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Wednesday, January 28 2015
Psalm 68: Are There Really Harps And Clouds In Heaven?
"The Son of man came with the clouds of heaven ... having the harps of God"
There is a popular fantasy about people going to heaven and playing a harp while sitting on a cloud. None of that is actually in the Word of God, but heavenly harps and clouds are otherwise real.
When the Messiah returned to heaven (see What Happened When The Messiah Arrived In Heaven?), He was welcomed at The Throne of God (see The Patriotism Prophecy) by a great multitude of spirit beings - some of whom sang the Messiah's new song (see also The New Song Of The Messiah) to the sound of the harps that they played.
"5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 5:7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." (Revelation 5:6-10 KJV)
After the Messiah's return to Earth (see also What Did Jesus Christ Prophesy About Earth?), those of the first resurrection (see What Will Happen On Your Next Birthday?) will also sing the Messiah's victory song, to the sound of "the harps of God" that they will be given.
"15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest." (Revelation 15:2-4 KJV)
What about clouds in heaven?
At the "Transfiguration" (see The Moses And Elijah Vision) God spoke to Peter, James and John from "a bright cloud," saying "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him."
"17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 17:3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
After His Sacrifice (see The Sacrifice Was Given, Not Taken), the Messiah ascended to heaven in a cloud. The apostles were told at that time that He would return in the same way.
"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. 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:9-11 KJV)
The prophet Daniel (see the study series for the prophet Daniel from The Prophet Daniel: The Seventy Weeks) was also given to see the Messiah's return to The Throne of God. He left Earth in a "cloud" (the verses above) and He arrived "with the clouds of heaven."
"7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14 KJV)
Even before His Crucifixion (see The Crucifixion), the Messiah prophesied that He would return "in a cloud." The Messiah reiterated it, after His return to heaven, to the apostle John in the Book of Revelation (see Revelation: Thy Kingdom Come).
"21:27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." (Luke 21:27-28 KJV)
The Messiah is going to return upon a "cloud" (see What Happens After The Messiah Returns?).
"14:14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 14:15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. 14:16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped." (Revelation 14:14-16 KJV)
King David was also a prophet (see the Fact Finder question below) - as it happened, a harp-playing prophet, who well-knew of the clouds of heaven i.e. "his strength is in the clouds".
"68:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm or Song of David.
Fact Finder: What are some of the prophecies about the return of Jesus Christ that were recorded by King David in the Psalms?
This Day In History, January 28
814: Charlemagne ("Charles the Great"), German king and Holy Roman emperor (the The Holy Roman Empire was officially known as The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation), died at age 71 (see also Emperors and Popes and Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1547: King Henry VIII of England died at age 55. England broke away from the Church of Rome during Henry's reign. His nine-year-old son, Edward VI became King, and the first "Protestant" ruler of England.
1561: In France, the Edict of Orleans outlawed the persecution of Huguenots (French Protestants) by Catholics.
1581: In Scotland, King James VI signed the Second Confession of Faith.
1596: British explorer and naval officer Sir Francis Drake died at age 50. Drake and his crew were the first Englishmen to sail around the world (1577-1580). Later, in 1588, Drake was one of the commanders of the British fleet that defended Britain from the Spanish Armada (sent by the Pope to invade and subjugate Britain).
1724: The Russian Academy of Sciences was founded in St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, Czar of Russia.
1725: Peter the Great, Czar of Russia (czar is the Russian form of Caesar, as is the German Kaiser), died at age 52 after reigning from 1682.
1788: The first British penal colony was established at Botany Bay in New South Wales, Australia.
1807: Pall Mall ("parallel to the mall") in London became the first street to be illuminated by gaslight.
1871: During the Franco-Prussian War (France and Germany), Prussian forces captured Paris.
1918: Dr. John McCrae, the Canadian military doctor who wrote In Flanders Fields, died.
1921: Albert Einstein proposed the possibility that the size of the universe could be calculated (see also Parabolic Prophecies).
1932: In the lead-up to the Pacific theater of the Second World War, the Japanese army occupied Shanghai to force an end to a Chinese boycott of Japanese goods.
1935: Iceland became the first country to "legalize" (in man's eyes, not God's) abortion on medical or "social" (i.e. commit fornication or adultery, then commit murder to get rid of the "problem") excuses.
1943: During the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) mobilized the entire German adult population for the war effort.
1950: The French Assembly ratified their proclamation under which Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos became "independent" colonies within the French union. After France retreated from the region due to the civil wars that their imperialism created, the U.S. became involved in the Vietnam War (which was actually a civil war between the Vietnamese people whose single country had been partitioned in 1954, by the French at the end of the First Indochina War, into North and South Vietnam).
1973: The Vietnam War (see the entry for 1950, above) cease-fire was signed by the U.S. and North Vietnam in Paris.
1980: During the Iranian hostage crisis, 6 U.S. "diplomats" (most of whom were later admitted to be CIA agents), who missed being taken captive when the U.S. Embassy was invaded by Iranian militants, escaped out of Tehran in what became known as "The Canadian Caper." The U.S. spies were secretly given refuge by Canadian diplomats in the Canadian Embassy for over 2 months before leaving Iran by using Canadian identities and passports provided by the Canadian government. The Hollywood fantasy movie Argo (that millions of people now regard as what happened) distorted the reality of the events, ignoring or leaving out most of the Canadian work that made it happen. The Canadian ambassador, Ken Taylor, who was actually there and risked his life to give refuge to the U.S. diplomats, called the movie a grossly-dishonest propaganda film that glorified the CIA.
1986: Seven astronauts died after the Challenger space shuttle exploded 72 seconds after launch - Francis "Dick" Scobee, 46; Michael Smith, 40; Judith Resnik, 36; Ellison Onizuka, 39; Ronald McNair, 35; Gregory Jarvis, 41; Christa McAuliffe, 37. A total of 14 U.S. astronauts died in two separate space shuttle launch (Challenger) or re-entry (Columbia) failures.