October 20, 2014
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
- Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
- I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.
- How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.
After the events in this chapter occurred, an apparently docile King Nebuchadnezzar issued a proclamation declaring he had finally learned his lesson: that indeed the most high God was in control of a realm greater than his own-a Kingdom that will last eternally, dominating earthly powers for generations to come. This decree was written by the king himself, his regal attempt to tell an entire nation of the great God he had now come to honor and respect.
- I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace:
- I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.
- Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream.
- Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.
- But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,
- 0 Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof
- Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.
- The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:
- The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof and all flesh was fed of it.
- I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;
- He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:
- Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:
- Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.
- This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
- This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.
We have now arrived at the latter half of the king’s reign, and some twenty-three years have passed between chapters three and four. Nebuchadnezzar has been a successful warrior abroad for most of his career, and he is now spending the remainder of his life in relative ease at his palace in Babylon. Chapter four could probably be called Nebuchadnezzar’s spiritual biography. But just as leopards are not known for changing their spots, so the king remained a proud man and would later have to pay the price for forcing his subjects to worship his great gold image on the plain of Dura a generation earlier. The score would soon be evened, as we shall see as the drama of this chapter unfolds.
Daniel-Consistent in Courage
Once again, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that caused him great anxiety. By now, he seemed convinced that the old guard of magicians, astrologers, and wise men would not have the necessary skills to interpret his latest dream, so he brought in a new group of seers, “all the wise men of Babylon,” not just those from the palace. This time, he didn’t play games by asking them to tell him his dream and give him the interpretation. He told them the dream immediately. Still, even the wisest in the realm were at a complete loss for an interpretation.
I’ve always wondered why he didn’t bring Daniel in immediately instead of going through the frustration of working with supposed wise men who never seemed to be able to deliver. Eventually, Daniel (Belteshazzar) was brought before the king, taken away momentarily from his busy life as judge and prime minister of the realm. Nebuchadnezzar now knew that only a supernatural being could interpret his latest anxiety-ridden dream, and he seemed confident that Daniel was the man to give him the answers he needed.
Trees = Power
As described in the passage above, the king’s latest dream was about a luxuriant tree of great height, with branches heavy with enough fruit to sustain the lives of many. But then a holy “watcher” descended from heaven and commanded that the tree be cut down, leaving only a stump in the ground. To a king who was already paranoid about losing his kingdom, this dream was one more in a painful series that indicated neither time nor the God of the Hebrews was on his side. Let’s look at this dream and its various components as they relate both to biblical symbolism and to final end-time mysteries.
Throughout the Word of God, trees represent kingdoms and powers. Two examples:
- The cedar tree usually refers to the nation of Lebanon (1 Kings 4:33) and
- The fig tree speaks of Israel (Joel 1:7; Hosea 9:10; Matthew 24:32).
Nebuchadnezzar did not know it at the time, but the great tree that reached to heaven represented him and his vast empire. Babylon was a powerful tree-a mighty kingdom that had refused to bow its head to anything but a lifeless Marduk and the other Babylonian gods. But it was an abusive power, filled with the pride of an arrogant king who had crafted a golden image and made his subjects bow to it. Because of the king’s arrogance, God would cut the tree representing Nebuchadnezzar’s great power to the ground, but enough would remain (the stump) to indicate that it was still alive enough to undergo seven years of testing, a graphic picture of the seven-year Tribulation hour-a time we are rapidly approaching.
During those seven years of trouble, according to the dream, the king would be stricken down. He crawled about on his hands and knees, disheveled, a mad monarch forced to eat grass as an animal. His hair probably grew to where it touched his back. His fingernails were like bird claws.
There was a time when skeptics argued that such a situation was not plausible. Raymond Harrison recited a personal experience with a modern case similar to that of Nebuchadnezzar, which he observed in a British mental institution in 1946. He found a man who was mentally deranged, had claws like a bird, with matted hair hanging all the way to his feet. Furthermore, the man’s diet was grass, which he ate while crawling on all fours. The disease was given a name: Boanthropy, or Zoanthropy.
Medical records prove this malady does, in fact, exist-and is the same disease, or the equivalent, that Nebuchadnezzar experienced in his dream and life. This state of mental derangement would last for seven years, representing the duration of the Tribulation, that terrible time on earth when millions who insist on honoring a false god will go through judgments destined to inundate the world.
How many judgments will there be during these perilous days? Twenty-one! Each of them is listed in Revelation chapters six to eighteen.
Here are just a few: Revelation 6:2 says the Antichrist appears on a white horse; verses 4 to 8 tell us there will be three other riders. The red horse depicts peace being removed from the earth with the cataclysmic judgments of war annihilating one-third of the world’s inhabitants; verse 5 says the rider on a black horse causes mass starvation; and verse 8 gives us the dramatic picture of a rider on a pale horse that causes myriads of diseases, eliminating another one-fourth of the human race; in verse 9, we see yet another judgment, where millions are slaughtered for honoring the name of God and for declaring their allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ; verse 12 speaks of the judgments in the heavens:
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.”
The judgment described in Revelation 8:1 is so terrible that it unleashes the other fourteen judgments, causing an unusual silence in heaven for about the space of half an hour.
The angels, knowing what is coming, are so stunned as they contemplate the future that there is a holy hush in the presence of God. This day is rapidly approaching, and the Book of Daniel is the prophecy through which these end-time mysteries are now being unsealed. In chapter two, we saw the future kingdoms clearly delineated, and now we know that most of Daniel’s prophecy has already happened. There is only one part of the prophecy yet to come: the stone smashing the feet of the image- Christ’s glorious return to establish His millennial reign for one thousand years upon the earth (Revelation 20:4).
This is all going to take place soon. But before it does, there will be the Tribulation period, pictured by the example of a mentally deranged, animal-like king, who crawls on the ground eating grass for seven years. Once again, a desperate king turns to his foreign friend and counselor for the interpretation of his dream. And again, what Daniel is about to tell the king is not good news. But Daniel remains courageous, refusing to dodge the issue. God has given Daniel the interpretation, and he is prepared to speak the mind of God freely before King Nebuchadnezzar.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
“I Almost Missed the Blessing!”
He was standing near the exit of a department store in the shopping mall – a quiet, unassuming man, neatly dressed in casual clothes. As I walked past him on my way out of the store, he glanced in my direction – then quickly looked again, obviously recognizing me.
“Mrs. Van Impe?”
“Yes, I’m Rexella Van Impe.”
“It’s so nice to see you in person. I feel like I’ve known you and your husband for many years – I used to attend your crusade services. Could you spare just a moment? I have a little story to share with you.”
“Of course,” I replied, stepping out of the doorway and to the side of the corridor. I felt perfectly comfortable and at ease with this “old friend” I’d never met before – he was no longer a stranger. “I’d love to hear your story.”
The man stretched out his right arm and pulled back the sleeve of his coat. His arm was atrophied and shorter than normal, with an extremely deformed hand. “I was born this way – with a right arm and hand that were shriveled and useless. As I grew up, I became more and more aware of my deformity. I felt that I was ‘damaged’ and worthless. I became as handicapped emotionally and mentally as I was physically.
“As a little boy, I started praying, ‘Oh, God, heal my hand and arm. Help me and give me a normal life.’ In my mind, I felt the only way my prayer could be answered would be to get a whole new arm and hand.
“Over the years, doctors performed three major operations on me – very involved, complicated reconstructive surgeries. The operations were successful in that they enabled me to gain much use of my right arm and hand. I learned to do lots of things – almost anything I wanted – with my repaired hand.”
As he spoke, the man demonstrated how he could move his arm freely and deftly use his still-twisted hand to pick up and manipulate various objects with obvious strength and dexterity.
With a wry smile, he continued his account. “But the surgeries didn’t help my mind and my feelings. They continued to be ‘deformed’ because my arm was still short and my hand was still twisted – not totally whole in appearance. Instead of being thankful for the tremendous improvement, I found myself thinking, ‘Why didn’t God answer my prayer and heal me? I still don’t have a right arm and hand that match my left side.’ And I went on feeling frustrated and limited for years.
“Then one day during my personal devotional time, I finished my Bible reading and was meditating. I again began to wonder why God hadn’t answered my boyhood prayers. Suddenly I became intensely aware of God’s presence, and He seemed to speak to me.”
“‘I answered your prayer!’ the Lord said. ‘You are whole. You can do just about anything with your right arm that you can do with your left. You have a good marriage and beautiful children. You have a profitable business. I have blessed you and met your needs. Why do you feel that your prayers were not answered?'”
“I was astonished at those words, Rexella. I jumped to my feet and shouted, ‘Thank You, Lord, for opening my eyes. You did answer my prayer. You have made me whole! But I almost missed the blessing!'”
Isn’t that a remarkable experience? Hearing our friend’s tremendous story stirred my heart and started me thinking. How many times do we risk missing out on God’s blessings because they may not arrive in the exact package we’re expecting? How should we act, what should we do while we’re waiting on the Lord to answer prayer?
I love the way The Living Bible instructs and encourages us with Psalm 27:14 – “Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted and courageous. Yes, wait and he will help you.”
Are you waiting for God to answer the cry of your heart and meet some special need for you or a loved one? Here are some suggestions for you.
Wait in prayer.
First of all, I believe that when we’re waiting on the Lord, we should wait in prayer and allow ourselves to be comforted by the Holy Spirit. Too often we allow ourselves to be anxious and apprehensive after we’ve prayed and are waiting. By not allowing the comfort of the Holy Spirit to overwhelm us, we make ourselves vulnerable to the ravages of doubt and fear.
One of the first times I remember hearing “Wait, Rexella” was when I was just a little girl, maybe four years old. My mother had left me with my grandmother for the day. For a while I watched as she worked in the kitchen preparing to bake a pie.
When I grew restless, my grandmother said, “Rexella, as soon as I finish baking this pie, we’ll go down and get an ice cream banana split. But for now I want you to sit here on the counter and wait.”
A few minutes later I asked, “Are you almost done, Grandma?”
“No, honey, you have to wait.”
“Yes, but I want to go get my banana split now!”
“No, I’m not finished here. You must wait a little longer.”
In another moment or two, I was asking again, “Are you through yet?” So my grandmother decided to use the waiting time to teach me something new. Spreading some flour across the counter, she taught me how to form the letters and spell the word B-A-N-A-N-A. I was so delighted at my new accomplishment that I momentarily forgot my impatience.
I believe that God sometimes has lessons to teach us as we wait. There can be great value to be gained just by waiting, although it’s hard for people in today’s age of instant gratification to appreciate this truth.
We’ve all heard the old joke about doctors telling patients to “take an aspirin and call me in the morning.” Well, current medical research suggests that maybe these medics weren’t just ignoring their patient’s needs. The truth is that God has put a miraculous healing force within our bodies that, with just a little time, will begin to heal a high percentage of maladies.
It’s also true that time is a great healer in incidents of loss and grief. What seems unbearable and inconsolable today will become less painful and easier to bear as time goes by. As the Psalmist David expressed so beautifully, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
Don’t misunderstand me – I’m not saying that we should pray about something, then just wait until we get over it naturally. We’ve all experienced those wondrous times when God came upon the scene and moved in our behalf almost instantly. In fact, there are times, God says, “Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).
If we need an instant answer, God will not forsake us or fail. But there are times when we need to wait – not impatiently, but bravely, stoutheartedly, and with courage. In those times the Holy Spirit will come to us … and teach us … and help us. Don’t miss what God wants to do for you!
Wait in faith.
When you pray, wait in faith. Be confident in God. Believe in His love and goodness. Trust the Lord to keep His Word. Jesus said, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14). Let your confidence be based on the knowledge that He will answer your prayer – God will take care of you.
Perhaps you’re saying, “But Rexella, sometimes that kind of faith is a little bit hard to come by.” I understand exactly what you mean.
I heard an illustration about a woman whose view from her kitchen window was blocked by an ugly old mountain that she often wished was gone. One day she read that if she had faith as big as a grain of mustard seed, she could pray for the mountain to be removed and it would go. So she decided to try it.
“Oh, God, if you love me, remove that mountain. I have faith that You can do this, so tonight I’m asking you to take it away.”
The next morning the woman got up, walked into her kitchen, and looked out the window. “There’s that mountain,” she said, “just as I expected!”
Do you expect God to answer when you pray? Do you have faith that He will hear and respond to your prayers according to His will? Has God answered your prayers in the past? Do you know others whose prayers have been answered? Yes, of course!
When you know who God is and what He is like, you can have faith in Him. I believe that real faith is not something you try to believe – it is something you cannot doubt! You must reach a place in your Christian experience where you discover the bedrock truths that require no convincing. And on that Rock you take your stand.
Getting to that place may require you to do some waiting – in prayer … and in faith. Be willing to do it! Don’t miss the blessing!
My third suggestion for learning to wait on the Lord is to be patient – not murmuring, not saying, “Why is this happening to me?”, not rebelling. For forty years the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness, missing out on the blessing of going into the Promised Land.
As a matter of necessity, the road out of Egypt’s slavery led through the desert. But the Israelites did not go through the desert patiently. They griped, complained, doubted, and rebelled! The more they murmured and rebelled, the longer they had to wait.
The land God had promised was out there, just an eleven-day march away (see Deuteronomy 1:2). It was wonderful country – almost literally “flowing with milk and honey.” But most of the Israelites died in the desert, wandering around and around in the wilderness until they missed out on the blessing. It was real! God had intended for them to have it! But their lack of prayer, lack of faith, and lack of patience ultimately destroyed them.
Forty years later, when the doubters and murmurers were dead, Joshua led the new generation – and a handful of faithful old-timers – into the land of Canaan.
Oh, my dear friend, there have been times in my life when I was tempted to focus on the problem and not on the solution God was going to give me. In those moments, I was becoming part of the problem! Have you had that experience?
Isn’t it wonderful that God is faithful? He keeps on reminding us to pray … to wait in faith … to be patient and not to give up or rebel. And as we wait, the Spirit of God comes to us, teaches us, helps us, and meets our need!
When it happens – when the darkness falls away and the power of God breaks through the limitations of our lives and sets us free – how we rejoice! We gratefully discover that – in the words of Solomon and David, “The Lord is our salvation, our refuge, and our strong tower!” (See 2 Samuel 22:3; Proverbs 18:10; Psalm 61:3).
“Thank You, God,” we exclaim. “We almost missed the blessing!”
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Mr. Jack and Ms. Rexella,
I wanted to encourage you in the message you bring to the world. I love your show and enjoy watching both of you. You have such a heart for Jesus, it is refreshing to see. I’m praying for you and your safety always, as I know it is a dangerous course you are on.
Thank you for what you do. May the Lord bless you and keep you safe.
Thank you for being here. You guys are such a blessing to this world and MANY have been awakened to what is actually going on, not fooled by the main stream medias relentless godless propaganda assault.
May God continue to keep watch over the faithful and may His continued blessings be with you and yours as we head towards that great and horrible day, very soon the trumpet will sound.
“Be ye therefore also ready! For in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh!”
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.
Discover 15 amazing biblical signs that prove this generation is the one that will see the Lord Jesus returning in the clouds! Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe use current events, Bible prophecy, scientific facts, and more to show you the answers to critical questions such as:
- Is Mark of the Beast technology going to be globally deployed by the year 2017?
- Why are Russia and China conducting joint military maneuvers; and why is Iran cozying up to China?
- Who is deceiving President Obama right now, and how does his role as ‘peacemaker’ for Muslim nations signal the rise of the Antichrist?
- What world leaders are calling for global Islamic law, and where is it actually predicted in Bible prophecy?
- Will our enemies attack North America with nuclear bombs?
- And much more!
This is a powerful teaching for believers and will show non-believers the truth of the soon return of Jesus!