Series Code: TWH
Program Code: TWH180811A
00:30 Today we're going to go on a different journey.
00:32 I'd like you to open your Bibles with me
00:34 to Revelation 1.
00:37 Revelation 1:7.
00:43 Revelation 1:7,
00:47 "Behold, He is coming with clouds,
00:51 and every eye will see Him,
00:54 even those who pierced Him.
00:57 And all the tribes of the earth
01:00 will mourn because of Him.
01:04 Even so, Amen.
01:08 Let us pray.
01:10 Father in heaven, bless this message now
01:13 for the glory of Your name.
01:16 In Jesus' name I pray,
01:21 It was 1983, when my wife and I
01:24 were living in Orlando, Florida,
01:27 we decided to move down there shortly after we got married.
01:30 We moved down three months after we were married.
01:33 We got married in May, June, July, August,
01:37 found us in Orlando, Florida.
01:43 Still finding out more about the terrain,
01:45 we decided to take a short journey to Miami.
01:48 And at the time I still had my Toyota Corona,
01:51 the station wagon I've spoken so much about
01:53 that had cancerous fenders that were already
01:59 rusted at the very base.
02:02 And that car had gone through many changes.
02:04 But this particular day,
02:06 we were on our way to Miami, Florida.
02:09 And I don't remember
02:10 how far outside of Orlando we were,
02:12 but before us we saw
02:16 the most frightening
02:22 if I could use that word to describe what we saw.
02:24 We saw the darkest clouds
02:29 that up until that point
02:31 I had ever remembered seeing.
02:34 It looked as though it was a wall of night
02:38 waiting in front of us.
02:40 Well, since we were going south,
02:42 it was inevitable that we're going to meet these clouds,
02:44 and we met them head on,
02:46 and when we drove into these clouds
02:48 we experienced the rainstorm of our lives.
02:52 It maybe rains like this in Texas or maybe Florida,
02:54 or sometimes we get them here.
02:56 But this is the first time,
02:58 I was ever in a rainstorm where it was raining so hard
03:02 that the rain actually found a way
03:04 in through closed windows,
03:08 raining tenaciously.
03:11 So hard that we decided to pull over under an overpass
03:15 just to wait until the rain had stopped,
03:18 where motorcyclists had pulled over,
03:20 it was so intense, the clouds were so dark
03:23 that I almost hit a motorcyclist as I pulled over
03:26 because the clouds had barred my vision
03:29 to that degree.
03:31 But there was a very amazing lesson
03:32 that the Lord taught me about those clouds,
03:35 that heavy rain, the dark ominous clouds
03:38 that waited ahead of me
03:40 is after we went into those dark clouds
03:43 which we could not see beyond
03:46 and experience the most tenacious rainstorm
03:48 up until that point
03:51 that I had ever experienced with my wife
03:55 is there was not a speck of dust
04:00 on our vehicle.
04:02 It looked as though it had just come out of the showroom
04:06 because anything that was on that car
04:08 was blasted away
04:11 by the tenacity of the rain
04:14 that was wrapped in those dark ominous clouds.
04:19 Have you ever been there before
04:21 driving into an ominous scene wondering what to expect.
04:25 But coming through it
04:28 with whatever you took into it
04:30 cannot be found on that vehicle.
04:32 When we pulled over eventually, had stopped at a rest area,
04:35 I looked at my vehicle, and although at that time
04:37 it had been very old, it looked like
04:39 it had just gone through a brand new paint job,
04:42 no dirt on the windshields, no dirt to be found anywhere.
04:47 The darkness of the clouds had brought to us a rainstorm,
04:52 but had cleansed everything that we took into the clouds.
04:57 And when I thought about the sermon for today,
04:59 the Lord has been taking my wife and I
05:03 on a very beautiful journey.
05:07 So today, what we're going to do is
05:09 I'm going to invite you to go
05:11 with us, with me on a journey
05:15 where clouds are dominant.
05:18 I'm going to invite you to revisit
05:21 the clouds of your past so that you can discover...
05:28 that in every cloud you have ever faced,
05:31 they were not only ordained, and aloud,
05:35 and permitted by God.
05:38 But God used those clouds to reveal,
05:43 and to allow you to discover that even in the clouds,
05:48 God's greatest blessings can be realized.
05:53 But showers cannot come
05:56 unless they are preceded by clouds.
06:00 And I'm going to say to you today in many ways,
06:02 in different tones, and do various scenarios
06:05 that the clouds of God
06:08 are the precursor of the blessings of God.
06:12 And I'm sure that every one of us in here today
06:16 has had cloudy moments in our lives
06:18 where God had seemed to be absent,
06:21 where God seemed to be contradictory,
06:24 where it didn't make sense as to why as His children
06:27 He allows us to go through the things
06:29 that we have been confronted with or faced with.
06:33 But remember, this is very important,
06:36 showers don't fall on cloudless days.
06:40 They don't fall on cloudless days.
06:42 Showers don't produce showers, clouds do.
06:46 The meteorologists call it precipitation.
06:49 Have you heard the word before, precipitation probability?
06:52 And I try to educate myself just recently, you know,
06:56 we pastors like to sound like we know what we're saying
06:59 when in fact we're just communicating
07:00 somebody else's data or data, where you're from data, data.
07:05 But I was listening to a meteorologist
07:07 explain how rain is produced.
07:08 And he says in certain environments,
07:13 he says, especially
07:14 where large bodies of water or water at all exist
07:19 in something called condensation the water rises
07:23 and the clouds begin to receive the rising water
07:29 and because of the temperature in the clouds
07:32 being lower than the temperature on the ground
07:37 depending on the other extenuating circumstances,
07:41 the clouds begin to turn the water colder,
07:45 it begins to crystallize the water.
07:48 And if it's the colder time of the year,
07:51 it can crystallize it so much so to the time
07:54 that when it returns it to the ground,
07:56 it comes down in snowflakes.
08:01 In those times of the year
08:02 when storms begin to be prevalent,
08:04 it sometimes will send it down in larger droplets
08:08 as these smaller droplets when they begin to fall
08:11 from higher altitudes, Cumulonimbus clouds...
08:15 Do I sound educated?
08:17 We call them thunderheads.
08:19 That's why pilots when they fly,
08:22 they go around the thunderheads because many of us
08:24 don't know that in those thunderheads
08:27 there can be small crystals of ice,
08:31 there can be golf ball size ice,
08:35 tennis ball size ice, or ice as large
08:38 and as heavy as a bag of sugar.
08:41 So pilots are very leery
08:43 about going through Cumulonimbus clouds
08:45 especially in the storm.
08:47 You've heard the phrase downdrafts and updrafts,
08:49 that's what happens.
08:51 It's just waiting for us, in the clouds ice is waiting.
08:54 But on warm days or tropical days
08:56 because the surface is warmer as those snowflakes fall
08:59 even over St. Thomas
09:02 in the Virgin Islands, those snowflakes
09:05 as they get close to the ground,
09:07 they defrost and come down
09:10 as showers of blessings.
09:13 Here in the Midwest, we've had both.
09:14 We've had showers of blessings and we've had those days
09:17 where the Cumulonimbus clouds produce
09:19 what is called as golf ball size hail.
09:23 But showers never come on cloudless days.
09:28 And I've had to learn that in a very real way
09:30 because without clouds the grass will wither,
09:33 without clouds the earth will suffer and die
09:36 from thirst.
09:38 Without clouds rivers becomes parched and dry up.
09:41 Without clouds flowers bow their heads
09:44 in defeat and the harvest is delayed.
09:49 And so today come with me on this journey
09:51 where clouds are dominant.
09:53 Come with me today as I introduce to you
09:56 the beauty of the darkness
10:00 and the ominous nature of clouds.
10:03 And today I guarantee you, when the sermon is over,
10:06 you gonna say, Father in heaven,
10:08 thank You for the clouds 'cause I've learned
10:10 that God will never send to His children
10:12 what they are not by His loving hand
10:16 ready and willing to receive.
10:18 Come with me to the first attention
10:20 of clouds in Genesis 7:4
10:23 because it was through clouds that rain introduced
10:25 God's judgment to our world hardened by sin.
10:28 We read the record in Genesis 7:4.
10:32 And I believe it's on the screen,
10:33 thank you for that.
10:36 In antediluvian environment, the Lord spelled
10:39 of the becoming judgments
10:41 and He says as Moses recorded these words,
10:44 "For after seven more days," how many days?
10:48 "Seven more days I will cause it
10:50 to rain on the earth
10:52 forty days and forty nights,
10:58 and I will destroy from the face of the earth
11:00 all living things that I have made."
11:04 Now when the clouds begin to gather,
11:07 to Noah and his family
11:09 the clouds were a confirmation of the promises of God.
11:13 Did you hear what I just said?
11:15 When the clouds began to gather,
11:17 they were a confirmation that what Noah was preaching
11:21 was in fact the words of God that we can lean on,
11:26 that we can trust in Noah,
11:29 when the clouds began to gather,
11:31 there were two reactions.
11:33 Noah said, "Lord you are right."
11:38 And the evil antediluvians came to the conclusion,
11:46 "Lord you were right."
11:51 I want the Lord's realization.
11:56 I want that realization that the Lord is right
11:59 to come to me
12:01 as one on the inside of God's blessings
12:04 not on the outside of God's blessing.
12:07 Did you get what I'm saying?
12:09 When the clouds of God's judgments come
12:12 and they are coming,
12:15 we must come to the realization
12:17 that clouds are a precursor
12:21 to the promises of God.
12:23 Say that with me clouds are a what?
12:26 Precursor to the promises of God.
12:29 When those clouds came and brought with them
12:32 40 days worth of rain,
12:36 Noah knew
12:39 that preaching the Word of God,
12:41 he had done it faithfully, and God was affirming
12:44 Noah's faithfulness by bringing the rain.
12:47 Noah got to the place, "Lord, send the rain, "
12:50 and God sent the rain.
12:52 It was showers of blessing to those who trusted God.
12:57 It was showers of the judgment, doom to an obstinate world.
13:01 A confirmation to Noah
13:04 of the validity of God's promises.
13:06 Today, clouds are a precursor
13:09 to the promises of God.
13:12 You see when we live by the promises of God,
13:15 our reaction to clouds that gather
13:18 ought to be different
13:21 than the one that does not know God.
13:24 I want to say that again.
13:26 When things come into our lives that we cannot understand
13:31 because we have a connection with God,
13:33 there should be a different reaction in us
13:37 than the person that doesn't have a connection with God.
13:40 You know that very statement has allowed me recently
13:43 to understand that I no longer...
13:47 And you might get there with me,
13:48 that I no longer crave
13:51 the lifestyle of the rich and famous.
13:56 'Cause I listen to their junk.
13:59 And I say this, you know,
14:03 killing themselves at 49 years old,
14:06 overdosing on drugs,
14:08 in the hospital and they are atheists
14:10 and they have nobody to call on.
14:11 The worst position to be in is to be an atheist
14:16 when you're on your deathbed.
14:18 Can I get an amen?
14:19 You've got nobody to call, nobody to say help me,
14:23 nobody to turn to.
14:26 And I've seen in such a clear and stark way
14:28 those who are surrounded...
14:30 That's why Asaph,
14:31 the Lord had to send Asaph a letter
14:34 in the 73rd division of the Psalms,
14:36 He had to send Asaph the letter to clear up
14:39 Asaph's misunderstanding of God.
14:41 Asaph thought he served God for no reason
14:44 because the clouds that came into his life,
14:46 it was not until he stepped into the sanctuary of God
14:49 that he understood the end of those
14:52 that seem to have enough to buy their way to heaven.
14:55 But I say today, I'm so glad,
14:57 I rather go through clouds with God
15:01 than be caught in a storm without it.
15:05 There's so many wealthy people and we get,
15:07 we kind of sometimes get inoculated by the draw
15:12 of how much money they have
15:15 and what kind of car...
15:17 Now you know, I wouldn't hurt...
15:20 I mean I wouldn't lose sleep, if I woke up tomorrow
15:23 and there was a Lamborghini in my driveway.
15:24 I mean I wouldn't lose sleep.
15:26 I probably would be able to afford the insurance
15:28 and return it for that very reason.
15:32 God is not a God who cannot bless us.
15:35 But I'd rather have little in this life
15:38 and look forward to everything than have all that I can desire
15:44 in this corrupt world
15:45 and miss out on what is to come.
15:48 And so sometimes God has to bring the clouds to us
15:53 so that when we get into the valley,
15:54 we can remember
15:56 that it's not the phone call you make,
15:57 it's not the friends you have, it's not your bank account,
16:00 but it is you and God.
16:01 That's why the Psalmist David said,
16:04 "Yea, though I walk through the valley
16:07 of the shadows of death," what else did he say?
16:10 "I will fear no evil," why?
16:12 Not because of my bank account, but because You are with me.
16:17 And I've learned,
16:19 I'm getting old and I can say that,
16:21 I just had a birthday.
16:23 I hit a number.
16:26 That's all I'm telling you.
16:30 I hit a number.
16:32 I didn't play the numbers, it just showed up.
16:35 And I said there it is I embraced it.
16:38 JD, I embraced it.
16:41 I now know what it feels like to be another number.
16:46 So I'm not saying.
16:49 I'm not saying what the number is.
16:52 But I'm learning that it's okay to add another number to life
16:57 'cause God has taken my wife and me through cloud
17:01 after cloud, after cloud, after cloud.
17:06 Can I get an amen?
17:07 Has He taken you through clouds?
17:10 And you come out on the other side
17:11 and you wonder how because in the clouds,
17:14 He says, don't fear any evil, for I'm with you.
17:18 My rod and my staff, rod and staff,
17:21 rod to keep the devil as far away from us as He can
17:26 and staff to keep us from running away.
17:29 Thy rod and thy staff...
17:33 they come for me.
17:36 Had to learn that in the hard way.
17:38 You see one of the most beautiful promises of God
17:41 was also ratified on the heels of the destruction
17:45 of the antediluvian world.
17:47 Let's look at some more clouds.
17:48 Genesis 9, look at me to verse 12-15,
17:51 the most beautiful promises of God.
17:53 We think of God's promises,
17:55 we wake up on a beautiful bright blue day and we say,
17:59 "God is on the throne."
18:01 And when the clouds are gathering, we say,
18:03 "Where is God?"
18:05 While I want to let you know as you turn to Genesis 9:12-15,
18:09 I want you to know
18:11 that when Jesus was on the cross,
18:13 the reason why there was darkness
18:15 on Mount Calvary,
18:17 the reason why there was darkness
18:18 on the hill called Golgotha
18:20 is because the Father was closer to His Son
18:23 than ever before
18:26 and His visitation had to be introduced by clouds
18:30 or He would have consumed everyone
18:33 on that mountain by His glory.
18:36 So clouds are a precursor to the promises of God.
18:39 Look at Genesis 9:12-15.
18:42 "This is the sign of the covenant
18:43 which I make between Me and you."
18:47 Remember, the clouds are a covenant,
18:49 in the clouds God's covenant is revealed.
18:52 And he says, "And every living creature
18:54 that is with you, for a" what?
18:57 "Perpetual generations.
19:00 I set my rainbow, together, in the cloud,
19:04 and it shall be for the sign of the covenant
19:06 between Me and the earth.
19:08 It shall be..."
19:10 Come on, here we go now.
19:11 "When I bring a cloud over the earth,
19:16 that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud,
19:19 and I will remember my covenant which is between Me and you
19:23 and every living creature of all flesh,
19:25 the waters shall never again become a flood
19:29 to destroy all flesh."
19:32 Now here's the blessing.
19:34 We love rainbows,
19:35 but rainbows don't come without clouds.
19:40 No clouds, no rain.
19:43 No rain, no rainbows.
19:44 No rainbows, no reminder
19:49 that God will never destroy the earth
19:52 by a flood again.
19:54 So that when we forget God's promises here it is my...
19:57 When we forget God's promises, God sends the clouds.
20:08 I was thinking, would you want to get some clouds this week.
20:12 You say amen today.
20:14 Say amen on Monday.
20:16 Say amen on Thursday.
20:18 Say amen when your paycheck don't get deposited
20:20 when you want it to be set.
20:22 Say amen when your car breaks down
20:25 two miles short of your destination, clouds.
20:29 I'm convinced that some of us won't even have a prayer life
20:34 unless God send some clouds.
20:39 I'm convinced that unless our children
20:42 mess up over and over again,
20:46 we won't understand where in the house our Bible is,
20:53 I'm convinced that this new number...
21:02 That God...
21:07 is the best
21:10 evaluator of where I am
21:14 and what I need to get me back to where I need to be.
21:20 He says, "Is Pam on track?"
21:25 Nah, see some clouds.
21:29 So he sent some clouds and Pam says,
21:32 "Mike, I'm going to church with you."
21:34 Amen. I'm messing with Pam.
21:38 When God knows that we are not where we need to be.
21:44 Hear me today,
21:46 He's going to send you some clouds
21:51 because there's a profound truth
21:52 about God that many have not yet learned.
21:57 Let's go to one of your favorite books Nahum,
22:00 if you could find it.
22:02 Come with me to Nahum.
22:05 Nahum 1:3, I'm just going to read the last part of Nahum.
22:08 It's amazing how God shows himself,
22:12 just the last part.
22:13 I'm going to read just the last part.
22:15 It said, "The Lord is slow to anger and great in" what?
22:20 And will not at all acquit the wicked.
22:24 The Lord has his way
22:26 in the whirlwind and in the storm..."
22:29 And look at the last part, this will blow you away.
22:32 "The clouds are the dust of His feet."
22:37 So if your life gets dusty...
22:43 If there are clouds in your life,
22:47 God's in your neighborhood.
22:48 Come on, help me out somebody.
22:51 If there are clouds in your life,
22:52 the Lord is saying, "I got to go visit Luis again.
22:57 Got to go see Jenny again."
23:00 Isn't that powerful?
23:02 The clouds are the dust of His feet.
23:05 I mean, you've seen people
23:07 with these tractors around here,
23:08 the reason why I know some of the farmers at work
23:11 is I see what?
23:13 Dust clouds.
23:15 When God is at work, don't forget this.
23:18 When God is at work, clouds follow the track
23:24 that God makes on His way to our situation,
23:32 Secondly, clouds are an indication
23:35 of the presence of God.
23:37 So don't be upset when the clouds come
23:39 because it means God is walking where you are,
23:42 so that you can see.
23:43 if God wasn't walking where you are,
23:45 then you wouldn't see the clouds
23:47 which are in fact just the dust of His feet.
23:51 Secondly, clouds are an indication
23:53 of the presence of God.
23:54 Exodus 33:9 and 10.
23:56 Exodus 33:9 and 10.
24:01 Clouds are an indication of the presence of God.
24:03 Verse 9 says, "And it came to pass
24:05 when Moses enter the tabernacle
24:08 that the pillar of cloud descended,
24:11 and stood at the door of the tabernacle,
24:14 and the Lord talked with Moses, and all the people
24:18 saw the pillar of clouds,
24:20 saw the pillar of cloud standing
24:22 at the tabernacle door..."
24:24 And what did they see when they saw the cloud?
24:27 "And all the people rose and worship each man
24:31 in his tent."
24:34 This is powerful.
24:40 If the cloud didn't show up,
24:44 the people wouldn't rise up and worship.
24:52 Which means when God knows that you're worshiping Him...
25:02 He's going to send you a cloud.
25:09 Some of us don't like to worship God.
25:14 So God's got to come to you in a pillar of a cloud
25:19 in our suffering, and our disappointments,
25:21 and our trials, and tribulations.
25:23 God's got to manifest a call.
25:24 When they saw the cloud, if you follow this carefully,
25:28 it's the Shekinah Glory.
25:30 What is it I said it again?
25:32 The Shekinah Glory,
25:33 the clouds that come into your life
25:37 is the presence of God coming to us saying,
25:40 my brother, my sister,
25:42 you're not shipping Me the way you ought to,
25:44 so I've got to bring clouds in your life
25:47 to get you to rise up and worship Me.
25:52 And I'm going to tell you in my own experience,
25:54 I don't know about you,
25:55 and it's not necessary that I do.
25:58 But I'm going to tell you the sweetest Bible studies
26:01 that I've had, my wife and me
26:03 have been when the deepest and darkest clouds
26:05 have been in our lives.
26:09 Right, Tita?
26:11 When you don't even want to pick up the phone
26:13 and call anybody,
26:16 because you don't know who's going to understand
26:17 what you're going through.
26:19 It's those moments where God said,
26:20 "Hey, forget the phone,
26:22 let's worship, let's worship, let's worship."
26:27 So he comes to us in clouds,
26:30 but the clouds have a dual purpose.
26:33 Let's go to Exodus 14:9 and 10.
26:36 The clouds have a dual purpose.
26:39 You see God uses clouds to bring us to the place
26:42 where we worship Him.
26:44 So when there are clouds in your life, don't forget it,
26:48 as you turn to Exodus,
26:49 when there are clouds in your life
26:51 nothing matters more than your special private time
26:56 where you are in worship with God.
26:59 Are you listening?
27:02 When the clouds come, it's time to worship,
27:05 nothing will remedy that moment, but worship.
27:07 And if God sees you haven't understood it,
27:10 get this, God doesn't want to teach you anything,
27:15 He wants you to unlearn something.
27:19 We think, what God,
27:20 what's God's trying to teach me.
27:21 No, He's trying to get you to unlearn something
27:23 because you've been trying to find God other places,
27:25 you've been trying to find God
27:26 in the balance bank account, and a good working car,
27:28 and a wonderful family, and a nice secured job.
27:30 But God is saying, no, you're too snug,
27:32 you're too snug and you do not worship me.
27:34 You see when success is pouring into our lives,
27:37 when everything is working
27:38 when the cylinders are hitting all together
27:40 and the car is brand new,
27:41 we don't find our need.
27:43 That's why Asaph said,
27:45 "Lord, they have more than their eyes can wish
27:48 that even in their death there is abundance, "
27:51 speaking about the wealthy, speaking about those
27:53 that have all these things.
27:54 That's why when we travel around the world,
27:56 this is context to our travel.
27:58 When we travel, we go to New Guinea
28:02 where they don't have two outfits,
28:05 but when they sing, you got to come tonight,
28:08 but when they sing, they didn't come to church
28:10 in a brand new car,
28:12 they walked six miles with the peer sandals.
28:16 One day we were in India and the Hindu women heard
28:20 that a Christian pastor was there,
28:23 they told me I was blown away by it.
28:25 They said, the Hindu women
28:27 started walking from 1 o'clock today
28:30 to get here at 7 o'clock in the evening
28:31 because they heard a Christian man was here
28:34 and they came to hear about Jesus.
28:38 They walked for six hours.
28:42 But those of us who could drive to church
28:44 don't even drive to church.
28:48 I'm not telling you to drive to church.
28:50 If you don't want to drive to church,
28:51 you don't have to drive to church.
28:52 You can walk, if you don't want to walk you could stay home.
28:54 But I'm telling you
28:56 where abundances are lacking,
28:59 worship is abundant.
29:00 Come on, say amen.
29:02 You've got to travel to understand that.
29:04 We went to New Guinea.
29:07 One day when we were walking into the place,
29:11 when we were walking in, they're sitting down...
29:15 Excuse me for being kind of hard on the camera guy,
29:17 they are sitting down like this and somebody starts singing
29:19 To God, nobody up front leading us,
29:23 to God be the Glory.
29:25 And like a barrel that has
29:28 just exploded
29:29 with praise gas,
29:33 everybody just starts singing and you walk into a tent,
29:37 you're walking through a cloud of praise
29:40 as you get to the front.
29:43 They're singing, they're not singing
29:44 because somebody is telling them to sing,
29:47 they're singing because God is near to them.
29:50 And they sit there in reverence singing.
29:55 And when they sing, they sing.
30:00 And when you talk to them
30:02 as I talk to some of these students.
30:05 Two students came to me and said,
30:07 "Pastor, what do we do, we have a hard time
30:09 staying awake through your classes
30:13 and where we live is a long way away
30:14 and the people that house us
30:17 they sometimes they don't feed us breakfast."
30:20 And I said, "Well, do you eat lunch?
30:22 They said, "No."
30:24 I said, "Then when do you eat your first meal?"
30:26 They said, "About 7 or 8 o'clock in the evening."
30:29 I said, "No wonder you can't stay awake
30:30 in your classes."
30:31 And Lord impressed me
30:33 take the money out of your pocket,
30:34 make sure they're eating.
30:36 And I took the money out of my purse,
30:38 you gonna eat today and they were so desirous,
30:41 they found four other students, and took them all to lunch,
30:46 and they all ate.
30:47 They didn't have much,
30:49 they didn't have anything to be specific.
30:54 And I went back to the room and told my wife.
30:57 She said, "No, no, no, no, we've got to bless them more.
31:00 What do you have? How much you have?"
31:02 I said, "Here." She said, "No, no, more."
31:05 She said, "How we're going to find them?
31:07 I don't know but they're on the campus somewhere.
31:09 God sets appointments.
31:10 We walked out of our place
31:13 that we're staying there in New Guinea.
31:15 And as we walked out there were the two ladies walking by
31:18 not too far away, an appointment of God.
31:20 Amen somebody.
31:22 And when we put that money on their head,
31:24 they don't know how to react, but you know what?
31:26 God said to us
31:29 when people are in their own cloud
31:32 and we can lighten their burden,
31:34 let us come to them with the blessings of God
31:37 letting them see that if God can bless us,
31:40 we ought to be willing to bless somebody else in New Guinea,
31:46 in places in the Pacific, in the islands where praise is
31:50 most abundant is where
31:52 materials are most scarce.
31:57 But it said, in the places where materialism
31:59 is most abundant that praise is scarce
32:03 'cause we are distracted.
32:07 The clouds have a dual purpose.
32:10 Exodus 14:19 and 20,
32:13 "And the angel of God went before the camp of Israel
32:15 moved and went behind them,
32:17 the angel that went before moved and went behind them,
32:20 and a pillar of cloud went from before them
32:22 and stood behind them,
32:24 the cloud moved from before them
32:26 and went behind them.
32:27 Look at the dual purpose of the clouds.
32:30 Verse 20, "So it came between the camp of the Egyptians
32:32 and the camp of Israel,
32:34 the cloud separated the Egyptians
32:36 from the Israelites.
32:37 Thus it was a cloud of darkness to one
32:42 and it gave light by night to the other.
32:44 So that the one did not come near the other all that night."
32:49 The clouds that were darkness to the enemies was light
32:52 to the children of God.
32:54 Can somebody say amen?
32:55 Now here's a reason I asked for an amen.
32:56 Your clouds, you ought to react differently as a child of God
33:01 to clouds than the nonbeliever.
33:05 I don't know how many times I hear people complain
33:07 and this is perfect timing
33:09 because the school year is starting,
33:10 and some of you are going to have more check book
33:13 than you gonna have money.
33:16 But if God open the door for your children
33:18 to go to a school, the Lord will provide,
33:24 the Lord will provide,
33:28 but don't forget to be faithful,
33:30 and I'm convinced that in eternity
33:32 when the rest of the story is revealed,
33:34 God will disclose to us
33:37 that when clouds appeared in our lives,
33:41 they were not necessarily a sign of God's disapproval,
33:45 but a sign of God's protective care.
33:50 We think of clouds...
33:51 Oh, it's cloudy outside, we don't want to do anything,
33:54 but God would say, wait a minute,
33:55 I'm offended by that.
33:57 I'm in your neighborhood
33:58 and you don't want to go outside
33:59 because clouds are the dust of His feet.
34:03 He came to visit us.
34:05 God will never visit us without clouds
34:08 because we couldn't handle it.
34:11 I tell you why in a moment.
34:13 When God frees us, He inserts a cloud between us
34:16 and our adversary.
34:18 I say that again because you didn't catch it.
34:20 When God frees us, He inserts a cloud between us
34:24 and our adversary.
34:26 The cloud in our lives are intended
34:30 to trouble the enemy, but not to trouble us.
34:34 Look at Exodus 14:24.
34:39 Why am I preaching the sermon to you,
34:41 because I'm telling us as children of God,
34:43 stop allowing the clouds that God allows to trouble us,
34:48 they should strengthen us.
34:49 Look at the reason why.
34:51 Verse 24,
34:52 "Now it came to pass in the morning watch
34:55 that the Lord looked down upon the army of the Egyptians
34:59 through the pillar of fire and cloud, and get this,
35:02 and he troubled the army of the Egyptians."
35:05 He didn't trouble the children of Israel,
35:08 He troubled the army of the Egyptians.
35:10 The clouds were trouble to the Egyptians,
35:12 not to the children of Israel.
35:16 How are you going to react this week when clouds come?
35:24 But don't forget, God cannot come to us
35:26 except through clouds.
35:28 If He comes to us through any other method,
35:31 we will cease to exist because the Bible says,
35:35 "Our God is a consuming" what? "Fire."
35:39 He always shields His glory.
35:42 We can't handle His glory.
35:45 That's why we have to cease to ask the question
35:49 as Moses did, show me Your glory.
35:53 Now when I was putting this message together,
35:56 Karen, this came to me.
35:58 When I was putting this message together,
36:00 the Lord revealed to me something that is profound.
36:04 You see, we often say, Lord, You need to show me Your glory
36:06 because I need to see Your glory right now.
36:08 And I came to discover as Moses said,
36:11 Lord please, show me Your glory and the Lord responded
36:14 in Exodus 33:20 says,
36:15 "But you cannot see my face,
36:17 for no man shall see me and live."
36:20 So the Lord chose not to reveal His glory to Moses
36:23 because He would have ceased to exist.
36:25 He hid him in the cleft of the rock
36:28 and he said, "Now when I pass by just peek."
36:39 So when the glory of God
36:42 seems to be absent from your life.
36:44 God is not absent,
36:46 but He's coming to you in clouds.
36:50 He's shielding His glory.
36:54 He cannot come to us any other way
36:56 other than through clouds.
36:58 That's why my third point today is clouds are a preparation
37:04 for the revelation of the glory of God.
37:07 I'm going to say that again.
37:09 Clouds are a preparation for the revelation
37:13 of the glory of God.
37:15 Now, clouds are a preparation for the revelation
37:20 of the glory of God, meaning, when clouds show up,
37:24 God is about to reveal His glory.
37:28 But I just said you a moment ago,
37:30 don't ask for God to reveal His glory,
37:32 but it now seems like I'm contradicting myself
37:34 by saying that when cloud show up,
37:36 God is about to reveal His glory.
37:38 1 Peter 4:12 and 13, go there quickly with me.
37:42 I just have 20 minutes left.
37:48 1 Peter 4:12.
37:50 We are told in God's Word, "Beloved, do not think it, "
37:56 "Strange, concerning the fiery trial
37:59 which is to try you
38:01 as though some strange thing happened to you."
38:03 Don't think it's strange, but rejoice to the extent
38:06 that you are partaker of Christ suffering.
38:09 Now what does that mean you're partaker
38:11 of Christ suffering?
38:12 When Christ was suffering at the highest level...
38:19 what was the circumstances?
38:22 There was a cloud above His head.
38:26 It was the darkest part of the day
38:29 when Christ was suffering the most.
38:33 It was the darkest part of the day
38:36 when Christ was suffering the most.
38:38 The Apostle Peter who knows that,
38:41 he says when Christ
38:42 was at his highest point of suffering,
38:45 He was overshadowed by clouds.
38:48 When we are sometimes
38:49 at the highest point of our suffering,
38:51 we will be overshadowed by clouds,
38:54 but here is the purpose of the clouds.
38:56 The clouds were not to hide Jesus from His Father,
39:00 but in His humanity just like in our humanity we say
39:05 what He said.
39:07 And He said,
39:09 "My God, My God," come on,
39:12 "why has Thou forsaken Me?
39:15 Was God absent?
39:18 Spirit of Prophecy said, Ellen White says,
39:20 He was nearer to His Son than at any other moment.
39:24 Had the clouds not accompanied that moment,
39:28 everyone on that mountain would have ceased to exist.
39:31 So when the clouds are darkest in your life,
39:35 listen to the rest of the text.
39:38 But rejoice to the extent that you are partaker
39:40 of Christ suffering that when His glory is revealed,
39:43 you may also be, what?
39:45 Glad with what kind of joy?
39:47 Exceeding joy.
39:49 Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest, July 29th,.
39:53 He says, "What a revelation it is to know that sorrow,
39:56 bereavement, and suffering are actually the clouds
40:01 that come along with God."
40:07 So when God comes to us,
40:10 He'll choose when to bring blessings,
40:12 but for the most part when sorrow, bereavement,
40:15 and suffering come, those are the clouds
40:18 that actually come along with God, you know why?
40:21 Because that's how we interpret clouds.
40:24 That's how we interpret them.
40:26 But I would from now on interpret them differently.
40:30 I would be able to say, Lord, I'm glad You're here.
40:36 I'm glad You're here.
40:41 I'm glad You're here.
40:43 When I see those clouds,
40:45 Lord, I'm glad You're here, I need You right now.
40:48 And like He did
40:50 to the faithful man called Moses,
40:52 He spoke to him through the clouds,
40:54 He speaks to us through the clouds.
40:57 The greatest blessing I want you to get this now
41:01 because this if you forget everything else
41:03 in the sermon,
41:04 this is something you cannot miss.
41:06 The greatest blessing is not that the glory of God
41:10 is revealed to us.
41:13 You ready for the rest.
41:16 And I know Donna would like this
41:18 because she studies righteousness by faith.
41:21 The greatest blessing is not that the glory of God
41:24 is revealed to us,
41:26 but that the glory of God is revealed through us.
41:32 Did you get that?
41:35 Look at the confirmation, Romans 8:18.
41:37 Romans 8:18.
41:39 I think the guy's putting it on the screen.
41:43 Paul the Apostle says,
41:44 "For I consider that the sufferings
41:47 of this present time,
41:48 that the sufferings of this," what?
41:50 "Present time here and now
41:52 this earth, this life are not worthy to be compared
41:57 with the glory that shall be revealed," where?
42:01 "In us."
42:02 Not to us, but in us.
42:05 You see if the Lord...
42:07 Let's put it together.
42:08 The Lord comes with clouds to shield His glory
42:12 so that He can step out of the clouds into us
42:16 and reveal Himself not to us, but through us.
42:20 Christ in you, the hope of glory.
42:25 He doesn't reveal Himself to us, that's easy.
42:28 The sun and the rain,
42:30 shine and fall on the just and the unjust.
42:32 They see the sunlight we see the sun,
42:34 but the difference between the unjust and us
42:37 is in the moments of suffering,
42:40 the Lord wants His glory to be reveal through us.
42:45 That's why more people are not what we are
42:47 because we are not what we should be.
42:49 If more of us were what we should be
42:52 in times of suffering, a person would say,
42:55 I want to be that
42:57 when my tough times come.
43:05 I want to be that when my tough times come.
43:08 1 Peter 1:6 and 7.
43:11 I'm on a mission,
43:12 1 Peter 1:6 and 7.
43:14 God uses clouds to reveal the genuineness of our faith.
43:19 You might think it's a title of a point,
43:20 but you going to get it later.
43:21 God uses clouds
43:23 to reveal the genuineness of our faith.
43:27 Look at Peter what he says.
43:29 1 Peter 1:6 and 7,
43:32 "In this you greatly rejoice,
43:37 though now for a little while," for how long my friends,
43:42 "a little while," if you think your trials along
43:44 is just a little while,
43:47 "though now for a little while
43:50 if need be you have been grieved
43:53 by various trials.
43:55 That the genuineness of your faith
43:58 being much more precious than gold that perishes,
44:04 though it is tested by fire,
44:07 may be found to," what?
44:09 "Praise, honor, and glory" when?
44:14 "at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
44:18 Apostle Peter says,
44:20 if you've got to suffer a little bit Matthew,
44:23 if you've got a little bit Philis.
44:29 Chris, if you got to suffer a little bit for a short while,
44:34 hang on
44:36 'cause this fire is getting you ready
44:37 for the Revelation of Jesus.
44:39 Amen, Tracy?
44:41 I'm just getting you ready for the revelation.
44:45 So I got to let some fires come in to test,
44:48 to see are you ready for the revelation,
44:51 give him some more clouds, give him some more fire,
44:54 test him are you ready for the revelation.
44:56 You see, this is powerful because when clouds come,
45:00 many of us change our view of God.
45:09 Numbers 21:5,
45:11 when clouds come, we change our view of God.
45:15 And I'm going to go fast now.
45:17 "And the people spoke against God and Moses
45:20 in their wilderness journey,
45:22 the one who freed them,
45:23 the one who broke the bondage
45:25 of the Egyptian slave taskmasters."
45:28 When God brought them out, the Bible says,
45:31 "In their clouds and the people spoke
45:33 against God and against Moses and they said,
45:36 'Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die
45:38 in the wilderness?'
45:41 For there is no food and no water,
45:42 and our souls loath this worthless bread."
45:45 Oh, my friends, I'm going to blow you away right now.
45:49 Is this worthless bread...
45:54 then why when it's being broken
45:56 there are not enough people getting together to eat it?
46:01 This is the bread that was successful with Christ
46:05 in His wilderness temptations.
46:07 He said, "It is written."
46:08 He didn't say it is sung, He didn't say it is performed,
46:10 He didn't say it is act out, He said, it is written.
46:12 Amen somebody?
46:14 But when you don't have,
46:15 when your view of God is altered
46:17 by the trials of life,
46:19 the bread of God seems to be worthless
46:21 because your desire for something
46:23 other than God's Word.
46:26 Who wants this worthless bread, I need some money,
46:28 I need a new car, my kids are acting up,
46:30 get him to psychiatrist.
46:32 I don't need bread.
46:34 He's said, get back to the bread.
46:36 Listen what Ellen White says, In Signs of The Times,
46:38 December 4, 1884.
46:41 She says, "Do not compare notes
46:43 to see how sorrowful a story you can tell.
46:47 There is enough to talk about
46:48 without raising one unhappy strain,
46:53 when we are willing to come as little children
46:55 conscious of our own weaknesses
46:58 and willing to be instructed by the divine teacher,
47:01 our hearts will be filled with the love of Jesus
47:04 and we shall long to speak of his matchless worth.
47:09 We shall cease to talk of self.
47:12 Our trials will look so small
47:16 that we will forget to mention them.
47:20 We have many blessings.
47:21 Let us cultivate gratitude
47:23 and talk of the goodness of God.
47:27 You see, it is not important to know
47:28 where the clouds are coming from,
47:30 but it is important get us not to damage God's character
47:35 when the clouds come.
47:38 We damage His character.
47:40 We get mad at Him.
47:42 I've heard Adventists
47:44 say the dumbest things about God
47:47 when they don't have money.
47:50 You don't care about me.
47:52 Where is He now?
47:54 Oswald Chambers said in July 29th,
47:56 My Utmost for His Highest, he says,
47:57 "Until we come face to face
47:59 with the deepest darkest fact of life
48:02 without damaging our view of God's character,
48:05 we do not yet know Him."
48:16 That's why Job said,
48:18 Job didn't know where the trials came from
48:20 and he said in his humanity, though He slay me.
48:23 It wasn't God slaying Job.
48:25 He let the devil beat Job up.
48:28 But he said, God didn't do this
48:30 so though He slay me yet will I.
48:34 Oh, my brothers and sisters, when your clouds come,
48:38 do you still trust God,
48:39 no matter the size of your boils...
48:44 because if the last message
48:46 is a revelation of the character of God's love
48:50 as revealed in His people, the question is,
48:54 when will it be revealed in His people?
49:00 It's got to be before that last message
49:03 because the last message is not a preached message,
49:07 the last message is a testimony message.
49:12 They overcame Him by the blood of a lamb
49:13 and by the word of their testimony.
49:16 The world's falling apart,
49:18 but there's a peace that passes all understanding
49:20 because God's people know that
49:22 it's just a couple more plagues and we're out of here.
49:27 Family ain't acting right,
49:29 kids on drugs, spouse messing up.
49:33 I just got fired,
49:35 but a couple more trials like this,
49:37 I'm out of here.
49:43 Oswald says,
49:45 "There is a connection between the strange
49:47 providential circumstances allowed by God
49:50 and what we know of Him
49:52 and we have to learn to interpret
49:54 the mysteries of life
49:56 in the light of the knowledge of God.
49:59 When we can understand it, you got to say, okay,
50:02 what do I know about God.
50:04 Now you don't follow me,
50:05 I'm gonna hit this real quick and then drop it.
50:08 What do we know about God?
50:10 Let's ask Isaiah.
50:11 Isaiah 41:10.
50:12 What did Isaiah know about God when the difficulty come?
50:15 He said, "Fear not, for I am with you,
50:19 be not dismayed, for I am your God,
50:22 I will strengthen you.
50:24 Yes, I will help you.
50:26 I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
50:31 That's God. Somebody say, amen.
50:33 That's the God that you got to see,
50:35 and remember when the clouds come,
50:37 it's not where is God, but who is God.
50:41 We think where is He? No, who is He?
50:44 God is stuck in traffic somewhere,
50:48 He said, "I will never leave you."
50:50 Isaiah 43:2, "When you pass through the waters,"
50:53 come on now church, "I will be with you,
50:56 and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you."
50:59 Let me pause, that's why I'm still here.
51:03 I don't mean physically,
51:05 I don't mean location or GPS coordinates,
51:07 I mean that's why I'm still alive
51:11 'cause I've been through waters,
51:12 but they have not over flown me.
51:14 When you walk through the fire,
51:15 you shall not be burned
51:17 nor shall the flame scorched you,
51:19 praise God.
51:23 I wish I was talking to people
51:24 that know that phrase, "praise God."
51:30 We don't give Him enough praise.
51:31 Do you know the Lord inhabits the praises of His people?
51:34 You know the devil gets in his car and leaves
51:37 when you start praising God?
51:40 He said to Joshua, "Have I not commanded you,
51:42 be strong and of good courage.
51:45 Do not be afraid nor be dismay," why?
51:48 "For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
51:53 They told us in New Guinea when we were down there.
51:58 They said every time we have a week of prayer,
52:03 the devil shows up in some demonic manifestation,
52:08 somebody gets possessed,
52:09 some demonic display happens every time,
52:14 but when they were on the way taking us to the airport,
52:16 then they tell us.
52:18 But I like what they said they said,
52:20 "This is the first time it never happened."
52:23 You know why?
52:24 Because my wife and I were in our room prayed up,
52:28 studied up
52:29 before we stepped out of the door every night.
52:32 Come on now, Ferrin, start. Playing softly for me.
52:35 Before we stepped out of that door every night,
52:39 we said, Father,
52:41 go ahead of us."
52:44 You see I'm convinced that clouds do come,
52:47 difficulty does arise,
52:49 hardships do manifest themselves,
52:53 but when trials come,
52:56 it's not important to know where they come from
52:59 or where God is,
53:01 it's important to remember who He is.
53:07 And finally,
53:08 which is probably the most powerful one
53:10 of the entire sermon.
53:12 Lastly clouds are employed to get us
53:15 to focus on Jesus alone.
53:19 Zephaniah the prophet describes a day that's coming,
53:23 it's on the horizon, it's not yet arrived yet
53:25 that will affect the entire world,
53:27 but spiritually that day has already come to many of us.
53:31 Zephaniah 1:15, it's on the screen,
53:33 you won't find Zephaniah in enough time, but here it is.
53:38 Zephaniah 1:15.
53:40 Speaking of the day of the Lord,
53:42 "That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress,
53:46 a day of devastation and desolation,
53:49 a day of darkness and gloominess,
53:51 a day of clouds and" what kind of darkness?
53:54 "Thick darkness."
53:58 A day of trouble and distress,
54:00 a day of devastation and desolation,
54:02 a day of darkness and gloominess,
54:04 a day of clouds, and thickened darkness.
54:07 Now, that's on the way,
54:08 but let me make a point,
54:11 to many of you, those days have already come.
54:16 And when they came to the disciples,
54:18 my last text Mark 9:7and 8,
54:21 when they came to the disciples
54:23 on the Mount of Transfiguration,
54:25 the Lord allowed Elijah and Moses
54:27 to be transfigured there and he said to the disciples,
54:29 there is some of you standing here today
54:31 that will not taste the death
54:32 until you see the Son of Man coming in the clouds.
54:36 You see, my brethren,
54:38 this message is not about the clouds
54:41 that will one day welcome the return of Jesus.
54:45 This is about the clouds that introduce us every day
54:51 to the person of Jesus.
54:55 What happened in Mark 9, look at it, verse 7-8.
54:59 After Elijah and Moses
55:02 and they had the transfiguration
55:03 and then all of a sudden they're gone.
55:05 And the Bible says,
55:07 "And a cloud came and overshadowed them,
55:09 and a voice came out of a cloud saying,
55:12 'this is my beloved Son," what?
55:15 "Hear him.
55:17 Suddenly, when they looked around,
55:20 they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus.'"
55:25 I got to ask you the question today as I close.
55:34 Is there anyone except Jesus in your clouds?
55:38 It's a powerful question.
55:41 Because if there's somebody else
55:43 in your clouds except Jesus,
55:45 they're going to get darker, and gloomier,
55:47 and thicker, and more devastating,
55:50 and more filled with wrath.
55:51 The Lord allowed clouds
55:54 to obscure the sight of everybody else
55:57 except Himself.
56:03 Do you see Jesus in your clouds is my question today?
56:14 Because my appeal is this,
56:18 and clouds are going to come.
56:22 If it is your determination today,
56:24 listen me carefully,
56:26 that when the clouds come that you only see Jesus,
56:32 if you only want to see Jesus,
56:34 if you want the clouds to obscure everything,
56:36 but Jesus, why don't you stand right now.
56:54 My heavenly Father,
56:56 we've got clouds,
56:59 the clouds of wrath fighting in our families.
57:04 Distress, and gloominess,
57:05 and darkness, and thick darkness.
57:10 We've got clouds of disappointment,
57:12 distresses of financial instability,
57:17 we have clouds,
57:20 a broken relationships,
57:22 we've got clouds of wayward children,
57:24 we've got clouds of distractions,
57:27 we've got clouds of success that has caused our view of You
57:31 to be obscured
57:32 and our understanding of You to be damaged.
57:37 But You said to us today,
57:39 "Behold, I'm coming with clouds."
57:42 And so Lord Jesus,
57:44 when the clouds begin to be manifested
57:47 in our lives.
57:49 We pray that we can see no one,
57:53 but Jesus alone.
57:59 Who will deliver us?
58:01 Who will strengthen us?
58:04 Who will provide?
58:06 Who will help us?
58:07 Who will uphold us?
58:09 Who will be with us in the fire and the flood of life?
58:14 Who will be there
58:16 when the road is too difficult for us
58:18 to travel any more.
58:19 Today, Lord help us to see You in our clouds.
58:25 And when the clouds of this life
58:28 have transformed us,
58:30 one day we will see you
58:33 in the clouds of glory.
58:37 Hold us and get us ready for that day
58:40 and may when that day comes we say, today,
58:44 tomorrow, Monday, Tuesday,
58:46 every other day it is well, it is well, it is well.
58:51 I see the clouds, Father, but it is well with my soul.
58:56 And I pray this in Jesus' name, amen.