Animals, Colors, Metals, Numbers and Signs in Scripture.







Signs and Wonders

The Cloud

The cloud is most often used in the scriptures as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. We will look at the use of the cloud in the scriptures and see that symbolism.

The first time the cloud appears in the scriptures is in Gen. Chapter 9: Gen. 9:13 "I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. 14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: 15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth."

God had destroyed the earth with a flood and saved Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives and at least two of every living thing that moveth that breatheth from the destruction by means of the ark. After the waters were abated and all had come off the ark, God made this covenant with every living creature of all flesh that he would never again bring a flood to destroy all flesh. The token of this covenant was the bow set in the cloud. The cloud is the vehicle by which knowledge of this covenant is brought to every living creature.

Likewise, God made an everlasting covenant embracing the elect family of God before the foundation of the world. This covenant is set forth in Rom. 8:29, 30: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." The knowledge of this covenant is brought to us by the work of the Holy Spirit: 2 Tim. 3:16, 17 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." The Spirit moved men to write the scriptures where they get knowledge of this everlasting covenant: 2 Pet. 1:21 "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

In the book of Exodus we read of a cloud that led the children of Israel in all their wilderness journeys: Ex. 13:21, 22 "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." Thus, the children of Israel were led by the cloud and given light by the pillar of fire. The extent and nature of this leadership and how it parallels the work of the Holy Spirit are set forth in the following verses:

1. Ex. 14:19 "And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: 20 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." First, the angel of God was in the cloud. That is, the messenger (angel = messenger). The Holy Spirit delivers the messages to the Lord's people. He may deliver it directly or he may use the gospel ministers or others to deliver the message. Next, the Lord through the cloud made a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites. The Holy Spirit through the miracle of the new or spiritual birth makes a distinction between God's elect children and those that are not his people. The work of the Lord is darkness to those not born of the Spirit of God, but it is light by night to those who are born of the Spirit of God.
2. Ex. 14:24 "And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, 25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians." The Lord through the pillar of fire and of the cloud delivered the children of Israel from their enemies. We experience timely deliverances in this life, often through the work of the Holy Spirit in delivering us from the destruction that the children of this world would rain down upon us. The Holy Spirit does indeed fight for us and against our enemies.
3. Ex. 16:10 "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." The glory of the Lord is His redemption of his elect people and ultimately their resurrection unto glory from the grave. The Lord spoke of the Holy Comforter, the Holy Spirit and said that He would testify of the Lord: John 15:26 "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning." Again, we read in John 16:13 "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you." Thus, as the glory of the Lord was seen in the cloud, so the glory of Jesus Christ is testified to us by the Holy Spirit.
4. a. Ex. 19:9 "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."
b. Ex. 19:16 "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 was in the camp trembled."
c. Ex. 24:15 "And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. 16 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. 17 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. 18 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."

These three passages of scripture are set so as to show forth the judgment of God in the cloud. The people were made to tremble and the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the people. Likewise the Holy Spirit convicts us and causes his people to tremble at the judgment of God: John 16:7 "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged."
5. The Lord had promised Moses that he would set him in the cleft of a rock and would allow him to see His hinder parts. In Ex. 34:5-7 we see this come to pass: "And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation." Thus, Moses saw the Lord through the testimony of God's covenant love, mercy, grace, longsuffering, goodness, truth and forgiveness. This testimony was heard in the cloud. The gospel testifies of God's covenant love, mercy, grace, longsuffering, goodness, truth and forgiveness. Men who preach the gospel must preach as Paul did as follows: 1 Cor. 2:4 "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:"
6. The cloud was used in the dedication of the tabernacle, the temple, and the building of Ezekiel's vision:
a. Ex. 40:33 "And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work. 34 Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle."
b. 1 Ki. 8:10 "And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, 11 So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD."
c. Ezek. 10:3 "Now the cherubims stood on the right side of the house, when the man went in; and the cloud filled the inner court. 4 "Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD'S glory."

In these three occurrences, the buildings had been completed and the cloud filled the buildings and the glory of the Lord filled the buildings. We have three similar instances in the New Testament when the Holy Ghost "dedicated" the Lord's church in what is known as the "baptism of the Holy Ghost:"

a. Acts 2:1 "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
b. Acts 8:14 "Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost."
c. Acts 10:44 "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God." Also, Acts 11:15 "And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. 16 Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. 17 Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? 18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."
Thus, on these three occasions the Holy Ghost "dedicated" the church among the Jews, then the Samaritans, and finally among the Gentiles.
7. The Children of Israel made their journey across the wilderness by following the cloud. They rested from their journey when the cloud stopped and they traveled on their journey when the cloud went forward. They followed the cloud throughout the wilderness: Ex. 40:36 "And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: 37 But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. 38 For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys." Similarly, God's children are to be led throughout the journey of their lives by the leadership of the Holy Spirit:

a. Matt. 4:1 "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil."
b. Rom. 8:14 "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
c. Gal. 5:18 "But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law."

8. Isaiah prophesied of the Lord's church in this New Testament Day: Is. 4:4 "When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. 5 And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence." In this prophecy we see the church compared to the children of Israel in the wilderness. The church has upon her assemblies (the local churches) the Holy Spirit as a cloud by day, to lead us in the way we should go, and a flaming fire by night, to give us light.

9. The Lord by the cloud gave unto the seventy elders of the children of Israel the spirit of prophecy: Num. 11:25 "And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease." The Spirit of prophecy must come from the Holy Spirit, whether in the Old Testament economy or in the New Testament economy. Also, it is the work of the Holy Spirit that enables men to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Two Covenants of Worship

  Bush Burned with Fire
Crossing of Red Sea Compared to Death, Burial and Resurrection of Christ

Signs God Sent Moses

The Cloud

  Waters of Marah
Signs of the Prophets   Three Hebrews Cast into the Furnace
Faith Healing   Feeding the Multitudes
Old Testament Signs of the Cross  

Signs & Wonders Manifested by Jesus

Signs of Death and Resurrection of Christ

  Sign of the Apostles

Speaking in Tongues

  The Resurrection of the Dead