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Where are the Witnesses? Who Can Testify?

Where Are the Witnesses?   Who can Testify?

   There are several terms and phrases used by “religious” people that are Bible terms that have no proper biblical application today.   When these are used, it must make one wonder what the person who uses them believes, or why they have not received the proper instruction as to these words or terms and the proper use of them.  

   I often hear folks state that they “got baptized”. This is incorrect, as baptism in accordance to Romans 6:3-4, is something we participate in rather that something which is done unto us. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  In vs 5 we see baptism is that which initially prepares us for the resurrection. We then have to remain prepared after we become Christians. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 

   Believe it or not, the language (terms) we use identify us. In Mark 14:70 Peter’s speech identified his as a Galilean. . . . they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.  If we use the “speech” of the denominationalists, does this not identify us as being part of them?     In 2Corinthians 6:14-17 we are warned against fellowship with those not of God. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 

   We could give many other such examples, but if we are “Bible people” should we not properly use Bible terms?     Some of the more popular “religious” terms in use today are: “Witness” and “Testify”. The folks that use these terms are not truly aware of the idea being conveyed, or surely they would not use them.   Perhaps those who use these terms do not realize that they have incorporated “denominational terms” to express something that can be better expressed with a little more clarity, based on an understanding that can only be obtained through diligently studying the Word of God.

     For one to be a “witness” or to be able to “testify” one must have first-hand knowledge (seen or heard) that about which they “witnessed” or of what they are “testifying”.   We were not there. We did not hear the Lord teach. We did not see Him in the flesh.   The passage in Acts 1:8 was spoken by our Lord directly to the apostles. They saw Him; they heard Him teach, and He sent the Holy Ghost directly to them so that they could witness and testify. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  After this, we see in Acts 4:20 the inspired response to the rulers when the apostles were forbidden to preach and teach in the name of Jesus, which shows they were truly witnesses.   For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. 

  My father in-law had a knack for rhyme and song writing.   Many of the verses he penned assist in our remembering the proper application of things.       He once composed a song and at least part of it dealt with this specific topic. Below it are three scriptures. Consider them after reading the lines that follow (written by my father in-law) and see if they do not agree with what we find in God’s Word on this subject.

I was not there when my Savior died, but I believe He was crucified.

I was not there when He raised the dead, but Lazarus came forth, like He said.

I didn’t see the water turned to wine, Nor demons enter a herd of swine.

No I didn’t see, but I have heard, Yes, I believe the witness of the Word.

   “Yes, I believe the things that I have heard.” (Romans 10:17)   So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  “I believe the witness of the Word.” (John 5:39) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.     (2Timothy 3:15-17) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 

   Let us not be guilty of that for which some of God’s people were scolded in the days of Nehemiah.   In Nehemiah 13:23-24 we see: In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab: 24 And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people.    Let’s strive to speak the language of God, to convey His message and let His Word be the “witness” and let that Word “testify” as we seek to call the lost and the erring to the Lord.   May God bless us all as we endeavor to do this.                                                  

                                                                                               Dennis S. – Mooresville

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