This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. (2 Corinthians 13:1)
You will find that there are multiple references to the need for two or three witnesses all through the Old and New Testaments. Many people have gotten into trouble because they missed the truth contained in this concept and tried to build doctrinal truth based on only one Scriptural reference. We cannot successfully stand on any truth that does not have multiple corroborating witnesses throughout Scripture.
You will not be successful in your Christian life if you try and base your beliefs on only one or two Scripture. Multiple references will validate every Biblical truth. I cannot emphasize enough the need to validate your beliefs by searching the Word of God for numerous references. Far too many Christians have not learned this lesson. We build their lives on the “traditions of men” instead of Scripture. It does not matter who is teaching, how many books they may have published, or the number of people who attend their meetings. Any Scriptural teaching can be validated by multiple passages taken from the Word of God!
So how does this apply to the Holy Spirit’s ministry? Paul tells us that He will lead us through the “witness” which we’ve previously seen would be a “co-witness.” We are not to make decisions based on only one “witness.”
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (Romans 8:16)
The word translated “witness” in this verse means “co-witness.” I know this may sound confusing and for illustration, let’s look at what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit in His last words to the disciples before the crucifixion.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. (John 14:16)
He said the Father was going to send “another Comforter.” Jesus was the first “Comforter.” In the same sense, the Holy Spirit is our “co-witness.” He is the other Comforter Jesus referenced and, in this sense, He is our other witness.
So, how does this work? First, our born-again human spirit will have a witness. The Holy Spirit resides in our spirit. He took up residence there the moment we made Jesus the Lord of our lives. There is no additional room in your spirit for any other spirits!
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation. (Matthew 12:43 – 45)
Jesus talked about people who were under the influence of Satan. His ministry cast out demonic spirits, and the people were set free. In this passage, Jesus warned His audience that the spirits would return after being cast out to reassert their control over the individual.
Notice the word “empty.” Demons can enter into a person who has not renewed their mind with the Word of God and is not filled with the Spirit of God. They are looking for empty people and should never find any Christian in this state! We should be full of God, His Word, and His Spirit leaving no room for Satan to work.
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. (Acts 5:29 – 30)
Numerous Scripture references direct us to submit to authority. Peter’s statement seems to contradict this. Christians should indeed be law-abiding citizens but not to the point they violate Biblical standards. For example, if a law passes forbidding us to read the Bible, we will break it! We follow the lands of the law to the point where authorities begin to pass laws contrary to God, and I believe this is the context of Peter’s words.
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