The witness is the one who has seen and who gives the report of what he or she has seen (Acts 22:15), “Come and hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul (Ps 66:16).” The Bible has God as a witness (Gen 31:50). It also warns God’s people not to bear false witness (Ex 20:16), nor associate with one who is a malicious witness (Ex 23:1).
People themselves can be their own witness (Jos 24:22). They can also erect inanimate monuments to bear witness of some event worth remembering (Jos 24:27). A matter is better established with multiple witnesses (Ruth 4:7, 10–11). A trustworthy witness will not lie, but a false witness utters lies (Prv 14:5).
God takes the witness of people with utmost seriousness (Prv 19:9; 21:28). The God of Israel gave His chosen people a most serious task, “’You are My witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘And My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me (Is 43:10).’”
It is a terrible position to hold, if God bears witness against you, as He does against the people of the earth (Mic 1:2; Zeph 3:8) and against His own disobedient people (Mal 3:5). Repentance is demanded.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was sent from heaven (Jn 3:16), and the Bible identifies Him as, “the faithful witness” (Rev 1:5). He has told us the truth about God and about Himself. As He bore witness to the validity of the Scriptures, so the Scriptures testify about Him (Jn 5:39). The Bible is the written Word of God (2 Tim 3:16; 1 Pet 1:20–21; Heb 4:12), the Word of truth (Jn 17:17).
The witness of the Bible — in revealing the truth, as it is in Jesus Christ — is the witness of God concerning His Son (Heb 1:2). The Bible is a true witness of the true witness of God the Son enfleshed (Jn 1:14), who was truth Himself (Jn 14:6). God is true (Rom 3:4), and His Word, both personified and written, is true. Thus, there is much witness and many witnesses, to validate the revelation of God, in a world of lies.
The Christian has a great cloud of witnesses, in those who have already run the race and finished the course (Heb 12:1; 2 Tim 4:7). These fought the good fight of faith (1 Tim 1:18; 6:12), having received the grace of God, to endure to the end. Their stories are recorded throughout the Scripture and through church history. These were all fitted with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8; 5:32), who came upon them, in order to empower them, to fulfill God’s purpose for them, in their own generation.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God (1 Cor 6:11), who is also called, “the Spirit of Christ” (Phil 1:19; 1 Pet 1:11). He is the third Person of the Trinitarian Godhead. He is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive (Jn 14:17). He is sent from the Father and the Son, and He testifies about Jesus (Jn 15:26).
Christians become witnesses to the Word (enfleshed/written), when the Holy Spirit comes upon them, to empower them with divine wisdom and power (Christ). Believers are guided into all truth, by the Spirit, who teaches the church (Jn 14:26; 16:13). The Spirit hears and tells, as God’s witness in the world through His indwelt people.
The heavenly tongues of Christ’s church, sharing the universally recognized jargon of Scripture, is the Spirit speaking in and through them. When the child of God hears others in a coffee house, quoting Scripture, and speaking the things of God, she leaps in her spirit, as John the Baptist leaped in the womb of his mother, when Jesus arrived for a visit, while in the womb of Mary, His mother (Lk 1:41).
Jesus, the faithful and true witness, occupies the throne of God in heaven (Rev 7:17), but His Spirit has been sent throughout the earth. His heavenly witness, in the souls of His people from every nation, tribe, and tongue (Rev 5:9;7:9), is like Light in the darkness, rivers of living water in the desert, or even life from the dead.
Jesus Christ cannot lie, for it is impossible for God to lie (Heb 6:18). If He bears witness, His witness is true. This witness has gone out into the world. We who are from God (1 Jn 4:6), have faith in the truth (2 Thess 2:13) because of the Spirit of truth, who abides in each born again soul, who declares, “Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil 2:11).”
Examine yourself, my dear reader. It is the Spirit of truth who testifies (1 Jn 5:16), without shame (Rom 1:16–17), to the Person and work of Jesus Christ. Is this your life and testimony? Do you boast in yourself, or do you bear witness of Him (Acts 1:8)?
The witness of Christ, in the Christian, is the product of the witness of the Spirit of Christ. We are found faithful, as bold witnesses, when the faithful witness is at work in us. Our faithfulness is Him being faithful, and we humbly and gladly bear witness to the fact that it is all Him and not us.
Spokane Valley, Washington
December 16, 2022