It was Monday morning, August 27. Daddy once again made his way down the hall to my office. With tears streaming down his cheeks he shared with me that the Sunday morning before, he had been taken to heaven to see Jesus for the very first time. He was still visibly shaken by this experience. He told me how he had been privileged to also meet with representative angels from every nation on earth. It literally took my breath away to listen to these words coming from my father's lips. I said, "Daddy, you have been to a heavenly staff meeting!"
The following Sunday he shared this awesome visit with our congregation. The following account is in my father's own words, as he told of his first meeting with Jesus, face to face.
"I mentioned last Sunday morning that I had received a very unusual experience right from God. I've had many, many people ask me if I would share it with the congregation, because you all feel like you have been made a part of what the Lord is doing. Last week I was almost dazed for part of the day, because it was something so real and so awesome. I know that I cannot convey the impact of this experience, but I'm going to read what I marked down, which is just a brief outline of what happened. Again it portrays the great love of God in a way that I never, ever witnessed, although God has been letting me see each time, the greatness, the impact, and the weight, and the height, and the breadth of the love of God in ways that I hadn't seen in the past.
"I'm going to read this just the way that I have written it in the book in which I keep these things. There are several things that I will not be able to tell you. I have them written, but I've had to put big parentheses around them because of the instructions not to share them as yet.
"One of the most profound and inspiring encounters I have ever experienced occurred last Sunday morning, August 26, 1979. I was awakened about 1 AM, and was ministered to by God through angels he had sent. In the course of this ministry, God allowed me to witness again His great plan in operation for making us acceptable in His sight.
"Coming alive before me was the message of Paul in Colossians 2:9-17, concerning the greatness of Jesus. He is the head of all God's forces. I saw the believer not only sharing in His life, but in His accomplishment fulfilling the law. His death, His resurrection is ours because of our faith in God's operation. I saw Him strip Satan of his authority and spoil him, never restoring it. He clothes us with confidence, and forgives every sin.
"Then something happened, and I was escorted into the presence of Jesus by these angels. I was literally translated into His presence. Like Paul, I am not sure if I was in body or spirit. It seemed like I was in body. I saw Jesus, met Him, talked with Him for the first time face to face. His appearance was identical to that described by John in Revelation 1:13-18. He appeared as the great judge of all. It is possible He will take on a different appearance upon His return. What I was allowed to see was His eternal appearance. His white hair hung to His shoulders. His face shown like pure white light. He wore a wide gold belt that was contoured to partially cover His chest. His shoes shown like polished copper. His eyes were much like those of Gabriel. Could it be that their garments and this appearance is characteristic of those who dwell in God's presence? My spirit leaped within me as He stated that His servants, these angels, had been sent forth to compel men and women to come to the point of choice. He made reference to the words that He himself had said ... that which His angels said, 'there was still room.' He said to 'go out on the highways and the hedges and compel them to come in.' This is what He's doing now. God's last call to the feast. This is all because of the Father's great love for them.
"He also spoke of the numberless hosts sent into all the world to help prepare, and He used this term, 'the precious fruit of the earth for the harvest, the redeemed souls that He has purchased and prepared.'
"He then summoned representatives from every part of the world. I saw some ministering angels that had the appearance of Eskimos, who were working in the Arctic Circle. I saw some from different spots in the earth. Several of these I recognized as ministering angels I had previously met. There was one from Russia, who has been in my home three times. I saw Shaloma, the angel God brought to me from the Arab countries. I saw the ministering angels representing the multi-billions of angels in Red China right now. There were many black angels. They were from India, from the islands of the sea, from all over. God has said that these were summoned from among the forces that have been sent out into every corner of the world and are preparing the harvest.
"Jesus stated that His purpose for this meeting was to remind me, and to remind the world, of the urgency and importance of linking arms with Him and telling the world that He really cares and telling the workers around the world that they are not alone. There are missionaries who feel like they're working alone, but Jesus wants them to know there are workers sent forth with sickles ready to work beside them in preparing the 'precious fruit of the earth' for the harvest.
"I am still not sure whether or not I was there in body, but it seemed like I was. When I returned I stood alone by the stream, almost like I was between two worlds. I was dazed but more aware than ever that the countdown is nearly finished. The sickle has been thrust in. We must be alert, awake, full of faith, alive with His Spirit, and make each breath count for God.
While in the presence of Jesus I was allowed to see the terrible days of tribulation ahead from God's viewpoint. I realize that there are many many different views and concepts about the tribulation, but I'm just telling you what God allowed me to see from His viewpoint, I can't tell you everything in detail. But from His viewpoint it's going to be a terrible time on this earth.
"I met with Gabriel's angels who have been assigned to these tasks. All of them were wearing the same type of garment that he wears, and will be extremely active during the Great Tribulation. God let me see at that time, and made reference that what I was looking at in this tremendous activity of angels was not something that He had assigned for them at that particular moment, but it was part of His great plan and purpose. We may not have been aware of it, but the angelic hosts - and I have discovered this in recent months - have been just as active when it hasn't been a time of tribulation. They have been active in God's great unfolding plan. This is just another phase of his plan. They have been active all along.
"I was allowed to visit briefly with Michael, who also has an important role to fill during that time. Jesus stated that even the Great Tribulation would not separate men and women from his love. That millions will be saved during that time by their own death, in standing for God in those days.
"He wanted me to carry the message to people who were discouraged and worried about their loved ones, wondering whether God really cared in bringing them as they were, refusing and rejecting. Some may feel at that time of the trumpet sound that many of these people have not made their start for God, but God's love still reaches them! They're going to seal their redemption by their own death during that time.
"They will die for their stand and be united at the resurrection, at the close of those days of sorrow, with their loved ones who have been taken in the Rapture when He returns for those that are His. There's going to be a great reunion as God's great body moves out into the millennial days. Hallelujah! Then He gave the reference, Revelation 7:9-16. John was allowed to see the same group of people. And John said to the angel, 'Who are these?' These are they who have by the sacrifice of their own life sealed their redemption.'
"The Holy Spirit isn't going to be totally gone, because the Spirit has seven different offices that He fills. His office for the church, that phase will be with us because He'll never leave us! But the Spirit of the Lord is still going to be working, fulfilling God's plan in another great phase of His work.
"These people who have heard but refuse are going to be brought up short. I have preached many times that if you can't live for God now, you would never be able to in that day ... but God said I was wrong. His love cannot be separated or destroyed even by tribulation! He let Paul see this and he described it in Romans 8: 'Shall tribulation separate you from the love of God? No!'
"This is not telling or encouraging men and women to go through those awful days of God's wrath. No, this is telling us that God loves people so much that He has made a plan for their rescue from this earth. Those that remember His Word and His promise and take their stand and let God know which side they're on. The tribulation is going to be a terrible time of the outpouring of God's wrath upon this world.
"People say that for God to be fair to others who have been in tribulation, all must sufferer tribulation. He told me so lovingly, 'there's nothing we can earn by our suffering, nothing we can add to our salvation. We are saved because of the suffering of Jesus! It would be totally contrary to the nature of God to cause His people to dwell in His wrath!" He then reminded me of that beautiful Scripture in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, where He said, 'God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.'
"He reminded me then of something that I didn't know before. That a little word spelled 'taken' used in Matthew 24, when He was speaking about this time, the Rapture, that one shall be taken and the other left. There are people that have said that this means the unbeliever taken in death. But what he told me is that God prepared a word for this usage only, not to be used again. Used only once in the entire Bible, and that word is the Greek word, Paralambano*
*"Although various forms of Paralambano do occur in other places in the New Testament, the present indicative passive of Paralambano (paralambanetai) occurs only in this passage which refers specifically to the coming of Jesus for His people."
which means, 'called to one side in an affectionate manner.' And in that great calling, He is calling us as His bride to be with Him during that great joining of Christ to His church. 'Called to His side in an affectionate manner.' Then Jesus spoke to me and said that word was, 'Laid on the shelf, never to be used again.' I looked this up afterwards and it is true, it's used once. Paralambano if you care to look it up, you may. God said it, God did it. There is coming a time, real soon on God's calendar, it's almost here. I don't know how eternity relates to time but on God's calendar the countdown is almost finished. He tells us that we are to comfort one another with these words. For a long time, I used to scare people half to death with these words. But I don't scare them half to death with these words anymore because the Lord has allowed me to see that there are three barriers that stand between man and God, and even if we got rid of every sin, we could still not approach Him because we still have human fault, human failure. But He said that by the covering of the Blood of Jesus Christ that sin is atoned for, that human fault is covered, that human failure is no longer there.
"He gave me a beautiful verse of Scripture, Colossians 1:22, where He said that because of the body of His death, we have been accepted, holy, unblameable and unreproveable in His sight. All three barriers are gone. When your faith is in the blood of Jesus, it's not your performance. For too long we have felt that our acceptance was based on our performance, but it isn't. It's based on His performance.
When your faith is in what He has done, you are covered, whether you wake or whether you sleep you are the Lord's. You can live tomorrow with a song in your heart, not worried four or five times a day whether you're going to make it or not. Hoping Jesus comes during a revival meeting or that you die instantly during that meeting so you can finally be taken with Him. Oh, no! The Lord wants you to know that He has so much invested in you that He is going to protect that investment. And he's not going to let you out from under that covering without a lot of effort. This is what He said, 'That man had made it hard to get in and easy to get out, but that God's great plan was to make it easy to come in and hard to get out.' Hallelujah!"
I remember so vividly hearing this beautiful, liberating truth of God's love for man over and over again. It was literally burned into my dad's heart and ministry.
I read letter after letter from Christians who had been set free from the bondage of fear as they heard this truth. Christians who had been afraid to live a normal life, fearing they would stumble were radiant with new hope and purpose. They learned that God was not looking for ways to cast them aside. But instead, through the covering of the blood of Jesus, He has made provisions for plain every day down-to-earth living. Christians can relax and be full of joy, not anxiety.
Daddy also received innumerable letters and phone calls from people who had not accepted Jesus because they felt it would be impossible to live by the standard they thought was required. Thousands turned their lives to Jesus when they fully understood all God asked was that they place their faith in what Jesus had done. They realized nothing they could do would enable them to achieve the righteousness of Jesus so freely given to us when we believe.
Daddy shared with me several times, "Honey, this message surely must be important to God for Him to send it by Divine messenger!"
I close this chapter repeating this truth. God has made it easy for people to find Him and hard for us to get away from His great, overwhelming, matchless love.
Next: November 6