Walking in Open Heaven

Part 2

By Greg Crawford Apostle

Last week we talked about walking in an open heaven. This week we continue this teaching series. A brief overview of last week looks something like this.

1 Kings 18 Elijah taken into an Open Heaven

Ezekiel 1:1 Ezekiel saw open heaven

Gen 28 Jacob and the ladder descended and he said this is the gate of heaven

John 1:51 John the Baptist had promise of seeing it

Matt 3:16 At Jesus baptism and the heaven opened

Acts 7:55 Stephen saw the heavens open at martyrdom

Acts 10:9 Peter sees the sheet descend from heaven

Rev 4:1 John saw the open door

We must realize that before any open heaven comes, people are between two seasons. The season of the past and what they've experienced leading to that point, and the season of the future about to break forth into their lives. The church today, for the most part, is breaking out of the past season and beginning to enter into the next season. The next season, or our future, always comes into existence at the point of open heaven experiences. When heaven opens, there is a realization that there are things in our life that need to be changed. We see this with all those who experienced an open heaven. There are three areas that an open heaven experience will touch and begin to change.

1. OUR EXPRESSION

2. OUR DECLARATION

3. OUR FORM AND APPLICATION

Matthew 16:18-19

18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter , and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it . 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven .

Keys = a key. 1a since the keeper of the keys has the power to open and to shut. 1b metaph. in the NT to denote power and authority of various kinds.

The reason open heaven experiences come is to bring an influence to the earth. It is the connection point or the place of alignment that releases the influence of heaven upon the lives of humanity to change society. Today many in The Church use the open heaven experiences that they have to build The Church or for the church itself. But the true Biblical pattern we see of open heaven experiences, is the experience came to touch the world. With the wrong perception of why an open heaven experience comes, we make The Church a refuge from the world instead of a force of influence going into the world. We build a program for every need and our priorities and desires and wants are determined by what we gain instead of what we give.

Open heaven is about the influence of God. Experience comes to change the influence of the world as the heart of The Church is changed more into the pattern of God. When we only use the influence of God upon ourselves, we become self-righteous and we look upon that as true success. In reality, we have not really influenced the world we live in but have built a self-sustaining community that is introverted and spends its resources upon itself. When the influence of God comes through an open heaven experience, it is not just to influence us but it's actually to touch nations and the earth itself. Jesus' first sermon was entirely about influence.

Matthew 5:13-16

13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted ? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men . 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid . 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel , but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house . 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven .

When we have an open heaven experience, we seem to be settled that we did have that visitation or encounter. But are we willing to carry that experience all the time? You see, we only carry what we truly value. We value being clothed so we all got dressed today. We value food so we carry it into our house. We value a movie so we carry a DVD into our home to watch. But the real question is what are we really carrying spiritually? We are actually carriers of what we experience and our open heaven visitations. The problem is if we are not aware of it, we continue to keep it veiled to the world. Many times it is even veiled from ourselves. We need to ask God to open our spiritual eyes to truly see what we are carrying in this hour so we can truly present it in an accurate manner. The world is longing to see the manifestations of the sons of God.

1 John 1:1-5

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life ; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it , and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us ;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ . 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full .

5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all .

This scripture lists five distinct things that we've experienced while having an encounter with God. What we have heard, what we have seen, that which we have looked upon or appeared, what we've actually handled, and what was manifested. He specifically says what we have experienced in this type of encounter with God that we are to declare it, fellowship with others about it, and fellowship with the Father and the sound concerning it. By doing what the scripture says, our joy will be full in the light of God and go forth within the earth.

Some in this hour are just now coming into their open heaven. Others that experience open heaven and fresh revelation have God fine tuning what they are to be trumpeting for the hour.

In other words, the influence of an open heaven visitation can best be described as this; it is the discharge point on the earth for the influence of heaven. The word influence that we so mightily use today has a very different meaning in what we think. Most of us believe it is our actions and how we conduct ourselves to change the minds of others but as we look at the definition listed below, we see something very unique and different.

in•flu•ence noun [Middle English, from Middle French, from Medieval Latin influentia, from Latin influent-, influens, present participle of influere to flow in, from in- + fluere to flow — more at fluid ]

1 a : an ethereal (light airy, delicate, heavenly type) fluid held to flow from the stars and to affect the actions of humansb : an emanation of occult power held to derive from stars

2 : an emanation of spiritual or moral force

3 a : the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command b : corrupt interference with authority for personal gain

in•flu•en•za noun

[Italian, literally, influence, from Medieval Latin influentia; from the belief that epidemics were due to the influence of the stars]

Influence literally means something that has come from heaven. This is even where we get the word influenza. It was originally thought the epidemic came from the influence of the heavenly stars. We are influenced today by 2 sources ---- what comes from God and third heaven or Satan- second heaven. Satan's influences operate through men. God's influences operate through His Spirit. So the reality is that true influence is what we have been able to steward from heaven to change the hearts of men. Sadly, the measure of The Church today comes by thinking influence is the number of bodies sitting in seats.

Jesus was never concerned about numbers. In Luke nine, Jesus sent the 12 out and commissioned them concerning the influence of the open heaven over their life. Immediately after the sending out of the 12 and the influence they carried of an open heaven, 5000 came to hear the message from Jesus. These were the ones in need. Today these people are outside of the church. What we are doing is taking the open heaven that we experience and constantly wasting it upon our own need instead of those truly in need. This initial sending of the 12 was so convincing it gathered 5000. The miracle of the fishes and loaves occurred. Then in Luke 10, Jesus sent the 70 out with the same commissioning of an open heaven. To the 12, he said preach the kingdom and then do the signs. To the 70, he said do the signs then preach the kingdom. Where did the 70 come from? They came from among the 5000 that gathered. Today this is the pattern of the open heaven that some are experiencing. God is sending out small bands who have experienced an open heaven and know they are carrying a cause and a mandate from Him. They may not be gathering large numbers but they are truly looking for the reformers in the next band of 70. You see both the 12 and the 70 exercise the influence of the open heaven they had been under and convinced others to follow. They were true reformers in the hour. You see the reformers that are coming will be the first to carry this open heaven. The focus on this hour should not be on the numbers that gather but the message they carry.

The next season that is coming to the church is that the forerunner message will be replaced with the message of Reformation by those that have experienced an open heaven. Forerunners are announcers but reformers are pioneers and willing to confront new territories in the spirit.

Right now there are three distinct groups in The Church today.

1. Those with needs in The Church that need to be transformed into forerunners

2. Those not in need as much and forerunning a message

3. Reformers who see beyond the first 2 and know these are not the full answer or

final destination.

All 3 require different things or different demands from an open heaven.

    Needs require anointing

    Forerunners require Revelation

    Reformers require Kingdom Glory

Maybe you're saying I've been a forerunner but really want and know that I'm called to be a reformer. How do I get my open heaven visitation? We see in Luke 9:28-34after the 12 are sent out, only 3 are taken to a higher place. We need to make sure that our heart is right before God, and our actions and motives are also pure. The Bible says without these no man will see God. We see on the Mount of Transfiguration that all three of these great reformers fall asleep. But God made sure they did not miss a moment of their visitation. The glory of God awakened them out of their slumber. And so shall it be with the reformers sitting in a high place within The Church today. What set them apart and enabled them to carry this open heaven is found in verse 34. They decided to enter into an open heaven instead of just experiencing an open heaven. Today The Church has built itself upon a series of experiences instead of entering into the portal of the experience. Those who decide to enter into an open heaven receive the revelation of reformers. They become the reformers instead of forerunners. We know that Peter, James, and John were in the garden with Jesus. We know they were in the upper room in Acts 1:13. These three lives were key to the transition of the early Church. As with any open heaven visitation, and receiving the message of Reformation, there should be a shift that does not influence history but creates history. The Bible does not tell us what these men experienced as they entered into the cloud. But something was deposited that enabled them to bring Reformation, with understanding, and partner with what the Spirit of God was doing upon the earth. Briefly, these three men's lives can be summed up this way: James started the kingdom age and released the apostolic age. Peter started the apostolic age and released the revelatory age. John started the revelatory age and released the eternal age.

Today God is calling forth reformers to ascend the mountain of the Lord and receive the message of Reformation within the open heaven. Would you be one that would enter in? Would you move from being a forerunner to being a reformer? Would you be one who would not just influence history, but would create history? Let us decide before the day of our visitation that we will truly enter into the open heaven experiences that God has planned for us.