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Weekly Newsletter – August 31, 2015

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A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE

Death Camp Deception

Reflection on the deception of the death camps is chilling. At Sobibor, a cordial greeting was given to new arrivals. Guards took children on their laps and gave them goodies. They were helpful with baggage, making official reports and providing tables for writing letters to friends. Pens and paper completed the illusion of helpfulness.

All the trappings of a holiday resort were at Sobibor. Everything seemed to inspire hope. There were canteens and parks. Rose gardens decorated the grounds. Yet it was there that in March of 1943 a wild celebration followed the execution of the millionth Jew. There was no hope at Sobibor.

Treblinka was set up as a rest center, a sanatorium. There was a waiting room and a railroad ticket office, giving the illusion that one would be able to buy his ticket for return after an assigned time there. Yet there was no return. Those arriving at Treblinka had simply entered the hopper of another of Hitler’s killing machines. They would be destroyed, becoming some of the six million who were victims of Nazi hatred of the Jewish people.

The cooperation of non-Nazis in shipping Jews to their death is an unhappy story. Dutch resistance fighter J. A. Scheps rebuked his countrymen for their part in this awful slaughter, saying, “Don’t you understand what they’re doing to these helpless Jews? Don’t you know how they torture our Jewish comrades? Have you bread-and-butter patriots never heard the voice of Rachel, she who mourns and will not be comforted for her children, the children you help carry to t heir death?”

Scheps challenged the Dutch engineers to refuse to carry the cattle cars full of Jews to their deaths. He called upon them to take a stand for righteousness and decency. Few did. Dutch trainmen transported 60,000 Dutch Jews in sixty-seven trains to one camp, Auschwitz, and only 500 returned.

The general procedure for Dutch Jews arriving at Auschwitz was to gas them immediately after being unloaded from the train. This was the heartless “It’s-time- to-take-a-shower” routine. Usually women and children were taken first. All were ordered to undress in a common room. Clothes had to be neatly folded and shoes tied together (these would be sent to non-Jews thought worthy by the Third Reich).

The gas chamber appeared to be a shower room. To add reality to the lie, those entering were given a piece of soap and were promised a cup of coffee after the shower. When the room was packed with Jews, the forbidding door was shut and the gas was turned on. Within fifteen minutes the gruesome charade was over and it was time for the scavengers to begin their work. Gold teeth were removed. Wedding rings were taken off dead fingers. Women’s hair was cut off. And the corpses were shoved into the ovens. The ritual was repeated again and again with the unfeeling efficiency of an assembly line. The end products were ashes and the few remaining possessions of European Jews who had already been robbed and uprooted.”

The degree of Nazi hatred for the Jews may have been best expressed by the infamous Adolf Eichmann, who said, “I shall leap laughing into my grave, for the thought that I have five million human lives on my conscience is to me a source of inordinate satisfaction.”

Can the fountain from which such thoughts flow be anything but satanic?

As the war drew to its close and Hitler’s defeat was imminent, it became clear that history was about to bury another company of Jew-haters. God’s promise to Abraham was invulnerable even to the military might of the Third Reich: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:3).

On November 26, 1945, a statement by a Nazi doctor known for his bitterness toward Jews was published in Nuremberg, Germany. Admitting the tragedy of his own involvement in the attempted destruction of the Jews, he wrote:

We have forsaken God and therefore were forsaken by God…. Anti-Semitism distorted our outlook and we made grave errors. It is hard to admit mistakes, but the whole existence of our people is in question. We Nazis must have the courage to rid ourselves of anti-Semitism. We have to declare to the youth that it was a mistake

And what a mistake it was! It produced untold misery f or the Jews, exterminating six million of them and writing pages of disgrace in history concerning Hitler and the Nazis that will never be forgotten.

How different it might have been!

One author says: “Had Hitler loved the Israelites instead of hating them, he might have averted the greatest of all wars, the greatest of all destruction programs, and engendered the admiration of the world instead of its hatred.”

Results of the Slaughter

Hitler’s holocaust was decisive in bringing about the birth of the nation of Israel. European Jews had learned a hard lesson. They must never feel at home except in their own homeland.

The population of European Jews in 1939 had been 9,739,200. By 1945, Hitler’s death camps and his portable killing units had reduced that population to 3,505,130. More than six million of the children of Israel had been victims of this slaughter.

Nevertheless, the Jews as a people were alive — and Hitler was dead.

There was a future to be shaped, a homeland to be developed and work to be done in the land of their fathers. The Jews would do it. Having survived the holocaust, they were not to be denied their homeland. Immigration quotas and all other obstacles would be swept away in a new exodus to the land of Palestine.

The travail was not over. More years of struggle remained. But the birth of a nation was in sight — the long-prophesied birth of the nation of Israel.

Other areas of God’s prophetic program were developed by World War II. Russia had emerged as a military power. Europe was a shambles and would sense the need of cooperation and some kind of economic and political union, foreshadowing Daniel’s prophecy of the revival of the Roman Empire. The immense wealth of the United States would be drained through postwar rebuilding of other nations and in acting as the world’s peacekeeper and defender against communism, preparing the way for a power shift to Europe and the Mediterranean area. China and other nations of the East had been affected by the conflict and would move toward their end-time destinies.

Frightened, the world had entered the perilous nuclear age — announcing the approach of closing time.

We will continue our study next week as we begin to deal with the birth of modern Israel.


FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE

Looking Through the Window

Have you ever heard the old gospel song that says, “This world is not my home, I’m just ‘a passin’ through …?”

Lately that’s how I’ve been feeling – like “a stranger in a strange land.” I’m completely out of step with a world filled with child abuse, wife abuse, animal abuse … with a world filled with hatred, violence, war, and famine. I can’t adjust my mind and heart to a place where many people accept no responsibility for their actions and feel no remorse for the bad things they do to others.

Nor am I able emotionally to cope with the throngs of homeless people on the streets of major metropolitan areas. It’s one thing to watch the news and hear statistics about the down-and-out people living in alleys and under bridges – something else altogether to meet these unfortunate ones face to face and look into their eyes. While in Toronto, my heart was abruptly opened to the real tragedy of homeless people.

One night Jack and I went to dinner in a downtown area and decided to walk back to our hotel several blocks away. Our route took us past Eaton Center – an enclosed mall which is open late, with people milling around inside until all hours. We started across a busy intersection near a major department store, amazed at the throngs of people out and about so late at night. Jack and I have always felt very safe in this wonderful Canadian city.

Before we made it across the intersection, a beautiful young girl we’d passed on the corner came running after us. She came up behind me and fell into step. “Hello there,” she said. “Where are you going?”

“Well, my husband and I have been to dinner and we’re on our way back to our hotel,” I said, noticing that she seemed to be one of the homeless crowd. Her face was smudged, and her clothing wrinkled and soiled. But I went ahead and asked, “Are you going home?”

“Oh, no,” she responded, “I am home!” And she pointed to the streets.

We walked the final step or two across the street and stepped up on the sidewalk – beside the department store, its window ablaze with a display of television sets and video equipment. The girl touched my arm and peered up into my face and Jack’s. “I told my friends who you were,” she said. It was obvious she seemed to recognize us.

“Sometimes at night when I can’t sleep,” she continued, motioning toward the display of TV sets, “I look through the window and watch you!”

As soon as she said it, she was gone, running, back to her friends on the street. Then a rush of people gathered behind and carried Jack and me on down the block. I looked back but I never caught sight of her again.

But I will never forget the touch of her hand and her simple words that seemed to bring the whole burden of her desperate situation crashing down upon my heart. “I look through the window and watch you,” she said.

How I wished I could have held her hand and brought her along with me, to tell her she could have a better life. I have no idea what she had run away from or where she was trying to go. I do know that life on the streets so often ends in tragedy. If only I could have a little more time to talk with her, I would tell her about God’s love, about the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I feel almost compelled to go back to Toronto soon and spend some time in the area where I first saw her. I can only hope the Lord will allow me to find her and spend some time witnessing to her. Somehow, my heart is so impacted by her words that I just can’t let go until I’ve at least tried to find her again.

For days now the Lord has been impressing upon my mind the fact that there are countless other people floundering in life who are looking through the window of our lives, seeking for answers and hope. Oh, you may not be on TV like Jack Van Impe and I, but your life, your light, is on view to someone trying to find a better way.

What would people see if they looked through the “window” at you? Are you living a life “like Christ,” filled with love, joy, peace, and purity?

Is the glass of that window dingy and soil-streaked, or is it bright and clear, clean and sparkling? When someone who has lost their way looks through your window, can they see Jesus in you? Or is what you claim blurred by who you are and how you act?

Since I met that homeless girl who said she looked through the window and watched me, I’ve been checking up on myself. The Lord has given me three checkpoints:

1. Living the life.

The great gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson, cried out, “I’m going to live the life I sing about in my song!” The life we live for God must be the same on Tuesday as on Sunday. We must treat our family and neighbors, the people at work and in the marketplace, the same way we treat the people at church when everybody is watching. I promise you that the way you act when you think nobody is looking is exactly what someone will see when they look through your window!

2. Offering a pure and simple testimony.

The most effective testimony is simply to uplift Jesus – He will do the rest. We do not have to know scores of scripture verses, or be able to explain the complexities of doctrine. All that is necessary is to say, “This is what Jesus has done for me.” As one great Christian described it, “Our witness is really just one beggar telling another where to find bread” – the Bread of life!

3. Being consistent.

A nursery rhyme describes a little girl who, “when she was good she was very, very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid.” Have you ever known a person who, on one day, was helpful and kind … and on the next was cranky as can be? What does this kind of erratic behavior say about the depth and validity of our Christian experience? Our Lord is described as Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). And we are to be like Him!

Being on television these last several years has been a real challenge and amazement to me. One thing I’ve learned is that the TV camera sees through our facades and reveals us as we really are to the view of the people. On screen you simply can’t hide who you are. I believe this is why people say so often, “I know you. I’ve seen you on TV!”

I can never forget that the Lord has His divine TV camera on us all the time. He looks past our outer front and sees inside us to our very heart and soul. Lord, help me to live for You consistently.

Although I know our programs are seen throughout the United States and Canada, and in numerous places overseas, it still boggles my mind to consider the numbers of people and the kinds of individuals in different walks of life who are being reached and touched by the program.

I could never have imagined a homeless street girl going up to a department store window late at night to watch Jack and me on TV through the glass. I hope and pray that something she saw and heard will stay with her … and that God and His wonderful grace will reach her.

On that day when we stand before the Lord, this young woman will discover that she need not stand outside on the sidewalk wistfully watching through a glass. For as her eyes catch a glimpse of Jesus and she reaches out to take His hand, He will throw open that window and make it a door – a grand entrance through which she can walk freely into His presence.

Waiting to go home

Never in my life have I felt more of a longing for the coming of the Lord than in recent days. “Oh I want to see Him, look upon His face, there to sing forever of His saving grace.” I long to see Him and feel His arms wrapped around me. I can’t wait to hear His voice saying, “Welcome home, thou good and faithful servant!” Oh, how I pray that my life will allow this salutation to be so.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). How wonderful that will be.

God is so good to me even here in this life. His presence never leaves me, and I take joy in intimately communing with the Holy Spirit inside my heart. But more and more I feel a strange longing to be in heaven. And I sense that time is running out. Our Lord Jesus is coming soon.

First Corinthians 13:12 says, For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

But until then, I will keep on keeping on. I will try to use all my time, all my talents, all my opportunities to shine out the story of Jesus to help all who may be looking through the window of my life. With God’s help, I will keep on living the life of love, joy, peace, and purity. I will keep on giving my pure and simple testimony about what the Lord has done for me. And I will endeavor to be consistent in my living for Jesus, daily keeping the window glass, looking into my life, clean and unsmudged.

You can do it, too, God will help you. Join me in making a new commitment to Christ’s commission and calling. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Mathew 5:16).


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.

M.D.

 

Praying for you to get well and back on air, soon, Dr. Jack Van Impe. I’ve been watching your program for many years. You and Rexella are needed more now than ever. Get plenty of rest. Get well. Hope to see you soon. Thank you, Rexella, for all your hard work. God bless you. God bless you both. With much love.

W. T.


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