The Law of Witnesses--Part 3
Feb 07, 2008
There are three primary features in the law of witnesses.
FIRST, a witness is not a witness unless he hears something or sees something. He must know something first hand; otherwise, it is mere gossip and rumor. God says in Isaiah 43:10,
"You are My witnesses, declares the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen, in order that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me."
Israel as a nation had heard the voice of God speaking the Ten Commandments to them at Mount Sinai. They had seen His works at the Red Sea and the daily provision of manna in the wilderness. They had experienced God first-hand, and therefore, this qualified them as witnesses that the rest of the world might know Him as well.
However, they were also blind and deaf (Is. 42:19, 20), seeing many things, but not observing. Their ears were technically open, but they still did not hear. So their ability to bear witness was not so much that they manifested the works and character of God, but rather that they bore witness to the world that God meant it when He said He would judge them for their disobedience (Lev. 26 and Deut. 28). That very judgment proved the existence and character of God, and Israel bore witness of this blindly.
SECOND, a witness is required to testify to the truth according to his knowledge of it. Lev. 5:1 says,
"Now if a person sins, after he hears a public adjuration to testify, when he is a witness, whether he has seen or otherwise known, if he does not tell it, then he will bear his guilt."
We have been given a good example of such a "public adjuration to testify" in the account of Jesus' trial. Jesus preferred to keep silent in the face of His accusers, but when adjured, He had no option but to speak the full truth with no regard to consequences. Matt. 26:61-64 says,
" (61) This man stated, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.' (62) And the high priest stood up and said to Him, 'Do you make no answer? What is it that these men are testifying against you?' (63) But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, 'I adjure you by the living God, that you tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.' (64) Jesus said to him, 'You have said it yourself; nevertheless, I tell you, hereafter you shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven'."
While Jesus kept silent, He was fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 53:7, "like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth." But when the high priest adjured Him to bear witness to the truth, He gave them the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. He had no "Fifth Amendment rights" under biblical law, nor did they read Him any "Miranda rights."
He was then crucified on a charge of blasphemy for supposedly speaking as a false witness after being adjured to testify according to the law. The law of adjuration was designed to reveal truth, but in this case it was used to accuse Jesus of blasphemy, because they had agreed beforehand that He was not to be the Messiah (Christ). Of course, they already knew the truth that He was the Messiah (Matt. 21:38), but they usurped the authority of God to choose messiahs acceptable to them.
THIRD, a witness is required not only to speak, but to do so with precision. To speak falsely is to be a false witness. In Revelation 3:14 we read this:
"And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God, says this."
This is a reference to Jesus Himself, who gave a message to each of the seven churches. Here Jesus is called "the faithful and true Witness." He was a faithful witness, in that He was faithful to reveal what He knew, according to the law in Lev. 5:1. He was a true witness, in that everything He said was accurate.
Jesus is called "The Amen," because an amen is a double witness. Jesus did only what He saw His Father do, and He spoke only what He heard His Father say. He was the Amen of the Father. The Hebrew word "amen" was used in a legal sense to give assent and bear witness to what a person had heard. And so in Num. 5:22, when applying the law of jealousy, the priest was to state the case clearly, and the woman was to agree to the terms by saying, "Amen." Her "Amen" indicated that she both understood and agreed that if she were speaking falsely, she would come under the specified divine judgment.
In Deut. 27, Levites spoke the terms of each of the main laws, and the people responded with "Amen." This indicated that they understood the law, gave assent to it, and bound themselves and their descendants to be obedient to the divine law.
Even today, when someone prays aloud, and the people respond at the end by saying "Amen," it indicates that they have entered into the prayer that was spoken and are in agreement with it.
God is looking for true and faithful witnesses who will testify of Him in the way that Jesus did. I am referring to the manifestation of the sons of God referred to in Rom. 8:19. These are the overcomers, and they are true and faithful witnesses to speak and do only what they hear and see their Father speak and do.
This manifestation will bring the first group of people into the fulness of the Spirit through the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles. It will be the beginning of the creation of the New Heavens and the New Earth, even as Rev. 3:14 says, "the beginning of the creation of God." This is a direct reference to Isaiah 65:16-18, which says,
" (16) Because he who is blessed in the earth shall be blessed by the God of AMEN; and he who swears in the earth shall swear by the God of AMEN . . . (17) For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth . . . (18) But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create [new] Jerusalem for rejoicing, and her people for gladness."
It is the double witness that establishes all things. In the first creation, the Father spoke "Light" and the Son said, "Let there be light." The word amen means "so let it be." John 1:3 says clearly that all things were made through Him. (The Greek word dia means "through".) It is the same with the creation of the new heavens and the new earth and the new Jerusalem. There will be a people in the earth--the Sons of God--who will bear witness to the heavenly command. When heaven and earth bear witness (Deut. 4:26), the new creation will be established according to the law of the double witness.
This is why the entire creation is eagerly awaiting and expecting the manifestation of the Sons of God, as Paul says in Rom. 8:19. The creation itself will be set free by this manifestation (vs. 21). Creation itself has a stake in this manifestation, for the overcomers are but the firstfruits of a much greater harvest that includes the entire creation (James 1:18).
This is the final part of a series titled "The Law of Witnesses." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones