Vol. 19, No. 17 – May 3, 2020
1. Concerning hypocrisy, Luke 12:1-12.
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The third mandate of Chapter 12 is:
c. Confess the Son of Man openly, boldly, and freely, vs. 8-10. Vs. 8-9, are paralleled in Mat 10:32-33.
As I prepare this message for our Sunday service, it is with a heavy heart because this past Wednesday, April 22, 2020, my father passed and was brought home by our Lord to eternal glory. Because of the current epidemic of the Corona Virus in our nation and throughout the world, we are unable to have a wake, funeral, or memorial service, which is a part of the normal grieving process. But, as you know, we are not the only ones experiencing the loss of a loved one, as many thousands of families in our nation and around the world are losing loved ones every day. In fact, we lost my cousin Nicole just a couple of weeks ago, Joe Jackson from our church lost his grandfather, who was also a wonderful godly man, and many others have and will experienced the same. So, it is a difficult time in many ways including the loss of loved ones.
Nevertheless, even though we grieve and mourn the loss of our loved ones, we also rejoice! We rejoice in the fact and knowledge that our loved ones, who have believed in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, are now at home, face to face with our Lord, in eternal glory. This is the promise that our great God has given to all who believe, John 3:16, 36; 6:40; 11:25.
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
John 3:36, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
John 6:40, “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
John 11:25, “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies’.”
These promises are what led Paul to state in 1 Cor 13:12; 2 Cor 5:8; Phil 1:21-24, regarding His eternal future.
1 Cor 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.”
2 Cor 5:8, “We are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.”
Phil 1:21-24, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. 23But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; 24yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.”
As I sat to prepare for this service, I was at a loss as to what to teach upon, especially in the light of not being able to have a memorial service for my father. So, I prayed, and then went back to the lessons we have been studying in the Gospel of Luke and was reminded by the Holy Spirit of the next message in our progression through this gospel, Luke 12:8-10. As usual, it was the perfect message and once again I was at awe of our great God. Since we have not had services this past week, I did not teach on the next topic as planned. Yet, our heavenly Father has known from eternity past that that would be the case and knew that it would be there for our service this morning. You see, in these three verses, we have the message of believing in Jesus Christ for salvation and praising Him during our lives here on earth, with the added blessing of being glorified in heaven when we arrive there upon our death. It also has the warning for those who do not believe in Jesus as their Savior.
Luke 12:8, “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God.”
In this passage, we see the blessing we receive because of our faithfulness towards Jesus Christ. This faithfulness in Christ is stated in the phrase, “confess Me before men,” which uses the Verb HOMOLOGEO in the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive. It means, “to agree, confess, profess, admit, acknowledge, promise, or praise.” It comes from LEGO and HOMOS that literally means, “to say the same thing.” The same thing we are saying in this case, is what God has said, “believe in My Son for salvation,” as noted in the verses above.
The Aorist tense, views the entirety of the action of the believer professing and praising Jesus. The Active voice is for the individual believer to perform the action of acknowledging Jesus as his Savior. The Subjunctive mood is for the potential; the potential that some will do this and others will not.
Many take this passage as meaning we have to publicly acknowledge Jesus as our Savior in order to be saved. But that is taking it to the extreme, as this word is also used in 1 John 1:9, for the naming of our sins to God, and does not mean naming our sins in a public forum. Although, there is nothing wrong with publicly acknowledging Jesus as your Savior, which I recommend all believers should do, we also know that it is not a stipulation for salvation, because it would be an addition to faith for salvation, and easily could become a “work” for salvation, as some apply it.
So, what does this mean, “confess Me before men?” This speaks of our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in that we are bold and confident to tell others that He is our Lord and Savior. We cannot lose the context of what came prior in vs. 4-5, where our Lord encouraged us to not fear man and instead stand boldly in our faith in God, trusting in Him.
In the NT “confession” carries the sense of “promise or agree.” It is also used in Heb 13:15, in the sense of praise. Therefore, it means we agree with what God has told us and we glorify Him in our faith. It means we identify ourselves with our Lord; who and what He is. In Rom 10:9, it tells of confessing Jesus as Lord; John 9:22, of confessing Jesus as the Messiah; 1 John 4:2 of confessing that Jesus has come in the flesh; and 1 John 4:15, that Jesus is the Son of God. Each of these is not a stipulation for salvation, but the understanding of who Jesus is once we have believed in Him for salvation. It is the praising of Jesus for who He is. Therefore, to “confess Jesus,” means to praise Him after your salvation, as part of our testimony or witness of Christ before men, as it is meant to be an avenue of praise.
Now, speaking about my earthly father, this is something that he did throughout his life. As you may know, He was instrumental in starting our church and was the treasurer for many years. Prior to that, he was a member of the Board, a Deacon, and Treasurer at Grace Bible Church in Somerset, MA, under Pastor McLaughlin’s ministry. In both ministries, he was a very gracious giver of his time, talent, and treasure. He supported the dissemination of the Word of God unlike any other man I have known in my life. He absolutely confessed the name of Jesus before men, either directly or from behind the scenes, with his words or by his actions.
Then we have, “The Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God.” This speaks of the reciprocity of our (the believer’s) relationship with Jesus Christ.
It tells us that for those who stand up boldly to praise and proclaim the Lord, the Lord will stand up boldly and proclaim, (the Future, Active, Indicative of HOMOLOGEO), them “before the angels of God,” (ANGELOS HO THEOS). In other words, those who confess Jesus before men shall find themselves being confessed by Christ before the angels of God.
In Matthew’s account, Mat 10:32-33, the confession is “before God the Father who is in heaven.” In Luke’s account, it is “before the angels of God.”
The expression “angels of God” is meant to speak of all who are in heaven where heaven is seen as a “public forum” where truth is manifest, and the truth manifested in this confession, is the praise of the faithful believer in Jesus Christ, by our Lord before the angels and before God the Father Himself, cf. Rev 3:5.
Rev 3:5, “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
As we see, obedience to this command is not a means of salvation, it is an indication of salvation. As such, this is not a passage for salvation, because someone is saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. People cannot earn entrance into heaven by volunteering for martyrdom or by shouting the name of Christ in open crowds. Yet, this is a passage that speaks to the rewards and blessings the faithful believer will receive in the eternal state; he will have the honor of being presented to the heavenly hosts as a faithful believer. It is another form of the honor of having Jesus say, “well done my good and faithful servant,” Mat 25:21, 23; Luke 19:17, cf. John 12:26.
John 12:26, “If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”
Now, the timing of this great blessing is not stated. It is only stated as a matter of fact to occur in eternity, using the Future, Active, Indicative of HOMOLOGEO. This could happen upon the day of one’s death when he or she is escorted / carried to the eternal abode by the angels, Luke 16:22, or at the BEMA seat of Jesus Christ, Rom 14:10b; 1 Cor 3:10-15; 2 Cor 5:10, or at some other future time or event.
If it occurs following the time of one’s escorting to heaven, I can only imagine that our Lord has already announced the name of my father, David Rickard, to the heavenly citizens as a good and faithful servant.
And, I hope and pray that one day the same will happen for each and every one of you!!
Luke 12:9, “But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.”
This is the other side of the coin; those who deny Jesus Christ during their life post-salvation. “Deny” is the Verb ARNEOMAI, ἀρνέομαι in the Aorist, Middle, Participle, Nominative that means, “deny, renounce, disown, or refuse” and “denied” is its cognate, APARNEOMAI, ἀπαρνέομαι in the Future, Passive, Indicative that intensifies the meaning but is virtually synonymous, “deny, disown, repudiate, or utterly reject.”
To deny means, “to say something is not true, to refuse a request, to disavow someone, and to not allow yourself something.” The latter definition is not in the context here, but we will note its use in the NT below. Yet, the others definitions are applicable to our context in this verse.
1. To deny Jesus means you tell others that you do not believe in Him or His Word, or something about Him or His Word. Teaching false and man-made doctrines are denying of the truth of God’s Word because you have added to God’s Word or misrepresented it. Therefore, it is a denial of Jesus Himself.
2. To deny Jesus means you deny His request for you to live the unique spiritual life of the Church Age. It is a denial in your discipleship of Jesus, where instead, you live inside of sin and Satan’s cosmic system. This is living the reversionistic or backsliding lifestyle.
3. To disavow Jesus means you deny any knowledge of, responsibility for, or association with Him. This is a rejection of Him as your Savior after you once believed in Him. Many teach you can lose your salvation when you disavow Jesus after you have once believed in Him, but that is a false teaching and false doctrine, because once you are saved, you are saved forever. You cannot lose your salvation, Cf. John 10:28-30. Salvation is a gift of God based on faith alone in Christ alone, Eph 2:8-9.
These “denials” are given in antithesis to the HOMOLOGEO, the praise of Jesus, from vs. 8. John the Baptist is one who did not deny his faith in Jesus in John 1:20, “And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, ‘I am not the Christ’.”
Yet some, through their conduct and evil acts, demonstrate that for all practical purposes they have renounced God and Christ, therefore denying Him, Titus 1:16; 1 John 2:22.
Titus 1:16, “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.”
1 John 2:22, “Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.”
And yes, believers can be called “antichrists,” because of their reversionism.
Throughout the NT, we see these two words used for someone who denies Jesus Christ, Mat 10:33; Mark 14:31; Luke 12:9; John 13:38; Acts 3:13; 2 Tim 2:12.
Acts 3:13, “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him.”
In each instance, to deny Jesus means to reject or to denounce association with Him. This renunciation is therefore actually a denial of discipleship, either prior to salvation or post salvation.
Just as we noted the multi-faceted confession / praise of Jesus post-salvation in the word HOMOLOGEO, we see the multi-faceted denial of who Jesus Christ is in the NT. To “deny Jesus Christ” can involve denial of His person, 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 2:22f.; His name, Rev 3:8; the Faith, Rev 2:13; cf. 1 Tim 5:8; and the power of Christianity, 2 Tim 3:5. As such, to “not confess / praise Jesus” is tantamount to “denying Him.”
Then we have, regarding those who deny Jesus, that they “will be denied before the angels of God,” by Jesus. Cf. Mat 10:33; Luke 9:26; 2 Tim 2:12.
Luke 9:26, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
2 Tim 2:12b, “If we deny Him, He also will deny us.”
Given the context of this passage in vs.4-7, (having fear for / faithfulness in God rather than men), in vs. 11-12, we see this application toward us when we are held to the fire by men about our faith in Jesus. At those times in our lives, the question is, “will you continue to fear God and be faithful to Him and His Son by praising them, or will you cower in fear of men and deny Jesus, as Peter did after our Lord’s arrest?” Cf. Mat 26:34-35, 75; Mark 14:30-31, 72; Luke 22:34, 61; John 13:38.
So, what are the denials in this passage? The first denial, which we have explained above, is the believer’s denial of discipleship regarding Jesus Christ. It is the loser believer who does not actively and consistently live for and follow Jesus Christ. They do not praise Him before men, and instead live for self, inside of Satan’s Cosmic System.
The second denial is Jesus’ reciprocation to the loser believer, in that He will deny them “before the angels of God,” ENOPION HO ANGELOS HO THEOS.
Matthew reads, keeping consistent with his context in Mat 10:33, “before my Father who is in heaven,” EMPROSTHEN HO PATER MOUN HO EN HOURANOS.
In other words, they will not be praised before God the Father and angels by Jesus in the eternal state. As such, the loser believer who denies Jesus in time, is going to miss out on this special blessing and honor in the eternal state, along with many other blessings and rewards they could have otherwise received, 1 Cor 3:15; 2 Tim 2:11-13.
1 Cor 3:15, “If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” They will not lose their salvation, but they will lose out on added blessings and rewards in the eternal state.
In the context of our passage, this believer will not have the honor of being announced by Jesus to God the Father or the angles as a good and faithful servant who has done their job well. They will be denied that honor along with the denial of many other escrow rewards and blessings that they could have gained in eternity at the BEMA Seat of Jesus Christ. Instead, this loser believer will have shame at the Second Coming of our Lord, Mark 8:38; 1 John 2:28.
1 John 2:28, “Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming.”
Mark 8:38, “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Now, the opposite of denying Christ is to deny self, which means deny or reject the temptations that come from your Old Sin Nature. As such, we must deny self and take up our cross daily, which may even include martyrdom, Mat 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23.
Luke 9:23, “And He was saying to them all, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me’.”
In 2 Tim 2:11-13, Paul gives a wonderful discourse to exhort us to be faithful and praise our Lord rather than be unfaithful and deny Him.
Vs. 11, “It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him.” This death is identification with the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins. If we believe He did that for us, we “died with Him,” and are saved and, “will live with Him,” forever.
Vs. 12a, “If we endure, we will also reign with Him.” This passage is speaking of our post–salvation life of enduring, (HUPOMENO, “endure, be patient, suffer, stand your ground, abide, wait, etc.”), for Christ. This is part of our “confessing / praising,” (HOMOLOGEOing), Jesus throughout our lives. It is our mental attitude and actions of standing firm in Christ without wavering. If we do that, we will receive blessings in the eternal state like being announced by Jesus before God and the angels, being told “well done my good and faithful servant,” and as stated here “reigning with Him.” This is included in the rewards noted in Rev 2-3, and 1 Cor 3:14, “If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.” This is the reality for the winner (NIKAO – overcomer) believer.
Vs. 12b, “If we deny Him, He also will deny us.” This is not the denial of entrance into heaven, as the context in the next passage tells us, but the denial of blessings and rewards in the eternal state that we otherwise could have had, as noted above. This is the reality for the loser believer.
We see a similar context used in 1 Tim 5:8, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Here, we can deny the faith and be a rotten person, but we still are classified as a believer. As such, we cannot lose our salvation, as stated in the next verse, but we can lose out on blessings and rewards in the eternal state.
Vs. 13, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” This passage tells us that if we are without faith after our salvation, God cannot reject us and remove our salvation, because we have already been entered into the body of Jesus Christ and made a part of the Royal Family of God. We have already been made one with Christ and “He cannot deny (ARNEOMAI) Himself.” He cannot throw Himself out of heaven. Therefore, because we are one with Christ, even if we do not confess / praise Him after our salvation, He cannot take away our salvation and reject us from entering heaven. Cf. Rom 6:23; 12:5; 16:7; 1 Cor 1:2; 2 Cor 5:17; Col 1:28; 1 Thes 4:16; 1 Peter 5:10.
Rom 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Rom 12:5, “So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
Rom 16:7, “Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.”
1 Cor 1:2, “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.”
2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
Col 1:28, “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.”
1 Peter 5:10, “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”
1 Thes 4:16, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#20-044, 20-045, 20-046
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.
So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!