Weekly Newsletter – June 24, 2019
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Daniel 9:1 – 19
God’s Ultimate Program for Israel
What you are about to read is a reflection on one of the most important chapters in the Book of Daniel, and one of the most remarkable passages in all of the Bible. Its dual theme of prayer and prophecy is like no other portion of God’s Word: Daniel’s prayer stands as a model for any person serious about seeking the Lord and His holiness in his or her life; while the prophecy of the seventy weeks contains the most precise information in Scripture that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah promised to the children of Israel through their own prophets.
In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;
In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
Daniel is starting to do his math, and he’s doing it by looking at God’s timetable for the restoration of Israel. He reads in Jeremiah 25:11-12,
“And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.”
Daniel certainly turned to his Hebrew manuscripts to study 2 Chronicles 36, where he observed that the Jews, because they failed to protect their land (breaking seventy sabbatical years) would be punished for a period equal to their disobedience. The more Daniel read, the more excited he must have felt, because he calculated that the seventy years of judgment on his people had almost come to an end (the captivity of the Jews had started in 605 B.C. and now it was the year 538 B.C.) and that the Jews would soon be allowed to return to their home. But we are forced to say, “Not so fast, Daniel. You have only a partial understanding of what is still to come.” And it is this still-to-come end-time information that is the essence of chapter nine:
And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.
O LORD, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;
Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.
As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.
Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.
And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.
Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.
O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our sup phcations before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, 0 my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
Daniel begins his long prayer with a contrite and broken heart as he addresses God as Adonai-Sovereign Ruler. The word Adonai shows Daniel’s recognition of God’s absolute authority and power, a fitting expression for Daniel to use as he begins his litany of confession and plea for personal and national forgiveness.
However, in verse 2, Daniel suddenly changes his name for God and begins to use the term Yahweh-which refers to God as a gracious, covenant-keeping God, holy, just, righteous, and loving. He uses the name Yahweh seven times, in verses 2, 4, 10, 13, 14, and 20. It’s amazing that Daniel would use God’s holy name in the first place because the Jews never pronounced the name of God because their reverence for the almighty God was so great.
That’s why they used what is called the tetragrammaton, Y-H-W-H-four letters that cannot be pronounced, and only become the word Yahweh when the vowels a and e are added. As we study Daniel’s prayer it will become obvious why he used the term Yahweh, particularly as it relates to God as a covenant-keeping God, the topic which most interested Daniel since he’d now become a one-person spokesman for the plight of the Jews and was relying on the trustworthiness of the most high God to keep His promises. However, as we said before, Daniel still did not have all the information to work out all the details of God’s plan because most of the predictions would only be revealed at the time of the end (Daniel 12:4).
As Daniel bowed before the Lord, his heart was filled with sadness for his own sin and the sins of his people. He fasted, wore sackcloth, and put ashes on his body to show his humble spirit. He was alone with God. No distractions. No interruptions. I encourage you to read and reread Daniel’s prayer, because it is a model for any Christian. Even though Daniel was an upright, faithful, godly man, he still confessed that he had also sinned.
Because of his tender heart toward God and a conscience that could be quickly and easily touched, he was unusually responsive when he heard the word of the Lord. Being sensitive to the Spirit of God also increased his sensitivity to the predicament of his people, the Jews, as he recited the various ways in which they rebelled against God, failed to obey His voice, refused to walk in His laws, and chose not to obey His commands. Daniel recognized that for these reasons, the curse had been poured out upon them.
The Jews had been scattered across the world. What was once their home had become the domicile of heathen kingdoms and pagan rulers. Daniel knew the reason for this dispersion- the Diaspora. Deuteronomy 11:26-28 states,
<1>”Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.”
Not only did the Jews refuse to obey the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20, but they’d also turned their backs on the 613 other commandments given to the people of Israel. As Daniel reflects on the history of how the Jews got mired in their present dilemma, he continues to hope and pray that Yahweh will end the seventy years of punishment on schedule (as he, Daniel, saw it), and bring peace and relief to their sinful, troubled hearts.
Daniel’s Prayer Is Also Personal
Daniel is not revising history. He is seeing history as it is, asserting that God was righteous for what He did to the Jews, admitting that we-Daniel and his people-were the culprits … we were the transgressors . . . we didn’t obey God’s voice . .. we failed to keep His commandments. His prayer was not a whining exercise to get God to overlook the past sins of His people, but a prayer of love and intercession for national and personal forgiveness, and a contrite heart, reminiscent of the words of the psalmist who prayed in Psalm 51:10,
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
Daniel refused to offer excuses for Israel’s behavior. Again, I urge you to read this prayer over and over, because each time you allow Daniel’s heart of confession to intertwine with your own, you will be blessed and encouraged in your own Christian walk. Unfortunately, for many modern Christians the idea of true and honest confession is a lost spiritual art. But unless we recapture this spirit of humility, face up to what we’ve done to distance ourselves from God, and choose to make amends, our own spirits will remain shallow and insensitive to the work that God wants to do in our lives. That’s why it is always in our spiritual best interest to spend time reading and applying such verses as Psalm 66:18-20:
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. 0 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.”
These verses are amplified by what we read in Isaiah 5 9:1-2:
“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
There is a direct correlation between our unconfessed iniquities and God’s blessing for our lives-to the extent that God cannot even hear our cries if repentance is sidetracked. Daniel knew this. That’s why his prayer is so powerful, a model for us to follow today. Daniel walked close to God, and the closer he walked, the more he saw the imperfections in himself and in his people because the Spirit of God lived in him.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Let Me Cry!
I’ve been doing some crying, lately.
A while back I noticed that a young waitress who often serves Jack and me when we go out to eat seemed unusually quiet and withdrawn and there was a strain on her countenance. When I went to wash my hands in the ladies room, I had a chance to pull her aside and ask if something was wrong. Tears spilled down her cheeks as she told me her husband had just asked her for a divorce.
Imagine the pain of having your husband or wife look you in the eye and say, “I don’t love you anymore-I want out of this marriage.” I can’t even begin to comprehend the shock, sorrow, and grief one would feel in such a situation.
I didn’t know what to say to this poor girl -but I put my arms around her and comforted her the only way I knew how…with my tears.
Also in recent months, I have felt an increased burden for my unsaved friends and loved ones. Bible prophecy makes it so clear that time on this old earth is running out fast and that surely Jesus is coming soon…perhaps today! So I have been praying…and weeping …for my unsaved loved ones. It is the only way I know to minister to them!
What is a tear?
The great preacher, T. DeWitt Talmage, once wrote, “Help me explain a tear. A chemist will tell you that it is made up of salt and lime and other component parts; but he misses the chief ingredients-the acid of a soured life, the viperine sting of a bitter memory, the fragments of a broken heart. I will tell you what a tear is: it is agony in solution.”
These are powerful, moving words. And perhaps all of us have either witnessed or personally experienced the truth Talmage sought to convey.
But I suggest to you that there is more to tears than sadness, sorrow, regret, and pain. Tears can be a release from stress and anxiety, a vent for frustration, a safety valve for overpowering emotions. Tears can be the most sincere expression of compassion and love. And just as raindrops wash the smoke, smog, and impurities from the atmosphere, so tears can wash away the stains of bitterness and disappointment from our souls.
A time to weep
As Solomon, perhaps the wisest man who ever lived, once declared, To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…A time to weep, and a time to laugh (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4).
We live in a time when everyone wants to laugh all the time, but no one is willing to weep. And if someone does cry, it makes people really uncomfortable. Children are hushed and told not to cry. Men are taught that tears don’t go with a macho image…that only sissies cry. And women who weep at some sadness or loss are interrupted and advised to wipe their eyes and get control of themselves.
No! No! No! Let me cry. It’s all right to cry. I need to cry. In fact, one of my goals is to minister to those who are weeping. I want to do all I can, to say what I can…and when there are no deeds or words that can help, to weep with them.
Perhaps my resolution is best expressed in the words of the late Bob Pierce in his moving book, Let My Heart Be Broken With the Things That Break the Heart of God.
When Jesus wept, His tears were for others. Both Matthew and Luke describe how He wept over the city of Jerusalem for those who would not hear and accept the Truth! We, too, should weep for others.
Weep over souls
Should we be less concerned over lost souls than our Saviour? Why are we not crying and praying for the lost to be saved before it is eternally too late?
I’ve seen people moved to tears by the plight of fictional characters in a paperback book. A melodramatic film may jokingly be described as a “two-hanky” movie, and it’s perfectly all right. But the same people who get involved and empathize with artificial stories can see real live people around them dying and slipping into eternity without God and never feel a twinge or shed a tear.
I wonder-if the unsaved friends and loved ones I’m praying for don’t seem to be any closer to the Lord than when I first started, could it be because I haven’t shed any tears for them? The Bible says, They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him (Psalm 126:5, 6).
Weep over sin
Sometimes I can hardly watch the news on television or read the daily paper without crying. My heart breaks at what is going on in our nation and the world today. There is such evil and perversion, such wickedness and violence. How long will God allow men’s hearts to be filled with such deliberate, willful sin before calling them to judgment?
I believe we are to weep over sin, whether our own, our family’s, or our nation’s.
The Apostle Paul wrote, For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10).
I am reminded of how Peter, after denying the Lord during the awful hours before the Crucifixion, went out, and wept bitterly (Matthew 26:75). Those tears of repentance led to his being forgiven and restored.
Weep over sorrow
Just as there is a time to weep over souls and a time to weep over sin, there is also a time to weep over sorrow. Do you remember when Mary and Martha showed the Lord the tomb where their brother Lazarus was buried? The Bible says, Jesus wept (John 11:35).
There is a time for sorrow… and when it comes, tears are appropriate. Paul instructed, Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep (Romans 12:15).
Notice that the verse did not say to laugh with those who are laughing and to tell those who are crying to stop and cheer up. No, it says to cry with those who are crying! That means to share their sorrow-to get down under the burden with them. And when you share their tears-when all you can do is cry with them-you’ll find it is a tremendously effective way to minister your compassion and love.
I once interviewed a pastor who had suffered the traumatic loss of his little son. This man told me that in the midst of his grieving, the people of his church did not understand or know how to weep with him. They would come to him and say, “Pastor, why are you crying? Don’t you have any faith?”
After a while this minister wrote a book about what he had learned during his sorrowful experience. He called it, Jonathan, You Left Too Soon. But the main lesson I learned from his experience was that in the day of sorrow, it’s okay to weep. In fact, for most people, it’s a really good way to cope with loss and grief and begin to heal the broken heart and crushed emotions. Tears can be tremendously therapeutic.
I know I have been made acutely aware of the value of tears. And I pray that God will make me willing to weep with those who weep, whether they cry tears of pain, heartache, sorrow…or joy! I encourage you to consider whether God can also use you in a ministry of tears.
Remember, though, that our tears will not -cannot-last long. The psalmist sang, Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
I’m here to tell you that a great morning is coming soon, when we will all be in the presence of the Lord. Oh, what a glorious promise and steadfast hope! For on that glad day, God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Revelation 21:4).
No wonder Jesus said, Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh (Luke 6:21).
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Love reading the newsletter. So full of information. My husband and I read and discuss it. Please keep it coming. Look forward to each issue and share the Word!
You have brought such insight and excitement into my bible study and my way of life.
For so, so many years, I watched you religiously. I don’t think I ever took the time to thank you. Only because I could never find the words to tell you how very much you influenced my journey with Jesus all these years. I am a deep thinker who loves to study how, when and where.
And you provided that for me so often and so correctly, many times decades ahead of other great men of God. Today I watch a lot of the younger men who study Gen 6 and the role the Nephilim have played in our history. They warn of the coming Great Deception of Alien threats and/or perceived salvation. They explain current history through the eyes of revelation. Very few of them realize that you were the trailblazer of such revelations. You explained the Bible and prophecy like no other. Thank you Jack and to your beautiful wife… Disciples of God who never wavered from truth, no matter the consequences. I love you both!!!
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
Prepare for shocking revelations in this phenomenal teaching from prophecy experts Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe! This fast-paced and user-friendly video is perfect for sharing with anyone, Christian or non-Christian and it answers critically important questions such as:
- How soon will Jesus return?
- Why is deception such a danger in these latter days?
- What does the Bible really mean when it talks of ‘wars and rumors of wars’?
- What does Matthew 24 mean when it talks about pestilences, earthquakes, natural disasters, and famine? How does this scriptural passage relate to today’s headlines?
- How will Jesus establish the New Jerusalem? What will it be like?
- How long will it take us to get to heaven in the Rapture?
- And many more!
Rampant addictions; a sign of the times? Now you’ll understand how God’s Word previews the bondage of alcoholism and drugs, tobacco, pornography, gambling, and more that we see all around us today as a sign of the soon return of the Savior and the approaching Tribulation.
In this insightful video, Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe also reveal hope for you or a loved one who is struggling with a life-controlling addiction, through the power of Jesus Christ. Learn about the biblical perspective on substance abuse – the roots of addiction – how to overcome addictions as notorious as alcoholism or as overlooked as gossip, lying or cursing.