The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Of whom does the Holy testify? The Christ. Where is the Christ? “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit”. The Christ indwells the believer!
Prophecy is so much more than what those in the pro-gift circles, who focus more on the gifts than on the indwelling Gifted One, have claimed. They focus on, even lust after the ‘gifts’ (ex. prophetic utterances, miracles, signs, wonders, casting out demons, etc.). The Holy Spirit’s emphasis is not on the gifted ones, but on the Gifted One. The subtle lie of the enemy distorts scripture so that our focus is shifted away from the centrality of the indwelling Christ and onto the gifts. The Holy Spirit will NOT testify or witness to anything that we do as a result.
If we see Christ as being external to us, we will try to be LIKE Him. This is the foundation of the whole “What Would Jesus Do?” movement. Any attempt to be ‘like Jesus’ is nothing more than religious activity. Religion is Satan-inspired, a futile, man-made quest to attempt to attain a state of holiness by human efforts. Rather than causing us to acknowledge our complete and total dependency on God’s indwelling spirit, religion seduces us to focus on what we can do. This effectively cuts us off from grace.
Christ will not be formed in us if we try to emulate Him. How, then, is He formed in us? It’s Christ in us, working through us, as us: “he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit”. As Paul wrote, the fruit of the spirit is Love, and all that flows from that love is merely a living expression of Him who is Love. There are no substitutes for the true (experiential) knowledge of the Father’s love for us. The burning reality of Jesus’ words, “when the Holy Spirit comes, he will reveal me and glorify me” thrills me to no end.
“In the day you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your heart”. We harden our hearts by default. When the Holy Spirit testifies or witnesses to the reality of Christ indwelling the believer, and we dismiss this by trying by our own efforts to be LIKE Jesus (rather than acknowledging His existing presence in our hearts) our hearts become hardened. By this I mean we have a tendency to think that by our own efforts, we have to conjure up a scheme to keep our hearts pliable - rather than seeing we are one with, indistinguishable from, Jesus Christ who indwells the spirit of the believer. His heart is NOT hardened! We are already joined to the fruitful One! Because of this union we have with the fruitful One, we will bear fruit in our soul as we learn to live out of that fundamental, heart-softening truth and by paying heed to the testimony of the Holy Spirit as He witnesses about Christ.
Is it possible the Holy Spirit is whispering in our hearts (much like a stuck record), ‘I see Jesus in you, I see Jesus in you’ over and over? If we have been reborn or re-birthed then the miraculous has taken place. Jesus’ prayer, ‘Father I pray that they will be one even as we are one. I am the vine you are the branches’ is a result of that miracle.
It has never been an issue of my truth versus your truth. There is only one Truth~Christ Jesus. Otherwise, he would have said, “Hey guys, want to hear some neat truths?” Instead He said, “I AM the Truth, Life, the Way of God”.
Does the Father desire to make us eye witnesses of this fruitful One to whom we are joined? Or do we simply mouth truthful things?
It is essential that we learn to differentiate between what Christ does and who Christ is – that apart from Him we can do nothing – that we are utterly dependent upon his Spirit to produce fruit out of a pliable heart. That is the testimony of Jesus in a grapeskin.