Open Up the Heavens!

07 Apr
Heaven Opened

from Google Images

In Revelation 19:11 John tells us he saw heaven opened! The Greek word, anoigo (G455), is the perfect passive participle, and the verb should be translated as in Young’s Literal Translation: “having been opened.”In other words, John saw an existing condition not an action.[1] All three Synoptics record that the heavens opened just after Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:21), and all four Gospel accounts record that the (Holy) Spirit (of God) descended and remained on Jesus (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32-34). Moreover, not only had the heavens opened, but the Greek shows they stand open (John 1:51).[2] So, in the context of Revelation 19:11, John either turned his attention to the already opened heavens, or he was given a vision of the fact that the heavens were open.

I am reminded at this point of Exodus 14:16 where the sea was parted for Israel to pass through to their safety. At the same time, however, Pharaoh’s armies were destroyed when they tried to follow them. So, under Moses, the waters were parted (a pathway was opened), but under Jesus, the heavens were parted or opened. In the context of Revelation 19:11, it seems that it was at this very point that the separation of the elect from the wicked began to take place (Matthew 13:30, 40-43; 24:29-31), making judgment (the destruction of the wicked) not only possible but also eminent.

Coming out of heaven or the Most Holy Place (cp. Revelation 4:1-3), was a man on a white horse (Revelation 19:11). John identifies the Rider as the One who is called Faithful and True. This would be in contrast to the rider of the white horse in Revelation 6:2. There the rider has no power. His message is false, and he has no authority. He is a false prophet. However, here in Revelation 19:11 the Rider does have a weapon, the sword that proceeds out of his mouth (Revelation 19:15; cp. Ephesians 6:17). Moreover, this Rider is not a false prophet, but is called Faithful and True. We know him as Jesus, our Messiah (cp. John 14:6; Revelation 1:5-6; 3:7, 14).

This scene calls to mind several Scriptures of similar content that expands upon what John mentions in Revelation 19:11. For example, Acts 1:9 tells us that Jesus ascended into heaven and a cloud concealed him from the Apostles’ view. Daniel mentions that one like the Son of Man was taken by a cloud to the Ancient of Days and was given a Kingdom (Daniel 7:13-14). Jesus expands upon this in his Parable of the Pounds (Luke 19:11-27) where Jesus as “a certain nobleman (who) went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.” In Revelation 19:11 Jesus, the Faithful and True, had received his Kingdom and was at that time coming or returning as he promised.

According to Revelation 19:11 the Lord had come to judge and wage war. In the context of Revelation 18 being from a worldly point of view and Revelation 19 dealing with the same things but from a heavenly perspective, Jesus was coming out of heaven to judge and make war with the great harlot, something mournful from a worldly point of view (Revelation 18:10, 16, 19), but something that is just and righteous and calls out Alleluias from the elect who hold a heavenly worldview (Revelation 15:3; 16:5, 7; 19:2).


[1] See my study in the Gospel of Luke: Heaven Was Opened.

[2] According to Robertson’s Word Pictures and Vine’s Word Studies the Greek verb anoigo (G455 – ‘opened’ at John 1:51 in the KJV) is in the perfect participle active. This reveals a condition that remains true after the completed act. That is, the state of the opening of the heavens remained true after they were opened by God. The heavens weren’t closed afterward.

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Posted by on April 7, 2020 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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