Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 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 the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven .Some propose this refers to our future when everyone will see Him come, sinners in hell as well as those in earth. However, this makes no sense. To begin with, how will a soul in hell see the Son of man come to earth in clouds? And Jesus also told this man that he would see Jesus sitting on the right hand of power, or on the throne of God. Now, how in the world would the High Priest personally see Jesus sitting on the throne, if Jesus was in Heaven sitting on the throne? That is the only place His throne is to be found! This is not speaking about judgment day when all stand before Him and are judged after they die, either, because Jesus said the same thing to the disciples, and indicated they would not be dead and neither in heaven nor hell, when they would see this event.
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.These men would not taste death before this event occurred. In other words, they would still be alive. And this cannot refer to spiritual life in their spiritual bodies they will receive in the resurrection, because the resurrection of the body is yet future. And these men did already indeed taste death. But Jesus was referring to His coming judgment that arrived in 66-70 A.D.
In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.And look at God's response:
Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind. And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies. Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled. The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice.God came in judgment against his enemies! David said God came with darkness beneath His feet and thick clouds of the skies were like pavilions or tabernacles around Him. And He rode upon a cherub.
Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.The High Priest recalled these very scriptures I am citing in support of the understanding that coming in clouds referred to God coming in judgment. Jesus was saying He was the God of the Old Testament who came in judgment! Jesus not only informed the man that He was God, but also that Jerusalem would be judged just as she was judged in Old testament times, and that using heathen armies.
Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.This is repeated again and again. And everyone who heard Jesus understood those words as reminiscent of the above references , indicating a coming of God in judgment, including the High Priest! So the Priest cried "Blasphemy" upon hearing that. He did not scratch his head and wonder what on earth Jesus was talking about, which would have been the case had Jesus referred to a coming resurrection of the church 2,000 years afterwards. But Jesus said the High Priest would see this.
Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled. O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness , that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?
The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.
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 steadfastly 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.But the angel was not referring to Matthew 24:31's reference to Jesus coming in clouds. They physically saw Jesus depart from them in a physical cloud. And this will be the way it is when He returns in our future in the resurrection. The judgment in 70 AD was not including a resurrection of anyone. It was only judgment. Partial Fulfillment as I see it, teaches that Jesus will come again in the resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15 refers to this next coming. This coming is not in judgment with wrath falling all over the world. It is a coming in resurrection power. And Jesus will be seen in clouds, since He abides in this glory. We see Him described as a mighty angel in Revelation 10, clothed with a cloud. Seeing Him in clouds in Matthew 24 is seeing His judgment. However, when He comes in the resurrection for the church, we will physically see Him in clouds.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.This is not to be confused with Matthew 24:31. Matthew 24:31 is a coming in judgment in which we do not physically see Jesus, similar to the references to God coming in judgment with clouds in the Old Testament. 1 Thessalonians is speaking about resurrection, and not judgment. And we will physically see Him then.