Weekly Newsletter – May 23, 2016
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Chapter 15 is a preparatory portion of Scripture. Its eight verses serve as an introduction to the seven vial or bowl judgments described in chapter 16.
Verse 1: And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
The sign John now views in heaven is awe-inspiring. Seven angels-possibly the seven angels or messengers of the seven churches mentioned in chapters 2 and 3-are about to pour out the final seven plagues upon earth. This is the completion of God’s judgment when His wrath is unleashed against rebellious mankind.
Verse 2: And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
As explained in chapter 4, verse 6, the sea of glass speaks of tranquility. It is calm and stable, and typifies: (1) the Church at rest, or (2) God’s living Word. Solomon’s Temple contained a sea of glass, depicting the Word of God, as a means of sanctification. Notice that the sea of glass in our text is mixed with fire. This is a beautiful picture of believers standing firmly for Christ under the test of fire, having their feet planted on the Word of God. The Apostle Peter speaks of this matter when he says, That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:7). Thus, there is no doubt whatsoever that the Tribulation saints enjoy victory over the beast, his image, his mark and the number of his name (666) by the Word of God and prayer. They died for the name of Jesus and are conquerors because of death. Had they remained alive by accepting the beast and his number, they would have been losers. Instead, they are victors, because to die in Christ is gain (see Philippians 1:21). This is why they stand upon the sea of glass-a picture of the Word of God-and are also serenaded and soothed by heaven’s harpists.
Verse 3: And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
Verse 4: Who shall not fear thee, 0 Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
This group, saved out of the Tribulation, sings the song of Moses. The meaning? Back to Exodus, chapter 14. Moses and his people were being hotly pursued by Pharaoh and his armies. Finally the Israelites arrived at the Red Sea. There God parted the waters so that His people could cross over on dry land. As Pharaoh’s military geniuses followed, the waters closed in upon them, and they died. The Israelites, realizing the protection of God on their behalf in sparing them from the Egyptian ruler-a type of the Antichrist-began to sing a song of worship, praise, and adoration to Jehovah: The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea (Exodus 15:1). Now, centuries later, redeemed Jews who through death left earth’s Tribulation miseries behind, sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. This does not mean they use the same lyrics as the people of Moses’ day, but rather that they-as Jews-identify with Moses, the great Jewish leader. They belong to Moses, nationally and to the Lord Jesus Christ, spiritually, for their song is also about the Lamb. The words are Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
Verse 4 reflects the attributes of the King of the nations during the Millennium. Then He is revered because the world fears and glorifies His name. Also, in homage and respect to His holiness and His mighty acts of judgment and subjugation, all nations come to worship in His presence. This is in harmony with Isaiah 2:2 and 3: And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Zechariah agrees in chapter 14, verses 16 and 17: And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
Verse 5: And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:
The Ark of the Testimony was kept in the Temple or the Tabernacle or the Holy of Holies. Under Moses, it was concealed from the eyes of the people. Its mysteries were beyond them. That day is now finally over. The way of the Holiest is open to all, including the Tribulation saints. Now they may view His workings, because they have access to His abiding place.
Verse 6: And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.
The sight of the seven angels coming out of the Temple is breathtaking and frightening. In the earthly Tabernacle and Temple, men were not allowed entrance. Even the high priest could go in but once each year, and then only after rigid ceremonial standards had been observed. The angels, however, have been admitted because they are created beings of holiness to administer the upcoming bowl judgments. The pure and white linen and golden girdles worn by these angels are the same items of clothing worn by Old Testament priests. In other words, angel-priests are about to judge the world from the place where God’s Law rests-the Holy of Holies. This judgment is necessary because mankind has desecrated God’s laws globally. The fact that there are seven angels- the number of perfection and completeness proves that no stone will be left unturned as they execute their seven judgments upon planet earth. Hence, as they leave the Temple, they are given their bowls or vials of judgment.
Verse 7: And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
Verse 8: And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.
In concluding this chapter, verse 8 conclusively proves that the Temple area is sealed to angels and men during the final forty-two months of the Tribulation hour. God’s throne, which symbolizes mercy and love, is shut to the public until the period of judgment ends. This, of course, is during the outpouring of the seven bowls of unprecedented judgment. When God’s judgment has been completed, men may then again approach the Mercy Seat. Until that time, however, all is hazy and dark because of the smoke which fills the Temple.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
At Peace with Who I Am
I’ll never forget meeting Phyllis.
We were at a college in Chattanooga, Tennessee, conducting a series of meetings with the student body. When I sing, I endeavor to establish eye contact with people in the audience, and as I looked over that large group of students, my eyes met hers. She was right in the front, looking up with an angelic face, totally absorbed in the words of my song. I could hardly take my eyes off her.
Phyllis had obviously been born with a defect that hindered her growth. Though she was an adult, she was the size of an infant. Her little legs were too small to enable her to walk well, so she got around by means of a small child’s tricycle. She looked like a tiny doll, sitting on her trike, quietly listening to my song. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such an instant, deep love for anyone as I felt for Phyllis that day.
When the service was concluded, Phyllis asked a friend to bring me to her. Without any hesitation, I did what I had been longing to do from the moment I first saw her. I took her in my arms and hugged her.
Psalm 139:14 says, I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. As I talked with Phyllis this verse came to mind, and I was struck by the thought that the truth of this psalm applied to her just as surely as it applied to the psalmist, or to me, or to anyone else! God had fashioned Phyllis, and regardless of her appearance from our human perspective, He had not made a mistake.
I was particularly impressed by the depth of Phyllis’s quiet beauty. From what I could tell in that brief encounter, she had no self-image problems. To the contrary, she appeared confident, strong, and spiritually mature. As she shared the concerns of her heart with me so that I might pray with her, I noticed that not one of her requests was selfish. Phyllis asked me to pray for her roommates, for her loved ones, and about some problems she was aware of involving other students. She did not ask me to pray for her. Although her physical problems and the difficulties she had getting around resulted in very pressing personal needs, the focus of her concern was on the needs of others. When I gently asked what she would like me to pray for on her behalf, she smiled sweetly and said, “Oh, no, nothing for me!”
Phyllis had grasped a truth that most people completely miss-that we are created by God for His glory. Consequently, she was content with what she had and the way she was. She was fearfully and wonderfully made, and for someone of such small stature, she was touching a multitude of lives.
A designer original
In our society, self-acceptance is a rare reality. Although people today tend to spend a good deal of time thinking about themselves-ours may just be the most self-centered generation ever-most people simply do not like themselves and end up baffled and bewildered by their dissatisfaction. Such self-rejection is completely debilitating, for the one who is dissatisfied with himself has a more difficult time finding true fulfillment.
I believe Psalm 139 was written for those whose dissatisfaction is focused on themselves. Three truths in the psalm provide for the development of an individual sense of self-worth. We want to look at the first one this week and the next week we will cover the remaining two.
First of all, God made us. Verse 16 states:…in thy book all my members were written…when as yet there was none of them. Thus we see that God has not only made us, but He has made us according to a perfect plan. We are not accidents. Instead, as a special creation, each of us has intrinsic value. Regardless of our physical condition, appearance, or abilities, we are of great value to God for we were made to glorify Him.
Mary Crowley, president of Home Interiors and Gifts, Inc., of Dallas, Texas-a very successful businesswoman-has a motto, “Be somebody-God doesn’t take time to make a nobody.” Mary, by giving unselfishly of herself, has earned the respect of the business and political world. She told me in an interview that she feels God has gifted her with the ability to motivate others. She works with the women she employs, helping them to build a strong self-image, with an emphasis on developing inner qualities of beauty. “My self-image is tied up in the character of God himself,” she said. “I want every woman to know that inside her, God has created the potential of genius.”
Contemporary humanity is obsessed with outward appearances. We tend to think that if something looks good it is good, and if it doesn’t look good, it isn’t. As a result, our focus is on externals-clothing, weight, the way we style our hair, and the way we make up our faces. I do not mean to imply that these things are not important. Looking good can make you feel better about yourself, and you may even act better because of it. What I am saying is that the emphasis too often is out of balance. The way we look must always take second place to the condition of the spirit.
Mary Kay Ash, founder of one of America’s most successful cosmetic companies, once said, “True beauty comes from within. You have to feel good about yourself.”
The myths of the advertising world
The advertising world constantly feeds our obsession about our looks with television commercials appearing to our inner cravings to be beautiful and accepted. They tell us diet soft drinks will ensure a slim body, that by using the right toothpaste we will have sparking teeth, and that a certain brand of shampoo will take care of our dandruff problems-people will reject you if they catch you scratching an itchy scalp. And on and on it goes.
Any thinking person should recognize that this is nonsense, but many are lured by promises into buying the products. One can be slim, beautiful, and young looking and still not be satisfied. The incidence of suicide among young models and movie stars is proof that externals do not satisfy.
Furthermore, putting sizzle into a relationship with exotic perfume and by dressing seductively is no guarantee of long-lasting satisfaction. The assault by the media upon our senses with images of gorgeous women and macho men who give every appearance of having attained the ultimate in satisfaction is a myth.
The list of gifted, creative, and attractive people who have killed themselves is long. These were people who had reached the top of the ladder. Supposedly they were successful and satisfied. Any such list is tragic. You may recognize some of these names: John Barrymore, Anne Sexton, Hart Crane, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Ernest Hemingway, Marilyn Monroe, Vincent Van Gogh, Thomas Chatterton, and even Socrates. So it can be seen that unless a person has come to terms with himself, with his uniqueness as one of God’s children, no amount of money, fame, or effort expended on ways to change one’s self-image is going to bring durable satisfaction. Ultimately, being baffled, bewildered, and befuddled can have tragic consequences.
The result of modern marketing’s emphasis on the external, the visible, is simply more self-rejection. Commercials are designed to make us dissatisfied with the way we are. Their aim, of course, is getting us to want their products. We are actually being programmed to be dissatisfied with ourselves. We are being taught to focus on the externals only. Consequently, many totally neglect the fundamental truths that God made us to reflect His glory and that how we look on the outside is of fleeting importance.
Looks change. Of all our temporal possessions, outward appearance is perhaps the one that fades first. It can be destroyed instantly by an accident, or it slowly deteriorates. No one stays young forever, and everyone who lives long enough will have wrinkles, a change in the color and texture of their hair or even baldness, and show other signs of aging.
On the other hand, God’s workmanship in us involves qualities of character He desires to build into our lives. For example, He wants us to be reflections of His love. He also desires that we exhibit integrity, purity, and holiness. He wants us to be patient, kind, and humble. None of these things can be accomplished by altering the way we look!
I had the delightful privilege of interviewing Dee Jepson, wife of then Senator Roger Jepson of Iowa. (She also served as Special Assistant to the President for Public Liaison during the Reagan administration.)
Dee told me that a turning point in her life came when she realized that her career, her status in life, and her material successes were not what gave her life meaning. She saw that because she was a creation of a good and almighty and loving God, she had value as a person that would be there even if her career came suddenly to an end or if she lost every material possession. She said:
In a day and age when women are seeking their identity, I think that oftentimes they are looking in the wrong places. I think it is very important that they realize we need to find our identity in our importance as human beings just because we are. I think it is very important that we find our value and our identity in the fact that we are children of God.
I also feel that as women make their choices in life, if they choose to be a homemaker and stay home and contribute in that way, that is an immensely important role. If they serve their family, support their husband’s career, make a house a home, shape and mold young lives, they are making a major contribution to society. They shouldn’t feel any guilt or societal pressure to go out and make some kind of mark in the marketplace.
Dee is one of those people who exudes confidence, strength, and security. Her secret is that she does not base her sense of self-worth on anything that can be taken away from her. Her confidence comes from knowing the One who made her. She knows He loves her, and thus she can accept herself. As she puts it, “For me, Jesus Christ is the center of my life, and that is what life is about. If you are attempting to be, and willing to be, in the center of His will, it makes things so much easier because it sort of transfers the responsibility to Him”. This kind of attitude and understanding builds the kind of satisfaction that nothing external can ever take away.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Jack and Rexella,
I watch your programme all the way from Africa, Zambia to be specific. When the xenophobic attacks began in Zambia, I didn’t know what to think of it because it is not a nation known for any types of war but after watching your program I had an enlightenment. So far the greatest problem we are facing is the ritual killings that have sent people into absolute fear, they take vital organs of mainly males and this is a real prayer concern. Please pray for our country and don’t stop preaching the end times so far, you are the only people I know that I making it a priority to spread the truth. Love you both
I´d like to thank God for your ministries. I always watch weekly your TV program through YouTube in English. I´m from Ecuador South America and I saw your program in USA for the first time and I love it. Even My family and I have been through so many problems, especially my husband belongs to a government BLACK LIST because of He reported an act of corruption of the current government many years ago. Since then He can´t find any job as a Professional in telecom, we have nothing but we have all. My family and I believe and trust in Jesus Christ. We are only worry for our 17 years old boy, we afraid of his future. Please pray for us and God Bless your lives and your ministries forever.
Ecuador South America
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
Radical Islamic terrorism is the greatest threat to civilization in the 21st Century. But powerful leaders are trying to disguise the truth about this violent religion and its demand for conquest. Don’t let your family and church be deceived!
Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe explain the truth about Islam and how it compares to the Bible. In this video you will discover the answers to questions such as:
- Why are Muslims permitted by their religion to LIE about Islam and proclaim it peaceful?
- What supposed Christian is spreading the lie that Jesus was a Palestinian?
- How is President Obama’s record clearly anti-Israel and pro-Islam?
- Can democracy and Islam co-exist?
- What does the Bible say about the coming war with Russia — and how do today’s headlines predict it?
- How do the recent terrorist attacks by ISIS and Russia’s growing Mid-East presence clearly demonstrate the fulfillment of prophecy and impact the latter0day calendar?
- And Many More!
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils I Timothy 4:1
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. II Timothy 3:13
Will everyone be in Heaven? Are there many paths to follow to get there? Can anyone get to Heaven without the Lord Jesus Christ? In this world of Political Correctness the answers are shocking. The very foundations of Christianity are under attack.
Drs. Jack & Rexella Van Impe meet these attacks head on in this fascinating new video Christianity Seduced. They stand for Biblical Correctness – “let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). In this amazing study you will discover that the New Age teaching is nothing new but has been around since Satan first spoke in the Garden of Eden.