Ministering Under an Open Heaven - Part II
by Todd Bentley : Jan 22, 2003 : http://www.freshfire.ca
How to Open the Window of Heaven
In this second article on how to open the windows of heaven, we will learn more about the open heaven, and how we can open the windows of heaven in our life, ministry and experience living in the increase of the supernatural.
The first real key to living in an increase of supernatural wisdom and revelation is found in:
13) They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel,
14) But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tested God in the desert.
15) And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.
Or as in another translation God sent a wasting disease in the soul.
People ask me all the time how did you become so sensitive to the spirit? Really I have two answers. The first is found in the book of:
14) But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
The key to more spiritual sensitivity is the reason of use, through exercise and practice. The old law of use it or lose it.
Secondly as you heard me briefly share in the first teaching, I would soak or wait on the Lord in absolute stillness. Day after day I positioned myself in stillness and quietness, listening prayer and meditation on the Lord’s presence. I learned to quiet my mind of all business and when my mind did wander I would simply refocus on thinking about Jesus. After some time I began to receive visions and different prophetic experiences sometimes several times a day and many times everyday. I simply began to expect it when I came into the Lord’s presence. Did I pray and worship or do any other kind of prayer? Yes! but when I began to feel the Lord’s glory. I would simply lie on the floor and just “be there” in the presence, focused on Him in quietness and total surrender. After weeks of practicing this kind of silent prayer I noticed much more increase of revelation. The more I wait the more I receive. I wait as much as I can now. It is a lifestyle, sometimes 1-3 hours a day of quiet prayer and soaking.
In first Samuel chapter 3 we have the story of Eli, a closed heaven, and waiting. Lets look at it.
1 Sam 3: 1-8
1) And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision. 2) And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; 3) And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; 4) That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 5) And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. 6) And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. 7) Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. 8) And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child.
You will notice in this passage several things.
1. There was no open vision,
2. Eli was laid down in his place,
3. His eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see, 4. The lamp of God went out in the temple, 5. where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep.
What happened to the word of the Lord and revelation? One priest of the Lord got into his own place, which was a much different position from Samuel lying down where the ark of God was. Why was Eli’s eyes so dim he could not see and there was no open vision? He moved out of a position of lying or resting in the glory ark of Gods presence. He no longer waited in prayer for counsel and direction so God put a wasting disease in his soul and he lost his natural and spiritual sight. It was only when the boy Samuel waited in the glory did he receive the word of the Lord.
Prayer or prayer and fasting of course is always one of the most powerful tools to open heaven. Look at
(2 Chron 7: 13-14)
If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, 14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Look what happened when God closed the heavens in (Joel 1 1-13). We have no revival, fruitfulness, harvest or blessing of the Lord.
We have the Locust Famine, the fig tree he hath made it clean and bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white, The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth, the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men. Until verse 13-14 and God calls them to pray and fast.
13) Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God. 14) Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD.
When heaven is closed it takes desperate prayer for God to restore like He did in
23) Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. 24) And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. 25) And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
**Tithes and Offerings**
Can our faithfulness in giving really be a part of revival and the open heaven?
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
What about Cornelius and the revival that came by Peter to his house? This outpouring was triggered by more that just a tenth (our tithe) but offerings for the poor.
3) He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. 4) And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms (charitable giving) are come up for a memorial before God.
In the revival in the book of Acts one of the first manifestations is giving and generosity. Why wait for revival to come - lets sow our lives into a revival and open the windows of heaven and see if there will be room to contain it.
44) And all that believed were together, and had all things common;45) And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
1) If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16) For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17) For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
I believe that it is important in receiving an increase of revelation and seeing into the spirit to exercise our spiritual eyes. In Ephesians 1:18 the Bible talks about our spiritual eyes. Paul prays that:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints...
What are the eyes of your understanding? In the Greek understanding is translated the mind and imagination. Let’s learn to set our mind on things above and seek those things above including that we might see in the spirit. One way we can exercise our spiritual eyes is to look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. I encourage you to take every time God has been seen in the scripture and described by the prophets in heavenly glory and read it. We need to get a glimpse in our spirit of what the heavens look like. We need to have a vision of Jesus described in heavenly glory.
Lets read Rev 4:1-11 about the throne and Ezekiel 1:1-28 and 10:1-22 about the glory. The visions of Jesus in Rev 1:9-18 and 19:11-16, Isaiah the prophets visitation in chapter Isa 6:1-8. What about the Ancient of days visions in: Dan 7:9-10, 13-14, 18, 21-22, 24-27 Then we have the glorified Son of man in Dan 10:1-11:1 and 12:8-10, Yahweh and the ten commandments Exodus 19:16-20, 24-25, ch 20:1-21 and show me your glory in Ex 33:15-19, ch 34:5-8 and v 29.
Sometimes when we have not seen the unseen, hearing descriptions of other people’s experiences and the revelation of God in scripture is a good way to exercise our spiritual senses. Thanks Wesley Campbell for organizing in your book “Praying the Bible” the verses for when God was seen. I encourage everyone to get a copy.
**Repentance and Obedience**
Waters of Baptism There were two things that opened heaven for Jesus we need to practice as a lifestyle. The first was repentance and the second was obedience When the heavens opened for Jesus after the waters of baptism, which was a baptism of repentance under John’s ministry. What kept heaven opened was obedience. The bible say’s he learned obedience by the things he suffered. We have to make a constant choice to obey God.
15) But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes
23) And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron.
Another example as in the English translation. The Lord will make the sky overhead seem like a bronze roof that keeps out the rain, and the ground under your feet will become as hard as iron.
**Word Meditation Principle**
2 Peter 1:19
19) We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.
One sure way to increase revelation in your life is Mediation. Meditation brings revelation and revelation the manifestation of what’s been revealed. In this verse every word that’s come from God is to be received as a light that shineth in a dark place, “until”. There is a process of becoming revelation.
When we read a scripture it is as a light that shineth in a dark place “until” the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. That is revelation, we meditate, speak out loud, re read and speak out loud over and over the same verse “until” the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.
I remember one of the first time’s I was a part of an extended revival. I was ministering in a Vineyard church in Albany Oregon. We were experiencing a tremendous outpouring open heaven of healings and miracles for several weeks already. People were traveling from all over the USA and coming from different countries. Hundreds were healed and there were numerous salvations, re-dedications to Christ and water baptisms. We would on some nights baptize 40-50 new souls in an old horse watering trough. It was a tremendous open heaven of God’s power, healing and deliverance that continues to be an oasis today.
People have been asking me, “Todd what do you think contributed to an open heaven in Albany?” I believe that is was because they had been doing servant evangelism: washing cars, giving out free gas vouchers, free hot dogs to the skateboarders and giving away cokes during the day and cleaning yards for free. They did all that just to show the love of God to their community. That really opened up the heavens because faith brings wonders and power but faith worketh by love (Galatians 5:6). Loving the city and blessing the city in compassion opened the heavens and God gave us an unprecedented miracle outpouring.
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