Weekly Newsletter – November 16, 2020
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
I Need a Nap!
On the closing night of our citywide crusade in Rochester, New York, I went down front after the service to greet people, sign Bibles, and just enjoy a time of fellowship with our friends there.
As always, several children gathered around me — we seem to have a special affection for each other. The photographer who was covering the crusade for us asked if I’d pose for a photo with his two children. When he finished taking the shot, one of the youngsters, a little boy, crawled up in my lap.
“I’m tired,” he said, “I need a nap.” Then he nestled inside my arms, laid his head trustingly on my shoulder, and started to go to sleep.
In a few minutes his dad came and took him from me, but as I sat looking down at that beautiful child resting in my arms, I remembered how Jesus taught that we must receive the kingdom of God in simple, childlike faith and trust… and rest in Him.
The Lord invites us to come to Him when we are tired and worn out and “take a nap,” secure in His care. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).
Why, then, are so many plodding along, worn out and exhausted, loaded down with burdens and care? For these people, life almost seems to be an endurance contest, each day providing another grim challenge.
Could it be because we haven’t really learned to trust… or have gotten our eyes on the frailties of men instead of the everlasting arms of the Lord?
A lesson in trust
When my brothers and I were quite young, Dad sometimes would take us swimming in a beautiful fresh water stream. There was a little waterfall that dropped into a natural pool, and my older brother would plunge over that waterfall and splash into the water below.
It looked like such fun… but I was afraid to try it myself. I was four years younger than my brother, and when I climbed up above the falls, the jump down took my breath — and my courage — away! No amount of coaxing or wheedling by my brother could convince me to try it.
Finally, my father went into the pool below and looked up at me. “Jump down here, Rexella,” he said. “I’ll catch you!” And he held out his arms.
Immediately I jumped into the waterfall, down in and under the torrent, deep into the water below. As I came up out of the deep, half laughing, half crying, Dad’s strong arms caught me and lifted me up.
After a few more jumps, I was ready to try it on my own… and I was never afraid to go over the waterfall again.
What made the difference? Trust! I knew my father would take care of me and never allow me to be injured. So if he had said to follow him through fire, I would have put my hand in his and started walking!
How much more should we trust our Heavenly Father? When the burdens and troubles of this life are wearing us down, we should come into the presence of God and say, “Lord, I need a nap.” Then, casting all our care upon the One who knows and understands all things, we can put our heads upon the bosom of Christ and rest in Him.
Dare to trust God
But we can relax and rest only when we trust God and turn loose of our load of care. It is possible to come to Jesus and present our problems, then go away just as burdened and weighted down as when we came.
We sometimes think we’re the only ones who understand just what’s at stake. We can’t turn loose and fully trust the Lord or anybody else. So we go away sorrowful, trying to worry our way through.
Perhaps you are carrying a heavy load today that has you exhausted, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Dare to trust God.
He sees your concern for those loved ones.
He knows the financial needs you are facing.
He understands the anxiety and indecision that has stolen your peace of mind and kept you awake so many midnight hours.
What would happen if you really trusted the Lord with all of your life? What if you threw yourself into His arms and said, “I need a nap,” and let Him take care of you? Would He let you fall, or turn His back on you?
Of course not! He will not — cannot — fail. So cast all your care upon Him for He careth for you (see 1 Peter 5:7).
But we must trust Him, yield to Him, wait for Him. How often do we get too impatient, even in prayer? Do we kneel to pray, and instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us, blurt out our frustration and tell God how we think He should meet our need?
In the beautiful words of the poet —
He knows, He loves, He cares,
nothing this truth can dim.
God gives the very best to those
who leave the choice with Him.
The beautiful old gospel song, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” reminds us of the help that is ours when we come, trusting, into His presence.
“Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God… in prayer.”
Trust God, my friend. Hear His invitation to come to Him and find rest. Join me in looking up into the wonderful face of Jesus and saying, “I’ve come to You, Lord, because I need a nap!”
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
Verse 10: And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
If there were any portion of the Book of Revelation John would like to omit, this would be the verse. He has just done a foolish thing. He allowed himself to become so enamored with the angel delivering the message that he began worshipping a created being. Such recording of human weaknesses proves that God wrote the Bible, for man would have omitted his mistakes. God, however, records them in order to show the world that all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
As John bows his knee to this created being, the angel cries, “Don’t do it. Angels are but ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation (Hebrews 1:14). Get up! I am only a servant of God, as you are.”
John has just learned an important lesson. Have you? Beware of any religion that honors or reveres angels-including the angel Moroni of Mormonism. Such reverence is wrong: Let no man beguile you of your reward in…worshipping of angels (Colossians 2:18). Even the angel’s command in our text is, “worship God.” Thus, it is obvious that we are not to worship men, women, angels, or idols (see Exodus 20:4, 5). Worship God!
Verse 11: And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Verse 12: His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself
Verse 13: And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Verse 14: And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
Verse 15: And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Verse 16: And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
These verses graphically portray the coming of Christ to earth. This event is called “The Revelation” among theologians because this is the moment the Lord reveals himself to the inhabitants of earth. The same scene was observed in chapter 11, verse 15, as well . Remember, chapters 12 through 19 simply repeat the materials presented in chapters 6 through 11.
For centuries, the world has scoffingly cried, Where is the promise of his coming? (2 Peter 3:4). Now the mocking abruptly ceases. Why? Breathtaking signs accompany the One who sits on this white horse-as He comes to judge and make war on the world: Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect [saved Jews and Tribulation saints] from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other (Matthew 24:29-32).
The scene before us is a literal event because John sees heaven opened. This is thrilling. Heaven’s door is opened but twice in the Book of Revelation- once in chapter 4, verse 1, and now in chapter 19, verse 11. Chapter 4 pictures the Rapture; chapter 19 pictures the Revelation. The door was opened in chapter 4 to receive the saved; now the door is opened again in order that the saints may return with the rider on the white horse-the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Don’t let anyone tell you that there is but one appearing at Christ’s return. Two opened doors tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
The Rider in verse 12 has eyes… as a flame of fire, which are piercing and purging. He can immediately see through the sham and hypocrisy of men. These are the same eyes we viewed in chapter 1, verse 14. As King, Christ has on His head the crowns of royalty. He also has a special name that will only be exposed at the hour of His return. Until then He alone knows this name and its meaning.
In verse 13, we see that the Lord wears a vesture dipped in blood-a picture of the judgment He is bringing to earth. None can doubt that this Judge is anyone but the Lord Jesus Christ, for His name is called the Word of God. John often called Him by this name. In fact, he was the only New Testament writer to use this title. John 1:1 states: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Verse 14 adds, And the Word was made flesh. He again calls Christ the Word of life in 1 John 1:1.
At this moment John sees the Word of God coming in judgment. He also observes a great host called the armies [of] heaven following Him upon white horses. Notice that they come from heaven; they are not already present on earth. They are the saints who were raptured in chapter 4, verse 1-the Bride who made herself ready and [wore] fine linen, clean and white in verse 8 of this present study. Tens of thousands-yea, millions upon millions in number-avoided the Tribulation hour and are now returning with the King for the conflict at Armageddon. They are privileged to stand with Him as He comes to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him (Jude, verse 15). The time of reaping has arrived.
As Christ returns to subjugate the earth dwellers, He does so with a sword in His mouth (see verse 15). This sword is nothing less than the Word of God.
His Word always smites men in their consciences and lives. This is exactly what happened to the officers of the chief priests and Pharisees when they came to the Garden of Gethsemane, seeking Jesus, As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground (John 18:6). Oh, the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12).
We note in verse 15 that Christ and His Word alone smash the nations at Armageddon. The armies of heaven only observe as He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. This moment brings the fulfillment of Daniel 2:34, which predicts that a stone…cut out without hands pulverizes the image-the ten-nation confederacy. Then the stone instantly expands and fills the entire earth with a new kingdom, never to be destroyed. Its leader is the King of kings and Lord of lords. No one can miss Him, for His vesture and thigh coverings bear His title-King of kings and Lord of lords. The King has come! Oh, hallelujah! The King has come!
Verse 17: And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
Verse 18: That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
The devastating scene described in these verses is the result of the Battle of Armageddon (chapter 16, verse 16) fought in the valleys of Megiddo and Jehoshaphat, not Russia’s invasion of Israel (see Ezekiel 38 and 39). Russia made her move in the middle of the Tribulation hour. Why? The Antichrist came to power, made a false peace pact with the nations, and then broke it in the midst of the seven years (see Daniel 9:27). At that point Russia invaded the Holy Land, for she went up to the land of unwalled villages; [saying] I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely (Ezekiel 38:11).
Prior to the appearance of the Antichrist in chapter 13, the nation of Israel is not at rest or dwelling safely. This situation changes when he comes to power, takes control, and initiates his peace plan. Then Israel and all the world proclaim, “Peace, peace,” but it does not last, For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction [comes] upon them (1 Thessalonians 5:3). Russia quickly takes advantage of the opportunity and moves against Israel, for she is at rest, dwelling safely. Moscow’s act of aggression, however, proves to be her “Waterloo,” for she is destroyed by the hand of God (see Ezekiel 39:1 -3).
Conversely, the battle described in this present chapter occurs as God destroys the Antichrist and his ten-homed empire. The following passages vividly portray the terrible, catastrophic judgment which occurs in preparation for, and fulfillment of, Armageddon:
For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, 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. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, 0 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. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more (Joel 3: 1, 2, 11-17).
Verses 14-20 of chapter 14, and verses 17-21 of chapter 16, already studied, also have to do with the Battle of Armageddon. Thus, we see that before the Marriage Supper of the Lamb becomes a reality, the supper of the great God occurs. This event begins as an angel summons all the fowls (or vultures) of heaven to gather together for a feast, For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together (Matthew 24:28). At this gathering they eat the flesh of deceased kings, captains, mighty men, horses, their riders, and all men from every rank and position of life. What a horrible nightmare as men suffer the consequences of their rebellion against God.
Finally the one who made life so miserable upon earth, who gave men a number (666), who would not let them buy or sell without the number of his name, and who had millions of believers beheaded because they refused his number, is judged by God himself!
Verse 19: And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
Verse 20: And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
What a conclusion! Two world leaders-one political, the other religious; one posing as God, the other promoting him-now discover that their charade is over. They are cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone-the final abode of all God haters and Christ-rejecters for time and eternity. A thousand years later, when Satan joins them (chapter 20, verse 10), they are still suffering torment day and night. Oh, who is foolish enough to preach immediate disintegration or annihilation in the light of such plain texts?
Verse 21: And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
The battle has ended. None is spared!
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Just want to say thank you for your years of ministry! I gave my life to Yashua listening to your messages, and got baptized! One of my favorite sayings from Jack is “let all men be liars and God’s word be true”
There has not been a preacher and his wife, who could inspire me as much as you folks do to bring me as close to God the Father.
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