Weekly Newsletter – June 19, 2017
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Daniel’s Major Concern
Daniel 8:15 – 27
At this point in the vision, Daniel heard one saint (angel) ask another saint how long this little horn would be allowed to carry on its transgression of desolation-for both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot. This was the key question as far as Daniel was concerned. The history of tyrants was one thing; the real issue for Daniel was how long this angst would be inflicted on his people, the Jews. The answer was twenty-three hundred days-just under six and one-half years.
Again, the Bible predicted these events to the very day. Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the temple, persecuted the Jews, and wreaked havoc on all who believed from September 6, 171 to December 25, 165 B.C., exactly twenty-three hundred days as the Bible says. But, as we will see, these twenty-three hundred days have an even greater significance as we continue to unseal the mysteries of the time of the end.
- And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.
- And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.
- So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.
- Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.
- And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.
- The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.
- And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
- Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.
- And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
- And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
- And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
- And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.
Gabriel-Messenger from God
As Gabriel attempted to explain the details of the vision, Daniel fell to the ground-with good reason. Daniel now understood the terror that would be afflicted on his people. The historical parts of the vision were clear, concise, and to the point. But Daniel could not bear to hear about the pain his people would continue to endure. This segment of the vision was also difficult for Daniel to understand because he could not fathom “end-time” thinking.
That’s when Gabriel’s interpretation takes a different turn. In verse 17, the angel tells Daniel that his vision refers to “the time of the end,” and in verse 19 “the appointed time of the end.” It doesn’t get any better for the Jews, but Daniel now at least understands that there is an end-time significance to what Gabriel is telling him. This is the time when the Tribulation will be in full force-that period of history when a “time of indignation” will fall on the heads of the Jews because of their hardhearted rebellion against God.
What Gabriel is saying is this: Daniel, the indignation that began around 730 B.C. will continue through to the second coming of Jesus Christ. Gabriel is saying, “This is not for now.. it’s not for your lifetime, Daniel. It’s going to be at the time of the end.” Verse 23 is the strongest proof that Antiochus represents the Antichrist, and that the latter portion of the vision is not for Daniel’s time, because the events in this text will not occur for one hundred years after the death of Antiochus Epiphanes.
Then the Antichrist, symbolized by Antiochus’s reign of terror, will be empowered by the dragon of Revelation 13:2- Satan. He will be a proud man, the great, final ruler of the revived Roman confederacy, subduing all who stand before him, making himself a master of the world. He destroys both the mighty and the holy as he employs tactics of deceit and treachery. He dupes the world with his peace proposal, and toward the close of his rule destroys millions because they discovered that he was not what he claimed to be. He will offer himself as the prince of peace (Daniel 11:21, 24). However, that designation is reserved only for our Lord Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:6).
Still, the Antichrist does his best to pull off his charade of imitating Christ until the bitter end-even riding on a kingly white horse (Revelation 6:2) because he knows that Jesus the King will also ride on a white horse (Revelation 19:11). The one is faithless and vile; the other faithful and true. In the end, however, this terrible Antichrist shall be “broken without hand.”
Again we see a prophetic parallel: Antiochus did not die at the hands of his enemies. He died of grief and remorse and went insane in Babylon, having just been defeated in the siege of Elymais and unable to bear the self-destructive impact of losing such an important battle. In like manner, the Antichrist will not die by the hand of his enemies after Satan incarnates his body. Instead, he will be destroyed by Christ at His second coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8). Finally, this personification of evil is cast into a “lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:20).
Daniel’s Broken Heart
The final words of Gabriel are an attempt to comfort God’s frightened servant. He reminds Daniel that the Antichrist is not going to rule in his lifetime, but at the time of the end-when his predictions will finally be unsealed and revealed. For that reason Daniel was ordered to preserve the message of his vision in written form so that future generations would be able to make sense of the events when they transpired. This is why the Book of Daniel is so crucial to our understanding of events yet to come.
These end-time prophecies, spoken on our behalf by a holy God, would not be understood until they began to be fulfilled-a sequence of events that began with the formation of the European Union, with Israel becoming a nation, and with Jerusalem being captured by the Israeli Army, June 5-10, 1967. Daniel himself could not grasp all of these latter-day prophecies because they would remain sealed mysteries until the time of the end.
- And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.
When you receive the news of an impending disaster, you know how you feel: sick to your stomach, unable to eat, and perhaps not able to pray. But then, you pull yourself together, deal with the problem, and go back to work. That’s what happened to Daniel. He was so emotionally drained by his vision and Gabriel’s interpretation that he lay sick upon his bed for many days. Finally, after longing for greater understanding-and praying for Jews who would be born and who would suffer long after his death-he arose and returned to his duties as a minister of the king.
Even after Gabriel’s interpretation of the vision, Daniel still did not understand every detail fully, even as you and I will never completely fathom the great depths of every prophecy until they are unsealed and revealed at the time of the end. The chapter concludes with a text that implies Daniel remained puzzled for many days to come, during which time he mulled over the words of Gabriel repeatedly. With all this swirling turmoil within, Daniel comes before his God with a contrite spirit and prayer of true repentance, approaching God as Adonai-Lord and Master-trusting the Almighty to do what’s right with his unanswered questions concerning the future. Soon he’ll prove his sincerity by the wearing of sackcloth and ashes, the wonderful, heart-warming message of chapter nine.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Through the Eyes of a Child
Just last week I met and talked with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. Right away I said, ‘You look so sad!” I could tell by her eyes.
Certainly our eyes do serve as a barometer of our inner being and can express deep-rooted feelings and emotions without a word being spoken.
The English poet William Blake said our eyes are “windows of the soul.” I’m sure you’ve noticed that the eyes of those around you communicate in a dramatic way their state of mind-anger, fear, mischief, tenderness, love, excitement, boredom, etc.
Doctors often look into the eyes of their patients while examining them to determine their state of health.
So it’s not really surprising to discover that the Bible has much to say about our eyes-there are numerous references throughout both the Old and New Testaments. Only recently have I begun to comprehend just how important our eyes are to our spiritual well-being-that where we look and what we see help determine who we are and what we become.
The Apostle John speaks of the lust of the eyes (1 John 2:16), and Peter warns against those having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin (2 Peter 2:14).
The psalmist, recognizing that what is fed into our eyes affects what we become, affirms, I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes (Psalm 101:3). And the Apostle Paul, in what may be my life’s foundation verse, urges us to continue looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
The lesson of a look
Several years ago, our ministry had an open house in which we invited friends and partners to come tour our World Outreach Center and visit personally with Dr. Van Impe and me and our staff. About 1,500 people toured our headquarters in a single afternoon-it was wonderful to greet so many friends.
I couldn’t help noticing how many little children came through with their parents. And inevitably, when I looked down at them, they would be looking directly into my eyes. I would find myself kneeling to get to their eye level… and happily, many times they ended up in my arms.
But I began noticing how children look at the world. They spend a lot of time looking up! And when they encounter an adult, they look into his or her face, up into the eyes.
Children are very perceptive. They can tell, almost at a glance, if a person is friendly or menacing, if they can trust the person or should run away. By looking into the eyes of the adults around them, they sense if they are welcome or are intruding. And they can tell almost instantly if their parents are pleased with them or disapproving.
Jack and I were having breakfast at a little pancake house not long ago when a mother and her two children came in. They sat at a nearby table-the little boy was unceremoniously dumped into a high chair and the little girl thumped into a chair across from the mother. Once seated, she paid little attention to the youngsters, staring away from them, with a disgruntled look on her face.
When the little boy peered up at the chandelier, pointed a chubby finger and said, “See! See!”-her response was a terse, “Eat!” And when the little girl squirmed and tried insistently to get her mother’s attention, the unseeing, uncaring reply was, “Be quiet- sit up.”
When Jack and I finished eating and he went to pay the bill, I walked over to the table where this mother and her youngsters were sitting.
“You are so fortunate,” I said. With a bit of a start, she asked, “Why?” “You have such beautiful children-they are so sweet.” I said. Then I leaned down and looked into the eyes of the little boy and said, “You are so good.” My reward was a bright, innocent smile.
“I’m good too,” said the little girl.
“I know you are, honey,” I acknowledged. “What a sweet sister you are…and so pretty!” With just those few words, the child blossomed like a rose.
The mother barely smiled, even during the little conversation I was having with her children-she hardly responded, managing a mumbled “Thank you” as I walked away.
I couldn’t help wondering how many children are rebuffed and desensitized by parents whose eyes are too full of other things to really see and respond to their own youngsters.
“You are a delight!”
Jerry Dillon of Century HealthCare, the largest health-care provider for children in the country operates 52 youth programs and 19 facilities in nine states, specializing in treating emotionally-troubled youngsters.
“If parents would look for the things in their children that delight them, and tell them so, what a difference it would make,” says Dillon. “A great prescription to help build a better relationship and a stronger bond between parent and child is simply for the parent to find some reason each day to tell his son or daughter, “You are a delight!”
Much of what we feel-delight or aggravation-is communicated through our eyes, whether we verbalize it or not. So often I’ve noticed how a child will look into its mother’s (or father’s) face for approval, guidance, security, reassurance, and love. Without a word being spoken, so many important things are communicated… through the eyes of a child.
Suffer the little children
No wonder children were attracted to our Saviour during His earthly ministry. The New Testament tells how the children thronged about Him until the disciples were going to send them away. But the Lord said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God (Mark 10:14).
The Bible doesn’t tell us specifically, but I’m very sure each of those little ones came close to the Lord and looked up into His face, directly into His eyes. What they saw there-love, acceptance, safety-made them relax and feel free. I think they wanted to climb up onto His lap and just be near Him.
Many learned and wise theologians have speculated about the meaning of Jesus’ words concerning children and the kingdom of God. Certainly I do not claim to have greater knowledge or wisdom than they have. But I have my own idea about what He meant.
Perhaps He was suggesting that if we looked up into His eyes more often, we would find the peace, direction, and strength we need for our lives. We can find the answer for guilt, sorrow, pain, and loneliness in our Saviour’s loving gaze.
Keep your eyes on Jesus
Our problems come when we take our eyes off Jesus, when we look away from His love, guidance, strength, and sustaining power.
The Gospel of Matthew relates the thrilling story of Peter walking on the water toward Jesus. The Lord had come to the disciples as their boat was tossed by a stormy sea. As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he was fine. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and [began] to sink (Matthew 14:30).
I’ve found in my own experience that when I felt life’s problems were about to overwhelm me, it was because I had taken my eyes off Jesus and fixed them on my troubles. When I looked to Him, He saw me through.
From time to time, I meet an individual who is disillusioned-even cynical-about the Church. Sometimes they say they have lost their faith-they don’t believe in anything anymore.
As I visit with people like this, I usually discover that they have been disappointed in the mistakes and failures of a particular religious leader-their eyes had been fixed on a man. Once they looked back to Jesus, the bitterness and disillusionment lost its intensity, and the healing love of Christ could make them over again.
One of the most beautiful and powerful verses in all of the Bible, for me, is found in Matthew’s account of Peter, James, and John at the transfiguration of Christ. After the disciples had bowed down in the awesome presence of God, Jesus told them not to be afraid. And the scripture says-And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only (Matthew 17:8).
No wonder Jesus said we should become as little children to enter the kingdom of God. Their eyes are focused in the right direction. Lord help us to keep our eyes on You…to seek Your will by looking into Your face-through the eyes of a child!
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I have been listening to Dr. Jack and Rexella Van Impe for years. My wife became a listener the more she watched your program. We are so sorry you are no longer broadcasting.
I want to thank you both. While we are Roman Catholic, it is very true that your message is not being preached in Catholic churches – and it is very sad that it is not.
Dr. Jack – it is because of you that I have taken my faith- and your message much more seriously. I have read the Holy Bible twice – and am taking copious notes. I did the second time and I am on my third reading. You have truly inspired me- and I want to thank you very much!
I turned on my TV last Sunday, June 4th and the announcement was made that you guys would not be on TV anymore…I cried. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching you for years. Will keep up with you on this site. I love and miss you guys…my heart hurts!! May God bless you and restore your health.
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Discover 15 amazing biblical signs that prove this generation is the one that will see the Lord Jesus returning in the clouds! Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe use current events, Bible prophecy, scientific facts, and more to show you the answers to critical questions such as:
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