Weekly Newsletter – March 6, 2017
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
- Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you.
- I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me.
- How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.
After the events in this chapter occurred, an apparently docile King Nebuchadnezzar issued a proclamation declaring he had finally learned his lesson: that indeed the most high God was in control of a realm greater than his own-a Kingdom that will last eternally, dominating earthly powers for generations to come. This decree was written by the king himself, his regal attempt to tell an entire nation of the great God he had now come to honor and respect.
- I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace:
- I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.
- Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known unto me the interpretation of the dream.
- Then came in the magicians, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known unto me the interpretation thereof.
- But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,
- 0 Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and the interpretation thereof
- Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great.
- The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:
- The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof and all flesh was fed of it.
- I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;
- He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:
- Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:
- Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.
- This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
- This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.
We have now arrived at the latter half of the king’s reign, and some twenty-three years have passed between chapters three and four. Nebuchadnezzar has been a successful warrior abroad for most of his career, and he is now spending the remainder of his life in relative ease at his palace in Babylon. Chapter four could probably be called Nebuchadnezzar’s spiritual biography. But just as leopards are not known for changing their spots, so the king remained a proud man and would later have to pay the price for forcing his subjects to worship his great gold image on the plain of Dura a generation earlier. The score would soon be evened, as we shall see as the drama of this chapter unfolds.
Daniel-Consistent in Courage
Once again, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that caused him great anxiety. By now, he seemed convinced that the old guard of magicians, astrologers, and wise men would not have the necessary skills to interpret his latest dream, so he brought in a new group of seers, “all the wise men of Babylon,” not just those from the palace. This time, he didn’t play games by asking them to tell him his dream and give him the interpretation. He told them the dream immediately. Still, even the wisest in the realm were at a complete loss for an interpretation.
I’ve always wondered why he didn’t bring Daniel in immediately instead of going through the frustration of working with supposed wise men who never seemed to be able to deliver. Eventually, Daniel (Belteshazzar) was brought before the king, taken away momentarily from his busy life as judge and prime minister of the realm. Nebuchadnezzar now knew that only a supernatural being could interpret his latest anxiety-ridden dream, and he seemed confident that Daniel was the man to give him the answers he needed.
Trees = Power
As described in the passage above, the king’s latest dream was about a luxuriant tree of great height, with branches heavy with enough fruit to sustain the lives of many. But then a holy “watcher” descended from heaven and commanded that the tree be cut down, leaving only a stump in the ground. To a king who was already paranoid about losing his kingdom, this dream was one more in a painful series that indicated neither time nor the God of the Hebrews was on his side. Let’s look at this dream and its various components as they relate both to biblical symbolism and to final end-time mysteries.
Throughout the Word of God, trees represent kingdoms and powers. Two examples:
- The cedar tree usually refers to the nation of Lebanon (1 Kings 4:33) and
- The fig tree speaks of Israel (Joel 1:7; Hosea 9:10; Matthew 24:32).
Nebuchadnezzar did not know it at the time, but the great tree that reached to heaven represented him and his vast empire. Babylon was a powerful tree-a mighty kingdom that had refused to bow its head to anything but a lifeless Marduk and the other Babylonian gods. But it was an abusive power, filled with the pride of an arrogant king who had crafted a golden image and made his subjects bow to it. Because of the king’s arrogance, God would cut the tree representing Nebuchadnezzar’s great power to the ground, but enough would remain (the stump) to indicate that it was still alive enough to undergo seven years of testing, a graphic picture of the seven-year Tribulation hour-a time we are rapidly approaching.
During those seven years of trouble, according to the dream, the king would be stricken down. He crawled about on his hands and knees, disheveled, a mad monarch forced to eat grass as an animal. His hair probably grew to where it touched his back. His fingernails were like bird claws.
There was a time when skeptics argued that such a situation was not plausible. Raymond Harrison recited a personal experience with a modern case similar to that of Nebuchadnezzar, which he observed in a British mental institution in 1946. He found a man who was mentally deranged, had claws like a bird, with matted hair hanging all the way to his feet. Furthermore, the man’s diet was grass, which he ate while crawling on all fours. The disease was given a name: Boanthropy, or Zoanthropy.
Medical records prove this malady does, in fact, exist-and is the same disease, or the equivalent, that Nebuchadnezzar experienced in his dream and life. This state of mental derangement would last for seven years, representing the duration of the Tribulation, that terrible time on earth when millions who insist on honoring a false god will go through judgments destined to inundate the world.
How many judgments will there be during these perilous days? Twenty-one! Each of them is listed in Revelation chapters six to eighteen.
Here are just a few: Revelation 6:2 says the Antichrist appears on a white horse; verses 4 to 8 tell us there will be three other riders. The red horse depicts peace being removed from the earth with the cataclysmic judgments of war annihilating one-third of the world’s inhabitants; verse 5 says the rider on a black horse causes mass starvation; and verse 8 gives us the dramatic picture of a rider on a pale horse that causes myriads of diseases, eliminating another one-fourth of the human race; in verse 9, we see yet another judgment, where millions are slaughtered for honoring the name of God and for declaring their allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ; verse 12 speaks of the judgments in the heavens:
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.”
The judgment described in Revelation 8:1 is so terrible that it unleashes the other fourteen judgments, causing an unusual silence in heaven for about the space of half an hour.
The angels, knowing what is coming, are so stunned as they contemplate the future that there is a holy hush in the presence of God. This day is rapidly approaching, and the Book of Daniel is the prophecy through which these end-time mysteries are now being unsealed. In chapter two, we saw the future kingdoms clearly delineated, and now we know that most of Daniel’s prophecy has already happened. There is only one part of the prophecy yet to come: the stone smashing the feet of the image- Christ’s glorious return to establish His millennial reign for one thousand years upon the earth (Revelation 20:4).
This is all going to take place soon. But before it does, there will be the Tribulation period, pictured by the example of a mentally deranged, animal-like king, who crawls on the ground eating grass for seven years. Once again, a desperate king turns to his foreign friend and counselor for the interpretation of his dream. And again, what Daniel is about to tell the king is not good news. But Daniel remains courageous, refusing to dodge the issue. God has given Daniel the interpretation, and he is prepared to speak the mind of God freely before King Nebuchadnezzar.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Is God Listening?
Several years ago I contracted a dangerous viral infection which threatened the sight of my left eye and produced severe discomfort and pain. Just as I was getting a little better, I came down with pneumonia in my right lung.
During this time of unusual stress and trauma, Jack and I spent even more time than normal praying and seeking God. Thank the Lord, He heard and answered our prayers!
Experiencing those wearisome days when I might have been tempted to ask, “Does God care? Is He listening?”-I found new assurance that the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary (Isaiah 40:28). And I can truthfully say with the psalmist that I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry (Psalm 40:1).
While prayer has always been an important part of our lives and ministry, now it has become even more vital-an integral part of the very fabric of Jack’s life and mine. Prayer has become as natural as breathing to me, and has carried me into the Father’s presence where I draw directly from His unlimited strength.
In the times of testing I often felt as if the Lord comforted me by saying, “Pray.” And in saying “Come to me,” He also said, “Wait patiently.” It has been my experience that life’s difficulties may sometimes be meant for the strengthening of one’s heart and soul.
The power of prayer
When we enter into prayer, we enter into the realm of divine omnipotence and tap into the unlimited power of God. Prayer leaps over boundaries, stops at no distances, and balks at no obstacles. No wonder Jesus said, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27).
The late Dr. M. R. DeHaan recognized the tremendous force God placed in the hands of His people through prayer. DeHaan said, “I would far rather have the power of prayer to move the powers of heaven, than to have the power of preaching to move the masses on earth.”
While some of us may not have the gift of preaching or the anointed eloquence to proclaim the gospel to all who will hear-all of us do have the power of prayer at our disposal. We can commune directly with our Creator, and cry out to the God of the universe with the steadfast assurance that HE IS LISTENING… and He will answer.
Why, then, do we go about laden with burdens too heavy to bear? Why do we endure overwhelming sorrows and pain? Why do we attempt to make the best of living with want and lack? The Lord gently scolds us for failing to seek His help by saying, Ye have not, because ye ask not (James 4:2).
I love the grand old gospel song that asks, “Are you weary, are you heavy-hearted?” then responds, “Tell it to Jesus, Tell it to Jesus!” On and on the song goes, listing man’s most common troubles and fears, and always reminding, urging, commanding-“Tell it to Jesus alone!”
God has invited us to come to Him with our needs and burdens. Jesus said, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened (Matthew 7:7).
Are the answers you need being given? Have you asked?
Are you finding the solutions to life’s problems? Are you seeking?
Are the doors of opportunity being opened to you? Are you knocking?
God is ready and willing to meet your every need. He is more than enough for all your problems. But to receive what He wants you to have, you have to take the first step. Have you ever taught your children to come to you for assistance with their needs? Even though you sometimes knew what they needed before they asked, have you ever waited until they made their petition to you?
Jesus said, If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:11).
So we need to learn to ask-we need to be sure to make our petitions known to God through prayer.
Pray in faith
Then, too, we must pray with faith. Some people feel their faith is too weak, but I believe, with the Apostle Paul, that God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith (Romans 12:3). If our faith comes from God-if He has provided it for us, then we have enough…and it is sufficient!
When in the midst of suffering and in need of healing, many of us may find it difficult to receive healing directly from the hand of God. But the Lord often uses other hands, other instruments to meet our need. Often healing comes through the channel of doctors and medicine. Depending on such healing aids is not necessarily a lack of faith.
An old motto I’ve heard suggests that we should work as though everything depended on us, but pray as if everything depended on God. Perhaps this is the perfect blending of faith and works endorsed by the Apostle James (see 2:20-26).
I thank God for the fine doctors and “miracle” drugs employed in my treatment during my illness. But I am absolutely convinced that prayer helped speed my healing by making my body more receptive to the treatment than it ordinarily would have been.
I recovered with no lasting ill effects, no scars, no permanent damage. Yet, another lady with almost the same condition, being treated by the same doctor, with the same medication, did experience facial scarring and ongoing trauma.
Is God really interested in our individual needs and problems? Aren’t our personal difficulties too small to bring to the attention of the Almighty? Isn’t He preoccupied with wars and cataclysmic events, interested only in global and universal affairs?
Not at all! Nothing is too great or too small to bring to the Lord. He knows! He sees! He cares! Oh, yes, my friend. He is listening…and He will answer.
I know this-when our own strength and provision fail, prayer helps us tap into an inexhaustible divine supply. And it is undeniably true that more miracles are wrought by prayer than this world could ever imagine.
The Holy Spirit intercedes
Dr. Van Impe and I are finding that when we pray, the Holy Spirit directs us and helps us to pray. We do not have to depend on long prayer lists and “vain repetitions” that become meaningless rituals (see Matthew 6:7).
There are times when I feel so overwhelmed by needs or challenges before me that I don’t even know how to pray. But the Holy Spirit does-and He ministers through me to touch the heart of God. Paul wrote, Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit [himself] maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26).
There have been times when I knelt to pray and could only weep-I couldn’t find the words to express what was inside. I would cry out, “Oh God, I don’t know how to put this because I’m so burdened. ” What a comfort to know that the Holy Spirit went right on interceding for me with groanings and expressions too deep to be uttered.
And sooner or later, as I waited before God on my knees, that deep peace that passes all understanding would sweep over me, and my troubled spirit would be at rest. Once again I would have the blessed assurance of knowing that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
My friend, what God has done for me, He will do for you. The Lord is ready to minister to you in every part of your life. He is listening.
TAKE TIME TO PRAY
I got up quite early one morning
And rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish
I took no time out to pray.
The problems just tumbled about me,
And heavier came every task;
“Why doesn’t God help me,” I wondered,
He said, “Why, you didn’t ask!”
I saw naught of joy or of beauty-
The day sped on, gray and bleak;
I asked, “Why won’t the Lord show me?”
He said, “But you didn’t seek!”
I tried to come into God’s presence;
I used all my keys at the lock,
God gently, lovingly chided,
“My child, why didn’t you knock?”
I woke up quite early this morning
And paused ere entering the day;
There was so much to accomplish
I HAD TO TAKE TIME TO PRAY!
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Dr. Van Impe,
On today’s broadcast of your show, Dr. Rexella showed a brief videotape of you wherein you asked us to write to you and tell you that we stand with you.
This is to let you know that I absolutely and firmly stand with you. I prayed that the Lord would protect you as you boldly proclaim His truth, and asked him for good health and swift healing of your hip so that you may return to your full duties!
Dr. Rexella also spoke about all the birthday cards that you have received, and how you have enjoyed them. I’m sorry that this is a bit belated, but I hope you had a very happy birthday, and please accept my wishes for a very joyous and healthy year for you, full of our Lord’s rich blessings!
With Much Appreciation,
Hey Jack I hope that you are doing better. I watched your show last night, it was great as usual. During your show Rexella showed a prerecorded message from you. Near the end of your message you said to write you, and let you know if we are with you. I am with you I greatly appreciate all that you do, you are a wonderful person. Please take care of yourself.
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God has given me a desperately needed message to equip the Christians of the world to combat the apostasy and hypocrisy of many so-called Christian leaders in pulpits today I Timothy 4:1 says in these latter days some shall depart the Christina faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons
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