don’t understand or refuse to acknowledge the truth about the Rapture and the Great Tribulation and thus millions are deceived!
Don’t let your family remain in darkness. Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe can show you what the Bible actually says – and help you answer critical questions like:
- Who prays the Lord’s Prayer hypocritically right now?
- Who was the very first preacher to teach about the Rapture?
- How does the Antichrist come to global power?
- Who are Armageddon’s international players?
- When does Christ return bodily to this earth?
- How close are we to the Rapture?
- How do we know Christ is coming soon if the Bible says no one knows the day or the hour?
- Where does the Bible predict “road rage”?
- Can you find rockets and missiles in the book of Isaiah?
- Jesus predicted iniquity would abound before His return – could He have meant the cesspool of Hollywood, today’s sexual perversions, mass murders, terrorism?
- Who is slaughtering Christians right now?
- Why do signs like persecution, violence, economic upheaval, and terrorism mean we should actually rejoice?
- And many more!