Weekly Newsletter – March 14, 2022
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
WHY HUMILITY IS SOMETHING GOOD
Is it a paradox that many people seemingly enjoy outward success in terms of money, recognition, and prestige despite a decided lack of true humility? Perhaps, although the blessing of God is not measured by immediate or outward accomplishments. Let us examine this more carefully.
The life of pioneer missionary David Livingstone is beautiful proof of this. When Livingstone was a young man, he informed his brother, Charles that he planned to become a missionary. His brother scoffed, saying that he preferred to stay in England seeking fame and fortune. He wanted recognition from his peers, and that was not possible, he said, for a missionary in Africa.
David went to Africa where he labored untiringly among the people as a doctor and preacher. The Lord gave him the desires of his heart, and many people came to know Jesus Christ through his humble ministry. His brother, who stayed in England, did indeed find fame and recognition, and accumulated a great deal of wealth as well.
When David Livingstone died, his heart was buried in Africa and his body shipped home to England for burial in Westminster Cathedral. Later, his brother was buried next to him. We visited this great edifice several years ago, and my heart was deeply touched as I read the inscriptions on the brothers’ graves. Above David Livingstone’s burial vault was this poem:
He needs no epitaph to guard a name
Which men shall prize while worthy work is known;
He lived and died for good-be that his fame:
Let marble crumble; this is Living-stone.
The inscription above David’s brother’s grave simply states: “Charles, the brother of David Livingstone.”
This illustration, more than any I know, reflects the truth of 1 Peter 5:6-Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.
THE FIRST SHALL BE LAST
No attitude or character quality was more emphasized and exemplified by the Lord Jesus than humility. He told his disciples-whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant (Matthew 20:26-27).
Shortly after He gave that lesson, Jesus met with His disciples in an upper room to eat what we have come to call the Last Supper. In those final hours before He was taken away to be tortured and killed, the Lord took time to teach the disciples one more lesson about the importance of humility.
As they entered the room where they would eat that final meal together, they found that everything had been prepared for them, with one exception-a servant to wash their feet. In those days of dirt roads and sandals, washing feet regularly was an essential custom. Since it was not a pleasant chore, it was normally the duty of the lowest slave when an individual entered a house.
After everything Jesus had taught them about humility, it would seem that one of the disciples should have volunteered to accept the responsibility, or at least arranged for a servant to do it. However, none did. Perhaps they were involved in one of their arguments about which of them was the greatest.
Consequently, Jesus rolled up His sleeves, took the basin of water and a towel, stooped down and began to wash the disciples’ feet. They were so shocked by His actions that they became speechless. Jesus told them-Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you (John 13:13-15).
There is a great and important lesson here for all of us. If Jesus could leave heaven and come to earth to die, and on the night before His crucifixion assume the position of the lowliest of slaves, without reservation we should follow His example of humility.
Have you ever met someone who seemed to exhibit a kind of false humility which did not in any way glorify the Lord? It was lowliness put on to impress others. It was not a genuine humility but rather a shallow, external façade that actually sought to put others down.
False humility can take various forms. For example, by refusing to graciously accept a compliment (how embarrassing to the one giving it) and by discrediting one’s own accomplishments, the person actually seeks to draw more praise to himself. This is pride in disguise-not meekness of spirit.
Such hypocritical humility is like the sin of the Pharisees. They put on sackcloth and ashes when they fasted so that everyone would notice how “spiritual” they were. They stood on the street corners to pray just to make certain that no one missed their display of holiness. What they really wanted was the praise of men, and Jesus said that was all the reward they would get for their human efforts.
Humility that calls attention to itself is not humility at all-it is pride. And what makes pride so insidious is that we are most vulnerable to it just when we think we have conquered it. The minute we begin thinking how humble we are, we had better think again. No one who considers himself a paragon of humility knows the first thing about the virtue.
On the other side of the coin, however, neither is a poor self image the same thing as humility. I have known people who did not like themselves very much, but they were so self-centered that they made it difficult for anyone else to like them. The truly humble person can accept himself. He feels good about himself because he is not consumed by the desire to prove himself to others-to convince them that he is something that he is not.
THE ESSENCE OF TRUE HUMILITY
What constitutes true humility? Jesus himself answered this question when He washed the feet of His disciples at the Last Supper. Genuine humility is, you see, a willingness to serve others.
Nobody is more lonely than a “self-service only” individual. In fact, the most dissatisfied persons I know are those who are selfish. Because they are so wrapped up in themselves-their own needs, their own desires, their own preferences, their own problems-they cannot reach out to others for the very fellowship that would dispel their loneliness.
Of all the disciples, Andrew best pictures the meaning of true humility. Andrew had a servant’s heart. He does not seem to have been involved as James and John were in the constant disputes about who was the greatest. Instead, whenever we see Andrew in Scripture, he is bringing someone to the Master.
Andrew began his ministry of soulwinning and discipleship by seeking Peter, his brother. In fact, perhaps the greatest thing Andrew ever did was bring Peter to Jesus. Peter became the leader of the disciples, and after Jesus ascended into heaven, it was Peter who preached the great sermon at Pentecost where so many were converted to faith in Christ.
If you had a brother like Peter, would you have brought him to Jesus? Surely Andrew knew that Peter, with his bold, forceful personality, would inherit the position of leadership among the disciples. He must have realized that he would eventually take a back seat to his brother. Yet Andrew was not concerned with those things. He saw only his brother’s need and knew that Jesus could fill it. In a sense, Andrew did fade into the shadows as Peter came into prominence. But he also continued to bring others to Jesus. One of those he brought was a little boy with a sack lunch-and the Lord used those few loaves and fishes to feed a multitude. Take heart-your seemingly small talent can be used and magnified for God’s glory because He both desires and rewards humble service.
GOD GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE
What does humility have to do with satisfaction which will dispel bewilderment? Humility is a channel through which the Lord can bless us. Pride, on the other hand, isolates us from God. First Peter 5:5 urges-be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
God’s grace is manifested in a special way to those who are humble. If a person seeks to serve others, he receives multiplied blessings from the Lord. If he seeks only to serve self, however, he closes the door to the possibility of such blessings.
Too many who claim to be working for the Lord see the ministry only as a platform on which to display their own talents and abilities. My husband and I believe that our service constitutes a high and holy privilege, and our prayer has always been that God be glorified in all that we say and do-not only in public, but in our private lives as well.
As a result of this belief, we have always felt strongly that we should not push open doors to try to expand our ministry. Everywhere we have gone and in every situation where we have ministered, we have endeavored to wait until God himself opened the portals of increased opportunity. In fact, sometimes we have been so cautious that He has had to push us through them! Still, the peace of mind and soul we have experienced in knowing that God has brought each new phase of our outreach to pass far outweighs any sense of human accomplishment. It also confirms in our hearts the fact that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it (Psalm 127:1).
Through our years of ministry together, I have also appreciated and learned from Jack’s meek and tender spirit. When we conducted our local city-wide meetings, we were inevitably the last ones to leave the auditorium following a service. My husband always had time to answer one more question or sign an additional Bible, no matter how late the hour. As I stood with him, often ministering with him, my heart smiled within me to know that this one who had the power to deliver such authoritative and convicting messages from God’s Word also had the ability to understand the deepest burdens and personally minister to the hearts he touched. Today, our office doors are open to students, pastors, and young evangelists who seek to share the wisdom, counsel, and direction the Lord has given us in conducting our international ministry.
I shall never forget our very first visit to Tennessee Temple Schools in Chattanooga. Jack and I were tremendously excited (and a bit nervous) about ministering in a college environment, not to mention being in the presence of such a respected man as Dr. Lee Roberson, the president. I had never met him and was eager to make his acquaintance.
We arrived in the city several hours ahead of time and drove to the auditorium in order to unload and set up our equipment. We were met by several students and staff members, including a distinguished looking, gray-haired gentleman who helped us carry the heavy pieces to the platform.
Much time was spent placing everything into position, making the proper electrical connections, and testing for operation and sound level. At last our task was completed. I turned to the gray-haired gentleman and thanked him for his assistance. “And when shall we be able to meet Dr. Roberson?” I asked.
The man smiled softly and gently took hold of my hand. “I am Dr. Roberson,” he replied.
That evening, as Dr. Lee Roberson stepped to the podium to welcome the students and guests and introduce us to them, he appeared ever so much taller, broad-shouldered, and distinguished. Silently, I bowed my head and prayed a prayer of rejoicing, thanking God for allowing me the privilege of meeting a true servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is a great deal of true satisfaction in service to others. The servant of God is actually a kind of funnel through which God pours out His love to a needy world. The person who is involved in humble service is vibrant and alive. He can sense the love of God flowing through him, and he is constantly getting a firsthand experience of the wonderful ways God works.
In addition, the truly humble person has all his relationships in proper perspective. He does not think more highly of himself than he ought to think (see Romans 12:3). He does not look down on others, use them for his own benefit, or ignore their needs. Most importantly, he is in right relationship to God.
GOD HATES PRIDE
Many of us are familiar with the children’s story about the frog who wanted to fly. As he sat on his lily pad watching for insects day after day, he often spied the birds of the forest gracefully winging their way through the air. Their freedom and ability to travel quickly from one place to another began to disturb him, and he soon became completely dissatisfied with being a frog-he wanted to fly!
One day the frog went to his friend, the robin. “Mr. Robin, will you teach me to fly?” he asked.
“I’m sorry, but that’s impossible,” said the robin. “You’re a frog. Frogs were not created to fly. Frogs were made to hop.”
Next the frog approached the cardinal. “Mr. Cardinal, please teach me to fly,” he pleaded. To his dismay, the reply was the same.
Then the frog conceived a brilliant idea. He hopped to the robin and to the cardinal. “Robin, Cardinal!,” he shouted enthusiastically. “I have the answer! If you two will pick up a stick and hold it tightly in your beaks, I will grab the stick with my mouth and travel with you as you fly.”
Although somewhat skeptical, the frog’s feathered friends agreed to give his idea a try. They found a sturdy stick, grasped it tightly in their beaks, and the frog clamped his mouth in the middle. Then off they flew-up, up, higher and higher, swiftly skirting the trees of the forest, out across the meadow, and back once more.
The frog was jubilant. He was flying!
One by one, the other animals appeared at the forest’s edge, gazing in disbelief at the sight before them. As the triumphant trio made another sweep past the growing crowd of spectators, the deer exclaimed, “How clever! Who ever conceived such a perfectly ingenious idea?”
The frog, swelling with pride, shouted, “I did! It was all my idea!”
As he spoke, he lost his grip on the stick and hurtled through the air to the ground. Splat! Alas, the frog’s dream and delight proved to be his demise. His life was snuffed out in a moment of time. The sin of pride had claimed another victim-just as it will claim you and me if we do not deal honestly and firmly with it, refusing to allow it any opportunity to rise up.
Remember, God says, Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).
Why is pride so deadly? For one thing, pride was the sin that led to Satan’s fall. Caught up with his own beauty and wisdom, willfully forgetting the fact that it was God who made him that way, Lucifer began to see himself as something to be worshipped above God. When he said, I will be like the most High (Isaiah 14:14), he lost everything that was his.
Later, Satan succeeded in getting Eve to sin with the same promise with which he had deceived himself-ye shall be as gods (Genesis 3:5). And when Adam and Eve sinned, they, too, lost everything God had given to them. Most devastating of all, they were sent forth from His presence. Ever since that day, the human race has been plagued by the sin of pride and the consequent loss of blessing that comes with it. Like the frog, humanity desperately seeks satisfaction but at the same time stubbornly refuses to renounce the pride that makes dissatisfaction inevitable.
Some would have us believe that pride is a virtue. In recent years, a number of best-selling books have appeared, telling us how to assert ourselves, how to get what we want, how to increase our self-esteem, and how to intimidate others. Humility is viewed by many as a weakness. The “me first” syndrome has spread throughout society like a plague.
In such an atmosphere, it is little wonder that so many are dissatisfied, for it is in giving, not receiving that we are blessed. It is in serving, not being served, that brings fulfillment. And it is in humility, not pride, that we open ourselves to receive the grace of God.
God hates this sin of pride (see Proverbs 8:13). Pride is a denial of God’s right to glory. It is a challenge to His sovereignty. It is a deification of self over God, and it leads to contempt for others for whom Christ died. It is as morally perverse and debasing as any sin known to man, for it can lead to many other kinds of sin. And inevitably, the prideful will experience the frustration of feeling baffled, bewildered, and befuddled.
How damaging and hurtful pride is! It increases the desire for satisfaction and at the same time pushes the possibility of personal fulfillment further and further away. May God give us the grace to be truly humble.
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
3. The Impact of the Defeat of Russia
The deliverance of the Jews from the Russian invaders will cause many of them to turn to Christ, claiming Him as their Messiah and Lord: “So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward” (Ezekiel 39:22).
This desertion of the dictator by numbers of Jews will intensify his hatred of both Jews and Christians, especially Jews who have been converted to Christ. A wave of anti-Semitism will sweep the earth, motivated by Satan and promoted by the Antichrist: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman [Israel], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17).
4. The Two Witnesses
The Antichrist and his kingdom will bring great trouble to the earth. But he will also be troubled. Irritations will increase with the message of Christ’s imminent return preached throughout the world. Every tribe and nation will be made aware of the timetable of the end, the eventual fall of the Antichrist, and the coming kingdom of Christ. To add to his miseries, two powerful prophets will appear in Jerusalem and will witness there for three and one-half years, guaranteeing the truth of the kingdom message of the 144,000 servants of God.
The identity of the two witnesses has caused great speculation, with general agreement that one of them will be Elijah: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5).
The other witness is usually thought to be either Enoch or Moses.
Those who choose Enoch do so because like Elijah he did not die (Hebrews 11:5), and it is thought that his exemption from death was in view of his coming martyrdom during the great Tribulation. His message must also be considered. Evidently this prophet had been given a revelation of the second coming of Christ and had announced it to his generation:
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him (Jude 14,15).
Some build a strong case for Moses, citing his appearance with Elijah on the mount of Transfiguration as an association with that prophet in God’s plan of the ages. They also point to the similarity of many of the plagues of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble to those brought by Moses in the deliverance of Israel from Egypt.
These two witnesses will be miraculously protected for “a thousand two hundred and threescore days” (forty-two prophetic months of thirty days each). Their power to bring plagues will draw the attention of the world to their ministry and message: “These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will” (Revelation 11:6).
They will undoubtedly herald the countdown of the Tribulation timetable, pointing to the time of the Lord’s return to set up His kingdom. It seems likely that many of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the kingdom of Christ will be repeated by these men of God. Perhaps they will cry that the great stone of Daniel’s vision is about to fall from heaven, bringing the downfall of all earthly rule and establishing the millennium kingdom (Daniel 2:44, 45).
When the two witnesses have concluded their work they will be slain, and television cameras will beam the sight of their dead bodies lying in the street of Jerusalem to the entire world. The news of their death will cause a celebration among the ungodly of all nations: “And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth” (Revelation 11:10).
After three and a half days they will be resurrected and will ascend to heaven in a cloud while their enemies watch, paralyzed with fear.
5. The Call to Armageddon
The world dictator and his associates will have seen and heard enough. Furious over the success of the 144,000 evangelists and bitter because many Jews have rejected his rule and have turned to Jesus Christ, this dictator will announce a campaign to destroy the Jewish race once and for all. He will blame them for every ill on earth. Every problem in his kingdom will be laid at their door. Every wrong on earth, economic and political, will be charged to them. The hatred and animosity of all the Hamans and Hitlers of history will culminate in this end-time evil ruler.
Having been warned of the time when Christ will return to set up His kingdom, the Antichrist will summon the armies of the earth to the Middle East to destroy the Jews and defeat their Messiah at His coming.
Demonic power will be unleashed.
Miracles performed through satanic power will convince the leaders of the earth who are subservient to the Antichrist to move all their military might to the Middle East to do battle with Christ at His return to the mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4). “For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God almighty” (Revelation 16:14).
Joel’s ancient prophecy of the greatest military effort of all time will be fulfilled:
Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, 0 Lord. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision (Joel 3:9-14).
Armageddon will demonstrate man at the height of his pride and folly. Convinced of the power of their weaponry and deceived by a leader energized by Satan, the armies of earth will march to their doom, expecting to destroy the Christ they have rejected.
Does this appear to be madness? It did to the psalmist who looked through the centuries and saw it unfold in prophetic vision. He asked: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?” (Psalm 2:1).
Explaining the reason for his question, he wrote: “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us” (Psalm 2:2,3).
Here is the rebellion of man at its logical end.
And Armageddon will end the rebellion of man.
6. The King Is Coming
Tribulation chronology will have allowed the Antichrist and others to know the time of the return of Christ. The armies of earth under the direction of the Antichrist will have gathered to destroy the Jews and to battle the Lord Himself. Armageddon will have arrived: “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16).
The enemies of the Lord will not be disappointed: Christ will come.
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:11 — 16).
At Armageddon, the most awesome array of deadly weapons ever assembled will be waiting to destroy the returning Christ. In effect, the world’s end-time inhabitants will echo the cry of those who rejected the Savior at His first coming: “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14).
But the enemies of the Lord will be defeated:
And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh (Revelation 19:19-21).
In the wake of the destruction of Armageddon there will be work to do. The church, having returned with the King, will share in these responsibilities. The kingdom of Christ will be established, and the violent drama of the ages will end. There will be peace at last.
We will delve into this coming peace in our next newsletter.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Rexella, just wanted to let you know (as I know you already know!) that Jack was 100% right, on Russia! This is all unfolding right now. I miss watching you both on TV more than you will ever know! I have my Jack Van Impe Bible in my home which is a treasure to me. Stay safe, my Sister in Christ! I know how this all ends, and I am looking up!
Love you- Sharon P.
Hello. My name is James H. I’m a young pastor and I feel as though God has been dealing with me on bible prophecy, and I would like to tell you thank you for the ministry you have done in this area. I really believe His return is soon. Thank you and may God keep you and prosper your ministry even more than He already has.
HIGHLIGHTED MINISTRY OFFERS
And I looked, and behold a pale horse; and his name that set on him was Death, and Hell followed with him Revelation 6:8
Death and Hell about to be unleashed on our world? Revelation 6 gives a horrifying description of the ‘Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ and now Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe show you that those riders could be mounting their devastating steeds right now!
This video teaching uses Bible prophecy and today’s headlines to show you the startling truth – and help you answer critical questions such as:
- Who are the four horsemen?
- What does former Pope Benedict’s conflict with Islamists reveal?
- What prophecy says Francis will be the last pope before the Antichrist arises?
- What stands in the way of a one world religion?
- When will there be peace in the Middle East?
- What role does Russia play in Armageddon?
- Has the horseman of terrorism already been unleashed?
- Could Shariah Law come to the USA?
- And many more!
Jesus is coming soon! All the biblical prophecies — and all the current news headlines — bear witness to this truth. Now prophecy experts Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe give you the facts about what is happening in our world today! Get the critical answers to critical questions like:
- What doesn’t the Antichrist want you to know about Pope Francis and Bible prophecy?
- How has Pope Francis compromised with Muslims?
- Is Islam a religion of peace — or do Muslims want to take over the world?
- What happens under Sharia law?
- What prophetic role does Islamic terrorism play in North America?
- What happens after the Rapture?
- …And many more!
Share this teaching with your church, family, and friends. Let them know: The return of the Lord is at hand.