Acts 1:11 Study Archive
Jesus the [one] having been taken up from you to – heaven thus will come in the way ye beheld him going to – heaven.”
PENTECOST, AD70, OR A FUTURE SECOND COMING?
“Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. “
“Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet [thee as] a man.”
“But if, on the other hand, we can see the people of Egypt far more patently in actual fact than in mere description, some of them acknowledging the God of the prophets, and for His sake renouncing their ancestral gods, some of them raising political dissension against the converts, some of them even now calling upon their gods and images and them that speak from the ground, who no longer can effect aught, and some throughout all Egypt raising an altar to the Lord of the prophets for each local Church, calling no (d) longer in their troubles and persecutions on beasts or reptiles as their gods, nor on wild animals and unreasoning brutes as their fathers did, but on the Supreme God, retaining Him only and the fear of Him in their minds, praying to Him, and not to the daemons, and promising what men should promise God—how can we deny that the prophecies of long ago have at last been fulfilled? And these foretold that the Lord would come to Egypt not in an unembodied state, but in a light cloud, or better “in light thickness,” for such is the meaning of the Hebrew, shewing figuratively His Incarnate state. Therefore the prophecy |149 goes on to call Him a man that is a Saviour, saying, “And (415) the Lord shall send to them a man that is a Saviour.” Here again the Hebrew is, “And He shall send to them a Saviour, who shall save them.” As the proof is now so clear from this, I consider that there is no question of the time at which the prophecies foretold the Lord’s Coming.”
“Acts 1 clearly defines Christ’s Second Advent in terms of His ascension, which was physical and visible. For example, in Acts 1:8-11 Luke is careful to say the disciples were “beholding” Him as He ascended; He was received “from the eyes of them” ( v. 9b); they were “gazing” as He was “going” (v. 10); they were “looking” (v. 11); they “beheld” (v. 11). Clearly His ascension was a visible and glorious phenomenon involving His tangible resurrected body. And there was an actual visible cloud associated with it (v. 10). The angelic messengers resolutely declare “this same Jesus” (i.e., the Jesus they knew for over three years, who is now in a tangible resurrected body) will “so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (v. 11). The Greek on tropon literally means “what manner.” The Greek phrase “never indicates mere certainty or vague resemblance; but wherever it occurs in the New Testament, denotes identity of mode or manner” (A. Alexander, Acts, ad loc.). Consequently, we have express biblical warrant to expect a visible, bodily, glorious return of Christ paralleling in kind the ascension. The hyper-preterist position goes contrary to this clear teaching of Scripture.” (Brief Theological Analysis of Hyper-Preterism)
“Was there a sense in which Christ “came” to folks at various times and places? Yes, and no serious student of the Bible denies this. Jesus “came” on the day of Pentecost via the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (see Jn. 14:18). The coming was representative, not literal. The Lord warned the brethren in Ephesus that if they did not repent, he would “come” to them in judgment, and they would forfeit their identity as a faithful congregation (Rev. 2:5). In describing the horrible judgment to be inflicted upon rebellious Jerusalem, Jesus, employing imagery from the Old Testament, spoke of his “coming” in power and glory (Mt. 24:30). Again, this was a representative “coming” by means of the Roman forces (cf. Mt. 22:7). Verse 34 of Matthew 24 clearly indicates that this event was to occur before that first-century generation passed away.”
“The Lord’s “second coming,” however, will be as visibly apparent as his ascension back into heaven was (Acts 1:11). Indeed, he will be “revealed” (2 Thes. 1:7), or “appear” to all (2 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 9:28). It is a mistake of horrible proportions to confuse the symbolic “comings” of Christ with the “second” (cf. Heb. 9:28) coming. And this is what the preterists do.” (The Menace of Radical Preterism)
Marcellus Kik (1971)
“This clause has been thought to relate definitely to the second, visible, and personal coming of the Lord. But in the light of well-defined biblical language, the reference is rather to a coming in terms of the events of his providence in judgment against his enemies and in deliverance of his people.. Many commentators have taken it for granted that the expression “coming in the clouds” refers to a visible coming of Christ. A careful study of the Scriptures, however, reveals that that is not a necessary interpretation.” (An Eschatology of Victory, p, 140-141, cf. 142-143)
John Lightfoot (1859)
“Then shall the Son of man give proof of himself, whom they would not before acknowledge: a proof, indeed, not in any visible figure, but in vengeance and judgment so visible, that all the tribes of the earth shall be forced to acknowledge him the avenger. The Jews would not know him: now they shall know him, whether they will or no, Isa. 26:11. Many times they asked of him a sign: now a sign shall appear, that this is the true Messiah, whom they despised, derided, and crucified, namely, his signal vengeance and fury, such as never any nation felt from the first foundations of the world.” (A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica, 4 vols. Oxford University Press, 1859; reprinted by Hendrickson, Peabody, Mass., 1979. Vol. 2, p. 320)
“The hyper-preterist rejection of the traditional interpretation of Acts 1:9–11 has not led to anything even remotely approaching agreement on an alternative interpretation of these three verses. In fact, the wide range of conflicting, and often contradictory, attempts of hyper-preterists to explain this text in terms of their theology gives the reader the impression of an almost desperate ad hoc type of exegesis, a grasping at straws in order to find something, anything, to offer as an alternative reading. The clarity of what Luke tells us in Acts 1:9–11 is probably the reason why this text is either ignored or else passed over with relatively little detailed discussion in most hyper-preterist literature.” (Acts 1:9-11 and the Hyper-Preterist Debate)
“Not only are the Hymenaens poor exegetes–they are poor historians. We glory in texts like Acts 1:11, Phil. 3:20-21, Col. 3:4-5, the concluding section of each chapter of 1 Thes., Heb. 9:28, Jas. 5:7-9, 2 Pet. 3:10-13, 1 Jn. 3:2-3, and others that refer to Christ’s future physical Second Advent, though I don’t have space for exegesis here. We could appeal to the exegesis by orthodox eschatologists over nearly 2000 years of church history, and set it over against the recent heretical speculations of the Hymenaens.” (Open Letter to Ligonier Ministries)
Thomas Newton (1754)
“Our Saviour proceedeth in the same figurative style, ver. 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.’ The plain meaning of it is, that the destruction of Jerusalem will be such a remarkable instance of divine vengeance, such a signal manifestation of Christ’s power and glory, that all the Jewish tribes shall mourn, and many will be led from thence to acknowledge Christ and the Christian religion. In the ancient prophets, God is frequently described as coming in the ‘clouds’ upon any remarkable interposition and manifestation of his power; and the same description is here applied to Christ. The destruction of Jerusalem will be as ample a manifestation of Christ’s power and glory as if he was himself to come visibly in the clouds of heaven.” (ibid., p. 408-409)
John Humphrey Noyes
(On Rev. 1:7) “the meaning of the apostle must be, ‘every spiritual eye shall see him.’” (Hand-Book of the Oneida Community, 45)
Dr. John Noe (2003)
“Acts 1:11 – “‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way (like manner) you have seen him go into heaven.’”
Sproul writes that “the return of Christ will be as visible as His departure. This text [Acts 1:9-11] seems to preclude any possibility of an invisible return of Christ.” Or does it? The operative phrase here is “in the same way” or “in like manner.”
In one application, and if this verse does refer to Christ’s parousia, it must be pointed out that Christ’s disciplesdid not see Him ascend into heaven because “a cloud hid him from their sight” (Acts 1:9). Therefore, his return “in the same way” or “in like manner” would also be hidden from sight. During the destruction of Jerusalem mammoth clouds of smoke from the burning debris rose high into the sky for days.
Likewise, how much “like mannered” does his return to earth need to be? Many have been taught that this phrase means in an identical manner—i.e., identical in every detail, except in reverse order. So, since He ascended in a visible resurrected body, He must come back in that same form, physically and visibly.
Then must He also come back to that exact location on the Mount of Olives? How far do we press this? Back then only a small group saw Him ascend. Does this mean that only a small group or only those same people will see Him return versus every person on earth at that time? Traditional explanations contain numerous problems. Additionally, consider this. If “in like manner” means “in exactly the same way” then:
• How does Jesus come from heaven riding on a white horse (Rev. 19:11)?
• How does He come “with ten thousand of His saints” (Jude 14)?
• How does He come “as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west” (Matt. 24:27)?
• How does He come “with a loud command [shout] . . . and with the trumpet call of God” (1 Thess. 4:16)?
• How does He come “in blazing fire with his powerful angels” (2 Thess. 1:7)?
Thankfully, there is another explanation and application for this verse. It revolves around the meaning of the Greek word erchomai that is translated “will come back.” This word actually means “comes or goes.” In the Acts 1:11 account, we see a going. Moreover, the two angels (“two men dressed in white” [vs. 10]) did not say Jesus would come in like “body,” or in the same “body,” or to the same “place,” or to only those who witnessed his ascension. The emphasis is on the manner of his coming. This phrase does not limit Jesus to coming back in only a physical/visible mode. It means how He comes. That is: in many, if not most, of his Old and New Testament appearances Jesus came out of the invisible spirit realm, manifested Himself in the visible physical realm, and then went back into the invisible spirit realm. That has been the means and manner of many of his comings and goings. He moves out of one dimension, into another, and back again. By the way, angels have that same capability (2 Kgs. 6:17). His form, the place, and the recipients have varied. Erchomai—comes and goes—is the general, overall manner in which all his many visible comings have occurred. But there were and are other comings that are not visible.” (“The Superiority of Preterism: An Evaluation of the Four Major Evangelical Views of the Return of Christ” (Ph.D. diss. Trinity Theological Seminary, 2003), 363 – 364. )
“(epérthe) does not have to do with an active physical lifting up but with a lifting up of someone in stature or divinity”.(Coming in the Clouds: An Evangelical Case for the Invisibility of Christ at His Second Coming (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1994, p. 253)
“At any case, just as the transfiguration instilled great fear in Peter, prompting him to suggest building the three tents to shield him, James, and John from the splendor they could not bear, so the splendor of the risen Christ at his ascension would have required the veil of the cloud to shield the disciples from the glory they could not bear. Thus he was hidden in the cloud while he was exalted in glory. “In the same manner” he would come again (Acts 1:11). If, as Blaiklock says of understanding the ascension, “some of the difficulty encountered arises from an over-literal interpretation,” the same may be said of understanding the manner of Christ’s return.” (Jesus the Preterist)
Luke here recounts Jesus completing his statement of commission (cf. Luke 24:48–49), and “while they were looking on” or “before their eyes” (blepont o n), Jesus was lifted up. The verb blepont o n need not require us to understand the disciples’ actually looking at Jesus as the ascension occurs; indeed, should Luke have intended to convey that meaning, he most certainly could have added “at him” (epi auton). In fact, according to the standard Greek lexicon, blep o is used here abstractly; there is no object at which the disciples can be said to be looking.
Before the eyes of the disciples or in their sight, then, Jesus was “lifted up.” The word translated “lifted up” iseperth e (aorist passive form of epair o ); while in its active form this word does describe the physical action of lifting up an object, such as one’s hands in prayer 91 Tim 2:8) or a staff (Exod 10:13), in its passive form its “literal” meaning has a figurative twist to it, since it does not have to do with an active physical lifting up but with a lifting up of someone in stature or dignity.
“As we can plainly here see, the only other similar use of this word does not denote a literal and physical elevation of the person, but rather describes in figurative terms the elevation of the person in honor and dignity, i.e., exaltation.”
“we should be careful not to infuse additional imagery of an active, physical rising into that simple testimony of the exaltation of Jesus by means of his final departure and vanishing from the disciples.” (Coming in the Clouds: An Evangelical Case for the Invisibility of Christ at His Second Coming (Lanham: University Press of America, 1994).
“While this verse [Acts 1:11] is generally cited to prove that the glorified Jesus will himself be personally visible at his second coming, it is in fact the case that the glorified Jesus cannot be seen by any man because his glorified person is veiled, hidden, and enveloped within the cloud of God’s presence…. Just as the disciples had not seen Christ going up to heaven, but rather the cloud which veiled him and his Divine Glory, so in the same manner, i.e., hidden within the cloud, he would return. It cannot be stated too strongly: the glorified Jesus himself will not be visible in his second coming for he was not visible in his ascension, but rather hidden.” (ibid. 257-258)
James Stuart Russell (1878)
“THE last conversation of Jesus with His disciples before His crucifixion was concerning His coming to them again, and the last word left with them at His ascension was the promise of His coming again.
The expression ‘in like manner’ must not be pressed too far. There are obvious points of difference between the manner of the Ascension and the Parousia. He departed alone, and without visible splendour; He was to return in glory with His angels. The words, however, imply that His coming was to be visible and personal, which would exclude the interpretation which regards it as providential, or spiritual. The visibility of the Parousia is supported by the uniform teaching of the apostles and the belief of the early Christians: ‘Every eye shall see him’ (Rev. i. 7).
There is no indication of time in this parting promise, but it is only reasonable to suppose that the disciples would regard it as addressed to them, and that they would cherish the hope of soon seeing Him again, according to His own saying, ‘A little while, and ye shall see me.’ This belief sent them back to Jerusalem with great joy. Is it credible that they could have felt this elation if they had conceived that His coming would not take place for eighteen centuries ? Or can we suppose that their joy rested upon a delusion ? There is no conclusion possible but that which holds the belief of the disciples to have been well founded, and the Parousia nigh at hand.” (The Parousia, (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983 ). 147–48.)
Milton Terry (1898)
“Acts i, 11, is often cited to show that Christ’s coming must needs be spectacular, in like manner as ye beheld him going into the heaven.” But (1) in the only other three places where, what manner, occurs, it points to a general concept rather than the particular form of its actuality. Thus, in Acts vii, 28, it is not sonic particular manner in which Moses killed the Egyptian that is notable, but rather the certain fact of it. In 2 Tim. iii, 8, it is likewise the fact of strenuous opposition rather than the special manner in which Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses. And in Matt. xxiii, 37, and Luke xiii, 34, it is the general thought of protection rather than the visible manner of a mother bird that is intended. Again (2), if Jesus did not come in that generation, and immediately after the great tribulation that attended the fall of Jerusalem, his words in Matt. xvi, 27, 28, xxiv, 29, and parallel passages are in the highest degree misleading. (3) To make the one statement of the angel in Acts i, 11, override all the sayings of Jesus on the same subject and control their meaning is a very one-sided method of biblical interpretation. But all the angel’s words necessarily mean is that as Jesus has ascended into heaven so he will come from heaven And this main thought agrees with the language of Jesus and the prophets.” (Biblical Apocalyptics, note 34)
“Whatever the real nature of the parousia, as contemplated in this prophetic discourse, our Lord unmistakably associates it with the destruction of the temple and city, which he represents as the signal termination of the pre-Messianic age. The coming on clouds, the darkening of the heavens, the collapse of elements, are, as we have shown above, familiar forms of apocalyptic language, appropriated from the Hebrew prophets.
“To make the one statement of the angel in Acts 1:11, override all the sayings of Jesus on the same subject and control their meaning is a very one-sided method of biblical interpretation. But all the angel’s words necessarily mean is that as Jesus has ascended into heaven so he will come from heaven. And this main thought agrees with the language of Jesus and the prophets.” (Biblical Apocalyptics: A Study of the Most Notable Revelations of God and of Christ; Baker Book House; pp. 246-247)
Foy Wallace (1966)
“As it is biblically certain that the God of heaven in times of old descended, in the Old Testament metaphor, on the clouds of heaven to execute judgment on ancient wicked nations and cities (Isaiah 13 and 19), so certainly did the Son of man come in the clouds with his angels of power to execute judgment on the once great city of Jerusalem, guilty of his blood and the blood of his saints and martyrs” (Foy E. Wallace, Jr., p. 461).
The Bible Standard (1970)
“Question —What is meant by the statement in Acts 1: 11: “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”?
Answer.—This passage is usually explained as though it read, “as ye have seen him go into heaven , so shall ye see him come again.” Those who so interpret the passage explain it as though the point of comparison emphasized in the passage were His being seen going and His being seen coming again, whereas the passage says nothing whatever about His being seen coming again. Hence His being seen coming again cannot be a part of the point of comparison in this passage.
Clearly the point of comparison in this passage is between the manner of His going and the manner of His coming again, and not between His being seen going and His being seen coming again: “This same Jesus . . . shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven,” Hence this passage treats of the manner of our Lord’s Return. And from the manner in which He went we can learn certain things respecting the manner of His Return: (1) He went secretly so far as the world was concerned, none but His disciples knowing of it at the time; so He comes again secretly (“as a thief in the night”) so far as the world is concerned, none but His faithful followers knowing of it in its first stages. (2) He went away quietly and unostentatiously, without startling the world with a literal trumpet, riding on a literal cloud, shining with a natural dazzling light and blasting the universe into atoms; hence He returns quietly and unostentatiously, without startling the world with a literal trumpet, riding on a literal cloud, shining with a natural dazzling light and blasting the universe into atoms. (3) He went away blessing those whom He left; hence He returns, blessing first His waiting Church and later the world of mankind. (4) As respects His Divine body He was invisible to the physical eyes of human beings in His going away, though manifest to His disciples as going by suitable accompanying works; hence on returning His is invisible to the physical eyes of mankind, though He is manifested as present by suitable accompanying works—His works of gathering His elect in the Gospel-Age Harvest, gradually overthrowing Satan’s empire in the great Time of Trouble, returning favor to natural Israel, etc. ’70-31″
E.M. Blaiklock (1959)
“Some of the difficulty encountered arises from an over-literal interpretation of the words. The promise of the return must be similarly emancipated from the inadequacies of human speech. The angelic visitants did not mean that the Lord would emerge from ‘a cloud’ in downward motion, but that at a point of time and place, He would again break from that other world into this, out of eternity into time and history.” (The Acts of the Apostles: An Historical Commentary; Eerdmans Publishing; p. 51)
Dr. Mal Couch
Preterism and Exegetical Error – “There are many biblical answers to the liberal view of prophecy called Preterism. But a little tucked away verse in Acts 1 makes a strong argument against the anti-biblical teaching of Preterism that denies Christ’s literal and bodily second coming. What is being labeled Full-Preterism teaches that Jesus has already returned to the earth around 70 AD. Arguing from both sides of their mouths, they say that Christ came back “in person,” though His resurrected body did not appear in the sky to signal this special coming, “nor will it,” they say. Yet, “his bodily Presence was there.”
John Goulet-Jones (2003)
“As for me, I am looking at the Preterist position with reservations and interest. I am actually surprised to find out how many godly men hold to this position. In some senses, the Preterist position makes sense – re: the promises of Jesus to return quickly. On the other hand, I have questions about the nature of Christ’s return. I cannot turn away from Acts 1:11 and Rev 1:7 where the clear statement of scripture indicate a clear visible bodily return of Christ to be witnessed by Christ’s followers and the whole world. At this time, personally I look for the coming of Christ, at which time it will be all over – the rapture of the Church and the world judged. Sin will be banished. There will be a new heavens and earth. No laughing allowed. It is my sincere position. It is as plain as day in the sciptures. Can’t you see it? (Ha! Ha!) PTL! Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the world will know that we are Christians not by our escatological position but by the love we have for one another. Please leave escatological arrogance at the door.” (cite: Here)
Harper Collins Bible Dictionary
“Jesus’ ascension and return in the clouds is symbolic of divine presence as seen in 1 Kings 8:10, “And when the priests came out of the holy place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord”.” [cite: Socio-Rhetorical View]
“In this day of advancing preterism we need to repeatedly mention this aspect of His coming, “in like manner” or physically. One of their weakest points, which are almost too ridiculous to mention, is that Jesus has already come spiritually. He departed physically and you can be sure He will return physically. God’s people need to be reassured that when He comes in the air to the earth to set up his kingdom it will be physically.” (The Case for the Imminent Rapture of the Church)
“But Dr. Warren also says : — “It is urged that the view I have presented is inconsistent with Acts 1 : 11, which it is said teaches that Christ’s second coming was to be a visible and bodily one, which certainly has not taken place and must he still future. ‘ Ye men of Galilee, …. 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.’ The meaning of this declaration depends on the phrase ‘ in like manner,’ Greek, hon tropon.” — Parousia, p. Cl. The Doctor then proceeds to show that hon tropon, rendered in the common version “in like manner,” signifies ” as,” rather than ” in like manner ” ; for example, “Wilt thou kill me as [hon tropon’] thou didst the Egyptian yesterday ? ” — Acts 7 : 28. I admit the force of his criticism on the phrase, and the correctness of his rendering — ” as ye have seen him go.” But I am unable able to see any difference in the import of the phrase “as,” or “in like manner as,” so long as “this same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come as ye have seen him go.” Does not as mean UJce- ness ? Will ” this same Jesus ” so come ? He moved from the earth heavenward ; a cloud received him from sight, and his own testimony, as well as that of the angels, was, that he will come from heaven and a cloud disclose him, — that ” every eye shall see him ” come as he went. If he does, he will come bodily, visibly ; and as human eyes saw him go, so ” they shall SEE the Son. of man coming.”
It appears to me that Dr. Warren has spent a vast amount of labor and ingenuity to prove a difference without a distinction ; nor can I discover in his labored argument anything but a cloud of dust to hide the real merits of the case. That our Lord will so come as, is the confessed import of the text, — that is, in a cloud, bodily, visibly to human eyes. But when, the two clothed in white did not intimate. As to the fact of his return in the same body, the text, translate it as we may, leaves no room for doubt. Let us then wait for him.
But says the Doctor : ” There is not the slightest intimation that so long as he remained visible there was any other than his usual aspect. As he went up ‘a cloud received him,’ and that was all. But is that the way he is to come again ? “
If Dr. W. is correct, it is to be even with less visibility and splendor. How bright the cloud was that received him, and how numerous his attendants, we are not told. But from the prophetic announcements, theremust have been great pomp and splendor (Psa. 68 : 17, 18) : ” The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels ; the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive, thou hast received gifts for men.” This Paul (Eph. 4 : 8) expressly applies to Christ’s ascension into heaven. In Psa. 24 : 7—10 we have, if possible, a still more sublime view of what took place when he entered the celestial city : ” Lift up your heads, O ye gates ; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in.” What if the historian has not recorded a sight of the glory — • still, it no doubt awaited and attended Him. And when he comes again, we have the fullest assurance that his glory will be visible : ” They shall SEE the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and GKEAT GLORY.”
“Further evidence that Matthew 24 does not apocalyptic imagery but is a concrete description of actual events comes from Acts 1:9-11, where Luke writes, “Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, 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, who also said, `Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.’” The angel is telling us that, when Jesus returns, it will be a physical, bodily return visible to men on earth. It will not be the kind of invisible, spiritual return that preterists are trying to suggest. And yet, this is exactly what preterists argue. For Matthew 24 to be completely fulfilled, they must believe that we are resurrected in spiritual bodies that cannot be seen by the human eye. Writes Russell, “Is a spiritual body one which can be seen, touched, handled? We are not certain that the eye can see the spiritual, or the hand grasp the immaterial.” Therefore, they say, there does not need to be physical confirmation of this fulfillment. I find it ironic that Russell uses the natural reading argument to justify his position, and yet regarding Acts 1:9-11, he says “the expression `in like manner’ must not be pressed too far” (p. 46). (Response to the Preterist Position)
“When speaking of something happening “in like manner” in Acts 1:11, we are told by Russell that this “must not be pressed too far.” But in Luke 13:1-9, the same phrase – “in like manner” – is used to defend the belief that the parousia of Jesus Christ occurred in 70 A.D. The inconsistency of this is almost too much to believe.” (“In Like Manner” – Not Always Interpreted As You Might Think)
(of Elisha’s beholding of Elijah’s theophanic chariot) “It was not every man who could see this heavenly chariotry (6:17). The youth needed to have his eyes opened in order that he might see them.” (The Interpreter’s Bible, 2 Kings, p. 256).
“The cloud, of course, symbolizes the Divine Glory of God, which, as always, must be hidden from men (even of faith), due to their incapacity to see it in its unveiled splendor” (ibid.).
[T]he cloud (a) manifests by symbolic and representational means the presence of the Divine Glory, (b) veils that glory from men, who cannot behold it, (c) exalts the one enveloped by the intimacy of the association with the Divine Glory, and (d) signals by its physical and visible rise into the heavens the spiritual and invisible nature of the exaltation of the one hidden by and enveloped within the cloud (P. 257).
“[W]e must emphasize that the Lord himself is invisible and is only made visible by the symbolic and representational cloud, which reveals the presence of his Divine Glory by hiding it” (ibid.).
“While [Acts 1:10-11] is generally cited to prove that the glorified Jesus will himself be personally visible at his second coming, it is in fact the case that the glorified Jesus cannot be seen by any man because his glorified person is veiled, hidden, and enveloped within the cloud of God’s presence. …Just as the disciples had not seen Christ going up to heaven, but rather the cloud which veiled him and his Divine Glory, so in the same manner, i.e., hidden within the cloud, he would return (ibid.).” [cite: How was Acts 1:11 Fulfilled]
“The reader must not forget that when Jesus ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives “a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). Since He is returning in the same way that He left (Acts 1:11) His coming with “clouds” (Rev. 1:7) is a literal and physical coming.” (Was All Bible Prophecy Fulfilled By A.D.70?)
“For many deceivers are gone forth into the world, even they that confess not that Jesus Christ comes in the flesh.. here denial of a future second coming of Christ is declared to be the mark of a deceiver.” (Systematic Theology, p. 1005)
“…`literal’ has absolutely nothing to do with whether the thing is considered material or non-literal.” (Studies In Biblical Eschatology Vol. 1, page 19).” (Quoted by Jack Scott in A Troublesome Thorn: But For Who?)
“In addition to this, the angel at the ascension of Jesus said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). The emphasis of the angel in this passage is that Jesus departed and went back to heaven visibly. That’s the import of “He was lifted up while they were looking on….” The disciples were visibly watching Jesus being lifted up from their presence. The preterist insists that the point of the passage in Acts 1 is that Jesus went back to heaven IN THE CLOUDS. With that interpretation, he then says that the return of Christ will be with the clouds and not visible to mankind on earth. From that deduction, he then says that it fits nicely to understand that Jesus did return in AD 70 – in the clouds, invisible, in a spiritual sense. Does the scripture say that Jesus will return with the clouds? Absolutely. Note Revelation 1:7, “BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS…” However, we must read the rest of the verse, which says, “…and EVERY EYE WILL SEE HIM, EVEN THOSE WHO PIERCED HIM; AND ALL THE TRIBES OF THE EARTH….” So, when Jesus returns, He will come with “the clouds” and at that same time, “every eye will see Him”. That’s a visible return!” (Did Jesus Already Return in AD70?)
“Preterism fails in this regard also as it argues that the hope of Christ’s return was likewise fulfilled in A.D. 70. To be sure, the destruction of Jerusalem was a “coming” of Christ in predicted judgment. But that it was “this same Jesus coming again in like manner as you have seen him go up into heaven” (Acts 1:11) is extremely difficult to conceive. Indeed, if it were, words would seem to have lost all meaning. “We shall see Him as He is” and so be “like Him” (1Jn.3:2) would appear misleading if A.D. 70 exhausted it. “Every eye shall see Him” (Rev.1:7) and “then shall you see” Him in His return coming “in great glory on the clouds of heaven” (Mat.24:30) in the company of all His saints (1Th.4:16f; Rev.19:11ff) and heralded by angels (1Th.4:16) in an event so spectacular that it cannot possibly be missed (Mat.24:26-27) and “coming again to receive you unto myself, that where I am there you may be also (Jn.14:3) all very naturally lead one to expect a personal, visible return as traditionally yes, unanimously understood by the saints throughout the church age. Indeed, to hear the preterist arguing that “Christ really did come in A.D. 70” reminds one of those against whom Jesus warned (Mat.24:26-27) (to paraphrase) “if they have to tell you I have come, rest assured that I haven’t. Like the lightening, you won’t be able to miss it.” Those who try to convince us that Christ has come, announce by that very action that they are false teachers.” (Preterism and Biblical Prophecy)
ACTS 1:11 IN THE VERSIONS
ASV who also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye looking into heaven? this Jesus, who was received up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye beheld him going into heaven.
CEV They said, “Why are you men from Galilee standing here and looking up into the sky? Jesus has been taken to heaven. But he will come back in the same way that you have seen him go.”
DARBY who also said, Men of Galilee, why do ye stand looking into heaven? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, shall thus come in the manner in which ye have beheld him going into heaven.
GOOD NEWS and said, “Galileans, why are you standing there looking up at the sky? This Jesus, who was taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way that you saw him go to heaven.”
ISV They asked, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This same Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you saw him go up into heaven.”
IGE “Jesus the [one] having been taken up from you to – heaven thus will come in the way ye beheld him going to – heaven.”
KJV 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.
WEY who said, “Galilaeans, why stand looking into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into Heaven will come in just the same way as you have seen Him going into Heaven.”
YOUNGS who also said, `Men, Galileans, why do ye stand gazing into the heaven? this Jesus who was received up from you into the heaven, shall so come in what manner ye saw him going on to the heaven.’
CLOUD COMINGS IN THE BIBLE
Exodus 16:10 “And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.”
Exodus 19:9 “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 believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.”
Exodus 34:5 “And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.”
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. “
Numbers 11:25 “And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. “
Psalm 18:9-12 “He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. 10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. 11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. 12 At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.
Psalm 97:2-5 “Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. 3 A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about. 4 His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled. 5 The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. “
Psalm 104:3 “Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind. “
Isaiah 19:1 ” The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it. “
Daniel 7:13 “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.”
Nahum 1:3 “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.”
REFERENCES TO “COMING DOWN”
Genesis 18:20 ” And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. “
Exodus 3:8 ” And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians.. “
Deuteronomy 33:2 ” And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them. “
Psalm 18:7 “ Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. 8 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. 9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. 10 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. 11 He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. 12 At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. 13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. “
Psalm 97:5 ” The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. “
Psalm 50:3 ” Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.”
Psalm 144:5 ” Bow thy heavens, O LORD, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. “
II Samuel 22:7 ” 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. 8 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth. 9 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. 10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet. 11 And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind. “
Isaiah 31:4 ” For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof. “
Isaiah 64:3 ” When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence. “
Isaiah 66:15 ” For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. “
DOCTRINAL STATEMENTS AND CREEDS
Chosen-people.com – “We believe Jesus, the Messiah is the promised Prophet, Priest, and King. As the Prophet, he revealed the mind of God in His teaching.13 As the great High Priest, he offered Himself once and for all as the only effective sacrifice for the sins of men, dying as an atonement which is both penal and substitutionary.14 He continues His priestly ministry as He intercedes for His people.15 As the King, He began His reign as Messiah when He ascended into heaven after His death and bodily resurrection.16 He will return physically and visibly to reign on earth. Isaiah 9:7; Luke 1:32-33; Acts 1:11; Revelation 19-22”
Christadelphians – “Return of Jesus Jesus will return to the earth soon. Then he will raise many of the dead, judge them with the living, and give his faithful followers everlasting life in the kingdom of God. Acts 1:11; Rev 22:12; Lk 21:20-32; Jn 5:28-29; Dan 12:2; 2Tim 4:1; Mt 25:31-34
Fellowship of Christian Assemblies – “His personal return in power and in glory, (Acts 1:11; Philippians 2:9-11; I Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-18; John 14:1-3)”
Fulfilled Promise Tabernacle – “We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ.. His Personal and Future Return to the Earth (Acts 1:11; I Thessalonians 4:16-18).”
RPCNA – “Chapter 33: Of the Last Judgment (Larger Catechism: 56, 87-90; Shorter Catechism: 37-38) 1. The return of our Lord to earth is clearly taught in Scripture. He made many promises to return. His coming will be personal and visible. He will come in glory at a time unknown to man. Rev. 22:7, 12, 20; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7; 1 Thess. 4:16; Matt. 16:27; Col. 3:4; Luke 12:40; Rev. 16:15; Mark 13:32-35; 1 Thess. 5:2.”
RELEVANT NON-PRET COMMENTARY
“For since it was said by the Angels to the Apostles, “He shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven,” [Acts 1:11] rightly do we believe that He will come not only in the same body, but on a cloud, since He is to come as He went away, and a cloud received Him as He was going.” (Epist., cxcix, 11)
Stephen L. Harris (1995)
“Note that Luke makes the peaceful ascension a prophetic model of Jesus’ quiet return” (The New Testament: A Student’s Introduction, Second Edition, Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing.)
“Verses 6-11 They were earnest in asking about that which their Master never had directed or encouraged them to seek. Our Lord knew that his ascension and the teaching of the Holy Spirit would soon end these expectations, and therefore only gave them a rebuke; but it is a caution to his church in all ages, to take heed of a desire of forbidden knowledge. He had given his disciples instructions for the discharge of their duty, both before his death and since his resurrection, and this knowledge is enough for a Christian. It is enough that He has engaged to give believers strength equal to their trials and services; that under the influence of the Holy Spirit they may, in one way or other, be witnesses for Christ on earth, while in heaven he manages their concerns with perfect wisdom, truth, and love. When we stand gazing and trifling, the thoughts of our Master’s second coming should quicken and awaken us: when we stand gazing and trembling, they should comfort and encourage us. May our expectation of it be stedfast and joyful, giving diligence to be found of him blameless.” (in loc.)
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown
“Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven, etc.–“as if your now glorified Head were gone from you never to return: He is coming again; not another, but ‘this same Jesus’; and ‘as ye have seen Him go, in the like manner shall He come’–as personally, as visibly, as gloriously; and let the joyful expectation of this coming swallow up the sorrow of that departure.” (in loc.)
J.C. Robertson (1932)
So in like manner (outwv on tropon). Same idea twice. “So in which manner” (incorporation of antecedent and accusative of general reference). The fact of his second coming and the manner of it also described by this emphatic repetition.” (Robertson’s Word Pictures)
“The O.T. foreview of the coming Messiah is in two aspects–that of rejection and suffering (as e.g. in Is 53), and that of earthly glory and power (as e.g. In Is 11 Jer 23 Eze 37). Often these two aspects blend in one passage (e.g. Ps 2). The prophets themselves were perplexed by this seeming contradiction 1 Peter 1:10,11. It was solved by partial fulfilment. In due time the Messiah, born of a virgin according to Isaiah, appeared among men and began His ministry by announcing the predicted kingdom as “at hand.” (Here)
Date: 30 Oct 2006
I have a different take on this as you might imagine. Here it is —
Jesus comes to individual disciples in the form of the Holy Spirit at the time of their repentance(restoration).
This is stated in Acts 3:19-21 by Peter. Also stated by Jesus Himself in John 14:18.
I have looked into the Preterist doctrine to a degree. I would appretiate your opinion on these thoughts that I have about the Second coming.