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May 4, 2015

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A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE

Final Mysteries Unsealed

What we have referred to as the “fourth” vision of Daniel that began in chapter ten, now reaches its grand climax in chapter twelve with its prophecies about the Great Tribulation, the resurrection of Old Testament saints, the sealing of prophecy until the time of the end, and the abomination of desolation. Everything we have studied to this point has been prologue to the magnificent conclusion of Daniel’s prophecy. We begin chapter twelve with references to Daniel’s people-the Jews-and to the archangel Michael, the protector of the nation of Israel-an assignment that has already been a full-time job for him throughout the ages and, in some ways, has only just begun.

DANIEL 12:1-3

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

While Michael has been the protective overseer of the Jews throughout their history, his work will become even more critical in the days ahead. The end-time reality for the Jews, according to prophecy, will deteriorate into something worse than anything anyone has ever witnessed in world history. Therefore, when you and I think we have it difficult at any given moment, we must remember that the pain and sorrow we may be suffering will pale into insignificance when compared with the trials and tribulations yet to come to so many. Jeremiah 30:7 says:

Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.”

Jesus confirmed Jeremiah’s prophecy in Matthew 24:21 when He 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.”

However, Jesus says that Michael the protector will also be there on the scene, doing battle with Satan in the heavenlies (Revelation 12:7-8). In Daniel 12:1 we see Michael “standing for the people of Israel.” Why will Michael be there? So that the Jews might be saved physically. That’s Michael’s job, and the Jews-at the time of the end-will never need his assistance more than during this time of “Jacob’s trouble”-that period during the Tribulation hour when Russia marches down to the Middle East after the Antichrist has broken his peace contract with Israel-forty-two months after the contract has been in effect.

Everything will be relatively smooth sailing up to that time, the epitome of economic and political sweetness and light, and then Bam! Everything is smashed to pieces at the midpoint of the Tribulation period (Daniel 9:27) as Russia goes up against “the land of unwalled villages … to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates” (Ezekiel 38:11). This is the beginning of the time of great persecution for the Jews as Satan is cast out of heaven, with his primary assignment to obliterate the Jewish people from the face of the earth (Revelation 12:13). For all these reasons, Michael will be there to stand up for his people, as revealed to Daniel in the first verse of chapter twelve.

Those Who Sleep Will Awake

If you are a Jewish person, I want you to know that your Old Testament teaches the promise of a resurrection, and that there will be life beyond the grave. Unfortunately, many Jews do not know that Daniel 12:2 is in the Bible. This end-time event is something one should look forward to if one has come to recognize that the expected Messiah is the Lord Jesus Christ and has received Him as a personal Savior. If you are a Gentile who loves the Jewish people, it is paramount that you share this text with your Jewish friends and encourage them to understand that there will also be a place for them during these end-time events. Here’s the scenario-and it is a critical one for us to understand in some detail. It all begins with the resurrection of the righteous at the time of the Rapture.

We read in John 5:28-29,

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life.”

That is the Rapture. Then

they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation,

That is when the lost are raised at the conclusion of the thousand years-to stand before Jesus Christ at the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).

Revelation 4:1 says,

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.

At this juncture, we who are believers are gone-caught away to be with Christ. This is confirmed in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 which says,

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” Then, we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them-the dead-in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

Not a Pretty Sight

At this point, the horrible Tribulation hour begins to unfold. To those who may disagree with what I’m about to write, I would like to say this: I am only the messenger of what is stated categorically in God’s Word. These are not my thoughts, but rather the words of God taken from holy Scripture. So during this time of Tribulation, great numbers of both Jews and Gentiles will be killed for refusing to receive the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:15). Revelation 20:4 adds:

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

This is the resurrection for those who endured the Great Tribulation hour- those who were saved through the preaching of the 144,000 converted Jews of Revelation 7:4-8. Because of these faithful servants, millions of people-Jews and Gentiles alike-invite Christ into their lives as Savior and Lord. These are the ones who’ve come out of the Tribulation and who have washed their robes, making them white in the blood of the Lamb. Millions will physically survive the seven-year Tribulation period and will also be saved spiritually.

In Matthew 25:31-46, Christ returns to judge the nations and to begin His thousand-year reign, allowing those who survived the 2,520-day period to enter the millennium in their natural bodies. At this point, the previously raptured saints return with Christ (Jude 14). That’s the moment when He returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16). The armies of heaven follow Him to the descending Holy City-the new Jerusalem which hovers above the earthly Jerusalem-for one thousand years.

This city, containing twelve gates, honors each of the twelve Jewish patriarchs of the Old Testament by inscribing their names on the gates. How do the Jews arrive in this scenario? Simply answered-the resurrection of Jewish believers in this chapter, verse 2. Millions who died during the Tribulation hour, of both Jews and Gentiles, plus all believing Old Testament Jews covering a period of four thousand years, are raised to live with Christ for one thousand years, at this juncture, when our Savior returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16; 20:4). These Old Testament Jews strongly believed in and looked forward to Messiah’s first and second coming and founded their faith in Him as their redeemer-based on Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22.

These resurrected Jews who lived a holy life, such as Daniel, receive rewards just as the Church did at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:10; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Revelation 4:10-11). So whether we are Jews or Gentile believers, there will be rewards for all the faithful. Remember that all these saints assemble at this time for one reason only: to live and reign with Christ for one thousand years. If you do not believe that Jews and Christians rule equally in Christ’s kingdom on earth, I urge you to re-study Ephesians 2:14-22 and Revelation chapters twenty-one and twenty-two, the basis for this glorious promise. All this-although not in such detail-is what Daniel is being told in his vision.

We will conclude our study of the book of Daniel next week.


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

I am so glad to hear you each week! It is so refreshing! My husband is a pastor, too! You believe as we do, that the Rapture is here and we are that generation! Because people won’t listen or even come to the house of God! Love and pray for you and Rexella! Go with God’s Blessings!

Pastor Mark and Brenda A.

 

God loves me so much to connect me to your Ministry. I feel so blessed by your newsletter and show respectively. For me if I did not receive your newsletter or watch you on TV I feel like I’m walking in darkness, but the time I watch you or read your newsletter, hope and light feels me again. You are like a map or compass that God uses to direct His people. When you do not have both in a strange land you will be lost, and many will be lost without your direction in this latter days. May God bless you and keep you as you lead us into the Light, from this darkness that covers our world above for a season.

I. K.

Republic of Namibia


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