Weekly Newsletter – August 7, 2023
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
And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.
And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.
And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
The King of the Time of the End
Up until this point in chapter eleven, the 135 prophecies that deal with the Persian and Grecian empires have been fulfilled with minute precision-every event verified and documented by the rigors of both religious and secular history, and culminating with the “end days” of the wicked Antiochus Epiphanes (164 B.C.). Now, however-beginning with verse 36-we find ourselves in new territory. Here we suddenly confront prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled. Nothing here can be related to previously predicted and fulfilled historical events, which means we are now stepping into areas that speak of a yet-to-be-fulfilled future-specifically the life and times of the Antichrist who will wield his worldwide influence for seven years as he and his worldwide reign lead up to the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As this Antichrist of the Great Tribulation is described in Daniel’s revelation, we learn again that he does as he pleases, magnifies himself above every god, speaks terrible things against God, and prospers until the “indignation” is finished (Revelation 14:10). He will be an absolute dictator who, like a child, demands his own way and expects to accomplish all his objectives on his own terms. The Antichrist will blaspheme the one true God and will do monstrous things against the God of gods. You’ll recall that the same thing was said of his predecessor-the little horn of Daniel 7:25.
In simple terms, the Antichrist will be a madman who claims he is deity, one who will run the “end-time show” in an attempt to obliterate Israel. The Scripture also adds that he will not “regard the desire of women” (v. 37). Some scholars have suggested this to mean that the Antichrist will not engage in the normal physical desires which a man has for a woman. This idea, however, does not fit the context. More in line is the thought that this is a specific urge or craving the women of Israel had to become the mother of the Messiah, fulfilling Micah 5:2 and Isaiah 9:6-7.
Therefore, because the Antichrist hates God-and hates Christ-he has no regard for the Savior, the desire of women for centuries to bear and deliver the Messiah. The Antichrist will hate Jesus so much, and become so violently opposed to everything for which He stands, that he not only refuses to bow down and worship the Savior, but also executes those who do (Revelation 13:15; 20:4).
The Great Deceiver
Some have suggested that the Antichrist will be a Jew who has departed from the God of his fathers, Yahweh. However, this cannot be the case because according to prophecy he must emerge from the revived Roman Empire and must therefore be a “son” born within the European Union. It’s my belief that we can expect the Antichrist to be a Gentile who defects from his religious upbringing and becomes an avowed believer in, and promoter of, the philosophy of the New Age movement. I encourage you to pay careful attention to this movement in the days ahead as you see its power manifested around you. Remember that New Age thipking is much more harmful than a few innocent crystals, shamans, incense-burning bookstores, Tarot cards, and some mystical, put-you-to-sleep music.
Pay particular attention to the words that advocates of the New Age movement use, such as “you are little gods,” or “you can be like a god,” or “you can make your own happiness,” or you need to do nothing more than center yourself in your own consciousness,” along with a constant repetition of the phrase “I am,” a not so subtle suggestion that they regard themselves as good as miniature gods. These words and phrases put them on the precipice of blasphemy, and create an apostate atmosphere in which the Antichrist will feel very much at home. We who have ears to hear must remember that God is revealing these final truths to Daniel. Today this book is now open and unsealed. The predicted events are happening and “the time of the end” has arrived.
Not only is the Antichrist a great opponent of almighty God and His people, but he is also a great deceiver. He comes as a man of peace, making a binding covenant with Israel at the beginning of the seventieth seven of years. This pact will tie Israel so tightly to the Antichrist that Israel will, for all practical purposes, be an “arm” of this revived Roman ruler in the Middle East. Therefore, any attack on Israel will be regarded as an attack on the Antichrist himself.
But when Israel is later attacked by Egypt and Russia (kings of the South and the North) we will begin to see the pact with Israel for the sham it really is. How deceitful will the Antichrist be? Daniel 11:38 says,
“He shall honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver and with precious stones, and pleasant things.”
The Antichrist will get his own way because of his ability to beguile virtually all the nations of earth with his smooth tongue and New Age-like thinking, wresting the entire world under his control. The gods he honors will be New Age gods, people, and personalities, all minor gods of whom he, the Antichrist, is chief. It will be a Robin Hood scenario where he takes from the rich and gives to the poor-an activity for which he will receive uncritical, rave reviews. He will heap masses of money and an abundance of material things upon the have-nots of the world, and they will honor and follow him as so many lemmings over the precipice until he ultimately gets what he wants. But watch out, because at that point this E.U. Pied Piper will rid himself of his most ardent followers.
Revelation 13:1-18 is an important reminder of the global extent of this dictator. For your easy reference, I’m listing the entire passage. It’s important that you read this text in its entirety because of its detailed predictions of what this “beast,” or Antichrist, will resemble:
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
Here is a “beast” who will be killed and then resurrected as Christ was (Daniel 11:45; Revelation 12:3). To ensure that his power base remains unchallenged, he will insist that the mark 666 be given to all-rich and poor, free or bond. This mark on their foreheads or in their right hands will be mandatory for buying something as simple as a loaf of bread. Unknown to many Christians, these numbers, in various forms, are already being prepared as identification tags on products going in and out of the European Union. Recently, one thousand Greek Orthodox priests and nuns conducted protest marches in Athens against an upcoming I.D. they claim contains the number 666. Things are moving at a quickening pace, but none of what we are presently experiencing could possibly be understood until our time-the “latter days.” Until then, Daniel would remain a “sealed book,” closed until the time of the end. Only at that appointed time would the book be unsealed and revealed-its mysteries brought to light. That hour has arrived.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
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May God bless you all.
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- With bonus The Complete Guide to Every Prophecy Verse in the Bible A listing of all the prophetic verses in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation
- Now includes Daniel Final End Times Mysteries Unsealed A full commentary on the book of Daniel by Dr. Jack Van Impe
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- Dr. Van Impe’s fascinating verse-by-verse commentary on the book of Revelation.
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.
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