Acts 1:9-12 tells us that Jesus ascended into Heaven:

Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, 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, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

Are we to understand Jesus and the Kingdom is somewhere in the literal sky? What does the Greek tell us and what would the Apostles had understood?

  • 1
    Can you first say what 'the literal sky' means to you? Commented Feb 26 at 21:59

4 Answers 4


The disciples likely understood this to mean that Jesus departed from the earthly realm.

The Greek word used for "heaven" in this passage is "ouranos" (οὐρανός), which can refer to both the physical sky and the spiritual heavens where God dwells. The phrase "taken up" "epairó" (ἐπαίρω), also carries the connotation (exalts (1), hoisting (1), lift (3), lifted (4), lifting (4), raised (5), turning (1)), rather than simply ascending vertically into the sky.

Finally, "hupolambanó" (ὑπολαμβάνω) where it says a cloud received.

Definition: to take or bear up, to receive, to assume Usage: (a) I take up, (b) I welcome, entertain, (c) I answer, (d) I suppose, imagine.

Furthermore, the presence of the cloud receiving Jesus and the appearance of the two men in white apparel, likely to be angels, suggest a supernatural dimension to the event. I believe that these indicate that Jesus' ascension is more than just a physical journey into the sky but rather a transition into the spiritual heavens of God's presence.

Gotquestions says:

Revelation 1:7 says, “‘Look, he is coming with the clouds,’ and ‘every eye will see him, even those who pierced him’; and all peoples on earth ‘will mourn because of him.’ So shall it be! Amen.” This verse brings together two other passages: Matthew 26:64, in which Jesus tells the Sanhedrin they will see the Son “coming on the clouds of heaven”; and Zechariah 12:10, which says that Jerusalem’s inhabitants will mourn when they see “the one they have pierced.”

Some have tried to allegorize Revelation 1:7 by assigning various figurative meanings to the “clouds.” But there is no need to look for hidden meanings here, for the passage means just what it says, as do the two passages it quotes. There is nothing more to make of the statement that “He comes with the clouds.” It simply means that Jesus will appear to all people as He comes to earth out of the heavens.

After Jesus gave His disciples the Great Commission, “he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight” (Acts 1:9). As the disciples stood there, gazing after the Lord, two angels appeared and told them, “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (verse 11). A cloud is mentioned at His ascension, and the clouds are mentioned at His return.


Visibly - sky, invisibly He alongside with the Father and the H.Ghost holds the entire creation into existence and is everywhere just like Father and H.Ghost. Only God can be ubiquitous, no man, no angel, no fallen angel/demon, only the Trinity.

Did not He ascend where the Father is? Now, where is the Father? In "heaven" as we read in the Lord's prayer. Now, is this heaven a physical place? Stupid and beyond stupidity to suppose so, for God is everywhere. So, as God-Father is everywhere and the Son ascends to Him and is with Him (as He always was according to John 1:1-2), then God-Son is also everywhere with the Father, for is not it an acme of idiocy to suppose that when Father gets tired of the Son, He finds a place hidden from the Son and relaxes there in a blessed solitude? :)

  • It is not appropriate in the first place to leave messages like that for downvoters, and especially not to call their theology foul. Do not do that again.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Feb 26 at 22:48
  • @curiousdannii ok, henceforth will call foul only their sense of humor :) Commented Feb 26 at 22:54

I do not think that assuming we could go anywhere in the entire universe you could traverse to the location of "heaven." I say that because it is NOT located in this physical universe as we understand it. Furthermore, it is NOT our eternal destination. Yeshua spoke on the matter clearly...

NO MAN has ascended into heaven EXCEPT he that DECENDED the Son of Man. Yeshua at the resurrection, had a glorified body. He still looked the same (when he wanted people to recognize him) but he did things that a normal flesh and blood body can not do.


This question raises a number of related issues having to do with the nature of the resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:44

It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.

If it was Jesus' physical body that was raised and resurrected, then it is logical to presume that it was his physical body that ascended - and that it ascended literally into a cloud. If it was his spiritual body that was resurrected, then an ascension into the spiritual heaven is more likely.

The problem here is that the scriptures clearly teach that Jesus' resurrected body had substance, enough for Thomas to touch its wounds (John 20:27) and for the resurrected Jesus to eat physical food with this disciples. (Luke 24:41-43) Yet this same apparently physical body also walked through a wall (John 20:26) and rose into a cloud. Volumes have been written on the how Paul and the gospel writers thought about the resurrection (both of Jesus and of believers). We can hardly expect to resolve this matter in this format.

Conclusion: We are dealing here with the realm of the supernatural. Whether it involves a physical body taken into the clouds or a spiritual body taken into heaven (or some combination of the two) is a matter opinion and interpretation. One thing is certain: it was a miracle.

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