“Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him— even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes! Amen!” Revelation 1:7 NLT
Four times, in the New Testament scriptures, we read of Jesus coming with the clouds.
1. Acts 1:9-11
2. I Thessalonians 4:13-18
3. Revelation 1:7
4. Revelation 14:14,15,16
In Revelation 14:14, Jesus sits on the cloud with a gold crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. In verse 15, the angel cries out to the One sitting on the cloud (Jesus) "Swing the sickle, for the time of harvest has come; the crop on earth is ripe." In verse 16, the One sitting on the cloud (Jesus) swings His sickle and harvests the earth. Even in the Old Testament, all the way back in Genesis, we read how God used a cloud to reveal Himself to man. Since man had sinned, there was a separation between God and man. God could no longer walk with man as He had in Genesis 1 and 2. Now, God could only manifest Himself in veiled forms to man. Although He could not reveal Himself in the same glory as He had in the garden of Eden, He was still absolutely intentional about making His presence known to man. In Genesis 9: 13, 14, and 16 God placed a rainbow in the clouds as a sign of His promise. In Exodus, God reveals His presence to Moses and the people of Israel in a cloud. In Exodus 13:21 and 22, God revealed Himself in a cloud by day and a fire by night to the people of Israel. This is a fascinating and utterly astounding revelation of God's sensitivity to our most vital needs. God desired to give them salvation from their bondage, shade from the scorching sun, security from their enemies, heat and light at night, and sustaining provision as they walked through the wilderness to the promised land. In Exodus 14:19-20, and 24, God stood between the children of Israel and the Egyptian Army in the form of a cloud and fire. In Exodus 16:10, God revealed Himself to the people of Israel as Aaron (Moses older brother) spoke to them. As he spoke, God appeared in a cloud as they looked out into the wilderness. In Exodus 19:9, God tells Moses that He will come down to talk to him in the cloud so that the people can hear God conversing with Moses. This would instill trust in Moses as God's chosen leader. In Exodus 19:16, God comes down upon the mountain before the people of Israel. The thunder crashed, lightning flashed, a long, loud blast of a ram's horn sounded, and the people trembled. In Exodus 20:21, Moses approached the dark cloud where God was. In Exodus 24:15, 16, and 18, Moses climbed the mountain and God sat upon the mountain in the form of the cloud again. On the seventh day, God called Moses to come up into the cloud. This time, Moses was gone for forty days. After God had given Moses the instructions on how to construct the tabernacle (the mobile tent of worship) He manifest His presence among the 12 tribes as He would appear in the form of the cloud over, and upon, the tabernacle. During the night, the cloud would appear as fire. This structure sat in the middle of all the tribes, which were strategically located in this fashion: 3 in the North, 3 in the South, 3 in the East, 3 in the West (interestingly, this forms a cross). At the center was the tabernacle. God was at the heart of the community. His presence was with them in the cloud. When the cloud moved, they moved. When the cloud stopped, they stopped. God was their guide. There is so much to talk about on this subject that it is impossible to contain it in a text. However, when we parallel the types and shadows of these events with Christ Jesus our Lord, we can see, with distinct clarity, the picture of God revealing Himself to us in the person of Jesus. In the face of Christ, we know and see the face of God!!! On the cross, God satisfied the payment for man's sin. Through the cross of Christ, we are reconciled with God! When He returns on the clouds, everyone (born again and lost) will know the God who revealed Himself to Noah, Moses, and Israel. This time, He will reveal Himself to the whole world as the crucified, buried, and resurrected Lord of all!!! Everyone will know who He Is - JESUS!!!!!!! Those who are saved will rejoice!!! Those who are lost will mourn!!! Yes, and AMEN!!!!!!!
Rev. Curtis Norris