Who were the members of the “great cloud of witnesses” mentioned in Hebrews 12:1? I heard a Sunday school teacher say they are angels.
Angels did indeed function as witnesses, though not in the precise sense indicated in Hebrews 12:1. The Scriptures record their appearances in many places in the Old Testament, as when they warned Abraham and Lot that Sodom and its sister cities were doomed. In the New Testament, they made great proclamations related to salvation, such as to the shepherds at the birth of Jesus, at the tomb, and later at the Ascension: “He is not here” and “He will come again” (Matt. 28:6; Acts 1:10–11). We can say that the witnesses of Hebrews 12:1 were the men and women of faith listed in the previous chapter. Their lives witnessed to their twofold conviction that God exists and rewards those who seek Him (Heb. 11:6). They are role models for the rest of us.
By C. Donald Cole
Moody Radio Pastor