Weekly Newsletter – August 3, 2020
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
LET THE DOVES SPEAK
I had the great privilege while I was growing up to sit under the ministry of a great teacher, Dr. H. H. Savage. He was the only pastor I ever had, a brilliant man with a great passion for souls and a far-reaching vision for missions. He was an articulate speaker who could reach out and touch one’s heart each time he entered the pulpit.
He was one of the first ministers to start a Christian radio program in the state of Michigan, along with the “Radio Bible Class” in Grand Rapids. On the air or in person, he was able to make Christianity a dramatic and exciting adventure. For example, out of the 103 young people in my teenage class, more than twenty of us felt a call to enter the ministry and ultimately went into full-time Christian work.
Because my brothers and I were musically talented and began singing at a very young age, I had the privilege of singing in the church and on Dr. Savage’s radio program from the time I was five years old. He was such an encouragement and blessing to me. Yes, he gave me the vision of being part of God’s work.
I have been so privileged and blessed from the beginning of my walk with Christ to be associated with people of excellence and having pure and godly motives. I was married very young, and when I left Dr. Savage’s church, I entered into the ministry with Jack Van Impe, who was already a marvelous preacher and well established in his evangelistic work. So I have been under some of the greatest preachers in the world with both my pastor and with Jack, my husband and ministry partner.
For as long as I have known him, Jack has been a great student of the Word, and it has blessed my heart to see him develop into one of the greatest prophetical teachers and preachers in the world today. Truly I believe that God chose Jack to be born for this day and age, and I certainly know that I was born to serve with him. How wonderful that is!
Recently in my personal devotional time, I read and reflected upon Matthew 5:3-11, the part of Jesus’ monumental Sermon on the Mount known as the Beatitudes. It had been some time since I’d read this passage, and it struck me that no one else could have given such a compelling sermon as this-not even Dr. H. H. Savage or Dr. Jack Van Impe.
This powerful message is not legalistic or impractical idealism. Instead, it is a call for a new way of life. Our Lord would not have given it to us if it were not attainable and workable. If He has called us to do it-and unquestionably He has-then He also has provided the grace and the help of the Holy Spirit to enable us to achieve it in our daily practical living.
Let’s take a look at these eight simple but profound statements-the Beatitudes. We will look at the first three this week and then conclude next week:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs
is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).
Each of the beatitudes begins with the word blessed, which means “to be highly favored, honored, or set aside.” It speaks of the deep soul contentment that comes not from what we experience as much as who we are. I want to be blessed, don’t you?
In this first Beatitude, I believe “poor in spirit” refers to humility, the authentic attitude of the heart that recognizes it is absolutely nothing-poor-without the Lord. It is the kind of spiritual poverty that is overcome only by total dependence upon Christ. At the same time, the person who is truly poor in spirit also recognizes that everything is his because of God’s great gifts.
Jesus demonstrated true humility when He knelt down and washed the feet of His disciples (see John 13:3-9). I can hardly imagine the God of this universe kneeling to wash the feet of these men, including Judas; the man Jesus knew would betray Him. This kind of humility comes only from the Lord.
The gospel account says that Peter’s initial reaction to the humility of Jesus was to refuse to allow his feet to be washed. But Jesus said, “If I don’t wash you then you have no part with me.” So impulsive, reactionary Peter then pleaded, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.”
Maybe the essential point of this whole exchange was the Lord’s declaration that experiencing His humility is essential to relationship with Him. If we don’t have that kind of humility, we have nothing. But if we experience it, we are blessed…and the kingdom of heaven is ours! What an amazing promise.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they
shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4).
How can mourning be blessed? When it is for the needs and hurts of others! Our mourning is blessed when we are moved with a tender heart and compassionate spirit for the lost and those who suffer. Bob Pierce, the wonderful missionary who founded both World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse, once prayed, “Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God!” That’s the kind of mourning about which this verse is speaking. And without it, it is almost impossible for us to give comfort-or to receive it.
Do you remember Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 30-35)? A traveler was attacked by thieves who robbed him, beat him, and left him for dead by the side of the road. A priest came by and then a Levite, but they passed by without helping him. Then a Samaritan saw him and had great compassion on him. He gave the man first aid, put him on his donkey, and carried him to an inn. There he paid for the man’s care.
Perhaps the priest and the Levite felt pity for the unfortunate man, but they passed by. Pity says, “Oh, that’s terrible. I’m so sorry.” But the Bible says the Samaritan had compassion, which mourns with one’s suffering and says, “Here, let me help!”
During His earthly ministry, Jesus certainly demonstrated compassion to people everywhere He went. He once ministered to a crowd of 5,000, and when they became hungry, He fed them all. When He saw sick people, He healed them. When He saw lost sinners, He loved them. Do you see the pattern? Pity costs nothing. But compassion feeds, heals, and loves!
Have you ever needed to be comforted? Is there a chance you will ever need it again? That blessing comes only to those who weep and mourn for the suffering of others…and give until it helps.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth
Blessing comes to those with a gentle spirit and a calm attitude. Meekness is not weakness-it is the kind of strength that remains calm in the face of calamity. It is the person who can confront someone who has done wrong and keep his emotions under control, reaching out as a gentle servant of the Lord to lift up and restore the fallen.
Jesus sent His disciples out to minister, telling them to be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16). Have you ever heard the voice of a dove? Their singing may be soft and soothing, but it is persistent. The voices of doves will not be hushed. The wisdom of the Lord enables us to deal with problems, with opposition, with the pressures of the world in meekness-not with anger and violence, but with gentle strength.
During one of the huge crusade rallies Jack and I conducted several years ago, a crisis situation arose. Jack was still speaking to people in the auditorium after some had already gone to the prayer room for counseling. Someone came to me and said, “Several motorcycle gang members are causing trouble in the counseling room-can you come do something?”
As I entered the room I saw seven or eight big tough-looking guys, mocking and laughing at what had happened as another counselor spoke with them. I said, “I’m Mrs. Van Impe, and in this room we ask everybody to stay in an attitude of prayer.” One of them replied, “Aww, your husband spoke on hell tonight, and there’s no such place-it’s just a joke!”
With that, the Holy Spirit came on me, and I leaned close to the young man, looked him straight in the face, and said, “You may not believe it, but one day you will feel it. Every word Jack spoke tonight is backed up by the Bible, God’s Word, whether you believe it or not.”
The biker and the rest of his friends looked startled – almost shocked. They didn’t know what to do with gentle strength. However, the Holy Spirit did His work and before they left the prayer room I led them all to the Lord. Praise the Lord! God blesses when we stand upon the Word and show gentle strength.
I believe we need to be different from the world. In the midst of the rush, let’s not forget to be gentle and have time for people. I believe once more we can experience what Solomon described-The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land (Song of Solomon 2:12 NKJV). Walking in the gentle strength of meekness, we shall inherit the earth.
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
Verse 1: And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
The star John sees-a male personage-is without a doubt the devil of verse 11. The Greek tense in verse 1 is not fall – present tense, but fallen – past tense. Isaiah describes this fall in chapter 14, verses 12 through 14: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most high. Satan’s fall came through pride. He wanted to be coequal with God. Jesus, in eternity past, beheld this fall and said to His seventy disciples, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven (Luke 10:18). This fallen one is presented with a key to the bottomless pit, and he uses it.
Verse 2: And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
The term bottomless pit does not refer to one who has a voluminous appetite! Instead, the literal Greek renders it “the pit of the abyss.” The term is found nine times in the New Testament. In each case, it is a place to restrain or hold certain beings which have come under the judgment of God. For instance, when Christ went into the country of Gadarenes, He met a certain man who had a legion of demons. The demons within the man besought the Lord that he would not command them to go out into the deep [or abyss] (Luke 8:31). Their dread and terror of the pit (or abyss) was so great that they would rather become incarnated in swine. Oh, the pit of the abyss must be a terrible place!
How frightful, then, is the hour when the prison house of fallen angels is finally opened. The smoke ascending out of the pit darkens the sun and the air. Talk about pollution! The environmentalists had better get saved or they will be around for the greatest soot inundation in history. Then they will have a steady job picketing the portals of hell-but it will be too late.
Verse 3: And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power
These are not literal locusts. Their power is too great. They are most likely fallen angels who have been restrained and imprisoned in the bottomless pit since their fall (described in Genesis 6). These wicked beings, chained in darkness all of these centuries (see 2 Peter 2:4), can hardly wait to begin their acts of evil. They are told what they can and cannot do:
Verse 4: And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
In chapter 7, we saw multitudes sealed. The locusts, or fallen angels, are not allowed to touch the sealed, only the unsealed-those who have worshiped the Beast and accepted his number, 666. Note also that the locusts are not allowed to kill the unsealed (the unsaved). They are permitted only to torture them.
Verse 5: And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
What an agonizing period of time this will be!
Verse 6: And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
The next four verses give us a vivid description of these locusts, or fallen angels.
Verse 7: And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle [this speaks of strength and speed]; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold [this speaks of royalty; a picture of conquerors], and their faces were as the faces of men [denoting intelligence] .
Verse 8: And they had hair as the hair of women [picturing attractiveness], and their teeth were as the teeth of lions [portraying cruelty].
Verse 9: And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron [picturing invincibility]; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle [denoting calamity].
Verse 10: And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
These facts reinforce the gruesome portrait of life upon earth as the pit of the abyss is opened and the convicts of the ages-the fallen angels-are released. The next verse clearly identifies the fallen star who is the leader of these perverted angels.
Verse 11: And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
This king is named in both Hebrew and Greek. Abaddon is Hebrew. The term, found only this one time in our English Bible, is found six times in the Hebrew Bible: Job 26:6; 28:22; 31:12; Psalm 88:11; Proverbs 15:11; and 27:20. The Greek form, Apollyon, means “the destroyer”-a word that certainly describes Satan.
Verse 12: One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Hi I just want to tell you how much I appreciate the work of you and your husband. I am sorry for the pain of your temporary separation from your beloved husband. I just wanted you to know that I was blessed by your shows. I am praying for you and your family!!
All to God be the glory!
Jennifer, Christian, Caleb
Thank you so much for your emails, every time when I receive your message my spirit is being fulfilled. You and your husband gave me the knowledge to understand the word of God. We miss both of you. From South Africa
Your sister in Christ,
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