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His Only Gift

The Gift Of His Testimony

CHAPTER THREE

I remember the day I received this gift of Christ. What a complete joy filled my heart. What a perfect experience. The first thing I remember doing was going to my job and telling others what Jesus had done for me. Some hearts were strangely warmed. Others were chilled. The ones who presented themselves as being good Christians seemed to be those who were chilled. A lady working near my station heard me say how Jesus had removed my sins He had cleansed my heart. Her question was, "Oh, you don't sin anymore?" I could tell immediately this heart was not a warm one. I did not have a theology for my experience. I did not know for sure what had happened to me. All I knew was that once I was blind, but now I saw. God had given me His testimony. I knew I had been forgiven and I knew my sins had no more power over me. I had been delivered once and for all. This was my experience. Now this was my testimony. I realized that I had become the light of the world yet not I, but Christ who lived in me. I always did those things which pleased the Father yet not I, but Christ who lived in me.

As I began to behold my Savior I could see more clearly the nature of the natural man. I saw myself as the offscouring of the earth. My own nature appeared to me as the slime pit of the universe. I saw myself as unworthy of so great a gift. This man was sinful and weak yet, now, Christ lived in me. Now the natural man could no longer continue to bring me into the pit of sin's experience. Now I had a testimony of that fact. Of course I encountered those "spiritual hecklers." These would say, "Are you saying you are sinless?" They could not resist the temptation to make me speak of myself. They knew if they could get me to boast that I was sinless the trap would be set. I never fell into their traps but continued to recognize that I am sinful sold under sin. I could never make the claim that I, myself, was sinless. In fact, looking at myself to see if I was sinless gave me no little pain because I am chief of sinners. This is why I continued to keep my gaze upon the Savior and ceased looking at myself. He is sinless and He lives within my heart. Thank God I am dead. I will put this carcass into the grave where it belongs. Now I live unto God. I would answer the scoffers, "Whether I am sinless or not I will leave with God. I will let the angels record whether or not that is true. But this I know, once I was trapped in sin and now I am free."

I Do Not Bear Witness Of Myself

The testimony of Jesus was not, "I am sinless." But the Scriptures abound in His testimony regarding the relationship to the Father He had. He came as a man to be tried as a man but in all things He pleased the Father. "Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted." (Hebrews. 2:17-18.) Jesus was made like us and, as well, He was tempted as we are, but He gained the victory in every area never yielding to sin, thus giving us the victory in every area never yielding to sin. What a blessing! His testimony was far more descriptive than merely bearing witness of Himself. Indeed He said, "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." (John 5:31.) Again He said, "...I can do nothing of myself...." (John 5:28.) This is the testimony of Jesus and this is the testimony of all those who have the testimony of Jesus. If we speak of ourselves, we cannot speak the truth, for we do nothing of ourselves. Jesus did not bear witness of Himself but His testimony was decided and true. This being true, to some His testimony sounded like He was speaking of Himself. "...For I do always those things that please him." "...But the Son abideth ever...." "Which of you convinceth me of sin?" "...I honor my Father...." "...I know Him...." (See John Ch. 8). As with the testimony of Jesus, so it is with the testimony of the Christian. Christians do not bear witness to themselves; but to those who know not the truth, it sounds like this is what they do. The Christian does nothing of himself and does not bear witness of himself, but his testimony remains, "...I have gained the victory...Jesus' word is true He means what He says." (TM 517.) "I know Him! I know Him! I have tested Him; I have proved Him, and He has never failed me...." (UL 256.)

What We Know

John wrote concerning his testimony, "We know that no one begotten of God commits sin; rather, God protects the one begotten by Him, and so the evil one cannot touch him. We know that we belong to God, while the whole world is under the evil one." (1 John 5:18-19 NAB.) It may be well to notice that John was bearing witness to a truth that few would accept today. He said, "We know that anyone born of God does not sin and we are born of God." I can see the shattered nerves of today's conservative with that one; however, John said far more than this. He spoke of the testimony of Jesus. He describes what that was. "Whoever believes in the Son of God possesses that testimony within his heart. Whoever does not believe God has made God a liar by refusing to believe in the testimony He has given on His own Son's behalf. The testimony is this: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever possesses the Son possesses life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not possess life. I have written this to you to make you realize that you possess eternal life--you who believe in the name of the Son of God." (1 John 5:10-13 NAB.) This is what the testimony of Jesus is. Did you grasp the significance of that? God gave us eternal life. All those who believe in the Son have eternal life and those who are born of God do not sin. And these believers will have this testimony. I can imagine that John would be boiled in oil by the modern church if he would bear the same testimony now as he bore in his own lifetime.

Remember, the Christian does nothing of himself, neither does he bear witness of himself, but he does have the testimony of Jesus. It is not hard to understand the wrath of modern-day religion, for the Scriptures bear witness of this wrath. "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." (Rev. 12:17) We have seen what this testimony is. When one possesses the Son he possesses life. Notice the first words of the testimony: "God gave us eternal life and this life is in His Son." Let us make it still more pointed. "I have eternal life because I have the Son. Those who have the Son don't sin." Immediately the hairs on the neck of the conservative class begin to raise. Their eyes begin to narrow, their head turns slightly, then with an upturned voice they say, "Oh, are you saying you are sinless?" It will always be that Christians must go on as those who hear not. There will always be those who dwell in the company of unbelief.

The Spirit Of Prophecy

The Scriptures again give the definition of this testimony of Jesus. "And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Rev. 19:10.) The spirit of prophecy is that testimony within one's heart that Jesus is the Son of God and that He has given us eternal life. We are empowered to work the works of His own life. Even in this flesh. Such a magnificent reality. Let them say, "You make yourself sinless." We will say, "I have eternal life and this life is in His Son." "We know we are of God and those born of God do not sin." "He has never failed me, I have tested Him and He is true and He bears witness to me that I am a son of God."

This message can be quite discouraging to the natural man. He realizes there is no hope for him. When the natural man hears these words he recoils in horror, for he knows if one accepts this testimony he is doomed to death. But for those who desire this life, there is only rejoicing at the testimony, for it means that the dominion of sin is over forever for him. If anyone dwells in this life, he is secure. The Scriptures again bear witness to that experience. "Here we have also the testimony of the Holy Spirit: He first says, 'This is the covenant which I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will set my laws in their hearts and write them on their understanding'; then He adds, 'and their sins and wicked deeds I will remember no more at all.' And where these have been forgiven, there are offerings for sin no longer." (Heb. 10:15-18.) Imagine, the testimony of Jesus through the spirit of prophecy saying He wrote His laws on our own hearts, then forgets our sins forever, then removes the sin offering since sin no longer reigns. Now that is a testimony. I am of God for He has written His law on my heart. Notice that is not bearing testimony of one's self. That is having the testimony of Jesus which is the spirit of prophecy. It is God who bears the testimony of Jesus in our hearts. We claim His promise. We accept His work in us by faith thus making it a reality in our lives. This is the testimony He has given us and by it we are believing unto eternal life.

The Law Of Faith

There is a law that enters every facet of our lives. This law is that all things work according to our faith. Even the body reacts to our mental ideas and so it is in the spiritual. Our spiritual health is related directly to our attitude about it. If our testimony is one that includes falling on occasion, then for certain we will. If our testimony is that we will stand in faith, then we gain strength to stand in faith. This is not a new principle. Some of the first writings of Scripture included this idea. "For this command which I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious and remote for you. It is not up in the sky, that you should say, 'Who will go up in the sky to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?' Nor is it across the sea, that you should say, 'Who will cross the sea to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?' No, it is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out." (Deut. 30:11-14 NAB.) All one has to do is believe it, since God has already placed the truth of it in the heart. Who is it that does not believe "someday" we will get better or "someday" we will achieve? You see? The idea of it is already there. The deception is that it is someday. The truth of it is that it is now. It all depends upon the one who decides he is ready to carry it out.

The sad reality for most is that these remain waiting for someone to do this for them. Humanity hopes for a Messiah to come and do something for them. That day will never come. All that has been done for us is all that will be done for us. We either believe it or disbelieve it. Jesus said, "...According to your faith be it unto you." (Matt. 9:29.) If we wait, then our faith is in waiting. If we include in our testimony that someday we will make it--but not now, then our victory ever remains off in the someday. But if our testimony is that we accept the Word of God as true and we claim this gift for ourselves now, and we testify to this fact believing with our whole heart, it will be a reality for us at that instant. God does not lie, so, "Every failure on the part of the children of God is due to their lack of faith." (PP 657.)

The mystery in my mind remains why men would like to extend their agony. The provision of all God's righteousness is now ready for the taking. This is His will. Yes, it is His will that we take this gift now. It is also His will that we bear the testimony of Jesus now. This is the gift of God. This is the spirit of prophecy. Even so, as strange as it seems, there are those who love their faults and failings. They cling to the opportunity for failure, but it shall not be named among the people of God.

At this point we may want to go back into Biblical history and see the testimony as others have given it. Jesus and John were not the only ones who spoke in this way. Others in Scripture also had confidence that God meant what He said. "Though you test my heart, searching it in the night, though you try me with fire, you shall find no malice in me. My mouth has not transgressed after the manner of man; according to the words of your lips I have kept the ways of the law. My steps have been steadfast in your paths, my feet have not faltered." (Ps. 17:3-5.) The apostle Paul also added his voice to the glory of God. "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing." (2 Tim. 4:7-8.) Notice how the testimony is for all who believe. So it is with all the other testimonies we have looked at. This is the testimony of Jesus and this is the testimony of all who love His appearing.

Not One Day But Today

In this age you may know by now all things have counterfeits. So does the testimony. Some may say these things, but their lives bear another testimony. But this is not the counterfeit I refer to, since it is so rare these days to hear the testimony at all. The one I refer to is the message that we should do all these things and one day we may achieve and do all these things. That "one day" is the mark of a false testimony. The testimony of Jesus is His own testimony from a life that lives this testimony. When we have received the gift of the Son, and with Him the gift of His righteousness, then we will have the gift of His testimony. Any shortcut to this and any pretense will only lead to confusion and guilt. We will believe that those who have this testimony are presumptuous if we have not received it ourselves. Yet, those who have this life of Jesus know that their testimony is true. When one knows, there is no presumption.

It would be well to notice that the dragon, "who 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", was not wroth with those who thought you should be good. His wrath is not aimed at those who go to church and sing and pray alot. He did not aim his darts at those who thought they would achieve someday. His wrath was aimed at those who have the testimony of Jesus. There is something the dragon cannot stand about those who bear this testimony. One might think, "Why should he care?" But care he does. He cares because this is the only thing that will give Jesus Christ glory. It does not give glory to say you will get better one day. That gives glory to self. It does not give Him glory to say you ought to get better and be good. It gives Him glory to live His life and bear witness to the fact that the words of Jesus are true and that He has given you power over the enemy. This is the reason the dragon is wroth. Some believe they give God glory by saying "Yes, Christians should live righteous lives and many do most of the time, but you know that one just might fall one day." This is a slap in the face of the Son of God. The Christian, on the other hand, believes the word of Christ and he says, "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." (Ps. 23:6.) "I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved." (Ps. 16:8.)

Some who read these pages may not have this testimony. Would you like to have it? Would you like to be able to say, "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways." (Ps. 119:1-3.) "...If you practice these things you will never stumble." (2 Peter. 1:10.) I would like to say to the reader, you may walk the path that many have walked before you. Yes, there are those who have chosen this life and have this testimony. It is true! Walking the earth right now are those who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These put forth their efforts to always please the Lord and the peace of God is in their hearts. These walk in the law of their God and their conscience is pure and clean. Would you like to be one of these if you are not now? This is God's offering to you. This is His gift to you. This is His testimony. It is offered now.

Accepting this gift does not mean there will be no more battles. Sanctification is not the work of a moment but of a lifetime. What the gift will do for you is give you the Spirit of God and with that gift you will always have victory. Sin shall have no more dominion over you. The gift does not give you holy flesh but it does give you holiness. Would you like to have this?


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