TWO OR THREE WITNESSES ARE REQUIRED
UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES
The LORD declared: “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established” (Deuteronomy 19:15; Hebrews 10:28; Matthew 18:16). The two essential and separate witnesses of the three “that bear witness in earth” (1John 5:8-10) in these last days are the word of God and the Spirit of God.
MINISTRY OF JESUS BEFORE THE CROSS
The drawing and revealing of the Father—Jesus declared to the Jews: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44). Even though they had heard the word of God out of the mouth of the Lord Jesus, the revealing witness of the Father was also required! Jesus asked his apostles, “But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 16:15-17).
MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT AFTER THE CROSS
Command to wait for the Holy Ghost—After being seen of the apostles “forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3), the Lord, “being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me…ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:1-9). After the Holy Ghost was sent on the day of Pentecost, Peter preached, and three thousand souls were added to the church (Acts 2—3).
Jesus draws all men—Lord Jesus declared: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die” (John 12:32-33).
The reproof of the Holy Ghost—Before he went to the cross, the Lord Jesus promised the apostles that he would send the Comforter [“the Holy Ghost” (John 14:26)] to them after he returned to heaven. He said unto them, “And when he is come, he will reprove [blame; condemn; charge; convince] the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:7-11).
The calling of the Spirit—Paul wrote to believers, and said: “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification [setting apart] of the Spirit and belief of the truth [the word of God]: Whereunto he [the Spirit of God] called you by our gospel [the word of God], to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2Thessalonians 2:13-14). On the day of salvation believers “were illuminated [enlightened intellectually with knowledge or grace]” (Hebrews 10:32) by the Spirit of God. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).
The teaching of the Spirit
Before the cross—Whether before or after the cross, the natural man cannot understand the word of God without the illumination of the Spirit of God! Under the law the prophet declared:
“Whom shall he [the LORD] teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was unto them [unbelievers] precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken” (Isaiah 28:9-13).
This is the reason why the Holy Spirit of God must teach the truth to natural men!
After the cross—In the following passage the “spiritual things” are the words of God in the Holy Bible: “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1Corinthians 2:12-14).
All born-again believers have the witness of the Spirit—“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16). “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” (1John 5:6). The Holy Ghost is our infallible teacher. Writing to born-again believers, who have the Holy Ghost permanently indwelling them, the apostle John declared: “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him” (1John 2:27).
Testing every spirit—Believers are commanded: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1John 4:1). Since the Holy Ghost is the Author of the word of God (2Peter 1:21), the two witnesses of the Holy Ghost and the word of God will always perfectly agree. Furthermore, we know that: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2Timothy 3:16-17).
FINAL WORD TO THE UNBELIEVER
On your “day of visitation” (1Peter 2:12), the Holy Ghost will reprove you of your sin of unbelief (John 16:7-11) and call you to salvation through the glorious gospel, “how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1Corinthians 15:3-4). God’s word promises: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).