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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 1

Section 4 - Subsection 2

He is Coming With the Clouds



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In the system of nature whence the symbol before us is taken, clouds are opaque congeries of aqueous particles, exhaled from the waters of the earth into the air by the electricity of the expanse. This being their nature and origin, they furnish a beautiful and expressive symbol representative of those who are present with the Lord in his apocalypse. In the revelation given to John, the inhabitants of the earth, in their various subdivisions, are styled "many waters;" as, "the waters which thou sawest, upon which the Harlot sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and languages" (17:1,15). From these waters have been exhaled by "the Spirit, which is the truth," from the generations of the past, particles which, when viewed in mass, constitute, as Paul terms them, "a great cloud of witnesses." But this cloud is only seen as a matter of testimony. The subjects of it are in the earth; and

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perceived only as particles to be exhaled, or drawn out, by the power of those beams, soon to irradiate from the Sun of Righteousness. When he shall "arise with healing in his rays," they will come forth from the womb of the dawn as dew. Every resurrected saint will be a dewdrop, sparkling in the star-like glory of a divine refraction. The appearance of dew from the womb of dawn, as representative of the resurrection of the saints, is the most beautiful of scripture similitudes. Before the sun rises, all nature is concealed in the womb of night; and although the herbage is wet with dew, yet is it invisible by reason of the darkness. The dew is, as it were, in Hades, waiting for the birth to be given it by the rising of the sun. As soon as the eastern portals of the sky begin to open to the light, which is the life of dew, its drops begin to sparkle with the prismatic glory of its refraction. The apocalypse, or appearing of the dew, is its birth from the womb of dawn; and, however clear the air may be at its birth, oftentimes the heat of the sun's rays exhales it from the herbage, and it becomes invisible until it reappears at the atmospheric dew point in the form of clouds. If the reader understand this he will be enabled to discern the relations of the saints to Jesus, as the Dew and Clouds of the Millennial Dawn to the Sun of the New Heavens, prepared "as a Bridegroom emerging from his canopy, and rejoicing as a Conqueror for the running of a course" (Psal. 19:5). The following testimonies will present the matter in a still clearer light.

That dew is sometimes used for people, appears from Mic. 5:7, as, "the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples AS DEW from Yahweh, as showers upon the grass; which shall not wait for man, nor delay for the sons of Adam." Mankind cannot control the dew nor clouds, so that the one should remain, and the other not pour down their torrents of rain and hail till they were ready. In what sense the remnant is a dew that will not tarry, appears from the next verse; as, "the remnant of Jacob shall be among the nations in the midst of many peoples, as a lion among the beasts of the forest, and as a young lion among flocks of sheep; who, if he pass through both treadeth down and teareth, and there is no deliverer."

Besides this dewy-remnant, we have holy ones who are compared to newly born dew in Psal. 110:3. This is a psalm of David, which he commences by declaring that YAHWEH, the Eternal, had decreed concerning his (David's) Son and Lord, that he should sit at His right hand until his enemies should be subjected to him reigning in Zion in their midst. The enemies of David's Son and Lord are well known to be the Jews, who are not willing to acknowledge him as King of Israel. But in the third verse, the Spirit declares to the Son, saying, "Thy

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nation shall be willing in the Day of thy Might; in the splendors of holiness the Dew of thy Birth (shall be) to thee from the womb of the dawn." The Son's Dew, born from the womb of the Dawn, are his brethren, the saints; born of the Spirit from the invisible at the dawn of Messiah's Day -- the day of a thousand years. The resurrection is styled "thy birth," because "He, the Deity, who raised up the Lord Jesus, will raise us up also by Jesus" (2 Cor. 4:14); and "He that raised up the Anointed One from among the dead, shall also make alive your mortal bodies through his Spirit" (Rom. 8:11). Hence, the birth given to the saints from the grave will be BY Jesus THROUGH the Spirit; and therefore the birth, in the psalm, is styled "thy birth" -- the birth developed by David's Son and Lord; the subjects of which will be Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the prophets, and among them David himself, the apostles, and all that believe into Jesus through their word.

In reference to this wonderful birth of the "Holy Nation" (1 Pet. 2:9) at the epoch of Israel's national regeneration, the Eternal Spirit says, in Isai. 66:5, "Hear the word of YAHWEH, ye that tremble at his word: your brethren that hated you, and cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let YAHWEH be glorified! But he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. A noise of tumult from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of YAHWEH that rendereth recompense to his enemies," as in the destruction of Jerusalem.

Then afterwards, "Before she travailed, she (Zion) brought forth; before her pain came she was delivered of a son. Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith YAHWEH. Shall I cause to bring forth, and hold back? saith thine Eloah."

The resurrection, then, is emphatically "thy birth," O YAHWEH, Son and Lord of David! Begotten of the Spirit, the subjects of it are as dew from the womb of the dawn. This beautiful figure has also been employed to illustrate the same subject in Isaiah 26:19: it is there written, "Thy dead shall live, (as), my dead body they shall arise. Awake, and sing; ye that dwell in the dust: for the dew of lights is thy dew, and the earth shall cast forth the dead": "the earth shall disclose her bloods, and shall no more cover her slain." This Dew of Lights is YAHWEH's dew. In the English version, it is "thy dew is as the dew of herbs." There are only two places in the holy writings where !hebrew! ohroth is rendered herbs; once in 2 Kings 4:39; and once

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in the text before us. It is used once also in the singular in Isai. 18:4;* but over a hundred times in the singular, and twice in the plural, it is rendered light. In Kings herbs are figuratively styled lights, because of their appearance when loaded with dew. Hence the light belongs to the dew, and therefore the propriety of the rendering, and the fitness of the expression as a similitude for the resurrected saints in the starlike splendor of holy spirit nature.

[* In the original edition this citation is erroneously, "Deut. 18:4"].

The saints in the resurrection-state being thus indisputably likened to sparkling dew drops, the reader will, we apprehend, have no difficulty in regarding clouds as their representatives when with the Lord in the apocalyptic firmament, or expanse, styled in Dan. 7:27, "the whole heaven"; under which "the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom they are to possess for the Aions of the Aions," are alone to be obtained.

The clouds of this Millennial Expanse are the sparkling dew drops of YAHWEH exalted by his energy to place and power; and gathered together about him as glorious and towering masses, pregnant with "lightnings, and thunderings, and voices, and great hail" (Apoc. 4:5; 11:19; 16:18-21). The power of Deity in every particle of these clouds is the omnipotence of the apocalypse. Eternal Power invested with clouds of virtuous and heroic immortals, constituted in the aggregate, Ezekiel's "Whirlwind out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and round about it brightness, and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber even out of the midst of the fire, whence proceeded the likeness of four living creatures."

If this be apparent to the reader, the following testimonies will present themselves with great force and beauty to his mind. Thus, "In the heavens, O YAHWEH, thy mercy; thy truth is to the clouds" (Psal. 36:5); that is, His promised kindness is manifested in the New Heavens; and His truth is for those clouds of witnesses who shall compose them.

Again, "Ye kingdoms of the earth sing ye to the Elohim; sing the praises of Adonai, Selah; to Him who rides upon heavens of the heavens of old. Behold, with his voice he will give forth a voice of strength. Give ye strength to the Elohim, his excellency over Israel, and his strength in clouds. Terrible, O Elohim, out of thy sanctuaries, the AIL of Israel (art thou:) He that giveth strength and powers to the nation. Blessed be the Elohim" (Psal. 68:33-36). In this text, the AIL, Adonai, and Elohim are presented as One in Many and Many in One -- AIL, the Eternal Spirit, or Theos; ADONAI, Lords, the Devar of Ail, or Logos, become Flesh, or Messiah, the Word; and ELOHIM, the Eternal Spirit incarnate in the Saints, each of whom is a

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sanctuary, or temple, of Eternal Power, out of which collectively is "the AIL of Israel," in the Aions of the Aions. With His voice, the Eternal will give strength to the Elohim, whom He will bring forth as sparkling dew; and will establish them as his excellency over Israel; so that His omnipotence will be in the Clouds of Elohim, by and through whom He will do terrible deeds throughout the earth. "He makes thick clouds his chariot; and goes on the wings of the spirit."

A destroyer going up against a nation with great forces, is thus referred to by Jeremiah. "Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots as a whirlwind" (4:13). This was spoken of Nebuchadnezzar's invasion of Judea. Ezekiel also speaks of Nebuchadnezzar's last successor and representative ascending and coming like a storm against the same country in the latter days, "like a cloud to cover the land" (38:9).

The apocalyptic "coming with the clouds" is the same as that described in Dan. 7:13: "I was seeing," says the prophet, "in the vision of the night, and behold, there was coming, with clouds of heavens like a Son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before Him." These Clouds of Heavens were the "thousand thousands serving the Ancient of Days; and the myriad myriads that stood before him" -- the flames of his fiery throne, his wheels of burning fire, and the stream of flowing fire that issues from before him. Collectively a Son of man in whom the Ancient of Days, or Eternal Spirit, comes to execute the judgment written; and to set up and possess the kingdom (ver. 22).

The apocalyptic clouds with which the Anointed comes are the same as those referred to by Moses in the passage already quoted from Deut. 33:26. Here, the Ho Erchomenos (Coming One) anointed with the Seven Spirits, and styled Yahoshaia Mashiahk, or He shall be Deliverer Anointed, -- that is, Jesus Christ -- is styled AIL OF YESHURAN -- the "Who is, Who was, and Who is Coming." Moses says, that, when he comes to help Israel, "he rides heavens in his majesty of clouds." Heavens is used for the constituents of governments, or administrations; as the sun, moon, constellations, and individual stars, in the celestial universe, constitute the heavens, because they are high. The Hebrew word !hebrew! shahmayim, "heavens," comes from !hebrew! shahmah "to be high." Hence, a body of persons exalted to a high position over "kindreds, tongues, peoples, and nations" are heavens which rule. Thus the Spirit in speaking of the overthrow of the political system in Idumea, says in Isai. 34:4, "All the host of the heavens shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a

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falling from the fig tree; for my sword shall be bathed in the heavens; behold it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse to judgment." In this the phrase "the heavens" is interpreted to signify "the people of Yahweh's curse" who rule Idumea, and (are) destined for a great slaughter in Botzra of that land (Isai. 63:1; Apoc. 19:17-21).

Again in Isa. 13 in predicting the overthrow of the Babylonish empire the Spirit saith, "the stars of the heavens and their constellations shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine" (ver. 10). The meaning of this is explained in the succeeding verses, as the punishing of the taivail (world) of Babylon, made up of its wicked, proud, and terrible, civil, idolatrous, and military peoples. Read the whole chapter. As to the Sun of Babylon being darkened in his going forth, the fourteenth chapter exhibits it in beautiful style in the "proverb taken up against the king of Babylon," Belshatzar, in which he is apostrophized as the Day Star of the system, saying, "How art thou fallen from the heavens, O Day Star, son of the morning; thou art cut down to the earth, who didst weaken the nations!" And the reason of his fall is predicted in the next verse, "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend the heavens, I will exalt my throne above the stars of AIL; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation on the sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the cloud; I will be like the Most High." Read in connexion with this Dan. 5:22-30, where this predicted impiety is forcibly depicted, as the cause of Nebuchadnezzar's Dynasty being cast out of the Babylonish heavens. When Isaiah wrote this prophecy, Babylon had only just begun to appear as a speck upon the political horizon of Judea: but in considering its development, he predicted that its government would aim to overshadow YAHWEH'S kingdom of Judah; and to establish its dominion above "the Stars" of Aaron and David's houses, and over "the heights" of Moriah and Zion, which were "the heights of the cloud" that rested upon the Wings of the Cherubim in the Most Holy Place.

What has here been adduced will be sufficient to illustrate the scripture use of the word heavens, in a multitude of instances. In the same sense it is representative of the members of the divine administration of mankind's affairs in the Millennial Cycle, or World to Come. The Ail of Yeshurun rides these heavens, his eternal omnipotence being incarnated in each of them; so that, as Ezekiel says, "whither the Spirit is to go, they go"; or as John expresses it, "these are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth"; and "the body guards in the heaven follow Him upon white horses, clothed in fine

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linen, white and clean" -- "which is the righteousness of the saints" clouds of cavalry making war in righteousness; or carrying on a just, righteous, and necessary war (Ezek. 1:12; Apoc. 14:4; 19:14,8). The Eternal Spirit rides these, whose Head, or Commander-in-Chief, is the Great Prince Michael, or "Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews." They are the Eternal Majesty in Clouds, or "the Mighty Ones of the East, the Powers of Olahm," who will be Israel's refuge in the terrible affliction that impends.

"Whosoever boasteth himself in a gift of falsehood is as clouds and wind without rain." Such Jude describes those men to be, who had crept into the ecclesias at unawares, speaking evil of the apostles' teaching, which they did not understand: "they are clouds without water carried about of winds -- wandering stars." This is what the saints of the right stamp are not. On the contrary, they are clouds with water, whose doctrine drops as the rain, and their speech distils as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: because they proclaim the NAME OF YAHWEH (Deut. 32:2).

Finally upon this point, it is worthy of remark, that the rendering of Paul's words in 1 Thess. 4:17, "shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air," is objectionable. This is one of those things of Paul's writings, which Peter said were hard to be understood by the unlearned and unstable. These suppose, that Paul taught that the resurrected and changed should be carried up like Elijah to the dew-point of our atmosphere, the region of the clouds, there to remain for ever with the Lord. But, I object that Paul had no reference to either the clouds of our atmosphere, or to the air itself; and for these reasons.

In the first place, arpaghsomeqa, rendered "we shall be caught up," neither expresses the idea of up nor down; but signifies "to snatch, to seize, to take hold of forcibly, as a wild beast doth its prey"; and hence, the idea of hurrying off by any kind of force or power.

In the next place, Paul does not say in the clouds, but simply, !greek! in clouds; instead therefore of "caught up in the clouds," we read "hurried off in clouds"; so that clouds of saints, by almighty power, will be removed from the east, west, north, and south, where they have been resurrected, "for a meeting of the Lord" in the territory of his kingdom, the Holy Land (Luke 13:28,29).

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