The following is a series of short exhortations, brief commentary and writings to convey thoughtful meditation on God's Word. I have chosen the Gospel of John as the subject. These articles will not run contiguously on this blog but peppered throughout and in the midst of other articles (though some might be posted consecutively). I pray that these will be a blessing and an edification for the saints.
31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.
33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
We returned to Jerusalem and listened to the conversation between the LORD Jesus and Nicodemus, in the stillness of that night, the last time. And now John the apostle adds some Holy Spirit inspired commentary in the remainder of this chapter. The youngest of His followers, that "disciple whom Jesus loved" speaks of the One Who came down from above...
This is the One Who is "above all" - He is LORD of all; LORD over creation, over the human and angelic races, over all atomic material in the microscopic realm and over all of celestial bodies in the macro-cosmic realm. And since He is LORD and Creator GOD, He justly deploys His Holy Law. He is the Ultimate and Final Authority, incontestable and resolute regarding truth and grace, as well as His eternal domain.
This is contrasted with those who are of the Earth - we who are formed from the clay of the earth, "earthly" who speaks of matters of this world. Any of us are qualified to speak of the things of Earth, since we live here and experience life here on a daily basis.
1 CORINTHIANS 13:45-47
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.
That which He has seen - in the Holy Halls of Heaven - and heard there - the voice of the Father, the incessant worship of glorious angels, prostrate before the very Throne of their Creator; knowing that domain of Deity, as He is Himself the fullness of the Godhead (COL 2:9-10) - He testifies to the truth of all of it before the human race - and yet His testimony is not received!
To testify is to bear witness; the prefix of testimony as well as testament (MATT 26:28; 1 COR 11:25) means (Latin: testari): ". . . bear witness. Do not confuse this root test with the word which means examination. It is true that when you take an examination you are a witness for your own knowledge and, unless you cheat, you are showing what you do or don’t know. However, here the word means a solemn telling of the truth of what you know, bearing witness for truth’s sake."
The LORD knows all things, most especially is His knowledge of that which is most bereft in ourselves: true spiritual knowledge (as opposed to mystical/demonic knowledge - occult knowledge). The LORD told Nicodemus so earlier in the chapter:
11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
If I were to plan a trip to a far off exotic land that I've never visited before, and much to my astounded pleasure, encounter a citizen of that land before my departure, I would avidly listen to everything they could tell me about that place - acknowledging them as an authority. Yet the LORD of Heaven is given little heed about that glorious domain and how to get there (JOHN 3:3,5;14:6).
While most did not receive His testimony, there were some blessed exceptions (JOHN 1:11-13) - those of His disciples who were truly converted, testifying themselves of Christ (ACTS 1:8): some from their own crosses (MATT 23:24)!
This is the case where religion contends and strives against the righteous truth; the LORD Jesus faithfully testified of the Kingdom of heaven and the Holy Scriptures, and without exception, the religious leadership contested with Him - not receiving, but rejecting His witness as well as His Gospel.
Today it is no different: no higher authority can one possibly appeal to than the very Word of God; the Author of Truth - and yet never before perhaps in all history have the Scriptures been more heinously disparaged than in today's ecumenically correct, post-modernist, and emergent church-promotional world!
How terribly offensive it must be to the Person of Truth, the very embodiment of Truth to be rejected and not believed; whose very words are looked upon as deception! It is the very rebellious spirit of Babylon reborn, in which people began to speak out against the Name of the LORD!
There is coming a day however, when the LORD, the JUDGE of the Earth, shall offer up testimony to the Truth, laying charges against this Rebel Planet and meting out justice, where He was once willing to bestow grace (JOHN 1:14).
May we likewise bear testimony to the Truth of the Gospel and of the coming Judgment (JOHN 3:18-20) as faithful witnesses of and for our LORD!