What is the Testimony of Jesus?

2017-07-02T09:42:57+00:00 By |Blog, Prophetic Wisdom & Revelation|
Along with the revelation of God’s Eternal Purpose concerning Christ, there is a corresponding testimony that is declared. Scripture refers to this as The Testimony of Jesus.

“And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 12:17). 

As we have previously discussed, the very essence of the prophetic word revolves around the Testimony of Jesus. The grand finale of Scripture records a great battle between the Overcomers and the Spirit of Antichrist concerning the Testimony of Jesus.

What is the Testimony of Jesus? Why does the prophetic word revolve around this Testimony? Why does this Testimony attract so much rage, spiritual conflict and opposition? And what does it mean to have or to bear this Testimony?

John gives us a precise definition, but it requires the use of a concordance to unlock the meaning. If you simply look up the word “testimony” you only find a few relevant verses. For some inexplicable reason, the translators who gave us the King James Version decided on several occasions to translate a single Greek word into multiple English words. This means we have to take an extra step in our study, but it is not too difficult.

If we look up the word testimony we find it is a translation of the Greek word martyria. This is where we get our English word “martyr” from. If we trace all New Testament occurrences of the Greek word martyria we see that it appears 38 times and is translated four different ways in the King James Version: witness (15 times); testimony (14 times); record (7 times); and report (2 times).

So with this bit of detective work out of the way, we can now correctly determine exactly what John meant by the Testimony of Jesus. He explains it in his first letter:

“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 (martyria), because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record (martyria) in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness (martyria) in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness (martyria) of men, the witness (martyria) of God is greater: for this is the witness (martyria) of God which he hath testified (martyreō) of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness (martyria) in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record (martyria) that God gave (martyreō, testified) of his Son. And this is the record (martyria), that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 Jn. 5:6-12).

In this case we see the translators decided to use three different English words (witness, record, and testify) for the exact same Greek word (martyria), all in a single passage. Do you see how this makes it difficult to interpret?

How should it be translated? We can start by assigning the same English word (testimony) wherever the one Greek word (martyria) appears. If martyria is in the verb form (martyreō) then we will assign it a single English verb form (testify). That way we can compare apples to apples, oranges to oranges, and make the necessary connections. Here is what we have now:

 “It is the Spirit that testifies, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that testify in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that testify in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.”

 Isn’t this easier to understand? Let us keep reading:

“If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater: for this is the testimony of God which He hath testified of His Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the testimony in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the testimony that God testified of His Son.”

And now comes the answer to the big question: what is the testimony of Jesus?

 “And this is the testimony, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

This is the testimony.” So, later when John writes that “the testimony (martyria) of Jesus is the essence of prophecy,” we know what the Testimony is: the Life is in the Son. If you have the Son, you have the Life; if you don’t have the Son, you don’t have the Life.

What does that mean? It means that all are saved in Jesus and none are saved outside of Him. It perfectly supports the very words of Jesus, also recorded by John: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no one comes to the Father except by Me” (Jn. 14:6). This statement points to the revelation of the Eternal Purpose of God: that in all things Christ must have the preeminence. God has set the Son in the ultimate place of authority, establishing that all are saved in Him and none are saved without Him.


About the Author:

CHIP BROGDEN is a best-selling author, teacher, and former pastor who shares "real, simple, truth" about a Christ-centered faith that is based on relationship, not religion. Learn more »


  1. Dave Henderson January 12, 2014 at 11:37 am - Reply

    For the past year or so God has been trying to teach me the truth of Revelation 12:11. Do you believe the testimony is just one aspect of overcoming? There they overcame him by the blood, the word of their testimony, and by not loving their lives to the point of giving them up. Jesus Christ is the Way–Blood, He’s the Truth—Testimony and Life–dying to self and being raised into new life.
    Is it possible to know Christ as the Way, but not know Him as Truth and Life and also possible to know Him as the Way and Truth but not know Him as the Life? I don’t believe anything is lacking on His part, just we are slow in our growth and understanding.
    Thanks for the good words this morning.

  2. sherry January 12, 2014 at 11:53 am - Reply

    As you state many times, ” More of Him and less of us” and then our ultimate goal is “All of Him and none of us.” God is an all or nothing God. We have to keep our Oil full to the brim then Jesus is our all in all things. Yes, those that have the Son hath life. He is all, all the time. We do not have life without all of Him all the time. Part of Him and part flesh makes a double minded man, one that is lukewarm and God spews lukewarmness out of His mouth. In other words we are vomit in the mouth of God when we are lukewarm or double minded. So if we have nothing we are nothing in Him. If we are part of Him we are nothing, because God gets rid of us. If we have all of Him we have life and life more abundant.

  3. Kenneth Dawson January 12, 2014 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    I like the way Sherry put it which agrees with your article–all of him and none of us–although it is us that he uses but we are not the origin.

  4. eve January 12, 2014 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    It seems to be the in thing, to be important in others eyes if one regularly is able to give a word from the lord…

    recently my daughter 16 was given a word to be a preacher.. she was frightened… so i will tell you what i told her

    if this is correct then it will come from god directly to you, and he will confirm this many times, and within your heart you will feel a sense that is is correct, for you will find that you have a love for his word and for his people

    … so in other words, just a word with no background support and training from the lord which has to have taken place, and is taking place still… then is not a word from the lord but from some one trying to be something they are not

    have a nice day, eve uk

  5. lisa January 12, 2014 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    All I can say Eve is, watch over this.
    This can mix someone up quite good.
    Someone once said: If it’s that important, God will tell me himself!!!

  6. Bettina January 13, 2014 at 4:25 am - Reply

    Hello brother Chip,
    as I mentioned here before, it is very interesting that the Greek word is martyria !
    A few years ago the LORD had shown me that the testimony of Jesus are the wounds in His hands.
    He showed them to His disciples after resurrection. That was the testimony !! When Jesus has the preeminence in our life and we follow Him then we will have the same mark on our hands AND feet and head (crown of thorns) which means dying to self – not doing what I want (hands), not going where I want to go (feet) and not even having my own thoughts (crown of thorns) !!! This is MARTYRIA and
    this is the Testimony Of Jesus Christ !!

    Hallelujah !!

    • Garry Ballard July 2, 2017 at 6:22 pm - Reply

      Amen Sister! You put it so well, head, hands and feet!

  7. James Mal January 18, 2014 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    Dear Dawson All of Him and none of Us. Yet we I like to believe “Although It is Us He Uses.” I do not know in what Context, do you want to believe “It is us he uses. He uses our mind or our body. Our body is the temple of God, he who destroys This Body, God will destroy Him. Our Body is the dwelling place of God in Christ Jesus. the Christ is in us the hope of Glory. But I would not like to give Glory to this body. This body is No More ours now. All of Him and None of Us, I believe this because I know this.

  8. Debbie Barton January 24, 2016 at 11:37 am - Reply

    I just found an article by you on tentmakers and enjoyed the message and wanted to know more?..thank you

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