1. The pure testimony put forth in the Spirit,
Cuts like a sharp two edged sword,
There’s no compromising, no secret devising,
For all is made plain by the Word.
The pure testimony discovers the dross,
While men break from bondage and take up the cross,
And Babylon trembles for fear of her loss.
2. Then blow ye the trumpet in pure testimony,
And let the saints hear it again;
O come ye from Egypt, from Babylon also,
And make your way over the plain.
Come, wash all your robes in the blood of the Lamb,
And walk in the Spirit, as Jesus has done,
In faith and obedience you will overcome.
3. There’s no persecution for lukewarm believers,
Their spirit is Babylon’s own;
The pure testimony cries out separation,
Which calls us to lay our lives down;
Come out from false spirits and practices too;
The track of the Saviour keep full in your view,
The pure testimony will cut its way through.
4. The battle is coming between the two kingdoms,
The armies are gathering round;
The pure testimony and human tradition
Will come to close battle ere long;
Then gird on your armor you saints of the Lord,
And He will direct you by His living word,
The pure testimony will cut like a sword.
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This is a spiritual war song. The final battle it refers to is the culmination in the long-standing struggle between good and evil.
As always, God fights with the weapons of His Word, which like a sharp two-edged sword, divides truth from error and exposes the hidden works of darkness.
That would mark the end of the struggle, except for the fact that evil does not like to admit that it is evil, and so it retaliates against the clear truth with lies, flatteries, accusations, misrepresentations, slander, spying, stubborn resistance, and finally persecution.
The exercise of persecuting power was first manifested on earth with the slaying of righteous Abel by his brother Cain. Cain’s pride prevented him from admitting that his works were not acceptable to God, because he was not bringing the correct offering. Instead, he blamed his younger brother, whose good works were a constant rebuke to him, and finally rose up to kill the brother, in order to silence this witness. But this did not solve his problem, for the pride and stubbornness still remained in him.
The desire to hurt or persecute others is always a sign to us that we have a self-righteous, and unrepentant spirit. This is the very spirit of Satan. It is contrary to the spirit of Love, which is the law of the kingdom of God.
54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, will you that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, You know not what manner of spirit you are of.
56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
In God’s kingdom, rebellion is never put down by the use of force or persecution. Truth and love are the weapons that will prevail. Firm adherence to the right, refusal to cooperate with evil, and speaking the truth in love, to unmask the darkness and error which enslaves people: these are the methods. This is the way that Jesus overcame Satan on this earth, and the way He bids us overcome:
21 To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
There is no better way. God never resorts to force and compulsion. He does not persecute. Truth and love are the prevailing powers. They are not just one way, but the best way, and the only way.
The early church never persecuted others, but instead suffered much persecution:
1 And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.
It is the spirit of the dragon (Satan) that initiates such persecution:
17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
It is the kingdom of Satan that comes speaking soft and smooth words, and when these fail, then the sheep’s clothing is put away and the wolf comes out. This is the way of false and apostate Christianity, and shows what her real spirit is and who her real master is. Babylon the Great is drunk with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus:
5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
It is her pet doctrine of “eternal hell” that represents the Father as torturing men and women forever in burning flames. This teaching reveals their persecuting spirit. They make a god after their own image.
But the true sheep of God’s flock are called to stand their ground and bear their witness, even unto death if need be. By remaining faithful amidst the storm, they show that there is a power and faith in them which cannot be overcome by outward losses and troubles.
Their testimony is that the power of Love is stronger than fear, hatred, or death. They witness that God’s principles and ways are more precious to them than life itself. Such an offering is of great value in God’s sight.