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And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.
IN OCTOBER 2002, I WAS TAKEN UP TO HEAVEN TO SEE the throne room of God. It was one of my most profound spiritual experiences.
What I describe to you here is not written in a figurative sense or as a flight of human imagination. One difficulty in describing that spiritual experience, however, lies in my understanding of what I saw. I believe that a supernatural gift of wisdom through the Spirit of Truth is required to make this heavenly experience clear. The other difficulty relates to the difference in the human perception of time and God's eternity.
John the Beloved did such an awesome job of describing what he saw in the book of Revelation. He truly had the Spirit of Wisdom to relate to us what he had seen. Many people consider his language confusing, until they begin to understand how vastly different eternity is. Then, they develop a great respect for this beloved friend of Jesus.
Often people who see into Heaven as it really is cannot clearly communicate what they have seen, unless they have a supernatural gift of wisdom through the Spirit of Truth. Now that I have qualified this concept, I will attempt to present a basic message that came from the greater whole of the experience.
The Radiance of His Glory When the Heavens opened to me, the atmosphere of Heaven was thick with intense purity in the air. Many spiritual beings surrounded me. An angel guided me into the center of a very large room, which I realized was God's throne room. It had no visible walls; the room seemed as endless as God's awesome presence.
In the center of the room was the glorified Son. His presence was so bright that the pure light coming from His face felt like a walk into the heart of a nuclear explosion. Yet somehow, He gave me grace to be able to walk toward Him.
Although I understood that God dwells in an approachable light, this experience of His glory caused me to become undone.
How can those who are unholy come into the very presence of 18 THE THRONE ROOM COMPANY Holiness without shattering into a million particles? God's very covenant of love was my assurance that I was safe. I held on to it as though it were a contract in my hand, because I was so overwhelmed by the fear of the Lord.
This time I wasn't allowed to get very close. However, just being in such nearness to God was overwhelming. I just stared at Him, the King of all glory. I felt like I was crying out of sheer joy, but no tears fell. It was as if my spirit contained the emotion of weeping but expressed it so much deeper—with a deep sense of astonishment.
Just gazing at God was an act of worship. I didn't have to try and produce words or songs; my whole being was alive in His presence and completely adored Him. It is a natural, automatic response in the midst of His glory.
I was only able to gaze upon Him for a few minutes. I knew if I stayed there much longer, I would not be willing to return to Earth. So, the angel interrupted my sweet communion with Jesus. It was the only time my angelic companion felt awkward.
We looked at each other with complete understanding, and then we both obeyed.
Around God's Throne The angel directed me to look around the throne room. As much as I didn't want to take my eyes off the Lord, I obeyed.
Only then, I noticed three groups of people and spirits in the throne room.
The first group seemed to be made up of humans who had passed on into eternity. Somehow I understood these were the saints of old who were still laboring for the purposes of God to come forth on the Earth. Many wore living robes of light that were alive with purpose and embedded with specific markings on them. Some garments seemed so much a part of the person, they appeared to be joined to the person's flesh.
The second group consisted of angels and other heavenly beings. I saw groups of angels who resembled human beings. I WHEN THE HEAVENS OPEN 19 also saw a fantastic host of heavenly beings who were flying, floating, running, standing, and lying prostrate. The magnitude of angelic beings God created around Himself was simply stunning. Millions of them were in the throne room. Never before have I been part of such a vast crowd on Earth, and I found it intimidating in the throne room.
Visitors to the Throne Room Amazingly, the third group was by far the smallest group. It comprised four hundred Christians—mere visitors like myself.
These were not people who had passed on to eternity by dying.
Instead, they were actual living Christians who were experiencing Heaven at the same time as I, although not everyone realized the fullness of the experience.
Each individual was being led into shafts of light that would fill him or her with revelation about the very heart of Jesus. I knew there was an end-time purpose to each person's visit as well as a divine union with the Lord.
Angels were assigned to each visitor, but not just any angel.
Many were angels who had spent thousands of years in the throne room worshiping and communing with Jesus. These angels were sent to carry the atmosphere of the throne room into the very lives of this small company. As I watched these visitors return to Earth, they were literally surrounded by a heavenly atmosphere that came from these angelic assignments. The holiness and glory of the heavenly realm followed them back in token experiences.
These four hundred visitors were getting clear glimpses of Heaven. They were able to see into the mysteries of ages and touch what only a few have touched while living. This group included people of all ages and both sexes. Some in this circle were Christians from the persecuted church, and some were from the Western world. I was surprised to know several by name.
What amazed me most was seeing several children in the group. One was a little boy who was only seven years old.
Although it wasn't until I was a late teenager that I had a 20 THE THRONE ROOM COMPANY heavenly experience, I began to see revelation when I was only four years old. Children have the same invitation that we do—to experience the depths of the Holy Spirit's work. In the coming days, I believe that many children on Earth will be invited into a much higher realm of revelation than many of us can imagine.
In the midst of this heavenly scene, I realized that my angelic companion had left me and now the Angel of the Lord was standing near me. He spoke to me about the four hundred
"This is the throne room company—those Christians who are called to see and better understand the high calling of eternity, and to bring that message back to the world. What they have seen will set them apart, and it will provoke many to jealousy, yearning for a glimpse."
I knew this experience would set this group apart from other Christians on Earth, not only because of the heavenly revelation, but because of the angels that would be assigned to them from the throne room of God. In addition, they would have tasted the heavenly realm in such a way that would ruin them for anything natural. Encountering this eternal realm would cause a holy and accelerated drive toward it when they returned to Earth.
Even though we numbered only four hundred, the angel said this company would soon multiply; it is the Father's goal to have a whole generation of heavenly minded believers who long for Jesus to return to Earth and claim His reward. Therefore, in our generation an access would be given to encounter Heaven experientially by the Spirit of Revelation.
All of us in the throne room were powerfully drawn into the presence of Jesus Christ. As we looked into this heavenly realm, a supernatural expansion was given to each of us, to carry back the virtue of what we had seen. This virtue of Jesus would bring an expansion that would manifest in each person's character, understanding, relationships, and ministry.
WHEN THE HEAVENS OPEN 21 A Season of Visitation In our generation, various Christians have served as tokens of this heavenly deposit; these ones carried a special anointing or gifting, especially in their love for others. But now, we are entering a targeted season in which a whole generation of people will begin to carry the nature of Jesus Christ on Earth.
What I experienced that October may result in a paradigm shift for many Christians. If a door to Heaven opened to you today, how would that experience affect your passion for Jesus Christ? Or your relationships and daily activities?
In contrast to a life centered around Christian activity, I wonder if all of us might have an ever-increasing desire to walk in the presence of Jesus, in order to carry His mandate both now and into eternity?
For several years, I used to wonder what it would be like if God would give us access to His throne room—to see what the angels see, to know what causes the twenty-four elders and the living creatures to cast down their crowns before the throne. And while I have caught only a glimpse, a whole generation is about to see such things and bring back this heavenly experience in prophecy, music, teaching, business, politics, and in every dimension that will eventually touch the ends of the Earth.
As Christians, one of the most important themes given to us as our heritage is the subject of eternity. Unfortunately, in many respects the message of Heaven has been lost. However, it is clear this will be one of the most prevalent messages in the Body of Christ as we get closer to His return.
Demonic Distractions Besides our own lack of understanding about eternity and the heavenly realm, we have an enemy who is trying to pervert our understanding of them. Two powerful strategies of the enemy have confounded our perspective.
First, Satan has caused Christians to fear that Heaven's reward is not worth paying the earthly price. This anxiety seems 22 THE THRONE ROOM COMPANY to preoccupy us with our day-to-day human struggles, stealing the focus from God and the greater mandate of our eternal calling.
This spirit of unbelief in our culture comes through a religious spirit, which has always been one of the greatest strongholds of the Church. This religious spirit causes us to be more preoccupied with our struggling humanity, stealing our focus from God. It causes us to become so focused on this temporal life and how we relate to it in our weak attempt at faith that we cannot focus on the greater mandate of our eternal calling.
At the other extreme, the second strategy of the demonic realm is to bring such a narrow focus on end-time eschatology that we miss the true focus of our eternal reward, as our attention is deftly steered onto the bumpy, misunderstood road that leads there. Many of us have missed seeing the true goal of Jesus, even in our pursuit of understanding the end times.
To remain clear of either distraction from the enemy, we
need to follow the apostle Paul's example:
That statement reflects both Paul's calling and his heart's hunger to be with Jesus in Heaven. Both Paul's passion and his witness to the Church—the Body of Christ—grew out of his willingness to become a living testimony of that heavenly call.
As a result, Paul did not merely include eternity in his overall blueprint for Christian success, he contended as in a race, pressing on to his eternal call.
This contending for Heaven marked Paul's life and was one WHEN THE HEAVENS OPEN 23 of the reasons he was able to call believers to live as he lived. He was not just making himself an example for those called to Church government, and he was not trying to assert that he was the ultimate in Christian virtue either—although his personal integrity was unmatched in his day. No one is without fault. But what Paul gave as a witness to the Body of Christ was his willingness to become a living testimony as one who was completely focused on Jesus in Heaven. Paul's goals were clear, and the price he was willing to pay conveys a truly passionate message to us.
Hell's Secret Let me give you the secret to hell: The devil resists and even prostitutes the subject of eternity for us, because Satan is jealous of our role in it. Keeping us from eternity is his ultimate goal. In fact, the "father of lies" is disturbed that God would freely give humans what Satan so desired: to be like Jesus, and to be glorified in Heaven with Him.
For this reason Satan works overtime to distract us from who we are and to occupy us in lesser roles. If he can do this to the Church, he will continue to dominate the world, because we have failed to engage in a rightful Kingdom dominion.
For our identity to be fully wrapped up in the Kingdom Age, we must first submit ourselves, including all the lesser roles we perform, to Jesus. When we do this, we can begin to behold Him through the eyes of the Spirit, and we will begin to become like Him in all of His glory even before we enter into the age to come.
Keeping Eternity in Focus Jesus always used language that pointed to eternity. He longed to be there so much—even while He was on Earth—that Jesus could not separate eternity from His very being. To behold Jesus as He walked the Earth in the flesh was to catch a glimpse of Heaven. He opened up the realms of Heaven through the 24 THE THRONE ROOM COMPANY words He preached, through His miracles, and through His intercession. He revealed an eternity where God—who has no beginning and no end—waits for us in eager anticipation.
God offers us an eternity where we will be a counterpart to Him. He desires nothing but our affections. He desires that this eternity will be an arena where we will rule and reign with Him —even over angels—having been fully adopted into His inheritance of all creation.
Jesus' life became a sort of "open Heaven." As early Christians considered this teaching, they coined the term "open Heavens." We still pray for this today. Because, when the Heavens open, we will see more fully the object of our desire, the Lord Jesus Christ. Imagine what will happen when a generation begins to carry the atmosphere of Heaven on the Earth.