Continued 1 Interpretation:

Are You Rapture-Ready?

A Couplet of Visions

Raise Your Hand

(1/27/2008)

&

Twelve Gates Of Heaven

(3/10/2007)

   
Lee Y. Martin, Ph.D., Copyright 2008

©2008

   
 

A New Testament Witness To Loss Of Rapture Experience

It has been suggested that if an angel appears asking about one’s allegiance to Jesus, and one is unsure about the significance of the angel’s appearance, doubt could cost that one of a place in the bridehood. The bridehood is a chosen group of believers that God has set aside for His Son’s eternal personal companions. There is a general assembly in heaven that is inclusive of all people who are saved in every age [Hebrews 12:23], but the bride appears to be a special select assemblage out of the church who are to be espoused to Jesus throughout eternity. The parable of the ten virgins illustrates this [Matthew 25:1ff].


When the five virgins who were not ready came back with oil and knocked on the door to be let in, Jesus said to them, “I know you not”. What He was saying was that He did not know them as a part of His bride. He did not say to the virgins, “I never knew you” as He does to many at the judgment who never were born again [Matthew 7:23].

Five Virigins

The parable is about believers who begin their journey to heaven with oil; but along the way, half of them fritter away their time and did not make themselves ready for the bridegroom’s return to come take them home to the Father’s house for the marriage consummation. They could have acquired oil and taken some extra with them as did the other prepared virgins, but they didn’t. The negligent virgins loved Him but not enough to stay prepared for the wedding excitingly looking for His return. A careless attitude is the state of much of the church, and this parable ought to be sobering for us who hope in an immanent return of Jesus considering the lateness of the hour in which we live. Hear Isaiah’s plea to God’s people in his day:

Isaiah 32:9-10
9 Rise up, you women who are at ease! Hear my [Isaiah's] voice, you confident and careless daughters! Listen to what I am saying!
10 In little more than a year you will be shaken with anxiety, you careless and complacent women; for the vintage will fail, and the ingathering will not come. AMP

This is a prototype picture of the endtime people composing the Laodicean church who are confident but careless in their spiritual journey. Note that Isaiah’s warning is addressed to God’s people, not the heathen. There is a strong warning for the New Testament antitype Laodiceans of today who receive not the love of the truth. God said He is going to send them …strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness [2 Thessalonians 2:9-12]. If you feel that this shoe fits, I encourage you along with James to clean your hands ye sinners and purify your hearts ye double minded [4:8] so you will be rapture-ready.

   
 

An Old Testament Witness To Loss OF Rapture Experience

We find the same slackness of the five negligent virgins of Matthew chapter twenty-five prophesied in the Song of Solomon.

Song of Solomon 5:2-7

2 … I slept, but my heart was awake, when I heard my lover knocking and calling: "Open to me, my treasure, my darling, my dove, my perfect one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night."
3 But I responded,
"I have taken off my robe. Should I get dressed again? I have washed my feet. Should I get them soiled?"
4 My lover tried to unlatch the door, and my heart thrilled within me.
5 I jumped up to open the door for my love, and my hands dripped with perfume. My fingers dripped with lovely myrrh as I pulled back the bolt.

6 I opened to my lover, but he was gone! My heart sank. I searched for him but could not find him anywhere. I called to him, but there was no reply.
7 The night watchmen found me as they made their rounds. They beat and bruised me and stripped off my veil, those watchmen on the walls. NLT

The Bride

Tired from working all day in the fields, the expectant bride had cleaned up herself and was in bed relaxing while waiting for her lover to come. When He does return and knocks on the door, she hesitates getting up to let him in and spoiling her ease of rest [v. 3]. Her hesitation demonstrates a lack of complete yieldedness to being at her Master’s call. When she did relinquish her comfort zone, it was too late. Her lover had vanished. Shades of irreversible remorse!

The New Living Translation above richly illustrates the situation of an espoused lover who loves but with some reservation. Albeit small, this young woman questioned what she would do. She did not have full devotion because full devotion means total slavish consecration to another person’s will. Note that the woman in verse three above contemplated if only for a moment whether getting up was worth having to go through the retirement ritual again if she did. She had not surrendered all because self-interest still motivated her.

This prophetic prose story in the Song of Solomon pictures the same thing Jesus was talking about in the parable of the ten virgins. Not being fully ready for departure when the bridegroom comes for his bride to take her to their new home was a legal cause for an espoused bride to be jilted. She could be cast aside and the marriage called off.

Notice that in Solomon’s Song, the young woman was asleep although awake in like manner to how Jeannette saw herself, which is the reason the Spirit brought it to my attention. In the Scripture’s dream, the woman, being devastated because of her lackadaisical attitude, searched diligently for him. Likewise to verse seven’s depiction of the woman being beaten and abused by the night watchmen, in the night of the tribulation, many believers who find that they missed the rapture will carefully seek the Lord but will have to go through tough times and perhaps even be beaten and killed in their search for the necessary oil that saves. The Song of Solomon’s dream-vision is a warning to be rapture-ready and illustrates what happens if one is careless and complacent about full devotion to the Lord.

In Jeannette’s dream-vision, there is a happier ending because Jeannette was Johnny-on-the-spot to answer the angel’s question with her hand held high over her head. She did not hesitate. Hands raised high denotes surrender. In war, this is the way people surrender to their enemies, but it also applies to full surrender to God. Let me ask you a question. Do you feel embarrassed or awkward raising your hands in a church service? If so, perhaps you might check up on your rapture readiness.

Believers that Jeannette represents have sanctified the Lord God in (their) hearts: and (are) ready always to give an answer to every man (or angel) that asks … a reason of the hope that is within (them) with meekness and fear [1 Peter 3:15]. Unflinching certainty that there is going to be a rapture and that you are a part of it is comforting to those of us who believe in a pretribulational transporting of our bodies to heaven and might even be a requirement for quick abduction out of here. May you hear that blessed command….. “come”, and we’ll see you on our way to the …………..

 

VisionThe Twelve Gates of Heaven

Upon the angel’s bidding to come with him, Jeannette followed him as they both were enveloped into the light in which she saw him arrive. Having claimed to be a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ by raising her hand without hesitation, she followed him when he motioned for her to do so.
"Come" by jlvetter, 2008
A Salute With the Hand

The uplifted hand signified her complete surrender to Jesus as well as an enthusiastic acclaim to be one of His followers. Emperors are often greeted with ‘hail’ and a raised hand in tribute to show respect. Also, when signaling for a waiter in restaurants and hailing cabs in the city one raises the hand as a gesture for their service. Is there anyone better than God to whom we should be beckoning for help?

After hearing about the angelic visitation, I immediately remembered the Isaiah passage where God’s people are told to “come into thy chambers and shut thy doors about thee”. Knowing that this passage is a cryptic prophecy about the rapture in the Old Testament, I feel like the Lord is informing us that something important is about to happen, but the swift cutoff of the dream-vision when Jeannette disappeared in the dazzling light seemed to me to be an unfinished Word from the Lord. And indeed it turned out to be just that.

For several weeks I contemplated where the angel was taking her. I knew I could not just dream up their destination. Because the vision was so simple, I wondered if there was something I was overlooking. When working on my computer one day on another project, the Holy Spirit took me in a roundabout way to the place where I had shelved the vision in my file manager entitled “Twelve Gates Of Heaven”. I was prompted to reread it, and there it was – closure to the message. I would not have purposely looked for it as a completion of “Raise Your Hand” because the gates’ vision was over a year old and the furthest thing from my mind. However, as soon as I read it I was sure this was a part of the message.

   
 

An Invitation To Be Raptured

Immediately upon closure, I had this beautiful mental image of Jeannette flitting off into the sunbeams directly to the gates of heaven. I pictured countless fireballs rushing upwards toward heaven’s gates. The fireballs were rocketed chariots carrying the bride of Christ to His arms, each bride with her own chariot, and behind them they left a contrail of water vapor conforming to being caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

Before closure, however, the following Isaiah passage had welled up in my spirit upon hearing the angel tell Jeannette to “come”. This passage merged with the passages in First and Second Thessalonians concerning the rapture experience, and I felt it was a Word from the Lord to be put on our website on the Internet. But I needed closure as to where the angel was taking her. Having come on the heels of writing a treatise about the rapture event, this couplet confirmed that the message was extremely important to the body of Christ.

Isaiah 26:19-27:1
19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation (the wrath of God) be over or past.
21 For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity (in the tribulation): the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

I believe these three verses are a forerunner to Paul’s explanation of the rapture event in his letter to the Thessalonians. Being a scholarly Pharisee, Paul probably used this passage as fodder when he wrote his letter to the Thessalonians:

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and
the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Verse nineteen of Isaiah and verse fifteen and sixteen of Thessalonians correspond in stating that dead believers who are buried will arise first. Then …we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them…to meet the Lord in the air (heavenlies) [Isaiah 26:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:16]. After rendezvousing in the clouds with Jesus, we shall proceed on into heaven itself. Isaiah calls heaven our chambers, a poetical description of our mansions in the heavenly Jerusalem, which Jesus has been preparing for us for over 2,000 years [John 14:2,3].

Note that Isaiah in verse twenty speaks about the saints being shut up and hidden in heaven until the righteous indignation or wrath of God’s judgment on sin is past.

Psalms 27"5
5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Psalms 27 is read in synagogues all over the world on Rosh Hashanah, the Feast of Trumpets that rehearses the righteous saints being taken out of the world before the ten Days of Awe begin. These days signify the tribulation period.

After the bride is taken out of harm’s way, the Lord will at long last punish the world for its iniquity as verse twenty-one of Isaiah so states. The corresponding New Testament account of God’s indignation against sin and iniquity is found in Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians chapter two verses eight through twelve. The commonly accepted time of this judgment is the tribulation period of seven years immediately prior to the setting up of the Kingdom of Heaven for Jesus’ millennial rule [Revelation 20:2-6]. Jesus will come back to earth with His saints who have been hiding in heaven to end the bitter turmoil raging on the planet.

Because a detailed account of the two Thessalonian passages is given in The Rapture Series, I will not repeat it here. A cursory look at the above accounts of Scripture, though, was necessary for it helps us see where it is that the angel is taking Jeannette upon her exit from the first vision. She is on her way to her heavenly mansion as are all other rapture-ready believers, each in his own private lightning-powered jet craft (the Bible calls them chariots) flown and chauffeured by God’s holy angels.

Although it is not in the two accounts of this couplet, the Holy Spirit has supplied me with a vivid picture as I alluded to above, in which we who are raptured shoot up into the heavenlies meteor-like even faster than Elijah when the angel came and swept him off the face of the earth in a fiery chariot that caused a whirlwind [2 Kings 2:11]. We’ll move faster than the passing of a nanosecond or a flash of lightning according to Paul [1 Corinthians 15:52]. And where is our final destination?

(Please click next below for Continuation 2 Interpretation For Are you Rapture-Ready? A Couplet of Visions)

   
 
   
 
Gates of Jerusalem
   
 

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013 5:51 PM