The Testimony of Jesus is typically understood to be the same as “a testimony of Jesus”, at least this is how it is presently taught, and how it is generally understood by many– I grew up understanding the term “the testimony of Jesus” means my testimony of Him. I do have [a] testimony of Jesus Christ, I do have knowledge of Him and that He lives, but that is not what this means, “the testimony of Jesus” means something completely different than “a testimony of Jesus”.
Because we have been conditioned to believe a certain way, we often miss the truth of what is being revealed in the scriptures. Words are important; if we do not understand them we are kept from the light, and further knowledge we seek. We have to pay attention to what is being said, feasting upon the words of Christ, savoring every word, and its weight.
Part of the problem, is we try to give our interpretation and definition of the words used in the scriptures with today’s meanings, words and their meanings change over time, their full meaning can be lost or missed completely. You need to understand the words, in that day when they were originally spoken by the Lord. Such as:
The word virgin, in context with Mary looking at the meaning of the word virgin using Dr. Strong’s Concordance and other Lexicon dictionaries, we read both the Hebrew word in context of the “Virgin” Mary (Old Testament) and the Greek “Virgin” Mary (New Testament) meanings are the same. Verses are from the King James Bible.
Isaiah 7: 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
(Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon)
Hebrew: Virgin (H5959) `almah, pronounced: al·mä’, feminine noun.
1.) virgin, young woman
A. of marriageable age
B. newly married
Literal Hebrew meaning of Virgin: f. of the preceding, a girl of marriageable age. Used of a youthful spouse recently married, (The notion of unspotted virginity is not which this word conveys), neither does it convey the idea of the unmarried state, as has of late been maintained by Hegstenberg, but of the nubile state and puberty.
Matt. 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us
Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
Greek: Virgin (G3933) parthenos, pronounced: pär-the’-nos, feminine noun.
1.) a virgin,
A. a marriageable maiden,
B. a woman, who has never had sexual intercourse with a man,
C. one’s marriageable daughter.
2.) a man who has abstained from all uncleanness and whoredom attendant on idolatry, and so has kept his chastity one who has never had intercourse with women.
The literal Greek meaning of Virgin: a virgin, either a marriageable maiden or a young (married) woman, of a young bride, newly married woman, one’s marriageable daughter.
The word “virgin’ in its original meaning, means a young married or youthful spouse in both these scriptures, it does not mean a woman who has not known a man carnally. So then what is the sign that is mentioned in these verses if not a virgin as we understand the meaning today. The sign then is His name; the name of the child is the sign given whereby we may know.
So then as one can see words and their meanings need to be understood, then [the] testimony of Jesus isn’t the same thing as [a] testimony of Jesus, though they have been conflated to mean one in the same and yet are not. Very quickly, [a] testimony of Jesus would be yours, or mine, or another person’s testimony of Jesus. Saying the testimony of Jesus signifies it is His testimony of something or someone.
If I say this is THE testimony of John Doe, whose testimony is it? Well, it is John Doe’s testimony, isn’t it. If I say this is a testimony of John Doe, it is someone else’s testimony of John Doe or my testimony of John Doe.
What do the scriptures say then about receiving THE testimony of Jesus; remember this is His testimony, this is very, very important. Understanding what is being revealed is a matter of eternal significance in my mind and for far to long many have been kept from the truth, whether this was done intentionally or out of ignorance I am not willing to venture down that road, I am only interested in seeking truth, and that is what’s important and matters a great deal, we need to have a correct understanding and knowledge of what the scriptures say, this truly matters.
So we read in Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) Section 76 the following:
50 And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just–
51 They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—
53 And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.
From verse 50 we read, that this revelation is concerning them or those on the earth who receive the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning themselves, in verse 53 we read again, similar to what is found in 2 Nephi 31:20, that eternal life are those who are sealed up by the Holy Spirit of Promise which is bestowed by the Father, not man or men but the Father who declares “Ye shall have eternal life”. Those who receive The Testimony of Christ in this life while in the flesh, are those who are Celestial, have part in the First Resurrection and are of the Church of the First Born. Study, 2 Nephi 31 and 32, this is the way as previously discussed on my blog.
71 And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament.
74 Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it.
In verse 74, we read about those who received THE testimony of Jesus in the next life, in the spirit world, but who did not receive THE testimony of Jesus while yet in the flesh or in this life, they are those who are Terrestrial.
79 These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God.
In this verse, 79, we read about those who received THE testimony of Jesus (in the flesh), but were not valiant in serving Christ, these are they who receive His testimony of themselves but did not keep all his sayings or in other words those who fell. These would be those who were set to inherit the Celestial, having received THE testimony of Jesus, being baptized etc…but were not valiant.
81 And again, we saw the glory of the telestial, which glory is that of the lesser, even as the glory of the stars differs from that of the glory of the moon in the firmament.
82 These are they who received not the gospel of Christ, neither the testimony of Jesus.
These last two verses, 81 and 82, these are who are Telestial, they are those who neither in this life nor in the life to come receive THE testimony of Jesus of themselves, if you still contend that it is “a testimony of Jesus” as is the traditions of men, that we need to have a testimony of Him and not His testimony of us, I wish to further add this.
“31 Yea, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God; then shall they confess, who live without God in the world, that the judgment of an everlasting punishment is just upon them; and they shall quake, and tremble, and shrink beneath the glance of his all-searching eye.”
Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess, so then how is anyone in the Telestial able to not receive the testimony of Jesus in the life to come, since all will bow and confess that Jesus is the Christ, unless it means what I have attempted to convey. To receive THE testimony of Jesus Christ, is to receive His testimony of YOU, that He claims you an an heir of salvation and bears witness to the Father of YOU and that you are His. That is what is meant by THE testimony of Jesus.
To receive THE testimony of Jesus, we ought to look to Christ and follow Him alone. He is the way the truth and life. There is no other name given whereby we can be saved by. Again, read the words of Nephi 31 and 32, they are given to show us the way by which we should enter, and that we ought to keep His sayings, and keep His commandments, seek, ask, knock that the Heavens may be open to you and that Christ may come to you while you are in the flesh and He will lead you unto the Father.
To receive the testimony of Christ is to receive your Calling of Election, to be sealed up by the Holy Spirit of Promise by the Father is to receive your Calling of Election made sure. NO man can grant this, this has to come from the Father, through His Son Jesus Christ, through and by the power of the Holy Spirit of Promise.
We are promised multiple times throughout the scriptures that Christ will come and comfort us, that we will see His face and know that He is (D&C 93:1), that He will take up His abode with us, and that the Father will as well. The scriptures contain not only this promise as plain as word can be, but also the accounts of those who while in the flesh were in the presence of the Son and also the Father.
Further to illustrate my point about receiving THE testimony of Jesus I add this.
D&C 88:74, 75 & 77
“I give unto you…..a commandment that you assemble yourselves together, and organize yourselves, and prepare yourselves, and sanctify yourselves; yea, purify your hearts, and cleanse your hands and your feet before me, that I may make you clean. That I may testify unto your Father, and your God, and my God, that you are clean from the blood of this wicked generation; that I may fulfil this promise, this great and last promise, which I have made unto you, when I will. And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom. ”
D&C 76:50-53, D&C 88:75
“We bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just— They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given— And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true, sanctify yourselves, that I MAY TESTIFY unto your Father, and your God, and my God, that you are clean from the blood of this wicked generation.”
This is what is meant to have THE testimony of Jesus in this life, and these are they who receive of a Fullness of the Glory of the Father, these are they who take part in the first resurrection. These are they who are Celestial.
Enter in by the way, for this is the way to eternal life and receive Him who is mighty to save and when He shall come to you in the flesh, see that you observe all that He shall tell you to do.
Seek, Ask, Knock…
Feast on the Words of Christ, Pray/Ask, and DO…