Saturday, 6 February 2016

An Open Heaven

An Open Heaven

Scripture: Luke 3 v 21-22:
"Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased."

John 1 v 33: "And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize in water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He that baptizes with the Holy Ghost."

Isaiah 25 v 7: "And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations."

I read the verses in Luke many times before the words 'and the heavens were opened' attracted my full attention. It was like the disciples on the road to Emmaus after Jesus' death, when He walked with them without revealing Himself, but giving them the scriptures and prophecies describing all these events. Their hearts burned within them. I felt that too.

Later I learnt that the Jewish holy day of Rosh Hashanah means 'when the heavens are open'. There were several occasions in the gospels when that happened. When Jesus was born; when He was baptized; when He was resurrected (Mary saw Him in the garden and He said Don't touch Me I am not yet ascended to My Father) and when He ascended into heaven.

At the moment of His death there was an earthquake and the curtain in the temple which closed of the Holy of Holies, which only the High Priest could enter once a year on the Day of Atonement, was split from top to bottom.  God's hand had opened the sacred place where the Ark of the Covenant had been kept.

God the Father had sent His Son to save mankind and restore His fellowship with every human being. The significance of the split curtain was that Jesus had opened our access to the Throne of God in Heaven. We can boldly come into the presence of our Father and worship Him and make our requests.

When Jesus was baptized the Satannic vail over all nations was breached. The demons guarding Earth against illegal entry by God to satan's domain, which caused Jesus a problem when He wanted to help Daniel in Daniel 10, were not expecting Him to come in human form. They deny it to this day. (1 John 4 v 3).

I believe that the same thing happens when we get baptized in water. The heaven over us is opened.  The spirits that troubled us to sin and sickness and pain are put on notice. The space above us is cleared for us to approach God. The more we fight the heavenly battle the clearer this space becomes and the more we are able to receive from the Lord.  

This is why satan fights against water baptism more than he stops people being saved. Being saved means we are forgiven. Being baptized means we are cleansed of sin and our old nature that loved sin dies and is replaced with the nature of Jesus that hates sin.

After baptism we are able to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit as the disciples did in the Upper Room, and the other disciples did in Acts 19. There we see the distinction between John's baptism and Christian baptism. Those disciples had to be baptized again in order to have the heaven open above them so they could also be baptized in the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost baptism gives us power to witness about Jesus with signs following. We have the Holy Ghost fire upon us that gives panic to the kingdom of darkness. Demons do not battle against the fire of the Holy Spirit but they raise up persecution against us to try to limit the damage.  Persecution unites us and makes us stronger to do even more damage to the enemy.

Prayer: Father God we praise and worship You under an open heaven. You made a way to penetrate the dark vail over this world through water baptism. You outwitted our enemy very powerfully to enable us to do the same. Let your fire fall right now, Jesus when we call please let Your fire fall; let Your fire fall right now. Amen.