Weekly Newsletter – March 23, 2020
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
“Just a Cup of Coffee, Please!”
The news media often calls attention to the large number of homeless and hungry people in our nation’s big cities. The scenes of people sleeping on benches, huddling in cardboard boxes, or looking through garbage cans for food are pitiful and troubling. While many of these individuals have ended up on the street through misfortunes beyond their control, even sadder are the cases that are there largely by choice.
As I prayed and thought about this problem, it occurred to me that while not homeless and destitute, most of us, in a spiritual sense, have gotten by with just a cup of coffee and a morsel of bread when we could have been feasting on God’s plentiful banquet of spiritual manna. As the Apostle James observes, Ye have not, because ye ask not (James 4:2).
My husband, Jack, and I have a favorite little “home cookin'” cafe we often visit when it’s just the two of us. It’s not fancy at all, but it’s a cozy, comfortable place where we can relax-and the food is good. We go there often enough that we know most of the waitresses and many of the regular customers.
For weeks we noticed that a certain man was almost always in the cafe, sitting at the counter. He looked as if he might be homeless, usually dressed in worn, slightly shabby clothes which probably hadn’t been laundered in weeks. He was always alone-never did we see him with a friend or ever having a conversation with others at the counter. His countenance was drawn and sad, and one could sense that he had known much sorrow in his lifetime. The waitresses told us he ate only once a day-the rest of the time he just drank coffee…”buy one cup and the refills are free.”
Jack and I felt terribly sorry for this man. One night as we were having a light dinner, we looked over at him sitting alone at the counter, nursing his coffee cup, and it made us sad. My hubby called a waitress over and said, “Give that man the best dinner in the house and bring me the bill. Let him pick out anything on the menu and tell him a friend has picked up the tab.”
“No, Dr. Van Impe, you don’t need to do that,” said the waitress.
“But I want to,” he answered. “He looks like he needs a good meal and I’d just like to help him a little.”
“You don’t understand,” she said. “That is Mr. _____” (and she named a very well-known and wealthy local family). “His father owned much of the land that is now the City of Troy-he’s the heir to millions!”
“But he looks so underprivileged!” I exclaimed.
“Yes, I know,” said the waitress, “but he’s really a multimillionaire. He lives like a pauper by choice.”
I haven’t seen that poor, sad man lately, but recently I’ve been thinking about his situation. Could it be that many Christians are living like spiritual paupers when they could be enjoying God’s manifest blessings every day of their lives? Are they settling for just a cup of coffee when they could be feasting at the Lord’s banquet table?
As we face the future, are we anxious about what lies ahead? Will it be a time of happiness and blessing-or endless loneliness and deprivation?
Change your wardrobe
The old man in the cafe was dressed in worn, shabby clothes. Yet he could have been wearing the finest suit from the best tailor in town.
What are you wearing? The Prophet Isaiah said, I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels (Isaiah 61:10).
Clothe yourself in the wardrobe God has provided for you. Get dressed in His righteousness and see what a change His garments will make in your whole outlook on life. You’ll discover a new awareness of God as your Sustainer and Protector. You’ll stand taller and walk in trust and confidence.
So resolve to stop dressing like the world and get clothed in His righteousness.
Put sadness aside
The old man in the cafe looked so sad, as if the weight of the world was on his shoulders. Yes, from a worldly perspective, he had everything. He was from a prominent family, with every possible financial advantage at his disposal. If money could buy happiness, he could have had it all.
Christianity is the most joyful of all the world’s religions. Yet we often manage to make it appear the most sad and mournful by our actions and our countenance. Mark Twain once had his famous character, Huck Finn, wondering if the mule in the barn had “got religion” because of its long face!
The psalmist exults, Thou hast put gladness in my heart. For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness (Psalm 4:7; 107:9).
I think we sometimes develop a bad habit of letting our faces reflect the care and confusion of the world around us instead of the joy and peace of the Lord welling up within us.
If we have full access to God’s goodness, gladness, and blessedness, shouldn’t our faces show it?
As Christians, our future is as bright as the promises of God. And the Word of God is filled with wonderful promises. Some of my favorites include Christ’s promise: Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world (Matthew 28:20) and also God’s assurance that as thy days, so shall thy strength be (Deuteronomy 33:25).
If we believe God, we have something to smile about.
Be a friend
In all the times we observed the old man in the café, Jack and I never saw him with a friend…or ever being friendly with those around him. While others had pleasant conversations and shared personal things with each other, the old man sat alone, without a friend. How sad.
But while true friendship is measured by more than “hellos” and conversations, some people have no friends because they will let no one get close to them.
As the writer of Proverbs observes, A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).
One must be a friend to others to have friends who will share fellowship and companionship in return. And this is an important part of life. But even if earthly friends do fail in times of trouble, we can be secure in knowing that we can have a friend who will stick closer than a brother, in good times and bad.
We know we can count on Him because He has said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5).
When we have such a Friend, why don’t we rely on Him more? In the words of the grand old gospel song, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,”
Oh, what peace we often forfeit.
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget the old man in the cafe, scrimping by on one meal a day, when he could have had anything on the menu, anytime he wanted it. Yet he’d order “Just a cup of coffee, please” and ask for free refills. How tragic to see a multimillionaire going hungry.
But how much more tragic to have the riches of heaven at our disposal and go through life starving ourselves spiritually! Do you have a Bible? Of course, you do. Are you feasting daily on the abundant nourishment found there-or do you hurriedly pull out a single scripture card and glance at it before you dash out into the day?
Compare your biblical diet with Jeremiah’s. He said, Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts (Jeremiah 15:16).
Don’t settle for just a cup of coffee-eat heartily-even as the Apostle Peter admonished us to do in 1 Peter 2:2, stating: As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. The psalmist concurs, saying, O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him (Psalm 34:8).
I heard the story of a man whose dream was to go to America. For years he saved his money to buy passage on a ship. Finally he had just enough, with only a small amount left over.
He took part of the little money he had left and bought some bread and cheese he could take on board. By careful rationing, he thought there would be just enough to last through the voyage.
So he set sail, glad to finally be going to the “promised land.” Other passengers were festive and happy, going into the ship’s dining room to eat wonderful meals, and strolling about the decks, laughing and having refreshments together.
The man would go to his little cabin at mealtime and eat stale bread and hard cheese.
But he had miscalculated the length of the voyage, and a few days before the ship was to arrive in New York harbor, he ran out of food. He drank water and did without for a day or so. Then he got so hungry he didn’t think he could last. So he scraped together all the money he had left-several coins-and went to a steward in the dining room.
“Excuse me, please,” he said. “Is this enough money to buy just a little bit to eat? I’ve run out of food and I’m very hungry.”
The steward said, “Sir, you do not need to pay extra to eat in the dining room. Your meals were paid for in the price of your ticket.”
I urge you to begin living up to your privileges in God. Jesus Christ paid for them in the price of your passage to heaven!
Blessing, gladness, satisfaction, goodness, and all other spiritual pleasures are yours. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God (Psalm 146:5).
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
The 7 Vials
We want to continue our study in the Time of Jacobs Trouble where we ended last week.
The vials constitute an outpouring of God’s wrath upon the earth toward the end of the Tribulation period, and the results are mind-boggling.
First Vial: And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image (Revelation 16:2).
People who have received the mark of the Beast, the Antichrist, are afflicted with painful sores that are evidently incurable. Perhaps this is a universal reaction to receiving the mysterious mark of the Beast in the hand or the forehead — some allergic affliction that falls upon all who have been imprinted with this satanic skin-credit-card that allows them to buy and sell during the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.
Second Vial: And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea (Revelation 16:3).
The sea, once the source of food for man and his supposed hope for the future as a reservoir of nutrients, becomes as the blood of a dead man and every living thing in the sea dies.
Third Vial: And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood (Revelation 16:4).
The rivers and springs of the earth turn to blood as a judgment against the wicked Tribulation regime that has shed the blood of righteous people.
Fourth Vial: And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory (Revelation 16:8,9).
The sun, which has befriended earth’s citizens through the centuries, becomes their enemy, scorching men.
Fifth Vial: And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds (Revelation 16:10,11).
Intense darkness comes upon the earth, accompanied by unbearable pain, causing ungodly people to blaspheme God. The Euphrates River is dried up and a huge army from the east marches through the dry riverbed on its way to Jerusalem.
Sixth Vial: And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared (Revelation 16:12).
Electrical storms and earthquakes that dwarf all such manifestations of nature in the past strike the earth with ferocity, destroying cities and causing nations to fall.
Seventh Vial: And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great (Revelation 16:17-21).
The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against the Antichrist and his kingdom.
The rise of the Antichrist, the Beast, is the most significant cant political event during the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. He is described by John in Revelation 13 as the beast that rises out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns. The prophets call for him to emerge from the revived Roman Empire. And Daniel spoke of him as the “little horn” whose power would reach its zenith for three and one-half years.
Having guaranteed peace to Israel, temporarily settling the Middle East problem and putting down all rebellion, the Beast gains the allegiance of the entire world. His domination of the oil-rich Middle East will allow him to control the economies of the world, reaching even to the simple routines of life such as buying and selling food or clothing. A special mark in the hand or forehead will be required for all to transact any business.
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six (Revelation 13:16-18).
The false religious system that prospers during the early part of the reign of the Antichrist is described in Revelation 17. This blasphemous ecclesiastical empire will thrive on pomp and ceremony and will give allegiance to the irreverent final world dictator, the Beast.
But the work of God does not cease during the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. Shortly after the Rapture there will be a remnant of Jews who turn to Christ. The initial number is 144,000 — 12,000 from each of the tribes of Israel. These converted Jews are called ” servants of God” and they are extremely successful in ministering to others. Not long after this elect group is announced by John, he describes a great multitude from all nations who have been converted to Christ as a result of their labor and who are willing to prove their faith through martyrdom.
It is interesting that many Jews who do not turn to Christ during the Tribulation will return to temple worship as in Old Testament times, including the sacrifice of animals. It may be that allowing the erection of this temple in Jerusalem will be a part of the peace agreement between the final world dictator and the Jews.
Ultimately, however, the Antichrist will destroy the false church and will take control of Jewish worship, declaring himself to be God and demanding worship from the Jews in their own temple. The prophet Daniel spoke of this act of blasphemy as the “abomination of desolation” (Dan. 12:11). And Jesus warned that this would mean untold suffering for the Jews:
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 Judea 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. And except those days shall be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened (Matthew 24:15-22).
The peacemaker then, the Antichrist, will break his covenant or treaty with the Jews and will become their enemy and persecutor. Anti-Semitism will flourish, and Israel will experience her final holocaust.
But what event gives the Antichrist reason to break his pact of peace?
Who tampers with the tranquility established in Israel and the Middle East by this powerful end-time ruler?
What nation introduces war to the Time of Jacob’s Trouble?
We will continue this study next week.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I read of Dr. Van Impe’s passing and just feel so heartbroken. I can still remember when you and Dr. Van Impe came to Old North Baptist Church in Canfield, Ohio when I was about 12 years old and will never forget the services, then, when my wife, Debbie, and I were attending Tennessee Temple College we went on a tour of Israel with Dr Lee Robertson, Dr. Gartenhaus and you both in 1974. We still have a photo of you and my wife standing at the Garden Tomb. We have a lot of prophecy VHS tapes you both produced. I will never forget Dr. Van Impe and the ministry. My sympathies go out to you during this time of loss and grief. God bless you. If not in this life, my wife and I will see you both in Heaven.
Thanks for keeping the emails coming! My husband introduced me to Jack’s ministries when we first got married about 15 years ago. I want to let everyone know that his faith and teachings help me have a calm and sound mind as we come closer to the Lords return. I miss him and hope to see him and all of my brothers and sisters in Christ soon with our Lord in heaven. Hugs to Rexella!!!!
HIGHLIGHTED MINISTRY OFFERS
- With bonus The Complete Guide to Every Prophecy Verse in the Bible A listing of all the prophetic verses in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation
- Now includes Daniel Final End Times Mysteries Unsealed A full commentary on the book of Daniel by Dr. Jack Van Impe
- All the prophecy verses in the Bible shaded and identified.
- The majestic King James Version translation text in large print, with words of Christ in red.
- A ribbon bookmarker.
- A special presentation page – perfect for gift-giving
- An inspiring introductory message from Dr. Jack Van Impe.
- A Scripture memorization plan – designed by Dr. Van Impe to enable you to learn the Word of God more effectively than ever before.
- Dr. Van Impe’s own A to Z Prophecy Index – giving you easy, instant access to the Bible’s answers on the questions that concern you most.
- Dr. Van Impe’s fascinating verse-by-verse commentary on the book of Revelation.
A Sermon by Dr. Jack Van Impe
The shocking truth about prophetic events unfolding around the world today is presented in perhaps the single most electrifying message ever delivered by Dr. Jack Van Impe! In this exciting video, you get answers to these intriguing questions…
- Who has set in motion a requirement for everyone to have a microchip implanted under their skin? What’s the timetable?
- What role does the European Union play in latter-day-events?
- How is the new world government fulfilling the final prophecy today?
- What events follow the Rapture?
- How does Israel, and specifically Jerusalem, fit into Bible prophecy?
- How will Russia, China, and Iran play a part in the fulfillment of end-of-the-age prophecies?
- What else must happen before Christ returns?
- When will the Lord return?
- And many more!