Weekly Newsletter – April 6, 2020
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
I’m Looking . . . But Which Way?
What is the first thing you notice about a person? Some would say the color of their hair, their stature or even their weight. I must admit that I am immediately drawn to the eyes. Perhaps this is why I like the statement; The eye is the window of the soul. It was Benjamin Franklin who related this good thought, Learn to be gracious with the eyes; look deep into their eyes, and say with your eyes, I like you.
I especially enjoy looking into the eyes of children. Often I find myself wanting to get down to their level since they, above all, have that gentle, yet intense and honest way of looking directly into our eyes. They have discovered a secret which sometimes gets lost as they move into adulthood – it is this, the eyes reveal so much. Perhaps it’s the child in me, but conversation seems more personal when I am able to look into the eyes of the one with whom I am conversing. There seems to be an openness in communication when we can express our thoughts through our eyes as well as by our words.
The eyes also can be a barometer revealing the state of our health. Doctors, for instance, look into the eyes when one is sick, and ophthalmologists detect many bodily illnesses the same way. The Bible has much to say about the eyes. The writer of Proverbs speaks of the bloodshot eyes of those who drink (Proverbs 23:28, 29). In fact, there are 499 references to eyes, and 98 to the eye in God’s Word. Since God has given such prominence and importance to the eye gate, Satan, with all of his sly and cunning ways brought sin into the world by persuading Eve to look and then partake of the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:5-7).
God often speaks of His own eyes. How comforting it is to know that His eyes are lovingly upon us. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him (2 Chronicles 16:9 – also notice Deuteronomy 11:12; Job 34:21; and Psalm 33:18).
Why are our eyes so important? It is because what we see goes into our emotions (the soul). The light of the soul is what gives understanding, sound judgment, and the ability to discern between good and evil, truth and falsehood. Jesus spoke of this: The light of the body is the eye; therefore when thine eye is single (a clear conscience), thy whole body is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness (Luke 11:34.35).
What do others see when looking at us? If they are to be rightly influenced, how important it is that what they see is God-like. We are walking visuals. The Apostle Paul cautioned that we should be careful how we walk, not as unwise, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15, 16).
I heard the story of a little girl who told her pastor she knew Jesus and was saved. Which one of my sermons brought you to Christ? he asked. It wasn’t your preaching, it was my aunt’s practicing, she responded.
Indeed! What we do and say is being noticed. Man looketh on the outward appearance (I Samuel 16:7). That’s why we are to let our light so shine before mankind, that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven (Matt. 5:16).
On one occasion, when the Apostle Paul was accused of being a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews and a ringleader of the Nazarene sect, he stood before his accusers and Governor Felix saying, I strive to always have a conscience without offense toward God and man (see Acts 24:16). What a wonderful way to live!
With all the discouraging news in the world today, seeming inconsistencies in the lives of those around us, and despair on the faces of millions of people, which way can we look to find peace and satisfaction?
Three Different Directions
We can look in three different directions: (1) Backward, to be discouraged; (2) outward, to be disheartened; and (3) upward, to be delighted.
More often than not, looking back leads to defeat and discouragement and possibly self destruction like Lots wife. We have a good biblical example in the Apostle Paul, who said, Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13, 14).
God can be counted on to give a silver lining to our dark clouds if we’ll begin looking forward. A friend has written: Let your life be a statement, more than your words, that Someone else is in charge. Let your demeanor reflect quality inner control, stability that comes from knowing and accepting that God is in charge. In God’s perfect timing wrongs will be righted, circumstances will change, He will come to your rescue. To believe this is to move ahead and live with hope.
I have been asked, How do you forget the bad times, the hurts, the injustices? My response is that we can’t blot out the past, but forgetting means not allowing the past to affect the present.
We can put whatever has hurt us under the blood of Christ. We can forget by imitating the way Christ forgives us – just as if it never occurred (Hebrews 8:12).
As one looks around at the world today, he or she could become disheartened and disillusioned. The world is in a mess. Just pick up the newspaper, or turn on the evening news and it’s enough to disturb any thinking person.
How do we avoid the disillusionment and anxiety? David the psalmist said, It will not fasten its grip on me (see Psalm 101:3). There you have it; don’t allow it to grasp hold of your thinking.
What does God say? He tells us to cast our burdens on Christ (I Peter 5:7). We are human and feel concern, but we can turn it over to Him saying, God, this is too big for me to handle. By keeping our eyes on Jesus and the eternal truths of God’s word, we will be focusing our attention on that which enables us to handle all the bad things happening around us (see Hebrews 12:2).
Remember what David the psalmist said? I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help (Psalm 121:1). This is surely the only direction to look for help, comfort, and yes, for delight in our souls and lives. We can bring our thirsty and wilting minds and bodies to the everlasting well of water, Jesus Christ Himself (John 4). All He asks is that we keep looking up, and as we do, look forward to an eternity with Him. Let us pray this beautiful prayer of the psalmist, I will direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up (Psalm 5:3).
I WILL LIFT UP MINE EYES UNTO THE HILLS…
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
The Unfolding Mystery
The purpose of this war has long caused questions for commentators. Ezekiel explains the purpose to be twofold: to take a spoil and to take a prey. The poverty of Palestine has made this difficult to understand, but now the mystery is unfolding.
The Jews have been the prey of persecutors for thousands of years. Today, if it were militarily possible, they would be the prey of their Arab neighbors. In the coming war with Russia, nearly all the Arab nations will be allies of Russia, and their primary purpose will be to take a prey — Israel. The Russians, however, will be marching to the Middle East to take a spoil. They will be pleased to cooperate in the conquest of Israel, knowing that when their military forces overrun the Middle East they will control all the wealth there, including the Arab oil.
Recent history has demonstrated that those who become the allies of Russia are soon totally controlled by her; witness Eastern Europe. So while the Arabs will join the attack against Israel to take a prey, Russia will be invading to take a spoil.
And the spoil is oil.
In addition, the mineral wealth of the Dead Sea, valued at two trillion dollars, must be considered, as well as the wealth being generated in Israel through industry and agriculture. The protest of Israel’s allies makes this clear:
Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchant s of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, and take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? (Ezek. 38:13)
Sheba and Dedan represent a small number of Arabs who will not participate in the attack on Israel. The merchants of Tarshish are Western powers who by this time will be under the control of the Antichrist, soon to be revealed for who he is and to become the final world dictator.
When will this war take place?
There are four time factors that allow us to arrive at the approximate time of the war between Russia and Israel.
- The war takes place in the “latter years” (38:8), or the “latter days” (38:16).
- The war can only take place when the Jews are in their land. This prophecy could not have been fulfilled before 1948. Any invasion of the Middle East by Russia previous to statehood for Israel would have been meaningless in regard to this prophecy. The enactment of this scene in the last days also guarantees the survival of Israel until the war with Russia. Were the Arabs to succeed in destroying the Jews, it would be impossible to fulfill Ezekiel’s prophecy.
- At the time of the invasion of Israel, Russia must be a major military power, a fact that guarantees the survival of Russia until the war with Israel. The increase of Russian military might is well known, but that immense and fearsome buildup would have no prophetic significance if the Jews were not in their homeland. Conversely, the gigantic Russian arms effort in view of the present Middle East situation must be seen as preliminary to an attack on Israel as prophesied by Ezekiel.
- This war between Russia and Israel must take place when the Jews are dwelling securely in their land. The threat of Arab invasion will therefore have been removed to the point that the Jews feel safe: “And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates” (Ezek. 38:11).
It seems likely that this Jewish security will come from enacting a treaty with the head of the Western alliance or the revived Roman Empire. It will be an agreement intended to last for seven years: “…And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week… ” (Dan. 9:27).
Since by the time of the Russian attack, the treaty of peace will have been in force long enough for the Jews to feel safe, it appears that the Russian inv asion will come at about the middle of the Tribulation period or approximately three and one-half years after its signing. There is also a hint that the Antichrist will come to world power at that point in time. The extension of his dominion over all the earth seems to follow the defeat of Russia and the armies of the East (Rev. 9:16).
Russia’s attack on Israel will be her greatest military blunder. Though brief, the conflict will be one of the most destructive in history. Ezekiel’s description of the battle is as follows:
…Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against him through all my mountains, saith the Lord God: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone (Ezek. 38:19-22).
The prophet’s vision carries with it many of the characteristics of nuclear war. There are earth-splitting explosions. Mountains are toppled. Rain, hail, and fire become part of the picture as nature erupts in rebellion against the forces marching to bring destruction to the Jews.
While details of military action in this war are few, something about the defeat of the northern invaders will make it clear to the Jews that God has protected them: “Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD (Ezek. 38:23).
The casualties of the Russian invaders are so great that only one-sixth of the fighting force is left after the battle: “And I will turn thee back, and l eave 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” (Ezek. 39:2).
Two important developments will follow the defeat of the invaders of Israel. First, the attack by Russia will give the Antichrist an excuse for full occupation of Israel under the pretense of protection and will, along with his defeat of the huge Eastern force (Rev. 9:16), extend his power over the entire world. Second, the divine protection of Israel as prophesied by Ezekiel and proclaimed to the world by evangelists and writers throughout the closing time will turn many Jews to their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The remaining forty-two months of the Tribulation will show man at his worst.
The final world dictator will become the most evil of all earth’s political and religious leaders. His blasphemy, oppression, and self-exaltation will surpass that of all tyrants before him.
Persecution of believers in Christ will reach an all-time high. Millions will be martyred.
Anti-Semitism will become the passion of those in power.
And the world will continue its age-old march to the most fierce and foolish war of all — the Battle of Armageddon.
We will delve into the Battle of Armageddon in our next study.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
What an incredible journey this has been, over these many decades of following your ministry and your blessed teachings! Both of you have been a wonderful part of my “streams of Living Waters,” leading to my salvation through Jesus my Christ. I was a teenager when you came into my life! Even through years of sin filled living, by God’s grace I’d turn on a TV and there you all were, Jack, Rexella and Chuck, bringing me back into His presence. Hi to Chuck!
And now, at 63, here I am, still praising Jesus that I’ve been so blessed to have known of you, thank you and God bless you!
You, your family, your staff, your ministry, have always been in my prayers, and will always be.
Your faithful friend in Jesus,
I got up at 3 am to talk with God. My husband and I are praying every day for many problems and concerns. Reading your message on prayer was so uplifting and just what I needed. God directed me to read it right at this time. It has pulled me out of depression and reaffirmed me that God is listening and answering our pleas.
Sometimes I don’t know what to do or or even what to pray for. Now knowing that the Holy Spirit intercedes for me is so comforting.
Thank you, Rexella, for helping me and thank you for all the hope you ad Dr Jack have given me over the years.
I love you and am praying for you.
God Bless you.
HIGHLIGHTED MINISTRY OFFERS
The Impending Islamic Takeover
This is perhaps the most important DVD ever released by Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe
Here are the shocking answers to urgently important questions:
- How does Islam place your personal future on the line?
- How can we know whether we will experience terrifying war in the days ahead?
- Should Christians unite with Islam? Why or why not?
- What is the Koran’s great blasphemy against Jesus?
- How does Scripture connect Russia, China, Syria, and Iran?
- One half of the world’s population will die? Truth? Or Myth?
- Will Iran annihilate Israel?
- How soon will Jesus come back again?
- And many more!
Amazing revelations about the march of Islam against North America and the world!
Rampant addictions; a sign of the times? Now you’ll understand how God’s Word previews the bondage of alcoholism and drugs, tobacco, pornography, gambling, and more that we see all around us today as a sign of the soon return of the Savior and the approaching Tribulation.
In this insightful video, Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe also reveal hope for you or a loved one who is struggling with a life-controlling addiction, through the power of Jesus Christ. Learn about the biblical perspective on substance abuse – the roots of addiction – how to overcome addictions as notorious as alcoholism or as overlooked as gossip, lying or cursing.