It is written that, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” Gen. 1:1. The heavens and the earth were free from sin and God’s presence and blessings were unhindered. The Word of God tells us that everything was good. Yet, we know that Satan entered the scene and man, for the first time, was bound by sin. The very nature of Satan himself was lodged in the heart of man: a nature of pride and rebellion. And so, the once clear and yielding heavens to the presence and blessings of God are now infested by an arrogant prince of darkness.
God knows that the only way to keep a channel open between heaven and earth is through covenant. It was Abraham that God chose to work with to keep earth from being totally closed out. It is God’s covenant (His Holy contract) that links you and me to our creator spiritually, as well as legally, as a binding agreement. “Blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies” Gen. 22:17. God tells us that he gives us the promise of blessing and the possessing of the gates of our enemy. God is prophesying over Abraham and his seed, the church, that we are to inherit these promises. They are ours to activate and engage them as needed.
Once again we need to understand the importance of “an open heaven”. Yet, how do you and I go about to see this “open heaven” come into our lives, our churches, our homes and everything we endeavor to do for the Master?
We find in Deut. 28, a list God gave through the law of blessings and cursings. This list speaks clearly of the blessings for obedience and the curses of God for disobedience. God promised that if you and I will diligently obey the voice of the Lord our God to observe carefully all His commandments that the Lord will set us on high above all the nations of the earth. This leaves no doubt of God’s willingness to bless His people. God is promising in these verses, Deut. 28:1-12, that as we observe carefully to obey His voice, God will open the heaven for us and His favor and blessing will be on us. Obedience is a major key to an open heaven.
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 which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you. 23) And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron. Deut. 28:15, 23.
Bronze or brass is used to speak of sin in the Bible. The Grecian empire was represented by brass and it all speaks of sin. Now it is interesting also to find that brass also means hypocrisy, self-justification and man’s traditions; whereas gold represents truth, something precious, righteous and the glory of God. Brass looks like gold, but a closer investigation shows its true character. Whenever one walks contrary to God’s ways, the skies over them, over their homes, their city and even a nation are skies of brass shutting out heaven’s blessings. We need open heavens over us.
In John 1:45-51, Jesus makes a statement to Nathaniel that he is going to see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man. So we see that if Jesus said - and He did - that the heavens would open we must conclude they are closed until He opens them.
In Nathaniel’s day, the skies were closed. They were skies of brass. Israel had become religious instead of righteous. God is calling once again for a righteous church, a holy people. The Bible tells us that Jesus walked the land as the Son of Man, the title He himself used more than any other. It was meant to show us how we too could open the skies and allow righteousness to rain down upon us. However, it is essential we remember Christ’s own reference to angelic helpers who are sent to assist us in this ministry. God is looking for a consecrated life of prayer, faith and action that will open the heavens to usher in not only God’s favor, blessings, and presence but the harvest of souls held in bondages of darkness.
Jesus makes a statement to Nathaniel that he is going to see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the son of man. Every place Jesus set himself to go; every town, village or wherever His foot stepped into, Jesus declared to Nathaniel, the skies over him would part and angels would slip through and assist Christ in His work.
In the passage, Matt. 16:13-19, “keys” represent authority, understanding and ability. . In ancient days keys were symbols of authority and power. The one who had the keys has assured access to entrance or exiting from the city.
A “gate” is a structure that can be swung, drawn, or lowered to block an entrance or passageway. The dictionary says a gate is an opening in a wall or fence for entrance and exiting. Historically, gates were the most significant area of the city. It was the place where the elders and magistrates met to discuss business and make plans for the people of the city. The powerful and the ones who held positions of authority sat at the gates. Prov. 31:23 states, “Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.” Civic, military and even major plans of business and commerce were settled at the city’s gates. The stronger the city gates, the safer the city.
Jesus promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail [or overpower, block or be strong] against the church. Jesus said, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven” Matt. 16:19; but that does not mean that Satan won’ t try to block these blessings of God from us. In fact Satan and his army have set up gates, gates of brass over cities to block a move of God and His blessings from coming forth. Satan’s army is intent on hindering God’s angelic host from bringing help and answering prayer. Jesus promise that the gates of Hell shall not prevail and whatsoever you bind on earth [through prayer] shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” Matt. 16:19.
Isa. 28: 5-6, “In that day the Lord of hosts will be for a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty to the remnant of His people, for a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and for strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.” God desires to strengthen us in our warfare at the gates. God wants the gates in the heavens open and He has made provision thereby.
As you read the passage found in Psalms 107:1-16, you will see that the Psalmist David describes for us the desire of the Lord to redeem us from the hand of the enemy. Many do not even know that they are being held captive by Satan; yet God desires to set us all free from the clutches of the enemy. Notice in v.10 David writes “Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, bound in affliction and irons.” There are many today who sit in this very place spiritually yet God gives this promise (vs. 9) “For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness” How does God do this? This happens as God decides to answer prayer. Our souls long to be set free and as we cry out to God the Lord brings us out of darkness into the light and free from the shadow of death.
“He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their chains in pieces” (vs. 14).” Only God can do these things. But notice He breaks the bands of blindness spiritually that we might be set free. Vs. 16 says, “For he hath broken the gates of bronze, and cut the bars of iron in two.” These are spiritual strongholds that Satan holds many in and yet the promise is that God can break the gates and cut the bars of iron that hold the soul in prison to the enemy of all our souls.
Reading Isa. 45:1-8 once again notice that when God breaks in pieces the gates of brass and cuts the bars of iron the heavens are ready to give up the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places. The treasures speak of people who are dwelling in darkness and oppression, drifting aimlessly through life. Then read the prayer of petition for God to open the heavens in v. 8, “Rain down, you heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness; let the earth open, and them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together. I the Lord have created it.”
God is calling you and I to strip the enemy powers of their armor through prayer. Then God himself will demolish the gates of brass and He will smooth out the path and then we are to reap the spoils. Open heavens allows the presence of God to come in. The King of Glory desires to come. The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle desires to give us an open heaven. We must pray and believe and prepare ourselves for it to happen. As the gates of brass are demolished the harvest will flow in causing much rejoicing and thanksgiving, celebrating, while ushering in the Kingdom of God.
Psalm 24 1) The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. 2) For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters. 3) Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? 4) He who has clean hands and a pure heart. Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. 5) He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6) This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, who seek your face. 7) Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. 8) Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 9) Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. 10) Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.