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Acts 1:9-11 An interesting thought....

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Preachers12, Jul 30, 2003.

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  1. Preachers12

    Preachers12 Unworthy

    Brethren in Christ, Peace be with you,

    About a month ago, my wife and I were beginning to study Acts. We typically set aside Wed nights for Bible Study, but on this night, after two hours, we only got through the first eleven verses of Chapter 1!! I had this overwhelming feeling that verse 11 was pointing towards the Eucharist. But the connection alluded me. God Bless my wife for her patience!

    Needless to say, the two hours were mostly spent with us both sitting in a pile of various books trying to make some tangible connection between this verse and the Eucharist. Our Catholic study bible did not make this connection, nor did the Ignatious Study Guide to Acts (the one put out by Hahn). Our Protestant Bible was of no help either. The RSV-CE had nothing in footnotes or appendices on these verses which indicated a connection to the Eucharist. There are other books we looked at (and many we did not - including the writings of the early Church Fathers), but we could not find this connection in a really tangible, convincing way.

    This feeling followed me around for weeks. I found myself thinking of it almost constantly, yet unable to make the connection. Let me first quote the pertinent verses:

    Acts 1: 9-11 “(9) And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. (10) And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, (11) and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’”

    Acts 1:9-11 “(9) And when he had said these things, while they looked on, he was raised up: and a cloud received him out of their sight. (10) And while they were beholding him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments. (11) Who also said: Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come as you have seen him going into heaven.”

    I quoted Douray-Rheims because I was searching for a more literal translation to compare to my thoughts on the RSV-CE translation.

    Here is how I think it relates to the Eucharist (and I am anxious to hear other, much more scholarly than I, opinions on this):

    Verse 11 has two very curious words: “This” and “come”.

    “This Jesus,” as opposed to what “other” Jesus? I think it means the actual, physical Jesus who rose from the dead and now ascended into heaven before their eyes. Not some spiritual representation of Him. Him Himself. The blessed, resurrected Jesus Christ. “This Jesus.” This seems to make sense when you look at this passage in the Eucharistic context. After all, the Eucharist IS the physical Jesus. The very same Jesus that they saw ascend into heaven.

    He will “come,” not return. A “coming” indicates something that is not singular in nature (and here, the coming is not limited to coming to the Apostles!). In other words, He can come and come and come.... But if He returned, He would have to leave in order to return again. But He never leaves us! He (“this Jesus”) “comes” to us now almost ceaselessly through the celebration of the Mass and the changing of bread and wine into His most precious body and blood. It is amazing to think that there is not an hour that goes by where somewhere in the world a Mass is not being celebrated! Talk about “heaven on earth!” Anyway, the point is, the word “come” has some significance that may be overlooked too often.

    Now, take a look at how “This Jesus” will “come” in verse 11. It says that He will come in the same way as they saw Him go. That refers us back to verse 9. If you substitute verse 9 in the appropriate place in verse 11, verse 11 would read as follows (words in bold are mine to illustrate the flow): ...and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come by being lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

    Think about this. When the Priest consecrates the host, what does he do? He lifts it up. Or, raises it up (if you are following along with the DR version).

    So what about the “cloud?”

    This was the part I struggled with the most in trying to make this connection. Until, while speaking to a Priest, I learned of the concept regarding the transubstantiation of the “Cloud of the Senses.” That is, our human senses cannot see the actual change in the bread and wine. We are clouded from seeing the particulars, the actual change. It is thus, a mystery to us. We accept it in faith. This concept (and the term itself) has apparently been around a long time (I am looking for information to research this - which is part of why I bring this here).

    And so, per the words of the two men (my wife and I spent much time contemplating who those two men were, coming up with some interesting ideas) in white, Jesus, “This Jesus”, does come. He comes (note the plural) every time that the host is lifted, and within the cloud of the senses, is changed into the actual body and blood of Jesus.

    Does anyone have some background/history on the “Cloud of the Senses” phrase or seen this application or interpretation of this passage? Or am I just reading too much into this? :confused:

    Please don’t respond to the negative, that is, saying how this passage only relates to the Second Coming. I know and agree with that interpretation/application, but I am now questioning if it means much more than that. Isn’t the Word of God AMAZING!?

    God Bless,
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Bastoune

    Bastoune Well-Known Member

    Greetings! Wow, I'd not made that comparison before! I'll have to pray about this...

    You meant "the cloud of unknowing" in regards to that "clouding of the senses." It was referred to by several medieval mystics. Here's a link I found that might help:


    It has links to books and other links on this subject! :)

    I'll see what else I can dig up! But in reference to this passage in Acts, that's an interesting analysis! Thanks for sharing it with us!

    In Christ,
  3. Preachers12

    Preachers12 Unworthy

    Tim, Peace be with you.

    Thank you. I am anxious to see what your prayers and studies lead you to on this. I cannot tell you how much this has been on my mind since reading that passage a month ago.

    God Bless,
  4. pax

    pax Veteran

    That's really interesting. hmmmmmmmmmm....
  5. Credo

    Credo broken

    Very interesting points! With your permission, I'd like to save what you've said and ponder on it again.

    Just a thought....incense???
  6. Preachers12

    Preachers12 Unworthy

    Credo, Peace be with you.

    Please use it in any way you like. If it has any merit, it is certainly not due to me and is meant to be shared. I can't imagine that nobody has ever had these thoughts before and I hope that someone here can point me to them to help me better understand.

    Incense is a thought that I had. But it is not always used in connection with the changing of the bread and wine. It seems to me that it must have something to do with the "lifting" or "raising."

    This theology on the "Cloud of the Senses" or "Cloud of the Unknown" (which I just learned of through Bastoune and have not at all comprehended yet) seems to fit. But there may very well be something else there.

    I only know that in my heart, I feel there is a connection. A strong connection.

    I think that a look at the original greek would help in this. I do not have that and if I did, it would be pretty useless to me!

    I am anxious to see what you and my other scholarly brethren come to think about this after prayer and study!

    God Bless,
  7. Theresa

    Theresa With Reason

    How about the cloud as the "shekna" or glory cloud? or maybe like the cloud of witnesses, or is it crowd?
  8. geocajun

    geocajun Priest of the holy smackrament

    Very good Preacher, I really like what you posted.
    This is how the New Jerusalem Bible (my fav. translation) translates acts 1:9-11.

    Acts 1:9-11
    9 As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight.
    10 They were still staring into the sky as he went when suddenly two men in white were standing beside them
    11 and they said, 'Why are you Galileans standing here looking into the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way as you have seen him go to heaven.'

    ok, now for the footnotes.

    the footnotes on "Cloud (Acts 1:9)" read as follows:
    The cloud is part of theophanies in OT. Ex 13:22h, and in NT, Luke 9:34-35 and par. In particular, Dn 7:13, it marks the coming of the Son of man, v. 11 of this passage; Mt 24:30q; cf. 1Th 4:17; Rv 1:7; 14:14-16.

    also, the footnotes for 1:11 states The western text omits 'into heaven'.

    and also for 1:11 the footnotes refer to the parousia which you stated you agreed with and didn't want to hear about ;)

    the first footnote on cloud is really interesting when you read the referring passages, especially Luke 9:34-35.

    anyway, hope that helps. I will keep trying to make more sense of it and report back anything I find.
    I hope to hear more from you on this.
  9. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

    I agree with geocajun. I think the 'cloud' mentioned in Acts 1:11 has to do with shekenah glory, as in the many times when God metaphorically came down 'riding on a cloud' (Is 19:1, Ps 104:3, Ps 68:4). The significance is that this idea appears in the New Testament concerning Christ's second coming (Matt 24:30, Rev 1:7).

    And here's the cool part: Jesus was said to come on a cloud with great glory (Mark 13:26). At the second coming, it was said that God would crown his people with glory (1 Thess 2:19, 1 Pet 5:4) just as Jesus is crowned with glory (Heb 2:9, Ps 8:5).

    And the significance of this is that when we partake in the Mass, the glory of the Lord is made manifest via the Real Presence, just as the Lord reveals his glory in Old testament worship (Ex 16:10, Exodus 24:16, Numbers 16:42, 1 Kings 8:11, 2 Chronicles 5:14).

    We also know that God reveals his glory in the Old Covenant, and that the New Covenant is said to be far more glorious!

    COMPARE Ex 34:29-35

    WITH 2 Cor 3:7-11!!!

    Ever wonder about the rainbow mentioned in Genesis? When we look back at Gen 9:13-14 we discover:

    Neat stuff ain't it? Now compare that with this verse:

    So we can probably guess that glory is implied in that passage since Christ is worshipped (verse 10). Now if we compare that verse with a parallel verse, we discover that there is a connection with this rainbow and glory:

    So this glory is perhaps symbolized by a rainbow. Or that the rainbow points to God's glory, or is somehow associated with God's glory. The Ezekiel passage tell us that the man looked like he was full of fire, right? Well when we look back at when Moses showed up on Mount Sinai, scripture says, "To the Israelites the GLORY OF THE LORD looked like a CONSUMING FIRE on top of the mountain." (Exodus 24:17) And of course our God, while is glorified, is said to be a consuming fire (Deut 4:24, Heb 12:29). Isn't it sometimes said that such consuming fire can be a reference to purgatorial fire of our Lord which makes us holy?? (perhaps 2 Cor 3:18 is relevant here)

    Ok so this is going through all sorts of tangents, but here's what I'm trying to get at. Revelation is a picture of worship. Or that Mass is a prefigurement of the Christ's second coming, other wise known as the parousia (which in greek means presence!!). And when we partake in Mass, we get to experience the glory of the Lord as revealed through the Eucharist, where Christ and the Church become one flesh (Eph 5:31-32), which is the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9!!). Clearly the New covenant is far more glorious than the Old covenant!

    "Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces ALL REFLECT THE LORD'S GLORY, are being transformed into his likeness with EVER-INCREASING GLORY, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." (2 Cor 3:12-18)

    Many blessings to you!

  10. pax

    pax Veteran

    Somebody's done their homework. That's really interesting!
  11. Cecilia

    Cecilia Catholic Teen

    I had just started Bible study with the book of Acts and I've read the first 4 chapters in the first 2 days but I didn't take any of it so literally or get much out of it. Amazing! I'm not one to think out of the box like that and look for a deeper meaning. I think I'm going to re-read those chapters tonight and ponder about them. Thanks for the great start! God bless!
  12. Preachers12

    Preachers12 Unworthy

    Cecilia, Peace be with you.

    God Bless you. Oh, the wonders of the Word of God!!!! I just want to run about shouting His praise!!! Abba, Father!!!!

    God Bless,
  13. Preachers12

    Preachers12 Unworthy

    Peace be with you.

    Pardon me for the bump to this thread, but I am hoping for more thoughts.

    God Bless,
  14. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

    come - in Greek, Erchomai (From Strong Concordance #2064)

    Here's two definition of it:

    1. to appear, make one's appearance, come before the public
    2. to come from one place to another, and used both of persons arriving

    This word appears elsewhere, particularly in Jude 1:14 which says:

    So Acts 1:11 is a reference to the 'last things'. And Jude tells us that angels would accompany Christ when He comes.

    First, a quick look into the passage as it speaks of the 'last things'.

    Acts 1:11 basically tells us:

    Jesus's going up in to heaven = Jesus's coming down from

    Scripture says Jesus's going up was in glory (1 Tim 3:16).

    Glory - in Greek, doxa (From Strong's Concordance #1391)

    Thus Jesus's being taken up hidden by a cloud (i.e. the 'glory' cloud), which fits Jesus' taken up in glory would be the manner in which Jesus comes down....in the GLORY of his Father.....WITH HIS ANGELS!! (Matt 25:31). Well....duh..heh I'm sure we know this because I've mentioned this so many times...but keep this thought in mind!! =)

    Now to apply the passage as Revelation is a depiction of Mass

    So we know that Christ is said to come in the glory of his Father with his angels. And once it happens, the kingdom of God is said to be established. The bible speaks of this as a blissful experience in our future. In other words, the New Jerusalem would become a reality at the end. HOWEVER, the New Testament tells us very clearly that we get to 'taste power of the age to come' (Heb 6:5). In a sense, the kingdom of our Lord is something we get to embrace (Col 1:13)! And scripture says God blessed us in ''heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ" (Eph 1:3) and we're somehow in this 'heavenly realm' (Eph 2:6)

    So while there is a life that we await for in our future (in heaven), we get to experience the New Jerusalem, the Holy city (Rev 21:2). Sounds crazy doesn't it? Yet since we are somehow in the heavenly realm, it makes sense to read how:

    Heavenly Jerusalem? The holy city of God? Thousands of Angels? Isn't this a picture of Revelation? But wait...it's a picture of Mass!! So the passage bluntly states how this is a reality for us right now, especially the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. Clearly this is the blood of our Lord, that we're commanded to partake in!

    Now let's focus a bit on the 'thousands of angels accompanying Christ's coming in glory'. When God reveals His presence among his people, we might notice how the statement about angels may be commonly overlooked. Why? Because "those who are with us are more than those who are with them" (2 Kings 6:16).

    In 2 Kings 6:8-14, the Kings of Aram is out to get Elisha and verse forteen says how the Kings of Aram ordered an army to go after Elisha. So the servant freaks out (2 Kings 6:15) and then Elisha heroically says, "Don't be afraid, those who are with us are more than those who are with them." (2 Kings 6:16)

    And something amazing happens in the next verse:

    It's often stated how Elisha the prophet and many other key Old Testament men prefigures Christ. Elijah was known to perform many miracles, like a resurrection in 1 Kings 17:21-22. And after Elijah was taken to heaven it was said that, "the spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha" (2 Kings 2:15). While some may not agree with Elijah or Elisha as a 'type' of Christ, or a man who prefigures the identity of Jesus (as prophet), I think all the major men in the bible point to Christ.

    And apparently angels were among Elisha and the servant. But the servant didn't 'see', yet Elisha had the faith to know it. He walked by faith, not by sight (2 Cor 5:7), which is something Jesus did perfectly =)

    And so 2 Kings 6:17 is relevant since the servant "saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha" (2 Kings 6:17). Perhaps this prefigures Christ's coming in glory. Fire of course was associated with God (Deut 4:24). And these 'horses and chariots of fire' were clearly supernatural in origin since they were invisible to the servant until Elisha prayed that they would appear. It's understood that this supernatural army were angels.

    Surely, just as scripture says that Jesus 'will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven", when Jesus 'comes' (Gk. Erchomai), or 'makes himself known in public' like at Mass, then his glory (Gk. Doxa) is revealed via the Eucharist. And since other scriptures say the angels would accompany him at his coming, this means his angels would naturally accompany him at Mass when Jesus 'makes himself konwn in public' (Hebrews 12:22-24). Plus, they watch over us
    (Matt 18:10), serve us (Heb 1:14) and protect us from harm (Psalm 91:11-12). Sometimes I wonder if some of us may've encountered angels without knowing it (Heb 13:2). This is important because God is continually saying to us:

    "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them!!!" (2 Kings 6:16)

    Perhaps we may even sense their presence this weekend in the earthly side of the heavenly banquet =)
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