October 7, 2013
What is the marriage and marriage supper of the Lamb and where will they take place?
The marriage partners at this glorious event include the Lamb (Christ) (Ephesians 5:25-33) and His bride (the Church)-both of whom have been in heaven during the Tribulation Hour. While those on earth have suffered judgment, the Bride is being investigated in preparation for the wedding (Revelation 19:7). For those who were unfaithful to Christ during the engagement period (their years of service upon earth), this will be a moment of humiliation (1 John 2:28) as every believer will be attired in the wedding garment he or she made while on earth. The material will be composed of their good deeds that remain after the judgment seat has taken place (Revelation 19:7-8). Righteousnesses rather than righteousness is the correct word in this text. The first term has to do with our works, the second with the imputed righteousness bestowed upon believers through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The marriage itself takes place in heaven toward the end of the Tribulation period upon earth. The phrase, “the marriage of the Lamb is come” (Revelation 19:7), signifies that the Church’s union with Christ has been completed (1 Thessalonians 4:17). From this point on, wherever Christ goes, His beloved bride follows. After the marriage, heaven opens and Christ, mounted upon a white horse, begins His descent to earth for Armageddon followed by His bride, the armies clothed in white linen (Revelation 19:11-14). The place of the wedding reception (marriage supper) is upon earth. After exhaustive study of this great event, I believe that immediately following the marriage in heaven, Christ returns to earth with His bride to begin His millennial reign. Old Testament and Tribulation saints are then raised in order that they may be guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 20:4).
If an individual has heard the gospel and rejected Jesus Christ – and the Rapture occurs – will that person have another opportunity to accept Jesus as Lord during the Tribulation?
In response to this question, most evangelicals turn to 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12, which states: “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth.” The reasoning among many is that anyone who has ever heard the gospel and rejected it will no longer have a chance to accept the Savior. I no longer believe that. Here’s why I do not hold this position. As I was studying Acts 2:17, which repeats the prophetic passage of Joel 2:28, the Holy Spirit revealed something to me. God says, “I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh.” There will be enlightenment as never before. Then it hit me: This is in the midst of the horrific Tribulation Hour, but note what it says in Acts 2:19-21: “And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. ” And this whosoever is identical to John 3:16 where all are invited to salvation. Thus, “whosoever” today is identical to “whosoever” during the Tribulation hour.
However, here’s my word of encouragement to you. Do not be distraught or depressed. There is great hope for those whose hearts become softened as we approach the return of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. God does not want any man, woman, or child to perish. This is the nature of our heavenly Father (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). Nevertheless, things will get alarming as we approach the end of the age. That’s why Jesus said in Luke 21:9, “When ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass.” Who would dare question that these days are already upon us? All the more reason for us to share our faith in Christ with those who heretofore have not believed. An added word of encouragement comes to us when our Lord provides the ultimate word of hope and encouragement in verse 31, “When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” That is the glorious day we all await. Now is the time to share the good news, and in so doing, become part of God’s final plan for the ages as He pours out His Spirit on all flesh.
What is the Tribulation? What is the purpose for the twenty-one Tribulation judgments?
This terrible period of history will be the most horrendous our world has ever seen-seven years of nonstop bombardment. In the midst of this fiery judgment there will be little expression of remorse: Hearts will not be bent toward repentance, with few seeking forgiveness for murder, drug abuse, fornication, sexual promiscuity, or theft (Revelation 9:21). The Tribulation, and the sequential judgments of God, will descend on mankind because of blatant sins committed by humanity. It will be a time of widespread apostasy, coupled with a blatant, wholesale denial of biblical truth, combined with moral chaos, an acceleration of spiritism, persecution, pestilence, and earthquakes. Terrible as all this will be. God has a threefold purpose for this period of human history:
- To save and allow many Jews who enter the Millennium to experience the fulfillment of the kingdom promises to Israel made by God in the covenants;
- To save a multitude of Gentiles who will then populate the millennial kingdom;
- To pour out judgment on unbelieving mankind and nations. The final forty-two months or three-and-one-half-year period is so terrifying that it is called the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:14).
There is good reason the first half of the Tribulation will be more peaceful. Because Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, is soon to return, Satan, the great counterfeiter and ultimate deceiver known as Antichrist, will first present himself as the peace-producing Messiah. Not only will he make himself known to the nations, but he will be universally accepted. Satan will enter the body of a man and proclaim himself as God (2 Thessalonians 2:4). This Antichrist will come into prominence and power by presenting a “peace program” to the nations (Daniel 11:21-24). The contracts will be signed and confirmed (Daniel 9:27).
However, in the middle of the seven-year period, the Antichrist dishonors his treaties and makes the last forty-two months the bloodiest in world history as he honors the god of forces (Daniel 11:38). The Great Tribulation is a time of incomparable judgment (Daniel 12:1; Joel 2:2; Matthew 24:21). A total of twenty-one judgments fall upon the earth. They constitute three series of seven each and are described as the seal, trumpet, and vial (or bowl) judgments (Revelation chapters 6, 8, 9,11,15,16). This is the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. Revelation 8:7 and 9:18 clearly reveal a judgment of fire during the Tribulation. This coincides with Psalm 97:3; Isaiah 66:15; Ezekiel 20:47; Zephaniah 1:18; Malachi 4:1, and numerous other passages of Scripture. Both Old and New Testaments agree on the coming of what seems to be a fiery, nuclear holocaust (Revelation 8:7; 9:18). The unequivocal counsel of Scripture promises that the Church will be evacuated before the Tribulation judgment begins.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
The Night God Took Off His Mask
The ancient Greeks loved the theater. Their writers created elaborate stories — both comedies and tragedies — in the form of plays to be acted out in their amphitheaters.
Greek actors, skilled at playing many roles, switched from one character to another by going backstage and changing masks. When an actor returned to the stage with a new face he became another person.
The Greek word for one of these people of many faces was hypokrite — or hypocrite in English. It has come to mean one who acts out a part or pretends to be what he is not.
In the New Testament Jesus chided the religious elite of His day, the scribes and Pharisees who were more concerned with the traditions and ceremonies of serving God than the meaning and purpose of God’s laws. He said, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me (Mark 7:6).
Today so many who call themselves Christians have an extensive collection of masks they can put on and take off at will. They wear many different faces, depending on where they are, who they are with, and what they are doing.
Don’t misunderstand me — I’m not talking about being able to perform different functions as a person. A man may be a husband, father, businessman, sports enthusiast, handyman, scholar, and spiritual leader. A woman may be a wife, mother, counselor, chef, chauffeur, seamstress, designer, musician, gardener, etc. But in both examples, the individual can remain the same person while performing various functions.
Hypocrisy comes from attempting to be completely different people according to the environment or situation in which we find ourselves. And all of us are tempted to try our hand at role playing at one time or another.
The real you!
Do you ever find yourself acting one way at church, another way at home, and still another at work? Have you ever considered allowing your values, appearance, vocabulary, personality, and behavior to change dramatically from Sunday to Monday… from your work place to your home… from public to private life?
Are there times when you wonder who — and what — is the real you?
Several years ago, Dr. Van Impe and I knew of a young evangelist who had enormous ability. He was handsome, knowledgeable, and articulate. He spoke with eloquence, diction, and power. It seemed certain that he would become one of the most effective ministers in America.
I remember especially his strong messages about the evils of alcohol and how the devil was using strong drink to cause untold misery and destroy countless lives.
Then, in the prime of his life, this young minister suddenly died! In an instant he was gone. Later, it was revealed that he had fought an unending personal battle with liquor. Many nights after his evangelistic services he drank himself into an alcoholic stupor. How tragic that he proclaimed the life-changing, transforming power of Christ’s salvation to multiplied thousands, yet never accepted God’s deliverance from the satanic bondage that enslaved him.
One troubled young man in California came to as after a service and said, “I don’t understand my dad’s religion. He’s a deacon in the church and he seems so pious and so holy. But when he comes home, he yells and swears at my mother.” This boy was troubled at the mixed signals he was receiving from his father’s behavior. He realized that something was dreadfully wrong.
The Apostle James asked, Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? (James 3:11, 12).
Of course not! Then why is it that we often see entire casts of characters wrapped up in a single individual? Sometimes we’re not quite sure which face they will show us next. How can this happen?
I believe it may be explained by noting that man loses the awareness of his true identity when he loses sight of who God is! When man — either deliberately or accidentally — loses sight of God the Father, he soon loses his way in the resulting darkness.
The Bible tells how in the beginning the Lord God himself came into the Garden of Eden to have fellowship with Adam and Eve. He knew them personally… and they knew Him.
Then they sinned by disobeying God. Immediately Adam and Eve changed the way they acted — they hid themselves from the presence of the Lord. Ultimately they were driven out of the Garden… and out of fellowship with God.
From that day on, the human family began to lose sight of God — to forget who He was and what He was really like.
Putting a mask on God
As the years and centuries went by, man created a picture of God that was so distorted and mistaken that very few really understood His divine plan and His tender lovingkindness.
In the eloquent words of Paul the apostle: When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man (Romans 1:21-23).
I like the way The Living Bible expresses verse 21 — And after a while they began to think up silly ideas of what God was like and what He wanted them to do.
In effect, man created a mask — grotesque and corrupt — and used it to cover the face of God. And darkness again covered the earth and the lives of men.
It was then that God chose to reveal himself afresh and anew to all mankind. Paul Scherer described “the night of all nights when God came down ‘the stairs of heaven with a child in his arms .'”
Throwing aside the crude mask that man had placed upon Him, the Father sent His Son, Jesus, from heaven to earth — to once again walk among men and show them who God is and what He is like. So Jesus came, ministering to the poor, healing the sick, pouring out boundless love to all men. “Do you see me and my works?” He asked. “Then understand that this is the nature of God. For when you see me, you see the Father.”
Identify with God
Oh, my friend, the joy of seeing the Father… of having fellowship with God! This is the secret of true self-discovery. For as you find out who God is and your eternal relationship with Him through Christ, you will suddenly see yourself in a new light.
And then, you can strip away all your masks and faces and go forth in your new identity — as a child of God.
Join me in giving thanks for that first Christmas, when God took off His mask and revealed himself to us again. If you have not yet received Him, I urge you now to –Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face; And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
My dear Brother / Sister Van Impe;
The Bible talks about [the truth will set us free] now that is exactly what your ministry is doing to people just about all over the world. Praise be to God Almighty for your faithfulness and your no compromising messages amen God bless your ministry always
Cape Town South Africa
Drs. Jack and Rexella
Thanks for your newsletter I receive. My wife and I are inspired very much by the work and encouraged by the programs we get on Christian channel
At night we receive your program on a Tuesday and rush home to listen. We know more from both of you of what is going on in the world and bring a ray of hope in these dark times we all are facing as Christians. I stand firm for Israel and pray that GOD will give wisdom to the leaders in the country.
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
Too many Christian leaders don’t understand or refuse to acknowledge the truth about the Rapture and the Great Tribulation and thus millions are deceived!
Don’t let your family remain in darkness. Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe can show you what the Bible actually says – and help you answer critical questions like:
- Who prays the Lord’s Prayer hypocritically right now?
- Who was the very first preacher to teach about the Rapture?
- How does the Antichrist come to global power?
- Who are Armageddon’s international players?
- When does Christ return bodily to this earth?
- How close are we to the Rapture?
- How do we know Christ is coming soon if the Bible says no one knows the day or the hour?
- Where does the Bible predict “road rage”?
- Can you find rockets and missiles in the book of Isaiah?
- Jesus predicted iniquity would abound before His return – could He have meant the cesspool of Hollywood, today’s sexual perversions, mass murders, terrorism?
- Who is slaughtering Christians right now?
- Why do signs like persecution, violence, economic upheaval, and terrorism mean we should actually rejoice?
- And many more!
Is Sharia law on the horizon for all 57 Muslim countries; and then the whole world?
Are Muslims calling for Sharia law in the USA?
Could it be part of the one-world religion predicted in Bible prophecy?
What Christian leaders are compromising the faith for ‘Chrislam’, and what it the immediate danger?
What are Islam’s plans for Israel, Christianity, and planet earth?
Get the answers to these are other critical questions in this powerful teaching from Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe – and you will discover the startling truth about the real threat of Islam and its place in these latter days!