New Foundations Ministries
Glory Revealed In The Clouds
When Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus, one of the leaders of the Pharisees, He revealed to Nicodemus: "Ye must be born again". Nicodemus then made his famous statement:
"How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" John 3:4
Nicodemus' understanding of the words of Jesus are like many today. All he had was a carnal, fleshly understanding of what Jesus spoke.
"Nicodemus answered and said unto Him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?" John 3:9-10
Nicodemus was a teacher of God's law, an expert of things written in the Old Testament, but he had no Spiritual understanding of what was written. Today the pulpits are full of men who look no further than the written page. They do not seek God to reveal anything any deeper than a carnal understanding.
God is wanting to reveal Himself to His people through His Word. If we allow the Spirit, He will lead us into all truth. This is a promise of God. In His conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus asked him:
"If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" John 3:12
We can understand the earthly things Jesus spoke with our carnal or natural mind. To understand heavenly things, we must receive God's Word through the Spirit. Most have never developed their Spiritual understanding. We hear the statements, "Receive the Word as it is written". This is well and good. The Word can not be changed, only our understanding of the Word can change. Jesus revealed to His disciples:
"It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life." John 3:12
Our fleshly understanding of God's Word is only the beginning of God's revelation. When we look at the Bible through fleshly eyes it simply becomes an ancient story book. It is the Spirit that makes God's Word come alive, because as Jesus spoke, "The Words I speak are Spirit". We must look for the Spiritual understanding of what Jesus spoke if God's life is going to be revealed in our lives.
When Jesus addressed the woman at the well, He revealed to her:
"If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water." John 4:10
The gift of God Jesus spoke of was the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It is by and through this anointing His Word becomes living water in our lives. Jesus continued His revelation to the woman at the well:
"But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:14
When we begin to partake of God's anointed Word, and apply it to our lives, we will never again thirst for the things of this life. When the anointed Word becomes our life, it will become a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Most believe everlasting life is in some far off place called heaven. Everlasting life is within us. Everlasting life can only come when we yield to the anointing and to the Word of God. Only by and through the Word and the anointing can this corruptible, mortal body be changed into God's glorious, incorruptible, immortal body.
As Paul wrote to the churches at Galatia:
"My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you," Galatians 4:19
Until Christ, the anointing, is formed in us, and we allow Christ to live His life through us, only then can eternal life consume us. As long as we mind earthly things, the heavenly things have no part of our lives. God's Word simply becomes a dry bone. Those who remain in this place are not living the life of Christ. Until God anoints His Word, it will not produce life in the reader.
As we search for God's Spiritual understanding of His glorious Word, we begin to understand God's Spiritual truths are hidden in His creation. Paul wrote to the church at Rome:
"For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" Romans 1:20
Many of God's hidden mysteries are revealed through His creation. Those who refuse to seek the mysteries of God in His creation will have no knowledge of His eternal power and Godhead. Paul states, these will stand before God without excuse. They will have no explanation for their ignorance.
God has revealed many mysteries in His clouds. As we view the clouds we stand in amazement and awe at their beauty and majesty. As children, we could imagine all kinds of shapes and forms in the clouds. God has used the clouds many times in His Word to reveal His glory
THE BOW IN GOD'S CLOUDS OF GLORY
The first mention of "clouds" in the Bible is in Genesis, chapter 9:
"I do set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between Me and the earth." Genesis 9:13
God set the rainbow in the cloud as a covenant between Himself and man. This was His promise that He would never again destroy all flesh and the earth with a flood, Genesis 9:11. We need to view the rainbow God set in the clouds through Spiritual eyes. The rainbow appears in the clouds only after a rain, when light is diffused through the raindrops to show the spectrum of light. This spectrum of light reveals the anointing of light God has promised to all who will receive it. When we have the anointing of light, we can understand the writing of the beloved John:
"But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." I John 1:7
When we view God's rainbow He has set in the clouds we are witnessing His covenant of light with all mankind. No man can change its beauty, or God's intended purpose. As Paul wrote in his second letter to the church at Corinth:
"For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him amen, unto the glory of God by us." II Corinthians 1:10
God has set His promised anointing in His clouds of glory for all to see.
THE PILLAR OF THE CLOUD AND THE PILLAR OF FIRE
God revealed His glory in the clouds when He called Israel out of Egypt:
"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:" Exodus 13:21
Those who have spent time in the desert know without the cloud in the daytime, the Israelites would have perished from the heat. Moses referred to the desert as the iron furnace, Deuteronomy 4:20. The desert gets very cold at night. The pillar of fire not only gave Israel light, it also provided heat for Israel in their camp. The word pillars in the Word always means "strength and support". Without God's strength and support, it would have been impossible for Israel to have survived one week in the wilderness. It is a certainty they could not have survived forty years. Israel was in God's total protection as long as they were obedient to the voice of God. Jeremiah recorded:
"Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey My voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be My people, and I will be your God:" Jeremiah 11:4
Obedience kept Israel alive. If they did not move when the cloud moved, they would be left to endure the heat of the day and the cold of the night. It was only through obedience Israel could survive. The same is true today. When we are disobedient to God's Word, His protection is no longer present. Today with crime and violence on the rampage we need to stay close to the pillar of a cloud and His fire of protection.
As we view the pillar of a cloud and the pillar of fire through Spiritual eyes, we discover the cloud represents God's ever present glory in our lives. The pillar of fire represents the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit doing its necessary work to make us clean and holy before God. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth concerning God's pillar of protection, and their crossing of the Red Sea:
"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;" I Corinthians 10:1
Israel resided under and by the cloud. Israel was not only in God's protection, they dwelt in the presence of His glory. Moses recorded God's words to Israel:
"And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot." Deuteronomy 29:5
For forty years Israel's clothes did not wear out, nor did their shoes get old. In the heat of the desert, leather dries out very quickly unless it is constantly treated with oil. The soles wear very quickly because of the heat and rough terrain. Israel's clothes and shoes were in the care and protection of their God.
God had promised Israel if they were obedient...
"Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle." Deuteronomy 7:14
Not only would Israel multiply abundantly, so would their livestock or their wealth. They would not be lacking or wanting in anything.
Paul continued his revelation to the church at Corinth:
"And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;" I Corinthians 10:2
Israel was baptized unto Moses. The word baptized is the word BAPTIZO and means "to immerse or to submerge". All Israel was immersed or submerged in the glory of God. As God promised Israel,
"Thou shall be blessed above all people", Deuteronomy 7:14.
We, too, can come into a place in God where we are totally in His care and protection. By obedience to God's Word we, too, will be blessed above all people, and immersed in His glory.
Speaking of the cloud, Moses revealed:
"And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night." Exodus 14:20
Egypt is a type of the world. To the world the glory of God appears as darkness. Only those who are dwelling in the light know God's glory. The world does not understand because their eyes are darkened, and there is no light in them.
THE THICK CLOUD
There came a time in Israel's wilderness journey when God wanted to speak to Israel personally. It was His desire to speak His law to Israel on a one on one basis.
"And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord." Exodus 19:9
God was going to appear before Israel in a thick cloud. The phrase thick cloud means "a cloud mass". The people were to prepare themselves for this meeting.
"And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai." Exodus 19:10-11
Israel was given two days to prepare themselves. They were to sanctify themselves and wash their clothes. This is a shadow of the two days God gave the church to prepare themselves. Jesus revealed this time of preparation when the Pharisees came to Jesus and told Him Herod was going to kill Him. Jesus' words were:
"Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected." Luke 13:32
Jesus proclaimed the two days of the church age as today and tomorrow. These are the two one thousand year days since Jesus ascended off the earth. The third day is when He will be perfected in His saints.
As Paul revealed to the church at Thessalonica:
"When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day." II Thessalonians 1:10
What day? The third day! The Day of the Lord! The Day of His Glory and Perfection! God gave us Israel as our example, I Corinthians 10:11.
As we consider how God dealt with ancient Israel as types and shadows, we can understand how God is going to deal with the church.
"And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that were in the camp trembled." Exodus 19:16
Israel, like many today, wanted to be in the presence of God, but not His power. When God's presence came with thunder and lightning, His majesty and power were revealed upon the earth. After the thunder and lightning the trumpet began to sound loudly. The trumpet is the voice of prophecy. When the voice of prophesy is accompanied by thunder (the voice of God) and the lightning (the majesty and power of God) God's people truly will begin to tremble.
"And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off." Exodus 20:18
God's people have no idea of God's majesty, power, and glory. We hear some say, "When Jesus returns I am going to go up and shake His hand". These have no idea of the power and majesty of His return.
When Daniel came into the presence of the Lord, he was sick many days, Daniel 8:27. When Paul came into the presence of the Lord, he fell flat on the ground, and God placed physical coverings over his eyes to keep him from being blinded. When the risen, glorified Christ appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos, John recorded:
"And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last." Revelation 1:17
We must remember this was the same John who leaned on Jesus' breast at the Last Supper. But this was certainly not the same Jesus. This was the Risen, Glorified, Christ Jesus; no longer the Anointed One, He had become Christ, The Anointing.
When Israel saw the glory, majesty, and power of God...
"They said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die." Exodus 20:19
This is where much of the church is today. Instead of seeking to enter into the presence of God, and know His glory, majesty, and power, they want the preacher to hear from God and tell them what to do. In their heart they are exactly like ancient Israel who declared, "Let not God speak with us, lest we die". They know God would recognize their sin, because they have not moved into a place in God to have their sins forgiven. They have been taught going to the altar once is all that is necessary. These refuse to deal with God's conviction in their lives. They have accepted false doctrines such as: Once saved - always saved; or hang on until the Rapture takes place. If these were taken up in a rapture, they would not enter into the presence of God, because their sin and sin nature has never been dealt with.
God called Moses into the Mount:
"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 cloud." Exodus 24:15-16
The glory of God covered the mountain for six days. In the Bible mountains represent kingdoms. The glory of God has covered His kingdom and His kingdom people for six days. We are rapidly drawing to the close of the sixth day. The Seventh Day is about to begin
God reveals His glory in the clouds.
When the seventh day begins, God's people will be called out of the midst of the cloud, and the glory of God will abide upon His chosen people, those who have been prepared to enter into His presence and glory. Isaiah, the prophet, foresaw this time:
"Arise, Shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." Isaiah 60:1
This is the time when God is going to be glorified in His saints. As Moses recorded:
"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." Exodus 24:17
When Israel refused to hear the voice of God they were in a backslidden condition. To them God had become a devouring fire, and they were not willing to allow God to purify them through the fire. They knew, as the writer of Hebrews knew, Our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:29. Those who will not obey God's voice will be consumed in the fire of His anger during the time of His wrath.
GOD'S HOUSE FILLED WITH HIS CLOUD OF GLORY
Today, many are claiming to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. The temple we are to become is a Spiritual temple. God shows us the natural so we can understand the Spiritual. The natural temple was Solomon's temple. When Solomon completed His temple, there came the Day of Dedication when the Ark of the Covenant was placed in the Holy of Holies:
"And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course." II Chronicles 5:11
Before the priests could enter into the Holy of Holies they had to be sanctified before the Lord. The word sanctified means "to consecrate, to be dedicated and holy before the Lord." They had to be totally separated unto God, set apart in a Spiritual place. This same sanctification process had to take place in all the singers and musicians:
"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 musick, 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;" II Chronicles 5:13
When all the music and praise became one before God, all individualism was done away with. God was given all the glory, all the pre-eminence. Then the house was filled with the glory of God. When all who are praising and worshiping God become one voice, then He will fill His house with His glory.
"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. II Chronicles 5:14
We are becoming the house of God. We have God's promise we, too, will be filled with glory when we come into a oneness with the Father and His body. God's glory was revealed on the Day of Pentecost when the disciples gathered in the Upper Room.
"And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place." Acts 2:1
All who were gathered in the Upper Room were there with one accord. There was no division. They were there for one purpose. When the people from all over the known world were gathered together, what did they hear from those who were in the Upper Room?
"We do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God." Acts 2:11
They were not trying to defend what they believed or did not believe. They came together in one accord to pray in one accord, to praise in one accord, to worship in one accord. It was because of this they could proclaim the wonderful works of God.
In his letter to the Corinthians Paul proclaimed:
"Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." I Corinthians 1:10
It is God's desire that His body all speak the same thing. This is not expounding some denominational dogma, or the precepts and doctrines of men. He desires we all speak His Word. It is only by and through God's word that His body can come into oneness, where there is no division in the body.
Denominational systems divide, separate, and alienate the body of Christ. We can only be perfectly joined together in the same mind and same judgment when the body comes together in one accord. All self, self-rule, self-esteem, and selfishness must be done away with. Our whole purpose when we come together must be to glorify and proclaim the wonderful works of God. Then, and only then, will God's house be filled with His glory (the cloud). No flesh can stand in the presence of His glory.
THE GREAT CLOUDS OF GLORY
The prophet Ezekiel, whom God revealed His Holy City to, had occasion where He came into the presence of God and witnessed His glory. At the River Chebar, Ezekiel...
"...looked, and behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire." Ezekiel 1:4
Ezekiel saw a great cloud. The word great means "massive". Along with the cloud, Ezekiel witnessed a fire infolding itself. This fire was not extending outward. It was infolding itself. This is the cleansing fire of God in our lives. When God's cleansing power is in our lives, so is His glory. The more cleansing we allow in our lives, the more His glory will shine forth. This cleansing power is the Holy Spirit that came on the Day of Pentecost as cloven tongues of fire to cleanse and purify the body of Christ.
There was a brightness about the fire. God's glory cannot be hidden. It is shown in everything He does. Out of the midst of the fire came something the color of amber. When we think of amber we think of a reddish, orange color. The word amber means "a shiny substance, or electrum". Webster describes this electrum as ARGENTIFEROUS GOLD. Argentiferous is an agent used in the purifying of gold. What was coming forth from the purifying fire of God? Pure Gold! Job was an example God used to show us His argentiferous, purifying process. In Job's lowest time, he proclaimed:
"But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." Job 23:10
Job knew his time of trials were for his purification. When this time of purification was finished, Job came forth as gold. One of the fruit of the Spirit is longsuffering. Why do we need the fruit of longsuffering in our lives? In the time of purification, the fruit of longsuffering does its perfect work. We must not be as the children of Israel, who backed away from God's purifying process. We must allow the fruit of longsuffering to do its purifying work in our lives. Only the strength we gain through long suffering will enable us to survive the time of testing and purifying in our lives.
The prophet Malachi informed us:
"And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." Malachi 3:3
Our God sits as a refiner and purifier of His silver and gold. The only way silver and gold is purified is by turning up the heat. As God's Spiritual silver and gold, we can only be purified by this refining process. All things that do not profit God in our lives must be brought to the top, and skimmed off. Then, and only then, will we come forth as argentiferous gold, purified in God's infolding fire.
GOD'S GLORY REVEALED IN THE CLOUDS
In a vision Ezekiel was taken before the throne of God to witness His glory:
"And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of His loins even upward, and from the appearance of His loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud, in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake." Ezekiel 1:26-28
In a vision Ezekiel stood before the presence of God. When he came into the presence of God, he fell upon his face. Anytime man comes into God's presence, he falls upon his face. When man falls backwards, he is in rebellion to God.
Ezekiel described God's throne and the appearance of the man who was over the throne. Again, Ezekiel saw the argentiferous gold in the fire. This time it was the man who was above the throne. The fire was from His loins upward and His loins downward. This fits the description the writer of Hebrews gave to our God.
"For our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:29
What Ezekiel witnessed was the all-consuming fire of God and His throne was as the appearance of the bow set in the cloud. God's throne was pure light, diffused through the anointing that was over the throne. And His light was set in the clouds of His glory. This brightness (pure light) revealed the glory of God.
As we search for the truths of God's glory, we must look at the life and words of Jesus. As Peter revealed, Jesus was given to us as our example. Before Jesus went to the cross, His prayer to the Father was:
"And now, O Father, glorify thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." John 17:5
Jesus was the glory of His Father before the world, as we know it, came into existence. Jesus' desire was to return to that glory. The glory of the Father was revealed many times in Jesus' life as He walked on the earth. One of these times was on the Mount of Transfiguration:
"And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them; and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as light. Matthew 17:1
This event took place after the sixth day. As we view this through Spiritual eyes, this event happened on the Seventh Day. Jesus was transfigured, and all the glory of God was revealed in His appearance. God revealed this event to proclaim His glory He will pour out upon His body on the Seventh Day. The Seventh Day of God's creation lies directly ahead of us. Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus and His disciples:
"While He yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him." Matthew 17:5
A bright cloud overshadowed them on the Mount. This same cloud appeared on Mount Sinai. Again God appeared in the cloud to reveal Himself unto His people. This time God did not proclaim His law, He proclaimed His Son who was the end of the law.
On His way down the mountain, Jesus admonished His disciples:
"And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead." Matthew 17:9
The things revealed to Jesus' disciples were Kingdom truths. They were not for their day. They were revealed for the Seventh Day.
Most who sit in the church today have no concept of why the Father sent His Son to earth in an earthly body. Yes, He was the perfect sacrifice for sin. Yes, He did reveal His plan of salvation for all mankind. And yes, He was the first to be resurrected from the dead. This is all foretold in the first four books of the New Testament. But if this was God's whole plan for His creation man, the Bible could have ended with the book of John.
The Bible did not end there. There was a Day of Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit as cloven tongues of fire. Why? To prepare a people for His return, those who He will prepare to stand before His throne and minister in His presence.
There came a day when Jesus would be taken to the cross. Three days later His followers would witness His resurrection. After His resurrection Jesus would walk on the earth in His resurrected, glorified flesh for forty days. During this time Jesus appeared to His disciples in the Upper Room and revealed His risen, glorified body to them:
"Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have." Luke 24:39
For these forty days, Jesus was not a spirit. He had a body of flesh and bones. He had shed His body of flesh and blood. He dwelt those forty days in His resurrected, glorified flesh. Then came the day Jesus would ascend off the earth:
"And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight." Acts 1:9
How was Jesus taken off the earth? He was received up into a cloud (the cloud of God's glory). As Jesus' disciples stood there in amazement...
"... two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." Acts 1:10-11
Today most of the church is looking for the physical return of Jesus. Their belief is He will return in His flesh. Jesus appeared to two men after His resurrection. We must look at these appearings to determine if Jesus is going to appear again in His flesh.
The first appearance was to Paul on the road to Damascus. Did Jesus appear to Paul in the flesh?
"And as he journeyed, he came near to Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" Acts 9:3-4
A light from heaven shined around Paul. Paul would later describe this light to King Agrippa as being brighter than the sun, Acts 26:13. Paul witnessed the brightness of God's glory. Paul was never the same after this encounter with God's glorious appearing. Even imprisonment and the threat of death could not deter Paul from God's revealed glory.
The second man to stand in God's glory was the beloved John on the Isle of Patmos:
"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet." Revelation 1:10
John was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day. The Lord's Day is the Seventh Day of His creation. John was translated through time to the Seventh Day. This is the day the body of Christ will see the risen, glorified Christ in all His majesty and glory. When John saw Him:
"He fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last." Revelation 1:17
John, the beloved disciple, had leaned on Jesus' breast at the Last Supper. John was one of the three disciples with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. John was with Jesus in everything He did. Yet, when John met the risen, glorified Christ on the Isle of Patmos, he fell at His feet as dead. No flesh can stand in the presence of God's glory. Few men have witnessed the true glory of God. Isaiah was such a man.
"In the year that King Ussiah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory." Isaiah 6:1-3
Isaiah was taken into the presence of God where He saw and heard the seraphims cry, "The whole earth is full of His glory". The seraphims were proclaiming the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ when the whole earth will be full of His glory. Isaiah proclaimed this day when, by the anointing, he penned the words God spoke:
"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Isaiah 11:9
When Jesus came the first time, the Jews knowing the Old Testament could not receive Jesus because the Old Testament not only foretold Jesus first coming, but also His second coming. The Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah because they had no understanding of Jesus' second coming. Therefore they rejected Jesus because they could not relate His first coming to the Scriptures concerning His second coming. They expected their Messiah to deliver them from the tyrannical rule of the Roman Empire. Jesus never preached overthrowing the government. He preached peace and rising above the government in power. Today the church is making the same mistake. Instead of preaching overcoming, they preach a "utopia" in heaven, or an escape in a phony rapture.
Many Scriptures in the Old Testament foretell the Seventh Day and the setting up of God's Kingdom. By the anointing, Peter wrote of the Seventh Day:
"And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." Isaiah 40:5
The prophet Habakkuk also saw the Seventh Day:
"For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Habakkuk 2:14
The prophet Daniel not only saw the day when God's glory would be revealed, he witnessed the return of Jesus to the earth.
"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him." Daniel 7:13
Today there is much speculation as to how Jesus will return to set up His Kingdom. As stated before, most of the church is looking for a physical return of Jesus in the flesh. The answer to this age-old question is revealed in the book of Acts when the two angels asked Jesus' disciples the question:
"Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven." Acts 1:11
Many believe this Scripture means because Jesus ascended up in the flesh, He will return in the flesh. We need to come to the understanding that heaven is the Spiritual realm. How did Jesus' disciples see Him go into the Spiritual realm? As was stated before:
"He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. Acts 1:9
Jesus ascended into the Spiritual realm and returned again to the glory that He had with the Father before the world began. With this knowledge we need to search the Scriptures to understand what the Word reveals about Jesus' return to earth. Matthew recorded Jesus' words concerning His return:
"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Matthew 24:30
All those who have rejected Jesus or have not had a personal relationship with Him are going to mourn when they see Jesus coming in the clouds. Jesus is returning in all His power and glory, as He ascended off the earth in clouds of glory.
The word mourn means "to bewail, lament, and to beat the breast because of grief". When Jesus was being questioned by the High Priest, the High Priest demanded Jesus to tell him if He was the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus' answer was:
"I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." Matthew 26:64
Jesus declared how He would return to the High Priest. He was coming in the clouds of heaven (the Spiritual realm of God). If the High Priest had any Spiritual understanding of the Scriptures, he would have known Jesus was the fulfillment of what Daniel the prophet spoke in Daniel 7:13.
THE LORD'S CLOUDS OF GLORY
Jesus appeared in His glorified state to John on the Isle of Patmos. As Jesus revealed Himself to John, He also spoke of His second coming:
"Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen." Revelation 1:7
Again Jesus stated plainly, He is returning in the clouds of His glory. As Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica:
"...when He shall come to be glorified in His saints." II Thessalonians 1:10
Jesus will return with His clouds of glory, those who have risen out of their fleshly existence and are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 2:6.
Physical clouds always appear in the heavenlies. God's Spiritual clouds of glory are going to also appear in the heavenlies. They will be as Moses when he came down from Mount Sinai. His face was so bright he had to put a vail over his face so Israel could look upon him. Those who look upon God's Spiritual clouds will witness this same glory. These are those who have walked into the place where it is the Christ in them that is their hope of glory, Colossians 1:27. When every eye sees them, they will recognize the glory of Christ in them.
At this time those who have missed Christ's power, authority, and glory will wail because they know their religion has failed them. The prophet Zechariah foretold this event when those who have pierced and rejected Christ will look upon those who have become His clouds of glory:
"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for His Only Son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for His firstborn." Zechariah 12:10
The first coming of Jesus is plainly foretold in the Old Testament. So is His second coming. God's Word is sure. If what He spoke of Jesus' first coming is true, then what He foretold of His second coming is just as true. Jesus revealed through the pen of Matthew when His second coming would take place:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:" Matthew 24:29
Jesus will return immediately after the tribulation, or God's judgment upon the earth. Those who are depending on a false rapture to take them out of the tribulation will never see Him when He returns in His clouds of glory. Their hope is not in overcoming, but rather in escaping.
God has made many promises to those who keep their Spiritual eyes fixed on His Word. Paul wrote to the church at Rome:
"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18
Paul knew God's glory was coming, and that God's glory would be revealed in His people. But along with the glory comes suffering. As Paul revealed to Timothy:
"If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us." II Timothy 2:12
Those who's whole desire is to escape suffering will never rule and reign with Christ. Peter, who was given the keys to the Kingdom, exhorts us to rejoice in suffering:
"But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." I Peter 4:13
When God's glory is revealed we are going to be exceedingly joyful. Why? Because His glory is going to be revealed in us.
Peter continues His revelation to the body:
"The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed." I Peter 5:1
Peter knew He was going to be a partaker of God's glory when it would be revealed. We, too, have this promise. Paul related this promise to the church at Thessalonica:
"Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." I Thessalonians 4:17
Paul revealed we are going to be caught up with all the saints of God into His glory. We are not going to leave the earth to do this. We are going to meet Him in the air. The word air is the Greek word ER and means "atmosphere". The lower, denser air, where we can breathe, not in outer space where there is no air, where man cannot breathe. God is going to catch us up into His glory where He created us to live right here on planet earth.
The prophet Zechariah spoke of the days directly ahead of us:
"Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field." Zechariah 10:1
God is about to pour out His rain upon His body, not the early rain, nor the latter rain, but the early and latter rain together. James foretold the pouring out of God's glorious rain:
"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until He receive the early and latter rain." James 5:7
The early and latter rain is the Double Portion Anointing God is going to pour out upon His body. Those who receive the early and latter rain anointing will become bright clouds. They will display God's glory to shine forth into all the earth.
The Double Portion Anointing is coming upon all those who are being prepared to receive it. It is then that God's glory will be revealed in His saints. The whole earth is going to witness God's glory upon His saints. Israel witnessed God's glory.
"And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. Exodus 16:10
The time is coming when the world will look upon God's anointed people as God's bright clouds of glory. The whole purpose of God's creation was so He could reveal Himself in His bright clouds of glory.
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