The Testimony of Jesus Christ

In our Christian experience, we often hear the term “testimony” and it is used to refer to the story of our salvation or a story of a particular event where God really did something for us. People “testify” of what God has done in their lives. We then read in the Scriptures about the testimony of Jesus Christ and we automatically take the context of our experience and apply it to the Scripture. If we read Scripture care-fully we will find much more meaning to the word Testimony. We will find that in the Scriptures that some will possess the testimony of Jesus Christ. If we are to go on to all God has for us, it is not enough just to make sure we have been “saved” or have a “testimony” in the modern sense of the word. We want to make sure we posses the testimony of Jesus Christ. Let us walk through the Scriptures and see how this term is used.

Luke 21:13-15
Jesus is here warning his disciples about the persecution that they will face. They are warned that even family members will hand them over to death. This will lead to the individual’s testi-mony. Notice then that in verse 14, Jesus specifically tells them not to have a premeditated answer. When the are called upon to give testimony, they are not to give a story of their conversion, but rather Jesus Himself will give utterance and speak up to their foes.

  • John 3:31-33 – John is speaking of Jesus and how He came from heaven down to earth and therefore His words are higher than a mere Man’s. His thoughts are from a heavenly perspective and not merely an earthly perspective. He speaks or witnesses of the things that He has actually seen and heard and nobody has received His testimony. Yet those that do receive His testimony have set a seal on the fact that God is true. Receiving His testimony does not mean to hear His story, but it rather means to pos-ses something that is received from Jesus Christ. The word here in the Greek means to take some-thing, to receive something, to associate with something.

    John 5:31-47
    Jesus speaks about the testimony which comes from God. Jesus’ testimony is not valid if it is merely something that comes from Himself (vs 31). Rather, it is valid because there is another one that is testifying and that is God Himself. It is God’s evidence, or testimony, on Jesus’ behalf that declares to the world that Jesus is true and valid (vs 32). Should Jesus’ followers in this day not still have that witness of the Father that Jesus is true? People had sent for John’s witness on Jesus behalf (vs 33), but Jesus refused any witness of man (vs 34); even the man he had said was the greatest man born. The works of the Father done on the earth are a witness in and of themselves (vs 36). Jesus came in the witness of the Father. The Father testified on His behalf, but the religious leaders were ac-customed only to the witness of man and so, even though they knew the Scriptures, they would only re-ceive one with the witness or testimony of man upon him and could not recognize one with the testi-mony or witness of heaven on him. Jesus Himself refused to lower Himself to earthly ways and re-jected the validation of the testimony of man. Because He rejected the testimony of man, they rejected him. Pilate’s timeless question “what is truth?” is demonstrated here. To accept that witness of man puts man in the place of determining what is the truth. It is a declaration that man’s wisdom and his in-herent faculties are capable of determining truth. He is in the place of discerning and declaring truth. Jesus declared that truth comes only from God Himself and that it proceeds from heaven. Therefore, He refused to accept the witness of man which would allow the man giving witness to put himself in the place of being able to discern and declare truth. Jesus rather declared that truth proceeds from the Fa-ther and to determine truth we need His witness and testimony. Men would give heed to each other because they were used to being in the place of determining truth and would receive another individual living in that same manner. Men receive honor and glory from one another, but do not pursue honor and glory straight from God (vs 44). Any time a man tries to promote and prove himself, he has sunk to the witness of man and has forfeited the witness of God. Even in ministry, men promote themselves and show their stats and what God has done through them and what God can do for you through them. It is the witness of below. The witness of the earth. Their colleages provides little sound bytes and quotes to promote their ministries. Stooping to the witness of man, they are operating under an earthbound system that is no different than what Jesus was describing here. Again, it is the witness of below and the witness of the earth. The man that is going to have the witness of heaven on him de-pends on God for his honor and glory not man. Receiving honor and glory from man and the witness of man is yet another way we enthrone man rather than enthroning God in our hearts. The proverbs wisely say that when going to a banquet, one ought to sit at the end of the table and allow the host to promote him and honor him rather than sitting at the head of the table and being publicly humiliated as the host asks him to move down for another. The issue is do we seek promotion from men or God. Are we confident in God or do we need the approval of man? Do we promote ourselves? Anytime we be-come familiar with the witness of man and give it any credence we enter a dangerous place where we risk, like the leaders of Jesus’ day, losing the ability to discern the witness of heaven and could very well end up men who know the Scriptures and yet are unable to recognize the God of the Scriptures. Surely in these last days, we will see many fall into this trap. There is a blindness that comes from ac-cepting and valuing the witness of man and it leads to the rejection of Jesus Himself.

    Acts 1:8
    Jesus’ last description of what His disciples were to be upon the earth was His witnesses. They were to tarry until they were endued with power and then be His witnesses or evidence upon the earth. The word witnesses here is a decedent of the word testimony. The believers, once endued with power, were to become His witness or testimony upon the earth.

    I Corinthians 2:1-2, 4
    When Paul came to Corinth, he noted that he did not proclaim the testimony and mystery or secret of God with eloquence or wisdom. He rather resolved to know nothing among them except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Paul gave testimony, but not with words of eloquence. Note also that Paul said he knew nothing among them except Jesus, so the testimony he gave must have been the testimony of Jesus, not the testimony of Paul and this testimony was presented, not in words, but in the demonstration of the Spirit.

    I John 5:6-12
    The Holy Spirit is the one who bears witness to Jesus because the Holy Spirit is the Truth. There are three witnesses on earth and three witnesses in heaven. Between the two, there is one common witness. The Holy Spirit is the witness of heaven that is also the witness upon the earth. The testimony of God regarding His Son is greater than any testimony of man and God has given the testimony or witness of His Son by the Spirit who is Truth (vs 6) and who is the common witness be-tween heaven and earth. He is the heavenly witness that is also upon the earth witnessing or giving testimony even now of Jesus Christ. Did not Jesus say that the Spirit shall convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment? He is the one upon the earth giving the testimony of the Father concern-ing Jesus Christ. Any man who commits his life to Jesus Christ, possesses the Divine testimony within himself. If a man does not believe God, coming to Him through Jesus Christ, He has declared God to be a liar and rejected the testimony, or evidence that God has given regarding His Son; that testimony being the Spirit of God. The testimony God has given us is eternal life and that eternal life is in His Son and to posses the Son is to have that life. Jesus declared in John 17 that eternal life was to know God and Himself. Receiving God’s testimony concerning Jesus Christ, which is His Spirit, inside yourself then leads to possessing Christ which is the revelation of God communicated through man and in such a communion with God is eternal life.

    III John 1:12
    John mentions that Demitrius has a commendation or testimony from, not only the be-lievers, but also from the Truth itself. He carries a testimony from the Truth which is the Spirit of God.

    Revelation 1:2, 9
    John testifies or vouches for two three things in the book of Revelation: the visions that he saw, the Word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ (vs 2). Notice that John declared Him-self as a fellow companion of the church in three things: tribulation, kingdom, and patient endurance (vs 9). Those are three things that should be characteristic of the church in any age. The church will al-ways have tribulation. Jesus Himself promised it. In fact, if tribulation is missing then the church needs to seriously examine herself to see if she has maintained the purity of the gospel which is at such odds with the worldly system that it cannot coexist peaceably with it. Tribulation is a characteristic of the church and the lives of believers. Secondly, the kingdom should be the place where believers live. Je-sus declared the kingdom when He was upon the earth. It is not a kingdom of the earthly realm, but one of the heavenly realm. If we are to be true Christians now, then we must be living in the kingdom even now. We must have our citizenship in heaven as Paul did and be active participants in the king-dom now rather than waiting for it at some unspecified time in the future. Any finally the church should be characterized by patient endurance. Endurance indicates that the church is experiencing something unpleasant that must be passed through in order to get to a desired goal. The church must be living in a place of patent endurance with regard to the coming of the Lord. In other words, they church should be enduring the world that it lives in, not enjoying it. We are to be participants in another kingdom, en-during this world while we are waiting for our joy which is the second coming of Christ and living in this place invites the first characteristic John mentioned which is tribulation from a world that would elimi-nate the witness of the church against it. A real question we must ask ourselves is whether we are treating our current life on earth as a patient endurance for our heart’s true desire which would be His coming and His kingdom, or are we enjoying our life here on earth with little desire to see it pass away and His Kingdom come upon the earth. There are two things that placed John on Patmos according to him and they are the Word of God and the testimony of or for Jesus Christ. The testimony that he pos-sesses was such that it led to his exile.

    Revelation 6:9
    At the foot of the altar are the souls of those who had been killed for adhering to the Word of God and for the testimony they had carried. This was more than a religious experience they talked about it was something they owned and carried. The Greek word here for borne indicates some-thing you posses or something you own. It can be used in the context of external things or in the pos-session of something of great intimacy as in a marriage relationship. It can also mean to lay hold of something or be closely joined to it. There was a testimony of God that these had borne. They had been willing to carry and possess something that was weighty and was intimate. It was something that they owned themselves but also carried in great intimacy. It was something that came from heaven and earth and hell are in such rebellion against God, that anyone who is going to possess the testimony which comes from heaven has made themselves eligible for martyrdom. Such a man is targeted for destruction by the forces of hell.

    Revelation 12:11, 17
    They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the utterance of their testimony. So the words or utterance that came forth from their testimony was part of the means of their overcom-ing (vs 11). In Luke 21, Jesus told the disciples to not worry about what they would say because when the opportunity came for them to be a testimony, He Himself would become their utterance and give them words to speak. The dragon in his fury wages war on the woman’s descendants who are those who obey God’s commandments and who have or possess the testimony of Jesus Christ (vs 17).

    Revelation 15:5-8
    John saw the sanctuary of the tent of the testimony in heaven. There is a tent of the testimony in heaven and seven incredible angels came out of it and it was filled with God’s glory as they poured out His wrath upon the earth.

    Revelation 19:10
    The angel rebukes John for his worship and then declares that he is another servant along with all those who carry the testimony that Jesus carried. The word here is the same word as in Revelation 6:9. Notice here that the same testimony that Jesus carried is the testimony that is upon believers.

    We have often made getting saved such a focal point in the church, that we fail to realize just how much more there is in God. We fail to realize how deep and wide is the Christian experience and the natural progression what what should happen in a believer’s life once he has passed through the gate of the new birth. I remember the late Leonard Ravenhill saying, “You see it’s not so simple to be a Christian. It’s a majestic thing.”

    There is a testimony of Jesus Christ that is to be on the earth. God does not leave the lost world without a testimony that Jesus Christ was His one and only Son. He has testified to that fact through His Word and through the conscience in men’s hearts, but there is another method which I believe is His primary method of testimony. It is the believer. The believer is to be a living, unrefutable testimony that Jesus was who He was.

    What is the mystery of Jesus Christ? Among other things, the mystery of Christ is God becoming man. It is an intermingling of man with God. God forever joined Himself to man in a way that we cannot even comprehend. The creator became part of the creation. It is His ultimate declaration of the love and burn-ing passion He has for this creation called man. The way Jesus lived His life was an example to the world of how God intended a man to live.

    In our modern days, men scoff at this idea that Jesus was God. The modern cults like Mormonism and the Jehovah’s witnesses strip Him of His Biblical deity while the rest of the religious world drag Him down to be a “good teacher” if they even acknowledge Him at all. Others now seek to present Him as a mere fairy tale. Often the Christian answer has been to pour over historical facts and prove historically that Je-sus was true and legitimate and present the evidence that shows Jesus was who He said He was. There is certainly nothing wrong with this and I believe God intends us to defend the faith on intellectual and historical grounds; however, there is another testimony that I believe God wishes to release upon the earth.

    The individual believer is to be God’s testimony to the world that Jesus Christ is true. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus was the firstborn among many brethren and that we were destined to be molded according to His image (Romans 8:29). In other words, we are to be upon the earth as Jesus was. If Jesus is the firstborn, then He is the first of many more that are to come and be in the same essence as He was. Now, we have to set this one theological ground rule lest you believe I am promoting heresy: Jesus was totally unique in that He was God Himself born of a virgin. None of us can or ever will ascend to His place of deity. Let us make that completely clear before we go on lest there be any misunderstanding.

    Now taking into account that Jesus’ inherent Deity proved out by His life and demonstrated in His virgin birth is unique, other than that distinction we are to follow His as Sons of the same kind as He was. Did Romans not just tell us that He was the firstborn of many? Not the cousin, leader, or step brother, but the elder brother to us. Did not Romans also declare that we should be molded to His image? That did not mean we followed some rules and principles that Jesus lived by. Just as man was made in God’s image, His very essence reflects the God who created Him, so the believer’s very essence is the image of Him who purchased His redemption. God intends that just as Jesus was a mingling of man and God that we cannot comprehend, so the believer should be a mingling of man and God.

    Have we not always heard that God lives in us? We have been taught that the Holy Spirit comes to live inside us and more often than not we probably think of it as some sort of organ transplant, or some unique being that lives inside of us in some sort of room or container. I believer God wants us to see that the Spirit should permeate our being. He does not come to live in some “room” we keep for Him, He comes to possess our entire being if we are to live up to the standard of Christianity.

    The believer is then to become a unique mingling of man and God. He is unique in His humanity and the way God has created Him with a unique body and personality. He then is designed to be infused with the presence of almighty God. God comes in and gives a new personality and nature that comes from heaven. The act of the new birth simply gives God a new creation to work with. Man had put himself in a rebellious, sinful state that God could not reform. God cannot work with and reform a man, He needs something new to work with that has the nature of heaven, not earth. Jesus suffered an awful death to give us the ability to obtain the new nature.

    What a tragedy it is to obtain a new nature and yet not receive the very thing that new nature was given for! How many have experienced a new birth and never gotten much further? After the new birth gives God something He can work with in a man, the man should then be infused with the presence of the Holy Spirit. It is not just for power to work miracles or speak in tongues. It is the divine presence of God within a man for the purpose of creating another son that is of the same essence as Jesus was. Another unique mingling of man and God.

    Such a man then becomes God’s testimony on the earth. Such a man carries such a presence of God upon the earth, that though he is hated by worldly, fleshly men; it is undeniable that the essence of God is upon Him. His very life presents both the uniqueness of his human personality and the faculties God has given him and the Divine nature of the Holy Spirit that is permeating his life. When the Holy Spirit is given the right to rule a life, He can then create another individual that is after the likeness of Jesus Christ just as Paul wrote in Romans 8. That individual then becomes a prima fascia evidence to the world that Jesus Christ is alive and who He said He was.

    The world will hate such a man, but such a man makes it impossible to deny who Jesus Christ is. That man becomes God’s testimony of His Son to the earth. It is the evidence that God puts forth. The world cannot deny that Jesus was and the He was both God and man because they see in front of them in flesh and blood another that is a mingling of God and man. That man is not entirely the same as Jesus Christ because of Christ’s unique deity, but Jesus Christ walked the earth as a man empowered by God. A man born again and filled with the Holy Ghost is walking the earth in exactly the same was that Jesus Christ did and as such validates and demonstrates the life of Jesus Christ to the world and is God’s flesh and blood evidence in whatever place and moment in time he lives.

    Yes the world will hate and persecute any man who is filled with God just as it did Jesus Christ. The tragic story of mankind, both in the world and in the church, is that far more often that not when con-fronted with the reality of God and the reality of His sin and low living, He seeks to destroy and eliminate the thing that exposes him and blows the whistle on him rather than repenting and walking out of dark-ness into the light. Jesus Himself told Nicodemus in John 3 that the Light had come into the world but men loved the darkness.

    Yet, even though such a man will not be accepted by the world, he is still the evidence of Jesus Christ upon the earth. He is God’s parable and living flesh and blood illustration to the world of Jesus Christ. While we are seeking better methods and techniques to “prove Jesus,” God is looking for better men through which to demonstrate the uniqueness of His Son. Forget trying to make Jesus palatable to the world. He never has been and never will be.

    If any church leader wants to reach his community with the gospel in a Biblical way, he needs to stop eve-rything and examine the church. Purge it with a fine tooth comb. Throw out methods of presentation and outreach that are tainted with the wisdom of man. Disregard anything that leans upon the witness of man to prove the Christian life. Jesus would not accept it and neither should we. Leaders please, for God’s sake, do not stoop to worldly methods. Once you’ve purged your church of all man’s methods and all man’s programs, make it your aim and focus to develop your flock into disciples that are full of the Holy Ghost. I am not just talking about people who can pray in tongues or are bolder to share their faith or pray for the sick. Develop church members that are possessed by God. Develop a flock whose very nature has become like Jesus Christ. Raise up sons that resemble the firstborn Son.

    If you are a church leader and you make it your business to develop this kind of Christian, then the com-munity will be presented with the witness of Jesus Christ that God has designed. It will not be as popular as some of your programs. It will not get you the crowds that man’s techniques might stir up at times and you will probably lose some people along the way that do not want to go this far in God. But, let me ask you this, what do you want? Why are you in the ministry anyway? Is it a profession or do you have God’s heart to see what He wants to see upon the earth? Are you willing to do it His way, or do you think you know better with man made techniques and methods and control?

    Let us lay aside these weights that so easily encumber us like Paul said. The “good things” that we have developed out of our attempts to advance God’s purpose. Let us throw those aside and go on in God into the depths of this marvelous thing we call Christianity. Let us come out of the desert of man made religion into the wide open, green pastures of communion with the living God.

    God longs for men that will be his testimony on the earth. Particularly here at the end of the age as the scoffers abound and even those that claim the name of Jesus live in heresies and teachings that are in opposition to the Word of God, God desires that men should arise to demonstrate Him again on the earth. Again, I remember the late Leonard Ravenhill saying, “The world is not waiting on a new definition of Christianity, it needs a new demonstration of Christianity.” You and I are the testimony and demonstra-tion on the earth that God desires. As more and more believers move into this place in God where the only explanation for the life that they are living is God Himself, the world will have an evidence upon it that Jesus was who the Scriptures declare Him to be. It would do well to ask yourself this question “Is Jesus Christ the only possible explanation for the life that you live?”

    This evidence upon the earth will lead us into a great tribulation as evil men seek to put down the God given reminder of His purity and their rebellion. Yet, many also will come into the kingdom upon seeing the testimony of Jesus in the flesh. And, perhaps even greater, Jesus will receive the reward of His suf-fering as men step into the very manner of living He made available to them. The Father’s heart also will be thrilled as men live the life He designed for them and demonstrate it to the world so that as many as will repent may come. Yes, these kind of men will bring upon the earth the travail and suffering of the end times as lucifer seeks to destroy this testimony of God. But, as surely as they will bring the end of days upon the earth they will also usher in the Kingdom of God upon the earth. They will be a foretaste, a pic-ture, a preview of what is the come upon the earth and will help even accelerate its coming to earth.

    Those who are going to be God’s testimony on the earth must have His testimony upon them. They must possess the testimony of Jesus as described in Revelation. What is this testimony of Jesus? It is the Spirit of Truth or the Holy Spirit. Our testimony is not something we say, it is something we possess. Something that we hold in great intimacy as our marriage relationship. This is the testimony that we must have. It is not enough to just say we have been born again, we must have the affirmation of heaven up on us that we are God’s and that affirmation is His Spirit. We possess the testimony of Jesus as our lives begin to be so infused with the Holy Spirit that we become the testimony in the earth that the Father desires.

    Romans 8:16 tells us that the Spirit testifies (or gives testimony) with our spirit that we are a child of God. Luke told us that when there was an opportunity for our testimony that Jesus Himself would give utter-ance through our testimony. So many have come to Christ and been born again, but never pressed in to receive the testimony of Jesus on their life. It is sad to say, but in the days to come a believer that does not possess the testimony of Jesus on their life, or in other words is not walking in intimacy with the Holy Spirit is going to find it virtually impossible to stand. Notice that the believers in the book of Revelation that endured the martyrdom and the persecution of the end of days were believers that possessed the testimony of Jesus on their lives.

    In Revelation 19:10, the angel tells John that the essence of what Jesus revealed, or the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy. The Spirit of God is then both the testimony that Jesus carried and re-vealed, but also the Spirit of all prophecy. If we are to be a prophetic people in these last days, then we must get before the Lord and possess His Spirit in great intimacy. There is no way to be truly prophetic without possessing the Spirit of prophesy. All prophecy goes forth from the Spirit of God. It is the Spirit of God which takes a man and fills him with the substance of God. The man, when yielded to the Spirit of God is then capable of living prophetically as the Spirit of God leads him out into a prophetic walk.

    A prophetic walk is simply a walk that has its source in God. It does not find its source in man. Its walk is grounded, not only in the Holy Scriptures, but it also found on the Word of God presently emanating from the throne of God. It is one thing to live within the principles of the written Scriptures, which is our basic discipline, it is another thing to become one with the Spirit that wrote the Scriptures until the Scriptures themselves become a part of our nature. To be a prophetic people, the testimony or revelation that Jesus gave must be upon us and in us.

    At the end of the days, God is restoring the high call of the Apostolic life as lived in the New Testament. He is looking again for those on the earth who will carry that call. Those who will be willing, as the first apostles were, to forsake all and follow Him, putting their hands to the plow and not looking back at their worldly lives. Times are coming up on the earth such as will fill men’s hearts with terror. If we are not prepared now in the calm before the storm, the storm coming upon the earth will begin to separate those who are willing to endure persecution in order to carry the weight or His presence from those who revert to their own sensuality and the pursuit of the pleasures of a purely earthly existence.

    This life is not a game. We have lived in a bubble particularly here in America. That is soon to end. We must decide now whether or citizenship is to be on the earth or in heaven. As I heard Art Katz say, “There are two people at the end of the age: the earth dwellers and the heavenly minded.” We must set our face now that we will carry the testimony of Jesus. We might invite and woo that testimony and make way for Him. We must remove the obstacles on our lives that have held Him back. We must welcome Him and be willing to let Him take His place in our lives. This is the only way to live apostolically or prophetically upon the earth in these last days.

    Jesus even now is calling out to those on the earth, “Who will carry my testimony?” Let us put aside and forsake past failures and past encumbrances and look forward with eyes like flint to the path upon which He would have us walk. Let us drop the dead weights of our man made religions and take up a life lived in His testimony and become the type of believers that could walk right off the pages of the Scriptures. Let us live lives dripping with the fragrance of the one whose love compelled Him to sacrifice all for us.