Does Cloud Mean Flesh?
The World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG) teaches that Daniel, in Chapter 7:13-14, testifies to the first coming of Christ on the clouds. They teach this in their sermons as quoted on their website:
Jesus did not come on the visible clouds of heaven. Instead, he was born a baby through the body of Mary. Some argue that the above prophecy in concerning Jesus’ second coming. Daniel’s prophecy is speaking of Jesus’ first coming, undoubtedly because the prophecy states, He was given authority, glory and sovereign power [a kingdom, KJV]; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him.” Matthew and Luke disclosed that, in His first coming, Jesus had been given all authority, in heaven and on earth, as well as a kingdom.
In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
When the scriptures are examined a little further it is clear that Daniel is actually describing the same vision John sees in Revelation, and not the virgin birth of Christ. Note the order of the beasts:
The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it. And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’ After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.
Daniel mentioned beasts that resembled a lion, a bear, and a leopard. These same beasts can be found in reverse order in the book of Revelation (which is not about Christ’s birth in the flesh).
The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.
As you can see from the WMSCOG sermon quote above, they also argue that verses in Matthew and Luke prove that Jesus had been given authority on earth and in heaven at the time of his first coming. However, again we see that this is part of the same vision referenced in the book of Revelation:
…persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.
Further proof that Daniel’s vision references the end times, can be demonstrated in Daniel 7:9-10.
As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.
Daniel is clearly referencing the time of judgement during this part of his vision. Parallels to the above verses in the book of Daniel are also found in the book of Revelation.
I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge.
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.
In conclusion, the appearance of the beasts and subsequent judgement by the Lord, is prophesied in the Bible to occur after Christ’s Resurrection, and in the last days. Did judgement occur when Jesus was on the earth? No. Were the beasts thrown in to the lake of fire when Jesus was on the earth? No. Therefore, Daniel’s vision of the Son of Man coming in the clouds is a direct reference to those described in Revelation and not his virgin birth.
Who else claimed that clouds represented flesh?
Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church (Moonies), claimed that clouds represented flesh in the Bible, years before Ahn Sahng Hong. For a comparison between Ahn Sahng Hong and Sun Myung Moon’s teachings, click here.
*The photo above is licensed under the Creative Commons license, available here.