And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. Revelation 14:14-16.

Part I
by Brother Emerson A.Wilson

A Real Burden
This Scripture text portrays a people truly getting back to Mount Zion and measuring to Mount Zion's (The Church's) standard. Whenever you see The Church get in the position she needs to be in, there will always be a deep burden to reap the lost. This is one of the earmarks of whether or not the church is spiritual.

I am momentarily jumping ahead to give you the essence of the burden on my heart. This cloud with Christ sitting on it, with a sickle in His hand, is nothing more than a picture of the fact that Christ is ready and willing. He taught us, 'way back when He was here on the earth, to pray the Father to send laborers into the harvest (Matthew 9:38), for the harvest was white. When this spiritual atmosphere was reached on Mount Zion, The Church, we have the picture of a ministry crying with a loud voice to Him that sat on the cloud, "Thrust in thy sickle, and reap...for the harvest of the earth is ripe."

Then verse 16 is just very simple and complete: Christ put in the sickle and the earth was reaped. This is a complete picture. We need to get the right burden and lay hold of Christ. My friends, if Christ does not put in the sickle, the earth will not be reached. You or I can't put it in. We can drum up all the get-togethers we want to, get the most eloquent speaker on the face of the globe, but Christ is the one Who has the sickle in His hand. Unless He puts it in, the earth will not be reaped, but when He does put it in, thet earth will be reaped.

Now it is just that plain and just that simple. I am afraid too much effort and time are wasted because the real burden is not there and because Christ is not really handling the sickle. There is not question about Christ's ability to reach every honest-hearted individual on the face of this earth. He can do it. What will work on one person will not work on another, but He knows how to put the sickle in.

There needs to be a deep concern, first of all, that we be in the spiritual atmosphere taht verse 14 talks about. Secondly, we need to be deeply burdened to the place of crying unto Christ with a loud voice, "Please put the sickle in. Save. Please reap the earth. Please move."

Let us consider what kind of atmosphere we must have. Verse 14 tells us, And I looked, and behold a white cloud... A cloud is used in different ways throughout the Word of God. Dark clouds are symbols of darkness, or of people being in darkness, not having understanding. In Hebrews 12, a cloud symbolizes the great number of witnesses who died in the faith; they are called a "cloud of witnesses".

Here we have the word clouds used in a little different way. You will notice it says a "white cloud". John said, And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. "A golden crown" = He is already King. He is already crowned. He is already reigning.

Someone might say, "I can't understand the Lord sitting on a cloud." This is referred to in many different places in the Scriptures. Psalm 104:3 tells us the Lord ...maketh the clouds his chariot... Isaiah 19:1, speaking of the Lord bringing swift judgment upon Egypt, says ...Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud... This cloud is such a necessity if we are going to see the harvest of the earth brought forth.

The False And The True
Isaiah has some things to say that will help our understanding. Isaiah 4:1 tells us, And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. "In that day" means the Gospel Day. This verse marks Isaiah beginning to talk about a false church in every period of time. In every age, where there is a true church, there is a false one.

Isaiah began to depict how you can tell the false from the true: the false church refuses, first of all, the bread that God feeds The Church. In John's Gospel, Jesus lets us know that He is the bread, or His truth was the bread that came down from Heaven, and you and I must eat it if we are going to have any spiritual life in us (John 6:48-51). Here, however, we find that this false church refuses that bread: "We'll eat our own bread--we have our own creeds." Instead of feeding the church the sayings of God, they are feeding them the sayings of man.

Not only does the false church say that she will eat her own bread, but she wants to wsera her own apparel. In Revelation 19:8, we read that God has ordained for the bride, the True Church, to be dressed in fine linen, clean and white. That fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. So God has ordained that the True Church be dressed in righteousness. The false church, needless to say, wears her own apparel. They believe in sinning, more or less; they don't believe in righteousness; they believe in spotted garments, spotted with the flesh and with the sins of this world. The false church only wants to be called a Christian. They only want to be called by His name to take away their reproach.

Verse 2 of Isaiah 4 says, In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. At the same time, there are people rejecting truth, there are going to be other people who will love it. Brothers and Sisters, when we get grafted into the true-and-living Vine, or lay hold to the Branch of the Lord, Isaiah said that the fruit of the earth will be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.

Thank God, there is going to be a people who escapes all this ungodliness, and the way you escape it is by hearing and HEEDING the Word of God and by letting God direct your life. Brothers and Sisters, the devil has come forth with many deceptions, but he hasn't quit yet. He is not through, yet. There is a way, though, that we can escape all these things and stand before the Son of Man, clean and clear in the judgment.

God's Presence Honors Holiness
Now let us continue in Isaiah 4, verses 3-5: And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud... (there is the cloud...)

We can know where Zion is. There are lots of places called the Church of God; Brothers and Sisters, let me tell you, the prophet prophesied that right in this day the Lord was going to do some purging and washing, and those who endure it will be called holy. Over them, or over their assemblies, God will put a cloud and a pillar of fire and be a tabernacle to them.

Verse 5 tells us that God will create this cloud. There is no way we can build or fix one. The word create means that it is brought about by God alone. Everyone knows that a cloud was God's presence. In the Revelation, John saw a people who had come clean, and the first thing he saw was that cloud. Not only did he see the cloud, but he also saw Jesus sitting on top of it with the sickle in His hand, ready to go to work.

In the very widest sense of The Church, we know that everyone who is truly born again is a member of Zion. But as long as they are divided into some of these organizations, they cannot truly be the working body of The Church. I know this is a strange teaching in a world where "the faith" is just anybody's faith. They talk about people belonging to the Catholic faith, the Protestant faith, the Jewish faith. They talk of them in terms as all being on one level. They say that it doesn't make any difference which faith it is; it is all "the faith", however they believe. Man, that is a million miles from truth.

He said that He would put a cloud on all her (The Church's) assemblies (Isaiah 4:5). That Scripture definitely proves that he is not talking about old Mount Zion because she had only one assembly: Jerusalem. Here he talks about many assemblies, all her assemblies. New Testament Mount Zion, the New Testament church, has many different localities.

The Spirit of Judgment and Burning
Let us read again verses 3 and 4: And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. Everyone that remains after the filth is washed away will be called holy.

When he talks about the Spirit of judgment, it is just plain Bible talk. The New Testament is in the Spirit, not in the letter. The Spirit of judgment, first of all, enlightens the mind. When the Spirit of judgment begins working on people, it will start enlightening their minds. They will begin to see things that they didn't see before.

The Spirit of judgment is more than just you and I reasoning with our human minds, or what we can comprehend with the human mind. When the Spirit of judgment, or the Spirit of truth, goes to work on people, he gets down to their spirit, and their very understanding begins to be enlightened. The conscience begins to become convinced of some things. We can rattle off truth, but if the Spirit of judgment isn't working, we are wasting our time. It is not enough to have the truth; we must have the Spirit of truth, and the Spirit of truth must be directly anointing the judgment that is being poured out.

The Spirit of judgment is a guiding, distinguishing Spirit. It separates the precious from the vile. The Spirit of judgment makes you able to see falsity where you never saw it before. It makes you able to see truth where you've never seen it before. People can be bound up in human organizations and feel they are just as much the true church as we are, but as they get under the influence of the Spirit of judgment, and their heart is honest, they will begin to take enlightenment. Then they begin to see the thing they are in is wrong, and that there is something more right than what they are in.

Isaiah said that He is not only going to use the Spirit of judgment, but also the Spirit of burning. The Spirit of judgment begins to work to quicken the mind, stir the conscience, and make you able to see the difference between falsity and truth. The Bible calls it the difference between the precious and the vile. Then about the time the Spirit of judgment gets your mind stirred and gets you to thinking right, the Spirit of burning will start in on you.

Brothers and Sisters, when the Spirit of judgment gets through with you, you will never be the same. If there is honesty in your heart, when the Spirit of judgment begins to enlighten the conscience and the mind, then God, through the Spirit of burning come right along behind it to invigorate our affections and stir a zeal within us to walk and measure to the truth. The Spirit of judgment will stir you and show you what is wrong. The Spirit of burning will stir you and give you zeal to do what is right.

Someone might say, "It is just the Holy Spirit." I know it is the Holy Spirit, but the prophet is breaking it down, showing you how the Holy Spirit works. When people leave falsity and come to truth, there is more working on them than just the fact that they saw something and decided to do something different. When the Holy Ghost gets hold of you, He can give you zeal such as you never had before.

Isaiah said that God would put a cloud on all her assemblies after the Spirit of judgment and the Spirit of burning were able to do their work. When he talks about the Spirit of judgment, he didn't say that he was going to clean them up by the blood. No, they are already daughters of Zion, but they have some filth on them. If we could only get people to see by the Bible what a hateful thing it is to join these human organizations.

Spiritual Filthiness
Verse 4 talks of the Lord washing away the filth of the daughters of Zion. What kind of filth have the daughters of Zion, men and women who have been born of God? They are daughters of Zion: the blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed them from all sin. What kind of filth do they have on them?

We are supposed to reach our hand in fellowship to every blood-washed one, but there is a vast difference between reaching your hand in fellowship with every blood-washed one and joining them in the pigpen. What kind of filth is this? Nominal thinking today is that there is no filth on a man who has been born again; no matter where he goes to church, what he lines up with or what he believes, there is no filth on him. Most people, however, who come out of falsity to The Church come weeping to an altar of prayer. Why? When the Spirit of judgment and the Spirit of burning go to work on them, they see that they have done something displeasing to God.

What filth would a daughter of Zion need to be cleansed from? Proverbs 30:12 says, There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness. We read in II Corinthians 7:1, Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. What promises was he referring to? II Corinthians 6:14-18 tells us:

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Now, having these promises, let us get rid of the filthiness. How do we become filthy? By being unequally yoked together with unbelievers. He is not talking about marriage here at all. First Corinthians, the seventh chapter, says that if you have an unbelieving wife or husband, if they be pleased, stay with them! Now he wouldn't tell them in the first letter to stay with them and in the second letter to come out from among them.

Unequally Yoked Together
Now, what is he talking about? How do we get unequally yoked with unbelievers? Friends, when you come in old-time repentance and are truly born again and receive God's nature, you become God's child. You are a member of The Church of God, the Body of Christ, the Church of The Living God. Your name is written down in Heaven, and all you are yoked with is believers, because no one except believers have their names in that book.

Some, however, are born again at some sectarian altar, and they insist that you join that church. I often picture it this way: Suppose two of you go to a revival. You get under conviction because of the Gospel you hear preached, and go down to an altar. Because you are with the other fellow, someone goes to him and says, "Why don't you come down to the altar, too, and get saved?" Well, he is embarrassed and goes to the altar, but he didn't get a real experience. The one is saved, the other is not.

The Bible asks, "What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?" The one who was saved, when Wednesday night came, said, "I'll come by and pick you up, and we'll go to prayer meeting." The one who didn't get saved, said, "Prayer meeting? What's the matter with you? Do you have holes in your head? I'm going bowling!" What communion hath Christ with the devil? The devil is in one and Christ is in the other.

Now you can go right along; you are not yet yoked together. Then they have a day when they are going to "open the church doors". They want all the "new converts" to "join the church". The people come down, some of them saved, some of them not. When they take you in, you become yoked together with unbelievers. My friends, it is going on in every sectarian organization over the entire globe, and in most all of them, the believers are a very small minority. The unbelievers run the place!

When do you get yoked together unequally? When you join these human organizations. The Bible calls that organization an unclean thing. The Revelation calls every one of those churches you can join "harlot bodies", or an unclean thing. If you are truly born again, you have been cleansed to be the temple of God, and God dwells within you. Now what agreement has the temple of God with idols? People who claim to be Christians, but God is not actually dwelling in their hearts, are worshipping what the Bible calls an idol. Now He tells you exactly what to do: come OUT from among them and be separate from them. Touch NOT the unclean thing, or the filthy thing. He will then be a Father to you, and you will be His sons and daughters.

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