Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory |
of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus (Titus 2:13)
Jack Van Impe
Bible prophecy teacher extraordinaire or confused prophet?
Jack Van Impe, with his wife Rexella, is the host of a popular Bible prophecy television program called "Jack Van Impe Presents." Many consider this man to be one of the top Bible prophecy experts in the world. He has spent thousands of hours memorizing virtually the entire New Testament and has been referred to as the "walking Bible" - he can quote chapter and verse better than anybody. He claims to read hundreds of periodicals a year. His knowledge of the scriptures has produced little discernment and for the sake of unity he has compromised the true Biblical faith.
Van Impe has said that he is not a televangelist. “I’m a TV analyst, I analyze the news.” Jack and his wife Rexella give their interpretation on how past and present world events are fulfilling Bible prophecy. He believes the European Union to be the "Restored Roman Empire." According to him when it reached ten nations it fulfilled Bible prophecy even though today it is much higher than that in member states. Recently Jack changed his mind on this, claiming that God gave him special insight, that the ten kingdoms are now global regions. This is the view that most Bible prophecy teachers hold, but it was revealed by God specially for him.
Much of his life was spent as a fierce proponent of the fundamentalist Biblical doctrine of Biblical separation. This teaching is that we, as a church, are to be removed from those individuals who promote doctrinal error. In late 1970's Van Impe made a shift towards the inclusiveness of Ecumenism and Evangelism. His break with the fundamental church came in 1984 with the publication of Heart Disease in Christ’s Body. In it, he disapproves of the lack of love and unity among so many of today's Christians. The remedy for this was for the relaxing of the fundamentalist definition of what is a Christian. He called for the acceptance as a "true Christian" of anyone who believed in the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture, the Deity of Christ, the Virgin Birth, the Substitutionary atonement, and the physical resurrection of Christ along with His personal, bodily return to earth. In addition to this Jack sought to redefine the very concept of Biblical separation itself. In his new formula, anyone who disagrees with these conditions that he defined as a "true Christian" was himself in doctrinal error and thus subject to isolation.
Now a Roman Catholic?
In 1993 Van Impe, who formerly warned that the Roman Catholic church is a false, apostate church, now made a complete reversal by accepting the Pope and traditional Roman Catholicism as being part of the body of Christ. He not only claimed that the Pope was a genuine Christian but also considered him to be a true prophet and defender of the faith. In a recent broadcast Van Impe explained his conversion to the Roman Catholic Church, comparing it to the conversion of the Apostle Paul. He stated that he was once a fundamentalist who rejected Roman Catholicism, but now has evidently been converted.
According to Van Impe, the Vatican's doctrines are wonderfully correct: "I believe in this book," Van Impe tells the TV audience, holding up his New Catholic Catechism. "The Catholic doctrines are right on..."
Trust Mary Instead of Christ
In an article for the October-December 1995 issue of Foundation Magazine Van Impe offered praise to Pope John Paul II and praise for the Pope's plan for unity among all "Christians" and the establishment of a "world church." John Paul II, whom evangelicals like Van Impe have praised, trusted Mary instead of Christ for his eternal destiny. In a February 1980 addendum to his Last Will and Testament of March 6, 1979, John Paul II entrusted "that decisive moment [of death] to the Mother of Christ and of the Church [and] of my hope. In life and in death, Totus Tuus [totally yours] through the Immaculate." Embroidered inside all of his robes was the phrase, Totus tuus sum Maria, "Mary I am all yours." His Apostolic Letter of Oct. 16, 2002, ended with these words:
O Blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet chain which unites us to God, bond of love which unites us to the angels, tower of salvation against the assaults of Hell, safe port in our universal shipwreck, we will never abandon you. You will be our comfort in the hour of death: yours our final kiss as life ebbs away. And the last word from our lips will be your sweet name, O Queen of the Rosary of Pompei, O dearest Mother, O Refuge of Sinners, O Sovereign Consoler of the Afflicted.
Instead of obeying Jude's command to "earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints," Van Impe, will not raise his voice against heretical denials of the true faith.
Aliens in Space
Van Impe believes in aliens and UFO's. He opened a broadcast by misquoting Ezekiel 1:15-21, saying "Yes, UFO's wheels within wheels, fire and smoke, and yes, of course Ezekiel is discussing UFO's. Angels, both holy and fallen are flying around our world in spaceships from a planet called Heaven and they come to our Earth in mechanical ships of high technology."
In defending the Pope, who recently said not to limit God's creation, that aliens could exist, Van Impe stated that Revelation 12:12 proves that there are aliens in space.
For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time" (Revelation 12:12:).
He said that because Satan, with his angels, have been thrown down to earth those who dwell in the heavens are aliens from other planets, not demons. Doesn't he realize that this verse applies to the Tribulation period, something which is yet future? Or doesn't he care?
The Second Coming, 2012
Van Impe no longer claims to know the specific date of the Second Coming of Christ, but quotes verses which imply that humankind should know when the second coming is near. Jack Van Impe has set many specific years and dates for the second coming of Christ, continually revising his predictions. He recently indicated 2012 as a possible date for the Rapture. He is basing this prediction on the Mayan calendar and from a program he watched on the History Channel called "The End of Days." The Mayans were pagans and worshipped false gods so any predictions based on their writings are false. It is strange that Van Impe, a Christian, would be using the Mayan as a source for his predictions. What is equally troubling is a Bible prophecy teacher basing his predictions on a program he saw on television.
Tribulation Date Setting
Van Impe has a long history of setting dates for the start of the tribulation. He has suggested dates for the beginning of the tribulation (A 1993 video was entitled A.D. 2000 - The End?).
He gave a detailed chronology to demonstrate that the Lord will probably return in September of 1999:
"Let's figure that out again--1948.5 plus 51.4 equals 1999.9--around September of the year 1999. Now, we are not date-setters! Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not he angels of heaven, but my father only (Matthew 24:36). But wait! Don't say, `No one can know the APPROXIMATE time when Christ will return,' for Jesus also said in verse 33 that we will know when it is near, even at the doors" (January-February 1993 issue of Perhaps Today magazine).
Van Impe claimed that the year 2001 “will see the start of the Great Tribulation. Political chaos, natural disasters, nuclear war and the worldwide rise of Islam will usher in mankind's final hour” (Jan-Feb 1997 issue of Perhaps Today).
Prior to January 1, 2000, Van Impe frequently predicted widespread global catastrophes and destruction resulting from the Y2K problem, which he believed to be a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. He was of course wrong.
”The dire warnings in this emergency video are gleaned exclusively from secular experts in over 300 reports. The facts: No event in history has connected mankind to one common adversary until now. The millennial bug jeopardizes our way of life in ways never imagined” (Video called 2000 Time Bomb).
”I was going to make this video next year, around February, March. But the Holy Spirit awakened me a few months ago and warned me as to what was coming and that I should warn you. And I'll tell you, this is perhaps the most important video you'll ever receive concerning your own survival and what to do to prepare for what's coming” (Jack Van Impe Presents, September 28, 1998).
Nostradamus the Mystic
Van Impe appears to believe in the teachings of the French Mystic Nostradamus. He has said in 1998 and has repeated the words of Nostradamus many time on his TV shows:
”Now, Nostradamus said that the king of terror would appear November of 1999. I believe Nostradamus knew his bible and knew what the six-day theory was, and so he could put it all together” (Jack Van Impe Presents, October 5, 1998).
Jack is now, it seems, moving toward promoting Islam along with Christianity. That's not so surprising since he sees no real difference between Roman Catholicism and Christianity. He says when Christ returns, in the Muslim religion, he destroys the Antichrist, and that’s what we teach in 2 Thessalonians 2:8. He says the Muslims "believe that Christ is going to set up a kingdom on earth. It’s for a shorter duration but nevertheless, they do believe it.” But what he doesn’t tell us is that in the Muslim religion the Antichrist is Jewish and according to Muslim tradition Jesus is really a Muslim. He will come to destroy the Antichrist and all who refuse to convert to Islam.
Jack Van Impe has used his flawed interpretation of Bible prophecy to sell his books and videos and has used the airwaves to spread his crazy theories. He has promoted false ideas about Bible prophecy and has brought the study of Bible prophecy into contempt. He is actively promoting a one world religion. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 we learn that the day of the Lord, or the Tribulation, can't come until first there is a “falling away” or " the apostasy" (the departure from the faith). Van Impe has become a leading Bible teacher who is actively promoting apostasy in the Church. If Van Impe were a true friend of Catholics and Muslims he would encourage them to repent of their sins and believe on Christ for their salvation. As you may have guessed we do not recommend the Jack Van Impe Presents television program to anybody, unless you would like to see how not to study Bible prophecy, end-time events for Israel and the last days for the Church.
Written by Alan Torres