I find that in times of need I often need just the “Big Picture” – not all the details. So this is my favorite of all.
This is a striking image:
“After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 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 you have seen him go into heaven.”” (Acts 1:9,10)
I have often tried to highlight the important part of the verse and end up highlighting the entire chapter. So instead I try and visualize the scene. Jesus had just spent more than a month after his crucifixion going over the important parts of what he had been teaching them about the Kingdom.
This team of his was now really excited, so they naturally asked if Jesus was going to start ruling soon. Jesus was very satisfied with how far his students had progressed. He did not want them to lose their enthusiasm for the Kingdom so he stressed again that Father would decide when the time was right, our task would be to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom “unto the ends of the earth” however long that takes. This task would not be easy so we would need the help which the holy spirit will make possible. They needed to stay in Jerusalem for that.
Jesus knew they needed special encouragement. He could not stay with them, he would have lots to do as the Father’s right-hand man. So he arranged the scene that still encourages up to this day.
After 40 days with Jesus they knew that since the resurrection Jesus was not limited as we are physically.
So Jesus not only went up into the sky until the clouds hid him from their sight, but messengers from the Father came especially to confirm what Jesus had said! And they brought this message from the Father
“...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.” (Acts 1:11)
That certainly added weight to the image that Jesus wanted his team then, and us now, to have seared in our minds. As he went into the sky this time, he will return, in a like manner, as in fact was foretold through the prophets.
It was not every day that a delegation from heaven came to speak to you, but Father sent two messengers to put his seal of approval on what Jesus had told them. It was a big deal, these messengers stood out. They were dressed in white – no one dressed in white, there were no paved roads, there was dust everywhere. Everybody wore the same colour, dust!
How long did the messengers stay I don’t know. I suspect they did not just made that statement and then “poof” disappeared like in the modern comics of today. They probably stayed a while, and answered questions. But Luke recorded the key statement for us. As he went into the sky, he will also come back.
The Vision for Tough Times
In tough times, I’ll admit I have been having some really difficult times with Parkinson’s to the point where I doubted I would have the strength to write this post.
But Jesus has made clear to us that we will experience times even more difficult than what Parkinson’s has thrown at me. The Enemy has been working very hard to put in place the systems for his imitation world government. We see the manifestation of the cruelty of his nature in the way people, who protest against his installed regimes taking away human rights from people, are treated. We have the examples of Afghanistan, Iran, South America, South Africa, Canada, United Kingdom, in fact everywhere. Remember he rules this world.
We must not close our eyes, it is a reality!
We ARE living in the time of the end – the end times! No wonder we are seeing an explosion in the media about the the rise of the AntiChrist, the one world government, the one world religion, the rapture and on and on.
My sister lamented recently that were so much and most of it just speculation, the important thing was to be prepared and to remain faithful. I really emphasize with her which is why I am writing the blog post. Jesus foresaw this need too and provided the material and inspiration for it.
The Enemy does not like the Father’s plan of a kingdom ruled over by Yeshua ben Josef. Afterall he was just a carpenter, what does he know. It was supposed to be his position, he is Lucifer – the Bringer of Light. And now they are thinking this man will rule. But they don’t know how brilliant I am and what I have planned for this “end times” – I have worked it out and will rule the Universe, not just the earth.
So who is behind all this flurry of end times information? The Enemy! I hope you are not surprised, he has used that tactic over and over. Give people enough information that’s almost true, but enough misinformation to cause confusion. But the end times are going to be horrendous. We won’t be raptured away. Our task is to be witnesses for Jesus. For that many of us will be killed. Think that can’t happen – think again.
The Hope Jesus Left Us
“…At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
When these things begin to happen, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
So when times are tough, personally or because of the world being against us, look up, Jesus coming is close.