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In 1547 Ivan the IV became Grand Duke of Russia, and he proclaimed himself "Czar" which is a form of the word "Caesar." He actually claimed to be god on the earth. He later became known as Ivan the Terrible, because he was a cruel, vicious leader. He not only had his critics murdered, but family members as well. He was one of the most brutal leaders in history. He had seven wives and abused all of them. He had thousands of Russians massacred. In a fit of rage, he killed his eldest son, who was heir to the throne.

He lived a wicked life, but just before he died, Ivan requested his head be shaved and he be ordained as a monk. Some say he was truly sorry for his sins, but the popular opinion is he wanted to be buried in the clothes of a simple monk in hopes God wouldn't recognize him, and he would slip into heaven under God's radar. If that's why he was buried in the clothing of a monk, then he should have been called Ivan the Stupid.

The only clothes acceptable in heaven are the clothes of the righteousness of Jesus--and they aren't for sale. The King supplies them as a gift.

(From a sermon by David Dykes, Your Invitation to the Royal Wedding, 8/20/2012)

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