A Powerful Testimony of Forgiveness
November 19, 2017
This is the continuation of a series of Podcasts started in Episode #568.
A testimony is more than just a personal story; it is a testament of Christ Himself. And that is what gives Martha’s testimony of forgiveness power.
(John) What you’ve done is you’ve said, “Let me show you, let me show you some examples of what it is to forgive, what it looks like, how you experience that.”
(Carole) I identify with those experiences. I go, “Ohhhh…” I mean they pierce, those experiences pierce me, because I go, “Yes. Yes, I know that, I know that in me. I feel that, and I have felt that way. I’ve done that. That’s who I am.” It isn’t just… It isn’t higher than me. It’s something I identify. The scripture that just came to me—”When you believed, God identified Himself with you by giving you the Holy Spirit, who He promised long ago.” I identify with those experiences. They pierce me, because I am – it is who I am.
(Martha) Well, I never intended to say this, but the Lord required me to share my life openly, nakedly. And it was costly for me, because I was telling my daughter the other day, I was reared to be private. My mother taught me deliberately to live a private life. And so, it’s kind of… And some of the things that I share are open to perhaps ridicule or whatever. And that’s all right. I share two visions that I have that are quite unusual.
(Jennifer) There will always be things that someone can find to grab onto if they’re not actually interested in the face of Jesus in somebody else’s life. And that’s really what I’ll say it is. This book (Altogether Forgiven) is not just the revelation that you’ve received from the Spirit. It is your testimony of Jesus Christ walking out the wisdom of the revelation in your life. And it is vulnerable, and it is raw sometimes. And, you know, most of the people who I find that say, “Well, you know, I just… I can’t go along with that. I’m sorry.” They’re people who have no interest in going below the surface anyway, and they have no interest in having Jesus as Lord. They love talking about being saved, and they love talking about all the different churches out there and all the different movements out there. And they’re real fascinated with all the shiny little bobbles that are hanging in the window. But they have no desire to go further. And that’s their choice, and it’s perfectly fine. And in this book, I’m not sure how, but, you know, you will have as much or as little of Him as you like. But your testimony is as powerful as I’ve ever seen it. And even if you’ve been with you for years there are brand new things in there that you will not have heard you talk about before. And for that, and for that I bless you and I thank you eternally. This is the kind of book that frankly I would have really enjoyed getting from Andrew Murray. I think about that. He didn’t start writing his books until he was eighty years old. He had to have had an amazingly fascinating life and met God in all sorts of circumstances. But you get very little of it in his books of his personal testimony. And that’s fine, you know. God may not have called him to that. But for me, you know, I know why the testimony is one of the things that’s named in Revelation. “And they overcame by the word of their testimony and the blood of the Lamb and that they loved not their life unto death” (paraphrased). I know why the word of their testimony is one in there; the testimony to “Christ in me, the hope of Glory.” It’s incredibly powerful, because it says I’m not just telling you a scripture. I’m not just telling you a story. I’m not just laying out a theory or a doctrine or a principle that you’re going to live by. I am talking to you about what happened in my life. I am giving testimony of the truth of my life with Jesus Christ and what He’s doing in it and where He is. And we know. We respond to the truth of the testimony. It has great power. And the Spirit in us ignites it and says, “See there? Have hope, have courage. You’re still on your journey. I’m here.” When the enemy comes and says that “They’re much better, they were holier, they were blah, blah, blah, blah.” Now you can say, “They’re like me! They’re a human being, and they lived their life one day at a time, and so can I. Shut up, Satan!” That’s what the word of someone’s testimony can do. It gives you fuel to tell the enemy, “No! I will not listen to you.” So…
(John) So, she, the book (Altogether Forgiven) is not a testimony book, you know. It’s sprinkled in it, but it’s exactly what you said when you said, “I’ve been an expert in bitterness. Now I want to be an expert in forgiveness.” And there’s no way you couldn’t have told about that experience. You had… because it’s so integral to your life and your own experience, it had to reflect it. It had to have it in there. You couldn’t just give the scriptures. You couldn’t just give the teaching. You couldn’t just give the scriptural background. You couldn’t just… It wouldn’t have been enough. It just wouldn’t have been enough. You had to have sprinkled it all throughout with living example of it. And again, the reason I say that is because we’re so divorced of actual forgiveness in this world. We push it off, we pass it off. We slough it off, but we don’t forgive. And so, that’s why it’s so amazing. And that’s why it was so powerful that you’ve laid it out like you did.
(Carole) But this book will only be received by those who want the cross, because the cross is the crossroads in the book. The forgiveness is free, and you make it very, very clear that everything is altogether forgiven. But there is a cross. And through your experiences you show the progression if that’s the word; or the process, maybe not the progression. The process of man, woman going from bitterness, where we all are. We all are in the gall of bitterness, and there is a process to come out of that. And it is so beautifully laid out from that place of bitterness and that place of our own prisons. We’re in prison, all of us are in prison. And this book shows the way out of our man-made prison. But it’s through the cross.
(Jennifer) I have one more comment, and it’s along what you’re saying, Carole, and it’s along with what John said. There are so many things in this book that I was like, “How is that connected to forgiveness?” And when I saw it, it’s funny, because it’s one of those things where it’s like puzzle pieces sliding into place. You know, like oh, yeah, of course, you know? And then you can’t unsee it, you know? But one of those things – and I’m to say it, because it’s how to love your enemy. We’re called to love our enemies. And I don’t know why, but in all the years when I’ve pondered that particular calling, I mean, I knew that forgiveness had to play a role somewhere, but until I read this book (chuckles) I just didn’t realize the centrality of forgiveness to loving your enemy. I know that sounds super dumb. (chuckles) Maybe there was a part of me that really didn’t want to look at it, the centrality. Maybe that’s more accurate. Maybe I was still in that whole, “Is vengeance Yours, Lord? Is it though? Don’t You need some help? Really?? I’m really good at biting ankles when no one’s looking…” you know. But that is a great example. There is a chapter in there, “How to Love Your Enemy.” And when I got to the end of it, I was both laughing and crying, because it was so simple, and it was so straightforward. And it was so anointed. But it was also, you know, it was very clear to me that there was some things about this particular…. that I hadn’t been interested in really knowing about. You know what I mean? Like I really hadn’t gone out of my way to dig too into that particular scripture. That’s the truth. That’s the absolute… I’m not going to be ashamed of it, because I’m sure that it’s going to happen again with other things. I’ll be like, “Oh, I really haven’t been looking too hard at that one either.” It’s just my life, but after reading it now, it’s just I can’t unsee it. You know what I mean? And it’s kind of one of these things where what would my life look like if I moved through it and every day, not just people I loved, who had hurt me in some way, because we always hurt the ones we love, because they’re close in and they’re open to it. You know what I mean? It’s gonna happen. What if my enemies had a completely clean slate? Like what would that be? What would my world look like if I walked through it and the people in it, I had no beef with? I had no resentment for? I had no, you know, grrrrrrrr when I saw them? What if it was just completely clean between me and them? What would the very air be like? I don’t know. And that’s the kind of thing that this book kind of opened up was this whole new world of possibilities of… This is just not what we’re called to do. It’s the world we’re called to live, to walk through. It doesn’t matter if every inch of space around us is broken and corrupted and filthy. We’re moving through a whole different reality. You know what I mean? And we’re churning that reality out and sending it out in waves across the broken. And I’m not just called to obey something. I’m called to live in this amazing, fantastical, otherworldly way, you know? I don’t know. That chapter just, it just blew my mind. And I don’t know if everybody else out there is probably like, “Duh, Jennifer,” (laughs) but for me it was not a “Duh.” It was kind of like, “Ohhh, man!” And that’s just one chapter out of 412 pages of awesomeness! (all laughing) That’s all I got.
A Powerful Testimony of Forgiveness – Episode #572 – Shulamite Podcast
A testimony is more than a personal story; it is a testament of Christ Himself. And that is what gives Martha’s testimony of forgiveness power. Altogether Forgiven is Spirit-filled revelation rooted in Scripture and illumined by a personal testimony of Christ.