A TRIED FAITH Print E-mail

 

“A TRIED FAITH”

Tuesday Morning Bible Study

May 7, 2019

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

I am continuing with the testimony of Frances Metcalfe and her personal journey of having her faith tested through a near death experience before being raptured into Heaven.  I can identify with this experience because I went through a similar season of “TRIED FAITH” from 1983-1988.  (This is paraphrased from the book, Ladies of Gold):

 

“Alas between me and the glorious experience of going up into the heavenlies, lay the dark vale of death.  I hadn’t counted upon death.  I had only seen the bright and promising aspects of the upward call.  But soon I found the cohorts of darkness and death concentrating around me, seemingly set for my destruction, determined to take their prey…

 

The Holy Spirit by the living Word cut through my entire being like a two-edged sword.  I had the very real experience of seeing my soul and spirit divided asunder; my whole inner being was opened and cut as a burnt offering is quartered and examined…I found every innermost thought and motive was brought into divine scrutiny.  I was greatly humbled in spirit, and saddened to discover that after all I was not such a complete living sacrifice as I had imagined myself to be…Finally by the grace of God, I reached a place of complete resignation to the will of God…

 

I was saddened when I considered the many precious saints who, though they were given revelations and promises regarding the End-time and Rapture, are now in their graves.  It was a great trial of faith, for the Lord had spoken so long and so frequently about this ministry that to be cut off in the body seemed a crushing blow.  Yet, in that hour I saw, as Abraham saw, that God could raise one again from the dead to fulfill His Word, were that necessary.  I reached the place of being entirely willing to wake or sleep in Him. (1 Thess. 5:10)

 

John 11: 25-26: I am the resurrection and the life; he that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.

 

On this Word I took my stand.  May God give us Bethany faith! Believe and you shall see the glory of God. (Jn. 11:40)

 

Oh how my heart yearns for the day when our God shall be openly vindicated in the earth; when the dead shall be raised, the sick healed, and His mighty signs follow---in a greater way than at present.  But all this is by Faith.  I had not realized what a perfecting of faith I needed, to be prepared for rapture and translation.  I had supposed that it would just happen when the time came! 

 

After many sufferings and crosses I found a deep rest in faith, but I had no outward consolation or inward feeling whatever (Heb. 4: 9-10).  I mention all this in detail because I am given by God to see that all who enter into the experience of rapture and translation will be somewhat similarly tested and tried.  The last enemy to be overcome is death.  The full overcomer is to inherit all things, even immortality, thus escaping the grave.

 

Think what a privilege is ours!  But it is one thing to have the revelation of these great truths; it is another thing to enter into the experience of them.  Only by His intervention and supernatural working of the Spirit, administering great grace to us, can we be in that number.  Again and again I have reached the place where I could not possibly stand, let alone go forward another step.  Always, when undergoing such a trial, the Spirit has led me to humble myself before God completely, confessing my weakness and inability to go on, with the definite assurance that Christ within me will steadily press on.  The Father has willed it.  The Son has secured it.  The Holy Ghost will administer it.  All that remains then is for me to will it, too, and yield to Him, believing that He will do it ALL; and praise God he always does!

 

One night I was taken in the Spirit to the top of a large mountain and was shown another peak opposite it.  The Spirit told me to step from one peak to the other.  I was about to do so, for it seemed only a step; but, looking down, I was filled with horror, for in the valley lying between was the grave, and in it the forces of death were marshaled!  ‘How shall I cross over, Lord into this heavenly hill?’

 

‘To die is to go down into the valley,’ He replied. ‘To be translated is to be supernaturally transported into heaven.’  Then he showed me how Elijah was translated, and about the symbolic meaning of Crossing Jordan.  You must cross over death; you must pass over, as the children of Israel once passed over in flood season and possessed the land.’   Is it not wonderful that, when floods of death shall be sweeping the earth with destruction, a whole company is going to pass over death without being touched by it!

 

The Spirit works out many things in our natural bodies, and His divine truth becomes embodied in us as we live under the sway of the Spirit.  I can never feel anything the Holy Spirit does is “just a demonstration,” an entertainment to be enjoyed and then dismissed.  If the Spirit of God demonstrates a truth in us, it becomes alive, and is established in the earth in us.  We regard it as more than teaching---it is reality!  When Jeremiah and Ezekiel enacted their prophecies in strange signs and wonders in the earth, these signs and symbolic actions became the Living Word of God to Israel.  Just so, the experience of Crossing Jordan was a real one to me---painfully, sorrowfully real.  Is it not wonderful that in our day a few priests shall be able to turn back the flood for a great company, by the power of God? Amen!  I believe it!  But here is another truth that is hard to receive; for I saw that although the priests were the first to step in, they were the last to leave!  (So even now, though I passed through death and have been taken on into the heavenly realm, I must still stand as a priest in the path of that flood.) (Joshua 3: 15-17).

 

After this, my body daily grew weaker.  Many forsook me in the Spirit, not understanding these strange new dealings of the Lord, wondering why, after having faith for divine health for seven years, I no longer had health or strength to do my duties.  Those closest to me were sorrowful feeling that I was to be taken from them.  How very real became the betrayal, the smiting and crucifixion…

 

In my despair I cast myself upon the Lord.  “Are you one who is glad to enter with Me into My power, and yet is unwilling to enter with Me into My death?”  He asked.  “To run from the Holy Spirit when he works hard things within you is to flee from Me.  How privileged you are to enter into these, My sufferings.  I must have a Bride who fully understands.  I am letting you actually suffer these things and enter into them with your mind, your heart, and your body.  This is a complete offering unto Me, and is well pleasing in My sight.  I am writing My Word upon your heart and mind; I am deeply engraving it with the pinpoint of suffering, burning it in the brand of Divine Love.’

 

Unchecked Copy BoxGal 6:17 - From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

 

Then the Lord showed me a large chalice.  “The cup I drink, are ye able also to drink it?”   I hesitated knowing that I dare not trifle with so sacred a matter.  ‘by Your grace, Lord, I will drink this cup with You.’  I took it from His hand with trembling and raised it to my lips.  I tasted it, expecting it to be very bitter; but to my amazement, it became as the most mellow and delicious wine! 

 

Them he smiled and seemed about to laugh openly with joy.  ‘This is the cup of full salvation,’ He said, ‘I drank all the bitterness of death, so that you might drink of My Divine, everlasting life.  This is the cup of redemption.’”

 

(I will interject here with my own testimony of how the LORD visited me and told me I would have to drink from His cup during the four years of my being very ill, persecution, rejection, and abuse by family, church and friends.  I was separated for two months from my family because I had been very ill.  My soul had truly been seared from my flesh.  My spirit had been raped by a religious pastor.   I have described this time as the death of my carnal soul. At the time of the visitation of the Lord asking me to drink from His cup, I had started to recover physically.   I knew clearly when the Lord asked me to drink from his cup, that it would be something even more painful than I had already experienced.  My first reaction was “No thank you!”  Then as I prayed, I knew whatever it was the only way I could make it through was in Him, and He loved me enough to get me through life or death.  I then said, Yes, Lord!  It would soon be Christmas and my family (except for Kelly) would do an intervention to suggest putting me in a mental hospital because during the process of coming out of the abuse, I was becoming another woman.  After I sent them all away, I walked over to a church about a block from my house.  It was open.  I knelt alone in the empty church.  The Lord Jesus appeared to me dressed in a red robe.  He served me communion. – Carolyn Sissom)

 

Back to the testimony of Frances Metcalfe:

 

“Nevertheless, I grew weaker each day…it seemed the very breath of life was being taken.  The forces of death were constantly about me night and day.  I began to realize the full significance of overcoming death.  I seemed to be walking in a region of thirst, darkness and pain.  All anointing and blessing were removed, just before I became completely bedridden…the Lord sent several Christian sisters from the Mid-West who she barely knew.  One prophesied the Lord was about to do great things and to show unusual favor…

 

Then suddenly came complete collapse!  All strength was gone…I was dangerously ill…I seemed to be in the very valley of the shadow of death.  I was seemingly forsaken by God, and also by those who were close to me in the Lord.  It is true they prayed.  But they received no special anointing or life.  They seemed to be in another world.

 

Diabolical forces centered upon me; and the days were like months, so intense was the suffering.  I could not pray, praise, or converse; but I was conscious of complete committal unto God and a rest of faith in which there was no fear.  I knew that I was completely in God’s hands.

 

I wound and I heal; I kill and I make alive, says the Lord.  Had I not declared with Job, though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.

 

(Interjection again of my testimony – I, too, remember several hours when it seemed my mind was in total darkness and I could no longer pray for myself.  I cried out for the Lord to have his intercessors pray for me.  Very soon a blessed saint of God showed up at my door and prayed for me that day.  She is now in Heaven.- Carolyn Sissom)

 

Back to the testimony of Frances Metcalfe:

 

“Two days and nights passed.  Then God sent a dear sister and her husband to pray for me…I wanted nothing, no one, but the Lord.  I knew that all my hope and help lay in Him…I was ready to live or die.  It seemed to me that to depart and be with Him was greatly to be desired; yet to desire it unduly was selfish, if I wanted to escape suffering.  I believe that the final end of all divine dealing is that in all things, at all times, we have no desire but this: Father, your will be done.  It is not enough to know the will of God; it is not enough to know and do it.  He requires that overcomers know and do and delight by grace, in His perfect will in all things.

 

…The Lord revealed to the brother and sister that I was to go to their house.  They discerned I was in great danger from the forces of the enemy, who wanted to cut off my life. She left with the love and support of her husband.  She said she seemed to be in a state which her mother described shortly before her death.  “I am neither on earth nor in heaven. Oh, that I might depart and be at rest.”  It was so strange to be in suspension---to lie thus between life and death, with only a hair’s breadth between.

 

Once shortly before this, the Lord had drawn very near and whispered, I am the Lily of the valley.  I answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you are the sweet Lily of the Valley.’ Then he repeated the statement with a most poignant addition, ‘I am the Lily of the valley---of the shadow of death.’

 

All that night I seemed to be in that valley; but, praise God, I knew that the Lily of that Valley was there with me, though He spoke not a word…The Father is preparing a Bride for His Son, and often must subject her to extreme tests to bring her up to the standard which He has ordained…

 

One translation of David’s word, You have enlarged my heart is You have dilated my heart.  This is exactly what the Lord was doing in me; for the heart is the first organ to be changed in the creation of the new body within.  Solomon 6:12:  Or ever I was aware, my soul made me like the chariots of Amminadib.  Nearly all commentators have believed this refers to rapture or translation, since Elijah was take up in the chariots of Israel. 

 

They called in a doctor that night.  She writes, he was not a spiritual Christian, but unknowingly he prophesied to her:  ‘I can’t find the cause for this in your body anywhere, and I am convinced that just one thing has brought you into this state, you have hitched your wagon to a star that is too high.  It will appear that you are going to die, and no doubt the suffering will be such that you will want to die, but I am convinced that you will not die.” 

 

…he manifested Himself shortly after sundown.  While lying in my bed, I became conscious that my hands was knocking on the wall.  At first, the anointing was so faint that I did not recognize it as such.  But louder and louder grew the knock!  Knock and it shall be opened unto you, the Spirit said within my heart.  I knocked, and the Spirit took up the intercession in another language.  Then I saw a great door, and it was in heaven.  As I knocked, it opened.  It did not swing, but seemed to roll up as a heavy curtain.  Then He said:

 

I am He that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts and no man opens…I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it; for you have a little strength, and have kept by word, and have not denied My name. (Rev. 3: 7-8)

 

I was stunned---amazed---and wondered what this might mean!  I felt strength coming into my body, so I arose and went into the living room and told the sister, with whom I was staying, that we must all pray together; however, I did not tell her what had occurred. 

 

As I lay on the couch, all strength again left me.  A most delightful and wonderful heavenly atmosphere filled the room.  My outward senses were held in suspension, and I was filled with an interior joy and light impossible to describe. 

 

Then suddenly He appeared---the King in all His beauty!  He swept in and seemed to fill the entire room!  So ravishing was this sight, and so clear, that I felt I would swoon with delight!  He appeared as described by the Shulamite in the Song of Solomon---and He was dressed in kingly robes!  So majestic was his beauty, thus crowned and robed, that my heart melted into a new fervor of love.  I saw His golden sandals, white under garment, the royal purple tunic of velvety substance with jewels inset; and finally, to my surprise---as He turned---His cape or train, of finest ermine.  It was very long, reaching from one end of the room to the other.  The vision lasted about ten minutes gradually fading from my sight. 

 

The sister had not seen the Lord, but she began to draw near to me.  I seemed to be out of my body.

 

She approached to pray for me; but instead, suddenly cried out, Knock and it shall be opened unto you, repeating it again and again.  She then saw a large golden door which opened to her.  She burst forth in joyful praise and was radiant in the Spirit.  She cried out, ‘Oh I see the King, the King in His beauty.’  Her description of Him was identical, even to the ermine train.  Another sister while praying for me at the same hour also saw the door opened.  She has prevailed, the Spirit said, and from henceforth the door into the heavenlies is open to her and to the company who are to enter in with her. 

 

I retired in great joy.  Henceforth this house was to be to me “The King’s House.”  Had He not appeared to my joy?  Had He not shown me His beauty?  Was I not ravished anew with love, and lifted by Him out of death into a new life?  Yes, I knew that I was in His House, and in a bridal chamber, as it were, being prepared for holy union.  A new day had dawned for me; yet little did I dream of all the glories, blessings, and revelations which he would give me during the following weeks.  How unworthy I feel now as I consider these divine favors, but I recall that they are all for the Bride, of which I was just a representative member, being shown in advance wonderful things to come.

 

Next week – “Through ‘The Valley of the Shadow’ the King took me to the gate of the King’s Garden, and on to the Door of the King’s House.  There in His majestic Presence I found rest and rapture!  How perfect was His plan!  How wonderful His ways, which are so much higher than our ways that we cannot comprehend them, but stand amazed!”

 

Oh, how rich is my condition, how blessed is my state,

For the King has brought me to His chambers fair;

In the secret of His presence He has hidden me away,

Oh what rest and rapture I am finding there!

 

Without the storms are raging, the night is growing dark,

So I dare not leave this peaceful hiding place;

For my king says, ‘Stay, beloved, I will hold thee to My heart,

You shall evermore behold Me face to face.

In this holy habitation I have found a perfect rest,

For no harmful, hurtful thing can enter here.

And the King Himself assures me, bids me lean upon His breast,

While with tender hands He wipes away my tears,

Dwelling in His presence, walking in the light,

Feasting on His love, robed in garments pure and white.

O my soul is thrilled with rapture, a rapture of all divine,

For I know that I am His and He is mine.

 

Presented by Pastor Carolyn Sissom

I entered into the labors of Frances Metcalfe from the book, Ladies of Gold compiled by James Maloney, Willow Press, 1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, In. 47403; Visitation as noted given to Carolyn Sissom around Nov-Dec. of 1987. 

 
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