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 12:11-12)
Notice that Jesus says “When they bring you before…” not “…If …they bring you before…”. Sooner or later every last one of us Christians on some level will be called upon to make the good confession. The setting is never a favorable one, it will range from either mildly hostile to absolutely death dealing hatred, but we are being and will be called upon to make our confession.
We don’t have to rehearse our confession, the Holy Spirit will give us what to say when we are called up before various human tribunals. It will just come out of us naturally, this good confession of truth, in the day of our own trial.
This blessed promise of the Holy Spirit’ s help , presupposes that we are in a vigorous spiritual war, and that all of us are participants, wittingly or unwittingly. The issues range from the very fear of man all the way to the danger of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit!
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.(Luke 12:10)
The Spirit will help us, whether we be brought to account in the synagogue, or before a secular judge or in the presence of hostile friends and relatives, or perhaps at Human Resource offices at work. We will know what to say and have the power to say it boldly.
The further assumption of this promise of the LORD Jesus, is that the nature of the battle in the spiritual realm is in large part confessional. The Holy Spirit will empower us to confess, to affirm the truth of God in the face even of hostility. God wants a witness people who will stand up and bear witness to the truth in the DAY of The LIE.
This is why we, the church, remain in this world which is so hostile to Christ.
“You shall receive power when the Holy Ghost comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses from Jerusalem, Judea, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth”. (Acts 1:8)
It so happens, that we now live in this day that the LIE of Satan is now the prevailing wisdom, embraced by virtually the entire earth. “The Whole world lies in the wicked one”.
Spiritual warfare is affirming the truth in the day of the lie.
But the promise above, about what to expect when called upon before hostile witnesses, to speak the truth, also presupposes that the teaching easing up to it is incorporated into your life. In this brief passage, Jesus is teaching us the preparation for the spiritual warfare.
In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. (Luke 12:1)
First of all some issues have to be settled in your own heart.
Jesus would have us beware of the influence , inside of us, of hypocrisy.
What does Hypocrisy mean? To practice hypocrisy, one has to pretend to be what one is not, or to pretend not to be what one is. The Spiritual warfare we are already engaged in demands that we have done with pretense in every form.
I am not trying to be anything anymore! I am not trying to be a “cool Christian” or a “Relevant Christian” or to be seen as a “loving and nonjudgmental Christian” in comparison with the rest of the church. Away with all pretense, it is time to make a new commitment to get real.
The only one who is ready for the Holy Spirit to give him the power to make the “Good confession” without rehearsal, is the one who has already broken off with hypocrisy. He is the one who needs not “rehearse” anything in that hour.
After all, Jesus teaches us, Hypocrisy is shortsighted, because sooner or later everything is going to be seen for what it truly is!
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 12:2-3)
Next, Jesus would have us decide once and for all, Who it is that we truly fear…
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.( Luke 12:4-5)
The real Spiritual warfare demands that we figure out who we are going to ultimately fear. Remember that ‘fear’ in this sense is not limited to dread, angst or fright…fear also refers to ‘regard’. Which audience do you play to? Who do you fear most, God or man? What can man do to you, beyond death?
The one who settles this issue of fear, doesn’t need at all to rehearse what he is going to say when he is called up to make the good confession, He knows who it is that he answers to, fears and regards.
He says God has power to cast body and soul into hell, whereas all man can do is kill your body. This sounds gruesome, but Jesus goes on to assure us that it is alright to fear God, for He is good, Righteous, kind and attentive to us…
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 12:6-7)
We can only ultimately fear one master…we cannot have dual fear.
Finally, We have to really know what it means to confess Jesus before men…for the spiritual warfare is confessional.
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. (Luke 12:8-9)
What does it mean to confess Christ before men? What does it mean to deny Christ?
A very basic and intuitive understanding of this scripture would say that if a Christian is captured by Atheists or other agents of AntiChris, and demanded, “Deny Christ or die!”, to confess Christ would be to admit you are Christian, even if it cost you your life. We would all hope that in that moment we would confess Christ, and “Love not our lives even to death”, as countless martyrs through the centuries.
This is true and a valid understanding of this verse, but not a complete understanding of it.
Confessing Christ is not limited to merely admitting to be a Christian. To confess Christ is to identify with all that Christ stands for, represents, and has taught.
It is confession and not Profession. Confessing Christ presupposes that to do so would be to expose the soul and possibly the body, to difficulty and opposition.In our setting here in the west, it is not enough merely to say “I am a Christian”, there is little or no danger in that because the word “Christian” has undergone radical broadening, to the point that it means little or nothing.
Remember that we live in the day of the lie, and any of us will be called upon to confess to the truth in various settings.Confessing Christ means to confess the Truth of Christ.
Truth, even the Truth of Christ and the gospel is vast, we must ask ourselves, Which Truth?
The answer is , Whichever truth the Spirit of AntiChrist is currently contesting, distorting and outright denying.
In the 1500’s in the days of Luther, it was the truth of Justification by faith which was being denied, and the warfare was carried forward by the reformers who re-emphasized this wonderful doctrine, even in the face of persecution by the organized church and its power to burn heretics at the stake.
What Truths are being contested now? Which teachings of the LORD and his Christ are being opposed and distorted, to the destruction and damnation of the human race? That is where the spiritual battle rages, and where the great confession is called for.
To confess Christ in these days is to bear witness to issues such as the Christian teaching on marriage, sex, gender, the roles of man and woman, the repudiation of homosexuality, and other perversions in the face of the rapidly changing Worldly consensus. This is the spiritual airfare.
If the LORD would have a people who would confess Christ, in the day of the Lie, what is the other side of the war?
Satan would pressure people, especially Christians, to be forced to not only shut our mouths about the teaching of Christ, rather he would have us to be pressured and even forced to confess to that which we know in our hearts , isn’t true at all!
Remember the Christian baker, the Christian Bed and Breakfast, and the lovely woman in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage documents to Sodomites? These are the spiritual warfares, these are the ones who refused to deny Christ.