The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev 19:10)

Revelation 19:10 Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he *said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (NASB)

This verse is one that I have heard quoted a few times and interpreted in different, interesting ways, but none of the interpretations I have heard have quite convinced me. The part of the verse I am really referring to is the very last bit: “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” It’s an unusual wording to get our heads around. One interpretation used by (I have to say) one of my favourite authors/speakers/leaders, and upon which he based an entire (and otherwise extremely good!) book, makes the ‘is’ in the middle into a kind of equals sign, so: “For the testimony of Jesus = the spirit of prophecy.” His interpretation then applies to testimony in general, and how sharing a testimony can act as a kind of prophetic word so that what was shared in the testimony has the potential to happen for someone else too.

I would not debate the certain possibility that spiritually, this could indeed happen. As I said, I think the book and the man that wrote it is wonderful, but I have to say I don’t quite think that’s what this verse is getting at.

What could it be then? “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” What is the guy talking about? For a start, John has just tried to worship this kind of angelic being who is talking to him – whether he supposed it was Jesus or not, I don’t know. All we know is that the being then says he is actually a fellow servant with John and with those who hold the testimony of Jesus. So here the testimony is first mentioned in this context. Within the wider context of Revelation and indeed the New Testament the word seems to me to hold quite a strong courtroom connotation which is sometimes lost in modern usage (to ‘witness to Jesus’ these days is to tell your neighbour about Him over coffee, or something; not wrong, but just not the full idea contained in the Greek word or the New Testament usage thereof). The judicial usage suggests that these brethren have a truthful testimony which they can share in heaven’s court (and maybe doing so on earth makes it heard in heaven anyway) which leads to a verdict rendered in favour of the saints and against the accuser (see especially Revelation 12:10-11). This, I think, is a bit more of what it means when it speaks of the ‘testimony of Jesus’.

So why is this ‘testimony of Jesus’ the ‘spirit of prophecy’? What does this phrase now mean?

To me, at least in this verse, another word I can think of for spirit is ‘essence’. Not that it’s a suitable alternative to the Greek word, it merely helps lead us towards what I think this verse is saying. The Greek word itself is ‘pneuma’, which can simply mean ‘breath’ or ‘wind’ as well as ‘spirit’. So we could say that the life-force of prophecy, its very breath, is this: to testify, bear witness to, Jesus.

This I think begins to fit the context rather well – always a good sign when interpreting a verse. There’s been a lot of prophetic stuff going on! John’s been blown away with some of these incredible revelations. And so when at this point this fellow has been instructing him in writing down these true words of God and John thinks it appropriate to worship this being, he tells John not to do so but to worship God. And then in saying this phrase “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy,” I would think that the emphasis would have been heard on ‘testimony of Jesus’, in other words, what ultimately all this prophecy is leading to, is a revelation, understanding and knowledge of Jesus through witness to Him, because ultimately that is what true prophecy is about.

Because that is what true prophecy is about, is it not? I don’t have a lot of time for prophetic words that go nowhere near Jesus and don’t make me want to worship Him more. And in fact very often such prophetic words might often come from people who would rather you worship them. But the spirit of true prophecy, the essence of what it is to really prophesy, is to bear witness to Jesus. “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Or perhaps a helpful retranslation in summary would be: “For the spirit of prophecy is to bear witness to Jesus!”

I hope this makes sense. I just thought it might be worth sharing as a helpful lead into thinking about this verse!

15 thoughts on “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev 19:10)

    1. You mean you agree with something I wrote? *swoon* don’t worry, I potentially have something more controversial lined up for us to get our teeth into with Revelation 13:8 😉

  1. In the Spirit of Prophecy, I relate as revealed in the last book of the Bible, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, the sovereign Lord God, began establishing a new order consisting of fifteen New Things in Christ, on October 23, 2013, by releasing the First Horseman of The Apocalypse, Revelation 6:1-2, The Rider on the White Horse. The New Things of Christ are presented in the Dispensation Economics Manifest, which is based upon Ephesians 1:10, the biblical revelation that Jesus Christ is operating in dispensation, that is the household management plan of God to mature, complete and fulfill a paradigm of all things in every age.

    Corollary #1 from the Dispensation Economics Manifest, presents that on October 23, 2013, the Rider on the White Horse, enabled the bond vigilantes to call the Interest Rate on the US Ten Year Note, ^TNX, termed the “Means of Economic Destructionism,” higher from 2.48%, and thus PIVOTED the world out of the paradigm and age of liberalism to that of authoritarianism.

    Investment charts show the bond vigilantes in calling the Benchmark Interest Rate, ^TNX, higher from 2.48%, on October 23, 2013, produced an” extinction event”, that caused the death of fiat money: Aggregate Credit, AGG, Major World Currencies, DBV, and Emerging Market Currencies, CEW, traded lower in value.

    As a result “money good” investments in the Emerging Markets, EEM, such as Brazil, EWZ, EWZS, Indonesia, IDX, IDXJ, Thailand, THD, and the Philippines, EPHE, as is seen in their ongoing Yahoo Finance Chart, started to fail. Investors have increasingly become convinced that the monetary policies of the world central banks no longer stimulate global growth and trade, and ongoing strong levels of corporate profitability.

    As a result, liberalism’s dynamos of economic activity, creditism, corporatism and globalism, are winding down.

    Beginning in 2014, investors will take profits from five years of the swell in fiat wealth, and derisk out of debt trades, such as Blackstone, BX, and deleverage out of currency carry trades, such as the GBP/JPY, with the result that not only will fiat money continue to fail, but fiat wealth, consisting of World Stocks, VT, such as Prudential, PRU, Nation Investment, EFA, such as the UK, EWU, and global Financials Institutions, IXG, Lloyd Financial Group, LYG, will fail as well.
    Under authoritarianism, the singular dynamo of regionalism, authoritarianism’s fathers will power up policies of regional governance and schemes of totalitarian collectivism, to provide diktat money, such as statist public private partnerships overseeing commerce, trade and the factors of production, (think in terms of the Ukraine-Russia Deal where oligarchs and nannycrats rule), enforcing debt servitude, for debt serfs living in regional gulags of austerity.

      1. You need to comprehend Rev. 7-10 to see the whole Truth. It has to do with the Midnight Cry, well worshippers and what the Bride of Chist adorns her self with. Blessings

  2. i especially like: “So we could say that the life-force of prophecy, its very breath, is this: to testify, bear witness to, Jesus.”

  3. Yes. I think that comment regarding the spirit of prophecy is clear and true. Thank you for that.
    And now if anyone is interested, I would like more information on….. Why it states in Galatians 3:19, and Acts 7:53 that the law was administered by angels, but in Exodus 19 The Law was given by God Himself?

    1. Hey, I believe it says that the law was administered by angels in Exodus 19 because it actually was. Many many times in scripture angels manifest in the name of YHWH God To speak unto men. Here is an example. Exodus 3:2 it says, “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush” then it goes on to say in in Verse 4 “And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses.”
      Here we see it states that it was an angel in the Bush then just two verses after it states that it’s actually God! Was God in the small bush with the angel? Contradiction? Nope of course not. God the Father can send his angel to stand with his authority and power to deliver a message and to manifest to his people for a purpose. This angel carried the authority and power of I AM to the point that Moses was afraid to even look upon the Bush.

      Thus God typically sends his angels to stand in place for him to administer or speak directly to his servants ie Moses. If you go through the old testament you will see this reoccurring.

      Grace & Peace to You

  4. I can say with all certainty that I can NOT agree more with your last paragraph! You are very right to say that people have started giving prophesy to be worshiped themselves. It has become waaay to common in the modern church!!

    I would have to say that I don’t think Bill Johnson is wrong (most probably the person you are referencing in the start) about it being applicable to all testimony. I truely believe that if God did something once for one person He will repeat His goodness for the next person who reminds Him of the testimony…
    That being said it is as you said hard to interpret the particular passage as it requires a lot of context.
    I also immediately reached for my Greek bible and started reading there to maybe understand it better. But as I said. Well done on especially the last paragraph and the complete summary. I believe that someone will read this and be inspired to search for Jesus in a new and deeper way, because “the essence is to bear witness of Jesus Christ”

    Well done. Be blessed

  5. Pretty good word but I will say true prophecy will draw the attention of the person listening by revealing things to them that they know are true. And draw them closer to Jesus or convince them of sin to draw them closer or cause growth in there life toward Jesus. We want to always throw the baby out with the bath water. Yes there are many Just looking for praise themselves in prophecy. We also need to seek our own word from the Lord. However sometimes I think many are weak in faith so someone with gifting should minister to them if led of the spirit of God. There will always be the false as in miracles and prophecy etc. However saying Christ never speaks a word of prophecy that encourages. Is wrong to because then the leading into Canaan should of never happened. We need a sence of balance and a strong understanding that Jesus is the reason. I pray the Lord have his way.

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