It was said that Jesus would return the same way that he left:
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 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. (Acts 1:9–11)
Steps: Jesus on earth> Jesus seen ascending> Jesus disappeared into a cloud.
So, according to God’s Word, we can expect Jesus to return in reverse fashion:
Steps: A cloud appears> Jesus is seen descending> Jesus steps down on the earth.
How this first step will happen is a good question.
Are there any supporting scriptures that say Jesus will arrive in a cloud? There are:
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; an,d upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:25–28)
The details provided by Jesus in the prophecy found in Luke help us imagine the cloud in which He arrives. First and foremost, it confirms that there will be a cloud as the angel said in Acts 1:11. Second, we will be able to see Jesus in the cloud from a distance which confirms the Third point, which is that glory will accompany the cloud.
The glory provides the power whereby man can see something at a distance as though it were close up. This ability manifest on Stephen as he was full of the Holy Ghost:
55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God (Acts 7:55)
Thus, glory will accompany the cloud, i.e. the Holy Spirit, which will enable the populace to see Jesus, though he may be far away. Other cloud verses reveal more insights:
30 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. (Matthew 24:30)
26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. (Mark 13:26)
6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. (2 Thessalonians 1:6–10)
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. (Revelation 1:7)
From these verses, we gain the following details about the cloud:
a. It is called “The Sign of Jesus’ Coming”
b. It will be accompanied by “mighty angels”
c. It will be accompanied by “power” and “great glory”
d. “Every eye” will see Jesus
e. The people of earth will “wail” because of him
From Luke 21 we learn the following:
f. Sea and waves roaring
g. Men’s hearts failing
h. Powers of heaven shaken
i. When they begin, look up, redemption draws nigh
He will remain in the cloud until all nations and their inhabitants either embrace God’s love or are removed. How long that will take is not known, but once it is done, he will descend and take rulership of all nations.