Weekly Newsletter – January 25, 2016
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Revelation 3:1 – 22
Let’s move on to the next church. The fifth letter, written to the local church in Sardis, is also from the Saviour, for Christ has the seven stars in His right hand in Chapter 1, verse 16. Again, the Saviour begins by commending Sardis for her works.
Verse 1: And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; these things saith he that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
Sardis began in 1520 A.D., and undoubtedly extends, historically, into the Tribulation. This period of time covers the Reformation (with its dead, lukewarm churches) and is presently part of the Laodicean period as well. The reason for the deadness is that, during the Reformation, entire countries became Protestant without being born again. Protestantism was made the state religion, and was freely embraced by millions who did not know what it meant to become new creations in Christ Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). Thus, Sardis became the mother of dead orthodoxy. Her theme song was not “Standing on the Promises,” but “Sleeping on the Premises” -her members were dead! God help us to have life!
Hundreds of churches follow Sardis’s lead today. This is the reason millions are leaving liberal churches for good, old-fashioned, gospel-preaching lighthouses. Immediately, God called for a fivefold revival package.
Verse 2:Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
Verse 3: Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Sardis was admonished to: (1) Be watchful or alert: knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep (Romans 13:11); (2) Strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: Her people were to do everything possible to salvage the little good that still remained in their bastion of dead orthodoxy; (3) Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard: The Sardis Christians were commanded to recall the former days-the early days of their salvation when they were filled with purity and zeal; (4) Hold fast: They were to retain the simple truth of the gospel and discard the excess baggage of ecclesiastical pomp and ceremony; and (5) Repent: They were to change their minds. Christ’s call was not for personal repentance but for the entire church, yea, the entire movement, to change. The Reformation churches needed to turn back to Christ, seeking His will and His Spirit’s teachings rather than man-made ideas about theological truth.
One of the areas of truth the Reformation churches failed to proclaim was the return of Christ. Therefore, the Lord said that this event would catch them unawares: Thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. No wonder many of the present-day offspring of the Reformation have ministers who say, “No one can understand the Book of Revelation. It is a deep, mysterious, symbolical, figurative book.” Baloney! Preacher, layman, you are the one Christ had in mind. Awake thou that sleepest… and Christ shall [raise you from the dead] (spiritually speaking).
In the midst of this deadness, Sardis had a few who could still wiggle, spiritually.
Verse 4: Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
Though the Reformation churches, like the mother out of whom they came, did not practice holiness unto the Lord, there were individuals who did not defile their garments in compromise with the world, the flesh, and the devil. They came out from among them, and [touched] not the unclean thing (2 Corinthians 6:17). As a result, they were promised the reward of being clothed in white garments, as stated in the latter part of verse 4 and in verse 5:
Verse 5: He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but 1 will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
This white raiment is found upon the bride of Christ at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb: Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints (Revelation 19:7, 8). In addition, those who possess a genuine salvation experience will remain in the book of life eternally. What security! Christ says, I will not blot out his name… before my Father, and before his angels.
Verse 6: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Make sure YOUR experience is real!
Let’s progress to the next church. The sixth letter is written to the church of Philadelphia and covers historically the years from 1750 until the Rapture.
Verse 7:And to the angel [or messenger] of the church of Philadelphia write these things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
Once again the message is from the Lord Jesus Christ. However, instead of gleaning a picture from chapter 1, as we have in the past, we are now given a new and beautiful fourfold description of the Lord: (1) He that is holy: one finds this description of Christ in Hebrews 7:26; (2) He that is true: Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6); (3) He that hath the key of David: Jesus again said, I am the root and the offspring of David (chapter 22, verse 16); and (4) He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth. Christ is not only the One who opens the door, but He is the door (John 10:9). Christ’s commendation is presented to the local church of Philadelphia in verses 8-10:
Verse 8: I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and /tact not denied my name.
Verse 9: Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
Verse 10: Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
We immediately realize from this text that the church of Philadelphia is loaded with good works. The open door speaks of missions, and the church covering this era of time undoubtedly has done, and is doing, more than any other group ever attempted to do in the annals of history. Thank God for such vision! Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18).
Although this group does so much, they are still a minority, for [they had] a little strength. One of their great strengths was that they kept His name. Since the church of Philadelphia extends into our twenty-first century and even to the point of the Rapture, the command for each of us today is that we never deny His name, for if we deny him, he also will deny us (2 Timothy 2:12). Oh, the tremendous loss some will experience at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Christ also promises these faithful brethren that the members of the synagogue of Satan (false professors of religion as described in chapter 2, verse 9) will be forced to bow and worship the Lord God Almighty, willfully or unwillfully, at a future time (chapter 3, verse 9). This could be at the Judgment Day, for Paul informed the children of God that they would share with Christ in judgment. Hear him: Do ye not know that the saints will judge the world? (1 Corinthians 6:2). Christ himself spoke of that time when He stated: As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God (Romans 14:11).
Finally, because of their love for Christ, the Philadelphia-era believers are promised exemption from the day of the Lord’s wrath, or the Great Tribulation hour: I… will keep thee from the hour of temptation (chapter 3, verse 10). In the Greek, the word from is ek, meaning “out of.” God promises to keep the Philadelphia believers “out of”-not “through” (preservation), but “out of’ (evacuation) the Tribulation.
Thus, the Church will be gone when the terrible hour of Tribulation judgment comes upon all the world to try the earth dwellers. Praise God, “This world is not my home, I’m only passing through.” We believers are not earth dwellers, for our citizenship is in heaven (see Philippians 3:20). In the light of the coming of Christ, an admonition is given in the next verse.
Verse 11: Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Here the Christian is warned to be faithful, lest all rewards (not salvation, but rewards) be lost-even the loss of one’s crown. The promise of verse 12 is to those who are faithful.
Verse 12: Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Three blessings are mentioned for the faithful: (1) They become pillars in the temple of God; (2) they have the name of God written upon them, thus identifying them and allowing them access into the city of God-the New Jerusalem described in Revelation 21 and 22; and (3) they have the new name written upon them. The name of God allows them to enter the Holy City, but the new name of Christ entitles them to be His servants, where they shall see His face (chapter 22, verses 3 and 4). Because the future blessings are so wonderful, the admonition continues.
Verse 13: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches.
The seventh and final letter is to the local church of Laodicea, which covers the years from 1900 to the Tribulation Hour. The message, as in all previous letters, is from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 14: And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; these things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God,
This threefold description of the Saviour includes: (1) the Amen. In Hebrew, this word means “true.” The complete meaning is “truth in its finality,” which pictures Christ as the final truth; (2) the faithful and true witness. This statement links Christ to chapter 1, verse 5, where He is called true, and (3) the beginning of the creation of God. Since the Lord is the firstborn of all creation (see Colossians 1:15), we again recognize Him as the speaker.
Verse 15: I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
The Laodicean church also has works, but her service is rendered in a lukewarm fashion. What a picture of the present age! Some of our churches are so cold that signs above the doors could advertise these religious refrigerators as, “First Church of the Deep Freeze, pastored by Dr. Jack Frost.” The situation is so drastic that, whereas parishioners used to quote the verse, “Many are called but few are chosen,” they now think the “New Reversed Version” states, “Many are cold and a few are frozen!” God alone knows how serious the present situation literally is.
Verse 16: So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
The condition of the Laodicean church makes God so violently ill that He wants to spue this group out of His mouth. The Greek word is emeo, from which we get the word emetic. An emetic is given to one who has swallowed poison in order to make him regurgitate. Think of that! A lukewarm church is an emetic to Christ. But what’s the reason for this lukewarmness, coldness, indifference, and carnality?
Verse 17: Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
The Laodicean era is a highly prosperous one. As a result, her people have erected elaborate church structures worth millions of dollars. (Stop a moment and consider the money presently being invested in buildings used one to three hours weekly.) Laodicean pastors often attack the “electronic church” ministries. The command of Jesus is, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). However, the “electronic church” ministers are simply obeying the Saviour. God help each of us to see that although buildings are necessary for worship and service, they should be humble edifices rather than the latest multi-million dollar architectural monstrosities which glorify men.
God tells the Laodiceans that they are really wretched and miserable, poor (spiritually, though rich materially), blind, and naked. This is true because riches usually make one wretched and miserable. One spends forty years accumulating his wealth and the final thirty years keeping others from getting it. The Laodiceans are also blind because they cannot see the need of the millions who are dying without the Saviour and going into eternal loss. Because of this fact, they are naked both now and in eternity, for they are not clothed with Christ’s robe of righteousness (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). His plea to them is…
Verse 18: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Christ instructs the Laodiceans to: (1) buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich. This probably refers to 1 Peter 1:7, where the trial of [our] faith [is] …more than of gold; (2) buy white raiment-undoubtedly, the reference is to the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness mentioned in Isaiah 61:10; and (3) anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. This speaks of illumination which only the saved share: The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14). Because of the conditions prevalent in the Laodicean church, the Lord states…
Verse 19: As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
This message reminds us of Hebrews 12:6, which states: Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Spiritual spankings are administered in order that we might be zealous and repent, or “change our minds.” He continues…
Verse 20: Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
This verse is actually a picture of Christ standing outside the door of the latter-day church rather than the heart of an individual, as we so often hear stated. Presently, entire churches and denominations are barring the Saviour’s entrance. Unbelievable! However, those who listen to His appeal; open the door, and follow Jesus will not be sorry.
Verse 21: To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Finally, one last time, the Lord proclaims the warning…
Verse 22: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
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
Hi Jack and Rexella,
I am always so inspired by your program. You are both great teachers! I love that your prophecy book explains things according to SUBJECT. I have always been curious how to understand the Bible and this makes sense to me.
I have been a lost soul for years, for different reasons, and I am really drawn to and feel the family connection to you both. YOU BOTH MAKE SENSE TO ME and that is very rare. Your program is one of the few inspiring things on TV. I don’t attend church and your program is my church sermon every week.
Thank you for sharing the word of the Lord!
I have been a little confused with all the programs on television. I told my preacher about my confusion. He suggested I watch your program. WOW‼ I am no longer confused. Thanks for keeping me informed about what’s going on out there.
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
Radical Islamic terrorism is the greatest threat to civilization in the 21st Century. But powerful leaders are trying to disguise the truth about this violent religion and its demand for conquest. Don’t let your family and church be deceived!
Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe explain the truth about Islam and how it compares to the Bible. In this video you will discover the answers to questions such as:
- Why are Muslims permitted by their religion to LIE about Islam and proclaim it peaceful?
- What supposed Christian is spreading the lie that Jesus was a Palestinian?
- How is President Obama’s record clearly anti-Israel and pro-Islam?
- Can democracy and Islam co-exist?
- What does the Bible say about the coming war with Russia — and how do today’s headlines predict it?
- How do the recent terrorist attacks by ISIS and Russia’s growing Mid-East presence clearly demonstrate the fulfillment of prophecy and impact the latter0day calendar?
- And Many More!
Prophecy experts Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe lay out the evidence that YOU are part of the Rapture generation — the people who will see the coming of Christ and be caught up to meet Him in the air!
In this power-packed teaching, you’ll get answers to critical questions such as:
- What does Armageddon really mean?
- What do recent natural disasters have to do with Jesus’ prophecies of the latter days?
- What are some examples of recent Islamic terrorist attacks?
- What does this have to do with their obeying the Koran?
- Could this be the year that the Lord will return? What are the signs?
- What does the Bible say about terrorism being one of the major signs before the Lord comes back?
- And Many More!