The Book of Revelation talks about the characteristics of those who overcome. One of the four characteristics of an overcomer is: they hold the testimony of Jesus. There may be some validity to the idea that this is a reference to our personal testimony of Jesus. But that is probably not the testimony to which he is referring! The testimony that Jesus shared was a firsthand account of the true nature and character of God!
Hebrews tells us Jesus was the exact representation of God. Jesus said the words He spoke and the works He did were the Father’s. In other words, He did nothing of Himself; everything He did was designed to show us exactly who God really was. His teaching, ministry, personal conduct and ultimately His death, burial and resurrection provide us with the perfect interpretation, intention and application of every word God has ever spoken.
For thousands of years men who did not have firsthand knowledge of God gave a testimony of who they assumed God to be. They twisted His Word into a legalistic quagmire that held people in bondage instead doing what it was intended to do: give them a better quality of life. In fact, they twisted His Word to such a degree that it denied His name. Many good people today still think of the Old Covenant as a covenant of fear. Sadly they base that testimony of God’s character and nature on hearsay!
A testimony is an eye witness account: firsthand knowledge of the facts.
They do not present their interpretation of the facts; they do not present their subjective emotional reaction to the facts; they do not repeat what someone else has claimed to see and hear; they only testify to what they have personally seen and/or heard.
No human being had ever seen God as He was; therefore, the testimony of any man, teacher, rabbi or king, prior to Jesus could not be completely reliable; it was only hearsay and assumption. Jesus was with God and, in fact, was one with God; His is the only credible testimony of God in existence.
When we interpret or apply the Word of God in any way that is inconsistent with Jesus’ life, teaching, death, burial and resurrection, we are abandoning the testimony of Jesus and creating a private interpretation.
Many well-meaning Christians preach a very convincing message that actually opposes the truth. The Holy Spirit can only manifest grace, i.e. power to live the truth, Jesus’ version of the truth, not our version of the truth!
Kingdom living is dependent on relating to Jesus as Lord. It might behoove us to examine everything we believe, share, preach, teach, think and pray to determine if it is consistent with or does it stand in opposition to the testimony Jesus provided of God through His life, death, burial and resurrection.