Weekly Newsletter – August 29, 2016
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
We want to continue in our study of why I believe in the pre-tribulational rapture.
The Tribulation is called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble.” This prophet, in chapters 30 and 31, summarizes Israel’s endurance in the Tribulation Hour and depicts it as Jacob’s, or Israel’s, trouble. (Jacob’s name was changed to Israel in 2 Kings 17:34.) In Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 the northern army or Russian bear comes out of the north against Israel. Eighteen different passages mark Israel as the victim. Ezekiel says, “And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel” (Ezekiel 38:16).
Daniel described this horrible period of Tribulation: “And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered” (12:1). Daniel’s seventy weeks, of which the Tribulation period is the closing segment, has to do with Israel: “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy” (Daniel 9:24).
The sixty-nine weeks totaling 483 years-already past-had to do with Israel. Why would God change His method of operation for the seventieth week-the Tribulation Hour? The simple conclusion is that there will be no change. God will return to His original program for the final week. This is again the reason that Satan, upon being cast to earth during the Tribulation Hour, goes after the woman (Israel) who brought forth the man-child (Christ) in Revelation 12:12-14. The voice out of heaven cries: “Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child [Christ]. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”
Here we see God’s loving protection for His covenant people for a time-one year, and times-two years, and for half a time or one-half year. This totals three and one-half years or forty-two months-exactly one-half of the Tribulation period. Verse 17 farther corroborates the fact that Israel is the persecuted one, not the Church, for “the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed [Israelites].” Only antiliteralists and antidispensationalists confuse the issue. They allegorize, spiritualize, and pulverize the truth into mass confusion. They make Jews of all the redeemed or relegate the title of “Israelites” to Americans, Canadians, and other Anglo-Saxons. Little do they realize that there can be no harmony of the Scriptures when one does not rightly divide the word of truth (see 2 Timothy 2:15).
What is the truth? It is that God has two elect groups of individuals on this earth-Israel and the Church. Israel is the wife of Jehovah forever (Jeremiah 3:14; Hosea 2:19). The Church is the bride of Christ (Revelation 19:7). Romans 9 through 11 depict Israel’s past (chapter 9), Israel’s present (chapter 10), and Israel’s future (chapter 11). During the Tribulation Hour, all Israel shall be saved (see Romans 11:26). The 144,000 Jewish evangelists (see Revelation 7:4-8) will proclaim the gospel of the kingdom to all the world (Matthew 24:14), and all Israel will accept Messiah (Christ) as Savior and King. Now these Israelites are the elect: “As touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes” (Romans 11:28). This solves the problem of Matthew 24:22, which states, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake [Israelites] those days shall be shortened.”
Posttribulationists vehemently cry: “You see, the elect are present for the judgments of the Tribulation Hour.” Not so! The fact is that Jehovah chose or elected Israel to be His wife, and Christ chose or elected His people to be His bride, and it is the Father’s elect wife experiencing the judgments mentioned in Revelation chapters 6-18.
Concerning Israel, Deuteronomy 7:6 declares, “For thou art an holy people unto the lord thy God: the lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” This promise is perpetual. “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance [or change of mind]” (Romans 11:29). This is the reason that all Israel is going to be saved (v. 26). God keeps His covenants (v. 27), and Israelites are still the Father’s “election” (see v. 28).
To the Christians, Christ says, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (John 15:16). We were chosen “before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4), and our choosing is eternal. Now there is no difficulty whatsoever when men see both elections, but confusion reigns when the two are intermingled, spiritualized, allegorized, and symbolized. Take God for what He states-literally-and the problems vanish.
Deliverance from wrath (Luke 17:26-32). The reason this hope is blessed or happy is that the Church escapes the turmoil of earth’s most devastating hour. This fact is confirmed by the teaching of Jesus. He said that the days of the Son of man would be like the days of Noah and Lot (see Luke 17:26-32). In Noah’s day, Enoch, a type of the Church, was evacuated before the judgment of the Flood, while Noah, a type of Israel, was preserved through it. Lot, in his removal to Zoar before the fires fell, is also a type of the escaping Church before atomic incineration begins.
Upon examining the story of Lot in Genesis 18:23-32, we discover that God informed Abraham that He would destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham immediately began bargaining with the Lord: “Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:23-25).
Abraham finally got the figure down to ten righteous people, but there were not even ten who were undefiled. Therefore, God had to destroy the cities. Lot and his family, however; survived because God had another plan-the great escape. The angels removed Lot and his family from the city and took them to Zoar. Now listen to this surprising statement from God in Genesis 19:22: “I cannot do any thing till [Lot] be come thither.” God had to remove His people before He rained judgment upon the world of the ungodly. Then, and only then, did the Lord rain “upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground” (Genesis 19:24-25).
As it was in the days of Lot, so shall it be in the day of the Son of man, or when the Son of man returns. Whether it is the great escape for the Church or the preservation of the Israelites through the Tribulation, God’s promises cannot fail.
The day of great wrath (see Revelation 6:17) will be meted out to sinners who store up, treasure up, or accumulate “wrath against the day of wrath” (Romans 2:5). But this wrath will be only for the wicked. Paul wrote, “[God] delivered us [Christians] from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10), and again: “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
This salvation from wrath cannot be the eternal deliverance from hell because the Christian already has that without Christ’s return. The moment a person believes, he is delivered from condemnation and “is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). Because of it, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). The deliverance from wrath in 1 Thessalonians 1:10 has to do with Christ’s return because the text states, “[We] wait for his Son from heaven… which delivered us from the wrath to come.” It does not take the return of Christ to deliver us from the wrath of hell-salvation instantaneously accomplished this. But the coming of Christ delivers us from the wrath of the coming Tribulation Hour. This is how God will “keep [us] from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world” (Revelation 3:10).
The Church-the body and the bride(Ephesians 5:30). Now let’s look at Christ’s church-His body and His bride. Will the Church go through the administration of God’s wrath upon the earth? I believe not. Millions of believers are already in heaven. All who have died “in Christ” during the past two thousand years are already with Christ. Paul said, “To be absent from the body [is] to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). Why should a handful of believers experience God’s wrath while millions who lived and died during the last two thousand years enjoy the blessings of heaven during the Tribulation? For God to have 99 percent of His church with Him while 1 percent suffer untold agonies would be inconsistent.
Since the Greek word ecclesia, translated ” church” in English, means “a called out assembly,” could not this definition extend to the very hour when the final “called out assembly” meets the other 99 percent of the Church already in glory? Why should a minority suffer God’s vengeance while the others watch from heavenly places? We are also members of Christ’s body. “We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Ephesians 5:30).
Should 99 percent of His body in heaven rejoice while the remaining 1 percent upon earth suffer? Perish the thought. In fact, since Christ is the head of the Body, He would actually be administering wrath to His own body if He left part of that body on earth for the Tribulation period. Believers are also Christ’s bride. Should 1 percent of the believers (constituting the Bride) languish in anguish while 99 percent abide at His side? Let’s be consistent in our thinking! Love demands that all the remaining 1 percent join the 99 percent already in His presence, completing the Church, the Body, and the Bride.
This same Church, Body, and Bride must go through a time of examination called the Judgment Seat of Christ. The Bride also experiences the marriage supper of the Lamb before returning with Christ to the earth. The posttribulation adherents teach a ” yo-yo theory”-up and down, going to meet Christ and returning instantly-and have no time interval for this judgment-seat examination or the marriage. It takes time to investigate God’s people. Second Corinthians 5:10 states, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body.” This is an impossibility in the posttribulation arrangement of events because millions cannot be investigated in less than one second or “the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52). The “bob up to meet Him and bob down to reign” theory, if true, wipes out the intervals of time demanded for the judgment seat of Christ and the marriage.
I believe it is logically and abundantly clear that there will be a Rapture and that it must come before the Tribulation period. Common sense demands it; confusion reigns without it. Soon the Lord will break through the clouds. His church, body, and bride will be united with members already in His presence, for “them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him” (1 Thessalonians 4:14). Then all the Church is investigated and prepared “as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2) to enjoy the marriage supper and honeymoon.
The Most Powerful Argument for a Pretribulation Rapture
The final and greatest argument for a pretribulation Rapture is based on Matthew 25:31-46. In this text Christ returns to earth and judges the nations. At this point of time there are two groups present-the saved and the lost. The lost are condemned to everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:41, 46), whereas the saved are invited to enter the kingdom for the thousand-year reign with Christ (Matthew 25:34; Revelation 20:4).
Now, supposing the Rapture occurred at this juncture as postmillennialists teach, who would then be left to reign with Christ upon earth? At the Rapture believers receive glorified bodies (1 Corinthians 15:51-54; Philippians 3:21; 1 John 3:2-3). These bodies, as Christ returns to earth, remain in the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, hovering above the earth for the entire one thousand years (Revelation 21:9-22:5). That being the case, no one would be left to rule on earth if all the saved were raptured and translated, receiving their eternal spiritual bodies at the hour Christ returns to earth. In fact, there could be no Millennium if this theory were followed to its ultimate conclusion. I repeat-if posttribbers are correct, the saved are translated into spiritual bodies while the lost are sent into eternal punishment. This leaves no one to rule and reign with Christ for the one thousand years. On the other hand, if the Rapture occurs before the Tribulation period begins, the riddle is solved. Here’s why. There will be multitudes, yes millions upon millions converted during earth’s most horrendous hour because this is the time when God’s spirit is poured out upon all flesh (Joel 2:28; Acts 2:17), and the greatest revival in history occurs. Revelation 7:9 states: “A great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.” When asked who these tens of millions are, the answer is: “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (v. 14). These are the millions who go into the kingdom in earthly bodies for Christ’s millennial reign (Matthew 25:34; Revelation 20:4). This is the only position that makes sense and fits the situation of a coming Millennium composed of believers ruling and reigning with Christ in earthly bodies.
According to this view, Christians would pass through the first half of the Tribulation but be raptured at the seventh trumpet judgment. This position, however, does not hold up since it ignores the biblical teaching of imminence-a view that asserts the return of Christ will occur unannounced, at any given moment. This theory is so unpopular today that little space is needed to cover the subject-just enough to describe the viewpoint.
This view does not look for Christ to come for His own until after the Tribulation. According to this theory, the Church should not be looking for the blessed hope of the return of Christ, but rather to the appearance of the Antichrist and the indescribable judgments and horrors of the Tribulation period.
Surely no reasonable, rational thinker will disagree with the facts presented thus far concerning the pretribulation Rapture.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Listen – He Speaks Ever So Softly
Many years ago it was long past time for my annual physical, in fact, I was enjoying such good health and vitality that it had been three years since I had visited my doctor. However, at the conclusion of a thorough exam, the report was quite disconcerting. (Before I proceed, let me encourage all of my readers, if at all possible to go for that annual “check-up.”)
“We will have to do some tests,” the doctor explained, “then, in a couple of weeks, we will know where we stand.”
Immediately, my mind was filled with different thoughts. “Can this be me who is experiencing this questionable report? No! My doctor is wrong! What if she is not?” By the time I got home and shared the news with Jack I found myself asking God, “What’s this all about?”
In compliance with the doctor, I took the medical tests and began the long wait for the results. All the while, we were praying and seeking the Lord for His divine purpose and will to be accomplished in my life.
By the end of the two weeks, we found ourselves rejoicing in the faithfulness of God. I knew He had everything under control. Deep in my heart, I knew it would be all right. “But Lord,” I asked, “what is the purpose behind this trial?”
Then – the night before we received the results of my tests – Jack looked over at me and said, “I have peace in this matter, so tonight let’s go out and celebrate this victory in our lives!”
We went to a lovely restaurant that is meant for celebrating and fine dining. A nice, handsome pianist softly played the piano in the corner of the dining room, and candles softly lit each of the tables. Jack and I laughed, enjoyed our luscious dinner and shared in a wonderful conversation about the Lord. It was an evening I’ll never forget.
As we prepared to leave, I expressed to my husband how much I wanted to go and thank the pianist for sharing his special talent with us. Being musicians ourselves we were impressed with his tremendous ability to “tickle the ivories.”
“You have a beautiful touch on the keyboard,” I told him.
“Thank you,” he answered. “I am sorry if you saw me staring at you and your husband.” He explained: “For a year, my fiancée and I watched your television program faithfully. She used your ministry to help lead me to the Lord, and then . . . she died. She was only 38 years old and I have been bitter toward the Lord and unable to pray ever since.”
I reached out and took his hand from the keyboard and stated: “God doesn’t want you to be bitter and neither does she. Your fiancée is in a better place right now and you will be with her again – perhaps soon. The best thing you could do right now is to get your heart right with the Lord, so that when He comes again, you can go and be at her side.”
Jack, who has always been sensitive to the moving of the Holy Spirit, began to explain to this young man the Scriptures and how it is appointed unto men once to die (Hebrews 9:27). Then he added, “Your sweetheart is in heaven and awaits your homecoming. Be ready, Brian!”
Jack and I were so blessed as we watched the Lord begin to move in his heart. Right at the piano, with tears streaming down his face he recommitted his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. He looked up at both of us and said, “I can hardly wait to call my fiancée’s twin sister to tell her what has happened tonight.” We had a word of prayer and promised to send him our video about heaven.
The next morning, I heard from my doctor. My tests showed that I was just fine. The doctor said, “You and Jack go out and celebrate, Rexella.” She did not know that we had already claimed the good report and the special blessing we had found in doing so. Of course, we continue to rejoice and thank the Lord for the results of the test, but we realize that if for no other reason we had gone through this trial, Jack and I could be at the restaurant that night to speak to the young pianist.
God’s ways are so much greater than ours. This was probably the Lord’s plan all along! How important it is for you and me as Christians today to listen to the Holy Spirit and obey His leading in our lives! The things and events that surround us are real and at times they can be overwhelming, and we are unable to recognize Jesus and the guidance of His Spirit. Let the circumstances be what they may. Always maintain complete reliance upon Him and listen to the often quiet voice of His Spirit as He leads you into victory and blessings yet to come. Be totally unrestraining, be willing to risk everything. We do not know when His voice will come again, so be ever-aware and obey.
I realized, there are three very important lessons in regard to listening to the Holy Spirit that we can learn from this personal experience with the young man.
1. We must listen when the Holy Spirit is leading us.
I Thessalonians 5:19, says: Quench not the Spirit. That means, when the Holy Spirit is leading you, you must listen to His voice. The little promptings and opportunities that God passes along your way mean you must be faithful. Follow the Lord’s leading in these situations so that you do not quench His ministry in your life.
In Acts the 8th chapter, we read the wonderful testimony of Philip the evangelist as he was led to a desert road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza. Once there, the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this Chariot (Acts 8:29). Arriving at the chariot, there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official, who was reading the book of Isaiah. However, he did not grasp what the prophet was saying, so beginning with the passage of Scripture in Isaiah, Philip led the Ethiopian eunuch to a relationship with Jesus Christ.
If Philip had not obeyed the prompting of the Holy Spirit in his life – and, if Philip had not preached Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch -this court official may never have been won to the Lord.
The same was true for Jack and me as we talked with this young pianist that night. If we had just walked out, not wanting to get involved, or if we had talked with the musician about his fine musical skills and not talked about the Lord or the Scriptures, this young man may never have received the ministry he so desperately needed.
2. When the Holy Spirit guides us, He will empower us to do His will.
A beautiful example of this dynamic thought can be found in the life of the Apostle Peter.
Previous to Peter being filled with the Holy Spirit, he was a spiritually weak man. Who can forget the night when Jesus was brought before Caiaphas the high priest, and the scribes and the elders? Peter lingered outside in the courtyard where he was confronted by a servant girl who asked if he was one of Jesus’ disciples. Peter vehemently denied the Lord three times that night.
Remember, this was before the Holy Spirit filled Peter’s life.
Oh, the grace of God! Only 50 days after the denial, we read the wonderful account in Acts, chapter 2, of Peter’s boldness on the Day of Pentecost. This was the event Jesus prophesied before he ascended: But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8).
After Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, he stood up before the crowd that day – unashamed and unafraid – proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. Three thousand souls were won to the Lord!
Soon after this, Peter and John were brought before the Sadducees who commanded that Peter and John no longer teach in the name of Jesus (see Acts 4:13). But Peter would not be intimidated. He said (along with the Apostle John), Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard (Acts 4:19,20).
Scripture also records: With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all (Acts 4:33).
What made this difference in the life of the Apostle Peter? It was the Person of the Holy Spirit.
Previous to being filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter was so weak, in and of himself, he denied Christ in front of a damsel. After the infilling of the Holy Spirit, Peter became bold in faith and proclaimed the Gospel in the face of beatings and eventually, martyrdom (he was crucified upside down).
3. When the Holy Spirit leads and empowers us for the sake of the Gospel, and we faithfully obey His promptings – not quenching the Holy Spirit . . . then blessing comes!
That evening, after Jack and I shared in this precious conversation with our young pianist, we walked away rejoicing. We were happy about the wonderful things God did in that man’s life – and in ours – by bringing us all together for this special moment of ministry. We felt truly blessed! Winning souls and witnessing for Christ always produces joy.
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy (I Thessalonians 2:19, 20).
Jack and I have often found that in attempting to bless others, we are also blessed. As we attempt to reach out and water the lives of others with Scripture, we are watered ourselves. As we comfort others, our own comfort is increased. We find consolation and gladness in our own lives as we give to others.
Jesus said, Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again (Luke 6:38).
Proverbs says it this way: The liberal souls shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself (Proverbs 11:25).
We must remember: Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it (Mark 8:35). True life is found as you give yours away in service to others.
In closing, I am reminded of the Dead Sea, located between Israel and the Jordan, whose water content is so salty that very little is able to exist within its waters.
The intrinsic problem of the Dead Sea results from the fact that it has several inlets that flow into it – the Jordan river is one of them – but has no outlets to share its waters with other bodies. In other words: All receiving and no giving results in a body of water that has no life.
As followers of the Lord, we must never become like the Dead Sea – where all we do is sit, soak and sour! We must get rid of the desire to be a part of the “bless-me-club,” and become a member of the “blessing club.” The way to receive a blessing … is to be a blessing.
We must become an effervescent witness for Christ having a wellspring of living water flowing out of our hearts and into the lives of others. That well-spring of life that Jesus has given to each of us as believers is His precious Holy Spirit (see John 4:14 and John 7:37-39).
Let us determine that we shall always listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit inside us …even if it means encouraging and witnessing to a pianist in the middle of a restaurant!
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I am very thankful for your ministry. I was told years ago that Jesus said He was the son of God in the Quran. I cannot express how grateful I am that you set the record straight. That the Jesus taught in the Quran is not our Savior Jesus. I knew that the children of Ishmael did not follow the God of Abraham, our God Jehovah. Though I had no real knowledge of why. You taught giving actual passages out of the Quran and actual history showing the false teachings of their religion. In addition, that Allah was the moon god whoa. I would have been deceived if it were not for your teaching. I bring to mind how Jesus said do not be deceived Matthew 24:4-51
I wanted to thank you for the DVD but even more to thank you for the fearless manner in which you present the Gospel of Jesus Christ, His message of salvation, and the fact that the world has given itself over to sin and destruction and how too many who call themselves Christian are following their lead and that we all need to be aware of how short our time is now to please God. I know that you must be subjected to all manner of abuse from those who hate that message and hope that those of us who appreciate it and know you are correct speak up and try to encourage you, as well as continuing to pray for you. God bless you and thank you again.
I want to thank you for following God all these years in proclaiming the gospel and teaching Bible prophesy. I remember watching you off and on through the years. I am 61 yrs. young now, and committed to follow Jesus Christ to eternity. Thank you for what you do and your perseverance. I am praying for you two.
Soon we will see Jesus!!!
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
You will be amazed to discover so much of what has been taught about heaven is simply not what the Bible teaches! In this landmark video teaching, Dr. Jack and Rexella Van Impe bring the facts from Scripture to light, and help you understand the joy which will be yours in heaven!
The video teaching reveals:
- How your body will be different in heaven!
- The facts about the first, second, and third heavens mentioned in Scripture.
- What activities we will engage in, in heaven: eating, laughing, singing.
- Where you’ll be during the Great Tribulation.
- The first and second appearing of the “Holy City”.
- The fascinating truth about the “New Jerusalem”.
- What heaven will really look like.
- What about sickness, sorrow, and death in heaven?
- Whom you’ll recognize in heaven!
- And much more.
For anyone who has ever lost a beloved pet, Dr. Jack and Rexella Van Impe have good news! You will see your furry or feathered friends again – in heaven! Explore this exciting truth taught by twelve of the greatest Christian theologians.
You will see and hear the exact spine-tingling statements from the pens of men like Dr. John Walvoord, Dr. Billy Graham, Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Dr. John Calvin and many others. This video study deals with animal intelligence, animal communication, and how animals literally teach humans some valuable lessons.