"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat..." (I Corinthians 10: 1-3KJV)
What the Israelitesexperienced in their going into Egypt, and into hard bondage there, together with their deliverance therefrom, was a type of the salvation of believers in Jesus.
Like the Israelites, sinners too have fallen intobondage, only the bondage is spiritual, into the slavery of sin.
Like the Israelites, saved sinners have been "brought out of" a spiritual Egypt, and have "been immersed unto" (or "placed into") a greater Moses, the Lord Jesus Christ, and have "enter into the cloud," and have eaten "spiritual food."
What was this "cloud" into which the Israelitesentered? that envelopedthem?
This cloud, called in Scripture, the "cloud of glory," or the "Shekinah," is first mentioned in connection with the exodus from Egypt and of the Israelites trek to the promised land.
"And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people." (Exodus 13: 21, 22KJV)
"And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night." (Exodus 14: 19, 20KJV)
The clouds of glory, both of fire and air, in the form of pillars, acted as a guide; but they also were a means of defense, both a rereward (rear defense) and a vanguard (defense for the front). They were asource of illumination also and probably a source of warmth. These clouds of glory were the "survival kit," as it were, for the Israelites.
"And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud." (Exodus 16: 10KJV)
"And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD." (Exodus 19: 9KJV)
"And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled." (Exodus 19: 6KJV)
"And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights." (Exodus 24: 15-18KJV)
"And Moses went into the midst of the cloud"! Can one possibly imagine the grandeur and wonder of such an experience?
"And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend." (Exodus 33: 9-11KJV)
"And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD." (Exodus 34: 5KJV)
"Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle...And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys." (Exodus 40: 34-38KJV)
"I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat." (Leviticus 16: 2KJV)
Thus we see the great significance of the "glory cloud," of the Shekinah, of the visible manifestation of the presence of the Lord. Jesus is the ShekinahIncarnate. This is clear from the phenomenon and divine witness of the Mountain of Transfigurationexperience.
"...there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud." (Luke 9: 34KJV)
They entered the cloud just as did the ancient Israelites. They entered into a visible manifestation of the immediate presence of God as it was then shining forth in Christ on the "holy mountain."
When Christ ascended into Heaven it is recorded:
"And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight." (Acts 1: 9KJV)
Doubtless the reference is to this great "cloud of glory." As he ascended, so shall he return. So it is recorded.
"...then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." (Luke 21: 27KJV)
"Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (I Thessalonians 4: 17KJV)
"Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen." (Revelation 1: 7KJV)
"And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and (set) his left footon the earth...And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time (delay) no longer." (Revelation 10: 1,2,5,6KJV)
Doubtless this "angel" or "messenger" is Christ the Lord. He is the one "clothed with the cloud" of the Divine Presence, of the Shekinah glory and majesty. His two legs are twin pillars of fire.
Like the coming "Two Witnesses" (prophets or martyrs), who when they are killed by the AntiChrist, and are raised to live after three days, and ascend into the "cloud,"so too will all believers when Jesus comes again.
"And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them." (Revelation 11: 12KJV)
But, even now, Christians have entered into this glorious cloud in their spiritual lives, in their mystic thoughts, and holy meditations, when their minds and spiritsseemingly depart this world and enter into this glorious fog.
"If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you..." (I Peter 4: 14KJV)
This glorious cloud even now "rests on" the believer in Jesus? Oh what a glorious promise! Friend, if an evil spirit clouds your life and your thoughts, then I urge you to seek anothercloud, yea the "glory of God in the face of Jesus." (II Corinthians 4: 6KJV)