Weekly Newsletter – September 12, 2016
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
Could there be a “partial” Rapture?
The simple answer is no. Some teach that only the perfect will be evacuated during the Rapture, but this is contrary to the teaching of God’s Word. Many base this teaching on Hebrews 9:28-“Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation“-saying that the Rapture is only for those who are watching. Such a premise is at odds with the rest of the Bible. We must always keep the study of the Rapture in biblical context. It’s been wisely said that one cannot take a text out of context without creating a pretext. Every verse on the subject must be considered before a valid conclusion can be reached regarding a doctrine.
First John 2:28 tells the other side of the story: “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” This verse begins with the terminology of His appearing and ends with the statement of His coming. It says that when He comes to snatch us into His presence in the twinkling of an eye, there will be many who are ashamed. The conclusion is if they were perfect, they would not be ashamed. So the idea that one must lead a sinless life to be accepted as part of the Body or Bride for the Rapture does not agree with the rest of the Bible.
So let me repeat this important statement. One is not ashamed if he is perfect. Therefore, the imperfect are raptured. The Bible also reveals that there are persons who are saved by fire standing before the Lord (see 1 Corinthians 3:15). They made heaven “by the skin of their teeth,” so to speak. The only way any of us can stand in a perfected state before Jesus Christ in that hour is through the merits of His shed blood. Second Corinthians 5:21 declares, “For [God] hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” This is our only perfection. In addition, the Bible states that every believer is a member of the body of Christ. Should only those who meet a certain standard of spirituality be taken, the body of Jesus Christ would be dismembered and disfigured. This is impossible. First Corinthians 15:51-52 states that “we shall ALL be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump” (emphasis added).
The partial Rapture view, by definition, denies the teaching on the unity of Christ’s body. First Corinthians 12:12-13 says, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” What is the message of this verse? All believers are united together to form the entire body of Christ, who is the head. Perhaps most disturbing, however, is that the partial rapturist must place a segment of the body of Christ in the Tribulation period. We’ve already indicated in several places that this cannot happen. The Body of Christ will have no limbs or organs missing on the glorious day the Rapture occurs.
What relationship exists between the Rapture, the Revelation, and prophetic signs?
What relationship exists between the Rapture, the Revelation, and prophetic signs? Where do they fit into the schedule of events described in God’s Word? Many believers think the signs point to phase one, the Rapture, because they identify the snatching away as the Second Coming of Christ. As we noted earlier, doctrinally speaking, this cannot be so. The actual Second Coming of Christ is the second phase, the Revelation, or the revealing of Christ to the inhabitants of earth. Since He came to earth at His first advent, He must come to earth at His second advent. The Rapture is not Christ’s appearance upon earth, but a meeting in the heavens-an intermediary evacuation of believers from earth before the storm. Seven years later, Christ comes to earth, touching down on the “mount of Olives” (Zechariah 14:4).
The prophetic signs, then, point to Christ’s return to earth with His saints at the close of the Tribulation Hour- not to the Rapture. Here is how you can be assured this interpretation is accurate. Take two Bibles and place them side by side. Open one to Revelation 6, where the signs begin to be fulfilled. Then open the other to Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 17 or 21, where Christ’s prophetic predictions are recorded. The inescapable conclusion is that the signs are identical. The Church is taken in Revelation 4, and the signs take place two chapters later. The signs of Revelation 6 are identical to the predictions of Christ in the four Gospels, proving that the signs Jesus gave point to His revelation, the second phase of the Second Coming. Even if there were not a sign yet in existence, we believers could be called home any moment. This is true because each of the signs could occur during the seven-year period following the believers’ departure. Remember, the signs point to Christ’s Second Coming to earth (Revelation 19).
I believe we may go to be with our Lord at any moment because Jesus said, “When ye shall see all these things [signs-not one, not two, but all the signs occurring simultaneously], know that it is near, even at the doors” (Matthew 24:33). What is near when a person sees all the signs occurring? Christ’s return to earth, the Revelation, phase two. When this happens, all believers will return with Him. All the signs pointing to the return of Christ with His saints- the return of the King with His armies-are already in their beginning stages. Thus, the signs say that we, too, are coming back with the Lord soon. How can this be as long as we are still present on earth? There is but one logical conclusion. We must be removed soon through phase one, the Rapture, to return with Christ, via phase two, the Revelation.
What differences are there between the Rapture And the Revelation?
We referred to this earlier, but because it remains one of the most misunderstood areas of end-time teaching, I want to deal with it in depth, buttressed by key passages of scripture, to give you a clear distinction between the two events. Many believers are unaware that there are two stages or phases within the process of the Second Coming-the Rapture and the Revelation-and that these events are separated by a seven-year period. I believe the Rapture is the next occurrence on God’s calendar. This Rapture is the literal, visible, and bodily return of Christ in the heavens. Acts 1:9-11 states: “And when he [Jesus] had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
Has Christ already returned? Some cultists declare that He came in 1914 or 1918 as an invisible spirit. This is nonsense! The Bible declares that Jesus shall return as He left. A person can easily know how He left by studying Luke 24:39. Christ, in His new, resurrected body, said, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” He adds in verse 41, “Have ye here any meat?” The disciples gave Christ a piece of broiled fish and honeycomb, which He took and ate before them (w. 42-43). The risen Savior had a body of flesh and bones-a body that could be seen, touched, and fed. This same Christ, in the same body, shall come in like manner from heaven. When He returns in the heavens, all believers, dead and living, will also be taken bodily to meet Him in the clouds. One day soon, the people of God will disappear from the earth in a blaze of glory.
As a new Christian, I painted a message on the glove compartment of my automobile. It said, “The driver of this car is awaiting the return of Christ. At His coming, Christians will disappear bodily from the earth. Should I suddenly vanish, take over the steering wheel!” I can still remember the look on the faces of hitchhikers as they read my startling message. Some of them declared, “Hey, buddy, the next corner is as far as I go!” It was true then, and it is true today: The unsaved world has great difficulty accepting the glorious teaching of the Rapture. The Christian accepts by faith the declarations of the Word of God concerning this glorious subject. First Thessalonians 4:16-18 states, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
Verse 14 declares that when Christ comes at the time of the Rapture, He will bring those who sleep (the dead) with Him. At this point, someone may state, “Look here, I’ve found my first contradiction in the Bible. How can Christ bring the dead with Him (v. 14) and come after the dead (v. 16)?” There are no contradictions in the Word of God. Instead, it is the finite, limited intellect of human beings who are unable to grasp the infinite, unlimited mind of the omniscient God. If one is led by the Holy Spirit and studies under His direction, the so-called contradictions fade into obscurity.
How can Christ bring the dead with Him in verse 14 and come after the dead in verse 16? Here is the solution: When a believer dies, his spirit and soul enter the presence of God, but the body goes into the grave. “To be absent from the body [is] to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). This soul, absent from the body, is with Christ until the great day when body, soul, and spirit are reunited at the coming of Jesus. So, Christ brings the dead (the soul and spirit) with Him in verse 14 to come after the dead (the body) in verse 16. When “the dead rise first,” it is the body-only the body-that comes out of the grave to be reunited with the soul and spirit descending with Christ from heaven.
If the Lord comes to receive the bodies of the dead in Christ, will He leave the bodies of the living in Christ behind? If this were the case, the wisest thing to do at the sound of the trumpet would be to commit suicide. This, however, is not the case. The Bible declares, “The dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them [the dead] in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (w. 16-17). Thus, we see that the Rapture is a bodily resurrection for the dead and living who are in Christ, or who are born again.
The entire occurrence is going to take place in half a blink: “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [be dead], but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible [the dead] must put on incorruption, and this mortal [the living] must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53). In this moment of time, we take upon ourselves immortality and are transformed to be like Jesus. First John 3:2 reports, “[When we see Jesus] we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” Philippians 3:21 verifies that our bodies will be changed as we enter into God’s presence in whirlwind style. These verses remind us our citizenship is in heaven, where we also look for our Savior, the One who shall change our vile body and fashion it like unto His own glorious body.
There are still those who say, “I don’t believe in the Rapture, because the word rapture cannot be found in the Bible.” Matter of fact, the word Bible cannot be found in the Bible either, but this does not disprove the Book’s existence. Terms are coined regularly to portray the experiences they picture, and, to review, the word rapture comes from the Latin word rapturo or rapio, which means “a snatching away.” The passages above offer proof enough that the Bible teaches a snatching away. Thus, since God tells us there shall be a snatching away, and since rapturo translated from Latin to English means “a snatching away,” only the willfully ignorant reject such a clear-cut term to describe the first phase of the Second Coming of Christ. Here is an interesting sideline. Jerome, when creating the Catholic Latin Vulgate version, was the first to use the term rapturo for the snatching away of 1 Corinthians 15:52. Hence, the Catholic Church is literally responsible for this glorious term.
The second phase of the Second Coming, described as “the Revelation,” will take place seven years after the Rapture. Again, the term revelation is a coined word, picturing the truth it depicts. Revelation comes from the word revealing. When Christ returns to earth, He will reveal Himself to all inhabitants of the globe. Hence, this event is called the Revelation or revealing of Christ. Revelation 4:1 describes phase one of the return of Christ, while Revelation 19:11 depicts phase two. Fix these two chapters firmly in your mind, and prophecy will become a stabilized blessing in your life. The “come up hither” of Revelation 4:1 is the Rapture, the meeting in the air. The appearance of the rider on the white horse and His armies in Revelation 19:11 is the revelation of Jesus Christ. Chapter 4 removes the believer from the judgments described in chapters 6-18, while chapter 19 restores him to his earthly sojourn after the judgments are completed. Chapter 4, depicting the Rapture, occurs before the seven years of tribulation described in chapters 6-18, and chapter 19 describes the return of the King and His people, after the horrendous catastrophes of chapters 6-18 occur. We know this to be true because the Book of Revelation is written chronologically, with the Tribulation Hour taking place in chapters 6-18. Four precedes six, and nineteen follows eighteen. It’s that simple. The Church is removed in chapter 4, and the Tribulation follows in chapters 6-18. Then the saints return at the conclusion of the Tribulation Hour in chapter 19.
In addition. Revelation 3:10 states, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from [not through (preservation) but from (the Greek-ek-OUT of)] the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” This will be the world’s most terrifying hour. All the wars of the past will look like Sunday school picnics in comparison. Jeremiah 30:7 says, “Alas, for that day is great, [there is none] like it.” Daniel 12:1: “There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.” Joel 2:1-2: “Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness … there hath [never] been … the like.” Jesus 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.” When it occurs, fiery incineration will engulf the globe: “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). “The whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy” (Zephaniah 1:18). “Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth” (Zechariah 14:12). “The third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up” (Revelation 8:7). “By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone” (Revelation 9:18).
The Tribulation Hour lies just ahead for the human race. The saved will be removed before it begins. They are described as taken in Revelation 4:1, and they experience the judgment seat of Christ before the chapter ends. In fact, we find them placing crowns (their rewards) at the feet of the Savior in verses 10 and 11-two chapters before the Tribulation period begins. This is proof that the saved are safe and secure when the judgments begin in chapter 6. Then, when the blitzkrieg ends in chapter 18, the saved return with Christ as He appears to the inhabitants of the earth and becomes their King.
Revelation 19:11-16 gives us a glimpse of the momentous event: “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. 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. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 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. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
This is the revealing of Christ to the nations. At His revelation, every eye will see His glory. “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him” (Revelation 1:7). The armies following Him from heaven to earth are the saints who were removed from the earth in Revelation 4:1. They were evacuated before the great holocaust began. They are the same crowd mentioned in Jude, verse 14: “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.” The Hebrews and Greeks had no terminology to describe millions, billions, trillions, quadrillions, etc. They simply said, “ten thousands.” Thus, the innumerable company of saints following the Lord to earth are the redeemed.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
They Shall Mount Up With Wings
All of us at some point in our lives have had traumatic experiences. Life has a way of forcing us to cope with difficulty, pain, sorrow, and stress.
Some people seem to come through every test stronger… and rise above every tumult. Others appear to be in danger of drowning in their sorrow …of being totally overcome by seemingly insurmountable circumstances.
What makes the difference?
I believe a large part of the answer is a matter of perspective… the point-of-view we have of life and its challenges.
Let me share with you a beautiful experience of Dr. Van Impe’s and mine which helps reveal the way I feel we should look at life’s problems. It happened when a special friend of the ministry called and asked if we’d like to ride in his hot air balloon.
Of course we said yes. And Mr. John Raya, of Father and Son Construction Co. in Rochester, Michigan, set a time for us to meet him.
So on a glorious afternoon, we climbed into the passenger basket and looked up at the beautiful blue-and-white balloon billowing fifty or sixty feet above us. My pulse was pounding with excitement …and I have to admit the tiniest bit of apprehension gripped my stomach.
But not for long! With a blast of flame from a propane burner above our heads, additional hot air was pumped into the balloon… the crew turned loose of the basket… and we took off — up, up, and away!
What a sensation! What a thrill! If you’ve ever gone up in a balloon, you know what I mean — it’s an unforgettable experience.
Ballooning is nothing like flying in an airplane, enclosed by glass and aluminum. Instead, you begin to feel like a free spirit — there is a distinct sense of physical disembodiment as you feel yourself floating upward, leaving the earth, rising higher and higher.
A new way to see!
First of all, I was astonished at what I could see. There was more sky than earth! Once above the walls and enclosures of man-made structures, a panorama of incredible beauty and unlimited space unfolded all around me. I remember thinking that this must be like seeing things from God’s viewpoint.
In their now miniature size, things that appeared so important on the ground seemed somehow insignificant. Dented car fenders, a burned-out house, rushing traffic — everything seemed to blend into a much larger background. The walls and fences separating people diminished before my eyes and faded into mere lines in a magnificent tapestry of soft color and interwoven patterns.
I began to see a bigger picture of life itself. Suddenly I understood as never before how even events that seem like disasters close-up can actually disappear into the perfect pattern of God’s master plan for our lives. And rather than being overwhelmed, it is possible to accept each circumstance as a purposeful part of God’s will… of His greater good for us!
How good it is to develop our spiritual sight in faith. If only we would make it a practice to allow the Holy Spirit to lift us above ourselves and see our situation from God’s viewpoint.
A new way to hear!
The second thing I discovered up in the balloon was that in addition to a new way to look, there was also a new way to listen.
As a musician, I am very conscious of sound — of voices, cries, music. Floating hundreds of feet in the air, I discovered there was no noise — no traffic roar, no barking dogs, no ringing telephones, no blaring radios or TV sets. There was only the soft sigh of the wind… and the silence. It was so quiet I could almost hear my own heartbeat. I actually had to get used to hearing nothing. And in the soothing, uninterrupted silence, I felt a healing, restoring power washing out my brain and smoothing down the wrinkles in my inner being.
With crystal clarity, I sensed a message of reassuring love being whispered inside my heart in a still, small voice. I recognized that Voice! And suddenly I thrilled with new understanding of what my Heavenly Father meant when He gently commanded, Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).
On that crisp autumn afternoon, drifting quietly above the patchwork quilts of the earth and under the brilliant blue of the heavens, I knew God afresh and anew.
The Lord ministered to me through all my senses on that special day. In addition to being blessed through seeing and hearing, I became so aware of God’s presence that I could almost reach out and touch Him — I’m sure I felt Him touch me!
And smell — the air above our beloved Michigan homeland was so pure, so unpolluted at that height. I’ve never smelled anything so clean. It was like the very breath of God… exhilarating… delicious!
I distinctly remember being aware that my senses were totally filled up — that I wanted nothing to be satisfied. I had no need for food or drink. I could cry out with the Psalmist David, O taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).
All too soon our balloon ride came to an end, and it was time to descend back to earth. Almost reluctantly we left the sky and stood once more on the ground.
But I’ll never be quite the same again. How much I learned about Christian living through what I experienced that day up in the balloon.
I’m told that in stormy weather, that greatest of birds, the eagle, does not seek a shelter or place of refuge. Instead, he flies high into the sky, turns into the wind and sets his wings so that the very force of the storm lifts him safely above it.
Surely it is no coincidence that God’s Word declares —
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Dear Jack & Rexella,
What a blessing both of you are. Thank you so much for the teaching about the Rapture. Your teaching brings clear truth to light and hope for the future. Rexella you have a voice like an angel, so beautiful. May the Lord bless both of you. I will see you in heaven!
Hi, just want to say a big thank you for the good work.
I watch you when I’m on break from school like now on Faith Broadcasting Network all the way from Kenya. I’m in campus, and I preach the return of Christ in my outreaches. I’m always inspired to do more when I learn where we are in the current happenings with respect to Bible prophecy as taught by you.
God bless you so much. The love that radiates from you is so thick and tangible. I love you so much. Shalom.
HIGHLIGHTED PRODUCT OFFERS
Revelation 4:1 depicts the glorious “come up hither!” when the saints are called to meet Christ in the air during the Rapture. But how soon will this “great escape” from our violent and war-ravaged earth take place?
Prophecy experts Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe help you see how imminent it is — and answer critical questions such as:
- What are the signs that Christ is returning soon?
- What are the chances of a nuclear war in our lifetime?
- How many times does the Koran command Muslims to kill? What about jihad?
- How does Islamic jihad figure into Bible prophecy?
- What does it mean when Russia, China, and Islam unite?
- How soon will the Rapture take place? Can we know?
- And many more!
Be sure to watch and share this video teaching with as many people as you can! Jesus is coming soon, and we want you and your family to be prepared.
As a bonus with your order you will receive the book The Great Escape: Preparing for the Rapture, the Next Event on God’s Prophetic Clock
You’ve been waiting a lifetime for this announcement — and now the time has come!
The true ‘New World Order’ that will ultimately control this earth is not the Satan-inspired, man-made cabal of the Antichrist, the false prophet, and their wicked followers, but rather:
The God-ordained government of Christ the King who will return to triumph at Armageddon and establish His peaceful domain on earth (Revelation 21:3).
Now Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe explain the wonders of this New World Order and show you how soon we may see its coming. Get the answers to questions such as:
- Does the Old Testament teach the Second Coming and reign of Christ on earth?
- What is replacement theology, and why is it wrong?
- How can Jewish and Christian theology coexist in the New World Order?
- How will Jews one day recognize Jesus as Messiah?
- Will the nation of Israel turn to Christ?
- And Many More!
As a bonus with your order you will receive Dr. Van Impes book Israel’s Final Holocaust