Weekly Newsletter – February 5, 2017
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Jerusalem means "city of peace" or "foundation of peace."
But the history of Jerusalem is one of war and destruction.
The sounds of battle, the clash of arms, have been heard in Jerusalem through the centuries. From the siege of David in 1000 B.C. to the Six-Day War of 1967, the city of peace has experienced forty-six sieges and thirty-two partial destructions. It has been burned to the ground five times, yet has always risen from the ashes. It has been the scene of four wars in the past twenty-five years. Today it is the site of the most volatile political, religious, and military problem in the entire world.
The Jewish cry for peace in Jerusalem is sincere, finding its roots in the promise of peace for the Jews given through Moses: "And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land" (Lev. 26:6).
The Jews were instructed to pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee (Ps. 122:6-8).
As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the LORD shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel (Ps. 125:5).
Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel (Ps. 128:6).
He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat (Ps. 147:14).
The Jewish desire for peace has waited long and weathered many storms. Since the dispersion, this troubled people has anticipated a day of peace.
Following the Golden Age of Spanish Jewry, during the Spanish Inquisition, while Crusaders attacked them in the Rhine Valley and murdered them in the name of God, the Jews longed for peace.
Suffering unbelievably at the hands of the Cossacks during the Polish rebellion, under the reign of the merciless Czars who instituted the bloody pogroms, the Jews cried for peace.
During Hitler’s holocaust, when total annihilation of the Jews in Europe seemed imminent, the Jews longed for peace.
At the birth of their nation in 1948, the Jews longed for peace.
When surrounded by hostile neighbors and under the threat of being pushed into the sea and destroyed by the forces of Nasser in 1967, the Jews longed for peace.
But peace did not come. The long struggle for the end of hostilities continued. Tranquility evaded them. And the words of the prophet Jeremiah seemed to describe their daily experience: "We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble!" (Jeremiah 8:15).
The Push for Peace
Today the entire world has a stake in the peace of Jerusalem. As never before, the Middle East is the proverbial powder keg of the world. Informed people everywhere know that a spark of conflict there might ignite a fire that would engulf the entire planet, plunging all of civilization into a nuclear nightmare.
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" is good advice for all people.
Since the Yom Kippur War of 1973 and the introduction of oil as a weapon of war, all industrial nations need peace in the Middle East. The prospect of unemployment, recession, inflation, and worthless currency has made political leaders aware of the absolute necessity of solving the Middle East problem and moving the Arab-Jew conflict to a peaceable solution.
Talk of peace will be increasingly the order of the day. Western nations, the United Nations, and the Communist world, acting together and unilaterally, may be involved in seeking to both calm and exploit Middle East tensions. Top-notch diplomats will be employed. Peace conferences will be scheduled in the most desirable locations. Behind-the-scenes bargaining between all powers can be expected. Diplomatic arm-twisting will not be overlooked. News releases reporting the slightest progress toward peace will be fed to the public. The push for peace will seem almost irresistible.
But peace will not come easily to the Middle East. Differences there are deep and longstanding. Jerusalem itself presents an almost insurmountable obstacle to peace. It is important to the three major religions of the world: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Some Arab leaders are determined to wrest control of Jerusalem from Israel. And the Jews, having finally retaken their most important city, are determined not to give it up.
Jerusalem has passed from one Gentile power to another since 400 B.C. Consider the conquerors since A.D. 70 alone: A.D. 70, the Romans; 614, the Persians; 637, Caliph Omar; 1099, the Crusaders; 1187, Salidan; 1250, the Egyptian Mamalukes; 1517, the Turks; 1917, the British; and finally in our lifetime, 1967, the Jews.
An anguished and heartfelt cry for peace is both desirable and dangerous.
The desire shows the heart is right regarding peace, for that is to be the aim of the child of God: "Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it" (Ps. 34:14).
On the other hand, one may be so enamored with the hope for peace that he closes his eyes to the danger of accepting fraudulent conditions for peace. Prime Minister C. Neville Chamberlain of England met with Hitler before the outbreak of World War II and thought his policies of appeasement had bought peace for the world. Instead they had but increased the appetite of an evil ruler. The report of the conference was one of peace, but it was a false peace that would not last. The temporary tranquility was just the calm before the storm. And what a storm! Jeremiah described that kind of peace, lamenting: "They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace" (Jeremiah 6:14).
Another fact that makes Israel open to the acceptance of peace negotiations is the message of peace associated with the promised Messiah. Of His rule, Isaiah wrote:
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. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9:6,7).
Micah declared: "And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men" (Micah 5:5).
And the prophet Haggai spoke of a better day: "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts" (Hag. 2:9).
The Bible message then is one of genuine peace for the Jews in the future. For that reason, leaders of Israel who believe the prophets are conditioned to expect ultimate peace. Since they have not recognized nor accepted their true Messiah, they may be open to deception by one who seems to be able to deliver peace to the world, especially to the Middle East with security guarantees to Israel.
The Hebrew prophets warned of a false peace plan that will be accepted by the Jews near the end time. The attack upon Israel by Russia and other nations prophesied by Ezekiel for the "latter years" will come when the Jews feel secure in their land:
After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them…. And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates (Ezek. 38:8,11).
Furthermore, Israel and perhaps many other nations will enter into a covenant (treaty) with the final world dictator wherein they will be guaranteed peace. The duration of the agreement will be seven years. This seven-year agreement will coincide with the seventieth week of Daniel’s prophecy, and genuine peace will be short-lived. The treaty will be broken after three and one-half years, and its breaking will usher in earth’s most terrible time:
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate (Dan. 9:27).
Commenting on Daniel 9:27 and the efforts for peace in the Middle East, Walvoord and Walvoord have written:
A peace settlement in the Middle East is one of the most important events predicted for the end time. The signing of this peace treaty will start the final countdown leading to Armageddon and then introduce the new world leader who will be destined to become world dictator — the infamous Antichrist. According to Daniel 9:27, the last seven years leading up to the second coming of Christ will begin with just such a peace settlement. The same passage describes a covenant to be made between the nation of Israel and the prince who will rise to power (Daniel 9:26). While the details of the covenant are not given, it will be an attempt to settle the Arab-Israeli controversy which has focused world attention on the Middle East. It may well take the form of a forced peace settlement in which Israel returns much of the land conquered through war in exchange for strong international guarantees for Israel’s safety and prosperity…
The key issue in negotiations would be the city of Jerusalem itself, which Israel prizes more than any other possession. Undoubtedly there will be a strong attempt to make Jerusalem an international city with free access not only for Jews but for Christians and Muslims as well. The temple area may be internationalized, and Israel’s territorial conquests will be greatly reduced. In the light of Arab power and the isolation of the United States as the sole supporting force behind Israel’s continuity as a nation, it seems that any settlement short of this will not satisfy the Arab world.
The ingredients then in the coming peace agreement between Israel and other Middle Eastern countries are as follows:
- Israel will long for peace.
- The Arabs will long for peace.
- The world will fear the igniting of a nuclear war through a Middle East confrontation.
- Arab wealth and power will have produced worldwide apprehension of an energy cutoff or another economy-shattering rise in the price of oil.
- The prophets have written of a temporary peace that will come to Israel in the end time that will be broken by the Antichrist.
The peace offensive is already on. We may expect a number of lesser treaties before the tragic one involving the final world dictator. As diplomats assemble and the push for peace increases, it will be well to remember Paul’s comment concerning the cry for peace at closing time: "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape" (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
Students of the Scriptures will remember that real peace can only come when the Prince of Peace returns. Until then there will be no lasting peace on earth. And the crescendo of peace rhetoric that has already begun is but a sign of end-time destruction, the harbinger of history’s bloodiest hour — the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Several summers ago, after sensing the need for a change of pace, my husband and I drove to Montreal, Canada, the largest French-speaking city in the world, after Paris. It was delightful and so relaxing. Just what we needed. The people were friendly, the old city intriguing, the food wonderful. Montreal is considered to be one of North America’s most interesting cities. And we found it to be true. In fact, we agreed Montreal is one of the most beautiful cities we’ve ever seen. In two weeks’ time we walked 150 miles savoring all the sights and delights, and learning about the history and the greater metropolitan area itself.
One afternoon we found an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. “It has to be a great place,” Jack said, “look at all the people!” He patted his “midsection” and I raised my eyebrows and we walked in. We found an empty table and placed our order.
Just as we were being served, two bedraggled-looking young people came in each carrying a backpack. They were obviously exhausted. They spied an empty table where the waitress hadn’t removed the plates from the previous customers, and they plopped down. But just that quickly, they snatched up the leftovers and wolfed them down. Eyes darting around, never making eye contact with anyone, they focused on other empty tables with plates containing food and quickly ran from one to the other, stuffing the food into their mouths. The young woman, whom I guessed to be about twenty, was more aggressive than the young man. They were just starved!
It happened so fast that everyone was in a state of shock. About the time we and others had recovered from seeing this, they grabbed their backpacks and were out of the door and gone. “Jack, if only they’d stayed long enough, we could have offered to buy them food!” I was dazed by the brief encounter. “Oh Jack,” I continued, “I wonder whose child she is …” my voice trailed off.
Jack leaned across the table and patted my hand. The food which had been served so attractively had somehow lost its appeal. I looked around and noticed others were feeling the same way. The charming place which just moments before had been the scene of animated conversation now seemed strangely silent.
Jack’s eyes were sad; mine were tearful.
As we left the ice cream parlor and continued our leisurely walk, my eyes glanced around. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of the young couple. “There are so many like them in city after city all over Canada and the United States,” my husband said.
“Where are the parents?” I asked. Jack shook his head. Later, as I reflected on the incident, (in fact, I don’t think I will ever forget those two young people), I was reminded that one of the most wonderful things about being a Christian is that we are Gods children. Our needs are important to Him and He is always ready to supply (Phil. 4:19). He knows the way that we take (Job 23:9). I took comfort in the knowledge that God even knew their names (Isa. 45:4). I could leave them in the Fathers hands.
As we walk through life, we can do so with confidence, knowing that the steps, as well as the stops, of God’s children are ordered by Him (Ps. 37:23). Because we are His children, we can count on His promises, and they are so many! Our potential as His children is limitless.
But we need to be living up to our potential. How do people know we belong to God? Three things, it seems to me, characterize the life of a child of God: (1) Our conversation; (2) Our conduct; and (3) Our convictions.
Our conversation: She (or he) openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness (Prov. 31:26).
My mother had a little saying which I have called to mind many times: “He that thinketh by the by the inch, and speaketh by the yard, shall be kicked by the foot.”
The Bible is full of counsel about the need to guard our conversation. Consider just these few: A soft answer turneth away wrath; but grievous word stir up anger (Prov. 15:1). How many relationships would fare better if these words were called to mind when people were tempted to temperamental outbursts! The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is (of) little worth (Prov. 10:20). Silver reflects. What a beautiful word picture this presents! Our tongues should reflect the Lord.
Our conduct: We must back up our conversation with right conduct. Those beautiful graces depicted in Galatians 5 should exemplify the conduct of our lives: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (w. 22, 23). An entire article could be written around each word, but let me simplify it in this way: LOVE is a new constraint, JOY is a new cheer, PEACE is a new compassion, LONG-SUFFERING is a new continuance, GENTLENESS is a new characteristic, GOODNESS is a new character, PATIENCE is a new confidence, MEEKNESS is a new courtesy and TEMPERANCE is a new contentment.
Our Convictions: The story is told of David Hume, the agnostic, who was reproached by his friends because of his inconsistency. He used to like to go hear the famous preacher John Brown preach, and when questioned about this he explained, “I don’t believe all that he says, but at least once a week I like to hear a man who declares his convictions.”
How important for us to have strong convictions and to abide by them. The letter of James emphasizes that our “yes” should be a simple “yes,” and our “no” a simple “no” (Ja. 5:12). In other words, be convinced in your heart and stand by your convictions. Be a man or woman whose word is unquestionable. If you say you are going to do something, or you promise something, it ought to be as if you were in a courtroom and had taken an oath to speak the truth.
These are just some of the identifying characteristics that mark us as children of God. The Psalmist said, Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace (Ps. 37:37). None of us have arrived, we aren’t wholly perfect, progress is perhaps a more accurate word to describe our condition. But we should be progressing.
Perhaps a good prayer would be: “Lord, help me to reflect the fact that I am your child.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I have been presenting the Book of Revelation to our Church’s Adult class. It has been a real learning experience. I do want to thank you for book “Revelation Revealed”. It has provided much needed clarity and explanations. Thank you and Blessings.
Thank you so much for this Newsletter. It sends chills up and down my spine in thinking as you do as to how close all these events are shaping up to take place. We pray diligently every day for the rapture to occur. We’re living in a very wicked and evil world. It isn’t going to get any better, but worse. Each day we’re one day closer to our heavenly goal and eternal life and thank God every day for it. What a day that will be when we see Jesus face to face. I can hardly wait for this. Patience is not one of my virtues. In the meantime, we’ll keep praying for that last lost soul that God wants in His kingdom, keep looking up and listening for the shout. One of these days it will happen.
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
Discover 15 amazing biblical signs that prove this generation is the one that will see the Lord Jesus returning in the clouds! Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe use current events, Bible prophecy, scientific facts, and more to show you the answers to critical questions such as:
- Is Mark of the Beast technology going to be globally deployed by the year 2017?
- Why are Russia and China conducting joint military maneuvers; and why is Iran cozying up to China?
- What world leaders are calling for global Islamic law, and where is it actually predicted in Bible prophecy?
- Will our enemies attack North America with nuclear bombs?
- And much more!
This is a powerful teaching for believers and will show non-believers the truth of the soon return of Jesus!
Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe have prepared this powerful new video teaching to show you the Enemies of the Cross and how to defeat them. You will discover the answers to critical questions such as:
- Who is calling the cross "useless", and why?
- How can we know if Jesus is the only way to heaven?
- How do contemporary church services fit into the great "falling away" predicted in the Bible?
- How are new Bible translations destroying the Christian faith?
- How does Pope Francis signal Christ’s soon return?
- What will the final one world religion look like?
- Where will the False Prophet come from?
- Who has been lured into the New Age Movement?
- And many more!
Do not allow your family and church to be deceived.