Bible Study Notes:
These notes are from a transcript of the
postings during Bible Study on Thursday Nights at 8 PM at Bible Study Chat at
|OlePappy - Father, thank You for the opportunity
that we have to minister through the riches of Your Holy Word. Bless those who come to
this ministry with Your love, peace and glory. Lord, heal those with sickness in mind and
body with the slightest healing touch. Blessed Lord, Thank You for this week of joy. I
lift this prayer to You in the name of Jesus the Son. AMEN
Father God we rejoice in you tonight. Thank you for the Word and thank you for everyone assembled here in your name. We pray that you will open our understanding and train us for the spiritual battle that we are in. Jesus we praise you for your sacrifice on the cross, and for all the spiritual abilities that salvation brings us.
Holy Spirit we invite you as our teacher. Come along side and help us in the warfare, equip us with armor and weapons, and give us the power to stand.
satan we come against you in the Name of Jesus, we bind you and rebuke you and cast you out in Jesus Name, before, during and after the lesson. We declare all of your plans against us null and void, defeated by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now Lord help us to FOCUS on your Word and receive what you have prepared for us tonight. Keep us from clamor and dissension, and help us in unity of love to stand together against the enemy. In Jesus Name AMEN
We've been talking about spiritual warfare for several weeks now and have discussed preparing our hearts for war, our spiritual armor, and now are discussing our spiritual weapons. We have gone over 6 so far, out of 15, unless the Lord reveals more to me. Last time we talked about the weapon of praise, and the blood of Jesus.
Now these weapons aren't in a particular order and are often used together. It is helpful though to examine them individually so that we can see what an awesome arsenal we have against our enemy.
So far we've covered these weapons: The Word Of God Or Sword Of The Spirit; Prayer; The Name Of Jesus; Using Faith As A Weapon; Praise; The Blood Of Jesus
Weapon # 7 The Word of our Testimony.Revelation 12:11: They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
What is a testimony? And how do you think this can be used as a weapon in our warfare?
Jesus said in John 3:11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.
JessicaLynn - It tells of how you became a Christian, and it is a weapon, cause Satan hates to hear the good God has done for us, I would say that's accurate.
Robin - A testimony...is your experience of what God has done in your life
A testimony is what we know, what we have seen, what we have experienced with our own eyes and hears and minds and hearts. How is our testimony a weapon against satan? Every time we speak out about our faith in Christ we are opening an opportunity for someone to come out of the kingdom of darkness and be born again!
As explained before, all of the weapons we've discussed have defensive and offensive capabilities. A testimony would be used offensively against satan to bring new believers into the kingdom of God. How would your testimony be used defensively?
How about to defend yourself against fear and doubt? When you remind yourself of what God has done for you in the past, that is your testimony, it helps build your faith NOW. And we are increasing our own faith by reminding ourselves of what God has done for us in the past. What He HAS done, He WILL continue to do for us. So this defeats the doubts that satan continually places in our minds. Never underestimate the power of your testimony. Let's look a little deeper into what a testimony is.
Jesus said for us to go and make disciples. How do you make a disciple? First, someone has to testify of their salvation and lead that person to Christ. Then, we lead them deeper into the saving grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let's look at some testimonies in the Word. First, John the Baptist. What was his testimony?
John the Baptist's Testimony: John 1: 32-34 Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, `The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."
John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus and probably one of the most important testimonies about Jesus because it was the FIRST. What an honor! And what was his testimony?
He saw PROOF with his own eyes about who Jesus was. When he baptized Jesus, he saw the heaven open and the Holy Spirit descend as a dove. And He KNEW that Jesus was the Christ!
John was testifying to what he himself had seen and heard. John continues his testimony about Jesus to his disciples after asserting that he was NOT the Christ, but one sent ahead to prepare the way, inJohn 3:30-33 "He must become greater; I must become less."
onTheRock - about that moment when John was baptizing Jesus....and the Holy spirit came down....and God spoke.....all 3 were present on earth at the same time..the voice of God the Son of God and the spirit of God....
Dinosaur - Right, OTR -- Proof of three in the Godhead, Father Son and Holy Spirit
John the Baptist continues to say:"The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. "
Jesus came from heaven and therefore his testimony is truthful, and can be trusted. What was Jesus testimony?
Jesus testimony about Himself:John 5:31-33 "If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid. You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth."
In the Old Testament, a person couldn't be convicted on the testimony of one person alone, which included a confession. Jesus is not saying that his testimony is wrong, but that it was not enough in itself enough evidence. So Jesus points to the testimony of John the Baptist. But he also had testimony greater than John about his person and mission:
John 5:36 "I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me. "
Jesus' work - preaching, healing and delivering - was also a testimony to Who He was, as our work - how we live and act and talk, is a testimony to the world of who we believe in.
Basically all we've said so far is that John the Baptist testified of Jesus, and the work that Jesus did was also a testimony of Who he was. And yes erica, the OT prophets testified of him too, and we're coming to that... You guys are really rolling tonight! LOL
John 5:37-38 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.
When did the Father testify of Jesus? At Jesus baptism when the Father said,"This is my beloved Son in whom I'm well pleased." Because the Pharisees and scribes did not believe in Jesus, they did not believe in the Father's testimony about Jesus either. So John the Baptist testified of Jesus, so did the Father, and so did the works that Jesus did. The other testimony we have of Jesus is the Scriptures.
John 5:39-40 You diligently study [search] the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
Did you know that it's possible to read the Scriptures with blinders on and not see Jesus? But from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible reveals Jesus, the plan of salvation, and our place in it. Especially the fact that we must come to Him to have eternal life.
Further testimony by Jesus:John 8:13 The Pharisees challenged him, "Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid."
John 8:14 Jesus answered, "Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going."
Jesus testimony is valid because He was totally aware of where he came from and where he was going to - heaven. Are you sure of where you're going today? Can you testify that you have eternal life? That you possess the truth that is in Jesus?
John 8:17 -18 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me."
Since Jesus was no mere man, but the Son of God, His testimony is true and is validated by the witness of God the Father.
The first thing we must do is be SURE that we are born again, saved, born from above, - that we have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our savior. Without doing this we have no testimony! The other component of our testimony is to be sure that our life measures up to the Word of God -- then the Father and the Son and the Spirit will be witnessed in our lives.
Now, I don't want you all to think that your testimony has to be something really elaborate. It is simply telling what God has done for you and in you. For example, remember the Woman at the well in Samaria? We are told inJohn 4:39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did." Short and sweet, but effective!!!
John the Apostle also testified in1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.
And our testimony is not only what we SAY that God has done for us, but our testimony is reflected in what we DO every day.
Let's look at Paul's Testimony:I Corinthians 2:1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
Notice that your testimony does not have to be eloquent - fancy with big words. You also don't have to have a college degree or be smarter than those you witness to. All you need to do is proclaim, or simply state, what God has done for you. Never underestimate the effect IN YOUR OWN WORDS of what Jesus has done for you! What you have to say WILL touch someone, and it may be someone that no one else can reach! Praise the Lord!
You see, unbelievers can't always understand the Bible right off the bat. They need someone to relate it to them in words they can understand -- and you may be the only Christ they ever "read". What an awesome opportunity and privilege this is! Paul called it being "ambassadors for Christ" - Jesus representatives on this earth. It's also an awesome responsibility.
Let's look some more at what Paul had to say about testifying.I Corinthians 2:2-3 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
Are you afraid to testify? So was the apostle Paul. He felt weak and afraid and even trembled! So you're in good company. So how did Paul overcome this feeling of weakness? He resolved, or made up his mind, to only concentrate on Christ and him crucified. He meditated upon the cross of Jesus and what it means for us, and that gave him the courage to speak out.
The devil will try to make us "chicken out". But we are told that we shall receive POWER from the Holy Spirit to witness for Jesus, holy boldness!
I Corinthians 2:4-5 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.
Now you'll find all kinds of testimony tools on the market today. And can read volumes about how to testify to one sort of unbeliever or another. And there's nothing wrong with being prepared. But notice Paul didn't preach a message with wise and persuasive words - he didn't try to "psych out" or manipulate his listeners or impress them with his wisdom. Paul simply relied on the Spirit's power. He did this because the Spirit is the one who convicts of sin and draws to God. And so that his listener's faith would not be dependent on man's wisdom.
Amen Grace and that really bothers me! People tend to idolize those that lead them to the Lord. And this is not good. Because IF the leader stumbles, then the faith of the believers is shaken. We have a lot of "super stars" in the church to day who persuade men and women to belief - but if that belief is not grounded in the Spirit of God, those believers may be shaken IF the "super stars" don't live up to the expectations heaped upon them. The bottom line is "looking unto JESUS", not any man or woman.
Right k, they use all sorts of manipulations and tactics to lure people into their groups. We NEVER want to be guilty of that. The gospel is the power of salvation unto all that believe, and that's enough!
What's the difference between bargaining with someone, like your child, and manipulation? Bargaining is a good skill to learn and both parties know what you're doing. Manipulation is when the other party does NOT know what's happening - until he's sucked in.
I agree Grace, we need to stop competing and start cooperating with the Holy Spirit to win the world for Jesus! That he is dino, that he is! and a liar and deceiver!
So when you are giving your testimony, simply tell in your own words what God has done for you. Don't worry that you don't have a college degree or a REV in front of your name. Rely on the Spirit to show you what to say.
John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
Matthew 10:18-20 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
What an awesome promise! Even if it comes to the point of our being arrested for our faith (and that day could be here sooner than we think), the Holy Spirit will tell us what to say!
The early believers prayed to be able to witness with boldness and this prayer was answered.Acts 4:29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.
Father God, by your Spirit tell us what to say, and enable us to speak your word with great boldness! AMEN
What is the content of our testimony? Our testimony is that we believe in the Son of God, and that God has given us eternal life in Him.
I John 5:9-11 We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
Again, your testimony will be in your own words, but somewhere includes the message that God has given you eternal life through His Son! And here is exciting news! Your faithful and continual testimony will help bring about the Second Coming of Jesus:Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
If you faithfully testify WHERE YOU ARE then you've brought the message of the gospel to your part of the world!
Rock, good point, I believe that unity is extremely important, and I strive to keep the bond of unity in the spirit of peace. Sometimes we do stand alone, but remember, "Divide and conquer" is satan's motto. We need to try to stick together in this warfare - be loyal to faithful soldiers no matter what name they call themselves!
We must hold firmly to the trustworthy message we've believed in - so that we can encourage others and refute those who oppose the gospel - those who believe in myths and worship idols.
Titus 1:9, 13-14 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth.
OK so our testimonies are an offensive weapon against the enemy because they lead others to Christ, and a defensive weapon because they help remind us (and satan) where we stand and help keep us free from doubt.
Right grace ... we need to be thinking about what will build them up and encourage them... and be patient as they grow ... baby steps ...
Ok, we've talked about our testimonies being not only what we say, but what we DO. I really believe that it helps to practice what we say so that we can be ready when an occasion occurs to testify. So who would like to give a word of testimony tonight? What good thing has the Lord done for you today?
Yes, Sherry, and the Lord has preserved you until this time because your prayer ministry is so needed in the Church!
Amen Robin, Jesus will provide for us! Not always in the way we think or want - but in His way, in His timing. Have worked a lot of temp jobs in my day also!
Gina, that is awesome! Fear robs us of the ability to trust and love and turns our heart to stone. Praise the Lord for giving you a new heart!
Father God we lift up the 100 new babes in Christ in the revival k spoke of, we pray that they will grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Protect them by the power of your blood and send teachers to disciple them in Jesus Name AMEN.
k, he's still working on us all! Thank God for that! But along the way we can give Him praise and glory as we testify to others!
Praise the Lord for his saving, cleansing, protecting power! AMEN
Testimony by OlePappy; I at one time came down with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Spent most of my time in the bed, could even move because of the pain. The pain in my back was so bad that I couldn't work, couldn't play with my son or go to church. One night, a friend and fellow Christian, called me on the phone and said" are you ready to be healed?" I said yes. well, we prayed together. We cried together and we prayed some more. He said good night and I went to bed...wasn't healed yet...but I knew God was going to heal me. next morning, got up, jumped out of bed...then realized, I had no pain...God had set me free! Now I can go to the doctor and take a blood test and the results will say that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis...but the tests don't know that I am healed. I don't have any disfigurement, I don't have any pain...I am healed! I give Jesus all the honor and all the glory...I am healed!
I'm so thankful that God healed OP! Praise the Lord! Ben Kinchlow used to say that our testimonies are "Just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread." We know about Jesus, the Bread of Life, like sharing a new restaurant we've found but this is better news!
Father thank you for all of the glorious testimonies that have been shared here tonight. Give us holy boldness to share what you are doing in our lives with everyone we meet, in some way, even if it's but a smile. Help us to remember until we meet again to use our spiritual weapons, put on our armor and fight the good fight of faith. Let us be testimonies read and seen of men, and speak words of your grace to all! In Jesus Name AMEN
My testimony is on my web site, mostly finished. Now, you don't HAVE to create a web page about it, but think of the possibility for exposure to the WORLD!
Next time we're going to discuss Weapon # 8 Stepping out the boundaries - doing a "Jericho March", or Claiming our Inheritance and Possessing the Land.
Remember, whenever God
gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate
on what you've learned!
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