Every disciple of Christ look for the day when Christ returns in the clouds to judge the world. What does it mean by coming in the clouds mean?
To understand this, we need to go back to old testament.
Num 16:42 Now it happened, when the congregation had gathered against Moses and Aaron, that they turned toward the tabernacle of meeting; and suddenly the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared
Num 11:25 Then the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again.
During the Exodus, the glory of the LORD always appeared in the cloud.
Ps 68:4 Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Extol Him who rides on the clouds, By His name YAH, And rejoice before Him.
This is why when David mentions as God riding on the clouds.
1Kgs 8:10-12 And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD. Then Solomon spoke: “The LORD said He would dwell in the dark cloud.
When Solomon built the Temple, we can see that the LORD dwell in the dark cloud that filled the Temple.
Isa 4:5 then the LORD will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering.
When Isaiah mentions about the future Jerusalem, He mentions the could as the covering of glory of God by day. Hence, cloud is the glory and the presence of God.
Mark 9:7 And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”
During the transfiguration of Jesus Christ, we can see a cloud overshadowing Him and the Father speaking out of the cloud. Hence, when cloud is a reference to the presence and the glory of God.
Second Coming of Jesus
Mark 13:26 “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
Mark 14:62 Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
When Jesus mentions about His second coming, He mentions that He will be sitting at the right hand of God and coming with the clouds.
Matt 24:27 “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Jesus also mentions that it will not be a localised event but a global event.
Rev 14:14-15 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like 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 who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”
The harvest during Christ’s second coming is detailed in the book of Revelation. Again, we see Christ sitting on the cloud, but this time, cloud is used symbolic.
What does Christ’s coming on the clouds mean? It can be either symbolic or literal but always represents the presence and the glory of God. Christ coming in the clouds may not necessarily look like the recent Falcon 9 first stage landing which touched down slowly after it’s mission.
Matt 25:31-32 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
Rev 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
Christ’s coming will be a more terrifying and dreadful event that affects globally. When Christ comes in the glory of God in the form of a cloud, sitting at the right hand of God all powerful, all the nations will be gathered before Him and the heaven and earth will flee away.