We read the following witness in the law of Jehovah: “Whoever kills any person, the murderer shall be slain at the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person that he die” (Num. 35:30). Jehovah considered that concerning issues that were serious or important there had to be two witnesses. To determine the death of anyone, one only witness was of no value. Why? That is because the murderer, at the trial, could accuse the eyewitness. To avoid this, Jehovah speaks again, saying: “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he who is to die be put to death; at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death” (Deut. 17:6). The false witness was put to death (Deut. 19:15-21).
In the New Testament the criterion was similar, except in the case of the condemnation to death: “If your brother sins against you, go, show him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained back your brother. But if he doesn’t listen, take one or two more with you, that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembly. If he refuses to hear the assembly also, let him be to you as a Gentile or a tax collector” (Matt. 18:15-17). Paul, writing to the church in Corinth, said: “This is the third time I am coming to you. At the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” (2 Cor. 13:1).
Let us now look at what Jesus Christ speaks about the witness statement: “If I testify about myself, my witness is not valid” (John 5:31). As Jesus said that he came down from heaven, sent by God, the Pharisees accused him of bearing false witness: “The Pharisees therefore said to him, ‘You testify about yourself. Your testimony is not valid’” (John 8:13). Jesus, then, answered: “It’s also written in your law that the testimony of two people is valid. I am one who testifies about myself, and the Father who sent me testifies about me” (John 8:17-18). One other time, Jesus had already said: “The Father himself, who sent me, has testified about me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form” (John 5:37). If God the Father testified of Christ, and Jesus also testifies of himself, they both agree, and they are two witnesses of heaven. But there is a third witness of Christ: the Holy Spirit. Jesus said: “When the Counselor has come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will testify about me” (John 15:26). When Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James, and John, his face shone as the sun, and his garments became white as the light, and Moses and Elijah appeared on the mountaintop, and there was a voice from heaven saying: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him” (Matt. 17:1-5). This was the witness of God, which Peter repeated with the following words: “For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’” (2 Pet. 1:17).
Let us go on to Jehovah, now, the god of the Old Testament and of Israel: “This is what Jehovah, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, Jehovah of Armies, says: ‘I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God’” (Is. 44:6). Jehovah testifies of himself, and declares that outside him there is no other god who can also testify. As Jesus said, this witness is not true. Jehovah himself wrote in his law that, in order to be acceptable, there has to be two or three witnesses. If Jehovah gives witness of himself, alone, he is breaking his own law. They are two sins: to break his own law and bear false witness. And Jehovah reaffirms what he spoke, saying: “Declare and present it. Yes, let them take counsel together. Who has shown this from ancient time? Who has declared it of old? Haven’t I, Jehovah? There is no other God besides me, a just God and a Savior; There is no one besides me” (Is. 45:21). “‘I have declared, I have saved, and I have shown; and there was no strange god among you. Therefore you are my witnesses,’ says Jehovah, ‘and I am God’” (Is. 43:12). Jehovah makes another declaration here: that the people of Israel are his witness. And he repeats it in Isaiah 43:10. A little further he speaks again, saying: “You are my witnesses. Is there a God besides me? Indeed, there is not. I don’t know any other Rock” (Is. 44:8). How can Jehovah trust in the witness of the people of whom he said: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hos. 4:6). How can his prophets be witnesses of god who said of them: “For both prophet and priest are profane; yes, in my house have I found their wickedness, says Jehovah” (Jer. 23:11). Jehovah negatively testifies of his prophets, again: “In the prophets of Jerusalem also I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies; and they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that none does return from his wickedness: they are all of them become to me as Sodom, and its inhabitants as Gomorrah” (Jer. 23:14). And Jehovah declares about men in general: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man” (Jer. 17:5).
John the Baptist bore witness of Jesus as the truth, but Jesus declared: “But the testimony which I receive is not from man” (John 5:33-34). Jesus exalted John the Baptist as the greatest prophet that had been born of a woman (Matt. 11:11). And Jesus did not accept the witness of John. And did Jehovah accept the witness of a people stained by sin and condemned, and also of corrupt prophets?
The witness that Jehovah gave of himself is not true for three reasons:
- It was a personal witness, which does not deserve credit.
- It was a witness that was breaking the very law that Jehovah gave.
- It was a witness given by men, which do not deserve credit, for Paul said: “Yes, let God be found true, but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4). Jehovah is a false god…
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira