Weekly Newsletter – December 23, 2019
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
The Birth of the Eternal God
I feel that there is a tremendous need to enlighten mankind as to the true identity of Christ. Multitudes think of the Saviour as just another member of the human race born nearly 2,000 years ago. Nothing could be further from the truth. In this chapter, I clearly want to trace the preexistence of Christ to prove that He was “the Eternal God” who became man, in order that He might die for poor, helpless, hopeless sinners. I also want to show that His birth had to be through the channels of a virgin, inseminated by the power of the Holy Spirit, if His sacrifice for sinners was to be effective.
The altogether lovely One, born in Bethlehem’s manger, existed from all eternity. The verse that prophesies His exact birthplace also tells of His preexistence. Micah 5:2: But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Isaiah masterfully handles this truth in chapter 9, verse 6, For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Let’s analyze this verse for a moment. Notice that a child is born (this speaks of the Lord’s birth), but the next phrase mentions a son being given. This speaks about God sending the Son who was in His presence and coincides with Galatians 4:4, When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son. Then Isaiah goes on to proclaim this Son as God by the titles “The mighty God” and “The everlasting Father.” These terms are possible because of the relationship of the Trinity. Remember that Jesus said in John 10:30, I and my Father are one.
John opens his gospel with the statement, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:1-3). In verse 14, he identifies this member of the Trinity who is called the “Word.” And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. Think of it. This One who was in the beginning with God and was God became flesh and lived among insignificant human beings because of His love for sinners.
Yes, Christ always existed and came from heaven to earth. Listen to His numerous statements verifying this truth: For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world (John 6:33). I am the living bread which came down from heaven (John 6:51). Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world (John 8:23). I proceeded forth and came from God (John 8:42). I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world (John 16:28).
In His high priestly prayer, Jesus said, I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was (John 17:4,5). Jesus said in John 5:46, Moses…wrote of me. Here Christ delves back hundreds of years to the first five books of the Bible, called “The Pentateuch,” and states that Moses mentioned Him. This is important because Moses recorded these words centuries before the birth of Christ. Jesus also said in John 8:56, Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. How could Abraham see His day centuries before His birth if there were no preexistent One?
Oh, friend, Jesus always existed as a coequal member of the Trinity. Don’t listen to a group of blinded cultists who would rob Christ of His deity, but hear the Word of the Lord. His preexistence is also proven through the Bible statements indicating that He created the world. John 1:3: All things were made by him. John 1:10: He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. Colossians 1:16: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him. Hebrews 1:2 states, By whom also he [Christ] made the worlds.
The part Christ had in creating the world and mankind agrees with the Old Testament account of creation. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1). The Hebrew for God is Elohim, a plural noun, meaning “more than one.” This is a glorious declaration of the Trinity. You don’t believe it? What will you do with Genesis 1:26? And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
We have but skimmed the surface of evidence that proves that Christ preexisted His earthly birth. Now let’s move on to the glorious truth of His coming to earth via the channel of a virgin’s womb. At this point let’s consider Philippians 2:5-8 because it is such a glorious transitional passage. It brings the eternal God from heaven to a bodily appearance upon earth so that He might die for sinners. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God [His spirit form in eternity], thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men [His birth]. Why? Verse 8: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Christ’s virgin birth
Lost religionists mock the virgin birth. In an issue of the magazine Challenge, a number of sickening articles and poems appeared. I quote one of them to show the world how far liberal modernistic religionists will go in their attempt to rob Christ of His deity. It is a poem about Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the poem she says:
First, I’ve got nothing to say-about anything that happened before Joseph and I got married. Jesus was our child. Joseph’s and mine. You can believe it or not. Suit yourself. He was my first born so naturally I thought he was something special. So, he’s the Messiah they say. I’d rather he had stayed a carpenter, married a nice Jewish girl and given me a lot of fat little grandchildren.
What blasphemy! This is the prophecy of the Apostle Peter fulfilled before our eyes. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privity shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of (2 Peter 2:1,2).
Yes, the way of truth is often evil spoken of because of ordained wolves in sheep’s clothing who call themselves members of the “Christian faith” and yet would tear Christ to shreds if the opportunity presented itself. The crucifixion would be mild in comparison to what some of our lost seminary professors would do to Jesus if they had the chance in this twentieth century. However, let’s not waste our time on man’s drivel but instead invest it wisely as we listen to the Word of God concerning the truth about the virgin birth.
A virgin birth was necessary because Adam sinned. Since Adam was the head of the human race, every person born into it through natural generation or through the process of birth inherits the old sinful Adamic nature. Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (Romans 5:12). Yes, all sinned or became guilty of sin simply by inheriting the fallen nature of Adam at birth. Quirks and diseases are passed on from generation to generation. Sugar diabetes is a prime example. Likewise, the sin nature is passed on to every generation. Romans 5:18 is another verse that clearly teaches the necessity of a virgin birth. Therefore as by the offence of one [Adam] judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [Christ] the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
Notice that judgment came upon all men unto condemnation because of Adam’s sin, but through the righteousness of Christ one may be liberated from this judgment. It is only logical to conclude that if Christ had come through the normal channels of reproduction, He would have also been born with this judgment of condemnation upon Him because He also would have inherited Adam’s sinful nature. Therefore, in order that He might set men free from this condemnation, He had to be born in another manner so as not to be tainted with the old wicked nature of Adam.
There was only one way this possibility existed and that was through a virgin birth-bypassing man through insemination of the virgin’s ova by the Holy Spirit. This ova lies dormant in every woman until it is activated by a male sperm. Gasoline is also dormant until activated by a spark. Is it an impossibility for the God, who formed man out of the dust of the ground and took a rib out of man to form woman, to place the activating seed within this holy virgin and bring forth His Son through the miracle-working power of His Holy Spirit? Of course not. This is exactly what the Father did. Hear the Word of God.
The very first messianic prophecy is found in Genesis 3:15. There we hear the Lord God uttering a prophecy against the serpent, saying, And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it [the woman’s seed] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. The statement, “her seed,” is the first reference to the virgin birth in God’s Word. All humans are from the seed of man, but the seed of a woman implies a stupendous miracle. Jeremiah 31:22 again speaks of a miraculous event that would occur upon this earth. For the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.
A woman conceiving and bearing a man-child would not be a new thing in the earth-this is the rule of life. After conception, one bears a male or female child. Therefore this entirely new thing that would transpire had to be a miracle. What was it? A woman, without any human intervention or penetration, would conceive, carry, and deliver a man-child. This happened to be the Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour of the world. Isaiah 7:14 again sheds light on this event of the ages. Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah is not merely referring to a young woman giving birth to a son. That would not be a sign. Millions of young women have been able to bear sons. The sign is that a virgin shall bear a son without an act of intercourse.
Forget the arguments of the religious contortionists who argue that the Hebrew word almah is “young woman” instead of “virgin.” All one need do is study Matthew 1:23 where the Greek word parthenos can only be translated “virgin” to arrive at a final answer. 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. Verse 22 states that this is a quotation from the prophet. What prophet? Isaiah. And where did Isaiah make the statement? Chapter 7, verse 14. So, the Greek text handles the Old Testament Hebrew text proving that God meant a “virgin” and not a “young woman.”
I repeat what was stated earlier: A young woman bearing a child would be no sign. Any of you young expectant mothers reading this would be the first to realize this truth. However, had you become impregnated miraculously by the power of God without knowing a man, it would very obviously be a sign. That happened to Mary and only to Mary.
The reason that God the Son, originally in spirit form (see Philippians 2:5), had to have an earthly birth is found in Hebrews 10:4,5. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not [animal blood could not take away sin], but a body hast thou prepared me. Since animal blood only covered sin and was presented as a down payment for sin’s debt until God’s Lamb should come, Christ had a body with divine blood prepared in the womb of a virgin so that He could shed that blood and die for the sins of the world. Because it had to be pure blood, free from the taint of Adam’s sin, the body and blood were prepared by the Father and placed in the womb of the virgin Mary.
Luke 1:26-28,30,31,34 depicts this thrilling story: And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS…. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
This is a precious truth. Though she was espoused or engaged to Joseph, she had not known a man or experienced premarital sex. Remember that God wrote the Bible, and He declares that Mary was a pure virgin. Away with the mentally warped, religious hypocrites who are so defiled that they imagine all sorts of depraved things about this sweet virgin. Not everyone thinks and acts as they do. Mary declares, “I have never known a man-how shall this baby be conceived?” The blessed answer is found in verse 35: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Anyone who believes that God created this gigantic, fantastic, and astronomical universe certainly believes that God can bring His only begotten Son into the world by a separate act of creation. With God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37).
There is the entire story. The preexistent God, second member of the Trinity, came to take upon himself a body with blood so as to shed His blood for sinners. The sin-tainted blood inherited from Adam would not qualify Him as the sinless Saviour, so a body was prepared with blood produced by the Father, and placed into the womb of a virgin by the blessed Holy Spirit. Christ eventually went to the cross and shed His blood. Because He was the God-man shedding untainted holy blood, mankind may have eternal life by receiving this sacrifice. Believe the Word of God-see Christ crucified and risen again. Receive this Christ today.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
“No, thank You God!”
When I was a little girl, the one day of the year when I never had any difficulty waking up early was on Christmas morning. I knew that Mom and Dad – and, of course, when I was very young, Santa Claus – had gaily wrapped presents waiting for me under the Christmas tree. Oh, how excited and thrilled I was to get those gifts.
At our house, gifts were a very important part of the love we shared one with the other, and my brothers and I were always very anxious to see what we were getting. For every gift, we would say, “Oh, thank you, Mama … thank you, Daddy!” Or, “Look what Santa brought me!”
My parents were always careful to teach and stress the true reason for the season and the real meaning of Christmas. We children learned early on that the gifts we gave and received were just reminders of God’s greatest gift of all, His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior and soon-coming King.
Sadly, in our society today, it seems the focus is on holiday gifts rather than the Gift of Christmas. And if the story of Christ’s first coming is even told, many people glance at the baby in the manger and fail to recognize Jesus for who He really is. How tragic to trade the greatest Gift that could ever be given for commercialism’s flash and glitter or the secular emphasis on feasting, partying, and sensual celebration.
The Gift of Christmas is not a throwaway present to be swept away with the wrappings and ribbons. It is a for-all-the-year Gift. It is not something to open up and then forget about, but Somebody to receive and have forever. The Gift lasts all our lives through … and into eternity. The Bible says, “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
We live in two worlds, one outside our being and the other inside. The outer world is filled with conflict and turmoil, hatred and international tension, struggle and strife. Inside we must deal with hurts and disappointments, discouragement and fear – none of us are free from difficult situations. But if we receive the Gift of Christmas, we have an inner peace and strength to overcome negativism and chaos. We have faith and hope for today and the future.
The Miracle of Christmas
The first miracle of Christmas was that Jesus was born as a result of what has been called an immaculate conception. The word immaculate means “spotlessly clean.” The Word of God says that the Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost, came upon a young Jewish virgin, and the power of the Highest overshadowed her, and she gave birth to the Son of God (see Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:30-35).
Some time ago on our weekly telecast, “Jack Van Impe Presents,” my husband was addressing the momentous new development of man’s scientific ability to create clones. A number of different animals have now been created in laboratories – sheep, cows, and several other species. And scientists now feel sure that it is possible to clone a human being. Jack said, “This means that the skeptical preachers who have questioned the virgin birth over the years now have a real problem – because every clone is a virgin birth! If man is able to do it now, why is it so difficult to believe that God accomplished this more than two thousand years ago?”
My husband also pointed out that a clone is an exact image, and the Scriptures teach that Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God – a clone as far as His birth is concerned!
The human race cannot take credit for the Gift of Jesus
I think it is tremendously important to realize that Jesus was not man’s invention -man’s genius or effort did not develop Him – Jesus was and is the Gift of God. His story is not of a man becoming God, but of God becoming man.
A few years ago a fine Christian doctor, a gynecologist, sent us an article he had written that explained the role of the father and mother in the conception and birth of a baby. Dr. Strohshein, now gone home to be with the Lord, had done years of research, proving that while the mother carries the child for nine months as it develops, feeds the unborn baby, and gives birth to the new life, none of her blood is within the child. Dr. Strohshein’s article went on to show how the seed of the father determines the blood and the crucial characteristics of every offspring. The Bible says, “The Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall compass (or surround) a man” (Jeremiah 31:22).
Why is this so significant? It means that when Jesus later sacrificed His life for the world on the cross, the blood that was shed did not come from Mary, but from His Father God! So it was not human blood, but divine! What an awesome thought. That’s why the Gift of God that mankind received on that first Christmas is so remarkable and unfathomable.
Remember that Mary was not a princess with a huge estate or a great prophetess with a large following. She was a humble teenager who was engaged to be married to Nazareth’s local carpenter, a good man named Joseph. And when it was time to give birth, she was not pampered or given special care and attention. Rather, after riding a donkey over rough trails to accompany her husband to Bethlehem to be taxed, she ended up in a rustic stable – probably a cave – surrounded by barnyard animals. There, on a bed of straw, she gave birth to a son, wrapped him in rough-woven cloth, and laid him in a hay-filled manger.
The familiar Scriptures tell us that His first visitors were not society’s elite, the wealthy and powerful. Instead, angels announced Jesus’ kingly entrance into this world to the lowliest, poorest people of all – the shepherds who watched their flocks outside the city. And they came to find the Lord quickly, gladly, still in awe that the King of glory had come to dwell among them.
They came to find Immanuel – God with us … with ordinary people (see Isaiah 7:14). Imagine common folks being able to come into the presence of divinity and have fellowship with the Son of God! How could such a thing be?
God with us meant the end of loneliness … the end of facing life’s trials alone. As the popular Southern Gospel song declares, “I don’t know a thing in this whole wide world that is worse than being alone.” So God gave us Immanuel. No wonder the apostle Paul exclaimed in awe and wonder, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
Rejecting the Gift As incredible as it seems, down though the ages – in fact, from the very beginning, starting with Cain, the son of Adam and Eve – mankind has rejected the Gift of God. As we know, the Old Testament saints were saved and redeemed exactly as we are, the difference being that Jesus hadn’t come yet. So they looked forward to the Redeemer while we look back. They offered the blood sacrifice of animals, knowing that it was not sufficient to take away their sins but only to cover them until the Gift of God came.
We look back to Jesus’ sacrifice at Calvary and say, “Yes, the Gift was good enough. Jesus’ blood can wash away the stain and the penalty of my sin.”
But Cain killed his brother Abel in a dispute over the proper sacrifice (see Genesis 4:1-8). In effect, Cain said, “No, thank You, God. I choose not to follow Your plan. I will offer my own sacrifice of the fruit and vegetables I have grown. I want to do it my way, not Yours!” (Hebrews 11:4; 1 John 3:12).
The Bible records examples from virtually every generation of people who turned from God’s way and “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). They were saying, “No, thank You, God. I’ll try to make it on my own.”
Tragically, even in our society today people are still rejecting the Gift, saying “No, thank You, God, we’ll go our own way.” The Supreme Court of Alabama ruled that a display of the Ten Commandments could not remain in the courthouse. Military academy cadets will no longer give thanks at mealtime. The European Union new constitution has removed all references to God. And, of course, for years in America’s public schools, prayer has been forbidden.
More and more today, our nation is being molded by what is “inclusive,” culturally acceptable and politically correct. “Well, that might be one way, but we must be sensitive and recognize that it’s not the only way.” Or, “Yes, that is one religion, but there are many great religions in the world, and we must be tolerant and accepting of all of them.”
But what is really being said is, “No, thank You, God. We’ll find our own way of getting to heaven … if it really exists. Or maybe we can mix all the religions together and make a unified belief that everybody can accept.”
A giant step in the wrong direction
What happens when society says, “No, thank You, God. We don’t want to go that way”? The historical record is painfully clear. It is a giant step in the wrong direction – toward doom and death and destruction.
Mohammed is dead. Buddha is long gone. Hinduism’s 100,000,000 (one hundred million) idol gods are not the answer. No other religion offers the Gift. Jesus is the only living Savior, the only God the human race cannot take credit for creating. Like it or not, the Word of God unequivocally declares, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
So any time anyone turns to the man-made religions of the world, he is saying, “No, thank You, God.”
This Christmas, the world’s people will again seek to celebrate a wonderful, fun holiday season. They will grasp for the benefits of Christmas, without making any personal commitment to the Gift.
Merchants will publicize Christmas, encouraging everybody to shop and to buy gifts. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Families will come together to enjoy fellowship, sharing, and a great feast together. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Those in the travel industry love the holiday because so many people take to the highways and airlines to visit friends and relatives around the world. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Where we fall short during this time is in forgetting the Gift of Christmas – of either willfully or negligently communicating, “No, thank You, God, I don’t need what You have to offer.”
Watch out! Don’t make the mistake of the Laodiceans, who said, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” The Spirit replied, “You don’t even know that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (see Revelation 3:17,19).
I realize that this is a very different Christmas article from those the Lord has laid on my heart in the past. But we are living in very different times … and this could well be the last time some of us will celebrate Christmas. I am not trying to be overly dramatic. Our world is filled with terror and uncertainty, and seems to be careening towards disaster.
There is only one certainty … and His name is Jesus. He is the Gift of God. What He offers is salvation, peace, and life – abundant life, eternal life, now and forever.
Make the right choice!
A Sunday school teacher once gave a little boy his choice of two gifts. One was in a beautiful box, with shiny foil paper and multicolored ribbons. The other was a plain and simple metal can. The little boy wisely chose the plain container.
The teacher said, “First we will open the package you did not choose, the one that is so beautiful on the outside.” When she opened the lid, the box contained only old, shredded newspapers.
Then she handed the very plain can to the little boy, and he pried off the lid. A big smile spread across his face as he saw that the can was filled with holiday cookies and candies.
What is the lesson? Don’t be deceived by the outward appearance – it is what’s inside that counts. Jesus came to the world in very humble surroundings, and associated with the poor and humble people of the world. But He brought – and is – a Gift beyond description, for which mankind can’t take the credit.
That wonderful Gift is offered to you again during this holy season. Oh, yes, the world also offers its counterfeit present, so don’t choose the wrong package. Please don’t make the mistake of saying, “No, thank You, God.” This Christmas – right now – accept anew the wondrous benefits He has to offer and join in singing, “Oh, come to my heart, Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for You.”
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Dr. Jack and Rexella,
God bless you and only ETERNITY will be able to unveil the magnitude of your work and warning bells you have been ringing to those sleeping in the battle ground, keep on ringing the warning Bells because many are rising from deep slumber daily and only in Eternity you will see what God did through you, I have been watching your program for 10 years now and I was amongst the sleeping who God raised from deep slumber and am running this RACE with my Eyes on the Bright Blue SKY waiting and looking for the Return of My King JESUS. I reside in Dublin Ireland with my husband and three children.
I can’t recall how long I’ve been watching your program, but you and Rexella have been instrumental in my personal salvation and awakened in me a thirst to know Him more. I want to thank you for the work you do. Praise God
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
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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?
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