Two Pastors have stated:
Jesus must have ascended to His Father before Acts 1:9 because He tells the disciples in John 20:22 while in the resurrected state to receive the Holy Spirit.
…He (Jesus) breathed on them, and said to them,
"Receive the Holy Spirit"(John 20:22)
On the surface John 20:22 disagrees with Jesus comments in Acts 1:8
We read just prior to the ascension in Acts:
Acts 1:8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;..."
Acts 1:9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up...
Why would Jesus say this (Acts 1:8) when He already gave the disciples the Holy Spirit in John 20:22 ?
Jesus states before the crucifixion:
John 16:7 "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away; the helper (Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I depart I will send Him to you."
In Acts 2 we read that at this time the Holy Spirit first came to the disciples, not prior to the ascension.
Acts 2:1-4 When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they (the disciples) were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Later we learn in Acts 2:41 that about three thousand were saved by the events between Acts 2:5-40.
What happened between Acts 2:1 and 2:40 to bring all these people together?
Acts 2:5,6 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.
And when this sound occurred the multitude came together, and were confused , because everyone heard them (the disciples) speak in his own language.
What is "this sound" in Acts 2:6?
We have to go back to Acts 2:2, which states "a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind,"
Now, let's go back much further to Jesus statement in John 20:22…He (Jesus) breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit"
We read nothing about any changes in the disciples at this point (immediately after John 20:22). Jesus was prophesizing about the event in Acts 2:2-6. Or is it just a strange coincidence that Jesus blew on them said "receive the Holy Spirit" after He says in John 16:7 that this event cannot happen while He is with them and at this point nothing happens. However, after he leaves them (the ascension of Acts 1.9) they hear a mighty wind in Acts 2.2 and receive the Holy Spirit.
If you try to explain wind to a child, how do you do it? You blow (breath) on them!
All along, Jesus was associating Himself with the events of Acts 2:2-6. Even though Jesus could not be their physically when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, we understand that Jesus had a part in this. He truly can be associated with God the Father and The Holy Spirit.
Also of interest is the fact that Jesus never appears as normal flesh and bone after the events of Act 1:9.
In Acts 9:3 He appears as a light from heaven to Saul (Later known as Paul). In Acts 9:10 Jesus appears as a vision. As He also does with Peter in Acts 10:13, and Paul in Acts 18:10.
In Revelation John describes Jesus:
His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like a fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;…and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. (Revelation 1:14-16)
In three of the four Gospels during the later part of Jesus' 2nd year of His 3 ½ year ministry, we read the story of the Transfiguration on the Mount. Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, Luke 9:28-36
All the stories begin with the similar comment from Jesus to His disciples days before the event: Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.(Matthew 16:28)
In Matthew 17:2 we read:
And He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His cloth became as white as the light.
In Mark 9:3:
His cloth became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.
In Luke 9:29: As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.
Jesus fulfilled His word of Matthew 16:28 and allowed Peter, John and James a glimpse of Jesus in His future ascended state.
Questions have long been around over who the author of Revelation really is; Is it John the disciple or another John? I find it interesting the book of John never mentions the transfiguration, even though John was one of three at the event. However, in Revelation John writes;
Then I tuned to see the voice that spoke to me…One like the Son of Man…(Revelation 1:12)
How did this John recognize 'the Son of Man' a term often applied to Jesus?
John's description of Jesus in Revelation is very similar to the three gospels of the Transfiguration event.
Could it be that the author of Revelation is the disciple John and he recognized Jesus appearance from the events many years earlier at the Transfiguration on the Mount!
It becomes clear that the flesh and bone resurrected state of Jesus is not the same as the ascended state Jesus took on after the events of Acts 1:9.
Jesus did not ascend to His Father until the events of Acts 1:9.
We can extrapolate from the three papers on this subject; The Paradise Paradox, Cleaning the Feet of Jesus and this paper, that four authors of the gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts (also authored by Luke) wrote different accounts of the same events. They wrote about things seen and heard, but many times not understood, even when it came time to write about those events.
It is only now in the 20th Century that the Human race is able to somewhat understand that the universe has many more dimensions then the 3 ½ that we experience (length, width, depth and the forward direction of time). The creator of the universe must transcend the 10 dimensions that theoretical physicists have determined is the minimum that were needed to create the universe in the first place.
God has allowed us through his word to confirm that the Gospel accounts of Jesus concur with modern day understanding of how such a creator could exist, and what attributes He may likely have.
On the surface with a three dimensional perspective, the words of Jesus seem to be riddled with paradoxes and contradictions;
How can Jesus have gone to Paradise when He died and yet not ascended to His Father?
Why would the Son of God in a resurrected state tell an unclean person not to touch anything more then His feet?
Why did Jesus in the resurrected state tell the disciples to receive the Holy Spirit and yet nothing happened at that moment?
Why did Jesus allow John to see Him transfigure on the Mount? ...
However, when we factor in a creator that transcends our dimensions, all the above points begin to make sense. The Gospel accounts agree with each other, even on things that appear (on the surface) to be trivial matters.
I can find no contradictions with the words and actions of Jesus;
Not with His death,
not with His resurrection,
nor with His ascension into Omnipotence.
"Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come!"
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