The Berean Expositor
Volume 27 - Page 164 of 212
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When the apostles were liberated from prison they were commanded by the angel:
"Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life" (Acts 5: 20).
And we may be sure that they still spoke as "witnesses of His resurrection".
When brought before the Council, Peter and the others answered and said:
"The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, Whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him
hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance
to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses of these things; and so also
is the Holy Ghost Whom God hath given to them that obey Him" (Acts 5: 30-32).
When Paul stood before Agrippa, and revealed the important fact that he had received
a twofold commission from the Lord, the first part running concurrently with the ministry
of the twelve, and the second associated with a ministry from prison, he united them
together by one covering title--the title of "witness":
"I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both
of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto
thee" (Acts 26: 16).
Ministry may vary in its scope, it may emphasize differing aspects of truth and
purpose, and differing spheres of blessing; but whether it be Kingdom or Church, Bride
or Body, it is unchangeably true that "Ye shall be witnesses unto Me".
The greatest of all witnesses is God himself, and even His witness is "concerning His
"If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness
of God which He hath witnessed of His Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath
the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar: because he
believeth not the witness that God gave of His Son. And this is the witness, that God
hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son" (I John 5: 9-12).
Power from on high in order to witness to a risen Christ sums up the essence of true
ministry. The reader who cares to go back over this series, taking each symbol in turn,
and seeking from the Word its connection with witnessing, will discover that all the
various phases of service that have been covered are but various facts of this quintessence
of all ministry.
It was the great desire of the apostle that he might "finish his course with joy" and
"testify the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20: 24). The word "testify" here is
diamartureo, "to witness thoroughly".  This resolve was not merely the product of
highly-wrought feelings, for, in summing up his previous ministry, the apostle was able,
by the grace of God, to use this same word (Acts 20: 21). And when last we read of him
in the Acts, the same thoroughness is manifest: