by Tim Buck | Apr 18, 2022 | Messiah, Millennial Kingdom, Second Coming, Tim's Articles
“God’s cloud led them on by day when they broke camp and set out.”
This week, as part of the Cloud-Rider theme in our upcoming class, I will share a multi-part series of articles on how God uses clouds for His purposes in the Bible. We’ll start in the Old Testament and work our way through the Bible up to Christ’s Second Coming.
The Scriptures utilize the imagery of clouds far more than we realize. They are often used to signal God’s presence and this is one of those biblical themes that has not been given due consideration.
Indeed there are over 150 references to clouds in the Bible and while a few refer to clouds in the natural sense such as pouring forth rain, most references have to do with God, His nature, His revelation, His judgment and His travel to return to earth.
As part of God’s creation, clouds teach us something about God’s nature and His power. We can go so far as to call them a custom-made emblem—that is, a made-to-order symbol—to express God’s glory. God’s Clouds are unique and often used to assist His characteristic of hiding information from some and revealing it to others, according to His sovereign purpose.
Not Your Everyday Clouds
Of God and his Salvation, David writes:
He rode on a cherub and flew; he came swiftly on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him, thick clouds dark with water. Out of the brightness before him hailstones and coals of fire broke through His clouds.
Note David’s mention of “His clouds,” giving a personal connection to God with a special class of clouds. Numbers 10:34 refers to “the cloud of the LORD” while Ps. 68:4 declares, “The clouds God rides.” Like His mighty fleet of chariots (Ps. 68:17), it’s no exaggeration to assume God has a sacred fleet of clouds to use for His many purposes.
He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind.
The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm,
and the clouds are the dust of His feet.
First, unlike the rainy-day clouds we experience, God’s clouds are supercharged for travel and issue “coals of fire” as well as moisture. God’s clouds are supernaturally powered to drive across the universe and cover God’s presence anywhere on earth.
Second and more importantly, God’s clouds reflect His glory. We might say God’s clouds are a lens to help us recognize and focus on His glory. When God’s clouds are around, He is around! His clouds signal His presence.
One of the most common purposes for God’s clouds is to protect His people (from Himself). That’s why God remained in a cloud over Mt. Sinai (Ex. 24:16) when speaking to Moses and the young nation of Israel. Similarly, that’s why He remained out of sight in the cloud by day during the wilderness wonderings (Numb. 10:34), to protect the people from His presence lest they die.
In the same way, the prophet Isaiah provides a good example about God’s protective cloud over Jerusalem as a place-of-safety during the Millennial Kingdom.
Then whoever is left in Zion (after the Tribulation) and whoever remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. The Lord will wash away the filth of Zion’s people. He will clean bloodstains from Jerusalem with a spirit of judgment and a spirit of burning. The Lord will create a cloud of smoke during the day and a glowing flame of fire during the night over the whole area of Mount Zion and over the assembly. His glory will cover everything. It will be a shelter from the heat during the day as well as a refuge and hiding place from storms and rain.
What provides shelter, refuge, and a hiding place is not so much the “cloud of smoke” itself as it is the glory and presence of God inside the cloud over Millennial Jerusalem. God keeps us and protects us today in many ways but in the Millennial Kingdom worshippers that come to Jerusalem will be able to see His glorious presence in the cloud overhead which will always be there for their protection.
Keep an eye out for part two tomorrow.
God remained hidden in the cloud as He spoke to Moses and the children of Israel on Mt. Sinai.
“And the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from within the cloud.”
by Tim Buck | Apr 18, 2022 | Tim's Articles, Ukraine
Please pray for the safety of our good friend Sam Slobodian as he leaves for Ukraine this Monday, April 18
The war is far from over and every day has the potential of unexpected dangers. Please pray that the Lord will give Sam a safe trip and the strength to lift up and be a blessing to all the heavy hearted servants of the Lord in the war-torn country. He will be meeting with pastors, teachers and lay leaders who remain in Ukraine under the mission of BIEM for the purpose of encouragement and to plan and assess theirs and their family’s needs.
Please pray for the women and children of the men who are missionary’s who have had to leave the country and are now scattered over multiple nations. It’s hard to imagine the turmoil, confusion and culture shock on these woman and children by leaving everything behind as refugees and watching their country being destroyed.
Despite the darkness and devastation of the war, Sam reports of souls being saved across Ukraine along with the continuation of prayer meetings wherever possible and even basement Bible studies often by candlelight.
Tim and Nancy,
Thank you so much for what you and all the wonderful folks at FOTET are doing for Ukraine. We want you to know how much we cherish your prayers and support. We can be busy working, doing all kinds of things night and day, but if God doesn’t bless our efforts nothing for the kingdom will happen.
Since God does answer the prayers of His people we want you to know that the folks in Ukraine desperately need your prayers and that God has been answering and using your prayers.
I have attached a couple of pictures that show that a good number of our churches are right in that corridor from Kyiv straight north to the Belarussian border.
These areas were hit hard since this is the path that the Russian army took towards Kyiv. The fact that none of our people were hurt and not one of our church buildings was damaged is truly amazing and evidence of God answering prayer.
That does not mean that there were not some close calls. You will see a picture of Sasha next to an unexploded device embedded in the road right by his church. And you also see him standing in front of a heavily damaged elementary school. The apartment building he lives in with his family is right next door!
God is definitely answering your prayers.
Praise God for his mercy.
Dr. Sam Slobodian
Baptist International Evangelistic Ministries
by Tim Buck | Apr 12, 2022 | Prophecy, Revelation, Tim's Articles, Tribulation
Our upcoming study on April 26 maybe one of the most encouraging topics in the entire book of Revelation! That’s quite a statement but I believe it’s true.
Like much of Revelation, mystery surrounds the 144,000 Tribulation witnesses. Who are they? What will be their objective? Will they be protected? Will they have an effect on the lost people of the Last Days?
In chapter 7 and chapter 14 of Revelation, God reveals His plan to seal 144,000 Jewish evangelists. They could be called Israel’s Tribulation Forces but I like to call them: “The Saviors’ Special Forces.”
Being sealed by God protects these amazing servants from death so God is able to send them into the heat of the Tribulation to go up against Satan and Antichrist at the very height of their power.
As Satan’s forces get busy marking the devil’s followers with the Mark of the Beast, “The Saviors’ Special Forces” get busy evangelizing souls. What develops out of this great CLASH is probably the greatest revival of all time. It’s described in Rev. 7.
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands.
But this is not the end of story. It gets ever better… much better!
The reason Satan hates the Jewish people and the nation of Israel is because he knows that the chosen people are God’s promised nation who are prophesied to one day rule the world with Jesus as their King. Satan is jealous of God’s love for Israel and will do anything to prevent that from happening. In fact, he’s been trying to wipe out the Jewish people ever since Pharaoh tried to kill them at the Red Sea.
The devil’s plan is to overwhelm and kill all the Jews in the Tribulation by using his 10-nation, nuclear powered Caliphate and then rule the world himself, from Jerusalem, in their place!
But without warning, God slams the door shut on his demonic dream to overturn the Abrahamic Covenant and rule the world. He does so by plucking out and sealing 12,000 righteous men, from each of the 12 tribes of Israel who can never die yet remain in their normal human bodies. The importance of this action cannot be overstated.
By supernaturally sealing these men, God insures that Israel will survive forever! In this one momentous act, God assures the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant and guarantees that the nation of Israel will not be annihilated in the Tribulation. As prophesied, the chosen nation will one day rule and rein with Jesus in the coming Millennial Kingdom.
This prompts one of the great scenes in the book of Revelation. When the Cloud-Rider returns to earth at the end of the Tribulation to set up His Kingdom, the scene finds Jesus on Mount Zion, standing shoulder to shoulder and embracing His Special Forces.
Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the Father’s name written on their foreheads.
As believers, it’s clear we are in an epic battle for our faith, our families and our nation! How do we live in this world by loving others and yet hating the darkness?
by Tim Buck | Apr 7, 2022 | How to Live the Last Days, Tim's Articles
Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine
In times like these, human institutions feel insecure. Do you put your trust in government? Its failures mount by the day. We all depend on global supply lines. For instance, you or a loved one may depend on a certain medication. Is it made in China? Where will food prices go in the next few months or years? You have to eat. Where do you find peace in all that?
Gas prices are up. What is the government’s answer? US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has a simple answer. Buy an electric car.
Well sure. If gas prices are too high, go buy an electric car. The average price of an electric car is about $60,000. But so what? Okay, there is a shortage of new and used cars, but you might find one if you are willing to pay far enough above list price. My electrician friend Ken tells me the US electric grid is not capable of supplying the power needed to charge millions of electric vehicles. But at least, you wouldn’t be in line at the gas station.
Security cannot be found in our human institutions. Education has shifted away from teaching basic skills. Now they teach young people that they are so mentally and emotionally handicapped that they can only succeed if the government grants them success. But, as we have seen, government is not doing too well.
Industry is no longer about innovation and optimism, but about staying politically correct and making sure the elites don’t get mad at you. You can’t trust money because there’s no guarantee of its continued value.
And so it goes. As the prophets said it would. The institutions of this world are being shaken and they hold no guarantee of security!
But God remains. He does not change. He rules in love. He always keeps His promises. He never fails. Even your body will one day fail. But He will not. And if you are in Him, you stand eternally secure.
This is My Story, This is My Song
In the late 19th century and early 20th century, a blind woman named Fanny Crosby wrote over 8,000 hymns and gospel songs. But one stands out. The first line begins with the hymn’s two-word title, then adds three more words. “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.” How could she say so much in five simple words?
Every generation has faced uncertainties. But what the world now faces, by living in the shadow of the Tribulation, is unique in a thousand different ways. More than ever, we need to remember the blessed assurance found in Jesus.
He is our Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4), our Redeemer (Isaiah 41:14, Titus 2:14), and our Creator (John 1:3). He is the Foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11), the Way (John 14:6), and the Door (John 10:9). He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end (Revelation 1:8). He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He is the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 41:14). He is Lord of lords and King of kings (Revelation 17:14).
And in Him, you can have perfect peace no matter how great the storm. In all that you face, remember Him, His faithfulness, and His love. And then you will say with Fanny Crosby, “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!”