Mulling over the concept of a 'witness.'
"A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established." - Deuteronomy 19:15 ESV
A witness is someone who saw something so they say something. God required witnesses for certain legal proceedings. A notary is a kind of witness. They sign to say someone else was present.
"For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he who came by water and blood--Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life." - 1 John 5:4-13 ESV
I have to say... this is not an easy passage. For a long time it came across to me as legal jargon. I had a person tell me the Gospel. How are the water, blood and Spirit involved? Ok... Maybe I could begin to grasp how the Spirit was involved but the water and blood part made little sense to me.
Perhaps this refers to the Gospels? I think it has a dual reference... the Gospels and now. Jesus was baptized... water. Jesus shed His blood. He was born of a virgin and had pure blood uncorrupted by sin. Those things speak historically.
"For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son." - 1 John 5:7-9 ESV
This is a right now kind of believing from witnesses that are speaking now in a courtroom of sorts. That means they are living witnesses. Wow.
The Spirit is speaking. The water is living and speaking. Water is often a picture of truth... pure, clear, flowing and cleansing...
"...by the washing of water with the word," - Ephesians 5:26b ESV
Then there is the blood we spoke about yesterday. It is a living witness. It experienced all our sin on the cross and was poured out as a remedy.
"...and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel." - Hebrews 12:24 ESV
Abel was the first murder victim and his blood cried out asking for revenge. Jesus' blood asks the Father if He would forgive us.
Believers in Jesus have living witnesses that speak. That is unique. No other philosophy or religion has this threefold correlation.
"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life." - 1 John 5:13 ESV
If we have seen and believed then we can become witnesses of redemption if we open our mouths and recount what we saw.
P Butch Veader has been speaking about this concept for the last few weeks with the Evangelistes and it is really revolutionary. The passage isn't jargon to me anymore. It is starting to sink in.
In the courtroom when a witness opens their mouth things become real. That person is alive with perceptions and feelings. Then another totally different person takes the stand with a different but correlating point of view... then another. What happens? We are convinced. We need to be convinced in order to have hope.
There are three witnesses... Hear what they say today... weight their words against your evaluations. They were there in history and they are here right now speaking.