The Cloud of Witnesses and You

Aug 14, 2023 | Blog

I want to talk to you about the cloud of witnesses and the faithful saints who walked with God before us (Hebrews 12:1). We call Hebrews 11 the chapter of faith because it talks about people like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, and David—men and women who walked by faith and did the will of God in their generation. But when you get to verse 13, it says: “All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.”1 They were looking for something better. Even before Christ had come on the earth, they were reaching for a better resurrection.

Find some time today to read Hebrews 11 and let it come alive for you. These were people just like you. Elijah was caught away. Enoch did not see death. These men and women reached in by faith and performed acts of righteousness. They shut the mouths of lions and put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; they wandered about in deserts and caves—those of whom the world was not worthy. Yet, “all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:39–40). This is a key verse for us to understand: God has provided something better for us. That is amazing!

Think of all these phenomenal people of whom the world was not worthy; yet apart from us they will not be made perfect. When we see the word perfect, we think of being transformed into the image of Christ. But in the language of the common people of that day, the Greek word teleiōs meant “achievement,” “fulfillment,” or “the execution of a resolve.”2 I like that one. These people had a resolve. So Hebrews is really saying that there will never be a resolution or a fulfillment to what these saints were striving for without us. They died in the faith not finishing the course they were on, but their destiny is now resting on each one of us personally. We cannot think, “I’m not important and what I’m doing is unimportant.” God has provided a challenge for us that the faith and resolve of these people is now resting on our generation. Think of the anointing that rested on them! Yet God has provided something better for us, so that apart from us they will never complete what they set out to do. The mantle is on us to finish it.

You have the greatest destiny of any generation that has ever existed on the face of the earth. Do you know why? Because the fulfillment is accumulative; the more people who died without receiving what they were believing for, the more that is resting on us to complete. There is more resting on us than has ever rested upon any people on the face of the earth. They were pressing into the Kingdom, and we should be pressing into the things of God to complete, to fulfill, and to finish for them. We are going to see every dream fulfilled that was in their hearts. We are going to see every goal that they had in God completed; we are the finishers.


1 All Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995).
2 Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey William Bromley, and Gerhard Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 8 (Eerdmans, 1964), 49. LOGOS.

Blog Search

Get Email Notifications

Get notified of new blogs, study guides, podcasts, and other ways you can learn, grow, and support the ministry.

Get in touch