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True And False Martyrs

The present-day definition of "martyr" is usually that of "someone who suffers persecution or death for a cause or principle." The translated word "martyr" is also used that way, three times, in the King James Version.

"22:20 And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by [see also Was Paul Among Them?], and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him." (Acts 22:20 KJV)

"2:13 I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is [see Satan's Home Town]: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth." (Revelation 2:13 KJV)

"17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints [see also The Righteous Woman's Victory Over The Great Whore], and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration." (Revelation 17:6 KJV)

The Greek word, pronounced mar-toos, that is sometimes translated as "martyr," is found many more times (over thirty) in the Holy Scriptures however - where it is translated as "witness," according to the actual meaning of the Greek word. "Martyr" literally means witness. Very often, it was for their "witness" to the Truth that God's people were "martyred," meaning killed. Ironically however, the very same word was used, for example, for the liars who testified against the Christ so that they could kill Him - they were "martyrs of Jesus" in a Satanic way, as in false witnesses against Christ.

"26:65 Then the high priest [see also The High Priest's Deal With The Devil] rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? [mar-toos, "martyrs"] behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy." (Matthew 26:65 KJV)

"Ye are witnesses of these things"

The principle of a true "witness" was established long before the New Testament era. The Greek word mar-toos ("martyr") was used by Jesus Christ (see also Translation Of Translations) "that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established," which was a reference to "19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established" (Deuteronomy 19:15 KJV).

The Holy Scriptures

"18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church [see What Is The Church?]: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican." (Matthew 18:15-17 KJV)

The apostles were witnesses of the coming of the Messiah, in fulfillment of all that was prophesied about Him.

"24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me [see The By-The-Book Messiah].

24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures [see also Their Eyes Opened After Christ's Tomb Did], 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 24:48 And ye are witnesses of these things." (Luke 24:44-48 KJV)

The last instruction that The Christ gave to His people before His ascension was "ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."

"1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight." (Acts 1:8-9 KJV)

Just as false "martyrs" (witnesses) testified against the Son of God, so too they testified against His people, including when they "set up false witnesses" against Stephen, who is referred to as a "martyr" in the verse quote above ("when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed"). In both cases, the actual word is the same, mar-toos.

"6:8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. 6:9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. 6:10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

6:11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.

6:12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council [see The Origin Of The Essenes, Sadducees And Pharisees], 6:13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law" (Acts 6:8-13 KJV)

The final "witness" of the true Gospel of The Kingdom of God will be made, as stated by Christ, by "my two witnesses" - the "my" being an important distinction because there will also be, at that time, just as there have already been for centuries (as we've read from the Scriptures already quoted), many false witnesses who are not of Christ.

"11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 11:5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 11:6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 11:10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

11:11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 11:12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

11:13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven." (Revelation 11:3-13 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is it that causes the false "witnesses" to exist?
See The Spirit of Antichrist

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