4C.   The second coming glimpsed (1.7)

 

(1.7)    Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

 

1.  “Behold, He cometh with clouds . . . .” 

 

a.   John gets the reader’s attention. “Behold!” Then he makes an announcement. “This guarantee that Jesus is coming again literally and physically accords with 317 other promises of His coming again. The second coming of Jesus is mentioned more frequently than any other subject, except salvation itself. It was mentioned by the prophets, apostles, angels, and even Jesus Himself (see John 14:1-4; Matt. 24:27-30).”[1]

 

b.   Do you remember the scene when Jesus ascended? Does not Acts 1.9 mention clouds associated with His ascension into heaven? 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.” As well, in the Old Testament, are not clouds associated with the Shekinah glory of God? Sure. Turn to Leviticus 16.2: “And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat.” Job 22.14 tells us that “Thick clouds are a covering to him.

 

c.   You see, John is here referring to the glorious second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in all of His majestic glory and regal splendor. The phrase, “cometh with clouds,” “. . . echoes the promise of Daniel: The Son of Man will come with the clouds of heaven (Dan. 7:13) – not ordinary clouds, but clouds of glory.”[2]

 

d.   Let me give you folks a handout (Handout #3) at this time, copied from The Remarkable Revelation, an old book written in 1930 by L. Sale-Harrison:[3]

 

Clouds (v. 7) - Sign of Jehovah’s Presence. A Symbol of His Majesty and Glory.

The cloud went before the Israelites to lead them (Exod. 13.21).

When the cloud abode on the Tabernacle Israel journeyed not (Exod. 40.36).

The Lord descended in the cloud (Exod. 34.5).

The Lord said, “I will appear in the cloud on the Mercy Seat” (Lev. 16.2).

On the Mount of Transfiguration the cloud overshadowed Him (Luke 9.36; Matt. 17.5).

Our Lord at His ascension, a cloud received Him (Acts 1.9)

We are going to be caught up in the clouds (1 Thess. 4.17).

When the Lord comes to judge He will come with clouds (Chap. 1.7).

The cloud left Palestine and did not return until the Lord appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration. It again left Palestine when the Lord ascended and will not return until the Lord stands on the Mount of Olives.

2.   What will happen when Jesus comes again? “and every eye shall see Him”  

 

a.   There used to be a day when no one could imagine how everyone could see Christ’s second coming at once. But now, in the age of live satellite relays of television broadcasts, with on the scene minicam reports, this prediction is quite easy to imagine fulfilled. My friend, when my Lord comes back people will definitely know about it. Amen? This is not the Rapture. This is the second coming, seven years after the Rapture, that John shows here.

 

b.   Yet, I do not think it will be technology that will enable every eye to see Him when He comes again. Instead, I think it will be a great miracle of God, Jesus in His glory, coming in a way that those on earth cannot help but see. It will be glorious for some, terrible for others.

 

3.   “and they also which pierced Him”  

 

a.   “John is the only one of the Evangelists who records the piercing of Christ’s side. This allusion identifies him as the author of the Apocalypse.”[4]

 

b.   I am convinced that John put this additional phrase in for a particular effect. He has already stated that everyone will see the Lord at the time of His glorious second coming, but he seems to want to point out that a particularly guilty group will see Him return. Who are they which pierced Him? Is John referring to lost people, in general, or is he referring to Jewish people? 

 

c.   Zechariah 12.9-11 gives us a powerful clue, keeping in mind that the reference to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem can only refer to the Jewish people:

 

9     And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

10   And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

11   In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.

 

d.   Though the sins of all mankind sent Jesus Christ to Calvary’s cross, the Jewish people are a particularly culpable group. Why? Because to them were committed the oracles of God. To them were sent the prophets. To them was sent God’s Presence. To whom much is given much is required.[5] This prophecy, 6 centuries before Christ’s first coming, predicts the response of the Jewish people to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.[6] The words recorded by Zechariah were spoken by the Lord God Jehovah. Again, John leads his readers to a passage which strongly evidences the deity of his Lord Jesus Christ.

 

4.   “and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him.  Even so, Amen.” 

 

Why will all people wail when Jesus comes again? To “wail,” koptw, is literally to beat upon your breast as an act of mourning.[7] Why will men do that? Because Jesus returns not to bless and reward the inhabitants of the earth, but to punish and smite them, to subdue them, and to banish them to everlasting Hellfire. This is not the wailing of the repentant, as you will see during the course of our study, but the wailing of those who are guilty for their sins and who fear punishment.

 

5.   What a contrast there is between verses 6 and 7. Those who have trusted Christ are exalted by being made kings and priests. Those who do not trust Christ will wail because of Him. How much better a fate awaits those who have trusted Christ. Amen?

 

6.   And John’s response to these two divergent fates? “Even so, Amen.” “Amen” is Hebrew for “so be it.” It is a term of agreement, of finality. John is siding up, once again, on the Lord’s side. How about you? Does your life and your testimony say “Amen” to the impending reward of the saint and the impending retribution of the damned?

 



[1] See footnote for Revelation 1.7, Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible, (AMG Publishers, 2000), page 1361. 

[2] See footnote for Revelation 1.7, John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 1992.

[3] L. Sale-Harrison, The Remarkable Revelation, (New York: Sale-Harrison Publications, 1930), page 37.

[4] Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary, (Bronson, MI: Online Publishing, Inc., 2002), [email protected]

[5] Luke 12.48

[6] Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible, (AMG Publishers, 2000), page 981.

[7] Bauer, Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature, (Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 2000), page 559.

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