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Can I Get A Witness?!

Updated on January 29, 2010

What IS Witnessing?

After the resurrection of Jesus, He appeared to His disciples just before He ascended into the heavens, telling them to wait in Jerusalem for the promise to come, which was the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:8 Jesus told them, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." Well, that promise was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, at which time the Apostles' message was so anointed, 3000 Jews accepted their Messiah that day!

Ever since, believers continue this great commission of witnessing to the world until He comes again. But, what exactly IS witnessing? Did you know there are several meanings for the word all throughout the Bible? I’d like to share with you the various aspects of being a witness for Christ.


The first witnesses were of course, the Apostles. They literally saw Jesus, witnessed His works, His miracles and His teachings. They witnessed the crucifixion and His resurrection. In Acts 1:8 the Greek word for witness is martus (mar’-toos): of uncert. Affin.; a witness (lit. [judicially] or fig. [gen.]); by anal. A “martyr”:-martyr, record, witness.

The Apostles were told to take the gospel message to the Jews first. In Jewish Law, truth is confirmed by the mouths of two witnesses (John 8:17). This is most likely why the Apostles traveled in pairs. Here is an example of Peter’s witness to the Jews:

Acts 10:39-41 “We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.”

Years later, God called Saul, a Jewish Pharisee of the Tribe of Benjamin, as an Apostle to witness first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles. He’d never met Jesus nor witnessed the events of His crucifixion or resurrection. Jesus appeared to Saul as he was heading to Damascus and told him in Acts 26:16, “Get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you.” Just like today, Paul had to rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit to be an effective witness for our Lord.

Another awesome aspect of this type of witness is Paul’s consistent claim that “God is my witness!”

Rom 1:9 “For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you.”

And, not only is God our Witness, but everyone that knows us. Paul’s disciple, Timothy received letters from him that included passages as follows:

1 Tim 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

And lastly, this type of witness can apply to martyrdom as shown in the prophetic book of Revelation:

Rev 11:3 “And I will grant authority to My two witnesses [martyrs], and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."

Now, let’s observe the other Greek words for “witness”, which often translate “testify” or “testimony”:


amarturos (am-ar’-too-ros): from I (as a neg. particle) ; unattested:-without witness

Acts 14:16-17 “In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness."


diamarturomai (dee-am-ar-too'-rom-ahee): to attest or protest earnestly, or (by impl) hortatively:-charge, testify (unto), witness

This type of witnessing is not pleasant. It denotes the giving of solemn news or having to warn people. Can you imagine how the Apostles felt when witnessing to the Jews? How hard would it be to tell them THEY crucified their Messiah or to warn them about judgment to come? Surely, the Apostles were knocking on death’s door every time they opened their mouths.

Solemn Testimony

Acts 18:5 “But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.”

Acts 10:42 “And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead.”


1 Th 4:3-6 “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.”


katamartureio (kat-am-ar-too-reh’-o): to testify against:-witness against

Mat 26:62 “The high priest stood up and said to Him, "Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?"

Mat 27:13 “Then Pilate said to Him, ‘Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?’"


martureo (mar-too-reh’-o): to be a witness, i.e. testify (lit. or fig.):-charge, give [evidence], bear record, have (obtain, of) good (honest) report, be well reported of, testify, give (have) testimony, (be, bear, give, obtain) witness

This type of witnessing is that of speaking the truth; being honest. Consider the Apostles and Christ Himself bore true testimony, which was NOT received by the Jewish people:

John 3:11 “Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony.”

John 3:32 “What He [Jesus] has seen and heard, of that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony.”

While no one receiving our testimony can seem quite discouraging, how did Jesus’ truthful testimony affect the Samaritan woman at the well?

Joh 4:39 “From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me all the things that I have done.’"

While the Samaritans believed unto salvation, Jesus also knew and spoke the truth about Judas in John 13:21 “When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me." That was the solemn truth.

Even Paul testified to King Agrippa as he faced trial that the Jews could witness as to his credibility:

Acts 26:4-5 “So then, all Jews know my manner of life from my youth up, which from the beginning was spent among my own nation and at Jerusalem; since they have known about me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our religion.”

And look at John’s third epistle to the saints, just before he was exiled to the island of Patmos:

3 John 3-6 “For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers; and they have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God.”


marturia (mar-too-ree’-ah): evidence given (judicially or gen.):-record, report, testimony, witness

This type of witnessing points primarily to the persecution of the saints when judged by the world, and the promise of overcoming such persecution, even unto death.

Persecution – Motive of death

Mar 14:55 “Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus to put Him to death

The Apostle John was exiled to the island of Patmos because of his testimony, where he wrote the book of Revelation and states in 1:9, “I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”

John goes on to write about the persecution of the saints in the book of Revelation:

Rev 11:7 “When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.”

Rev 12:17 “So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”

On the other hand, John also wrote about the overcoming of the saints in the book of Revelation:

Rev 12:11 “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.”

Rev 20:4 “Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”


marturion (mar-too’-ree-on): something evidential, i.e. (gen.) evidence given or (spec.) the Decalogue (in the sacred Tabernacle):-to be testified, testimony, witness

This type of witness seems to point to signs of confirmation or evidence, signs of conduct in believers, as well as accountability of those to whom the signs are manifested.

Physical Signs

When Jesus healed a blind man, He told him in Mat 8:4 “See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."

Spiritual Signs

1 Cor 1:6-8 “even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Signs of Conduct

2 Cor 1:12 “For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.”

Testimony Leading to Accountability

Mar 6:11 “Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them."


pseudomarture (psyoo-dom-ar’-toor): a spurious teacher, i.e. propagator of erroneous Christian doctrine:-false teacher

1 Cor 15:13-15 “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified [martureo] against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.”


pseudomartureeo (psyoo-dom-ar-too-reh’-o): untrue testifier, offer falsehood in evidence:-be a false witness

Mat 19:18 “Then he said to Him, 'Which ones?' And Jesus said, 'You shall not commit murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness'

Mar 14:56-57 “For many were giving false testimony against Him, but their testimony [marturia] was not consistent. Some stood up and began to give false testimony against Him.”


pseudomarturia (psyoo-dom-ar-too-ree’-ah): untrue testimony:-false witness

Mat 15:19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.”

Mat 26:59 “Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death.”


summartureo (soom-mar-too-reh’-o): to testify jointly, i.e. corroborate by (concurrent) evidence:-testify unto, (also) bear witness (with)

This type of witness is that of the Spirit of God with the spirit of man:

Rom 2:15 “they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them”

Rom 8:16 “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God”

Rom 9:1 “I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit


sunepimartureeo (soon-ep-ee-mar-too-reh’-o): to testify further jointly, i.e. unite in adding evidence:-also bear witness

Speaking of signs, did you know this is for the purpose of God witnessing WITH us?

Heb 2:4 “God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.”

Can I Get A Witness?!

I hope this study has been enlightening to you. We can now see that witnessing includes the following:

  1. We are to continue the testimony of the Apostles.
  2. We are to testify as to what the Holy Spirit reveals to us.
  3. When we walk according to the Spirit, we have confidence that God is our Witness!
  4. Our brethren are witness to our confession of faith and conduct.
  5. Witnessing sometimes includes martyrdom.
  6. God bears witness of Himself.
  7. We must not be afraid to tell the truth (solemnly) and give warnings.
  8. There will be those who testify against us because of our witness for Christ.
  9. We must speak the truth and rejoice in the truth.
  10. Witnessing for Christ will bring persecution, even unto death; yet we will be raised to live and reign with Christ!
  11. Signs and wonders follow them that believe. These include physical, spiritual and behavioral signs, also leading to accountability.
  12. There are those who teach falsely, give false testimony and bear false witness against others. These are the antitheses of true witnesses.
  13. The Holy Spirit uses our conscience to bear witness with us, either accusing or defending us. He also bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God!
  14. God testifies with us through His Spiritual gifts, signs and wonders.

May God bless you as you continue the Great Commission as found in Mark 16:15-19:

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." AMEN!!


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    • Judah's Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Judah's Daughter 

      9 years ago from Roseville, CA

      Oh, Sister Royal! I think YOU would teach this subject much better than I ~~ please, please use this hub as your notes, if it will bring glory to our Lord!! My gift is writing ~ I used to do public speaking, but I kind of freeze up on the I feel like Moses who stuttered...just shy!! lol Please go ahead and preach this Word, sister! It is God's Word, and I just did the inductive study. What better way to show the unity of the body of Christ than to work together to bless others!! I love you so much ~~ be greatly blessed!! You are a blessing to me :-)

    • profile image

      Royal Diadem 

      9 years ago

      I would like to have you teach this topic on my internet radio station. Here is my email and I am on skype. This is so good!

    • Judah's Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Judah's Daughter 

      9 years ago from Roseville, CA

      Thank you itakins! I love you in His love and may we continue to be effective witnesses for our Lord until He comes! AMEN!!

    • itakins profile image


      9 years ago from Irl

      Great hub-I love it.I will refer to it,I know.

    • Judah's Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Judah's Daughter 

      9 years ago from Roseville, CA

      Awe, thank you, sweet sister. I enjoy being a witness to your witness!! ~~ Praise God! You are blessing. I am so thankful for this outlet to witness to the world for Jesus Christ, our Savior. He is coming soon ~ we'd best be about our Father's business, amen?! AMEN!! Love you!

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      9 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you Judah's Daughter for avery infromative and enlightening hub on CanI get a witness. I am a witness for Jesus Christ 48 years,I really enjoyed your hub and Faye's Daily Words post a hub on Witness yesterday, we seem to be on the same page. thank you so much for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59

    • Judah's Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Judah's Daughter 

      9 years ago from Roseville, CA

      YES, YOU ARE A WITNESS FOR OUR LORD, SISTER DEBORRAH!!! I praise God He has His witnesses all over HubPages, salting the web unto His GLORY!!! Hallelujiah!!! You are a blessing to all who read and will "hear" as God draws them to His LIGHT through you!!! Thank you for your uplifting comment!

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      9 years ago

      Judah's Daughter, Beautiful! Spirit filled enligtening and informative! Many great lessons to digest here! Our lives are a witness for the LORD! How we go through the Joys & sorrows, Accomplishments & losses, trials & tests of life demonstrates our FAITH in HIM! Know that there is always more to come.... Hallelujah anyhow! To GOD be the GLORY!

      This was well presented! Praise God! Sister I am REJOICING!

      There is nothing like the WORD of GOD to reassure us of our purpose in life! Thank you for sharing this WONDERFUL "message"!

      To answer your question? Yes, YES & YES!!! I AM A WITNESS for the LORD! In His Love, Peace & Blessings! WONDERFUL!

    • Judah's Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Judah's Daughter 

      9 years ago from Roseville, CA

      Thanks, brother Artin2010! I think I remember hearing that song, but I remember preachers hollaring this, "Can I get a witness?!" AMEN!! It always fired me up!! lol No wonder the Holy Spirit manifested Himself in tongues of FIRE!! Hallelujiah!!

    • Artin2010 profile image

      Art Wartenbe 

      9 years ago from Northwestern Florida, Gulfcoast

      Beautiful and informing. When I was a teenager, I used to go around singing the words to a song Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad wrote. " Can I get a witness, Can I get a witness" lol ! I think then I did not know what the true meaning was, but now, wow looking back.Everything to Jesus Christ, our redeemer, our salvation! Amen Awesome hub!

    • Judah's Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Judah's Daughter 

      9 years ago from Roseville, CA

      Thank you, drpastorcarlotta!!! The Scriptures are our first witness, especially the prophets, for they are inspired by God and are profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16-17). In ministering to Jews, they are invaluable in showing them how Jesus Christ fulfilled all the 400 prophecies written of Him. They are also necessary when confronting false teachers and false prophets, amen!!! To the unlearned, it is not profitable to quote scriptures to them, except as necessary, and simply so they can understand. These are won by our witness in testimony (our story) and conduct (which can witness even without a word). God uses everyone in the body of Christ as a witness, if His Spirit be in us! AMEN!!! Love you, sister!

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles 

      9 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      YOU HAVE A WITNESS SIS!!!!!!!! AMEN! I love what DiamondRN said: "I have found that people respond much more positively to the Gospel message when someone shares with them what God has done for them in their own lives; much more than if they can spout scriptures "ad nauseum."

      This is so true. I have given my testimony to so many people, organizations, conferences, etc. Now my clients and it seems so effective. They feel very comfortable with me and it opens up the door to minister to them. Thank you God! This hub is GREAT!!!! Thank you sis!

    • Judah's Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Judah's Daughter 

      9 years ago from Roseville, CA

      Hi Sister Smireles! Each person is called to witness as God wills. Some are quiet witnesses; others are bold in testifying to the truth of God's Word and His judgment to come. Some are called to serve in churches (the five-fold ministry); some are called to the missionary field; some witness quietly through supernatural love (as in loving our enemies) and integrity; some are authors and teachers. Some will be martyred for sharing the gospel with those who hate God and kill them because of their testimony. We are all His hands and feet, eyes and ears, legs and mouths in the body of Christ ~ all unto His glory! AMEN!

    • Smireles profile image

      Sandra Mireles 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Your detailed study is enlightening, informative, and encouraging. I believe we need to understand the word but live a life before others who will see our good works and glorify God! Blessings! Keep on hubbing!

    • Judah's Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Judah's Daughter 

      9 years ago from Roseville, CA

      Hi Sister Tammy! Isn't it enlightening to know we can witness without a word? Look at the passage regarding a rebellious spouse: 1 Peter 3:1 "In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives." Of course, there's no guarantee people will get saved, but our witness is such that God bears witness with us, in that we are conducting ourselves to please Him and perform His purpose. Be blessed!!

    • Judah's Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Judah's Daughter 

      9 years ago from Roseville, CA

      Pastor DTW! Praise God! I am always so blessed when you come by and confirm what is written. This world is saturated with false witnesses, but we know that when the Truth is witnessed through us it will NOT turn back void. We are the sowers of the Seed of the gospel, and it is God Who brings the increase...just like the two loaves and fishes. We do what He's called us to do and know we have the victory, even over death! Our hearts are to reflect His heart, and His ministry will continue through those who are willing to take up His cross and follow Him! AMEN! Love you so much!!

    • Judah's Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Judah's Daughter 

      9 years ago from Roseville, CA

      DiamondRN, truly the Word of God is living, not just written and is not just for head knowledge. Satan knows the Scriptures and quotes them out of context continually. When we live in the Word and the Word is in us, we are His disciples (John 8:31). Many have the "form of godliness, but deny the power thereof", in that they are not filled with the Holy Spirit. The Day of Pentecost was the first sign of what we need to be effective witnesses for Christ. He must be fully in us to use us. Without His power, we will fall flat on our faces, for the flesh is weak. As I said to Brother Bob, we cannot even bear the fruit of the Spirit, let alone see the gifts manifested if we don't have the baptism of the Spirit. He loves through us in a supernatural way!! He draws all those who sense His presence in us unto salvation, which is our purpose while we're here!! Be blessed!

    • Judah's Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Judah's Daughter 

      9 years ago from Roseville, CA

      Brother Quill, AMEN! Many pastors or teachers do not want to be in the "hot seat" preaching the truth. The gospel gets watered down to love and fuzzies ~ and of course, the blessings we will receive by tithing, which has become known as the "prosperity gospel". God holds these accountable in the end, and may be using His staff and rod daily upon them to repent. Likewise, brethren need to be accountable to each other in the area of sinning against one another, and that I cover in my hub "God's Word on Conflict". Obedience to rightful witnessing in every aspect is better than sacrifice, amen!

    • Judah's Daughter profile imageAUTHOR

      Judah's Daughter 

      9 years ago from Roseville, CA

      Brother Bob, AMEN ~ we are here for a purpose, just as Jesus was. When we have His Spirit living in us, He will continue the work He began, which is to draw all men unto Himself. People are saved by His grace through faith, and faith comes by hearing the Word of God. We are vessels of His Word, abiding in it, living it and sharing it verbally. We cannot bear the fruit of the Spirit, nor the gifts of the Spirit if we do not have the Holy Spirit in us. His Spirit in us empowers our testimony, our witness to bear His fruit, bringing countless souls into the kingdom of God! Be blessed!!

    • Tammy Bruner profile image

      Tammy Bruner 

      9 years ago

      Every person shall hear of the Lord our God!!

      I agree with Quill that it is not so much what you say, its how you are. Are you loving, forgiving, humble, considerate? When people see these qualities they want to know how you can be peaceful in times of storms, forgiving in times of trials. Perfect opportunity to introduce them to Jesus!!

      Thanks for you words of wisdom!!

    • Destined To Win profile image

      Destined To Win 

      9 years ago

      Wow! Judah's Daughter, great hub filled with thorough and irrefutable definitions of a "witness." Love your 14 descriptions of what "witnessing" includes. There is no greater joy than to be a "witness" of Jesus Christ and His message of help, hope and healing for all. I always enjoy reading what you have to say! Blessings, my friend.

    • DiamondRN profile image

      Bob Diamond RPh 

      9 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

      I have found that people respond much more positively to the Gospel message when someone shares with them what God has done for them in their own lives; much more than if they can spout scriptures "ad nauseum."

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hugs as always and a Hub filled with wisdom and just a wealth of information...Thank you.

      Being a witness is to live a life which can be looked upon as having something the world seeks, to be different for the non believer.

      I hate to sound judgemental but far to often people are talking the talk but failing to walk the walk.

      Yes we all slip and yes we are sinners and all but when you hear what is coming from some pulpits you cannot help but wonder if is creating that sense well a little cheating here, well we can allow a little of that to go on etc. What I see is people have forgotten how to hold each other accountable and it is reflected in the actions of some.

      It all comes down to that heartfelt way we come to know from Jesus and the Word of how we are to witness.

      Great Hub and well worth the read...


    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 

      9 years ago from Rochester, New York

      witnessing I believe is the reason we are not taken as soon as we receive Christ as Savior. But the Spirit calls all men to Himself and we are to go explain the pull on them that God makes and reason with them to make the wise decision to choose Christ and live instead of their father the devil and go where their daddy goes. He does give us joy and peace and other stuff but it is for the purpose of edifying us to boldly go and witness for His name. May you have all joy and peace as you boldly proclaim (prophecy)in his name. May I be the brother you need to always stand by you. Always. I love you. Bob.


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