A. T. Jones
“You are My witnesses, says the Lord” (Isa. 43:10).
Before He left them, Jesus said to His disciples that they should be witnesses to Him “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
And this was spoken to His disciples for all time; He intended that, in each generation, His disciples should bear witness to Him, even to the end of the earth.
His disciples of that time did this in their generation: their faith was spoken, and spoken of, “throughout the whole world;” the gospel which they preached “was preached to every creature under heaven” (Col. 1:23).
The reason of this was that they had the power to do it. Jesus said to them, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me . . . to the end of the earth.”
The Holy Spirit did come upon them; they did receive power. And having power to be witnesses to the end of the earth, it was easy so to witness.
And that is true yet. Any church that has the power to witness to Christ to the end of the earth can witness to the end of the earth. It will not be difficult to do what she has the power to do.
The only reason that the church in any age has not witnesses in that age to the end of the earth, is simply because she did not have the power to do it. That is what she existed for; but she could not do it, because she did not have the power. And she did not have the power because she would not have the Holy Spirit come upon her.
Now, in this day and age, the church must witness to Christ to the end of the earth. That is solely what she exists for. But she cannot do it without the power. Men may talk and plan and work till doomsday; but the thing can never be done without the power to do it. And the power to do it lies solely in having the Holy Spirit come upon the disciples.
And when the Holy Spirit does come upon us, making us witnesses, then He also Himself is a witness with us.
We are to witness to Jesus Christ risen from the dead, and alive now, though once dead.
This is that to which the disciples then witnessed, and to which the Holy Spirit witnessed; and this is that to which the disciples must always witness,—a risen, living Savior.
They said, “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses” (Acts 2:32). “And killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses” (Acts 3:15). “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him” (Acts 5:32).
The Holy Spirit witnesses with the believer who witnesses that Christ is risen from the dead, and is alive and at the right hand of God, to give repentance, forgiveness, and power.
It is a great and mischievous mistake to think that those disciples who were then in Jerusalem, and who saw Him with their natural eyes, were the only ones who could, or were expected to, witness to the resurrection of Christ.
We today are expected to witness to this same thing. We must witness that He is risen, and is alive today. We must witness that He is at the right hand of God, exalted to be a prince and a Savior, to give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. We can do it.
We can do it because we know Him, the living Savior, with whom we live. We can do it because He lives with us. We can do it because we know that He is in us, and we in Him; and this we know by the Holy Spirit, which is given us. We can do it because He has given us the power, in giving us the Holy Spirit.
Do you know that the Holy Spirit is with you to witness unto the things which you testify of Christ? Can you cite the Holy Spirit as witness with you in what you witness unto Christ? If not, why not?
And if you cannot, then is it not because you are not, and are conscious that you are not, a true witness? And if you are not a true witness, then you are not a witness at all for Christ.
A witness is to testify to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; he himself is to be true. “You are my witnesses, says the Lord.” Are you?
Are you true? You can know. Here is the test: “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him” (John 7:18).
And we are witnesses of these things, and so is also the Holy Spirit. Will you be a true witness? Will you recognize the Holy Spirit as a witness also with you?
“Ask, and it will be given to you.” “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Recognize the Holy Spirit.
“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). The kingdom is not to be gained by our efforts. It is to be given to them that “do not fear.” Let your mind dwell in prayerful meditation upon the infinite love of God toward you in Christ Jesus. Think of the exceeding great and precious promises, of the Holy Spirit, which dwells in you, of the holy angels that are encamped about you; think of all these blessings and “do not fear.” Do not fear the want of temporal good. He who feeds the ravens, the sparrows, and the beasts, will feed you. “The Lord will provide,” is a motto which you may write on every necessary want in life. Do not fear the power of Satan. Greater is He that is in you than all that are against you. The mighty God fights our battles; then why should we fear? Do not fear that the Lord will forsake you. His love is an everlasting love. He is married to you in Christ. “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Having loved you, He will love you “to the end.”
The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, August 16, 1898