THE THREE WITNESS BEARERS
1 John 5:6-8 This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
The first five verses preceding the lesson text assures us that everyone that loves God, and believes, and obeys, His New Covenant commandments, will also love, and accept, Jesus Christ as His Son and our Savior. In the lesson text we find witnesses that prove this fact. We normally think of a witness as someone that personally observed something and is able to give a first-hand account of what was seen. A witness is one that gives personal testimony to support a fact or statement. A person that is called upon to observe a transaction, such as the signing of a legal document, is also referred to as a witness. However, anything that serves as evidence of proof is also considered to be a witness. The first verse of the lesson text tells us of two things, or events, that testify to the fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior of the world.
It was by His baptism in the Jordan River by John, that Jesus was manifested to the world. When questioned about his actions by the multitude, John said it was because He (Jesus Christ) should be made manifest to Israel (John 1:31). This event, His baptism in the waters of Jordan, served as a witness, and testified that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, the Savior of mankind. Not only did the waters of baptism bear record of Jesus, but also water and blood testified that He was the Savior, who was prophesied to come and bring salvation to the world. The side of Jesus was pierced by one of the Roman soldiers that attended His crucifixion on the cross of Calvary, and the apostle John's record tells us, and forthwith came there out blood and water. This event took place, according to John, that ye might believe (See John 19:34-35).
Of these two events, the baptism and the death of our Savior, the Holy Spirit bears witness through the gospel message of Jesus Christ. God's word was conveyed to all mankind by inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16). The inspired bible message is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph. 6:17). The Holy Spirit is our witness, through the inspired message of God found in His word, that we are the children of God (Rom. 8:16). The Holy Spirit also bears witness to the covenant God made with all faithful Christians, that through the blood of Christ, their sins and iniquities will I remember no more (See Heb. 10:15-17). Indeed, there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
Also there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. The revised KJV of the bible omits this verse, as does most other translations. Although this verse may be omitted from the holy writ, the truth it bears cannot be denied - indeed, these three heavenly beings witnessed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. At the baptism Christ in the River Jordan, it was the voice of God that testified, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matt. 3:17). On the Mount of Transfiguration, our heavenly Father gave witness to Jesus Christ in the same words, with this additional commandment to all mankind: hear ye Him (Matt. 17:5, also see Mk. 9:7 & Luke 9:35).
The apostle John referred to Jesus Christ as the Word (John 1:1-3). The Word, Jesus Christ, Himself, testified the He was the Son of God. This was Jesus' testimony to the one that He had healed - the one blind from birth. Jesus asked the man if he believed on the Son of God, and he answered Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him? Jesus identifying Himself by confessing, Thou hast both seen Him, and it is He that talketh with thee (See John 9:35-37).
Finally, the Holy Spirit was sent by God to testify that Jesus Christ was His Son, and the Savior. This the Holy Spirit did by inspiring the writing of God's holy word, the Bible, which states that it was written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name (John 20:31).
The three that bear record in heaven (are) the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. Indeed, Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior of the world. Three witness bearers are found in heaven, and three witness bearers are found on earth.