Daniel 7:13-14 reads, “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” In verses 2-12 of this chapter Daniel was given visions of four great Gentile kingdoms that would rule over part of the world for a certain period of time. In verses 13-14 he was given a vision of the Lord Jesus Christ coming to establish a kingdom where He would rule over “all people” and it “shall not pass away.” The Lord Jesus is the “Son of man” and God the Father, who is called here “the Ancient of days,” will give His Son this kingdom.

This will indeed occur at the second coming of Jesus Christ. Let’s look at Matthew 24:30 which says, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Matthew was inspired to write of the same event: the coming of the Son of man in power and glory to set up His kingdom that was promised by Daniel and other Old Testament prophets. In Revelation 1:7 the apostle John adds his voice to that of Daniel and Matthew, “Behold, He cometh with clouds: and every eye shall see Him…” Both Matthew and John speak of how the whole world will witness His glorious appearing. A hundred years ago this baffled commentators and they concluded that this was not to be taken literally. But with the invention of television, computers and smartphones, this grand event could be seen by all men.

Are the clouds to be taken literally as well? I believe Acts 1:9-11 sheds light on this, for it reads “And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up: and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.”

What a sight that must have been! The disciples were privileged to see their blessed Lord received up into glory. I’m quite sure their eyes were lovingly fixed upon Christ until “a cloud received Him out of their sight.” No one questions that this was a literal cloud and many believe, as I do, that this was none other than the Shekinah “glory-cloud” that filled Solomon’s temple and that appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration. Luke tells us that Jesus “shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven,” so we believe the same Shekinah cloud that “received Him out of their sight” will accompany Him back to earth for the establishing of His glorious kingdom.  (170.5) (DO)