Weekly Newsletter – October 31, 2016
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
What are the signs of Christ’s return?
Now that we have addressed several foundational questions on the pre-Rapture signs, I want to show you how the Bible provides overwhelmingly clear evidence of other pretribulational signs demonstrating Christ’s impending return to earth. I will now begin to deal with every major sign in the New Testament to show that Jesus’ statement, “When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33), is being fulfilled in our day and age. Matthew 24:3-14 declares:
And as he [Jesus] sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying. Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another, And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
This passage may be among the most misunderstood of all prophetic pronouncements. The problem has arisen because many Christians still fail to see that God has two elect groups upon earth-the nation of Israel (Romans 11:28) and the Church (1 Peter 1:2). Romans 9-11 tells the entire story of God’s chosen people, Israel. Chapter 9 concerns Israel’s past, chapter 10 its present, and chapter 11 its future. Regarding its glorious past, Romans 9:4 declares that Israel was given the promises, including prophetic pledges. In chapter 10, verse 16, we find: “But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who [among them] hath believed our report?” Presently, they are blinded to their calling and promises, but in the future, “All Israel shall be saved: as it is written. There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Romans 11:26).
Why will God perform this? Verse 29 provides the answer: “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” God chose Israel (Deuteronomy 7:7-8) and He has never canceled His selection. Therefore, Israel remains God’s chosen people and heir to His promises as stated in Romans 11:28. The signs of Matthew 24 are presented to the elect- yes, elect Israel. We know this to be true in this chapter because of the regard for the Sabbath day (v. 20), because of the connection with synagogues (Luke 21:12), and because the setting of Matthew 24 is Jerusalem (v. 1). Only Bible manipulators, antidispensationalists, and antiliteralists could make Gentiles out of these Jews.
Included in this group are the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. Twelve thousand shall be chosen from each of the twelve tribes. Twelve thousand times twelve equals 144,000. The tribes are Juda, Reuben, Gad, Aser, Nephthalim, Manasses, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zabulon, Joseph, and Benjamin (Revelation 7:4-8). These signs are for Israel, who is looking for the return of her King in Revelation 19. They are not signposts for the Rapture.
The group looking for the fulfillment of signs in Matthew 24 is preaching a different gospel in verse 14. Gospel means “good news,” and their good news is the gospel of the kingdom or the good news that their King is about to return (Revelation 19:16). They will be traveling around the globe, 144,000 strong, singing “The King is coming! The King is coming!” Although the signs will be fulfilled in their entirety after the Christians are gone, we already see the tantalizing beginning of each of these signs. Again, this means that if these signs pointing to our return with the King are already in their initial stages, we must be snatched away very soon in order to prepare for our return to earth with Christ the King.
In Matthew 24:3, Jesus was asked, “When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming [to earth], and of the end of the world [or age of grace]?” He replied, “Many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (v. 5). Since the year 1900, more than eleven hundred people claiming to be Christ have appeared on the world scene. These include Father Divine, Prophet Jones, Sweet Daddy Grace, Father Riker; Daniel Swalt, Moses Guibbory, Maharaj Ji, and Sun Myung Moon, not to mention scores of lesser-known, self-proclaimed messiahs who enjoyed a few fleeting moments of media fame.
Presently, while they might not refer to themselves as “false Christs,” certain members of our liberal clergy are playing such a role. Take, for example, a survey of the beliefs and attitudes of the Church of Scotland ministers. They have rightfully caused a stir within the denomination as the foundational truth of the Bible-the virgin birth of Christ-was recently called into question by religious leaders. The shocking results of the survey of 150 ministers were that 16 percent did not believe in the Immaculate Conception of Christ and 15 percent said that they “didn’t know.” An amazing 17 percent said that the Virgin Mary was not a virgin in twentieth-century terms, and 6 percent thought that Jesus was the product of Mary and Joseph having sex outside of marriage. (See Matthew 7:21-23 and 2 Peter 2:1-3.)
Such abuse of Scripture is yet another sign of the times. However, eventually, the ultimate false Christ-one who is probably alive even at this moment-will proclaim himself as the true Christ and become accepted on an international scale. The Bible predicts such an hour, when the Antichrist, “who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped… sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4) and is accepted as such. This internationally deified dictator will inaugurate a world-peace program which will hold the world spellbound for forty-two months, or three and one-half years. Then, in the middle of the seven-year period of tribulation, he will break all of his pledges and destroy his contractual obligations with Israel (Daniel 9:27). At this time, Russia will begin a world war as she invades Israel (Ezekiel 38:11). This war will eventually involve all nations (Zechariah 14:2).
This is God’s outline from the Bible. First, the international dictator will establish global peace, and when the world believes that Utopia has arrived, the bottom will fall out of their hopes and aspirations: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them” (1 Thessalonians 5:3). We now move to even more dramatic signs that signify our Lord is coming soon.
What is the significance of today’s wars,
famines, and increasing pestilences?
From the proclamation of Matthew 24:6-7, we see that the world can expect nothing but rivalry and battles until the Antichrist produces the false peace of the Tribulation era. More than 176 limited wars have been fought since the end of the Second World War. Today one out of every four nations on earth is engaged in some kind of military conflict.
Soon, however, we will experience the greatest global confrontation in history, for we are marching swiftly toward Armageddon at this moment. Over a decade ago, CIA and British Intelligence reports about the Soviet Union were grim. They reported the development of new weapons systems located throughout the Soviet Union, along with expenditures of enormous sums for underground civil defense shelters that meant that Russia was preparing for war. Many did not believe these pronouncements at the time.
Even today, while there is a semblance of peace (although the signs of a reemergence of the Cold War are increasing), we must not be lulled into thinking that Russia has changed her ways-especially since enormous numbers of nuclear warheads remain hidden in underground silos throughout the southern provinces of that vast land. I’ve noted that people no longer laugh at the prophecies uttered by Ezekiel in chapters 38 and 39 that picture the Russian hordes from the north swarming to the Middle East. Today, as the end-time clock continues to wind down, the red horse of the Apocalypse is about to appear. Revelation 6:4 states, “There went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.”
Famines and Pestilences
Christ continued in Matthew 24:7, “And there shall be famines, and pestilences.” More than two billion of the world’s inhabitants go to bed hungry each night. There are nationwide famine in the Sudan and Rwanda and reports of widespread cannibalism in North Korea-with news coming from Indonesia, the earth’s fourth largest nation that millions of people on those scattered islands remain on the brink of starvation. Thousands are dying painful deaths throughout our world, while scores of others are too numb with hunger to realize what is happening. One writer said it poignantly, “First the belly swells, then the hair turns gray and the skin cracks, after a while the victim dies in mute misery.” Such an experience will soon be the fate of millions of people. Paul Erlich, a biochemist at Stanford University, said it’s already too late to prevent famines that will kill millions, because already one-half billion are starving and another billion are malnourished. He may be right. There seems to be no possible solution in the near future, because it is too late to produce enough food.
America will undoubtedly be included in this suffering in the days ahead. In fact, the number of the beast, 666 (something we’ll address in a later question and answer), may come into existence through an international rationing plan. Soon the voice of Revelation 6:6 will sound, “A measure of wheat for a penny.” A measure in Bible times was a quart, and a penny was a day’s wages. Imagine a loaf of bread for a day’s labor. Pestilence, the twin sister of hunger, is also on the rampage. The swine flu scare, legionnaires’ disease, AIDS, and other diseases-many already fully resistant to antibiotics and other medications-are only the beginning. Years ago I read an article in Reader’s Digest, reprinted from an article in Time entitled, “The Bugs Are Coming.” And they have come indeed . . . and will continue to come in plague like fashion during these final days. Even as I write these words, other pestilential plagues are in their preparatory stages. The South American fire ant has advanced from its initial beachhead in Mobile, Alabama, and now infests more than one hundred billion acres in nine southern states, sometimes driving farm workers from the fields because of its fiery sting. In forest areas the gypsy moth, the spruce budworm, and the southern pine beetle have wreaked devastation on huge areas of woodland, defoliating and killing millions of valuable trees-enough, in fact, to build 910,000 houses per year! Corn borers and rootworms have attacked crops in the Corn Belt at an incredible rate. The boll weevil costs United States farmers millions of dollars in crop losses annually. The mosquito is infecting one million humans per year in Africa and killing thousands annually with malaria, while the black fly in the Volta River basin blinds hundreds of thousands each year.
The insect world is multiplying at an exponential rate. Entomologists estimate that the number has now climbed to one quintillion, representing five million different species. If a person could weigh all insects together, their combined weight would be twelve times that of the entire human race. Can there be any doubt that the pestilence Jesus predicted will soon rear its head in monstrous proportions and that world hunger will be felt by every country on earth? This, along with what comes out of the bottomless pit in Revelation 9:2 (causing the plague of verse 3), is just around the corner. Listen to the prediction: “There came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.” Their purpose is to destroy and kill. The Rapture is near, my friend … the signs are all around us.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
How Do You Handle Guilt
“How do I handle the guilt of having lived in adultery for twenty years?” a woman asked me.
First, I led her to the Lord. Then I assured her that the past was forgotten, just as if she had never sinned. The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). The moment we receive Him, we start a new life. Our past is never remembered again.
God has promised, “Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (Heb. 8:12). It is often said that God casts our sins into the sea of His forgetfulness and puts up a sign: “No fishing allowed.”
However, Satan can use guilt feelings to rob us of our joy and effectiveness for Christ. Often he brings to our remembrance the past with all its ugliness. To overcome this assault, we must have full assurance that we have been forgiven of our sin (the promise of 1 John 1:9). Then we must dwell with Christ in daily communion, constantly aware of His glory and the joy of knowing that He wants to use us in spite of our past.
Having received forgiveness in Christ, we must next forgive ourselves for our failures. This is what I believe the apostle Paul was thinking when he wrote, “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before” (Phil. 3:13).
I picture Paul sitting down one day and, in a state of despair, declaring, “I am the worst of sinners.” Then the Holy Spirit whispers, “Forget those things which are behind. You did your best. You did all that you could do, and God knows all about it, so forget all the things which are behind you. Press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of Christ” (see Phil. 3:13,14).
The Holy Spirit makes the same statement to us today. Do all that you can now and leave the rest with the Lord. Look toward the future.
Our thought processes can work to our advantage or to our disadvantage. I believe that “Gird up the loins of your mind” (1 Pet. 1:13) means don’t allow yourself to look back, especially on failure and on the sins for which you have been forgiven. Think on those things that edify the soul. Philippians 4:8 expresses beautifully the kinds of thoughts that should fill the minds of Christians: things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.
It is very hard for me to reflect on my life. I have found it much healthier to look ahead, reflecting only long enough to say “Thank you, Lord.” I never wallow in guilt, even for two minutes. I will not allow my mind to do that.
I learned to control my thoughts at a very young age. After singing in church one night, I was angry with myself because I thought I had done a bad job. My brother Bob asked, “Did you do your best?”
“Yes, I did,” I answered.
He simply said, “Well?”
“Thank you, Bob,” I replied.
That lesson stuck with me. During the first year of our ministry, I fought those angry feelings when I didn’t do a good job. The Holy Spirit seemed to speak to me as Bob had done.
“Did you do your best?”
I realized that although I might not do a superb job every night, I could do my best… and that’s all that is required.
Each of us struggles with personal failure. Remember Paul’s frustration in Romans 7? The things he wanted to do, he didn’t do. The things he didn’t want to do, he ended up doing. That is also true in my life. I echo his cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 7:24,25).
You may feel guilty over a son or daughter who has strayed away from God. Don’t condemn yourself by asking, “Where did I go wrong?” Did you do your best in rearing him or her for Christ? Then claim the promise of Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Don’t spend the rest of your days in regret. Rather, seek God’s guidance in helping your child now. Forget the past and let your love and concern show through your prayers to the God who cares. Hands off — God is at work!
We will never be perfect in this life, but it’s good to know we have been forgiven — not only for our past sins, but also for our daily shortcomings and the weaknesses that will cause us to fall short of the glory of God throughout life on earth.
Think of it! We are forgiven… past, present, and future! “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1).
No condemnation! And no guilt!
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
How I adore you two whom are blessed of our Lord!
Dearest Jack and Rexella,
Oh how grateful I am that the Lord lifted you up and strengthened the both of you during your difficult health trials Jack, and kept Rexella strong and gracious while she endured so beautifully not knowing what God had planned for your lives. I want you to know that your ministry was there for my husband and I when we happened upon your show 20 years ago, and there was Jack proclaiming that Jehovah God is Jesus, and a light came on in our eyes– the Jehovah’s Witnesses had us in spiritual darkness. I can’t tell you the transformation that took place in our living room that night as we wept and Jack lead us through the sinner’s prayer. Thank you so very much for your ministry and please know we keep you both in our prayers.
I wish I could close this email saying that we went on to live happily ever after; but, it hasn’t been that way for us. I am trying so hard to hold back the tears right now. You see, we have lost everything as far as earthly possessions and the hardest thing to say is we also lost our 14 year old daughter that died suddenly before they figured out she had Addison’s disease. I was working as a nurse at the time and in school to become a nurse practitioner. The grief and guilt was more than I could bare and my health quickly got worse and worse. Soon we were living on one income, my husband is a tree cutter and now he has had heart surgery and although we are in our 50’s we do not do very well. We have had 2 homes foreclosed upon and now our last home is being taken very soon. I haven’t been able to talk to anyone because it makes me feel as if it all happened yesterday and I cry myself to sleep most nights. If it wasn’t for you and Jack we would have given up; yet, I see the beauty and grace in your eyes Rexella and the strength and resilience in Jack as he never falters as he spreads his love for Jesus. We no longer have a car and we are so afraid we will soon be on the street during the most uncertain times that I can remember. I am so sorry my faith wasn’t where it should’ve been. We lost our daughter, my grandfather, my father and my brother in 2 years’ time. The earthly possessions soon after. Our family has disowned us as we are no longer Witnesses.
Please know what you do makes such a big difference in people’s lives. I hope to one day give you and Jack the biggest hug in Heaven, Jesus is coming soon!
God Bless and Keep both of you dear ones! Words can’t express what you’ve meant to us!
D. and L. A.
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
Thy Kingdom Come: Arriving Soon
Jesus is coming soon! All the biblical prophecies — and all the current news headlines — bear witness to this truth. Now prophecy experts Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe give you the facts about what is happening in our world today! Get the critical answers to critical questions like:
- What doesn’t the Antichrist want you to know about Pope Francis and Bible prophecy?
- How has Pope Francis compromised with Muslims?
- Is Islam a religion of peace — or do Muslims want to take over the world?
- What happens under Sharia law?
- What prophetic role does Islamic terrorism play in North America?
- What happens after the Rapture?
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Share this teaching with your church, family, and friends. Let them know: The return of the Lord is at hand.
You and your family must not be deceived by those who preach that all roads lead to heaven — and that the Christian deity and Islamic Allah are the Same God!
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- What lies does the Koran teach about Jesus?
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