MY EXPERIENCES WITH THE WALKING BIBLE!
I can almost see and feel the excitement right now as I write. Saved a short while, my dad, Howard Musser, Jr., kept talking about Jack Van Impe – THE WALKING BIBLE! What is a walking Bible? I wondered what I was about to find out.
Then soon after my dad said, “Van Impe has crusades coming up in Grand Rapids, do you want to go?” With great excitement and Bible in hand, I went. The place was packed. But we had seats close to the front.
I remember Dr. Van Impe playing an accordion, making it sound like a Bumblebee and Rexella sharing a heart-moving children’s story. Her voice was like an angel, I thought.
Then the preaching started on the SOON COMING OF CHRIST. I sat electrified for about one hour as I heard hundreds of scriptures wielded into my soul like a machine gun from heaven. I was so glad I could be there and thankful I was saved. I left the crusade walking to the car looking to the heavens thinking, maybe Jesus will come tonight!
(Never did I dream that one day we would be co-laborers together for nearly 25 years but I am getting ahead of my story.)
I wanted all Dr. Van Impe’s books and tapes. I devoured them! I remember being rebuked by a fellow Bible school student because I listened to his tapes in the basement and would try to preach like Dr. Van Impe.
Then when I came into the ministry, one of my first sermons was on the Blood of Christ. I was so afraid to stand before the church that I just quoted scripture on the Blood of Jesus with one or two small illustrations. It was ALL scripture! Because of Dr. Van Impe’s influence on my life, I spent hours memorizing the scriptures every day for many years. I wanted to be like him. For many years people would joke around and call me a little Jack Van Impe. People asked if we were related or if I knew Van Impe.
Few preachers have this effect on people today. He paid the price for this kind of power. It’s the Word of God that we need now more than ever. It keeps ministers from falling. We need another Bible Scripture Memorizing Movement.
Later on, in my life, after being part of a 4-year Revival Movement, I was invited by Dr. Van Impe to consider being a part of the ministry as a crusade evangelist. He was going on television. I look back and sometimes wonder where I would be today if God had opened that door.
But we still became ministry friends as Dr. Van Impe donated tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of literature to GRM for nearly 25 years. At times we would receive entire truck loads. When we housed a missionary warehouse, we provided free gospel literature for hundreds of missionaries — Plus sending boxes of books and Bibles to third-world pastors and leaders until postage rates skyrocketed.
We sent his select books and tapes around the world. One book he would ship by the thousands was Great Salvation Themes. One sent to Nigeria fell into the hands of an evangelist who later wrote me and said he used the sermons. He was witnessing thousands coming to Christ. Once, we sent his track on Aids by the thousands into Northern Nigeria. It became of the leading salvation track for many years, according to Victor Akujobi, a great leader of the Ebo tribe in Kano State. The book also aided disaster zones in the same country.
We probably sent his books and tracts to over 110 nations of the world.
I remember some of the last books Van Impe sent us, and I donated them to Christ for the Nations Bible Institute. Dr. Dennis Lindsey contacted me and asked if he could have some of the books for his library as he was writing on prophecy. It was an honor to say – YES!
I will remember him because he taught me to be looking for the coming of Jesus at any moment.
I’m amazed the Church is still on the earth and not in heaven.
Maybe it’s because many of our churches do not preach the blessed hope as he could. He used to say, “Welcome to the first church of the deep freeze pastored by Dr. Jack Frost.” “I’m not looking for the undertaker but the upper taker.”
When he used to quote “come up hither” (a verse in Revelation 4:1) a couple of times, I thought it was time for me TO SEE JESUS!
He told me personal stories of his father and how he prayed for him many hours EVERY day on his face.
Dr. Van Impe was not perfect and sometimes controversial, but he wrote letters of apology to the Body of Christ. He came close to setting dates, the temptation of every great prophecy scholar! He was and will continue to be an inspiration to millions, and we will miss him much. Now he’s part of the great cloud of witnesses.
THESE ARE A FEW SECRETS OF HIS MINISTRY.
- He had a prayer base, and one time Dr. Van Impe told me that his father prayed for him 8 hours a day.
- His mind filled to overflowing with the Word of God. He acquired the discipline of scripture memorization and meditation that he learned from his father, Oscar Van Impe.
- Then he believed, preached, and lived the imminent return of Christ!
- Then last of all, not to be taken lightly, his WONDERFUL wife, Rexella Van Impe, was his life partner. She backed him all the way. The one with the Angel voice.
I can say the same of my wife Teresa. There would be no GRM without her. I don’t know if there would have been a Jack Van Impe ministry without Rexella.
It was an honor for me to know and have worked with the Walking Bible.
Dr. John H. Musser
Dr. Van Impe endorsed the work of GRM to millions. I received a personal letter from him during the Revival Movement we were part of. It was deeply humbling.
“God is using John in an unbelievable way. Few men have the anointing of the Holy Spirit on them as he does.” Dr. Jack Van Impe
GRM was featured in Dr. Van Impe’s “50 Year Anniversary” magazine.
Dr. Jack Van Impe passed on to glory on Saturday, January 18, 2020, at the age of 88!