The Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy
by Larry Wilson
Unfortunately, many Christians scorn the study of Bible prophecy. In other words, they do not appreciate or value the study of Bible prophecy and consider it a complete waste of time. How sad that so many people maintain a wrong spirit about this subject and regard Bible prophecy as though it were an unnecessary element included in the Bible. Through the years, many people have said to me: Understanding Bible prophecy is not essential to my salvation. The only issue that is important to my salvation is my relationship with Jesus. This incomplete statement condemns those who defend it simply because people cannot have a meaningful relationship with a God they do not understand. What I mean is that prophecy uniquely reveals the plans, purposes and ways of God. Our relationship with Jesus will lack a meaningful perspective if we do not understand His corporate plans, His role as manís High Priest, His dramatic end-time rescue, and how He plans to extend the good news of salvation to every person on Earth. To say that we love Jesus, yet refuse to understand all that He has done and is going to do in the future is a surface-type relationship that lacks depth. Few people consider that the first advent and death of Jesus Christ at Calvary was also a fulfillment of prophecy!
Since prophecy flows through centuries of time, it elevates human thought to a unique and higher perspective, showing Godís constant and intimate interest for His children. Prophecy reveals how God deals with corporate entities (nations, empires, the devil and his legions, etc.). This understanding gives us the larger picture of Godís corporate policies and makes Godís actions on a personal level easier to understand and appreciate. I believe confusion is the underlying reason why so many Christians view prophecy with such contempt. It takes discipline to understand prophecy. Bible students who strive to understand prophecy study the deep things of God and this mandates more commitment than five or ten minutes of Bible reading. It is one thing to read the Bible and quite another to dig deep within its pages searching for truth. An important prerequisite for understanding prophecy is the forfeiture of additional reading materials. In other words, do not attempt to understand Bible prophecy by reading my books (or books by anyone else). Sit down with your own Bible and study the prophecies verse by verse Ė do not quit until you understand each verse for yourself. Certainly, you can read what others have to say about any given verse, but consider their views as they should be, opinions of mere mortals. Evaluate the prophetic story, come to your own conclusions and do not stop until you have placed all 200+ elements of Bible prophecy in their appropriate place.
When Paul began his ministry, there was a great deal of discussion and interest in prophecy. Early Christians understood the fulfillment of Daniel 9 Ė they knew the Messiah appeared at the beginning of the 70th week and died in the middle of the week Ė just as Daniel had predicted it would happen. Early Christians also understood most of Daniel 11. In fact, understanding this prophecy saved the lives of early Christians just before Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70! (Matthew 24:15-20; Daniel 11:2-35) About 30 years later, toward the end of Paulís ministry, attitudes about prophecy were beginning to change. Confusion was beginning to set in. However, Paul encouraged the early believers by writing, "Do not put out the Spiritís fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good." (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21)
Later, Paul gave basically the same advice to the believers at Thessalonica when he wrote, "Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Donít let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction." (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3) The return of Jesus had not taken place as quickly as many early Christians anticipated and certain teachers had visited Thessalonica, twisting the intended meaning of the prophecies to gain followers and respect (money). Reports of what was happening in Thessalonica reached Paul and he responded quickly. Unfortunately, the problem then and now is that too many people regard Bible prophecy as "future telling," when in reality it is so much more! Bible prophecy is a revelation about Jesus, His purposes, plans and actions. I have observed that many people will only consider Bible prophecy if some exciting (or horrific) event has occurred which unsettles them, making them wonder about an immediate pending fulfillment. Some people label this "sensationalism." This human phenomenon demonstrates that the greater value of Bible prophecy is not understood or appreciated.
Since many people will only examine Bible prophecy when an immediate fulfillment is thought to be imminent, please consider this next prophecy, because I believe it is going to take place soon. The Bible predicts a universal outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all who live on Earth during the Great Tribulation. This outpouring will move on all human hearts (both good and bad) with enormous intensity and it will challenge all notions of what is believed to be truth! To give this event unparalleled credibility, great physical manifestations will take place. The Sun, Moon, and stars will be affected, asteroids will impact the Earth, volcano eruptions and earthquakes will become daily occurrences, as the ocean responds with violent tsunamis. During this same time-period, the servants of God (prophets, both men and women) will exhibit the power of the Spirit resting upon them in remarkable ways. Carefully notice this prediction by Joel: "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls." (Joel 2:28-32)
From these verses I conclude four things: First, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is a unique event, reserved for a specific time. (Sometimes, the end-time outpouring is called the "latter rain." James 5:7) Second, everyone on Earth (all people) will experience this stirring. Third, Godís servants (both men and women) will speak with authority and power. Last, during this time-period, peopleís hearts will race because of anxiety and fear. Destruction (blood, fire, billows of smoke) will be everywhere Ė even the Sun and Moon will not escape!
As you consider the prophecy of Joel, a number of questions could be asked. What is Godís purpose for this end-time manifestation of Holy Spirit power on the entire human race? Why do great physical manifestations accompany this event? How soon will this take place? How long will it last? Will this happen in my lifetime?
When Jesus ascended to Heaven, the disciples thought that He would return within a few months, or at the most, a few years. This fact is revealed in their writing:
Paul wrote, "What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away." (I Corinthians 7:29-31)
Later, Paul wrote, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.... For then must he [Jesus] often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." (Hebrews 1:1,2; 9:26 KJV)
James wrote, "You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lordís coming is near." (James 5:8)
Peter wrote, "The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray." (1 Peter 4:7)
John wrote, "Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour." (1 John 2:18)
These few verses indicate the intense anticipation and hope that filled the hearts of the disciples. One of my favorite texts on this topic was written by Paul. In an effort to encourage some believers during the temporary loss of a loved one he wrote, "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) Did you notice Paulís use of the third person plural, "we who are still alive"? Paul thought, at least for a while, that he would see Jesus return!
Do not miss the point! The disciples thought they were living at the end of the world. In fact, the time for understanding many of the prophecies within Daniel and Revelation would not happen until 2,000 years later. (Remember, the book of Daniel was sealed up until the time of the end and Revelation had not been written yet.)
Peter Speaks Up
If a modern day reader can understand the disciple's mind set, Peterís use of Joel 2 on the day of Pentecost becomes clearer. It makes much more sense, especially after we have examined the comments of several New Testament writers. We already know from the previous texts that the disciples (including Peter) thought they were living in the last days. So, when the manifestation of the Holy Spirit took place at Pentecost, Peter was certain that Joel 2 was being fulfilled right before his eyes and he spoke accordingly. Notice the Scriptural account: "When the day of Pentecost came, they [the Jews] were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them [the disciples]. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Utterly amazed, they asked: ĎAre not all these men who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?í" (Acts 2:1-8)
This is what I believe happened on that morning. God fearing Jews from every nation had gathered in Jerusalem because Pentecost was one of the three required feasts that all males had to observe in Jerusalem (Exodus 23:17). About 9 a.m., on a Sunday morning in May, A.D. 30, (the 50th day of Pentecost always occurs on a Sunday Ė Leviticus 23:16), something very unusual occurred. I believe the disciples attended the Pentecost ceremonies that morning and as the priests were conducting the ceremonies, the presence of a refreshing wind was felt by the great assembly. But as the group watched the service, a sound that resembled wind increased in intensity until it became distracting. Suddenly, without warning, the sound of wind became like a deafening whirlwind. The service stopped Ė the priests could not be heard. I envision that something like a bright light appeared above the crowd of perhaps 300,000 people. Perhaps the light may have separated into shafts that beamed directly down on the heads of the twelve disciples and which formed into flames of fire flickering above their heads. Out of this vast assembly of men, God was spotlighting twelve Galilean men through the power of the Holy Spirit. The priests and their rituals were eclipsed by this great demonstration of power. Recognizing this manifestation to be the fulfillment of power that Jesus had predicted just ten days earlier (Acts 1:8), the disciples turned to their Jewish brothers and boldly began to speak to them in their varied native languages. What a shock to everyone within hearing distance Ė 12 common Galilean men conversing in the languages of the world! The Bible says, "Utterly amazed, they asked [the priests]: ĎAre not all these men who are speaking [uneducated] Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language?" (Acts 1:7,8)
Notice that Peter stood up and addressed the crowd gathered there: "Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: ĎFellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. Itís only nine in the morning!
No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ĎIn the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.í" (Acts 2:14-21)
Peter was excited and was confident because of what had occurred. His natural gift for leadership made him the disciples' chief spokesman. The Eleven could not hold Peter back nor did they want too. The Jewish nation needed to hear the truth and Peter, moved by the Spirit, spoke boldly. As Peter began to speak, he quoted from Joel 2. Why? Because Peter thought Joel 2 was beginning to be fulfilled right before this vast assembly. Peter recognized this manifestation to be an outpouring of Holy Spirit power and he believed that Jesus was coming soon! Peter and the other disciples believed the end of the world was imminent. Peter correctly linked Joel 2 to the right event (just before Jesusí coming), but the timing was incorrect. The specifications within Joel 2 and the history surrounding Pentecost in A.D. 30 prove this very point. In short, Peter misapplied Scripture Ė not harmfully, for there was a great harvest of 3,000 souls. However, in spite of Peterís claim, the events predicted in Joel 2 still await fulfillment.
In Trouble Again
Now I know that some people disagree with my claim that Peter misapplied Joel 2. They say that Joel 2 was fulfilled at Pentecost and it will be fulfilled again. However, I do not believe the context of Joel 2 supports this conclusion. Still, I am willing to allow others the right to interpret the Bible for themselves. Joel 2 is not an apocalyptic prophecy. In other words, this prophecy is not an integral part of the 18 end-time prophecies found in Daniel and Revelation. For me, the word fulfillment means a "full-filling" of all of the specifications mentioned in the prophecy. Actually, I regard Peterís use of Joel 2 as an illustration of what I think the events predicted in Joel 2 will actually be like. I believe (for reasons not presented here) that the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon the Earth (all people) during the Great Tribulation in a similar manner. Every heart on Earth is going to be stirred by the powerful influence of the Spirit. During the 1,260 days of their empowerment, the 144,000 (servants of God) will, like the disciples at Pentecost, proclaim Godís truth in every language. The result will be millions, tens of millions, yes, even hundreds of millions of people who will respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ and be saved! However, to get the attention of 6 billion people, God must stop the human raceís daily activities, so He uses great calamities such as "blood, fire, billows of smoke" (the first four trumpets of Revelation 8). Here, Godís wonderful mercy and grace is seen for all that it is, for all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved! That day of Holy Spirit power is coming and the outpouring promised in Joel 2 is about to be fulfilled!
Holy Spirit is God
This brings me to an ancillary point that I need to clarify. People often write and ask if I believe the Holy Spirit is a separate entity or distinct member of the Godhead. The answer is yes! I believe there are three separate and distinct entities that make up the Godhead. I believe that early Christians correctly resolved this dispute. Even though certain texts in the Bible can be misconstrued to make the Holy Spirit appear to be an influence that exists between the Father and Son, I believe the Holy Spirit is a distinct and separate entity from both the Father and the Son. I base my conclusions on four points:
1. Jesus said to His disciples, "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you." (John 16:13,14)
In this verse, Jesus clearly indicates the Spirit can hear and can speak on His own. This indicates a separate and distinct entity. In other words, the phrase "the Holy Spirit will not speak on His own" suggests that He can speak on His own. The phrase "He will speak only what He hears" suggests that He can hear on His own. The phrase "He will bring glory to Me" suggests that He is capable of bringing glory to Jesus Ė a process that requires a distinct and separate entity Ė otherwise, Jesus could glorify Himself.
2. Peter accused Ananias of lying Ė not to the Father or Son, but to the Holy Spirit. "Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?í " (Acts 5:3)
If the Holy Spirit is an influence that exists between the Father and Son, how could Ananias lie to an influence? For example, if love is an influence that exists between two people, can one lie to love itself? No, Peter regarded the Holy Spirit as a distinct entity of the Godhead and He condemned Ananias accordingly. In verse 4 Peter plainly said, "You have not lied to men, but to God." This again indicates that the Holy Spirit is a member of the Godhead.
3. Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit would be sent to them after He returned to Heaven for the express purpose of helping them to remember what He had said and to teach them all things. "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.... "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me." (John 14:26; 15:26)
These two verses indicate the Holy Spirit can teach us things previously unknown to us and also remind us of things we have forgotten. The Holy Spirit can also testify about Jesus (more about this in a moment). In other words, the Holy Spirit can accomplish anything the Father and Son want done, and further, He has the ability to assume any form. When the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus at His baptism, the Holy Spirit took the bodily form of a dove, signifying the Spiritís presence within Jesus for the duration of His ministry! (Luke 3:22; 4:18; John 1:33)
4. Perhaps the most important evidence in the Bible indicating the Holy Spirit is a separate and distinct entity is found in the gospel commission: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..." (Matthew 28:19) This verse affirms three things. First, the Holy Spirit is considered an equal of the Father and Son. Second, the Holy Spirit shares universal authority with the Father and Son. Last, this verse identifies the Holy Spirit as a separate and distinct co-owner of the universe, for when we are baptized into the name of the Godhead, we become children and heirs of all that belongs to the Father, Son AND Holy Spirit.
If these comments are not satisfactory to individuals who believe otherwise, then perhaps the rest of this study will help. Stay tuned!
The Spirit of Prophecy
The "testimony of Jesus" is mentioned four times in Revelation because it will be particularly significant to people all over the world who live during the Great Tribulation. What is the testimony of Jesus? It is the Spirit of prophecy. The angel told John, ". . . For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19:10) What does this mean? The testimony of Jesus can be thought of as the words of Jesus. Jesus is alive! He is not silent. Jesus still speaks and His words (or testimony) are conveyed to His children via the Holy Spirit. In like manner, our words (prayers) are conveyed to Godís throne via the Holy Spirit! (Romans 8:16,26,27) The Holy Spirit has the ability to be on Earth and in Heaven at the same time. For that matter, the Holy Spirit is everywhere at any given time. This boggles the finite mind, but according to Joel 2, the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all people at the same time! How God does this, I do not know. That He will do this, we can be certain Ė His Word is sure.
So, letís look at the Bibleís explanation of the testimony of Jesus. Please review the following references:
1. Revelation 1:1,2 "The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he sawóthat is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ."
2. Revelation 1:9 "I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus."
3. Revelation 12:17 "Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring Ė those who obey Godís commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus."
4. Revelation 19:10 "At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, ĎDo not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.í "
These four verses contain several clues that we need to investigate further. In the first text John reports that he is a witness, testifying to everything he saw. John saw Jesus, Jesus spoke to him, and during these visits, Jesus Christ showed John a number of scenes that explained His actions and purposes. Johnís reference to the phrase "the testimony of Jesus" is used to describe what Jesus said to John during this wonderful vision (now called the book of the Revelation). The words of Jesus, which He spoke directly to John during this vision, is His testimony Ė "the testimony of Jesus."
In the second text, Revelation 1:9, John explains that he is a prisoner on the island of Patmos because of "the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus." What does this mean? John was a prisoner of Rome because he chose to obey God rather than Caesar. Every Christian knows that to follow Christ means we cannot serve two masters. The devil will be sure that everyone who decides to follow God will be pressed to their human limits in an effort to force them to give up their faith. Simply put, John was a prisoner of Rome because He obeyed God rather than man. John obeyed the voice of His master (the testimony of Jesus). (John 10:16) Because the kingdom of God cannot coexist with the kingdoms of men, people who choose to follow God are often subjected to conflict and suffering. (2 Timothy 3:12) Even more, scorn and ridicule await those people who study the prophecies concerning the return of Jesus and the establishment of His kingdom. (2 Peter 3:3)
There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus spoke to John through the ministry of the Holy Spirit many times after His ascension. For nearly 65 years John received the words (the testimony) of Jesus in visions much like the Apostle Paul did. (2 Corinthians 12) These divine communications between Jesus and John were conducted via the Holy Spirit. Thus, the testimony of Jesus is only received through the Spirit of prophecy.
The Great Tribulation
The third text above (Revelation 12:17) speaks about the devilís attack directed at the last or the remnant of the womanís offspring. The woman in Revelation 12 represents the people of God, who down through the ages have been able through Godís special mercy, to escape extinction at the devilís hand. In verse 17 the Bible predicts a final assault unleashed at Godís people during the Great Tribulation Ė Godís people being identified as those who obey Godís [ten] commandments and hold to the testimony (the words) of Jesus.
The commandments of God are few, only ten. During the Great Tribulation, carnal man will view the Ten Commandments with great condescension. The arrogant world leaders and their governments will defy God and His law, showing special contempt toward the fourth commandment and all who observe it. (This matter has been discussed at length in my recent booklet, The Four Beasts of Revelation Exposed!) The situation will be very tense. The overwhelming destruction of Godís judgments will cause all world leaders to enact laws respecting a holy day of worship. All who refuse to worship God according to the laws of the land will be severely punished. A great contest is coming between those who worship God in Spirit and Truth, and the devilís new world order. Eventually, the controversy will focus on worship and Godís seventh-day Sabbath. This matter will be most compelling.
One other essential identification of Godís people is given in verse 17. The Bible indicates the remnant will "hold on to the testimony of Jesus." What does this mean? Knowing that the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10) and knowing that the Holy Spirit is going to be poured out on all people (Joel 2), especially Godís servants (Joel 2 and Revelation 7:1-8) for a period of 1,260 days (Revelation 11:3), we can safely conclude the following: During the Great Tribulation everyone will be severely tested. To encourage His suffering saints, Jesus will speak to His children from His throne in Heaven to His children. The Holy Spirit will hear what Jesus says (John 16:13) and deliver "the testimony of Jesus" to His servants, the 144,000 (Joel 2; Revelation 7:1-8). They, in turn, will speak and encourage those people who have submitted the control of their hearts to the Holy Spirit. Can you think of a better way for Jesus to encourage those who are living by faith than to personally speak to them through the Holy Spirit and His servants? No wonder John describes this final group of saints as "holding to the testimony of Jesus." The testimony of Jesus is a living communication. It is a direct connection with God and it comes through the prophetic gift! (1 Corinthians 14:1-5) As the dark days of the Great Tribulation dawn upon Earth, the Spirit of prophecy will be observed throughout the entire world!
Watch Out for Counterfeits
Be careful Ė keep in mind that there is a popular counterfeit for the authentic gift of the Spirit of prophecy. From time to time on TV, certain preachers (or members within their flock) claim to have the gift of prophecy. At specific moments, these people will stand up and proclaim a certain message purported to have come from the Lord. Sometimes, they speak in unknown tongues, sometimes they speak plainly in the common vernacular or language. In either case, this popular manifestation is designed to (a) prove that God is present and showing approval through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and (b) to endorse the speaker as a true spokesperson for God. However, such manifestations do not prove either point! Jesus warned the disciples saying, "Not everyone who says to me, ĎLord, Lord,í will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ĎLord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?í Then I will tell them plainly, ĎI never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!í " (Matthew 7:21-23) So, be sure you are clear on this point: Spiritual or religious manifestations do not demonstrate the approval of God!
This is a serious point. When the Holy Spirit reveals the words (or testimony) of Jesus, the revelation is significant, sobering and universal. The Holy Spirit does not speak on His own, nor does He adjust His words to fit a given situation. Furthermore, when Jesus speaks, most of His utterances are for the corporate benefit of all His children. Notice this text: "Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for believers, not for unbelievers. So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, ĎGod is really among you!í" (1 Corinthians 14:22-25)
The Bible says the remnant are identified as those who keep Godís commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. The remnant have not been revealed (the Great Tribulation has not started), and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as predicted by Joel 2, has not taken place yet. But when that moment in time comes, Godís remnant people will be listening to Godís 144,000 servant/prophets as they proclaim the words (the testimony) of Jesus as He speaks from His throne. Many will learn for the first time the importance of obeying the fourth commandment Ė that it is a fundamental part of worshipping God and will hasten to obey. That will be an exciting day! Think of it, hearing the words of Jesus as they are relayed from Heavenís throne and every believer on planet Earth will hear it and hold to it!
One last point. Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me Ė just as the Father knows me and I know the Father Ė and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd." (John 10:14-16) Revelation reveals that as a result of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all people during the Great Tribulation, there will be a great harvest of souls from every nation, kindred, tongue and language. Many who now seem dead toward spiritual matters will come alive when they hear the testimony of Jesus Ė the knowledge of saving truth. Millions, yes, even a numberless multitude will be saved. Now here is one final thought I want you to ponder: The testimony of Jesus must be conveyed by the Holy Spirit to all of Godís anxious children around the world during the Great Tribulation, for there is no other way all of Godís religiously diverse children on Earth could ever be gathered into one flock.
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