November 17, 2014
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
The Handwriting on the Wall
Daniel 5:5 – 9
In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.
The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and show me the interpretation thereof shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Then came in all the king’s wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.
Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.
What would you have done if you’d come to the king’s palace for a night of revelry and debauchery and all of a sudden God crashed your party? I have a feeling that most of the guests were so blitzed that they may have thought they were seeing things. Some probably thought, “This is cool.., look. . . a hand writing on the wall. This Belshazzar guy really knows how to promote magical entertainment. Wow, we didn’t know we were going to have a night of illusions to accompany the wine.”
But Belshazzar had not arranged this particular distraction, and, apparently, he had enough of his wits about him to call the party to an unceremonious halt as the disembodied hand appeared and began writing a message on the plaster wall. The message was clearly written-a warning of the judgment to come because of the desecration of the temple utensils designed to honor Yahweh, the God of heaven.
The King James version says that “his knees smote one against another” (5:6). That means Belshazzar was so scared that his knees were knocking. The party was now history, and Belshazzar probably wasn’t the only one who wished it had ended an hour earlier. The passage says he was pale. I imagine that you and I would have turned a strong shade of white also.
So once again, the wise men were summoned. This time, not to interpret a dream, but to attempt to analyze this disembodied hand writing on the wall. I imagine the sorcerers and magicians may have said among themselves, “Belshazzar’s drunk again and is only hallucinating.” However, as the soothsayers entered the dining hall, they were stumped because the handwritten message was inscribed indelibly on the wall. Furthermore, they didn’t know how to interpret what they were seeing. That’s when panic set in, that is, until the queen mother, the wife of Nebuchadnezzar stepped forward and reminded Belshazzar about a man named Daniel in the kingdom who was pretty good at figuring out this sort of thing.
The Queen Mother Remembers Daniel
Daniel 5:10 – 12
Now the queen, by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed:
There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;
Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.
The queen mother is basically saying, “You’d better listen to Daniel because your grandfather really lifted him up, respected him, and used him on more than one occasion to handle situations like this.” She knew that Daniel had “the spirit of the holy gods” in and upon him and because of it had the answers. Daniel was around seventeen years old when he was first brought to Babylon from Jerusalem, and now he was approaching his mid-eighties.
During this entire time in captivity he kept the power of the Holy Spirit on him-and the queen mother knew it. How did Daniel keep this power upon him during his years of service in Babylon? By spending time in God’s precious Book. Daniel knew the Scriptures, and remained profoundly touched by God’s Word in the pagan land to which he had been brought so many years earlier. Later, Peter would write in 1 Peter 2:2,
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby.”
That was Daniel’s secret then, and it is the source of our strength today as we move swiftly to the end of the age and to the final unsealing of the end-time mysteries. Daniel lived on his knees before God, and when one lives like that-from teenage years to becoming a senior citizen-that person will be such a Spirit-filled being that even the enemies of God will sit up and take notice. Daniel understood the secret of life, and therefore, whenever called on to speak God’s truth to a perverse generation of Babylonians, he was ready with a fitting-and correct-word from God. Is Daniel your model today?
Daniel Comes before Belshazzar
Daniel 5:13 – 16
Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?
I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.
And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof but they could not show the interpretation of the thing:
And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.
By now, I’m sure the party had come to a screeching halt- and I would think more than a few of the guests had sobered up rather quickly. Who wouldn’t-a disembodied hand writing on a plaster wall has that effect on party animals. They probably called him killjoy Daniel. But this senior citizen was just as sharp and alert as the day he was spirited away from Jerusalem to Babylon with the other Jewish captives. He knew who he was and Whose he was. He could not have cared less about the king’s offer of a purple robe and a gold chain. What value were such temporal rewards to him?
As modern Christians, it seems that we often get confused on this issue. We all like to be rewarded for the good things we do, often asking, How much am I going to get for doing this? Who’s going to notice me if I do this good deed? But this is not the way of Christ. Hebrews 13:5 says,
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
This is the spirit we must maintain during this end-time hour, but it is not the present spirit of Christendom. If one were to study any Bible concordance on adultery, fornication, or licentiousness, and then look up the word covetousness-he would discover that immorality and materialism run neck and neck. They are that close in God’s sight. God hates the sin of loving money and an obsession with material possessions as much as He hates the sin of immorality.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Give Me Your Hand
In my daily Bible reading, I’ve been noticing how much is mentioned about the hands of our Lord. Again and again the Gospels relate how He reached out to people in their need and hurt and sorrow. And when He touched them, they were never the same again.
His hands healed the sick
After He began His earthly ministry, great multitudes thronged about Him wherever He went. Those who were sick, blind, and lame — even those marked for death with the curse of leprosy — came to Him seeking to be healed and made whole.
When the hands of Jesus touched them, pain and suffering ceased, diseases and infirmities were cured, and lives shattered and ruined by sickness were restored.
His hands fed the multitude
It was the hands of Jesus that fed the multitudes who followed Him out into the desert place to hear His words. When evening came, Christ’s disciples urged Him to send the people away. But Jesus saw their hunger and weariness and, in compassion, desired to minister to them.
Taking a few small loaves and fishes — barely enough for one small boy’s lunch — the Lord blessed the food. Then His hands began to break and divide the bread and fish into portions which He gave to His disciples to serve.
We’re told that 5,000 men were fed that day, not counting the women and children. And when everybody had eaten all they wanted, there were twelve baskets full of leftovers! The hands of Jesus not only provided enough…but plenty to spare.
His hands blessed the children
Loving children as I do, my heart is touched to read the biblical account of how the hands of Jesus blessed and comforted the little children. He specifically told His disciples not to prevent them from coming to Him. And in my mind’s eye, I can see the Lord sitting down and opening His arms to them. As they eagerly jostled about, perhaps He lifted a toddler into His lap, shook hands with an older lad, touched the cheek of a shy little girl. And as His gentle hands patted little shoulders and smoothed tousled hair, the Lord blessed these little ones. Somehow I think they probably never forgot that day when the hands of Jesus touched them.
The hands of the Master
No doubt the hands of Jesus were strong and powerful. Growing up around Joseph’s carpenter shop, He probably learned to hold and use various tools to shape and assemble wood into useful items. His hands knew how to work.
It was those strong hands that later would grasp a whip as an indignant Jesus drove the callous money changers out of the holy halls of the Temple. Those hands were instruments of righteousness and justice.
It was those hands that reached out to lift and save impetuous Peter who, after walking on the water toward Jesus, took his eyes off the Lord and began to sink.
There are so many other references to the hands of Jesus that we could talk about. But the single most important mention of Christ’s hands is when they were nailed to the cross.
A very dear, life-long friend gave me a beautiful wall plaque, which I have hanging in my kitchen. It says:
I asked Jesus, “How much do You love me?”
“This much,” He answered, and He stretched out His arms and died.
Greater love hath no man than this, said Jesus, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).
And who is Jesus’ friend? The deeply spiritual and very religious? The learned and respectable? The proud traditionalists?
No, our Lord said that He was called a friend of…sinners! (Luke 7:34).
The Apostle Paul reminds us that Christ died for the ungodly… in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6,8).
It is strangely and beautifully significant that the first person to benefit from Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary was a thief on the cross next to His! Think of it — the first person to whom the Lord stretched out His nail-pierced hands was someone totally unworthy of His love.
Some time ago my husband, Jack, and I were guests at a Christian fellowship dinner in another city. During the meal I got acquainted and talked with a dear little mother who sat next to me. After a while, with tears streaming down her cheeks, she leaned over and whispered the sad story of a wayward daughter who had run away from home, mounted up many debts, and fallen to the very depths of sin, even into a life of prostitution.
“I pray for her every day,” she said, “and every time I hear from her I beg her to come home. My husband doesn’t make a lot of money, so I got a job to help pay off the debts our daughter made. I’m doing everything I know how to do to help her. Please pray with me.”
When I reached out to take hold of this precious mother’s hands to comfort her, they were rough and calloused, scarred by long hours of hard work, week after month after year. Those hands were scarred by love…by a mother’s selfless sacrifice and desperate desire to reach and save her wayward daughter.
As I held those hands and prayed, I was reminded of Christ’s nail-scarred hands that also were pierced for that lost daughter…and for every lost sinner in the whole world. They were scarred for me…and for you!
Just as the hands of our Lord ministered to men and women, boys and girls, wherever He went during His time on earth, so we today can feel the touch of His hands in our daily lives. His power is still available to us today.
In our times of pain and suffering, He is still the Great Physician who lays His hands upon us and restores our bodies. Whether our healing comes through medication, the skill of a surgeon, or by the power of faith alone, we know that He is the source of all healing.
When we are hungry and experiencing a lack of supply — when we’re empty physically, emotionally, and spiritually — Christ’s hands will bless and multiply the smallest things we have to offer Him and make it sufficient to meet our need…with plenty to spare.
When we’ve tried and failed — when like Peter, we’re sinking into the depths of trials and tribulations, with no hope in sight — He will come to us, walking on the waters of our stormy sea. His hand will save us, lift us up, and lead us safely to the solid rock!
My challenge to you
Let us be challenged to reach out in His love into every man’s world with a helping hand. Let us emulate our Lord’s great example and use the resurrection power that flows through us to minister to the needs of those around us.
Never forget that for many people in the world, their first glimpse of Christ may be in you…the only hands that will touch them in love, that will comfort, lift, and bless them, may be your hands.
Reach out whenever you can, wherever you can, to whomever you can. However unlovely or unworthy the person you find may be, remember that Christ’s sacrifice is sufficient…and that He loves that individual just as much as He loves you.
Do not be afraid to stretch forth your hand to anybody. For you minister, not in your own strength and ability, but in His love. So when you reach out, it will not be just your hand that touches them, but the hand of God through you!
I love the beautiful gospel chorus that cries out
Oh, to be His hand extended,
Reaching out to the oppressed,
Let me touch Him, let me touch Jesus,
So that others may know and be blessed.
Look around you today and find someone who is hurting or needy, someone who is in trouble. Ask God to guide you to someone who needs Jesus.
When you find them, don’t hesitate or delay. Go to them with a smile filled with the light of His love and simply say…
“Give me your hand.”
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I LOVE receiving the newsletter. I love the articles; I think it is extremely important for Christians to understand what is happening in the world, biblically.
I am grateful for the Van Impe Ministries, for both Jack and Rexella; grateful that they are here to explain things, to those of us who don’t quite understand world events correlating to the bible. I am thankful, that they are fulfilling their calling, and that they love the Lord Jesus, and want to spread Him around the world! Thank you Jack and Rexella, for all that you do. I use some of your articles on my website, always providing a link back to your site;
Blessings in Christ,
N. R. J.
I thoroughly enjoy your newsletters. Rexella, I enjoy what you write as much as I enjoy your husband’s teachings. You are both such a blessing to me. May God continue to bless you both, as you have blessed so many others.
I love your show and watch it on my computer every week. Thank you for putting together the DVDs about Islam and Jesus. People I have been witnessing to and in prayer with did not believe what I told them about Islam and Chrislam until they watched the video. You guys are really great and it is so sweet how you express your love for Rexella also.
I will see you in heaven!!
Love, in Christ Jesus,
T. J. M.
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