Cloud of Witnesses and Praying to Dead People

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Marcia, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. Marcia

    Marcia
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    On another thread here, someone referred to Heb. 12.1 as though that is a text that supports praying to the dead.

    Heb. 12.1 refers back to the people of faith in Heb. 11 -- it is saying that with such a company of those who had faith in God, we should be motivated to run the race, "fixing our eyes on Jesus." There is nothing here that supports praying to those who have died.

    In fact, since Jesus is the only mediator (1 Tim 2.5) between men and God, it is unbiblical to pray to anyone else. There is no biblical text that supports contacting a dead person to intercede on his/her behalf. In fact, we are told that Jesus and the HS intercede for us!

    I am surprised at how many here defended praying to dead people! Even if you don't think praying is part of worship, why in the world would any Christian pray to a dead person when we can go boldly before the throne of God through Christ?? Does anyone aside from Christ, living or dead, know your needs better than Jesus Christ? Can anyone intercede for you better?
     
  2. SpyHunter

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    Necromancy was punishable by death in the Old Covenant. Note that one didn't have to have the dead talk back in order for it to be necromancy; one was guilty by even "consulting" the dead.

    But I've found one interesting thing about Hebrews 12:1 that you may find valuable, Marcia. :)

    "Compassed about (echontes perikeimenon). Literally, “having (echontes, present active participle of echō) lying around us” (perikeimenon, present middle participle of perikeimai, old verb as in Luk_17:2).
    Cloud of witnesses (nephos marturōn). Old word (Latin nubes), here only in the N.T., for vast mass of clouds. Nephelē is a single cloud. The metaphor refers to the great amphitheatre with the arena for the runners and the tiers upon tiers of seats rising up like a cloud. The martures here are not mere spectators (theatai), but testifiers (witnesses) who testify from their own experience (Heb_11:2, Heb_11:4, Heb_11:5, Heb_11:33, Heb_11:39) to God’s fulfilling his promises as shown in chapter Heb 11." -- Robertson's Word Pictures

    I believe that sheds a little light on what the writer of Hebrews meant. The "cloud of witnesses" aren't people watching over us; they are those who stand in history as testaments to God's power and faithfulness.

    Blessings and Regards,
    SpyHunter
     
  3. D28guy

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    Marcia,

    I am too. But they have no choice but to defend it. The Hierarchy of their church commands them to believe everything they are told they must believe.

    They have convinced them of the devilish lie that they, the Hierarchy, are incapable of doctrinal error.

    Hence, they must defend the indefensible.

    I think what probably happens is that...in time...the ability to discern truth from error just sort of evaporates, and they sort of go into a "mindless acceptance" mode regarding these devilish lies.

    What an unimaginable and tragic thing it is.

    Mike
     
  4. SpiritualMadMan

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    I like that! [​IMG]
     
  5. Living_stone

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    Then it is unbiblical for Paul to ask ("to pray" means "to ask") anyone to pray for him or anyone else, but he does this.

    Even assuming that's the case - though we know that some of them (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) are accorded as Living by Scripture - it still doesn't get past Revelation 5 which clearly shows those in heaven presenting the prayers of those on earth to God as incense.

    also, bear in mind that after Jesus died:

    "And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised." (Matt 27:52).
     
  6. Claudia_T

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    Then it is unbiblical for Paul to ask ("to pray" means "to ask") anyone to pray for him or anyone else, but he does this.

    Even assuming that's the case - though we know that some of them (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) are accorded as Living by Scripture - it still doesn't get past Revelation 5 which clearly shows those in heaven presenting the prayers of those on earth to God as incense.

    also, bear in mind that after Jesus died:

    "And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised." (Matt 27:52).
    </font>[/QUOTE]mediating and praying for someone are two different things
     
  7. mima

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    The "cloud of witnesses" are the saved now in heaven watching us.
     
  8. nate

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    :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
    Well Mike since your your own authority seeing as how you interpet the Bible however you want to. And no one that has been debating you is RCC but since you can't seem to understand this concept I'm working on how to make it more plain.
     
  9. Eliyahu

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    Do you know how to distinguish between Praying for and Praying to ?
    We are supposed to pray to God ( Matt 6:6)
    We pray for our relatives, brothers and sisters, and for our church members to God . this is called Intercession. But this Intercession doesn't include the Dead people, since they finished their lives.


    Do you see " fallen asleep" ? Do you pray for others while you are sleeping?

    Or do you accept the prayers while you are sleeping? Mary is sleeping now ! She is not Omni-Present to accept the prayers from 1.3 billion everywhere in the world.

    Rev 5 : I think you are talking about Rev 8.
    Saints means Born again believers ( 1 Cor 1:2)
    Angels carry the prayers by the Saints (born again believers) to God, and also the prayers by the martyrs at the time of their death are carried to God as well.

    Yes, Abraham and Isaac are alive! they are sleeping. Don't you know that Alive people can sleep?
    You are alive but sleep every day right? or do you not sleep at all because you are alive?
     
  10. D28guy

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    Nate,

    A complete lie. God and His scriptures are the authority.

    Another complete lie. We are all called to be students of Gods scriptures, but the Holy Spirit is the interpreter of the scriptures.

    We dont know that.

    But even if they arent, they are employing classic Catholic apologetics.

    You need to preach to yourself, not me. You are the confused one.

    Mike
     
  11. SpyHunter

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    The word for "witnessess" means one who can testify. It's not as if the writer of Hebrews left room for us to guess-- He/she had a long list of faithful ones in Hebrews 11-- Abel, Abraham, etc. God was faithful to them, so He WILL be faithful to us. That's the point, and the only scriptural definition of "cloud of witnesses." Should you choose to invent your own or adopt someone else's, then cool. But that's on you, and it is not biblical.

    Blessings,
    SpyHunter
     
  12. JFox1

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    I concur! Billy Graham said the same thing in his "My Answer" column I think last year. Maybe they are up there cheering us on.
     
  13. Living_stone

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    If they're watching us and cheering us on, then is it terribly hard to believe that they might be praying for us?
     
  14. JFox1

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    I don't know if the people in heaven pray for us or not. Revelation 6:9-10 Modern Language Bible aka New Berkley Version states, "When He opened the fifth seal I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered for the sake of the word of God and the witness they bore. With a loud voice they cried out, "How long, O holy and true Sovereign, before You will judge and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?" Although this passage speaks of the souls thinking about the people on earth in a negative way, I don't see why the souls in Heaven couldn't think about us in a positive way. Maybe they are praying for us. If they are, I won't complain about that. We need all of the help we can get.

    Don't get me wrong. I don't pray to the saints. When I pray, I go straight to the top! But like I said, if they are praying for us, I'm not against it.
     
  15. BobRyan

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    I like that! [​IMG] [/QB]</font>[/QUOTE]That is true -

    "The CLOUD of witnesses" in Heb 12 is in the form of the "rehearsed history lesson" just given in Heb 11.

    And as Heb 11 points out for those that died "They died WITHOUT receiving what was promised". The inheritence laid up for them in heaven - is yet to be received.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  16. BobRyan

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    Rev 6 gives us NO example of anyone praying TO dead saints under the altar in heaven.

    Rev 6 gives us NO example of any living person praying FOR dead saints under the altar in heaven.

    If the RCC system followed that model - and did not PRAY TO the dead or FOR the dead - just as we see none of that mentioned in Rev 6 - what would they have left??

    Answer: No praying to the DEAD.
     
  17. Marcia

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    I don't think the passage indicates they are doing this at all -- that has to be read into the passage.

    But let us suppose that they are watching us and could pray for us, that still gives us no biblical basis for praying to them. Them praying for us does not = us praying to them.
     
  18. BobRyan

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    If "The DEAD in Christ" are watching and "THOSE who have fallen asleep" are cheering (mixing in 1Thess 4 with what the RCC would have us believe) -- then we STILL have no example of US PRAYING TO "the DEAD in Christ" NOR do we have any Bible example of us "PRAYING FOR the DEAD in Christ".

    And without that - the RCC still has no room for its idea of praying to the dead - or what the pagans call "Ancestor worship".

    Notice how the RCC links these two ...
     
  19. BobRyan

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    Pagan prayer methods.

     
  20. Living_stone

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    But Rev 5:8 DOES give us the example of those in heaven presenting the prayers of those on earth to God in a manner likened to incense rising. The earliest Christians give us their examples too.

    The Psalmist sings "Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!" (Ps. 103:20–21), and "Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host! (148:1)"

    The psalmist calls on all the host of heaven to pray with him - and even if that might not have included the saints then, it most certainly includes some now, for again when Christ died some were raised!
     

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