Weekly Newsletter – May 27, 2019
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Daniel’s Response: Daniel 7:15 – 27
I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;
And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.
I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
Daniel Is Confused
Daniel had no one to help him understand what he had been dreaming, so God provided a messenger to interpret the dream on His behalf-the angel Gabriel. The message of chapter two, Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, had been so clear and unified, whereas now his own dream was filled with diversity, the edges of his understanding ragged, all because he was dealing with four terrible, vile beasts-not an immense one-piece image of gold, silver, and bronze-but a diversity of four beasts acting out their beastly nature in fits of anger, violence, and conquest.
Then, suddenly, something exciting happens in verse 18 where the saints of the most High take the Kingdom. This is when Jesus Christ returns, and, as we have already stated, the stone smites the feet of the image, placing Christ and His saints in control. They are the ones who return with Jesus-individuals who missed the terrible seven-year period of Tribulation because they were called up in Revelation 4:1.
In Revelation 19:11-14, when Christ returns on that white horse, we discover that the armies in heaven follow Him-a picture of the Church returning to earth. Jude verse 14b says, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.” They had no way of saying millions, billions, or trillions in the first century, so they used the term tens of thousands. But there is also the group of saints-the 144,000 Jewish messengers (Revelation 7:4-8)-who preached the gospel of the Kingdom (Matthew 24:14). You see, not only will many Jews be converted through mass, worldwide efforts of evangelism, but multitudes-yes, millions-of Gentiles will also be saved, many of whom are put to death for loving the Word of God. Revelation 20:4-5 speak of this treachery:
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
The saints are coming from heaven. Those who have died during the tribulation are then raised from the dead (Revelation 20:4). The Jews in Daniel 12:2 who “slept in the dust of the earth” also awaken, while Gentiles who died for their testimony also arise. Now we have saints from heaven, tribulation saints who were brought back from the dead, Jewish saints who also were resurrected, and saints who are still alive on earth at Christ’s return who somehow escaped the death penalty for rejecting the “mark of the beast” (Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 13:15-18). They will all rule and reign with Jesus Christ, giving further credence to the passage, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him” (2 Timothy 2:12a).
The European Community-Antichrist-and 666
While general concern may have reigned in Daniel’s mind regarding much of the dream, there seemed to be a special confusion regarding the fourth beast. Daniel had a reasonably adequate understanding of Babylon, the Medes and the Persians, and Greece, largely since they already existed within his own time frame. But this next beast-Rome-and the revived Roman Empire-would come centuries later, and he could not, in his day, know anything about this mystery without the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit concerning end-time events. This was the empire with the two legs and ten toes, and the animal with ten horns that was a composite of all the others.
Ten toes and ten horns. Try though he might, Daniel could not grasp their meaning. Yet now, twenty-five hundred years later, you and I are on the edge of watching such mysteries unfold as the European Union flexes its international muscles, preparing the world community for the advent of the Antichrist. During the terrible Tribulation hour, the Jewish people are primarily the saints against whom the Antichrist prevails. Jeremiah 30:7 says, “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble.”
Jacob is another name for Israel (2 Kings 17:34). We find that when Satan is cast to earth he becomes extremely angry when he realizes his time is exceedingly short (Revelation 12:12). For this reason, he makes every attempt to obliterate the Jewish race (Revelation 12:13). He persecutes the woman who brought forth the man-child-that woman is the Jewish virgin, Mary. The Son that came from her is that man-child, and this Antichrist is trying to get rid of all those who came forth from her, as well as millions of Gentiles. Both groups find salvation during the Tribulation hour (Revelation 7:14). These are the ones who have come out of the Great Tribulation and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the lamb.
At this point of time the Antichrist will call himself God, and the false prophet sets up an image of him to worship. The Bible says in Revelation 13:15,
“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”
He says, “Bow down and worship this image of me and take my mark ‘666’ or you will lose your head” (see Revelation 13:15-18; 20:4). This is that period of time when the Antichrist will prevail over the saints. But to reiterate the good news, the Lord Jesus Christ ultimately returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16) and defeats the Antichrist and his hoards (Revelation 19:19-21; Psalm 2:1-6).
Good news indeed! At that crucial moment in history, almighty God says, “How dare you think you can stand against me and my Son as I present Him to the world as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You lose.., because I now set up my King upon the holy hill of Jerusalem!”
We will continue our study in Daniel in our next newsletter.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
PEACE IN A TROUBLED WORLD
In the light of all that is going on in our world today it may sound strange to hear that you can have peace in a troubled world. In our beloved country every day we have:
- 10 teens commit suicide
- 135,000 teens bring a gun to school
- 7,742 teens become sexually active
- 2,705 teen girls get pregnant
- 1,106 teen girls have abortions
- 623 teens get a sexually transmitted disease
- 211 teens are arrested for drug abuse
- 437 teens are arrested for drinking or drunk driving
- 1,512 teens drop out of school
- 1,629 teens are in adult jails
As shocking as this is, it is not only a national dilemma, but also a global plague. Jesus knew this situation would engulf the globe prior to His return by prophesying that “iniquity would abound” but He added “Let not your heart be troubled”. What did He mean by this reassuring statement of comfort?
I want to let you in on the greatest truth I know. Everything I can say about real peace is centered in this fact. Without it, none of us can ever be genuinely at rest.
This truth has transformed millions of people throughout the history of the world. It has made derelicts into saints, hypocrites into godly men and women, and sinners into children of God. It is the truth of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Throughout this study, we have touched on some priceless spiritual verities that have a direct bearing on how to deal with the issues of life that can cause us to feel baffled, bewildered-perhaps even befuddled. In fact, we might say that achieving genuine satisfaction is completely a spiritual issue. To me, satisfaction is the normal state of a healthy soul. A person who neglects his spiritual needs cut himself off from the possibility of knowing real and lasting peace and fulfillment.
The greatest spiritual truth of all is what God has done to redeem us from our sin. By giving His Son to die in our place, God has paid the price of our sin and is able to save us from the bondage and dissatisfaction that comes with it.
Let me clearly say that I am not speaking of religion. Many people who are religious know nothing about salvation. Religion is of human origin, and it almost always requires that we do something. God’s salvation, however, is entirely His work on our behalf. It requires absolutely nothing, since God has already accomplished all that is necessary. Our part is to simply accept it by faith.
A personal commitment
I had the privilege of conducting two wonderful interviews with the Reverend Peter Marshall. He was the co-author (with David Manuel) of two marvelous historical accounts of God’s plan for America and divine intervention in the founding of our nation-The Light and the Glory and From Sea to Shining Sea. Peter grew up in a marvelous Christian family. His father, the late Dr. Peter Marshall, was for many years chaplain of the United States Senate, and his mother, the late Catherine Marshall, is known and loved by millions for her many wonderful books.
I asked Peter what impact his distinguished parents had on his coming to Christ. He explained that they had made clear to him from his youth just what it means to be a Christian. As a result, he never took Christianity for granted, and he never assumed that just because his parents were well-known Christian leaders, he was automatically a Christian as well.
In fact, Peter told me it was not until he was 21 years of age that he felt he had really committed his life to the Lord. Although he had grown up surrounded by Christian teaching and in his head knew it was true, he had not yielded his heart in making a personal commitment to Jesus Christ.
“I graduated from college, and I was lost,” he told me. “I had no idea who I was or why I was here. I thought I was going into the Foreign Service, the United States Diplomatic Corps, but the Lord shut that door and it didn’t work out. So I had nothing. No plans. No goals. Nothing.
“Then I went to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes conference in Colorado in the summer of 1961 and heard Don Moomaw speak. I gave my life to the Lord as a result of that encounter. Two weeks later I was in seminary, and in 1965 I was ordained to the gospel ministry.”
God took Peter Marshall’s aimless life and gave him direction. And, as I interviewed him, Peter expressed his concern and burden that many people do not understand what Christianity really is.
“Christianity is not just running around trying to do great things for God,” he said. “We must understand that we need Jesus Christ because we are sinful human beings-weak and needy. In my pride, I had a hard time accepting this.”
I believe one of the reasons so many people-so many religious people-are dissatisfied is that they perceive religion as something we do for God. But true peace begins when we accept what God has done for us! The Bible says, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8,9).
You see, if salvation were something we could earn for ourselves, it would only contribute to our pride, for when we earned salvation, we would have much about which to brag and boast. Thus, what Peter Marshall says is absolutely correct-all of us are needy sinners-there is none righteous, no, not one…for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10,23). Yes, all of us fall short of God’s standards, and if we are to receive salvation from our sins, we must receive it as a gift, not as a meritorious award for service.
What sin does to us
Some may have difficulty accepting the fact that all of us are sinners. We all know people who are good, moral, honest, generous, thoughtful human beings. Surely they are not sinners in the same way hardened criminals are sinners-are they?
From God’s perspective, the answer is “yes.” Because His standard is absolute holiness-one hundred percent perfection-the issue is not how many sins we commit or what kind of sins we commit, but if we have sinned at all. And Scripture is clear that none of us can honestly say we have never sinned.
In the presence of absolute holiness, even the smallest sin is as offensive and out of place as the darkest, most heinous act of evil one can imagine. Because God is so completely holy and uncompromisingly righteous, He cannot permit sin to exist in His presence. And the only just penalty for sin is death-For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
But just as God is holy, righteous, and just, Scripture also informs us that He is a God of mercy and love. Because of His great love for us, He does not wish to condemn us without mercy. Since in His righteousness He cannot simply overlook sin, He found a way that He could make us righteous without compromising His own holiness. However, it cost Him the sacrifice of His Son!
Perhaps the most familiar verse in all of Scripture is John 3:16-For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. That verse, more than any other, has opened people’s eyes to the truth of God’s salvation and the way to real satisfaction.
What this all means is that you do not have to earn God’s approval. You do not have to work to make yourself righteous. You do not have to become deserving of God’s grace. All the work has been done by God himself, and He offers His grace freely to those who will receive it by faith!
Nothing gives a greater sense of personal worth than the truth that God loves us so much that He gave His Son to pay the price for our sins. And nothing on earth brings more complete satisfaction than the confidence of knowing you are secure in God’s salvation.
May I ask you some important personal questions? What are you counting on to make yourself acceptable to God? If you were to stand before Him and give an account of your life, what could you point to that might make you acceptable to Him? Would it be your own works of righteousness? I hope not, because Isaiah 64:6 says, all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. God cannot accept works of righteousness from unrighteous people. Would you point to your heritage? Scripture is clear that salvation is not anyone’s birthright. In fact, Jesus said, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).
The only thing any of us can point to that makes us acceptable to God is the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. We must simply trust Him with childlike faith and receive His gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23).
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Please continue to send these newsletters. They keep me on track and looking up for the Lord’s return. Thank God I was asked to join a Bible study in the 1970’s where I met Jesus and began a faith journey. The world needs Jack and Rexella and this ministry. Thank you,
Dear Dr. Jack & Rexella Van Impe,
I am enjoying your ministry. It helps me to get through difficult times in my life. Thank you both for being there for everyone. I love you both. Amen
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