First Oaklodge – 2007
Revelations 4, it starts with these words, “After this I looked, and behold a door was opened in Heaven, and the first voice I heard was like a trumpet talking with me, and it said, ‘Come up hither and I will show thee things which must be hereafter,’ and immediately I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne was set in Heaven and One sat upon the throne.”
“After this”… I noticed that this chapter begins with “After this,” so something must have happened before that. The thought came to me that in Revelations 2-3, we read about the incompleteness of man; we read about those messages to the seven churches; we read about the failures, the faults and the weaknesses in man; but now, after this – it seems that God wanted John to experience the completeness that was in Heaven. This is the purpose of convention, and perhaps we have been looking on the weaknesses and the failures of others; the weakness and failures that are in one’s own life, but I do believe that God has now brought us together so that we can see a little of the completeness that is in Heaven; the perfection that is in Heaven.
This chapter begins and then we read about the open door in Heaven. In the previous chapter we read about the door that was shut, and no man can open it, and to me, that speaks about the door to the past. This door in Revelations 4 speaks to us about the door into the future. I like to think that God in His heart of mercy and kindness today wants to shut the door to the past and it says, “No man openeth it.” No man has the right to open that door again, this door to the past.
We sometimes say that the devil wants us to regret the past; he wants us to waste the present and he wants us to fear the future, but I like to think of God, that He wants us to forget the past, He wants us to redeem the present and He wants us to have hope for the future. I sometimes say that the devil works on our past, but God works on the future; God has the future in His mind; God has the future in His heart. The devil, he comes with his accusations, and it tells us in this book, that he accuses us day and night, and he keeps us busy, and he tells us that the past has been a failure, even in this convention, but I like this thought, “No man openeth it,” not even God in His kindness, so we wouldn’t like to open it again. It is shut.
There is something about the open Heaven, and it’s wonderful if we can sit here and we are conscious of an open Heaven. Not only here, but even in our failures we can see an open heaven. We have all experienced it in the past that Heaven was shut; Heaven wasn’t open. It is a dreadful thing; it is terrible to walk under a Heaven that’s closed, but this was a wonderful experience for this man, for John. There was an open door into Heaven.
One of our parents, she used to say, “Before I listened to the Gospel I only saw an open grave before me, but when I got in touch with the Gospel and I listened to the Gospel and I accepted the Gospel, God gave me a vision of an open Heaven.” God’s people can see further than an open grave, we see into an open Heaven. An open Heaven gives us a vision of the perfection in Heaven and this is what God is anxious to make known unto us. “Behold a door was opened in heaven,” and then there was that voice coming out of Heaven, and I like it that there was an invitation given in that voice. The invitation was “come.” Somebody once said that the acrostic; the meaning of the word come is “Christ Offers Me Everything.”
This is convention; this is now God; this is in the heart of God, that God is here and He’s able to offer us everything in Christ, only in Christ. There is an invitation, but what is the invitation? That invitation was, “Come up a little higher,” and this is now the invitation to you and to me. The voice from an open Heaven is to “Come up a little higher.” It then says, “And I’ll show you.” You know, what we see – the eye is a quicker pupil than what we hear. I may forget what I heard in the past, but what I see; that which we have seen in the beginning; that which we have seen in this convention, is going to help us.
God is not anxious to show us things of this world and we know that God wants to show us things from an open Heaven. He wants to show us many things; and the perception is completeness, but John had to come up a little higher. That’s now, the invitation. A little higher, because up to now we have been on a lower level, in our standard; in our way of living in this past year. We’ve been at a lower level so often, but “Come up a little higher.”
There was a brother from Ireland, Willie Smiley I believe, and he was on his death-bed and there were some of his fellow workers around that death-bed and he was speaking some of his last words. He says to them, “Come up a little higher, a little higher.” That was some of his last words, “Come up a little higher,” above the level of this world; the level of the flesh; the level of this human nature. “Come up a little higher and I will show you.” I will show you right into an open heaven; I will show you wonderful things; I will show you unusual things. This is to God’s people and this is our privilege. I don’t believe in a sort of a vision or things like that, but I do believe that God shows us unusual things; wonderful things in an open Heaven. The future, and God is now working on the future. Each one of us has got a past, and we can’t change our past anymore, but we also have a future.
There was a little boy, and he had a butterfly in his hands, and he wanted to trick a fortune teller, and you know what that means. A fortune teller is one of those people who say they can predict the future, and that little boy had a butterfly in his hands and he was going to ask that fortune teller to tell him if that butterfly was dead or alive. He thought that he could see through his hands, and he thought to himself, “If he says that this is alive then I’m just going to crush it and it will be dead, but if he says it is dead, I’m going to open my hands and it will fly away. You know, that fortune teller says to him, he said, “Whether it is alive or dead I don’t know,” but he says, “It’s in your hands.” This is a message to me; it’s in my hands, thinking about my future. We know that it is in God’s hands, but somehow it is in my hands too, my future. It’s your responsibility to “Come up a little higher,” and God will show you wonderful things that are going to help you in the future to keep on going.
The very first thing that God showed John, and I like this because this has been a great help to me in the past. The very first thing he saw in Heaven; in an open Heaven was a throne. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing at this convention as God says to us, “Come up a little higher” – Christ offers me everything, and I’ll show you this throne? This throne in Heaven. You know,
I sometimes think that the greatest thing in God’s creation is to me the throne in Heaven. This is a wonderful thing to think now, that we can see the throne in an open Heaven. I like this thought in Revelations 4, John tells us that it’s situated in heaven; it’s not on earth. God is in Heaven and this throne is in Heaven and that which is in Heaven is immovable; it cannot be changed; it is in Heaven in the presence of God. Revelation 4 tells us it is in Heaven and in Hebrews 4 it tells us that it is God who sits on this throne; it says, “Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we can obtain mercy.” In Revelations 4, the throne, it is in Heaven and in Hebrews 4 is that which we can receive from this throne, wonderful mercy and grace. Mercy covers the past, and the grace of God helps us to do a little better in the future.
Somebody once said that the greatest word on earth is “Mother,” but the greatest word in Heaven is “Mercy.” It’s wonderful, but there in Hebrews 4: and it tells us to “Come up a little higher” and we can receive mercy and grace from this throne. That’s Hebrews 4 and now in James 4 that tells us how to qualify for this mercy, and that is quite a statement to make, and I’ll read you this verse, verse 6, “But He giveth more grace, wherefore He saith, ‘God resisteth the proud but He giveth grace unto the humble.'” That is clear, this doesn’t come from a worker; this comes not from a Christian, the qualification is – if we want to qualify for this grace and this mercy, it says, “He giveth grace unto the humble.” The Spirit of God will reject the proud because God does not like proud people.
You know, pride isolates people. People who think they are above others, even above people in this fellowship, they are lonely people because the Spirit rejects them; the Spirit can’t have fellowship with such. That is what the Bible tells us; it’s not what I tell you, the Spirit rejects pride. If there is repentance; if there is forgiveness; if there is brokenness then that is wonderful in the sight of God, and the Spirit of God feels at home in one’s heart. It is a wonderful thing to be in the presence of humble people, but you know, the thought has come to me that I could be showing a false humbleness, or whatever you call it. That is possible, and humility, it is something that must be genuine; something that can be felt, this humbleness in the life of people. They are such, who receive grace and mercy from the throne that is in Heaven.
“Come up a little higher.” This is Revelations 4. I sometimes say that Revelations 4 tells us of a heavenward vision, “I’ll show you now in Heaven.” Matthew 4, we read there about Jesus, and the devil; the enemy is taking Jesus up on a mountain and he showed Him the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them. That is Matthew 4 and that was an earthly vision, but Revelations 4 that was an heavenward vision, then in John 4, Jesus said, “Lift up your eyes and behold the fields that they are ripe unto harvest.” That’s a field of usefulness and of privileges.
Revelations 4, a heavenward vision. Matthew 4, an earthly vision and in John 4, a vision of usefulness and privileges. Lift up your eyes, “Come up a little higher,” lift up your eyes and see the fields. There are fields in the home life, wherever we go; wherever we have been placed there is a field, just lift up your eyes. You know, when I was a young man of twenty one, and the first time I attended Gospel meetings. God was speaking to me, God was working in my heart, and even through that mission I was conscious of something else in my heart and never before had I that feeling, “Lift up your eyes and behold the fields.” I was lifting up my eyes and I was beholding fields, trying to be useful and trying to be a little help. That drawing power in my heart to give my life in this work.
We sometimes say we were raised in a divided home and never had privileges like this: conventions, meetings in the home, but lift up your eyes, and I’m so thankful today for that experience in my life. Many years ago, more than fifty years ago on the morning when I left home to go and preach the Gospel and to meet my older companion, I was a young man and my older companion was eighty four. I didn’t know what to expect; I didn’t know what was awaiting me, but early that morning I was on my knees and lifting up my eyes to behold the fields. The constraining power, the urge in my heart was just to go.
We were sitting at the breakfast table, my mother and I, we were sitting there. It was quiet; it wasn’t a light thing and we realized the solemnity of this; we realized the seriousness of this, and my father, he didn’t want to join us at the breakfast table. We were sitting there at the table and it was quiet and then my mother, she just said to me; after many years of hardship in the marriage life, she just said to me, “This is the day, our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary,” and I didn’t even know it, and she said, “My son, God could never have given me a greater gift than to see you leave to go into the work, because when you were born, you were a premature child, and the doctor said that you might die, and we never thought that you would make it.” Lift up your eyes. I went from that table and went to my room and I had to pass my father’s bedroom, and for the first time in my life I saw him down on his knees, and I’m sure he was praying for me.
The time had come when we had to say goodbye and I lifted up my eyes and I saw the fields, and to give my life in this ministry. My father, he just came to me and he said to me, “My son, you’re going to take a suitcase, and you are going to accept others to be your father and mother, but just remember that we are still your parents, and you are still our son, the door is still open.” It’s a wonderful thing when I realized that it wasn’t easy for my dad to say a thing like that because I was the oldest of the children and I had came out of the church and that was a great thing for him, but – “Lift up your eyes and behold the fields,” and I’m so thankful today for this wonderful Revelations 4, for Matthew 4, and for John 4, lift up your eyes and “Come a little higher.”
God showed John the throne in heaven; it is immovable and there was another thing that He showed him there. There was a rainbow around about the throne. I like that, because it was around about the throne and it could be seen from every angle. This rainbow represents the promises of God. We know it and we understand it, but it’s wonderful to think, that we can “Come up a little higher,” and He will show us His promises. They have been unchangeable and unmovable throughout all the centuries since the creation of this world, and those promises will remain the same until the very end of this world. “Come up a little higher.”
One day when I was there in Holland and it was just after the death of my father down in South Africa, and one day I was walking there, and the thoughts of my heart were back there in my homeland, and I was wondering how they were getting on after the death of my father; that feeling of loneliness; that feeling of homesickness. I think we all understand what it is, and one day I was walking there in the fields. It was a dull day; it was a dark day that we have there in Holland and I was walking along. I had been walking and walking and the clouds were there, and they just sort of disappeared and I saw a rainbow, I saw a rainbow coming out of those dark clouds. I just felt a wonderful feeling of closeness with God, and that God, He just wanted to give me the assurance “I am with you, and I will be with you.” Isn’t that a wonderful thing? “Come up a little higher.”
There was something else that he saw, and it says in one of the chapters in Revelations where it speaks about the river of pure water of life proceeding from the throne of God, and it was as clear as crystal. I like that, “Come up a little higher, and I’ll show you this river that comes from the throne of God.” It tells us a few things about this water; a few things about this river. It says it is the water of life, and it is as clear as crystal. This water that comes from the throne of God has a life-giving effect on the lives of men and women. When we listen to the Gospel it is that which comes from the heart of Heaven.
In Holland one day some years ago, some of us we had the opportunity to see through the parliament building in The Hague. Sometimes it’s open for tourists and there was a group together and we had a guide and she took us there through that building. From one room to another room and eventually we came to a huge hall there in that building, and there in that hall is the throne of our queen. Once a year she would come and she sits on that throne and speaks to the Dutch nation, but the guide she said to us, “This place where this throne is, is the heart of Holland.” This is where the heart of Holland is, and you know, I was thinking of the throne in Heaven, and isn’t it a wonderful thing that this river; this water proceeding from the throne it comes from the heart of Heaven. This is wonderful and it comes from the heart of God, and that which comes from the heart of Heaven is life; it has a life-giving aspect and it is pure, like crystal. This is truth, this is no mystery; it is the doctrine of Christ, and it is as clear as crystal.
We read in one of the Psalms about the children of this world, sitting by the rivers of Babylon. The rivers of Babylon, you know what that means. It means Babel; it means confusion and the source; or origin of the rivers of Babylon is from this world, but the source of this river of Life, is from God. “Come a little higher, and I will show you the source of this river that is in the heart of heaven.” It is in the heart of God and it is in Heaven. If we drink from the source of the rivers of Babylon; the source that is of this world, it is going to confuse people. It is a terrible thing if we sit in a meeting and we listen to testimonies and you think that there is something there that is confusing us, because the source which that person has got that from, was from the rivers of Babylon; from something that is of this world, something that is out of any other literature; any other Scriptures, but this thing; this Truth has its source in Heaven. It is a wonderful thing when you can feel that this is as clear as crystal.
We have there in Europe the River Rhine and it starts somewhere I think in Switzerland and it flows through the countries. It flows through Germany and flows through our country; in Holland, and in Holland they have this problem that this water is polluted. You can’t drink it. It is salty, it is filthy, it is not clean, it’s polluted, and the only way we could drink that water is to go back to the source; to go back to the origin where it is clean. This Truth, some people believe it started here, but this thing; this wonderful doctrine; this wonderful truth of God, it comes from the heart of Heaven it flows out of the throne of Heaven, and throughout the ages it has been polluted by the minds of man; the thoughts of man; the ideas of man, and it is something that confuses the minds and hearts of people.
I am so thankful of the time when I was sitting there under the sound of the Gospel, and it wasn’t any educated preachers, intellectual preachers, but it was just simple preachers with a simple message. I saw that this was from the heart of Heaven and these people, they were in touch with the source in Heaven, and they were able to fill my heart with something that was not going to confuse me. It was something that was as clear as crystal. “Come up a little higher” and I’ll show you the angels. We read about the angels there, and it shows us what angels really are. We read in the Bible that they are ministering Spirits. I can’t see it, but I can feel it, and we read in the Bible of men and women, people who have been willing to go to the uttermost and then they stop and can’t go any further, then God in His kindness and in His mercy sends them help of the angels and they got victory again, and they could go up a little higher.
I was thinking of Jesus in Gethsemane and the struggle He had to get that victory, when He said, “If it is possible let this cup pass from Me.” He knew it was impossible, and there was no possibility. He just had to drink it; He just had to take it, but I like what we read on further after that. It was the human being in Him, of that which was human in Him, when He said, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me,” but then He said, “Not My will, but Thy will be done,” and that was the voice of the Spirit, the voice of the Divine in Him. He was willing for the will of God, and we read after this that – (it is interesting to make a study of the number three in the Bible. I don’t want to speak about it, but the number three in the Bible speaks of God’s strength) and after that first time, and I like this, and it says, “There came an angel from heaven.” There was no help from earth anymore, and the only thing that could help Him was the strength which came from Heaven, and it says that the angel gave Jesus strength. “Come up a little higher” to have this wonderful provision that God has made in Heaven. Round about the throne and in front of the throne is all the help we can receive, when we feel we can’t go any further.
There was something else that he saw. We read there that he saw the Lamb. That’s wonderful to me, and it says that he saw the Lamb that was slain. That was different, he saw the slain Lamb that was in the midst of the throne. “Come up a little higher” now at this convention and I will show you this wonderful thing, “The Lamb that was slain for the sin of the world.”
In Genesis 22, we read about that well known and familiar chapter, Abraham and Isaac going to the place of sacrifice, but Isaac, he says, “Here is the knife and here is the fire.” Isaac was thinking about something; there was something going on in his mind, and he had a question in his heart, and he said, “Where is the Lamb?” He realized and understood that this sacrifice was incomplete without the lamb. I believe that this convention would be incomplete without the Lamb, but this is Genesis 22 “Where is the Lamb?” Then in Luke 22: Jesus was partaking of the bread and wine and He says, “This is My body,” you understand what I mean when He says, “This is My body,” and He says, “This is My blood.” Genesis 22 is “Where is the lamb?” and in Luke 22, Jesus is the Lamb. Jesus the Lamb of God; the slain Lamb; the One who was willing to die for the sin of the world. “Come up a little higher and I’ll show you the Lamb.”
When John the Baptist was with his disciples, there was a little of Jesus there, and John says, “Behold the Lamb,” but then he says something else, “That taketh away the sin of the world.” I like that; that is now in the past; the door is shut and no one has the right to open it again. He has taken sin away. I have underlined it in my Bible that word “Taketh away” and Stan was speaking about the High Priest; the Priest that was standing there in the presence of the angels and in the presence of God, and he was clothed in filthy garments. I like what the message was, “Take away that filthy garment.” It doesn’t say, “Just fold it up and put it in the corner,” so that he could see it again, but he said “Put it away.” This is God, “Come up a little higher, and I will show you this wonderful Lamb that was slain.” The blood doesn’t only just cover us, but it takes it away for all eternity. I believe it with all my heart that this is in the heart and mind of God at this convention now that it is to take it away.
I once read about a man who was in prison and he was to be executed for something that he had done in the past, and he was facing death. While he was in prison he committed suicide; he took his life. He left a little note behind and these words were written on that note. “The world knows the many times I’ve failed, but only God knows the many times I’ve tried.” We feel like that I’m sure. People know the many times we’ve failed; I’ve failed and others know about it, and maybe they speak about it, but it’s wonderful to think that in the heart of God today, that God knows the many times I’ve tried; I’ve tried to get the victory, and even as we leave here, I believe that even in this convention that only God understands and God knows the many times I’m going to try to get the victory over that something which can hinder this connection between Heaven and earth.
John, he was conscious of the fellowship between Heaven and earth in the Spirit, because he was “in the Spirit,” and he also had fellowship with the Spirit of God, and I pray that God will help us to just try to do our best so that we could get victory over that thing that could hinder our spirit from having fellowship with the Spirit of God in Heaven. If I’m going to try, I’m sure that God is there and willing to help me to get the victory, because I do believe that God in His heart would like to have fellowship with you and me. Not only that we would have fellowship with God, but He is anxious to have fellowship with His children even in these days at convention. I’m glad for this. “Come up a little higher” and I’ll show you these wonderful things in an open Heaven, and may this be our portion in these coming days at this convention, which we have one with another before the God of Heaven.