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Sunday, November 6 2016
Revelation 3: What Will People Be Wearing In Heaven?
"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life ... Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints"
The English-language 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 or the Earth's atmosphere (e.g. "fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven" Genesis 1:20 KJV), or the limitless outer space above it (e.g. "God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth" Genesis 1:16-17 KJV)
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, that was created as Paradise (see Will You Return To The Tree Of Life?), is already itself in the Bible's own definition of heaven as it orbits the star that is called the "Sun." But only the Messiah has ascended to God in the highest heaven where the Throne of God is located, for now (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 Harvest Prophecies). That is the very basis of the true Gospel - "the Gospel of the Kingdom of God" that is coming to Earth (see What Gospel Did Jesus Preach?). God, and with Him the highest "Heaven," is coming to Earth:
"21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Revelation 21:1-4 KJV)
The third chapter (keeping in mind that there were no chapters in the Holy Scriptures as they were originally written) continues the opening address of the letter to the seven church congregations (see Why Were The Seven Churches Listed In That Order?).
Notice that the LORD reveals, in His general statement to the Christians in Sardis, that "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life" (verse 5 below). That "fine linen" is how those who are Judged worthy of eternal life will be clothed - the marriage of the Messiah to the "bride of Christ," the true Church of God "19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." (Revelation 19:7-8 KJV; see also Eve Was Created From Adam; What Woman Was Created From Jesus Christ?)
Sardis (also spelled Sardes), was, in the 7th century B.C,. the capital city of the Kingdom of Lydia. Sardis was known for its crafts and artistry, and as the first city where silver and gold coins were minted. Sardis was taken by the Persians about 546 B.C., and then later in turn by the Athenians, Seleucids and the Attalids. When the Romans took it in 133 B.C., it became the capital of the Roman province of Lydia. The city was severely damaged by an earthquake in 17 A.D., and although the Romans reportedly spent 10,000,000 sesterces for damage repair, the city never fully recovered its former glory.
"3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write;
Philadelphia, also known as Alasehir, was a Lydian city founded between 159-138 B.C. by Attalus II Philadelphus of Pergamum. In commemoration of the king's love and loyalty for his brother Eumenes II, the city was called Philadelphia, which in Greek meant "city of brotherly love". Built on an elevated terrace, the city overlooked the nearby Hermus Valley, in which ran a Persian Royal Road. The area is very susceptible to earthquakes, and in 17 A.D. the city was completely devastated. Apparently right above the fault line, the city continued to be severely shaken by periodic aftershocks for another 20 years after the great quake.
"3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write;
Laodicea was situated on one of the major regional trade routes that made it a prosperous commercial and banking center of the time. The Christians at Laodicea have long been used as a timeless example (see Where Are The Seven Churches Of Revelation Today?) of those whose faith became "luke warm" because they put as much trust and faith in their financial wealth as they had in God (see The Mammon Of Past And Present and What Does The Bible Say About Lucre?). They sought temporary worldly wealth, while largely forsaking true eternal riches.
"3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
Fact Finder: How was linen used in the Bible?
This Day In History, November 6
355: Roman Emperor Constantius II promoted his cousin Julian to the title of Caesar, assigning him to rule the Prefecture of the Gauls (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
1429: Henry VI was crowned king of England, 7 years after succeeding to the throne at age 8 months.
1528: Shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca became the first known European to set foot in what is today known as Texas. Contrary to popular myth, the voyages of Christopher Columbus were limited to the Caribbean Sea area (see the map of the voyages of Columbus at Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy). The continent of North America itself was discovered by Vikings who landed on what is today the east coast of Canada - over 5 centuries before Columbus discovered the Caribbean.
1572: A supernova (a newly-visible "star" caused by the explosion of an old star) was observed in the constellation Cassiopeia. Another example of a supernova remnant is the "Crab Nebula" show below; it was first observed and recorded by Chinese astronomers in 1054.
1632: King Gustavus II of Sweden was killed during the Battle of Lutzen in the Thirty Years War.
1813: Mexico was declared independent of Spain.
1861: During the U.S. Civil War, Jefferson Davis was elected president of the Confederate States of America.
1867: The first Parliament of Canada opened.
1889: The Eiffel Tower opened in Paris.
1913: Mohandas Ghandi was arrested in South Africa for leading an Indian miners march.
1917: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the 5-month third Battle of Ypres ended when Canadian and Australian troops took Passchendaele. The advance of 5 miles cost 240,000 men.
1917: The beginning of the "October Revolution" by the Bolsheviks (October 25 according to the then-used Russian calendar), led by Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky.
1918: The Republic of Poland was proclaimed.
1923: During the time of out of control inflation in Germany, a single loaf of bread sold for over 100 billion Marks. Much of the inflation was caused by the government printing vast amounts of (eventually worthless) paper money to pay its vast government debt in which it couldn't afford to even pay the interest any longer.
1932: In German elections, the Nazis lost 34 seats and 2,000,000 votes but still remained the largest party in the Reichstag with 196 seats. Adolf Hitler was eventually elected President of Germany (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1935: The first flight of the Hawker Hurricane. Over 14,000 Hurricanes were built during the Second World War (1939-1945), including 1,400 built in Canada for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Hawker Hurricanes and Supermarine Spitfires defeated Hitler's air forces in "the Battle of Britain."
1944: Walter Edward Guinness, first Lord Moyne, British Minister for Middle East Affairs, owner of the Guinness beverage company, was murdered by radical members of the Zionist "Stern Gang," named after its leader Avrahan Stern. With few exceptions, the "Zionists" were horror-stricken by the assassination. The 2 youths who committed the crime were placed on trial in Cairo in January 1945, and swiftly found guilty and hanged (see A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism and A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1962: The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning South Africa for its apartheid policies.
1991: A Canadian fire-fighting team extinguished the last of the 751 oil fires that had been started by Iraqi troops in Kuwait at the end of the Gulf War.
1996: Over 2,000 people were killed or lost at sea when a cyclone struck India's major crop-growing state of Andhra Pradesh.
1999: A referendum in Australia voted to retain the British monarch as head of state.