The Testimony of Two
By: Bodé Adeboyejo
In the news recently, was the story of a Georgia death row inmate, Troy Davis. A man convicted of killing a policeman, back in 1989. Davis was convicted in 1991, and has been on death row for 17 years.
Davis has repeatedly claimed that he did not kill Mark McPhail, the police officer in question. Even more interesting, "seven out of nine witnesses who gave evidence at his trial in 1991 have recanted or changed their testimony, which was the backbone of the prosecution's case in the absence of a murder weapon, fingerprints and DNA", according to an AFP news story.
Recently, Davis was granted another stay of execution, three days before his execution. Since his conviction in 1991, Davis has received a stay of execution thrice – one which was about two hours before his execution!
If Davis is eventually pardoned or declared innocent, he will be one of the many people who have been wrongfully punished for crimes they didn’t commit but fortunate to be vindicated. And if executed, even though innocent, he will be one of the many that were not so fortunate, in spite of their innocence.
Since the beginning of time, many innocent victims have been punished, imprisoned or even killed for crimes they didn’t commit. The situation is not any different in biblical times. There are several stories in the Bible of people who were wrongfully accused and punished for crimes they didn’t commit. In fact, in biblical times all it took to convict a person of a crime was the testimony of two or three witnesses.
Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness. --Deuteronomy 17:6
One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established. -- Deuteronomy 19:15
An example of a man wrongfully accused for a crime he didn’t commit is found in 1 Kings 21. The story of a man named Naboth who would not exchange or sell his vineyard to King Ahab. And because Naboth would not sell his vineyard to King Ahab, Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, conspired to kill Naboth. To accomplish this heinous task she bribed two baseless men to accuse Naboth of blasphemy. And as a result of the testimony of the two false witnesses, Naboth was stoned to death.
All it took was the testimony of two. No mounds of evidence, proofs, myriads of witnesses, cross examination, etc. But the testimony of two!
Other biblical examples similar to Naboth, wrongfully accused and killed by the testimony of two false witnesses were Jesus (Matthew 26:59-61) and Stephen (Acts 6:11-14). In fact the only way they could find anything against Jesus was to falsely accuse Him, because the Bible says that He was without sin or blameless.
Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward and said, "This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’" -- Matthew 26:59-61
Then they secretly induced men to say, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God."… They also set up false witnesses who said, "This man does not cease to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses delivered to us." -- Acts 6:11, 13-14
Interestingly however, just as it was in the natural, in biblical times, so it is in the spiritual, in heaven. Just as it takes the testimony of two or three to convict in biblical times, so does it take the testimony of two or three to acquit in heaven! Hallelujah! Just as it takes the testimony of two or three to condemn so does it take the testimony of two or three to liberate eternally.
For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. -- 1 John 5: 7
These three (the Father, the Word, (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit) are one – not only in essence but even in their testimony. That is, they do not give conflicting testimonies. That’s why Jesus said, concerning the Holy Spirit:
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. -- John 16:13-14
Even though three bear witness in heaven, all it really takes is the testimony of two! So, if Jesus or the Father assumes the role of a Judge, you still have at least two people to testify for or against you.
So, just as there are witnesses needed to convict, even much more are witnesses needed to acquit. In heaven, there will be three Witnesses – True Witnesses -- to convict or acquit. Whoever they convict through their testimony is convicted, and whoever they acquit by their testimony is acquitted.
You may never have been falsely accused or will be falsely accused in life. But as it relates to your eternal destiny, you can rest assured that these Witnesses will be there on the Day of Judgment, to testify for or against you. And their testimony will be true – whether favorable or unfavorable.
Now, making their testimony favorable for you is easy. All it takes an acknowledgment of your sin, and calling on Jesus (on this side of heaven) to forgive you of your sin, and be your Lord and Savior. And contrary to Catholic belief, there is no redemption after death!
This is one of the reasons why you need to be saved. You need Witnesses who will testify on your behalf in heaven, not against you. If you have genuinely given your life to Christ, you not only have Witnesses in heaven, you also have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 5:9).
But, if you are yet to give your life to Christ, all you have to do is give your life to Him to change their testimony from unfavorable to favorable; from guilty to not guilty; from convict to convert!
What would the testimony of the Father, the Word (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit be concerning you? Would their testimony be for or against you?
The Lord'sQuill © 2007
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