"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
Ephesians 5:11
What is a Testimony?
Christopher J. E. Johnson
Published: June 25, 2014
Updated: Nov 10, 2015

Ask the average Christian, "What is a testimony?" Almost every time, you'll hear this response, "It's how you got saved." The typical impression of a "testimony" is to stand up and testify that Jesus is Lord, however, we must always keep in mind the false converts because not everyone that calls Jesus "Lord" shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
-Matthew 7:22-23

As I listened to Christians talk about "testimony," I realized that I had never looked into what the Bible says about testimony, and I was surprised at what I found. The only place you'll find a teaching that "testimony" is equivalent to "how you got saved" is in the churches, and since this is supposed to be CHRIST-ianity (following Christ), rather than CHURCH-ianity (following church), let's look at what God's Word tells us about testimony.
The first time the word "testimony" is used in the Bible is in the book of Exodus:

And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations. As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.
-Exodus 16:33-34

The average Christian typically doesn't see the significance in the verse because they'll usually say that the tradition of taking an omer (a dry measure for bread) and putting it in a pot is a "testimony." That's incorrect. Let's read it carefully. Notice it says "lay it up before the LORD," and then Aaron laid it up before the (captial 'T') Testimony.

From the very beginning, the Lord God is the Testimony.

Some Christians might respond that this Testimony is the ten commandments in stone, but that wasn't given until much farther in their journey, four chapters later. It is the Lord God who is the capital 'T' Testimony. The first time this word is used in Scripture it is a label/name for the Lord God because He is a testimony unto all men.

After Exodus 16, the next place testimony is talked about is referring to the Ten Commandments in stone, which were to be placed in the Ark of the Covenant:

And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.
-Exodus 25:16

And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
-Exodus 25:22

Henceforward, we find many places where it is called "the ark of the testimony."

And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
-Exodus 31:18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
-John 1:1

The law and testimony of God are used interchangably throughout the Bible.

Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.
-Deuteronomy 6:17

And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:
-1 Kings 2:3

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
-Psalm 19:7

All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
-Psalm 25:10

For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
-Psalm 78:5

Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples... To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
-Isaiah 8:16-20

And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
-Mark 1:44

When men were made kings, it was done in the temple, and they would give the king the Law of God in the ark of the covenant, which was the testimony.

And he set all the people, every man having his weapon in his hand, from the right side of the temple to the left side of the temple, along by the altar and the temple, by the king round about. Then they brought out the king's son, and put upon him the crown, and gave him the testimony, and made him king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and said, God save the king.
-2 Chronicles 23:11

The Lord God is the Testimony, and His Law is His testimony to us. I want us to keep this in mind as we look at other usages of this term throughout the Bible.

testimony (n): A solemn declaration or affirmation made for the purpose of establishing or proving some fact. Such affirmation in judicial proceedings, may be verbal or written, but must be under oath. testimony differs from evidence; testimony is the declaration of a witness
(See 'testimony', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved June 25, 2014 [webstersdictionary1828.com])

Today, this what the average person in the world typically understands to be a testimony. This is typically used in courts of law. There are a number of places in the Bible where this specific definition is used, for example:

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.
-Numbers 35:30

The Bible is telling us that a person should not be executed by one person's testimony (witness) alone.

One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;
-Deuteronomy 19:16

This usage of testimony is actually much less common in the Bible than that of the Law of God being the testimony (or following the Law of God as testimony). The common American Churchianity understanding of a testimony is that it is the story of how we were individually saved, but let's look at what John the Bapist said in the Bible:

He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
-John 3:31-33

Those who would receive testimony are those who have already locked into their minds that the Christian God of the Bible is true. If they do not believe that the Christian God of the Bible is true, then they will not receive testimony. So it is important that we understand that testimony is only going to be effective on those who already believe.

Next, we need to understand that the "how we got saved" testimony, that the churches emphasize so much, is a witness of EXPERIENCE. This is important. No man is saved through experiences. As we have stated in this ministry many times, Galatians 3 tells us how men are saved.

Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions... But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
-Galatians 3:19-24

The hearing of God's Law, and our recognition and confession of our transgressions against Him, is what brings us to Christ and faith in the first place. So this leads us to consider some very important points:
  1. If your testimony does not contain the Law of God, and your guilt before Him, then it's not a testimony at all.
  2. A story of your personal experiences will NOT convert anyone to Jesus Christ because they are only converted by the hearing of God's Law.
So why is it that most American churches are pushing for witness of experience, rather than the testimony of God? Because the witness of experience almost never upsets anyone. The average American Christian today has more fear of what men think of him, than he has the fear of God.

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
-Proverbs 29:25

The new-age churches are trying to figure out what makes people feel good, rather than focus on what the Word of God tells us. They want to experiment with another method outside of our Lord Jesus Christ that won't cause anyone to be irritated.

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
-Matthew 5:13

The new-age churches don't want to make anyone feel bad about themselves. If God never wanted us to feel bad about ourselves, we wouldn't have a Bible in the first place.

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
-2 Timothy 3:1-4

The Bible tells us that in the final days, people were going to love themselves so much, and think they are so important and such good folks all around. But Christ tells the truth to the Laodecian church:

Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
-Revelation 3:17

If you're going to tell people the truth, they're not going to be happy about it. One of the major problems with the new-age church, and the reason there are so many false converts out there, is that they believe and teach people that HAPPINESS = TRUTH, and this is a lie from the pit of hell that leads people to the Devil.

According to the Bible, testimony is also given through sanctifying (separating) ourselves from leaven (1Co 5:7) and unfruitful works of darkness (Eph 5:11).

And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.
-Luke 9:5

In past teachings, we've covered how the shaking off dust from the feet was Jewish symbolism for separating themselves from that house/city, to avoid them and not associate with them, because to stay around them would leaven the church. Thus, Jesus Christ instructed us to sanctify ourselves from those who refuse to listen, and this is supposed to be a testimony against that wicked household, however, the new-age church is looking to unite themselves with the world, rather than separate themselves from unrighteousness.
(Read "Did Christ Come to Bring Peace?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

Let's look at an example from a Gay Christian Network, which is a large group of people living a queer life-style who call themselves "Christians."
"Jesus says he'll never leave you nor forsake you. And I believe that. But I don't see him. Ya know, sometimes I don't feel like I can feel him. But Jesus reaches out to each and every one of us through each other. And sometimes we're the only Jesus that people see."
-Testimony of a Homosexual, Gay Christian Network, 2005, retrieved June 25, 2014, [www.gaychristian.net/audio/testimonies05.mp3]
"I was at the place I think many of us are at one time or another in our walk with the Lord, where I was torn between two things I didn't think could fit together. The church was very consistent in saying that you could not be a Christian and be gay... I'd been struggling with being gay for four years at that time. And no matter what I had done, no matter how hard I'd cried to God, I had come to the realization that this is not something that may change. And so, from both sides, it was kinda' the same message that you have to choose one or the other. You have to choose to be a gay person or to be a Christian. And that was not a choice that I could make. I knew from my personal experience and my personal life, and from seeing God move in my life, that God was real and my relationship with God was real... I need more than personal experience. I need Scripture to back me up. I need to feel that relationship with God, and still have that... you can be gay, and be Christian, and you can be whole-heartedly both, and it works, and God still loves me."
-Testimony of a Homosexual, Gay Christian Network, 2005, retrieved June 25, 2014, [www.gaychristian.net/audio/testimonies05.mp3]

What makes your testimony different than these homosexual testimonies? There is only one difference that can be made, and that is the Law of God, which condemns sins of every kind. You'll notice that these testimonies have nothing to do with repentance or God's Law at all, which is exactly what's missing from the testimonies of most people in the world today who call themselves "Christians."
(Read "Is Repentance Necessary?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

The week before I wrote this article, I was telling some of these things to a Christian lady. She was grateful that I explained this to her because she always thought she was supposed to share how she was saved, and it was a difficult subject to get into a conversation. When she finally realized that through her charitable giving, and sanctifying herself from the wickedness of the world, that she was giving a testimony, it was a big relief to her from the stress imposed on Christians from the modern-day American churches that are pushing unbiblical standards that don't work and create false converts.

So Christians, if you want to give testimony to the unbelievers, a testimony they will listen to -- then give them THE Testimony. There is no better way to convert the unbeliever, just as Psalm tells us:

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
-Psalm 19:7

Let's read what Jesus Christ did when asked how to inherit eternal life:

And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?... Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
-Mark 10:19

And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
-Luke 10:26

As you can see, Jesus Christ's response on how to get to heaven was to give them the Law of God. It worked for Jesus Christ, it worked for the Apostles, and it will work for you; we don't need the new-age church to step in and try to fix something that wasn't broken.

By following the Law of God yourself, with your faith in Jesus Christ, you can become a living testimony to the world. And a true Biblical testimony will be one that demonstrates and preaches the Word of God and His Law to the world, that all them that repent and believe on Jesus Christ will be saved.

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
-Revelation 12:17

If you want to get someone saved, get them lost first. Give them the Law.

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