Weekly Newsletter – August 8, 2016
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Revelation 22: 1 – 21
This closing chapter of the Book of Revelation continues our thrilling “sightseeing tour” of the New Jerusalem, and reaffirms the fact that only those who possess the righteousness of Christ are granted admittance and residence.
Verse 1: And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Verse 2: In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
The first two verses of chapter 22 establish the fact that, in our new glorified bodies, we, as inhabitants of the Holy City, will continue to enjoy the habit of eating. Why not? When we see Jesus, we shall be like him (1 John 3:2). Since He ate in His glorified body (see Luke 24:43), why wouldn’t we? Our text also describes the best drink we will ever enjoy- pure, refreshing water direct from the throne of God. Think of it! Distilled or chemically treated water is no longer necessary, for pollution has become nonexistent!
Not only do we have crystal clear water to drink, but we also enjoy delicious health-producing fruit. In fact, the tree of life bears twelve manner of fruits and produces them monthly.
This is interesting.
When Adam and Eve sinned by partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17), God drove them out of the Garden of Eden. He then stationed an angel before its entrance in order to keep them from eating the fruit of the tree of life, lest they eat and live eternally in their sinful state.
Now a new day has arrived. The saints are in the very presence of God, and may eat of the tree of life to their heart’s content. Undoubtedly this tree plays a part in promoting one’s endless existence, for even the leaves contain healing or health for the nations living under, or in the light of, the city. The word health is the proper translation, not healing. Since there is no sorrow, sickness, or pain, healing is unnecessary because eternal health is for all. In the heavenly city, doctors and nurses are permanently retired. Hallelujah!
Verse 3: And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
The curse, which originated in the Garden of Eden and was partially removed during the Millennium, is now obliterated forever.
Verse 4: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
Think of it! We will observe the beauty of our Saviour’s countenance daily as we live in His presence forever and ever.
When we look at the One who is altogether lovely and He, in turn, looks at us, He will observe His name indelibly inscribed upon our foreheads. This is our seal of eternal ownership! Oh, how wonderful to belong to Jesus!
Verse 5: And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
Because Christ, in all His glory, illuminates the city and its inhabitants-those who walk in the light of the city-no other type of natural or artificial lighting is required. Even the sun which warmed the former earth for so many centuries is no longer necessary. The warmth of the love of God shines upon His people for the ages of ages in this land of eternal day.
Verse 6: And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
At this point the angel tells John the reason God has allowed him to experience this vision of the revelation. He says, “The God of the holy prophets who is truth and cannot lie, sent me to tell you that the things you have heard and seen must come to pass speedily.”
Verse 7: Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
In verse 6, our Lord told John that the things written in this Book of Revelation must shortly be done or “come to pass speedily.” Then He adds in verse 7, Behold, I come quickly [or speedily]. The term speedily is not used in relationship to hours, days, months, or even years. Rather, it speaks of a series of events happening in rapid succession once they begin. In other words, when these things begin to come to pass (see Luke 21:28), the signs and events will fall into place so speedily-one after another-that a state of preparedness should be maintained. Hence, the admonition: Blessed [or happy] is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. Such an individual will be ready for the Lord’s return.
Verse 8: And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which sheaved me these things.
Verse 9: Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
Poor mortals never learn! John had already made the mistake of bowing before an angel and being rebuked in chapter 19, verse 10. Now he does it again! Fortunately, we have a God of love. He is willing to forgive the same mistake seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22). Only by His grace, love, compassion, and forgiveness are any of us able to continue. Thank you, Lord Jesus!
Verse 10: And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
Following God’s revelation to Daniel, the prophet was told to seal the book [until] the time of the end (Daniel 12:4).
John, however, is forbidden to seal the Book of Revelation because the time is at hand, or has come. In the Greek, the word time is kairos, and means “opportune moment” or “correct season.” Thus, the angel is saying, “The time for the revealing of prophetic truth has come. People are to be made aware of the future. They must learn the history of the churches and the plan of the ages. Then, as they live in these periods of time, they will understand God’s program. They will also realize that, once the events begin, they will speedily come to pass. Knowing this, they will prepare. Therefore, do not seal the prophecy of the sayings of this book.”
Our study of the Book of Revelation has revealed that the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the Great White Throne Judgment will soon come to pass. As a result, some will realize that little time is left and will ask Christ to save them. Others will continue to harden their hearts. The decision is every individual’s to make. One’s acceptance or rejection of God’s truth and the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s personal Saviour will determine where one spends eternity and what one will be forever. Hence, the next statement…
Verse 11: He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
Choose this day what you shall be eternally!
Verse 12: And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
God’s prophetic time clock is ticking, and every event will certainly and speedily come to pass.
Verse 13: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
God is saying, “When I come, I will finish the work of redemption which I began, for I am the Alpha and Omega, the author and finisher of [the] faith (Hebrews 12:2).” If you receive the gospel invitation, you will be happy for…
Verse 14: Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
According to Dr. C. I. Scofield, a better rendering of verse 14 is, “Blessed are they that wash their robes that they may have right to the tree of life.” If one is seeking rights to the tree of life by commandment-keeping, he is planning to arrive in the eternal state by his works. This, of course, is impossible as we have learned through Titus 3:5, Romans 4:5, and numerous other texts.
Dr. A. C. Gaebelein, Dr. H. A. Ironside, Dr. J. A. Seiss, and practically all noted Bible scholars also translate the verse, “Blessed are they that wash their robes (in the blood of the Lamb) that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Those who reject the message of the blood and salvation by grace through faith in the completed work of Christ (see Ephesians 2:8, 9) are reminded:
Verse 15: For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
This is the crowd pictured in Revelation 21:8. The dogs are identical to the abominable of chapter 21. The abominable never lived it (see Titus 1:16), and the dogs went back to their dirt-their old sinful habits (see 2 Peter 2:22). Both verses speak of individuals who lack the “new birth” experience-the one and only way a person can become a new creation in Christ Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). There is absolutely no doubt about the destiny of those who reject God’s message and the truths revealed in the Book of Revelation, for…
Verse 16: I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
The message of the revelation is true because Christ inaugurated and guarantees it. Who would dare question Him? In this verse, the Lord also calls himself the root and offspring of David. As the root, He is David’s Lord-the preexistent God (see Psalm 110:1). As his offspring, He is David’s son, the incarnate Christ (see Matthew 22:41-46).
This is a beautiful picture of the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is also the bright and morning star. In fact, Peter calls Him the day star (2 Peter 1:19).
Now listen intently, for this is deeply moving. God so loves sinners that His compassionate heart must extend the gospel call one last time before the book closes. Oh, that modern-day ministers were as evangelistic as the Heavenly Father! Hear Him:
Verse 17: And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
In this text, God compassionately declares, “Believe in Me; come to Me. Invite Me into your heart and life. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Everyone and everything is pulling for you: (1) the Holy Spirit is, (2) the bride of Christ is, (3) everyone who hears and believes is, (4) the glorious city in which the Bride dwells is saying, ‘Don’t you want me for your eternal home?’ Finally (5) your own spiritual thirst is crying out, ‘I want to be satisfied.”‘ Why not come and drink? The water of life is free. It is without cost or obligation for everyone, and whosoever will may come!
If you have rejected this invitation, if you have considered the message of the Book of Revelation unimportant, or if you are among those who believe that the Book of Revelation is not part of the canon of Scripture-that it is but a collection of riddles, simply a symbolic hoax perpetrating a myth-beware! For God himself warns one and all…
Verse 18: For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Verse 19: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
What a strong judgmental warning! What a serious admonition from the Almighty to take the Book of Revelation seriously! God means what He says and says what He means. One is not to meddle with or handle lightly the truths which mean so much to the God of heaven and earth, for…
Verse 20: He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
God’s last promise as the Book of Revelation closes is, Surely, I come quickly. When one sees the beginning of these events and the rapid succession of signs following speedily, Jesus will come quickly- or suddenly. The response of His people is: Amen. This expression literally means, so be it (Jeremiah 11:5). And then they immediately add, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”
The final message to the Church is that our Lord will return. Until this glorious event takes place and He calls us to himself in the twinkling of an eye, my prayer for every born-again child of God reflects the benediction of this blessed book:
Verse 21: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
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.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Just wanted to say thank you Jack. I read your article on memorizing versus and it has encouraged me to keep going even when the mind gets tired. All for the glory of God. Thank you and keep up the great work you’re doing for our Lord.
I´d like to thank God for your ministries. I always watch weekly your TV program through YouTube in English. I´m from Ecuador South America and I saw your program in USA for the first time and I love it. Even My family and I have been through so many problems, especially my husband belongs to a government BLACK LIST because of He reported an act of corruption of the current government many years ago. Since then He can´t find any job as a Professional in telecom, we have nothing but we have all. My family and I believe and trust in Jesus Christ. We are only worry for our 17 years old boy, we afraid of his future. Please pray for us and God Bless your lives and your ministries forever.
Ecuador South America
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
You and your family must not be deceived by those who preach that all roads lead to heaven — and that the Christian deity and Islamic Allah are the Same God!
Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe show you how this evil teaching aims to bolster Islam and eradicate Christianity — and how Islam’s rise was predicted in Bible prophecy. Get the answers to critical questions such as:
- What lies does the Koran teach about Jesus?
- How many times does the Koran say Christians will burn in hell?
- Who wants to deceive Christians into believing God and Allah are the same?
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Is Sharia law on the horizon for all 57 Muslim countries; and then the whole world?
Are Muslims calling for Sharia law in the USA?
Could it be part of the one-world religion predicted in Bible prophecy?
What Christian leaders are compromising the faith for ‘Chrislam’, and what it the immediate danger?
What are Islam’s plans for Israel, Christianity, and planet earth?
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