Weekly Newsletter – December 25, 2017

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A 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.


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 Rosella,

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.

From,

Mary O.

 

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

Marian B.


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