“After He had said this, while they were watching, He was lifted up and a cloud hid Him from their sight. As they were still staring into the sky while he was going, suddenly two men in white clothing stood near them and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way [houtōs eleusetai hon tropon] you saw Him go into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called the Mount of Olives (which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away).” (Acts 1:9–12)
Jesus was taken up into the clouds, and just as He was taken up, He will come back in the clouds as both the following Scriptures testify. His first return is to take the Saints to heaven just prior to God’s wrath being poured out on an unbelieving world with the Trumpet and Bowl judgments in opened Scroll. He does not return to the Mount of Olives on this occasion as some commentators have mistakenly believed. Jesus meets the saints in the air, in the clouds.
One reason for this misinterpretation is another misinterpretation from Zechariah 14:4. Note the following passage does not say that Jesus will descend to the Mount of Olives. It is an entirely different event when Jesus returns with the saints to rescue and restore Israel. It occurs after the wrath of God is poured out on an unbelieving world.
“On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives that lies to the east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in half from east to west, leaving a great valley. Half the mountain will move northward and the other half southward.” (Zech 14:4)
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:29
“For the Lord, himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17