Sunday Brunch – Did Philip Disappear?

July 17, 2011 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

Photo courtesy of Free Digital Photos

I’m ready to discuss another scripture on today’s Sunday Brunch. Like last week, we can pretend like we just finished eating the following menu before “discussing” the a scripture by leaving comments.

Today’s menu:

Orange Juice
Blueberry Waffles with Syrup
Hamburger Sliders with Fries

Today’s question:
What happened to Philip at the end of the eighth chapter in the book of Acts?

I wanted to talk about the ending of the scripture involving the Ethiopian eunuch. After Philip has a life-changing conversation with the eunuch, Philip baptizes him. After the baptism, the following occurs:
Acts 8:39-40
39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

What I’m wondering is, did the Lord’s Holy Spirit enable Philip to disappear and then re-appear in Azotus? I know some translations use the term “carried” Philip away instead of “took Philip away.” Either way you look at it, it appears to me that Philip literally disappeared from the scene of the eunuch and then reappeared in Azotus. I’m thinking Azotus was where the Lord felt was the greatest need for Philip to preach the gospel. So, that’s why He had to carry Philip away from the eunuch so suddenly – Philip had lots of preaching work to do.

Do you think that Philip literally disappeared and then re-appeared? If so, why?

Leave your responses in the comments! I’m anxious to hear what everbody has to say! I realize people will interpret this scripture in different ways and I think we can get a discussion going! I hope you “enjoyed” the meal! 🙂

~Cecelia Dowdy~

44 Responses to Sunday Brunch – Did Philip Disappear?

  1. MGalloway says:

    I’m guessing that Phillip probably left on foot and never returned to the area (rather than an event like Elijah going up). I’m not sure how the original Greek phrases it, though.

  2. I’m glad you commented M. Galloway. So, it appears that you think that Philip was led away by the Holy Spirit. Kind of like, when somebody says they feel led to do something and then they just do it? I guess it could’ve happened that way, too. It’s kind of hard to interpret this scripture.

  3. Ginger says:

    I believe he literally disappeared and reappeared.
    If Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, could calm the sea, and raise Lazarus from the dead, and make a fish have a coin in its mouth (and so many other miracles), why couldn’t that same Holy Spirit move Phillip bodily?

  4. Missy says:

    I think he went “Poof” and was gone. I think he was literally “Moved” by the spirit. What a confirmation to the Ethiopian that what he was told was true.

  5. Ginger and Missy, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’m wondering why I never hear about Philip’s disappearance more often, like, in church? We usually hear about Jesus’s healing miracles and His preaching, but, when I’ve mentioned this to others, they didn’t know about it. OR, they’d read the scripture but didn’t catch on that Philip may have literally disappeared!

    • chris k says:

      Sometimes churches stay away from preaching from acts as iys so challenging. Trying to source this but have been told similar things happened during communist times in russia pastors disappeared after services and appeared miles away to attend another church but time wise more or less si,utaniously.

      I believe a lot happens that we just don’t catch onto. A lot of miracles in the muslim world of healing and bring back to life directly done by jesus. all to bring people to belief

  6. Missy says:

    I don’t think many denomination are comfortable with the supernatural aspects of scripture. I know growing up I was taught the Bible and about God’s miracles like it was history and that God didn’t do that anymore. But then missionaries would come tell us about all He was doing on the mission field. Healings, visions, dreams. And the teaching changed to, “the mission field is different. They don’t have scripture so God still acts as He did for the early church.” but I remember when my brother was in seminary and he was learning about the age of reason and it’s impact on the church. Before then people didn’t question that supernatural forces made the rain fall, the sun rise, both Christian and pagen believed this, but the Christian viewed it as an act of God. Then there was science explaining how things work. But how does this affect our faith? We reason miracles and the possibility of them away…we don’t bother to ask for deathbed healings or anything too hard to reverse. We read our Bibles through that same filter. I was taught in church that the demon possessed in the Bible were really mentaly I’ll but the people were ignorant. There, Satan is reasoned away along with Christ’s authority over him. So we take our reasoning and read the Bible and skim over any part that isn’t rational. That’s what I believe.

    • chris k says:

      Thats all true until recently only penticostal and charasmatic churches have been happy. but whenever the bible is preached properly and systematically even through bits that folks find hard to believe then the Holy spirit blesses and teh gifts are poured out again on those churches. Its happening more across many different church groups now if teh Bible is properly taugght. ie the old and new testaments together and in proper context

  7. MGalloway says:

    Cecelia wrote: “…it appears that you think that Philip was led away by the Holy Spirit. Kind of like, when somebody says they feel led to do something and then they just do it? I guess it could’ve happened that way, too. It’s kind of hard to interpret this scripture.”

    Yes…although in the past I’ve flipped back and forth between the two points of view. It reminds me of the instances in the Book of Acts where Paul was prompted to go one place or another by the Holy Spirit.

  8. Hi, Missy. Very insightful comment. Coincidentally, I was speaking to somebody that I know about a week ago who claimed that the demon-possessed in the Bible were really mentally ill…well, if they were mentally ill, then why were they called demon-possessed? Remember that scripture where Jesus drives out the demons from a man named Legion and the demons enter some swine/pigs? The demons entered the swine and the swine drowned. I blogged about it here:
    I doubt Legion was mentally ill – if he were, how does that explain the swine being taken over by the demons and then drowning. It’s a shame that some people reason away Satan – he’s very real…

  9. M. Galloway, I’ve blogged a bit about Paul fairly recently. Glad you mentioned him. I think the scripture about his power (granted by the Lord) would stay in an apron or handkerchief and when that apron or handkerchief touched a sick person, they were still healed. Here’s my blog post about Paul. The apron/handkerchief reminded me of Jesus – I blogged about it on Writers’ Rest, a group blog:

  10. I also believe he literally appeared and disappeared. We’re talking about God here. He can do anything, right? 🙂

    Fascinating question, though.

    BTW, I’d love for you to check out a new bloghop I’m hosting, called Bookish Images Monday. Stop by my blog to find out more!
    Cindy @ Cindy’s Book Club

  11. Whether he was led away, carried away, or flown out of there, it was pretty cool. I like to take these scriptures literally. After all, our God raised the dead, walked on water, healed the sick, etc. etc. Is anything too hard for him? I like the thought that he “went Poof and was gone,” as Missy said.

  12. Miss Bible says:

    I think Philip did disappear.

    Jesus disappeared at one time, after He had risen from the grave, and he was appearing to some of His disciples in the town, and they were talking to him, I think Jesus was sitting on a stone, then I think the bible said he disappeared.

    So, it’s not completely impssible that Philip disappeared.

    The reason why Philip disappeared, I have no clue. It’s like why did Elijah or Elisha, (I get the two men confused), buy why did one of them go up to heaven on chariots? Who knows..I know I don’t.

  13. Hi, Miss Bible! 🙂
    I’m glad you mentioned Elijah and Elisha! That chariot would make a great subject for a future Sunday Brunch topic!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hi Cecelia,

    I, too, take what Scripture says literally, so I believe Phillip disappeared. As someone else said, God can do anything.

    BTW, I received the box of books I won, today. Thanks so much!

    Deborah Piccurelli

  15. Deb, I’m so glad you received the books! I hope you enjoy them!

    Also, thanks for visiting my blog and for commenting about Philip! I’m inclined to believe that he disappeared, also! 🙂

  16. denis murangiri says:

    Yes he actually did disappear!! that was a manifestation of God’s power Elijah out ran the chariots in the old testament talk about the ever increasing annointing

  17. TnT says:

    I think Philip was literally taken away from the place he was with the Eunuch. Remember Jesus after doing his work with the disciples, He would say go ahead I will meet you on the other side and they would actually find him there. So God can make a person disappear and reappear. “What is impossible with man – is possible with God”. Shalom

  18. Azmael says:

    Yes terrific topic, I am looking into Portals right now, and this event just very well be helpful.Just as the scripture said the Spirit of the Lord took him, the Holy Spirit took him, and then reappeared him. Phillips escaped from the scene. It was not a hostile or dangerous situation but if it was then how bout that for escaping.

    I am looking to see it Phillip went through a Portal or gate, was Phillip traveling through the spirit realm, in terms of covering the land then when he was at that place in the spirit he reappeared in the natural realm.

    I dont believe he total evaporated then reappeared, like pouff!! but rather disappear traveled through the spiritual realm and when he was at his stop reappeared in the natural.

  19. Azmael says:

    What I gather is the Angels bad and the HOLY ANGELS enter our realm through portals or gates. Now here it was the Spirit of the Lord, the Holy Spirit brought Phillip over to the spiritual realm and then back over to the natural realm.

    We DONT play with the spiritual realm, only GOD decides so we wait for him by staying with the bible as we wait for our LORD.

    Yes your welcome for the comments, what is interesting is their will be those who are worthy to escape before it gets messy down here,very well may be takened the same as Phillip was takened

  20. Azmael, thanks again for commenting. If you’re interested in other Biblical matters – please read more of my Sunday Brunch blog posts:

  21. Mary says:

    Thank yu gals for the food of our spirit,I think Phillip disapear coz God want us to believe today that our God can do everything even to us as He did to Phillip,amen

  22. Thanks for commenting Mary! I, too, think that Philip disappeared!

  23. Asamoah Stephen says:

    We all know that God does everything for good,so if taking him away(disappear) was the best means of transportation, why won’t I believe that he disappear?

  24. Hi, Asamoah

    I, too, believe that Philip disappeared! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for leaving your comment! Feel free to read some of the other biblical articles on my blog here:

  25. Preston Barton says:

    I really don’t think personally that how Philip disappeared is of much importance here is as much as it is that the eunuch was rejoicing in the Lord. I think that’s why no emphasis was made on Philips travels although it does raise curiosity, I agree.

    • Hi, Preston

      Thanks for commenting on my blog. Yes, it is important about the eunuch rejoicing in the Lord, but, it is curious as to how he disappeared, showing evidence of yet another miracle of the Lord. The Old Testament also speaks of a couple of people disappearing, being lifted up to be with the Lord (not dying). I know Philip didn’t die, was taken from one place to another, but, the thought of that happening blows my mind, makes me think…

  26. anupraise says:

    poof… Letz just say datz how it was coz je really did disappear. God never lies. Azotus is about 20miles frm gaza mostly over wilderness lands, there is no way philip could have gotten to azotus witout a miracle or a ride so since the bible says nothing about a ride, letz settle then for miracle.

  27. Austine says:

    the bible made it clear in acts 8vs 39 that Philip was carried away,it can also be said that Philip vanished. I wonder what belivers think about God,the power of God has no can do anything I mean anything. may be God knew d distance to azontus was far n he wanted to show mankind that he is able to travel even with out any means

  28. gideon says:

    he literally faded away and appeared again as the spirit of God led him

  29. Pessy007 says:

    I’m happy you guys turned up, hitting the nail on the head and saying things the way they are..much thanks to Miss for being the very first person to actually confirm the fact that Philip did disappear. We christians read a very clear sentence, but satan tries to fool us not to believe in it because we can’t just comprehend the phenomenon.
    From the part of the world, where I grew up..disappearing is not a big happens every now and then through black magic. Now, we know quite alright for every original, there’s a fake.. if people are archieving the act of disappearing through black magic, then you must be kidding me for actually thinking twice for you to believe that Philip actually did disappear..I don’t care how and I don’t need to understand it to believe..if the bible says it, then so it is. Philip disappeared like “poof” and you can’t see him again…he didn’t walk away, he didn’t hide himself from the Eunuch..Philip disappeared and the Eunuch couldn’t seen him again.

    • Hi, Pessy

      I’m curious – where did you grow up?

      Yes, I do believe Philip disappeared, but, it’s not something that I recall discussing in church. I happened to read the passage on my own and that’s when I was prompted to ask this question. Wasn’t sure if I was interpreting it correctly.
      I’m so glad you visited my blog and left a response. Feel free to read the other Biblical articles on my blog, and leave a comment if you wish. I love talking about the Bible:

  30. Salamo l says:

    Yea philiph was disappear

  31. John Sehlabaka says:

    Are we still discussing this guys? anyone here

  32. John Sehlabaka says:

    I have something to say if it still on

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.