Weekly Newsletter – January 23, 2017
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
A King Dreams… A King Is Confused
- And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.
- Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king.
- And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit was troubled to know the dream.
- Then spake the Chaldeans to the king in Syriac, 0 king, live for ever: tell thy servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.
- The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.
- But if ye show the dream, and the interpretation thereof, ye shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honour: therefore show me the dream, and the interpretation thereof.
- They answered again and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation of it.
- The king answered and said, I know of certainty that ye would gain the time, because ye see the thing is gone from me.
- But if ye will not make known unto me the dream, there is but one decree for you: for ye have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, till the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can show me the interpretation thereof
- The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can show the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
- And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.
- For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
- And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain.
Perhaps at some time in your life you’ve had a dream that was so unnerving and perplexing that it kept you from sleeping through the rest of the night. You tried to figure out what it might mean and may have even asked others to help you with an interpretation that made sense. If this has happened to you and me, we know it’s happened to people throughout history.
In the year 603 B.C., King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream so bizarre that he marshaled his wisest men to his chambers to give him a reasonable interpretation. Not only did the crafty king want an interpretation of the dream he could understand, but he went one step further: He demanded a recital of the dream itself. Unreasonable? Of course. But Nebuchadnezzar was the king, and just as the gorilla sleeps anywhere it likes in the jungle, so the king could make up his own rules-which he did with an impish look in his eye, I’m sure.
Nervous Coughs and Furtive Looks
Did the king really forget the content of his dream? I doubt it. I think this was Nebuchadnezzar’s way to test the wisdom and alleged supernatural powers of his magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers. Heavy has been the head that has worn the crown throughout history, and Nebuchadnezzar’s crown must have weighed a ton. Kings come and go; their enemies are forever nipping at their heels. What if Nebuchadnezzar’s dream were to portend evil for his realm? Superstitious as he was, he demanded an interpretation.
But there was a risk that one of the palace sorcerers might give the king information he didn’t want to hear. So what does a wizard do? Equivocate? Beat around the bush? Try to buy some time? After all, the wrong information would produce disastrous results for the wizards-like being cut to pieces and having their houses made into a dunghill. But if they could state the dream and give Nebuchadnezzar an interpretation he could live with, then all manner of blessings would fall on the necromancers. So the stage was set.
I can almost hear the nervous coughs and see the furtive looks as one magician after the other would say something like, “0 King, that’s a marvelous idea, our telling you your dream- not that it will be easy. Say, would you mind running that dream by your servants just one more time, and then I’m sure we’ll be able to come up with just the right interpretation.”
The king didn’t bite. He knew he had his magicians and wise men trapped, and he accused them of stalling. Finally, probably with perspiration pouring from their brows, the wizards and astrologers came flat out with the truth, saying that such an assignment was impossible-certainly too great a job for the wisest person in the realm, and one that could only be accomplished in cooperation with the gods-whose “dwelling is not with flesh“. An interesting comment from savants who were supposed to be able to predict the future and come up with detailed-and accurate-answers to life’s most perplexing problems. Yet, when push came to shove, they figured hearkening to the gods might not be such a bad idea after all.
But the king didn’t buy their delay and became furious. In a fit of rage he demanded that all the wise men of Babylon be rounded up and destroyed-something we’ve seen again and again throughout secular and religious history. When frustration mounts in the palace, scapegoats are found, and these innocents are often summarily done away with. It happened when a paranoid King Herod, intent on finding an alleged usurper to his throne, put out a decree to kill all Jewish baby boys in the land.
We saw it with Hitler who, in his cruel attempt to create his Third Reich, killed six million Jews, burned all books that threatened his reign, and more than decimated all non-Aryans under his control. We saw it again just a few years ago, in the mid-to late 1960s, when an equally paranoid Chairman Mao threw all of China into convulsions with his demented “Cultural Revolution”-a nationwide witch hunt that was only an official excuse to kill and maim millions of dissidents, destroy any semblance of ancient tradition that flew in the face of his hybrid communism, and put China on a crash course with history. Will tyrants ever learn?
Now, the net was thrown wide throughout the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar to bring all the men of wisdom to their knees and ultimately to their collective death. Although it appears that Daniel and his friends were not in this shouting session with the king, they were, in fact, to be included in the king’s order. The great irony of the king’s manifesto as it related to Daniel was that once again God was setting the stage for a display of His sovereignty over the affairs of men. Meanwhile, the hunt was on.
- Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king’s guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon:
- He answered and said to Arioch the king’s captain, Why is the decree so hasty from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.
- Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would show the king the interpretation.
- Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
- That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
- Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
- Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
- And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
- He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
- I thank thee, and praise thee, 0 thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king’s matter.
- Therefore Daniel went in unto Arioch, whom the king had ordained to destroy the wise men of Babylon: he went and said thus unto him; Destroy not the wise men of Babylon: bring me in before the king, and I will show unto the king the interpretation.
We’ve now begun to see the sterling character of Daniel. Though still young, he was wise beyond his years; though relatively inexperienced in the affairs of life, he demonstrated how God can use a servant who gives his absolute loyalty to the Father. Now, it was again Daniel’s turn to settle uncontrollable waters. Here’s where we as believers need to take careful note of Daniel’s spiritual strategy.
- First, he asked for time-always a good idea when we are trying to come up with a solution to one of life’s challenges.
- Second, he was bold enough to say that he would fulfill the king’s demand-that is, he promised to do what the other wise men could not. Daniel knew that with God on his side he was not stepping out on a partially sawed-off limb. He knew his heavenly Father would give him the insight required at the time he would need it.
- Third-and how often we fail to do this-Daniel went back to his quarters and held an impromptu prayer meeting/counseling session with his companions Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Proverbs 15:22 reminds us, “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.” Daniel knew the importance of feedback from his companions-an awareness that runs throughout the entire book.
Daniel’s “Model Prayer”
Now I want you to pay special attention to Daniel’s prayer- just one of the many prayers of this great man of God we will discover in the pages of this amazing prophecy. Remember, Daniel already believed that God would give him the answer he’d need when he would soon stand before the king. He’d already conferred with his friends and received their counsel. But Daniel knew that unless he prayed earnestly to his God for divine insight and wisdom, he would never be prepared for his daunting assignment with a paranoid king.
For years, I’ve felt this prayer of Daniel should be a model for our own time with God-a prayer that moves me anew as I read it again, perhaps for the thousandth time. Daniel blesses God for His wisdom. He acknowledges that earthly kings are just that-as common as dirt-and that God alone sets up rulers and brings them crashing down from their man-made thrones. He recognizes that only His God-not Marduk, or any other Babylonian idol-gives wisdom to the wise and has the necessary resources to bring light to that which is shrouded in darkness.
Then, in a final burst of praise, Daniel thanks God for the wisdom and might He’s given to His servant. Daniel thanks God – giving no credit to himself – for the answers he now has to King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Can’t you just hear Daniel’s prayer build with confidence as he moves toward his final crescendo-his glorious amen to his God?
Ready to Meet the King
Daniel has done his homework. He’s been patient. He’s prayed. Now he’s ready with an exuberance and confidence that can only come to a believer in the one true God. Only after this serious, pre-audience preparation does Daniel finally say to Arioch, “All right, now’s the time. I’m ready to enter the presence of the king . . . and by the way, make sure that the king spares the lives of the wise men of Babylon. There’s now no reason for them to die.” Daniel, a young man with limited life experience, is now used by God to shape the destiny of an entire kingdom.
The apostle Paul, hundreds of years later, would say to another young man, Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). In God’s eyes, age has little significance when it comes to being a wise servant. Just as He did then, all God demands from His people is obedience. This spirit would be the hallmark of the man Daniel to the end of his days.
We will go into the details of the king’s dream in our next newsletter.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
But What Have I to Offer?
The little boy was only about 8 years old, bright-eyed, blonde, and so very cute.
He came up to me that Wednesday evening before the crusade service started and said, “I have something for you, Rexella!”
I smiled down at this vibrant little guy, knelt beside him, and asked, “What is it?”
He excitedly held out a brown paper bag for me to open. Inside was a freshly-baked, crusty-brown loaf of bread. “Oh, how nice!” I exclaimed. “Did your mother make this for me?”
“No, I did!” he said proudly. “I made it for you.”
I couldn’t keep from giving him a hug of appreciation for his gift that meant so much to me. To some it may not have seemed like much — a slightly misshapen, slightly overdone loaf of homemade bread. But behind it was an overflowing supply of generosity and love for my husband and me.
And even little is much when it is given with love.
Jesus confirmed this with His comments about the giving of a poor widow who dropped two tiny coins into the offering at the Temple. Contrasted with the large sums being given by the wealthy, her gift must have seemed insignificant to those who looked on. But the Lord said, “This woman has given more than all the others. They gave a portion of their abundant wealth — she gave all she had, even her very living” (see Mark 12:41-44).
I think it is very significant indeed that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, took note of that small, sacrificial gift and said that, in His eyes, it was worth more than all the other gifts put together. The New Testament account doesn’t actually say so, but I wonder if God didn’t bless those two little coins and multiply their value many times over!
How God will use your gift
He did that one day with a little lad’s lunch of five loaves and two fishes. Jesus multiplied that simple sack-lunch into enough to feed a multitude of 5,000… with lots of leftovers.
I believe the Lord performed this miracle for more than one reason. Yes, He felt compassion for the multitude that had followed Him and listened to His teaching all day long. He wanted to meet their physical need and satisfy their hunger for food as He had satisfied their thirst for spiritual truth.
But I believe this miracle may also have been to encourage the faith of His disciples. Perhaps they may have been tempted to send the multitude away hungry (“what good is so little among so many?”) and use the few loaves and fishes as a meager snack for the staff.
But the Lord demonstrated in a graphic way that, in His kingdom, there is always enough to meet the need. He blessed and broke the bread and fish, then had them serve the hungry people. When everybody had eaten his fill, the disciples gathered up what was left. And there were 12 baskets full — one basket for each disciple!
What a great lesson! What a great miracle! Yet, it could not have happened without the unselfish giving of the little boy who handed over his lunch. What if he had said, “There are too many hungry people here, and I have barely enough food for myself. I can’t afford to give… and what little I have wouldn’t make much difference anyhow.”
But he did what he could do — shared what he had. And his gift fed a multitude… and taught Jesus’ disciples a great lesson. Plus, I’ve always felt the little boy must have ended up taking more food home that night than he’d started out with. So he had a chance to witness to his parents about what the Lord had said and done.
Who could have blamed the poor widow if she had said, “Look at all the rich offerings the wealthy people are giving at the Temple. I have only these two mites — worth less than a penny. There’s no way I can give. No one would even know if I did give, or miss my tiny offering if I didn’t.”
But out of love for God she gave — and Jesus himself noticed and called attention to her generosity!
Your giving is important
So often people look at the worldwide soulwinning outreaches of Jack Van Impe Ministries and feel that our program is so big that we don’t need their help. “What I have to give is so little in comparison to your need that I’m embarrassed to even offer it,” they say. In essence they’re saying, “But what have I to offer?”
You know what this ministry is doing. We’re on weekly television, with regional audiences that are growing with each telecast. The rating services say that already we are number one with some segments of the viewing audience. Our goal is to blanket the entire world with our program ministering to multiplied millions each week.
In addition, our overseas radio broadcasts are touching thousands upon thousands of homes across Europe and in many other countries. Each month we receive letters from people in many nations who have been blessed and helped through this outreach.
And we are able to do this on a fraction of the budget of many larger organizations. It has always been our policy to hold overhead expenses to an absolute minimum and use virtually all of our funds for pure ministry. And we make sure the ministry gets full value for every dollar invested. That’s the secret of how we have been able to accomplish so much on a fairly small income.
And this is why every support gift we receive is important. Even a small offering sent to Jack Van Impe Ministries very probably will accomplish as much as a larger amount given to a “big name” organization. Some friends also have the misconception that most of this ministry’s support comes from those who give very large amounts — thousands and tens of thousands!
We have no corporate sponsors, no denominational underwriting, no group of wealthy benefactors. Actually, what keeps us going are the regular, faithful, sacrificial gifts of friends who send $10, $20, or $50 each month, or as often as they can. Every gift we receive — large or small — is important.
What is in your hand?
What do you have to offer? Give that. For remember, to whom much is given, much is required. But even if you had absolutely no material possessions, you still could give your love, your encouragement, your prayers. It means so much to know our friends are standing with us.
What do you have to offer? What God has placed in your hands. What you are willing to give to His work. If all you have to give to God in Jesus’ name is a cup of cold water, then that is all God expects.
For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not (2 Corinthians 8:12).
Over the years the Lord has blessed my husband and me with many precious friends who have shared the burdens and the opportunities of this ministry. Occasionally, in addition to the support given for our work, we have received a card or a word of encouragement, or a small personal gift. I have appreciated all of them.
But I don’t think I’ll ever forget the night when that charming 8-year-old brought me the best he had to offer, a loaf of bread he baked himself!
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Thank you for the wonderful newsletter expounding on the first chapter of Daniel. So informative. And I was blessed to read Rexella’s “the look” and the wonderful testimonies. I look forward to receiving more of these as this was my first newsletter. I have watched your program since it first began and am always blessed and informed. Many prayers for you, both, and Jack get well soon.
I am so glad to have found you again this morning on GOD TV. I used to watch regularly, but somehow ‘lost’ you! Just want you to know I will pray for Jack, that the Lord will fully restore him. Your message is a powerful witness for this time. Maybe the Lord will come for His own this year. We wait in expectancy!
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?
- Who is deceiving President Obama right now, and how does his role as ‘peacemaker’ for Muslim nations signal the rise of the Antichrist?
- 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!
Rampant addictions; a sign of the times? Now you’ll understand how God’s Word previews the bondage of alcoholism and drugs, tobacco, pornography, gambling, and more that we see all around us today as a sign of the soon return of the Savior and the approaching Tribulation.
In this insightful video, Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe also reveal hope for you or a loved one who is struggling with a life-controlling addiction, through the power of Jesus Christ. Learn about the biblical perspective on substance abuse – the roots of addiction – how to overcome addictions as notorious as alcoholism or as overlooked as gossip, lying or cursing.