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Sabbath: Why Witness? — 37 Comments

  1. Perhaps the first thing we should understand about witnessing is that it is not something that you can turn on and off. It has to be something that you do every day, all-day. It is not limited to giving a Bible study on a church doctrine and then 20 minutes later asking the person whether they believe that or not.

    My grandfather was baptised when he was 80 years of age. He was a highly-opinionated builder and saw little need for religion. He belonged to the Masonic Lodge and that was probably because of the business connections he had. My grandmother became a Seventh-day Adventist quite early in life, and interestingly most of my grandfather's brothers and sisters also became Adventists, but, grandad steadfastly had little to do with the church. Grannie Ashton was a very quiet little lady, she lived a quiet consistent life, cooked great cakes (that I remember with great fondness) and kept on loving Grandad. And he changed. After 50 years of witnessing by my quiet persistent Grannie, he decided he wanted to give his life to Christ and become a Seventh-day Adventist.

    Witnessing is not like a TV show that wraps up in an hour. It is a lifestyle we live by God's grace, that points others to Jesus.

    Does this sound familiar:

    By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:35 KJV

    • So happy for your granddad. We aught to live as Christ lived. Christ method and Christ method alone will do the work. Happy Sabbath

    • Witnessing can only occur when we have something to give away. We either gained this because someone has planted on us while we were growing, or by choice, because we look to gain more. Eventhough we may continue to feel the consequences of the world's and our own sins, by standing connected to the Light there is no way we can hide our witnessing. God can use our witnessing even when we choose not to, because He does not need our witnessing! But we can only witness if we have God's love in the heart.

    • There are two ways whereby we can witness: passively or actively.
      The disciples who witness the transfiguration of Christ they were gazing up into heaven but then two men stood in white apparel,said, why do you stand gazing into heaven..?
      Stop gazing and you have a mission to fulfil (my words).
      We see evidenced in scripture, the incredible witnesses they have been for their Lord. We too have that wonderful privilege of being co laborers with Christ.

    • Maurice I do love the example you shared about your mom and dad. I do get frustrated after talking to people, give them tracts and tell them about God for years and still they do not make a commitment and if they do it may be promises. What do you do, they don't live with you?

      • We have only been asked to sow the seeds, God will do the harvesting. (However much we REALLY want to do the harvesting) The time between the sowing and the harvesting is also out of our control.

  2. Why witness? Because what this world and each individual wants is PEACE and only the LORD has and is the answer!

    John 14:27, Rom 5:1, Acts 10:36, Isa 57:19

    Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons and daughters of God. Matt 5:9 KJV

    • We are witnesses for Jesus as soon as we say we are Christians and especially once we have been baptised. The big question is what sort of witnesses are we?
      Will others want what we show to them ? May this quarter help us put self aside and truly enable Jesus' light to reflect through us to those around showing His love
      and bringing peace and goodwill toward all nations because we are truly being instruments in His hands to do His work in these times. If Christ be lifted up He will draw all to Him! Happy Studying and Happy witnessing.

      • Yes, indeed! So the question "Why Witness?" may be a bit beside the point. We *are* witnesses to the world, whether we like it or not. Our witness is either for Christ or against Him. If we deny Him by our actions (not Christ-like), our witness is against Him. If we demonstrate His kind of love, our witness is in His favor in the court of this world as well as in the whole created universe.

        But then, perhaps the author was been thinking more of intentionally talking to others about God? (That used to be the meaning of "witnessing" in Adventist circles. But I hope we can all expand our understanding.)

  3. The Holy Spirit through Paul tells us the LORD's desire is that all people be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth 1Tim 2:3-4 how is that possible unless someone tells them Rom 10:13-15

    • My dream of having all created beings come to the knowledge of the truth because the believers consistently witness to unbelievers about the love of Christ.

  4. Brother Ashton, thank you for opening the discussion.As we just concluded the second quarter's lesson and we now know how important it is to interpret the scriptures well, that joy now takes as to go and make friends for God
    God has offered us opportunities to participate in His saving mission. We have the incredible privilege and joy of witnessing. Let’s do all we can to make the most of those opportunities, as we study His mission and our role in it this quarter.

  5. 1 Timothy 2:3, 4
    Indeed God wants everyone to be saved and to know the truth and so We must always look on each person we meet as a possible candidate for heaven and do all we can to take advantage of opportunities to witness to those around us.
    In 2 Peter 3:9; we it states that God is not willing that any should perish. His mission clearly is for as many as possible to come to Him and receive eternal life.

  6. Having been transformed into a new way of life by the grace of God, we want to demonstrate that newness of life. Witnessing is a way of life through which we desire others to know and share."In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father" - Matthew 5:16

  7. 'Why witness' can be understood as 'do I have to witness?' or 'is witnessing important?'. If Christ lives in us, can we do otherwise? I think that only the person who has not yet committed themselves to Christ or is unsure about what they believe in, would experience a 'whether or not' situation.

    I looked up 1Tim2:3-4 to find the context of this reference, (always do to help me understand the full meaning). What I found is interesting. The context provides a much broader meaning compared to the one the lesson writer had intended it for.

    The context is found in 1Tim.2:1-2 - 'I Exhort (desire) therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all man. v.2 - For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty'. Here, the focus is prayer.

    It occured to me, that this is also a form of witnessing - not to men but to God! Our new ears, eyes and heart have witnessed (persived), and we bring it to God who hears our witness; our heart testifies, reaching out to God requesting help for those that we cannot help directly.

    Actually, if you read all chapters of 1Timothy, you will find it is Paul witnessing, giving his testimony to "my own son in the faith", Timothy.
    This larger context, starting in 1Tim.1:1 leads me to understand that when we witness, we are called to v.4: 'godly edifying which is in faith,' to understand that, v.5:'the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned'.
    Paul is writing this letter to give Timothy advise on how to conduct his witnessing ministry, relating his advice to his own experiences. It provides sound help to all who go out and 'witness'.

    We can know how Paul felt about his ministry, v.12: And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry. If we cannot visit in person and testify, we can always earnestly pray for all who God places on our heart.
    In conclusion - in addition to witnessing, we also have the power of intercessory prayer at our disposal - anytime, anywhere!

    • Brigitte, I see you have a different perception of "witnessing" when you wrote:

      It occured to me, that this is also a form of witnessing - not to men but to God! Our new ears, eyes and heart have witnessed (persived), and we bring it to God who hears our witness; our heart testifies, reaching out to God requesting help for those that we cannot help directly.

      I understand "witnessing" to be about someone else: We share what we "witnessed" about another person or what we personally experienced with that person. That's what a "witness" does in a court setting - which is an appropriate analogy in this context.

      We are engaged in a great controversy between Christ and Satan. Since he first began to be disloyal to God, Satan has been maligning the character of God, and we are called to be "witnesses" regarding His true character.

      Thus I can't quite see prayer as "witnessing" to God any more than a person can be a witness in a court case by only talking privately to the accused about his good character.

      The way I see it, by definition, Christian witnessing is what we say about God, both by our words and our actions.

      • Inge - please, allow me to clarify my understanding that we also 'witness' when we pray. The first form is the straight forward witness, talking with those we meet in our daily lives about the Gospel of Jesus Christ unto Salvation.

        All who have experienced the newness of life engage in this form of witnessing. This act of witnessing does not save in and of itself. The witnessing is done for the purpose to call upon God's Holy Spirit to intervene in the person's life that we are witnessing to. Actually, all our witnessing should be accompanied by prayer, because it is God who saves.

        When I read the lesson's reference 1Tim.2:3-4, I noticed the second form of 'witnessing' included in verses 1 and 2. Paul is writing this letter to Timothy to help him establish a solid foundation; what to place his witnessing ministry on. You will find all these inferences/references in my post.

        My understanding of the text identifies prayer for those we can not reach ourselves as an indirect, but no less effective form of witnessing.
        When we bring what we witness/observe to God in the form of prayer - asking Him for His intersession - we are asking Him to become the *witness* in our stead. He is willing to direct His Grace and Mercy upon the ones in need; the ones we cannot witness to directly.

        We are a witness for God, His ears and eyes and heart, when sharing with Him what we witnessed/observed. Through the power of His Spirit, He in turn 'witnesses' to the individual we brought to His attention when directing our prayers to Him.

        So, in effect, we are able to witness through the witness of the Holy Spirit of God in both instances.

        • Thank you for your reply, Brigitte.

          The "witnessing" I see in 1 Tim. 2:1-2 is a lifestyle that includes "supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for fall that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."

          As soon as we take the name of "Christian," we are "witnessing" either for or against God, not only by our words, but also by our lifestyle.

          1 Tim. 2:1-4 is consistent with the usual definition of "witnessing" in the English language. It implies that we have personally seen, heard, or experienced something relevant to the person on trial.

          God is on trial in the universe regarding His character: Is He truly and ultimately good, acting out of self-sacrificing love, or is he a tyrant making arbitrary laws for the satisfaction of His own ego?

          As Christians, we are called to witness for the character of God, both by our words and by our lifestyle. Prayer is only a form of witness when our kinds of prayers say something to others about the character of God.

          • Inge - Ultimately, yes - the character of God is demonstrated through His Justice, Mercy and Grace - His unconditional Love - and is the heart of our testimony when we witness.

            Witnessing to the Gospel of Christ, though, also includes Jesus - the Truth, the Way and the Light - to be the Son of God as He points to the Father. John14:6 We can not omit this from our witness.
            Yes, all witnessing leads to show the world the character of the God we believe in - direct witnessing and indirect witnessing through our conduct. The Holy Spirit's witnessing reaches directly into the heart of man. John16:13,14

            Our prayers ask God to witness about Himself directly to others. When He responds, the Holy Spirit speaks to the person prayed for and gives evidence that God cares. John14:14
            We do not know the many ways God witnesses about Himself to mankind through the Holy Spirit, but we know about the Early and the Latter Rains to alert *all* of their need to draw closer to Him.
            That He witnesses/interacts with mankind personally, we can attest to in our testimony; this is the evidence of His witness about Himself. John6:44 No one becomes a Christian through birth or affiliation - we become a Christian by choice prompted by the witness of the Holy Spirit!

            Regarding forms of witnessing. I do not refer to public prayer only to be considered witnessing. Would not all our prayers, private or public, point out the goodness and fairness - the character of our Heavenly Father - through our praises?
            I take a broader view on witnessing, including all forms of witnessing, the Holy Spirit to be the witnessing messenger in all instances. Whether we witness directly, indirectly or request intercession from God, all are asking God to respond/witness through the Holy Spirit. John16:13-14

            Yes, seen spiritually, all actions by the professed Christian and by God reflect/show the character of God. Therefore, by the choices we make, we witness to either the Glory of God or tarnish His reputation in the eyes of the world.

  8. The falling short of last quarter's lesson on "How to Study the Bible," as it didn't share anything of value as to how to study the Word, I hope this quarter is more to the purpose of the study.

    • I don't understand what sort of thing were you hoping to see in the quarterly?
      It referred us to the document - methods of Bible Study and expanded on it. It pointed out pitfalls and gave examples using well know doctrines. What more did you expect?

    • The topic of 2nd quarter Sabbath School quarterly was "How to Interpret Scripture" which is a little different than How to Study the Bible. I believe they are both related - however not the same. Please see https://www.nadadventist.org/bible-study to see if this would be helpful for finding some Bible Study Resources.

  9. Witnessing is extremely important in saving souls James 5:19-20 direct us to bring back those among us who have wondered away from the truth because this will help to save his/her soul; Witnessing is not just for the unbelievers but for those who once believe and falters along the journey.

  10. Isa 43:1-13; Isa 43:10-12; Act 1:8

    Why Witness?
    Why do I tell my personal experiences about myself and my family?
    It is because I choose personally to be a witness for Jesus, who he is, the All-Wise, all-knowing, his power to save, provide, protect, enlightened, guide, and what he had done for me and what he is still doing for me. No one can negate my testimonies about the love of God for me and my families. Rev 12:11- talks about how we overcome the wicked one.
    A true witness is one who talks about or testifies about what they see, hears, and knows. If we do not know about Jesus, how can we testify about him?
    I went to work recently and I was told to be careful of someone because the husband was very disrespectful of authorities, using all the swear words. I was speaking to the person about life in general on that day. I happened to see the person again the following day. Religion came up and the person said to me she is actually a Pastor and her husband is a co-pastor ( the same person who was swearing and cursing all the foul words few days before). Later I was singing quietly Blessed Assurance Jesus is mine. She said to me I knew you were a Christian by the way you were acting. "I saw a different look in you, did you know what I meant, a glow.' I then offered her a 'Steps to Christ' book.
    In this life, we are called to represent Jesus. Similar to how we are called to represent someone in court. To say we have been with him, we knew him, we understood him, we are witnesses to his saving grace and his works.
    Do you remember Peter who spent 3 1/2 years with Jesus, was called to be a witness for him in the court when he denied Christ? It was after the 10 days that he was able to be a true witness for and about his Master.
    Witnessing is a way of life for the true believer. From rising to going back to bed, we never forget to be witnesses.

  11. No one can give my testimony or my experience with God. You don't know about my eye witness, not what I heard from someone else....but what I saw felt and recieved.

  12. Interesting comments . However none has stated that we all always witness for or against God and His Truth. We can not, not witness. Therefore the issue is not why witness but rather why be a witness of / for Jesus.

  13. Only the holy spirit can transform the heart
    . Our job is to talk about what He (CHRIST) has done for us!

  14. So here are the thoughts that bubbled up for me after reading the first two days of this weeks lesson.
    I need to understand what I’m witnessing about and why others need to know what I have learned. John 17:3 are Jesus own words about why he came to earth; “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent”. For me this is the bottom line. I believe salvation is not just getting to live for eternity without getting sick or growing old and dying. Salvation can start here on this earth. By living in the freedom of a completely selfless life, others will see how the power of God can work in us. The joy that comes from living an obedient and selfless life will draw others to want to know what we know. This will give us the opportunity to share God with them. It has to be about more than just escaping the horrible things of this earth, because to be honest, some people think they’re life is pretty good, they don’t feel the need to be “rescued”. My life must show those people, something they can’t find anywhere else but in a relationship with God.

    • Yes Karen, if we have the fruit of the Spirit Gal 5:22-23, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness (gentleness), self-control, and we share that it is not through our efforts but by surrendering our will to the LORD and that He says My yoke is easy and my burden is light Matt 11:30, it is not a life long working to earn nirvana, it doesn't take repeated reincarnations, it is not necessary to do many rituals or pilgrimages. Jesus changes our hearts and the Fruit of the Spirit is a natural result of our relationship with the LORD.

  15. You know doing this pandemic it's little difficult to share your message to other. People with their masks on their face and we're staying at a distance, we have to get smart and come up we a plan, how to connect with people. First we need to pray how to connect with people during this crisis. I love to be a witness for Jesus. God bless.

    • There are two sayings that float around:

      1) Actions speak louder than words.

      2) People won’t care what you believe until they first believe that you care.

      Could it be that now is the time for us to show others that we genuinely care about them with acts of compassion that reflect the beneficent Agape love of God? Perhaps masks and social distancing don’t need to get in the way of us responsibly treating every person we encounter each and every day in a Christlike manner?

      • Dear Phil - I just send out my post to today's lesson 'Growing by giving', focusing on the type of 'caring' that reflects the Agape love of God as being the starting point for giving.
        Now I find your post mentioning "people won't care what you believe until they first believe that you care".
        God's synchronicity warms my heart ! 🙂

  16. Anyone who has an experience is a witness to that experience. If we have no experience, we can never be a witness. If we feel unable to witness, perhaps this indicates no experience.

    Regarding "WHY witness", realize the situation in 2 Kings 7, and observe the conviction and conclusion of the 4 leprous men. Notice also Proverbs 24:11,12.


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