Weekly Newsletter – December 21, 2020
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
The Box Inside
What makes the holiday season so exciting and enjoyable?
There seems to be a special feeling in the air … a festive atmosphere that lightens our footsteps and promotes smiles.
The sights and sounds and smells of the holiday stir our memories and encourage us to pause and reflect, perhaps wistfully, hopefully … gratefully.
It’s easy to get so caught up in the duties, problems, and pressures of the day that we fail to focus on the blessings that are ours. “The world is too much with us,” said the poet William Wordsworth, “getting and spending, we lay waste our powers … we have given our hearts away….”
That’s why I am so thankful for Thanksgiving! Although my husband, Jack, and I try to keep a grateful heart all year long, at Thanksgiving time we make it a point to recall — and give thanks for — the many friends who help make our outreach ministry possible, the good things we enjoy in our personal life together, and the rich blessings God continues to send our way.
I hope you will take time to be thankful during the holiday season this year. I promise that you will be richly blessed as you do. God’s Word says, In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
But as Christmas approaches, I really wanted to talk to you about … boxes! Have you ever noticed how very important boxes are to the whole atmosphere and joy of Christmas? When you walk into a home at Christmas time, usually there’s a beautifully decorated tree, laden with colorful garlands, wonderful ornaments, and spectacular lights. And beneath the tree, in joyous profusion, the boxes! The gifts are wrapped, decorated, and trimmed with ribbons, bells, holly, and who knows what other wonderful things.
When I was a little girl, those gift boxes were always so enticing. I could hardly keep my hands off them — touching them, maybe even holding them, trying my best to figure out what might be inside! My mother had a wonderful talent for wrapping gifts, and she never put a box under the tree until it was decorated just right!
During the Christmas season, seeing the glorious decorations and the opportunities to share gifts with others, we can’t help but think of the greatest gift of all that God gave to the world. The Bible says, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son (John 3:16). As one writer put it, “On the first Christmas, God came down the stairway to heaven with a baby in His arms!”
Because Jesus came, we can have His great gift in our lives — eternal life, forgiveness of sin now, and the promise that one day we will be with Him.
After Jesus came, why did He leave?
Did you ever wonder why Jesus left the earth? He could have stayed here for time and eternity. He didn’t die when He left — He had already conquered death, hell, and the grave! So why did He return to heaven?
We know that our Lord went to serve as our mediator — the one who stands between and intervenes. The Apostle Paul wrote, For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).
But that’s not all! Jesus said, Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you (John 16:7). The Holy Spirit only came to remain in the world after Jesus ascended into heaven. And He came — not just to this world — but also to a very special, intimate place inside our hearts. He is a very personal gift from Jesus to you and me (1 Corinthians 3:16)!
So why did Jesus leave? Because if He hadn’t gone away, the Scripture says, the Comforter would not have come. And the Lord knew how desperately we would need the Comforter in our lives, especially now, in these days before Christ’s return.
What a gift! He is our inner Guardian of who we are and what we are and what we are to become in Christ. In that sense, He is the box inside!
The precious Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is not installed by human efforts. He comes to dwell within us the moment we open our hearts to the Lord. And because He is a spirit, He knows no limitation — not time, nor place, nor space (Romans 8:9).
When Jesus was on the earth, He lived in human form and was subject to human limitations. In His whole life here, He probably didn’t travel more than a few hundred miles. When He preached, His largest recorded crowd was about 5,000 men. He knew what it was like to suffer weariness, pain, and temptation. And He recognized that every human being at some time or another would need to be comforted and helped by a supernatural presence.
So He left the earth and went back into the Father’s presence in heaven so He could send back the Holy Spirit to dwell in the hearts of men and women today. Because of that, He can now be everywhere at once, ministering moment by moment to all who call Him Lord.
In Old Testament times, the Holy Spirit revealed himself in periods of visitation. He came for a season; then departed. The Psalmist David cried out, Take not Your spirit from me! I love it when You’re here with me (Psalm 51:11). Jesus promised that we would never be left alone — that if He went back to the Father, the Comforter would come and abide with us and within us forever. The Holy Spirit is not just in one location … not just in a hundred mile radius — He’s everywhere! And you do not have to try to find Him — He is always within you. You have the greatest gift of all where no one can take it from you — in the box inside (Psalms 139:7-10)!
Three truths you must know about God
Here are some glorious truths you must understand and never forget:
1. God never changes. In our world, everything seems to be constantly changing. Standards change from one moment to the next. If you buy a new computer, by the time it is installed it is obsolete! It’s really amazing … and bewildering. But God’s Word says, For I am the Lord, I change not (Malachi 3:6). I CHANGE NOT!
That means His standards don’t change — Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Modern society proposes a new morality it calls “situational ethics” — if the situation calls for it, do it. Situational ethics say there are no absolutes — what is right depends on circumstances. This is why so many young people today, having no anchors in their world, flounder frantically from one situation to another, beset by uncertainty and doubt.
However, God promises that He will guide us into all truth (John 16:13). Because He doesn’t change, He guides us to know His will. Not only did the Word become flesh in the form of Jesus Christ, but God also gave us the written Word so that today we have the absolutes of His mind and never have to doubt or wonder. There is no wavering because God doesn’t change!
2. The Holy Spirit comforts us. And how we need His comfort. With all the peril, uncertainty, and threats in the world today, we don’t have to be afraid. We are comforted.
A few years ago, there was somebody who had been so important to me from the time I was a little girl — my mother! Oh, how she comforted me. She always had a way of reaching out to me and to others to give comfort — that was her nature. All she had to do was put her hand on my head, and I felt reassured. Never once did she say when I came to her, “I’m too busy. I can’t listen to you right now.”
How wonderful that our heavenly Comforter, the Holy Spirit, is never too busy to comfort and love us. And He is always there.
I heard a story about a man who was traveling on a train and began talking with a fellow passenger. He told him that his wife had just died and that he felt so alone. He said, “Do you know, the only thing I have left is my pet bird. At least I find some comfort with my parakeet.” His friend on the train, who was a pastor, said, “Oh, no, you’ve got something far better — you’ve got the Paraclete — the Comforter! He will never leave you or forsake you.” In these troublesome days in which we live — the time just prior to the coming of the Lord — the Comforter is found in the third person of the Trinity … in the box inside!
3. He gives us the power to do right. I may not always have the strength on my own to resist temptation and do what is right. But the Spirit of God will empower me and guide me into all truth. God doesn’t say, “Thou shalt not” because He wants to limit me or make me unhappy. He says no because He knows the things of the world bring pain and unhappiness.
Adulterers are not happy people. Thieves are never satisfied with their ill-gotten gains. And murderers are never happy — never! Even in this day and age when fanatics are murdering people in the name of religion, they never find happiness or peace.
Only God can give us the ability to be happy and content. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you (Acts 1:8). Power to overcome the world is only found in the box inside! Galatians 5:16 says, This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. You might say, “There’s no way I can live for God — I just can’t do it.” And looking to your own strength and will, that’s true. But if you walk in the Spirit and allow the Spirit to live through you, the power is there … in the box inside.
Not only does the Spirit of God give us power to overcome the things of the world, but He also empowers us to display the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5 goes on to say that if we live in the Spirit, we have the power to walk in the Spirit (v. 25). And as we walk in that power, we can show the fruit of the Spirit … love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (vv. 22-23).
Can you imagine having the power to be all that we need to be in the day and age we’re living in right now? Not only can we overcome the world and find comfort, but we can also demonstrate — activate — the fruit of the Spirit. Where we go, He goes. We so desperately need this today — there’s so little joy out there, so little love, peace, gentleness, goodness, etc. But all of those attributes come alive within us when we receive the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Receive the Gift!
At Christmas time when beautifully wrapped presents are being opened, it’s not uncommon to see little children playing with the boxes instead of the gifts. They’re more fascinated with the package than by what was inside. And sometimes I think we as Christians can be more attracted to the trappings than to the Gift. How sad to hold on to the ribbons and shiny paper and fail to look inside the box where the value is … where the gift is!
At other times, I’ve seen people open a marvelously wrapped package, look inside, and then say in a somewhat subdued voice, “Oh, that’s nice. Thanks a lot.” You could tell that the gift inside did not measure up to the outside wrapping.
But when God gave His Gift, the inside was better than the outside! Jesus didn’t come all wrapped up in a palace — He came wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a humble manger. Yet He was the greatest gift ever given. And His story is greater than all telling!
Have you received “the box inside”? Don’t resist this precious gift because it seems too spiritual, too “mysterious.” Not only is the Holy Spirit a gift for you, but it is the only way you can relate to God now. Hear the words of Jesus — But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).
I am so happy to have received the box inside! The Spirit of God continues to live inside — He lives within my heart!
What about you?
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
The Deity of Christ
The thought of an eternal God being born may seem to be a contradiction of terms, but when one studies the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ, insurmountable evidence supporting this truth manifests itself upon the pages of Holy Writ. The teachings of Christ’s deity must be an accepted truth if one is to enter the eternal home of the redeemed.
John, in his first epistle, makes this dogmatic assertion: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us) (1 John 1:1,2). There is no doubt that the One John saw, heard, and touched was that Eternal Life which was with the Father.
In chapter 2, verse 22, of this same epistle, John goes on to say, Who is a liar but he that denieth…the Father and the Son. When one denies that Christ is the eternal One who came to earth clothed in human flesh, this skeptic or doubter immediately is classified as a liar and an antichrist. Since no liar or antichrist may enter the presence of God in that condition, it is abundantly clear that the one who denies the eternity of Christ is lost.
In 1 John 4 another warning is presented. Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. How does one recognize the false prophets? Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist (verses 1-3). Since spirits refers to teachers or preachers, the apostle is saying that preachers denying the doctrine of God coming in the flesh are preachers or teachers possessed by the spirit of Antichrist. God wrote it. I only quote it, but I believe it.
Then John states in chapter 5, verse 1, Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. Messiah, translated Christus or Christ means “the Sent One”. Since He was sent from the Father, the conclusive proof is that He already existed. If He preexisted His mission to earth, He did not begin in Bethlehem’s manger. The teaching of the Holy Bible is that He eternally existed as God, the second member of the Trinity, and came to earth to be clothed with a body containing blood so that He might die for sinners. Is He really God? Did He really exist before His birth upon earth? What does the Holy Spirit state in the Word of God?
Christ’s deity in the Old Testament
Isaiah 9:6 states, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder. This prophet speaks about Christ’s incarnation and humanity in the phrase a child is born and about His eternity and deity in the other phrase a son is given. Incarnation comes from the Latin words in and carnis, meaning “flesh” or “in the flesh”. Thus, at this incarnation or coming in the flesh, He was the child born. However, as the son given. He always existed-uncreated and unborn.
Micah 5:2 states, Whose [His] goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. This again points to the uncreated, eternal Son of God. Psalm 45:6: Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. This great Old Testament scripture, addressed to God, is about the Lord Jesus Christ. Who said so? The greatest authority in heaven and earth-Jehovah, the Father. Prove it? I will!
In Hebrews 1:8 we find Jehovah God of the Old Testament speaking: Unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Isn’t this fantastic? The Father calls Christ “God” for ever and ever. Followers of Jehovah would be wise to listen to His voice and give Christ the glory due His holy name. God had His Son with Him from all eternity past. Christ was present when the human race was created. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were involved in Genesis 1:26 when God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. The pronouns us and our speak of a plurality or trinity of personages. This same Christ was present when the earth was formed and set into motion. Proverbs 30:4: Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell? The Son is present in the Old Testament scriptures hundreds of years before His human birth occurs in the New Testament. Rational, logical contemplation makes one realize that He preexisted as God, the Son.
Christ’s deity in the New Testament (The Trinity)
The title of “God” is given to our Saviour on numerous occasions. Matthew 1:23 declares, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. In the first chapter of John, Christ is called “the Word.” Verse 14: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. The only member of the Trinity who became flesh was Christ. Since the term Word is synonymous with Christ, as has just been proven, let’s put the term Christ in place of Word in John 1:1-3 and see the results. In the beginning was [Christ], and [Christ] was with God, and [Christ] was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by [Christ]; and without [Christ] was not any thing made that was made.
John 1:10 states, He [Christ] was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. Now we have just heard from the Author of this book, the Holy Spirit, who said that Christ was from the beginning, that He was God, and that He created the world. Yes, Christ shared this creative ministry with the Father and Holy Spirit. This is so because all three members of the one Godhead always existed.
To prove that the Holy Spirit was also present at the time of creation, one need only study Genesis 1:1,2. In the beginning God [this is the plural noun Elohim, meaning “more than one”] created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. The combining of John 1:10 and Genesis 1:1,2 proves conclusively that the entire Trinity was present at the creation of the world.
Some scoff at the teaching of a Trinity. They say, “The word Trinity is not found in the Bible, so there can’t be such a doctrine.” Well, the word Bible is not found in the Bible either, but I guarantee that there is such a book-and the teaching of the Trinity is found repeatedly throughout God’s Word. Man has given the title “Trinity” to the doctrine because the meaning of the word is “three.” Since there are three- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-“Trinity” is a properly designated theological term.
Let’s continue our search of the scriptures concerning the deity of Christ. The Philippian jailor cried out in Acts 16:30, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? Paul and Silas replied, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved, and thy house (verse 31). The entire family made a commitment to this Christ and verse 34 finds them rejoicing. Why? Because they believed in God with all their house. Here is unequivocal proof that Christ is God. Compare the two verses again. Acts 16:31: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Verse 34 says he believed in God- the Christ of verse 31.
Again we see the truth in Romans 9:5 which states, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. First Timothy 3:16 declares, Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, and Hebrews 1:8 says, But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever. This is Jehovah God telling the world that His Son is God. Never mind the book peddlers who run from door to door with their teaching of Christ being an inferior God, a little created God. Some even call Him Michael, the archangel. Jehovah knows everything for He is omniscient and all-wise, and He calls Jesus “God.” I say with Paul in Romans 3:4, Let God be true, but every man a liar.
Christ’s Deity through a comparison of Old and New Testament texts
Perhaps the most interesting and exciting proof of Christ’s deity is discovered when one compares the statements of God in the Old Testament with His revealed truth in the New. For example, in Isaiah 42:8, God states, I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Since Jehovah will not give His glory to another but is willing to share it with Christ, it is only logically deductible to say that they must be one and coequal. The sharing of this glory takes place when God’s people lay their crowns at the feet of the Saviour in Revelation 4:11, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created
Again the King of glory is Jehovah in Psalm 24:10. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. The noun LORD in this text is the Hebrew word Jehovah, the name of the Father. However, when one examines 1 Corinthians 2:8, he discovers that the Lord of glory was crucified. Thus Christ is also called the Lord of glory. Will you Bible manipulators tell me how there can be two Lords of glory, coequal, if there is no Trinity?
Once again Isaiah 9:6 calls the child born and the son given, The mighty God, The everlasting Father. If these are titles of the Son, how many mighty Gods and everlasting Fathers are there? The answer is one because of the unity and oneness of the Trinity. Jesus said, I and my Father are one (John 10:30). Psalm 10:16 says, The LORD [Jehovah] is King for ever and ever. Again we have problems if there is no Trinity because we now have two kings. When one studies Revelation 19:11,16, he finds that Christ, the King of kings, comes to set up His kingdom upon this earth. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True. Verse 16: And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
This constant reiteration of identical names and titles for both Father and Son can mean only one thing to honest, searching hearts. It is that Christ is God, coequal with the Father and Holy Spirit. Deuteronomy 32:39 states, There is no god [but Jehovah] and yet 1 Timothy 3:16 tells us that God was made manifest [came] in the flesh. The only solution is the doctrine of the Triune God which the saints of all ages have proclaimed. The only groups in the annals of history that ever fought this precious truth were rebel-rousing heretics.
Mr. Scoffer, you who would make Christ but a mere man, what will you do with Jonah 2:9? Salvation is of the LORD. Or Isaiah 43:11 which says, I, even I, am the LORD [Jehovah]; and beside me there is no saviour. If there is no other Saviour but Jehovah, and Christ is called “the Saviour” scores of times in the Bible, then He and the Father must be one or there are two Saviours. Christ is the God who left the bosom of the Father to die on Calvary’s cross. There He shed the pure sinless blood that coursed through His veins so that sinners might be eternally saved. The Bible teaches that He is the only Saviour. Acts 4:12: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Since both Jehovah and Christ are called “Saviour,” let’s believe that the Trinity alone presents the answer.
Christ was incarnated, not created
There are those who teach that the Father always existed and that Christ was created. Perish the thought! Christ always existed and was not created. Isaiah 43:10 states, Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. In simple English, no God was created before or after Jehovah. They coexisted as a Trinity eternally. Thus Christ was from all eternity or He wasn’t. Either He always existed or He didn’t. Since no God was created before or after Jehovah, we take Micah 5:2 for what it says about the One who was to come to earth and experience a human birth. He was from of old, from everlasting. Thus, His human birth was not His creation. Rather, as we discussed earlier in this chapter, the word incarnation comes from the Latin words in and carnis, meaning “in the flesh.”
An eternal God having a birth is not contradictory. In eternity He was God. To become a man, a birth had to occur. None of us can become another species without the miracle of a birth. God had to become incarnated (become flesh) so that He could shed the pure, sinless blood that flowed in His veins. The miracle of the Holy Spirit’s insemination of the virgin Mary’s ova and womb with the body and blood of God the Son made this shedding of blood possible. This was a necessity because the blood of animals could not take away sin, only cover the sinner’s transgression.
Hebrews 10:4 states, For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. So verse 5 has Christ saying, A body hast thou prepared me. God lived in that body, went to the cross in that body, shed the blood in that body to take away the sins that had only been covered, died in that body, arose three days later in that same body, ascended to heaven in that body, and will throughout eternity live in that body in which He had the birth. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9).
There it is. The eternal God left heaven to be born into human flesh because a body could contain sinless blood through a virgin birth. That blood was shed for sins and can wash you from every stain and taint of this world’s defilement when you put your trust in the God in whom the Philippian jailor trusted, the Lord Jesus Christ. Do it today.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I enjoy the email letter I get; it reminds me of the times I use to watch him on tv. It keeps me reminding me of the get things God has done for me, We must do as the Bible says read, study it daily and to pray daily, so many lost souls, Jesus coming is so close, thank you all , we will be with Jack sooner than we know, praying and love you guys
Rexella. I know you must miss Jack very much. Keep keeping on. It’s good to know that you are carrying on this ministry. Thank you much. I’ve been watching a lot of years. I knew you and and jack spoke the truth. I have trusted you both and the truth you preach. Unlike a lot of so called TV preachers. I am now 75. Have bad health. Leukemia in 2009. Colon Cancer Aug 2019. Cancer free so far. Diabetic. Etc. Our God is faithful. Praise to him. Love you Rexella. God bless.
HIGHLIGHTED MINISTRY OFFERS
Christmas Holiday or Holy Day?
Jack Van Impe Ministries presents the perfect holiday video classic Christmas Holiday or Holy Day?
You will want to show this fast moving and entertaining documentary teaching to your friends, family, pastor, and church, to anyone who has beheld the commercialization of Christmas in our lifetime and needs to be made aware of the Gospel truth about this special season of the year.
Especially as the holidays approach, hearts will soften toward things of the Spirit. People will be open to the Gospel like no other time of the year.
Plus it will be a blessing to you and your family as you approach the holidays, reminding you of the true meaning of Christmas and all the reasons you have to rejoice.
You’ll discover how close to the return of the Lord we really are, and how today’s current events make it even clearer that we should be filled with joy as we watch for His blessed appearing!
Understand how ancient Biblical prophecies are coming to pass in our day, how coming prophetic events will impact you, and how there is hope for all followers of Christ.
We are approaching eternity at breakneck speed. We live in the very first generation to see all the end-time signs converging. The apocalyptic storm clouds foretold by the ancient biblical prophets are not arriving, and the hearts of people everywhere hunger to know more about the coming events.
Hope in the Last Days will walk you through the end-time prophecies, helping you to prepare for what is about to transpire on the earth. What you believe about prophecy will dramatically affect your future, the way you live your life, and how you prepare for what lies ahead. If you thought the past was intense, get ready for the future.