I believe we are entering an apostolic era when heavens are going to break wide open over cities. There will be teaching, revelation, expression and experiencing of this on a scale unseen at least since New Testament days, if ever. Homes, families, congregations, parks, hospitals, city halls—all will become "ground zero" for open-heaven manifestations.
I have faith for this divine realm to be extended over entire regions for protracted periods of time.
From all my years traveling in many nations and helping to light fires in many places, and having interviewed and walked with many "fire starters," I have learned one very important principle:
Before there is ever an open heaven over a congregation or a city or a nation, there first is an open heaven over a person.
What kind of person might have heaven open above them? It is someone who becomes radically undone in the Lord, someone who is absolutely "wasted" on Jesus. Whenever heaven opens over an individual, they carry that open heaven with them wherever they go and become climate-changers. They become history-makers.
God is looking for candidates in this generation who will be seated with Christ in the heavenly places and call forth God's destiny and design into the earthly realm. It has happened before in all historic awakenings. I am talking about ordinary folks who surrendered to an extraordinary God.
Will You Open the Door for Your City?
In Revelation 4:1 John says, "After this I looked. And there was an open door in heaven." After what? Since the division of the Bible into chapters and verses was made long after it was written, it is only logical to look in the previous chapter to see what John was referring to.
Chapter 1 of Revelation relates John's initial vision of the Lord that he saw while "in the Spirit" on the Lord's day. Chapters 2 and 3 contain messages from the Lord to seven churches in Asia Minor: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. The messages reveal the spiritual condition of each church, good or bad. Laodicea, the seventh church, is described as "lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot" (Rev. 3:16), and the Lord threatens to spit them from His mouth. Just four verses later, however, He gives a glorious promise to those who will listen and obey:
"Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me" (Rev. 3:20).
Whose Door Is Jesus Standing Before?
This is a prophetic, apostolic message, a heavenly message sent to a church in a city. It is not a word written just to an individual. Certainly, the invitation Jesus gives here applies to individuals, so it is quite appropriate to use this verse in evangelism as is so often done.
Contextually, however, the word is for a group, a corporate body.
Revelation 3:20 is an apostolic word about the voice of the Holy Spirit standing in front of a city. It is a city transformation word, where Jesus says in effect, "I am standing at the door of Laodicea." Many biblical scholars believe that our current age of the church is the Laodicean age, characterized widely by lukewarm attitudes among churches and individual believers.
If we want open doors and open heavens, then we've got to do what precedes—what comes first.
If we want the door to open in heaven, we've got to open the door to Jesus' knock in earth. Earthen vessels must answer the persistent, loving knock of God. As we respond, God responds.
Intimacy with Him is the key that opens the door of heaven.
It begins with each of us as individuals—remember that an open heaven comes first over a person—but the Lord's goal goes beyond individuals. He is after cities and nations.
Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door of a whole city and knock. Is there anyone—a corporate body of Christ in this region—that will open the door to Me, and let Me in? Are there gatekeepers in this region who are so desperate that they don't care what house gets built, as long as it is God's house?"
Sometimes the simple truths are the most easily overlooked. We use this verse for individual salvation, and rightfully so, but in context it is an apostolic invitation for citywide transformation. Jesus stands at the door of our cities and our churches, knocking.
He is a persistent and loving Lord who will keep on knocking. Who will answer? If the people behind one door say no, He will go to another door, and another door and another.
He will keep knocking on doors until someone opens up and lets Him come in. He wants to come in and fellowship with His people.
Too often we treat Him like He is a guest! But He thinks He is the owner of the house! He wants more than just to come in for a good meeting—He wants to dwell among His people.
His promise is for everyone—individuals, families and communities. It is a promise for city transformation. "Open the door," Jesus says, "and I will come in and dine with you and you with Me."
He says, "Open the door, and I sit down at your table and eat with you. This is not just a quick visit. I am here to stay."
Do You Hear Him Knocking?
Does anybody hear the knock? Jesus is knocking, knocking, knocking. He comes to cities and knocks; many of them just say, "Go on somewhere else," and they miss the day of their visitation.
He goes to the next city, and the next, looking for individuals hungry to be part of a prophetic revolution and an apostolic reformation.
He is looking for gatekeepers of His presence—those prophets and seers and passionate Jesus-lovers who will say, "Oh Jesus, whatever you do, don't pass us by!"
Intimacy is the key that unlocks open heavens over entire cities. It has happened before and it can happen again.
I firmly believe that it will happen again. Jesus did not stop knocking after Revelation 3:20 was written. He has been knocking for 2,000-plus years. Today, He stands at the doors of 21st-century cities, asking, "Who will answer?"
What will you do? Will you ignore the knock until He goes away? Or will you open the door and say, like Joshua, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord"?
"For the sake of the city we represent, we will open the door to You. Come in, sit with us, eat with us and fellowship with us. Let the heavens open over this place, this home, this city, and let the blessings and power of our loving Father pour forth to bless the people!"
Is Anyone Hungry for God?
Our desperate need today is to be so hungry for God that we cry out for open heavens to come over our lives, our families and our cities.
How we need for "Jacob's ladder" to descend again, not just for one night but permanently! So many of us are famished for the bread of the Spirit; let us call out for Him to come down to remain—a manifested habitation of the Lord in our midst!
The depth of our hunger is the length of our reach for God. Just when we start to become satisfied is when God sends us a reminder of how much we still need Him.
His desire is to create in us a greater desperation that will stir up a fiercer hunger, which will release a longer reach.
It isn't that He is far away, because He is always very near. In fact, He is standing right outside the door waiting for you to let Him in.
Will you open the door?
James W. Goll is the president of God Encounters Ministries and has traveled around the world sharing the love of Jesus, imparting the power of intercession, prophetic ministry and life in the Spirit. He has recorded numerous classes with corresponding study guides and is the author of more than 40 books, including The Seer, The Lost Art of Intercession, The Coming Israel Awakening and The Lifestyle of a Prophet. James is the father of four wonderful children with a growing number of grandchildren, and makes his home in Franklin, Tennessee.
For the original article, visit godencounters.com.
Dr. James Goll is the founder of Encounters Network, Prayer Storm and helps carry on the work of Compassion Acts. For information on his online school visit: geteschool.com. James continues to live in Tennessee and is a joyful father and grandfather today.
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