Weekly Newsletter – October 15, 2018
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Revelation 20: 1 – 6
Chapter 20 introduces us to the most beautiful, peaceful, and rewarding age this world will ever know-the Millennium, or the one-thousand-year reign of the Lord Jesus Christ as KING OF KINGS; AND LORD OF LORDS. He will sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem, and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor; the mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end (Isaiah 9:6, 7).
Before beginning our study of this chapter, may I take a moment to refute the reasoning of critics who deny this doctrinal truth? Those who oppose the teaching of a literal one-thousand-year reign of Christ upon earth are in direct opposition to the Word of God! Their claim that the doctrine is dangerously built on a single chapter of the Bible proves that they are not good students of God’s Holy Word, for many passages both teach and reflect this truth. Let’s investigate.
First of all, if Israel has no future, dozens of Old Testament prophecies immediately go down the drain.
For example, Genesis 49 and Deuteronomy 33, with all of their benedictions upon the people of Israel, must be scrapped if there is no place upon earth where they find fulfillment. To spiritualize or allegorize the literal truths concerning Israel’s future is to be willfully blinded. I have spent thousands of hours in God’s Book and could never honestly or intellectually arrive at such a conclusion.
Secondly, there must be a Millennium, or scores of verses become hollow platitudes of meaningless predictions. Consider the following texts-they could never depict heaven because they occur on earth. If so, there must be a time and place for their fulfillment, because none of them has yet occurred.
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb (as nature is tamed) (Isaiah 11:6).
But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid (Micah 4:4).
Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness (Isaiah 32:1).
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed… and it shall stand for ever (Daniel 2:44).
The Lord…shall suddenly come to his temple (Malachi 3:1).
Ezekiel describes this Temple, built and located upon the earth (see chapters 40 through 48). Israel will be the head-not the tail-of the nations in that day (see Zechariah 8:23).
And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them (Isaiah 65:21).
The Lord Jesus Christ referred to the period of time during which these events take place as the regeneration. And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). Likewise, Peter declared, And [God] shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began (Acts 3:20, 21).
The word restitution means “a reconstitution” and is similar to the regeneration of Matthew 19:28. In addition, Paul stated in Ephesians 1:21 that there is an age which is to come. This same age is called the dispensation of the fullness of times (Ephesians 1:10). Again these terms refer to the rule of Christ and His people over the earth-not angels, as the spiritualizers would have us believe. Angels ruling the earth is an impossibility, for unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come (Hebrews 2:5). Instead, the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men (Daniel 4:17). The title, the most High [God], or the most High is Christ’s millennial title throughout the Psalms, the Book of Daniel, and the Book of Hosea. The most High [God] will also bear the title King of Israel in that day (John 1:49). All upon earth will obey Him for [He] shalt break them with a rod of iron(Psalm 2:9). The result: Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power (Psalm 110:3). Earth’s inhabitants will love the Lord Jesus so much during the kingdom age that daily shall he be praised (Psalm 72:15). Yes, His name shall endure forever (Psalm 72:17).
The center of all this kingdom activity is Jerusalem, not heaven’s golden shores. Proof? Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion (Psalm 2:6). Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3). [They] shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem (Isaiah 27:13). And the Redeemer shall come to Zion (Isaiah 59:20). The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem (Joel 3:16). Thus saith the Lord…I will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:3). Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:22).
The preceding evidence is proof enough! Only the spiritually blind can deny the fact of a literal Millennium. Only the willfully ignorant can claim that the teaching is based on just one chapter of the Bible. Our brief review has but touched the hem of the garment concerning millennial truth. Believe God, not men. Now, since mille means “thousand” and annum means “years,” let’s begin our study of chapter 20 which presents the mille annum, Millennium, or the one-thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth.
Verse 1: And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Verse 2: And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Verse 3: And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
What a victorious sight John now sees-an angel coming from heaven with a key and a chain in his hand for the purpose of opening the bottomless pit and binding Satan for one thousand years. Some scholars believe the angel to be Christ himself because he has the keys of hell and death (chapter 1, verse 18). This is a distinct possibility. However, one who possesses keys often loans them to another when help is needed. Thus, the angel might be Michael, the archangel. The important observation here is that Christ’s ownership of the keys-which open the pit of the abyss for Satan-is by virtue of His completed work upon Calvary’s cross. Remember His statement in verse 18 of chapter 1: I am he that liveth, and was dead; [Calvary]; and, behold, I am alive for evermore [the Resurrection], Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
The chain carried by the angel is used to bind the villain of the ages-called the dragon, that old serpent…the Devil, and Satan-for 1,000 years. What horrid titles the evil one bears! Dragon, in Hebrew, pictures a hideous monster. The term old serpent portrays the slithering snake who brought ruination upon the entire human race through his deceitful work in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 3:1-6). Satan means “slander,” for he is the accuser of [the] brethren as we learned in chapter 12, verse 10, and he is also the father of slanderers and gossips (see John 8:44). Devil means “adversary” or “foe,” and surely Satan has been a foe of Christ and His followers until this present moment in our text. Now, at last, he is cast into the bottomless pit, shut up and sealed for a Millennium (verse 3).
The bottomless pit is not the lake of fire into which the beast and false prophet were cast in chapter 19, verse 20. Rather, it is a temporary prison where Satan is incarcerated for ten centuries in order that peace, prosperity, happiness, and holiness may exist on earth during Christ’s millennial reign. At the end of this time, he is loosed [for] a little season, leads one final revolt against God, and is subsequently cast into the eternal lake of fire… where the beast and the false prophet are (chapter 20, verse 10).
Verse 4: 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 worshiped 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.
John now observes thrones occupied for judgment. Who sits upon them? Members of the first resurrection-which includes the Old Testament saints, Church Age saints, and Tribulation saints. The resurrection of the Old Testament believers is described in Daniel 12:1 and 2, and the resurrection of New Testament saints in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:15-54. As we have seen, the resurrection of the martyred Tribulation saints undoubtedly occurs at the glorious appearing of Christ (Titus 2:13) when He returns to earth. Chapter 6, verses 9 through 11, presented this view. At that point these martyrs awaited their resurrection but were told to wait yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
Thus, we see that the thrones are occupied by resurrected believers from Adam onward, inclusive of the last Tribulation martyrs. Each has been a participant in the first resurrection. These saints are entitled to sit upon thrones because they are members of the royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). Christ has made them kings and priests (chapter 5, verse 10).
Verse 5: But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
The closing sentence of this verse, This is the first resurrection, should have been the conclusion of verse 4. The transition from verse 4 to verse 5 would then be: And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. [This is the first resurrection.] But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This clarifies the issue. The dead of verse 5-raised a thousand years later could not be part of the first resurrection (those of verse 4)-because…
Verse 6: Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Since the remaining dead come forth one thousand years later, we immediately understand that they cannot be part of the first resurrection. Those who take part in the first resurrection reign with Christ during the Millennium, while the members of this group remain in their graves. They, in turn, are raised for the Great White Throne Judgment after the 1,000 years.
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!”
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Jack and Rexella,
Years ago, I was very distraught over my beloved cat, Emily’s death. I couldn’t stop crying daily, I couldn’t sleep unless I was exhausted. I didn’t know how to cope even though I had lost friends and family in the past and was able to get through it all, losing Emily was just really tough. One night, I fell asleep exhausted, and left the television near my bed on. I woke up and there was Rexella holding a video tape up and saying that Animals DO survive death just like people and then Jack began to talk about bible verses that talk about animals in heaven and how ALL creatures would rise from the dead, not just humans. I realized that the reason I had been so upset over losing Emily and not as upset when my own friends and relatives had died was because I was not sure that my Emily would live on and I would ever see her again. I think I was worried in my heart that she was ‘just an animal’ and that God’s plan did not include animals in the afterlife. But, I truly believe that God put your show on the TV for me to wake up to because HE knew what was troubling me even if I didn’t. I don’t even remember having the TV on the channel that aired your show before I fell asleep! Well, of course, I ordered the tape and played it over and over. I was already a Christian so there was no hesitation or problem in believing and understanding Jack’s description and the verses he quoted. But I had never heard any preacher talk about animals surviving death and quote bible verses to back it up. Thank you so much for that show and that video.
God bless you both
Santa Ana, CA
So thankful to receive Jack and Rexella’s messages in my email box! Been following you both for many years and getting your written messages are so Great to share with others and read and digest such valuable information and understanding of God’s Word.
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
Final Prophecy Happening Now: Prepare!
Prepare for shocking revelations in this phenomenal teaching from prophecy experts Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe! This fast-paced and user-friendly video is perfect for sharing with anyone, Christian or non-Christian – and it answers critically important questions such as:
- How soon will Jesus return?
- Why is deception such a danger in these latter days?
- What does the Bible really mean when it talks of "wars and rumors of wars"?
- What does Matthew 24 mean when it talks about pestilences, earthquakes, natural disasters, and famine? How does this scriptural passage relate to today’s headlines?
- How will Jesus establish the New Jerusalem? What will it be like?
- How long will it take us to get to heaven in the Rapture?
- And many more!
For anyone who has ever lost a beloved pet, Dr. Jack and Rexella Van Impe have good news! You will see your furry or feathered friends again – in heaven! Explore this exciting truth taught by twelve of the greatest Christian theologians.
You will see and hear the exact spine-tingling statements from the pens of men like Dr. John Walvoord, Dr. Billy Graham, Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Dr. John Calvin and many others. This video study deals with animal intelligence, animal communication, and how animals literally teach humans some valuable lessons.