I pray that this blog on the ministry of the Holy Spirit has brought you in contact with the Manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit as never before. Every one of us experience Him in special and unique ways. Each person’s experience is different than that of others and yet similar. Examples of such are that in the Scripture He is said to manifest His Presence quietly and sweetly at certain times, then at other times He reveals His Presence with wind and fire (Read Acts 2). In the Old Testament the Manifest Presence of Yahweh (The LORD) is called Shekinah. The Shekinah is described in the Jewish Encyclopedia as the majestic Presence or manifestation of God which has descended to “dwell” among men.
In the Old Testament, the Shekinah generally manifested in the form of a cloud. Such is seen in 1 Kings 8:10-11 which says, “And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, 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.”
In the natural clouds are visible accumulations of tiny water droplets or ice crystals in the Earth’s atmosphere. Clouds form when air becomes saturated, or filled, with water vapor. Clouds usually appear white because the tiny water droplets inside them are tightly packed, reflecting most of the sunlight that hits them. The color white is what we see because that is how our eyes perceive things when all the wavelengths of sunlight mixed together with the moisture.
The metaphoric and symbolic uses of clouds in Scripture are many, and provide some of the most powerful and glorious illustrations. English Baptist pastor and biblical scholar, John Gill wrote about the Shekinah being manifested as a cloud in his commentary on Isaiah 60:8 which says, “Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?” Gill believed that Isaiah was referring to a vast number of future converts. These converts are being compared to a “cloud” because of the number of them, because they covered the land of Judea as the clouds fill the heavens, and for their elevation and situation, being raised from an earthly to a heavenly state; being called with a high calling, and made partakers of an heavenly one; and for their being filled with the grace of God, as clouds with water; and for their unanimity, their coming together in a body, making as it were one cloud, and that openly and publicly, professing Christ, and joining them in His Church.”
No doubt the foundation of Gill’s understanding is found in Numbers 11:24-25. “So Moses went out and told the people what the LORD had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the Tent. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again.”
Clouds, according to McKenzie, are “an almost universal element of the revelation of Yahweh to His people.” The occurrences of clouds indicate the Divine Presence is heavily distributed throughout both Testaments. The cloud is, perhaps, the earliest element that was connected to the Divine presence by Israel. Such is the example of the “Pillar of Cloud” which guided and protected the Israelites during their escape from Egypt. When the host of Israelites first met the LORD, at the foot of Mt. Sinai, the mountain was covered in a “Pillar of cloud.” Hiebert suggests that the image of the cloud is connected to the Hebrew term for “glory”. While this image is directly connected to Priestly writings and, often, associated with the Temple, Hiebert argues that it “may more narrowly also derive from the aura of the fiery storm cloud.”
I truly believe that we are seeing the formation of His glorious Presence. Pressure is being put on Christians from every country to surrender to secularism and religion. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is calling a group of us to come together for the purpose of true worship and intercessory prayer. The same type of pressure was put on the infant church right after the resurrection of our Lord. An in response to the obedience, worship and prayer of God’s people the manifested Presence of the Holy Spirit was experienced on the Day of Pentecost, during the prayer meeting in Acts Chapter 4 and at the house of Cornelius in Acts 10:44-47.
“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.” Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”
Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to manifest the Lord Jesus Christ into, for and through our lives. Such manifestation will reveal the love, the peace, the joy and the righteousness we see in the life of Jesus (as He walked here on earth). When others see His Presence being manifested in and through our lives they will see Jesus. They will see His grace, His goodness and His glory.
Let us gather together as mighty clouds of joy and fill the heavens with shouts of praise. Let us become one (as clouds do) and form one glorious cloud of His Presence. Let us be witnesses and surround the hurting and dying around us with the testimony of Jesus (which is the spirit of prophecy). For as we call upon the Lord together, humble ourselves and seek His face, then will we hear from heaven. Only then will the Lord heal our land. Bless His Name!
I love you!