This is a periodic e-newsletter in line with the theme of this site: GOD Who Are You? AND Who Am I? Knowing and Experiencing God by His Hebrew Names. These are posts in addition to those of the free e-course and may expound upon the lessons in the workbook by the same name.
This post was written by my friend Susie Kyman. I discovered it after I completed writing a series about the 5 Eternal Crown Rewards Christians will receive in heaven. I went to her Facebook profile to look for a certain post she had made.
However, this is what I found, I was astounded at the clarity and insight she wrote about heaven and what it will be like for Christians. I know it will bring deeper insight for you, too.
As you read the last paragraph keep in mind that she wrote it before her beloved husband Troy was diagnosed with cancer that took his life. He personally “liked” her post and is now in the great cloud of witnesses watching for her!
HEAVEN: A RESURRECTED LIFE, IN A RESURRECTED BODY, WITH A RESURRECTED CHRIST, ON A RESURRECTED EARTH!
October 8, 2011 at 10:53 AM
Heaven and eternal life are talked about and taught about very little considering it is our only hope! The Word of God gives us many glimpses of Heaven and even goes beyond that to promise life on a new and redeemed earth.
Even many Christians continue to fear death, dread death and are not confident about what awaits them when this life ends.
Many have been taught or have assumed that heaven is a place of “disembodied spirits,” that we will spend our days floating on clouds, in a state of eternal sleep, or that all of eternity is spent worshipping around the throne.
None of these descriptions fit what the Word promises us regarding eternal life! It will be a LIFE, although much richer than the one we enjoy now. We can’t know everything that awaits us, but the Bible has given us many clues as to what we can look forward to.
I am going to include the Scripture references for each of these claims, but I am going to let you look most of them up, as I believe our own diligent search in the Word brings the most revelation.
HEAVEN HAS PHYSICAL PROPERTIES AND IS CAPABLE OF CONTAINING PHYSICAL OBJECTS. IT HAS CITIES, GARDENS, BUILDINGS, BANQUETS, AND BODIES!
City – (Hebrews 11:16)
Buildings – (John 14: 1-3) Jesus promised a house with many rooms.
Food – We are promised a “wedding banquet” and a supper. Jesus talked about eating and drinking again when the Passover was fulfilled (after His death) – Luke 22. Wedding feasts and banquets in Jesus’ day served the best foods available to them.
Garden – Jesus called it paradise when talking to the thief on the cross (Luke 23-43). The Greek definition of paradise compares it to the enclosed gardens of the Persians.
IN HEAVEN WE WILL NOT BE DISEMBODIED SPIRITS. IF THERE IS NO NEED FOR A BODY, THERE IS NO NEED FOR A RESURRECTION!
The body is referred to as a glorified body free of sickness, pain, and limitations.
A resurrected body is the thing that distinguishes Christianity from every other belief.
In order to receive and believe in Jesus for our salvation, we have to believe that His BODY was resurrected after 3 days.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9-10
WE WILL ENJOY RELATIONSHIPS AND COMMUNITY IN HEAVEN
Heaven = rich relationships with people and with God
Hell = isolation from others and separation from God
Abraham and Lazarus were together (Luke 16:19-31)
Moses and Elijah returned to earth together to visit with Jesus (Matthew 17:1-8)
Jesus tells the thief on the cross that he will be “with him” in Paradise (Luke 23:43)
WE WILL BE ABLE TO ASK QUESTIONS, WE WILL STILL BE LEARNING
The martyrs ask God a question in heaven (Revelation 6:10).
THE SCRIPTURES SUGGEST AN AWARENESS OF “TIME” IN HEAVEN
Jesus refers to time and dates for all events of the future.
The angels are aware that there are future events yet to unfold.
The martyrs in Heaven ask “How long until there is justice for our murders?”
WE DO NOT BECOME “ANGELS” WHEN WE DIE
Angels, as described in the Word, are separate created beings who have only resided in heaven. We will remain children of God when we die which is an even higher privilege.
When Jesus was asked if we will marry in heaven, he said, “no you will be ‘like’ the angels (in that you will not marry).” Even the angels have their own names and identities (Michael, Gabriel, etc.) which further shows everyone has their own identity in heaven.
THERE IS A CONNECTION BETWEEN PEOPLE & EVENTS IN HEAVEN AND PEOPLE AND EVENTS ON EARTH
Heaven’s occupants may not have knowledge of your everyday coming and going, but are aware of the spiritually important events on earth:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1).
A great multitude is rejoicing over God’s judgment on the earth.(Revelation 10:1-5).
There is much rejoicing over one sinner on earth that repents(Luke 15:7).
He promises even more than that. The heaven that we refer to is the “3rd heaven” that Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 12. It is the heaven where God currently dwells. It is the location where believers in Christ currently go when leaving this earth but is referred to as a “temporary place” until the formation of the New Heavens and the New Earth! (2Peter 3: 10-13).
This hope does not completely erase the current pain of losing someone you love. As one pastor said, “The depth of your grief can be measured equal to the depth of the love that you had for that person.” Even Jesus wept when his friend Lazarus died even though he was about to resurrect him from the dead and return him to his family. But it can keep us from being hopeless and look toward the day when we do get to see them again.
A NOTE FROM ANN:
Susie’s article brings to light what I’ve recently read in The Book of Mysteries by Jonathan Cahn. He compares life on this Earth and heaven to living in the womb and after birth. In the womb we have eyes, ears, a mouth, feet, and hands, although we can’t see, hear, speak, walk and touch; however, we were created to do those things. Just think how much more the difference will be for us to LIVE in heaven compared to our existence down here!
On the way back from a mission trip to India, our boarding seats were scattered all over the plane. Although witnessing for Christ was the last thing I wanted to do, I said, “I wonder what assignments the Lord has for us now?”
Pastor Marty looked at my seat assignment, a number B, and said, “You have a double assignment, A and C.”
“Oh no! I don’t think I can handle that.” It had been over 24 hours since I’d slept.
Finally, it was time to board the plane. As I found my seat the lady on the aisle did not budge. She had her eyes closed while she asked me if I could step over her, which I managed to do. She obviously was very tired and not in the mood to talk. Whew!! Me too!
The young lady by the window was a beautiful young lady wearing a brown and tan plaid hajib which revealed to me she was Muslim. We smiled at each other as I thought, Lord, do you really expect me to witness to this lady? I don’t know the first thing about witnessing to a Muslim. All I know is that Allah is not God and they believe Jesus was only a prophet, not God. But Lord you know I’m willing. Give me the right words. So, for the next hour the Lord gave me His strength beyond anything I’d experienced before.
I learned her name and that she was returning to America from seeing her sister in Pakistan. Her husband was a physician; she was also, yet, she chose to be home with her three children.
That gave me something to say. I told her she reminded me of my daughter because she was just as pretty, and her children were about the same age. Then, it occurred to me to ask her the questions I’d been thinking since being in Dubai––our layover.
“Can you tell me the difference between how you dress and those who wear all black with the black headdress and face covered? Does it have to do with the Muslim sect?”
She explained. “The extent to how we dress is by choice. I just cannot live with the mouth covered. Many wear makeups. I don’t.” That explained the many women I saw in Dubai with bright red lipstick and fancy headdresses, especially the stewardesses.
She spoke of the things she had to do, like praying five times per day. saying, “I believe it’s good that we learn about each other’s religion. That’s good.” She kept bringing up the word “religion” until I could take it no longer. I realized then how important it was to be at a church with the motto: Relationship not Religion, and I could hardly believe she was the one bringing up ‘religion.’
“I must say respectfully, I don’t believe in religion, I believe in a relationship, a relationship with Jesus Christ. I have the Quran, but I’ve never read it. Is it a book about love?”
She didn’t answer, but said, “I’ve never read the Bible.”
“Well, I just happen to have a little New Testament with me you can have.” I explained how it was only part of the Bible and how it related with the Old Testament. I turned to John 3:16-17 and couldn’t even see the words, so I asked her to read them.
She looked at me with a shocked face and said, “If I say those words, it will change who I am! I’m told I will go to hell if I even say those words!” I nodded as she said it would change who she was.
I called her by her name and said, “I want you to know it’s not just by chance we are sitting beside each other now. God is here with us.”
“I know.” She motioned with her hands in the air and said, “I can feel him.”
That opened the door for me to share the high points of my testimony that I’d practiced for the India trip. A printable pdf file of my testimony >> My Story How God Found Me << is at this link. (It includes my Red Umbrella Story with diagram.)
I looked right into her eyes and could see tears that she immediately tried to hide. She said, “Well, I know I’m right.” She didn’t sound convinced, but she knew I was.
“If you aren’t right, wouldn’t you want to know it?” She didn’t answer and took no offense. “Are you aware that millions of Muslims are turning to Jesus Christ right now?”
“Christians are turning to Muslim, too.”
“If they are Christians who are turning, it’s because they don’t know who God is, and therefore, don’t know who they are.” I couldn’t believe I’d said that, but she still took it in. I felt like maybe she had heard the Truth about Jesus before.
The words to the old hymn from In the Garden came to mind, “He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own. And He loves you, too.”
Suddenly, I couldn’t say another word and said, “I’ve enjoyed our conversation, but I have to sleep now.” I tucked my written testimony in the New Testament, with my Scripture booklet, “Because God Is . . . I am,” and my Two Super-Natural Events paper. She took them all. I felt like I was pouring water on a dry and thirsty heart.
So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 1 Corinthians 3:7 NKJV
As the plane neared our destination and morning had come, the lady on my right was watching a movie and finally finished. I had no clue what to say to her, if anything. Before leaving Dubai, a stewardess came up to her when she had her eyes closed and expressed appreciation for her being on their flight, calling her by her name. So, I knew she was some kind of frequent-flyer VIP.
I thought maybe I should use a friend’s tactic and told her the truth of not being able to get into India because our visas were not accepted even though they were granted. I would at least find out where she stood. She said she goes to India about twice per year – with Texas Instruments. Her daughter had met her there this time and she had pictures. She showed me her pictures of India! They were amazing, and I let her know how much I appreciated her doing that, saying, “We didn’t even get to see Chennai.”
“Chennai! That is absolutely the hottest place on the planet I’ve ever been. It’s at least 120 degrees this time of the year.”
She continued, “All the different religions in India are each trying to force the other to convert to their own. It’s pretty volatile right now.”
“Trying to force?”
“Well, I just don’t think it’s right to tell another, ‘you are wrong.’”
“I couldn’t agree with you more.”
“It’s about sharing.”
“Do you mind if I share with you my story?”
“That would be okay,” she responded, and I pulled out my Two Super-Natural Events paper and handed it to her as the plane landed. I wondered did she hear me talking with my new friend? I wish I had another story of my testimony and brochure.
I turned to my left and asked my new friend if I could take her picture for my prayer book. She said it was okay as long as I didn’t share it with anyone else. We also exchanged phone numbers, but she wouldn’t give me her address saying, “If something comes in the mail, my husband . . . ”
When we got to Baggage Claim, our eyes met, and she smiled. Her husband’s family and her mother live with them in a 7,000 square foot home—each family on opposite ends. They all need to come to the Lord together, and I will forever pray and believe God for that.*
“We are in control of who gets in to see the King. When we are silent, we’ve chosen to keep those who would hear away from eternal life. Sobering indeed.”––Bill Johnson
God taught me a valuable lesson that day: witnessing for Christ is easy when we are prepared, ready, expectant and alert to opportunities with a written plan. That plan can be our written testimony or other creative, easy ideas we will address in this article.
This is the last of the five crown rewards in heaven we are examining. Today––the Crown of Rejoicing, or the Soul-Winners Crown. A pdf file summary printable of all five with Scriptures is at the end of the overview article HERE.
What is the Crown of Rejoicing – or the Soul-Winner’s Crown?
This crown reward comes from 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20,“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For YOU are our glory and joy.”
The Crown of Rejoicing is also called the Soul-Winner’s Crown because the people at the church of Thessalonica were the apostle Paul’s converts and reason to rejoice. He and Silas led many people there to Jesus Christ with their witnessing and teaching so that the church became the second major one on the European continent.
Creative Ways to Witness for Christ – for Individual or Group
My friend Dwight taught me how to witness for Christ with a New Testament on hand––with highlighted Scriptures––an easy way to witness. He quit his job with a diesel repair shop and started his own so he could treat people honestly. One day, his employee, Sam approached him, “I’ve noticed things are done differently around here. Do you mind sharing with me why you believe the way you do?”
Dwight had not been talking about God at work—only working . . . honestly. He tried desperately to share about Jesus with Sam that day but felt he had botched it up good. At church the next Sunday, he shared his frustration with an older lady. She told him about a book by William Fay (with Linda Evans Shepherd) called Share Jesus without Fear. William had run a house of prostitution until he found Jesus. The lady felt Dwight could learn from this man who had led 25,000 people to the Lord one by one.
Dwight bought the book and devoured reading it in two days. He bathed the situation in prayer for God to prepare Sam’s heart. Dwight wanted more than anything to share his faith, and hopefully, help someone else avoid making the mistakes he had made with two divorces.
“Sam, will you allow me to try again to share my faith with you? I feel I did a lousy job the other day.”
“Well sure. Go ahead.”
Dwight highlighted John 3:16 in the New Testament, plus other Scriptures as indicated in the book. He opened the Bible to the very first page that said, “Turn to John 3:16, page ___.”
“Sam, will you read this verse out loud?”
“You want me to read it?”
“Yes, and when you finish, at the bottom of that page is another Scripture. Turn to the page number listed and read it too.”
After Sam read the verses out loud to Dwight and voiced what they meant to him he said, “If I receive Christ, I will have to change my entire life!”
There was nothing in there that told Sam he would have to change his life, Dwight thought. He witnessed the Holy Spirit working through the Word—convicting of sin and righteousness—that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, that the wages of sin is death, and that all must be born again spiritually to have eternal life.
Sam made no decision right then, and Dwight said, “Okay. Just remember . . . if you die tonight without choosing Jesus . . . you will go to hell. Drive carefully!” [This is not a recommendation from the book he read, but the words that came to his mind to say to Sam.]
About one week later, Dwight arrived at work. Sam was already there and announced, “I got saved last night!”
Sam’s wife had kicked him out of the house. With nowhere to go, he went to the shop and read and reread the Scriptures from the New Testament Dwight had given him. He asked Jesus to come into his heart. God restored their marriage. They now serve the Lord and have a new baby. [These are the Scriptures Sam meditated on that night: John 3:16; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; John 3:3; John 14:6; Romans 10:9-11; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Revelation 3:20.]
After this experience, Dwight taught a class at his church to forty other Christians who felt inadequate to share their faith. He told them what he learned: “It takes between six and seven times of hearing the Gospel for a person to make the choice to follow Jesus. We want to be the one to reap the harvest, but we are successful in sharing if we have shared in a clear manner. It’s like a chain where we are only one link. If we are silent when given opportunity, we break that link. God cannot use our silence—we must be prepared!”
[New Testaments can be purchased at discount INDIVIDUALLY or BY THE CASE and IN BULK – all below two dollars each, even whole bibles. How easy and fun it would be to have a highlighting Bible-marking party in a small group.]
Witness for Christ with Your Own Written, Salvation Testimony
How to Witness to Strangers
A complete stranger came up to me and handed me her written salvation testimony. She was certainly witnessing for Christ proactively. It was about her husband’s legs being crushed behind a trash truck by another vehicle when he was working. This incident brought both of them and their children to Jesus, and her written story found its way into the local newspaper—the same newspaper that reported the accident a few years earlier.
This lady’s obedience to Christ to witness for Him has been like the link in a chain that Dwight mentioned. Look where her story and example has landed right now. The power of the printed word is just that––powerful!
I give you permission to use my testimony shared above if you don’t think you can write yours. Grandmothers have used mine to lead their grandchildren to the Lord. The John 3:16 prayer is good for young and old.
I personally don’t use tracts, but they are good. I believe personal stories are better. You have a story, too. Put it in writing. Above all, please don’t do what I’ve seen some Christians do: put a tract or fake 100-dollar-bill tract on the table for the waitress’ tip with no real money with it! How can anyone think that is witnessing for Christ?
When NOT to Witness for Christ With Your Words – Spoken or Written
When it comes to witnessing for Christ to our families, especially our spouse, our words don’t do the trick. In fact, they will turn them off, unless under the leading of the Holy Spirit in certain situations.
“Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition” (1 Peter 3:1 The MSG).
Other translations say, “they will be won by the conduct of their wives.” Creating that inner disposition that will win a person to Christ whether it is a wife or husband or family member may take a lifetime, but isn’t it worth it to see them in heaven and out of hell at the end of life?
You may remember Don Piper’s story in the book 90 Minutes in Heaven. This Baptist preacher was killed in a car wreck and spent 90 minutes in Heaven until he woke up singing with a man in the back of his car who was praying for him.
In this incredible true story, Don said everyone who had mentored him and witnessed Christ to him met him at the gate. He immediately saw everyone who was responsible for him even being in heaven.
The “How to Share Jesus Without Fear” book contains questions and answers to guide us in how to answer seekers we are willing to engage in conversation as we seek to witness for Jesus Christ.
However, I believe the KISS (Keep It Simple Silly) principle is the way to go. It removes anxiety in the process when we have a testimony or marked Bible in our purse or pocket that we can hand to someone at a given notice—like the lady I met on the plane.
When we are ready God will do the impossible. We were not supposed to be on that plane on that day at Spring Break when my Muslim friend was returning home from Pakistan, but it was a set up by God Most High of the universe. If I had not been ready, God would not have been able to do anything through me. What a valuable lesson I learned that day.
It’s not about rules or steps, it’s about being ourself from our relationship with Jesus Christ. When we keep ourselves filled up with His Word and Holy Spirit, He will witness from our overflow to those around us.
When we make God’s mission our mission, it’s especially easy when we are proactively willing, and expectant with a ready and written testimony or marked Bible to witness for Jesus. There is no greater joy. The Crown of Rejoicing award in heaven is only an added benefit.
And they overcame him (satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Revelation 12:11
“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing [at the Rapture of the Church]” (2 Timothy 4:8: NKJV my emphasis).
The crown of righteousness is laid up for those who love the Lord’s appearing at the Rapture of the Church––“on that Day.”
What Must Happen Before we Love the Lord’s Appearing?
The question is: what must take place before we will love His appearing? I began to learn this lesson when I was a young mother with two small children.
This writing today is at my 50th wedding anniversary, jubilee year when we have ten grandchildren. We are looking forward to our trip to Israel to celebrate. For the last twenty-five years, I have been sharing two vision events of the Rapture and end time signs in every way possible.
Here is the story of my first early lesson:
It was no different than when President Kennedy was shot or when 9/11 hit. I knew exactly where I was and what I was doing when the realization came to me of what Jesus’ blood did for me. I was folding laundry, listening to a spiritual cassette tape when the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the words “in the name of Jesus.”
It happened during the same time span when I was seeking to find the Something More I knew I was missing. It seemed to me every prayer I prayed hit the ceiling and came back down. My thoughts were: Why would God give me the time of day when there are so many other people who deserve His attention more than I do? Then, the man on the tape mentioned that Jesus, standing at the right hand of the Father, intercedes for us, and “that’s why we pray, ‘In the name of Jesus.’”
I had always learned to end a prayer with the words, “In the name of Jesus,” but until then, the full impact of what they meant had not gone from my head to my heart. However, now, in my mind’s eye, I could see a red umbrella covering me so that when God looked down upon me, He saw Jesus’ red blood, not me. Until then, what I saw was the underneath side of the umbrella smeared with my own unworthiness.
The words no good in me came to mind. I looked them up to see if they were in the Bible. Sure enough, there they were, “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out” (Romans 7:18).
I realized I’d been trying to feel worthy on my own when Jesus had already made me worthy—justified. God actually did hear my prayers because of Jesus; He is the only good in me. God actually did see Jesus when He looked at me. He saw perfection. What awesome thoughts! I just had to believe them in order to walk in the knowledge (receive) of what His blood had done for me.
How I’d limited God’s power and ability! I also began to realize that growing as a Christian was learning and relearning and comprehending the awesome dimensions of what Jesus did for me at the very moment that He came into my heart many years ago.
Crown of Righteousness Revelation: What Is It All About?
This year the Lord made it clear to me to write about the five eternal crown rewards we will receive in Heaven once our assignment on Earth is done. The crown of righteousness is number four. All five can be found with their links and a free summary and easy fill-in-the-blank, one-page, Scripture reference>>HERE
For God to release me to write about the crowns has been very significant to me because the name of my ministry is CROWN: Calling Real Ordinary [Wo]men Now, (or CROWN Connections for short). I inherited this name from three friends who took this name with them to a South African women’s retreat over ten years ago. Today’s post is even more meaningful to me because it is my story.
My story started with feeling unworthy of God’s love, not feeling His love for me, although I was a Christian from age eight. My self-esteem was nil; I never read my Bible or wanted to; never learned that I needed to, and God knew it. He intervened this day as I was seeking to know about the Holy Spirit––the only God on this earth––who I’d heard could open my eyes to who Jesus was and is and would give me the power needed to live the Christian life.
What I learned was more than I ever thought possible––that when God looked at me, He saw Jesus. He saw perfection! He saw the blood. How? Because of what the atonement meant; because of Jesus’ blood which covers us and fills us when we accept Him as our Savior and Lord.
I’ve explained all this in detail in chapters 4 and 5, Jehovah Tsidkenu [The Lord Our Righteousness], in my workbook of four parts, GOD Who Are You? AND Who Am I? which also comes in four eBooks. The first eBook of four is Part 1: LEAVING BONDAGE.
That’s it. I didn’t even know I was in bondage until I learned what Jesus’ blood did for me. It’s so important that I’ve made this first eBook FREE for you. >>FREE BOOK
Why is it so Important to Understand What Righteousness Has to Do with the Rapture of the Church?
Allow me to share another story about how important understanding righteousness is. I kept noticing a friend would go to the altar every Sunday. Feeling I should invite her to my house to go through my Bible study workbook, she came. After we finished chapters 4 and 5 on the Jehovah Tsidkenu – Lord Our Righteousness, I could see that the light bulb had not come on for her. Like me, she had gone to church all her life and been a Christian many years.
I finally asked her, “Do you feel God’s love for you?” She immediately said, “NO!”
The minute she looked at it she said, “Now I get it! I see it!”
There is power in the blood! Today, she is sharing her faith, mentoring other people and looking forward to the day of the Lord’s appearing when she will see Jesus face to face.
I’ve shared for you a reconstructed diagram of the blood atonement that I showed my friend at the end of Chapter 5: >>HERE
What is the Crown of Righteousness?
“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing [at the Rapture of the Church]” (2 Timothy 4:8: NKJV emphasis mine).
AGAIN, UNDERSTAND THIS: We cannot love the Lord’s appearing at the Rapture of the Church until we know and understand what it means to be made righteous. That means how we are made right IN HIM and HE IN US. And, it is laid up only for those who love His appearing. Very plainly, that is what the crown is all about.
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV). We are acquitted by the righteous Judge. We are removed from Satan’s grasp and our sins remitted once and for all time.
The images were in vivid technicolor and pressed indelibly into my mind. Although the whole dream probably only lasted less than two minutes in length, the message was emotionally disturbing, and I abruptly awoke from it with tears streaming down my face.
The Rapture was taking place, and some people, who had been walking around, perhaps in a big city, suddenly began rising straight up in the air toward the brilliantly lighted, open sky. As they were ascending, some were going quickly. But to my surprise, many were rising slowly.
As I looked closer, these people held their arms straight out from their sides. In each hand, they tightly grasped either a large bag or suitcase. As others were swiftly passing them, although they were looking straight up to the heavens, these people began to drift slowly back down to earth, obviously weighted and pulled by the objects they held onto.
Some seemed to come to their senses and opened their hands, the bags falling quickly by gravity. At the same time, the release allowed them to shoot freely upward. But many others, tightly holding on to their possessions, came all the way back down to the ground, and walked slowly away amidst the crowd, their eyes cast down and their countenance low and dejected. The sky closed back up and it was over.
We are unable to love God until we know and understand how much He loves us. Until then, we do carry excess baggage from hurts, disappointments, rejection, and life in general. Other things that can weigh us down are gods, things of this world, we place above love for God.
What is the greatest commandment? “Jesus said to him [a lawyer], ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment’” (Matthew 22:37 NKJV).
Those who HAD loved His appearing in Barb’s dream had no trouble seeing Jesus face to face and receiving their crowns of righteousness at the Rapture––because they were READY.
“While they [five of the ten virgins] were going away to buy [oil for their lamps] the bridegroom [Jesus] came, and those who were PREPARED went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut” (Matthew 25:10 emphasis mine).
When Does the Day of the Lord Begin?
Let’s go to the Bible to find out when the Rapture of the Church will happen – which will usher in the Tribulation:
“But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].
For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.
[They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.
[They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.
For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them]” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 Amplified).
“In the last days,” does any of this sound familiar?
Let’s read on:
“They have depraved and distorted minds and are reprobate and counterfeit and to be rejected as far as the faith is concerned. But they will not get very far,for their rash folly will become obvious to everybody. . . .” (2 Timothy 3:8-9 Amplified).
What Happens Right Before the Rapture of the Church?
A few years ago, the Lord opened a door for me to share my two stories of the Rapture of the Church: one a super, natural event in 1994, the second an open vision in 1995. I had the freedom to share the details to a small room full of pastors. Afterward, one came up to me and said, “When you share this, do it exactly as you have done it today.”
I knew what he meant: to take time to share the details––with my own questions and subsequent events. Why? Because both have a deep meaning that even today, I’m still learning more of what God is teaching from them.
Finally, God gave me this platform on my blog site in 2017 to do videos with the written word as well – with all the details so you can make your own conclusions.
In 1994 my husband was teaching in his business and industry class on teamwork. Since I was in business, he thought I should take his class which I did. This is what happened shortly afterward. [Click heading for video and text describing the Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing aspects of the Body of Christ.]
In 1995 I saw this happen as I was driving from Oklahoma City home to Arkansas City, Kansas, during wheat harvest. [The text of this one gives more of the after story also. Click heading for video and text.]
Both Vision Events are Partially Fulfilled
Another reason for this blog site is to share the afterward story of their partial fulfillment. Things keep on happening. For instance, in March 2016 I went on a mission trip to India. Another series of events too much to share here showed THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH AND TEAMWORK happening in the body of Christ with that trip.
This book also captures more of the meaning of the second vision that was not yet revealed and recorded in my main workbook, GOD Who Are You? AND Who Am I? Knowing and Experiencing God by His Hebrew Names. It also has more Rapture stories from people I’ve met along the way.
Another 2016 Partial Fulfillment of the Vision
On voting day, November 8, 2016, this is what I wrote in my watchman journal, 8 Hours in India: “This morning as I sat down to read my Bible, I heard in my heart, ‘this is your vision.’ I knew instinctively that today – the whole body of Christ would turn right, and Donald John Trump would be elected our new president. And he was, by a landslide. It was so wonderful. Thank you, Jesus!”
What About the Last Half of the Visions?
When the last half of the two events are fulfilled at the Rapture of the Church, I won’t be here to report it. Will you? I hope not. Please take this seriously! We are at the consummation of all things and past the tipping point when things happen very quickly! You have been warned!
When we have this all settled in our hearts and minds, we will love Jesus like never before and we will be able to let the things of this world take their rightful insignificant place and be longing (and yearning) for His appearing.
We will also not be willing that any should perish but all to come to the knowledge and saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Rapture of the Church Scriptures:
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17 NKJV).
“Therefore, you also be READY, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Luke 12:40 NKJV).
As in the days of Noah, “Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left” (Matthew 24:40-2 NKJV).
“Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation’” (2 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV)
“Because you have kept my command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10 NKJV).
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed––in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52 NKJV).
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NKJV).
“This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him, If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself “(2 Timothy 2:11-13 NKJV)
Remember, sharing is caring?
Do you have stories to share like my friend Barb? Please take the time to share them with us and the world. Thank you!