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Friday, May 17 2013
What Will Your First Day In Heaven Be Like?
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven ... we shall meet the Lord in the air"
The Old English word "heaven" originated from an ancient Anglo-Saxon word, heofon, that simply meant above. "Heaven" is used to translate the Hebrew word, pronounced shaw-may, and the Greek word, pronounced oo-ran-aws, both of which are used to refer to either the sky (i.e. the earth's atmosphere), or the limitless outer space above it.
Consider the full range of the term "heaven" as it is actually used in the Holy Scriptures:
"1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." (Genesis 1:20 KJV)
Many people mistakenly believe that they are "going to heaven" when they die - even though Earth is already itself in the Bible's own definition of heaven. But only the Messiah has gone to God in the highest heaven (see also What Happened When The Messiah Arrived In Heaven?).
"3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." (John 3:13 KJV)
People don't "go to heaven" when they die. The dead are dead, awaiting their resurrection on Earth after the Messiah returns (see the Fact Finder question below). That is the very basis of the true Gospel - "the Gospel of the Kingdom of God" that is coming to Earth.
The Messiah remained on Earth for forty days after His resurrection. He ascended a few days before Pentecost after giving His disciples their instructions about what to be doing until He returns (see Repent, For The Kingdom Of Heaven Is At Hand to understand how the return of the Messiah will seem to be as close for the people who lived thousands of years ago as it will for the people alive on the very day that it happens).
"1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 1:2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 1:3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
The Messiah then ascended to the Father where He remains until His return (see What Happened When The Messiah Arrived In Heaven?).
"1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Most of the Book of Revelation (which is actually an epistle, a letter; see The Epistles: Revelation and Where Are The Seven Churches Of Revelation Today?) is about the return of Jesus Christ and the "heaven" that He will establish on Earth.
"1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
The deceived world such as it is will not accept the return or the rule of the Messiah. They will attempt to fight the LORD God at His return (see The Kingdom Of The LORD God).
"19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
The first resurrection of salvation (the "firstfruits; see The Harvest Prophecies) will occur on the day of Christ's return. The dead in Christ (the true people of the LORD who lived throughout the centuries) will be resurrected to spirit, while those alive that day will be changed to spirit. Together, they will meet the LORD in the air as He makes an orbit of the Earth gathering them, before descending to Jerusalem (see the Fact Finder question below).
"4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4;13-18 KJV)
This Day In History, May 17
218: The 7th recorded perihelion (the point in the orbit of a planet or comet where it is nearest to the sun) passage of Halley's Comet.
395: Upon the death of Emperor Theodosius I, the Roman Empire was no longer ruled by a single leader. Theodosius had divided the empire into western and eastern portions, thereby creating the prophesied "two legs" of Nebuchadnezzar's Dream.
1377: Pope Gregory XI restored the papacy to Rome from Avignon, France, where it had resided for 72 years. It had been moved there by French Pope Clement V in 1305, to escape the political turmoil in Italy at the time (see The Struggle For The Papacy and The Little Big Horn; listen also to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy).
1521: Edward Stafford, the 3rd Duke of Buckingham, was executed for treason.
1562: The Edict of St. Germain permitted the Huguenots (Protestants) in France.
1590: Anne of Denmark was crowned Queen of Scotland.
1620: The first merry-go-round at a fair, in Philippapolis, Turkey.
1756: Britain declared war on France, beginning the French and Indian War.
1773: The Resolution, under Captain James Cook, became the first ship to enter Antarctic waters.
1805: Muhammad Ali became the Governor of Egypt.
1808: Napoleon I of France (Napoleon Bonaparte) ordered the annexation of the Papal States into the French Empire.
1809: The Papal States were annexed by France.
1814: Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden.
1902: Greek archaeologist Valerios Stais discovered the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical analog computer.
1912: Captain Robert Scott's expedition reached the South Pole, a month after Roald Amundsen of Norway.
1939: The Nazi government in Germany prohibited Jews from working as dentists, veterinarians and chemists (see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1940: Germany occupied Brussels, Belgium and began the invasion of France (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1945: The Soviet Red Army liberated and occupied Warsaw, Poland, from German forces.
1966: A U.S. B-52 bomber collided in mid-air with a refuelling tanker over Spain. 8 people were killed, and the bomber released its H-bomb into the Atlantic.
1987: At the time when Iraq was regarded as a U.S. ally (primarily because Iraq was at war with Iran), an Iraqi fighter jet "accidentally" fired a missile that struck the USS Stark. Although 37 U.S. sailors were killed, the U.S. declared it to be an incident of "friendly fire" from an ally.
1990: "Enightened leaders" of the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from its official list of psychiatric diseases.
2004: Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize homosexual "marriage."