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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Afterlife, #7
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1)
When the Bible says we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, it could be speaking figuratively, referring to the individuals mentioned in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews. I do not believe this is the case, however. We have profited from what God brought forth through the heroes of faith; and I believe they (as in the case of Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration) are watching us and increasing in knowledge and wisdom as they observe what God is doing through us. We all shall come to perfection together.
Notice how Moses and Isaiah addressed the personages in Heaven:
Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. (Deuteronomy 32:1)
Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: "I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me." (Isaiah 1:2)
It is my personal opinion that Satan and the angels did not know of the laws of righteousness until God brought forth the Ten Commandments through Moses.
In fact, I believe all the revelation of God comes forth through earthen vessels, so to speak. We will not learn anything by virtue of dying, unless God continues to use ministers of the Gospel to teach us—ministers who gained the knowledge of the Lord during their lifetime on the earth.
It is through the Church that the heavens learn wisdom.
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, (Ephesians 3:10)
Notice the impact on the individuals in the heavens when the saints on earth overcome the accuser of the brothers:
Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short. (Revelation 12:12)
So I have dealt with two related topics in this brief essay. The first is that throughout the entire Christian Era the Judgment Seat of Christ has been in session. The believers living on the earth, who are cooperating with the Holy Spirit, are going through judgment now. They are confessing and renouncing their sins. It is an eternal judgment.
From what Peter said, I would gather that the God's elect in Heaven, no matter how long they have been there, are required to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in confessing the deeds of their sinful nature and renouncing them.
For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? (I Peter 4:17)
To be continued.