Weekly Newsletter – July 26, 2021
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
Visions and Beasts No More. . . Daniel Sees Jesus
Chapter ten of the Book of Daniel is the introduction to his last recorded revelation and is the first of three parts of a vision-a vision some scholars say is the greatest of all the revelations of Daniel. This chapter gives us information on something decidedly different from anything we’ve read as we are introduced to a special group of angels- some who harbor ill-will toward God and attempt to defeat the divine purpose as it relates to God’s rule over His people, Israel, both in the present (in Daniel’s time) and in the days yet to come (at the time of the end).
Chapter ten is graphic in that it also provides detailed information on how Daniel received his final revelation, including many surprising incidents that accompany God’s delivery of this message to Daniel.
- In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
- In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.
- I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.
Daniel’s State of Mind
This last revelation received by Daniel came to him just two years after King Cyrus had officially brought the Babylonian captivity to an end by allowing the Jews to return to Israel. However, the Jews returned home without Daniel. We don’t know precisely why Daniel remained behind, but we can surmise it was either because of his advancing years-now in his mid- to upper-eighties-or because he still may have had essential work to do for the Persian leadership-perhaps as a senior advisor. Therefore his presence was vital. He also may have felt that to remain behind would permit him to use his enormous influence for good as his people, the Jews, made the difficult transition to return to a land that many had never seen-or that was a fading memory.
Daniel Understands the Vision
The revelation Daniel was about to receive was hard for him to hear and more difficult for him to accept, although he knew in his heart that it was true. Daniel’s vision revealed an enormous conflict that would afflict his people at a later time. This would be the greatest war the world’s powers had ever encountered, a future conflict that would include something unheard of before: a massive angelic invasion that, while unseen, would be instrumental in shaping the final result of international events.
The most difficult part of the message for Daniel to accept was that this future trauma would threaten the very existence of Israel-a nation and people who had already suffered so much, been so long in captivity, and seemed to be on a perpetual losing streak that would play out to the time of the end. Unlike Daniel’s earlier visions and dreams, he declared that he understood this one, and that he also comprehended how the events predicted would not occur during his own lifetime. Daniel, however, took little comfort in this knowledge, because his heart was so tender toward the ultimate destiny of his people.
Daniel understood that during the “seventy weeks” to come the Jews would suffer great persecution (Daniel 12:1) as the forces of Egypt, leading an Arab federation (Daniel 11:40), and a king from the North, Russia, plus kings from the East, China, and other Oriental nations (Daniel 11:44), would move in upon Israel for the bloodiest confrontation in history. Daniel knew this would take place during the seventieth week-a time period of seven years known as the “latter days” (Daniel 10:14), and referred to as “the time of the end” (Daniel 11:40; 12:4).
While Daniel could not know the specifics of this terrible era of suffering yet to come, he had enough understanding to know that it would be a horrible period of history for the people of Israel. That’s why this saintly prophet-loved by God-is so moved that he mourns at the thought of what is going to happen to his people. He knew the time of the end would be a period of unprecedented judgment on the Jews as the nations of the world would move against his people, and particularly against Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2).
When Daniel received the first part of this final revelation, he had been fasting for twenty-one days. Daniel was so focused on remaining humble before God that he kept himself in a constant state of alert so he would be ready to hear the word of the Lord. It’s quite possible that Daniel was still grieving-and therefore fasting-because of the inner turmoil he felt after the unsettling vision in chapter eight, wondering why his people would continue to suffer after the close of the seventy years of captivity. Had the Jews not suffered enough?
And had God not made a promise to relieve them of their pain at the close of the seventy years of captivity? What we now see in Daniel is a progressive understanding of what was to happen in the days to come. We also see a kind, gentle old man whose sensitivity to the things of God-and to the plight of his people-remained acute: Daniel remained God’s man to the very end.
Daniel 10:4 – 9
- And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel;
- Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:
- His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
- And I Daniel alone saw the vision: for the men that were with me saw not the vision; but a great quaking fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.
- Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.
- Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.
Daniel Sees the Pre-Incarnate Christ
One day Daniel, either on a leisurely stroll or on business for the government, was standing by the Hiddekel (or Tigris) River. There he was confronted by a likeness he had never observed before. The Bible describes this figure as dressed in linen with a waist girded with a belt of pure gold, a body like beryl, a face with the appearance like that of lightning, eyes like flaming torches, arms and feet of polished brass, and the sound of his voice like the sound of a tumult. Is there any doubt in our minds that such a being would capture Daniel’s attention! The question, however, must be asked: Who was this heavenly being? Why was he there?
We don’t need to search long for our answer because the description of this being bears a direct correspondence to the glorified Christ we read about in Revelation 1:13-15:
“And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters”
An almost exact description of what Daniel saw that day by the shores of the great Tigris River. Like the appearance of a fourth person in the fiery furnace, this was a Christophany-a physical appearance of the person of Jesus Christ.
Christ-the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever
If, for some reason, Christ’s eternal existence sounds farfetched, what does one do with John 1:3:
“All things were made by him”
Or John 1:10,
“He was in the world, the world was made by him”
Or Colossians 1:16, which says,
“For by Christ were all things created that are in heaven and in earth”
This may not be easy for us to understand, but whether we comprehend it or not, this is God’s Holy Word. In Proverbs 30:4 we read:
“Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?”
Isn’t it amazing-this text states that God had a son hundreds of years before Christ’s birth at Bethlehem. We must conclude, then, that the heavenly being standing before Daniel is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.
Daniel was not alone when he was confronted by the person of Jesus Christ. There were companions with him-but not for long. While they apparently sensed that something momentous was taking place, they were unable to withstand the dread of the moment, similar to Saul’s experience on the Damascus turnpike (Acts 9:7). They, too, could do nothing but hide their faces from the glory of Christ and flee, leaving Daniel alone in his encounter with Christ.
Suddenly Daniel-man among men, strong, lion-tamer, and counselor to the kings of Babylon, fell to the ground when he heard the words of the Lord. Immediately His strength was sapped, His knees buckled, and he fell into a deep sleep when the sound of thunderous, divine words-like the sound of many rushing waters-assaulted his human ears.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I truly an inspired by watching your weekly program. It is a refreshing half hour away from all the ugly things going on in our World today. Your truths, prophesies and Testimonies make me stronger and able to face all this corruption and sinfulness in this day and time. I thank the Lord for each day he gives me but I can hardly wait for his return. I watch the East sky whenever hoping it will happen today. May God bless you and protect you…
Thank you so much for your Ministry of faith.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
I love watching your programs. You are truly blessed by God. I listen to you every chance i get. Thank you so much.
HIGHLIGHTED MINISTRY OFFERS
For anyone who has ever lost a beloved pet, Dr. Jack and Rexella Van Impe have good news! You will see your furry or feathered friends again – in heaven! Explore this exciting truth taught by twelve of the greatest Christian theologians.
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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.