Isaiah wrote, “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Is 40:5).
What is The Glory of the Lord?
Is it brilliant, shining light – the first thing God created? Or could it be the sun, moon and stars? Or could it be gold and silver and diamonds and precious stones? These are certainly wonderful things, but they are all inanimate and God has made something better and higher. He has created life, and especially human life, the crown of his creation.
But even human life is not God’s highest glory. When he brought his firstborn son into the world the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14).
The greatest, highest glory of God is Jesus Christ!
But Jesus was not the only son of God. God wanted a bigger family. He planned that Jesus would be the firstborn of many brothers and sisters. They will also be the glory of God.
Jesus said, “they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matt 24:30).
What are clouds?
The clouds of earth are usually dull and grey and they hide the light of the sun. But Jesus was not talking about the clouds of earth; he was talking about the clouds of heaven.
Heb 12:1 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…”. These witnesses were not watery clouds, but human beings!
Rev 1:7 says “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him”. Jude 14 says, “Behold, the Lord comes with myriads of his holy ones”. So is he coming with the clouds or is he coming with his holy ones? It’s the same thing! The clouds are his holy ones.
Now we can begin to understand some of the Scriptures with new light.
Jesus said, “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:37-39). Clearly, Jesus was here speaking about the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. That was when he was going to be glorified.
Later, Jesus said to his disciples, “They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matt 24:30). What did he mean? When and how would he come on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory? Would it all happen in 2000 years’ time, long after they had all gone? I believe it happened much sooner - on the coming day of Pentecost! He came with power and great glory in his people. His people were the clouds. His people were his great glory.
What about the promise of Jesus to his disciples that he would return? “Do not let your hearts be troubled... I am going to prepare a place for you ... I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:1-3). When was Jesus going to come again? He spoke these words to comfort his disciples; but it would not comfort them much if he was not coming again for another 2000 years.
In his final prayer before his arrest, Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you” (John 17:1). This prayer was fulfilled through his death, resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
The last words of Jesus at his trial were similar to what he had said to his disciples. He said to Caiaphas, “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.” (Matt 26:64). This was not a prediction of the far distant future. His actual words were from now. Again Jesus was speaking about Pentecost. Caiaphas’s reaction:“He tore his robes and said, ‘He has uttered blasphemy’”.
What about the words of the angels in Acts 1:11? “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.” Jesus had just told his disciples that the Holy Spirit was going to come on them and they would receive power. Were these angels now changing the subject and assuring the disciples that Jesus would come back in person - perhaps in 2000 years’ time? I doubt it! Then what did they mean? How had Jesus gone into heaven? “He was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). He went in a cloud, and he came back in a cloud in his people on the day of Pentecost.
Rev 1:7 now takes on new meaning: “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him”. If the clouds are ordinary H2O clouds, which country would he come to? It would have to be a cloudy country at the right time of the year. And how would every eye see him? But if the clouds are his spirit-filled people scattered all over the world, then every eye would easily see him in them. And this perfectly matches the words of Isaiah: “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” (Is 40:5).