Weekly Newsletter – July 19, 2021
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
LET THE DOVES SPEAK part 2
We want to continue this week and look at the last five of the Beatitudes:
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after
righteousness: for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6).
I believe this Beatitude refers to our having a desire to see justice around us, in our own country and around the world. Those who are blessed by God, foreseeing the needs of others, do things to help just because it is the right thing to do. They speak up for the poor and needy and for people in other lands who have not had the opportunity to live in freedom. Are we concerned enough about righteousness and holiness to be driven by these holy characteristics as urgently as our bodies respond to hunger and thirst?
This verse also makes me a bit introspective. I read it and ask, “How can I be righteous? How can I be right as I walk in this world?” I must die to self and selfishness and allow Christ to live His life in and through me! The apostle Paul said, the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).
I believe that you and I can claim this blessing only when we truly hunger and thirst after holiness and doing what is right. Then what happens? We shall be filled…with righteousness and with His glory.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy
Mercy and righteousness are inextricably linked together. If we truly want righteousness, we get involved, we extend help to the needy, we assist, and we forgive those who have sinned against us. If it is within our power, we must show this kind of mercy to those we encounter. Can we not share the mercy that we ourselves have received?
The writer of Lamentations cried, It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness (3:22-23).
What a blessing to have the promise of God’s mercy as we show tenderness to others. What a joy to realize that goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life (Psalm 23:6).
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God
Everything that we have seen and experienced so far is by faith. None of us has ever had the joy of really looking at God. We have seen His handiwork, we have witnessed His love for us by sending His Son, and we have seen the attributes in Christ that He wants us to have. But we have never seen Him.
One day we will-if our hearts are pure. That is His promise.
To me, that will be the best thing about heaven. I’m not the most excited about seeing the golden streets and magnificent surroundings. And as much as I love and miss my wonderful mom and dad who are there (and I do want to see them with all of my heart), the first one I want to see in heaven is the Lord, my Savior and my God!
How, then, can my heart be pure? My pretenses and masks must go because purity of heart cannot be falsified-it must be genuine and sincere. My entire being cries out, Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).
This Beatitude, to my mind, is a foundation stone. It gets down to the crux of everything, doesn’t it? If you don’t have a pure heart, where is the authenticity to want to do the right thing? Without a pure heart, how can you be merciful?
Indeed, without a pure heart, I cannot see Him. And oh, more than anything in this world, I want to look upon His face!
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall
be called the children of God (Matthew 5:9).
The Bible teaches that we are to live peaceably with all men (see Romans 12:18). The Lord doesn’t want us to harbor hate, animosity, or intolerance. There will be no place in heaven for racists or exclusionary creeds. Humbly and gently, we are to seek solutions and to disarm hostility. The Bible says, A soft answer turneth away wrath (Proverbs 15:1). I believe that we should seek to be the kind of person who-at home, at church, at work, or wherever we go-can simply enter a room and change the atmosphere.
Another way we can bring peace is to help bring order out of chaos. Where there is clutter and confusion, simply stepping in to help organize and restore order reduces stress and tension. And we can have the courage to do this by calling upon the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The Word of God says that everywhere Jesus went He did good and destroyed the works of the devil-which produced peace (see Acts 10:38; 1 John 3:8). And Jesus said that if we believe on Him, the works He did we can do also, and even greater (see John 14:12). So as we go out and do what Jesus did, we will make peace, because He was, and is, the prince of peace, the greatest peacemaker the world has ever, or will ever know.
If you give this a try, don’t be surprised if people start calling you a child of God. After all, that is the Lord’s promise!
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men
shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of
evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding
glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they
the prophets which were before you (Matthew 5:10-12).
The idea of persecution being a blessing seems very strange, especially for believers in America. We have never experienced most of the things that missionaries and other Christians around the world have been forced to endure for the sake of the gospel. Yet Jesus said that we would have tribulation and suffering in this world. And for such monumental sacrifices, He said there would be great rewards and crowns.
I had great admiration for one of the girls in my home church. She married a minister and they went to South America as missionaries. The team with whom they were working was attacked by primitive warriors from the Auca Indian tribe, and my friend’s husband was one of the men who was killed.
The incident attracted international news coverage, and I vividly recall seeing a television interview with the father of the martyred young man. He was asked, “If you could have kept your son from going to South America and being killed as a missionary, would you have done so?”
I’ll never forget his answer. He shook his head and said, “Would I rob my son of the martyr’s crown?” Of course that father felt grief for his son’s death, but he expressed no bitterness or regret. He genuinely believed that his son would be blessed with a great reward in heaven because of the persecution he endured for the Lord (Revelation 2:10).
I truly believe all those who lose loved ones in God’s work receive a special measure of divine comfort. I believe God might well speak to their hearts saying, “I understand how you feel-I sent My Son into the world, and they crucified Him also.”
The psalmist declared, weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
My challenge to you
I encourage you to underscore Matthew 5:3-11 in your Bible and read those few verses often. Life itself is in that short passage. Let the Holy Spirit impress each phrase of the Beatitudes on your heart and stamp them indelibly in your mind.
Remember, this kind of living is possible! Jesus would not have spoken these truths if they were not accessible for all of us! I believe that when you and I hide these words within our hearts and then open our mouths to speak, the Holy Spirit will give us the words that we should say. And when these utterances come forth from our mouths…
…the voices of the doves will be heard!
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
King Jesus Will Reign
However, there is a second part to this prophecy that refers to the presentation of Jesus Christ as King. Note there are two princes in this text: The first is Jesus, who will reign as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). The second prince is a Roman general who invades Jerusalem. Here, we are talking about the first Prince-Jesus Christ-who will be “cut off” after seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, for a total of sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years.
Now, we take the 483 years and multiply it by the Jewish method of reckoning-which is 360 days in a year. Do you know what 483 times 360 is? 173,880 days. From the date that Nehemiah said, “You may go ahead and rebuild your wall and Jerusalem” (March 14, 445 B.C.) to the day that Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey (April 6, 32 A.D.) exactly 173,880 days had passed. Now do you believe that prophecy is right on? If the Jews had only studied their Old Testament prophecy, they would have known that Jesus was their Messiah.
This is why Jesus said to His people, the Jews, in Luke 19:42, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hidden from thine eyes.” Day 173,880 was the crowning day, and Jewish minds did not grasp it-nor did they accept their Messiah. If God could prove-as we’ve just outlined-the precise arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem, is there any question that the remainder of the prophecies in the Book of Daniel will be fulfilled?
As we come to the close of this most important prophetic chapter in the Bible, we also need to deal with the content of verse 26 that speaks of the prince who will come to destroy the city and the sanctuary. This prince was Vespasian and his son Titus-Roman generals who in 70 A.D. marched on Jerusalem and murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews, again destroying the city.
Here we see a similarity between the treachery of this father and son and an earlier tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes, because all three are types of the Antichrist who will rise to power in the last days. But here Vespasian and Titus are highlighted because they are Roman princes. Later, the Antichrist will come as an international leader out of a revived Roman Empire that is presently expanding and wielding influence just as Daniel predicted. For this and many more reasons-all documented by God’s Word-we are dogmatic when we say that our era of time could definitely be what Daniel called “the time of the end.”
Now what about the apparent ‘gap’ that exists between verses 26 and 27-a gap of some two thousand years? This is an important period of time, because without it, we would be forced to see these events taking place within a limited period of 490 days, instead of 490 years. The former would be impossible. There are skeptics who scoff that a gap between these verses is a man-made theory. However, the Bible states emphatically that there will be a period of time-a gap-between Jesus’ first and second coming. Isaiah 9:6 says,
“Unto us a child is born” (the virgin birth); “unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder” (the government was not upon His shoulder the first time He came to Jerusalem).
When Jesus Christ comes again-the second time-that’s when the government will be upon His shoulder, as He rules and reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords for a period of one thousand years (Revelation 20:4).
By the time we reach verse 27, the Antichrist is already in full power, and Daniel’s seventieth week is in effect. It begins when this evil one confirms his peace contract with Israel. This is the start of the seventieth week, and the beginning of the seven year period of Tribulation. The Antichrist deceives a gullible world by confirming the covenant with many-first with Israel- for one week, one shabua-or seven years.
The information I am about to present is vitally important. If the first sixty-nine weeks, or shabuas, total 483 years or 173,880 days on the Jewish calendar annually, and this prophecy was fulfilled in every detail on the final day-then the final week or Hebrew shabua, the last seven-year period of 2,520 days, will also be fulfilled right up to the exact moment.
That’s why Revelation 11:2 and 13:5 mention forty-two months, and Revelation 11:3 and 12:6 cite 1,260 days as one-half of the Tribulation period. Then in the middle of that shabua-after forty-two months- the Antichrist causes the sacrifices to cease. Antiochus Epiphanes, a predecessor and forerunner of the soon-coming global dictator, previously did this centuries ago when he stomped out the Jewish sacrifices and desecrated the Jewish temple.
The Rebuilding of the Temple
How could such an act be perpetuated in our day without the existence of a temple? Here’s the answer. Israelites are talking about rebuilding the temple in our day. I encourage you to read your newspapers and weekly magazines with spiritual eyes in the days ahead because even now building materials are being gathered and temple utensils created for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. When the new temple is erected, all will go relatively well for a while, but then, midway into the Tribulation hour, the Antichrist will sit proudly on that temple throne and claim to be the world’s god (2 Thessalonians 2:4). The false prophet will create an image in the likeness of the Antichrist (Revelation 13:15) and all mankind will be commanded to fall down and worship the beast of the revived Roman Empire mentioned in Daniel 7:8-just as Nebuchadnezzar commanded the people of Babylon to bow down and worship him.
If, during the Tribulation period, the people do not bow to the Antichrist and give him full allegiance, they will be killed (Revelation 13:15; 20:4-5). When the pagan tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes set up his pagan deities in the place of the most high God, and put a sow on the temple altar, it was called “the abomination that maketh desolate” (Daniel 11:31; 12:11). Now, more than two thousand years later, the Antichrist will also set up an image called “the abomination of desolation” according to the statements of Jesus in Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14. Why? Because he is defiling God’s holy temple. The Jews revere their holy temple-the Antichrist mocks it and them by breaking one of the Jews’ commandments concerning the placing of an idol in the temple (Exodus 20:4-5). At this point their long sought-for temple again becomes desolate because of the abominable idol therein.
The Calm before the Storm
Jesus, in Matthew 24:15-21, says:
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Why flee? Because Satan’s final forty-two months are about to be unleashed globally, and he’s filled with wrath (Revelation 12:12). Then Russia marches and the abomination of desolation (or image) is set up in the temple during this final three-and-one-half-year period known as the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:14). It is the time of the end (Daniel 11:40; 12:4).
This revelation and interpretation of the vision delivered to Daniel by the angel Gabriel was a two-edged sword: one of gloom and doom; the other of hope. Gloom, because the Antichrist is about to appear. Hope, because Christ destroys him with the brightness of His coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8). Today, we are seeing what can only be called “the calm before the storm.” History is not yet complete, but the handwriting is on the wall for those who have eyes to see.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I’ve been saved since 1977 I’m a honorably discharged veteran and I’ve been a paramedic for 30 years I appreciate the fact that you speak with the boldness so many of our fellow ministers have failed to display I’ve been ordained for 20 years I myself find wondering where our lions are I’m glad that we still have men of God willing to speak the truth regardless of consequence God bless you Rexella for keeping the message going
Love in Jesus’ name
Your Brother in Christ
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Thy Kingdom Come: Arriving Soon
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