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The Daily Word of Righteousness
He Will Never Die, #4
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—NIV)
Think very carefully about the above verse: Who are the witnesses that compose the cloud?
They are the people mentioned in the preceding chapter, as well as a multitude of lesser known saints.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days. By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, (Hebrews 11:30-32—NIV)
All of the personages mentioned in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews were and are God's witnesses. We are still learning of God through the account of their lives. Every one of God's witnesses is eternal. He who does the will of God lives forever.
Where are these witnesses now? They are surrounding us. Are they alive? Of course!
What are they doing? They are learning from us just as we are learning from them from the record in the Scriptures. We all are going to come to maturity together. Every one of God's true witnesses, from the time of the righteous Abel, is surrounding the saints on earth in order to partake with them of the Virtue of Christ that is bringing us to maturity.
The Body of Christ, the witnesses of God, is one great organism. At any given time most of it is in the spirit realm. But whether the members are in the spirit realm or in a human body on earth makes little difference.
There is, however, one important difference. It is that the revelation of God comes forth from the saints on the earth. Therefore if the saints who are in the spirit realm are to be built up to the perfect man, to the stature of the fullness of Christ, they must surround those of us on earth among whom Christ is working.
The plan of redemption keeps unfolding. Moses and Elijah discussed the atonement with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration. They wanted to understand it so they could receive the benefit of it.
No individual can see or enter the Kingdom of God until he or she is born again. But no person could be born again until Jesus was raised from the dead, because He is the Firstborn from the dead.
Therefore in order for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to enter the Kingdom of God they had to be born again. They were born again after the Lord Jesus rose from the dead. They had surrounded Christ and His Apostles and learned from them what it meant to be born again. When the experience became available they received it.
Remember, every aspect of redemption presents a choice. We can accept or reject it. Our faith in God is involved here. It does not matter whether we are on earth or in the spirit realm. We always are and always shall be able to reject that which God places before us. It is a frightening thought for those who would like God to make it impossible for them to sin, who would enjoy being able to lie back and let Christ do it all for them. But it is true nevertheless. We always shall be able to sin and rebel against God.
To be continued.