Three That Bear Witness in Heaven
Mentoring Manna: Three that bear witness in heaven
© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell
1 John 5:7 “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.” In establishing truth, the Scripture requires two or three witnesses. Deuteronomy 19:15 says, “One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.” John tells us that there are Three in heaven that bear witness of the truth. These Three are the Father, the Word (Son), and the Holy Spirit. These Three are “One” in agreement. For truth to be established, all Three of these Persons within the Godhead must be One in agreement. If at any time one or more of these Three would not be in agreement, then the witness of truth would not be established. To illustrate this, we can look at ancient seaports. Many seaports were surrounded by coral reefs with an opening through which a ship can safely pass. Since these reefs were hidden from view, it became vitally important to mark the way of safe entry into the harbor. In one particular harbor, three large columns were erected on the shore. These columns were positioned so that when the three could be seen as one, the captain knew that the ship could proceed safely into the harbor. It was understood that if two or more of the columns could be seen, the ship’s course was not “true” and it was in danger of suffering shipwreck on the coral below. So it is with spiritual truth: truth needs the confirmation of three or more witnesses. In validating His role as the Messiah, Jesus practiced this principle of confirmation. First, Jesus appealed to the witness of the Father, “The Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me.” (John 5:37) Second, Jesus appealed to His own witness in John 8:12: “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true.” (see John 8:18) Third, Jesus appealed to the witness of the Holy Spirit: “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” (John 15:26) Thus, the witness of the Father, and of the Word (Son), and of the Holy Spirit are in agreement. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. These Three are One. Where these “Three” in heaven bear witness as “One,” truth is always confirmed and established.
Application: When confirming truth, look for the three witnesses of the Father, and of the Word, and of the Holy Spirit. Listen for the witness of the Father’s voice in your heart. Look for the witness of the Word in the pages of the Bible. Learn to recognize the “witness” or confirming peace of the Spirit within your own spirit. When studying the word of God, look for several passages that honestly bear witness of the truth. Don’t force a meaning and never build a doctrine around one verse. If you feel the Holy Spirit is revealing truth to you, always validate it with the Scriptures. If you cannot validate something in the word of God, then do not teach it. Don’t be presumptuous by claiming to “follow the Spirit” when you cannot validate it in the word of God. If the truth is from God, look for the Holy Spirit’s confirmation in people’s lives (Mark 16:20). Remember, there are Three that bear witness in heaven. Always seek to establish this Three-fold witness from heaven.
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, I make a commitment today to walk in Your established truth. I choose to turn away from presumptuous and so-called “leadings of the Holy Spirit” that have no foundation within Your word. I repent of trying to make the word of God say what other passages within the Scripture deny. I also repent of ignoring the convicting witness of the Holy Spirit within that tells me when I am not speaking or living the truth in my heart. I determine to always seek and embrace the agreement of many witnesses so that every word of truth will be established in my life. I thank You for this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
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