The phrase that has been flying round and round my head today is the phrase; "Open Heaven!!". It's a concept that my head has been struggling with and simply can't get to grips with but my spirit is soaring with! It all started when I listened to Rob Rufus's latest sermon in his Holy Spirit series that he preached last Sunday. They started the tape early before his sermon and it sounded distinctly to me like Rob was prophesying. He said this;
"People will come here and see what God does - OPEN HEAVEN! - Angels turn up - signs and wonders - miracles happen and they will go back to their nations to say "You missed out on Something in Hong Kong!". Because God is gathering people around Glenda and myself to stand with us to see revival in Hong Kong and a move of the Spirit in Hong Kong that will astonish and shock the nations and the nations will be touched by what God does! Don't sleep in the glory!! Don't sleep in the visitation!! Don't be distracted by stupid trivia in the revival that is coming!
Wake up! Wake up! WAKE UP!! Because before you know it, it has gone past you and you can't catch up and those who are running in the glory can't take time to come back. It is too dangerous - there's too much business! There are millions waiting - millions of churches in bondage - and now God is saying, "I am in a hurry! I am going to raise up hundreds of people who are willing to make self-sacrifices, inconvinience themselves and give themselves to My Kingdom purposes and live for eternity and live for My divine purposes and repent of just living for earthly reasons".
The Kingdom of Heaven is breaking into Hong Kong!".
Open Heaven! I must admit my tired, lethargic, pre-caffeine head had a first thought - "How arrogant! How does Rob know there will be open heaven at the conference? How can he state that with such absolute certainity?". But then I was walking back from the Children's Hospice where I now work and I was listening to my fabulous in-built MP3 player on my phone to one of my favourite songs - "Yours is the Kingdom" (fabulous when it is lead by either of my favourite worship leaders - Kate Simmonds or Darlene Zschech!). And there was that phrase again!
"Heaven is OPEN - Death is broken!".
So is it a very biblical concept then? Rob Rufus says it and it's sung - but where does it come from in the Bible? Well a brief Bible study when I got home and I realised that it is actually everywhere. EVERYWHERE! The word the Bible uses tends to be the word "Access". Here's a few examples (all from the NASB of course)
Ephesians 2:18 (NASB) - " ... for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father".
A magnificent Trinitarian verse! Through our Risen and Ascended Lord Jesus Christ we have ACCESS to God the Father but in the Holy Spirit! It is all through the Holy Spirit! Ignore, abandon and quench Him and the experiential reality of such access will be stunted.
Ephesians 3:12 (NASB) - " ... in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him".
The Bible seems to fly in the face of much religious practice today and actually state that our access is not even to be timidly and cowardly on our knees - but BOLDLY and CONFIDENTLY! So suddenly Rob Rufus's initial statement - "Open Heaven" - that so gripped my attention doesn't actually seem to arrogant does it?! Rather it seems a Biblical expectation!
Hebrews 4:16 - (NASB) - "Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need".
This Scripture actually carries much significance for me! My dear friend Pete might not remember this but this theme marked the first public prophecy I ever gave at his church - Lansdowne Evangelical Church in West Norwood. I was a guest at the church but nervously gave this prophetic word that I felt God was saying - freely come! The way is made clear! Pete went on to preach from Hebrews about this exact same theme - access! Heaven's open!
This cannot be more powerfully demonstrated than at the point when Jesus died;
Matthew 27:51 - (NASB) - "And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split".
Jesus died - so that the way into the Throne Room of Heaven! THIS is how Rob Rufus can so confidently state that there will open heaven in Hong Kong! This is how we can sing; "Heaven's open! Death is broken!". Because the veil has been torn in two from top to bottom - from heaven to earth (it was heaven's initiative) - and we can now come in. I am sure that most evangelicals would pay lip service to this - but the whole point of this is that I am tired of head knowledge - yes, heaven's open. I want to EXPERIENCE it! I want every sense - physical and spiritual - to be alive with the certain and sure knowledge that I am standing in open heaven!
So ... let's make FULL use and advantage of this! Let's begin to get our heads round that awesome, life-changing truth! Heaven stands open! All we have to do is come boldly and confidently knowing that when God looks at us He sees us as totally righteous in Christ Jesus!