Weekly Newsletter – September 26, 2016
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR JACK VAN IMPE
What is the marriage and marriage supper of the Lamb and where will they take place?
The marriage partners at this glorious event include the Lamb (Christ) (Ephesians 5:25-33) and His bride (the Church)-both of whom have been in heaven during the Tribulation Hour. While those on earth have suffered judgment, the Bride is being investigated in preparation for the wedding (Revelation 19:7). For those who were unfaithful to Christ during the engagement period (their years of service upon earth), this will be a moment of humiliation (1 John 2:28) as every believer will be attired in the wedding garment he or she made while on earth. The material will be composed of their good deeds that remain after the judgment seat has taken place (Revelation 19:7-8). Righteousnesses rather than righteousness is the correct word in this text. The first term has to do with our works, the second with the imputed righteousness bestowed upon believers through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).
The marriage itself takes place in heaven toward the end of the Tribulation period upon earth. The phrase, “the marriage of the Lamb is come” (Revelation 19:7), signifies that the Church’s union with Christ has been completed (1 Thessalonians 4:17). From this point on, wherever Christ goes, His beloved bride follows. After the marriage, heaven opens and Christ, mounted upon a white horse, begins His descent to earth for Armageddon followed by His bride, the armies clothed in white linen (Revelation 19:11-14). The place of the wedding reception (marriage supper) is upon earth. After exhaustive study of this great event, I believe that immediately following the marriage in heaven, Christ returns to earth with His bride to begin His millennial reign. Old Testament and Tribulation saints are then raised in order that they may be guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 20:4).
If an individual has heard the gospel and rejected Jesus Christ – and the Rapture occurs – will that person have another opportunity to accept Jesus as Lord during the Tribulation?
In response to this question, most evangelicals turn to 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12, which states: “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth.” The reasoning among many is that anyone who has ever heard the gospel and rejected it will no longer have a chance to accept the Savior. I no longer believe that. Here’s why I do not hold this position. As I was studying Acts 2:17, which repeats the prophetic passage of Joel 2:28, the Holy Spirit revealed something to me. God says, “I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh.” There will be enlightenment as never before. Then it hit me: This is in the midst of the horrific Tribulation Hour, but note what it says in Acts 2:19-21: “And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. ” And this whosoever is identical to John 3:16 where all are invited to salvation. Thus, “whosoever” today is identical to “whosoever” during the Tribulation hour.
However, here’s my word of encouragement to you. Do not be distraught or depressed. There is great hope for those whose hearts become softened as we approach the return of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. God does not want any man, woman, or child to perish. This is the nature of our heavenly Father (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). Nevertheless, things will get alarming as we approach the end of the age. That’s why Jesus said in Luke 21:9, “When ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass.” Who would dare question that these days are already upon us? All the more reason for us to share our faith in Christ with those who heretofore have not believed. An added word of encouragement comes to us when our Lord provides the ultimate word of hope and encouragement in verse 31, “When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” That is the glorious day we all await. Now is the time to share the good news, and in so doing, become part of God’s final plan for the ages as He pours out His Spirit on all flesh.
What is the Tribulation? What is the purpose for the twenty-one Tribulation judgments?
This terrible period of history will be the most horrendous our world has ever seen-seven years of nonstop bombardment. In the midst of this fiery judgment there will be little expression of remorse: Hearts will not be bent toward repentance, with few seeking forgiveness for murder, drug abuse, fornication, sexual promiscuity, or theft (Revelation 9:21). The Tribulation, and the sequential judgments of God, will descend on mankind because of blatant sins committed by humanity. It will be a time of widespread apostasy, coupled with a blatant, wholesale denial of biblical truth, combined with moral chaos, an acceleration of spiritism, persecution, pestilence, and earthquakes. Terrible as all this will be. God has a threefold purpose for this period of human history:
- To save and allow many Jews who enter the Millennium to experience the fulfillment of the kingdom promises to Israel made by God in the covenants;
- To save a multitude of Gentiles who will then populate the millennial kingdom;
- To pour out judgment on unbelieving mankind and nations. The final forty-two months or three-and-one-half-year period is so terrifying that it is called the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:14).
There is good reason the first half of the Tribulation will be more peaceful. Because Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, is soon to return, Satan, the great counterfeiter and ultimate deceiver known as Antichrist, will first present himself as the peace-producing Messiah. Not only will he make himself known to the nations, but he will be universally accepted. Satan will enter the body of a man and proclaim himself as God (2 Thessalonians 2:4). This Antichrist will come into prominence and power by presenting a “peace program” to the nations (Daniel 11:21-24). The contracts will be signed and confirmed (Daniel 9:27).
However, in the middle of the seven-year period, the Antichrist dishonors his treaties and makes the last forty-two months the bloodiest in world history as he honors the god of forces (Daniel 11:38). The Great Tribulation is a time of incomparable judgment (Daniel 12:1; Joel 2:2; Matthew 24:21). A total of twenty-one judgments fall upon the earth. They constitute three series of seven each and are described as the seal, trumpet, and vial (or bowl) judgments (Revelation chapters 6, 8, 9,11,15,16). This is the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. Revelation 8:7 and 9:18 clearly reveal a judgment of fire during the Tribulation. This coincides with Psalm 97:3; Isaiah 66:15; Ezekiel 20:47; Zephaniah 1:18; Malachi 4:1, and numerous other passages of Scripture. Both Old and New Testaments agree on the coming of what seems to be a fiery, nuclear holocaust (Revelation 8:7; 9:18). The unequivocal counsel of Scripture promises that the Church will be evacuated before the Tribulation judgment begins.
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
Looking Through the Window
Have you ever heard the old gospel song that says, “This world is not my home, I’m just ‘a passin’ through …?"
Lately that’s how I’ve been feeling – like “a stranger in a strange land.” I’m completely out of step with a world filled with child abuse, wife abuse, animal abuse … with a world filled with hatred, violence, war, and famine. I can’t adjust my mind and heart to a place where many people accept no responsibility for their actions and feel no remorse for the bad things they do to others.
Nor am I able emotionally to cope with the throngs of homeless people on the streets of major metropolitan areas. It’s one thing to watch the news and hear statistics about the down-and-out people living in alleys and under bridges – something else altogether to meet these unfortunate ones face to face and look into their eyes. While in Toronto, my heart was abruptly opened to the real tragedy of homeless people.
One night Jack and I went to dinner in a downtown area and decided to walk back to our hotel several blocks away. Our route took us past Eaton Center – an enclosed mall which is open late, with people milling around inside until all hours. We started across a busy intersection near a major department store, amazed at the throngs of people out and about so late at night. Jack and I have always felt very safe in this wonderful Canadian city.
Before we made it across the intersection, a beautiful young girl we’d passed on the corner came running after us. She came up behind me and fell into step. “Hello there,” she said. “Where are you going?”
“Well, my husband and I have been to dinner and we’re on our way back to our hotel,” I said, noticing that she seemed to be one of the homeless crowd. Her face was smudged, and her clothing wrinkled and soiled. But I went ahead and asked, “Are you going home?”
“Oh, no,” she responded, “I am home!” And she pointed to the streets.
We walked the final step or two across the street and stepped up on the sidewalk – beside the department store, its window ablaze with a display of television sets and video equipment. The girl touched my arm and peered up into my face and Jack’s. “I told my friends who you were,” she said. It was obvious she seemed to recognize us.
“Sometimes at night when I can’t sleep,” she continued, motioning toward the display of TV sets, “I look through the window and watch you!”
As soon as she said it, she was gone, running, back to her friends on the street. Then a rush of people gathered behind and carried Jack and me on down the block. I looked back but I never caught sight of her again.
But I will never forget the touch of her hand and her simple words that seemed to bring the whole burden of her desperate situation crashing down upon my heart. “I look through the window and watch you,” she said.
How I wished I could have held her hand and brought her along with me, to tell her she could have a better life. I have no idea what she had run away from or where she was trying to go. I do know that life on the streets so often ends in tragedy. If only I could have a little more time to talk with her, I would tell her about God’s love, about the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I feel almost compelled to go back to Toronto soon and spend some time in the area where I first saw her. I can only hope the Lord will allow me to find her and spend some time witnessing to her. Somehow, my heart is so impacted by her words that I just can’t let go until I’ve at least tried to find her again.
For days now the Lord has been impressing upon my mind the fact that there are countless other people floundering in life who are looking through the window of our lives, seeking for answers and hope. Oh, you may not be on TV like Jack Van Impe and I, but your life, your light, is on view to someone trying to find a better way.
What would people see if they looked through the “window” at you? Are you living a life “like Christ,” filled with love, joy, peace, and purity?
Is the glass of that window dingy and soil-streaked, or is it bright and clear, clean and sparkling? When someone who has lost their way looks through your window, can they see Jesus in you? Or is what you claim blurred by who you are and how you act?
Since I met that homeless girl who said she looked through the window and watched me, I’ve been checking up on myself. The Lord has given me three checkpoints:
1. Living the life.
The great gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson, cried out, “I’m going to live the life I sing about in my song!” The life we live for God must be the same on Tuesday as on Sunday. We must treat our family and neighbors, the people at work and in the marketplace, the same way we treat the people at church when everybody is watching. I promise you that the way you act when you think nobody is looking is exactly what someone will see when they look through your window!
2. Offering a pure and simple testimony.
The most effective testimony is simply to uplift Jesus – He will do the rest. We do not have to know scores of scripture verses, or be able to explain the complexities of doctrine. All that is necessary is to say, “This is what Jesus has done for me.” As one great Christian described it, “Our witness is really just one beggar telling another where to find bread” – the Bread of life!
3. Being consistent.
A nursery rhyme describes a little girl who, “when she was good she was very, very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid.” Have you ever known a person who, on one day, was helpful and kind … and on the next was cranky as can be? What does this kind of erratic behavior say about the depth and validity of our Christian experience? Our Lord is described as Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). And we are to be like Him!
Being on television these last several years has been a real challenge and amazement to me. One thing I’ve learned is that the TV camera sees through our facades and reveals us as we really are to the view of the people. On screen you simply can’t hide who you are. I believe this is why people say so often, “I know you. I’ve seen you on TV!”
I can never forget that the Lord has His divine TV camera on us all the time. He looks past our outer front and sees inside us to our very heart and soul. Lord, help me to live for You consistently.
Although I know our programs are seen throughout the United States and Canada, and in numerous places overseas, it still boggles my mind to consider the numbers of people and the kinds of individuals in different walks of life who are being reached and touched by the program.
I could never have imagined a homeless street girl going up to a department store window late at night to watch Jack and me on TV through the glass. I hope and pray that something she saw and heard will stay with her … and that God and His wonderful grace will reach her.
On that day when we stand before the Lord, this young woman will discover that she need not stand outside on the sidewalk wistfully watching through a glass. For as her eyes catch a glimpse of Jesus and she reaches out to take His hand, He will throw open that window and make it a door – a grand entrance through which she can walk freely into His presence.
Waiting to go home
Never in my life have I felt more of a longing for the coming of the Lord than in recent days. “Oh I want to see Him, look upon His face, there to sing forever of His saving grace.” I long to see Him and feel His arms wrapped around me. I can’t wait to hear His voice saying, “Welcome home, thou good and faithful servant!” Oh, how I pray that my life will allow this salutation to be so.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). How wonderful that will be.
God is so good to me even here in this life. His presence never leaves me, and I take joy in intimately communing with the Holy Spirit inside my heart. But more and more I feel a strange longing to be in heaven. And I sense that time is running out. Our Lord Jesus is coming soon.
First Corinthians 13:12 says, For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
But until then, I will keep on keeping on. I will try to use all my time, all my talents, all my opportunities to shine out the story of Jesus to help all who may be looking through the window of my life. With God’s help, I will keep on living the life of love, joy, peace, and purity. I will keep on giving my pure and simple testimony about what the Lord has done for me. And I will endeavor to be consistent in my living for Jesus, daily keeping the window glass, looking into my life, clean and unsmudged.
You can do it, too, God will help you. Join me in making a new commitment to Christ’s commission and calling. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Mathew 5:16).
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
I have been watching u and your precious husband for many years and learnt much about end times. I appreciate the hours of research and prayer it must take to do what you do for the body of Christ.
What has really touched my heart every time I watch your programme, all the way here in South Africa, is what an example you set as a woman and a wife.
You are elegant, gentle and the love of Christ pours out of you. I am twice divorced, so to witness the love and respect you and Dr van Impe show each other, touches my heart deeply!! How I wish I could have experienced that love! Not only do you teach biblical prophecy, report the latest happenings that impact Israel but the Lord spoke to my heart that you also teach, without words, about marriage and respect.
May the Lord give you many more years in good health and in continued safety, protection and blessing.
All my love
Praise the name of the Lord. I subscribed last week for your newsletters and I am very grateful to start receiving it. I am a South Sudanese, who just took refuge in Kenya recently because of political instability in my country. I have watched your program a few times on television and developed a deep longing for more of this rich revelation. I wish this teaching is every day on all channels.
May the Lord keep and sustain this ministry, you and your family against every attack and counter attacks of the Devil in Jesus name.
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