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Pursuing Greatness and Eternal Rewards

Mike Connell

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In Revelations 4 verse 2 and 3, it tells us that when He, He who sits on the throne - it talks about it Him being like a jasper, and the sardius stone; so John is looking, in the Book of Revelation, he's looking into heaven. He says: oh, how can I describe it? Well like a jasper, meaning a diamond. God is just like a diamond, glistening and glittering and flashing just like a diamond would; so if you've ever seen a diamond in a jewellers shop, a big diamond, got those little lights on it, and it goes flash, flash, flash, flash, flash and you - ooh, it's lovely! I want it! [Laughter] So what he's saying is, he's trying to get language you can understand, to describe something which is spiritual; so he says: you know what a diamond is like? Beautiful, big, multi rock, multi carat diamond, all glittering and shining? That's what God is like. He's more beautiful than that - he says like a sardius stone. Sardius is red. It shines off a red glow. He's full of life and energy, so he's trying to find language to describe what God looks like in heaven. The Bible's full of it, but it uses picture words to describe it; so - now here's the thing - that even when Jesus was on earth, He gave a glimpse of this.

Let's have a look and I want you to look with me in Matthew 17. Jesus gave a glimpse of what this would be, and what it would look like. Here it is in Matthew 17. You've read it, but you probably haven't seen what this was. Now he says in Verse 1: after six days, He took Peter, James and John, and went up to a mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. Something happened as Jesus prayed on the mountain. Now He's just in a human body like ours, but His human body, His clothing, the glory of God, the nature of God, the true man, the spirit man, the man of the heart is hidden away with this garment that's clothed Him. It's called his body; and Moses, as he prayed, his face literally began to emanate rays, light came out, his garments even began to shine, because the glory, the nature, the presence of God that was in Him was beginning to reveal and show forth. It was no longer concealed, and as it showed forth, the effect on His body was, it began to radiate light. His clothes radiated light. It was like the sun, it was so bright. That was Jesus in his physical body. When His glory manifested, He looked like a shining light. It was the nature of God manifesting. His clothes looked light, looked bright. In Mark 9 he says - he's trying to describe it. He says it's whiter - it's like snow. It's like it's so white, it looks like - I don't know. It's whiter than anyone can make a garment. He's lost the language. What he's trying to do is, describe an experience where Jesus, manifesting the hidden glory within Him, is beginning to shine forth like a light, and they're starting to see the true reality, who is in this person is God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ; and when God revealed Himself, His whole countenance and clothing ignited with bright light.

Isn't that amazing? And the Bible tells us in 2 Peter, that was what He's going to be like, when He comes again. This was what they saw. They got a prefigure of the second coming, and a prefigure of what will happen. Now the Bible tells us that Christ is in you, and this light is hidden in you. It's the hidden man inside the heart, so God is wanting us to grow our inner life, our life with God, and it expresses itself through our life; so that when that day comes, we will be seen, we'll be like Him.

Let's go back here in Revelations 19 again, and then I want to just get on to - there are two possibilities: that one, you'll be clothed; and two, you won't be clothed. It's true, and I've found them in the Bible. I'll show you the scriptures that bear witness to it, so let's have a look at first of all the clothing. In Revelations 19 verse 8, and here's the clothing that we have, and it says: here to her was granted - Verse 8 - she would be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright or white - and that word there is the word lampas, from which we get the word lamp. So what he's saying is - he's not saying that the clothing is, like it's just a natural linen, and its white colour. The word he uses is the word lampas, which means to radiate or shine, or glitter or glisten, with life and glory. He can't find language to - he can't find anything - says: it's white, or it is lamp-like, would be a better way to say it; so he's saying that the clothing, that was given to the overcoming church, is lamp-like in its appearance. It literally glistens, and glitters, and shines - it's so glorious.