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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE TESTIMONY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

John 3:32-36 And what He hath seen and heard, that He testifieth; and no man receiveth His testimony. He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Beginning in verse 31, we find John the Baptist speaking of himself in the third person. When the apostle John wrote, "he that is of the earth is earthly," he is quoting, by inspiration, John the Baptist speaking of himself. Some bible scholars disagree, but it is the opinion of most others that John the Baptist continues his third person testimony as that of Christ Jesus. The first verse of the lesson text seems to bear this out. And what He hath seen and heard, that He testified. Although when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, he saw the heavens ...opened unto Him, and ...the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him (Jesus Christ). This was only a dim, symbolic view of the spiritual realm of God. Neither John the Baptist, the apostles, nor the prophets of old ever truly witnessed God or the Heavenly abode in which He dwells. The only human being to do so was His only Son, Jesus Christ. He has dwelt with God, the Creator of all things, from the beginning of time. Only Jesus Christ has seen the God of Heaven and has the true capability of speaking of His spiritual realm with authority. John, on the other hand, heard God's voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, but he did not witness God at that time, or on any other occasion (See Matt. 3:15-17).

Because Jesus has seen and heard all things, both in Heaven and earth, He truly understands all things. With this omniscience understanding He is able to testify in a manner that is not possible for any other human being. His testimony is not based on speculation or human reasoning. It is fact that is substantiated and affirmed as a participating eyewitness to everything, both in Heaven and on earth. Although, at this time in His earthly ministry, Jesus taught as one having divine authority, yet no man receiveth His testimony. The term used here for "no man" is not in the absolute sense. Rather it means that relatively few believed and obeyed the teaching of Jesus Christ, with a much larger number disbelieving and refusing to accept His factual and true, spiritual testimony.

Although few received the testimony of Jesus, yet those that heard and accepted it had the assurance that it was indeed the true word of God. He that hath received His testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. To accept the doctrine of our Heavenly Father through His Son, Jesus Christ, is to receive its tenets as our own personal guide by which to conduct our lives and to lead us unerringly down the pathways of life. By the things we say to others, and by the manner of our lifestyle, we affirm God's doctrine to be our spiritual guide. As "Good Housekeeping" gives its stamp of approval to companies and their products that it has tested and proven to be truthfully advertised, so we set our seal (our stamp of approval) on the testimony of Christ Jesus, and His Holy Spirit-inspired disciples. We approve His testimony, for others to witness, when we demonstrate it by our earthly conduct - the things we say and do each day of our lives. This is exactly what John the Baptist confirmed to the questioning Jew.

Verse 34, of our lesson text, tells us that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ specifically to represent Him and speak His words. And, through His Holy Spirit, this gift of bringing His doctrine of eternal salvation to the world was bestowed on Jesus without measure. God revealed His doctrine in limited measure to the patriarchs and prophets during the Old Testament era. However, through His Son, Jesus Christ, during the final New Testament dispensation of time, God's complete plan of salvation was made known to the world.And why was this done? It was because The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand. And here is the most important message of the testimony of John the Baptist regarding the Son of God, our Savior, Jesus Christ: He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. Believe, accept, and obey the testimony of Christ Jesus and receive everlasting life. Fail to do so, and receive the wrath of God.