COME INTO THE HIGH PLACES
By Dan Luehrs
"Now the LORD said to Moses, "Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandment (God's teachings) which I have written for their instruction" (Exodus 24:12 NASB).
Just what do I mean by the high places? There are three plains of life that we can choose to live our lives out on in the earth. 1) The natural sensual realm, which is living to please the body; the lust of the flesh. 2) The soulish realm, which is to be carnally minded, wanting to reason everything out in life according to the ways of the world. 3) The spirit or heavenly realm where God dwells, which is the high place where we are called to sit with Jesus and be taught His ways. This is a realm of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. By our daily focusing on the things of God, we can begin to come up into the high places with Him. God invited Moses to come up into the mountain or the realm of God (which was a type of spirit realm), and in this heavenly realm God, Himself, taught Moses His ways and truths. God alone knew of these teachings that He has Moses write down for us to read. We must understand that it was on the mountain, the "high places," where God taught him. These teaching are now the first five books of the Old Testament, things that no other person had ever heard of or written down before. We can stay on the lower plain of life if we choose to, such as fear, worry, depression, and confusion where the rest of the world lives. Or we can go up into the realm of God. As Christians, we are to be separate from the ways of the world. Every day we will choose which realm we will be a part of, either God's or the worlds! God will not make the choice for us; we must choose daily by our seeking His presence and going after Him, and by staying filled with His Spirit. When we seek Him and not the things of the world, we are then going up into the high places with the Lord to be taught His ways and truths as Moses was! "…Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths (the path of life): for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem" (Micah 4:2 KJV). Today it is spiritual Mount Zion that we have been invited to come up into with God, not a natural mountain. "But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels" (Hebrews 12:22 NASB). For us not to come up into the high places of God to be taught His ways will prove to be very foolish on our part! What an opportunity, what a calling we have to be with God in the high places!
Since the death and resurrection of Jesus, God has been calling mankind to live on the highest plane of life. However, few have gone up into the high places of truth with Him, to be changed into His likeness. God meant for man to live in the high places with Him in the beginning, but Adam did not obey God and was reduced to being carnal-minded, rather than being spiritually-minded, which is after the likeness of God. "For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit" (Romans 8:5 NASB). Very simply put, if we are focused on the ways of our flesh, we will be worldly-minded. If we are focused on God, we will be following after the ways of the Spirit. It all has to do with what we are thinking and focusing on! We must focus upward, not down!
We have been given a wonderful promise in Isaiah 33:16, "He (who walks righteously) will dwell on the heights; his refuge (safety) will be the impregnable rock (Jesus); his bread (the Word of truth) will be given him; his water (the filling of the Spirit) will be sure." What an awesome promise! But first we must walk by the Spirit before we can be taught God's ways (our mind must be renewed daily to His ways). Then we will walk in His paths that He has chosen for us. "He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths" (Micah 4:2). The path that He has chosen for me will be different from the path that He has chosen for you, we all have a different calling to fulfill in God's eternal plan of the ages. All I know is, God is a God of the mountains (the good things of life), as well as the God of the valleys in our life (the negative things of life). Israel's enemies found this out when they said, "…Thus says the LORD, because the Arameans have said, "The LORD is a god of the mountains, but He is not a god of the valleys;" therefore I will give all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD" (1 Kings 20:28 NASB). He is the Lord of every area in our life!
The high places of God are His truths being revealed in our heart that renew our minds and refresh our spirit. Very few Christians ever seem to choose to venture into these high places because of the fear of man and their own insecurities. To climb the high places of truth has proved to be much more difficult than what I first thought. I have found it to be a very lonely place at times, with very few people desiring the deeper things of God. But in the natural there aren't too many people climbing to the mountaintops either! The Lord spoke to me in 1999 that this would be a lonely place with few people wanting to be with me, as illustrated in the books Pilgrim's Progress and Hind's Feet On High Places. This has truly come to pass in my own life. Now I must keep my focus going upward to the high places even if none desire to go with me, until the Lord opens the way back to the valley below for me to help others come up and out of the lies and deceptions of the enemy and false religion. "The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places…" (Habakkuk 3:19 KJV).
The Lord began to reveal to me very clearly that He had prepared me for the high places years ago when I began to seek Him daily. He said to me in September of 1998, "I am ready to take you up into the high places." But I did not understand such spiritual language until I read for the third time in 2001, Hind's Feet On High Places. Hannah Hurnard writes:
"Sometimes, as she looked on the glorious panorama visible from these lowest slopes (truths) in the Kingdom of Love, she found herself blushing as she remembered some of the dogmatic statements which she and others had made in the depths of the valley about the High Places and the ranges of Truth (deeper truths). They had been able to see so little and were so unconscious of what lay beyond and above. If that had been the case down in the valley, how much more clearly, she now realized, that even up on those wonderful slopes (deeper truths) she was only looking out on a tiny corner of the whole.
She began to understand quite clearly that truth cannot be understood from books alone or by any written words, but only by personal growth and development in understanding, and that things written even in the Book of Books can be astonishingly misunderstood while one still lives on lower levels of spiritual experience (truths) and on the wrong side of the grave on the mountains.
She perceived that no one who finds herself up on the slopes of the Kingdom of Love can possibly dogmatize (be opinionated) about what is seen there, because it is only then that she comprehend how small a part of the glorious whole she sees. All she can do is to grasp with wonder, awe, and thanks giving, and to long with all her heart to go higher and to see and understand more.
"Lord, that I might receive my sight! Help me to open myself to more light. Help me to fuller understanding" - (End of quote).
In August of 1998, the Lord woke me up and said, "I am about ready to reveal My plan to you. Don't quit now, but press on!" Even though at that time I thought it was the plan for ministry, God wanted to give me His plan of the ages, Just like He gave Moses on the mountain! His plan and purpose throughout the ages has been sonship; to have a holy priesthood of believers, a holy nation, who will be the likeness of His Son, so that He could bless and judge the nations through them. "Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites" (Exodus 19:5-6 NRSV).
In May of 2000, Jesus came to me as I was sitting on a dock by the lake; His presence came greatly upon me. For about a week I had not been able to get into His presence very well, but that night He came powerfully. He came to me and said, "Do you want to go up higher?" I thought, "There is more?" He said, "Yes, My glory!" Then I said, "Yes, I want this." He said, "Follow me!" After this, a messenger came with a container of water. Then Jesus said, "Cup your hands." As I did, the angel filled them up and Jesus said, "Now wash your face and eyes and ears." Then the angel filled my hands again and Jesus said, "Now drink!" I did and said, "What is this?" He said, "My cup." Then I knew what this was about. It meant that I was to suffer to enter the glory as He did. "Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory" (Luke 24:26 NASB)?
Again in July of 2000, I was preaching in a church in South Dakota and a lady had a word for me. She took my hand as she was standing on the stage as I stood on the floor and she said, "The word of the Lord is, "Come up higher, come up higher, Dan!" She then pulled me up on stage three different times. She said, "The Lord knows you can't do it on your own, but the Lord will pull you up! It will not happen the way you think it will, but trust the Lord to bring it to pass, for now is the time."
A few days later another confirming word was mailed to me from a seventy year old woman that I did not know. The word was, "God will bring you into a higher realm of experience and revelation because you seek for truth." Even as I received all these confirmations that the Lord was inviting me into the high places of truth as He did Moses, I still did not comprehend what it all meant and why was I still suffering so in my finances, for this was a great stumbling block for me. Then in March of 2001, I was in a time of great discouragement and I received another word from a lady on the phone that I did not know. She prophesied, "I am well pleased with you. I have My hand upon you at this time; you are farther along than you realize. Now is the time when you must spend lots of time with Me that you might "come up higher" and be changed into My likeness. For it will take many hours in My presence for this to come to pass." In October of 2001 I had a vision of myself standing on top of a mountain, ready to go back down in the valley to help others up. The song of the waterfalls came to me from Hinds Feet in High Places, "Lower still, lower still we must go!"
How difficult it was for me to understand these wonderful truths of God's word before He invited me into the high places because they went against all the tradition that I was taught in the religious church. Certainly they were the high places because so few people are willing to climb up and go against the established doctrines of their day because they do not want to be looked down upon in their Christian walk. When God began to reveal His word to me, He had confirmed them in many ways for me to be at peace and receive them fully from Him. The only way I could receive them from Him was for me to hear His voice and know His presence in them. God had set up my path so that I would run into people that had the same message that had given me. Truly miraculous powers were at work on my behalf! Now that He has given me His plan for the ages, I was told to write the word and wait to see what He would do next. So through faith and patience I must wait for His next step!
Now that I had written several books about these truths and other books are in the works, I had the revelation that all I was going through must be of God because I could have never done this in my own knowledge and understanding. I was told many years ago in several prophecies that I would do things I didn't know how to do. A great turning point came in my life when I spoke with Rick Joyner about his writings. He said that he had to go over his writings four times and then let others still edit them. This gave me encouragement that I too could write what was in my heart, even though I made so many mistakes. God has given me many great hidden truths that I had asked Him for years ago without knowing that I would write them. He has even given me an editor from Minnesota as God put a burden on Mindy Begnaud's heart to help me edit my books. This was another answer to prayer! Yes, I must continue to write the word of the Lord to fulfill His purpose for my life. I had received a prophecy on December 31, 1996 that made no sense to me at the time from Jerry Bernard as he was preaching at Carpenter’s Home Church. He stopped by me as he was preaching and said, "You have a lot in you that has not even been tapped yet. God is going to take it out of you, so get ready, it is about to happen. It is your season for the double inheritance to come!" Now I know that this word was from God and that God has placed inside of me His word to write since the foundation of the world. Now it was coming out of me to help bring others into the high places. How exciting, but how difficult! Temptations and trials seem to be on every corner to test my faithfulness to the Lord. Even the years prior to these great truths coming to me had been hard, but they were the days of preparation so that I could stand and receive them!
If I had not moved to South Dakota from Minnesota in obedience, and then moved to Florida, God could not have entrusted me with these greater truths. I had to pay the price of obedience, both physically and monetarily, in order to receive His truth. Great truth is not given out by God without us having to pay a price for it. Jesus told the church at Laodicea, "I advise you to buy from Me gold (truth) refined by fire (through testings and sufferings), that you may become rich (in truth), and white garments (of holiness), that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness (sin) may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see (understand spiritual truths)" (Revelation 3:18 NASB). Salvation is a free gift to all those who ask, but that does not mean we do not have to pay the price of following our Lord into His greater truths. What happens to many believers is that they stop paying the price of sacrifice to go higher into the truths of God. The sacrifice may be to leave a certain job, church, or relocate to wherever the Lord would lead them. The price has always been high to receive great riches both in the natural and spirit realm.
"Great truths are dearly bought, the common truths, such as men give and take from day to day, come in common walk of easy life, blown by the careless wind across our way. Great truths are greatly won, not found by chance, nor wafted on the breath of the summer dream; but grasped in great struggle of soul, hard buffeting with adverse wind and stream. But in the day of conflict, fear and grief, when the strong hand of God, put forth in might, plows up the subsoil of the stagnant heart, and brings the imprisoned truth seed to the light. Wrung from the troubled spirit, in hard hours of weakness, solitude, perchance of pain, truth springs like harvest from the well-plowed field, and the soul feels it has not wept in vain." - (Writer unknown).
The heavens are now opened to us so that we may go higher into the realm of the spirit than ever before possible, unto the transformation of our mind and body. God is now saying, "Come up here!" We must go up and pay the price; not only for our good, but also for the good of mankind. We need to obey the voice of God as He is speaking from heaven. "After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things" (Revelation 4:1 NASB).
When we moved to Florida, God sent me to a little town called Intercession City to minister to a few people for three and one half years. This was very difficult for me, my pride was hurt so badly that I felt as if I was being torn in two! But if I had not obeyed God by staying there, I would not have met Vinnie Bauldree who gave me Bill Britton's books that taught me so much about the sons of God. This was truly a high place in the Spirit of truth for me! The whole journey has been a process of sacrifice and obedience and wondering why God would lead me in such ways. The carnal mind will always be offended at the way the Lord will lead us, and the "higher up" we go in truth, the more trying it becomes because so few people understand the greater truths of the Bible to help us on your journey. In fact, many Christians will fight against us and call us to come back down with them into their church doctrines. And if we don't, they will call us heretics and disassociate from us because they don't understand! I think God makes it this difficult to see if we will obey Him and cling just to Him, not man! God then can and will entrust us with His hidden treasures of the secret place! "And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden wealth of secret places, in order that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name" (Isaiah 45:3 NASB). When the Lord told me to leave the Assemblies of God as a minister it boggled my mind. But when I obeyed, it was as if I was let out of the cage of religion to see His greater truths. He then told me to leave the organized church, which was a part of His plan and purpose for my life, so that I could receive more from Him. The greater the sacrifice we have to pay in following the Lord, the greater the reward will be on the other side of that trial! He will then entrust us with His eternal treasures of His word by placing them into our heart and not our head! "Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom" (Psalms 51:6 KJV).
Jesus said in Luke 16:11, "If therefore you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous mammon, who will entrust the true riches (truth) to you?" I have tried my best to be a willing and available vessel for God and to faithfully invest my life and my life savings by moving and giving into what God would have me. Yes, I have made many mistakes in the process, but I have truly been blessed of God and am rich in the treasures of His word and in seeing His faithfulness. But I am willing to give it all away to those who hunger and thirst for truth. When I look back five years ago to when God told me about the Bible school that He wants to give me, I was still a babe in my scriptural understanding. I cannot imagine what will happen in the next five years, and what else He will reveal to me about Himself. But somehow, I believe that all that He has given me is for the purpose of teaching it in the Bible school that He said He would raise up. Oh, how unfathomable are His ways!
GETTING HIGH IN GOD
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world (the way the world lives), but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (by receiving and living the truth). Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will" (Romans 12:2 NIV).
The enemy has stolen the words "getting high" for long enough. Man has tried on his own to get high through the Tower of Babel, drugs, alcohol, sex, yoga, and many other false religions to reach a state of euphoria. But these are only poor and temporary substitutes at best, and will only prolong that which we seek and desire most, a renewed mind that is full of God's peace and joy continually! Very simply, the high places of truth that we are learning will renew our minds as we learn to live it; for this is well-pleasing unto the Lord that we are being changed into His likeness, for He has promised this in His word. Now is the time for us to get high on the revelation of God's truth and get above the world's depression, doubt, fear, and religion! We must not only see Jesus as God, or as a person, but as the Truth; the living Word of God that gives us understanding in spiritual realities and sets our mind free from the darkness of false religious and the carnal mindset! The mind has a hard time letting go of past indoctrinations because of our insecurities from the fall in the garden. Our mind must be anchored to some ideology and by us letting go of old ideologies and doctrines, we are humbling ourselves before God and are grabbing something new that we are not quite sure of yet. Change can be quite fearful if we are not secure in our faith and trust in God. But God will help us let go of past doctrines if we are willing to change.
I can remember when I was a Lutheran and got saved. I started going to another church that did not teach infant baptism, but taught a believer's water baptism. At first, hostile thoughts came into my mind against the Bible teacher because he was attacking "my doctrine" that I was taught as a small child and believed whole-heartedly. But when I was shown the scriptures on why we must be baptized after we receive Jesus into our heart it changed my whole perspective on this one truth. I then went to my family and former pastor with all the Bible verses that I knew on water baptism to tell them this one truth that I received from the Lord. They all concluded that I was in a cult and these people were deceiving and brainwashing me from Lutheranism! For a time, I thought that they might be right, but when I continued to study the word of God and anchor my soul in His truth, I was convinced that the word was right and they were the ones deceived by the spirit of religion! Jesus said very clearly to His disciples, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted" (Matthew 13:11 NASB). How blessed we are to know and grow in the truth!
I could go on with many other such doctrines that churches say are false doctrines, but in reality are truth. Until we are saved and filled with the Spirit of truth we will not rightly be able to discern the word of truth. Even after this initial filling, it will take much spiritual growth and understanding in the ways of God and His presence to have a deeper understanding of truth, because truth is built in us, "Line upon line, truth upon truth." The enemy wants to keep us living in the lies of religion so that he can enslave us to man's ways rather than us being freemen to go higher into the ways of God and being changed into God's likeness. If the enemy cannot enslave us with religion he will try to use the sins of the flesh to keep us from going higher. But Jesus said, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32 NASB). Jesus didn't say the truth "might make you free," but that truth would set us free from everything! Hallelujah! Learning and believing truth is where the battle is fought the hardest in our mind, but also where the greatest victories are won! Once we have been set free from false doctrines we are able to use truth to wisely set others free from falsehood. How can a person set someone else free that first has not been freed himself? This is why Romans 8:21 is so important to us! "That the creation itself (people) also will be set free from its slavery to corruption (sin and death) into the freedom of the glory of the children of God." There is coming a day when people will want to know the truth that can set them free, and they will be set free by it! You can take that to the bank, because God has already said it and that's the end of that!
CLIMB TO THE SAVING OF SOUL
"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete (completely matured), without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:23 NASB).
As believers in these last days we are awaiting the revelation of Jesus Christ (this is His full revealing through His people). This will be our full salvation, transformation, and deliverance from sin and death. Then our spirit, soul, and body will come forth in the exact likeness of Jesus for the entire world to behold and be set free by His glory in us. (See Col.3:4, 1 John 3:2, Rev 1:7, Isa. 60:1). Each of us is a triune person, that is, we are a spirit, that has a soul (our mind, will, and emotions), and we live in a body. When we received Jesus into our heart, our spirit man came alive through the seed of Christ that was implanted within us. This seed is the word of God. It is in the exact likeness of Jesus and must grow and mature in us to the full likeness of Him! Even now our spirit man has the "fullness" of Jesus in it, "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority" (Colossians 2:9-10 NIV). Even though we have already been given the "fullness" of Christ in our inner man, He has not yet manifested Himself through us in such manner because our mind has not been completely renewed into His likeness. This is a process of obedience and of dying to self and takes many years for us to mature and come into His likeness. This why our mind must be renewed day by day! "… Our inner man is being renewed day by day" (2 Corinthians 4:16 NASB).
Our mind will "never" be totally renewed until Jesus fully reveals Himself through us in His timing; it will not come about by our striving for it, or by our trying to work up enough faith for it to come to pass. It will be a total sovereign work of God. We cannot and will not bring this to pass on our own!
"Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep (die), but we will all be changed (into Jesus likeness) in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:51-52 NIV).
Even though we cannot bring this to pass in our own power and timing as we would like, we are called to cleanse and purify our mind with the word of truth, so that we will be pure, even as He is pure. "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted (implanted) word, which is able to save (deliver) your souls (mind)" (James 1:21 KJV). It is the word that has the power to purify our mind from the defilement of the flesh and spirit of the world and then prepares us for this great climactic event that we do not want to miss for anything in the world! (See 1 John 3:3, Col. 3:5, 2 Tim. 2:21).
"Who shall ascend into the hill (mountain) of the LORD? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face (that receive the promise)" (Psalms 24:3-6 KJV).
In 1 Peter 1:5-13 he wrote that the revelation or the revealing of Jesus through us is the end of our faith, and will be the grace that will bring full salvation and full deliverance to our soul/mind from the fallen sinful nature that we received through Adam. "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls" (Verse 9 KJV). The word "your" in this verse is not in the original Greek writing, but was added by the translators and should read, "The salvation of soul!" The revelation of Jesus is what we need and desire most at this time so that the battle between the carnal mind and Spirit of God may be finished within us. Oh, how I long and desire for this to come to pass in me today! But until then we must fight the good fight of faith and not give up one inch of spiritual ground that we have gained in the renewal of our mind or pull back one bit to the ways of the world or the religious system. We must press on and into God for this to come to pass in us! The writer of Hebrews said, "But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition (ruin or loss); but of them that believe (have faith) to the saving of the "soul" (Hebrews 10:39 KJV). Our perseverance of faith is for the purpose of having our mind SAVED or brought back from the fallen nature completely. The word "saving" literally means, "the gaining or acquiring salvation in fullness." And until our mind is saved and delivered completely from the power of sin and death we do not yet possess the full salvation that Jesus died to give us. Hebrews 11:1 is the very next verse, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (NIV). Many in the church know about this verse for the meeting of their needs, but to put it in the correct context of scripture, this verse is talking about "FAITH" for receiving our full salvation of mind/soul. "Faith is the assurance (freedom from doubt) of things hoped for (expected)" (Hebrews 11:1 NASB). Through the patience of faith we must be prepared and expecting this to come about! Let me make it very clear, we will not enter into the fullness of God unless we have faith and patience for this to take place in us! Faith simply put is, "believing God for whatever He has said is ours to receive!" Whatever we seek after, we will find; whether it is the things of the world or the things that God has promised us. There is no greater hope or destiny for us than to receive our full salvation that Jesus died to give us! The whole chapter of Hebrews 11 is called the faith chapter, but faith for what? To receive the riches of the world, so that we can die, then give them to another? I think not! The primary gift of faith is so that we can believe God for something that is much bigger than what we could receive through our own works and strength.
"For we have become partners (shares) of Christ, "if" only we hold our first confidence (faith) firm to the end." -- "And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (becoming sons of God)" (Hebrews 3:14, 6:11-12 NRSV).
Now is the time for us to walk in the Spirit through faith, not obeying the lust of the flesh and the carnal mind. We must understand that there are three realms in the earth that we can choose to walk in and eat of everyday, just as there were three trees to eat from in the Garden of Eden. The first tree was, "All the trees of the garden. 2) The tree of life. 3) The tree of the knowledge of good and evil." These three kinds of trees stand for three kinds of men that walk the earth today, the natural fleshly man, the soulish carnal man, and the spiritual man. The spirit is the realm of God consciousness, the soul is the realm of self-consciousness, and the body is the realm of sense consciousness. We must come to see that we can live out of either realm at all times by our choosing. For now we live and move in the Spirit realm and can eat and drink freely of God's Spirit at all times to stay strong in Him; it is our choice! Seek Him with all your heart, and go into the high places of the Spirit, for the heavens have been opened to us now!
THE HEAVENS ARE NOW OPEN
"Now it came about when all the people were baptized, that Jesus also was baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, "Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased" (Luke 3:21-22 NASB).
"And after He had sent the multitudes away, He went up to the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone" (Matthew 14:23 NASB).
Heaven, the spirit realm, was opened to Jesus so that He could ascend and descend freely at anytime that He needed to, to receive strength and wisdom from the Father. Jesus, "Went up to the mountain by Himself to pray," even as we are called to do in the spirit realm. Jesus lived, both out of the spirit realm and the physical realm at the same time. "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven" (John 3:13 KJV). Listen to what this verse is saying. Jesus is in heaven as He is standing upon the earth! Jesus knew that He must only drink spiritually from the Father; this is the realm of life. The same can be true for us when we are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. We have a direct connection with God in the spirit and can live out of both realms at the same time, receiving our strength and wisdom from God. Paul said in Ephesians 2:6, “And (Jesus) raised us up with Him (in Spirit), and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.” Most Christians are waiting to go to heaven, but the truth of the matter is, we can have heaven NOW on earth! God's presence is what makes heaven, heaven. “In His presence is fullness of joy!” If God’s presence were not there it would be hell no matter how nice it was. Take for example movie stars. They have the best of everything, yet many of their lives are a living hell because God’s presence is not manifested in their lives. Or you could find a street person living in a cardboard shack with the presence of God and it would be like heaven. Why? Because he has learned to live out of the realm of God! If we are going to make it through these days ahead we too must learn to live out of the realm of the Spirit of God and get our strength and joy from Him daily. "If we live "in" the Spirit, let us also walk "in" the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25 KJV).
Paul Mueller wrote the following article about the open heavens:
"As overcomers, we are called to ascend in the Spirit to the high places in God. This means that we shall ascend to the highest of the heavens, which is the realm of the Spirit of God. But let us consider further the truth of ascending saints. When Jesus was calling His disciples, Philip brought Nathanael to Him. Jesus "saw" Nathanael coming, discerned his manner of life, and declared him to be, "An Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" Nathanael then acknowledged Jesus as the Son of God, and the King of Israel. "Jesus answered and said unto him, because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man." (John 1: 50-5 1)
We are now seeing those "greater things! " This is another period designated as "hereafter!" It is the time when the heavens are open, and the angels of God are ascending and descending upon the Son of man. The word "angels," is derived from a Greek word, "aggelos," and means a messenger. There may be those in limited Christian experience who will see this as only being angels in the strict sense of the word. They cannot see themselves ascending and descending upon the Son of man. According to their limited faith and vision, only angels have that power and authority. And according to their faith, so be it unto them. God has given each of us the necessary faith and understanding according to our foreordained walk in Him. But my faith tells me that I have every right and privilege to ascend in the spirit as an angel or messenger of God, just as you do. And we shall ascend upon the Son of man until Father's purposes for us and His creation are completely fulfilled.
There is a further understanding of this word "angels," and that is that our spirits are the "angels" that ascend upon the Son of man. Obviously, our bodies cannot ascend into the realm of spirit, for they have not yet been changed and glorified. But our spirits ascend and descend upon the Son of man, just as Jesus foretold. Our spirits, when in union with Christ (see John 3:13), can, and do, ascend to the realm of God's Spirit to commune with Him. This is how you and I became sons of God. As sons of God and members of God's Christ, we have been given the authority to ascend and descend upon the Son of man. When we are joined to the Spirit of the Lord, we are one Spirit. Each of us then ascends in the Spirit to the throne of God, there to become one anointed, Christ body. There, in the Spirit, we commune with Him and receive His Truth. This is the fulfillment of Heb. 10:25! This is "the assembling of ourselves together" that we are not to forsake. When we ascend in the Spirit to commune with God in the spirit, we are thus fulfilling "the greater things than these," that Jesus promised Nathanael. And our finite minds cannot possibly comprehend the many, spiritual wonders we shall yet see and receive as we continue to ascend and descend upon the Son of man.
Christ is the "ladder" to the realm of the Spirit. It is impossible for any one to come up by any other way. Not one person of Adam's lineage shall come unto the Father, except by Christ. (John 14:6) Christ is our access, our ladder! Use Him frequently! Call upon Him regularly! Take advantage of the glorious privilege we have in Christ! Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together! Gather together in Christ, by the Spirit, with all His saints of both heaven and earth. Vast distances may separate us from a literal gathering, but the Lord is gathering us together by His Spirit. We are one Spirit in Christ! He is molding and shaping us so that we also shall be of one faith! The open heavens are before us! The kingdom of God is at hand! As we ascend in the Spirit, we are seeing the throne of God and the dominion of His kingdom that is coming to earth. We shall also hear the new word of the kingdom that He would speak to us. We are being changed by the glory of His presence that permeates the Holiest of all! And that glory shall fill us to overflowing, transforming us within and without!
Six thousand years after Adam, we have abundant proof that the carnal, Adamic nature in all mankind is responsible for the conglomerate, Babylon religious systems we have today. Thousands of religious denominations, as well as Eastern religions, were created to make it possible for the carnal man to ascend without Christ. Through devious and carnal means, fallen Adam has sought to ascend the hill of the Lord in his own strength and authority. "He" even created religious denominations to make that possible. But, the Lord knew what was in him when He created Adam, so He set His plan in motion, a plan that would thwart Adam's plan and establish righteousness in the earth. And as sons of God, elect and chosen as His overcomers, we are called to ascend the hill of the Lord in Christ, thus overcoming and defeating the self-centered purposes of the carnal will and mind of fallen Adam.
Long centuries ago, God gave the vision of Christ, the ladder, to Jacob. As he laid down to sleep one night, "he dreamed, and behold, a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac." (Gen. 28:12-13) The Lord then proceeded to make a covenant with Jacob. The heavens were opened for Jacob, and he could "see" the Lord God of his fathers, Abraham and Isaac. The ladder was set up on earth to indicate to Jacob that he had access to the heavenlies in and through Christ. And when the Lord finished giving His word and His covenant to him, Jacob knew that he had been in the presence of God. When he awoke, he said, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. " (Vs. 16-17)
Beloved, we are "the house of God!" This is not a house made with hands; nor is this house administered by man, or governed by man's creeds and doctrines. God speaks in this house, not man! This is an eternal house in the heavens, to be seen only in the Spirit. We have found "the gate of heaven! " The gate of heaven is Christ! He is the gate or ladder that brings us to the Father and to His throne in the heavenlies. God is revealed and seen at the top of this ladder! But no man can see Him and live! The old, carnal man of the flesh must die completely so the new man of the spirit can be manifested. This is the path of our transformation! When we ascend in the Spirit, we are using Christ, the ladder, to approach our Father and His throne. When we ascend in the Spirit to the highest of the heavens, we shall see that we dwell securely in the house of the Lord." -- (End of Quote).
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