Weekly Newsletter – October 1, 2018
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Chapter 19 is exhilarating because it begins with a heavenly host singing an Alleluia chorus, and this is a Hebrew word meaning “praise Jehovah” or “praise the Lord.” Chapter 19 contains the only mention of the term in the New Testament, and we will find it four different times in the following six verses.
Verse 1: And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:
John says, after these things. After what things? After the destruction of religious and political Babylon. Then what? Then he hears the tremendous sound of a multitude conducting a praise and testimony meeting in heaven. Probably led by the martyred saints of the Tribulation hour (chapter 7, verse 9), this group eventually includes all the redeemed in glory. They are rejoicing because (1) evil has run its course; (2) the Tribulation hour is concluding; (3) Christ is preparing to return with His saints; (4) the armies of the world are about to be demolished; (5) swords will then be remade into plowshares and spears into pruninghooks (see Isaiah 2:4); and (6) Christ will soon establish His millennial kingdom upon the earth. Such “good news” would make anyone shout, “Amen! Praise the Lord!”
The reason this praise is directed to One whose attributes are: (1) salvation, (2) glory, (3) honour, and (4) power is revealed in the next verse.
Verse 2: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
Verse 3: And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
The refrain is repeated as God’s people acknowledge the fact that Babylon’s doom is eternal. Never again will religious or political alliances bring men into bondage. Never again will man be duped, deluded, and destroyed through pompous ceremonialism. No, Babylon’s smoke ascends up for the ages of ages-forever and forever!
Verse 4: And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshiped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
At this point the twenty-four elders (those we observed casting their trophies or crowns at Jesus’ feet following the Rapture and Judgment Seat of Christ in chapter 4) join the praise session. The world system that so harassed and persecuted them has finally been judged. The four beasts (identified as cherubim and seraphim in chapter 4) also lend their voices in glorifying God. They are rejoicing over the fact that they did not follow Lucifer, the head angel, as so many of their group did when he rebelled against the Almighty (see Isaiah 14:12-14). Now they are eternally secure, whereas the fallen angels are everlastingly damned.
Verse 5: And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
This voice is undoubtedly an angel encouraging the heavenly host to continue the praise session. He is the celestial cheerleader at one of heaven’s most momentous and climactic hours.
Verse 6: And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
This is the final chorus as all heaven joins together in song. The multitudinous voices resound so loudly that the roar is likened to the sound of many waters and mighty thunderings. Why not? The prayer of the ages, Thy kingdom come, uttered by millions upon millions through the centuries, is about to be answered. Thus, the exclamation: [Praise Jehovah!] for the Lord God Omnipotent [soon] reigneth.
Verse 7: Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Verse 8: And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
At the hour of Christ’s return to earth with His bride (the Church), His honeymoon is launched for 1,000 years. These verses are further proof that the Rapture is a pre-Tribulational event. The marriage of the Lamb takes place in heaven, not on earth. The Bride prepares herself at the Judgment Seat of Christ (which also takes place in heaven) before the wedding. These are time-consuming events. Then she returns with her lover-the Lord Jesus Christ-from heaven.
The Saviour is the Bridegroom because He is the Lamb of God, [who] taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). The marriage partners at this glorious event include the Lamb (Christ) and His bride (the Church). Question: Where have they been during the Tribulation hour depicted in chapters 6 through 18? The answer: Heaven! You see, the Church was raptured in Revelation 4:1 and has not been mentioned again until this point-the time of preparation for the wedding.
During the seven years that earth dwellers suffered judgment from heaven, the Bride was being investigated in heaven, for 2 Corinthians 5:10 states: We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Second Corinthians 11:2 continues: For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste [pure] virgin to Christ. For many who were unfaithful to Christ during the engagement period (their years of service upon earth), this will be a time of humiliation (see 1 John 2:28).
Since we are then betrothed or engaged to Christ from the time of our conversion until the moment of the Rapture, God commands that we live consistently holy lives (see 1 Peter 1 :16). Then, immediately after we are called home in the “twinkling of an eye,” the pre-marital examination concerning our faithfulness as His sweetheart begins. Today’s signs definitely indicate that the hour is near. Our next appointment has been scheduled. How heartbreaking the report should the Bridegroom say, “I have discovered a problem.” Child of God-don’t be among the losers-live victoriously!
In preparation for the marriage ceremony itself, every believer will be attired in the wedding garment he made upon earth. The material will be composed of the good works remaining after the Judgment Seat has occurred. Someone may ask, “Doesn’t the Bible teach that believers are clothed in the righteousness of Christ?” Definitely (see 2 Corinthians 5:21). This is how one becomes a Christian in the first place. However, the word righteousness in the original Greek of verse 8 is not singular-(righteousness based upon Christ’s work) but plural-(righteousnesses based upon the believer’s life and deeds upon earth). At the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10), every work-good or bad-will be investigated. Then those works will be placed in the fires of testing (see 1 Corinthians 3:13). At that time if any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss [of rewards]: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire [by the skin of his teeth] (1 Corinthians 3:14, 15).
The two texts just referenced describe the preparation of the bride of Christ (all Christians) for the wedding (the marriage of the Lamb). Clearly, the wedding gown is composed of the believers’ righteousnesses (good works) performed on earth in honor of the lover of her soul. When this great moment arrives-undoubtedly soon, yes, perhaps today-what will you have? What will your wedding garment picture? Oh, I plead with you to live for Christ. Give Him your very best and all that you have. If you do, your rewards will be great, your joy complete, and your heavenly entrance abundant (see 2 Peter 1:11).
Verse 9: And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
This verse discloses the fact that the marriage of the Lamb will include a reception with many guests invited. Please note that the Bride and the Bridegroom are never guests. They are the ones for whom the ceremony is performed. Who, then, are those in attendance at the Marriage Supper? The guests include all believers up to Pentecost as well as the Tribulation saints. John-the disciple Jesus loved (see John 19:26) and the one who wrote the Book of Revelation-said, He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled (John 3:29). No wonder our text states: Blessed [or happy] are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.
The bride is composed of all believers who become members of the body of Christ from the Day of Pentecost until the Rapture. Now we find that the guests are those who trusted in the Lord either prior to Pentecost or following the Rapture. Since the marriage takes place in heaven, and the Old Testament and Tribulation believers are part of the earthly group, their only hope of participating in this event of the ages is that the wedding reception and Marriage Supper take place on earth. This is exactly what happens.
The fact that the marriage takes place in heaven and the supper occurs on earth is beautifully portrayed by the parable of the ten virgins: Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh (Matthew 25:113).
Notice that verse 6 of the above text states: Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. The reason the emphasis is on the Bridegroom instead of the Bride is because the Lord Jesus is all in all. Even John says, Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come (Revelation 19:7). Believers-members of the Bride-ought always to remember that the glory is His. He redeemed us. We would be nothing were it not for Jesus. These texts, then, explain the marriage, the supper, the guests, and the location.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
What’s In a Look?
The instant I saw her I knew she was special.
She was only about 5 years old, and her smile simply captivated my heart. Something about her moved me and compelled my attention.
It was the closing night of our crusade in Roanoke, Virginia, and after the service Dr. Van Impe and I were sitting on the edge of the platform, shaking hands and visiting with people.
A young couple came over to me and smiled up at me so sweetly. There was such a wonderful expression of the Lord on their faces. I leaned over and shook their hands and greeted them, but they didn’t say a word.
That’s when I saw her — their beautiful little daughter with a cherub face and an angelic smile that wrapped itself around my heart. I motioned to her with my finger and she came up on the platform and stood in front of me.
As I looked into her eyes, suddenly I realized that she couldn’t talk — both she and her parents were without speech. So with the little bit of sign language I know, I asked, “Do you love Jesus?”
And she signed back — not only with her hands, but with her eyes and her heart — “YES… OH, YES!”
I was so moved… so overcome with emotion that I also was mute for a long moment. There was something in her look that spoke volumes. Somehow I realized that this child knew the Lord in a way that few people ever will. She had an inner relationship with Christ so real and powerful that His radiance glowed in her face and His joy flowed out of her tender young life to touch everyone around her.
I looked down into the faces of the child’s mother and father and saw their love and pride. And I also saw that they had that special look. One glance… and people could tell they had been with Jesus.
Because I couldn’t understand the meaning of all their signs, I was unable to converse very much with them. But I had no doubt that they were able to speak to Christ, perhaps in a much deeper and more meaningful way than most of us do.
And they had taught their daughter well, and had led her to know Jesus. Somehow I was absolutely convinced that she had been on Christ’s lap often, even as little ones were centuries ago.
Do you have “the look”?
What do people see when they look at us? Can they tell at a glance that we’ve been in the presence of the Lord?
I love the beautiful Old Testament account of how Moses went up to the mountain to meet with God and to receive the Ten Commandments. When he came back down into the camp of the Israelites, his countenance shone — the light that emanated from his being told all the people at a glance that he had been with Jehovah God.
Some time ago, a local television program featured a man who was talking about how to have the look that was right for you. He was stressing the importance of choosing just the right makeup, hairstyle, clothing colors, etc.
I believe that this is important. But as I watched that program, I was struck with the thought that even if we make the outer person look his or her best, without the abiding presence of the Lord within, we can never achieve the look that sets us apart from the world.
What does it matter if people can look at me and say, “My, doesn’t she have an up-to-date look — her make-up, her hair, her clothes, her grooming are just impeccable!” If they do not see beyond the outer shell, how real is my Christian testimony?
For all believers, one of our greatest joys should be having people see Jesus in us — sensing that there is something different about us without our saying a word.
The look of love
Not long ago, I had a beautiful, blessed experience. I was trying on a dress in a shop when the girl who was assisting me began to talk, and in minutes she was pouring out her heart to me. She told me her problems and asked for advice and help. After I counseled with her concerning her personal need, I proceeded to explain God’s plan of salvation and her greatest need of all — to accept Christ. So we were praying, and she opened her heart to the Lord. Later, when I asked why she came to me for help, she said, “There was just something about you — a certain look that touched me.”
What’s in a look?
God help us to be so filled with His presence and so overflowing with His love that we have our Lord’s look — the look of love.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I was so shocked and happy to see you both back on TV. Jack I believe you when you say God has risen you up again as a prophet for these last 3 years to reach a lost world for Christ and to wake up the church. I renewed my faith many years ago listening to your broadcast each week and I can never tell you how it changed my life and relationship with Jesus. I want to help you reach souls for Christ and although I am not able to offer a lot monthly only $40.00, but my heart and prayers are with you and I want Jesus to know I am with you and your ministry. Thank you Jack and Rexella for all you do and have done for folks like me over the years I know your rewards in Heaven are great.
Love in Christ
So thankful you are a voice in the wilderness again! We so need you Jack, for these last days, love and GODS best blessings to keep you both strong and healthy, we need you.
PS. We will stand with you financially, becoming a monthly supporter
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