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Dear Drs. Van Impe,

Revelation 10:2-4 references “seven peals of thunder”, while information in lacking in the text; do you have any thoughts on what these could be?

Are they seven additional judgments like the “bowls”, “trumpets”, and “seals”?
I am curious to hear what you say, as I have never heard anyone refer to these.

Thank you, and may God continue to use you in reaching many, in these last days.

Wayne C.

Revelation 10:3 says: And [he] cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

This is the cry of the Lion of the tribe of Judah (see Hebrews 7:14). Immediately prior to executing the judgments listed in the book, He cries loudly (or roars as a lion) to warn of impending danger. Other portions of Scripture also speak of His roaring when He comes as the Judge of the universe. Hosea 11:10 states: They shall walk after the Lord: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west. Joel 3:16 adds: The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. Again, Amos 1:2: The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem.

When the Lord roars, seven thunders utter their voices. Though thunder is usually associated with judgment, no attempt will be made to explain the meaning, since God forbids it in verse 4.

Verse 4: And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

Well, someday we will know! For the present, however, God commands that this one portion of Scripture be kept secret.

I’ve heard differing opinions on the Marriage Super of the Lamb. I was under the impression that ALL born-again believers were the Bride of Christ. Now I’m hearing that some born-again believers will be “guests” that won’t be allowed in and they will be cast into outer darkness with weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew). Do you have to EARN the right to be a bride? Who are the guests? And which ones get in? The proper clothing confuses me since I thought all who are resurrected are the Bride of Christ. Thank you so much for all your teachings!

Beth K.

The marriage partners at this glorious event include the Lamb (Christ) (Ephesians 5:25-33) and His Bride (the Church). They have been in heaven during the Tribulation Hour. While earth dwellers suffered judgment, the Bride was being investigated in preparation for the wedding (Revelation 19:7). For many, who were unfaithful to Christ during the engagement period (their years of service upon earth), this will be a time of humiliation (1 John 2:28) as every believer will be attired in the wedding garment he made upon earth. The material will by composed of their good deeds that remain after the Judgment Seat has occurred (Revelation 19:7, 8). Righteousnesses rather than righteousness is the correct word in this text.

The Bride includes all believers from the Day of Pentecost until the Rapture. All Christians will be presented in one body (or group) as a chaste virgin to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2). Symbolized as a bride, the Church is clothed in fine white linen (Revelation 19:7,8). The Lord Jesus Christ, himself, is the Bridegroom (Ephesians 5:25-33).

The marriage itself takes place in heaven during the end of the Tribulation period on 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 goes with Him.

Is there a time lapse between Genesis chapter 1 verses 1 and 2 what happened to make the earth without form and void?

Keith N.

Dr. Van Impe believes that there is a definite time lapse between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.  Verse two states that the earth was “without form and void.”  Isaiah 45:18 states that God created not the earth in “vain” (the Hebrew word is void).  We see from this that the earth was not created void.  According to Genesis 1:2, it became void through a judgment of a pre-Noahic flood that occurred, causing the Spirit of God to move upon the face of the waters.  Hence, verse one of Genesis one is the original creation and later came the restructuring of the original creation.  This could account for thousands or millions of years between verses one and two wherein the prehistoric animals, created in verse one, cease to exist because of the earlier flood.  Some scholars even believe that there was a race before Adam, now buried in the sea, which was originally land.  These are purported to be the souls mentioned in Revelation 20:13 when “…the sea (gives) up the dead which (are) in it.”  Since God must have had a reason to mention this special group, it must mean more than just a few sailors who died in oceanic or wartime disturbances.

The “Gap Theory” has been carefully studied, and taught by some of the most solid and sincere Christian scholars of our day.   Almost all good, Godly men who have done a sincere study of this subject based their views not upon a vision or tradition, but upon a thorough exegesis of the Scripture.

This does not preclude that other good, Godly men will differ in this study.

We appreciate your concern over this particular matter and the freedom you have taken in writing to our ministry.   Dr. Van Impe has spent years in an intense study of Scripture.  I trust that his study on the “Gap Theory” will prove adequate in formulating a Scriptural basis for this opinion.

 

I would like to know why the book of Enoch is not in the Bible?
If God took him because he was a righteous man, why was he left out?
The Hebrew book of Enoch. The Jews know all about him, no one will talk about it.

Bill G.

The Christian can trust in the historical authenticity and inspiration of the Bible.  Its integrity as the Word of God is above question.  Those who wish to add or take away from the revealed Word of God should be rejected.

There are many excellent books that deal with the scripture and how we got the Bible in its present form.  They can be obtained through your local Christian bookstore.

The main issue with the Book of Enoch is that most scholars believe it was written around 300 BC.  The Biblical Enoch was the great-grandfather of Noah, who built the ark around 2300 BC, so more than 2,000 years separated the translation of Enoch and the writing of the book that bears his name.

I read your Statement of Faith.

I enjoy watching your videos very much. And you state that in order to be saved, I just need to believe, not WORKS or GOOD DEEDS.

But how come on your Statement of Faith, it says I need to “obedient” as another requirement to get saved? So I need to “believe” and also “obedient?”

Please clarify if salvation is truly free indeed.

Sarah S.

Our Statement of Faith says:

“We believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments; the Trinity of the Godhead; the creation of man by the direct act of God; the fall of man and his need for redemption; the Deity, Incarnation, and Virgin Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; His vicarious atonement for the sins of mankind by the shedding of His blood on the Cross; the Resurrection of His body from the tomb; His ascension into heaven; His personal, imminent return; the Deity of the Holy Spirit; justification of the believer by grace through faith; a literal devil who is our adversary; a literal heaven for the redeemed and a literal hell for the lost; the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture to be Scripture itself; and the requirement of implicit obedience to the expressed commands of Christ as the standard by which He will judge our love to Him.”

Ephesians 2:8 – 10 states: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

These verses clearly state that salvation is by faith and it is a gift from God, not achieved by any works we do, but good works should always accompany salvation.

Paul also states in II Corinthians 5:10: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”  And in I Corinthians 3:10 – 15 we read: “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

Salvation is a free gift, but rewards, for those who are saved, are earned.  If we are not obedient to the commands of Christ, we will lose our rewards, but not our salvation.

Our Sunday school class is divided in believing that saints in heaven know what is happening here on earth. We have Hebrews 12:1, and Luke 15:7. In Revelation there is mention of those under the altar who ask for vengeance as they seem to know what is happening during the tribulation.

We would welcome your opinion.
God bless,
Jack B.

I’ve read many theological works on this and some say “yes”, I say “no”.  And theologians take Hebrews 12:1 concerning the great cloud of witnesses that are looking down.  I don’t think that has one thing to do with it.  And then over in Luke 15:7 there’s joy in Heaven over one sinner that repented.  I think that’s because the angels relay the message throughout the heavenlies.  The reason I don’t believe that those who are on the other side presently have this kind of knowledge is because we don’t get it until the resurrection of this body. See, we’re waiting for the redemption and salvation of the body, Romans 8:28. At the Rapture when He says, “Come up Hither”, Revelation 4:1 and we sweep through the heavenlies “in the twinkling of an eye”, I Corinthians 15:51-54.

Then and then only are we changed to be like Jesus.  “When we see Him, we shall be like him for we shall see Him as He is”, I John 3:2, then we get the body like Christ that has immortality in it where we’ll never again go back to decay.  Then we will have the mind of Christ.  “Now we know in part, then shall we know as we’re known, I Corinthians 13:12.  It’s only then that we have the mind of Christ – an all-knowing, omniscient mind, but not until then.  So presently, I would say they do not know what’s going on because Heaven would become hell if they could see what some of their loved ones are doing on earth.

I am wondering how the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy can be a future seven-year period of time when the Messiah (Jesus) was cut off during the midst of that week? Thanks
Tim C.

Daniel 9:24 states: “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people.”

Verse 25 reads, “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”

Let’s review the significance of this verse in the context of Nehemiah 2:1-8 where we learn that some of the Jews who had visited their homeland were disturbed because their nation was in such disarray. That’s why they requested that the city of Jerusalem-including the wall-be rebuilt. With that background, let’s consider Nehemiah 2:1 to investigate the chronology of dates mentioned. “And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king. . . .”

The Encyclopedia Britannica says this king came to power in 465 B.C. But now it’s Artaxerxes’ twentieth year of rule, which takes us down to 445 B.C. Here’s the arithmetic: 465 minus 20 = 445 B.C. This is the month Nisan, but no date is given. That is not, however, an issue because Jewish custom tells us that whenever there is no date we are to assume it is always the first day. This means it is the first day of Nisan, 445 B.C. Translated into our modern calendar, that’s March 14, 445 B.C. That is the beginning point of the rebuilding of the wall and city of Jerusalem-a task that had to be completed in “seven weeks” or, literally, forty-nine years. And it happened right on schedule.

However, there is a second part to this prophecy that refers to the presentation of Jesus Christ as King. Note there are two princes in this text: The first is Jesus, who will reign as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). The second prince is a Roman general who invades Jerusalem. Here, we are talking about the first Prince-Jesus Christ-who will be “cut off” after seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, for a total of sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years.

Now, we take the 483 years and multiply it by the Jewish method of reckoning-which is 360 days in a year. Do you know what 483 times 360 is? 173,880 days. From the date that Nehemiah said, “You may go ahead and rebuild your wall and Jerusalem” (March 14, 445 B.C.) to the day that Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey (April 6, 32 A.D.) exactly 173,880 days had passed. Now do you believe that prophecy is right on? If the Jews had only studied their Old Testament prophecy, they would have known that Jesus was their Messiah.

This is why Jesus said to His people, the Jews, in Luke 19:42, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hidden from thine eyes.” Day 173,880 was the crowning day, and Jewish minds did not grasp it-nor did they accept their Messiah. If God could prove-as we’ve just outlined-the precise arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem, is there any question that the remainder of the prophecies in the Book of Daniel will be fulfilled?

Now what about the apparent ‘gap’ that exists between verses 26 and 27-a gap of some two thousand years? This is an important period of time, because without it, we would be forced to see these events taking place within a limited period of 490 days, instead of 490 years. The former would be impossible. There are skeptics who scoff that a gap between these verses is a man-made theory. However, the Bible states emphatically that there will be a period of time-a gap-between Jesus’ first and second coming. Isaiah 9:6 says,

Unto us a child is born” (the virgin birth); “unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder” (the government was not upon His shoulder the first time He came to Jerusalem).

When Jesus Christ comes again-the second time-that’s when the government will be upon His shoulder, as He rules and reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords for a period of one thousand years (Revelation 20:4).

 

If a person asks God to forgive their sins and are truly sorry for having committed those sins, are they forgiven of all sins? How does a person know 100% without a doubt that he will be taken up when Jesus returns? I want to be taken up with Jesus!
Joyce T.

We can never talk enough about forgiveness or be too thankful for it.  We need also to be reminded constantly what it cost the Saviour—His death on the Cross—to make forgiveness possible.  Actually, we need forgiveness more than we need breathe.  Forgiveness makes the difference between a lost and a saved eternity.

To be forgiven by God is to experience one of His greatest favors.  Forgiveness triggers a wonderful liberation from a defeated past and the beginning of a new start in life.  Forgiveness will greatly enhance the ecstasies of heaven.  If feelings of guilt were to be carried through a long eternity, it would greatly dampen the joys of the redeemed.  But no!  Forgiveness crosses out the past, buries it forever in God’s forgetfulness (Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 10:17).

From Scripture we know that forgiveness is not a way, it is the way.  It is the only way for the Lord or for us to deal with a sinful past.  Nowhere in Scripture does the Lord give us reason for believing that He can reverse history.  When a thing is done it is done.  The old sage was right: “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, moves on”.  No tears can erase history or change the writing.  Only forgiveness can deal effectively with this record.

Forgiveness is treating the wrongdoer is if he had never committed the wrong.  It is the eradication of the red ink from the record.  This is the way God’s forgiveness operates toward us; and it is the way He wants ours to work toward others.  No grudges!

In Scripture we find that in many cases God sets a precedent by His actions.  His forgiveness is one of these.  He forgives and therefore requires us to forgive.  His way of action becomes a pattern for us.  Paul admonished his converts to be “kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).

The Lord wants us to be lavish in our forgiveness of others.  On one occasion Peter wanted to know if he should forgive his brother “till seven times”.  And Jesus answered him, not “until seven times: but, until seventy times seven”.  Unlimited forgiveness is His criterion (Matthew 18:21-23).

When we consider how trivial is the total of wrongs done against us compared to the wrongs we have done against the Lord, it becomes clear that He has set the great example in the generosity of His forgiveness.  We put ourselves in a most awkward position when we pray:  “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”, and yet refuse to exercise this grace.

Following Peter’s question, in the parable of the unmerciful servant, our Lord had some serious things to say about an unforgiving heart (Matthew 18:23-35).  It is a frightening thing to hear anyone say, “I can never forgive that person!”

We all know that forgiveness brings relief to the soul and heart, both when we forgive and when we are forgiven.  It is grievous to live in a state of constant condemnation of ourselves or of others, but it is glorious to live in a state of constant liberation.

Researchers in mental studies are finding that grudges, animosities and jealousies eat into our emotional system.  We may not be aware of the damage that is being done by these unhealthy emotions and attitudes, but it is now known that revenge, vindictiveness and an unforgiving spirit affect the heart, indeed the whole vascular and nervous systems.  If persisted in, they are apt to make us ill.

Forgiveness liberates the human heart from the weight of this load.  It calms the nervous system and lessens the blood pressure.  Forgiveness is held up to us by God as the royal road for us to travel.  The Gospel of Christ is most becoming to our human nature.

Forgiveness is the outworking of Christian love.  And Christian love is important.  In his letter of the Christians at Corinth (I Corinthians 13), Paul told them in substance that if they had love they had everything, but if they did not have love they had nothing.  This emphasizes the need for a right state of heart.

Forgiving is co-operating with God in the promotion of good will in His kingdom.   It follows, then, that once His love becomes ingrained in our hearts, the letter of the law becomes that much less necessary—less necessary because we then have implanted within us the same force which motivates the Lord in the administration of His vast kingdom.

Forgiveness can be a debt we owe to others.  Forgiveness is one of the ways we can keep in tune with the Lord in His great redemptive program.  Forgiveness is the great liberation God extends to all who commit their ways to Christ.  Forgiving others liberates our own hearts from enslaving emotions and attitudes.

Forgiving others is one of the good things we do for ourselves.  “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

 

I have been searching about Revelation 12 but it is happening September 23rd 2017 the great sign in the heaven according to the astronomers and I believe NASA that we have the technology to see how are planets and stars lineup will you look into this I would like to see a program on this to me this is a great sign in the heaven that the Rapture is very near just as when Jesus first coming was the sign in the sky of the star.

Ronald B.

There are several problems with this theory.  The first issue is that it claims that this is a once in 7,000 year occurrence.  The Catholic Astronomer has an article that can be found at: http://www.vofoundation.org/blog/biblical-signs-sky-september-23-2017/ that deals with this issue.

It brings out several points: “First, in one year, thanks to the Earth’s annual orbit, the sun travels the entirety of the ecliptic, and thus passes through every one of the 12 constellations of the zodiac.  The sun is in Virgo every September.  Second, in one month the moon goes through its cycle of phases, and travels the entirety of the ecliptic, and thus passes through every constellation of the zodiac—all owed to the period of the moon’s orbit being one month.  Therefore there is always a day or two every year when the sun is in Virgo and the moon is just to the east of Virgo (just past the “feet”).  So, the celestial “woman clothed with the sun with the moon at her feet” is as common in September as is the U.S.’s Labor Day.”

But what of the crown of twelve “stars,” comprised of three planets and the nine stars of Leo?  The response to this question is another question—why nine stars in Leo?  There are many more than nine stars in Leo.  Those nine are just brighter ones that are often depicted as comprising the general outline or shape of the constellation.  But in fact there are scads of stars in Leo and surrounding the “head” of Virgo.

And yes, multiple planets being at Virgo’s head while Jupiter is in Virgo’s center and the moon is at Virgo’s feet is somewhat unusual.  But it is not that unusual.  The period of Jupiter’s orbit is a little less than twelve years, and therefore Jupiter will be in Virgo (with the sun there, too, and the moon at the feet) once every eleven or twelve years.

 So the sun in Virgo, the moon at Virgo’s “feet”, and Jupiter in the constellation are regular occurrences.  This leaves the planets at the “head” (the number depending on the number of stars granted to Leo) as the determining factor in making a “momentous” celestial arrangement.  Indeed, while various Internet sources speak of the specific celestial arrangement here as being “unique in human history” or “once in 7000 years”, in fact it is not unique to September 23, 2017.  This basic arrangement happened before—in September 1827, in September 1483, in September 1293, and in September 1056…

Another main problem is that the sun will not “clothe the woman” on September 23, 2017.  The sun will be over the left shoulder.  In order to “clothe the woman” the sun would have to be in the middle of the constellation.

This celestial line up did occur on September 11, 3 BC, the date that many scholars believe Jesus Christ was actually born.

I keep hearing different pastors saying we have generational sins from our forefathers. How can that be true? We are brand new creations in Christ Jesus, old things are passed away, and all things are brand new.
Edie A.

The “generational curse” that you are referring to is not a curse in the strictest sense of the word.  We are not held responsible for the sins of others, each person is responsible for their own lives.

When the Bible talks about the sins of the father being passed on through generations, it is talking about a patriarch of a family not following after God and setting a good example.  In this instance, it is more than likely his children and grandchildren and even his great-grandchildren will not follow after God either.  This is because they did not have the example of a Godly head of family to follow.  This compares to a Godly parent who can influence their descendants to follow after God.

Is there ever a point where I can’t be forgiven and return to God? Hebrews 10:26 bothers me.
Julie Y

Dr. Van Impe concurs with Lewis Sperry Chafer’s explanation of Hebrews 10:26-29 which some have used, along with verses in Hebrews 6, to wrongly teach the possibility of a born-again believer turning from Christ and consequently losing his salvation. Dr. Chafer writes in his Systematic Theology:

The peculiar character of the hortatory passages in the Hebrews Epistle is evident in this context. The writer is concerned about conditions then obtaining–little appreciated today. This plight was well described by James when he said to Paul as Paul returned to Jerusalem from years of Gentile ministry: “Thou seest, brother, how many thousands (literally, myriads–cf.Heb. 12:22; Rev. 5:11) of Jews, there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law” (Acts 21:20). The writer to the Hebrews is addressing Jews who are interested in Christ and have, in a sense, believed; but not to the extent of receiving the death of Christ as the fulfillment and termination of Jewish sacrifices. The confusion of law and grace is always distressing, but no such situation as this has ever existed before or since. These circumstances account for these exhortations which were addressed to Jews who, whatever their religious experience might have been, were yet unsaved. There are seven “if’s” in this epistle which condition this type of Jews. The writer, of course, being a Jew, employs, as a recognition of Jewish unity, the pronoun we. These conditional passages are: “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (2:3); “Whose house are we if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (3~6); “We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end” (3:14); “This will we do, if God permit.  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened,…if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance” (6:3-4, 6); “If we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (10:26); “If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him” (10:38); “Much more shall we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven” (12:25).

This particular passage (Hebrews 10:26-29) is parenthetical. It is not a continuation of the theme set forth in the preceding verse. Those enjoined in verse 25 are believers, while those addressed in this text are hesitating Jews who demur concerning a right relation to Christ. Sinning willfully means that form of sin which is recognized in the Old Testament as not being a sin of ignorance.  Willful sin calls for divine forgiveness based on sacrificial blood. This warning reminds the Jew of the new situation in which the Mosaic sacrifices no longer avail, and it is therefore a choice between Christ’s sacrifice or judgment. To sin now, after Christ has died, is more serious. Sin is no longer an insult to the character and government of God alone, but it becomes also a direct rejection of Christ. In so far as Christ has died for men, they are classified, or set apart, as those for whom He died, which is sanctification according to its true meaning. No New Testament Scripture describes more clearly the sinfulness of sin in this age than this; but it is not a warning to Christians, nor does it imply their insecurity.

It will be recalled that there is a peculiar blindness upon Israel respecting the gospel. Of this blindness Christ said: “For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind” (John 9:39), and this blindness was predicted by Isaiah: “And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.  Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes, lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed” (Isaiah 6:9-10). The Apostle refers to this again in II Corinthians 3:14-16. It is not strange, therefore, that there should be difficulty and hesitation on the part of unregenerate Jews.

 

 

Did our soul exist in heaven before it entered our bodies? And if so, will we remember that time of existence upon our return and will we then remember our time on earth?
Bruce S.

Genesis 2:7 states: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” If there is a “heavenly nursery” where souls would wait for their earthly bodies to be born, then this verse would be wrong. The phrase “man became” denotes a definite beginning where Adam’s soul and body came to life simultaneously.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, is the only baby born into this world who existed before His birth: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” – John 1:1. “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” – John 17:5. “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” – Colossians 1:17.