The Opened Heavens

"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war." (Revelation 19:11)

This is the final climactic reference in the Bible to God's opened heavens. Sometimes, as in this verse, heaven is opened in judgment; sometimes in blessing. Sometimes it is the atmospheric heaven that is open; sometimes the heaven of heavens where stands the throne of God.

The first such mention refers to the world-destroying Flood of Noah's day when "the windows of heaven were opened" (Genesis 7:11). The second mention, however, speaks of blessing. God had "opened the doors of heaven, And had rained down manna upon them to eat" (Psalm 78:23-24). The windows of heaven rained down the waters of death, while the doors of heaven rained down the bread of life! Ezekiel also saw the heavens opened in judgment (Ezekiel 1:1), but God told Malachi, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse . . . and prove me now . . . 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" (Malachi 3:10).

At the baptism of Jesus the heavens were opened and men heard the great testimony of the Father concerning His beloved Son (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:21). Jesus promised Nathanael, "Hereafter ye shall see heaven open" (John 1:51), and Stephen and Peter actually saw the heavens open (Acts 7:56; 10:11).

Finally, the apostle John reported that "a door was opened in heaven" (Revelation 4:1), and he saw the Lord on His throne--twelve specific references (four in the Old Testament, eight in the New) to the opened heavens. HMM

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