Archive for the ‘On-ramps into Heavenly realms’ Category
Have you ever stepped into a place and suddenly realized there was an open Heaven there? I don’t mean just something that was happening at the moment but something that resided and dwelt there permanently. There are certain locations on earth where God Himself opens a portal with access into the Heavens. These locations usually mark places where God has meet with man in a significant way. They also mark spots where continual worship has ascended up to His throne over long periods of time and speak of the heritage of those who have been instrumental in establishing that place.
There was one such place I stumbled upon in Africa. It was a missions compound in a very dark place where faithful missionaries had paid a high price to bring the presence of God and sacrificed to keep it there. Church meetings were held under a giant tent and I found it easy to enter that “tent of meeting”, sit down on the grass mat on the dirt and ascend straight to the Throne Room or wherever else He wanted to take me! There was a literal portal that I could see in the Spirit. Let me try to describe it to you.
This portal resembled a huge shaft of light streaming from Heaven to earth. On closer examination it revealed countless angels descending down out of Heaven, making a huge spiral to the right, turning all the way to the earth. At the same time on the opposite side, angels who had completed their assignments here were ascending in a similar spiral to the left. These two spirals of radiant angels intertwined, going up and down continually, creating a large space in the center where we may ascend into Heavenly realms. Their forms were brightly glowing and their garments sparkled with light . All I had to do was close my eyes, see that portal and ascend. I did this daily for the few weeks we were there. When we came back the next year I found the portal was still there and Heavenly realms were inviting me up once again.
I must add that when I left there it was not so easy to ascend and feel God’s presence so strong in other places. More discipline and sometimes warfare was needed to reach the same heights in the Spirit.
Geographical locations are important to God. He began a pattern in Genesis of establishing places of His presence. In Gen. 12 we see Abraham pitching his tent near Bethel and building an altar there. There were times when altars were built in response to God’s meeting with man and there were other times when men built altars and invited God to come – and He did. Bethel was one of those places. Then in Gen. 28, three generations later, we read about Isaac sending Jacob back to the family home in Haran. Jacob now travels back on the same road that his grandfather Abraham had taken out of Haran. Along the way he stumbles onto the same place (Bethel) and God synchronized Heaven and earth because of the open Heavens that had already been established by his grandfather in that place. God showed Jacob the angels that were going up and down the ladder and he was terrified. His response was, “This is the house of God and I didn’t even know it!” And there the Lord made the same promises to Jacob that were given to his grandfather and his father. Jacob further established God’s presence there by making vows to the Lord and setting up a pillar as a memorial.
In some locations you can step into the same anointing that exists there currently or previously. Time is not an issue. If you go to places in Israel where Jesus was healing the sick, you may find a healing anointing still in that place. If you go to the places where Brother Lawrence or Kathryn Kuhlman lived and you are sensitive to the Spirit, you may find the same anointing they walked in available to you. Obviously they paid a price for what they carried. And so will you … but the invitation is there nonetheless.
As a example of current anointings, if you go to the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, U.S. that spirit of prayer and intercession is so thick it’s like stepping into a pool. You will get wet. You will be able to enter levels and realms of intercession you have not accessed before. In fact, anywhere you find a place where prayer and worship are being offered up 24/7 you will find some measure of open Heaven there. Be sensitive to that and respond to His invitation.
We have seen that it is possible to access the same visitation through another mans encounter. (See previous post from Jan. 29,’13) This is because the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. (Rev. 19:10) Prophecy lives in the testimony. It’s an invitation for the Lord to come and do the same thing again. If you speak of healing, or go to a place that was famous for healing, that anointing will show up to heal people again. If you preach about salvation, that kind of anointing will be present and people will get saved. If you go to a place that was famous for revival, there may be an evangelistic anointing available for you there.
The Word of God is the open door and there is an invitation for you to come into the same experience as you hear of what God did before. It opens the Heavens for you to come into the very thing you are hearing. That’s how alive the Word of God is. (see previous posts from Feb.11,’13 and Mar.6,’13)
The purpose of this post is to make you aware that there are many geographical locations where the Heavens are open and you can more easily access that realm. If you have opportunity to go to a place like this, take it! Go and receive whatever He has for you there. Wherever you go, ask the Lord to make you sensitive to His realm. But we can’t all just buy a ticket to Israel or Kansas City. So always remember that Jesus is the open Heaven and His Word is the open door which you can access at any time.
John 14:4,5 “Thomas said unto Him “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I AM the way.”
Much of the prophetic happens in the thought realm. It is not just “all in your mind”. But it happens to be the area of your mind and thoughts where the Holy Spirit often chooses to visit you. Recognizing this and making it a holy place can bring your awareness of Him to new levels.
I would encourage you to read the last post of Mar.19 as a pre-requisite to this one. Since I have already laid a scriptural foundation there I will simply build on that. However, let me emphasize once more the importance of having a sanctified imagination.
Eph. 1:18 – Paul prays for us that the “eyes of our understanding would be enlightened (made to see).” That word ‘understanding’ also means ‘mind’ and ‘imagination’. We need our imaginations to be enlightened and sanctified (made holy). Don’t entertain a carnal imagination which defiles our thoughts and dreams.
Many Chirstians are afraid of thier own imaginations, assuming that they are evil or of the flesh. But they are God given to help us dream with Him and enter into His realm. Exercise your spiritual senses and keep your heart and attitudes pure. Repent of all sin and bind up your own thoughts and carnal nature so that you can truly hear and receive from the Lord. We must learn to trust our Father’s ability to bless us more than we fear the enemy’s ability to deceive us.
Ask the Lord to make you more aware of His Presence with you all the time. This pleases Him so much that as you turn your thoughts to Him, He will respond by coming closer. When our hearts and thoughts are pure, there are many times that we can actually start out in our imagination and end up in the Spirit.
As an example of this, let me share a recent experience with you. One day I was just longing to be with the Lord and I felt a nudge to call for the white horse He had given me. This is a supernatural horse which was a gift from the Lord. Her main purpose is to take me to Him and many times as I ride her, she mounts up into the sky and on into Heavenly realms. So, remembering that she could help me, I “imagined myself” on a windswept beach with the tide coming in. On my right were the waves, on my left was a long stand of brown sea grass and up ahead was the end of a point where the land turned. As I lifted my voice and called for my horse, she came running to me from around the point ahead with the wind blowing her mane. She tossed her head, enjoying the smell of the sea, and came and nuzzled me with her nose. Then I got on her back and began to ride. By now I could feel the wind and smell the salty air.
(Although my horse is a real supernatural animal, I was using my imagination to create this scene. However, as is often the case, at some point the Lord came and took up the story line Himself. Things began to overlap and then suddenly it took a turn I did not expect. At that point I understood that it was no longer just my imagination but now He was leading me into a supernatural experience with Him.)
So off I went, riding down the beach. But soon I was surprised to see that the horse was walking into the sea grass on my left. I would have imagined that she would keep running down the beach or turn up into the heavens. I wondered about this for a second until the scene began to change. The sea grass grew taller until it reached her withers. Suddenly it was no longer grass but a field of golden wheat, ready for harvest. (By this time I knew He was leading and I was only along for the ride.)
Now my eyes were opened to see Jesus walking quietly beside me with the reins in His hand. His eyes met mine and He smiled as He said, “I wanted to be the one to lead you into the harvest fields, my love.”
As a spiritual discipline, use your imagiation to fix your thoughts on God. Do it every night before you fall asleep and the first thing when you awake. Don’t fix your thoughts on problems and worry. That uses your imagination to empower fear and anxiety. Use it instead to empower and magnify the bigness of God in your mind. Begin to imagine all that God will do in your life. Take the scriptures and prophetic words He has given you and dream with them. See yourself healing the sick, raising the dead, preaching in stadiums or starting orphanages – whatever He has put in your heart. Daydream with God.
Pretend to walk along the beach with Him or sit beside Him by a campfire watching His stars come out. All through the day, whenever your mind is free even for a moment, imagine that He is with you. As you do this something wonderful will happen. Suddenly you’ll discover that it’s not just your imagination … He IS with you!
When our imagination is holy and sanctified, we can choose to set our thoughts on God and use this creative process in worship. Our creative nature (we were made in the image of God who created all there is), when coupled with our imagination, can jump-start us into a place where all things are possible.
I encourage you to read this post carefully and prayerfully. Some have taken this topic to extremes and my hope is to bring a Godly perspective to it.
A Godly and sanctified imagination can definitely help to position us to enter into Heavenly realms. The Biblical definition of ‘sanctify’ is to make clean, purify, dedicate or consecrate. I am in no way suggesting that we just imagine what Heaven might be like and then say that we’ve been there. That’s a devaluation of our spiritual currency. We also cannot just imagine what God might be saying and then attach “thus saith the Lord” to it. Not at all.
There are many levels of revelation and all are precious and vital to us. Any time God speaks to us; whether it’s in the thought realm, in dreams or actually picking us up and setting us down in another place entirely, it is supernatural. (The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit. They are foolishness to him and he is not able to discern them. 1 Cor. 2:14) But we need to understand that on the lower levels of thoughts and impressions there can be more mixture. By contrast, the open visions like those that John received in the book of Revelation are so far beyond our imagination that we literally have no grid for them and we struggle to put Heavenly things into earthly language. There is no comparison. Of those times we can confidently say “I was there and this is what I saw.” Even then, we must carefully search the scriptures and pray for understanding in the interpretation of what we saw. Some things we will be permitted to speak of right away while others are to remain private and “sealed up”. (Dan. 12:9) We will gain confidence and understanding in these areas as we practice. Heb. 5:14 tells us that solid food is for those who are full grown and who “by reason of use” or “practice” have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
However, we were created in the image of God and the scriptures tell us that His imagination is fixed on us. He uses His imagination to meditate on His love for us. Psa. 40:5 says that His thoughts toward us cannot be numbered. The Hebrew word “thought” in that passage can also be translated “imagination”. Psa. 139:17,18 “How precious are your thoughts to me oh God. How great is the sum of them. If I should count them, they are more than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.”
If His thoughts toward us are innumerable, all we have to do is align our thoughts with His and we’ll come into a river of revelation. In the same way God’s thoughts are fixed on us, when we fix our thoughts on Him, it opens our spirits to an increasing knowledge of Him and of prophetic knowledge for ourselves and others.
Heb. 4:12 says that the Word of God is able to judge the thoughts and intents of our hearts. Our imagination can also be defined as what our hearts think and meditate on. The dictionary says that imagination is to form a mental image of something not actually present to the senses. 2 Cor. 4:18 tells us that we “look not at things that are seen but at things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal (temporary) but the things which are not seen are eternal (everlasting reality).” How do we look at things we can’t see? By faith. One way is to take scriptural accounts of those who have gone into Heavenly realms and fill our “image ceter” with these images. There are 2 realms – visible and invisible. God wants us to see and be able to operate in both realms.
This will be the first of at least 2 posts on this subject. This time I simply wanted to lay a scriptural foundation and introduce the subject. In the next post we will look at practical ways our imagination can become an on-ramp into Heavenly realms.
Are you aware that you can open the Word of God to the beginning verses of Revelation chapter 4 and actually end up in the Throne Room? Or stand with Moses as his staff comes down over the Red Sea and feel the wind whipping the sea spray on your face as the waters roll back. Step with your own feet onto the dry ground beneath the sea and walk across with the multitude of astounded Israelites to the other side. Experiences like this are so real I almost expect to return to this realm with dirt between my toes!
Heb. 4:12 tells us that the Word of God is living and powerfully active. The King James version puts it like this: “For the Word of God is quick (Greek = alive) and powerful (Greek = active, effective, operative and powerful)…” Oh what a glorious understatement! Let’s focus on that word ‘alive’ for a bit.
Using earthly language to describe Heavenly things always leaves us lacking for words. But for lack of better terms, look at it something like this. Eternity does not move in a straight line. It is circular and its Creator stands in the center. For Him there really is no past, present or future. He sees it all as one. He makes reference in scripture to Jesus being slain and of us being chosen in Him “from the foundation of the world.” (This may also help to explain why a day is as a thousand years to Him and also why He says things like “soon” which end up to be a hundred years of earthly time. For the sake of illustration, C.S. Lewis seemed to have some revelation about this and used it effectively in the Chronicles of Narnia.)
God uses earthly language with us on our level to help us understand. As He stands in the center of that circle of time He can take someone from this realm and show them anything He wants. There was no-one for Moses to interview about the times preceeding Adam. He must have been taken back into the days of creation or at least shown these things in vision in order to write about them in such detail in Genesis. God took Ezekiel (Ez. chap. 8) to Jerusalem to show him hidden abominations being commited by the elders there in that present time. And John was taken into the future as well as into the very throne room of God.
Now with these things in mind, let’s go back to that word ‘alive’ in Heb. 4:12. The Word of God is alive and living. It’s not just something that was written long ago. The stories and experiences recorded there really happened and they still live. God said that the blood of Able, who was killed by his brother, cried out from the ground after his death. (Gen. 4:10) Paul also said that though Able is dead he still speaks as a witness to us. (Heb.11:4) It is as though the places and events in the Word of God are still in existence and can be entered into again. In recent posts we have learned that our own dreams and visions can be re-entered and even used as a launch into the Spirit realm. We have also seen how listening to or reading experiences of others can be entered into as an on-ramp. They are invitations from the Spirit of prophecy. Nothing is ever lost. In the same way, the Word of God is so alive that you may enter it and experience it as it happened, with all the sights, sounds, smells and emotions!
When you open the Bible, try to ‘see’ what you are reading. Ask the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of your understanding and give you revelation. This is easier with accounts of events or stories of peoples lives. This is not just using your imagination although at times you may start out that way. But at some point the Spirit of God will transport you into what you are reading and it will so far surpass your own imagination that there’s no question it’s Him and not you. Be careful to recognize the difference. We may try to imagine the throne room but we can’t say we’ve really been there unless He takes us there. When He does, it may be a long time before we can articulate that because of the strong emotion that goes along with it.
There are many levels of revelation, from small impressions all the way to being transported into Heaven and seeing the Lord face to face. All are valid and all are important in that they bring revelation and draw us closer to Him. But many have devalued the spiritual currency by saying they have “been to Heaven” when they were more in the imagination realm and perhaps seeing faint impressions. We will deal with the imagination in another post. Our sanctified imaginations are God given and are intended to be linked with His as we dream His dreams. For our purposes in this post I am only citing the difference between our imagination and His reality. This difference will become amazingly clear to you as you gain more experience.
The times I have been taken into the Word of God have been few. I have not yet been that successful at opening the Word and frequently going into the passage I am reading. But I know it’s possible (and completely awesome) because of the times it has happened. And I believe that as we seek Him for these revelations it pleases Him to give them to us. Sometimes there is a training process. And besides that, the Lord told me once that as I taught the little I know He would teach me more. This has proved to be true also.
So ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and make you very sensitive to the way He speaks. Then open your Bible to a familiar story and start by trying to see it instead of just reading the words. Read it like a movie script. Read about the disciples in the boat with Jesus during the storm. See the darkness, feel the wind and the tossing of the boat, sense the fear about to overtake you. Then see Jesus standing in the bow with the rain beating down on Him. Hear Him shouting “Peace, be still” to the wind. Feel the shock when everything suddenly stops and becomes unnaturally quiet. Experience the overwhelming peace.
Even just trying to see things in this way will increase your sensitivity and bring revelation. But keep trying, keep going and see what happens. There can be more … much more.
* A word of explanation: Once again, this is my way of trying to describe the experiences I’ve had with my limited earthly language. If you have heard teaching or seen things that seem to conflict with this, it could be both of us trying to describe similar things using different language. Also keep in mind that ‘we know in part and prophesy in part’ (1 Cor. 13:9) which is why we need each other to put our puzzle pieces together.
Jesus stood thoughtfully stroking His beard as He watched the angels carrying out His plan. He seemed intent that every detail be perfect. Standing in the green meadow under a large spreading tree, He instructed them exactly where to place everything.
The exquisite cloth was to be laid out near the quiet river, under the boughs of the tree. He smiled at the richness of detail in the burgundy silk and velvet fabrics with the golden fringes. He ran His fingers over the small golden flowers of embroidery work that were scattered over the surface. Angels in white with white feathery wings hovered about, placing china settings for two on golden chargers. The finest china, almost transparent, was adorned with pink roses and edged in fine gold. Then a golden goblet was positioned beside each setting. Finally they placed a large picnic basket on the edge of the cloth. It was open and overflowing with bread, cheese, fruit and a bottle of red wine.
Although He seemed pleased, His demeanor suggested that something was still missing. Then He produced an ornate golden vase and with a sweeping motion of His right hand He gathered, as if from the air, a bouquet of antique roses. These were large, double and triple petal varieties in shades of white and pastel pink, yellow and peach. Their intense fragrances mingled together to create a heady scent. Lovingly, He placed the bouquet in the center of the cloth and stepped back to admire the scene.
“These are her favorite,” He smiled softly. “She’ll love this.”
It was as though the screen went dark in the Spirit and I waited for the next images to appear. Gradually what I was viewing began to come into focus like scenes from a movie in which I was now a principle character. I could hear the soft rippling of a river and the plod of horses hooves. Feeling the movement of the horse beneath me, I lifted my eyes to see Jesus a few paces ahead with the reins in His hand. He was leading me along beside still waters, through the same green pastures. Revelation arose within my spirit. I was inside Psalm 23.
Glancing down at the long, white velvet gown I was wearing, I quickly took note of His attire. We were both dressed in the regal, rich courtly clothes of the Renaissance period. He wore a wine colored velvet jacket, encircled at the waist with a golden belt. Gold brocade trimmed the stand-up collar and cuffs. Velvet pants of the same shade were tucked into soft, black leather boots which came up to the knee and turned down into large cuffs.
I knew there was something meaningful about the clothes from that era but was unable to interpret it in that moment. It was only later that a friend with prophetic insight said to me,
“Renaissance? Wasn’t that at the end of the Dark Ages? You’ve been in the Dark Ages, in a sense, for a long time. Now it would seem that He’s leading you out.”
In each prophetic encounter, every noticeable detail has meaning. If we do not see it initially, prayer will reveal it in time. It is the nature of His personality to shower us with such extravagant details that they must be unfolded gradually like a flower opening to release its fragrance. The color of His garments signified the blood of His covenant with me, while my own white gown spoke of being His bride.
Now as I gazed on Him, my heart longed for Him. He is always so remarkably regal and yet so comfortable in any environment. Peacefully leading the horse by the reins, He occasionally glanced back over His shoulder at me. Locking gazes with Him, I saw the same love mirrored in His eyes for me.
Suddenly the picnic site came into view. My hand went to my mouth in amazement and I was overjoyed to see where He was leading me. His reaction to that was delight as well. He came and whisked me off the horse, down into His arms. Then He led me to the ‘table’ He had prepared and watched as I breathed in the fragrance of the roses and discovered all the things He had done for me.
I am always overwhelmed that he so specifically takes my favorite things and pours extravagance on them – my favorite flowers, colors and fragrances. He knows me so well and goes to great lengths to do what He knows I will enjoy the most. And He is always so pleased when I take notice of each detail.
He poured the wine into the golden goblets and once again fed me the bread and wine which I knew were His broken body and His own precious blood. He took my hands in His own and turned my palms upward. Placing His cupped hands above mine, He poured the oil of His anointing into my hands until it overflowed, dripping down my arms and onto my garment. My cup runneth over. . .
He restores my soul. What more could I possibly want? I shall not want. I am in love with Him and He is all that I desire. And I will dwell with Him, in the house of the Lord forever.
The prophetic experience above was my first encounter of actually being “taken into” the Word of God. I wanted to share this example with you first before we explore this topic further in the next posting. May The Lord begin to open the eyes of your spirit to this amazing possibility.
We’ve been discussing some on-ramps into Heavenly realms – how to position ourselves, how to get there. Keep in mind as always that the main goal is Jesus and relationship with Him. In His longing for us to be with Him where He is (as He said in John 17:24) He opens some very creative ways for us to get there. In the last post we talked about the dreams, visions and prophetic experiences you’ve had in the past. They are real and can be re-entered. But what if you’re new at this and you don’t really have your own dreams or visions yet?
Rev. 19:10 tells us that “the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.” He testifies of what happened in the past and prophesies that it can happen again. It’s an invitation! As we speak of it, the portal opens. If you preach about salvation, people will get saved. If you preach about healing and give opportunity for prayer, people will be healed. When you speak of evil and the work of the enemy, that’s what shows up. When you speak of the Holy Spirit, He comes.
Stop and think about it for a moment. Remember times when people were talking about occult activity and you felt a darkness and a chill come into the room? Now remember a meeting where the focus was all about the Lord and you felt His sweet and powerful presence descending upon you and bringing your spirit up to meet His. It really does work like that.
When we testify or speak of Jesus and the experiences we’ve had with Him, the Spirit of prophecy shows up to invite all who hear to enter into that same experience. This can happen by reading a book, listening to a speaker in person, on a video or live streaming by internet. Many of you have watched a meeting online and wondered how the anointing of God can flow through the screen to you when the meeting may have occured long ago. It’s by the Spirit of God. He has no limits. The anointing was strong in that meeting and it was captured by media and sent to you just like the aprons and handkerchiefs the Apostle Paul prayed over and sent out. The Scriptures say people were healed of diseases and demons left those who received these prayer cloths! ( Acts 19:12 )
One of my first realizations of this truth came when my husband and I were mentoring students in a Missions school. One of them told us how he had been resting on his bed, listening to a CD. On the CD, Heidi Baker was sharing a vision of the Lord riding in a flaming chariot. When her testimony ended, this student was immediately caught up in the Spirit and found himself standing before the Lord who was placing golden armor on him! I began to understand the truth of this principle and become more sensitive in listening to the experieces of others. I found that in many cases I could actually go there with them as they spoke. This was especially true with gifted writers such as Rick Joyner and Anna Rountree. I could see what they saw and then at times Jesus would take me further into an experience of my own with Him. It’s an on-ramp.
This is one of the main reasons why I write. I pray that as I share my visions, you will be able to see and experience them and be transported into His presence. I encourage you to become sensitive in this way also. When someone begins to speak about a dream or a vision, ask the Lord to open your eyes to see it in the Spirit. Read about those who have seen the Lord or ascended into Heavenly realms. Go back through my blog postings and read of the accounts I have written. Let them be an invitation and an on-ramp for you.
For those of you who would like to delve deeper into this subject than I can go here, I would direct you to my pages of recommended reading and links. You will find a wealth of material there in the form of books, articles on websites, videos and MP3 downloads – much of it free. I’m sure it will be a great blessing to you as it has been to me.
The dreams, visions and prophetic experiences God has given to you in the past are not one time things that are done and gone. No, they are still there in the Spirit realm and available for access. All you need to do is ask Him to bring you back to those experiences again. It’s as simple as remembering but it is actually much more than that. He takes you back into the experience again and gives you the same sensations – the sights, sounds, fragrances, and the same emotions as He plays the same melody on your heart strings once again. You are there.
Remember the time when you saw Jesus on the cross and your heart broke with the love you saw pouring from Him to you? Go back there again and give Him your heart all over again. Remember the time you were suddenly gazing into His smiling face with His eyes looking deeply into your spirit? Go back to that time and gaze again, this time even longer until He bonds you with Him Spirit to spirit. Remember the dreams of flying like a bird high over the mountains in the sunlight? He gives us those dreams because we were all meant to fly like that in the Spirit. Remember those times and fly again, higher now until you fly right into the Heavens with Him.
Memory is a powerful, God given tool. When it is joined with His Spirit, wonderful things can happen. We can re-enter the dreams, visions and prophetic experieces we had in the past. And while we are there, He can give us much more revelation about things we may not have understood the first time. Watch and listen carefully for His whispers now. Be sensitive to His leading and try not to direct things yourself. When you come to the end of the dream or vision as you saw it before, He may want to take you further into the next chapter. If the scene begins to change, resist the temptation to think “No, that’s not how it happened”. Just follow the new vision He is super-imposing over the old one. Within a few seconds you will know if it’s just your own thoughts (which you can bring back into line with His) or if it’s really the Lord trying to take you further into something new. Let Him lead. As you practice this method of listening and watching with Him, He can take you anywhere. There are no boundaries in the Spirit!
What if you’re new at this and don’t yet have experiences with Him to remember and re-enter? We’ll discuss that in On-ramp #3. For now, spend time falling in love with Him and know that those who hunger shall be filled. (Mat: 5:6)