CLOUDS WITHOUT WATER
“These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots”, Jude 1:12
It is so easy for people to deceive themselves. There are many reasons why one does so. The heart of man is a hidden treasure of surprises, so much so that not even its owner has a clue to the whole of it. Many believe they know God, many more that they are something. But we find that the apostles forewarned that there would be many false teachers and prophets among the holy sheepfold, and not so much in the world of heresy itself. Jesus said there would be weeds among the wheat also. Since we may not take the weeds from the wheat, we may advise that everyone should himself look deeply into his own heart so such may be turned into a good crop.
So, whether one is conceived for the sake of God, or stays the same among truthful and genuine apostles of our Lord, whether truth really changes us or we change truth to fit our world of wishes and views, whether we believe in lies or truths, what matters is that God manages to touch and reach deep into our heart with light and never what we may talk about and uphold before men as best as we may. We may be wrong beholding truth as pure as God would put it Himself, or we may be right from the heart knowing very little. What are you?
A site where truth lives in the air is the right place and spot to have tourists of truth appear, running away from the wrath to come by seeking comforting ideas and ideals under the skirts of those who fear God uprightly and from deep within a spotless heart. From there on, it is so easy to have any own hearts deceive and manipulate according to new truth found, a new shape and cover for the same old man that is begotten in all kinds of sin. Any man coming out to find truth, may never be that willing to expose himself at all, for exposure alone does take sin away.
Many people play guitar well, few, however, are musicians. And we know just how a piece of music may touch us easily. Our ears are the keenest instruments towards learning we have. It is so easy to find distracted, holy people unconsciously beat along with the rhythm of some piece of music that is overheard far away. If that is possible unto holy ones, why would we think unholy people will not love to sing the Lord’s songs too?
Music is a powerful tool and is even able to reshape tastes and moods among men. We know how musicians take a certain hold of melodies which they can easily trace back and do something according to whatever they recall hearing. Any melody has that strange power to settle itself where it finds an ear to go in. The heart assimilates it easily and makes of it whatever it feels like doing. That beat will eventually even change a day or a heart of man according to whatever that man really has inside.
But we have those people that love music yet they find it difficult to assimilate it all. Music is like truth: it enters into man. No man can ever look away from it. Just as people do towards music, they will either listen to it, dislike it and pretend they cannot listen to it at all, or one may even go along with the majority of the crowd in the same beat having the same old heart. Soon these will feel at home there and find a new way, and those who live in truth will be accepting towards these that resemble them outwardly in some way.
It is, therefore, worth knowing that one is to be aware of oneself in truth, so as to stand a chance to be saved, for none is allowed to sweep the fields to have a false crop removed but oneself and God. One easily resembles truth, just as an acute ear may assimilate any melody. One, therefore, has got to find for oneself what is within his own heart himself, and not be confined to confidence brought about from the opinions of others concerning that or them. We have to know and acknowledge whatever is in own hearts for real. We must deal with our own heart in the light of God – us and God alone. This is the only distinguishing mark of a truthful apostle of God: light is where it most delights to be, where one sees all as it is. All may resemble truth by having it in the ear, by having the heart beat along with the strange beat it started liking as a dormant concealing of all or even some conscience spots. God intends that “there be no peace for the wicked”, however otherwise we may feel about it (Is. 57:21); yet people overrun their own conscience so as never to feel guilty and ashamed. All preaching today is there to take guilt away where it is not taken away by God, at all. This falsity the apostles forewarned us about, were to be seen and found among holy people and never elsewhere.
So, we find people desiring manifold things and therefore attain to it by climbing somewhere else into the sheepfold, but never going in through the door, by lawful means and weapons of truth revealing their sin and sinfulness. Selfish people believe and disbelieve in accordance to taste, in conformity with the degree of whatever they wish and believe towards themselves. A filthy rag feels like enduring and feel like a real shirt if it can but trust itself. Public opinion has the power to promote that. If it feels holy and safe, his own heart moves him accordingly. But if it cannot trust itself, it will never endure towards a certain goal at all. This is why many come to Jesus thinking they need be encouraged by sel promotion and not by beating their chests because of having a real glance at their sins. We find therefore, that people easily believe lies if it suits them to do so, and disbelieve truth if it does not, or even believe truth if suitable, and charge against lies if it only plays an undesired melodical tune, such as will easily enter the ear.
This is where people go after that opinion of others for the sake of feeling safe alone, having itching ears, finding teachers that please their own yearnings from within. And those who preach, feel naturally inclined to conquer a crowd to their side, so they may never conclude God is against them. The more people they have behind them, the more confident they feel whenever their heart has something to challenge them with. So, it pays to conquer the crowd or a just a single opinion - and to "convert" people to their ways, is to do so. All people are after, is to feel safe and fully justified. By that, they get rid of all conviction against them.
Now, people will do anything to have God on their side – or at least believe God is on their side. Any killer, any sinner is at his best whenever he is able to believe God is behind him, backing up and blessing him somehow, anyhow. To that end, one may take hold of any kind of doctrine that will always suit the occasion, even if those doctrines are truthful ones – if it is somehow able to conceal the sin from the very eyes of the sinner and others most especially, it will pay to believe them therefore. Any sinful believer will love the idea of being a chosen one, just as any legalistic person will cherish to condemn to hell any who does not think and believe as he does, for he feels safe in by doing so alone. Simon wanted to buy the Holy Spirit from Peter because his heart was bitter and full of malice (Act 8:18-24). He acted accordingly. Peter saw it, but he did not himself. Because Peter spoke the truth out unto him, he broke down for a second chance to be saved and Peter knew not if he would still be accepted or not.
God, however, never deceives anyone, for He talks accordingly as He is able to see: as He sees, He reveals and makes the spirit of man to taste truth as it is. Whenever God works, stating whatever is truthful alone, no sinner is able to believe on for all self-confidence is done away with promptly. Then, to do away with conviction, you will have to kill Stephen. There is only one kind of faith that will stand and will ever save a sinner for real: one given by God and bred as the fruit coming out of a relationship. If one is able to relate to Jesus genuinely, one will believe – if not, one will eventually go astray and believing will be prevented so one will eventually move away from there to other parishes. This is what John tries to put forth to us: “They went out from us, but they were not of us: for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us”, 1John 2:19.
This makes faith an issue of truthful believing and never a believing according to taste. This is where, if one is of God, one will believe and if one is not, such will believe lies and disbelieve truth accordingly. That is why Jesus used those words in Mk.9:23 “if you CAN believe”, for some people just can’t and they do. Peter talks about those “who have obtained like precious faith with us”, 2Pet 1:1. Faith is an obtainable issue, as much as many do not want to have it so. Jesus said, “I am the Way”. If we come to Jesus, we will attain to this treasure on the spot. Just believe it is still possible if you think you are false.
All these things put together, create the genuine atmosphere where waters from above separate themselves from the waters below once again. On the one side, people will believe lies and feel safe – on the other these will deal truthfully with themselves and have surety given them as a fruit of a relationship. Both will feel safe somehow and will resemble each other outwardly. God is the only one in there who will never conceal, so as to please people – nor will He uphold but according to truth alone.
In this environment, we may never become deceived by words, by longings, by tears, but rather be led through clear accompanying blessings from God Himself, for He is the one that will either bless or curse openly. We may not look to whether God is working in a life, or whether one believes truthfully, but if whatever that person does, carries the seal of blessing alone, for God will bless and not bless as a clear sign of approval towards men. We read from Paul, “But I will come to you shortly if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power”, 1Co 4:19. Within all of this, we may look for fruit alone for Jesus looked for fruit alone Himself. “I tell you, No. But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (6) He also spoke this parable: A certain man had a fig-tree planted in his vineyard. And he came and sought fruit on it, and found none. (7) And he said to the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig-tree, and find none. Cut it down, why does it encumber the ground? (8) And answering, he said to him, Lord, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and throw manure. (9) And if it bears fruit, well; and if not, then after that you shall cut it down”, Luke 13:5-9 MKJV.
We may not look to whether God is working in a certain life or not, for that can never serve as a clear sign, or whether that person preaches well and in accordance to Scripture, but rather if God comes out to bless as he does so, and as well as He alone knows how to bless. He demands from us an offering to a great king; I believe He will carry the seal of a like worthy blessing for Himself, “For My Name will be great among the nations”. We may not look around for truth, but for the very fruit of truth. We may never look at a tree and say it is acceptable before God Himself tastes its fruit for us all. We may not be deceived only because it is God that is working the ground around that tree, but rather if it has brought some rewarding fruit to the One that has tilled it. If God prepares the ground and works on that tree, it does not mean it is genuine and will bear fruit. We may neither say the tree is bad simply because its season to bear fruit has not come yet. Jesus said, “He said to them, An enemy has done this. The servants said to him, Then do you want us to go and gather them up? “But he said, No, lest while you gather up the darnel you also root up the wheat with them”, Mat 13: 28,29. God waits so the tree may bear its own fruit, for darnel does not – so should we wait for fruit.
We may, in harvest time, see whether fruit is there or not. God will not refrain Himself to bless a good tree, nor will He attempt not to make it known He withholds a blessing openly from any other one whatsoever. We read that, “Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His…”, just as Abraham knew his wife and conceived, 2Tim 2:19. The second sign we may look for, is the spotlessness of any heart, whether one easily comes out of sin to fulfill God’s commandments. “Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal: "The Lord knew those who are His." And, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity!" , 2Tim. 2:19. If ones is able to bow down and repent fully, putting all to the light, there is hope for such. John further states that “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and His commandments are not grievous (are not difficult to keep)”, 1John 5:3.
Jude never said these people were not clouds, that they are not trees or even that they do not speak according to truth. In fact he states that they are spots in our feasts, meaning they are in preeminence, in the leadership even; they feast with us and we with them! They are clouds indeed, but of the kind that carries not water. There are black clouds that never get to pour down its contents upon the earth. To believe according to Scripture is never enough, for it will have to reach the earth it is sent for, still – that is why there is rain for. Rain is not sent so there may be clouds; clouds are sent so there may be rain. Clouds are there to be emptied of themselves and of whatever they are.
Let us be as King Asa was once, for he even did away with his own mother having all of Israel (Judah) know about it having been done for the glory of God. He would even do it in mother's day if it needed be so. He cared very little whether the public opinion would approve his doings, or disapprove on them. Would you that in your home? In your church? And if so, would God bless you in doing so? We read that “whatsoever he doeth shall prosper”. Would it prosper by God? Joseph did prosper even in prison. Will you? Will you gather with God there, in doing so? Will God gather with you and not be ashamed of you at all if you deny your mother or brother at home? To deny them is seldom enough! Will He come and have you blessed when doing that which is right? Will you stand out because of God's blessing, or because you have done as genuine children of God do or would do? Are you an actor of Life or are you a real living one? If God blesses whatever you do, there is water in the cloud you happen to be. Only you can and may decide whether you are wheat or not. Amen.