September 1, 2014
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
We want to continue our study in the book of Daniel by finishing up the first chapter.
Daniel 1:17 – 21
- As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
- Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
- And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
- And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.
- And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.
There must be something about the power of beans. But for ten days? I think that’s about the only diet I haven’t heard about in all the hype and hoopla of today’s weight management programs. Of course, the beans and water didn’t make the difference-the food was simply the vehicle of faithfulness that God used to prove that He was God, and that there was no other.
Now that the experiment was over, Daniel and his friends began to focus on more serious business-such as praying to God to help them develop their gifts of wisdom, ability to discern truth from error, and the skill to differentiate between true dreams and false dreams. This was a lot for young shoulders to bear, but God was faithful to his four righteous servants, and He gave them more wisdom and knowledge than they ever could have imagined.
The Best of the Lot
We can safely assume that Daniel and his compatriots did not dine at the king’s table for the entire three years of their training. Yet, when the king took one look at Daniel and his friends, he realized there were no others in his realm who were as healthy or insightful as these four Hebrew boys. They had proved by their faithfulness to God-while maintaining an attitude of courtesy and respect for their foreign ruler-that God had sent them to the king’s palace, and that they were committed to serving their God. The king quickly picked up on this, and we read that:
“in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm” (1:20).
The Message for Today
What is the special word from God for us here? I believe God would have us understand that our heavenly Father wants us to be faithful, regardless of our circumstances. What if Daniel and his friends had chosen to compromise their ideals in that foreign environment? What if they had decided it made no difference to put on rolls of fat from the king’s bounty, to play around with foreign gods, to engage themselves with sensuous women, and to allow their active minds to accept the ungodly mind-set of Babylonian life? If they’d taken the easy way out, they would have been ineffective servants. Just four more captives doing their time.
And the king would never have honored them by saying, “I would trade ten of my best magicians and astrologers for one of these men because they have some supernatural power.” Ten times better! What a recommendation. What enviable job security. And what a God-given opportunity for Daniel and his friends to begin to influence a king and the affairs of an entire kingdom at the highest level. All this was taking place because four young, God-fearing men were filled with the Spirit of God and were determined to follow His commands.
As we move from one exciting page of the Book of Daniel to the next, we’ll notice that the expression, “The spirit of the gods” will appear often. As believers, we know there is only one Spirit, the blessed Holy Spirit. And when our Savior returns-a theme we’ll investigate as we go along-there will be only one power. The Nebuchadnezzar’s of the world will have had their day. The once powerful, high, and mighty will take a backseat to the Divine Redeemer who will come for His own. At that day there will be only one power, one driving force, and one Spirit. That’s why we are reminded in Ephesians 5:18 to “be filled with the Spirit.” The literal Greek reads, “Be being filled with the spirit.” It’s a continuous process.
The kind of filling that will energize you and me, just as it provided the power for Daniel to remain faithful to God during his time of trials in a foreign land. And just as Daniel stood boldly and confidently before King Nebuchadnezzar~ so we have received the mandate to demonstrate the boldness of Acts 1:8: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
In Daniel’s day, the wisdom of the world-which was Nebuchadnezzar’s world-was put to shame by the wisdom of God manifested in the lives of four committed young men. That same wisdom must be exhibited in our day-a time in history when a movement against the one true God is picking up speed and will march us to the end of the age. Daniel is not just a prophet from history, and his book is not just another book. It is our must-read guide to show us where we are heading, and the Book of Daniel will take us to a fuller understanding of the latter days and the great mysteries unsealed, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar’s amazing dream of a statue and Daniel’s fearless interpretation.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
LET THE DOVES SPEAK
We want to continue this week and look at the last five of the Beatitudes:
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after
righteousness: for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6).
I believe this Beatitude refers to our having a desire to see justice around us, in our own country and around the world. Those who are blessed by God, foreseeing the needs of others, do things to help just because it is the right thing to do. They speak up for the poor and needy and for people in other lands who have not had the opportunity to live in freedom. Are we concerned enough about righteousness and holiness to be driven by these holy characteristics as urgently as our bodies respond to hunger and thirst?
This verse also makes me a bit introspective. I read it and ask, “How can I be righteous? How can I be right as I walk in this world?” I must die to self and selfishness and allow Christ to live His life in and through me! The apostle Paul said, the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
I believe that you and I can claim this blessing only when we truly hunger and thirst after holiness and doing what is right. Then what happens? We shall be filled…with righteousness and with His glory.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy
Mercy and righteousness are inextricably linked together. If we truly want righteousness, we get involved, we extend help to the needy, we assist, and we forgive those who have sinned against us. If it is within our power, we must show this kind of mercy to those we encounter. Can we not share the mercy that we ourselves have received?
The writer of Lamentations cried, It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness (3:22-23).
What a blessing to have the promise of God’s mercy as we show tenderness to others. What a joy to realize that goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life (Psalm 23:6).
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God
Everything that we have seen and experienced so far is by faith. None of us has ever had the joy of really looking at God. We have seen His handiwork, we have witnessed His love for us by sending His Son, and we have seen the attributes in Christ that He wants us to have. But we have never seen Him.
One day we will-if our hearts are pure. That is His promise.
To me, that will be the best thing about heaven. I’m not the most excited about seeing the golden streets and magnificent surroundings. And as much as I love and miss my wonderful mom and dad who are there (and I do want to see them with all of my heart), the first one I want to see in heaven is the Lord, my Savior and my God!
How, then, can my heart be pure? My pretenses and masks must go because purity of heart cannot be falsified-it must be genuine and sincere. My entire being cries out, Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).
This Beatitude, to my mind, is a foundation stone. It gets down to the crux of everything, doesn’t it? If you don’t have a pure heart, where is the authenticity to want to do the right thing? Without a pure heart, how can you be merciful?
Indeed, without a pure heart, I cannot see Him. And oh, more than anything in this world, I want to look upon His face!
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall
be called the children of God (Matthew 5:9).
The Bible teaches that we are to live peaceably with all men (see Romans 12:18). The Lord doesn’t want us to harbor hate, animosity, or intolerance. There will be no place in heaven for racists or exclusionary creeds. Humbly and gently, we are to seek solutions and to disarm hostility. The Bible says, A soft answer turneth away wrath (Proverbs 15:1). I believe that we should seek to be the kind of person who-at home, at church, at work, or wherever we go-can simply enter a room and change the atmosphere.
Another way we can bring peace is to help bring order out of chaos. Where there is clutter and confusion, simply stepping in to help organize and restore order reduces stress and tension. And we can have the courage to do this by calling upon the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The Word of God says that everywhere Jesus went He did good and destroyed the works of the devil-which produced peace (see Acts 10:38; 1 John 3:8). And Jesus said that if we believe on Him, the works He did we can do also, and even greater (see John 14:12). So as we go out and do what Jesus did, we will make peace, because He was, and is, the prince of peace, the greatest peacemaker the world has ever, or will ever know.
If you give this a try, don’t be surprised if people start calling you a child of God. After all, that is the Lord’s promise!
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men
shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of
evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding
glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they
the prophets which were before you (Matthew 5:10-12).
The idea of persecution being a blessing seems very strange, especially for believers in America. We have never experienced most of the things that missionaries and other Christians around the world have been forced to endure for the sake of the gospel. Yet Jesus said that we would have tribulation and suffering in this world. And for such monumental sacrifices, He said there would be great rewards and crowns.
I had great admiration for one of the girls in my home church. She married a minister and they went to South America as missionaries. The team with whom they were working was attacked by primitive warriors from the Auca Indian tribe, and my friend’s husband was one of the men who was killed.
The incident attracted international news coverage, and I vividly recall seeing a television interview with the father of the martyred young man. He was asked, “If you could have kept your son from going to South America and being killed as a missionary, would you have done so?”
I’ll never forget his answer. He shook his head and said, “Would I rob my son of the martyr’s crown?” Of course that father felt grief for his son’s death, but he expressed no bitterness or regret. He genuinely believed that his son would be blessed with a great reward in heaven because of the persecution he endured for the Lord (Revelation 2:10).
I truly believe all those who lose loved ones in God’s work receive a special measure of divine comfort. I believe God might well speak to their hearts saying, “I understand how you feel-I sent My Son into the world, and they crucified Him also.”
The psalmist declared, weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
My challenge to you
I encourage you to underscore Matthew 5:3-11 in your Bible and read those few verses often. Life itself is in that short passage. Let the Holy Spirit impress each phrase of the Beatitudes on your heart and stamp them indelibly in your mind.
Remember, this kind of living is possible! Jesus would not have spoken these truths if they were not accessible for all of us! I believe that when you and I hide these words within our hearts and then open our mouths to speak, the Holy Spirit will give us the words that we should say. And when these utterances come forth from our mouths…
…the voices of the doves will be heard!
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Brother Jack:
It was most heartening to hear you speak about the absolute incompatibility between the Body of Christ and Islam.
It grieves me to see Islam disturbing the peace that was bought at great price in Normandy and beyond.
Immigration officials in the West, have a lot to answer for; they all drank at the Islamic trough and 9/11 was the bugle call.
Elizabeth II, "Defender of the Faith" is even more culpable.
Brother Jack, we need your voice. Thank you
I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoy watching your videos on YouTube. I don’t have regular TV or cable so I have to watch them that way.
This show is different than most I’ve seen. I love how you match the events happening with the scriptures. I try to learn something new every day about the gospel. Thank you for all you do!
I love your program. It teaches me so much that I question and don’t understand. You are truly blessed and I am honored to have the Lord call me to view your program. Thank you Pastor Jack and Rexella.
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
At this precarious time in history, Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe want you and your loved ones to know the Truth!
Amidst the lies, hatred, and destruction of Islam and liberal’s message to the world, Jesus’ message of love and redemption shines throughout history, on the pages of Scripture.
You’ll feel Christ’s love for His chosen people and for you, as Drs. Jack and Rexella expertly reveal the answers to questions like:
- Is the Jesus of the Koran the same as the Jesus of the Bible?
- Who is the Messiah of Islam?
- Did the Jews know Jesus would be crucified?
- That He would rise again?
- What is the future of the Jewish people?
- What are the differences between Christianity and Islam?
- What are the five fundamentals of the Christian faith?
- Is Obama a Christian?
- Does Israel becoming a nation in 1948, and taking Jerusalem in 1967, prove that Jesus is coming back very soon?
- What is jihad really about?
- Does Islam fuel Christian persecution?
- And many more!
The Bible says in these latter days the love of many will grow cold – apostasy will set in – and supposed religious leaders will have a form of godliness but lack its power.
We’re seeing these prophecies fulfilled today!
You and your family deserve to know the facts – the truth that many supposedly ‘Christian’ leaders want to hide from you!
There is only one way to heaven, through salvation in Jesus Christ. Choosing Christ means a change in lifestyle – and many preachers today just don’t want to tell people that they must be transformed!
But Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe set the record straight in their landmark teaching video, Reclaiming and Restoring Biblical Christianity