In Acts.1: 9 we read. “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”.
Now, the first thing I will like to deal with here is in verse 9.
What received him out of their site? A CLOUD!
Already from the study in John 14, we do know that ‘COME AGAIN’, was simply a promise of the Holy Spirit.
That wasn’t the issue of second coming, which the rapture believe holds strongly to. And they also use this particular passage in question, to prove that this His promised to come in like manner, is the second coming.
The pre- tribulation rapture believers claims, that, the ‘second coming’ of Christ will be His stopping just above the earth in the clouds, then He will catch away the living and the dead back to heaven for the marriage supper, after which He will come in the glory of His father.
The question is, if the so called ‘rapture’ is a separate ‘event’ from the coming of Christ in power and glory, how could each stage be called a ‘second coming’?
Again, if His coming FOR His people (“for” a word not found in scriptures) is separate from His final coming to rule, going by mans limited understanding of spiritual truth, then Christ coming is in three stages –
His coming in Palestine would be stage 1,
Coming for His people – rapture, stage 2
And coming in power and glory, stage 3.
Can we say this kind of thinking agree with the scriptures?
Again, going by Acts 1:9-11, we are told He went up IN A CLOUD (singular) but in 1 Thes 4:17, what we have there is CLOUDS (Plural).
If the second coming is in like manner, why is He coming in ‘clouds’ and not ‘ A cloud’ as in Acts 1:9-11?
The Singular Cloud Of God’s Presence.
In Acts 1:9 – 11 we are told, that the ascension of Jesus was IN A CLOUD (Singular) but we read ((1 Thes 4: 17, Rev 1:7). ) that His coming is IN CLOUDS (Plural) .
So if His coming must be in like manner, how come He left in A CLOUD and He is coming IN CLOUDS (plural).
What then is this ‘cloud’ and ‘clouds’ with which He is going and coming? How does this, ‘cloud’ translate into ‘clouds’ as it relates to (1Thes 4.)
Let it be noted that, while “clouds” could refer to our atmospheric climate of ‘Lumbus’ and ‘Cumulus’ , in the Bible it is symbolic of
(1) God’s invisible presence,
(2) God’s move in judgement.
(3)a witness and
(4)ministry, as we shall soon see.
‘The Cloud, the symbol of God’s Vehicle of Expression’.
When God met with the Children of Israel in Exo. 19:9-20, we are told. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee IN A THICK CLOUD that the people may hear when I speak with thee… And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and A THICK CLOUD upon the mount “And the glory of the Lord abode upon Mount Sinai and THE CLOUD covered it six days; …
“ “Again the Lord descended IN THE CLOUD, and stood with him there” Exo 34:5.
God told Moses “… I will appear in THE CLOUD upon the mercy seat”. (Lev. 16:2)
In 1Kgs 8:11, at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, we are told.
“..the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD”
So what then can you make of this SINGULAR CLOUD from the above passages?
It is simply not only God’s vehicle of expression but the evidence of His presence in a particular place. And this is how the Lord led the children of Israel in the wilderness.
The record says “And the Lord went before them (Children of Israel) by day IN a pillar of A CLOUD to lead them by the way…” (Exo 13:21). Note the definite article ‘a cloud’).
Now come to the NT, at the Mount of transfiguration,
(Math.17: 5 )” While he yet spake, behold A BRIGHT CLOUD, overshadowed them; and behold a voice out of THE CLOUD, which said, this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye Him”
The singular cloud overshadowed the disciples and God spake from the Cloud. Meaning God was in this Cloud.
Luke’s account says
“… there came A CLOUD and overshadowed them, and they feared as THEY ENTERED INTO THE CLOUD” (Lk 9:34) Glory!
What does it mean, “they entered into the cloud”?
It is simply this, that they became one with God’s mind it order to partake of the vision of the transfiguration of the Spirit of Sonship, that they may bear witness of it later after His glorification.
The word to them, from the Son of glory is “… Tell THE VISION to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead” (Mt 17:9).
Moses has to enter into this glory cloud so that he can be able, as a priest to communicate the life and mind of God to the people. (Exo 24:16).
Now hear this “And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and A CLOUD (same cloud of God’s presence) received Him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9).
Can you see it? He entered back, where He came from.
For “… I go unto the Father; for my Father (who sent me John 8:18) is greater than I.” (John 14:28).
You know what that means? He was simply saying I am returning to the realm of Fatherhood, which is greater than that of Sonship (sent).
Remember “…great and important and weighty, we confess, is the hidden truth (the mystic secret) of godliness. He [God] was made visible in human flesh, justified and vindicated in the [Holy] Spirit, was seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, [and] taken up in glory”. (1 Tim 3:16) Amp.
So He left in the glory Cloud that He came with and not the Empty space out there.
Does this make sense to you?
And you may ask if I believe in His coming!
But how does He come?
To be continued…