Weekly Newsletter – May 2, 2016
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Revelation 14: 1 – 8
Chapter 14 deals with the seven visions, each complete in itself. They are not presented in a chronological sequence of events but rather panoramically with details following later. Let me illustrate this point. The pronouncement of doom upon Babylon, for instance, is uttered in verse 8. However, the details are presented in chapter 16, verses 17-21. With this point in mind, let’s investigate.
Verse 1: And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
The Lamb, as we already know, is the Lord Jesus Christ. John the Baptist called Him by this name as he saw the Lord walking upon earth saying, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Also, John sees the Tribulation saints overcoming Satan by the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 12:11). This same Lamb and His bride are the honored participants at a marriage feast conducted in chapter 19, verse 7 which states: Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. The wedding occurs in heaven but the feast probably takes place on earth as the Lamb returns to Mount Sion (or Zion) for His millennial reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. This would fulfill scores of Old Testament prophecies.
Did you know that Zion, or Jerusalem, is the place God seems to love most? Today’s anti-Zionists should take heed. They are opposing the Almighty himself as they rebel against His city and His people because-I repeat-Jerusalem is closest to God’s heart. For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it (Psalm 132:13, 14). While the first verse of chapter 14 is the only place where Zion is mentioned in the Book of Revelation, it nevertheless authenticates an unlimited number of Old Testament passages that point to Jerusalem as the headquarters of Christ’s earthly kingdom. Seemingly, God is saying through this text, “I know that millions are following the Antichrist. I see that the false prophet is scoring many victories as he, through lying wonders and deceits, turns the hearts of multitudes to the super-deceiver. However, 666 is the number of man. It is the number of incompleteness. It will soon end.” Why? I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion [or Jerusalem] (Psalm 2:6). God adds, “Though horrendous judgments are about to fall, look up! Your redemption draws nigh. My son, the Lamb, is about to come forth and take His proper position on earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. He shall soon arrive at Jerusalem.”
The Prophet Zechariah also stated this same truth: His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south (Zechariah 14:4). Additional verses depict the establishment of Christ’s earthly kingdom: Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion… the city of the great King (Psalm 48:2). In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion [or Jerusalem] (Psalm 76:2). Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion [or Jerusalem] (Psalm 102:13). Psalm 110:2 pictures His reign and states: The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Again, The Lord shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the Lord (Psalm 146:10). As He reigns, the people are pleased and cry, Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their king (Psalm 149:2).
Isaiah the prophet predicted this time of peace. He said, Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (Isaiah 2:3,4).
Jesus Christ is coming soon to sit upon David’s throne. How do I know this momentous event is about to occur? Because Jerusalem, where He will reign-captured by the Jews in 1967-became the eternal, undivided capital of Israel on July 31, 1980. And this is only the beginning. Soon Jerusalem will become the capital of the entire world-upon the arrival of the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Lord Jesus Christ. The way has been prepared in our day. Let’s triumphantly shout the news, “The King is coming! Amen! The King is coming!” First, however, He must return for the Church (all Christians) so that we can return with Him (chapter 19, verse 14). Thus, the Rapture cannot be delayed much longer. Since we return with Him, and it is visibly manifest that we must return together soon, then the fact is clear that our remaining time upon earth is extremely limited.
At this point in our text, that time has come! How glorious is the hour of the Lord’s return to Jerusalem-the capital of the world-with His people. Part of His earthly entourage is composed of the 144,000 Jews mentioned in chapter 7. They have the Lamb’s Father’s name written (or inscribed) in their foreheads. This is a result of the sealing mentioned in chapter 7, verses 3 and 4.
Verse 2: And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps.
What a majestic sound fills the heavens and the earth as the heavenly chorus, with the voice of many waters (an unusual amount of octaves), crescendos into thunder-like proportions. The multitudinous choir is accompanied by harps-a symbol of joy. This joy has to do with Christ’s redemption.
Verse 3:And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
The new song of these redeemed Jews is undoubtedly similar to the song of the saints presented in chapter 5, verse 9: And they [sang] a new song saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue, and people, and nation. Still, the song of the 144,000 differs somewhat in that it is exclusively their own. The point is that the redeemed in every dispensation have something about which they can sing-the joy of the Lord. The purity, holiness, and sanctification of this group are described in the next verse.
Verse 4: These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruit unto God and to the Lamb.
Some commentators, particularly priests in the Middle Ages, stated that this honor was reserved for them because they had refrained from sexual intercourse. Such an explanation, however, is impossible in the light of the sanctity of marriage, for marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled (Hebrews 13:4). That is why, whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord (Proverbs 18:22). The meaning, then, has to do with the undefiled walk of the redeemed Jews as stated in the next part of the verse: These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. They are free from spiritual fornication as described in James 4:4 which states: Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Idolatry, the ultimate form of spiritual adultery, is the sin of the hour during the Tribulation period, as we have already observed in chapters 9 and 13. Yet, even during such a time as this, there are multitudes who remain true to the Lord. I dogmatically believe that the “undefiled” of verse 4 are those who have kept themselves unspotted from the world. This truth is also pictured in 2 Corinthians 11:2 concerning the Church, the bride of Christ: God says, I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. Both Christ and His Father want pure sweethearts.
The Jewish virgins in our text are most likely those referenced in Matthew 25:1-13 (the parable of the wise and foolish virgins). In all dispensations, God wants His people to be separate from the world, the flesh, and the devil. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty (2 Corinthians 6: 14-18).
These untainted Jews who walked the pathway of holiness are the firstfruits of the Tribulation period. The harvest is to follow as millions more turn to Messiah. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins (Romans 11:26, 27).
Another attribute of the 144,000 Jews is mentioned in the next verse.
Verse 5: And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
God hates the sin of lying. In fact, the Bible lists lying as one of the sins that will keep a man out of the Holy City (see Revelation 22:15). The Tribulation hour, under the Antichrist, produces a world inundated with deceit. The Antichrist works lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9), and multitudes believe a lie (2 Thessalonians 2:11). Even during this age of fraud, however, the redeemed Jews do not follow Satan, who is a liar, and the father of [lies] (John 8:44). Oh, that there were more believers who never used deceit, who never passed rumors (usually exaggerated lies), and who refused to listen to the lies that Satan, the accuser of [the] brethren, hatches! God wants holy people in every dispensation of time. Let’s be like Jesus who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth (1 Peter 2:22).
Verse 6: And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.
This verse introduces us to the first of the angels who proclaim a special message to the world. What is this everlasting gospel the angel preaches? The word gospel simply means “good news.” It is also called glad tidings (Luke 1:19), good tidings (Luke 2:10), and good tidings once again (1 Thessalonians 3:6). This good news always includes the message of the blood in every dispensation. To [Christ] give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins (Acts 10:43), and remission of sins is through the blood, for without shedding of blood is no remission (Hebrews 9:22).
In addition to proclaiming the everlasting gospel, the angel announces that all those who have rejected the message of Jesus for the mark of the Antichrist (666) are about to be bombarded with a series of judgments from God himself.
Verse 7: [The angel said] with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
The angel’s message is God’s final call to a Christ-rejecting world, and the message is “turn or burn; repent or die. This is mankind’s last opportunity to receive Jesus Christ as Messiah, as Lord, yea, as the true God.”
Verse 8: And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
Here we learn of the impending judgment to be unleashed upon religious and political Babylon in chapters 17 and 18. We will deal with the fulfillment of these predictions, plus the fact that all nations are made to drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, when we reach those sections. For the present, suffice it to say that the abominable portrait before us typifies a one-world church united to a one-world political system using every type of corruption imaginable to promote herself into prominence at the end time. Beware! The present ecumenical effort, attempting to unite all religions under a so-called “banner of brotherhood,” regardless of one’s belief about Christ, is the forerunner of a monstrous fornicator who makes all nations drink of the wine of her wrath.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Searching for security in a world without meaning
Take a walk down main street in your hometown, or visit the local shopping mall. Look at those around you, and study the faces in the crowds coming out of sports arenas or entertainment auditoriums. Notice how few seem to be really enjoying themselves, or laughing, genuinely having a good time.
Even if they put up a jovial front with those around them, watch how soon the laughter dies and the smiles fade when they are alone again and confront the reality of daily living. For too many individuals, the world seems to be a grim and joyless place.
My husband, Jack, and I hear from so many people each week, and often they say, “I can’t stand to watch the TV news anymore. Everything that’s on is bad or ugly. The way the world is going is frightening and depressing. The more I see and hear, the more baffled, bewildered, and befuddled I get!”
A good many of these folks go on to say, “We just couldn’t make it through the week without seeing the ‘Jack Van Impe Presents’ telecast. It’s the only good news we hear. You always have a message of hope-that God is still in control!”
What does it all mean?
Baffled! According to the dictionary, means ” confused, puzzled, frustrated.” Bewildered speaks of losing one’s bearings, being perplexed and overwhelmed by the complexity and the multitude of considerations. Befuddled means to muddle about, virtually stupefied, unable to cope with the complications.
Have you ever had feelings like these?
Certainly there seem to be more concerns and problems in the world today than ever before in human history. Perhaps many of them were there but we just didn’t know about all of them. Today’s communications technology makes us aware of conflicts and trouble going on in every part of the world.
One thing we do know is that Jesus didn’t say that if we saw wars or famines or pestilences or persecutions, His coming is near. In Matthew 23:33, He said, when ye shall see ALL these things, know that it is near, even at the doors (emphasis mine). It seems to me that all the signs are now there!
Lately I’ve been asking the people I meet in my weekly activities about what issues they are concerned about and I feel sure that what they’ve told me probably includes the same things that trouble you. I believe the world once again has plunged to the low point of being as it was in the days of Noah, when the earth was totally corrupt and filled with violence. So surely this means that it’s time to look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh (Luke 21:28).
When and where will terrorists strike again?
The number one thing on people’s minds, I think, is the threat of international terrorism. The 9/11 attacks certainly changed the outlook of all Americans. And the later terrorist attacks in England and other European countries have made millions of other people realize that the whole world is vulnerable. Most thinking people now realize that it’s not a question of if there will be major terrorist attacks again, but when!
Another concern is the growing threat of nuclear war. It seems everyone is talking about nuclear proliferation involving more countries, like North Korea and Iran. And of course, huge nations like India, China, and Russia are flexing their muscles and saying, “you can’t tell us what to do.” So there are opportunities for confrontation on every corner. There’s no peace in the world at all.
In fact, there have been more wars in the twentieth century than in all prior centuries put together. In the last two thousand years it’s constantly been nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom. As a result, millions have died from warfare, including genocide-the systematic slaughter of entire ethnic groups, as well as from starvation and famines. But the frightening part today is that more nations have nuclear weapons that could wipe out entire continents!
Is the world getting too warm?
There is also a growing concern around the world about global warming. Many scientists believe that the impact of mankind’s pollution is upsetting the delicate balance of nature. Our oceans and waterways are becoming fouled, and the very atmosphere is being damaged. The resulting increases in average temperatures, say the experts, might already be affecting weather patterns, producing record numbers of violent storms like typhoons, hurricanes, and tsunamis. They say the warming trend ultimately could kill most marine life, destroy agricultural food production, and eventually melt the remaining glaciers and ice packs, putting more low-lying land under water. Not everyone agrees with these dire predictions, but while the debate rages on, more and more people are becoming fearful of what the future holds.
Is sickness and disease getting worse?
In addition to these major concerns, there is heightened awareness of the expansion of both new and old diseases. Cancer, heart disease, mental disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and other deadly maladies affect millions. In America, the cost of medical care is so great that even major corporations are saying they cannot afford to provide health insurance for employees. Often the elderly have to choose between buying food or the prescription drugs that help keep them alive!
Worldwide, diseases once thought to be eradicated are coming back with a vengeance, especially in poverty-stricken areas where there is poor nutrition and virtually no hygiene. AIDS and HIV-related disease have literally decimated the populations of many African nations, producing millions of AIDS orphans.
Add to these fears the problems of animal disorders like Mad Cow disease and avian (or bird) flu that could threaten food supplies and perhaps even pose the threat of infecting humans.
World health experts have no answers, no workable plans to conquer the threatened pandemics of killer diseases. No wonder there is a growing universal lack of confidence.
The curse of pharmakeia
Perhaps these things help explain why so many have turned to drugs and alcohol in their desperate attempts to cope with such grim problems in their world. It seems obvious that the war against drugs is over-and we lost! Drug trafficking appears to be almost unrestrained, not only in the United States but worldwide. And the abuse is not limited to illegal drugs, but also to over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs as well. The battle against drug abuse of all kinds seems almost hopeless. In 2003 there were 1.74 million arrests for illegal drug abuse in the U.S.-probably only a small percentage of the people actually involved!
The Bible refers specifically to this problem in Revelation and Galatians using the Greek word pharmakeia, which is the source word for our term, pharmacy. Sometimes the word has been mistranslated as “sorcery” or “witchcraft,” but many biblical scholars, including my husband, Jack, believe the scriptures are actually referring to drugs and drug abuse!
The number one drug problem-or substance abuse-in America is alcohol! Over 50 million Americans are dependent on alcohol-500,000 of them between the ages of 9-12! Our citizens spend $90 billion a year on booze-and $5.5 billion of it is spent by students. Alcohol is involved in half of all U.S. driving fatalities, 40 percent of all industrial fatalities and 47 percent of industrial injuries.
The problem certainly is not isolated to America. There are similar-or worse-statistics for virtually any country in the world. Throughout Europe alcoholic beverages are served freely to children, and in certain areas in Russia alcoholism has helped to produce extremely high unemployment.
“Without natural affection”-why?
Space does not permit me to list all the other issues that trouble people today-things like the decay of morality, virtue, and values that has produced unprecedented sexual promiscuity, and the alarming rise of physical and sexual abuse against children, women, even animals! Hardly a week goes by without a major news report of a father destroying his whole family, or a mother maiming or killing her children-a direct fulfillment of the prophetic sign that people will be “without natural affection.” Spousal abuse is epidemic. There are 50,000 reports of suspected child abuse or neglect every week in America. And how often do you read news accounts or see TV reports of pets or livestock being tortured, abused, and killed?
No wonder so many can’t stand to read the newspaper or watch the evening news! No wonder people are baffled, bewildered, and befuddled by the goings on in their neighborhood, their city, their world. How can one understand, rationalize, or explain what is happening? How can one deal with the resulting confusion, perplexity, anger, and frustration, or cope with the endless barrage of bad news and challenges that defy human solution?
Has anyone you know tried to “end it all?”
Sadly, suicide is on the rise-it is the eleventh leading cause of death in the U.S. Suicide deaths outnumber homicide deaths by a five to three margin, numbering 29,350 in the year 2000. And among children, adolescents, and young adults, the suicide rate is escalating. Suicide was the third leading cause of death of youngsters in both the 10-14 and 15-24 age ranges. And older adults, who comprise 13 percent of the U.S. population, account for 18 percent of the suicide deaths! So suicide knows no age boundaries, striking victims from childhood to age 85.
These statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are alarming. But America is not the only nation with this problem. Suicide rates are soaring around the world. In fact, Japan is the number one country in the world for total suicides.
So we can see that people around the world are in deep despair, feeling baffled, bewildered, befuddled…and totally hopeless. Feeling that life is not worth living, too frightened to face the future, they destroy themselves. How tragic! How my heart aches for those whose pain and desolation sweeps them to utter destruction.
Is there no hope for the world and its people?
Oh, yes! There is hope and healing and deliverance! This is my Father’s world, and He is still in control. Man’s wisdom may fail. Scholars and scientists may admit defeat. Politicians can seldom deliver on their promises of peace. But God is all powerful. And He is never baffled, bewildered, or befuddled!
God has given us His wisdom and direction-His mind-on every subject in His Word, the Holy Bible. He gave us the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17) as guidelines for happiness and success. The commandments were not to restrict us or make us unhappy, but to keep us from things that could hurt us.
Then, Jesus told us not to fear when we saw today’s world conditions coming to pass. Don’t be terrified! Don’t be anxious! Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (Matthew 24:6, Luke 21:9, John 14: 27).
We know that human agencies and alliances can never solve the problems of the world. They never get it quite right. For example, on the front of the United Nations building in New York City is a scriptural quotation from Isaiah 2:4-they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. The implication is that this is what the U.N. will accomplish.
There’s just one problem-they left out God. In the previous verses (see 2:2,3), Isaiah says these things will happen “in the last days” when people begin to say, “Come, let us go up to the house of God-He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths.”
The Word of God is quite specific that the answers mankind is seeking will not come from the U.N., the European Union, or any other earthly alliance. Acts 4:12 says, Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Yet, we can clearly see where the world is headed. Paul-Henri Spaak, the founder of the European Common Market and the general secretary of NATO, emphatically declared in a speech:
“We don’t want another committee-we already have enough of them. What we want is a man of such stature that he be capable to gain the alliance of peace-the politics to pull us out of the economic chaos into which we are sinking. Send us this man, and be he god or the devil, we will welcome him!”
This is the baffled, bewildered, befuddled mindset that will usher in the Antichrist. For the day will come-and soon-when such a man will emerge out of the European Union and bewitch the political leaders of the world. He will announce a grand scheme for universal peace and prosperity that the world’s leaders will agree to, and draw up a seven year contract. All nations–even Israel–will sign it. But in the middle of the peace, after three and a half years, everything falls apart and deadly conflicts break out again, culminating in the prophetic battle of Armageddon, in Israel’s Valley of Megiddo.
Then, thank the Lord, Jesus does come back and stops all the warfare before mankind destroys the whole world and all its inhabitants.
It’s all spelled out for us in the Word of God, the Holy Bible. Everything we need to know is there so we can do all God wants us to do. As we rely on the Word and seek God in prayer every day of our lives, we can live in calm assurance. As we keep out attention focused on Him, we can have peace in the midst of the storm.
How can you overcome the desperate feelings of being baffled, bewildered, and befuddled in today’s world? George Mueller wrote, “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith; the beginning of faith and trust is the end of anxiety.”
In the following newsletters, we will explore together how to overcome the obstacles and challenges of modern life that can keep you from living in quiet confidence and strength. As we discover how to deal victoriously with the world’s complications and confusions, you will be able to affirm, in the words of an old, old gospel song-
Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand,
But I know Who holds the future,
And I know Who holds my hand.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Jack and Rexella,
My wife and I both eagerly wait for the times your program is on satellite to watch you. I am writing to express my appreciation and support for you and your ministry.
You are a prophet of God speaking His voice to the Church and to its leaders. We are blessed by your messages, and we stand with you and pray for God’s protection on you and your loved ones.
We love you both, Jack and Rexella.
Yours in Christ,
Hello Drs. Jack and Rexella,
Greetings in the lovely name of Jesus!
I was so happy to see you on the God Channel this morning. I watch you from the UK. It is so encouraging to know that you stand for the truth and speak the truth in love. I believe many will acknowledge Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and Lord. I had been watching you on TBN and Daystar. Now that you are not on TBN. All things work together for good to them that love God and to them that are called according to His purpose.
Keep up the good work!
God richly bless you both.
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