Tag Archives: the rapture

M11F “You Are My Feet” Because of Jehovah

Spring, 1995 – “You Are My Feet”

While returning home from another day of servicing book racks in grocery stores in Oklahoma City, my thoughts ran to what I had quickly read in my devotions before starting the trip. The Scripture was I Corinthians 3:9, “You are . . . God’s building.” The statement was made that those who have gone on to be with the Lord from all past generations are in the body of Christ and we, living today, are in his feet. What a profound statement, I thought.

Previously, I had prayed that God let me know what was going on in my life. My goal had been to service twenty-five stores in Oklahoma with Christian books, but now, I found myself servicing fifty! My husband was supportive of me; that boggled my mind. I thought, Well, I certainly do feel like feet running all over the place.

I thought back sixteen years to what a minister had said, “Even if you are only in the heel or a little toe in the body of Christ, you are still above all satan can do to you. You have authority over all the power of the enemy, because Jesus’ heel bruised the head of the serpent when Jesus arose from the dead” (see Genesis 3:15.) That means I am in Christ and Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father in heavenly places far above all evil. And, all things are under both our feet (see Eph.1:20-22).

Could it be that I literally am that little toe in the body of Christ, or in the heel? I tried to picture how it might look, with Christ as the head of the body. In the neck would be Adam and Eve. In the shoulders their sons and daughters, Noah and the patriarchs of the Bible—Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. And in the torso, the twelve tribes of Israel with the kings, and major and minor prophets; in one leg, my grandparents, and in the other leg, my Aunt Dorothy who suffered all her life physically. I saw her whole and complete in Him; then, in the ankles, I envisioned those who had gone on before us in the Christian book business. Lastly, I saw believers who are alive today and remaining on the earth, in the soles of the feet of this massive body of Christ.

In my mind’s eye, there stood before me a massive body. This was the Bride of Christ, prepared and ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb. This was the victorious, overcoming, Bride of Christ!

As I continued to ponder the Bride while driving past open wheat fields almost ready for harvest and the one Church destined for the throne—that we are his feet—something began to happen.

The feet began to move

Divine Encounter 2 0f 2 - The Rapture: "You Are My Feet" - "You arent' just beautiful feet, You are my feet," I turned around and no one was there. This was only one of many divine encounters with the open vision the Lord gave me.

I just watched . . . the body of Christ began to move. It seemed so very heavy, burdensome and cumbersome . . . like in a slow motion movie. Its shape resembled a huge, fat teddy bear. It very slowly turned . . . then, it took one step, then another step, very, very slowly, until each step became faster and faster until it was running to one side of the United States to the other—east then west, to and fro, back and forth.

I continued to watch as though I was watching a television set—faster and faster the body ran. Soon, the feet gently lifted from the ground, just as smoothly as an airplane taking off from a runway. It was like the body was going so fast that it overcame gravity. With the vision came an internal sensation exactly like being on an airplane—feeling its powerful thrust upon acceleration.

I literally came unglued. Tears flowed all the way home. I could hardly believe what God had shown me. I could hardly take it in, comprehend it all . . . still can’t. Jesus is at the very doors.

I asked God to remove this from me if it was not from Him, but, if it was, I prayed it would never go away. It has intensified. I told no one of this incident. I could not. Every time I got alone, it would return. I’d see it all over again. Tears came every time the thought came. Finally, I sat down and asked God to show me what had happened. My Bible opened to Daniel 7:28 that says, “My waking thoughts troubled and alarmed me much, and my cheerfulness of countenance was changed in me; but I kept the matter [of the interpreting angel’s information] in my heart and mind” (Amplified, emphasis not mine).

I knew then that God had taken control of my “waking thoughts.” A couple days later, God reminded me of what Joseph said to the Pharaoh, “That the dream was sent twice to Pharoah and in two forms, indicates that this thing which God will very soon bring to pass is fully prepared and established by God” (Gen. 41:32 Amplified). The incident with the geese in October, 1994, pictured the Rapture, only in a different form. Unlike this vision, it brought great joy to my heart; this one, great sorrow which I could not understand.

“You aren’t just beautiful feet, you are my feet.”

beautiful feet

The events continued. July of 1995, at my Christian book convention, Win and Fran Oakes told a story about a little girl who saw Fran’s feet under the bathroom stall and said, “Hello, book lady.”

“How did you know who I am?” Fran asked.

“By your shoes,” the little girl replied.

Ken Medema sang an impromptu song about how beautiful the feet are of those who bring Good News (see Isa. 52:7). As he sang, I heard these words in my right ear, “See there, you aren’t just beautiful feet, you are my feet.”

I looked around to see who was speaking; No one was there.

Those words haunted me all the way home, all night; literally, we could find no motel.

I knew it was time to tell someone when the image began to tear me up inside, thinking I would burst if I did not tell. Afraid no one would believe me, December of 1995, I prayed, “Lord if this is from you, I ask that when I tell Jim, he will not say one word.”

I walked into the living room and told Jim the whole thing. He said nothing, did not even look at me, got up and went into another room.

You are my feet, new things

Later, in January 1996, when recounting all this to him, with the geese story, Jim very firmly said, “You have never told me any of this.”

Even though God had answered my prayer, I got very upset. The Holy Spirit was with me, for the Left Behind book [about the Rapture[1] and those left behind] had just come out on cassette. I played it for Jim that night in a motel room to which I had kidnapped him after work.

Sometime before this, while on an overnight, rack-servicing trip, Tim LaHaye[2] and Jerry Jenkins introduced their book, Left Behind, on television. Since we are all part of the same body, I felt God would not say something to only one section of the body, so this was a great comfort. The Holy Spirit also reminded me of Isaiah 42:9, “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

Are your feet in the game, or on the sidelines just watching?

are your feet in the game

Jerry Jenkins said something I have always believed but had not heard anyone else say. He likened our time in history to a football game—that it’s our choice if we will play or just be watchers. Since Jim was a football coach for many years, this is something God had revealed to me. Jenkins also said, “We are all living in a time when we can be key players in history.”

Meanwhile, every time I closed my eyes, the vision was there, and tears would come— over and over—for over one year.

I asked God, “What is it You want? Why are You doing this to me?” He spoke to my heart: I’ve only answered your prayer—the one where you asked Me if you were a part of the last generation on earth. My plea to God continued:

Then, do You want me to promise I will share this? Many Christians believe You will come “like a thief in the night” without seeing their personal responsibility for taking as many people with them as possible. They don’t realize the harvest has to come first, meaning we must be the mature Bride—to help harvest—before You come for us. I feel sharing this will only make it worse. What am I to do? Nevertheless, if you want me to share I will—if You give me opportunity.

Finally, some relief; the weight began to lift somewhat, but sharing meant fearful obedience and creating opportunity with steps of faith.

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[1] Besides the Scripture in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 which says we will meet the Lord in the air, there are other Scriptures that confirm the Rapture: John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54; Matthew 24:34-41; Revelation 4:1-2; and Revelation 3:10.

[2] In 1993, Dr. LaHaye and Dr. Thomas Ice founded the Pre-Trib Research Center (PTRC) for the purpose of encouraging the research and teaching and defense of the pre-tribulation Rapture and related Bible prophecy doctrines. It is the PTRC that has sponsored the annual study group meetings since that time, and there are now over 200 members comprised of top prophecy scholars, authors, Bible teachers, and prophecy students. For more information on Bible prophecy and the Rapture, a great resource is Charting the End Times, by Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice.

M10F Lord of hosts is Assembling His Military Bride

The military Bride is a great host performing in partnership with Jesus Christ here on earth, as well as when we get to heaven

God’s character name of Jehovah-Sabaoth [The Lord of hosts] demonstrates that His love has a soft side and a hard side—He woos and romances His Military Bride as opposed to being Supreme Commander of the universe.

In the book, Two Sides of Love, John Trent and Gary Smalley express the importance of understanding and creating a healthy balance between love’s hard and soft sides in our relationships. This chapter examines the more hard side of our companionship with the Lord of hosts—the military, yet loving, side of this amazing partnership and what it takes to arrive at the “performing stage” of maturity.

The Lord of hosts is assembling His military Bride

The Hebrew word tsâbâ’ (Sabaoth) for ‘host’ is derived from a verbal root which means to amass (an army or servants), to assemble, to muster (soldiers, 11 Kings 25:19; Jer. 52:25), to collect, to fight, to perform, to go forth to war, to wage war (Num. 31:7: Isa. 29:7, 8; 31:4. Zech. 14:12) to do military service.[1] The Supreme Commander has one military bride of many individuals divided by denominational walls. Until now, she has only been practicing her role in small denominational groups, but she will soon be giving the performance of her lifetime.

We will look at the big picture of how unity can be attained in order to get to this performing stage, what the military bride looks like at performing stage and how the walls between groups can come down—where they had not already done so.

What Does this Military Bride Look Like?

The military bride is a great host performing in partnership with Jesus Christ here on earth, as well as when we get to heaven. God’s character name of Jehovah-Sabaoth demonstrates that His love has a soft side and a hard side—He woos and romances His Bride as opposed to being Supreme Commander of the universe.

 

The Military Bride is One Team Performing in Unity

One day, the Lord of hosts showed me what the military bride looked like when the walls come down. It happened on a clear, beautiful fall day in October, 1994. I had just finished taking a teamwork class taught by my husband Jim. He used the analogy of geese in flight to teach teamwork dynamics. I also learned that eagles are solitary, self-sufficient and strong, but that scientists discovered that geese have a 71% greater flying range than eagles. Why is this?

  • To fly from north to south and back again, geese need each other. Each goose depends upon the upward gust of air from the bird ahead to give his wings a push. The wings of the goose behind grab the air that causes another upward lift for the next bird behind.
  • The head goose will fall behind and take his place at the rear, while the next in line will apply his strength to take the lead.
  • Their “V” formation facilitates communication and allows the birds to maintain visual contact with each other while energy efficiency is doubled.
  • The honking of the geese encourages the lead goose that they are right behind him.
  • When one goose falls ill and out of line, two others stop their forward progress to stay with him until he is well again. PLUS, geese mate for life!

military bride geese

I was driving home to Arkansas City, Kansas, in my van filled with books from a day of servicing racks in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Halfway between Pawhuska and Ponca City, in the beautiful, rolling flint hills, suddenly, just outside my left driver’s window, I saw one lone V of about five geese flying a couple feet from me. I immediately pulled to the side of the road so I could watch. I hoped to see the head goose fall to the rear while another took his lead. My heart was pounding hard—another reason I knew it was the Holy Spirit getting my attention.

By the time I had stopped, the one group had crossed over to the right and met up with a large flock of geese in mid-air. None were in formation and going nowhere because they were flying in all directions. The outward perimeter of the hundred or so geese resembled the shape of a large coffee can in the sky. As they were joining together they bumped into each other, each squawking in loud protest. I repeated out loud what was happening so I could hear my own voice and hopefully remember what I saw.

Finally, it was as though each goose figured out which direction the other was going and one by one it started flying in the same direction. As long as the geese were struggling to fly in different directions and bumping into each other, the complete cylindrical group was at a standstill. Slowly, very slowly, one long continuous skein of geese began to form as one goose after another spiraled straight into the atmosphere—following a goose who took off as leader.

Just when I thought the geese would leave my range of vision, they leveled out, group after group falling into ranks—in one huge “V” with several, perfectly arranged, smaller v’s within—of about seven in each. It was the most amazing and beautiful sight I had ever seen!

I thought, they should be able to go a long way like this. But, so very soon they fell out of rank. From the opposite direction, a new flock of geese flew into view. I could not hear them, but I could see them squawking and honking at each other, just as though they knew each other.

Suddenly, both groups turned in unison and flew directly into the sun. At that moment, cars stopped to see what I was looking at, but unfortunately the other drivers had missed it, and there was no way I could tell them what had just happened.

Blinded by the sun and filled with an incredible joy, I jumped into my van and took off. My thoughts went immediately to the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25. When the bridegroom arrived at midnight it was too late for the five foolish ones to buy oil for their lamps. Like the ones driving by, they had missed the opportunity of their lifetimes to go to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. It was then I knew what Jesus meant when He said, “Behold, I come quickly” (Rev. 3:11; appears six times in KJV Revelation).

Later, I discovered the verse that says, “But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief” (1 Thess. 5:4). Jesus tells us that two men will be in the field; one taken and the other left; two women will be grinding; one taken the other left. (see Matt. 24:40-41).

I knew I had just witnessed the Rapture where we will meet our loved ones, who have already died, in the air and then we will all turn to see Jesus face to face in the air:

We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him [the second group of geese]. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive, and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.—1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 (emphasis mine)

military bride at rapture

The Military Bride  Must Move Forward in the Four Stages of Teamwork

While witnessing this phenomenon, I was thinking about the four stages of teamwork that I had just learned in that class and how they relate to the Church and denominations. The purpose of the geese was to find a way all individual birds could rise high enough in the air to gain altitude needed to fly to their next landing place. For that to happen, they had to find unity by learning how to work together as one whole. The walls between them had to come down.

The stages of team dynamics can help us understand how this can happen if we have unity as our goal. Members have to learn how to work out personal differences, find strengths on which to build, balance commitments to the goal against demands of everyday jobs, and learn how to improve processes. In contrast, a team that fails to build relationships among its members will waste time on struggles for control and endless discussions that lead nowhere.

As a team matures, it will go through fairly predictable stages. As the Church sees herself as the Bride of Christ, and that Christ can only do His work through a mature bride, she will be willing to persevere through these four stages to her military hard side–through forming, storming, norming and performing.

Stage 1: Forming stage of the military Bride – This is the stage of transitioning from individual to group status, and of testing the leader’s guidance both formally and informally.

Forming includes feelings of excitement, anticipation, optimism, and pride in being chosen for the team; initial, tentative attachment to the team, suspicion, fear, and anxiety about the job ahead. The analogy of an orchestra helps to picture these stages. In this forming stage, there is great excitement in being chosen for the “performance.”

So much is going on to distract members’ attention in the beginning, the group accomplishes little. Most discussions or practices lead nowhere. It is difficult to identify relevant problems. This is normal, The most successful team spends more time in this stage which allows them to get to know each other better.

Stage 2: Storming  stage of the military Bride– This is the most difficult stage. The task seems more different and difficult than imagined; persons become testy, blameful and overzealous. Members argue about just what actions to take, and they become impatient about the lack of progress. They are inexperienced and try to rely solely on their own personal experience, resisting any need to rely on other member’s wisdom and/or experience.

The feelings of those in the storming stage include resistance to the task because it is different from approaches used in the past. Fluctuations arise in attitude about the group’s chances of success. They may argue even when they agree on the main issue, become defensive and compete, choose sides, have unrealistic expectations with disunity, tension and jealousy.

All the above leaves little energy for progression, but individuals are beginning to understand each other, just as the geese gained an understanding of each other and started flying in the same direction.

Our leader as the Lord of hosts, our Supreme Commander, can also be seen as the head conductor of an orchestra. This is a stage of starts and stops, that He initiates, as we practice for our big performance—a most frustrating experience. Just as it seems the music will flow uninterrupted, it happens again. Over and over, the same piece of music is practiced very slowly in order to get it just right. Practice is all a necessary part of the end product— the big picture.

Military bride of geese going no where
Military bride going no where. Storming and Norming stages.

Stage 3: Norming – Finally, team members come to accept each other’s individuality and their roles in the team. They are learning to work together. Emotional conflict reduces to a cooperative approach. In other words, the team realizes they just might make it.

A new ability arises when each person sees where their contribution fits. There is a relief that everything is going to work out. Attempts are made to avoid conflict. There is a sharing of personal problems and trust is strengthened. All have a common spirit and goal.

Team members are working out their differences and finally there is more time and energy to make significant progress. The task at hand becomes worth the time and effort it will take to be successful.

Members of an orchestra meet in small group settings according to instrument, or gifting, and help each other with the hard parts. Finally, when all members come together they make the most amazing music.

Military Bride geese one huge V
Military Bride in Formation and Performing

Stage 4: Performing stage of the military Bride– In order to perform, the mature team has developed relationships and expectations of each other. They have discovered each others strengths and weaknesses, have accepted them and learned what their role is—where their seat is in the grand orchestra and who their neighbor is. They are playing in concert and giving a grand performance.

The team elicits these behaviors: constructive self-change, the ability to prevent or work through group problems and a close love and attachment to each other. The group is now one cohesive unit. One can tell when this stage is reached because a lot of work is accomplished. Progress is made. People want to be a part of this group and volunteer to fill the empty chairs.

 

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[1] Zodiates, Key Word Study Bible, p. 1767.