Bear the Record . . .

Countdown to the end . . . #11

Vol. 4, No. 25 – June 23, 2019

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who bore witness to the Word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.  –Revelation 1:1-2

“Who bore witness” is to “bear the record.” John is writing in the form of giving court evidence. It pictures a legal document in prophetical form. The evidence is the Word of God; testimony in the court of Jesus Christ, King over everything, and Judge of all things created, including humankind. This is not the first time John writes in this fashion.

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life—and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us. –1 John 1:1-2

Bearing record expresses, the idea of testimony, a phrase occurring 44 times in the writings of John; occurring only 25 times elsewhere in the NT. In Roman law, there was express punishment for giving false testimony, or accepting bribes for giving favorable testimony. The penalty could result in loss of citizenship, or even death. (Interesting that purchased testimony does not seem to bother our own Senators/Representatives and other government officials, nor does contrived testimony brother even our Special Prosecutors.)

John is very specific, and carefully asserts his writing is the Word of God:

  1. The Word of God stresses the validity of the entire Book as inspired by God
  2. The testimony of Jesus Christ stresses the validity of Jesus speaking frequently with statements that can be trusted
  3. To all that he saw, stresses that John is recording what he witnesses of the future, divulged to him by the Holy Spirit
  4. Saw is indicative of giving an eye-witness record of events, places, and people

Historically, John is careful to write what is true:

This is the disciple who bears witness of these things, and wrote these things, and we know that his witness is true. –John 21:24

These have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. –John 20:31

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life. –1 John 5:13

And he who has seen has borne witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may also believe. –John 19:35

What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. –1 John 1:3

Frequently, John writes in Revelation of what his eyes see, and what his ears hear; it brings him to be in awe:

  1. Captivated with the “sevens”
  2. I heard – 28 times
  3. I saw – 49 times (“beheld” is to stop on a dime, look, and listen)

Do passages in the Scriptures make you stop, look, and listen? I still have the study Bible I used to go through the Book of Jeremiah. It still has the coffee stain on the page where I was in awe for what it said, I spilled my coffee. I stopped, looked, and listened. Then I responded. How do you respond to what you behold?

Behold, Jesus is coming soon to take you home to Heaven; His words are faithful and true (Revelation 22:6).

Life Application

In what ways might your testimony be compromised such to mislead people from the truth they desperately need? How are we to handle our testimony of truth; is 1 John 1:8-9 an appropriate method to examine our testimonies? Could an improper testimony keep another on the pathway that leads to eternal destruction? Think about it. We do not “accidentally” mislead; we too often just go with the flow of the world. It is easy; even a dead fish goes with the flow!

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

June 23, 2019

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