Weekly Newsletter – April 17, 2023
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Searching for security in a world without meaning
Take a walk down Main Street in your hometown, or visit the local shopping mall. Look at those around you, and study the faces in the crowds coming out of sports arenas or entertainment auditoriums. Notice how few seem to be really enjoying themselves, or laughing, genuinely having a good time.
Even if they put up a jovial front with those around them, watch how soon the laughter dies and the smiles fade when they are alone again and confront the reality of daily living. For too many individuals, the world seems to be a grim and joyless place.
My husband, Jack, and I hear from so many people each week, and often they say, “I can’t stand to watch the TV news anymore. Everything that’s on is bad or ugly. The way the world is going is frightening and depressing. The more I see and hear, the more baffled, bewildered, and befuddled I get!”
A good many of these folks go on to say, “We just couldn’t make it through the week without seeing the ‘Jack Van Impe Presents’ telecast. It’s the only good news we hear. You always have a message of hope-that God is still in control!”
What does it all mean?
Baffled! According to the dictionary, means “confused, puzzled, frustrated.” Bewildered speaks of losing one’s bearings, being perplexed and overwhelmed by the complexity and the multitude of considerations. Befuddled means to muddle about, virtually stupefied, unable to cope with the complications.
Have you ever had feelings like these?
Certainly there seem to be more concerns and problems in the world today than ever before in human history. Perhaps many of them were there but we just didn’t know about all of them. Today’s communications technology makes us aware of conflicts and trouble going on in every part of the world.
One thing we do know is that Jesus didn’t say that if we saw wars or famines or pestilences or persecutions, His coming is near. In Matthew 23:33, He said, when ye shall see ALL these things, know that it is near, even at the doors (emphasis mine). It seems to me that all the signs are now there!
Lately I’ve been asking the people I meet in my weekly activities about what issues they are concerned about and I feel sure that what they’ve told me probably includes the same things that trouble you. I believe the world once again has plunged to the low point of being as it was in the days of Noah, when the earth was totally corrupt and filled with violence. So surely this means that it’s time to look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh (Luke 21:28).
When and where will terrorists strike again?
The number one thing on people’s minds, I think, is the threat of international terrorism. The 9/11 attacks certainly changed the outlook of all Americans. And the later terrorist attacks in England and other European countries have made millions of other people realize that the whole world is vulnerable. Most thinking people now realize that it’s not a question of if there will be major terrorist attacks again, but when!
Another concern is the growing threat of nuclear war. It seems everyone is talking about nuclear proliferation involving more countries, like North Korea and Iran. And of course, huge nations like India, China, and Russia are flexing their muscles and saying, “you can’t tell us what to do.” So there are opportunities for confrontation on every corner. There’s no peace in the world at all.
In fact, there have been more wars in the twentieth century than in all prior centuries put together. In the last two thousand years it’s constantly been nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom. As a result, millions have died from warfare, including genocide-the systematic slaughter of entire ethnic groups, as well as from starvation and famines. But the frightening part today is that more nations have nuclear weapons that could wipe out entire continents!
Is the world getting too warm?
There is also a growing concern around the world about global warming. Many scientists believe that the impact of mankind’s pollution is upsetting the delicate balance of nature. Our oceans and waterways are becoming fouled, and the very atmosphere is being damaged. The resulting increases in average temperatures, say the experts, might already be affecting weather patterns, producing record numbers of violent storms like typhoons, hurricanes, and tsunamis. They say the warming trend ultimately could kill most marine life, destroy agricultural food production, and eventually melt the remaining glaciers and ice packs, putting more low-lying land under water. Not everyone agrees with these dire predictions, but while the debate rages on, more and more people are becoming fearful of what the future holds.
Is sickness and disease getting worse?
In addition to these major concerns, there is heightened awareness of the expansion of both new and old diseases. Cancer, heart disease, mental disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and other deadly maladies affect millions. In America, the cost of medical care is so great that even major corporations are saying they cannot afford to provide health insurance for employees. Often the elderly have to choose between buying food or the prescription drugs that help keep them alive!
Worldwide, diseases once thought to be eradicated are coming back with a vengeance, especially in poverty-stricken areas where there is poor nutrition and virtually no hygiene. AIDS and HIV-related disease have literally decimated the populations of many African nations, producing millions of AIDS orphans.
Add to these fears the problems of animal disorders like Mad Cow disease and avian (or bird) flu that could threaten food supplies and perhaps even pose the threat of infecting humans.
World health experts have no answers, no workable plans to conquer the threatened pandemics of killer diseases. No wonder there is a growing universal lack of confidence.
The curse of pharmakeia
Perhaps these things help explain why so many have turned to drugs and alcohol in their desperate attempts to cope with such grim problems in their world. It seems obvious that the war against drugs is over-and we lost! Drug trafficking appears to be almost unrestrained, not only in the United States but worldwide. And the abuse is not limited to illegal drugs, but also to over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs as well. The battle against drug abuse of all kinds seems almost hopeless. In 2003 there were 1.74 million arrests for illegal drug abuse in the U.S.-probably only a small percentage of the people actually involved!
The Bible refers specifically to this problem in Revelation and Galatians using the Greek word pharmakeia, which is the source word for our term, pharmacy. Sometimes the word has been mistranslated as “sorcery” or “witchcraft,” but many biblical scholars, including my husband, Jack, believe the scriptures are actually referring to drugs and drug abuse!
The number one drug problem-or substance abuse-in America is alcohol! Over 50 million Americans are dependent on alcohol-500,000 of them between the ages of 9-12! Our citizens spend $90 billion a year on booze-and $5.5 billion of it is spent by students. Alcohol is involved in half of all U.S. driving fatalities, 40 percent of all industrial fatalities and 47 percent of industrial injuries.
The problem certainly is not isolated to America. There are similar-or worse-statistics for virtually any country in the world. Throughout Europe alcoholic beverages are served freely to children, and in certain areas in Russia alcoholism has helped to produce extremely high unemployment.
“Without natural affection”-why?
Space does not permit me to list all the other issues that trouble people today-things like the decay of morality, virtue, and values that has produced unprecedented sexual promiscuity, and the alarming rise of physical and sexual abuse against children, women, even animals! Hardly a week goes by without a major news report of a father destroying his whole family, or a mother maiming or killing her children-a direct fulfillment of the prophetic sign that people will be “without natural affection.” Spousal abuse is epidemic. There are 50,000 reports of suspected child abuse or neglect every week in America. And how often do you read news accounts or see TV reports of pets or livestock being tortured, abused, and killed?
No wonder so many can’t stand to read the newspaper or watch the evening news! No wonder people are baffled, bewildered, and befuddled by the goings on in their neighborhood, their city, their world. How can one understand, rationalize, or explain what is happening? How can one deal with the resulting confusion, perplexity, anger, and frustration, or cope with the endless barrage of bad news and challenges that defy human solution?
Has anyone you know tried to “end it all?”
Sadly, suicide is on the rise-it is the eleventh leading cause of death in the U.S. Suicide deaths outnumber homicide deaths by a five to three margin, numbering 29,350 in the year 2000. And among children, adolescents, and young adults, the suicide rate is escalating. Suicide was the third leading cause of death of youngsters in both the 10-14 and 15-24 age ranges. And older adults, who comprise 13 percent of the U.S. population, account for 18 percent of the suicide deaths! So suicide knows no age boundaries, striking victims from childhood to age 85.
These statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are alarming. But America is not the only nation with this problem. Suicide rates are soaring around the world. In fact, Japan is the number one country in the world for total suicides.
So we can see that people around the world are in deep despair, feeling baffled, bewildered, befuddled…and totally hopeless. Feeling that life is not worth living, too frightened to face the future, they destroy themselves. How tragic! How my heart aches for those whose pain and desolation sweeps them to utter destruction.
Is there no hope for the world and its people?
Oh, yes! There is hope and healing and deliverance! This is my Father’s world, and He is still in control. Man’s wisdom may fail. Scholars and scientists may admit defeat. Politicians can seldom deliver on their promises of peace. But God is all powerful. And He is never baffled, bewildered, or befuddled!
God has given us His wisdom and direction-His mind-on every subject in His Word, the Holy Bible. He gave us the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17) as guidelines for happiness and success. The commandments were not to restrict us or make us unhappy, but to keep us from things that could hurt us.
Then, Jesus told us not to fear when we saw today’s world conditions coming to pass. Don’t be terrified! Don’t be anxious! Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (Matthew 24:6, Luke 21:9, John 14: 27).
We know that human agencies and alliances can never solve the problems of the world. They never get it quite right. For example, on the front of the United Nations building in New York City is a scriptural quotation from Isaiah 2:4-they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. The implication is that this is what the U.N. will accomplish.
There’s just one problem-they left out God. In the previous verses (see 2:2,3), Isaiah says these things will happen “in the last days” when people begin to say, “Come, let us go up to the house of God-He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths.”
The Word of God is quite specific that the answers mankind is seeking will not come from the U.N., the European Union, or any other earthly alliance. Acts 4:12 says, Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Yet, we can clearly see where the world is headed. Paul-Henri Spaak, the founder of the European Common Market and the general secretary of NATO, emphatically declared in a speech:
“We don’t want another committee-we already have enough of them. What we want is a man of such stature that he be capable to gain the alliance of peace-the politics to pull us out of the economic chaos into which we are sinking. Send us this man, and be he god or the devil, we will welcome him!”
This is the baffled, bewildered, befuddled mindset that will usher in the Antichrist. For the day will come-and soon-when such a man will emerge out of the European Union and bewitch the political leaders of the world. He will announce a grand scheme for universal peace and prosperity that the world’s leaders will agree to, and draw up a seven year contract. All nations–even Israel–will sign it. But in the middle of the peace, after three and a half years, everything falls apart and deadly conflicts break out again, culminating in the prophetic battle of Armageddon, in Israel’s Valley of Megiddo.
Then, thank the Lord, Jesus does come back and stops all the warfare before mankind destroys the whole world and all its inhabitants.
It’s all spelled out for us in the Word of God, the Holy Bible. Everything we need to know is there so we can do all God wants us to do. As we rely on the Word and seek God in prayer every day of our lives, we can live in calm assurance. As we keep out attention focused on Him, we can have peace in the midst of the storm.
How can you overcome the desperate feelings of being baffled, bewildered, and befuddled in today’s world? George Mueller wrote, “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith; the beginning of faith and trust is the end of anxiety.”
In the following newsletters, we will explore together how to overcome the obstacles and challenges of modern life that can keep you from living in quiet confidence and strength. As we discover how to deal victoriously with the world’s complications and confusions, you will be able to affirm, in the words of an old, old gospel song-
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand,
But I know Who holds the future,
And I know Who holds my hand.
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
Daniel 5:29 – 31
Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
It was a Babylonian Pearl Harbor. A sneak attack. Just as American soldiers would be ill-prepared on that fateful day in Honolulu on December 7, 1941, so great a devastation was about to come to Babylon. How the two great armies made their way into the city is a military stratagem worthy of explanation.
Here’s how the Medes and Persians won the day. Babylon was built on the Euphrates River, with a huge wall-like fort surrounding it. It was so formidable that no one could scale it. To ensure even greater security, the moats around the walls were filled with water, so enemies would have to swim across and through those deep waters if they were to have any chance at approaching the city wall. With these precautions firmly in place, the Babylonians lived with a strong sense of security. But they didn’t count on the military cunning of the Medes and the Persians under their rulers, Darius and Cyrus. The two enemies of Babylon put their heads together and figured out a way to enter-and capture-the city.
First, they blocked off the flow of the Euphrates River until the water around the city dried up. They then waited until the moat was dry, stepped into it, dug a trench under the wall, and in full battle gear marched through the underground canals into the city-while Belshazzar’s orgy was in full swing. It was an enormous military success. That night-only moments after the handwriting had appeared on the plaster wall-the troops entered the hall and killed Belshazzar.
This story has given rise to some compelling verse by an unknown poet who has written:
Pause in this desert! Here, men say, of old
Belshazzar reigned, and drank from cups of gold
Here, to his hideous idols, bowed the slave,
And here – God struck him dead!
Where lies his grave?
‘Tis lost! – His brazen gates? His soaring towers?
From whose dark tops men watch the starry hours?
All to the dust gone down! The desert bare
Scarce yields an echo when we question “Where?”
The lonely herdsman seeks in vain the spot;
And the black wandering Arab knows it not.
No brick, no fragment, lingers now, to tell
Where Babylon (mighty city!) rose and fell
O city, vast and old!
Where, where is thy grandeur fled?
The stream that around thee rolled
Still rolls in its ancient bed!
But where, oh where art thou gone?
O Babylon! O Babylon!
The giant, when he dies,
Still leaveth his bones behind,
To shrink in the winter skies,
And whiten beneath the wind!
But where, oh where are thou gone?
O Babylon! O Babylon!
Tho liv’st – for thy name still glows
A light in the desert skies;
As the fame of the hero grows
Thrice trebled because he died!
But where, oh where art thou gone?
O Babylon! O Babylon!
Before the attack, Daniel was rewarded with his promised clothes of scarlet and gold jewelry, but Belshazzar had little time to enjoy the presentation. God’s judgment on the wickedness of the young ruler was swift and complete, and Darius the Mede took the kingdom at sixty-two years of age. It was the end of an era-as Daniel had prophesied years before to Belshazzar’s grandfather.
But our story is not yet half told. There is still more excitement and palace intrigue to come as we see a devilish plot developing to destroy Daniel, even as he continues to pray fearlessly at his open window to the God of the Hebrews. Daniel, courageous under any Babylonian administration, remained brave and in full compliance with the laws of his God, even when it meant being thrown unjustly into a den of hungry lions. This kind of spiritual courage eventually led him to the ultimate in prosperity, the engaging subject of chapter six.
Preferred above Princes__But not without Lions
Daniel 6:1 – 3
It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom;
And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first; that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage.
Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
Recently, I was telling a friend that I was going to do a major exposition on the Book of Daniel, and he said, “Oh, that’s about Daniel in the lion’s den.” I replied, “Yes, but there’s much more to the book than that.” It appears that just about everyone knows this story. Unfortunately, for many, that’s all they know about this mysterious book that provides information on multiplied end-time events that only now, in our generation, are being unsealed-something we’ll investigate in greater depth when analyzing chapters seven through twelve.
But we’re getting a bit ahead of our story. First, some background. Daniel had now served under six administrations as a faithful, wise, competent counselor-all the more remarkable since he was a Jew, a member of that reluctant group of captives brought from Jerusalem to Babylon, and one who never really fit into this foreign culture. Daniel was a survivor because God gave him the strength and the courage to stand up for his faith. And now, in chapter six, we’re going to see that strength tested once again.
For anyone to serve six political administrations is a tremendous feat. That’s one of many reasons I admire Dr. Billy Graham and the enormous respect he has earned as counselor and friend to so many United States presidents. That’s a long, impressive history of relationships with our nation’s top leaders. It was also a long time for Daniel.
For this man of God it had all started with the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, who ultimately lost his kingdom when Babylon was handed over to the Medes and the Persians that fateful night when Beishazzar was preoccupied with wine, women, and song. Then the handwriting began to appear on the wall and the Medo-Persian conquest occurred as the new leaders immediately executed three thousand political prisoners, including all of Babylon’s princes and presidents.
However, as you’ll recall, at the last moment of his life, Belshazzar made Daniel the third in command. Imagine this scenario if you were Darius or Cyrus, leaders of the Medes and the Persians: You conquer a nation, rape and pillage virtually everyone and everything in sight, you kill all the country’s key leaders-yet despite your best efforts at assuming complete control, there is still this person, Daniel, who is number three in the kingdom-and who seemingly can’t be eliminated. Why wasn’t he killed with the others? Why was Daniel, of all people, left to survive and to become a nuisance to the new administration?
The only answer I can give is that God always sets up those He wants elevated. God had a plan for Daniel’s life, and now even the new kings-Darius and Cyrus-find themselves appreciating Daniel and his administrative abilities, so much so that they make him a president in their kingdom. So, Daniel was one of the three appointed heads of state-at eighty-five years of age.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Yes! I definitely enjoy your newsletters. I don’t often have time to read them, but this morning I read Rexella’s account of her father. This gave me great pause as I thought of my own father and how wonderful he was to me. Somehow your words always touch my life even though you do not know my circumstances. I suppose everyone feels this way when they listen to a message given to them from our Lord. I’m also grateful for the classic messages from Jack. I remember as a teenager in the 70s, Mom and Dad would let us stay up late and my brother would eventually fall asleep around 11 o’clock at night but I wanted to stay up at least till midnight. One night, I caught your program that came on at midnight. I was mesmerized by Jack quoting all those verses! I was really impressed. So whenever I was awake at midnight I always turned on the TV to watch you. I rediscovered you in the 90s and it gave me such comfort know you were still there preaching the good news of our Lord and Savior. Today’s message gave me such comfort like the Lord just hold me as I read through your message.
Thank you so much! You don’t know how much your words have meant to me throughout the years.
HIGHLIGHTED MINISTRY OFFERS
The headlines are ominous and threatening. New extremist groups appear on the world stage daily — more violent and deadly than their predecessors.
In this new special, Dr. Rexella Van Impe is joined by Bible prophecy expert and friend Dr. Carl Baugh to answer your most pressing questions about terrorism…
Where does it fit into these latter days?
What does the Bible say about it?
What is the root of terrorism?
Will it ever STOP?
And, most importantly: Can the chaotic world we live in ever have peace?
With bonus footage not included in the broadcast special, this DVD will inform and educate you — and renew your confidence in Christ and His good plan!
With more than 1,000 prophecies in the Bible, over half of which have been fulfilled, you’ll discover how prophecy has foretold events in the past and explains events of the future. This easy-to-access Q&A format provides solid and trusted Bible teaching from Dr. David Jeremiah. For anyone curious about the signs of the End Times, The Prophecy Answer Book offers insights into key events that will occur before the Lord’s return.