May 19, 2014
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Chapter 15 is a preparatory portion of Scripture. Its eight verses serve as an introduction to the seven vial or bowl judgments described in chapter 16.
Verse 1: And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
The sign John now views in heaven is awe-inspiring. Seven angels-possibly the seven angels or messengers of the seven churches mentioned in chapters 2 and 3-are about to pour out the final seven plagues upon earth. This is the completion of God’s judgment when His wrath is unleashed against rebellious mankind.
Verse 2: And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
As explained in chapter 4, verse 6, the sea of glass speaks of tranquility. It is calm and stable, and typifies: (1) the Church at rest, or (2) God’s living Word. Solomon’s Temple contained a sea of glass, depicting the Word of God, as a means of sanctification. Notice that the sea of glass in our text is mixed with fire. This is a beautiful picture of believers standing firmly for Christ under the test of fire, having their feet planted on the Word of God. The Apostle Peter speaks of this matter when he says, That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:7). Thus, there is no doubt whatsoever that the Tribulation saints enjoy victory over the beast, his image, his mark and the number of his name (666) by the Word of God and prayer. They died for the name of Jesus and are conquerors because of death. Had they remained alive by accepting the beast and his number, they would have been losers. Instead, they are victors, because to die in Christ is gain (see Philippians 1:21). This is why they stand upon the sea of glass-a picture of the Word of God-and are also serenaded and soothed by heaven’s harpists.
Verse 3: And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
Verse 4: Who shall not fear thee, 0 Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
This group, saved out of the Tribulation, sings the song of Moses. The meaning? Back to Exodus, chapter 14. Moses and his people were being hotly pursued by Pharaoh and his armies. Finally the Israelites arrived at the Red Sea. There God parted the waters so that His people could cross over on dry land. As Pharaoh’s military geniuses followed, the waters closed in upon them, and they died. The Israelites, realizing the protection of God on their behalf in sparing them from the Egyptian ruler-a type of the Antichrist-began to sing a song of worship, praise, and adoration to Jehovah: The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea (Exodus 15:1). Now, centuries later, redeemed Jews who through death left earth’s Tribulation miseries behind, sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. This does not mean they use the same lyrics as the people of Moses’ day, but rather that they-as Jews-identify with Moses, the great Jewish leader. They belong to Moses, nationally and to the Lord Jesus Christ, spiritually, for their song is also about the Lamb. The words are Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
Verse 4 reflects the attributes of the King of the nations during the Millennium. Then He is revered because the world fears and glorifies His name. Also, in homage and respect to His holiness and His mighty acts of judgment and subjugation, all nations come to worship in His presence. This is in harmony with Isaiah 2:2 and 3: And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Zechariah agrees in chapter 14, verses 16 and 17: And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
Verse 5: And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:
The Ark of the Testimony was kept in the Temple or the Tabernacle or the Holy of Holies. Under Moses, it was concealed from the eyes of the people. Its mysteries were beyond them. That day is now finally over. The way of the Holiest is open to all, including the Tribulation saints. Now they may view His workings, because they have access to His abiding place.
Verse 6: And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.
The sight of the seven angels coming out of the Temple is breathtaking and frightening. In the earthly Tabernacle and Temple, men were not allowed entrance. Even the high priest could go in but once each year, and then only after rigid ceremonial standards had been observed. The angels, however, have been admitted because they are created beings of holiness to administer the upcoming bowl judgments. The pure and white linen and golden girdles worn by these angels are the same items of clothing worn by Old Testament priests. In other words, angel-priests are about to judge the world from the place where God’s Law rests-the Holy of Holies. This judgment is necessary because mankind has desecrated God’s laws globally. The fact that there are seven angels- the number of perfection and completeness proves that no stone will be left unturned as they execute their seven judgments upon planet earth. Hence, as they leave the Temple, they are given their bowls or vials of judgment.
Verse 7: And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
Verse 8: And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.
In concluding this chapter, verse 8 conclusively proves that the Temple area is sealed to angels and men during the final forty-two months of the Tribulation hour. God’s throne, which symbolizes mercy and love, is shut to the public until the period of judgment ends. This, of course, is during the outpouring of the seven bowls of unprecedented judgment. When God’s judgment has been completed, men may then again approach the Mercy Seat. Until that time, however, all is hazy and dark because of the smoke which fills the Temple.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
THE MYTHS OF OUR AGE
We are living in an age unlike any in the history of mankind. The last century alone saw more scientific and technological advancement than all the rest of history combined. Today we take for granted things that were but science fiction just a decade ago. Yet despite all this-perhaps because of it-our society as a whole may be more Baffled, Bewildered, & Befuddled than ever before.
When asked what it would take to satisfy them, most people respond with a list of things. Money, luxury items, cars, vacations, entertainment-these are what come to mind first when contemporary man thinks of being satisfied. How far from true satisfaction we have strayed!
This week we want to look at two myths of our age, that of instant gratification and materialism and then deal the myth of prestige next week.
The myth of instant gratification
One fallacy that has worked its way firmly into the fabric of modern reasoning is the belief that we can be most fulfilled when the gratification of our needs and desires is immediate. I call this the myth of instant gratification. We have become conditioned to expect on-the-spot results from everything. There is instant coffee, instant milk, instant potatoes, instant rice, instant printing, and instant photography. If one doesn’t have a digital camera that takes and prints instant snapshots, he can take his film to a place that will develop it and make color prints in less than an hour! Even banks have 24-hour electronic tellers so that we don’t have to wait until the facility opens. And we can even send packages across the country through a number of overnight delivery services.
There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these things. In fact, I gladly use such services and am thankful that they are available when I need them. But overnight delivery and 24-hour ATMs are the mild side of our obsession with getting things we want without having to wait. It also has an ugly side.
We cringe and are grieved at the growing phenomenon of drug abuse throughout all levels of society, as people look for a pill or an injection or some kind of stimulant that will instantly make them feel good. Yet, we often fail to see the connection between this kind of behavior and the elusive promise of instant gratification that beckons to us along every avenue of life.
We shake our heads in dismay when we read of a con man who defrauds needy people out of thousands of dollars in some get-rich-quick scheme. But isn’t the greed of both the con man and his victims really just an extension of the mentality that causes people to put themselves into unmanageable debt because they want something now and do not wish to wait for it? Yes, we all must come to the realization that our pursuit of instant gratification is destroying our society like a cancer.
Luke 15 relates the familiar story of the prodigal son, who, like so many today, wanted instant wealth. Anxious to do his own thing and experience life for himself, he refused to wait for that which would be his in due time. He wanted what was coming to him now.
His father gave him his inheritance, and the young man immediately began squandering it in mad pursuit of instant gratification. He traveled abroad and became caught up in the “action” of his day. “Eat, drink, and be merry,” he thought, “for tomorrow we die.” This humanistic philosophy of the ages quickly became his mindset and the motivating force in his life.
Then the bottom fell out of everything. An economic crisis struck the land, and he suddenly found himself far from home. Dejected and bewildered, he was forced to accept the most menial of tasks just to exist, and his heart longed for what he once had and took for granted-the love and security of his father’s home. As he thought on his foolish selfishness and wrongdoing, he made the most important decision of his life: I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants (Luke 15:18, 19).
Modern man is not different from that young man, except that instead of coming to his senses, acknowledging his misdeeds, and turning from them, he continues blindly onward, baffled, bewildered, and befuddled. He never seems to learn that instant gratification is generally also fleeting and seldom truly satisfying.
The myth of materialism
We have become hypnotized by the myth of materialism-the belief that material things are the source of true satisfaction. However, this is an empty and dehumanizing philosophy in which things become more important than people, beauty more desired than virtue, power more respected than character, and status more prestigious than integrity. Consequently, we find ourselves foolishly pursuing the very things that God has said make being close to Him more difficult and sometimes impossible.
Although most of us do enjoy some added pleasures to our lives above and beyond our basic needs, we must ask ourselves one important question-do they control us? As Detroit News staff writer Chuck Bennett stated: “Let’s be honest-we all love material things. At least most of us do, even if we can only dream about having them. And it seems once we begin to get a taste of them, even with one little item, we want more. Yesterday’s luxury becomes today’s frill and tomorrow’s necessity; no matter what level we’re at, we want something better.”
Mr. Bennett has captured the essence of man’s obsession with the material. The main problem is the obvious-we never seem to have enough. When a person becomes a millionaire, he soon finds himself wanting to become a billionaire. On a lesser level, others have their hearts set on obtaining larger houses, finer automobiles, additional income, more power, and more prestige. Instead of rejoicing and being thankful for what God has given them or allowed them to accomplish, they become consumed with a desire for still more and believe that they need it to be happy. The result is bondage.
Have you heard of the Quaker who wanted to teach a great lesson to his friends and neighbors? He had a large sign printed and put up on the vacant lot next to his house. The sign said: “I will give the deed to this lot to anyone who is absolutely contented.” Applicants were directed to apply next door at his home.
There was a man of great wealth living in the community, and as he drove by and saw the sign, he stopped. He thought to himself, “If there is anyone in our area who is absolutely contented it is I. I have everything that I could possibly want.” So he went to the Quaker’s house and knocked on the door.
The Quaker came to the door, and the man said, “I read the sign you placed on the vacant lot next door. I understand you want to give it to anyone who is contented.”
“Yes,” said the Quaker.
“I think I am absolutely contented, ” the man replied. “I will be glad if you will make out the deed to me.”
“Friend, if thou art contented, what dost thou want with my lot?” the Quaker asked.
The Jewish Talmud says that man is born with his hands clenched, but he dies with his hands wide open.
How tragically empty are riches and possessions! Perhaps you have had the experience of wanting something for a long time. Maybe it was a car or a house or something less-but you desired to have it so much that it was all you could think about. You saved for it, planned for it, hoped for it, and dreamed about it. But when you finally got it, after a time you found it to be disappointingly unfulfilling.
On the other hand, some have fallen prey to the notion that self-deprivation is the quickest and easiest path to spirituality. Such reasoning is equally fallacious and can result in a lifetime of despair and bewilderment .
A few years ago during a meeting we were conducting in Atlanta, a young girl came and asked me to make an announcement concerning a local Christian ministry for runaway young people. She wanted me to tell any such persons who might be present that they would be welcome to seek help from her group. Wanting to find out more about this ministry, I asked, “What do you do with the runaways who come to you seeking help?”
“Well,” she said, “we just come together and stay and have fellowship.”
“How do you get food?” I asked. “How do you support your ministry?”
“We just ask God for it,” she replied.
“You mean you don’t work?”
“No,” she answered, amazed that I would ask such a question. “We just live there.”
Further investigation revealed that the “ministry” she wanted me to promote was a communal group who went out to shopping centers and street corners and stopped people to ask for money. Members of the group were not encouraged to seek employment or to return home, nor were they learning anything of value as far as I could tell. In fact, their lifestyle was characterized more by slothfulness than by anything else. I lovingly explained to my youthful inquirer that the Bible teaches …if any would not work, neither should he eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). God has promised to meet our needs but He has also commanded us to be diligent, hard working, and wise in our stewardship.
Those who center their thoughts on the temporal, as well as those who refuse to acknowledge that material possessions should occupy a place in one’s life, cannot be truly satisfied. And neither group is truly wealthy, no matter how much or how little they have.
Scripture is consistent in its teaching that the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). However, this passage is often misquoted and misapplied. Please notice that it does not say that money is the root of all evil. Rather, it is the love of money-the placing of material things above the more important things in life-that brings the piercing of oneself through with many sorrows. God can, and often does, reward our faithfulness to Him and His service with material blessings.
Upon his appointment as King of Israel, Solomon asked God for an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad (1 Kings 3:9). Because he sought the Lord and others before himself, God not only granted Solomon’s request but also added, I have also given thee that which thou has not asked, both riches, and honor (v. 13).
Likewise, Job, who suffered great losses, trials, and pain, remained faithful to God, and …the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning (Job 42:12).
Certainly, Godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6), and as we have clearly seen, it is not how much one possesses that makes him great in God’s eyes and satisfied in life. To the contrary, it is whether or not he allows his possessions to possess him! Those who are truly wealthy are those who have discovered the spiritual riches and deep satisfaction that comes through a life of surrender to God.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
We just love you both so much. You stay true to Gods word and never stray from the word. So many preachers and churches do not preach the word as we know it from the Bible. These churches are ones who use to preach Gods word and have a calling at the end of the service to come forward to come to Christ. They have their own program now that doesn’t stand with the word of God. We came to Christ fifty-two years ago. Keep preaching the word as the Lord is soon coming and so many people are lost. May the Lord richly bless you as you tell everyone about our savior.
Richard and Glendyne
Dear Rexella and Jack,
Praise GOD for you both faithful servants of our MOST HIGH GOD! I look forward to your weekly TV broadcasts. Rexella you always look lovely! Keep up the good work that the LORD has called you to do. Love and prayers for you both.
Yours In CHRIST,
Dublin, Republic of Ireland
God bless you and keep you. I want to say how wonderful it is that Dr. Jack and Dr. Rexella have been true stewards and standard-bearers of the Word throughout these years. Having known Jesus since January 1980 I have time and again returned to your program and/or newsletters knowing that Truth is proclaimed here!
Thank you for never wavering in your course.
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
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.
The Final Three Popes Signal Christ’s Return
Are we now living in the era of the final three Popes? How do these final three Popes signal Christ’s imminent return?
Acclaimed Bible scholar and teacher Dr. Jack Van Impe draws upon his lifetime of research and study to make a definitive case for Christ’s imminent return.
This power-packed volume is thoroughly documented yet easy to read; an inspiring account proving beyond any shadow of doubt that Jesus is coming soon!