Weekly Newsletter – August 22, 2022
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
The Quest for Peace
I heard a story recently about a nagging wife who kept writing complaining letters to her serviceman husband who was on combat duty in another country. Finally, after receiving yet another hateful letter, the husband wrote back, “Will you please stop writing me vicious letters so I can fight this war in peace?”
We all want peace, don’t we? Personally and nationally we crave it. Yet, so few of us find it. I’ve read that over half the beds in our hospitals today are filled with people who have mental problems. These individuals have desperately sought for peace but haven’t found it. At last, they have reached the place where they can no longer cope with life, and they have become ill.
A noted doctor once said that if all the tranquilizers were taken away from the American people, we would have a national nervous breakdown so big there wouldn’t be enough well people to take care of the sick ones. People who take tranquilizers are trying to push the turbulence in their lives out of their minds. They have to resort to a little pill to put them in “peaceful” oblivion.
My heart goes out to those who do not know the meaning of peace. Each day is a repetition of the previous one, filled with hostility, despair, and loneliness. They are miserable, frustrated, and unhappy with themselves and everyone around them.
A picture of peace
Remember the story of the rich man who commissioned an artist to paint him a picture illustrating true peace. The artist painted a beautiful picture of a lake surrounded by trees. In the distance were majestic, snow-covered mountains.
When the rich man saw it, he shook his head. “It’s very beautiful,” he told the artist, “but it’s not a picture of true peace. Please try again.”
This time the artist thought a long time before he began to paint. On the canvas, he painted a huge, thundering waterfall. He showed the water churning over the falls and crashing onto rocks far below. Then, at one side of the waterfall, he painted a birch tree whose slender branches reached out over the roaring water. On one of the branches, he painted a little bird sitting quietly and contentedly on her nest, oblivious to the danger around her.
That is true peace — not an escape from the pressures and trials of life but the quiet repose of a heart at rest with God. Jesus said, These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
Jesus’ life was anything but peaceful. Yet, His last legacy to His disciples and to all those who would follow Him was the promise of peace. 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 (John 14:27).
I love the old hymn that goes:
Trust and rest when all around thee
Puts thy faith to sorest test;
Let no fear or foe confound thee,
Wait for God and trust and rest.
Trust and rest with heart abiding,
Like a birdling in its nest,
Underneath His feathers hiding,
Fold thy wings and trust and rest.
I don’t know the things in your life that cause you unrest and destroy your peace. But I want to remind you that there is a way to handle them. God has given us guidelines that can take us through these troublesome times.
Guidelines for troubled times
In His sermon on the mount, Jesus said, Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God (Matthew 5:9). What does that mean to you in your everyday life? It means that if you will turn your thoughts to God, He will take control. Then, regardless of the conditions around you, you have His abiding peace, joy, patience — whatever you need at the moment — to draw on.
The Apostle Paul tells us that He [Jesus] is our [way of] peace (Ephesians 2:14). It’s only when we follow after Him that the walls of hostility which surround us come tumbling down. He is our way of living at peace with others. Paul also speaks of those who do not seek after God, and he observes that they do not know the way of peace (see Romans 3:17).
A verse that has helped so many who were going through turbulent times is Isaiah 26:3, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. When you keep your mind on the Lord and trust unwaveringly in Him, you can truly live in peace though the world around you be filled with turmoil and strife.
My prayer for you today is that… the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
Revelation 14: 1 – 8
Chapter 14 deals with the seven visions, each complete in itself. They are not presented in a chronological sequence of events but rather panoramically with details following later. Let me illustrate this point. The pronouncement of doom upon Babylon, for instance, is uttered in verse 8. However, the details are presented in chapter 16, verses 17-21. With this point in mind, let’s investigate.
Verse 1: And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
The Lamb, as we already know, is the Lord Jesus Christ. John the Baptist called Him by this name as he saw the Lord walking upon earth saying, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Also, John sees the Tribulation saints overcoming Satan by the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 12:11). This same Lamb and His bride are the honored participants at a marriage feast conducted in chapter 19, verse 7 which states: Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. The wedding occurs in heaven but the feast probably takes place on earth as the Lamb returns to Mount Sion (or Zion) for His millennial reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. This would fulfill scores of Old Testament prophecies.
Did you know that Zion, or Jerusalem, is the place God seems to love most? Today’s anti-Zionists should take heed. They are opposing the Almighty himself as they rebel against His city and His people because-I repeat-Jerusalem is closest to God’s heart. For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it (Psalm 132:13, 14). While the first verse of chapter 14 is the only place where Zion is mentioned in the Book of Revelation, it nevertheless authenticates an unlimited number of Old Testament passages that point to Jerusalem as the headquarters of Christ’s earthly kingdom. Seemingly, God is saying through this text, “I know that millions are following the Antichrist. I see that the false prophet is scoring many victories as he, through lying wonders and deceits, turns the hearts of multitudes to the super-deceiver. However, 666 is the number of man. It is the number of incompleteness. It will soon end.” Why? I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion [or Jerusalem] (Psalm 2:6). God adds, “Though horrendous judgments are about to fall, look up! Your redemption draws nigh. My son, the Lamb, is about to come forth and take His proper position on earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. He shall soon arrive at Jerusalem.”
The Prophet Zechariah also stated this same truth: His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south (Zechariah 14:4). Additional verses depict the establishment of Christ’s earthly kingdom: Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion… the city of the great King (Psalm 48:2). In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion [or Jerusalem] (Psalm 76:2). Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion [or Jerusalem] (Psalm 102:13). Psalm 110:2 pictures His reign and states: The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Again, The Lord shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the Lord (Psalm 146:10). As He reigns, the people are pleased and cry, Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their king (Psalm 149:2).
Isaiah the prophet predicted this time of peace. He said, 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 2:3,4).
Jesus Christ is coming soon to sit upon David’s throne. How do I know this momentous event is about to occur? Because Jerusalem, where He will reign-captured by the Jews in 1967-became the eternal, undivided capital of Israel on July 31, 1980. And this is only the beginning. Soon Jerusalem will become the capital of the entire world-upon the arrival of the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Lord Jesus Christ. The way has been prepared in our day. Let’s triumphantly shout the news, “The King is coming! Amen! The King is coming!” First, however, He must return for the Church (all Christians) so that we can return with Him (chapter 19, verse 14). Thus, the Rapture cannot be delayed much longer. Since we return with Him, and it is visibly manifest that we must return together soon, then the fact is clear that our remaining time upon earth is extremely limited.
At this point in our text, that time has come! How glorious is the hour of the Lord’s return to Jerusalem-the capital of the world-with His people. Part of His earthly entourage is composed of the 144,000 Jews mentioned in chapter 7. They have the Lamb’s Father’s name written (or inscribed) in their foreheads. This is a result of the sealing mentioned in chapter 7, verses 3 and 4.
Verse 2: And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps.
What a majestic sound fills the heavens and the earth as the heavenly chorus, with the voice of many waters (an unusual amount of octaves), crescendos into thunder-like proportions. The multitudinous choir is accompanied by harps-a symbol of joy. This joy has to do with Christ’s redemption.
Verse 3: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
The new song of these redeemed Jews is undoubtedly similar to the song of the saints presented in chapter 5, verse 9: And they [sang] a new song saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue, and people, and nation. Still, the song of the 144,000 differs somewhat in that it is exclusively their own. The point is that the redeemed in every dispensation have something about which they can sing-the joy of the Lord. The purity, holiness, and sanctification of this group are described in the next verse.
Verse 4: These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruit unto God and to the Lamb.
Some commentators, particularly priests in the Middle Ages, stated that this honor was reserved for them because they had refrained from sexual intercourse. Such an explanation, however, is impossible in the light of the sanctity of marriage, for marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled (Hebrews 13:4). That is why, whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord (Proverbs 18:22). The meaning, then, has to do with the undefiled walk of the redeemed Jews as stated in the next part of the verse: These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. They are free from spiritual fornication as described in James 4:4 which states: Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Idolatry, the ultimate form of spiritual adultery, is the sin of the hour during the Tribulation period, as we have already observed in chapters 9 and 13. Yet, even during such a time as this, there are multitudes who remain true to the Lord. I dogmatically believe that the “undefiled” of verse 4 are those who have kept themselves unspotted from the world. This truth is also pictured in 2 Corinthians 11:2 concerning the Church, the bride of Christ: God says, I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. Both Christ and His Father want pure sweethearts.
The Jewish virgins in our text are most likely those referenced in Matthew 25:1-13 (the parable of the wise and foolish virgins). In all dispensations, God wants His people to be separate from the world, the flesh, and the devil. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty (2 Corinthians 6: 14-18).
These untainted Jews who walked the pathway of holiness are the firstfruits of the Tribulation period. The harvest is to follow as millions more turn to Messiah. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins (Romans 11:26, 27).
Another attribute of the 144,000 Jews is mentioned in the next verse.
Verse 5: And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
God hates the sin of lying. In fact, the Bible lists lying as one of the sins that will keep a man out of the Holy City (see Revelation 22:15). The Tribulation hour, under the Antichrist, produces a world inundated with deceit. The Antichrist works lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9), and multitudes believe a lie (2 Thessalonians 2:11). Even during this age of fraud, however, the redeemed Jews do not follow Satan, who is a liar, and the father of [lies] (John 8:44). Oh, that there were more believers who never used deceit, who never passed rumors (usually exaggerated lies), and who refused to listen to the lies that Satan, the accuser of [the] brethren, hatches! God wants holy people in every dispensation of time. Let’s be like Jesus who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth (1 Peter 2:22).
Verse 6: And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.
This verse introduces us to the first of the angels who proclaim a special message to the world. What is this everlasting gospel the angel preaches? The word gospel simply means “good news.” It is also called glad tidings (Luke 1:19), good tidings (Luke 2:10), and good tidings once again (1 Thessalonians 3:6). This good news always includes the message of the blood in every dispensation. To [Christ] give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins (Acts 10:43), and remission of sins is through the blood, for without shedding of blood is no remission (Hebrews 9:22).
In addition to proclaiming the everlasting gospel, the angel announces that all those who have rejected the message of Jesus for the mark of the Antichrist (666) are about to be bombarded with a series of judgments from God himself.
Verse 7: [The angel said] with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
The angel’s message is God’s final call to a Christ-rejecting world, and the message is “turn or burn; repent or die. This is mankind’s last opportunity to receive Jesus Christ as Messiah, as Lord, yea, as the true God.”
Verse 8: And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
Here we learn of the impending judgment to be unleashed upon religious and political Babylon in chapters 17 and 18. We will deal with the fulfillment of these predictions, plus the fact that all nations are made to drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, when we reach those sections. For the present, suffice it to say that the abominable portrait before us typifies a one-world church united to a one-world political system using every type of corruption imaginable to promote herself into prominence at the end time. Beware! The present ecumenical effort, attempting to unite all religions under a so-called “banner of brotherhood,” regardless of one’s belief about Christ, is the forerunner of a monstrous fornicator who makes all nations drink of the wine of her wrath.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I just finished reading your article, “Who Are You” in one of your newsletters… It made me feel wonderful inside and lifted my faith. I did not know you were such a talented writer. You write with the same warmth and heartfelt conviction and faith that you exhibit on television. I trust in our Lord, but sometimes feel sad and lonely by events that have happened in my life. Your article buoyed my faith once again. Thank you for writing it; I felt like you were talking directly to my heart. GOD Bless you and Jack.
Hello to the Van Impes!
This is a wonderful study in Revelation! I am attending a church that is preaching on Revelation also. Other churches that I have attended said that they didn’t think it is important to study this book because it’s a hard book to study and that it’s about the future but very confusing! I’m so glad you think it’s important to study this book. After all, it is part of the bible! Thank you again for telling the truth and sharing the Good News with us. God bless you both.
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