Edited Sermon Transcript
Jon W. Brisby; 10-7-00
This afternoon, brethren, we’re going to continue on the topic that I began a couple of weeks ago, a topic that I entitled, “The Testimony of Jesus Christ.” I anticipate this will probably be either three of four sermons in length. I can’t tell for sure, because the more material I put down on paper, the longer it seems to get. But I do want to give you a pretty good summary of just the things that I’ve found in going through this topic.
If you remember from last time, we began by looking at a couple of Scriptures that had struck me when I read them in Revelation—and this phrase, “the testimony of Jesus,” the testimony of Jesus Christ, and it made me think. And I’ve had notes written on it for a number of months, but it’s just that I filed it away and said, one of these days I want to start looking up some of the Scriptures and find out what is this testimony. What is it that’s being referred to? It has to be deeper than just what’s on the surface. And so, sure enough, I began to do it, and I couldn’t get away from it. And so we went through and looked at some of those Scriptures concerning the testimony of Jesus Christ. Then we compared that to the very words of Christ Himself, and what He claimed He was saying when He was speaking in His ministry. We talked about the Greek words for the word “testimony.” We analyzed the words marturia, the noun form, the verb form, martureo, and the root of both of those words, the word martus. And if you remember from last time, I read to you some specific definitions from the Greek. Martureo, from Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, means to be a witness, to bear witness, to affirm that one has seen, or heard, or experienced something, or, that he knows it because taught by divine revelation or inspiration. So whatever we’re speaking of, a testimony is something that is much beyond casual conversation or normal speaking. We’re talking about something that carries a greater depth of meaning, formality and significance. We are talking about the activity of a witness—someone who knows something from personal experience, and therefore, is relaying that information in some way.
I also read to you from the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, the definition of the word, martus, which is the root word we’re speaking about. From that dictionary, again, a quote: “The proper sphere of martus is the legal.” Yes, it is a legal term. When we’re speaking of testimony, and we’re speaking of a witness, we’re not talking about a casual, or in informal thing, we’re speaking, primarily, of a legal term. “The proper sphere of martus is the legal, where it denotes one who can and does speak from personal experience about actions in which he took part, and which happened to him, or, about persons and relations known to him.” So in a court of law, when we’re speaking of a credible witness, we are not speaking of someone who only has hearsay testimony. No, we’re speaking about somebody—if they truly are a witness— somebody who knows something from their personal experience, and they testify under oath, they give a sworn statement, and they say, what I am about to say, and what I’m about to record is the truth.
And so we looked at a number of references in the New Testament where Christ—looking at this topic of testimony from that standpoint—asserted without doubt that the things He was saying and the things He was doing were a testimony—a sworn statement under oath. Let’s just look at a couple of those again.
Turn with me to begin, as we did last time, in Revelation chapter 19 and verse 9. Just a quick review before we get into the new material. “And he said unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” Here, John, in vision, being shown by Jesus Christ, things that were going to happen before the great and terrible day of the Lord—His Second Coming. And this angel that is here revealing certain things—as John is in vision at the very throne of God. “And He said unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I [meaning John] fell at his feet to worship him, and he said unto me . . .” because this was not Jesus Christ at the time, this was just an angel, one of the host at the throne of God. “He said unto me, see thou do it not. I am thy fellowservant.” He’s saying, I’m not Christ, don’t bow before me. I’m your fellowservant. And how did he then define himself—this angel at the throne of God—as John’s fellowservant, what was it that he considered they had most in common together? Here’s how he defined himself: “I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have. . .” What? What was it they shared? “. . . that have the testimony of Jesus.” That have the testimony, the marturia of Jesus. “Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” There must be something significant about this testimony, because it is an identifier. It is something that stands out as a hallmark—as an insignia of some kind that sets apart certain people from others—those that are of the same group, of an association, an affiliation, separate from all those people of the rest of the world. And that which tied them together—and which this angel told John in the vision tied the two of them together as brethren and fellowservants—was the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Then we looked at Revelation 6 and verse 9, turn quickly with me again, Revelation 6 and verse 9: “And when he had opened the fifth seal I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.” Someone who was willing to endure trial and persecution unto death, to safeguard, to hold without compromising something that was called the testimony—something that they were put under incredible pressure to abandon, or to modify, or to corrupt. And because they were unwilling to compromise whatever this testimony was, they were willing to sacrifice their lives.
Then, turn with me to Revelation 12 and verse 17, the description of the persecution of the Church at the hand of that enemy—that adversary—those things that would occur leading up to the return of Christ. “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed.” And what was the identifying sign of this remnant? ” . . . which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” What was it that set them apart, that made them different from the other six billion people upon the face of the earth? Because whoever this remnant is, they are those that held the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. And these are of those, very likely included in those that endured the fifth seal—that will endure the great tribulation before the return of Jesus Christ—those who were willing to sacrifice even their very lives in order to safeguard, and to defend, and to hold whatever is involved in this testimony. These are people who believe in something, and they know it with the depth of their minds and their hearts and their beings. These are not people—obviously—that are confused. They’re not wishy-washy in their thoughts or the concepts about God, or God’s expectations concerning human beings. No, they know, and they know it so well, and they believe it so that they are willing to give up their very lives. And so it occurred in past centuries and generations of the Church—of those that were martyred because of their beliefs. And so we know it will happen—because it says so in these prophecies right here in Revelation—it will happen even to others of God’s people.
What is this testimony that is so valuable—so incredibly valuable that any human being who is called is going to be willing to give up his very life for it? It has to be a far cry, again, from those examples I gave you last time, of the proliferation of the idea that you hear from so many now that say, “Oh, we just can’t wait until Jesus Christ comes back because the Church is in such confusion now, we just can’t know what the Truth is. There are so many different confusing topics, issues, interpretations of the Scripture, and what was expected of us, how could we know for sure? All we can do is the very best we can with what we each know, and we have to follow our own path to Christ. But one day when Christ returns, He will straighten it all out and tell us what the Truth was.” And I guess we’ll just sit around then and say, “Oh, huh, well that’s what it was. Well, thank you Christ for straightening that out for us and telling us what we didn’t know—and I know you’re not holding us accountable for it, because you surely, certainly couldn’t have expected us to have understood it before.” Is that the kind of Christ that is going to return—who is going to accept all of us in all of our own personalized concepts concerning the Truth? Or is there a testimony, and was there a testimony that went way back, from the very beginning, which has been carried forward through the sands of time, even to the very current time in the last days which will be a hallmark of the people of God? Is it possible that there really is an expectation for those who were called to know what the Truth is—to know what is the testimony of Jesus Christ and to hold onto it, even unto any sacrifice, including death? Yes, that testimony does refer to a sworn statement—a legal statement given under oath by Jesus Christ and asserted to be the Truth. Christ’s entire ministry was such a testimony under oath. That’s what He did.
Let’s notice one other Scripture that we went through last time. John chapter 5, and beginning in verse 20, because this is going to lead us into the material we’re going to cover today: “I can of mine own self do nothing [Christ speaking]. “As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” No, Christ said, I’m not here to personalize and to make this up myself. I’m not here to generate a claim for myself, based upon my own prowess in developing doctrines and interpretations of Scripture. No, I’m here as a messenger. I’ve been given a responsibility—a mission—to give you something, to bring it to you, and it’s not that which I created of my own, it is coming from the Father.
If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. There is another that bears witness of me, and I know that the witness which he witnesses of me is true. You sent unto John [meaning John the Baptist] and he bare witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from man, but these things I say, that ye might be saved. He was a burning and a shining light, and you were willing for a season to rejoice in his light [referring again to John the Baptist and his ministry—preparing the way for the Christ].
But I have greater witness than that of John, for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me [that’s martureo—testimony, a witness] that the Father hath sent me.
Christ is saying, “the things that you are seeing me do right before your eyes now, are certification of who I am and who has sent me. They are certification that the things I am speaking—that I am recording—are truthful. It is a statement under oath. It’s not casual conversation, it’s not informal speaking, they are not things that came out of my own mind and my heart.” He’s saying, “I am an agent—a representative—of the Father who created all things, and my statement is true, and what I’m telling you is the Truth.”
And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And you have not his word abiding in you, for whom he hath sent, him you believe not.
I gave you the analogy last time. It’s as if Christ is sitting on the witness stand in a court of law, and under oath, He is being asked to testify. Yes, that’s exactly what this testimony is—under oath, what is true. And He makes His statement, and He says, “This is the Truth.” And, yet, those who should have believed Him, sit on the jury stand and say, “We don’t believe it. We don’t believe He’s giving us an accurate statement. We think He’s speaking of Himself, and He’s making it up. Or He’s massaging the details to suit His own personalized purpose. We don’t think this is from God at all. We certainly don’t think He’s God’s representative.”
Whom he hath sent, him you believe not. Search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life.
Oh yes, they were very devout in their religious convictions concerning the sanctity of the Old Testament—of those Scriptures. Oh, and they absolutely believed that they were working in harmony with the living God who inspired those Scriptures, and that they were obeying Him. Christ said, “Search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.” Oh, you mean there’s something that happened long before the time of Christ’s personalized ministry that pointed to Christ Himself? That’s what we’re going to look at today. What is it in the Old Testament that pointed as a testament to the Christ?
They are they which testify of me. And you will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honor from men. [No, that’s not what Christ was there for. He wasn’t there to garner accolades to Himself. He was there for a mission]. I receive not honor from men, but I know you, that you have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not. If another shall come in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that comes from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one that accuses you, even Moses.
“There is one that accuses you, even Moses in whom ye trust. For had you believed Moses, you would have believed me.” What is it, then—about Moses and something that happened in God’s dealing with Moses—that had direct relevance to the Christ? Obviously, Christ is using those things that happened with the ministry of Moses as a direct certification and a testament—a witness—that pointed to Him and substantiates Himself.
There is one that accuses you, even Moses in whom ye trust. For had you believed Moses, you would have believed me, for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words?
So they claim to believe the writings of Moses. They had those first five books of the Bible, along with the minor prophets and the law. Obviously, though, Christ was saying they were interpreting it wrong. They were not believing His testimony. No, you see, that God who gave something to Moses was the very Being that became Jesus Christ. We don’t have time to turn to it, but you’ve seen it many, many times, including I Corinthians chapter 10, which shows you that the Being who followed them and protected and guided Israel thorough the wilderness was none other than Jesus Christ Himself. No, He was the God of the Old Testament. He was the Yahweh. He was the Being through whom the God family worked to interface with mankind from the very beginning. He was the same Being who became Jesus Christ, and that Christ testified in the flesh. And His testimony in the flesh was exactly the same testimony that was given to Moses, as we’re about to see.
That testimony which we’re speaking of is referred to even in Revelation as that which would be held and safeguarded by someone unto death, even prior to the return of Jesus Christ. It’s exactly the same testimony that began back at the very time of Moses. Let’s turn first to Hebrews chapter 3 and verse 5: “And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant.” And what was the purpose of Moses’ service in the name of God? “Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony.” For a testimony, “of those things which were to be spoken after.” No, that which you see in the book of Exodus concerning the work of Moses and His service to God, was not just a Bible story to be told for children in a picture book, and then to put it aside and say, well now let’s go to the New Testament and we’ll find out what Christ said, and we’ll do something totally different. No, the whole purpose of the story of Moses, and what he endured, and what he was given by that God, was the beginning of a testimony which was to point all the way through, not just to the ministry of Jesus Christ, but to the apostles, and to the last day ministry. And even to that testimony that would be carried forward and would be held even by the faithful up unto the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The thread runs all the way through. So we’re going to go back, and we’re going to look at that thread. It says here, ” . . . for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after.” It had a lot of relevance to the future.
That word testimony here in Hebrews 3 and verse 5, is another variation of martus—this one, marturion. It also means “something evidential.” We’re talking about—again—something that is a legal term involved in a sworn statement, bearing witness: “Evidence given. It also includes specifically the decalogue.” The very ten commandments themselves are included in reference to this term marturion. It means, “to testify, testimony.” It means, “witness.” Well, let’s go back and see what this testimony was that was given to Moses—the testimony that came to the ancient nation of Israel.
Let’s begin in Exodus 25 and verse 16. We find a reference here to another testimony. I wonder if this could be the same one Christ was speaking of? Exodus 25 and verse 16, “And thou shalt put into the ark. . .” Thou shalt put into the ark, “the testimony. . .” The testimony, “which I shall give thee.” So now, what are we speaking of? Are we speaking of a testimony that came from Moses? Because we’ve seen several references here to the testimony, or the service of Moses. But is that what we’re speaking of? Is it something that came from Moses, that originated with him, out of his mind, out of his orientation, and his personal experience? Or are we talking about something that was given to Moses even? “Thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.”
This word testimony in Exodus 25:16 is the Hebrew word, eduwth—pronounced ay-dooth. I wonder if eduwth has anything to do with same interpretation of a legal term as we found with marturia and martus in the New Testament? This word eduwth means, “testimony—witness.” The root word is the word ed—just ee dee. And the definition of this root word in the Hebrew is, “a witness, a testimony, a recorder.” Someone who actually records a statement. Are we speaking of the very same legal term? You had better believe we are. Let’s notice the use of it. It is in the Hebrew, the same word that is used for a judicial witness—a formal witness under oath. Numbers 35 and verse 30. Let’s notice it. Here, out of the statutes and the judgements, a law concerning murder, and a court proceeding—a judicial proceeding:
Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses, but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die.
So the intent of this law—under the law that God gave to Israel—is that the witness of only one individual could not put someone to death. It was only considered credible enough—to be absolutely certain that it was truth—if there were two corroborating witnesses. At the mouth of two witnesses, then, an individual could be convicted of a capitol crime and could be put to death. And what do you think this word “witness” is? It’s the root word from the Hebrew, ed [pronounced aid]—spelled ee dee. Is that the word that’s used in a legal, judicial proceeding in the nation of Israel? You had better believe it is. And so, when a variation of that same word is used concerning the testimony that was to be put into the ark of the covenant, do you think we’re also speaking about a certifiable legal proceeding—a document, a testimony—from a legal perspective? Yes we are. We’re talking about a formal, legal statement.
Let’s go back to Exodus 25 and pick it up in verse 21: “And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark. And in the ark thou shalt put . . .” What? “. . . the testimony that I shall give thee.” This was rather dramatic, and it was incredibly important. And I think sometimes we fail to see exactly how critical this was in the history of man. The giving of something—this testimony—that Moses was told to put into the ark of the covenant to safeguard it. As we’re going to find out also as we go through this series, that the ark is itself at some point going to come into play in these very last days, because it is in itself a testimony, as we’ll also see. “. . . thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark. And in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.” Whatever it is that was included in this testimony to be safeguarded in the ark of the covenant—that which represented on earth, a representation of the very throne of God—whatever it was that was safeguarded in this ark, was something that was so monumental, and so significant for all of mankind, that being safeguarded in that ark of the covenant—safeguarded by the Levitical priesthood of the nation of Israel—was to be kept, and in some way was going to point to all future events that would occur as the plan of God unfolds for the salvation of mankind.
And there I will meet with you and I will commune with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony.
The ark of the testimony. Even here we find, because of its relationship to whatever this testimony is, the very ark that contained it was referred by its name—the ark of the testimony. “. . . of all things which I will give thee in commandment to the children of Israel.” And so God signified the significance of this ark because it was made in the image of the very throne of God, with the cherubim that spread their wings out over God’s own throne in the third heaven. Exodus 27 and verse 20:
And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always. In the tabernacle of the congregation without the veil.
Remember the ark was kept within the petition called the Holy of Holies that no human being was allowed to enter except for the high priest, and then only one time on the Day of Atonement. There is great spiritual significance in the representation of that Holy of Holies and that ark of the covenant as the very seat of the power of God—His throne—from which even in dealing with man, even in dealing with Moses, when He was to commune with Moses, it was His presence that came down even within that tabernacle in that Holy of Holies, upon the ark of the covenant.
Thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always. In the tabernacle of the congregation without the veil, which is before the testimony.
Everything that is said, relates to the testimony. The value of the ark, the value of all of these things within the tabernacle have a direct relationship with something called the testimony. The reason they had value, the reason they had importance was because of their relationship to the testimony.
Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the Eternal. It shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.
Then move forward with me to Exodus 31 and verse 18. What was this testimony, then, that was being safeguarded? What was the sworn statement, what was the statement given under oath, the deposition, if you will, that was preserved in this ark within the tabernacle? Exodus 31 and verse 18:
And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony [two tables of testimony], tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
Written with the finger of God. Is this, perhaps, the sworn statement under oath of the very God who created us all? What was the significance of the fact that He wrote upon these two tables of stone, even with His very own finger? Can there be any doubt, brethren, that we’re talking about a God who intended from the very beginning to leave something—to leave a record that would act as His certification of Truth? He didn’t even inspire, in this case, another man to make it. He didn’t say, “Moses, take these tables of stone and go out here and chisel in these laws that I’m going to dictate to you.” No, in this case, it was so important, and it was so fundamental to everything that we’re doing and everything that we believe, He wrote it with His very own finger. “Written with the finger of God.” It was a supernatural event that occurred on that mountain at the time. And I remember—and I can’t get this out of my head because I grew up watching the movie, Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments,” and I don’t know how many dozens of times I’ve seen that movie and they’ve played it every year. And of course they portray that in the movie—if you’ve seen it, if you recall it—as this bolt of fire that basically comes and strikes the side of the mountain and imprints the law as it’s carved into the stones, and ultimately carves out these stones which are given to Moses. And, of course, that made in indelible mark on me, because when you’re a child and you just read the story, then when you see something in a movie that way, it seems to kind of bring it full. It’s hard not to have certain of those concepts in mind. We don’t know what that experience was really like for Moses, and what it was to have God actually write into stone with His very own finger, but you know whatever it was, it was an incredibly supernatural event that could not have been accomplished by a human being. He carved those stones Himself. It was something that He gave to Moses. Moses didn’t help Him write it, and he didn’t even help Him produce it on stone. It was something that God wrote with His own finger, and He cut those tablets out of the mountain, and He gave them to Moses. And He said, “Here, take care of them and safeguard them. This is my sworn statement, this is my testimony. It’s true. It’s not error. It’s not a lie. I’m certifying it now and writing it in My own finger.” Two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
You’re all aware—although today, even putting something in writing doesn’t seem to mean a lot to a lot of human beings these days. But, you know, people can talk a good game. But it usually changes when you say, “Are you willing to put that in writing?” Have you ever had a promise made by a merchant of some kind, and they say, “Oh sure, if you buy this or this . . .” And you say, “Are you willing to put that in writing?” And how many times have you seen somebody start to backpedal all over the place? No, you see, because if you put it in writing it’s certified. You have a signature there. You can come back later with it and say, “Look, this is what you promised.” It doesn’t mean that somebody still is going to fulfil it, but if somebody can get away with just telling you something, and get you to do what they want without having to put it in writing, they’re certainly going to try. But, see, the ante goes up when somebody asks for a written statement doesn’t it? “Send me that in writing,” I’ve said on the phone I can’t tell you how many times. “Fax that to me in writing, and then we’ll talk.” Well see, Christ, who was the God of the Old Testament, who was dealing with Moses on the mountain, didn’t have to be asked to put it in writing, He voluntarily said, “This is my sworn statement, and I’m putting in writing, and I’m writing it with my own finger. Here it is.” Exodus 32 and verse 15. Moses comes down from the mountain now, having received these tables of stone.
Exodus 32 and verse 15:
And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand. The tables were written on both their sides, on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God.
Not the writing of man. Man had nothing to do with this. This was the statement of the Creator God—of the Being who was the Spokesman. We don’t have time to turn to it, but I’ve given you these Scriptures in the recent past. You will recognize that from John 1 and verse 1, that He was the Logos—He was the Word made flesh. This was the Being who spoke on behalf of the God Family. He represented God the Father who no man has seen, and yet, that Being—God of the second part who became Jesus Christ—was the one who led Israel and who gave this very testimony to Moses to give to the nation, and told them to safeguard it and put it in the ark of the covenant and keep it. And it was the writing of that very God—the Spokesman, the Logos, the one who spoke on behalf of the God Family, who did the creating on behalf of the Father, who created the heavens and the earth and all that exists. They were brought about by the very action of this Being. He’s the one who provided—as the Spokesman—the sworn statement on behalf of the God Family. It is recorded in a testimony—in an oath—written with His own finger, a supernatural finger, on physical tables of stone. So get that picture in your mind, and here now is this man—flesh and blood, a weak human being—who is coming down the mountain with two tables of stone that have just been formed and written by the Creator God, the representative Spokesman for the God Family.
The tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.
Then turn forward to Exodus 34 and verse 29:
And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come nigh him.
This was such a dramatic event that occurred, because Moses was in the presence of the Living God, and even that small amount of the glory of God was showing in radiance upon His own face because He had been in His presence on holy ground at the very time that this sworn statement—this oath—was made and recorded on stone. And so he came down from the mountain and his face was shining. That always conjures to me the picture from the old bible story books—I’ll bet it does for some of you too, because there is one photograph in there which shows this picture of Moses coming down and his face glowing and radiating, and that’s the one that I have in mind, still, even today. Well, what was that like? There is no way, I think, that we can ever picture what that scene was really like.
So what about these tables that were called the tables of testimony? Is this perhaps what Jesus Christ—even in His own ministry, hundreds of years later—was referring to? Yes, because He was the very Being that wrote them with His own finger.
Exodus 16 and verse 33. Here we find something else that was put into the ark along with the tables of stone that became a part of this testimony. Exodus 16 and verse 33:
And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the Eternal, to be kept for your generations.
Now, why would he want some of this manna held and kept? Well, for one thing, as we know, the manna of itself did not last very long. It would rot, it would become infested with worms, it was intended to be given—it was rained down from God for the benefit of the Israelites. They had to gather it on a daily basis, and they had to consume it right away. Because it couldn’t be preserved, and yet, here is a miraculous intervention that God has allowed in order to set aside some of this manna.
Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the Eternal, to be kept for your generations. As the Eternal commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony.
He laid it up before the testimony, “to be kept.” Now some have tried to argue, well, this doesn’t mean it was put into the ark of the covenant along with the tables of stones, it just means they just kind of set it up close to the ark. Is that what it really means? Well, let’s turn to Hebrews 9 and verse 1 and let us see what it says. Hebrews 9 and verse 1: “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.” Yes, it was a physical tabernacle.
For there was a tabernacle made, the first wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread, which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all.
Yes, once you passed from that first chamber in the tabernacle into the second, past the veil, then was the Holy of Holies.
. . . which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant.
The tables of the covenant, also called the tables of testimony, are in that ark, along with Aaron’s rod, and this pot full of manna. All the significance is beyond that which we can even hope to cover in this topic, although I could spend an incredible amount of time on that. But I think you begin to get the picture that these things that were set apart to be kept in this ark were there for a reason, and it wasn’t just for the time of the ancient Israelites, and the time of that physical nation. No, these things pointed to things and circumstances that were going to occur hundreds and thousands of years later.
Let’s turn quickly to Revelation 11 and verse 15 just to note it. Here at the very end of time, just prior to the literal return of Christ—and I went through all of these texts at the Feast of Trumpets just past—here we’ve gone through six of the seals of seven seals that represent the entire story of the book leading up to the Great Day of the Lord. And the seventh seal was opened, and there are seven parts to it which are defined by seven trumpets which are seven trumpet plagues. And now we’ve come down to the very last of those seven—which is the seventh trumpet—which also, by the way, has seven parts, the last great plagues. But at the very moment that this seventh seal is opened is when Christ literally returns. It’s at the seventh trump—the seventh trump within the seventh seal. And here we begin in verse 15: “And the seventh angel sounded.” That’s the signal for Christ to return. That’s the setting, brethren, of this part of the chapter.
The seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever.
This is the moment when the kingdom passes in possession from Satan the Devil who has still been allowed to rule on this earth, and at this very moment, this seventh trumpet is sounded and all of a sudden, it becomes the kingdoms of Jesus Christ. Even though He has still not left God’s throne and come down to take possession of that kingdom, the right of that kingdom at this very moment becomes His. He is no longer the Prince waiting to become the King, He now officially, certifiably becomes the King to rule this earth.
And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshiped God, saying, we give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come, because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great, and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
Yes, that final judgement is about to come, because Christ has been given possession of His kingdom, and now, literally, He is about to come with His armies of angels down to take possession by force. “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament.” Is this ark, and is whatever is implied in the significance and the meaning of this testament that is written on those stones important enough that it’s going to come into play even at the very literal return of Jesus Christ? Yes indeed.
And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament, and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
Yes, that ark was created under God’s direction to hold the tables of the testament—of the testimony of the very God that wrote it with His own finger—preserved with the rod of Aaron, and with the pot of manna, which is going to speak even in these last days at the return of Christ, as a certification that what He said from the very beginning was true. He recorded it back then with His own finger and He said, “It’s going to come through time, I’m going to preserve it, and it’s going to surface again, and it’s going to be there so that there is going to be no doubt in that day that what I began to say—even with my servant Moses at the very beginning—was the Truth. We were serious as a God family when we said we were going to save mankind through Jesus Christ according to a perfect law which is immutable. It was true then, thousands of years ago, it is still true today, and it will be true, even unto the very time that Christ comes back and takes possession of that kingdom.”
There are no situation ethics, there is no change that needs to occur in the laws of God to keep up with modern times. No, that testimony is as true today as it was at the very time it was carved in those stones, and it is going to be the sworn statement that will convict the hearts and the minds of all human beings. They will know that they are dealing with a God who does not change. And they will know that this is a Being who is serious.
And furthermore, it is a testament that was held be a select few who were given to understand its significance, given the opportunity to hold it and to keep it and obey it, even though as we’re about to see, they did not respect it and they did not value it. They turned against it, they spurned it, and they called that Being—that God of the Old Testament, the God of the second part that became Jesus Christ, who was the Logos—the Spokesman—they called Him a liar because they didn’t accept it.
And, yet, it was given to someone even during Christ’s own time in His fleshly ministry. And the Scriptures show it was given also even to those of the last day Church—just a few, just a few in terms of the billions of people on the face of this earth. And yet a few—a handful of people—were called to understand that same testimony, the sworn statement of Jesus Christ. And as we’ll see in future sermons, those who love it, those who recognize it for its value and for what it really is, and what it really signifies and what it means, are going to be those who have an opportunity to hold onto it even through trial and tribulation before the return of Christ. If we don’t respect it, if we don’t know its significance and the gravity of what it means, and what it stands for, if we don’t value it brethren, we will give it up. Circumstances will come along that will cause us to trade it, we will trade it for safety, we will trade it for peace. We will buy, through compromise, something that we think is going to save us unless we value that testimony more than anything else that we have.
Yes, the gift of that testimony of God is more valuable than anything that exists. Let’s turn to Psalm 19 and verse 7: “The law of the Eternal is perfect converting the soul. The testimony of the Eternal is sure.” The testimony of the Eternal is sure—the sworn statement of that God that He wrote with His own finger, all of the extrapolated statutes and judgements that come from that which is written on those stones, all that is a part of the Way that has been revealed to us as a part of that testimony. “The testimony of the Eternal is sure, making wise the simple.” And we are all, brethren, of those that are simple. Without the revelation of Jesus Christ, without the knowledge of the Truth we are all simple. There is nothing of value in us whatsoever. But it is a love for this very testimony—which was a gift—which gives us the opportunity to have real wisdom.
The testimony of the Eternal is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Eternal are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the Eternal is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Eternal is clean, enduring forever. The judgements of the Eternal are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much find gold. Sweeter also than honey in the honeycomb.
Is there anything that has more value than that testimony, and those laws, and those statutes and those judgements? If we recognize it with open eyes, and open minds and hearts, regardless of the pulls of the flesh, brethren, and the things that consume our thoughts and our minds, no, there is nothing that is ever more valuable that may be given to a human being than this testimony. Psalm 132 and verse 11: “The Eternal hath sworn in truth unto David.” Yes, He made a promise. The Eternal made a sworn statement, He was willing to take an oath and say, “I certify, I record—because I don’t lie—that what I’m doing, I will follow through on. What I’m saying is true, and what I’m promising to do, I will carry forward and I will fulfil it absolutely.”
“The Eternal hath sworn in truth unto David. He will not turn from it.” How many men today are claiming in essence that God has turned from what He promised to do? “He will not turn from it: Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon the throne.” There was another promise of the coming of Jesus Christ as our savior.
Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon the throne. If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony. . . [If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony] that I shall teach them.
Yes, notice that it’s not something that came out of human minds, not our own scholarship, not our own genius, not from those who are out there and going to teach us out of the Scriptures. No, this is something that came from God. There is no value unless it came from the hand of that very Being.
If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne forevermore. [Their children shall also sit upon thy throne forevermore] for the Eternal hath chosen Zion. He hath desired it for his habitation.
He made a promise, you see, to Israel. Spiritually, Israel, brethren, are those who were called out of this world to become a part of the Church. The promise is still—and always will be—to Israel, and to all who are added to Israel. And so it was even re-certified here to David that the Christ would come out of his physical lineage, and that Christ would bring the opportunity for salvation to mankind through spiritual Israel—the Church. And who is it that is going to receive that everlasting habitation upon the throne of God to share with the God family rulership of this universe for all eternity? It is those that hold and “keep the covenant and my testimony.” Is it important that we understand the gravity and the significance of this testimony, and that we come to respect it, and to love it, and to safeguard it and to hold it, and be prepared to stand in the times of trial that are even yet ahead? I think so.
Ancient Israel as a nation also became a witness. Yes, that testimony—the very words of God that He recorded—that was a testimony, that was a sworn statement, that was a witness of that which He knew to be true. Israel as a nation also became a part of a testimony for the benefit of generations that would come later. Yes, ancient Israel as a nation was a witness in that they heard and they saw the testimony of God firsthand. Let’s notice it in Deuteronomy 11 and verse 1:
Therefore, thou shalt love the Eternal thy God and keep his charge and his statutes and his judgements and his commandments alway. And know you this day, for I speak not with you children which have not known, and which have not seen. . .
Now what is he saying here? He’s saying there was something—some responsibility incumbent upon those of the nation of Israel because they were witnesses. “I speak not with you children which have not known, and which have not seen.” And in the next several lines, he goes through and expounds upon and describes the things that they had seen. Let’s read it.
The chastisement of the Eternal your God, his greatness, his mighty hand, and his stretched out arm, and his miracles, and his acts, which he did in the midst of Egypt unto Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and unto all his land. And what he did unto the army of Egypt, unto their horses, and unto their chariots, how he made the water of the Red Sea to overflow them as they pursued after you, and how the Eternal hath destroyed them unto this day. And what he did unto you in the wilderness until you came into this place. And what he did unto Dathan and Abiram, the son of Eliab, the son of Reuben, how the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and their tents, and all the substance that was in their possession in the midst of all Israel.
So here he outlines a description—a short list, a synopsis—of all these incredibly miraculous things that this nation saw. What greater witness did any people see than their exodus from Egypt? When in history has a nation of people ever come out and been born out of the midst of captivity from another nation? When in history, ever, has the greatest army on the face of the earth at the time been destroyed supernaturally by the hand of a God who was leading and protecting a slave people that had just been born as a nation? When has the sea opened up for one people and obliterated the armies of another? When has water come out of a rock? When has someone intervened and protected a people who were helpless against their enemies, and fed them manna? When has a God certified to them that rebellion will not be tolerated by the destruction of those who rose up and opposed the very servant of God whom He chose to work with, as if there might have been a recognition that, “Okay, maybe they had reason to doubt, maybe I didn’t make it clear enough that I’m working through Moses. Moses is the one who is the servant. I’m going to lead these people by the use of this man—it’s my choice to do so,” God says. So maybe they didn’t understand it fully, and so they rebelled and they thought, Moses takes too much upon himself as with the rebellion of Korah and all the others. And God said, “Okay, just in case you didn’t know—and maybe you were a little confused—so let me make it perfectly clear.” And the earth opened up and swallowed them and all of their families, and they died. And He said, now, you should have no reason to doubt anymore. You know through whom I am working. You know from where my power originates, and what I intend to do, and my will shall be accomplished. And Israel was a witness to all of these things. They were there, they saw it firsthand. Verse 7, “But your eyes have seen all the great acts of the Eternal which he did.” Go back and link it up to the second part of verse 2. We’ll take out the middle part and read it as a complete sentence.
And know you this day, for I speak not with you children which have known, and which have not seen. [Then verse 7]: But your HAVE seen all the great acts of the Eternal which He did.
Are these people which had any justification later on to say, “You know what? We’re confused. You know, I know God gave us the Truth—He gave us these Scriptures, He wrote them down. But, you know what? There are so many different ideas about interpreting, we just can’t be sure what the Truth is, and we just can’t be sure what God expects of us. So we all kind of just have to do the best we can with what we know. We’re all serving God so our hearts are all in the right place—we all have the right idea—but someday God will have to clarify it for us.” Is that the way God operates with the people He works with? Or—like as He did with ancient Israel—was He saying here, “You don’t have an excuse people, because you saw it, you were a witness. I showed to you all of my power and my majesty and my might, and there is no excuse for you not to know how to serve me, how to obey me, and how to do what is right.” That’s what He is saying.
Therefore, [verse 8] shall you keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that you may be strong and go in and possess the land, whither you go to posses it.
We’ll find out as we continue on, it is the very same promise that has been given to the Church, because in like manner, the spiritual mirrors the type of ancient Israel, which was trying to inherit a physical land—Palestine. But to us the Church, spiritual Israel, is given the hope of inheriting the Kingdom of God. And so by holding onto these same commandments, holding onto the testament, the testimony, of Jesus Christ, believing that He is telling the truth and that He didn’t lie, and believing the expectations that He laid down in those commandments, is our hope. “Keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that you may be strong and go in and possess the land.” And it’s the same thing He is saying to each one of us, brethren. If you want to inherit eternal life, if you want to be there as a member of that God family—to rule this earth during the Millennial reign and on into eternity with that family—then keep the commandments, and don’t say that you don’t know what they are. Don’t tell me you are confused. We were all taught from the beginning the Truth. It was given. It was revelation. It was revelation in this century just as it was revelation to ancient Israel. And we received the testimony just like ancient Israel through Moses received a testimony. And it was written with the hand of God just as much as He did on those tables of stone, but I get ahead of myself.
Isaiah 43 and verse 9:
Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this and show us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses that they may be justified, or let them hear, and say, It is truth.
Now, either let them bring forth their own witnesses that are credible, and can be certified as such, or else let them be quiet and listen, and hear, and believe, and say it is truth.
You are my witnesses, saith the Eternal, and my servant whom I have chosen. [You are my witnesses, saith the Eternal, and my servant whom I have chosen], that you may know and believe me.
Yes, they did know. They saw it, they couldn’t deny it. They knew it, and they were expected to believe.
That you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Eternal, and beside me there is no savior.
Who was this Being—the YHVH—who carved on those stones with His own finger, and then said here, He was the savior?
Beside me there is no savior. I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you. Therefore you are my witnesses. [You are my witnesses] saith the Eternal, that I am God.
You know what? That’s what the whole testimony is all about. The entire testimony of Jesus Christ is the assertion that He is God, that He is the one who is fulfilling the will of the Father, and the creation of the heavens and the earth, and playing out the entire plan on this stage. The testimony of Jesus Christ is the statement, “I am that Being. I do have power and authority. My commandments are true, they are sure. I am the personification of that Word, and as the Spokesman, I’m recording it, and I’m saying, Obey it, accept it, believe it.” To do anything else is to call Him a liar. Later on, you see, that’s going to become much more significant when we find out what the Apostle John said concerning those who reject Christ. Rejecting Christ is rejecting His sworn statement in this testimony.
You are my witnesses, saith the Eternal, and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Eternal, and beside me there is no savior. I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you. Therefore, you are my witnesses, saith the Eternal, that I am God. Yea, before the day was I am he, and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. I will work, and who shall let it?
Yes, who is going to stop God from fulfilling His perfect will?
Isaiah 44 and verse 7: “And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people?” Keep it in mind. Yes, He appointed an ancient people—Israel—for a purpose.
And the things that are coming, and shall come, let them show unto them. Fear you not, neither be afraid. Have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? You are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God. I know not any. They that make a graven image are all of them vanity, and their delectable things shall not profit. And they are their own witnesses.
Yes, they’re certainly claiming to know something. They’re claiming to have some knowledge and some understanding, and yet, they’re speaking as a witness of themselves and their witness is not true. “They are their own witnesses. They see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.” And the day is coming, brethren, when there are going to be thousands who are ashamed because they have attempted to place themselves as representatives of Jesus Christ to teach others that what they say is the truth. And they are teaching falsely.
Ironically, Israel—that ancient nation—became a part of the very testimony. Their experiences, the things that they went through, and the choices that they made, their rebellion against God, actually became a very part of the testimony. The testimony was given of God—His very own statement of Truth. Israel was a witness so that they had a testimony to provide because of the things they saw firsthand and could attest to even under oath. And their failure as a people to uphold that Way of life—that experience itself became in itself a testimony that pointed to the fallacy of human minds, the weakness of human nature, and how utterly helpless we are, separated from God and without the power of the Holy Spirit to give us another mind.
Deuteronomy 31 and verse 19:
Now therefore write you this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness [the Hebrew word ed—a certifiable, sworn statement, made under oath. That’s what the song of Moses really is] . . . that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that flows with milk and honey, and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat. Then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant. And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song [the very song of Moses, that he was inspired to record] shall testify against them as a witness [an ed] for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed. For I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware.
God knew what they were going to do. He knew exactly the decisions they were going to make in spite of what they had seen, in spite of the fact they saw things that could not have been denied—the power of the living God. They had no justification for doubting, let alone corrupting themselves and turning. And, yet, God knew they were going to do it anyway.
I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware. Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel. And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage, for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them, and I will be with thee. And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, that Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Eternal, saying, Take this book of the law [all of these things that Moses wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and recorded] and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Eternal your God, that it may be there for a witness [an ed] against thee.
Yes, that law, the history of all that Israel did, the mistakes that they made, the very song of Moses—which was a prophecy long in advance of what they were going to do, even that which they, the Church, would do in the last days. Is that really what it’s saying, or maybe it’s just confined to that physical people back thousands of years ago. Let’s keep reading and see.
For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck. Behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, you have been rebellious against the Eternal, and how much more after my death? Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them.
“Call heaven and earth to record against them.” The word “record” is the Hebrew word uwd. It means, “to duplicate, to repeat, to admonish, to charge, to earnestly lift up, to protest, to call to record, to testify, to give warning, to bear witness.” We’re talking about the same principle, brethren. That law is today a witness against all of those who would defy it, misinterpret it, abuse it. And so it will be a witness even before the return of Jesus Christ.
For I know that after my death you will utterly corrupt yourselves and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you, and evil will befall you in the latter days.
Do you begin to see the significance of the recording of this testimony even back at the time of Moses? It wasn’t for that ancient people. They were a type, and they pointed to something much more important that was going to occur—the significance of the gift of that testimony and its being carried forward even unto the very return of Jesus Christ when it would surface again. And what are all these things that are occurring in between, including the very ministry of Christ Himself in the flesh, the ministry of the apostles that followed in the name of Christ—continuing in that very same testimony—and the last day ministry. The legitimate ministry, whoever they are and wherever they are, is continuing in that very same testimony, holding onto it, believing it, trusting it, teaching it.
Deuteronomy 4 and verse 23:
Take heed unto yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the Eternal your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the Eternal thy God hath forbidden thee. For the Eternal thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. When thou shalt beget children, and children’s children, and you shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves.
God knew it was going to happen, He prophesied it. They were free moral agents but they did it. He knew their hearts and their minds in spite of all the signs and the wonders, and the testimony that He gave them.
And shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the Eternal thy God, to provoke him to anger: I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that you shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto you go over Jordan to possess it. You shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the Eternal shall scatter you among the nations, and you shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Eternal shall lead you. And there you shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.
No, because they would defy their God, they would call Him a liar because they would have no trust in His testimony, in His affidavit, in His deposition of Truth. They would pay the penalty. And even so, because of His perfect love, and His desire to save His people, verse 29:
But if from thence thou shalt seek the Eternal thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation . . .
And this will be fulfilled, brethren, even leading to the Second Coming of Christ, because it’s for the majority. Unfortunately, it appears, it’s going to require that great tribulation in order to bring men to their senses and make them finally give up their emotional responses, and their demands to satisfy their own whims of mind and heart—to put aside their hurt feelings, their independent spirits, and to value the testimony of Jesus Christ more than those things that come out of their own hearts.
If from thence thou shalt seek the Eternal thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days.
Even in the latter days. It’s a prophecy for today, brethren. “If thou turn to the Eternal thy God, and shall be obedient unto his voice, for the Eternal thy God is a merciful God.” Even in spite of the fact we don’t deserve it. And how many have turned and repudiated and snubbed God and called Him a liar by their actions, by their beliefs? And, yet, He says:
For the Lord thy God is a merciful God. He will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
Deuteronomy 18 and verse 15: “The Eternal thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee.” Remember what we read in John 5, where Christ asserted to those religious leaders of Jerusalem who He was? That He was a representative of the Father. That He was there, not doing His own will, speaking His own words, but speaking the things that God gave Him. He was making a testimony, He was swearing to the legitimacy of all His words. And He claimed Moses as a witness, and He said, “The things that Moses wrote down, are a substantiation of the very testimony of Jesus Christ because they’re one and the same—they are not separate.”
The Eternal thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee of thy brethren, like unto me. Unto him you shall hearken.
Will human beings hearken unto Christ any more than ancient Israel hearkened unto God through the instrumentality of Moses? No. You see, it’s the gift of the Holy Spirit that allows a human mind to begin to fulfill the will of God. The only way that any human mind can begin to hearken unto God is with that miraculous intervention.
Unto him shall you hearken. According to all that thou desiredst of the Eternal thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Eternal my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the Eternal said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee [like unto Moses], and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
There would be some legitimate representative of that family—that God family—who would be speaking the Truth, and would be certifying it again as the testimony of Jesus Christ. “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.”
Very quickly, the last scripture. Acts 3 and verse 22—again, a reference to the fulfillment of Israel being a witness and becoming a very part of the testimony of those things that would occur. And now here, the prophecy that Moses recorded—that Christ called upon and said, “See, I was spoken of. And if you believed Moses, you would have believed me because he wrote of me.” And here was the very prophecy in Acts 3 and verse 22:
For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me. Him shall you hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul which will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people.
No, the only ones who are going to inherit eternal life—the only ones who are going to be in that family when Jesus Christ returns—are those who are going to respond to that great Prophet. If you are of the called today, you’ve been given that opportunity to respond now. This is your time. This is your chance to receive the testimony of Jesus Christ. The testimony has been given—as we’re going to see in future segments as I continue on—to the Church, as much as it was given to ancient Israel before. We have received the same testimony and we will not be held guiltless if we claim that we do not know, or that we’re confused, or that God certainly couldn’t expect us to understand and know what the Truth is. No, you were witnesses, brethren. You’ve received it. You’ve been witnesses based upon the influence of the activities of God within your own lives. And there is not a single one of us that has an excuse for not knowing what right and wrong is. We will be held accountable.
The acts of Moses and the Israelites became a cornerstone of the testimony of Jesus Christ. It pointed to His own personal ministry which was to follow, as well as that ministry that would continue in His name—that ministry of the Apostles and of the last-day ministry. Next time, we’ll examine the New Testament proclamation about that same testimony.