1. Jesus tells us there are heavenly and earthly things.
Throughout His ministry, there was a message that Jesus testified that He wanted us to understand. He brought us the new covenant, the new message. Jesus distinguished the earthly and the heavenly.
In John 1:48-51, Nathanael came to understand Jesus as the Son of God, and Jesus answered him, “You will see greater things than this, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” This vision reminds us of the vision that Jacob had at Bethel when he saw the ladder connecting heaven and earth, and angels going up and down.
Angels are messengers who carry God’s message from heaven to this earth. Jesus is replacing that spiritual ladder with Himself. So, Jesus is telling us that He is the connection, the ladder, between heaven and earth. He brings heaven to us and us to heaven. We are able to enter into the kingdom of heaven through the coming of Jesus. Thus, when Jesus is with us, we are in heaven.
Jesus’ main message is that He testifies of the Father and Father testifies of Him. The only One who can bring us to heaven is Jesus.
John 1:1 says Jesus is the Word. The Word and God seem to be separate entities, thus, this is not easy to understand. This Word in John 1:1 is the Word that created all things. This is the same Word, from the same God, that provides redemption. So, we need that Word to be inside us for us to believe and come to Jesus.
2. Jesus came to open up heaven for us.
People bitten by venomous snakes testify that they first lose their hearing and sight before they pass out and die. The serpent has spiritually bitten mankind with its poison. As a result, our spiritual ears and eyes are shut so that we cannot hear or understand the Word and we cannot see heaven and the presence of God. Heaven is shut because sin entered, but Jesus came to this earth to open that door for us, that is why at His baptism the heavens were opened (Matthew 3:16-17).
If we have received Jesus, heaven should be open for us. When Peter confessed Jesus as the Christ, Jesus says I will give you the keys to heaven. This means that the heavens will open to us (Matthew 16:16,19).
Heaven isn’t just a faraway heaven, but there will be a ladder that will connect us and we will be in it. When? Jesus said the hour is now. So, we need to climb up that ladder. Jesus left the door open, yet we say, “God why are You abandoning me on this earth? I am suffering!” Jesus is saying, “Lift up your head, and see heaven open for you!”
John 14:6 tells us that by coming to Jesus, we have come to the Father. We have come to Jesus, so let us now come to the Father.
How did Jesus testify about Himself and Father in the gospel of John? God is One but 3 persons, the Trinity. Jesus is the second person of the Trinity and continues to call upon the Father, pray to Him and testify of Him in heaven. Jesus is God who came down from heaven to His people who are on the earth. He clearly distinguished Himself from the Father in heaven (John 5:43). He says He only speaks and does what the Father shows Him.
Jesus opened the way for us to meet the Father. Jesus explained that the purpose is for us to come to the Father, and not to bring Father to the earthly level. Before being crucified, Jesus’ last prayer to the Father was Him mediating for us, saying, “They did well, Father receive them,” even though we did nothing good. His job was to mediate.
In Acts 1:9-11, Jesus was taken up to the clouds. Jesus was not flying on the clouds, but he just disappeared into a cloud. So, the people were looking up into the sky, and 2 men in white clothing came and scolded them asking, “Why do you stand looking up into the sky?! Jesus has been taken into heaven…”
They were looking into the sky but the 2 men said that Jesus was taken into heaven and not the sky. Is the sky a physical or spiritual realm? It is still a physical realm. Even beyond the sky into outer space, that too is still a physical realm. When the bible talks of heaven, it is not of a physical place but a spiritual place. Jesus will not return from the sky, not from outer space in the universe, but from heaven. We must understand this correctly.
Jesus has opened heaven for us, and we need to experience that heaven in our daily life. We may eventually move into heaven at the end, but even now, He has opened that window for us. We don’t have to look up, but He is here with us. Rev 12:12 is not talking about people raptured in heaven or angels or dead people or sailors, God is referring to people still on earth. God is distinguishing people in the spiritual levels of sea, earth and heaven.
The difference between true believers versus people who don’t know Jesus is that true believers see God daily, we hear Him daily, we speak to Him daily. If Father has called you, He will call you to Jesus and through Jesus we will be able to meet the Father (Psalm 119:18, Colossians 3:1-3,10).