Weekly Newsletter – September 6, 2021
FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE
“I Almost Missed the Blessing!”
He was standing near the exit of a department store in the shopping mall – a quiet, unassuming man, neatly dressed in casual clothes. As I walked past him on my way out of the store, he glanced in my direction – then quickly looked again, obviously recognizing me.
“Mrs. Van Impe?”
“Yes, I’m Rexella Van Impe.”
“It’s so nice to see you in person. I feel like I’ve known you and your husband for many years – I used to attend your crusade services. Could you spare just a moment? I have a little story to share with you.”
“Of course,” I replied, stepping out of the doorway and to the side of the corridor. I felt perfectly comfortable and at ease with this “old friend” I’d never met before – he was no longer a stranger. “I’d love to hear your story.”
The man stretched out his right arm and pulled back the sleeve of his coat. His arm was atrophied and shorter than normal, with an extremely deformed hand. “I was born this way – with a right arm and hand that were shriveled and useless. As I grew up, I became more and more aware of my deformity. I felt that I was ‘damaged’ and worthless. I became as handicapped emotionally and mentally as I was physically.
“As a little boy, I started praying, ‘Oh, God, heal my hand and arm. Help me and give me a normal life.’ In my mind, I felt the only way my prayer could be answered would be to get a whole new arm and hand.
“Over the years, doctors performed three major operations on me – very involved, complicated reconstructive surgeries. The operations were successful in that they enabled me to gain much use of my right arm and hand. I learned to do lots of things – almost anything I wanted – with my repaired hand.”
As he spoke, the man demonstrated how he could move his arm freely and deftly use his still-twisted hand to pick up and manipulate various objects with obvious strength and dexterity.
With a wry smile, he continued his account. “But the surgeries didn’t help my mind and my feelings. They continued to be ‘deformed’ because my arm was still short and my hand was still twisted – not totally whole in appearance. Instead of being thankful for the tremendous improvement, I found myself thinking, ‘Why didn’t God answer my prayer and heal me? I still don’t have a right arm and hand that match my left side.’ And I went on feeling frustrated and limited for years.
“Then one day during my personal devotional time, I finished my Bible reading and was meditating. I again began to wonder why God hadn’t answered my boyhood prayers. Suddenly I became intensely aware of God’s presence, and He seemed to speak to me.”
“‘I answered your prayer!’ the Lord said. ‘You are whole. You can do just about anything with your right arm that you can do with your left. You have a good marriage and beautiful children. You have a profitable business. I have blessed you and met your needs. Why do you feel that your prayers were not answered?'”
“I was astonished at those words, Rexella. I jumped to my feet and shouted, ‘Thank You, Lord, for opening my eyes. You did answer my prayer. You have made me whole! But I almost missed the blessing!'”
Isn’t that a remarkable experience? Hearing our friend’s tremendous story stirred my heart and started me thinking. How many times do we risk missing out on God’s blessings because they may not arrive in the exact package we’re expecting? How should we act, what should we do while we’re waiting on the Lord to answer prayer?
I love the way The Living Bible instructs and encourages us with Psalm 27:14 – “Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted and courageous. Yes, wait and he will help you.”
Are you waiting for God to answer the cry of your heart and meet some special need for you or a loved one? Here are some suggestions for you.
Wait in prayer.
First of all, I believe that when we’re waiting on the Lord, we should wait in prayer and allow ourselves to be comforted by the Holy Spirit. Too often we allow ourselves to be anxious and apprehensive after we’ve prayed and are waiting. By not allowing the comfort of the Holy Spirit to overwhelm us, we make ourselves vulnerable to the ravages of doubt and fear.
One of the first times I remember hearing “Wait, Rexella” was when I was just a little girl, maybe four years old. My mother had left me with my grandmother for the day. For a while I watched as she worked in the kitchen preparing to bake a pie.
When I grew restless, my grandmother said, “Rexella, as soon as I finish baking this pie, we’ll go down and get an ice cream banana split. But for now I want you to sit here on the counter and wait.”
A few minutes later I asked, “Are you almost done, Grandma?”
“No, honey, you have to wait.”
“Yes, but I want to go get my banana split now!”
“No, I’m not finished here. You must wait a little longer.”
In another moment or two, I was asking again, “Are you through yet?” So my grandmother decided to use the waiting time to teach me something new. Spreading some flour across the counter, she taught me how to form the letters and spell the word B-A-N-A-N-A. I was so delighted at my new accomplishment that I momentarily forgot my impatience.
I believe that God sometimes has lessons to teach us as we wait. There can be great value to be gained just by waiting, although it’s hard for people in today’s age of instant gratification to appreciate this truth.
We’ve all heard the old joke about doctors telling patients to “take an aspirin and call me in the morning.” Well, current medical research suggests that maybe these medics weren’t just ignoring their patient’s needs. The truth is that God has put a miraculous healing force within our bodies that, with just a little time, will begin to heal a high percentage of maladies.
It’s also true that time is a great healer in incidents of loss and grief. What seems unbearable and inconsolable today will become less painful and easier to bear as time goes by. As the Psalmist David expressed so beautifully, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
Don’t misunderstand me – I’m not saying that we should pray about something, then just wait until we get over it naturally. We’ve all experienced those wondrous times when God came upon the scene and moved in our behalf almost instantly. In fact, there are times, God says, “Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).
If we need an instant answer, God will not forsake us or fail. But there are times when we need to wait – not impatiently, but bravely, stoutheartedly, and with courage. In those times the Holy Spirit will come to us … and teach us … and help us. Don’t miss what God wants to do for you!
Wait in faith.
When you pray, wait in faith. Be confident in God. Believe in His love and goodness. Trust the Lord to keep His Word. Jesus said, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14). Let your confidence be based on the knowledge that He will answer your prayer – God will take care of you.
Perhaps you’re saying, “But Rexella, sometimes that kind of faith is a little bit hard to come by.” I understand exactly what you mean.
I heard an illustration about a woman whose view from her kitchen window was blocked by an ugly old mountain that she often wished was gone. One day she read that if she had faith as big as a grain of mustard seed, she could pray for the mountain to be removed and it would go. So she decided to try it.
“Oh, God, if you love me, remove that mountain. I have faith that You can do this, so tonight I’m asking you to take it away.”
The next morning the woman got up, walked into her kitchen, and looked out the window. “There’s that mountain,” she said, “just as I expected!”
Do you expect God to answer when you pray? Do you have faith that He will hear and respond to your prayers according to His will? Has God answered your prayers in the past? Do you know others whose prayers have been answered? Yes, of course!
When you know who God is and what He is like, you can have faith in Him. I believe that real faith is not something you try to believe – it is something you cannot doubt! You must reach a place in your Christian experience where you discover the bedrock truths that require no convincing. And on that Rock you take your stand.
Getting to that place may require you to do some waiting – in prayer … and in faith. Be willing to do it! Don’t miss the blessing!
My third suggestion for learning to wait on the Lord is to be patient – not murmuring, not saying, “Why is this happening to me?”, not rebelling. For forty years the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness, missing out on the blessing of going into the Promised Land.
As a matter of necessity, the road out of Egypt’s slavery led through the desert. But the Israelites did not go through the desert patiently. They griped, complained, doubted, and rebelled! The more they murmured and rebelled, the longer they had to wait.
The land God had promised was out there, just an eleven-day march away (see Deuteronomy 1:2). It was wonderful country – almost literally “flowing with milk and honey.” But most of the Israelites died in the desert, wandering around and around in the wilderness until they missed out on the blessing. It was real! God had intended for them to have it! But their lack of prayer, lack of faith, and lack of patience ultimately destroyed them.
Forty years later, when the doubters and murmurers were dead, Joshua led the new generation – and a handful of faithful old-timers – into the land of Canaan.
Oh, my dear friend, there have been times in my life when I was tempted to focus on the problem and not on the solution God was going to give me. In those moments, I was becoming part of the problem! Have you had that experience?
Isn’t it wonderful that God is faithful? He keeps on reminding us to pray … to wait in faith … to be patient and not to give up or rebel. And as we wait, the Spirit of God comes to us, teaches us, helps us, and meets our need!
When it happens – when the darkness falls away and the power of God breaks through the limitations of our lives and sets us free – how we rejoice! We gratefully discover that – in the words of Solomon and David, “The Lord is our salvation, our refuge, and our strong tower!” (See 2 Samuel 22:3; Proverbs 18:10; Psalm 61:3).
“Thank You, God,” we exclaim. “We almost missed the blessing!”
A CLASSIC MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
Final Mysteries Unsealed
What we have referred to as the “fourth” vision of Daniel that began in chapter ten, now reaches its grand climax in chapter twelve with its prophecies about the Great Tribulation, the resurrection of Old Testament saints, the sealing of prophecy until the time of the end, and the abomination of desolation. Everything we have studied to this point has been prologue to the magnificent conclusion of Daniel’s prophecy. We begin chapter twelve with references to Daniel’s people-the Jews-and to the archangel Michael, the protector of the nation of Israel-an assignment that has already been a full-time job for him throughout the ages and, in some ways, has only just begun.
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
While Michael has been the protective overseer of the Jews throughout their history, his work will become even more critical in the days ahead. The end-time reality for the Jews, according to prophecy, will deteriorate into something worse than anything anyone has ever witnessed in world history. Therefore, when you and I think we have it difficult at any given moment, we must remember that the pain and sorrow we may be suffering will pale into insignificance when compared with the trials and tribulations yet to come to so many. Jeremiah 30:7 says:
“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.”
Jesus confirmed Jeremiah’s prophecy in Matthew 24:21 when He said,
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
However, Jesus says that Michael the protector will also be there on the scene, doing battle with Satan in the heavenlies (Revelation 12:7-8). In Daniel 12:1 we see Michael “standing for the people of Israel.” Why will Michael be there? So that the Jews might be saved physically. That’s Michael’s job, and the Jews-at the time of the end-will never need his assistance more than during this time of “Jacob’s trouble”-that period during the Tribulation hour when Russia marches down to the Middle East after the Antichrist has broken his peace contract with Israel-forty-two months after the contract has been in effect.
Everything will be relatively smooth sailing up to that time, the epitome of economic and political sweetness and light, and then Bam! Everything is smashed to pieces at the midpoint of the Tribulation period (Daniel 9:27) as Russia goes up against “the land of unwalled villages … to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates” (Ezekiel 38:11). This is the beginning of the time of great persecution for the Jews as Satan is cast out of heaven, with his primary assignment to obliterate the Jewish people from the face of the earth (Revelation 12:13). For all these reasons, Michael will be there to stand up for his people, as revealed to Daniel in the first verse of chapter twelve.
Those Who Sleep Will Awake
If you are a Jewish person, I want you to know that your Old Testament teaches the promise of a resurrection, and that there will be life beyond the grave. Unfortunately, many Jews do not know that Daniel 12:2 is in the Bible. This end-time event is something one should look forward to if one has come to recognize that the expected Messiah is the Lord Jesus Christ and has received Him as a personal Savior. If you are a Gentile who loves the Jewish people, it is paramount that you share this text with your Jewish friends and encourage them to understand that there will also be a place for them during these end-time events. Here’s the scenario-and it is a critical one for us to understand in some detail. It all begins with the resurrection of the righteous at the time of the Rapture.
We read in John 5:28-29,
“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life.”
That is the Rapture. Then
“they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation,“
That is when the lost are raised at the conclusion of the thousand years-to stand before Jesus Christ at the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).
Revelation 4:1 says,
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.“
At this juncture, we who are believers are gone-caught away to be with Christ. This is confirmed in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 which says,
“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 who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them-the dead-in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
Not a Pretty Sight
At this point, the horrible Tribulation hour begins to unfold. To those who may disagree with what I’m about to write, I would like to say this: I am only the messenger of what is stated categorically in God’s Word. These are not my thoughts, but rather the words of God taken from holy Scripture. So during this time of Tribulation, great numbers of both Jews and Gentiles will be killed for refusing to receive the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:15). Revelation 20:4 adds:
“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 worshipped 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.“
This is the resurrection for those who endured the Great Tribulation hour- those who were saved through the preaching of the 144,000 converted Jews of Revelation 7:4-8. Because of these faithful servants, millions of people-Jews and Gentiles alike-invite Christ into their lives as Savior and Lord. These are the ones who’ve come out of the Tribulation and who have washed their robes, making them white in the blood of the Lamb. Millions will physically survive the seven-year Tribulation period and will also be saved spiritually.
In Matthew 25:31-46, Christ returns to judge the nations and to begin His thousand-year reign, allowing those who survived the 2,520-day period to enter the millennium in their natural bodies. At this point, the previously raptured saints return with Christ (Jude 14). That’s the moment when He returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16). The armies of heaven follow Him to the descending Holy City-the New Jerusalem which hovers above the earthly Jerusalem-for one thousand years.
This city, containing twelve gates, honors each of the twelve Jewish patriarchs of the Old Testament by inscribing their names on the gates. How do the Jews arrive in this scenario? Simply answered-the resurrection of Jewish believers in this chapter, verse 2. Millions who died during the Tribulation hour, of both Jews and Gentiles, plus all believing Old Testament Jews covering a period of four thousand years, are raised to live with Christ for one thousand years, at this juncture, when our Savior returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16; 20:4). These Old Testament Jews strongly believed in and looked forward to Messiah’s first and second coming and founded their faith in Him as their redeemer-based on Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22.
These resurrected Jews who lived a holy life, such as Daniel, receive rewards just as the Church did at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10;Romans 14:10; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Revelation 4:10-11). So whether we are Jews or Gentile believers, there will be rewards for all the faithful. Remember that all these saints assemble at this time for one reason only: to live and reign with Christ for one thousand years. If you do not believe that Jews and Christians rule equally in Christ’s kingdom on earth, I urge you to re-study Ephesians 2:14-22 and Revelation chapters twenty-one and twenty-two, the basis for this glorious promise. All this-although not in such detail-is what Daniel is being told in his vision.
We will conclude our study of the book of Daniel next week.
CHANGED LIVES-one at a time
Wow. I enjoyed the story of the balloon ride so much. I see my struggles in a totally new way now. Thank you Rexella for sharing that with us. God bless you.
Your newsletter is so valuable to me and I look forward to each one. I truly miss Dr Van Impe as I am sure others do. So happy you are still carrying the torch in his honor. I hope you will be able to lead others to the Sweet Lord in time. God bless you!
HIGHLIGHTED MINISTRY OFFERS
Discover 15 amazing biblical signs that prove this generation is the one that will see the Lord Jesus returning in the clouds! Drs. Jack and Rexella Van Impe use current events, Bible prophecy, scientific facts, and more to show you the answers to critical questions such as:
- Is Mark of the Beast technology going to be globally deployed by the year 2017?
- Why are Russia and China conducting joint military maneuvers; and why is Iran cozying up to China?
- What world leaders are calling for global Islamic law, and where is it actually predicted in Bible prophecy?
- Will our enemies attack North America with nuclear bombs?
- And much more!
This is a powerful teaching for believers and will show non-believers the truth of the soon return of Jesus!
The shocking truth about prophetic events unfolding around the world today is presented in perhaps the single most electrifying message ever delivered by Dr. Jack Van Impe! In this exciting video, you get answers to these intriguing questions:
- Who has set in motion a requirement for everyone to have a microchip implanted under their skin? What’s the timetable?
- What role does the European Union play in latter-day-events?
- How is the new world government fulfilling the final prophecy today?
- What events follow the Rapture?
- How does Israel, and specifically Jerusalem, fit into Bible prophecy?
- How will Russia, China, and Iran play a part in the fulfillment of end-of-the-age prophecies?
- What else must happen before Christ returns?
- When will the Lord return?
And many more!