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Author Topic: Cloud of Witnesses  (Read 1337 times)

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octoberose

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Cloud of Witnesses
« on: October 25, 2015, 02:42:12 PM »

In light of what has been discussed in the past couple of weeks, I have never understood Hebrews 12:1 that is written after the 'chapter of faith' in Hebrews 11. To put it in a little context, I went to Rotherhams Emphasized Bible and read chapter 10.v.36- " For of endurance ye have need, in order that the will of God having done Ye may bear away the promise. v 38 "But my righteous one by faith shall live, And if he draw back my soul delighteth not in him v. 39 We however are not of a drawing back unto destruction, but of faith unto an acquisition of life. Chapter 11 But faith is of things hoped for, a confidence a conviction when they are not seen, For well attested were the ancients ...."  and then the chapter of on those 'ancients' that exemplified faith, and Then chapter 12 and my question, "Therefore indeed seeing that we also have encircling us so great a cloud of witnesses,stripping off every incumbrance and the easily entangling sin, with endurance let us be running the race that is lying before us. "
  Rotherdam is a little hard to copy since it is emphasized, but it does add another dimension. I see the author of Hebrews saying, "you need to live by faith and here are the examples we have of faith... and faith is the acquisition of life. "
 So, no I do not understand the patriarchs not being in the first election. But I also understand that people who understand much more than I do believe it so I will not be arguing the point further. I will just wait on the Spirit to enlighten me.  But what is a great cloud of witnesses? In the 'church' it was essentially an arena of the faithful watching us and cheering us on . Well, I know that is not true. But I don't understand the word witness when they are referring to people who are deceased. Maybe understanding this aspect will help me understand chapters 10 and 11 better.
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: Cloud of Witnesses
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2015, 03:20:01 PM »

What was this "great cloud of witnesses" witness to, from the text?
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Heb 10:32  But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

Kat

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Re: Cloud of Witnesses
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2015, 06:37:36 PM »

Hi octoberose,

Looking at Hebrews 10, this is talking to believers and trying to encourage them, explaining the change from the old covenant to the new covenant. Take notice to the first verse.

Heb 10:1  For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.

So here in this chapter it is speaking of the old covenant and how the sacrifices were needed repeatedly and "can never... make perfect those" and were only "a shadow of the good things to come" later through Christ, as it states a few verses down.

Heb 10:9  then He added, "Behold, I have come to do Your will." He does away with the first (old covenant) in order to establish the second (new covenant,Christ, which it states in next verse).
v. 10  And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Heb 10:16  "This is the (new) covenant that I will make with them AFTER those days, declares the Lord: I will put My laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,"

Chapter 11 gives all those examples of the Faith that God did give to those in the OT and that absolutely counts for something, as it says in 1st Corinthians. Anybody's works that prove to be of righteousness, they will receive "a reward."

1Cor 3:13  each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.
v. 14  If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.

So when you get over to Hebrews 12 it is encouraging the believers to follow the great many witnesses/examples of faith just mentioned in chapter 11 and not to be overcome by their trials.

Heb 12:1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

This seems to be saying that surely there was never a more encouraging and persuasive faith, for the believers as the witnesses of the Patriarchs in the OT writings that was just shown in the previous chapter. This was to motive them, as they could see what the Holy Spirit had done in the OT, how much more so would it do for those who know the Christ they spoke of that was to come!

Heb 12:2  looking to Jesus, the founder and PERFECTER of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

And what had it just said about those in the OT...

Heb 11:39  And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,
v. 40  since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Those of the OT must receive the gospel of Christ, repent and accept His sacrifice, you can not put salvation before Christ actually came into the world and accomplished it by His sacrifice.

Heb 12:24  and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood (sacrifices) of Abel.

Heb 9:15  Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal (eonian) inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

Anyway hope this can help a bit.

mercy, peace and love
Kat
« Last Edit: October 25, 2015, 06:51:09 PM by Kat »
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Terry

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Re: Cloud of Witnesses
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2015, 08:04:59 PM »

WOW
That"s some good stuff right there.
Terry
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Terry

microlink

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Re: Cloud of Witnesses
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2015, 10:25:49 PM »

Good explanation Kat.
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3 John 4 - I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

jingle52

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Re: Cloud of Witnesses
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2015, 09:07:13 AM »

Thanks Kat!
What version are you using? As it's much clearer to understand the straightforward language.
Jingle 52
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Kat

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Re: Cloud of Witnesses
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2015, 10:54:42 AM »


Hi Jingle, I use the NKJV and the English Standard Version mostly and it was the ESV that I use for Hebrews here, as you said it just came across clearer.

mercy, peace and love
Kat
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dave

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Re: Cloud of Witnesses
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2015, 01:21:18 PM »

I must agree, "WOW
That"s some good stuff right there.
Terry"  :)
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