Coming on the Clouds: It’s Not What You ThinkJuly 24, 2023
Many in the Christian faith are watching the skies for signs of Jesus coming down from heaven, coming on the clouds. Is their faith justified, or is it in vain? The Bible clearly states in Mark chapter 14 and Matthew chapters 24 and 26 that the Son of Man will “come on the clouds.”
We must ask ourselves, “Is this to be taken literally?”, “What is being described by the ‘Son of Man’ coming on the clouds?”, “Is this not the scene of the second coming of Jesus Christ?” Most Christians understand this but still believe He will come on an actual cloud made of water vapor. Indeed, God is all-powerful, and nothing is beyond His capability, but there are so many reasons this belief is undoubtedly wrong; Let us look at the most compelling reason.
Is This the First Time He Came on the Clouds?
Most Christians might be shocked to discover this is not the first time the Son of Man came with the clouds. We must first acknowledge the title “Son of Man” usually refers to Christ. In doing so, we can truly understand the meaning of “coming on the clouds” in the Bible.
Daniel 7:13-14 In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
The footnote found in Daniel 7:13 clarifies “the son of man” indeed refers to Jesus Christ.
The True Meaning of “Coming on the Clouds”
We see from Daniel that Christ came “with the clouds” 2,000 years ago at his first coming. Did Jesus come with the literal clouds? As he did not but was born as a child, there clearly must be another explanation. Through other verses in the Bible, we can see that “clouds” have another meaning, which will help us understand how Christ will come on the clouds in this age as well. We must avoid repeating the mistakes of the Pharisees and teachers of the law who, despite claiming to possess complete knowledge, rejected Jesus. Through other verses in the Bible, we can see that “clouds” have another meaning, which will help us understand how Christ will come on the clouds in this age as well.
Proverbs 25:14 Like clouds and wind without rain is one who boasts of gifts never given.
We see this analogy, clouds referring to people, also used in the New Testament.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Jude 1:12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead.
Jesus was born as a child when he came to bring salvation to God’s people. At that time, the Israelites knew the prophecies that Christ would come with the clouds and thought of this literally. By doing this, they did not recognize the Son of Man coming on the clouds, that is, in the flesh. We must never repeat the mistakes of the Pharisees and teachers of the law who rejected Jesus.
Seek God Where He Can Be Found
When we know that “coming on the clouds” refers to being born into this world as a child, we can stop looking to the sky for an event that will never occur. Only then can we seek God where he can be found, as a person who walks among us. When we learn the prophecies of the Second-Coming Christ, we can focus on finding the truth of salvation by finding Christ on earth rather than wasting time looking to the sky.
Risking Salvation if It’s Not What You Think
When salvation is at stake, there must be no doubt about what the faithful followers of Christ must do to obtain it. It would be a shame to face judgment only to discover your belief was wrong. How devastating it would be to stand before God to have Him say to us, “Away from me, you evildoers!” [Daniel 7:23] This requires us to humble ourselves and accept the Bible as God’s only guide to salvation. This especially applies to finding and receiving Christ who comes in this age to restore the truth of salvation.