Weekly Newsletter – April 20, 2020
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Just to Say, “Thank You!”
No story in the Bible more movingly pictures human gratitude than the healing of ten lepers in Luke 17:12-18 . . .
And as He entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
And when He saw them, He said unto them, “Go shew yourselves unto the priests.” And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. And he fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
And Jesus answering said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? They are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.”
Have you too found that sometimes when a person gets what he wants, he forgets to say thank you? Throughout Jesus’ ministry, He was giving examples of how we should live. He knew – as He knew all things – that only one man would return to express appreciation. Thus, Christ wanted this story of the ten lepers recorded for future generations, so that we would know the importance of giving thanks.
Give Without Expecting Thanks?
I’ve heard it said that we should not “expect” thanks in return for the kindnesses we show. If we don’t expect it, we will never be disappointed in our fellow man. However, I believe that the attitude of being grateful and showing it is a biblical principle. Notice verse 17; it seems as if Jesus expected a “thank-you” from all ten lepers. He said, “But where are the nine?‘
Jesus was showing us a practical example of Colossians 3:15, “Be ye thankful.” Obviously, thanksgiving is expected of us. This is one reason mothers and fathers, while teaching their children to speak, emphasize the importance of saying “please” and “thank you.”
We expect such “common” courtesies even from toddlers. Naturally, it is disconcerting when adults are ungrateful in response to God’s kindnesses to them. How many of us follow the dictum of Colossians 3:15, “Be ye thankful“?
Bless the LORD, O My Soul!
In Psalm 103, we read a beautiful song of thanksgiving:
Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;
Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord executeth righteousness. . . (Psalm 103:1-6)
Notice in this text that the psalmist recalls the “benefits” of serving God, and even lists them in his song of praise. Have you ever created such a list? The little Sunday School song that I learned as a child implores us to “count your blessings; name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” When we pray and give thanks to God, let us remember all the wonderful blessings He has bestowed on us!
I want to extend my gratitude to every supporter and friend of our ministry. Thank you all, dear ones, for your financial help, prayers, letters and encouragement.
We especially thank you whose lives have been changed for your notes and letters of testimony. Through the years, Jack and I have had many praise sessions because of God’s word in your hearts.
The Impact of Encouragement
It would be virtually impossible to carry on this ministry to which God has called us without help and encouragement from precious friends like you. We need your encouragement: we thrive upon hearing about your triumphs and victories because God used our ministry to reach you. It is difficult to express the impact we feel as we receive hundreds of thousands of letters each year sharing such blessings. It is like a warm ray of sunshine on a cold winter’s day.
At His last supper, Jesus showed us exactly how important encouragement is at the darkest hours of our life. When Jesus had thus said, He was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.” Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom He spake. Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved (John 13:21-23).
John could feel the Master’s burdened spirit and leaned his head on Jesus to express his love and concern. John wanted to give his Lord a measure of additional strength and encouragement. This example of human love from this disciple is so beautiful that it cannot be overlooked.
I am sure Jesus absorbed a great deal of love and respect from His apostles. I do believe, however. God laid it on their hearts to be extremely compassionate and supportive of the Lord Jesus especially because of the agony which lay ahead.
The Most Important Person on Earth
I thank you for the encouragement you have been to me. May our example help you to express appreciation to special people in your life for the blessings they have been to you.
For instance, when was the last time you said “thank you” to the person you hold dearest on earth? Remember your mate is a gift from God, and the Bible teaches us to love and respect each other. Read Ephesians 5:20, 25, and 28.
Ladies, when the man in your life opens the door for you, do you say, “Thank you, sweetheart”? Gentlemen, when the lady of your dreams fixes your favorite meal, do you remember to say, “Thank you honey, that was delicious!” (You might even say “thank you” when the roast is tough, especially when you have only been married for 10 weeks!) When your son or daughter plans a surprise birthday party for you, do you give him or her a loving hug and express gratitude? Oh how important it is to be mindful to say “thank you,” especially to those closest to us.
Thanks for the Memories
Parents, also, deserve our thanks. In fact, the edict to honor our father and mother is one of the Ten Commandments – and it is the first commandment with a promise. Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee (Exodus 20:12).
I am sure that there are many people who made an infinitely important impact upon your life, but who probably are not aware of it. Perhaps there was a teacher somewhere along the line who captured your imagination and helped you to learn. Would it not be a wonderful idea to write a thank-you note telling him or her of the great contribution that they made toward the success of your career and personal life?
I heard the story of a grown man who remembered his best school teacher from years past, and sent her a letter thanking her for all she had given him and his classmates. The teacher was in her 80’s now, and gratefully replied, saying: “I taught school for 50 years, and this is the first note of gratitude I have ever received!”
Likewise, your thank-you note would mean so much to someone today.
Most of us don’t take the time to thank our pastors or Sunday School teachers or ministers of music and youth for the hours they spent studying and preparing to help us in our spiritual walk. I feel confident they would appreciate knowing you are grateful and have been blessed by their ministry.
Saying “thank-you” will also enhance your opportunities to witness for Christ. When the clerk at the supermarket is helpful, look that person right in the eye and say, “Thank you.”
I know this is appreciated, because one young lady who has helped me many times at the store said to me, “You know, Rexella, you are the only customer who really looks at me, and this tells me I’m important to you.” I pray she sees more than just a look, but that through my eyes she sees Someone who cares for her deeply.
Of course, we could go on and on with a list of people who deserve our thanks, but as you open your horizon of opportunities to show appreciation, let me assure you that you will experience a great sense of satisfaction in expressing it.
H.W. Beecher said, “Pride slays thanksgiving. A proud man never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.”
The Bible tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. In light of eternity, none of us “deserves” the many wonderful blessings which have been bestowed on us. Our sinful humanity deserves only eternal punishment.
Yet Christ in His infinite mercy provided a way of escape for us through His shed blood, and rewards us with eternal life. How can we not be thankful every moment of our lives? We did nothing to deserve all of His blessing; Christ did it all.
So there is no room for pride in our lives, and oh – so much room for thanksgiving! Let us rejoice this day and obey the command of Colossians 3:15: “Be ye thankful.”
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
“Armageddon” has come to stand for the most terrible of all wars. The word actually means “mount of Megiddo,” referring to a small mountain overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The great valley there has been a battlefield for many conquerors and it will be the focal point of the earth’s final conflict.
Since the fall of man, earth’s population has been training for Armageddon. Every tiny skirmish and world war has been a preliminary to the battle of battles: Armageddon.
Following the defeat of Russia and her armies by Israel, the final world dictator, the Antichrist, will be revealed for who he is — a ruthless, satanically controlled, evil person. The length of his reign after the Israeli defeat of Russia will be three and one-half years (forty-two months; see Rev. 13:5) and during that time he will bring the world to its most violent hour.
The World’s Most Violent Hour
There is considerable speculation as to just what triggers the Battle of Armageddon. Why do the armies of the world gather in the Middle East at the end of the Tribulation period? Is there a rebellion in the kingdom of the Antichrist? What precipitates the final conflict? Although there is mystery surrounding some of these questions, there are a number of certainties about Armageddon.
- It takes place at the end of the Tribulation (Rev. 16:16).
- It involves all the nations of the world (Joel 3:12).
- It pits all nations against the Lord and His anointed (Ps. 2).
- It ends with the revelation of Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:11 — 21).
While many events of the end time are hidden from us, it is not difficult to sort out some important developments during the Tribulation period that lead to the Battle of Armageddon.
1. The Consolidation of the Power of the Antichrist
When the Beast (the Antichrist) makes peace with Israel and guarantees her security at the beginning of Daniel’s seventieth week, he is not in complete control of the world. Although he is headed for ultimate dictatorship, the earth is at that time still given to considerable nationalism. The Beast will have to fight for total control of the earth. To gain unchallenged dominion, he will have to face the military might of both the Russian confederacy and a powerful Eastern force, probably China. Writing of this international turmoil, Daniel explained: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over” (Dan. 11:40).
That this crisis is not confined to the northern alliance is made clear by Daniel 11:44: “But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.”
Following the miraculous defeat of the Russian armies and their allies for Israel’s sake, the Antichrist will vent his fury against the massive Eastern force of 200 million that is moving toward the Middle East to challenge his power. The casualties in this confrontation will total one-third of the world’s population. Here is John’s description of the struggle and slaughter:
“And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For this power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt” (Rev. 9:15 — 19).
It is not difficult to envision nuclear weaponry here, and in the populous Eastern nations the destruction unleashed by the Antichrist will be dreadful.
With all the world subservient to him, the final world dictator will deify himself, demanding worship in the Jews’ temple in Jerusalem. He will then assume total economic control, requiring his mark in the hand or forehead in order for a person to transact any business. The Beast will rule the earth, assisted by the false prophet and energized by Satan. The entire world will be under the control of a satanic trinity:
“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:4 — 8).
It is clear then that all opposition to the Beast will finally be put down, making him a world dictator. Threats from the north, the south, and the east will be overcome. “…therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious mountain…” (Dan. 11:44,45).
The Antichrist will have accomplished the dream of Hitler, Napoleon, the Caesars, and others. He will be dictator of the world.
2. The 144,000 Converted Jews
Another important factor as the world moves toward Armageddon will be the conversion to Christ of 144,000 Jews — 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel (see Rev. 7). The result of their missionary activity during history’s most difficult time will be phenomenal. They will reap converts from all nations, even though conversion will mean martyrdom for many (Rev. 7:9 — 17).
The message of these 144,000 Hebrew Christian evangelists will be the gospel of the kingdom — that is, it will be the gospel with a kingdom emphasis. They will be announcing the coming kingdom of Christ, and during their ministry Matthew 24:14 will be fulfilled: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
In his book, The Jews and Armageddon, Milton B. Lindberg describes the work of the 144,000 Jews as follows:
The Gospel of Christ has a number of descriptive designations because of a variety of emphases. In Matthew 24 it is called the “gospel of the kingdom” because the emphasis in its proclamation will be upon the Saviour’s near return to set up His kingdom…. How these redeemed sons of Israel will delight to proclaim the good news of salvation with the added emphasis that at last the long-looked-for kingdom is about to be established. At long last, the Messianic hopes of Israel are to be realized. Jerusalem is to be the capital of Messiah’s kingdom. Israel’s Messiah is to be king over all the earth (Zech. 14:9).
An added dimension to the kingdom message of the 144,000 servants of God will be their ability to announce the approximate time of the Lord’s return. Tribulation chronology will make this possible.
A number of prophecies state that the rule of the final world dictator will continue for three and one-half years after breaking the agreement for peace with Israel. Daniel described this period as “a time and times and the dividing of time” (Dan. 7:25). John similarly spoke of “a time, and times, and a half a time” (Rev. 12:14). Becoming more specific, he wrote: “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months” (Rev. 13:5).
Armed then with the evidence of fulfilled prophecy and the unfolding Tribulation drama, these end-time messengers will reap a great harvest. To quote Lindberg again:
When the 144,000 begin to preach the Gospel, they will be given a hearing. Even today the world loves to hear the testimony of those who, like Paul, having hated Christ and persecuted the church, now proclaim the grace of God. Not only will these transformed Jews have a hearing, but as Revelation 7 indicates, their preaching will result in “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” coming out of the Great Tribulation, having “washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” What a mighty revival will result when these enemies of Jesus Christ become His devoted servants! Onward sweeps the revival in mighty power, drawing multitudes to faith in Christ.
It is not difficult to imagine the reaction of the world dictator to these who publicly proclaim the end of his reign and announce the coming kingdom of Christ. His anger will explode in an avalanche of persecution. Multitudes will be martyred. There will be no Sunday-go-to-meeting Christians during the Tribulation. Great numbers will be called upon to seal their testimonies with blood.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Every week I read you part of the newsletter and print it out, because I want to read it over and over.
What you write encourages me time after time while going through a difficult time in my life.
It really helps me to see Jesus again when my heart is in fear and sadness.
Thank you so much!!!!!
I’m so blessed by your email
Thank you Rexella for keeping this going, while Bro.
Jack is living in what He has
Preached about so long.
HIGHLIGHTED MINISTRY OFFERS
For 70 years, Dr. Jack Van Impe’s prophetic voice has been warning our world of the apocalypse to come — and the desperate need for every human being to choose new life in Christ before it’s forever too late!
Now all the prophecies Drs. Jack and Rexella have been uncovering are happening rapidly before our eyes … and people still need to know the Truth about the current apostasy, the Rapture, the Tribulation, the return of the Lord, and more!
Do not let your friends and family stumble blindly into these latter days! Use this DVD teaching to help you share the facts about Bible prophecy — and the Gospel with everyone.
Prophecy experts Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe lay out the evidence that YOU are part of the Rapture generation — the people who will see the coming of Christ and be caught up to meet Him in the air!
In this power-packed teaching, you’ll get answers to critical questions such as:
- What does Armageddon really mean?
- What do recent natural disasters have to do with Jesus’ prophecies of the latter days?
- What are some examples of recent Islamic terrorist attacks?
- What does this have to do with their obeying the Koran?
- Could this be the year that the Lord will return? What are the signs?
- What does the Bible say about terrorism being one of the major signs before the Lord comes back?
- And Many More!