The Cloud of Knowing

The Cloud of Knowing

"He shall glorify me: for He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that He shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you." (John 16:15)

The Son is shining

Jesus is speaking of the Holy Spirit in this passage. Someone who, prior to Jesus coming into this world and living as a human, was not available for us. There's complex and dense theology behind the spirit/soul/body state of humanity. Mixed with an understanding of what happened to us when first we sinned ("But the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Genesis 2:17), it can take quite a while to work out answers to questions, that, if God is real, must have salient answers. But again, Jesus says in the above passage that [the Holy Spirit] shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." Here's a thought: As Jesus is the forerunner for a new way of life, "the firstborn among many brethren" (see Romans 8:29), does this mean the Holy Spirit was learning all the while—taking notes, so to speak—what it looks like for humans to live as pleasing to God and as exemplified and epitomized by Jesus? Not to say that there are things the Holy Spirit doesn't know. Just that prior to Jesus, there was no one who'd lived as He so as to create the mold, the template.

"Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God. Dost thou know when God disposed them, and caused the light of His cloud to shine? Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of Him which is perfect in knowledge?" (Job 37:14-16)

This is Elihu speaking. One should take anything he says with a grain of salt or two because although the words he speaks are indeed true—God is perfect in knowledge after all—a reeducation of the basics of love and forgiveness and mercy was awaiting Job and his friends (including Elihu) a few chapters after. But look at what he says. Perfect in knowledge.

Flying colors

As an aside, there's a phenomenon in meteorology called snowblink where a cloud reflects the white of snow from underneath. Never seen it myself but it sounds pretty cool. There's another such thing called irisation where the spectrum is refracted through a cloud. Beautiful. I see that with frequency where I live. And so, starting with the glistening white and making its way through the cloud to where you have the dark of night or of space (is this too big a stretch?), you have a picture of the Holy Spirit connecting us from Jesus to God the Father. And there are colors off the spectrum that we can't see. What colors do it for you? My favorite color is sea foam green. Its spectrum from mint to and through turquoise up to teal is beautiful. I also like the darker end of the spectrum. For instance, brown. I love orange and brown is merely dark, dark orange. I say all of this to say that all color is in the light. And Jesus is the light of the world.

"Clouds and darkness are round about Him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne." (Psalm 97:2)

"While He yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid." (Matthew 17:5-6)

There's an old work of Christian mysticism entitled The Cloud of Unknowing. Its succinctly summed up in realizing that one must empty their mind of their own thoughts in order to realize God in the here and now. To accept "the cloud of unknowing" as the entryway to knowing Him. And that's a simplistic synopsis. I can agree but only up to a certain point. Because we, in and of ourselves, are entering into knowing God better and better but without the Holy Spirit, don't know what's already in there from Him. It's more a matter of wrestling with the thoughts and sharing them with God in order to see what He thinks. To "bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5) John says "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God." (1 John 4:2) The Father spoke through the cloud and testified of Jesus. I would say that the cloud was the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that's inside you from the Father. Talk to Him. Anytime our thoughts are directed toward the Holy Spirit, it's either the Father or the Son doing it. I don't believe anyone thinks about the Holy Spirit in a respectful and loving manner unless directed so by God. The more we build upon those interactions, the more we will consciously and unconsciously live as Jesus did and as such, please the Father.

"Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come." (John 16:13)

Grace Notes

Points Taken (Landmark Study part 2)