Weekly Newsletter – August 14, 2017
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
History Ends-Prophecy Begins
The great Reformer John Calvin (1509-1564) was so overwhelmed with the historical accuracy of Daniel’s prophecy in the first part of chapter eleven that he wrote forty pages of commentary describing in minute detail the future exploits of each world leader, the battles engaged, and the ensuing intrigue. In fact, the meticulous and historically accurate nature of these verses has persuaded many liberal ministers to believe that Daniel could not have written this book, suggesting that no one could have been privy to so many details of forthcoming events.
Therefore, they argue, the Book of Daniel must have been written much later. To that I would simply reply that since God is God, and since He knows all things, it really would not be difficult for the Almighty to fill Daniel with His Holy Spirit and through him make known the events in history yet to come (2 Peter 1:20-21).
Some readers may want me to spend as much time as John Calvin did in delineating past predictions that have already been fulfilled in the first part of chapter eleven, perhaps hoping that I would trace the accomplishments of every king, every skirmish, and every historical circumstance in this four hundred-year period to prove there are no errors in Daniel’s prophecy. However, for those who may not have as great a historical bent, this would be too much detail, since the first thirty-five verses of this chapter eleven include 135 prophecies-each completely fulfilled down to the smallest detail.
Undoubtedly, delving into each of the 135 predictions would become exceedingly laborious. With those considerations in mind, I will simply sketch out a few of the completed historical events of this chapter and then spend most of the time exploring the confluence of the many events that suggest so strongly that we are now at the time of the end-a discussion which begins with verse 36.
Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
And now will I show thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of C recta.
And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.
Details that Confound the Skeptics
These first four verses trace the history of four Persian rulers and Alexander the Great of Greece-giving summary details of the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids of Syria, whom, as you will recall, represented the two major divisions of Alexander’s worldwide kingdom. It is this kind of historical detail that confounds the skeptic who says, “How could any one-God included-have known with such accuracy the events, people, and interaction of nations four centuries before such events took place?” Here, however, we are not concerned with the critics’ skepticism, but rather rejoice in the knowledge that we have a God who knows the future, has ordained its activity, and is now allowing us to unseal mysteries so long hidden from view.
Here’s a quick summary of some of the enormous amount of prophetic information contained in Daniel’s vision-all of which has now been fulfilled. When Daniel received his fourth revelation, Cyrus was king of Medo-Persia. However, Christ- in the vision-told Daniel there would be three more MedoPersian rulers prior to the reign of successor number four. The three kings were Cambyses, Pseudo-Smerdis, and Darius I Hystaspes. The fourth would be Xerxes I, a powerful ruler who later accumulated great armies, power, and wealth over a four-year period which he used to invade Greece in the year 480 B.C. I highlight this here because it was Xerxes’ attack of Greece that moved Alexander the Great to attack Medo-Persia some one hundred and fifty years later.
However, not all would go well for Alexander in spite of his great power and dominance of so much of the then-known world. Though the young king grasped worldwide control, he soon died of malaria and syphilis at the age of thirty-two. Previously, we saw a defeated Greece predicted in the form of a leopard (Daniel 7:6), and as the goat in Daniel 8:5-6. Events prophesied; events fulfilled.
Daniel 11: 5 – 36
And the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.
And in the end of years they shall join themselves together; for the king’s daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm: but she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begat her, and he that strengthened her in these times.
But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail:
And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north.
So the king of the south shall come into his kingdom, and shall return into his own land.
But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress.
And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand.
And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it.
For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches.
And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.
So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.
But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.
He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.
After this shall he turn his face unto the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him.
Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.
Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.
And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant.
And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.
He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.
And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him.
Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.
And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.
Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.
At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.
For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.
And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.
And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.
The Wars between the South and the North
From verse 5 we begin to see a powerful struggle taking place between the kings of the South-Egypt-and the kings of the North-Assyria, today’s Syria. These nations were constantly at each other’s throats, alternating victories. It was a see-saw world of power-grabbing, palace intrigue, and battle fatigue for supreme command of the region. Finally, a scheme was devised to put an end to these constant wars that were taking such a great toll on the people and their respective governments.
This was the plan: Ptolemy II had a daughter Berenice, and it was decided that if she would marry Antiochus II of Syria a union designed to create a long and lasting peace in the area could be forged. However, even the best laid plans of kings and princesses often do not meet all expectations, and since it was a forced marriage, Antiochus II of Syria hated the arrangement. However, for political reasons, he chose to live with what he disliked. But when the king of Egypt, Ptolemy II, died, Antiochus realized he suddenly had a golden opportunity to get rid of his spouse-which he did. He divorced her and took back his original wife, Laodice.
The ancient soap opera continued to play out when Laodice, overcome with jealousy, had Berenice poisoned along with most of her family. In the end, the hoped-for peace between Egypt and Assyria did not hold. In fact, this was only the beginning of the shedding of blood between the powers of the north and south.
Other high profile names to surface during the next four centuries would be men such as Ptolemy Euergetes, Seleucus Callinicus, Antiochus III, and Ptolemy Philopator, along with the wicked Antiochus Epiphanes who, upon returning from Egypt after having amassed great wealth, began to show his unnatural hatred toward the Jews, an attitude best described by the phrase, “His heart shall be against the holy covenant” (v. 28). This beast of a man would also be a precursor of the persecution an end-time global dictator exercises against Israel during the Great Tribulation hour. We have seen earlier that Antiochus was the designated archetype of the “future man of iniquity”-the Antichrist yet to come. I believe he will soon be on the scene as the clock of history winds down and brings us to the time of the end.
It is impossible to do justice to the history that takes place between verses 1 and 35 without writing a major compendium on the prophecies and their actual fulfillment. There are already many commentaries available that deal with such issues. For our purpose, however, the most important, underlying message of these first thirty-five verses is this:
- They contain 135 Bible prophecies that have been 100 percent fulfilled.
- There is no supportive evidence in history to contradict any of the 135 prophecies, i.e., everything prophesied has come true.
- They provide a convincing introduction to end-time events-a period of time in world history that is rapidly approaching.
- Prophecies still to come in this chapter can be expected to be fulfilled in the same manner as the 135 prophecies were in the first thirty-five verses of Daniel chapter eleven.
With that brief background, we will now proceed to the futuristic nature of Daniel’s revelation which begins in verse 36 in next weeks study.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
They Shall Mount Up With Wings
All of us at some point in our lives have had traumatic experiences. Life has a way of forcing us to cope with difficulty, pain, sorrow, and stress.
Some people seem to come through every test stronger… and rise above every tumult. Others appear to be in danger of drowning in their sorrow …of being totally overcome by seemingly insurmountable circumstances.
What makes the difference?
I believe a large part of the answer is a matter of perspective… the point-of-view we have of life and its challenges.
Let me share with you a beautiful experience of Dr. Van Impe’s and mine which helps reveal the way I feel we should look at life’s problems. It happened when a special friend of the ministry called and asked if we’d like to ride in his hot air balloon.
Of course we said yes. And Mr. John Raya, of Father and Son Construction Co. in Rochester, Michigan, set a time for us to meet him.
So on a glorious afternoon, we climbed into the passenger basket and looked up at the beautiful blue-and-white balloon billowing fifty or sixty feet above us. My pulse was pounding with excitement …and I have to admit the tiniest bit of apprehension gripped my stomach.
But not for long! With a blast of flame from a propane burner above our heads, additional hot air was pumped into the balloon… the crew turned loose of the basket… and we took off — up, up, and away!
What a sensation! What a thrill! If you’ve ever gone up in a balloon, you know what I mean — it’s an unforgettable experience.
Ballooning is nothing like flying in an airplane, enclosed by glass and aluminum. Instead, you begin to feel like a free spirit — there is a distinct sense of physical disembodiment as you feel yourself floating upward, leaving the earth, rising higher and higher.
A new way to see!
First of all, I was astonished at what I could see. There was more sky than earth! Once above the walls and enclosures of man-made structures, a panorama of incredible beauty and unlimited space unfolded all around me. I remember thinking that this must be like seeing things from God’s viewpoint.
In their now miniature size, things that appeared so important on the ground seemed somehow insignificant. Dented car fenders, a burned-out house, rushing traffic — everything seemed to blend into a much larger background. The walls and fences separating people diminished before my eyes and faded into mere lines in a magnificent tapestry of soft color and interwoven patterns.
I began to see a bigger picture of life itself. Suddenly I understood as never before how even events that seem like disasters close-up can actually disappear into the perfect pattern of God’s master plan for our lives. And rather than being overwhelmed, it is possible to accept each circumstance as a purposeful part of God’s will… of His greater good for us!
How good it is to develop our spiritual sight in faith. If only we would make it a practice to allow the Holy Spirit to lift us above ourselves and see our situation from God’s viewpoint.
A new way to hear!
The second thing I discovered up in the balloon was that in addition to a new way to look, there was also a new way to listen.
As a musician, I am very conscious of sound — of voices, cries, music. Floating hundreds of feet in the air, I discovered there was no noise — no traffic roar, no barking dogs, no ringing telephones, no blaring radios or TV sets. There was only the soft sigh of the wind… and the silence. It was so quiet I could almost hear my own heartbeat. I actually had to get used to hearing nothing. And in the soothing, uninterrupted silence, I felt a healing, restoring power washing out my brain and smoothing down the wrinkles in my inner being.
With crystal clarity, I sensed a message of reassuring love being whispered inside my heart in a still, small voice. I recognized that Voice! And suddenly I thrilled with new understanding of what my Heavenly Father meant when He gently commanded, Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).
On that crisp autumn afternoon, drifting quietly above the patchwork quilts of the earth and under the brilliant blue of the heavens, I knew God afresh and anew.
The Lord ministered to me through all my senses on that special day. In addition to being blessed through seeing and hearing, I became so aware of God’s presence that I could almost reach out and touch Him — I’m sure I felt Him touch me!
And smell — the air above our beloved Michigan homeland was so pure, so unpolluted at that height. I’ve never smelled anything so clean. It was like the very breath of God… exhilarating… delicious!
I distinctly remember being aware that my senses were totally filled up — that I wanted nothing to be satisfied. I had no need for food or drink. I could cry out with the Psalmist David, O taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).
All too soon our balloon ride came to an end, and it was time to descend back to earth. Almost reluctantly we left the sky and stood once more on the ground.
But I’ll never be quite the same again. How much I learned about Christian living through what I experienced that day up in the balloon.
I’m told that in stormy weather, that greatest of birds, the eagle, does not seek a shelter or place of refuge. Instead, he flies high into the sky, turns into the wind and sets his wings so that the very force of the storm lifts him safely above it.
Surely it is no coincidence that God’s Word declares —
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Drs. Van Impe,
I just want to say thank you for your ministry. I have struggled with depression for most of my life. I found your TV program a few years ago, and since then I have more hope in our future redemption. I know that our savior is returning soon, and I can hardly wait. Thanks to both of you for being such strong messengers for Christ.
My dear Brother / Sister Van Impe
The Bible talks about [the truth will set us free] now that is exactly what your ministry is doing to people just about all over the world. Praise be to God Almighty for your faithfulness and your no compromising messages amen God bless your ministry always
Cape Town South Africa
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
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!
This book is a collection of 30 of the most powerful sermons that Dr. Jack Van Impe preached to millions during over 800 full-length crusades, and more than 260 mass citywide endeavors.