VIDEO “The Mark of The Beast” Jack Van Impe, Terry L. Cook

Jan 3, 2014

“The Mark of The Beast” Starring Jack Van Impe, Terry L. Cook, and Grant R. Jeffrey.

The Motion Picture film “The Mark of The Beast” was written by Dr. Jack Van Impe, Peter & Paul Lalonde, & Director and Producer, Andre von Heerden, and was Distributed by Cloud Ten Pictures, featuring ‘I Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb’ music by Ray Boltz. Highlighted Actors include Dr. Jack Van Impe, Rexella Van Impe, Terry L. Cook. Grant R. Jeffrey, Ray Boltz, Shane Harwell, James Pritchard, and Skip Dewling.

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Drawn by Kindness

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:2-3

When you hear the word heaven, what comes to mind first? Is it the loved ones who have gone before or perhaps the absence of pain and sorrow? Although these are glorious things to look forward to, let’s remember the Person who made our entrance into heaven possible. The Gospels provide glimpses into the love and welcoming nature of Christ. Each word and action of His flows from love because He is love. If you ever wondered what love sounds like—read the Gospels.

Crowds were drawn to Him. Children were invited close and He compassionately healed the sick. He saw beyond the wealth, poverty, physical appearance, and ailments of people and embraced their faith. The outcast and down-trodden were seen and included. Jesus gave generously of His time and wisdom. Even if we combined all the moments when we felt most loved, they would pale in comparison with Him. We can trust Him completely today and with our future. Let us eagerly anticipate meeting Christ face to face in heaven, the One who gave everything for us: His position, righteousness, body, and blood.

Leave it all in the Hands that were wounded for you. Elisabeth Elliott

Blessing of Loving Others

1 Peter 1:22

If we responded simply from natural impulses, we’d probably be nice when people were kind. At other times, though, we would likely be vengeful, angry, or hurtful.

Yet Jesus clearly teaches us to love even when those around us seem unlovable. And He lived out what He taught: Christ loved us enough to die for us while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8). Surely, out of gratitude for what He did, and with His strength, we—His followers—can love others (1 John 3:14).

While it’s hard to respond to unkindness with love, such godly behavior can lead to great blessing in our life. First, the Father is pleased. This realization should bring His children joy, peace, and a sense of accomplishment. Next, believers ought to feel excitement and anticipation to watch how God will move in the relationship. Finally, there will be an awareness that the Holy Spirit is working from within, enabling divine love to flow through yielded human lives.

John 13:35 tells of an important benefit: Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Since unconditional godly love is uncommon in our world, people will notice.

Treating others as we want to be treated is what builds the deep, satisfying connections that all people desire. Without significant relationships, life lacks meaning—regardless of how many possessions or acquaintances we have. So think about the people you come in contact with throughout the week. Are you treating them the way that Jesus modeled?

Soldier’s Duty

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:3-4)

As Paul came to the end of his earthly life, he took great pains to encourage his disciple to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1) and to guard and pass on the precious teachings that Paul had taught him.

Paul compared Timothy’s life in the ministry of the gospel to the life of a soldier. The Greek word translated “endure hardness” is used twice more by Paul, each in this book. “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions [same word], do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (2 Timothy 4:5). Paul holds himself up as an example of such endurance when he claims: “I suffer trouble [same word], as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound” (2 Timothy 2:9).

As soldiers of Jesus Christ, we are to avoid entangling ourselves with something that will hinder our effectiveness. The word “entangled” means “entwined,” or “involved with.” The soldier must be able to draw his weapon freely and use it effectively, and cannot do so if something is clutching onto him, binding his arms and legs.

Our text follows the well-known admonition “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (vv. 1-2). The goal of a soldier is to please his leader. So must be our goal in the warfare at hand, preserving and passing on the truth. As Christians, we have been chosen to be in the army of the General who Himself died to assure our ultimate victory. He deserves our total devotion. JDM

“Love one another, as I have loved you.”

John 15:1-15

John 15:1

See how the question is solved as to which is the true Church, and who has care of it. In Jesus, and all who are vitally joined to him, we find the only true Church, and in our heavenly Father, the great overseer and purifier of it.

John 15:2

Fruitless branches must come away, for the very mark of a living branch is fruit. The dead wood of mere profession, being worthless and pernicious, must be pruned out.

John 15:4

Do what we may, we can bring forth no truly good thing except in union with our Lord: our strength, our fruitfulness, yea, and our very life, all lie in Him.

John 15:5

Nothing! mark the word. He does not say “only a little,” but nothing.

John 15:6

There is the end of the man who is fruitless; because not vitally united to Jesus, he utterly perishes. What a change,—numbered one day with the branches of the true vine, and the next, burning in the fire.

John 15:7

Power in prayer depends upon union with Jesus, and obedience to his will.

John 15:8, 9

One of the most sublime verses in Holy Scripture. The Father loves the Son without beginning, without change, without measure, and without end—and even thus does Jesus love us.

John 15:11

Christ’s own joy in us! Think of that. Here is enough to fill us with joy to running over.

John 15:12

Here is love’s law—her diamond rule.

John 15:13

Here is love’s fairest model. Note it well.

John 15:14

Here is love’s life, and love’s reward. Obedience to Jesus leads to a sense of the love of Jesus. If we walk after his rule he will walk with us.

John 15:15

We are made his table-companions, for we sit at the Communion feast, and there are no secrets between us, for he tells us all that is in his heart. This is love indeed, which lifts poor worms of the dust into friendship with “the Prince of the kings of the earth.”

 

Quicken’d by thee, and kept alive,

I flourish and bear fruit;

My life I from thy sap derive,

My vigour from thy root.

 

I can do nothing without thee;

My strength is wholly thine:

Wither’d and barren should I be,

If sever’d from the vine.

 


Come just as ye are, for Jesus invites

Poor sinners to share substantial delights:

Ye weary and burden’d who happy would be,

And wish to be pardon’d, come listen to me.

 

The ear of your heart If you will incline

To you I’ll impart my fulness divine,

Your souls by my Spirit made meet for the sky,

The life shall inherit which never shall die.

 

Darkness Cannot Overcome the Light!

John 1:5

I know of no great Christian leader who hasn’t faced some kind of opposition as he or she sought to do God’s will. But the truth is that darkness does not have the power to overcome light! Every believer can overcome any attack if he or she won’t quit first!

John 1:5 says, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” The word “comprehended” is the Greek word katalambano. It is a compound of the words kata and lambano. The word kata carries the force of something that is dominating or subjugating. The word lambano means to seize or grab hold of. When the two words are compounded, they mean to seize, to pull down, to tackle, to conquer, or to hold under one’s power. Therefore, this verse could be translated, “Darkness does not have the ability to suppress or to hold the light under its domain.”

This doesn’t mean that darkness won’t attempt to overcome the light. However, its efforts will be frustrated and unsuccessful because the light of God always prevails, even in what seems to be the darkest hour or the bleakest situation. Darkness simply doesn’t have the power or ability to put out God’s light. Since you are a child of the light (Ephesians 5:8), this means darkness doesn’t have the ability to put out your light either!

First John 5:4 says, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” The word “overcometh” is the Greek word nikos. It means to conquer. It was used to portray athletes who had gained the mastery of the competition and ultimately reigned supreme as champions over the games.

The Holy Spirit was careful in His selection of this word nikos. This word communicates vivid images that pertain to our walk of faith and victory. First, it tells us that when we begin the walk of faith, we enter into a real-life competition. The decision to walk by faith puts us right smack dab in the center of the ring where the contest immediately begins.

This is so important to understand, because too often we wrongly presume that if we walk by faith, we will be removed from all problems. But our faith pits us directly opposite the devil’s powers. He hates our faith because he knows what it can do! For this reason, Satan may try to go for a knockout punch. But even if he knocks us flat, he can’t keep us down on the ground!

The apostle Paul testified to this when he said that he was “… cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:9). One translation says, “We occasionally get knocked down, but never get knocked out!” Those who are born of God have the supernatural ability to keep getting up again, no matter how many times they fall! Remember, John wrote, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world….”

Because the word “overcometh” is the Greek word nikos, it tells us that we are the ultimate champions and describes our superior position as children of God over the world. We are fully armed with everything we need to be super-conquerors in this life!

As the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), the devil may try to use the world around us to do battle with us. But regardless of what weapon Satan uses or how he attempts to combat you and me, First John 5:4 declares that we have a faith that overcomes the world! This means we have a faith that overrides and supercedes any organization, any event, any circumstance, or any difficult dilemma Satan would try to employ against us. He may be the “god of this world,” but we have a weapon so powerful that we can shoot him down every time he shows up uninvited.

John 1:5 makes it absolutely clear that darkness does not have the ability to suppress or to hold the light under its domain. Darkness may try to prevent the light from shining, but it never holds back the light permanently. Eventually it always comes shining through.

This is true of you and your dream, vision, or calling as well. You may feel hindered from time to time in your attempts to fulfill the call God has given you, but don’t despair. Those hindrances won’t last long. The only way the devil can steal your dream, vision, or calling is if you surrender to him first! If you hold on and refuse to give up, your faith will overcome every encumbrance the devil tries to set in your path!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I thank You that darkness doesn’t have the power to overcome me! It may try, but Your Word guarantees that darkness doesn’t have the ability to overcome the light! I am so thankful that I am Your child and that I live on the winning side! When the devil tries to discourage me, help me remember that in the end, we win!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I boldly confess that even if I occasionally get knocked down, I never get knocked out! I possess the supernatural ability to keep getting up again because I am born of God and I overcome the world. Regardless of what weapon Satan uses or how he attempts to combat me, my faith overrides and supercedes any event, any circumstance, and any difficult dilemma Satan would try to employ against me.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. In what ways has Satan tried to use the world around you to hinder what God has called you to do? For instance, has he tried to create a lack of finances to slow you down? What unsuccessful attempts has he made against you and your dream?
  2. What did you do to resist those past attacks?
  3. If you sense that the devil is trying to assault you right now, in what ways are you resisting his assaults?

Our faith pits us directly opposite the devil’s powers. He hates our faith because he knows what powerful things it can achieve!

 

On Not Loosing Hope

The tragedy of man is not that he dies, but what dies within him while he still lives.” – Albert Schweitzer

 

Some years ago, the wife of a close friend walked out on the marriage, leaving the husband with their four children, all under 10 years of age. When this catastrophe struck, he had just completed his Ph.D., and was embarking upon a promising teaching career at a prestigious university. Desperate now for help in raising his children, he found it necessary to relinquish his position and return to the city of his parents to enlist their assistance.

 

Early one morning before driving his U-Haul truck of household goods the 1400 miles north, he stopped by to say good-bye. It was painfully obvious that he was deeply crushed by the desertion of his wife, and the uncertain future awaiting him. So we talked, wept, and prayed… and finally bid farewell.

 

And as he climbed into the cab of the truck with his four small children he looked down, eked out a smile, and said, Well Dwight, I still have HOPE.” As his vehicle disappeared from sight I was reminded of the words penned by St. Paul:

 

Werejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, HOPE. And HOPE does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 2:2b-5)

 

Today, eight years later, my friend and his clan are doing beautifully. The children give every evidence of maturing spiritually and socially into responsible adults. Recently he was appointed the head of his department in a respected institution of higher learning.

 

With the sparkle back in his eyes, it is apparent that he is experiencing God’s promise that “HOPE does not disappoint us… ”

 

So what do you do when the bottom falls out of your life?

  • Allow that which lies within you to die while you are still alive? Or
  • Choose to place your HOPE in the character and promises of God?

Why are you downcast, O my soul?Put your HOPE in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God… ‘For I know the plans I have for youplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future.'” (Psalm 43:5; Jeremiah 29:11)