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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 11

The Testimony of Jesus
 

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Let’s pray together:

Our Father,

Our toolbox fills up gradually, thanks to the help of Your Holy Spirit who guides us in the study of Your prophetic word.

We would like to add a third tool to those we already have: the testimony of Jesus.

What is the testimony of Jesus? How can it be useful to us?

Please enlighten us on this subject. In Jesus Christ our Savior we pray.

Amen.




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Revelation 12:17

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

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During our last two lessons, we have noticed the importance of the faith of Jesus and the commandments of God, especially for those who will have to go through the difficult times which are drawing near.

Now, the book of Revelation teaches us that God’s people will also have to rely on a third tool: «the testimony of Jesus».




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Revelation 19:10

And I fell at the feet [of the angel] to worship him. And he said to me,

«See you do it not: I am your fellow servant, and of your brothers that have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.

For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.»

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What is the testimony of Jesus?

This verse tells us that «the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy». This is a beginning, but we have to know more about it.

Let’s compare two passages of Revelation, in order to better define what is the testimony of Jesus.




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The testimony of Jesus is brought to us by the prophets of God




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1 Peter 1:10,11

Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come to you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

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How did the prophets bring the testimony of Jesus?

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, they bore witness to Jesus, testifying to His work, His redeeming death, His resurrection, and His glorious return.




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Acts 10:43

To [Jesus] give all the prophets witness, that through His name whoever believes in Him shall receive remission of sins.

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By bearing the testimony of Jesus, the prophets indicated that Jesus Christ was the Messiah men were awaiting for their salvation.

This message of redemption draws us to the foot of the cross where Jesus gave His life for each one of us.

Then we understand that His sacrifice is the only way to obtain forgiveness of our sins, and we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord of our life.




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1 John 5:10,11 (NKJV)

He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.

And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

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The one who bears the testimony of Jesus acknowledges the saving work of Jesus on the cross, and accepts His death and resurrection as the only way to inherit eternal life.




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John 3:31,32

He that comes from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth.

He that comes from heaven is above all. And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no man receives His testimony.

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To bear the testimony of Jesus is also to accept the teaching of Jesus, He who has come to reveal the character of His Father, and to invite us to imitate His character marked by unconditional love.




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John 15:26

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, He shall testify of Me.

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The role of the Holy Spirit is, among other things, to constantly remind us of the testimony of Jesus, so that we may never lose sight of the plan of redemption God has set up for each one of us in Jesus Christ.




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1 Corinthians 1:5-8

In every thing you are enriched by [Jesus Christ], in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: so that you come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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And once «the testimony of Christ is confirmed in us», our only hope will be the glorious return of our Savior and Lord, and we will do what is necessary to prepare ourselves for this great day.




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Revelation 1:1,2

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him, to show to His servants things which must shortly come to pass.

And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John: who bore record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

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We can learn more about the testimony of Jesus by studying the writings of the apostle John, the author of the book of Revelation.

More than once, John speaks of the duo formed by «the word of God» and «the testimony of Jesus».




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Revelation 1:9,10

I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.

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John tells us that his faithfulness to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus was the cause of his tribulations and, at the end of his life, his exile on the island called Patmos, where he received the visions he recorded in the book of Revelation.




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Revelation 20:4 (ASV)

I saw the souls of them that had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as worshipped not the beast, neither his image, and received not the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand.

And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

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John also tells us that these same two elements, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus, will bring the persecution of Jesus’ followers who, just like John, desire to remain faithful to Him.




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Isaiah 30:9,10

This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: which say to the seers,

«See not,»

and to the prophets,

«Prophesy not to us right things, speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.»

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In fact, to bear the testimony of Jesus, that is, the spirit of prophecy, is to fulfill the work of the prophets, whose task is to convey to men God’s call to repentance and conversion.

We can easily imagine that this unpopular message is often the cause of tribulations...




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1 Corinthians 14:3

He that prophesies speaks to men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

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God wants us to bear the testimony of Jesus to those around us, just like His prophets did.

To prepare us for this often difficult task, He has given us the gift of prophecy.

Moved by the Spirit of God, he who receives the gift of prophecy doesn’t just foretell the future: above all, he guides God’s people, encourages them and offers them support, so that they may follow the instructions of God.




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Ephesians 4:11-13

[Christ] gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God.

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We can see that God gives the gift of prophecy to His church to uplift the members of His church, to help them become more like Him, and grow in unity and knowledge.




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Ephesians 4:11

[Christ] gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.

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1 Corinthians 12:8,10

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; (...) to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues.

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Quickly growing, the early Church was granted the gift of prophecy, among many other gifts brought by the Holy Spirit.




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Acts 2:17,18

«In the last days,» said God, «I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.

And on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy.»

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This same gift of prophecy will also be found in the last days, as God’s Church experiences a final reawakening before the return of Jesus.




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Joel 2:28,31,32

I will pour out My spirit on all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. (...)

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.

And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.

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The Bible clearly announces that the time before the return of Jesus will be marked with a generous distribution of the gift of prophecy among God’s people, to guide them through these dark days.




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1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

Quench not the Spirit.

Despise not prophesyings.

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

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Of course, in these last days, false prophets abound.

But the word of God warns us against contempt for all prophets. Instead, it invites us to test the words and deeds of each prophet, to know if he is really sent by God.

In our lesson «Detecting False Prophets», we saw the clues helping us distinguish the genuine prophets from the false.




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Hosea 12:13

By a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.

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2 Chronicles 20:20

Believe in the Lord your God, so shall you be established; believe His prophets, so shall you prosper.

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God foretells that the gift of prophecy will still be present among His people before the return of His Son.

And a genuine prophet of God, once identified, turns out to be a very precious source of information.




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Revelation 12:17

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

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Revelation 19:10

For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

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Let’s add the testimony of Jesus to our toolbox, and listen to the message of those we will identify as being genuine prophets, sent by God to guide and encourage us.




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Let’s pray, before ending this lesson:

Our Lord,

The apostle John wrote, «And I saw the souls of them that had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God.» (Revelation 20:4, [ASV])

Those two sources of truth, Your word and the testimony of Jesus, are so precious that thousands of people have given their lives for them, preferring to die rather than to deny them.

Please enlighten us by Your Holy Spirit, so that we too may fully understand the worth of these two pearls of great price. In Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.


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