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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 3


5. Confess His Name




It is promised to him who shares in "the victory," that he shall, not only "be clothed" with incorruption, and "his name" remain perpetually inscribed among the deathless; but that his name shall be honourably mentioned in the august presence of the Eternal Majesty of the Universe, and before His angelic hosts. This promise to the undefiled, whether in Sardis or elsewhere, at that time or in previous and after ages and generations, reads in the English Version, "I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." The word in the original is emphatic. It is not simply homologisomai, but the same word with the preposition ex prefixed "I will confess his name from out of" something. The import of this is, "I will connect myself with his name as one selected from among others, whom I reject, because their works have not been found perfected in the sight of the Deity." This is the renewal of the promise given by the Spirit through Jesus, and found in Matt. x. 32, and Luke xii. 8. In these places, he says, "whosoever shall confess in me before men, n HIM will I also confess before my Father who is in heaven;" and "whosoever shall confess in me before men, the Son of Man also will confess in him before the angels of the Deity." These, it will be seen, differ from the English Version, which makes no account of the preposition en, twice repeated in both of the original texts. In these it is en emoi and en au*, which I have rendered IN me and IN him according to the primary signification of the word. The Spirit in Jesus promises here to be also in all who are in him, on condition of their confessing him before men. This excludes the notion that the promise applies to men not in Christ who with their lips say, that they believe that Jesus is the Christ. Such a confession as this was made by the demonized; or men who, in the nomenclature of Luke, had each " spirit of an unclean demonion." Under the influence of this affection, they confessed that Jesus was the Christ, the Holy One, the Son of the Deity (Luke iv. 34, 41). But this confession availed them nothing; for, he rebuked them, and put them to silence. This, nevertheless, was confession before men; but it was a confession that did not proceed from men of the right class, the class defined in the text. The demonized were not n the Spirit, nor was the Holy Spirit in them. The spirit in them was the spirit of their flesh insanely excited. They were madmen "in the flesh," whose confession the Eternal Spirit would not accept.

And to descend from the first to the nineteenth century, we find society almost entirely constituted of the demonized. The Spirit testifies this in the saying that "all the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of the Great Harlot's prostitution" (Apoc. xvii. 2). The people and their spiritual guides are thoroughly imbued with "an unclean spirit," by which they are bewitched in all their parts and faculties. They are all, as Paul predicted they would be, in apostasy "from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits, even to the teachings of Daemonia, falsely speaking in hypocrisy: their own conscience having been cauterized; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats" (1Tim. iv. 3). Such are the DEMONIA defined by Paul. Society is full of them; for every occupant of a pulpit that does not preach the gospel of the kingdom which he proclaimed, is a deceiver teaching falsely, and therefore, as Paul styles him, "a deceiving spirit," or "Daimonion." When these, and the multitudes they call "their people," confess that "Jesus is Christ, the Son of God," it is the unsanctified confession of the demonized. They are not "in Christ," for they have neither "received" his doctrine, nor "heard," or obeyed it in the obedience it prescribes.

The promise of the Spirit, then, that He will confess in them in the Father's presence, and in that of his angels, is not to individuals clerically demonized. The promise is to those "IN" the Promiser. The testimony in Matthew and Luke was spoken primarily to the disciples in the presence of Jesus; and, secondarily, to all disciples in Christ in after times. In the discourse, he alluded to the persecution they would have to endure on his account. That it would be persecution unto death; which, however, they might escape, if they would deny him and the truth. But, being in him, he exhorted them to steadfastness; so that, if they should lose their soul or life for his sake, they should find it, in the Spirit's confession in them before the Father and his angels. Many in Christ apostatized, or "departed from the faith," when they were brought to the test of "confessing before men" in authority and power, at the risk of property, liberty and life. Like Demas, they forsook Christ, "having loved this present world;" and will, consequently, be denied hereafter.

It may not be amiss to remind the reader here, that to be in the Spirit who speaks to the undefiled in Sardis, is to have the faith which is "the substance of things hoped for, and the conviction of the things unseen;" and to have it so as to love it, that the faith may work in him by love, and purify his affections; and that being thus prepared, to be immersed into the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. When he has been the subject of this transforming operation, by which his moral nature and state have been changed, the words of the apostle, in Gal. iii. 26-29, are applicable to him : "Thou art a son of the Deity in Jesus Anointed through the faith; for as many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ: and if Christ's then Abraham's Seed, and heirs according to promise." Such an one is "in God the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Anointed," and therefore in the Spirit (2 Thess. 2. 1), and competent to confess in him before men.

Having shown this, it remains to define how the Spirit will himself confess such a confessor before the Father and the angels. "I will confess his name before my Father." This is the apocalyptic equivalent for "I will confess in him." In John xvii. 22, Jesus prays to the Father that all his brethren "may be one, even as we are one; I IN THEM, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect IN ONE." To be made perfect is to be raised from among the dead, and made incorruptible and deathless. Thus Jesus was "perfected the third day" (Luke xiii. 32; Heb. v. 9) and became the Author of aion-salvation to all who obey him. A saint made perfect in this sense is as much "spirit" as Jesus now is; for John, speaking of what the saints shall be when made perfect, says, "we shall be like him, and see him as he is" (1 John iii. 2). Then the prayer of the LOGOS, ascending from the mouth of Jesus to the THEOS from whom it emanated, will be answered -- that "I," the Logos, may be "in them," the saints. When he is thus in them, their names will STAND OUT CONFESSED exomologized before the Father of the glorified Jesus -- "the Spirit" -- and the angels. Hence, when this unity is established, whatever the Spirit confesses is confessed in them and in their midst; and he whom they have praised and honoured in word and deed, in the present state, will celebrate their excellency in the future.




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