Tracing the Origins of Coming on the Clouds

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Logos1, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Logos1

    Logos1
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    When revelation 1:7 states that “Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him” are we really to believe that the bible is telling us that Jesus will literally appear in the sky in a physical body and every eyeball on earth will see his return. To the futurist view point the answer is yes. But some research on the meaning of coming on the clouds would prove this is not the case.

    Rev. 1:7 is a direct quote with a little difference in wording from Matthew 24:30 "and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

    And in Matt 26:64 the high priest Caiaphas asked Jesus if he was the Messiah, the Son of God? and Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

    Caiaphas took this as blasphemy not because he thought this meant Jesus would appear in the sky, but because he recognized the direct reference back to the throne room scene in Daniel 7:13. “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. In verse 14 He is given an everlasting dominion over all people.

    Caiaphas realizes that Jesus is not claiming to fly across the sky, but the coming on the clouds attests to His being a deity in His own right who would be given the everlasting dominion. The cloud reference stakes His claim to being a deity.

    This is the only instance in the OT where any deity other than Yahweh is spoken of as coming on the clouds thus conferring on the Son of man the same rank as Yahweh. This first appearance of a second deity is pretty powerful stuff for the Jewish people to wrap their minds around given their monotheistic view of Yahweh. Imagine a man in their presence claiming to be that deity. You can see how easy it is for Caiaphas to accuse Jesus of blasphemy.

    When Jesus refers to Himself as coming on the clouds He is not saying He is going to fly through the sky—He is claiming His deity and the dominion given to the Son of man in Daniel.

    The throne room coming in clouds in Daniel in turn refers back to Psalm 68:4 Sing to God! Sing praises to His name. Exalt Him who rides on the clouds —His name is Yahweh—and rejoice before Him.

    Here we see the Hebrew writers supplanting Baal whose name was “Cloud Rider” by stating that the true God who rode the clouds was Yahweh. They are saying it is Yahweh—the one true God who rides the clouds.

    Before Baal various other pagan gods in the region were known as cloud riders. Surely none of us here actually believes that Baal nor any of these other false gods even exist let alone became physically embodied and literally flew across the sky on the clouds. That is laughable.

    So with a little tracing of the origins of cloud riding back through the bible and even the more ancient pagan literature before our bible we see cloud riding never referred to a literal appearance of a god in the sky. It was never understood as such by those who worshiped pagan gods nor by the Jewish people so why would we embarrass ourselves by claiming Jesus is suggesting He is going to literally ride across the sky on a cloud?

    Once again good old fashion preterism points the way to true understanding of bible prophecy.
     
  2. John of Japan

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    I get it. So Luke lied when he said that Jesus went up into the clouds in Acts 1:9. And he got that from the pagans. And of course Elijah didn't go up in a whirlwind into the sky because that would be a pagan idea. So the writer of 2 Kings also lied, because no one literally flies in the Bible. :rolleyes:
     
  3. saturneptune

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    Actually, those were fake clouds made of a giant cotton ball filled with helium.
     
  4. Logos1

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    I always like to use my Yoda persona with John

    Welcome back my young Padawan. Great preterist Jedi one day you will be. First much learning you have.

    Your fundamental problem John is that you are still a one trick pony and anytime you can’t maneuver the issue to a question of who has the best greek text you are out of your depth.

    I see you haven’t bothered to refute the point here you just made diversionary attacks around it, but even they are laughable.

    Think about it—if coming on the clouds can’t mean a literal body then Acts 1:9 can’t mean come back in a literal body can it—that whole futurist paradigm between Acts 1:9 and Rev. 1:7 just got blown up. Anybody want to be a futurist now?

    Your diversion totally took Elijah out of context (um, did I say out of your depth) This doesn’t address his being taken into the sky one way or the other. We know he wasn’t taken into the third heaven where God lives since the NT tells us none one has been to heaven except the one who came from heaven.

    2 Kings – LOL so you are attacking my point without making a point just making an irrevelant statement and thinking you can apply it to my post.

    Thanks for stopping by my young Padawan. I hope you are well. It is good to see you again—I knew that time you swore off my post you were just kidding.

    Don’t make it so easy for me next time.
     
  5. Logos1

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    Greetings Saturnneptune--welcome aboard

    I don’t guess there is anything to respond to here. Since you can’t actually make a counter point with scripture I’ll just laugh along with you brother.
     
  6. thomas15

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    Add to the list of liars Paul who in 2 thess ch 2 told us Jesus would not return until the apostasy comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed who will be slain by Christ when he returns.
     
  7. John of Japan

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    Very funny! :laugh:
     
  8. John of Japan

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    If I'm not a preterist by age 61, you certainly aren't going to make me one.
    How condescending of you. But my students from two Bible schools pastoring or otherwise serving God all around Japan would be surprised at your opinion.

    I use the Greek text, though, because you preterists can't answer it. I don't know of a single Greek scholar who has turned out to be a preterist. And the laughably low scholarship level of preterism can be seen in such places as the very low level of Greek knowledge of the editors of the so-called Fulfilled Covenant Bible, the preterist revision of the KJV.



    If you were truly a theological Yoda, you would have understood my point. You didn't so let me explain. Your thread is built around the premise that a coming in the clouds of our Savior is not Biblical, but came from pagan sources, correct? My point in listing Elijah and so forth is that there is historical precedent in the Word of God for Christ "flying across the sky" as you put it. It is by no means a thing of pagan origin for God to make humans fly without machines (surely you don't deny a literal Ascension), as I easily showed from the Bible.

    Now, if you pretend to scholarship in the areas of Biblical history and source criticism as your OP suggests, prove the pagan origin of a coming in the clouds. You gave no scholarly sources. What are your sources for a pagan origin? Yes, Baal was known as a "storm god" (revised ISBE, "Baal" article, Vol. 1, p. 377). But to prove your OP you have to prove (1) where and how did the Baal worshippers believed he would come in the clouds as a second coming, and (2) how Biblical writers got their views from the pagan sources.

    The problem with source criticism, yours and Q (as I proved on another thread) and Deutero-Isaiah and JEDP (not "Jedi", sorry) is that it is always unproven speculation.
     
  9. Logos1

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    Greetings Thomas—now that we have finally put to rest that old futurist ploy about coming on the clouds being literal once and for all let me say thank you for the opportunity to show how 2 Thess is also used to confuse low information voters (a little El Rushbo lingo for you).

    Do you think you can seriously fool anybody by saying the man of lawlessness hasn’t already come? 1 Thess 4:15 already flatly stated we who are still alive at the Lord’s coming)…..you obviously can’t worm your way around his addressing his current audience and some of those people still being alive when the Lord comes (low info voter alert—that would be after the man of lawlessness has come) unless you want to suggest those people are still alive 2,000 years later—would you like to say that Sir Thomas?
     
  10. Logos1

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    John I was hoping for a stronger rebuttal from you

    John my young Padawan –I, as in me, you mean moi—didn’t let you explain, elucidate, or enlighten us with your point—LOL—Ok you got me—I used an old Jedi mind trick on you to prevent you from explaining yourself—what is a little Jedi mind trick between a Master and his Padawan.

    You have proven me right my young Padawan—you try to turn every issue into a battle over greek text and you are sadly out of your depth when you can’t do it.

    You tell us what a glorious greek text you have even here—LOL. (Yes John we all know by now how you have a Vulcan mind meld with the long dead authors of greek manuscripts)

    From what I’ve seen of your vicious attacks on the “Fullfilled Covenant Bible” you must fear it pretty strongly to be so visceral in your attacks—that is like an endorsement to my ears—if you had liked it now that would be troublesome.

    You said “Your thread is built around the premise that a coming in the clouds of our Savior is not Biblical, but came from pagan sources, correct?” Padawan, I can’t believe you think I said that--you are using a little twist to put words in my mouth. What I say in the post is that the Lord’s coming is not physical and that the term coming on the clouds traced from the New Testament back into the Old Testament even back into pagan literature which predates Hebrew writers never has implied that the term “coming on the clouds” implied a literal, physical body flying through the sky.

    Christ of course came in judgment against Jerusalem.

    When you take Elijah out of context and try to say that God taking a physical body on earth and transporting it to another location on earth is the same as a spiritual body in heaven turning into a physical body and appearing in earth’s atmosphere are the same thing you prove you out of your depth on this one—if you had a legitimate counter argument you wouldn’t have to try to twist the Elijah story into something it isn’t.

    As for sources you can find plenty of it in your basic, ancient Ugaritic literature. That would be modern Syria.

    Again in your last paragraph you try to twist the post into something that is not because you don’t have a legit counter argument.

    1. I never suggested Ball worshipers taught, believed, or wrote anything about Baal having a second coming—LOL. Nice try My young Padawan. I said they never thought Baal being a cloud rider meant he was physically embodied and literally rode across the sky.

    2. In short the Hebrew writers borrowed from language that their audience was already familiar with. Surprising you didn’t already know this.

    This work from a Liberty University Master’s candidate found online here is one example.

    http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/c...dfFR7w#search="ancient text baal cloud rider"

    As we all know Liberty is not known as a Preterist stronghold. Even futurists understand how Hebrew writers used language familiar to their audience to facilitate learning and drive home their points and argue that Yahweh was the true cloud rider not pagan deities such as Baal. I’ll leave you with an excerpt from the thesis to chew on and learn from.

    PARALLELS AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS
    Leslie Allen aptly notes that "Ps 104 is a model of venturesome cross-cultural borrowing that by careful accommodation to Israel's distinctive faith enriched its own religious tradition."298 It is almost universally recognized that Psalm 104 and the cloud-rider theme in general is representative of an earlier textual tradition than both the 74 Since Israel entered Canaan where Baal had reigned as king for many years, it is likely that elements from the Baal myth assimilated into Scripture and became descriptions of Yahweh. Notes Goldingay, “The psalm’s picture of creation as requiring the subduing of dynamic forces embodied in the sea, and its reference to Leviathan, also suggest, an acquaintance with Canaanite and Babylonian stories reflected in other psalms.”While the texts of Psalm 104 and the Epic of Baal are contrasted on various levels, the motif of cloud-rider is not a point of significant contrast. Both Yahweh and Baal possess a war chariot in the clouds that is connected to their kingship. Also, the dark storm-cloud and desert cloud theophanies of Yahweh intersect with the dark storm-clouds of Baal. As can be seen above, Baal is called the “cloud-rider” and reference is made to his ability to bring the rains.

    My young Padawan with friends like you futurism doesn't need people like me to disprove it. In three post you haven’t attempted an honest counter argument just twists and denials and ill-fated comparisons without scriptural support for your contentions.

    Much learning you still have.
     
  11. John of Japan

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    I merely pointed out the complete lack of Greek scholarship in the preterist camp, as illustrated by the poorly edited FCB. (How could I fear something so poorly done. Did you even look at the threads on that?) I said nothing about my "glorious greek text" as you put it. In fact, I can disprove preterism from any Greek text,of which I have many: TR, several USBs, the Robinson Pierpont, the Zane-Hodges, even an 1880s Westcott-Hort. But hey, I'll not try to derail your thread as you have. :type:

    What I'm opposing is exactly this. You say in this post, "the term coming on the clouds traced from the New Testament back into the Old Testament even back into pagan literature...." I completely disagree with this statement. You are doing source criticism here, and that comes from liberalism. You can't prove that the Biblical coming in clouds has any source in pagan religion.


    Christ of course came in judgment against Jerusalem.

    When you take Elijah out of context and try to say that God taking a physical body on earth and transporting it to another location on earth is the same as a spiritual body in heaven turning into a physical body and appearing in earth’s atmosphere are the same thing you prove you out of your depth on this one—if you had a legitimate counter argument you wouldn’t have to try to twist the Elijah story into something it isn’t.

    Prove that the OT got their concept from Ugaritic literature. You can't, nor can any scholar on earth. It is simply speculation, just like

    Therefore, the OT and NT statements of a coming in clouds stands alone, apart from pagan literature. Christ will come literally just as He went into Heaven literally in Acts 1. The promise is there in v. 11. I asked and you didn't answer:

    Do you believe in a literal ascension of Christ into Heaven?

    Now you have it. Since the Baal religion never had a 2nd coming, then there is no parallel with Christ's second coming, clouds or no clouds. The Baal "cloud rider" idea is actually a doctrine of weather control, not coming to earth. There is no parallel.
    Prove that the Hebrew writers borrowed from Baal sources. I don't believe it. The one true God inspired the Hebrew OT, not Baal.

    Note the writer Allen's statement, "it is likely that the Baal myth assimilated into Scripture...." Note then Goldingay's words: "...also suggest, an acquaintance with..." etc. What vague, unsubstantiated statements. How sad that a Liberty scholar would stoop to liberal-type source criticism, if that is indeed what he has done.

    You've not proven your point, but only quoted vague speculation.
    And you prefer insults, accusing me of dishonesty, to actual debate.
     
  12. John of Japan

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    Sorry everyone, I messed up in my last post, making it look like these are my words when they were those of Logos1. I'll now respond to this while ignoring his charge that I am twisting Scripture. :rolleyes:

    Elijah was not taken from one location to another on earth, since the Bible clearly says he was taken into heaven. But I know you'll simply dodge and say that was "the sky."

    Let's try Enoch then. The Bible clearly says in Heb. 11:5 that he was translated so he would not see death. This is obviously a trip away from earth, not to just some other place on earth.

    But let's go back to Christ. Logos1 has not had a chance to answer my question as to whether he believes in a literal ascension or not. I'll be waiting.

    In the meantime, I'm curious Logos1. If you are so allergic to Greek and so against my using it in our discussions (and I will use it again when appropriate), why did you choose a screen name with a Greek word? Just wondering.
     
  13. Greektim

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    Wow... I love Star Wars as much as the next guy (nerd?). But the allusions have got to go.

    Speaking of allusions, would it not seem most likely that the origin or source for "coming on the clouds" is from Daniel 7:13, "I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him."???

    What is interesting is that the son of man in that text is coming TO God not FROM God. So what do we make of that in light of Rev. 1:7 and other places such as in the Olivet Discourse?
     
  14. kyredneck

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    63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ, the Son of God.
    64 Jesus said unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven. Mt 26

    Christ may have been speaking to Caiaphas here, but it's interesting to note that Josephus records that Annas, father-in-law to Caiaphas (Jn 18:13, Lk 3:2, Acts 4:6), perished in the seige of Jerusalem 70 AD.

    Gill on Matthew 26:64:

    "Ver. 64. Jesus saith unto him, thou hast said,.... That is, thou hast said right; or as Mark expresses it, "I am", Mr 14:62, the Christ, the anointed of God, who was so from everlasting, and in time; being before the world was, installed into, and invested with the office of mediator; and in the fulness of time, anointed with the holy Spirit without measure: he might truly say he was the Messiah, since all the characters of him in the books of the prophets, met in him; and all the miracles he was to work in proof of his Messiahship were wrought by him: as also that be was the Son of God, not by creation, as angels and men; nor by adoption, as saints; nor as man, or in the human nature, in which he was the son of man, and not the Son of God; nor was he begotten as man, whereas he is called the only begotten Son, and the begotten of the Father; and was he the Son of God as man not the first, but the third person must be his Father; besides, he was the Son of God before his incarnation: nor as mediator neither; be was the Son of God, antecedent to his office as mediator; his sonship is distinct from it, is an illustration of it, and what puts virtue into it; but he is so as God, as a divine person, by natural and eternal filiation; being begotten of the Father in the divine essence, and of the same nature; and having the same perfections with him, and in all things equal to him; and is the sense in which he always affirmed God to be his Father, and himself to be his Son. For this phrase, "thou hast said", as answering to an affirmation, "I am", See Gill on "Mt 26:25". Now, though Christ had so fully answered to the adjuration, and so strongly affirmed himself to be the Messiah, the Son of God, yet he knew they would not believe; and therefore refers them to an after proof thereof, which whether they would or not, would oblige them to acknowledge the whole:

    nevertheless, I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the son of man, sitting at the right hand of power: the Vulgate Latin, and Munster's Hebrew Gospel, read "the power of God", as in Lu 22:69, though it is not absolutely necessary; for "power" designs God himself, who is all powerful; as appears by the creation of all things out of nothing, the upholding of all things in their being, the redemption of men, the conversion of sinners, and the preservation of his saints. In the Jewish writings {e}, God is frequently called, hrwbgh, "the power": such a thing, say they, we have heard, hrwbgh ypm, "from the mouth of power", or might; that is, from God himself: and so he is by the Grecians called dunamiv, "power" {f}: by "the son of man", is meant Christ in the human nature; who then appeared at their bar as a mere man, in a very despicable form and condition, but hereafter they should see him in a more glorious one, and at "the right hand of God": a phrase expressive of his exaltation, above all creatures whatever: respect is had to the prophecy of him in Ps 110:1. "Sitting" there, denotes his having done his work; and his continuance in his exalted state, until all enemies are subdued under him: and when he says they should "see" him, his meaning is not, that they should see him at the right hand of God with their bodily eyes, as Stephen did; but that they should, or at least might, see and know by the effects, that he was set down at the right hand of God; as by the pouring forth of the holy Spirit upon his disciples, on the day of pentecost; by the wonderful spread of his Gospel, and the success of it, notwithstanding all the opposition made by them, and others; and particularly, by the vengeance he should take on their nation, city, and temple; and which may be more especially designed in the next clause;

    and coming in, the clouds of heaven. So Christ's coming to take vengeance on the Jewish nation, as it is often called the coming of the son of man, is described in this manner, Mt 24:27. Though this may also be understood of Christ's second coming to judgment, at the last day; when as he went up to heaven in a cloud, he will return, and come also in the clouds of heaven; see Ac 1:9 Re 1:7, when he will be seen by the eyes of all, good and bad; and when this sanhedrim, before whom he now was, will see him also, and confess that he is Lord and Christ, and the Son of God. Though the former clause seems to have regard to what would quickly come to pass, and what they should soon observe, and be convinced of; for ap' arti, rendered "hereafter", may be translated "henceforwards"; or as it is in the Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions, "from this time"; meaning, that in a very little while, they should begin to see the effects of his being set down at the right hand of God, and which would be full proofs of it, and should see him come in the clouds of heaven, at the last day: reference seems to be had to Da 7:13, where one like unto the son of man is said to come in the clouds of heaven, and which is understood of the Messiah by many, both of the ancient and modern Jews {g}: with whom one of his names is "Anani" {h}, which signifies "clouds".[/
     
    #14 kyredneck, Jan 14, 2013
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  15. InTheLight

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    Logos1--your smarmy and condescending presentation of your theological position has caused me to shun future study of the preterist viewpoint. It's a consistent theme with preterist posters here on BB, but you've taken it way over the top.
     
  16. Greektim

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    "smarmy" that is a good word for it.
     
  17. thomas15

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    Yes and he proves that misery loves company which is quite possibly one of the reasons they don't give up.
     
  18. OldRegular

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    And just where does Scripture tell us that Caiaphus associated the remarks of Jesus Christ with Daniel 7:13?

    Where do you get this "fly across the sky" nonsense?

    Just where in the Old Testament does it refer to the one you call Yahweh coming on the clouds?

    You correctly state that Jesus Christ does not refer to Himself as "going to fly through the sky". Again where is the reference to Daniel?

    I believe your problem is the faulty translation, NIV. Young's Literal renders the verse as follows: Sing ye to God--praise His name, Raise up a highway for Him who is riding in deserts, In Jah is His name, and exult before Him.

    The ASV renders it thus: Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: Cast up a highway for him that rideth through the deserts; His name is Jehovah; and exult ye before him.

    Your problem seems to be an overactive imagination. Just which Scripture talks about Jesus Christ riding across the sky on a cloud?

    Your problem still seems to be an overactive imagination to say nothing about your fault interpretation! Jesus Christ "riding across the sky"???.:applause:
     
  19. OldRegular

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    Seriously now S/N! Just how do you fill a cotton ball with helium? Your imagination is more imaginative than that of Logos-1!
     
  20. Logos1

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    Holy Sheep counting Batman—that will keep me awake all night. LOL- not.
     

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