Weekly Newsletter – July 17, 2023
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Listen – He Speaks Ever So Softly
Many years ago it was long past time for my annual physical, in fact, I was enjoying such good health and vitality that it had been three years since I had visited my doctor. However, at the conclusion of a thorough exam, the report was quite disconcerting. (Before I proceed, let me encourage all of my readers, if at all possible to go for that annual “check-up.”)
“We will have to do some tests,” the doctor explained, “then, in a couple of weeks, we will know where we stand.”
Immediately, my mind was filled with different thoughts. “Can this be me who is experiencing this questionable report? No! My doctor is wrong! What if she is not?” By the time I got home and shared the news with Jack I found myself asking God, “What’s this all about?”
In compliance with the doctor, I took the medical tests and began the long wait for the results. All the while, we were praying and seeking the Lord for His divine purpose and will to be accomplished in my life.
By the end of the two weeks, we found ourselves rejoicing in the faithfulness of God. I knew He had everything under control. Deep in my heart, I knew it would be all right. “But Lord,” I asked, “what is the purpose behind this trial?”
Then – the night before we received the results of my tests – Jack looked over at me and said, “I have peace in this matter, so tonight let’s go out and celebrate this victory in our lives!”
We went to a lovely restaurant that is meant for celebrating and fine dining. A nice, handsome pianist softly played the piano in the corner of the dining room, and candles softly lit each of the tables. Jack and I laughed, enjoyed our luscious dinner and shared in a wonderful conversation about the Lord. It was an evening I’ll never forget.
As we prepared to leave, I expressed to my husband how much I wanted to go and thank the pianist for sharing his special talent with us. Being musicians ourselves we were impressed with his tremendous ability to “tickle the ivories.”
“You have a beautiful touch on the keyboard,” I told him.
“Thank you,” he answered. “I am sorry if you saw me staring at you and your husband.” He explained: “For a year, my fiancée and I watched your television program faithfully. She used your ministry to help lead me to the Lord, and then . . . she died. She was only 38 years old and I have been bitter toward the Lord and unable to pray ever since.”
I reached out and took his hand from the keyboard and stated: “God doesn’t want you to be bitter and neither does she. Your fiancée is in a better place right now and you will be with her again – perhaps soon. The best thing you could do right now is to get your heart right with the Lord, so that when He comes again, you can go and be at her side.”
Jack, who has always been sensitive to the moving of the Holy Spirit, began to explain to this young man the Scriptures and how it is appointed unto men once to die (Hebrews 9:27). Then he added, “Your sweetheart is in heaven and awaits your homecoming. Be ready, Brian!”
Jack and I were so blessed as we watched the Lord begin to move in his heart. Right at the piano, with tears streaming down his face he recommitted his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. He looked up at both of us and said, “I can hardly wait to call my fiancée’s twin sister to tell her what has happened tonight.” We had a word of prayer and promised to send him our video about heaven.
The next morning, I heard from my doctor. My tests showed that I was just fine. The doctor said, “You and Jack go out and celebrate, Rexella.” She did not know that we had already claimed the good report and the special blessing we had found in doing so. Of course, we continue to rejoice and thank the Lord for the results of the test, but we realize that if for no other reason we had gone through this trial, Jack and I could be at the restaurant that night to speak to the young pianist.
God’s ways are so much greater than ours. This was probably the Lord’s plan all along! How important it is for you and me as Christians today to listen to the Holy Spirit and obey His leading in our lives! The things and events that surround us are real and at times they can be overwhelming, and we are unable to recognize Jesus and the guidance of His Spirit. Let the circumstances be what they may. Always maintain complete reliance upon Him and listen to the often quiet voice of His Spirit as He leads you into victory and blessings yet to come. Be totally unrestraining, be willing to risk everything. We do not know when His voice will come again, so be ever-aware and obey.
I realized, there are three very important lessons in regard to listening to the Holy Spirit that we can learn from this personal experience with the young man.
1. We must listen when the Holy Spirit is leading us.
I Thessalonians 5:19, says: Quench not the Spirit. That means, when the Holy Spirit is leading you, you must listen to His voice. The little promptings and opportunities that God passes along your way mean you must be faithful. Follow the Lord’s leading in these situations so that you do not quench His ministry in your life.
In Acts the 8th chapter, we read the wonderful testimony of Philip the evangelist as he was led to a desert road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza. Once there, the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this Chariot (Acts 8:29). Arriving at the chariot, there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official, who was reading the book of Isaiah. However, he did not grasp what the prophet was saying, so beginning with the passage of Scripture in Isaiah, Philip led the Ethiopian eunuch to a relationship with Jesus Christ.
If Philip had not obeyed the prompting of the Holy Spirit in his life – and, if Philip had not preached Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch -this court official may never have been won to the Lord.
The same was true for Jack and me as we talked with this young pianist that night. If we had just walked out, not wanting to get involved, or if we had talked with the musician about his fine musical skills and not talked about the Lord or the Scriptures, this young man may never have received the ministry he so desperately needed.
2. When the Holy Spirit guides us, He will empower us to do His will.
A beautiful example of this dynamic thought can be found in the life of the Apostle Peter.
Previous to Peter being filled with the Holy Spirit, he was a spiritually weak man. Who can forget the night when Jesus was brought before Caiaphas the high priest, and the scribes and the elders? Peter lingered outside in the courtyard where he was confronted by a servant girl who asked if he was one of Jesus’ disciples. Peter vehemently denied the Lord three times that night.
Remember, this was before the Holy Spirit filled Peter’s life.
Oh, the grace of God! Only 50 days after the denial, we read the wonderful account in Acts, chapter 2, of Peter’s boldness on the Day of Pentecost. This was the event Jesus prophesied before he ascended: But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8).
After Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, he stood up before the crowd that day – unashamed and unafraid – proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. Three thousand souls were won to the Lord!
Soon after this, Peter and John were brought before the Sadducees who commanded that Peter and John no longer teach in the name of Jesus (see Acts 4:13). But Peter would not be intimidated. He said (along with the Apostle John), Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard (Acts 4:19,20).
Scripture also records: With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all (Acts 4:33).
What made this difference in the life of the Apostle Peter? It was the Person of the Holy Spirit.
Previous to being filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter was so weak, in and of himself, he denied Christ in front of a damsel. After the infilling of the Holy Spirit, Peter became bold in faith and proclaimed the Gospel in the face of beatings and eventually, martyrdom (he was crucified upside down).
3. When the Holy Spirit leads and empowers us for the sake of the Gospel, and we faithfully obey His promptings – not quenching the Holy Spirit . . . then blessing comes!
That evening, after Jack and I shared in this precious conversation with our young pianist, we walked away rejoicing. We were happy about the wonderful things God did in that man’s life – and in ours – by bringing us all together for this special moment of ministry. We felt truly blessed! Winning souls and witnessing for Christ always produces joy.
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy (I Thessalonians 2:19, 20).
Jack and I have often found that in attempting to bless others, we are also blessed. As we attempt to reach out and water the lives of others with Scripture, we are watered ourselves. As we comfort others, our own comfort is increased. We find consolation and gladness in our own lives as we give to others.
Jesus said, Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again (Luke 6:38).
Proverbs says it this way: The liberal souls shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself (Proverbs 11:25).
We must remember: Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it (Mark 8:35). True life is found as you give yours away in service to others.
In closing, I am reminded of the Dead Sea, located between Israel and the Jordan, whose water content is so salty that very little is able to exist within its waters.
The intrinsic problem of the Dead Sea results from the fact that it has several inlets that flow into it – the Jordan river is one of them – but has no outlets to share its waters with other bodies. In other words: All receiving and no giving results in a body of water that has no life.
As followers of the Lord, we must never become like the Dead Sea – where all we do is sit, soak and sour! We must get rid of the desire to be a part of the “bless-me-club,” and become a member of the “blessing club.” The way to receive a blessing … is to be a blessing.
We must become an effervescent witness for Christ having a wellspring of living water flowing out of our hearts and into the lives of others. That well-spring of life that Jesus has given to each of us as believers is His precious Holy Spirit (see John 4:14 and John 7:37-39).
Let us determine that we shall always listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit inside us …even if it means encouraging and witnessing to a pianist in the middle of a restaurant!
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands.
And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.
Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
And when he had spoken such words unto me, I set my face toward the ground, and I became dumb.
And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.
For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me.
Daniel Regains His Strength and Understands the Reason for Christ’s Appearing
Now the scene suddenly changes. It is no longer Christ who stands before Daniel, but an angel. There is a specific reason for us to interpret this section of the passage in this way. If this were still Christ speaking to Daniel, we would be forced to conclude that Christ had little or no power, because the prince of Persia (v. 13) who withstood the messenger would be able to stand firmly against Christ and, therefore, demonstrate more power than the Son of God possessed. This, of course, would be impossible. It is therefore safe to conclude that the one now standing before Daniel is an angel-probably Gabriel-who again has made his incredible journey to Daniel’s side from the third heaven-an astronomical distance, described in chapter eight. This holy messenger speaks words of comfort to this choice servant of God.
But imagine Daniel’s confusion: One moment he sees the pre-incarnate Christ, and the next moment the angel Gabriel, who lifted him up, and delivered a message from the Lord. The words uttered by this heavenly being are words you and I certainly would want Jesus to say to us when that great day arrives as we stand before Him: words of comfort, love, and appreciation for our faithfulness to the cause of Christ during our witness on earth.
But the angel had even more to say to Daniel. We begin to see this revelation take on a new dimension, as Gabriel speaks of the kingdom of Persia’s power, and how a demonic spirit that controlled the ruler of Persia had “withstood” God’s angel, probably Michael, for twenty-one days. Throughout the Bible we read of many rulers of the world who are controlled by these evil, demonic spirits. In Isaiah 14:12-14, we find that Satan fell because he wanted to be like God. In Luke 10:18, Jesus said, “I saw Satan as lightning fall from heaven”-a reference to the third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2).
Today, Satan is still in control of heaven number one, and heaven number two. That’s why he can approach the end of heaven number two and keep up his incessant verbal abuse of God’s people- the brethren (Revelation 12:10). The Bible says that Satan is still the god of this world system.. . that he is the prince of this world (John 12:31). That’s why you and I do not wrestle against flesh and blood-against other human beings-but instead against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual (literally, spirit) wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12).
Peace… Not Fear
Fallen angels are everywhere, and Satan is the head of them, holding the designated title of prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). This prince of the first and second heaven, along with millions of his demonic spirits, has the ability to control political leaders.
It was the prince (or ruler) of ancient Persia who was controlled by one of these demonic agents. This enemy of mankind is powerful, but not all-powerful. Ultimate power and control belong to Yahweh. The message here is clear: “Daniel, I know that what you’ve heard in your visions is emotionally devastating to you. You feel sorry for your people and are saddened to realize what will happen to them in the latter days. But don’t be afraid. Your God is strong- omnipotent, or all-powerful. He is in control of the affairs of men. His angels surround you, and they represent the power of your almighty God.”
This sounds much like the comforting words spoken by Jesus in John 14:27:
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
That was the angel’s message to Daniel. He wanted to remove all sense of dread from Daniel’s heart. He wanted him to know that it was exclusively the enemy, Satan, who put timidity into his spirit. If he relied on the mercy and faithfulness of God, that fear would vanish (2 Timothy 1:7).
Gabriel was putting this angelic warfare into perspective: There are good angels, and there are bad angels. The angels of God stand with the Lord’s people to comfort them, and hold them up when times get tough. Such angelic beings were also available to our Savior. Jesus said in Matthew 26:53,
“Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?“
What power-to literally snap His fingers and be able to command the arrival of twelve legions of angels, a legion in a Roman army being seven thousand men! (See also Matthew 4:11.) Hebrews 1:14 says,
“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?“
Our guardian angels are there to protect us. They are the elect or holy angels, numbering into the millions (1 Timothy 5:21; Hebrews 12:22). On the other hand, millions of evil angels also fill the heavenlies. These are the “devils” (literally, demons or fallen angels) mentioned often in God’s Word, and Satan is the prince of these demons (Matthew 9:34). Together he and his minions control the minds of leaders who are the personification of evil-the holocaust-producing Josef Stalins, Adolph Hitlers, and Idi Amins of our world. I have spoken of these heavenly beings in some depth because they are integral to our understanding of this introduction to the last revelation received by Daniel.
Message of the Latter Days
The message was again difficult for Daniel to hear and accept-but this time he understood it. He did not need further clarification. He knew there would be a horrendous persecution of Israel (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:22; Revelation 12:13), and that it would occur during the latter days, a term equivalent to the time of the end.
Today, with an existing European Union, a nation called Israel, and Jews in control of Jerusalem, we find ourselves with an increasing number of signs pointing to the time of the end. As you’ll recall, Daniel’s end-time prediction began when the prophet stated under Nebuchadnezzar’s reign: “There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, that has sent me to tell thee, Nebuchadnezzar, what shall be in the latter days.” For us moderns, the handwriting is on the wall. The seventieth week of Daniel is rapidly approaching. But the good news for believers is that prior to the beginning of the seventieth week, we will be raptured (Revelation 4:1).
At this point, Daniel fell to the ground, speechless. When he recovered, he became aware that the “lord” was standing in front of him. If you’ll notice in the text the word lord has a small l. If this were deity, the word would have a capital L as its first letter. This means that a different angelic being has come to comfort him. Daniel’s response is one of humility. He feels lowly and unworthy, not fit to stand in the presence of this holy being sent by his heavenly Father with a message of comfort, which is to “fear not.”
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy and learn from the electronic newsletter. I have been reading them for some time on the web site but just now signed up to get them in my inbox. They teach and make things easy to understand from the Bible. Will look forward to them each time they come to my inbox. Thank you so much and God bless.
Rexella, I just want to thank you for your “non” trending telling of the Truth of Jesus’ message. Your show brought me to Christ 20 years ago. It saved me from doing something foolish. I now have 3 beautiful children thanks to Jesus and your program. I pray you continue to spread the message of Jesus for another 70 years! I love you with all heart. God bless you and all your production crew on the show!!
HIGHLIGHTED MINISTRY OFFERS
The headlines are ominous and threatening. New extremist groups appear on the world stage daily — more violent and deadly than their predecessors.
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Where does it fit into these latter days?
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Will it ever STOP?
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With more than 1,000 prophecies in the Bible, over half of which have been fulfilled, you’ll discover how prophecy has foretold events in the past and explains events of the future. This easy-to-access Q&A format provides solid and trusted Bible teaching from Dr. David Jeremiah. For anyone curious about the signs of the End Times, The Prophecy Answer Book offers insights into key events that will occur before the Lord’s return.