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THE SCHOOL OF CHRIST
By T. Austin Sparks
AN OPEN HEAVEN
A NEW PROSPECT FOR A NEW MAN
That word, "thou shalt see heaven opened" is the new prospect for a new man. A new man, a new prospect! In the Authorized Version, a word is added which has been left out in the Revised Version. I take it for the simple reason that it is implicit in the original, without the word necessarily being introduced. In the Authorized it says, "Hereafter ye shall see heaven open".
In the Revised Version, that first word is left out, and it simply reads, "Ye shall see...". But "ye shall" is something prospective, it is a tense pointing on to a future day. Not 'ye are seeing', but "ye shall see". It is a new prospect for a new man; and therein lies a new era. It is the era of the Holy Spirit, for by the coming of the Holy Spirit, the open heaven is made a reality.
The Cross effects the opening of the heavens for us, but it is the Holy Spirit who makes it good in us, just as was the case in that typical or symbolic death and burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus in Jordan, when the heavens were opened to Him. Coming up on new, resurrection ground, He had the open heaven.
The Spirit then alighted and abode upon Him, and the Spirit became, shall we say, the channel of communication, making the open heaven all that it should be as a matter of communication, intercourse, communion. It is the era of the Spirit, making all the values of Christ real in us. "Ye shall"; and, blessed be God, what was prospective for Nathanael is present for us.
That era has come. We are in the era of the Holy Spirit, of the open heaven.