Probably no passage of Scripture has been the subject of more discussion and less understood, than Acts 1:11. "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking towards the heavens? This Jesus, who is taken up from among you into the heavens, shall so come in the manner in which you saw him go into the heavens." (Emphatic Diaglott.)
It will not be necessary, for the benefit of those who are in the light, in regard to the "Tabernacle and Its Teachings," to say very much upon this subject. Those who understand the sacrifices, will certainly not be looking up into the heavens, expecting to see, with their fleshly eyes, Jesus coming in the flesh. They have learned that the eyes, with which we see in this age are the eyes of the understandingEph. 1:18; which are certainly the very best kind of eyes. And they have learned, also, that even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know him so no more. 2 Cor. 5:16. rev. ver. So we see that what is true of the members of his body, is true of him, as the head. Having given his (animal) body as a sacrifice for us, it must be dissolved, and to him was given a new body, a house not made with hands, etc.2 Cor. 5:1.
Paul says: But some will say, how are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come? Oh, senseless man, that which thou sowest is not quickenedmade aliveexcept it die; and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be, etc., but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed its own body.
The world at large have been sown with the natural seedhuman natureand will be raised with the natural bodies; while the newdivinenature, becomes a new seed, and requires a new body; and God giveth to every seed its own body, etc., 1 Cor. 15:35,38. Before his crucifixion, Jesus had that treasurethe divine nature in an earthen vesselbody2 Cor. 4:7; in him dwelt all the fullness of the divine nature, in a body [R341 : page 5] Col. 2:9 (Rotherham); so that new seed was sown in a natural body (earthen vessel); and raised in a spiritual body.
The blinding phrase is, in like manner. Let us examine the Greek term, hon tropon, rendered like manner, in Acts 1:11; giving all the passages where it occurs, and putting the English translation in italics; then let those who are so tenacious about the exact manner, be just as tenacious in all the passages where it occurs. Now as (hon tropon) James and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these resist the truth. 2 Tim. 3:8. Read Exodus, 7 th and 8 th chapters in regard to those magiciansSatan's mediums. Wilt thou kill me, as (hon tropon) thou didst the Egyptian yesterday? Acts 7:28.
Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem...how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as (hon troponlike manner) a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not. Matt. 23:37 and Luke 13:34.
As certainly as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, so Jesus would have gathered Jerusalem's children; but we think no one would insist upon the exact way. Jesus said, If I go and prepare a placeofficial position, by preparing us for itfor you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, etc.John 14:3. All the Angels could mean in Acts 1:11 (the only remaining passage where hon tropon occurs), is: ye men of Galilee why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus has gone away as he said he would, and he will as surely come again, as he said he would.
Other Scriptures teach the manner and time. We have taken heed in our hearts, to the sure word of prophecy; and the eyes of our understanding have been enlightened; because, as we see the "day star"(phosphoruslight-bringerE.D.) has arisen. 2 Pet. 1:19. It is contrary to the teachings of the types of the old and the positive statements of the new Testament, to expect that Jesus will come again in the flesh.
The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Cor. 2:14.