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God Has Always Come to Us "in the Clouds"

“Behold, he cometh with clouds…” (Revelations 1:7)

Clouds” are used throughout the Old and New Testament as a matter of evidPillar of a Cloud - a Tornadoence witnessing to the fearful and awesome presence of the all powerful “Almighty God”. In the Old Testament they were physically visible clouds, full of power (lightning and earth shaking thunder) and fearful authority. When the children of Israel left the bondage of Egypt, the fearful presence of God went with them in the form of a cloud.

“And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” (Exodus 13:21-22)

When Moses received the ten commandments of the covenant from God, the evidence of God’s presence was the cloud, and again, the “devouring fire” that was associated with that cloud. God’s presence in the cloud was not a “light puffy” one.

“And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the clouThunderstorm Cloudsd. And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.” (Exodus 24:15-18 )

These two previous examples were more of a fearful presence because the children of Israel were often disobedient and discontent in their devotion and service to God. But there were times in the Old Testament where the presence of God in the cloud was a blessing to the people of God. It was when all things were in order in their lives and their worship was sincere and faithful in love. When God is being truly honored from the heart of obedient servants (and not just from the lips) he is well pleased. Jesus said “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) And so we see in the Old Testament when the children of Israel were properly gathered together in heart felt, obedient worship to the Lord, great was the blessing of the presence of the Lord amongst them: in the cloud!

“It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:13-14)

How does Jesus still come amongst his people? “Behold, he cometh with clouds!” Today these clouds are the spiritual clouds of God’s true people when they gather together to worship and witness of the great mercy and love of Jesus Christ in saving them and purifying their hearts to the obedience of the faith!

  • “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
  • “But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” (1 Corinthians 14:24-25)

At the final day will he also come in the clouds? Most certainly, for the scriptures plainly tell us so. It is appropriate in this case that what he does spiritually, he will also one day do physically. But in that final day, like unto the children of Israel when they came out of Egypt, when Jesus comes then in the clouds he will be as a cloud of blessing to the true and faithful, and as a devouring fire to the disobedient and unfaithful.

There is so very much more to be said about “Behold, he cometh with clouds” that it will have to be covered more in my next blog entry.

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