The Word of Our Testimony

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The Word of Our Testimony

Rom 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

 July 9, 2006       The Word of Our Testimony              Kathleen Maples

Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

If you love the Lord, and have a sincere hunger for His righteousness, His truth, the adversary of your soul will come against you. He will choose a most personal and intimate battleground from which to attack you, and that is your mind. I know this is true because that is where I have been attacked the most. The Word of God alone has held me up and been my hope. But the key here is the Word of your testimony.

Mat 12:37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

We have to be careful about what we let come out of our mouth. We can talk

ourselves or think ourselves right into spiritual defeat. There have been times when I would be under mental attack, not fully realizing what was happening, just being overwhelmed with vicious accusations in my own mind about my unworthiness of the Lord, about my mistakes, and I would begin to despair, and the precious Holy Ghost would bring the Words of my Lord back to my remembrance, warning me by my words I would be either justified or condemned.

Rev 12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

Rev 12:16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Do you have the testimony of Jesus Christ? Do you keep the commandments of God? Do you treasure them as the protective Hedge around about you that they are, and guard them, holding them sacred in your heart? In the original Greek, that word "keep" means to watch, to guard from loss or injury, by keeping the eye on, hold fast, serve, fulfill. To observe, and reserve, and preserve. If you are keeping them, you won't accept them watered down or changed by man's opinions. You will only accept the Holy Word of God in its purity without regard to your own feelings, because if you know Him, and you have His Spirit within you, then you will know or be learning by now that your own feelings and carnal mind will deceive you and will resist what is of God if allowed to rule you. They must not be allowed to rule, the Word of God must be allowed to govern us completely. We must have the Word hidden in our hearts, branded there, and recognized as the Final Authority on all things.

What is the testimony of Jesus Christ? It's the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the evidence given in the Word of God, the record God gave of His Son, and we have it written for us to read. We have been given the measure of faith needed to believe it. (Rom 12:3) We are not to love our lives, even unto the death. There are two ways you can look at that. Certainly, one is physical death. But the Word says they loved not their lives unto the death.

Psa 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

Have you heard this read at a dear saint's funeral? I believe it could apply to the literal death, but there is another application that rings more true to my heart. It's hard for me to picture God sitting on his throne thinking "how precious" when Jesus died. Or, when a dear saint slips out into eternity after suffering the indignity of being overcome by the enemy of death. And death is not an angel, it is an enemy birthed by sin. I just can't picture God saying "How precious." in these circumstances. But consider what I say and the Lord give thee understanding.

Luk 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Luk 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

We must be filled with and led by the Holy Spirit of GOD, and deny our flesh and carnal mind its own way. We must reckon ourselves dead to this world, and the sin of this world. We must choose life, and the Word of God, and have a single eye focused on the Lord, and be about His business which is seeking and saving the lost. We can't afford to value our own ways or thoughts or put what we want above what the Lord wants. If he deals with us about getting rid of something or changing something, we need to pray for grace and strength to do it, and then just do it, trusting our Mighty God to come through with what is needed.

When I first got saved, I was a drug addict, with a 17 year habit. I had smoked pot and cigarettes heavily for 17 years. Occasionally, I threw wine or beer in the mix along with muscle relaxers. Stupid Stupid Stupid!! God was so merciful to this girl, folks. You just don't know. God had me under conviction and I didn't even know what conviction was. But when somebody (My Mom) told me, and I began to understand Who was dealing with me, why I was suddenly feeling ashamed of the way I was living, and hungering to change, while realizing I couldn't on my own, it was a wonderful encounter I had with the mercy of God. I remember taking a shower, after determining in my heart I was going to pray, and becoming aware of how dirty and unclean I was because of my sin. I remember standing in the shower and vigorously scrubbing, knowing it wouldn't get me clean enough, but doing what I had to do to get as clean as I could before I went and prayed. I remember being self conscious over my short hair, and for some reason covering my head with a towel, when I knelt at the foot of my bed to pray. I didn't know then the Scripture says a woman ought to have long hair for a covering. (1 Cor 11:15) I remember bowing on my knees in my bedroom, and I don't remember what all I prayed, after I whispered, "please." I remember seeing a bright light in my mind, and in my mind's eye, I became aware of myself in a dark room, with very heavy chains on me, unable to get free, and I saw this bright light shine in as the door opened, and there was a figure of a man standing there, and he said nothing, but I heard the breaking of the chains as they began to snap and fall off me. I was on my knees, communicating with my Maker, asking for forgiveness, of sins which were too numerous and plentiful to list, and I heard the chains snapping. I felt this huge weight fall off me. I come up off my knees a new creature. A child of God. I felt lighter than air. I was so happy. There was a change. He had moved in my heart. And He set about setting His new Temple in order. First went the drugs, the craving was gone. He gave me great grace. I lived in the house with someone who still used them. And don't let anyone tell you pot is not addictive. When it was going out of my system, I stayed nauseous. I couldn't stand the smell of food. I got headaches. But I would go in my den, put on my new gospel CD, Rebecca St. James' CD "Transform" and listen to it, and just pray and ask God to help me when I started feeling bad and my flesh was craving the drugs. My self, I didn't want them anymore. But my flesh did. And the Lord brought me through it. I slipped twice that week. It wasn't the same. Once out of curiosity and the second time out of stress. The pleasure was gone in it. I felt guilty, ashamed, and repented and did not need rehab to get over it, even living with another user. I prayed, I read His Word, and He come through mightily. Looking back, I realize it was because I leaned totally on the Lord to get me through that. Within four months, I was under heavy conviction to lay down the cigarettes, too. That was something I had to consciously do. The only trouble was I didn't actually want to quit smoking. I knew God knew this so I just went to Him and admitted what He already knew, and told Him I didn't want to quit, even though I knew He wanted me to. I asked Him to help me want to. I have always loved to read, but my hunger got insatiable for His Word. He was teaching me things, about Him, about the life He wanted me to have in Him, and I would go to church, a baby Christian, and hear the minister preaching about the same things He'd been showing me, and it just delighted me to no end to know the Lord had taught me this already Himself, then confirmed it through the preaching of the Gospel.

I fell ever more in love with Him. I felt His presence so near me so much of the time, it stirred within me a powerful hunger for more of Him, until I got to the point I wanted HIM and craved HIM more than the cigarettes. I kept thinking every time I'd light one, what if the Lord comes while you are smoking this thing? Will you be left behind? I knew the Scripture about defiling the Temple of the Holy Ghost, whose I knew I now was, though I didn't understand how that worked, or why He'd want to dwell in such an imperfect vessel. But, I prayed, and I didn't make a deal with God, or trade with the Lord. I knew He wouldn't do this for me, I had to do it. I got saved Feb 25, 2001. By July I was hungry to quit smoking, wanting HIM more. I had gone from smoking 2 and a half packs a day for years to about 5 or 6 cigarettes a day. I was miserable. So I hit my knees, and promised God I'd never touch another one, (after carefully researching the Scriptures on making promises to God and seeing the folly and seriousness of making promises to God and breaking them, don't do it, folks, because your flesh will fail you and most likely you won't be able to keep your promises to God any better than you do to people). I promised the Lord I would never smoke another cigarette, or even light one, although I lived with, was married to a smoker. All I asked God for was that He would always guide and lead me. And His Word promised me that already although I hadn't fully realized that yet. After that prayer, the temptation to smoke got stronger, the craving got harder, because my flesh knew it was being denied and shut down on this one. And I had to pray through every craving until they stopped. But God's presence and grace was sufficient. The sense that he was pleased with me was very strong as I went through this. That was a wonderful feeling I cherished. Remember what the Psalmist said? "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." Self denial. Dying to self. Living for Christ. Letting the Life of Christ in us reign unchallenged, supreme. I'm not there fully yet, but He is taking me there. Alone I can't go. But He can take me where I could never go and make me what I could never be. I want His life, not mine. His thoughts, not mine. His ways, not mine. HE is the WORD of my Testimony. His strength is made perfect in my weakness. What did Paul say?

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The Word of God was wrapped in flesh and walked this earth once. In the saints of God, It is to do so again. We are to walk as He walked. If we have His Word written in our hearts, and seek to obey it, regardless of the cost to our flesh, regardless of what people say, and if we desire His life above our own, what did he say about those who hunger and thirst after righteousness? THEY SHALL BE FILLED.

1Co 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

I've heard this Scripture preached on in different ways, but here is how my heart receives it: First, if you are a true Christian, and don't just name the name of Christ, you aren't going to side with the world, you won't act like the world, or talk like them. When I see people get on the news and the title Reverend is tacked on to their name, and they are siding with the ACLU on the issue of church and state being separated, it sickens me. When I see people professing the Sacred Name of Christ, defending things the Bible-HIS WORD-condemns, calling evil good, and calling good evil, it hurts my heart.

Psa 119:52 I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself.

Psa 119:53 Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.

Psa 119:161 Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.

Psa 119:162 I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.

I do rejoice at His Word. I covet more understanding of His Word. It is the Treasure of my heart.

and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Now back to that Scripture in 1 Cor 12. If you do not have the power of the Holy Ghost working in your life, if you are not yielding to Him, allowing Him to do what the Lord sent Him to do in our lives, if you are not eating the meat of the Word of God that will kill your flesh, and strengthen your inner man, which is that life of Christ that is birthed in those who are born again, then you can't say that Jesus is Lord, not honestly.

Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

On our own, we can't. But through faith in the power of God, and the Holy Ghost in us working and strengthening us, we CAN. It's not the hearer of the Word that is justified, or declared right with God. It's the doer. When we obey the Word of God, it will cost us in our flesh. It will cost our carnal mind. It will deny self. When we don't spend time praying, or reading His precious Word, we are putting self ahead of Christ. I have been guilty of this. When we feel the urge to pray and put it off, we are making excuses to the Holy One who deserves first place and He won't take second. He wants our best not our leftovers. And He deserves our best. I have had to repent of this. I share this only because I know there are those out there who have been struggling with the same things. God is able to do exceeding and abundantly above all that we could ever begin to imagine (Eph 3:20). I pray that the Word of My Testimony will encourage you and strengthen you and provoke you to continue trusting in the ROCK of your salvation. The Word of our Testimony is HE IS ABLE. Rev. 12:11 says "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the Word of their testimony and they loved not their lives unto the death."

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And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32