Christianity 201

May 4, 2021

Watched From Above: By More Than God Alone

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:34 pm
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Today I want to introduce a new website to you which digs into weightier topics than many other devotional pages. It goes by the long(er) name (deep breath) Professing His Kingdom Come, His Will Be Done. The author(s) listing just says, “Professing Christians.” A day before the devotion we chose for today, there was one about The Rapture, or as they called it, The Plucking.

For this one, you can read here, or as you’re always encouraged, send some traffic to the writers featured here by clicking headers like the one which follows.

The Cloud of Witnesses

Those who read and study the New Testament know who the cloud of witnesses are: they are people in heaven, some of which quite possibly serve in the courts of heaven, that know what we are doing and what we are going through down here on earth. It’s always been a fascinating subject to me. But how can this be when scripture hints that there is no contact between those who have gone before us, and we who have not yet come to the next world or realm? (for lack of a really good word to describe what’s coming)

What first comes to mind is the certain rich man who goes to hell and asks for mercy from Abraham (also deceased). Jesus tells this story:

Luke 16: 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime received thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

Here it’s talking about those in hell can see those in heaven and can even communicate. Wow! So if they can communicate with each other through the ‘great gulf fixed,’ is it possible for either heaven or hell to communicate with us here? Let’s examine.

Necromancy (definition):

1 : conjuration (by magic or sorcery) of the spirits of the dead for purposes of magically revealing the future or influencing the course of events

Ok, so we know God condemns magic and sorcery AND trying to contact dead spirits. I’m pretty sure we all can agree on that. But what about this cloud of witnesses that seems to be involved in the lives of the saints?

Hebrews 11 is the great faith chapter. The writer (Paul, James, or whoever it was) takes the entire chapter to talk about all those of great faith that have gone before us: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sara, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. But then the author says,

Hebrews 11: 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (emphasis mine)

Hebrews 11 talks about great faith, Hebrews 12 goes on to talk about the promise of our being perfected. Apparently, patriarchs of old couldn’t be perfected without us and we can’t be perfected without their examples of faith, among other things as the Lord commands.

Hebrews 12: 1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about (Strong’s – encircled, bound with, hang about) with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God…

22 But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel.

Have you ever noticed that, in the Bible, there are some who come to give a message to a prophet or person of God and they are described as men, and other times they are described as angels? Abraham entertained three men, one of which was the Lord; Joshua sent the two spies but later they are described as messengers/angels (Joshua 6:25); John, in Revelation 19:10, falls down to worship this magnificent being and he tells him not to, that he is of his “fellow brethren”? There’s some weird stuff going on here.

Angels are depicted as beings with wings in the Bible. They come and go in the second heaven, which is believed to be our atmosphere above the earth, where the demons roam, ascending and descending between our realm and the realm of the Father, to His throne. Other times they have to fight their way through, as in Daniel 10, by the way which is described as a man needing Michael’s (the archangel) help to bring Daniel the message! What is going on here??

Are they given the ability on assignment to come and encourage us here? Why are they described as “fellow brethren”? Angels don’t go through what we go through to be called the children of God and brothers and sisters of Christ. And being called “witnesses” too, doesn’t that mean besides giving their testimony for God, albeit in the Old Testament, that they need us to be obedient to our call so they can be perfected post-Calvary and therefore are working WITH us? Just some things to think about.

 

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