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Cloud of witnesses IX

April 12, 2007

Hebrews 12:1  “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed 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.”

The saints who have gone on before us are an encouragement.  When reading the accounts of so many, such as Moses, Gideon, Samson, David, Elijah, Esther, Mordecai, Daniel, Shadrach Meeshach, and Abednigo, one cannot help but to be encouraged; knowing that the same God who parted the Red Sea and answered Elijah before 450 prophets of Baal is as close to us today as the mention of his name.  Regardles of where we may be, whether it’s driving down the road, working at our place of employment, in the midst of an angry mob or walking along a lonely strand of beach with a gentle warm wind blowing and waves crashing over the rocks. We can come before the Lord Jesus; be it in a whisper, a loud voice, a song, whatever means fits the moment, and we are in direct contact with the Ancient of Days who sustained the children of Israel during their wanderings in the wilderness as he “worked Egypt out of their hearts.”  They never hungered or thirsted and their garments never failed. 

There’s so much encouragement in a testimony.  It can be it from scripture, such as when the Lord delivered Paul and Silas from the Philippian jail or how he sustained the widow woman along with her son using a barrel of meal and cruise of oil in a dry and thirsty land.  It can also be a testimony of what the Lord is doing in this hour such as when he delivers a lost soul who has reached the “end of their rope” or when he provides a deliverance from the most impossible perdicament for one who places their trust completely in him.   They build up our faith and and remind us that the invisible God really is in control of things.  This next two verses could launch posts all by themselves.

Revelation 12:11  “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their own lives unto death.”

Psalm 44:8  “In God we boast all the day long, and praise his name for ever. Selah.”

Every saint has a remarkable testimony.  Some of us were delivered from our deathbed in a hospital, some came from depths of riotous living and some came when the Lord removed their pride and self-assuredness so that they could see their need.  Regardless of our past was, when we come to Jesus, our past is only that; our past.  We become a new creature in Christ Jesus and all of our yesterdays drift away in the sea of forgetfulness.  The devil remembers and he will constantly remind us, but God doesn’t remember any of it.

“Let us lay aside every weight and sin” is an admonition to rid our lives of anything that would hinder our drawing closer to the Lord.  It could be envy, pride, gossip, ought against another, anything which has the ability to get into our heart and set up shop while we aren’t aware of it.  The devil isn’t going to try and get us to go rob a bank or go on a shooting rampage.  He’s going to try and sneak things in beneath our radar and see what takes hold.  As such we really have to “keep our hearts with all diligence.”  I bring this passage up a lot, but I know firsthand when we neglect to do so.  The deceitfulness of sin and the allurements of this life. Anything that takes our eyes off Christ and would cause us to leave our first love must be laid aside. 

Jen has a great post concerning this and this seems like a good place to link to it as it’s of a like topic.  www.satisfiedhousewife.wordpress.com/2007/04/10/the-allurements-of-the-world/  Eventually I want to make a page where such links can be collected because currently they’re scattered across an array of posts and finding a particular one would be tedious at best.   (Now that I figured out where to make pages. lol. I’m slow)

I John 2:15  “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 

“Run with patience the race that is set before us” sounds like a play on words but it really isn’t.  Remember the movie Forrest Gump; when he’s coming back in from shrimping and he sees Lieutennant Dan waiting on the peer?  He’s so happy to see him that he jumps off the boat, leaving it pilotless, and swims to shore.  Then as he’s talking to Lieutennant Dan, the boat crashes into the shoreline.  ‘That’s my boat.”  Sorry about the secular example, but it really had some analogies in it.  We see the urgency of the hour, place the cart before the horse and yell “push.”  In these times, as in every other time, we must be led of the Spirit in all things.  As the world situation takes its prophetic course, we’re going to have to grasp this all the more.  To reach a place where we can “turn on a dime” as the Spirit leads. 

This is somewhat off topic, but I was remembering yesterday about what phil said recently concerning the night when Jesus was taken.  He stated that for the disciples the time of preperation had come to an abrupt end and the hour of trying was at hand.  Right now we are in preparation mode; drawing ever closer to the Lord, hiding his word in our heart, and doing all that we can to reach the lost.  The hour of testing can come upon us when we least expect it.  Just like the disciples.  They were sleeping which means they really didn’t grasp he urgency of the hour until it was obvious that this night would be different from the others. 

This is really off topic, but about a year ago Sharon; the sister of a lady that attends a church in Three Rivers, had a dream that I’ll never forget.  (I’m telling this second hand, but I remember it like yesterday.)  In this dream, Sharon found herself walking down the road when she came across a church that she had never seen before.  She went in and it seemed somewhat “out of sync.”  Everything sounded right but the folks just weren’t “with it.”  She returned home but determined to go back in the evening anyway.  When she returned, the church was boarded up.  Abandoned.  Puzzled, she walked down the street further until she saw another church that was also boarded up.  Now she was really puzzled.  She walked farther until finally she came across a large church, really nice building and a large crowd gathered.  It seemed great until she reached the door.

At the door when she was planning to enter, there was a large black box with a slit in the top.  A sign read “deposit bibles here.”  (This caught my attention because David Meyer talked about when he visited the United Nations meditation room and there was a large black square structure.  Hmm)  So Sharon left that place; knowing that a bibleless congregation wasn’t the place to be.  She returned home to find several people gathered at her house.  She didn’t know any of them but she knew that they were saints.  It wasn’t long after this when a knock came upon the door.  She opened and there were guys in police-like uniforms that were to dispose of any who didn’t deny Christ.  Sharon told them that she simply couldn’t deny the Lord Jesus and this was where she awakened. 

I’ve thought about relaying this many times but it seems needful at the moment.  Sharon is not able to leave her house due to physical ailments and as such she spends a lot of time in prayer.  I’m going to close this for now as the baby goats need to be fed.  I pray that we all would lay aside every weight, every attitude, every little thing that would hinder us as we never know when the hour of trying will be upon us.  One thing that has really been on my heart lately is to pray all the more fervently for the blogger saints.  I know of folks through this avenue that I would never have known otherwise and I’m grateful to the Lord Jesus that we’re in touch.  I really believe that the encouragement and knowledge that we can draw from others will be needful in the times ahead.  Should the time come when we’re all separated in this world, I have a whole list of folks to keep in prayer.  Until next time, be blessed always in Christ.

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22 comments

  1. I am a hopeful person. However, Sharon’s dream may be closer to reality than we’d like to think. I pray we would all have the strength and faith not to deny Jesus at such a time.

    Blessings,
    David.


  2. Beautiful once again! Awaiting Him is the best thing to keep holding on to our living HOPE in a world that is fading more and more away from the plain truth of God’s Word and purpose for His children!
    As a family we have traveled a lot to communist countries and we saw how they valued their Bibles. That has been a strong encouragement for us. Let’s keep calling each other to be awake!
    Much love from Jacky.
    By the way:)… I’m from the northern part of Holland, (The Netherlands).


  3. (they= the Christians of course…)


  4. Bit off topic this comment perhaps, but the verse you’ve quoted nearly always makes me think of the possibilty that those in heaven can in some way perhaps indeed see us here on earth – I’ve long struggled with how else to view the statement in the way I’ve always been taught about it – i.e. that it relates to those who’ve gone before us.

    But your other point on the dream is so pertinent – time is absolutely running out and FAST. Given that even the Muslims and Jews consider the “Messiah” (meaning different things to each) is on the threshold along with us, to me is one of the greater indications that He is indeed preparing to receive His Bride shortly. And as time runs out for him too, Satan is very much racking up the heat and will continue to do so – and as I think I mentioned before somewhere, God appears to be interconnecting his people to a huge degree more than ever before, esp through the medium of the internet. One day in the not too distant future we too will join that very same “cloud of witnesses” ourselves – quite a thought eh??


  5. Great post. Sharing our testimonies is so important. There was a time when I was so ashamed of my past but now I share it with anyone who will listen! Testimonies give people hope that God is still doing awesome things. The same God who parted the Red Sea, brought Lazarus back from the dead and healed the lepers is the same God who breathed new life into me. He did come for the sick and I am so grateful for it.
    I love that verse from Revelation 12:11, “they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.”

    Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!
    Rachel


  6. timbob,

    It is so encouraging to read about the heros of the faith in Hebrews 11. We each have an individual race marked out before us just as they did in OT times. We have a testimony of faith just as they do! They persevered in hope and we will too because the Lord Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith!! 🙂 But we have a responsibility to throw off every encumbrance, to lay aside the old self, to throw aside every deed of darkness.

    When I consider what our Lord went through in suffering and humiliation and death – it is nothing compared to my trials and tribulations. Jesus endured hostility from sinful men and then He took God’s wrath for me. He took the burden of sin of the whole world upon Himself. He knew what He was getting into and yet he willingly pushed forward out of obedience to the Father and for the joy set before Him.

    Yes, may the Lord Jesus help us to consider what He has endured on our behalf so that we keep our eyes fixed on Him and stand firm through difficult times.

    Hebrews 12:3-4 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. (NKJV)

    God Bless!
    Scotti


  7. Another wonderful post timbob, and just what I needed tonight. I love the book of Hebrews, it’s one of my favorites, I guess along with many others. 😉

    The dream reminds me of a few I’ve had over the years, but one in particular that completely changed my end time theology ( which wasn’t much of anything ).
    We were living with a bunch of other beleivers in hiding; there was a shortage of food and water; there was such a thinning of the veil that there were both demonic manifestations and angelic,and we were oft engaged in spiritual warfare, however this was many years before Peretti wrote his books and it became a popular teaching…

    There were false prophets, pepole who looked just like someone you knew but weren’t…
    anyway, in the end of the dream Jesus returned. It was awesome…
    For weeks I was in another realm all together.
    I knew for the first time there would be a tribulation, and that christians would be in it and oh the awe and wonder when Jesus returns!

    The most important thing the Lord impressed me with was the need for discernment. We do so need the Lords wisdom and discernment now and in thescoming days.

    Every blessing to you timbob, and thank you for all of the wonderful posts you write that bless us all.

    A good night to you in Jesus our wonderful Lord and Savior!

    Susan


  8. Greetings David. This is indeed close; it’s been on my heart a lot tonight and during the past few weeks. It seems as though the world is being given a host of side issues to occupy their minds while things come together unnoticed by most. Yet the joy of the Lord is in my heart and I know that he’ll never leave us nor forsake us. Thanks so much for commenting.
    Have a blessed morning (it’s almost 1:00am) in Jesus.


  9. Greetings Jacky. The world is indeed running in a direction contrary to truth; just as was prophesied. The darkness is getting darker but the true saints will be strong and do exploits as Daniel says.
    I agree with you that we must encourage each other to keep each other awake as we live in very strange times Thank you for taking time to comment.
    Have a blessed morning in Christ.


  10. Good Morining Ha Tikvah. Time is indeed running out fast and yet things are just as they were in the days of Noah. Just as our Lord said they would be. Everyones buying, selling, building, and engaging in every kind of activity imaginable. Everything except watching. This has been on my heart so much lately, along with the importance of being prepared spiritually for the times ahead.
    I definately look forward to being a part of the cloud of witnesses when all is said and done. What a blessed hope and what a great salvation we have in Jesus. Thanks so much for commenting here.
    have a blessed morning in Christ.


  11. Greetings Rachel. Great to hear from you again. I love testimonies of how the Lord is working in the hearts of people. We all come from different backgrounds and had a variety of devices, but when we came to Jesus he took away all of our yesterdays. All of us were in the same boat; lost and in need of a Savior. Praise God for his great salvation and a glorious eternity to look forward to. Indeed to live is Christ and to die is gain. Thanks again for sharing and for commenting.
    Have a great morning in Christ.


  12. Greetings Scotti. The book of Hebrews is so rich and the hall of faith just causes the heart to soar. When we read of how God delivers them who place their trust in him it builds up our faith as we know he’s the same yesterday, today, and forever.
    And to consider what the Lord Jesus went through. He stepped out of eternity and endured the most agonizing death that one can imagine for us. He who knew no sin paid for our sin with his own blood so that we could have eternal life. It’s so awesome that words cannot adequately describe it. Thanks for bringing up Hebrews 12:3-4 as it’s important to remember what Jesus went through. No matter what we face down here, it isn’t even close to what he went through for us. Thank you for taking time to comment.
    Have a blessed morning.


  13. Greetings Susan. I think what has been really impressed on me lately is just how deceptive these times are. When this dream was told, the pastor tried to downplay it somewhat due to his belief that we aren’t supposed to see tribulation. I really think were in for some rough times in the physical world,but I know that Jesus will be with us through it all.
    Praise God for his peace that passes all understanding. For always being as close as the mention of his name. If we abide in the Lord Jesus and place our complete trust in him, we’ll be prepared for anything. Not in our own strength, but in the power of the Holy Spirit.
    I’m just wondering, who is Peretti? I don’t believe I’ve ever heard this name before; not that I can remember at least. Thanks so much for commenting. May we all walk close to the Lord Jesus at all times and be ever more attentive to the Holy Spirit.
    Have a blessed morning in Christ.


  14. timbob, another good post. May we never loose sight that today is the day of our salvation and today, we need to long for His appearing and today we need to get ready, today is the day we should be found faithfully doing the work of the Kingdom of Almighty God, today, while it is day for the night comes when no man can work.

    Every Blessing to you, yours, and of course, the new baby goats, in the Lord Jesus Christ!


  15. Timbob, indeed we have so much to be thankful for in knowing that no matter what happens Jesus who is our hopewill be with us, and be our anchor in the coming storm.

    Frank Peretti wrote a novel called This Present Darkness and a sequel, Piercing the darkness, plus many more fictitional books along the lines of spiritual warfare. His childrens books are great as I recall.

    Seemed either to spark or coincide with an increased awareness of the reality that theres more going on in the spiritual realm than meets the eye!
    I found the books a little dark, but already understood and experienced some of these things. It’s been years since I read them though and can’t remember a whole lot about them.

    Anyway, amen to what Phil wrote to. Let us work while it is day for the night comes when no man can work.
    And enjoy the baby goats, they are such cute and funny little creatures to watch play.

    May the Lord be with you and bless you timbob!
    He is Faithful!

    Susan


  16. A sign read “deposit bibles here.” (This caught my attention because David Meyer talked about when he visited the United Nations meditation room and there was a large black square structure. Hmm)

    Is this Joyce Meyer’s husband? She’s a nifty lady. Always telling the truth no matter how bad it hurts. There’s a “deposit bibles here” sign at the United Nations? Can you expound on this a bit.

    What is also interesting is, I picked up a book this week at the library called, “Satan is alive and well on planet earth.” A lot of what you said is in this book. What I found that was so neat about it is that it was written back in the 70s and how nothing has changed. The same schemes, plans, and how he orchestrates stuff. You’d think we’d all get it by now.


  17. Oh.. I did some research from the Last Trumpet and found what you were talking about regarding David Meyer and the black structure.

    http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org/1999/Aug99.html


  18. Greetings Phil. Thanks for the encouragement to be about the Lords business and laying up treasure in heaven. Your post today really has me pondering some things. Thank you.

    Have a blessed evening in Christ.


  19. Greetings Susan. I just did a search on Frank Peretti. He seems to have a lot of books published and I’m surprised that i wasn’t aware of it. Thanks for sharing and for being in contact.

    Have a blessed evening in Christ.


  20. greetings Code. I apolagize for not explaining better. While I think the United Nations would like to remove our bibles, the structure in their meditation room doesn’t do this. When I heard the account of the dream, however, I instantly remembered David Meyer talking about this structure which resembled what Sharon saw.
    David Meyer is a pastor in Wisconsin. I want to visit the church up there someday as it’s only a 6 hour drive, however I’ve not made it yet. Thanks for stopping by.

    Have a great evening in Christ.


  21. what a beautiful post!!!!!!!!
    I learn so much when i come here 🙂

    Love
    Andrea


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