Do Our “Testimonies” Give Glory to Jesus Christ?

Here is something to ponder: “Testimonies” as witnessing. Is this even Biblical? Perhaps testimonies are meant to encourage the saints, rather than witness to the lost. Someone help me out here? Right off, I can only think of this example from the Bible: the woman at the well who went and told everyone in her town what happened when she met the Lord. After a quick review of the words “testify” and “testimony” in the New Testament, it looks like the context is almost always exalting Christ and telling the content of the Gospel! The Samaritan woman was being an evangelist; a true witness of the Lord, telling the Gospel to everyone she knew.

Last week my daughter and I attended a midweek worship service at a huge mega church. A woman told her testimony. She described what sounded like her “false conversion” : church kid, “accepted Christ” at 8, then lived backslidden for the next 20 years. She only praised and gave glory to these things: 1. a relative, 2. the doctors, 3. the psychologists and, 4. the psych drugs they put her on. Now this subject she was speaking on is another topic altogether. But regardless, it was only about her. Jesus was not even mentioned; only a phrase in Psalms that she repeated to herself mantra style that helped her cope. She preached the gospel of “hope in psychologists and drugs”- only.

This is not the first time I have heard this exact testimony from a woman in a mega church. This is the fourth time. Once I also heard a man give his testimony in which he went on about how, being down and out on skid row, some men invited him to church and now he has friends, community and a place to belong (and support to get sober, etc).

We can only give “testimony” if we are actually born again. And if we are, let us not only tell what the Lord has done in our lives to help us, but let us exalt Jesus Christ, (the true encouragement for believers) and represent Him to the lost by testifying of faith in Him and the content of the gospel (the only true witnessing and hope for the lost).

He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. John 1:7

And this is the testimony (witness!), that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 1 John 5:11.

We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 1 John 4:14

who bore witness to the Word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ.. Rev.1:2


Our Prophetic Calling

There are some that think that only certain special (elite?) Christians are “anointed”. They call themselves “prophets”. These claim to have subjective, personal, authoritative “prophecies” and “words from God”. Unfortunately, many of these “prophecies” are fake and unbiblical. Does this negate true prophecy in our time?

Bob DeWaay’s Critical Issues Commentary is a newsletter of theological essays addressing unbiblical teachings and movements in the church. One issue I appreciate is The Prophetic Calling of Every Believer from July/August 2006.

In this article, DeWaay explains that under the New Covenant, every believer has the Holy Spirit and may prophesy. He teaches that prophesy is speaking the actual written Word of God, declaring Truth from scripture and proclaiming the terms of the gospel, as well as valid implications and applications of authoritative scripture. He says that every believer who accurately (biblically) proclaims the terms of the gospel, or any Biblical truth, is prophesying with the full authority of God:

“The Reformation view was that prophecy was the teaching of the Word and proclamation of the terms of the gospel. Since every believer has the Holy Spirit, every believer….can authoritatively declare the terms of entrance into the kingdom. All are anointed and all have the authoritative teachings of Christ and His apostles. Therefore they may prophesy.”


He goes on to teach that all prophesy can and must be judged by other believers regarding whether it is biblical or not, and why this judging is so important.

One function of prophesy, he teaches, is for believers to be edified, as we see in 1 Cor.14:31: For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted.

Another theme in the article is that the proclamation of the gospel to the lost is prophesy in its most important form, since it testifies about the person and work of Jesus Christ. DeWaay writes:

“Let me illustrate. If I say to someone, “According to the Law of God, everyone is a sinner and stands condemned as a law-breaker. The penalty for all law-breakers is eternity in hell. Since you, like everyone else, have broken God’s law, you stand condemned. God is perfectly just and cannot lie. God said that the soul that sins must die. But God is also loving and merciful. So God’s own Son, Jesus Christ, came into human history through the virgin birth, lived a sinless life, and shed His blood on the cross to avert God’s wrath against sin, and was bodily raised from the dead and appeared to many witnesses. If you repent of living for self, trusting self, and spurning God’s Word and put your faith in Jesus Christ, you will be saved. But if you neglect God’s offer of salvation through the finished work of Christ, you will face God’s wrath in eternity and there will be no escape.” –- I have truly prophesied in a most powerful and true way. Those words are not inspired Scripture, but they are valid implications from Scripture. They have the authority of God not because I uttered them, but because they correctly describe the certainty of the consequences of either faith or unbelief. When they are applied to a given sinner, they constitute a valid and authoritative application.”

“True prophesy comforts and strengthens faithful believers, warns straying believers, and convicts the lost of their sinful condition.”

If you are in Christ, you have the Holy Spirit. You are anointed. You may boldly declare the truth of scripture and proclaim the gospel. As His disciple, you have the authority, power and calling to prophesy.

When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me. John15:26

you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses…Acts1:8

For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Rev19:10

Verses of Encouragement: End Time

verses3“I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days Came, and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.” Dan.7:21-22.

“And by smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action.” Dan.11:32.

“And those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Dan.12:3.

“Many will be purged, purified and refined; but the wicked will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand.”Dan.12:10

“Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name….But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved” Matt.24:9,13.

“And when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit.” Mark13:11.

But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.” Luke21:12-15.

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him……..Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion (apostacy) comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction…2Thes.2:1,3.

Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand)…. for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be cut short.” Matt.24:15,21-22.

“But immediately after the tribulation……they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory and He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.” Matt.24:29-31.

Our God shall come…He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people: “Gather my saints together to Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” Ps.50:3-5.

“And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth, to the farthest end of heaven.” Mark13:27.

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 1Cor.15:51-52.

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1Thes.4:15-18.

Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him…Rev.1:7.

And one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and from where have they come? And I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne shall spread His tabernacle over them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes.” Rev.7:13-17.

And the seventh angel sounded and there arose loud voices in heaven…and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to give their reward to Thy bond-servants the prophets and to the saints and to those who fear Thy name… Rev.11:15,18.

“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even unto death.” Rev.12:11.

Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’ “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.” Rev.14:12-13.

“For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Rev.19:10.

Come, my people, enter into your rooms, and close your doors behind you; hide for a little while, until the indignation runs its course, for behold, the Lord is about to come out from His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity…Is.26:20-21.

And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True… Rev.19:11.

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehand and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.Rev.20:4-5.

Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. Rev.20:6.

Discipling Young People

Many laborers in the harvest have been working for 20, 30, or 40+ years, sowing seeds of the gospel. (How did we get this old?) We don’t plan to retire, but to serve Christ, “til we drop” (to quote John Piper). As Paul trained Timothy, we know that part of our job is to teach and train the younger generation to carry on after us. So multitasking becomes part of our repertoire. As we sow the good seed out to many through evangelism, we pour ourselves into a few through discipleship.

How is this done? Find a young believer, and teach them everything you have learned. Take them with you when you go out witnessing. Teach from the Bible, and teach by modeling and mentoring. Pour yourself into them. If you are a parent with children or young teens, your job is to pass on the faith. Just teach the Bible and talk about everything. You could try adding a little Worldview and Apologetics. There is also Church History and Christian biography to inspire and challenge them. Teach them something of the persecuted church around the world, to give them some perspective.

No matter where we are in relation to the “end of the age” (Matt.28:20), when our work is done and the Lord calls us home, we will be leaving behind the younger generation. It will then be their turn to give testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and witness of the Word of God.

O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth; and I still declare Thy wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and grey, O God, do not forsake me until I declare Thy strength to this generation, Thy power to all who are to come. Ps. 71:17-18