Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God . And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven. And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.(Luke 12:8-12)
The spiritual battle we are currently engaged in is confessional in nature. The words of Jesus in the above quoted scripture underscore this. It is part of a larger teaching which is a preparation of his disciples for the spiritual conflict they have enlisted into.
First of all He gives them(us) a warning about the dangers of hypocrisy-pretending to be something you are not, or pretending not to be something which in fact you are,
…Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.(Luke 12:1-3)
Pretense will not stand up in the real battle. Hypocrisy is shortsighted, sooner or later pretense falls apart and the true nature of everything and everybody is revealed openly!
The best policy for the disciple of Jesus is a commitment to sincerity, get real. Allow yourself to be seen and known for who you are in truth, before God and men. It is called “Walking in the light…” by the apostle John. No more pretending…
Secondly, Jesus calls us to face the issue of our fears, and to answer the primal question, which fear will master us, the fear of God or of man?
And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.( Luke 12:4-7)
The one who fears man has already lost the spiritual battle and cannot prevail in the ongoing conflict. But all man can do is hurt the body. God is the one who has power over body and soul and eternity itself. Jesus urges us, fear God.
This sounds rather grisly until you read the next verse. It is alright to fear God, for God is good. A sparrow cannot fall out of a tree in the filed without God lovingly noticing it. Man made in the image of God is worth much more than many sparrows. God loves and cares for us, nothing escapes his notice and he even cares about such details as the hairs on your head.
Remember that this issue of fear has not only to do with phobia, or craven terror. Fear, in the biblical sense has to do with regard. Figure out once and for who you are going to live to please, whose approval you seek, God’s or man’s? Do you live before an audience of one? Is there in you a secret life, lived before “the Father who sees in secret”?
Finally Jesus mentions ‘confession’. The battle is confessional in nature, it has to do with confession or denial of truth. Or it has to do with succumbing to ungodly pressure to confess to lies, or “The LIE” warned about in 2 Thess 2.
Notice He speaks of confession(not profession), anyone can profess Christianity, but the stronger word ‘confession’ implies that to do so is to expose your soul to some level of difficulty.
The church is the witness to the truth, but is set in the time and place of the LIE.The Spirit of Christ would have us to publicly identify with the TRUTH. What Truth? tThe answer is, whatever truth is currently being attacked and denied by the Spirit of AntiCHrist.
For example the Judeo/ Christian teaching on marriage is currently being denied by the world spirit. This is the time for the Christian church to champion the God given teaching on marriage between man and woman for life. To dialogue with Homosexuals or to apologize for the Church’s treatment of them is nothing less than a denial of Christ.
So also the Islamic assault. It is up to the Christians to insist on the exclusivity of the Christian faith. Jesus said, “I am the way the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the Father but by me…”. The truth about Islam needs to be told by the church, and never something like Chrislam, an idolatrous syncretism between Islam and Christianity. Anything less is a denial of Christ himself, and a loss in the spiritual warfare.
What issues are at stake? This goes as far as blasphemy of the Holy Spirit,according to this text.
Not only does the Spirit of AntiChrist want to shut us up from the proclamation of the truth entrusted to us, it literally wants to create an environment in which we are forced to confess to something which we know isn’t true.To comply with thought pressure is to lose something of your soul, as this excellent quote by Theodore Dalrymple indicates;
“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”
― Theodore Dalrymple
Christian people are currently being “called up”, as Jesus warned us we would. Perhaps not necessarily before Magistrates yet, but before Human Resources at work, or in front of relatives or radicalized friends or even enemies. This is what it means to “confess Jesus”, to identify not only with his name but the entirety of his teaching and work, especially at that point where the world is contesting those truths.