Hebrews 12:1-2 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, 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.
This is an admonition unto the people of God about the dangers in the life we live in order that we be not ignorant of what we are up against. We are to patiently follow the narrow way that leads to life so that we may be able to fulfil our divine assignment in the earth (Matthew 7:13-14).
Who are the cloud of witnesses? They are those powers we have to contend with in our daily living. God created many galaxies and creatures, not only man, but each and every one of these creatures have a direct or indirect representation in the earth. Our world is choked with various powers who are willing to destroy man right from the time when God ordained man over them in Genesis 1:26-28.
Components of the cloud of witnesses? They include:
- The Apostate or Fallen angels, also called the tutors (Galatians 4:2, Revelation 12:9).
- The Governors – they are the gods and goddesses created by God.
- The Four living beings (Ezekiel 1:5-10).
- The Ancient Gates (Psalm 24:7 and 9).
- The Everlasting Doors (Psalm 24:7 and 9).
- The moon and the sun (they rule over the night and the day respectively – Genesis 1:16).
- The elements of this world: the various things we suffer when the hedge is broken. Examples include spirit of poverty, delay, sickness, disease, disappointment, depression, etc. (Galatians 4:3).
Paul advices that we should always live our daily lives carefully and in constant consciousness of our enemies, for we wrestle not against flesh and blood (Galatians 6:12). We are admonished to focus on Jesus Christ and not allow the weight (see 1st John 2:16) and sin (see Romans 7:18 and 20) which so easily distracts us from the glory set before us. Man was made the lord over these witnesses but they are always on the lookout, watching for us to make any single mistake or to break the hedge or to break any of the laws of God. These witnesses operate by the law and know no mercy, such that whenever the hedge is broken, they are ready to bite without hesitation. They know all the contents of the laws of God and so they watch out for man’s ignorance as an avenue to destroy. We should therefore live a BLAMELESS LIFE before God and man (Romans 13:8). It is only by the Lord’s mercies and grace that we are not consumed, but thank God for the blood of Jesus Christ.
The cloud of witnesses has NOTHING to do with the saints that are dead in the Lord – they are resting in the bosom of Abraham (in Hades) awaiting the trumpet sound for the rapture. Also, the cloud of witnesses DO NOT intercede on behalf of the living because they have no capacity to do so, they are like schoolmasters who try to train or discipline man by destroying him (remember they are ordained of God – Romans 13:1). They know no mercy.
Duties of the Cloud of Witnesses
- They rule their territories: The witnesses maintain whatsoever area of jurisdiction given to them by God from the time they were made. The gifts and calling of God is without repentance, and so God did not take away their rulership after they were cast away. He only ordained man to subdue them and have dominion over them. Therefore, because they are ancient spirits, they work tirelessly to maintain a tight grip on whatsoever they have until the eyes of man is open to dethrone them. As gods, they don’t fail in their daily rituals, routines, ordinances, etc.
- They indirectly purify man: This might seem too hard for a baby Christian to understand, but indeed, they are the doers of evil (the Lord’s great army – Joel 2:25) and they bear not the sword in vain. As sons of God in a journey towards perfection, whenever we fall short and break the hedge, they bite. After the bite, we take correction and become wiser in that regard (Romans 13:4). Man is purified in the furnace of fire, the fire is suffering and the suffering is the handiwork of these wicked spirits who watch man tirelessly, and are ready to smite with the sword. The sword is the law which they use against man to afflict him. Blatantly living against the laws of God, even in this dispensation of grace, is a very great danger because these powers know how to use the law against man.
- They monitor all the activities of man: Their intention in this monitoring is not to help man or protect man, but to destroy man at every mistake. Man was made crude (from the dust), and like treasure in earthen vessel, he needs to be purified to become a true son. They use the ignorance of man against him. Ignorance of spiritual laws is not accepted as an excuse and so man is kept under close watch by these powers.
- They create and maintain evil cycles/patterns for man: Our actions in this life is like a seed sown. Whenever a person engages in evil things or an evil thing happens in someone’s life/family (like death of a loved one, disappointment, strange sickness, etc.), these witnesses quickly create a cycle/pattern in heavenly places (usually in the moon) encoded with those evil occurrences. The intention is for that exact evil to keep repeating itself in the person’s life according to the cycles of life (like someone dying in that family at the same particular time every year, disappointment whenever something good is coming, etc.). So, because the evil thing has happened before, they use it to create a pattern so that it keeps repeating itself. There are things we do casually in life out of ignorance which they also use against us to quickly create an evil pattern such that we are caught in an evil web of the same experience. We know that the Lord sits in the circles of the earth, and rules in the affairs of the sons of men (Isaiah 40:22), but they also want to be like God and rule/control man. This is the intention of creating the evil cycles/patterns in the life of man. These patterns can be broken by prayers and prophetic intercession.
- They fight prayers and ministering angels: The witnesses occupy the first and second heaven to form a blockage to the prayers of the people of God. They also use the sins of the people as evidence to block the ministering angels sent from God to minister to the saints, like in the case of Daniel (Daniel 10:2-14). The Bible says we should pray without ceasing, such that the smoke and fire of our constant prayers cannot be quenched with their own manipulations. We are also encouraged to live righteously such that no sin can be used against our ministering angels. The sins of Israel were used as evidence against the prayers of Daniel, and so we have to also confess of all the sins being committed in the body of Christ (1st Corinthians 12:12-27).
- They steal from the saints: They use the law of sin and death to steal the daily benefits sent to the saints from the throne of God (Psalm 68:19). They use these stolen virtues to build their kingdoms and worlds in various spiritual dimensions (in the air, land and the waters). They are the spiritual thieves and taskmasters who steal the virtues of the saints (John 10:10) and convert it to their use. But they that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits. Through the knowledge of the ordinances of God, these virtue can be recovered according to Proverbs 6:31, no matter when they were stolen.
- They try to pollute mankind: These spirits try to inject their seed into mankind in order to fully live out their wicked devices. Just as Christ took flesh and was born, they also take flesh and are born into the earth but they are not purely humans. They can incarnate and re-incarnate (unlike man who only has to die once – Hebrews 9:27). During their lifetime, they do many terrible things to deceive the ignorant men who follow their leading.
- They buy generations for themselves: They do this by cunningly deceiving the fathers of such generations or the fathers of the family tree (every family has a family tree) to make covenants with them in return for wealth, power, protection, etc. These fathers therefore engage in idol worship and other forms of worship to fulfil their part, and because the spirits have come to steal, kill and destroy, they make sure that anyone born into such family is pulled into idolatry or false religion because they assume that the price has already been paid for everyone that will be born into that family tree. They do their best to frustrate any member of that family who decides on his freewill to abandon the old ways of their fore-fathers, therefore, in order to have peace as a member of such families, some serious prayers are to be done for cleansing the foundation. Some family trees have covenant with the witchcraft world, the implication is that everyone born into that family must be a witch if they ever want to succeed in life, else, they’ll remain in witchcraft oppression, bondage and torment as a lawful captive (and these spirits know their rights). In such cases, everyone born into that family is given a spiritual mark on their forehead with which they are to be identified. In this cases or related cases, a prophet is needed to pull the family out of such Egypt according to Hosea 12:13, using the verdict of God in Ezekiel 18:20 and Isaiah 49:24-26. Some families enjoy their covenant with these powers and they enjoy the wealth and fame, etc. Some families are clearly or even publicly messengers of the devil, while some even see themselves as descendants of those gods.
Dealing with the Cloud of Witnesses
We are as sheep sent among wolves, and as long as the earth remains, the cloud of witnesses shall exist till the time of the end when their final fate shall be handed over to them. This is why we are encouraged to fight the good fight of faith, always looking unto Jesus because there are many deceptions on the way. The life we live is a daily battle and every believer needs a daily victory. But as we mature in the knowledge of the ways of the Lord, we can put them under our feet and have dominion over them. The following are necessary for the daily victory of a believer:
- Prayers: Daily constant fervent prayer to put them in check and usher in the will of the Father to be done in the earth. Dimensional prayers coupled with fasting will go a long way: the eight watches of prayers, hourly prayers, short prayers, midnight prayers, praying in tongues, groaning in the spirit, praise and worship unto God. We have no choice than to pray without ceasing – Luke 18:1.
- Righteous living: These wicked spirits know the laws of God very well, and they will quickly use the law of sin and death to torment man if he is ignorant. Falling and remaining in sin gives them the leverage to enter and destroy the life of a child of God. We are to live righteously before God and always remember we have an advocate who always intercedes on our behalf – the man Christ Jesus. His victory on our behalf is their weakness.
- Life of Holiness: This means living a life dedicated unto God. It is because of the intermeddling of man into the things which are not heavenly-minded that the cloud of witnesses have access to operate in our lives. A dedicated and consecrated life unto God seeks only to do the will of the Father. A little leaven leaveneth the whole dough; a little to the right and a little to the left gets us into trouble. You cannot eat on the mountain of God and on the mountain of Satan, and expect everything to be alright. He has set before us life and death, our choices determines what we go through. Job was dedicated unto God and the Lord built a shield around him (Job 1:10). Man was not made to be independent or to sustain himself by himself, so if you are neither cold nor hot, the Lord (who is our sustenance) will spew thee out of His mouth into outer darkness.
- Be the salt and light of our world: We are called to bring healing to our world and also shine as lights in the earth as sons of our Father who is the Father of lights. In anywhere we find ourselves, we have to represent the One who sent us into the world.
- Life of Sacrifice: We should live life of sacrifice, ready to distribute so that we can make straight path for our feet because we do not know what the weather would bring. Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and do not owe God. The little help we give to the needy clears our way spiritually because the loaf of bread you gave to a hungry man could be the token of Caesar in your possession which you have to dispose of, else, Caesar won’t let you go. David did not hold back his hands from sacrifice, neither did Solomon and the Lord was with them.
- The Word from your mouth: The word of God in the mouth of a believer is a weapon of mass destruction unto the forces of darkness. We are to study to show ourselves approved unto God, meditate therein day and night such that it takes flesh in us and when we speak, the elements bow. They do not respect our own words, they only reverence the word of God, because the word is settled already in heaven. So, daily study of the Bible is supposed to be part of our lives, for it is out of our mouth that the Lord hath ordained strength because of the enemies that he might silence the enemy and the avengers (Psalm 8:2).
- The Knowledge of God: In this earth realm, we cannot afford to neglect the wisdom and knowledge of the things of God. Some people are afraid of being spiritually-minded so that they won’t be called superstitious; but on the other hand, to be carnally-minded is death and enmity with God. We are to live with the understanding that there are no coincidences in this life and that the spirit realm controls the physical realm, and so we look not on the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen (2nd Corinthians 4:18). There is a knowledge (of God) we need to have dominion in this life according to Job 38:33, and except you have this knowledge, you cannot mature into a true son of God. It is the Spirit of God that reveals this knowledge in form of the ordinances of heaven; they are all encoded in the Bible but you need the Spirit of truth for the interpretation.
The cloud of witnesses are not our friends neither can they be seen as guides or our former brethren in the faith. They are the ancient wicked spirits which fell with Satan, and are masters in the art of deception, manipulations and stealing. They have been cut off from God who is the sources of life, but because they still to sustain themselves, they steal from man who is still connected to God the source of life. They were made by God, but they couldn’t maintain their first estate, and so they have occupied every nook and cranny of God’s creation with the aim of destroying it. Having anything to do with these powers (through witchcraft, occultism, necromancy, idol worship, false religion, séance, Wicca, satanic rituals/practices and festivals, etc.), is a very dangerous thing because they know how to cage anyone who dabbles into their territory seeking power or wealth; they use the person and destroy the person at the end. We should have clean hands and a pure heart before God to make our way prosperous.