Weekly Newsletter – April 2, 2018
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
PEACE AT LAST
Peace will come to Israel and to the world. But it will not come through military might nor treaties produced by the greatest minds on earth. Man’s best efforts will ultimately fail, plunging the world into carnage and destruction. Christ will come bringing peace.
When the governments of earth have finally fallen, the Messiah of Israel, the Savior of men, will set up His kingdom (Daniel 2:44).
Upon ending the Battle of Armageddon, Christ the King will judge the nations and destroy the wicked (Matthew 25:31 — 46). The Beast (the Antichrist) and the False Prophet will be cast into a lake of fire (Revelation 19:20). Satan will be bound for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3). And the long-awaited Millennium will begin.
Millennium means one thousand years and refers to the kingdom of Christ on earth. This era, foretold by all the prophets, will be a time of peace among people and nations. War will be but a relic of the painful past. Jerusalem, known for war, bloodshed, and international tensions, will at last become the city of peace and the capital of the world:
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and 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 (Isaiah 2:2-4).
The Prince of Peace will rule from David’s throne, and the promises given to Mary concerning Jesus will be fulfilled: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32, 33).
For centuries, the name of Jesus has been feared, hated, or ignored by the Jews. Mistaken people have persecuted them in that name.
Dr. H. A. Ironside once took his umbrella to a Jewish handyman to be repaired. He watched the old man as he worked and was moved by his obvious poverty. When asked the charge the handyman replied, “Thirty-five cents.”
Dr. Ironside gave him the thirty-five cents and then said, “I can imagine you have to do many jobs like this to earn a living. Here is an extra half-dollar which I would like to give you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The old Jew was stunned. He replied, “In the name of Jesus Christ they burned my house in Russia! In the name of Jesus Christ they robbed me of all I had! In the name of Jesus Christ they drove me and my family out into the snow! I have been in America four years, and now for the first time someone speaks to me in the name of Jesus Christ and gives me more money than I ask!”‘
In the coming age of peace, Jews will love the name of Jesus and will be thrilled with the benefits of His kingdom. Isaiah saw it all more than seven hundred years before the birth of Christ and described their expressions of praise:
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this (Isaiah. 9:6, 7).
Today Israel walks a tightrope, continually under the threat of invasion by her Arab neighbors. Efforts at peace take a few steps forward, only to retreat as a result of terrorism and bitter hatred by extremists. The Camp David summit meeting, arranged by President Jimmy Carter for Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Menachem Begin of Israel in the fall of 1978, was one such peace-making effort. More will follow involving other nations.
Hopes rise and fall with the temperature of tranquility in the Middle East. But there is a better day coming: “In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance” (Isaiah 19:24,25).
Peace in the World of Nature
The Millennium will bring peace in the world of nature. All of God’s creation suffers as a result of the fall of man and will not be restored until the kingdom of Christ is established on earth:
For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body (Romans 8:20 — 23).
Earthquakes, tornados, floods, and other marks of travail will be absent in the kingdom. Harsh climate changes will be forever past. Nature will cooperate with man.
Productivity will return to the earth. When the Jews returned to their land, they found a desert, and through backbreaking labor and scientific farming they transformed it into a garden. Irrigation made the desert come alive. Citrus orchards replaced arid land denuded of topsoil. Israel became the agricultural showplace of the Middle East.
But Tribulation events will change all that. Plagues and judgments will pummel the earth, and the massive movement of military equipment to the Middle East for the Battle of Armageddon, followed by the awful conflict itself, will finish the destruction. The land will return to rubble again.
Then the King will restore all things:
The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing…. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes (Isaiah 35:1, 2, 7).
The curse will be removed and harvests will be Edenic:
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman man shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt (Amos 9:13).
For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things (Zechariah 8:12).
We will continue our study of the coming peace in our next newsletter.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
Have you ever wondered how the world must look to a little baby? After nine months of confinement, tucked close beneath its mother’s heart, the world must seem a strange, vast place.
Looking up from its crib, perhaps a little one’s first awareness is of faces looking down. Probably the first person to attract the baby’s attention would be its mother.
“Who is this person?” might be the baby’s first question, if it could speak. I’m told that the miraculous, divinely-planned bonding between child and mother begins almost immediately after birth. Many experts believe a baby even recognizes its mother’s voice from months of hearing it inside the womb.
And the baby’s next question might be, “Who is that man?” Given the proper time, care, and attention from the male parent, the infant will grow to recognize and love its father, too. Throughout every stage of its growth and development, that child needs the influence and nurture of both a mother and father. Expressing affection to the child in a positive way, like hugging, is important in developing a sense of security.
Sorry to say, too often there is not enough of a relationship between fathers and children. There is too little male bonding. Some recent studies have determined that a great many men spend only about ten minutes a day with their children. As a result, fathers are virtual strangers to their offspring. Children can’t identify with their father-they don’t know who he is or what he stands for. They would find it impossible to say what their dad’s outlook and philosophy is.
This condition is one of the sad and serious consequences of homes broken by divorce. There are millions of single-parent homes where children grow up never knowing the influence of a man in the house.
Even in homes with mothers and fathers, sometimes dads spend too many hours watching TV, or involving themselves in hobbies or activities that take them away from their children. Sometimes, even church activities can keep men really busy with Sunday and Wednesday services, and perhaps one or two other nights of serving on boards or committees.
Because of the hectic pace of modem life… and possibly even because of the demented, evil behavior of a small percentage of men who victimize and abuse youngsters-the normal, healthy bond of intimacy between father’s and children is deteriorating.
In recent months, there seems to be a new emphasis on developing positive parent-child relationships-especially with fathers. I applaud this and encourage every Christian father to invest more time and interest in his children. Almost nothing is more important to the whole family’s welfare than for the man of the house to be a real father.
As I look back over my childhood and teenage years, I realize what an important role my dad, Rex Shelton, played in my life. And looking around at the multiplied thousands of youngsters who have absolutely no father-image, or a father who takes little or no interest in them, or even worse, a father who persecutes and abuses them, my heart goes out to them.
No wonder our youth are out of control, our families deteriorating, and our nation veering disastrously off course! God, give us fathers-godly men like my precious dad!
Caring and sharing
I knew my father. He was a real, flesh and blood, down-to-earth person. He was not afraid to share his struggles and troubles openly…not to burden his children but to let us see how he worked through hard times and faced adversity…and how he trusted God. He openly showed us the reality of Christian living.
Dad had a big heart. He cared for others, and always was quick to extend a helping hand. Dad came from a family of eight children, and he even helped take care of his brothers and sisters, taking responsibility for them until they were old enough to be on their own.
My dad was tenderhearted… and not afraid of tears. He was moved by the feelings of others. If I cried, often he cried too, sharing my sorrow, and offering comfort and encouragement. I always knew he cared.
He also was free-spirited and fun loving, and never outgrew the joy of playing. I remember going swimming and water skiing, and tobogganing with him in the snow. Once, when I was just a little girl, Dad and I were out walking in the snow and I got so cold I couldn’t stand it. Dad picked me up, put me inside his coat, wrapping it snugly around the both of us. I felt so secure in his arms-protected, safe, warm, and loved.
That’s really how Dad made me feel all my life. I never remember him saying, “Leave me alone-I don’t have time for you right now.” He made time for me when I needed and wanted him-he was always there, physically and emotionally.
When I had a serious tooth problem and had to go to the dentist for a root canal, it was Dad who took me and held my hand through the frightening ordeal. And it was Dad who taught me to face reality, putting Merthiolate on a scrape and saying, “Rexella, this WILL hurt-but it will help you get well.”
Dad knew how to make me feel special. Sometimes I’d follow him out into the backyard garden-just because I enjoyed walking with him and looking at the vegetables. He’d find the biggest and best red tomato in the whole garden and give it to me, along with a salt shaker he’d carried in his pocket just for that walk.
Children love to know what their fathers do. My dad was a quality control inspector on a General Motors auto assembly line. I’ll never forget when he took me to see his work. I was so proud of him-I thought he was so important. It made me look up to him even more.
My father did not send me to church with my mother-he took us to church as a family. I started singing at church when I was about five years old. When I’d look out at the congregation, Dad was always there and his face shone with approval!
Years later, when Jack and I were young evangelists, whenever we were within 50-100 miles of home, Dad would drive over to be in our services. Sometimes it meant he could only sleep four or five hours that night because he was up each morning at 5:30 a.m. for work.
I’ve always thought it must be profoundly painful to be publicly ridiculed or disciplined by one’s parent. Dad always corrected me privately. I sometimes needed correction-and I got it! But Dad never humiliated me or made my misdeeds a public spectacle. And he used my mistakes as opportunities to teach me a better way.
Once I was trying to train a puppy to do tricks-with little results. I got so exasperated that I was yelling! Dad came out with a handful of treats and said, “Try using these as rewards-it will work better.” Then he told me that when he was a boy, his mother had taught him to use sugar cubes instead of a stick to train his horse. I never forgot that lesson.
I was so fortunate-so blessed to have a good father. It was never difficult for me to understand or receive God’s love because I had experienced the love of an earthly father. I could believe God would take my burdens (Psalm 55:22), supply my needs (Philippians 4:19), protect me (Psalm 91:11), direct me (Proverbs 3:5,6), and give me everlasting life and love (John 3:16). My earthly father had exemplified all these things to me. If Dad had these qualities, how could I doubt that God had them to the ultimate degree?
My dad taught me how to live. And he also taught me how to die. When my father’s life came to an end, I remember the whole family gathering in his hospital room to spend the last precious hours with him. He suffered in dignity…and died in peace.
Shortly before he crossed over into heaven, I was alone with Dad for a few minutes. I asked, “Dad, we don’t have a lot of time left to be together here in this world. Is there anything you have to tell me?”
He was quiet for a long moment, then he squeezed my hand gently and said, “Fulfill the reason for which you’ve been born!” Those words have been my goal ever since. And with all the strength and wisdom I can summon, each day I try to give my best…to the work of God that is my life’s calling.
Walking through the valley
Not long after this happened. Dad stirred a bit and said, “Look, I’m walking through the valley!”
“Who is waiting for you on the other side?” I asked, as tears streamed down my cheeks.
“My Lord,” he said. “My Lord is waiting.”
In a few minutes, Dad said he needed to rest, but he wanted to pray before he went to sleep. I held his hand as he prayed. He said, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord, my soul to take.”
I knew Dad could lay down to sleep, knowing he had been a good father-that his primary work was done. Like the Apostle Paul, he could say, “I’ve finished the course.”
Looking back fondly, somehow it seems just right that, in his last supplication, Dad would revert to that simple, beautiful child’s bed-time prayer. After all, he was moving into the presence of his Father.
The other day, after an exhausting session before the TV cameras, I was feeling a bit weary and under the weather. For some reason, when I got home I opened an old scrapbook, and a piece of paper fluttered loose. It was a church attendance slip from my childhood days. Written on the back, in Dad’s handwriting, was a note he’d jotted down for me after I’d sung at church. But his words reached across the years and blessed me once again. “Dear Rexella,” I read through my tears, “this was your most beautiful and best yet. Love, Dad.”
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Drs. Jack and Rexella, I just want you to know how much you mean to me. I’ve been watching you now for about 25 yrs. I pray for you every day. My parents Dolores and Henry are in heaven with our LORD. You are kind of my parents now. Thank you for all you do
Thank you Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe,
God bless you both. Much great information on the e-newsletter. I must confess I’ve not the time to read it all.
May the Lord bring healing to both of you where needed and know that you are very much appreciated. Thank you for standing for the Lord, for pointing out where ‘we’ the Body of Christ may be off.
Shalom and have a blessed weekend in Christ Jesus,
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