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Will Jesus come in the clouds? What does Revelation 1:7 mean?

At the beginning of Revelation, John describes this scene as Jesus returns: "Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen" (Revelation 1:7).

What does it mean, "with the clouds"? Probably what you think—clouds. Trying to create some sort of alternative meaning of these words is futile. In fact, Jesus Himself spoke of this near the end of His ministry on earth.

As Jesus was being tried before His crucifixion, He told the high priest, elders, and scribes, "… But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven" (Matthew 26:64). This statement greatly upset the high priest who declared that Jesus must be put to death because of it.

Returning on clouds offers a parallel to the description Luke writes about His ascension into heaven in Acts 1:9–11. "And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.'" Just as Jesus ascended with clouds, so, too, will He return "with the clouds."

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