Weekly Newsletter – July 18, 2016
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Revelation 20: 7 – 15
Verse 7: And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Verse 8: And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Verse 9: And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
This portion of Scripture has caused many people great concern. They ask, “Why should Satan be loosed for a short season? What purpose could God have in unchaining this monster after one thousand years of blessed peace?” The answer is, “The free will of man.”
All persons who enter the Millennium are redeemed people (Isaiah 60:21 and Joel 2:28). However, one must remember that procreation still takes place during this era of time because those who survived the Tribulation hour enter the Millennium with human bodies. The believers upon the thrones possess resurrected bodies and do not bear children, but the others do. Consequently, the children born during this one-thousand-year period are born with the old Adamic, or sin, nature which has been an inherent part of man ever since the fall of Adam and Eve. Many of them, of course, accept Christ as their personal Saviour, but many do not! In addition, since Satan is bound, there is little to tempt them. They simply do not face the problems and trials which have confronted mankind in past ages. Satan’s release, then, is to determine whether or not Christ is real to these children of the Millennium, or whether they have been submissive simply because He ruled with a rod of iron (chapter 19, verse 15).
The truth is revealed as millions follow the devil. Yes, even after living with the Lord Jesus Christ for ten centuries, much of mankind rebels. Verses 8 and 9 inform us that Satan deceives the nations internationally (pictured by the four corners of the earth), and gathers them together for one last battle. The army is gigantic in number…as the sand of the sea. Once again the camp of God’s people-the beloved city of Jerusalem-is surrounded, just as the armies of the Tribulation hour gathered against Jerusalem to battle (see Zechariah 14:1). Then, in an instant, God destroys them all with a devouring fire from heaven.
To whom do the names Gog and Magog refer? In Ezekiel 38 and 39, they identify Russia. Not so in verse 8. Instead, they most likely indicate the memory of past brutality-much like the names Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, and Iraq do today. As Gog and Magog (Russia) invades Israel and comes against Jerusalem during the Tribulation hour, such an indelible impression is left upon all the world that now-one thousand years later-the details are still vivid. Thus, this past war, fought in the same area, is brought to mind as Satan once again attempts to destroy Israel.
Verse 10: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
This is the end for the deceiver of the ages. He is cast into the place prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Many centuries were required for this slanderous culprit to reach his final destination. Now that he has arrived, he will experience nothing but continual torment-day and night-for ever and ever. Amen!
We need to digress for a moment at this point, because many persons-Christians included-harbor a misconception about hell. Whenever they see or hear the term, they picture a place where a little red-suited gremlin stokes the fires and torments his victims with a pitchfork. Satan is neither the stoker nor does he torment his followers-and, as we have observed, he does not enter hell until after the Millennium. As we have already learned, Satan is the god of this world [system] (2 Corinthians 4:4), the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), and the ruler of heavens one and two-the aerial and stellar heavens. He retains this position until he is cast out of heaven (see chapter 12, verses 7-9). He then reigns on earth for the final forty-two months of the Tribulation period. Upon Christ’s return to earth, Satan is bound in the bottomless pit, and then, following the Millennium, is released for a short season. Finally, he is cast into hell, or the lake of fire and brimstone, where he is tormented for all eternity. An understanding of these truths is essential to both victorious living and correct interpretation of the Book of Revelation.
We now come to the most awesome portion of Scripture in the entire Bible-the judgment of the wicked.
Verse 11: And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Verse 12: And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Verse 13: And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Verse 14: And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Verse 15: And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Again John says, I saw. The term is found thirty seven times in this book. What a privilege was his! This time he views the gloomiest hour of history-the judgment of the wicked-as well as Christ sitting upon a white throne. White is the symbol of purity, justice, and holiness in Scripture. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white (chapter 19, verses 7 and 8).
Since “white” stands for all that is honorable and right, what does it symbolize? Integrity-for Christ, who is the truth (John 14:6), is himself the Judge. Notice that the term is Great White Throne. This pictures a great judgment that is about to fall on those who have rejected the “so great salvation” question (see Hebrews 2:3).
How does one know that the tender, loving Jesus is the One who sits upon the throne as Judge? The answer is found in John 5:22: For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son. Again, the Father hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man (John 5:27). The One raised from the dead-the Lord Jesus Christ-is the Judge, according to Acts. 17:31: [For] he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. That moment is now before us!
What a solemn scene as unregenerate mankind comes face to face with God for the investigation of all their evil deeds. Every transgressor is present: presidents and paupers, high society snobs and skid row derelicts. Yes, this group includes every Christ-rejecter of the ages, small and great, rich and poor, free and bond. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life [the first resurrection]; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation [the resurrection for judgment] (John 5:28,29). Make no mistake about it, there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust (Acts 24:15).
As the unsaved stand before a holy God, the books are opened. Yes, He has record of every wicked deed sinners have ever committed. Nothing remains hidden. Adultery, abortion, drunkenness, drug addiction, harlotry, hatred, lawlessness, murder, rebellion, sexual promiscuity, wife-swapping, and every other abominable practice is then exposed in detail.
How is all this possible? God is both omniscient (all knowing) and omnipotent (all-powerful). The psalmist said in chapter 139, verses 1 and 2, O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising. God knows everything about every member of the human race. God adds, I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them (Ezekiel 11:5). I know when you have eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin (2 Peter 2:14). I know when your tongue is about to curse, For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether(Psalm 139:4). I the Lord search the heart (Jeremiah 17:10). This statement is extremely important, For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, blasphemies (Matthew 15:19).
God’s books will be totally accurate because He sees every move humans make: The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth (2 Chronicles 16:9). All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (Hebrews 4: 13). That aborted fetus flushed into oblivion, that sex act in a parked car or motel room; that crooked deal for illegal gain-everything is indelibly inscribed in the journal of the Almighty bookkeeper. One cannot hide from God, whoever He may be! Furthermore, no mistakes will be made, for the dead will be judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. We also see that every unbeliever will be present, for the bodies come forth from land and sea and the souls come from Hades (or hell). Then, body, soul, and spirit are reunited to stand before God.
Many have never realized that there is a time when the wicked are released from hell. This is not a new doctrine or man-made theory. However, for the moment, let’s examine a few facts regarding this teaching.
The New Testament contains two Greek words-Hades and Gehenna-both of which are translated hell in our English Bible. The Lord Jesus Christ used both words repeatedly. Why two words? Are there two places? Yes! A simple illustration will help us understand.
Everyone knows the difference between a local jail and a penitentiary. When an individual is arrested for a crime, he is not placed in the penitentiary until he has had a trial. Instead, he is locked up in the local jail (city or county), where he awaits his trail. Then, upon being found guilty, he is transferred to the penitentiary, where he serves his sentence. The next statement is of extreme importance. Get it! When Jesus used the word Hades, He referred to the local jail-the place where the sinner is bound until the judgment morning. Then, on Judgment Day, the sinner comes out of the local jail (Hades), stands before the Judge (the Lord Jesus himself), is found guilty, and is subsequently transferred to the final penitentiary of souls (Gehenna). The lake of fire is usually synonymous with Gehenna.
The eleven instances where Christ mentioned Hades are as follows: Matthew 11:23; 16:18; Luke 10:15; 16:22, 23; Acts 2:27; 2:3 1; 1 Corinthians 15:55; Revelation 1:18; 6:8; 20:13; and Revelation 20:14.
Gehenna is mentioned twelve times by the Saviour: Matthew 5:22; 5:29; 5:30; 10:28; 18:9; 23:15; 23:33; Mark 9:43; 9:45; 9:47; Luke 12:5; and James 3:6.
After studying the twenty-three texts, one observes that verses 13 and 14 of our present study now make perfect sense: Death [the grave] and hell [Hades] delivered up the dead which were in them. The plural pronoun “them” indicates two places: the grave and Hades-one for the body and the other for the soul. Next they were judged every man according to his works (that’s the trial). Then death and hell [Hades-Greek] were cast into the lake of fire [Gehenna-the final penitentiary].
Why are they transferred? Gehenna differs from Hades in that Gehenna is a place where there are degrees of suffering. After one has been examined and judged as to how much light he had (how often he heard the message of salvation and rejected it), he is assigned to this place called Gehenna, where there are degrees of suffering according to one’s light and works. Thus, the final hell will differ for all, depending on one’s evil deeds and the number of times he rejected Christ’s offer of love.
Now we understand Romans 2:5 a little better: But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up [storest up, savest up] unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath. This is why it shall be more tolerable [more bearable, more endurable] for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for [Capernaum] (Matthew 11:24). What was Capernaum’s sin? Capernaum had greater light since Christ visited the city and preached to her citizens. This is also why the Pharisees receive the greater damnation (Matthew 23:14).
Clearly, sinners are raised from death and Hades, judged by Christ at the Great White Throne, and then transferred to Gehenna. The “good news,” however, is that none of this happens to those who are trusting in the merits of the shed blood of Jesus. When one trusts Christ, his name is written in the book of life. The judgment just discussed is only for those whose names are not found inscribed in the book (see verse 15). If one is saved, he need never be concerned about hell as his eternal destiny, for he that believeth on [Christ] is not condemned (John 3:18). He is also passed from death unto life (John 5:24). Thus, there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Amen.
The great judgment is only for those who participate in the final resurrection which occurs after the 1,000-year or millennial reign of Christ upon earth. Those who were raised prior to the Millennium are eternally secure, for blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power (verse 6).
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
WHY AM I SURPRISED?
It’s very hard for me to describe my feelings-perhaps a sense of awe, humility, and gratitude?-when I think about the wonderful opportunity God has given to my husband and me to reach around the world via television each week with the gospel. I definitely believe the Holy Spirit impressed Jack to find a format that so many people watch.
When we first knew we were going to have a program that would be beamed around the world, we had prayerfully planned an unusual approach that seemed really exciting. Then, about a week before we were to start production, Jack came to me and said, “Rexella, I believe we are to do a different format. I sense that we are to gather news from around the world-global headlines-and connect them to the Word of God.
With all my heart, I believe the Lord directed my husband in that decision. Today we get hundreds of pounds of mail every week from viewers who ordinarily would not watch a church-related or religious program. One day we walked into a restaurant and were recognized by a group of some twenty Jewish people. “Oh, Dr. and Rexella,” they said, “we love your program and try to tune in every week!”
In the same restaurant, we met a smaller group of Arab people who smiled and said, “Thank you for your TV program-we appreciate it so much!”
I was also stopped by the wife of a state senator who said, “I don’t know if you know this, Rexella, but the first thing on the agenda of many of the senators on Monday morning is to get together over coffee and discuss your program!”
On the street in Toronto not too long ago, we were stopped by a Muslim man who said, “Many people in our community here watch your telecast often-we enjoy it so much.” I couldn’t help asking, “Why are you attracted to a Christian program that presents the gospel and quotes the words of Jesus? Why would you want to watch that?”
His answer was so humbling-“We trust you!”
So many calls and letters we receive are from people like this who might never go to church or watch another religious program. Our media consultants (who also work with numerous other ministries) say that we are seeing more response to the invitation for salvation than perhaps any other program on the air today.
Many people write to say, “We couldn’t make it through our week without hearing your analysis and encouragement.”
And not long ago I got a letter that brought tears to my eyes. A young girl who had decided to commit suicide was flipping through the TV channels and stopped on our program. She wrote, “Rexella, you looked straight into the camera at me and said, ‘God cares about you…and so do I!’ That changed my whole thinking…and saved my life.”
Preparing for the promised days
Jack and I pray earnestly as we prepare for each program. We are keenly aware of the responsibility that is ours because we truly believe that we are living in the days just prior to the coming of the Lord. We don’t like to use the phrase “last days” because it’s not a countdown to the world ending. Actually, it’s the promised days-just before Christ will come back to earth, set up His kingdom, and stop all the mayhem and madness. It will be the beginning of a thousand years of peace on the earth.
I believe we are now living in the time the Bible refers to as the “hour of temptation” that will come upon all the world and try those who live on planet earth (see Revelation 3:10). But Jesus surely is coming very soon!
When is He coming? Each week on television, we talk about the events the Bible says are signs of His coming. We share news reports about wars, rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, and countless other distresses and fateful events.
Often people will say, “The world has always had war and famine and trouble-all these things. Are today’s events any different? Why do they have special significance now?”
The answer is found in two key verses. Jesus said, And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end (end of the age) come (Matthew 24:14). Only recently, in our generation, could it be said that the gospel has been preached in all the world, witnessing to all nations.
Secondly, the Bible doesn’t say, “when you see wars, look up” or “when you see famine and pestilence, the time is near.” Look carefully at what Jesus said in Matthew 24:33-when ye shall see ALL these things, know that it is near, even at the doors (emphasis mine). All these things, all at once-simultaneously! That’s the key Jesus said to watch for, and I’m telling you, that day has come!
There are many places in the Word that talk about things that will come to pass-there’s a whole list of them, but I’ve chosen to write about just four-perhaps the top four-that have to come together before the coming of the Lord.
So today we must do all that we can to point the lost to the Answer-not a theory, a contract, a plan-but to the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. That’s what Jack and I do every week on our worldwide telecast.
Hunger and pestilence (Revelation 6:8)
The second thing that shocks me is how there can be famine, privation, and deathly need and starvation in a world where there is such abundance. Why am I surprised? Often there can be unimaginable opulence and wealth at one end of the street, and hunger, want, and terrible suffering at the other end of the same street.
The hunger, disease, and pestilence around the world hurt my heart so much. Today we have many, many billionaires all over the world-people with so much wealth that they literally cannot even count it all. There are billionaires not only in prosperous, wealthy countries, but also in poor, underdeveloped nations. Outside the gates of these billionaire’s estates-in the very shadow of their elegant palaces of privilege-starving people die in the darkness.
In nations ravaged by famine, with millions of starving children, cruel dictators hoard the country’s meager resources and even confiscate the humanitarian aid sent by other nations for their own personal gain. No wonder the Word reminds us that the heart (of man) is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).
Most of us are not billionaires. Perhaps we do not even have much to spare beyond our basic needs. But in the words of American writer Edward Everett Hale-
I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do something I can do.
There is always something we can do to help share the gospel with those who do not know the Lord. Even when the physical needs of nations and people are beyond our means to change, we can point them to Jesus and His words of eternal life. In many impoverished regions where television is not available to very many, we are broadcasting the message of Christ’s soon return on radio, hoping that somehow we can get through to some of the people.
Without natural affection (2 Timothy 3:3)
Recently on our telecast, I read a horrifying headline and story about a mother who cut off the hands of her children because they were disobedient! Can you believe it? That’s not the affection of a mother’s heart. How could a parent’s mind get so twisted as to mistake brutal, bloody amputation and dismemberment as loving discipline? Truly we are living in “perilous times.”
Do you believe we are living in a day when people are without natural affection? We see and hear about it all the time. There are many husbands who beat and abuse their wives, even wives who also are abusive. There have also been numerous cases of children who have murdered their parents, or beat or injured a younger brother or sister.
Why am I surprised? We live in an age when sexual predators stalk children on the playgrounds of schools. Even teachers and religious leaders have been involved in horrible sexual abuse of young boys and girls. I just reported a story on our telecast recently about a man who had the names of 36,000 young boys on his computer. Investigators suspected that he had probably actually had sex with hundreds of them.
That’s not a natural heart! That is a person without natural affection. You do not prey on children-I don’t care who you are or what “logic” you use to rationalize it. God intended for us to love our neighbor as ourselves-to have a love for everyone, no matter who they are. Betraying the trust and dependence of children and family is unnatural!
The Bible warns us about a whole laundry list of terrible behavioral practices that become common in the world before the end of the age comes. The Apostle Paul wrote, For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away (2 Timothy 3:2-5).
Do you recognize any of these things in our society today? Are they happening around where you live? Then pay attention. This is a biblical, prophetic sign of the promised days just prior to Christ’s coming!
Worldwide terrorism (Matthew 24:37; Genesis 6:11, Luke 21:9)
Worldwide terrorism! Why am I surprised? Jesus said, But as the days of Noe [Noah] were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be (Matthew 24:37).
What was it like in Noah’s day? The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence (Genesis 6:11). Does that description fit the world you know? I think so.
Finally, Jesus said, But when ye shall hear of wars and (violent) commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass…nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom… (Luke 21:9, 10).
Terrorism is certainly on the upswing right now. But we must not be surprised when it strikes. Jesus said these things must come to pass-terrorism will continue at some level right up until the coming of the Lord!
This is why I am so excited, positive, and thankful about the incredible tool the Lord has given to us with our weekly telecast, Jack Van Impe Presents. We don’t come on each week with global news and gloom and doom. We say, “Yes, we do see terrorism, just as Jesus foretold. But let not your heart be troubled-these things must come to pass. They precede the coming of the Lord.” We’re trying to prepare people with a positive outlook, knowing that trials teach us trust in our Heavenly Father!
Yes, there have been some dark days. There may well be dark times again. But don’t be afraid of “the power of darkness.” I believe darkness doesn’t really have any power of its own-it’s only the absence of light! If you carry light with you, it always dispels darkness! Darkness has no power if you hold up the light of the world-Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Savior and our Lord. He said, 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 (John 14:27).
Today let us allow God to comfort our souls and give us hope for tomorrow. Be ready and watching for His return. With all my heart, I believe He is coming very soon!
Don’t be surprised!
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
My grandma went to be with the Lord in 1983 at age 77. I remember as a child (1968 or so) when I would stay with her: she would tell me to be quiet because her program was on, and she would turn on the radio and listen to Jack Van Impe. Of course I had no idea who that was. In the past two years I have learned of you and listen to you as much as possible, either here online or a neighbor will tape it from the TV for me, now I understand why she wanted to hear you while she had her Bible open on her lap. Thank you for being faithful in telling about our dear Jesus and His return.
Drs. Jack & Rexella,
I just wanted to write and let you know how blessed I am with your Television programs, videos, and writings. I feel that when I watch you I am hearing the Absolute truth. The Holy Spirit doesn’t let me feel that way with the other so called Religious programs on TV. I see them as entertainment. I don’t want to be entertained.
I want to learn the Word of God and know what is ahead for us. I know that when I hear it coming from either of you I can trust it and accept it. Thank you for your many years of Service to the Lord and to those who follow you. Thank you for exposing those who aren’t Doing right by the Lord and preaching falsely. If you don’t expose it, who will? God Bless Both of you, your ministry, and your health. May God encamp His angels around you and protect you from the many barbs of the Devil. And may both of you be extremely blessed.
Lorraine J. K.
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Revelation 4:1 depicts the glorious “come up hither!” when the saints are called to meet Christ in the air during the Rapture. But how soon will this “great escape” from our violent and war-ravaged earth take place?
Prophecy experts Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe help you see how imminent it is — and answer critical questions such as:
- What are the signs that Christ is returning soon?
- What are the chances of a nuclear war in our lifetime?
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- How does Islamic jihad figure into Bible prophecy?
- What does it mean when Russia, China, and Islam unite?
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The true ‘New World Order’ that will ultimately control this earth is not the Satan-inspired, man-made cabal of the Antichrist, the false prophet, and their wicked followers, but rather:
The God-ordained government of Christ the King who will return to triumph at Armageddon and establish His peaceful domain on earth (Revelation 21:3).
Now Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe explain the wonders of this New World Order and show you how soon we may see its coming. Get the answers to questions such as:
- Does the Old Testament teach the Second Coming and reign of Christ on earth?
- What is replacement theology, and why is it wrong?
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- How will Jews one day recognize Jesus as Messiah?
- Will the nation of Israel turn to Christ?
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