Summary: The Book of Revelation describes that day when Jesus will return to earth. The message of Revelation is summarized by the statement: “He (Jesus) is coming with the clouds” of heaven (not ordinary clouds but clouds of glory).
Lesson: I.A.3: Prophecy and Proclamation (Revelation 1:7-8)
Revelation 1:7-8 (NIV)
7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”
So shall it be! Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
In this passage John sets down the motto and the text of his whole book, his confidence in the triumphant return of Christ, which would rescue Christians in distress from the cruelty of their enemies.
7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen.
Jesus will indeed have “glory and power for ever and ever” (1:6 NIV)—the Book of Revelation describes that day when He will return to earth. The message of Revelation is summarized by the statement: “He (Jesus) is coming with the clouds” of heaven (not ordinary clouds but clouds of glory), which is amplified in Revelation 19:11. When Jesus ascended into heaven, “He was taken up into the sky . . . And he disappeared into a cloud” (Acts 1:9 NLT) (see also Luke 24:50-51). An angel had told the astonished disciples, “Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. And someday, just as you saw him go, He will return” (Acts 1:11 NLT). The imagery of coming in the clouds is probably a military picture, alluding to the clouds of dust kicked up by the war chariots, the ultimate war machines in ancient times. When Christ is pictured this way, He is coming as the ultimate Victor and conquering King (see also Daniel 7:13). To Christians the return of Christ is a promise on which to feed the soul.
We are currently living in the Church Age, and as the end of the Church Age draws near, Jews and Gentiles will become wicked as never before on the face of the earth (Isaiah 60:2). The nations will be gathered in open rebellion against the Lamb of God (Revelations 19:19) and they will fight against Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2). Therefore, the earth must be cleared of evil and ungodly men before the Lord Jesus comes back to reign in Glory, with His church.
It is essential to distinguish the two parts of His Second Coming. There is definitely a period of time between the Rapture (the time when Jesus comes for His saints) and the Revelation (when he comes with his saints). The Rapture is mentioned in John 14:3; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18; and 1 Corinthians 15:23. All these scriptures refer to the next great event for Christians—the Rapture of the Church—the time when Jesus comes for His saints, and every living, born again, blood-washed child of God will be caught up to meet Him; the bodies of all the saints who have died will be raised incorruptible, and we will all be caught up together to meet the Lord in the clouds in the air. The Rapture will mark the beginning of what we call the Great Tribulation, a time of extreme wickedness, violence, and eventually anarchy; but, Revelation 3:10-11 indicates that the church will not go through the Tribulation and this is further supported by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9-10. Daniel reveals that this period of worldwide trouble will last seven years (Daniel 9:25-27). Throughout the Book of Revelation, you will find measurements of time that coincide with this seven-year time span (Revelation 11:2-3; 12:6, 14; 13:5).
But there is another group of Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments which distinctly teach another coming, and this verse is one that refers to this time when Jesus will come with His saints. Readers are exhorted to “look for His coming.” He will be with the clouds (Acts 19:11) when he comes with his saints (In connection with this read Jude 14; Zechariah 14:5; Colossians 3:4; Revelation 19:11-14). All the Scriptures refer to the Revelation—the time when Jesus will come in the air and “every eye shall see Him.” When the Rapture takes place, no person will see the Lord Jesus. He will not come to the earth; He will descend in the air, the trumpet will sound, and the voice of the archangel will call the saints up to meet Jesus in the air. He will not stand on the earth when He comes in the Rapture, but He will stand on the earth when the He comes in the second phase of His return.
Jesus’ Second Coming will be visible and victorious. Everyone will see Him arrive (Mark 13:26), and they will know it is Jesus. When Christ returns there can be no doubt about the outcome, for He will conquer evil and will judge all people according to their deeds (Revelation 20:11-15).