I’m sure you have heard many speculative and fanciful ideas about heaven. We have a vivid description from the Apostle John in Revelation, but even that is hard to fathom. The memory verse from today’s lesson assures us it will be much more glorious than we can ever think or imagine! Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for us and was coming back for us “…quickly.” In fact, in the final chapter of Revelation we are told that three times in verses 7,12 and 20. We also know it will be a place of incredible fellowship with God and the Saints, and we will enjoy everlasting comfort and joy. No more death, sorrow, crying or pain. (can I hear an Amen!) We will be employed in meaningful service for our King and I doubt that means sitting on a cloud and playing a harp. This is a perfect time to review who is allowed to enter this wonderful place…all whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of Life. (Rev. 20:15 and Rev. 21:27) “…He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we have done, ( indeed, all of our own righteousness is like filthy rags…Isaiah 64:6) but because of His own pity and mercy, by the cleansing of the new birth…” Titus 3:5. This is what Jesus, the Lamb of God, accomplished for us by shedding His blood and dying on the cross. This precious blood washes away my sin and is the only thing that can purchase my pardon and give me right standing before God. Jesus conquered death and proved He was God by resurrecting from the grave. To reject His offer of Salvation that is offered so freely, is to invite God’s wrath… John 3: 18 & 36. It is my hope and prayer that all who read this blog has, or will choose life!
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a people to be peculiarly His own , people who are zealous of good works.” Titus 2: 11-13
This worksheet uses a full page of cardstock. There are 2 options for the “pearly gates”. The sample above has more intricate cutting and the sample below would be good for smaller children. If you are going to cut out the pearly gates, you should color the leaves and then apply a thick coat of tacky glue covered with glitter so it can be drying. I used what I had on hand, but you can purchase glitter that has a pearl-like sheen, and you can even purchase “pearlized” card stock…but it is expensive! After the page is colored, stamp your leaves with a leaf stamp or make one out of a potato! Just cut a potato in half and draw a small leaf shape with a pencil. Trace around your shape with a sharp paring knife, then cut away the excess. It will “weep” starch so dab with a tissue. Add a few veins with your knife. (sample below) You can also make your own ink with some tacky glue and green food coloring which leaves a sticky surface after you are stamping…perfect for glitter . Make the stamps ahead of time for your kids. The potato stamps will keep several days in the icebox. Another option would be to make a leaf stamp out of foam, which you can glue to a cork! Add fruit to the tree if you would like . The pearly gates should measure 8 inches by 3 1/2 inches. You might have to play around to get your dimensions correct…I suggest plain paper for this and make sure you “preview” before you print…switching to card stock when you have the pixels/size adjusted. optional: white feathers or tissue paper* to cover the angel’s wings and other sparkly embellishments such as sequins or plastic “jewels”…or…make your own with dried tacky glue blops (fake pearls) and paper you have glittered or colored with metallic pens! The last touch will be to add a name of a tribe of Israel to your gate. (Rev. 21:12)
Gems have always fascinated me and I’ve listed the “possible” colors of the gems for you… emerald green jade; sardonyx; sard (red); spinach green jade (jasper in KJV); lapis lazuli (sapphire blue); white jade – (misty white) diamond in KJV; citrine quartz (honey gold) beryl in KJV; amazonite or turquoise(sea-green) emerald in KJV; olivine, peridot (yellow green like olive oil) topaz in KJV; chrysoprase (apple green) agate in KJV; lavender jade, amethyst (purple) . Taken from a study by Paul Phelps “Jewel Stones of Israel’s 12 Tribes,” there are many studies available on the gemstones used and they all differ. Mr. Phelps takes 3 things into consideration. Since the stones that are used in the Revelation are the same stones mentioned in Exodus, he infers that: 1. These gemstones would have had to be available in Egypt in ancient times. 2. The stones would have had to be large enough to engrave upon (5 cm. wide) and 3. The stones would need to be soft enough to engrave upon with the tools available in ancient times…not harder than quartz crystal which has a hardness of 7. Adam Clarke, in his commentary , lists the tribal order (according to the Targum) as follows starting in the upper right hand corner: (sard) 1 -Reuban; (olivine) 2 – Simeon; (emerald green jade) 3- Levi; (amazonite) 4- Judah; (lapis lazuli) 5- Issachar; (white jade) 6- Zebulun; (amethyst) 7- Dan; (chrysoprase) 8 – Naphtali; (lavender jade) 9-Gad; (citrine)10- Asher; (sardonyx) 11- Joseph; (dark green jade) 12- Benjamin. This is the order I used in the sample of actual gemstones above. Interesting note: some have even imagined the foundation stones the colors of the rainbow. This could work when you realize that the jasper can be clear; the sapphire- red; the chalcedony – opaque red; the emerald – blood red bixbite; sardonyx – red fading to orange; sardius – carnelian(pure orange); chrysolite – gold; beryl-yellow; topaz – green; chrysoprasus(chrysoprase) – teal blue; jacinth – deep blue sapphire and amethyst – purple. Fun to think about but I am not making a doctrine about it as we can not be 100% certain which shade of the gemstone John saw except jasper, which he describes as “clear as crystal” in Revelation 21:11. It will be breathtakingly beautiful!
* To cover wings with tissue paper you will need to make a template of the wings. (Put worksheet up to the window and trace onto another piece of cardstock.) Cut 4-5 layers of each wing with white tissue paper. Starting at the bottom, tack down one layer an inch from the bottom of your template with a glue stick and work your way up to the top of the wing, working in 1 inch increments until you have glued all your layers. Trim and glue over the wings on the worksheet. Use the same layering technique if you have real feathers.