WHAT IS TESTIMONY
by KEN ALEXANDER
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Today’s Christians consider testimony largely to be their confession to a believer or non believer about Christ, what they know about Him, how salvation has affected their lives and how they themselves came into their salvation experience. Understood this way testimony becomes a rather benign expression of facts and opinions which do not contain the real power and authority of testimony. Actually testimony is prophecy, the speaking of the Word of God. The Noah Webster dictionary, 1828 defines testimony, as it applies to spiritual matters as follows: “6. The Book of the Law, the Torah; 7. The gospel which testifies of Christ and declares the will of God; 9. The Word of God; 10. The laws of precepts of God”. The dictionary also states that testimony is equivalent to a declaration or manifestation.
The Book of Revelation gives the clearest definition of testimony as it applies to the speaking of the Word of God. John said: “Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10).
Since the testimony of Jesus is prophecy then what is prophecy? Prophecy is defined in the same Dictionary as: “a foretelling, prediction or a declaration of something to come”. Actually these definitions do not capture the true meaning of prophecy. Prophecy actually has a creative aspect. Hebrews 11:3 puts it this way: “Through faith we understand that the ages were framed by the word of God, so that what came forth was not made of anything that does appear” In other words, testimony is words to create or bring into existence things which do not yet appear.
God created creation from nothing visible by simply speaking it into existence (see Genesis 1). He said “let it be” and it was. So it is by prophecy of the word of God. It is literally creating something out of something that does not appear; speaking it into existence if you will. In Revelation 1:1-2 John says: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw”. What John was seeing and communicating was something not then visible but by his act of speaking it he was in a sense creating it into something visible. He was framing an age or framing what was to come through his testimony.
Jesus Christ was the word made flesh, the logos in Greek, the testimony of the Father on the earth. John says: Jesus Christ was the word made flesh, the “logos” in Greek, the testimony of the Father on the earth. . John says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He [Christ] was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:1-3). So Christ was the word and through this word all things came into being. This is true prophecy. All things came into being through the word of God, Christ the Son of God.
John the Baptist testified of the Christ that had not yet appeared but who was to come. “This is the TESTIMONY of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” They asked him, What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,’ as Isaiah the prophet said” (Isaiah 40:3) (John 1:19-23).
John was sent to create the atmosphere for Christ to appear i.e. to “make straight his way”.
John the Baptist goes on to say: “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! “This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ “I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” John TESTIFIED saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. “I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ “I myself have seen, and have TESTIFIED this is the Son of God.” (John 1:29-34).
John’s testimony was of a coming Christ not yet visible. His act of faith, baptism, brought forth his testimony in that he ultimately baptized the Christ who was to come. After he saw Him he testified that yes this was the Christ now on earth in human form. If testimony is actually the speaking of the word of God then our testimony is both powerful and comes forth with authority. Hebrews 4:12 says: “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart”.
The word is powerful to the point of bringing down strongholds. Paul says: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).
We can then safely conclude that testimony is a far cry from witnessing to someone in the street or church in the hope of convincing someone to accept Christ, be saved and go to heaven. The word of our testimony should bring the person to whom we speak it to his/her knees by the power and authority generated. Our testimony should create in someone something that he does not yet have. If we are to be real Christians, Sons of God, on the earth let’s be honest. Our words, our testimony should be freighted with the same power as Christ’s words were. They should contain the power to create (or frame) a new age.
©Kenneth B. Alexander
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