Living the Resurrected Life. The Testimony Part 1 The Voice of Power - David Mitts
The verse tells us overcoming comes by the “word” of the testimony. I want to dive deeply into that phrase. What is a testimony and what is the “word” of the testimony?
The first use of the word testimony is in connection with miracle of manna, in Exodus 16. Israel is portrayed as grumbling to Moses about their lack of food. In response God sends them quail at night and manna in the AM. He commands them to only gather an Omer per person and to eat it all. The only exception is on Friday, when they are to gather double for the Shabbat. When Israel tests these guidelines by gathering extra, it rots and when go out on the Shabbat to gather, there is none. Then the Lord instructs Aaron, the high priest, to keep an Omer of manna forever before the place He calls the “testimony”. The testimony is the place of His Presence. The Omer of manna, which would normally rot after its consuming time remains eternally fresh.
This contrast between the manna which is “daily bread” and the manna that is testimony is a powerful spiritual picture! The manna and the testimony is giving a glimpse of experiencingresurrection life!
The next use of the word testimony is with respect to the ark of the covenant:
““You shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you.” (Exodus 25:16)
The ark is named the “ark of the testimony”. At this point it might help us to look at the Hebrew word for testimony. The word comes from the root “ad”, eduth. The word root has two powerful letters. The first is “ayin” which is the word picture for an eye and “dalet” which is the word picture of a door. So, the composite word picture is the doorway that opens a ream of seeing, a spiritual portal. The ark is such a place in the earth. It is in the earth but is of another realm which opens the supernatural realm of God’s glory!
We tend to think of the word testimony as our perspective about something that occurred in our experience. We give testimony in a court of law. But we know that our experience is extremely subjective and is interpreted through our understanding. The Apostle Paul spoke about this fragile perspective in 1 Corinthians 13:9-13
“For we know in part and prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away with. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now, we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:9-13)
The reference by the Apostle Paul to the coming of perfection which transforms our perspective, our partiality, impacts our testimony and the power released to overcome the darkness of this present time. Paul gives us an insight when he speaks about our childish knowing, speaking, and reasoning. This reflects our past and how we think about our experiences which shapes our testimony and its power.
Our testimony always has some type of power, regardless of our thinking. In that way our testimony is the controlling influence in our lives. Our testimony reflects the conversation of our heart. What we need to release God’s power in our testimony is to align it with what God says about us and about life.
Paul compares this process to becoming a man, fully human. Being fully human is not just about age but about the testimony. Ok, lets’ dive deeper into the testimony to grasp what the power is and begin to experience that which is perfect.
Returning to the construction of the tabernacle of worship, the place of meeting with God, we read:
"You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark,you shall put the testimony which I will give to you. "There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel. (Exo 25:21-22 NASB)
The ark is named by the testimony, which is inside the ark.Moving ahead to Exodus 31, the last verse we see the tablets containing the Word of God are named the tablets of the testimony:
When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God. (Exo 31:18 NASB)
By this we see that the testimony, the doorway into the eternal realms is encoded in the Word of God. The Word of God is the expression of the testimony. God testifies through His Word. What does He testify of? Himself and His kingdom and who we are to Him.
Why do we say God testifies of Himself? God alone is good. This means He alone has an absolute reference point to testify. We can only know Him through the broken lens of our own lives. Therefore, we need a God-encounter! In the time of Moses, the God encounter happened at a specific place, the place known as the tabernacle of meeting or the tabernacle of the testimony!
"But you shall appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of the testimony, and over all its furnishings and over all that belongs to it. They shall carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings, and they shall take care of it; they shall also camp around the tabernacle. (Num 1:50 NASB)
The testimony was where God was real. This is the portal of heaven on earth! Moses and the high priest would come to the tabernacle of the testimony and present themselves in front of the ark of the testimony which contained the tablets of the testimony. God’s Presence would then manifest His goodness to them.
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. (Exo 40:34 NASB)
In this time of God’s manifest Presence, His testimony would come forth. He would speak of Himself, His Kingdom and who we are to Him.
What we call the ten commandments were a testimony of God and His kingdom. Hence, they were known as the tablets of the testimony. These “commandments” were a picture of God and His kingdom of love for mankind. This is God testifying about Himself and His standards, what He designed for us as His loving children.
In this vein Yeshua as the word of God made flesh is the living testimony of God. By this I mean Yeshua shows us God.
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him and have seen Him." Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus *said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. (Joh 14:6-11 NASB)
Yeshua was and is eternally the testimony of the Father. This not only means that Yeshua re-presents the Father but that what He speaks, is the testimony of the Father. This is the overcoming reality of the power of the testimony! God’s Word is power, and His testimony is the access to that power.
Clearly in the life of Yeshua, power was demonstrated and the overcoming power to defeat the works of the devil.
““You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)
This is a description of the testimony of God in action. The “power” part of the anointing is the testimony. The voice speaking the words contains the power of the testimony for the words spoken to become reality. This is what Yeshua meant when He said to believe because of the works. He was not shy to connect His message of salvation with the power of God which He activated by being the testimony of God in the Earth.
“But,” you might say at this point, “that was Yeshua.” “He was the Son of God.”
““Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I am going to the Father. “And whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14)
The term, “in my name” is Yeshua-code for the testimony. When you operate some function in your life as the “name” of another, it means they have delegated to you the power of attorney to act as them. In my name isn’t the suffix to a prayer, ending “in Jesus’ name”. No! It means to operate as the testimony of God. That means when you speak, He speaks. The logical question then becomes how do operate in this manner? Well, we’ll go into that in depth next chapter. But for now, I just want us to be aware that there is such a thing as the testimony of God, and it isn’t as simple as just sharing our own story about an event. It is literally the power of God made manifest in this realm.
Activation: If the testimony of God is God made manifest in and through our lives to overcome with power the works of the devil, then let’s ask the Lord to reveal what confessions of our mouth or our heart that is hindering our confidence to come before throne or the authority of His grace? Let’