Thursday, July 10, 2014

Our Lord’s Cloud Crowd And Rainbow Coalition

By Jack Davis

John beholds in vision a most notable person, “another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:” – Rev. 10:1.

WHO IS THIS? Often in scripture, the word translated angel denotes a messenger. Here we see God’s most mighty Messenger of all. This title is indicative of the ability and the authority He possesses for the office He is about to fulfill. This one is indeed the Messenger of the covenant of Malachi 3:1-2. He is here about to make it even more clear that “The heavens do rule in the affairs of earth.” As we consider His description and conduct we don’t have to guess who this is. “HIS FEET AS PILLARS OF FIRE” – we may equate with those of the “Son of man” of Revelation 1:15. “And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace.” “HIS FACE AS IT WERE THE SUN” is seen also in His description in Revelation 1:16; “And his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.”

CONSIDER HIS ACTION AND ATTIRE: “He set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth”  (10:2) and is seen taking possession as rightful sovereign of land (Jews) and sea (Gentiles). He asserts His right, and His purpose to enforce it. He shouts with power (v. 3), “as when a lion roareth:” He is beginning to exercise His authority as the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” (5:5), who “hath prevailed.” The cry of the Almighty Judge brings forth a mighty response from heaven; “seven thunders uttered their voices.” vs. 5-6, He swears with authority “that there should be time no longer.” The times and seasons have now been placed in His (the reigning Son’s) power, Acts 1:7. Oh yes, Jesus, our Lord, will have taken hold of the situation, and He will allow no more time for the rulers of the nations to usurp His rightful place!

There will have been one on the scene who thought to change the times and the laws. Daniel fore-saw him in his vision recorded in Daniel seven. In the interpretation of that vision he is spoken of as one that “shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change the times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time, (3 1/2 years). But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion…” Dan. 7:25-26. Then dominion shall be given to the One who comes with the “CLOUDS OF HEAVEN,” and this Son of man shall be given “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” Dan. 7:14.

HIS ADORNMENT “CLOTHED WITH A CLOUD:” This “cloud” signifies the saints in glory being associated with Him when He is taking charge on earth. Thank God, we need not be wells without water nor “clouds that are carried about with the tempest (II Pet. 2:17. I am so glad that we have real substance to share, as that great “cloud of witnesses that compass us about” and encourage our faith in running our race (Heb. 11 & 12). I rejoice in those already assembled in heavens grand stands. Could not this cloud be made up of those who received a better resurrection? Heb. 11:35. How about those bodies that came out of the graves after Jesus’ resurrection? Mt. 27:51-53. Consider the cloud crowd that received Jesus out of the disciples’ sight as He ascended into heaven. Acts 1:9-11.

Daniel fore-saw one like the Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven in Dan. 7:13. In the Gospels, we have the record of Jesus speaking of His revelation, as being seen coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” Mt. 24:3; 26:64.

In I Thess. 4:14,17, we read of those who sleep in Christ, whom God will bring with Him, and that we which are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. Jesus is soon going to be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels. When He shall come to be glorified in His saints (holy ones), and admired in all them that believe. We can plainly see some contrast here. His crowning glory will be manifested in those who appreciate and have appropriated His mercy and grace in abundance, in order to realize in experience His holiness. “They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” – Rom. 5:17.

CROWNED WAS A RAINBOW UPON HIS HEAD: we sense some of the magnificence of our Lord’s mercy and grace, to His highest glory. What was Paul’s crowning glory? Was it not the overcoming saints? Those lovers of the race, those gaining victories over the tossings of the law and falsity? “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved” – Phil. 4:1. “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy” – I Thess. 2:19-20.

If those of that day were Paul’s crowning glory, shall not we be also? And if Paul’s, may we not even more so be Christ’s? He shall be admired. Some will reflect a measure of Christ’s glory. Glorified, some will radiate and be radiant in His glory. The Apostle John saw the holy city, coming down from God our of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for Her husband. Then one of the angels told John that he would show Him the Lamb’s wife. Then John being carried away in spirit to a great and high mountain, saw her “Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious” – Rev. 21:2,9-22.

Consider God’s ideal in the marriage relation, even for symbolic worth. “The man (Christ) is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man” – I Cor. 11:7. Praise God, Jesus will soon present to (by the side of)  Himself a glorious church.

Let us make the rainbow connection, consider Gen. 9:8-17 After the flood, God promised never to destroy all flesh again by water and set His bow in the cloud as a token of that covenant. This is just beautiful, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” God symbolized His mercy and grace by setting His bow in the cloud. Oh, how compassionate God has been to pity and pardon mankind – not giving us what we deserve, but giving us what we do not deserve. The rainbow was a token that said judgement is past; the sun is still shining.

“And above the firmament that was over their heads was a 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…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…This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD” – Eze. 1:26-28. Such an awesome sight of beauty and glory, put Ezekiel upon his face. Jesus seems to be the only one said to be surrounded with a rainbow.

In the rainbow’s many colors, we may behold the varied and radiant glories of our Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in His saints. By the Holy Spirit’s anointing, we may feast faith’s eyes on the manifold wisdom of God, manifested in the Church – Eph. 3:10. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” He has chosen us and predestinated us in Him, according to the good pleasure of His will. “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” – Eph. 1:3-6. Do you see the rainbow?

God worketh all things after the counsel of His own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory.” We “were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” – Eph. 1:11-14. God, who is rich in mercy, in the ages to come is going to show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness to us through Christ Jesus (Eph 2:4,7). Oh! Can we see His rainbow?

So it is God who set His rainbow in the cloud. The cloud is ever highly precious. It will be wonderful to adorn Jesus as part of His cloud crowd, but the rainbow within is special. Oh, to be set as part of His rainbow coalition, we may enjoy the height, the peak, of being our dear Lord’s crowning glory. This must be love’s true motivation for crown winning: to bring Him the most glory possible.

“A THRONE WAS SET IN HEAVEN.” “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold” Rev. 4:3-4. This seems to give us a partial view of our Lord’s ruling cabinet. Consider Zech. 3:8, “Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that set before thee: for they are men wondered at…”.

The King’s company will be made up of those who are called and chosen and faithful (Rev. 17:14). They will not come from just the red-skinned people, nor the yellow, nor the black. There will also be some white there and all the shades in between, all the colors of God’s beautiful universe. His crowning glory, His rainbow coalition will be made up of full overcomers of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation (Rev. 5:9). They will be priestly kings and kingly priests, worshipping rulers and ruling worshippers – living creatures and elders.
By J. D.