RSS feed

The News and the Testimony

Download the pdf file

It has occurred to me that there may be many who do not realise the difference between the preaching of the gospel, that is, the good news, and the testimony given by a witness.

Jesus Himself both preached the good news and testified.  When He began to preach, He said, “Repent and believe the good news!” [Mark 1.15] which is, “The time has come.  The Kingdom of God is near.” [Mark 1.15]  That was the news that He had, but it was not His testimony.  His testimony, or rather, His testimonies came later as He testified to that which He knew, heard and seen, including His encounter with Satan.  He had a phase early in His ministry where He preached, as He said, “I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other towns also…” [Luke 4.43]  A news that He confirmed with signs and wonders, healing the sick and driving out demons.

The key difference between news and testimony is that news is not admissible in a legal court, but a testimony is.  News can be reported by anyone who need not be a witness of the event, but a testimony is only available through a witness, and when a testimony is given, it makes it possible for a judgement or a decision to be made in a law court.

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would testify for Him, but that the eleven should also testify as they were with Him from the beginning.  Testimonies can and should be confirmed with evidence.  As such, the Testimony of the Holy Spirit was confirmed with the raising of Jesus, and continues to this day with the power of signs, wonders and miracles.  However, the good news of Jesus is only confirmed with signs and wonders when it is preached by those who are believers.

The good news of Jesus is preached every Christmas, but it is preached as a news item, that He was born, and not as a testimony.  In fact, the good news of the birth of Jesus is not worthy journalistically because of its inaccuracies.  Anyone who knows the region and its customs would know that Jesus could not have been born in December, for it was too cold for shepherds to be in the fields.  So, as much as we celebrate Christmas with songs and services, there is no accompanying healing of the sick as the faithful gather for the midnight services.  The fact that you would celebrate His birth on December 24th means you do not really believe anyway.  For He is the Lamb of God and lambs are not born in winter but in spring.  We may no longer know the day, but at least we should have the common sense to get the season right.  Like those who love to publicise the day of His return, when are they going to believe Him when He said that no one knows the hour or the day of His return?  The moment you hear of any so called prophet or teacher claim he has calculated the day of His return, you should know you are listening to one who does not believe or who is ignorant.

The condition for the end to come is that the gospel of the kingdom is preached to all nations as a TESTIMONY and not as a news item.  For the gospel to be preached as a testimony, we need disciples, not believers, not news reporters, not theorists or commentators.  Disciples who hold onto the teachings of Jesus, as He said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples.” [John 8.31]

So we do not need people who come up with their own recommendations and judgements like James the Younger, but faithful people… those who believe Jesus, obey Jesus and are loyal to Him first, even if it means disobedience and disloyalty to the church authorities.

When believers preach the gospel, those who believe will be saved.  When believers believe Jesus, they are saved.  And when believers become disciples, then they can testify not only as witnesses, but as visitors and citizens of the Kingdom of God.

For the good news of the Kingdom of God to be preached as a testimony means that the witnesses must be witnesses not only of Jesus, but witnesses of the Kingdom of God.  They must have entered it, seen it and have lived in it.  That is, they must be born again of the Spirit and have changed to become like little children and have tasted of the power of God.  Those who have heard there is a Kingdom of God are not witnesses, but those who know the Kingdom of God are.

As such, understand that the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are just that – good news reports – but they are not testimonies even though they may contain the word of Jesus quoted verbatim.  If you were to use the four gospels as testimonies, their conflict with each other in the details would render them inadmissible in a court of law.  That is why the preaching of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John for hundred of years has not brought the end.  Rather, it is the goods news of the Kingdom of God as a testimony that will bring the end.

However, the Testimony of the Holy Spirit about Jesus Christ is not news.  It is His testimony, and as such, brings about a decision, a judgement and a conviction, and resolves all the contradictions the four gospels have with each other, and makes clear the truth of what really happened without any bias or slant.

For instance, if you only read the news about the resurrection from Matthew, you can be forgiven to think that the disciples went to Galilee when the women gave them the message from Jesus, [Matthew 28.16] which contradicts John’s and Mark’s accounts, which clearly shows that they did not.  However, the Testimony explains the events in their correct time sequence of occurrence and there is no more misunderstanding, and when there is no misunderstanding, the truth can be seen for what it is and freedom can come.

As such, the news can give you an expectation of freedom, but it is the testimony alone that can truly set free.  That is the difference.  That is why those who believe the news will be saved, [Mark 16.15-16] but those who believe Jesus have eternal life, [John 3.16-18] for to believe in Jesus is to believe the testimony of God.

So here is the good news:  If you believe in the news about Jesus, you will be saved for eternal life, but if you believe the Testimony about Jesus by He who has been with Him from the beginning, you are already saved to enjoy eternal life now.

Hr. Ed Kwan, manager of the Holy Spirit’s Workshop

Copyright Information:  NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION [NIV]  All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®,
NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved worldwide.  www.zondervan.com

|


Notice: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' in /home/holyspiritsworks/public_html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/ultimate_ga.php on line 524

Notice: Use of undefined constant user_level - assumed 'user_level' in /home/holyspiritsworks/public_html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/ultimate_ga.php on line 524