After Babylon’s full demise (Revelation 17 and 18) – the first “Hallelujahs” (i.e., “Alleluias”) uttered in the New Testament are recorded (Revelation 19:1-6). Few know that the New Testament doesn’t have one “Hallelujah” in it until Babylon is destroyed! Interesting? I think so–so the next time you shout out a “Hallelujah” think about Babylon’s destruction! But that’s not what I’m about to expound upon . . . it’s the “testimony of Jesus” that concerns.
Revelation 19:10 – “And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, ‘See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony* (this “*” points to John 19:35 in the Spirit Filled Life Bible and references a “word study” of the Greek word for “testimony”) of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
The “Kingdom Dynamic” notes in the Spirit Filled Life Bible (Editor: Jack W. Hayford of Church on the Way in Los Angeles) has an excellent footnote here:
“(Revelation) 19:10: The Holy Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy, PROPHECY. The entire Bible is a product of the Holy Spirit, who is, not only ‘the Spirit of truth’ (John 16:13), but ‘the spirit of prophesy’ (derived from Greek preposition pro and verb phemi) means ‘to speak forth before.’ The preposition ‘before’ in this use may mean 1) ‘in advance’ and/or 2) ‘in front of.’ Thus, ‘to prophesy’ is a proper term to describe the proclamation of God’s Word as it forecasts events. It may also describe the declaration of God’s Word forthrightly, boldly, or confrontingly before a group or individual–telling forth God’s truth and will. So, in both respects, the Bible is prophetic: a Book that reveals God’s will through His Word and His works, as well as a Book that reveals God’s plans and predictions . . . this text defines the witness or testimony of Jesus Himself as being synonymous with, or at the heart of, the spirit of prophecy. These words not only define Scripture; they also confine all utterances that claim to be true prophecy: Jesus Christ will be at the center of it all, as He is in the whole Bible. 1) The OT exists to reveal Christ (Luke 24:27; John 5:39; I Pet. 1:10-12); and 2) the NT is inspired by the Holy Spirit for the same purpose (John 14:26; 16:13-15).” (The Spirit Filled Life Bible, pp. 1987-88).
So from these notes by Jack Hayford, we are persuaded of the very essence of prophecy: Jesus Christ will be the center of it all!
Now–let’s examine Jack’s word study of the essence of the “testimony” given of Jesus Christ:
John 19:35: “And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe.” (Note: This is the New King James Version, the original King James Version of the Bible translates the word as “record” instead of “testified” and translates the word “testimony” as “record” as well; to wit: “And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true . . . . “)
The Spirit Filled Life Bible’s WORD WEALTH goes into the word “testimony” which John uses both in the Revelation as well as here in John 19:35:
“(Revelation) 19:35 testimony, marturia (mar-too-ree-ah): Strong’s #3141: Compare ‘martyr’ Witness, historical attestation, evidence, judicial or general certification. The word describes a testimony based on what one has seen, heard, or knows. The English word ‘martyr’ comes from the Greek root, with the implication that a witness is willing to die for his belief” (p. 1612).
Now, for the “record”–I hasten to add–that the use of the intense word “martyr” or “record” is used by John in the Gospel as follows: John 1:19, 32, 34; 8:13 (twice); 8:14 (twice); 12:17; 19:35 (twice) – he uses it again in his First Epistle: I John 5:7, 10, 11 and in his Third Epistle: III John 12 (twice) and again in Revelation 1:2 (in all cases the KJV translate these two Greek words by taking the “stem” from the word “martyr” as “record.”
The word is translated in the KJV as “testified,” “testifieth,” “testify,” and “testimony” in the follow: John 4:39; 4:44; 13:21; I John 5:9; III John 3; John 3:32; John 21:24; Revelation 22:20; John 2:25; 3:11; 5:39; 7:7; 15:26; I John 4:14; Revelation 22:16; and 22:18; and finally, the word “testimony” is used in John 3:32, 33, 34; 8:17; 21:24; Revelation 1:2, 9; 6:9; 11:7; 12:11; 12:17; and 19:10 (twice).
I go into detail here, and although Paul and others use this Greek word, its use by John is most extensive. Now, what I’m leading up to is the “general thrust” of why the Holy Spirit uses this word throughout John’s Revelation. The commencement of the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:2 KJV) states: “Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.” Immediately, we are alerted to the intensity of the “testimony of Jesus Christ” and what this Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is all about.
Again, John declares in Revelation 1:9: “I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ” (KJV).
Here, the association of “tribulation” and “testimony” is clearly made. John had suffered, was in “tribulation” because of the “testimony of Jesus Christ.” Now, the association of such “tribulation” and “testimony” becomes much clearer as we read through the Revelation:
Revelation 6:9: “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.” Who are these “souls?” As one reads the remainder of Revelation 6 it is altogether apparent that they are the initial martyrs who have preceded the “tribulation saints” – to wit: “And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled” (Revelation 6:11).
Again, the stress upon this “to die for” testimony is directly associated with such martyrdom and suffering of God’s people–i.e., “fellow servants” and “their brethren, that should be killed as they were.” It is utterly inescapable that the “testimony of Jesus” can be separated from such an utter sacrifice and witness given by God’s people during the Seventieth Week of Daniel and, for that matter, the entire history of the Church–THAT’S THE KIND OF TESTIMONY to which John alludes.