Posted by: SandreS | May 23, 2010

Israel’s Great Commission, Part 9

Witnesses of What?

You shall be witnesses unto Me (Acts 1:8).

Under the “Great Commission” Israel’s Apostles were to be “witnesses’” but “witnesses” of what? Before we deal with the answer to that question, let’s first find out what a witness is.

Noah Webster defines the word witness as a person who knows or sees anything; one personally present. So, to be a witness, one must have firsthand knowledge concerning the thing which is being witnessed. Of what were the Twelve actually witnesses? On this the Scripture is abundantly clear.

Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day … and you are witnesses of these things (Luke 24:46, 48).

Wherefore of these men … must one be ordained to be a witness with us of His resurrection (Acts 1:22).

This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses (Acts 2:32).

Whom God has raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses (Acts 3:15).

The God of our fathers raised up Jesus … and we are His witnesses (Acts 5:30-32).

And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; Whom they slew and hung on a tree, Him God raised up the third day, and showed Him openly; not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead (Acts 10:39-41).

And He was seen many days of them which came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses unto the people (Acts 13:31).

How clear are all these verses! The “Great Commission” was for those who had been actual eye-witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry, death resurrection.

What if you read in your local newspaper of a horrid crime which had been committed in your community, but one that you had not personally witnessed? Then suppose that you showed up at the trial and offered to testify and were subsequently placed on the witness stand. While on the stand you vividly and accurately describe the details of the crime as they had been recorded in the newspaper article. During the cross-examination you are asked, “Where were you when you saw this crime committed?” To which you would respond, “Why, I didn’t see the act, but I did read all about it in the paper.”

Your proclamation of the details of that crime may be true, or not, depending on the accuracy of your source; but one thing is certain: your testimony would not be accepted because you simply did not witness the event. Your witness would be thrown out as inadmissible evidence.

We never witnessed the death, burial or resurrection of Jesus Christ. We heard His Word and believed its message (Romans 10:17). Although we cannot bear witness to the resurrection, we can proclaim it. We are teachers of this wonderful truth and all that it means.

We can give witness and testimony to God’s wonderful work of salvation in our own lives, but we can never fulfill the “Great Commission’s” duty of being “witnesses chosen before of God.”

(To be continued …)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Daily Email Goodies
© 1989, 2010

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