CAN YOU SEE THE CLOUD??????
I have been pondering afresh on Augustine’s profound statement:
THE NEW IS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT CONCEALED, THE OLD IS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALED.
So many Truths/Principles begin and continue to develop in the Old Testament and fully develop in the New Testament. Many are fulfilled in Christ, but many are also for the Church. Recently I wrote a blog that related to the Principle that God declared to Moses and King David to “build God’s House according to the pattern” the result of their obedience was the Glory of God descending. As New Testament believers we must build our house (life) and God’s House “according to the pattern” and we can then expect the Glory of God on our lives and in the Church to be our experience.
The Principle/Truth I want to highlight today again relates to the Children of Israel in the wilderness. The 12 tribes were camped around the 4 sides of the Tabernacle, and I want you to visualise yourself as an Israelite outside your tent. You are doing some gardening, you notice the tomatoes are ripening, and you think, next week I can have tomato with my “manna burger” near the tomatoes is an orange tree and again you notice the oranges are ripening and again you think next week I can have orange juice with my “manna burger”. To my many Asian friends visualise a Durian tree and you know they will start to fall next week and you can’t wait( because it has been so long) to partake of that “heavenly” fruit. You have also been trained to keep an EYE ON THE CLOUD above the Tabernacle because every so often it would lift and this was a sign to pack up your tent get into family and tribal order and when the cloud moved you moved and followed the cloud. I am sure many Israelites got quite angry when they saw the cloud lift because of the examples about, tomato, orange juice, durian, they could have stayed but they would have DIED IN THE WILDERNESS. Why ?? The Manna,the quails, the water flowing from the rock was only where the cloud was.
The Cloud wonderfully moved when we move to the New Testament, and see the coming of the Messiah and the birth of the Church, and for a long time the Church moved under the glory cloud. We know historically that the Church went into total darkness and lost every major truth that had been declared in the New Testament. then:
THE CLOUD MOVED
Five Hundred years ago this year 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 93 theses to the door of the castle church in Wittenburg and ushered in the Reformation with the glorious truth
THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH
It wasn’t many years later the cloud moved again through the Anabaptists restoring
About 200 years later the cloud moved again through the Pietists and John Wesley especially and restored.
THE TRUTH OF SANCTIFICATION
Then especially through the Christian Brethren God wonderfully restored the truth of:
THE PRIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS
Then late in the 19th century God raised up men like A.B.Simpson whom God used to restore the truth of:
Then we come to the 20th century and a truth that has impacted the whole of the Christian Church came the restoration and understanding in a new way of:
THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Each time a Truth was restored to the Church three things happened
MANY ACCEPTED THE RESTORED TRUTH
MANY REJECTED THE RESTORED TRUTH
MANY TOOK THE RESTORED TRUTH TO AN EXTREME
Where are you in relation to these important essential truths?
WHERE ARE YOU CAMPED?
Water Baptism boulevard
Priesthood of all believers street
Holy Spirit Hill
The Word of God challenges us to have “ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church”
To have eyes to see when the cloud moves
To have a heart to obey and follow the cloud whatever the cost
Each night on our cruise I looked forward to who we would meet at dinner. One night I sat next to a lovely Canadian Reformed Pastor an d his wife we had some excellent fellowship in the conversation he made a statement that has really shaken me up,
UNLESS THE CHURCH EMBRACES RENEWAL AND RESTORATION IT WILL DIE
He did not say this out of a bitter disappointed spirit but from a heart that longed to see the Church “building according to the pattern” and having an eye for the cloud.
You may have missed the cloud moving in the past, or had your mind closed because what you saw and heard did not agree with your Theology. Sadly, there has often been much dirty bathwater, and we threw the “baby” (the truth) out with the dirty bathwater. What must we do? Peter tells us in Acts 3:19-21
REPENT (CHANGE YOUR MIND) AND BE CONVERTED, THAT YOUR SINS MAY BE BLOTTED OUT SO THAT TIMES OF REHRESHING MAY COME FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD,AND THAT HE MAY SEND JESUS WHO WAS PREACHED TO YOU BEFORE, WHOM HEAVEN MUST RECEIVE (RETIAN) UNTIL THE TIMES OF RESTORATION (RENEWAL) OF ALL THINGS SPOKEN BY THE MOUTH OF ALL HIS HOLY PROPHETS SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN.
This message is burning in my heart, as I do see the Church dying in so many places, and my heart cry to the Lord is “Lord open your people’s eyes, to see the cloud and move with you.
I do hope and pray this blog will challenge you, it may upset you (good) and make you think. Please respond and talk to me.