Weekly Newsletter – December 4, 2023
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
Hitler’s holocaust — the travail of Israel
The Jews have enriched all the nations in which they have settled – an inevitable fact because of the promise given to Abraham when he left his home to go to a land of God’s choosing: “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing” (Gen. 12:2).
According to the psalmist, God chose Israel for His “peculiar treasure” (Ps. 135:4). And although it has not often been recognized, the Jews have been a treasure to all nations of the world.
Mark Twain wrote:
Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous, dim puff of stardust in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of. He is as prominent on this planet as any other people. His commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also altogether out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in the world in all the ages and he has done it with his hands tied behind him.
Blessings through the Jews
Even those who hate Jews take advantage daily of their many contributions. Those who have heart disease and use digitalis are benefiting from the work of Ludwig Traube. If one has a toothache and uses Novocain, he is helped by the work of Carl Koller. If one contacts typhoid fever, his recovery is likely to be the result of the work of two Jews, Widal and Weil. If one has diabetes and uses insulin, it is because that product is available through the research work of a Jew named Minkowsky. The list is long; the blessings that come to us through the Jews are many.
When settling in their ancient homeland, the Jews brought blessing to the Arabs who dwelt there. That may sound absurd in the light of present conflicts in the Middle East, but it is true.
In 1937 the Peel Commission was sent by Great Britain to survey the situation in Palestine. The commission was headed by Lord Peel and composed of a group of men of exceptional ability. Its report in part was as follows:
It is difficult to detect any deterioration in the condition of the Arab upper class. Landowners have sold substantial pieces of land at a figure far above the price it would have fetched before the First World War [It must be noted that this commission’s study was during the depression of the thirties]…. In recent transactions, mainly Palestinian Arabs have been concerned and the transactions have all been considerable…. Partly, no doubt as the result of land sales, the effendi class has been able to make substantial investments of capital…. At least six times more Arab-owned land is now planted with citrus than in 1920…. Some of the capital has been directed to building houses for lease or sale to industrial enterprise…. In the light of these facts, we have no doubt that many Arab landowners have benefited financially from Jewish immigration…. A member of the Arab higher committee admitted to us that nowhere in the world are such uneconomic land prices paid as by the Jews in Palestine.
The general beneficent effect of Jewish immigration on Arab welfare is illumined by the fact that the increase in Arab population is most marked in urban areas affected by Jewish development…. We are also of the opinion that up till now the Arab cultivator has benefited on the whole from the work of British administration and from the presence of the Jews in the country. Wages have gone up and the standard of living has improved. Jewish example has done much to improve Arab cultivation, especially citrus.
The reclamation and anti-malarial work undertaken by Jewish colonists have benefited all Arabs in the neighborhood. Institutions founded with Jewish funds primarily to serve the national home have also served the Arab population. The Arab charge that the Jews have obtained too large a proportion of good land cannot be maintained. Much of the land now carrying orange grove s was sand dunes and swamp when it was purchased.
But if this is true, why the Arab-Israeli conflict?
A similar question might also be asked concerning the reaction to Jews all over the world. Why are the Jews so maligned and hated when they are so productive and helpful? There can be but one explanation — the fulfillment of prophecy: “And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee” (Deut. 28:37).
So the Jew finds himself in a difficult situation. He is a blessing, yet a byword. He is a treasure, yet he experiences great trouble. He is a contributor, yet he causes conflict wherever he goes. In short, although the material gains brought by Jews are desired, the Jew himself is unwanted. Nowhere was this truer than in Germany during the Third Reich. The official government policy became the extermination of the Jews while salvaging their accumulated wealth, including all personal possessions down to the fillings in their teeth.
Hitler’s Nazis made no secret of their hatred of the Jews from the very beginning. Part of their platform in 1920 was: “None but members of the nation may be citizens of the state. None but those of German blood, whatever their creed, may be members of the nation. No Jew, therefore, may be a member of the nation.”
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
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 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 MINISTRY OFFERS
God’s majestic dwelling place…your home for all eternity!
Jack Van Impe Ministries joins together Dr. Rexella Van Impe and Dr. Robert Jeffress to answer all of your questions about heaven and why it’s so important to share the promise of heaven with the lost. This special packs a powerful message that will:
Give you an insider’s look at the joys of heaven!
Present the Gospel to seekers, so they can choose Jesus and look forward to heaven for eternity
Bless any friend or family member who may be nearing life’s end by showing them the wonders of being with Jesus forever
With bonus footage now included in the broadcast special, this DVD educates believers and non-believers alike to the truth that while heaven is beautiful, and heaven is forever — not everyone will go! Share it with your friends and family!
Jack Van Impe Ministries, Dr. Rexella Van Impe, and Dr. Dave Williams present a Christmas special like no other!
In a world that opposes the truth about Jesus and His birth, we can stand together. Celebrating the Birth of the Eternal God examines how Christ’s birth in Bethlehem was foretold in Bible prophecy, then goes on to show…
- The Prophecies made by Christ Himself.
- How His death and resurrection were predicted from the beginning.
- The unique claims of Christ and how He brings eternal salvation.
- A stark look at prophecies being fulfilled around us today — and how they signal the Rapture could take place any moment!
With bonus footage not included in the broadcast special, this DVD shares the true story of Christmas, the truth about Jesus, and the message of salvation.. Share this treasure with your friends and family!