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And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, You men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in LIKE MANNER as you have seen him go into heaven (Acts 1:9-11).
In Acts 1:10, the two men are two men, not two angels as widely theorized. Perhaps, then, these are really Moses and Elijah, since the New Testament doesn't designate anyone else in each recording of Christ's transfiguration (Matt. 17:3; Mark 9:4; Luke 9:30). With that said, these two men are exceptionally significant when having knowledge of a Jewish wedding.
Jesus can be observed in the book of Daniel visiting the Ulai and Hiddekel rivers as a man dressed in linen. There, in two out of three appearances two men are with Him (Dan. 8:13; 10:4-6; 12:5). Daniel referred to these as "certain saints," denoting that these two men had a meaningful purpose (Dan. 8:13). What could be that purpose? In answering this the knowledge of Jewish customs also comes into play. Traditionally, the presence of two male witnesses attested a Jewish wedding by accompanying the bridegroom to the bride's home.9 From this, then, we can conclude that the two "certain saints" are Christ's two witnesses accompanying Him to claim His Brideóa Like Manner Night-trib Partial Rapture: "BEHOLD, TWO MEN . . ." (Acts 1:10)!
In the book of Daniel two "certain saints" stand on the banks of the Ulai, each on their side, while a commanding voice above the waters rings out to Gabriel (Dan. 8:13-16). "And I heard a man's voice between the banks of the Ulai, which called and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision." What man in the Bible can command Gabriel, a Chief Prince of the angels? The answer: only Jesus can command Gabriel (God in human flesh).
In Daniel the Lord also visits the river called Hiddekel. There, the evidence weightily identifies Christ in an early return--a return lacking full glory. Here is that return:
The above is Daniel's great vision delineating a brief appearance of Christ,1 and the gathering of the Church before the Second Coming. To fully verify that this is Christ visiting the Hiddekel, it is most beneficial to compare Daniel's above passage to that of the following by John:
In Daniel, the "certain man's" attire is linen; in Revelation, Jesus wears a garment down to His foot. In Daniel, His loins are girt with fine gold; in Revelation, Jesus is girt about the paps with a golden girdle. In Daniel, the "certain man's" face has the appearance of lightning; in Revelation, Christ's countenance is as the strength of the sun shining.
In Daniel, the "certain man's" feet have the color of polished brass; in Revelation, the feet of Jesus are as fine polished brass. In Daniel, the "certain man's" eyes shine as lamps of fire; in Revelation, the eyes of Jesus are as a flame of fire. In Daniel, the "certain man's" body is as the beryl, a polished gem (Note: allegorically, in the New Testament the Body of Christ is likened to lively stones--1 Pet. 2:5). In Daniel, the "certain man's" voice rings out as the voice of a multitude; in Revelation, Jesus' voice is the sound of many waters.
Now it was John who equated "waters" as people, multitudes, tongues and nations (Rev. 17:15). Thus, the sound of many waters can only be the voice of a multitude, or the voice of Christ and His Body! Moreover, note the following by John: "And I heard as it were the voice of a GREAT MULTITUDE, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying Hallelujah: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth" (Rev. 19:6). Intriguingly, if not arrestingly, John's next verse tells us that the Lamb's Wife has made Herself ready (Rev. 19:7).
In Scripture, people, "as the voice of many waters," are also equated to clouds. Here are two examples: "So great a cloud of witnesses . . ." (Heb. 12:1); "Spots in your feasts of charity . . . clouds they are without water . . ." (Jude V. 12). Ironically, Christ will received by a cloud just as He was taken in His "like manner" return (Acts 1:9); that is, when He led captivity captive in His ascension (Eph. 4:8).
The following comparisons further a notable difference when looking at the method of Christ's departure, compared to that of the Rapture, or His Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation. The nations of the Earth didn't wail when Christ ascended, nor did "every eye" see Him (Rev. 1:7). Upon His ascension there wasn't a shout, nor the trump of God (1 Thess. 4:16). Neither did the elements melt with fervent heat (2 Pet. 3:10); nor did every island flee away (Rev. 16:20). Indeed, the nations did not wail when Christ ascended. Besides these profound differences, when Christ ascended the stars did give their light; and there weren't fearful signs in the heavens (Joel 2:10; Luke 21:25-26). "Needless to say," then, the Earth didn't "reel to and fro" as it will in That Day upon His coming (Isa. 24:20-21). Lastly in this overview, the Mount of Olives didn't split in two upon His ascension, as it will upon His traditional Second Coming (Zech. 14:4). Indeed, there will be a Bridegroom Like Manner Return with two human witnesses, which is not the manner of the Second Coming or the at-once Rapture of the Church.
A Great Vision
Seeing just an angel in vision would never be suitable cause for Daniel to call this vision a great vision, unless, of course, it was his first vision. But that wasnít the case, especially since Daniel had seen visions from his youth (Dan. 1:17). Indeed, Daniel even saw the Son of man in a prior vision (Dan. 7:13).
In Daniel 10:5-6, the Certain Man is not an ordinary man, yet many biblical scholars insist this man to be an angel. Why? Because immediately after his experience with the Certain Man, an angel confronted Daniel:
It was the angel who touched Daniel. In fact, the angel said, "am I now sent," whereas the Certain Man was already present upon the waters at the beginning of the vision. Undeniably, then, the Certain Man wasn't this angel who was later sent to awake Daniel upon the completion of the vision.
The word "touched" in the Hebrew primarily means to shake violently, and in a lesser sense--vigorously (Dan. 10:10). So then, at the very least Daniel became abruptly set upon his knees and palms, that is, when the angel touched him at the conclusion of the vision.
Daniel in a previous vision was also "touched" (set upright) by Gabriel (Dan. 8:16, 18), and this also fuels the premise that it was Gabriel who touched Daniel in chapter 10, not the Certain Man. For if the Certain Man was upon the Hiddekel in Danielís vision (Dan. 10), then He wasnít on the bank of that same river to shake Daniel vigorously. Therefore, the evidence given here affirms that the hand that shook Daniel belonged to the angel, shaking Daniel out of his vision, or out of his deep sleep. In complete dissimilarity, Daniel saw the Certain Man in vision, and not in physical reality as he did the angel who awoke him from his vision.
Plainly, there is biblical precedence in the end-times for the voice of many waters to be that of Christ's Bride, but precedence is absent in the Bible for this voice to be an angel's voice. Decisively, this fact adds much clarity to the identity of the Certain Man in question, who is none other than Jesus Christ.
When describing this great vision, Daniel said, "the thing was true" (Da. 10:1). The thing was true, is graphic of the one who is true, Jesus Christ.
Daniel understood the intent of this great vision (Dan. 10:1), yet he mourned three full weeks (Dan. 10:2). The reason being, Daniel's vision didn't include the fate of Israel after the redemption of the Church, his heart's concern. Subsequently, this is the why another angel (Michael) came forth to give Daniel knowledge concerning his people: "Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall `thy people' in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days" (Dan. 10:14).3 It was this knowledge that enabled Daniel to explain what would befall Israel in the latter days (Dan. cs. 11-12).
Christ's first appearance in the book of Daniel is at the river Ulai (Dan. 8:16). The word "Ulai" in the Hebrew means purity. Fitting this interpretation, the wise of the Bride are pure. Following in procession, the wise will be unblamable (2 Pet. 3:14).
Christ's second appearance in Daniel is by the river "Hiddekel" (Dan. 10). The Hebrew meaning of this word is strength. In harmony, the foolish are to be strong "like unto men" in that somber hour of Christís Closed Door Return (Luke 12:36).4
Upon the redemption of the foolish the first unification of the Church will take place. Coincidentally, the word "certain" in Daniel 10:5, Hebraically renders: the one who unifies, or an ordinate first!10 No doubt, Daniel saw a great vision: Christ unifying the wise and foolish of the Church--"That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:27).
Another Portrayal of Christ's Appearance
Daniel 12 imparts still another portrayal of Christ's return, in which two witnesses also accompany Him. And, by so doing, attests to Israel that the Lord Jesus is the Redeemer of the Church:
The man clothed in linen in Daniel 12 brings judgment to Israel. We know this partly, because, ". . . at that time thy people (not the Church) shall be delivered. . ." (Dan. 12:1). And fully because, it is Israel who must go through a great trial in order to know their God. Daniel wrote, "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand" (Dan. 12:10).
Unlike the wise of the Church who are instantly changed upon Christ's earliest appearance (1 John 3:2), and allegorically shine as the brightness of the heavens (Dan. 12:3), the wise of Israel will be tried in order to be made white and purified. During that fiery ordeal many Jews will turn to righteousness, and to the truth of Messiah's rightful identity (Dan. 12:3, 10-11). Aptly, the man dressed in linen5 who comes in judgment isn't an angel by any means, but again, Christ Jesus, the Judge of mankind (Isa. 42:1; Dan. 12:2, 10; John 5:22).
A Like Manner Return? When the Lord ascended it was with little attention. Conversely, the glory of the Second Advent will generate extraordinary phenomena throughout the world and the heavens (Psa. 50:3; Isa. 24:23; Matt. 24:29-30), such as never seen, or imagined. Indeed, the differences between these two returns are dramatically outlined in Scripture.
. . . behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, you men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in LIKE MANNER as you have seen him go into heaven. (Acts 1:9-11)
A Jewish Wedding
After the parents decided a price, by custom a Jewish engagement began by the bridegroom offering a glass of wine to his prospective bride. If she accepted his proposal by drinking the wine, he would then go home to his father's house for approximately one year and prepare a place for her. Upon the father's approval of his preparations, returning, he would then call on his prospective bride at nighttime with two witnesses. Expectantly awaiting that hour, the bride was always to be ready; she was to watch.
During the interim the prospective bride had several bridesmaids attending to her needs, who, if were wise, kept her alert and ready for that surprise moment in the night. Speaking of which, the attending virgins joyfully would follow the bride and bridegroom, including the two witnesses,1 in a wedding procession back to his father's house (Psa. 45:13-14).
Upon arriving home, the bridegroom would then make a meal for his bride, which betokened the actual marriage by its eating.0Here, unveiled, lies the New Testament theme of Christ initially returning: the Church has drunk the wine of His very Jewish proposal, the New Covenant. We, then, the living end-time Church, promised through Christís blood of the New Covenant by faith, await the Marriage Supper of the Lamb2 at His Father's House. For which reason, our Lord told the Church:
Practically all scholars recognize that Christís language in the above articulates, in nonparabolic language, that He will return for the Church as does a Jewish Bridegroom for his bride. Thus, "and whither I go you know, and the way you know." Or better yet, where I go and how I will return for you--you now know!
This return is what the New Testament calls His "like manner" return, or a return which was after the manner in which Christ ascended. Christís Like Manner Return will be an intimate return in the presence of faithful believers, quietly accompanied by two human witnesses (Acts 1:10). Note: this is not a return identified by a shout and the voice of Michael the Archangel, nor is it accompanied by a trumpet blast or a myriad of angels. But again, an intimate return in the presence of believers, quietly accompanied by "TWO MEN."
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