Submit Your Question

Archives: Question of the Week

In II Timothy 3:1-5 it says lover of their own selves, what does that mean?
Matthew A.

To be “lovers of themselves” in II Timothy 3 means to be selfish, and elevating self above all others.

Paul said in Romans 12:3: “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”  We must see ourselves as we really are – both the bad of what we are in the flesh and the glory of what we are in Jesus Christ.

John Calvin states: “But readers should note that lovers of themselves, which comes first, can be regarded as the source from which all the others that follow spring.”

William Barclay in his commentary states: “It is no accident that the first of these qualities will be a life that is centred in self. The adjective used is philautos, which means self-loving. Love of self is the basic sin, from with all others flow. The moment a man makes his own will the centre of life, divine and human relationships are destroyed, obedience to God and charity to men both become impossible. The essence of Christianity is not the enthronement but the obliteration of self.”

And D. Edmond Herbert states: “‘Lovers of self’ aptly heads the list since it is the essence of all sin and the root from which all the other characteristics spring. The word is literally ‘self-lovers’ and points to the fact that the center of gravity of the natural man is self rather than God.”

Could you shed light on who the morning stars are in Job 38:7?
Michael S.

The “morning stars” in Job 38:7 are the stars in the sky.  The “sons of God” mentioned in that verse are the angels.  The stars and angels joined in praise when the earth was created.

How can stars sing?  During the Triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when the Pharisees wanted Jesus to silence the disciples who were praising Him, Jesus replied: “…I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” – Luke 19:40.   In Isaiah 6:1-4 we read: “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.  And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.” – even the inanimate doorposts shook in the presence of Almighty God.

I have a question re people being saved during the Tribulation. It appears that this will certainly happen or there would not be people being executed for not taking the Mark of the beast. My question is that if the Holy Spirit is taken from the world at the time of the Rapture, what is it that convicts people of their sin to cause them to repent? Or are the people saved those who have been witnessed to by others but did not make a commitment until the Tribulation begins?
Gail S.

It is evident from John 16:7, 8 that the work of the Spirit in the world is that of conviction and restraint concerning sin.  He accomplishes this work through the bodies of those He indwells (I Corinthians 6:19).  Spirit-indwelled believers have a purifying effect on the world.  The Antichrist cannot be revealed until the Bride of Christ (the Church – all believers dead and living) are removed (II Thessalonians 2:3, 7, 8).

This does not mean that the Holy Spirit must be removed from the earth.  This is not possible since He, as God, is omnipresent (present everywhere at all times) Psalms 139:7-11 and always will be.

I’ve been listening to Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe for years, and my question is are there any Prophets since those mentioned in the New Testament? This question came up in conversation and I want to get the correct answer from you. Thank you.
Your Sister in Christ
Kathleen D.

In Acts 2:17 – 21, Peter quotes a prophecy of Joel found in Joel 2:28-32: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:  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 the 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.”

John Piper, in a sermon entitled “I Will Pour Out My Spirit” – https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/i-will-pour-out-my-spirit states:

“…Joel’s prophecy, that Peter quotes in Acts 2:17–21, makes clear that the last days will be mixed days—days of powerful witness (vv. 17–18) and days of terrible calamity (vv. 19–20). When Joel looked into the future, God didn’t tell him how many years would separate the different parts of the last days that he was describing. He saw the last days as all one piece. Some of what he saw was nearer to the beginning of the last days, and some was nearer to the end of the last days.

The Bright Part of Joel’s Prophecy

So when you read his prophecy, it has two parts—a bright part and a dark part. The bright part is verses 17–18,

    I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; yea, and on my menservants and my maidservants in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.

In other words Joel says that one feature of the last days will be the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on people of every kind—men and women, young and old, high and low. God’s people will be clothed with power; they will receive power. And the main effect of this power seems to be bold, prophetic speech. Believers of all kinds are going to be so gripped by the Spirit of God that they see the greatness of Jesus and the purpose of Jesus with extraordinary clarity and speak it with extraordinary boldness. That’s the bright part of Joel’s prophecy.

The Dark Part of Joel’s Prophecy

The dark part is in verses 19–20,

    And I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth beneath, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; and the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and manifest day.

In other words there will be natural catastrophes; there will be war and bloodshed; there will be conflagration and devastation.

The Answer to the Second Question

So, what is the answer to our question? If war broke out tomorrow in the Middle East with terrible bloodshed and earthshaking ferocity, and began to draw the whole world into conflict, would that be a sign that God’s purpose for our day is not a great spiritual awakening but only a bleak downward spiral of calamity and moral collapse till the end?

No. On the contrary, there is a promise that in the last days the Spirit will be poured out on all flesh—all the nations will be reached. The true church of Christ will be awakened and revived and sent with extraordinary passion and zeal and prophetic power, and—right in the midst of terrorism and war and persecution and natural disasters—the flaming end-time church of Christ will finish the Great Commission, and welcome the King…”

So yes, we believe that there are Prophets today.

Exodus 20, and Deuteronomy 5 both give the 6th commandment as not to "murder", yet you always say it means "kill". There is quite a difference here for if it was "kill" as you say then why all the killing in all their wars? If indeed the word is "murder", then the killing in all those wars would be justified. Which is right?
John G.

In the King James Version of the Bible, which Dr. Van Impe has spent 70 years memorizing, Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17 both state “Thou shalt not kill”.  However, as he states, a better translation is “Thou shalt not murder

There are two different Hebrew words for murder and killing.  One means to put to death, and one means to murder.  The word for murder [ratsakh] is the one prohibited in the Ten Commandments.  Ratskah also covers deaths due to carelessness or neglect, but it is never used to describe killing during wartime.

In the setting up of the cities of refuge in Numbers 35:9-34, killing anyone outside the context of war with a weapon, or in unarmed combat, is considered ratsakh, but if the killing is accidental, the accused must not leave the city, or he will be considered guilty of intentional murder.

 

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).