Lord Jesus became our Redeemer to pay the penalty for our sins and restore our lost and broken relationship with God. In this manner He has made a part of His Divine family and joint heirs with Him of all that He owns as Creator and Son of God. As heirs then we receive the right to remain focused on our inheritance and enjoy the benefits of that. A believer is blessed with the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower us to live in this blessed state in His presence on earth and eagerly await our eternal life in heaven.
Do we have the right to receive miracles – Comparing His role with what the devil is doing in this world, ‘ Lord Jesus said, ‘The thief does not comes except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly’ (John 10:10). The very coming of Lord Jesus as our Redeemer is to draw us close to God in an intimate relationship with Him and this change begins and occurs here on earth with eternal consequences. Lord Jesus prayed to God the Father about all believers, ‘They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world’ (John 17:16). The Son of God came from heaven and entered back into heaven with His body, for He did not have to leave anything of the world that was in Him, He being begotten, not made from anything of the earth.
Lord Jesus had sent the disciples with power and authority to go ‘heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease’ (Matthew 10:1 & 14). Disease is caused by any deviation/change from the laid down biological composition of the body while sickness is feeling of ill health, though there may not be any disease in the body. The first is physical while the second is of the soul. The disciples were warned that any city or family that ‘does not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet’. This was to leave off any association with their belief system or life. Before the institution of the Lord’s Supper, Lord Jesus ‘began to wash the disciples’ feet and wiped them with the towel with which He was girded’ (John 13:5-10). On Apostle Peter’s reluctance to submit to this, due to reverence for the Lord, He told, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me’. He further said, ‘He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean’.
Was He referring to only the physical cleanliness? Reference to bathing is about baptism in water after confession of sins and repentance whereby the old linkage to sinful living is discarded and one surrenders to the ways of the heavenly kingdom. Lord Jesus’ washing of the disciples’ feet was about helping them discard the ideals and lifestyle of this world, the dust that was sticking to their feet. Since Judas Iscariot had not left his old ways, the moment he took the piece of bread from the Lord, Satan entered him, for the sacred bread, representing the holy body of Christ, exposed his heart, allowing the devil easy access (John 13:27). Apostle Paul has warned believers about first examining oneself to avoid participating in an unworthy manner and suffer judgment (1 Corinthians 11:28 – 30).
We learn that the ‘glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud’ and this glory represents His Divine presence (Exodus 16:10). The Hebrew word ‘anan’ means cloud only but is also the root word for diviner or miracle worker. The composition of this word means that spiritual insight does not come through any teaching, though that helps, but through faith and faith alone. Moses entered the cloud to receive deep understanding through intimacy with God in the cloud where God talked to him, ‘face to face, as a man speaks to his friend’, even though Moses could not see God and could only hear Him. The first five books of the Bible, called The Torah or Pentateuch, were written by Moses under the direct guidance of God about events that happened much before his time.
Lord Jesus has said, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father’ (John 14:12). Lord Jesus started His ministry only after the Holy Spirit had descended on Him after baptism. He was and is fully God and fully man and before His birth, the power and authority of God, He had left behind in heaven. On earth He was a human being with the fullness of the power of God the Holy Spirit working in Him. On completion of His mission He received back the glory He had with God the Father ‘before the world was’, thus assuming His Divine role again (John 17:5). His promise therefore applies to all believers of all ages till His second coming. The process of sanctification or transformation into His likeness continues in our life on earth and with that the power of the same indwelling Holy Spirit performs this in each believer.
Many of these blessings work in the material realm while others in the spiritual, affecting changes in our life. When the Holy Spirit dwells in a believer, the direct link to the Heavenly kingdom is opened. Answering the Pharisees, Lord Jesus told them, ‘The kingdom of God does not come with observation’ and then He surprised them with this statement, ‘For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you’ (Luke 17:20-21). The King was already there amidst them and now His Spirit is in us, one cannot be in the kingdom while being oblivious to His presence.
Conditions for entering open heavens state – At the right time, this blessing was on Mary, the mother of our Lord and in like manner, at the age of thirty years, the suitable age for a Jew to become a priest and start his ministry, (Numbers 4:3), the Son of God experienced this. None of the two on their own could make it happen and it was God the Father in heaven who did this. So we cannot open heavens for us unless the King permits our entry and that is only through faith. Separation from God is death and life or restoration of that relationship is only through His Son who has life. Apostle Paul clarifies this further, ‘the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned’ (1 Corinthians 2:14).
When the Lord authorized all believers to do the works that He was then doing, including all miracles, healings and deliverance from demonic spirits, He emphasized belief as the key to this (John 14:12). The Jewish leader’s opposition to all that He was doing was continuous, yet Lord Jesus never stopped doing His works on all days. Are we willing to face such stiff opposition on a daily basis, while facing death threats, and still boldly preach the Gospel? To do what He did, I have to be like Him in spirit and in faith and work in thoughts, words and deeds to glorify God.
Patience is the other trait that we need to have to reach the state of open heaven. David was a teenager when he was anointed but he had to survive all odds till thirty years of age to become king. Abraham waited for twenty five years before fulfillment of the promise, ‘Surely I will bless you and multiply you’. Entering into the fullness of life under open heaven is based on God’s timing and we cannot alter His schedule in any way.
Third, Draw near to God –We are to get into a close and intimate relationship with God and He will draw near to us (James 4:8). We cannot reap the benefit of His kingdom without trying to know Him and His ways.
Four, Obedience – Moses commanded the Israelites to ‘heed the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you today’ for Him to open ‘to you His good treasure, the heavens’ (Deuteronomy 28:12-13). The rich young man who wanted to ‘inherit eternal life’ was told by the Lord to follow the two Great Commandments’, to love the LORD and to love your neighbor (Mark 10:17). God did not create man to live in isolation and the blessing of being ‘fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28) is about family and community life. If I cannot ‘tend to care for’ what is already given and visible, how can I expect to seek more that is yet invisible.
Can a believer lose this blessing – While telling about the one lost sheep, Lord Jesus clarified, ‘For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost’ – He then tells about the shepherd leaving 99 to go look for the one lost sheep and on finding rejoices (Matthew 18:11-14). Then He further confirms this, ‘Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish’. The LORD God is concerned about the wicked also and desires that they turn from their ways and live (Ezekiel 18:23). A call was received by Rabbi Friedman to visit a young man who failed in his effort to commit suicide and was in hospital, for nobody cared about him and probably even God had given up on him for he could do nothing right. The Rabbi’s answer to the young man, is applicable to all of us, may be God does not love us but He needs us for He has sent each one of us and placed us in a specific place and setting to do something that only I or you can do. If I have failed and have achieved nothing yet, God needs me much more to complete what only I can do for Him in the time that is left.
So when you pray to God He is more attentive and everything comes to a standstill and He listens at that moment only to your individual voice. So be very clear what you want to say to the Creator of the universe in your prayers for He is ready to open heaven for you to reach your destiny.
How do I know I am walking under open heaven? – The Son of God never doubted His special status and like Him I am also a child of God, so why should I doubt? On being told about the availability of only five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand families, totaling about twenty thousand people, Lord Jesus commanded the disciples to make the people sit down (Matthew 14:14-21). He never doubted that the supply from heaven will not be there and after giving thanks gave the food to the disciples for distribution.
When one walks under open heaven one must experience some spectacular things in life –
· First, you will feel God’s presence and protection for He is our strength and shield who has promised never to leave nor forsake you.
· Second, the supernatural starts happening in life and even the opponents start becoming allies.
· Third, closed doors start opening with new opportunities for spiritual, material and social growth.
· Four, revelations and visions are received –God has promised, ‘your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions’ (Joel 2:28). Great and deep secrets of the Word are revealed to the seekers.
· Five, healing of the body and soul is received from sickness, disease and weaknesses.
· Six, The devil and his evil spirits attempt interruptions in your work but fail due to timely help from above.
· Seven, restoration of what is lost for all that the devil has, belongs to God and His people. Under open heavens even fires heated seven times more do not harm, for the LORD gets in there before us to save and rescue.
· Eight, your witness becomes effective and the eyes of the listeners are opened and souls saved.
God as a loving Father is ever looking for ways to bless His children, even the disobedient ones, provided they turn to Him and seek Him.
A fly trapped in a glass bottle keeps on striking against the side walls without seeing the open escape route on the top and perishes. Many believers also, in like manner, trapped in their trials of life, fail to perceive the open heavens above for they never try and look up to God for relief. When we start living in faith that God desires us to fulfill all that he has destined for our lives and is ready to help, open doors become visible and help pours in from all sides. Examine yourself lest you also be living in a similar state and losing out on your share of ‘Manna’ from heaven!