A Living Word From Revelation 19
One day I was sitting in my office reading the book of Revelation, when I felt something unmistakable—the feeling I get when the words seem to jump off the page and I know I am hearing a present word from the Lord. I thought, Wow! That is so powerful! I have no idea what it means, but it's powerful! (As usual, my spirit was getting it much faster than my mind.)
The verse I had read was Revelation 19:10,
"And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, 'See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.'"
It was particularly this last sentence—the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy—that had just exploded in my heart, and I knew it had powerful implications extending far beyond the context of John's encounter.
A Story That Prophesies
For the next few moments I meditated on this phrase, asking the Holy Spirit to help me understand what He meant. A few hours later, the answer walked right through my office door. One of the men in the church, whom I'll call Jim, stopped by to share a testimony of how God had powerfully restored his marriage. After he finished the story he said, "Bill, you have my permission to tell this testimony to anyone you know who needs to hear it."
This statement suddenly connected the dots for me. Testimony and prophecy had always been important elements of the Christian life, but in this moment I realized that this man was telling me that I could use his testimony to prophesy over people. (Prophecy either foretells the future or causes a change in the present. A testimony then becomes catalytic in its ability to bring about a change of atmosphere in the present, making room for a supernatural release.)
Two Ways To Unlock the Prophetic Power of Your Testimony
Jim had instinctively made two assumptions: first, that if God had done this great thing for him, He would surely do it for others; and second, that declaring the testimony was the vehicle by which this promise would be transmitted to others in need.
The first assumption is clearly supported in the Scriptures, which state that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever and that God is no respecter of persons (see Heb. 13:8; Acts 10:34). And the second assumption, I recognized in that moment, was a practical application of the truth that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Testimonies prophesy God's intent and nature to all who will hear.
That experience happened over 25 years ago. Since then I have intentionally shared testimonies when I minister and have closely observed the results, which have been consistently stunning.
Bill Johnson is the senior pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California. A fifth-generation pastor with a rich heritage in the power of the Spirit, he is the best-selling author of several books including Releasing the Spirit of Prophecy (previously released as Release the Power of Jesus)—from which this article is adapted—and When Heaven Invades Earth. Bill and his wife, Beni, serve a growing number of churches through an apostolic network that has crossed denominational lines, partnering for revival.
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