October 28, 2013
Will Russia invade Israel? If so, under
what circumstances? Also, clarify the
importance of the Israeli capture of
Jerusalem in 1967.
One of the most significant prophecies about the Middle East and the Rapture of the Church concerns Russia’s imminent invasion of Israel. In the previous newsletter, we addressed the issue of Israel becoming a nation. Why is that reality so vital to our discussion? Because eighteen times in Ezekiel 38-39, the prophet states that Russia will wage war against Israel. For nearly nineteen hundred years, there was no nation called Israel-thus no government and no specific piece of Middle East real estate that the Jews of the diaspora could call their own. Now you and I have lived to see Israel become a mighty nation, a people to be reckoned with in the commonwealth of nations. Therefore, when God’s Word foretells a Russian invasion of Israel, and we know that such a nation now exists, we can only assume that the coming of the Lord must be near. Ezekiel 38:1-2 states, “And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him.” Since we will study these names in detail later, I will not spend time attempting to prove that this refers to Russia. I simply want you to see, for now, that this is a northern enemy, for they come from the north (see Ezekiel 38:15; 39:2). Remember, Russia is due north of Israel. If one draws a line northward from Israel, he passes directly through Moscow. As this great end-time invasion begins, they will come against the mountains of Israel (Ezekiel 38:8). Verse 16 says, “Thou shalt come up against my people of Israel.” Verse 19: “Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel.” Ezekiel 39:2 says, “I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel.” Verse 4: “Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel. ” Verse 12: “And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them.”
Let me repeat that Russia’s invasion of Israel could not occur until Israel became a nation. There was no such nation, for two thousand years, until 1948. Thus, this event could not have occurred in times past. However, since Israel now exists as a viable, powerful nation (and has recaptured Jerusalem after twenty-five hundred years of dominance by Gentiles), and because Russia will move against Israel only when she is a nation, here is the thrilling scenario to follow-something that is already beginning to happen in front of our eyes today. Follow me closely. Ezekiel 36 and 37 describe the Jew returning to his own land and setting up his government. This occurred in 1948. In Ezekiel chapters 40-48, Messiah is back on earth-and that is when you and I have returned with Him to rule and reign for one thousand years (Revelation 20:4). Between Israel’s becoming a nation-which you and I have lived to see-and Messiah’s return to earth, a war with Russia takes place in the Middle East (read Ezekiel 38 and 39). The Jews are now home. Today Israel has its own government, monetary system, and well-fortified and -trained armed forces. Russia marches when Israel is a nation, followed by Messiah’s return. There is no doubt that we are living at the very edge of this hour when the sign concerning Russia’s march to the Middle East is about to be fulfilled. It could happen at any moment, followed by Christ’s return. This ancient Jewish teaching is found in Avoda Zara 3B. The clock is ticking toward midnight. Jesus is coming again, and the day of His return is at hand.
What Is the Importance of the Jews Finally Reclaiming Jerusalem?
Since 400 B.C. the city of Jerusalem has been handed over to one Gentile superpower after another. Here are a few of those ” transference” dates since A.D. 70 concerning Jerusalem: A.D. 70, the Romans; 614, the Persians; 637, Caliph Omar; 1099, the Crusaders; 1187, Saladin; 1250, the Egyptian Mamelukes; 1517, the Turks; 1917, the British; and finally, in 1967, the Jews captured Jerusalem. The event took place during the Six-Day War, from June 5 to 10 of that year, The Jewish control of Jerusalem is a most important sign because of Jesus’ statement in Luke 21:24. The disciples had asked Him, “When are you going to return to this earth?” Jesus replied, “[Jerusalem] shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” What was the Savior saying? Simply that the Jews would be scattered throughout the world and the city of Jerusalem controlled by Gentile powers until the time of His return. All the various Gentile groups-the Romans, the Persians, the Crusaders, the Egyptians, the Turks, and the English-controlled Jerusalem from A.D. 70 until May 1967.
Then, in June 1967 the Jews took control of Jerusalem for the first time in more than nineteen hundred years. When we tie this historical information to Ezekiels bones coming to life, the Jews returning from the Gentile nations, and the earlier prophecies already outlined, there can be only one conclusion: Christ must come to earth soon, primarily because during the third and final invasion of the Armageddon campaign, all nations come against Jerusalem to battle and to take it back from the Jews (Zechariah 14:2). This would have been impossible before 1967 since the Jewish people did not possess Jerusalem until that Six-Day War fought June 5-10,1967. Thus, when the final invasion during Armageddon occurs, Christ descends to the Mount of Olives to end the atrocities committed against Israel at Jerusalem and to then set up His kingdom (Zechariah 14:4).
What signs exist in Israel today that provide clues
to a rapidly approaching Tribulation period?
Of the hundreds of questions I am asked, issues related to the Great Tribulation always seem to top the list. To review, there is going to be a terrible period of tribulation. Jeremiah 30:7 says, “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it. ” Daniel 12:1 warns, “There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation,” and Jesus Himself 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.” Although this event will not be the end of the world, it will bring death to one-half of our planet’s inhabitants: “By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone” (Revelation 9:18). When one combines the cumulative facts and figures from the Book of Revelation in 9:18 and 6:8, he discovers that nearly one-half of the earth’s population will be destroyed in the greatest fiery conflagration and pestilential judgment that have ever occurred in the history of mankind.
Again, however, let me remind you: This great war signals the coming of Jesus Christ to the earth, when He reveals Himself to the entire world and stops the carnage (Revelation 11:18). As we learned earlier, this event is called the Revelation, and it is the second phase of the Second Coming. We have also learned that prior to the Revelation, a Rapture-the evacuation of all saints, dead and living, from the earth-will occur (Revelation 4:1). Immediately following the Rapture, the Tribulation Hour, that period of seven years of unprecedented turmoil and trouble, begins. Then, at the end of the seven years, Jesus Christ comes back to the earth to set up His kingdom for a thousand years-called the Millennium.
Remember that all the signs of Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 17 and 21 point directly to the second phase of the Second Coming, and not to the Rapture. If there were not one sign in existence anywhere at this moment, we could still go home to be with our Lord, because all the signs could occur during the seven-year period described in chapters 6-18 of the Book of Revelation. However, since all the signs point to Christ’s return to the earth-not His coming in the clouds (Revelation 4:1) but His coming to the earth (Revelation 19:11), and since you and I as Christians return with Him to the earth-then every sign in Revelation 6-18 points to our coming back to the earth as well. This glorious event must occur soon since all signs are already in place.
Three Signs in Israel
For many decades Orthodox Jewish rabbis said: “When three signs appear in the Holy Land, it will be the hour for Messiah to return.” What are these three signs?
- Horseless carriages, or modern automobiles, running through the streets of Jerusalem.
- Jerusalem being defended by airplanes.
- The desert of Israel blossoming as a rose.
Have these things happened? I will leave the answers to you. When my wife, Rexella, and I last visited the Holy Land, we had an opportunity to preach, teach, and spend time with Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. So what I am about to share with you regarding the “signs in Israel” is not theoretical. As I began to observe them, I said, “Rexella, these are the signs that point to our return with Jesus Christ.” Since they are already in progress and are now being fulfilled, Jesus must be coming soon for His church in that glorious event called the Rapture. Let’s investigate these three signs that the rabbis have so long awaited.
Nahum 2:3-4 states, “The chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his [Messiah’s] preparation. . . . The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another [accidents] in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches [headlights and taillights], they shall run like the lightnings [the speed of these vehicles running through the streets of Jerusalem].” This phenomenon is presently occurring!
Isaiah 31:5 tells us, “As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem.” Since A.D. 70 the much beleaguered city of Jerusalem has passed from one Gentile power to another. In 1517, the Turks took control and maintained their authority for exactly four hundred years. Then, in 1917, General Allenby of England marched into Jerusalem with his troops. The British had just discovered airplanes, and as they flew overhead, the Turks, never having seen such machines, became frightened, dropped their guns, and fled the city. Britain’s conquest of Jerusalem was one of the few battles in history won without weapons. Why? Because the Turks saw men flying as birds over Jerusalem. This event was the beginning of the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. Today, as one stands anywhere in the Holy Land, he sees jets flying overhead daily. There is no end to it. The prophecy is here. It is being fulfilled now!
Isaiah 35:1 promises, “The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” During our first visit to the Holy Land in the late 1950s, Rexella and I noticed that everywhere we looked the ground was dry, arid, barren, rocky, and mountainous. Today, however, when one visits the Holy Land, it is anything but arid. It has been wondrously transformed into hundreds of square miles of fertile, blooming, productive land. Truly, Isaiah’s promise has become a reality; the third major sign pointing to Messiah’s coming.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Looking Through the Window
Have you ever heard the old gospel song that says, “This world is not my home, I’m just ‘a passin’ through …?"
Lately that’s how I’ve been feeling – like “a stranger in a strange land.” I’m completely out of step with a world filled with child abuse, wife abuse, animal abuse … with a world filled with hatred, violence, war, and famine. I can’t adjust my mind and heart to a place where many people accept no responsibility for their actions and feel no remorse for the bad things they do to others.
Nor am I able emotionally to cope with the throngs of homeless people on the streets of major metropolitan areas. It’s one thing to watch the news and hear statistics about the down-and-out people living in alleys and under bridges – something else altogether to meet these unfortunate ones face to face and look into their eyes. While in Toronto, my heart was abruptly opened to the real tragedy of homeless people.
One night Jack and I went to dinner in a downtown area and decided to walk back to our hotel several blocks away. Our route took us past Eaton Center – an enclosed mall which is open late, with people milling around inside until all hours. We started across a busy intersection near a major department store, amazed at the throngs of people out and about so late at night. Jack and I have always felt very safe in this wonderful Canadian city.
Before we made it across the intersection, a beautiful young girl we’d passed on the corner came running after us. She came up behind me and fell into step. “Hello there,” she said. “Where are you going?”
“Well, my husband and I have been to dinner and we’re on our way back to our hotel,” I said, noticing that she seemed to be one of the homeless crowd. Her face was smudged, and her clothing wrinkled and soiled. But I went ahead and asked, “Are you going home?”
“Oh, no,” she responded, “I am home!” And she pointed to the streets.
We walked the final step or two across the street and stepped up on the sidewalk – beside the department store, its window ablaze with a display of television sets and video equipment. The girl touched my arm and peered up into my face and Jack’s. “I told my friends who you were,” she said. It was obvious she seemed to recognize us.
“Sometimes at night when I can’t sleep,” she continued, motioning toward the display of TV sets, “I look through the window and watch you!”
As soon as she said it, she was gone, running, back to her friends on the street. Then a rush of people gathered behind and carried Jack and me on down the block. I looked back but I never caught sight of her again.
But I will never forget the touch of her hand and her simple words that seemed to bring the whole burden of her desperate situation crashing down upon my heart. “I look through the window and watch you,” she said.
How I wished I could have held her hand and brought her along with me, to tell her she could have a better life. I have no idea what she had run away from or where she was trying to go. I do know that life on the streets so often ends in tragedy. If only I could have a little more time to talk with her, I would tell her about God’s love, about the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I feel almost compelled to go back to Toronto soon and spend some time in the area where I first saw her. I can only hope the Lord will allow me to find her and spend some time witnessing to her. Somehow, my heart is so impacted by her words that I just can’t let go until I’ve at least tried to find her again.
For days now the Lord has been impressing upon my mind the fact that there are countless other people floundering in life who are looking through the window of our lives, seeking for answers and hope. Oh, you may not be on TV like Jack Van Impe and I, but your life, your light, is on view to someone trying to find a better way.
What would people see if they looked through the “window” at you? Are you living a life “like Christ,” filled with love, joy, peace, and purity?
Is the glass of that window dingy and soil-streaked, or is it bright and clear, clean and sparkling? When someone who has lost their way looks through your window, can they see Jesus in you? Or is what you claim blurred by who you are and how you act?
Since I met that homeless girl who said she looked through the window and watched me, I’ve been checking up on myself. The Lord has given me three checkpoints:
1. Living the life.
The great gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson, cried out, “I’m going to live the life I sing about in my song!” The life we live for God must be the same on Tuesday as on Sunday. We must treat our family and neighbors, the people at work and in the marketplace, the same way we treat the people at church when everybody is watching. I promise you that the way you act when you think nobody is looking is exactly what someone will see when they look through your window!
2. Offering a pure and simple testimony.
The most effective testimony is simply to uplift Jesus – He will do the rest. We do not have to know scores of scripture verses, or be able to explain the complexities of doctrine. All that is necessary is to say, “This is what Jesus has done for me.” As one great Christian described it, “Our witness is really just one beggar telling another where to find bread” – the Bread of life!
3. Being consistent.
A nursery rhyme describes a little girl who, “when she was good she was very, very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid.” Have you ever known a person who, on one day, was helpful and kind … and on the next was cranky as can be? What does this kind of erratic behavior say about the depth and validity of our Christian experience? Our Lord is described as Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). And we are to be like Him!
Being on television these last several years has been a real challenge and amazement to me. One thing I’ve learned is that the TV camera sees through our facades and reveals us as we really are to the view of the people. On screen you simply can’t hide who you are. I believe this is why people say so often, “I know you. I’ve seen you on TV!”
I can never forget that the Lord has His divine TV camera on us all the time. He looks past our outer front and sees inside us to our very heart and soul. Lord, help me to live for You consistently.
Although I know our programs are seen throughout the United States and Canada, and in numerous places overseas, it still boggles my mind to consider the numbers of people and the kinds of individuals in different walks of life who are being reached and touched by the program.
I could never have imagined a homeless street girl going up to a department store window late at night to watch Jack and me on TV through the glass. I hope and pray that something she saw and heard will stay with her … and that God and His wonderful grace will reach her.
On that day when we stand before the Lord, this young woman will discover that she need not stand outside on the sidewalk wistfully watching through a glass. For as her eyes catch a glimpse of Jesus and she reaches out to take His hand, He will throw open that window and make it a door – a grand entrance through which she can walk freely into His presence.
Waiting to go home
Never in my life have I felt more of a longing for the coming of the Lord than in recent days. “Oh I want to see Him, look upon His face, there to sing forever of His saving grace.” I long to see Him and feel His arms wrapped around me. I can’t wait to hear His voice saying, “Welcome home, thou good and faithful servant!” Oh, how I pray that my life will allow this salutation to be so.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). How wonderful that will be.
God is so good to me even here in this life. His presence never leaves me, and I take joy in intimately communing with the Holy Spirit inside my heart. But more and more I feel a strange longing to be in heaven. And I sense that time is running out. Our Lord Jesus is coming soon.
First Corinthians 13:12 says, For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
But until then, I will keep on keeping on. I will try to use all my time, all my talents, all my opportunities to shine out the story of Jesus to help all who may be looking through the window of my life. With God’s help, I will keep on living the life of love, joy, peace, and purity. I will keep on giving my pure and simple testimony about what the Lord has done for me. And I will endeavor to be consistent in my living for Jesus, daily keeping the window glass, looking into my life, clean and unsmudged.
You can do it, too, God will help you. Join me in making a new commitment to Christ’s commission and calling. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Mathew 5:16).
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Thank You Both
Oh how much I enjoy watching your TV program on Sunday mornings and this Newsletter! Your morning program on Sundays is my church. Thank you for caring for all of us around the world.
You both have been such a tremendous blessing by sharing your knowledge of God’s Word and prophecy. I too am looking for the coming of our King… and am longing for that day.
God Bless you both for being who you are in Christ Jesus,
Love in Christ,
Mrs. S. K.
Hello Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe,
I am so grateful to your devotion to the truth of Jesus, the one and only Son of God and King of Kings, and messiah. I have listened to you for years, my grandmother had record albums of your teachings, and I would listen with great expectation of the return of Jesus, and dear brother and sister it’s near. I just finished watching your most recent broadcast pointing out two churches the Philadelphian Church and the Laodecian church, WOW! I left a church of 18 years because they became a church business, mega building, promoting Rick Warren and other authors and their take on truth. NEVER should any man, author, or teaching have center stage in our churches on Sunday morning or any other time. I’m with you dear Brother Jack, it’s the Holy Bible, the true word of God that we should read, hear, teach, admonish, etc. God bless you and I look forward to hearing you again.
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