Testimony: Will God do it again?

Let’s start with the English definition. What is testimony? Summary from the Oxford English Dictionary:

“Personal … evidence … in support of a fact.”

“Testimony…is the communication of an experience…”

The fundamental element of “testimony” is that it is first-hand - it must be something YOU have seen, YOU have heard, YOU have experienced.

This is what makes legal testimony legitimate - it cannot be ‘hearsay’, something you heard from someone else - YOU must personally know it first-hand as a fact.

Hebrew: עֵדוּת (ēdūt) from verb עוּד (ūd)- “return, repeat, do again.” restating something, solemnly affirming what I know from my own experience.”

The Law of God this perscribes the standard of just judgment:

Deuteronomy 19:15 - by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.

“Witness” and “Testimony” derive from the same root word: “Testimony” is the thing which is declared, and “Witness” is the person who declares it.

Greek: μαρτύριον (marturion) - same basic meaning as in Hebrew, “evidence, solemn affirmation” - “information about a person or an event concerning which the speaker has direct knowledge”

Before the apostles watched Jesus ascend into Heaven, He said to them:

Acts 1:8 - But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me

The apostles saw Him alive after His resurrection, they heard His words, and watch Him go up into Heaven. Thus they were qualified give real testimony, first-hand evidence.

Acts 4:33 - And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.

The apostle John, repeats what he knows personally in his first letter:

1 John 1:1–3 - That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us.

Note the purpose – that you may have fellowship with us – that this testimony will bring in more people, and produce more testimonies.

The lack of first-hand knowledge was the very charge that some enemies of the Gospel laid against the Paul, namely that he wasn’t a real apostle and therefore his message was not to be trusted. Notice how he refuted that false accusation:

1 Corinthians 9:1 - Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?

As for what Testimony is: at the very least “repeating” something is in fact the very essence of what Testimony means. It is stating again what we know from first-hand experience.

But does this mean that God will do it again? Let’s find out.

Who gives testimony?

As with every good thing, Testimony starts with God Himself. In the same way that “we love because He first loved us,” we testify because God testified first.

We know that Testimony must be first-hand knowledge, not hearsay.

What does God know first-hand? Everything.

Is there anything which God does not know first-hand? No.

Isaiah 46:10 - Declaring the end from the beginning

Hebrews 4:13 - all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him…

And thus every word God says bears the weight of testimony. As David says, “the testimonies of the LORD are sure.” We know this because we know that God cannot lie, and that He knows all things first-hand.

The first we learn of God speaking is in the very first chapter of the Book, in Genesis 1

Genesis 1:3 - Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

God speaks the world into being out of nothing. And after God speaks, He “does it again” as the entire creation testifies.

Psalm 19:1 - The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.

God spoke first, and then He does it again and again, because creation continues speaking…

Psalm 19:2 - Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.

Later God declares His Law to Moses on Mount Sinai, and writes it on tablets of stone.

All through the Penteteuch (the first 5 books written by Moses), these stone tablets holding the Law of God are called The Testimony.

The tablets tell again what God said to Moses, and then they are repeated again and again by God’s people, passed on from generation to generation:

Deuteronomy 6:6–7 - And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

Each of us is blessed as we repeat His Testimony to ourselves - this is what meditation is: repeating something to ourselves.

Psalm 1:2–3 - in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

David repeats the Lord’s testimonies to himself, and so he is blessed:

Psalm 119:14, 24, 99 - I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches.

Your testimonies also are my delight And my counselors.

I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation.

Every word God speaks is Testimony - The Law, the Prophets, the Psalms, all of it.
But God has a last word of Testimony - full, final and complete:

Hebrews 1:1–3 - God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power.

  • Jesus said “he who seen me has seen the Father”
  • The Father spoke from Heaven and said “This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well-pleased!”
  • Jesus told the Pharisees in John 5 that all the Scriptures testified of Him
  • Peter writes in 1 Peter that is was the Spirit of Christ who spoke through the prophets.
  • And John says in Revelation that “the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.

Jesus was the Word in the beginning, when God spoke Creation into being.
And He is the Word of Eternal Life to all who hear Him.

Jesus is God’s perfect Testimony. Everyone who hears and believes this Testimony, now has their own first-hand experience, their own testimony.

If you know Jesus, if you have been born again, then you know God by first-hand experience, and God has “done it again” You can speak first-hand of what God has done! Others will hear and believe and then have their own testimony

Psalm 66:16 - Come and hear, all you who fear God, And I will declare what He has done for my soul.

Psalm 40:2–3 - He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth— Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD.

And many will see it and fear, and trust the LORD. God does it again! These who hear will now have their own testimony - their own first-hand experience of God in them, because they heard and trusted in the LORD.

2 Corinthians 4:13 - And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak

Consider carefully the testimony of John the Baptist in the first chapter of John:

John 1:32–46 - And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.” Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone). The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”

Who testified first? God. “He who sent me to baptize with water said to me…”
Then John the Baptist gave testimony: “Behold the Lamb of God…”
Andrew heard John speak, and followed Jesus. Then he had his own testimony, and went and found Peter, and testified to him.
Likewise Philip went and found Nathanael…
Peter now had his own testimony, which now comes directly to us in Scripture.

“Come and see” are the words of a witness, of one who has found something and now wants to share it.

What Testimony does - what is its effect

Prov. 18:21 - Death and life are in the power of the tongue

Testimony is powerful - as you believe in your heart, and confess with your mouth, you are saved. And as you speak of what God has done for you, others will hear and believe. God will do it again, and again.

There is a reason sharing the Gospel is called “witnessing.”

Why testify?

It builds up your faith!

Revelation 12:11 - And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony

It builds up faith in those who hear!

Romans 10:17 - faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

When you testify, you jump into the River of Living Water, of Abundant Life. You join in the flow of God’s mercy and lovingkindness to the world.

Psalm 46:4 - There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, John 1:16 - For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

Testimony flows forth from God, glorifying Him, passing on His life like rippling waves. It springs from His Well of Salvation, and flows out like a river, glittering all the way with His glory and praise…

And the Lord Himself joins in, and does it again, testifying to our testimony:

Acts 14:3 - Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands.

Will God do it again? Yes. He has, He is, and He will.

Faith Hope Love
I read!