By The Word Of Our Testimony
Who doesn’t know the story above?
It is written,
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
In this scripture, God speaks about the saints that overcome the great red dragon spoken of in the book of Revelation chapter 12. This dragon, who is in fact Satan, accuses us night and day before the throne of God. Similar to what happened with Job, fallen Lucifer comes into the courts of heaven to say that we don’t love God and are sinners. However, God counters with the fact that the blood that His son shed for us covers our sins and that our actions speak louder than the Devils accusations. In other words, we are cleansed as white as snow by the sacrifice of Jesus and the stories of what we do testify that we do love God and are called according to His purposes.
When connections speak
My spiritual connection, Esther, spoke to me the other day about how testimony is a very power tool to communicate what we are and demonstrate what we believe. At the time I did not get the full impact of her words, but later, after they sunk in, I understood what she was trying to say.
Doctrine is not bad, per se, but it can be divisive depending upon its origin and use. Teaching, if led by the Spirit and received by the Spirit, is merely revelation from God, and as such, it is life-giving. However, the systematic study of the scripture, if undertaken through our natural minds and reasoning, is pure death. Whatever engages our earthly reasoning to the exclusion of the Spirit, causes us to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Therefore, teaching is not bad but natural minded reasoning is.
The knowledge of good can be bad
Fundamentally, this is why so much of what is taught in christianity is harmful. People have this assumption that anything with the Bible attached to it must be somehow good. However, when the word of God is taught by natural minded men it causes us to be removed from His Spirit. Whatever is not of revelation is of death. This is why most doctrine divides us.
I have wondered how to share the truths of the Tabernacle movement with others. For most, what I write is simply too concentrated and “out there” for their natural minds to gasp. I paint in broad strokes, not because I want to, but because that is the way I receive it. Yet, if I cannot communicate these truths in a way that others can receive them, what I write is of limited use.
Our actions speak louder than our words
What Esther caused me to realize is that it is not necessary that people understand the breadth and depth of what I write to receive benefit from it. What is more necessary is that people understand the effects of what I write and this can be done through testimony rather than doctrinal discussion.
When you consider the Bible, a great deal of what is written is pure testimony. The scriptures record what God did through many different saints throughout the ages. While God sometimes speak directly through prophets or teaches us doctrine through the apostles, He mostly shares stories with us that show, rather that tell, us who He is and what he wants us to be like to others and Himself.
Almost anyone you ask in western civilization knows the story of Moses. Likewise, who doesn’t know that David killed Goliath? Moreover, are there any people who are not aware that Jesus walked on water? These stories, or testimonies, not only demonstrate who God is but also helps us to have examples of men and women who believed in Him. Likewise, instead of preaching and teaching Tabernacle theology, perhaps was is better is to show people the effects of the Final Feast through our testimony.
Drowning in a sea of knowledge
Our modern-day world is glutted with information, people are inundated with knowledge. We are constantly trying to master the fire hose of facts and figures that we encounter everyday. Everything seems to update in our lives with such rapid advance that we barely are able to understand and use what we have when something new and improved demands are attention and of focus. Whereas in the middle ages knowledge was scarce and precious, now days knowledge has increased so much that it is worth no more than the dirt under our feet.
We love a good story
Consequently, what cuts through all this informational clutter are stories. While it may be too much for many to understand the theology behind the feast of Tabernacles, most people can and will accept the effects of what God does through the word of my testimony. Perhaps what is prudent is to speak to others and share with them what God does rather than the wherefore and whys behind it. For example, rather than telling people why a connection with another member of the Body of Christ is so powerful, I can say the same thing in a more memorable why but telling a story. I did this recently by sharing with you about how Esther helped me find a lost file simply by being around me and our spirits connecting. The gist of the story is that without Esther I could not find a very important lost file, but with her the Holy Spirit led me to it in a matter of minutes.
When teaching the truths of tabernacles, I realize that sharing testimonies (stories) about what happens when you allow God to lead and guide you, may be more important (at least initially) than actually understanding everything that forms the bedrock of it. Moreover, stories are bits of truth that can embed themselves in our busy lives in a way that is far more memorable than the concepts of theology ever can. One sermon on the mount is more powerful that a library of greek lexicons and concordances.
Testimony may be a better way
Therefore, I think that testimony my be a better way to speak certain truths to people in a way that they can grasp what God is doing rather than just giving them more theology to deal with. Sharing what God does in our lives, preaching through example may be more effective that trying to undo centuries of entrenched dogma.
In conclusion, perhaps the phrase, “by the word of our testimony” has a lot more meaning in it that we might imagine. Perhaps telling the stories of what God does in and through us will be more important in the end that any theology we ever possess.