The Power of The Personal Testimony

"And they overcame him by the blood
of the Lamb, and by the word of their
testimony; and they loved not their
lives unto the death" (Rev. 12:11).

We are told in I Jn. 5:4 that we overcome the world by our faith in Jesus. "The world," as is stated, means the spirit of this world (Satan), and the mind or nature of this world, which is the carnal mind (Eph. 2:2; Rom. 8:5-7; I Jn. 2:16). And Jesus made it very clear in His messages to the seven messengers of the congregations of God in Asia minor, that only those who overcome will be saved, and be partakers of the eternal rewards that God has prepared for the faithful (Rev. 2:11,17,26, etc). What I would like to do is to correlate our text scripture, to the realization and need of our overcoming the world by faith in Jesus. And first of all we should note that it isn't possible for anyone to literally overcome the nature of sinning, and the delusively powerful spirit of this world, on their own strength. In fact this is the very reason why Jesus had to come and accomplish everything that He accomplished for our sakes. The Apostle Paul confirmed this reality for us in Rom. 5:6, saying "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."

So in order for us to be able to overcome the worldly nature and spirit that had power over us all of our lives, we obviously must have power above what we have ever had. That brings us to what Jesus told His first faithful followers before He left this world to be again with His Father: "...wait for the promise of the Father, . . . For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. . . 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" (Acts 1:4,5,7). Notice how Jesus tied together His followers receiving power through the holy Ghost, and them becoming witnesses of Him. It is very important for me to point out that the word "witness," and the word "testimony" come from the same Greek word, and have the same meaning, which is to bear witness or to bear record to something or someone. In fact the word "record" also comes from the same Greek word. A witness of anything must have accurate evidence of that which it bears witness to, or it becomes a false witness. So the only way that anyone can bear witness of Jesus, is if they are being like Jesus. In other words anyone can talk the talk about Jesus, but the only people who are truly bearing witness to Jesus are those who are walking the walk, as it has been said. And again, the only way that we can walk as Jesus walked, is if we have power over the nature of sin and the spirit of this world that would have us under sin.

The power of the holy Ghost that was imparted to those first believers on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:4 is in fact the witness, or testimony of Jesus Christ. Jesus foretold this truth in Jn. 15:26,27 saying that when the Spirit was sent back from heaven, the Spirit would testify of Him, and that His disciples would also bear witness to Him. So they needed to receive the overcoming power of the holy Ghost in order to have true deliverance from sin, and become accurate witnesses of Jesus; not only in word, but also in deed and in truth (I Jn. 3:18). To be further certain that the holy Ghost is the very witness, or testimony of Jesus, we are told in Heb. 10:15 that the Spirit is the witness to us that Jesus indeed sits at the right hand of God making intercession for the remission of sins for those who truly believe on Him and depend on Him for that remission, and for power over sin. And again in I Jn. 5:6 we are told that "it is the Spirit that beareth witness (of Jesus), because the Spirit is truth." And that brings us to the root of the matter, which is set forth also in I Jn. 5:10, where we are emphatically told that "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself:" So those who truly believe on Jesus are those who have received the holy Ghost into themselves, because the Spirit is that witness of Jesus, as we have seen established by the scriptures.

Anyone who is not overcoming the inner workings of sin, and are not conducting themselves in a manner of living that bears witness to Jesus, either has not received the Spirit, or is not continuing in the overcoming power of the Spirit and subsequent freedom from sin. And those who are living in true holiness before God by the power of His Spirit, are the ones who truly are bearing witness to Jesus, because they have that witness in themselves, and are keeping themselves under the power thereof (Rom. 8:2,13,14). And these are the ones who are overcoming the devil "by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of their testimony;" as stated in our text scripture. Like those first believers who received this power from heaven on the day of Pentecost, those today who have truly received the Spirit of God have a sure word of testimony of this glorious and powerful experience from heaven. After one becomes a partaker of this power by repentance from sin and faith toward Jesus; as long as he keeps himself under this divine power, he will always have a word of personal testimony that cannot possibly be thwarted. The confidence that one derives from a life free from sin, and full of the joy of the Lord, just can't be overcome or denied.

As it was in the beginning of this gospel, so it is now: the one and only true gospel experience is one that is very personal and very powerful, namely the baptism of the holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking with other tongues. Anyone who has it and keeps it alive and thriving in their life, will be made "more than conquerors (overcomers) through him that loved us" (Rom. 8:37). And you may ask, more than conquerors over what? Over sin and over Satan, that's what! We are told in Prov. 18:21 that "death and life are in the power of the tongue." If we receive this holy witness from heaven, and allow it to overcome all sin in us, then we will always have an overpowering confession of faith in Jesus, which confession is rooted in the reality of the power of God that has set us free and kept us free from sin; and from the Devil's illusions which are designed to keep us under the power of sin (Rom. 8:2-4). This is that "word of testmony" referred to in our text scripture. This is also what the Apostle Paul was referring to in Rom. 10:9 where he exhorts believers to continue confessing their faith in Jesus unto salvation.

When someone gives testimony of the things that they have truly experienced by and through the power of God's Spirit, there simply is no way of gainsaying or refuting it. The Apostle Paul knew the value of the personal testimony. He never left off bearing witness to how Jesus first began dealing with him and turning him to the way of truth (Acts 22:6; Acts 26:13). And anyone who truly has the real gospel experience in their life, will never leave off testifying of it, as long as they are keeping themselves alive in the Spirit. And if we do have a testimony of receiving the miraculous power of God into our lives, and we keep that testimony or confession alive by staying free from sin, then we will be in the number of those who overcome the world, and inherit eternal life. Not only so, but having a testimony of the reality of God's power, love and truth, is the only way that anyone could be able and willing to endure even death for the sake of Christ, as stated in our text and as is confirmed to us in the book of Revelation (Rev. 6:9; Rev. 20:4). If we do not have this witness or testimony from heaven, then we cannot possibly overcome sin or be saved in the end; as we are soberly informed in Rom. 8:9: "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." And the same fate applies to those who do receive the Spirit but do not continue walking in the Spirit and overcoming sin, as the scriptures solemnly warn us (Heb. 6:4-8; Heb. 10:28,29; II Pet. 2:19-22; etc.). The good news is that Jesus wants us to be conquerors, and He also stands ready to furnish us with the power and grace that we need for the task, as long as we make our need known to Him and seek Him humbly and honestly for His help (Heb. 4:15,16). Amen.

"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, ..."
(I Cor.12:13)

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