Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“. . . at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.”
Moses, in Deuteronomy 19:15
“. . . in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.”
Jesus, in Matthew 18:16
“This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”
Paul, In 2Corinthians 13:1
In the Old Testament, the way God’s people “confessed Christ” was to walk in the light of the Law of Moses, for that Law was given by God for a witness, or a confession, of His Son before God sent him to earth. Since the New Testament began, the holy Ghost, not Moses’ Law, has been God’s witness of His Son “because the Spirit is truth” (1Jn. 5:6b). The Messiah was sent from heaven to fulfill the Law of ceremonial works and to replace it with life itself. “I am come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly”, said Jesus. And Paul explained, “The Spirit is life, because of righteousness” (Rom. 8:10). So we see that Jesus came in order to pay the awful price for the holy Spirit, God’s eternal life, to be given to us mortals.
In this New Covenant that Jesus purchased with his sacrificial death, men deny that Jesus is the Messiah by their stubborn persistence in religious ceremony. To carry out religious rites is to deny by deeds that Jesus came and fulfilled the ceremonies that spoke of him. It is the holy Spirit alone, not symbolic rites, that now confesses Jesus is the Christ.
This is why Paul made the remarkable statement that “No man can say that Jesus is Lord, except by the holy Ghost” (1Cor. 12:3). Have you received the holy Ghost since you believed? Until you receive God’s testimony of His Son, your own testimony of faith in Jesus is insufficient, for “by the testimony of two, or by three, shall every word be established.” Many claim to have faith in Jesus, but man’s claim is only one witness. We must also have God’s witness, the holy Spirit, bearing witness to our faith before our claims have any merit at all in heaven. God’s witness, the Spirit, together with our witness, proves our faith is real and sincere. “The Spirit itself bears witness with our Spirit that we are the children of God”, wrote Paul (Rom. 8:16).
Never trust anyone who says that they belong to Christ Jesus unless God has added His witness to theirs. Until a person receives God’s testimony of His Son, that person is, in effect, calling God a liar. Consider these words from 1John 5:9-12:
“If we receive the testimony of men, the witness of God is greater, because this is the witness of God that He has borne concerning His son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; He who does not believe God has made him a liar because he has not believed in the witness which God bore concerning His Son. And this is the witness, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
From these verses, we see that John taught that the only true believers that exist on earth are those people who have the witness of God (the holy Ghost) inside of them. Everyone else, no matter what they are saying with their lips about God, are making God out to be a liar because they do not have God’s witness “in themselves”. Finally, John taught that no one has the Son of God in his heart who does not have God’s life (the holy Ghost) within him.
The sum is this: We must “believe in” (= receive) God’s witness of Christ. We receive God’s witness of His Son when we receive the holy Ghost baptism, and without it, we have only one testimony to our faith-ours-and that just doesn’t count in God’s kingdom.