Coming in the Clouds

The disciples watched Jesus leave the planet shrouded in a cloud. A couple angels appeared to them and said Jesus would return in the same manor he left. The number in the passage points to the definitive story in the Bible for Jesus' return.

Acts 1:6-11

6When they were assembled they asked him saying, Our master, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? Acts 1:67He said to them, It is not for you to know the time nor times which the father has set by his own authority. 8When the spirit of the holy comes on you you will receive power. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in all Judah and also in the house of Samaria and to the ends of the land. Acts 1:7-89When he had spoken these things he was taken up. When they were looking at him a cloud received him and he was hidden from their sight. Acts 1:910When they gazed into the skies where he went, 2 men stood by them, in white robes. K Exodus 2:10 K 1 Kings 17:1 11They said to them, Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into the skies? This same Joshua who has been taken up from you to the skies will come in like manner as you have seen him go up to the skies. Acts 1:10-11 (Acts 1:6-11 BRB)


2 = Exodus


There are many places in the Bible where Jesus showed up in a private and secretive way to an individual or small group, but Exodus is the only book with a story where Jesus shows up in glory for all to see, like we're told he will at his return.

The Mount and the Cloud

In Acts the main details are that Jesus left from the Mount of Olives, was shrouded by a cloud, and the event was witnessed by his disciples. In Exodus the same thing happened in reverse. Yahvah (and probably Jesus) came down to the top of Mount Sinai, in a cloud, while the nation of Israel watched.

16It came to pass on the 3rd day in the morning there were FE sounds and lightnings and a mighty cloud on the mountain and the sound of a trumpet that was very powerful and all the people trembled who were in the camp. Q Hebrews 12:21 17Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet god FE and they stood at the base of the mountain. 18The mount of Sinai was smoking entirely because the Master descended on it in fire and the smoke of it ascended like the smoke of a furnace and the whole mountain quaked greatly. Exodus 19:16-19 (Exodus 19:16-18 BRB)

The Nations

Jesus told his disciples that they would be witnesses to him in all the nations of the world beginning in Jerusalem and Samaria. This general idea is also conveyed in Exodus just prior to the mount and cloud story.

3Moses went up to god. God called to him out of the mountain and said to him, Thus you will say to the house of Jacob and tell the children of Israel: 4You have seen FE what I did to the Mizraim and how I FE bore you as though you were on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. 5Now if from hearing you will hear my voice and preserve my contract you will be beloved to me from all peoples FE of the land because the land is mine. 6You will be to me a holy kingdom and priests and people. Speak these words to the house of Israel. Exodus 19:3-6 (Exodus 19:3-6 BRB)

The vocabulary in Exodus is a little different from that in Acts, but the idea that Israel would be a priestly kingdom, means their ultimate role was to mediate between Yahvah and the other nations.

Like Jesus told his disciples, Israel started in Jerusalem, their first capital, then some went to Samaria, a second capital, then eventually all but a remnant were sent into the nations of the world, though by force. These Israelites and Jews did not know the coming messiah by name in order to speak about him directly, but they took with them the promises to Abraham, their language and their scriptures, and paved the way for the work of the disciples sent later. Reviewing the history involves more than the book of Exodus covers, but this passage in Exodus contains this seed and therefore relates profoundly to what Jesus told his disciples in Acts.

Isaiah's Bit

Isaiah also attests to Exodus as a "last days" book.

2It will come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Master will be established above the mountains and will be exalted above the hills and all peoples will look to it. I Exodus 19:2 Isaiah 2:23Many people will go and say, Come let us go up to the mount of the Master and to the house of the god of Jacob and he will teach us his ways and we will walk in his paths, I Exodus 20:1 for out of Zion will go forth the law and the word of the Master from Jerusalem. 4He will judge among the peoples and will rebuke many peoples who are far off and they will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into sickles and people will not lift up sword against people nor will they learn war any longer. Isaiah 2:3-4 (Isaiah 2:2-4 BRB)

Isaiah gets us into the general space of thinking about Exodus as a last days story, but Acts is adding considerably by showing that Jesus' return is one aspect of the last days covered by Exodus.