The Cloud of Christ

A rather biased history lesson:

God created man several thousand years ago. I am told there are fossils indicating that creatures who looked a lot like men were around for a long time before that. What differentiates men from animals is not their physical shape or even their intelligence, however. It is the ability to know God. However, men  very easily choose to follow evil rather than God. God quickly regretted the man project and wiped out most of them with a great flood when they became mired in evil.

He did not give up on the project however - God always finishes what He starts! The remnant after the pruning of the flood produced a man of great faith who God called Abraham. God was able to form a group of followers from the seed of Abraham which He called Israel. He blessed them and they eventually became a large nation. They split into two parts - Judah and Israel main. The groups sometimes worked together and sometimes fought each other. They still had a problem with evil. God sent them prophets to give them the truth and correct them. They mostly killed those messengers. Finally after about 2000 years of working with them, God sent His chosen people a great prophet named John and His own son named Yashua (now usually known as Jesus). The "chosen" people killed them both and the message offering a Kingdom of peace, love and joy was taken from them and sent to the "gentiles", meaning those who were not God's chosen people.

These new "chosen people" were blessed and grew into a mighty movement called Christianity. Christians did some great things. They also produced crusades and inquisitions and persecuted or killed anyone bringing an "different" message than accepted by the authorities. They "conquered" ancient Rome and became a "nation" and a culture as well as a religious movement. They split into two parts called Catholics and Protestants who sometimes work together and sometimes fight each other. Just as the chosen people of God 2000 years ago were expecting God to send a messiah who would make them powerful enough to conquer the world and remake it in the mold they desired, Christians now are expecting God to send the messiah to help them remake the world in the mold they desire.

A grand obituary:

My next statement is going to upset a lot of people. Christianity is dead. It looks alive. It even contains faithful followers of God much like the Jews Anna and Simeon who immediately recognized the messiah even as a baby 2000 years ago. I am not talking numbers. 1/3 of the worlds people claim to be Christians, more than any other religion. I checked the Internet sites which talk about growth rates of religions. Some say Christianity is the fastest growing, some say Islam but the numbers are meaningless. Most muslims are born that way and are killed if they convert to something else. Some countries have a "state" religion and any official statistics must show it as 100%. And depending on the criteria used to measure them, the percent of Christians in the United States varies from 0.1% to 75%. Only God knows the "real" numbers and I guarantee you that numbers are not important to God. (Evangelical Christians talk about being "born again" Christians but many of the world's people are just "born Christians". I recently visited a "Christian" nation. The first question I received from a great family patriarch there was "What is your religion?" He told me that a family should all be the same religion. I discovered that by religion he meant Catholic.)

Some sincere people in Christian churches are starting to look around and ask themselves "Where is the love and power of God that Jesus and His apostles demonstrated and promised to us?" Is there nothing besides sermons, programs, building projects, etc.? Complex doctrines and theologies that simple fishermen could not have grasped and that don't touch anyone's heart? Entertaining music? Is this really alive? Is this what God intended? No, it is faith that God desires in His own and Jesus made it very clear that calling yourself a Christian and doing great things for God, even doing miracles and casting out demons, does not meet His criteria for following God faithfully. Christianity is not producing the faith that endures all things, but rather a faith that only accepts "good things".

Jesus foretold the condition of our time this way:

Mat 24:12  "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

His chief concern was deception and the inevitable outcome:

Luke 18:8  "... Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"

Paul confirmed this end time condition:

2 Th 2:3  Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,

So why am I writing about the death of Christianity here? Because, as I said before, God finishes what He starts. It just does not look like it did when it started out. Just as Christianity replaced Judaism as God's chosen group to work in and with, God will soon replace Christianity (not Christ!) with a new paradigm (a new way of following Him). But scripture says that God has not given up on the Jews and neither will He give up on Christians.If they respond. But the truth is that many will fall away when the going gets tough. Most of Christianity has joined with Babylon.

Rev 18:4  ... "Come out of her, my people..."

The Cloud:

Besides the images of a temple or a church building or a body used for God's people in the New Testament, there is another one:

Heb 12:1  Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,...

In scripture, there are many mentions of the cloud of Christ and the smaller clouds that compose it much like the church of Christ is composed of smaller churches, but the most important I see is this:

Luke 21:27  "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

The cloud of Christ is particularly associated with the return of Christ. Jesus also associated it with the display of "power and glory". The new testament body paradigm is important to the building up of the church because of the need of each other to edify both the whole and the individuals. But a cloud is many droplets of water collected by heat and pressure and moved by the same Spirit (wind). It can bring the blessing of rain to the land. Or it can bring the awesome thunder and lightning.

Did you know that the cloud is actually a part of our baptism into the faith as symbolized by the cloud of Moses and the Red Sea?

1 Cor 10:1  Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,
1 Cor 10:2  all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,

It is time to awake to The Cloud of Christ.