Weekly Newsletter – July 18, 2022
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
The Night God Took Off His Mask
The ancient Greeks loved the theater. Their writers created elaborate stories — both comedies and tragedies — in the form of plays to be acted out in their amphitheaters.
Greek actors, skilled at playing many roles, switched from one character to another by going backstage and changing masks. When an actor returned to the stage with a new face he became another person.
The Greek word for one of these people of many faces was hypokrite — or hypocrite in English. It has come to mean one who acts out a part or pretends to be what he is not.
In the New Testament Jesus chided the religious elite of His day, the scribes and Pharisees who were more concerned with the traditions and ceremonies of serving God than the meaning and purpose of God’s laws. He said, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me (Mark 7:6).
Today so many who call themselves Christians have an extensive collection of masks they can put on and take off at will. They wear many different faces, depending on where they are, who they are with, and what they are doing.
Don’t misunderstand me — I’m not talking about being able to perform different functions as a person. A man may be a husband, father, businessman, sports enthusiast, handyman, scholar, and spiritual leader. A woman may be a wife, mother, counselor, chef, chauffeur, seamstress, designer, musician, gardener, etc. But in both examples, the individual can remain the same person while performing various functions.
Hypocrisy comes from attempting to be completely different people according to the environment or situation in which we find ourselves. And all of us are tempted to try our hand at role playing at one time or another.
The real you!
Do you ever find yourself acting one way at church, another way at home, and still another at work? Have you ever considered allowing your values, appearance, vocabulary, personality, and behavior to change dramatically from Sunday to Monday… from your work place to your home… from public to private life?
Are there times when you wonder who — and what — is the real you?
Several years ago, Dr. Van Impe and I knew of a young evangelist who had enormous ability. He was handsome, knowledgeable, and articulate. He spoke with eloquence, diction, and power. It seemed certain that he would become one of the most effective ministers in America.
I remember especially his strong messages about the evils of alcohol and how the devil was using strong drink to cause untold misery and destroy countless lives.
Then, in the prime of his life, this young minister suddenly died! In an instant he was gone. Later, it was revealed that he had fought an unending personal battle with liquor. Many nights after his evangelistic services he drank himself into an alcoholic stupor. How tragic that he proclaimed the life-changing, transforming power of Christ’s salvation to multiplied thousands, yet never accepted God’s deliverance from the satanic bondage that enslaved him.
One troubled young man in California came to as after a service and said, “I don’t understand my dad’s religion. He’s a deacon in the church and he seems so pious and so holy. But when he comes home, he yells and swears at my mother.” This boy was troubled at the mixed signals he was receiving from his father’s behavior. He realized that something was dreadfully wrong.
The Apostle James asked, Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? (James 3:11, 12).
Of course not! Then why is it that we often see entire casts of characters wrapped up in a single individual? Sometimes we’re not quite sure which face they will show us next. How can this happen?
I believe it may be explained by noting that man loses the awareness of his true identity when he loses sight of who God is! When man — either deliberately or accidentally — loses sight of God the Father, he soon loses his way in the resulting darkness.
The Bible tells how in the beginning the Lord God himself came into the Garden of Eden to have fellowship with Adam and Eve. He knew them personally… and they knew Him.
Then they sinned by disobeying God. Immediately Adam and Eve changed the way they acted — they hid themselves from the presence of the Lord. Ultimately they were driven out of the Garden… and out of fellowship with God.
From that day on, the human family began to lose sight of God — to forget who He was and what He was really like.
Putting a mask on God
As the years and centuries went by, man created a picture of God that was so distorted and mistaken that very few really understood His divine plan and His tender lovingkindness.
In the eloquent words of Paul the apostle: When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man (Romans 1:21-23).
I like the way The Living Bible expresses verse 21 — And after a while they began to think up silly ideas of what God was like and what He wanted them to do.
In effect, man created a mask — grotesque and corrupt — and used it to cover the face of God. And darkness again covered the earth and the lives of men.
It was then that God chose to reveal himself afresh and anew to all mankind. Paul Scherer described “the night of all nights when God came down ‘the stairs of heaven with a child in his arms .'”
Throwing aside the crude mask that man had placed upon Him, the Father sent His Son, Jesus, from heaven to earth — to once again walk among men and show them who God is and what He is like. So Jesus came, ministering to the poor, healing the sick, pouring out boundless love to all men. “Do you see me and my works?” He asked. “Then understand that this is the nature of God. For when you see me, you see the Father.”
Identify with God
Oh, my friend, the joy of seeing the Father… of having fellowship with God! This is the secret of true self-discovery. For as you find out who God is and your eternal relationship with Him through Christ, you will suddenly see yourself in a new light.
And then, you can strip away all your masks and faces and go forth in your new identity — as a child of God.
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
Revelation 12: 1 – 17
As noted previously, chapters 12 through 19 constitute a rerun of the Tribulation hour as presented in chapters 6 through 11. Thus, at this point we come once again to the middle of the Tribulation-and to the worst wave of anti-Semitism the world has ever observed. This is truly what Jeremiah had in mind in chapter 30, verse 7, when he said, Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble. Jacob, as one discovers in Romans 11:26, is Israel.
A number of great signs and occurrences are witnessed in this chapter, each having to do with the horrendous judgment that is enveloping the earth, including the persecution being directed against Israel. These include a great wonder (verse 1), a great red dragon (verse 3), great wrath (verse 12), and two wings of a great eagle (verse 14).
Verse 1: And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
In total, the Book of Revelation pictures four different women: (1) Jezebel, the high priestess of paganism (chapter 2, verse 20); (2) the scarlet woman, the high priestess of apostasy (chapter 17); (3) the Lamb’s wife, the representative of the true, blood-bought Church (chapter 19, verse 7); and (4) Israel, in the text before us.
This woman of chapter 12 is a picture of Israel. Mary Baker Eddy Glover Patterson presented herself as this woman, but her claim was absurd, to say the least. The woman’s offspring could not possibly be the Christian Science movement. Who, then, is this woman, and why does she appear? The term wonder in our text comes from the same Greek word sign. Thus, we see that the woman is a sign. What sign? The sign of Israel. Let’s prove this assertion.
The woman of Revelation 12:1 was pictured in the dream of Joseph centuries ago: And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it [to] his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon [representing father and mother] and the eleven stars [representing Joseph’s eleven brothers] made obeisance to me [the twelfth star]. And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying (Genesis 37:911).
Clearly, the woman clothed with the sun and wearing a crown of twelve stars upon her head, just like in Joseph’s dream, is Israel. The birth of this woman’s (Israel’s) son is predicted in Isaiah 66, verses 7 and 8: Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children [or her son]. Isaiah’s prediction finds its fulfillment in the next verse.
Verse 2: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
Here we have the mother, Israel, bringing forth a man-child who is none other than the blessed Lord Jesus Christ, as one discovers in verse 5. This truth harmonizes with many New Testament texts. For instance, Romans 9:4,5 states; [They] are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
Christ, in His flesh, came forth from Israel; and, at this point in our text, Christ’s adversary, Satan-the one who rebelled centuries ago against the authority of God (see Isaiah 14:12-14)-is about to strike another blow.
Verse 3: And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
Verse 4: And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
The red dragon is conclusively proven to be Satan in verse 9. The number seven speaks of completeness, and therefore, the dragon’s seven heads picture his wisdom. It is written that Satan is full of wisdom (Ezekiel 28:12). God created him that way when he was the anointed cherub [or angel] that covereth (Ezekiel 28:14). His ten horns speak of universal power, just as the ten toes of Daniel’s image do. Satan’s international control, of course, is possible because millions of demons jump at his command. Remember, he is the god of this world system (2 Corinthians 4:4). He is also the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) and the prince of this world (John 12:31). However, since he is not omniscient (all knowing), or omnipresent (in all places at all times), Satan must rely on demonic hosts (fallen angels) in diversified places to administer his power. This explains why Christians are not fighting against flesh and blood only but against spiritual wickedness in high places as well (Ephesians 6:12). Satan probably enlisted the angels who fell at the time of his rebellion when his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven [a reference to angels] and did cast them to the earth. A similar reference is found in Jude 13.
At this point, one may ask why we use these texts to discuss past, present, and future history. The answer is simple. The scene we are about to witness speaks of the entire age-long conflict from beginning to end. Its details are squeezed into these few verses before us. The same devil who attempted to destroy the woman’s (or Israel’s) son in centuries past (see Genesis 3:15) is now about to strike out against the woman herself via the greatest anti-Semitic purge in history. Hitler’s murderous and barbaric attempt at Jewish annihilation will seem like a Sunday school picnic compared to this holocaust! That’s why Daniel stated: There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book (12:1). Jesus himself said in Matthew 24:21, 22, For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. The elect, as spoken of here, are the Israelites of Romans 11:28.
Verse 5 proves my earlier statement that the verses before us cover the age-long conflict-past, present, and future.Verse 5:And she brought forth a man child [over 2,000 years ago], who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron [future]: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne [the present age of grace].
Verse 6: And the woman fled into the wilderness, where: she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
During this final forty-two-month period, described as the Great Tribulation (see Revelation 7:14), because of its intensity and immensity, the Children of Israel are protected by their God. He took care of them for forty years as they wandered through the wilderness, and now He again proves His love to His ancient people by delivering them. Yes, they shall be saved out of it (Jeremiah 30:7). And at that time thy people shall be delivered (Daniel 12:1). Matthew 24:22 adds, For the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. The “elect” in this text are unmistakably Jews. (See Isaiah 42:1, 45:4, 65:9, 22). In the next few verses, a shocking space war takes place.
Verse 7: And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Verse 8: And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
Verse 9: And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Some Bible authorities believe that this war in heaven began at the time of the Rapture in chapter 4, verse 1. Since a war involves a number of skirmishes or battles, this is a distinct possibility. The assumption is based on Daniel 12:1 and 2.
These scholars reason that since those who are caught up in the rapture of the Church must pass through the areas where Satan reigns-the aerial and stellar heavens-Satan becomes aroused and attempts to hinder this evacuation of the saints from the earth. However, as he attempts to interfere in this glorious event, angels-ministers of the saints (see Hebrews 1:14)-rush to the rescue, and the space confrontation and conflagration begins. This happened in the past-why could it not occur again? Where did it happen in the past? Consider Daniel 10:13 as we are introduced to Michael, the commander in chief of heaven’s armies. Daniel says, But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes [an angelic name and title], came to help me. God tells Daniel that He had every intention of answering His prayers, but that for twenty-one days the devil tried to hinder the response. Finally God had to send Michael to battle the devil in the area of his domain (the first and second heavens) in order to make the answer a reality. Thus, it is possible that Michael will again battle God’s adversary at the time of the Rapture in order to allow Christians their entrance into glory in the twinkling of an eye, as promised in 1 Corinthians 15:51-54.
Michael is mentioned five times in God’s Word, beginning with Daniel 10:13. We find him again in Daniel 10:21 where he is described to the Children of Israel as Michael, your prince. His third mention is in Daniel 12:1: And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people. In Jude 9, we find Michael, the archangel, contending with the devil over the body of Moses. Notice that every time Michael appears, he is connected with the Children of Israel-making it very plausible that he is at war with Satan in our present and fifth text, defending the Jewish people.
The war is on, and it is the greatest aerial combat in history: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon [Satan]; and the dragon fought and his angels.
Are you shocked to discover Satan in heaven? Most people (including most Christians) imagine him as a little creature dressed in a red uniform, running around in a place called hell, jabbing his victims with a pitchfork. This is all a lot of mythological nonsense.
Satan is a magnificent creature to behold. In fact, his beauty brought his ruin. Ezekiel 28:17 states: Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Not only is it a lie to picture Satan as a grotesque monstrosity, but it is equally false to place him in hell. He has never been there. He is the god of this world system, the prince of the power of the air, and the prince of this world, as we have already observed. He has been in heavens one and two (the aerial and stellar heavens) since his fall-and he will remain there until he is cast to the earth in verse 9. It is also important to note that he is not cast into eternal hell (the lake of fire) to join those he has duped until after the Millennium (chapter 20, verse 10). Now, as this battle is fought, Satan is defeated. Praise God! Satan is mighty, but God is Almighty! Satan can destroy, but God can destroy the destroyer! That is why the Christian should never fear the events of daily life. He has victory in Jesus. Yes, greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).
Satan’s demise began when he was cast out of the third heaven (see Isaiah 14:12-14), continues until Revelation 12:9 when he is cast out of the first and second heavens, and is completed when he is cast into the lake of fire (chapter 20, verse 10). John foresaw that hour and said, The prince of this world [shall] be cast out (John 12:31) and the prince of this world is judged (John 16:11). To the eternal Christ, Satan’s doom was as good as accomplished, but for you and me, time had to pass. Now, in our text, the moment has arrived: (Satan and his angels) prevailed not (verse 8.) Michael’s gunners zero in, and Satan’s place-an abiding location for centuries-is found no longer. Instead, the dragon (Satan) which deceiveth the whole world: [is] cast out into the earth, and his angels [are] cast out with him. This signals the end of Satan’s rule in the aerial and stellar heavens, and the victory celebration begins. All heaven rejoices over that which Michael’s defeat of Satan has accomplished.
Verse 10: And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
The spontaneous praise session within this verse occurs because (1) salvation from Satan’s atmospheric control has taken place; (2) God’s strength has crushed Satan’s might; (3) the kingdom is about to arrive; and (4) the power of Christ will be seen as He comes to set up His kingdom. Think of it! The united power of Father and Son casts the accuser of the brethren out of the heavens.
Did you know that accusing the brethren is Satan’s present ministry? He also uses some ministers and holier-than-thou church members to accomplish this goal. Listen carefully. Every bit of slander against another brother or sister in Christ is simply the devil using an individual’s mind and vocal cords. In fact, devil means “slanderer.” The term false accuser in the English Bible is translated from the word diabolos or devil. Thus, Titus 2:3 states: The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers. Literally rendered, this verse states: “That the aged women be not she-devils.” A woman who gossips is a “she-devil,” and a male gossip is a “macho-devil.” Both are controlled by the power of the vile one. No wonder lying is one of the seven sins God hates (see Proverbs 6: 16-19).
When Satan is cast out into the earth (verse 9), the hot spot will be our terra firma where men walk and breathe. At that time there will be only one place of safety and victory-in the arms of the Lord Jesus through His shed blood.
Verse 11: And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
These wise saints resisted Satan by the blood of Jesus and by the Word of God. There is no other way to win a spiritual battle (see Hebrews 4:12). They also overcame Satan by their testimony and loved not their own lives unto death. What a crown awaits them-and you, if you’re true blue! Thus, John states in Revelation 2:10: Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
Though there is rejoicing in the heavenlies, the picture is quite different for earth dwellers.
Verse 12: Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
At this point Satan unleashes all his fury for he knows that within forty-two months (three and one-half years), his reign will be ended. Thus, the great anti-Semitic purge now begins.
Verse 13: And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
Immediately God intervenes.
Verse 14: And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
This verse describes God in His sovereignty and love, protecting His chosen people for three and one-half years. The eagle’s wings probably indicate an airlift or some other miraculous speedy escape. God is probably reminding the Children of Israel of His act of preservation in Pharaoh’s day, and uses the picture of wings to show them His goodness. He declares, Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself (Exodus 19:4). Safety is promised to His people.
Verse 15: And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
The flood undoubtedly portrays a volume of propaganda-anti-Semitic insinuations, slanders, and slurs-released internationally. Yet, God promises: When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him (Isaiah 59:19).
Verse 16: And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
This verse, too, is reminiscent of the miraculous deliverance God provided the Children of Israel during their exodus from Egypt, when the Red Sea closed in over Pharaoh and his army. The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters. Who is like unto thee, 0 Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them (Exodus 15:9-12). At this point Satan reaches the height of his anger.
Verse 17: And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
July 6, 1976 at the Philadelphia Civic Center I was born again by grace through faith in Jesus Christ! I was first convicted of my lost condition while I was sharing the gospel on a Saturday during our church’s teenage soulwinning program. My first response to the Holy Spirit when he brought this conviction was, “Can’t you see what I am doing!” It was obvious then that I was mixing works with my faith for eternal salvation. Pride and procrastination were the barriers I struggled with until that Tuesday evening of July 6, 1976 at your Philadelphia crusade. July 6 of this year marks 46 years in God’s Family!
HIGHLIGHTED MINISTRY OFFERS
Dr. Van Impe, renowned as “The Walking Bible” and one of America’s foremost authorities on Bible prophecy, has committed to memory nearly 20,000 verse of Scripture by subject — more than the entire New Testament. His powerful and authoritative messages have been delivered to more than ten million persons in live crusade audiences, and to millions more via recordings, publications, and continuing internationals radio broadcasts. Dr. Van Impe is knowledgeable in virtually every area of Christian living and is an avid student of Bible prophecy and world events.
For 70 years, Dr. Jack Van Impe’s prophetic voice has been warning our world of the apocalypse to come — and the desperate need for every human being to choose new life in Christ before it’s forever too late!
Now all the prophecies Drs. Jack and Rexella have been uncovering are happening rapidly before our eyes … and people still need to know the Truth about the current apostasy, the Rapture, the Tribulation, the return of the Lord, and more!
Do not let your friends and family stumble blindly into these latter days! Use this DVD teaching to help you share the facts about Bible prophecy — and the Gospel with everyone.