The Meaning Of God’s Testimony
Thoughts By R. L. DeWitt, 2006; Add: 08/11
At the onset of any discussion regarding our Christian walk and responsibilities before God as a holy and royal priesthood (1 Pet. 2), saints of God ought to define the expression: "God's testimony". By that it is meant "all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27), and is concerned with deity, creation, Old Testament history with typologies, promises to His covenant people, experiences and trials; and the Christian experience in this New Testament age by redemption way, church truth, and spiritual life ---with the Book of Revelation in summary.
Specific papers are available from the Christian Counsel Collection at Biblecounsel.net web site, so we will speak here only of this dispensation (or administration) of grace. After the Gospel account of the birth, teaching, and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we need to consider His Church which He foretold (Matt. 16:15-18) ---building on the rock "petra" being Christ, and not on Peter, a small stone "petros" (note 1 Pet. 2:4-8). It was established by the Spirit on the day of Pentecost as in Acts 2:41-42. The venerable Authorized King James Bible is recommended in all studies.
Redemption way speaks today of the gospel message of salvation, Heaven, eternal hope and blessing, judgments, destiny; and the Lord's sacrifice, reign, kingdom, glory and purposes, etc. One might read the Gospel by John for an overview of God's expectations for us, as natural sinners by birth and needing redemption. Church truth encompasses Christian gathering as a collective testimony in the world, obedience to God, our walk in holiness, the Lord's glory and honor, etc. One can see the beginning of the Church as established in Acts 2, and read the Epistles to learn of God's work and purposes. Spiritual life concerns worship, communion, devotion, charity, maturity, peace and joy, witness to all mankind; and the Lord's glory and praise, etc. These are not about what man prefers or thinks is good, but as given by God.
To study and understand God's testimony in full, one needs to be "rightly dividing the Word of Truth" (2 Tim.2:15), and have some knowledge of church history. Papers are available on this in the Christian Counsel Collection -CCC for those who are serious seekers. One might choose any interpretation of the Word, and any interpretation of the mind of God and church history, but one ought to know and be confident one has heard the truth of it, rather than a bias to defend and promote a certain rationale, sect or religious system.
If one is settled and happy with their course and beliefs, then there is little more to say, for it is not our thought to debate. Every believer must stand before the Lord at the "judgment seat of Christ". It would be nice to receive a reward and hear the Lord then say: "...well done thou good and faithful servant" (Matt.25:21), "...for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My Word, and hast not denied My Name" (Rev.3:8).
- The Right Church For Me -
Sometimes we know of people looking for "the right church for me"; and some souls say they cannot find a church. The reason many people cannot find a church, is that they don't know what they are looking for ---and there is no "right church for me". There might be a religious gathering "for me", but the biblical expression of the Church is right for everyone who will have it as God gave it (see the truth of "one body" in Rom. 12 and 1 Cor. 12 ---and note also verse 25 there).
The church in the Word of God is all the true believers in Christ in the world, and these real Christians in a locality is all the saints found there. It surely doesn't matter what seems right for me, because the church is of God and not some place that is designed "for me". We need to be conformed to the church God established, and not a place that pleases self. This will only be found in the Word of God, and in some cases such an assembly is established in various cities. God can lead one to it if they are earnest, honest, sincere, and yielded in prayer to God. A professing Christian either wants the real expression of the "church of God" or a man-made religion, so he/she must decide what they are looking for.
One can learn about the church by reading Acts 2 and especially verse 42, and all about the church gatherings from the beginning in the Epistles. Any other religious gathering is only a sect of men, not of God ---though there may be faithful saints there. So, one needs to study the Word of God and pray earnestly. We need to value Bible-only and read God's Word daily!
There is no such thing as a church of "choice", as some say. Actually, the word translated as church (kuriakos “pertaining to God”, and originally called "kirk" and later "church") seems to be the trans-lators' choice from the Greek word: ecclesia, which means "assembly". It is presumed the translators made the change to Church to avoid confusion with a civil assembly. Thus we can understand it as that universal assembly of believers pertaining to God.
I hope this brief summary will help one to begin their search for a church fellowship by reading their Bible, and seeking the scriptural order. A study of that revival of 1827 AD will help in seeing what God intended for His testimony, and the history is well documented at Bible Truth Publishers, Addison, IL. Look up always!