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Weekly Newsletter – May 9, 2016

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A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE

Revelation 14: 9 – 20

Verse 9: And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

Verse 10: The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

Verse 11: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

This third angel announces the doom of those who are worshipping the Antichrist and his image, and who have received the mark “666” in their foreheads or hands. For the weak-kneed sisters of Christendom who claim that “the God of love could never punish sinners,” verses 9 through 11 are probably the Bible’s most graphic picture of judgment. Although the text before us is self-explanatory, I feel it prudent to practically state the same truths twice, in order that mockers may see that there is a judgment of hellfire taught in this book, as well as throughout the Bible. Those individuals who have received the mark of the beast taste of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture [without dilution or weakening of his wrath as it is stirred up] into the cup of his indignation. The judgment is so horrendous as it is administered in the presence of Christ and his angels that the smoke of [the Antichrist’s partners and pawns] ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Contrary to the teaching of certain cultists, this judgment is also endless. The words everlasting for the lost and eternal for the saved are identical in the Greek, both places-heaven and hell-last for the ages of ages-eternally, everlastingly. Thus, Matthew 25:46 states: [The lost] shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. I repeat, both are of equal duration.

Some may raise an objection that this punishment cannot be eternal because of the words “day and night.” Nonsense! The apocalypse, or Book of Revelation, constantly uses this terminology in place of “unceasingly.” For example, in chapter 4, verse 8, the four living creatures before the throne of God rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. Isaiah declared this truth in chapter 66, verse 24, For their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched. Jesus himself had this text in mind when He said in Mark 9:43, And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off. it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched.

The most terrible experience of time and eternity is to be lost. My wife, Rexella, sings a song that creates a soul-winner’s heart within those who hear it. The chorus states:

Think what it means to be lost forever,
No one to guide you across that cold river.
Darkness, crying, none to deliver
Think what it means to be lost.

Thank God, this awesome portrait does not have to be the future of any human being, for Romans 10:13 victoriously announces that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Don’t delay making life’s most important decision.

Now, the subject of fire also causes us to recall that time during the Tribulation hour when one-third of the earth’s population is reduced by fire, smoke, and brimstone (chapter 9, verse 18). Possessing a foreknowledge of all these events, and knowing that earthly sorrows can last only as long as one has life, the Holy Spirit, through John, gives an assuring promise about the future.

Verse 12: Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Verse 13: And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

This will be especially true during the Tribulation hour when the toils of life are so great. Remember, this is the worst time of heartache in history. Jesus said, For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be (Matthew 24:21). Now, at last, it is over for some. They have died and happiness is theirs. They rest from the heartbreaks of life, exchanging them for rewards as their good works and deeds follow them.

Verse 14: And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

A white cloud-the Shekinah or “glory of God” cloud-is usually associated with Christ. This is the same cloud that went before the Children of Israel as they wandered through the wilderness (Exodus 13:21, 22). It was also present at the giving of the Law (Exodus 19:9). This glorious cloud illuminated the transfiguration scene (Matthew 17:5) and received [Christ] out of their sight at His ascension (Acts 1:9). At the Rapture, all church-age saints, living and dead will be caught up together… in the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Finally, when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to planet earth, he cometh with clouds (Revelation 1:7). Thus, in verse 14 of this chapter the Son of Man is seen situated upon the cloud as He comes to thrust in His sharp sickle of judgment.

Verse 15: And another angel came out of the, temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

Verse 16: And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

One cannot get away with sin forever: Be sure, your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23). Sin will catch up with you, and when it does, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same (Job 4:8). The time of reaping has come, and the sickle, sharp and steady, does its judgmental work. Verses 17-20 describe this hour as the greatest bloodbath in history.

Verse 17: And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

Verse 18: And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

Verse 19: And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

Verse 20: And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

This final scene of Revelation 14 describes the work of two angels. The one with a sharp sickle comes from the temple in heaven, while the other with power over fire emerges from the altar. The one in command is the angel from the altar. He immediately orders that the vine be cut off and cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God. Since true children of God are branches of the vine (see John 15:5), the members of the one-world church of the Antichrist and false prophet are called members of Satan’s vine. The time of their pruning or destruction has arrived at last, and they are cut off and cast into the great winepress of God’s indignation.

Oh, what a purging of branches takes place during this hour! The conflict begins in the Valley of Jehoshaphat and becomes centered in the Valley of Jezreel, which is on the plain of Esdraelon near the hill of Megiddo (chapter 16, verse 16). I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down: for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision (Joel 3:2, 10-14). Eventually the battle encompasses the entire nation of Israel and is, of course, global in involvement as the armies of the world meet in the Middle East for the final holocaust of history-the Battle of Armageddon (see Zechariah 14:2).

The result is a 200-mile-long area soaked with blood, (one thousand six hundred furlongs, in American mathematics, is a distance of 200 miles.) Interestingly, the nation of Israel is 200 miles long, from north to south. According to Ezekiel 39:8-16, seven months will be required to bury the dead and the armaments of war will be burned for seven years afterward! The tense Middle East situation certainly signals the return of Christ.

In light of the unprecedented devastation just described, a few additional thoughts are appropriate at this time. First of all, when Russia, under the names Gog, Magog, Mechech, Tubal, and Rosh, invades Israel, the largest armies in the history of the world will converge on the Middle East. Ezekiel states that they will come up like a cloud (see Ezekiel 38:16). John tells us that the number of the army of the horsemen [is] two hundred thousand thousand-or two hundred million (chapter 9, verse 16). No wonder the conflict is so incredible.

Secondly, the weapons are the deadliest ever used in the history of mankind. A fire goeth before him (Psalm 97:3). For, behold, the Lord will come with fire (Isaiah 66:15). The flaming flame shall not be quenched (Ezekiel 20:47). A fire devoureth before them (Joel 2:3). Who? The northern army from Russia that is driven back to Siberia. Hear God’s statement: But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things (Joel 2:20).

The retreat is effectual in Joel 2:30, for the prophet states: And I [saw] wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars [or literally columns] of smoke. These are the exact characteristics of a nuclear blast! The whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy (Zephaniah 1:18). For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven (Malachi 4:1). Now we understand why the nation of Israel will be drenched with blood. No wonder Jeremiah 30:7 says, Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it. Daniel 12:1 adds, There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was. This time is so horrendous that there will never have been anything like it in the past nor shall there be anything like it again in the future. Jesus agreed. He said in Matthew 24:21, For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. Revelation 9:18 adds, By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.

Finally Russia is going to be smashed in the Middle East. Proof: Therefore, thou son of man prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee (Ezekiel 39:1,2). Later, the Battle of Armageddon will be fought and will assuredly become history’s most terrifying holocaust. However, the good news is that, as a Christian, you will not be present-and if you are not yet a believer, you do not have to be present. So I plead with you to receive Christ without delay.


FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE

THE MYTHS OF OUR AGE

We are living in an age unlike any in the history of mankind. The last century alone saw more scientific and technological advancement than all the rest of history combined. Today we take for granted things that were but science fiction just a decade ago. Yet despite all this-perhaps because of it-our society as a whole may be more Baffled, Bewildered, & Befuddled than ever before.

When asked what it would take to satisfy them, most people respond with a list of things. Money, luxury items, cars, vacations, entertainment-these are what come to mind first when contemporary man thinks of being satisfied. How far from true satisfaction we have strayed!

This week we want to look at two myths of our age, that of instant gratification and materialism and then deal the myth of prestige next week.

The myth of instant gratification

One fallacy that has worked its way firmly into the fabric of modern reasoning is the belief that we can be most fulfilled when the gratification of our needs and desires is immediate. I call this the myth of instant gratification. We have become conditioned to expect on-the-spot results from everything. There is instant coffee, instant milk, instant potatoes, instant rice, instant printing, and instant photography. If one doesn’t have a digital camera that takes and prints instant snapshots, he can take his film to a place that will develop it and make color prints in less than an hour! Even banks have 24-hour electronic tellers so that we don’t have to wait until the facility opens. And we can even send packages across the country through a number of overnight delivery services.

There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these things. In fact, I gladly use such services and am thankful that they are available when I need them. But overnight delivery and 24-hour ATMs are the mild side of our obsession with getting things we want without having to wait. It also has an ugly side.

We cringe and are grieved at the growing phenomenon of drug abuse throughout all levels of society, as people look for a pill or an injection or some kind of stimulant that will instantly make them feel good. Yet, we often fail to see the connection between this kind of behavior and the elusive promise of instant gratification that beckons to us along every avenue of life.

We shake our heads in dismay when we read of a con man who defrauds needy people out of thousands of dollars in some get-rich-quick scheme. But isn’t the greed of both the con man and his victims really just an extension of the mentality that causes people to put themselves into unmanageable debt because they want something now and do not wish to wait for it? Yes, we all must come to the realization that our pursuit of instant gratification is destroying our society like a cancer.

Luke 15 relates the familiar story of the prodigal son, who, like so many today, wanted instant wealth. Anxious to do his own thing and experience life for himself, he refused to wait for that which would be his in due time. He wanted what was coming to him now.

His father gave him his inheritance, and the young man immediately began squandering it in mad pursuit of instant gratification. He traveled abroad and became caught up in the “action” of his day. “Eat, drink, and be merry,” he thought, “for tomorrow we die.” This humanistic philosophy of the ages quickly became his mindset and the motivating force in his life.

Then the bottom fell out of everything. An economic crisis struck the land, and he suddenly found himself far from home. Dejected and bewildered, he was forced to accept the most menial of tasks just to exist, and his heart longed for what he once had and took for granted-the love and security of his father’s home. As he thought on his foolish selfishness and wrongdoing, he made the most important decision of his life: I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants (Luke 15:18, 19).

Modern man is not different from that young man, except that instead of coming to his senses, acknowledging his misdeeds, and turning from them, he continues blindly onward, baffled, bewildered, and befuddled. He never seems to learn that instant gratification is generally also fleeting and seldom truly satisfying.

The myth of materialism

We have become hypnotized by the myth of materialism-the belief that material things are the source of true satisfaction. However, this is an empty and dehumanizing philosophy in which things become more important than people, beauty more desired than virtue, power more respected than character, and status more prestigious than integrity. Consequently, we find ourselves foolishly pursuing the very things that God has said make being close to Him more difficult and sometimes impossible.

Although most of us do enjoy some added pleasures to our lives above and beyond our basic needs, we must ask ourselves one important question-do they control us? As Detroit News staff writer Chuck Bennett stated: “Let’s be honest-we all love material things. At least most of us do, even if we can only dream about having them. And it seems once we begin to get a taste of them, even with one little item, we want more. Yesterday’s luxury becomes today’s frill and tomorrow’s necessity; no matter what level we’re at, we want something better.”

Mr. Bennett has captured the essence of man’s obsession with the material. The main problem is the obvious-we never seem to have enough. When a person becomes a millionaire, he soon finds himself wanting to become a billionaire. On a lesser level, others have their hearts set on obtaining larger houses, finer automobiles, additional income, more power, and more prestige. Instead of rejoicing and being thankful for what God has given them or allowed them to accomplish, they become consumed with a desire for still more and believe that they need it to be happy. The result is bondage.

Have you heard of the Quaker who wanted to teach a great lesson to his friends and neighbors? He had a large sign printed and put up on the vacant lot next to his house. The sign said: “I will give the deed to this lot to anyone who is absolutely contented.” Applicants were directed to apply next door at his home.

There was a man of great wealth living in the community, and as he drove by and saw the sign, he stopped. He thought to himself, “If there is anyone in our area who is absolutely contented it is I. I have everything that I could possibly want.” So he went to the Quaker’s house and knocked on the door.

The Quaker came to the door, and the man said, “I read the sign you placed on the vacant lot next door. I understand you want to give it to anyone who is contented.”

“Yes,” said the Quaker.

“I think I am absolutely contented, ” the man replied. “I will be glad if you will make out the deed to me.”

“Friend, if thou art contented, what dost thou want with my lot?” the Quaker asked.

The Jewish Talmud says that man is born with his hands clenched, but he dies with his hands wide open.

How tragically empty are riches and possessions! Perhaps you have had the experience of wanting something for a long time. Maybe it was a car or a house or something less-but you desired to have it so much that it was all you could think about. You saved for it, planned for it, hoped for it, and dreamed about it. But when you finally got it, after a time you found it to be disappointingly unfulfilling.

On the other hand, some have fallen prey to the notion that self-deprivation is the quickest and easiest path to spirituality. Such reasoning is equally fallacious and can result in a lifetime of despair and bewilderment .

A few years ago during a meeting we were conducting in Atlanta, a young girl came and asked me to make an announcement concerning a local Christian ministry for runaway young people. She wanted me to tell any such persons who might be present that they would be welcome to seek help from her group. Wanting to find out more about this ministry, I asked, “What do you do with the runaways who come to you seeking help?”

“Well,” she said, “we just come together and stay and have fellowship.”

“How do you get food?” I asked. “How do you support your ministry?”

“We just ask God for it,” she replied.

“You mean you don’t work?”

“No,” she answered, amazed that I would ask such a question. “We just live there.”

Further investigation revealed that the “ministry” she wanted me to promote was a communal group who went out to shopping centers and street corners and stopped people to ask for money. Members of the group were not encouraged to seek employment or to return home, nor were they learning anything of value as far as I could tell. In fact, their lifestyle was characterized more by slothfulness than by anything else. I lovingly explained to my youthful inquirer that the Bible teaches …if any would not work, neither should he eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). God has promised to meet our needs but He has also commanded us to be diligent, hard working, and wise in our stewardship.

Those who center their thoughts on the temporal, as well as those who refuse to acknowledge that material possessions should occupy a place in one’s life, cannot be truly satisfied. And neither group is truly wealthy, no matter how much or how little they have.

Scripture is consistent in its teaching that the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). However, this passage is often misquoted and misapplied. Please notice that it does not say that money is the root of all evil. Rather, it is the love of money-the placing of material things above the more important things in life-that brings the piercing of oneself through with many sorrows. God can, and often does, reward our faithfulness to Him and His service with material blessings.

Upon his appointment as King of Israel, Solomon asked God for an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad (1 Kings 3:9). Because he sought the Lord and others before himself, God not only granted Solomon’s request but also added, I have also given thee that which thou has not asked, both riches, and honor (v. 13).

Likewise, Job, who suffered great losses, trials, and pain, remained faithful to God, and …the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning (Job 42:12).

Certainly, Godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6), and as we have clearly seen, it is not how much one possesses that makes him great in God’s eyes and satisfied in life. To the contrary, it is whether or not he allows his possessions to possess him! Those who are truly wealthy are those who have discovered the spiritual riches and deep satisfaction that comes through a life of surrender to God.


CHANGED LIVES-one at a time

Hi Drs. Van Impe.

I have watched you for over 15 years. I love both of you. Our Lord Jesus Christ has blessed me, through both of you, in so many ways and through me the ones that I love. I grew up and remain a Roman Catholic. You have helped me discern errors in my religion. I believe that error exists in all manmade efforts at religions, but I am free to gain true perspective through the Holy Spirit. Jesus lives in me and He guides me through His Word, and from super educated friends like you. Please know that you have my prayers and love in Christ,

Jenny C.

 

Thank you for your heart for a lost and dying world. You gather the facts and leave no stone unturned for the sake of winning the lost. A perfect blend of the practical with the spiritual. You’ve been instrumental in helping me to memorize scripture to help pray for others. Seen many mighty answers from God as He watches over His Word to hasten it. {Jer. 1.12}.

God bless you,

Doug D.


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Islam Exposed

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?
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Revelation Rumblings

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  • Is Mark of the Beast technology going to be globally deployed by the year 2017?
  • Why are Russia and China conducting joint military maneuvers; and why is Iran cozying up to China?
  • Who is deceiving President Obama right now, and how does his role as ‘peacemaker’ for Muslim nations signal the rise of the Antichrist?
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  • Will our enemies attack North America with nuclear bombs?
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