Book of Acts, Chapter 1, Verses 9-11 - Cloud of Witnesses

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Book of Acts, Chapter 1, Verses 9-11 (continued) 

Verse 9.  “And when he had spoken these things, (He spoke “concerning the kingdom of God,” He spoke concerning the priority:  not the restoration of the kingdom of Israel, but receiving the Holy Ghost.  He spoke concerning the power to be witnesses in Jerusalem – home missions or in my case Springfield AND to Siberia – the uttermost part of the earth. When he had spoken these things – Important things – significant things. Matters to be remembered. And they would be as they are written over 30 years later. Don’t let the priority become the miniscule. Focus on what Jesus would have us focus on.) while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received (carried upward) him out of their sight. (this indicates a cloud on which he stood and the cloud moving upward into the heavens until Jesus could no longer be seen. As Jesus walked on the sea, it is as though He is now walking on the clouds)

Verse 10. And while they looked stedfastly (gazed intently) toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

Verse 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.”

Cloud of Witnesses

Acts 1:9 Some events benefit from having witnesses. This method of Jesus’ departure was better than if no one was there to witness.  The ascension was visible solely for the sake of the apostles.

Seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses. Hebrews 11 provides the witnesses. A witness must be a near observer; must have information specific to the issue at hand.

Acts 1:10. The apostles’ steadfast gaze indicates a “strained and earnest looking.”

Acts 1:11. This Jesus . . . in the same way. It will be the same “Jesus” who went away that will return. The one who you knew, heard and saw. The one who is known by this personal name Jesus, and whose divinity is displayed by what you have just seen; He shall return.

He departed visibly. He shall return visibly. He went to heaven; He will return from heaven. He went away bodily; He shall return bodily.

These men were not promised they would see or be present at Jesus’ return. These words may be of more impact to people who were not there. Those who heard the angels make these comments will be in resurrected bodies, but those who are “alive and remain” (1 Thessalonians 4:15) have their witness to tell us what Jesus’ return will be like.

The greatest part of the miracle of the ascension was the miracle that occurred after the cloud hid the body of the Lord Jesus Christ from the view of the apostles. God having now been manifest in flesh, and in this physical form, the only begotten of the Father, arrives in heaven for the first time. This physical expression of God is presented to us as being at the right hand, indicating His place of power. He exercises this forever.

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