Weekly Newsletter – May 8, 2023
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.
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
Note to the reader: As we prepare our hearts to hear the message of God in chapters seven through twelve, it’s important to remember that Daniel often spoke of visions and dreams that he encountered later in his life. Some he received prior to the events of chapters five and six; at least one was received later.
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.
Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.
And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
We are now going to move away from the historical material that we encountered in chapters one through six and plunge into the exciting depths of Daniel’s prophetic material, starting in chapter seven. Daniel’s end-time dream in this chapter consisted of symbols of real events to come-mysteries we are now able to unravel. In many ways, chapters two and seven of the Book of Daniel are similar in that they portray the most comprehensive pictures of history to its conclusion.
Chapter two depicted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream concerning the great statue with a head of gold down to its feet and toes of iron mixed with clay-a prediction of how the Babylonian empire would be destroyed by Medo-Persia, followed by the conquering superpowers of Greece and Rome. Chapter seven refers to these identical empires in the form of beasts, indicating that within the final revived Roman Empire there will be many problems during the course of its restoration. In fact, one major challenge after another can already be observed within the framework of the European Union presently taking shape.
To the extent we saw unity in chapter two, we see diversity in chapter seven. But regardless of the message, the single most exciting thing that you are now reading is the fulfillment of Daniel 12:4, which says,
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
The Book of Daniel was designed to be a mysterious, closed, sealed book until the time of the end, but at the time of the end the Holy Spirit would enlighten people to expound this great portion of God’s Word. This is now our assignment, and you are privileged to have a ringside seat as we begin to unravel the mysteries so long alien to anyone’s understanding.
The Times of the Gentiles
The Jewish people controlled Jerusalem until 586 B.C. Then, according to Daniel 1:1, Nebuchadnezzar and his troops marched into the Holy City and took its inhabitants back as captives to Babylon. It is important to remember that this single historical event marked the beginning of what is known as “the times of the Gentiles.” An important caveat was spoken by Jesus in Luke 21:24 when He said,
“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
Jesus was saying that Jerusalem would remain under Gentile control until the time of the end. Isn’t it fascinating that from June 5 through June 10, 1967-as a result of the Six-Day War-the Jews took back Jerusalem and have been in control of the Holy City ever since? Even though we are still in the era called “the times of the Gentiles,” this remarkable historical reality reminds us how close we are to the time of the end. How can we say this with such certainty? In Zechariah 14:2-4 God states:
For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And 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.
This entire scenario began with Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. and ends when Jesus Christ returns to take Jerusalem back from the Gentiles. We are extremely close to that time when such an event takes place. Here’s why. The Gentiles could not take Jerusalem from the Jews until the Jews controlled the city-which happened in 1967 after 2,553years of Gentile dominion. According to Jesus, the generation who lives to see this event will be alive for the battle to recapture Jerusalem by the Gentiles plus observe Christ’s return.
The Four Beasts
Daniel dreams about four winds and four beasts-all which represent the same four powers we read about in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chapter two: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, along with the ten toes of iron mixed with clay-a description of the revived Roman Empire, a regrouping of nations I believe to be the European Union. The fourth beast has ten horns, similar to the ten toes on Nebuchadnezzar’s image: again, symbolic of the restored Roman Empire.
The four winds blowing upon the sea indicate trouble-and all these nations near the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, and the Mediterranean have indeed experienced troublesome times throughout history. However, only when the European Union ultimately produces the Antichrist will the world truly know what real trouble is. It will be nothing like the nuisance these nations have been prior to this time in history. Isaiah 57:20 states,
“But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.”
Now let’s look at the four beasts and indicate what each represents. Beast number one-a lion with the wings of eagles-is the same power that was described in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream as the “head of gold”-the Babylonian empire. The wings of the lion suggest that it is a swift beast, with the ability to conquer great nations with its mighty armies. But as its wings are “plucked,” the kingdom begins to deteriorate, even though there remains a hint of Nebuchadnezzar’s humanitarianism. Since verse 4 makes reference to this first beast “being given a man’s heart,” you’ll recall that this is the manner in which Nebuchadnezzar closed out his days after his conversion experience-compassionate, docile, and caring for his subjects.
Beast number two is a bear that raises itself up on one side, holding three ribs in its teeth-conceivably representing Lydia, Babylon, and Egypt-a hungry beast, and capable of gorging itself. Following the pattern of Nebuchadnezzar’s image, this second beast is a symbol of the Medes and the Persians, with Darius ruler of the Medes and Cyrus the Persians. Ultimately, however, the Persians demonstrated greater strength because of their massive armies, and, as a result, the bear “lifted itself up on one side,” indicating Persian political and military superiority, all borne out by historical fact.
Beast number three is Greece, a leopard with four wings and four heads. The wings picture the speed of Alexander the Great and his enormous armies, reckoned to be the swiftest in the known world. Alexander conquered one and one-half million square miles of the globe, stretching for more than eleven thousand miles from Greece in the west to India in the east, a man who, even after his many conquests, is said to have wept because he felt he had no more worlds to conquer.
Beast number four is Rome-a terrible beast with enormous power to maim, crush, and kill. So violent is this beast that no animal on earth can represent it. Its iron teeth are similar to the toes on the image composed of iron mixed with clay as observed in Daniel chapter two. Its ten horns are a graphic description of the final revived Roman Empire-fulfilled in 1981 when Greece became the tenth nation to join the European Union.
Some people ask me, How can these things be? How can you be so certain that your interpretation of Daniel’s dream is correct?
First of all, the nations are mentioned by name in Daniel 1:1, 8:20, 8:21, and Romans 1:7. These empires cover a period of 676 years. Adding scholarship to the truth of God’s Word, a prophet by the name of Esdras wrote in 90 A.D. that there was little doubt that the fourth beast was Rome. Add to these the research insights of Drs. Gabelein, Scofield, Bultima, Ironside, Barnhouse, DeHaan and other evangelical scholars, and the evidence mounts that the only possible meaning of the symbolic fourth beast is Rome itself. Specifically, Dr. Harry Ironside, pastor of Moody Memorial Church, said there will arise a great confederacy of nations springing forth from an old Roman Empire that will become the devil’s last trump card.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Dr. Rexella,
I’m a monthly partner, but am giving a little extra for the DVD’s you’ve sent in recent months. I can see that you put a lot of work into their content and production. I appreciate all you’re doing, and cheer you on in prayer. For sure, Dr. Jack is cheering you on, as well, from his vantage point in Heaven! I know none of this has been easy (understatement!), and you’ll miss him until you see him again. My husband went to be with the Lord in 2006, and I remember the shock and adjustment of not having him here, but also the Lord’s faithfulness in helping me become established in what His ongoing plan for me would be and is. You proclaim His faithfulness everyday, and in every way, as you reach out to people locally and around the world, and you do it with His love flowing through you so beautifully. May God continue to strengthen and guide you with His wisdom, providing for every need, before you know you need it! That’s Who He is. Thanks again, with love and prayers!
HIGHLIGHTED MINISTRY OFFERS
Heaven: The Eternal Home…For Some / A Place Called Heaven
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Jack Van Impe Ministries joins together Dr. Rexella Van Impe and Dr. Robert Jeffress to answer all of your questions about heaven and why it’s so important to share the promise of heaven with the lost. This special packs a powerful message that will:
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With bonus footage now included in the broadcast special, this DVD educates believers and non-believers alike to the truth that while heaven is beautiful, and heaven is forever — not everyone will go! Share it with your friends and family!
The Jack Van Impe Prophecy Bible
- 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 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.
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- Dr. Van Impe’s fascinating verse-by-verse commentary on the book of Revelation.