September 10, 2012
`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 cluesto 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
How Do You Handle Guilt
“How do I handle the guilt of having lived in adultery for twenty years?” a woman asked me.
First, I led her to the Lord. Then I assured her that the past was forgotten, just as if she had never sinned. The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). The moment we receive Him, we start a new life. Our past is never remembered again.
God has promised, “Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 8:12). It is often said that God casts our sins into the sea of His forgetfulness and puts up a sign: “No fishing allowed.”
However, Satan can use guilt feelings to rob us of our joy and effectiveness for Christ. Often he brings to our remembrance the past with all its ugliness. To overcome this assault, we must have full assurance that we have been forgiven of our sin (the promise of 1 John 1:9). Then we must dwell with Christ in daily communion, constantly aware of His glory and the joy of knowing that He wants to use us in spite of our past.
Having received forgiveness in Christ, we must next forgive ourselves for our failures. This is what I believe the apostle Paul was thinking when he wrote, “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before” (Phil. 3:13).
I picture Paul sitting down one day and, in a state of despair, declaring, “I am the worst of sinners.” Then the Holy Spirit whispers, “Forget those things which are behind. You did your best. You did all that you could do, and God knows all about it, so forget all the things which are behind you. Press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of Christ” (see Phil. 3:13,14).
The Holy Spirit makes the same statement to us today. Do all that you can now and leave the rest with the Lord. Look toward the future.
Our thought processes can work to our advantage or to our disadvantage. I believe that “Gird up the loins of your mind” (1 Pet. 1:13) means don’t allow yourself to look back, especially on failure and on the sins for which you have been forgiven. Think on those things that edify the soul. Philippians 4:8 expresses beautifully the kinds of thoughts that should fill the minds of Christians: things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.
It is very hard for me to reflect on my life. I have found it much healthier to look ahead, reflecting only long enough to say “Thank you, Lord.” I never wallow in guilt, even for two minutes. I will not allow my mind to do that.
I learned to control my thoughts at a very young age. After singing in church one night, I was angry with myself because I thought I had done a bad job. My brother Bob asked, “Did you do your best?”
“Yes, I did,” I answered.
He simply said, “Well?”
“Thank you, Bob,” I replied.
That lesson stuck with me. During the first year of our ministry, I fought those angry feelings when I didn’t do a good job. The Holy Spirit seemed to speak to me as Bob had done.
“Did you do your best?”
I realized that although I might not do a superb job every night, I could do my best… and that’s all that is required.
Each of us struggles with personal failure. Remember Paul’s frustration in Romans 7? The things he wanted to do, he didn’t do. The things he didn’t want to do, he ended up doing. That is also true in my life. I echo his cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 7:24,25).
You may feel guilty over a son or daughter who has strayed away from God. Don’t condemn yourself by asking, “Where did I go wrong?” Did you do your best in rearing him or her for Christ? Then claim the promise of Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Don’t spend the rest of your days in regret. Rather, seek God’s guidance in helping your child now. Forget the past and let your love and concern show through your prayers to the God who cares. Hands off — God is at work!
We will never be perfect in this life, but it’s good to know we have been forgiven — not only for our past sins, but also for our daily shortcomings and the weaknesses that will cause us to fall short of the glory of God throughout life on earth.
Think of it! We are forgiven… past, present, and future! “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1).
No condemnation! And no guilt!
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Drs. Van Impe,
Just to say thank you very much for your CD and book together on Revelation. It helps me a lot having both of them to understand (I speak usually French). You have great knowledge of the Bible, thank you to share it with us. I struggled a lot about the rapture because I have 2 dogs and I dont know what happen for them. Ive just bought your DVD about animals in heaven, it will probably help me. I read the Bible every day but it is not easy to understand everything.
Thank you so much
I hope you will continue your TV show; I listen to you each week.
GOD bless you both
Dear Jack and Rexella,
I watch your weekly TV. Series and I recently ordered your in depth study of Revelation Revealed. I am currently on chapter 10 and (as I follow with the book – thank you Rexella!) I have been powerfully awakened to the true meanings of the scriptures in Revelation thanks to your deep dedication and study of Gods Holy Word. You make things VERY clear and easy to understand in this extremely important book of prophecy. I plan on asking my pastor to view and listen to this revealing and powerful study of yours, for him to consider our congregation to also view this very important message to believers, especially as we view current world events.
Thank You Jack and Rexella,
Sincerely in Christs Love
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
- Is America, under President Barack Obama’s leadership, moving toward socialism? Maybe even communism?
- What radical cadre of left-wing extremists is out to destroy the USA’s moral foundations?
- Who was the first ‘radical’ known to man, and where is his kingdom?
- How are demonic spirits controlling some of the most influential politicians, kings, and dictators of this world?
- What did noted pundit Peggy Noonan mean when she described President Obama as ‘devious’ and ‘dishonest’?
- Can President Obama (or anyone else) really be a Christian if they believe there are many ways to heaven?
- Who said Barack Obama could be America’s most biblically hostile president – and why?
Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe answer these and other critical questions about the administration of President Obama and where his leadership is taking America! Discover the moral and spiritual repercussions of the dubious ‘change’ President Obama promised, and is making to this nation.
New Age deceptions about the faith are being proclaimed even from the pulpits of America’s churches! And these lies promoted as ‘Gospel’ are just one more sign of the great falling away predicted in Bible prophecy. They’re a sign that Jesus is coming soon! In this video, prophecy experts Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe expose the most shocking lies promoted in the name of Christianity today!
- How can Christians distinguish the real Christ from false christs?
- What does the Bible really say about sin? How is the New Age Movement, and some evangelical ministers, wrong about it?
- Whom did David Wilkerson predict would become ‘angels of light’ and ‘tools of deception’?
- What is ‘666’, and who is teaching members of his church to tattoo it on their bodies?
- Who are the foremost celebrities and ministers promoting the New Age Movement?
- And More!