Weekly Newsletter – February 4, 2019

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A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE

Daniel 2:25 – 30

Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation.The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof?

Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the sooth sayers, show unto the king;

But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the King Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

As for thee, 0 king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what Should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.

But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

Glory to God Alone

Daniel now had the king’s attention. He also continued to remind the king that the wisdom he was sharing was from the one true God and not from his own knowledge. What integrity! Daniel could have made this a public relations spectacular for himself by taking all the credit, comparing himself to the other wise men (who failed to speak the dream or interpret it), saying, “Hey, King, look at me. I’m the man. You can always count on me for the answers to your tough questions.”

But that is not the Daniel of this book. He took no glory for himself, but instead insisted that only God in heaven could do what the king had requested. I can almost see King Nebuchadnezzar’s mouth begin to drop as Daniel set him up.

Nebuchadnezzar was probably saying something like, “Come on, Daniel, enough of this ‘My God’ stuff. What’s my dream? More importantly, what does it mean? And why are you making me wait?” But Daniel was not to be rushed. He was in control of this particular discussion and, once again, the king was compelled to wait for the time when this young Jew would come forth with his secrets, which he finally shared when he said:

Daniel 2: 31 – 35

Thou, 0 king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.

Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.

Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

I imagine the king was startled, and dumbfounded, probably exclaiming something like, “I can’t believe this, Daniel. You’re a genius! You’ve done what my most seasoned astrologers and magicians could not do. You’re amazing. . . and you’re still so young!”Daniel just stood there and listened politely, continuing to assert that God gave him the dream. He probably reminded the king of what he’d already told him, “But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets“(2:28). Wouldn’t you like to have seen Nebuchadnezzar’s face as Daniel spoke the dream one scene at a time? The king’s heart rate must have increased as Daniel talked about an image so large and brilliant that it was virtually impossible to look at for any length of time. His blood pressure must have climbed as Daniel described the statue from head to foot-the head of gold; breast and arms of silver; belly and thighs of brass; legs of iron; and feet and toes of an unstable mixture of iron and clay.

The Dream Interpreted

Then, thundering from a distance came a stone cut out without hands-that is, not of human origin-crashing into the statue with such meteoric force that it dissolved the image into chaff, blowing away any semblance of the statue. Where the image had stood-this is what had to give King Nebuchadnezzar pause-the stone, now a large mountain, “filled the whole earth” (2:35).

If you were a superstitious Babylonian king constantly looking over your shoulder at the slightest movement of your enemies-or wondering if inside-the-palace intrigue might one day do you in-what would you think if you had a dream like this? Without waiting for the king’s response-or perhaps because Nebuchadnezzar was too dumbfounded to respond-Daniel proceeded with the interpretation of his dream.

Daniel 2: 36 – 45

This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.Thou, 0 king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.

And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in Pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength o the iron, foras much as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle Themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God bath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

Not So Fast, O King

Daniel was anything but timid, for God had removed any spirit of fear from his heart as he stood eye-to-eye with Nebuchadnezzar, giving him the message from God. Nebuchadnezzar undoubtedly saw himself as a self-made king-powerful, in control, able to make heads roll at a snap of his finger. Yet Daniel says, “Wait a minute, King. Not so fast. You are only where you are because my God has given you dominion, power, and glory. Yes, you’re a mighty and powerful king, but your reign simply cannot last.” Daniel consistently gives God the credit in the preface of all his prayers and speeches.

The king would probably rather not have to sit there and listen to these extended preambles, but this was young Daniel’s moment. And Nebuchadnezzar would have to be patient.

Daniel’s description of Babylon’s place in world history is fully in sync with other historical references. Babylon was the greatest power of the day. It had always been a superlative empire, with its great beauty, economic position as a center of commerce, and fabled hanging gardens-one of the exquisite wonders of the ancient world. But even all these accomplishments, Daniel would argue, were not Nebuchadnezzar’s doing-but God’s.

Although Nebuchadnezzar was the “gold head” in his dream, the inference was that he would not be in charge of his kingdom in perpetuity: Daniel’s message was that God was in control, and that his heavenly Father would have the final say as to who would and who would not occupy all earthly thrones-including Nebuchadnezzar’s.


FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE

Is God Magic?

A little boy asked his mother one day, “How can God love everybody? Is He magic?”

He couldn’t understand how anyone — not even God — could love everyone. After all, there are so many of us, and some of us are so unlovable. To a child’s way of thinking it would take nothing short of magic to be that loving.

You and I know that God is much more than magic. He’s our all-powerful heavenly Father! In John 13:34,35, Jesus said to His disciples, A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Jesus knew how unlovable people can be. He knew how unappreciative, unkind, thoughtless, selfish, quick to judge and criticize, and very mean we humans can act. Even within that intimate circle of the twelve disciples, there was envy, jealousy, and even murder. And these were the men upon whom Jesus was counting. The spread of the gospel depended upon the disciples showing love to each other and to others. So to these men, only a few short hours before His crucifixion, Jesus gave the supreme command, “Love one another.” And it should be our number one priority today.

But that’s just it. We don’t love one another as we should. In fact, a good many of us Christians are downright unloving much of the time. So how do we get the love of God in our lives?

Where do we begin?

The place to begin is with the people around us — those in our homes, in our places of work, in our friendships, and in our churches. Someone has said we need “an observable love and openness.” I like that. Love isn’t love until it begins at home.

I heard of a woman whose husband was very outgoing, charming, and loving to everyone outside his home. But, often, to his family he was moody and irritable. He wasn’t always outgoing, charming, and loving to them. In fact, his moodiness and his venting his anger and frustrations on his wife and children were destroying the love within his home.

One day in an effort to help him see what he was doing, his wife asked, “Honey, why don’t you save some of your charm for us?” That took courage, but it helped.

Of course, we all need a place where we can let some steam off, let our hair down, and kick our shoes off and relax with those who will understand and not misjudge us. But there must be a balance whereby we also remember to show our love. Continual unloving mistreatment of those dearest to us will drive them away. I’ve heard such sad stories through the years of how people’s hearts have become hard and cold because the love they once had for each other had not been nurtured.

Our example is Jesus. I’m sure He didn’t always find it easy to show love. The Bible tells us that Jesus was tempted in all points as we are (see Hebrews 2:18). When the self-righteous Pharisees tried to trip Jesus up, it would have been easy for Him to withhold His love from those who were cruel, arrogant, and unjust. But Jesus never yielded to that temptation. He showed love in the most impossible of human situations. Jesus was love in action. He demonstrated His compassion over and over again in His dealings with those who desperately needed help, healing, and forgiveness.

Let love be your aim

The Apostle Paul gave the Corinthian Christians a goal that should be foremost in our minds as well. He said, “Let love be your aim” (see 1 Corinthians 14:1). Those words were preceded by the great love chapter in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13. Those verses are so familiar to everyone, but perhaps their familiarity has dimmed their meaning. Let’s look at them.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not [love], I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not [love], it profiteth me nothing.

[Love] suffereth long, and is kind; [love] envieth not; [love] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. [Love] never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. And now abideth faith, hope, [love], these three; but the greatest of these is [love] (1 Corinthians 13:1-8,13).

What a beautiful description of love! This chapter describes love in three ways — what it is, what it isn’t, and what it does.

Love is:

  • very patient and kind
  • enduring, without weakening
  • able to bear up under anything
  • ready to believe the best of others
  • loyal no matter the cost
  • a growing thing — growing out of God’s love for and in us.

Love is not:

  • jealous or envious
  • boastful or proud (inflated or puffed up with pride)
  • conceited and arrogant
  • touchy, fretful, or resentful
  • rude and haughty
  • possessive
  • irritable or easily provoked
  • selfish and self-seeking
  • glad about injustice.

Love does:

  • rejoice in the truth
  • not hold grudges
  • hardly notice when others do it wrong
  • not demand its own way
  • hope all things
  • stand its ground in defending someone it loves
  • not fail — does not fade out, become obsolete, or come to an end.

How loving are you?

Do you want to measure your “love level”? Here’s an exercise that really works. Try substituting “I” in place of the word love in 1 Corinthians 13. Does it read right? Is that an accurate description of you? Can you honestly say, “I am very patient and kind. I am not easily provoked. I do not hold grudges?

The Bible has so much to say about love. Here are some other verses to help us understand the nature of real love. First John 4:8 says, He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. That verse says God is love. That is His nature. He is a heavenly Father who has divine compassion. And if we are His children, we must love, too — and not just those who love us, but even the unlovable. Jesus said, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven…For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?…Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:44-46,48).

One day a so-called expert on Moses’ law came to Jesus to test Him. He asked, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Notice Jesus’ reply: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

The man, wanting to justify his lack of love for some people, asked, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:25-29).

You see, he was so much like us. He wanted to love the lovable, those who were easy to love. But Jesus said we are to love without discrimination, the way He loves us.

It’s never too late

Perhaps you feel you’ve been so unloving in the past, that there is no way you can salvage your relationships. It’s never too late with the help of the Lord. It may take time, but God can do a work of healing in your heart so that you genuinely love others. His Word to you is simply this: Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass (Psalm 37:5).


CHANGED LIVES-one at a time

I watched your ministry on Daystar for a long time, then Jack got injured it seemed the forces of hell we’re against him. But our GOD is omnipotent and he was with you through it all. He is our Rock and our Fortress in times of difficulty! Continue boldly until Jesus lifts the church up off this vile earth, and boldly preach JESUS IS LORD! Love you my brother and sister in Christ Jack & Rexella Van Impe.

Charles V.

Topeka Kansas.

Hello Rexella and Jack. I use your first names as I feel I know you as friends. I completely respect you both and your great knowledge of the Bible, your compassion for the people, and your determination to stand against those who undermine the truth. Thank you for speaking out all these years and leading people to salvation weekly with your prayer. This is why we continue to support JVIM, and are grateful for your continued ministry. Stay strong.

Sincerely,

Teresa & Ed L.


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