Derek Prince - You Don't Want To Silence Jesus By Doing This
This is an excerpt from: Complete Salvation And How To Receive It - Part 2
Then we come to believe and confess. As I made my outline I didn't know whether to put confess before believe or believe before confess. In actual fact, in the New Testament really they're not separated. Let's look in this key passage in Romans 10 where Paul describes the conditions for New Testament salvation. Romans 10, and I want you to notice the order. He talked about two things, the mouth and the heart. He mentions them in each verse. The first two times he puts the mouth before the heart. The third time he puts the heart before the mouth. We don't think that way but in actual fact, in a way, you get faith from saying it. Some people say I don't believe it so I can't say it. I say you say it, and you'll discover you'll begin to believe it.
Now let me say about confession for a moment, it's a key word. It means literally 'to say the same as.' It's from a little Latin verb, confeiteor. And confession is saying the same as God has said in His word about you. It's making the words of your mouth agree with the word of God. And it's absolutely essential in the process of salvation. You cannot really experience salvation without right confession. Let's look at what Paul says, Romans 10:8-10: The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart Where is it first? In the mouth, that's right. that is, the word of faith, which we preach. That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus [or Jesus as Lord], and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. What do you do first? Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart.
See, that isn't the way we think but it's actually true to experience. And then the 10th verse, the third time he says: With the heart one believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. So, when you've done it twice with your mouth then you have it in your heart. And when you have it in your heart you say it with your mouth because Jesus said out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. But the way to get it into your heart is to accept it as the word of God and start to say it. The more you say it the more you'll believe it. The more you believe it the more you say it. But there's a kind of tradition, I think especially among churchgoers, that you don't talk about your faith.
I know, I grew up in Britain amongst people who were good churchgoers. And some of them undoubtedly were real saved Christians. But no one ever told me what it was to be saved. See? For people in those days, religion was something personal you didn't talk about. Well, that's not the way it is with the gospel. You talk about it. You believe, you confess. You confess, you believe. And you will discover when it comes to making the right confession there's a dark evil force that stands right in front of you and wants to keep your mouth shut. And you have to use your will to open your mouth and say the right thing.
I want to show you the position of Jesus as high priest in relationship to our confession. I want to take you through three passages of Hebrews. Hebrews 3:1: Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high priest of our confession, Christ Jesus. Jesus was the apostle sent out by God to provide redemption. Having provided redemption He returned to God to be our high priest in the presence of God. But He's the high priest of our confession. That is radical. No confession, no high priest. If you close your lips on earth, you silence the lips of your advocate in heaven. Bear that in mind, the high priest of our confession. The more you confess, the more you release His high priestly ministry on your behalf. Then in Hebrews 4:14 it says: Seeing then that we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God; let us hold fast our confession.
Notice every time it speaks about Him as a high priest it's related to our confession. Chapter 3, verse 1 says He's the high priest of our confession. Chapter 4:14 says let us hold fast our confession. What does that mean? Say it and keep on saying it. Don't back off. Don't get discouraged. And then in Hebrews 10:21 and 23, the writer returns to the same theme. Having a high priest over the house of God [verse 21:] Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promises is faithful. Now, notice the change there. It's not the confession of our faith, it's the confession of our hope because if you confess faith long enough it becomes hope. You understand? Faith is the substance of things hoped for. When you've built a substance on that comes hope. My definition of hope in the Bible is a confident expectation of good. But, it says, let us hold fast the profession or confession without wavering.
Notice first of all He's the high priest of our confession. Then we're to hold fast our confession. And then we're to hold it fast without wavering. Why do you think it says without wavering? What does that imply? Well, let me put it to you this way. If you're travelling in an airplane and the sign goes on 'fasten your seat belt,' what does that tell you? Expect turbulence. What does without wavering tell you? Expect opposition. Here is where the battle is fought out in maintaining your confession.
I want to illustrate this from a book that I read recently that impressed me deeply. It's called Fear No Evil. It's the story of a Jewish refusenik and how he was treated in the Soviet Union, how eventually he got out. His name was Natan Sharansky. It's a long book, it's a 600 page book. He was not a Christian but the KGB, that's the secret police of the Soviet Union, arrested him and put him through nine years of misery. He was in solitary confinement, for as much as 40 days on end. He was in a hunger fast in which they forcibly fed him day after day after day.
But as I read this story it spoke to me. I saw in the KGB the most vivid demonstration of Satan and his tactics. I mean, it was like Satan embodied. I saw in Natan Sharansky the way to win. He was a chess player, a very highly qualified chess player. He made up his mind that he was going to deal with the KGB like a chess opponent and he was always going to stay one move ahead of them.
The book is very interesting. As I say, he didn't have a real faith in a personal God but he had the kind of Jewish general picture of God somewhere, perhaps. Nearly all Jewish prayers begin with 'O Lord, our God, king of the universe.' And so, he was teaching himself Hebrew and he decided that he would write out a prayer in Hebrew that he would repeat whenever he needed it. He wrote out this prayer in Hebrew which was asking God to be with him, to protect his family, and to bring him safely to the land of Israel. It would take about one minute to repeat that prayer. And whenever he was under pressure, for instance, if he was on the way to be examined or questioned or interrogated, he would repeat the prayer maybe a couple of times between the cell and the room of interrogation. As I say, he was there nine years. My guess is he probably said that prayer an average of ten times a day, which is 3,650 times a year. Which in nine years becomes approximately 30,000 times. I want to ask you Christians how many of you would go on praying 30,000 times?
And the one aim of the KGB summed up on one phrase was to get him to make the wrong confession. If he would just say I was guilty, I'd been a traitor, they would have released him and let him go. But he refused to do that. And the battle raged for nine years around his confession. By making the right confession, and reiterating the right prayer, even as an unbeliever, and there were many people praying for him he won. He came out totally victorious. He's in Israel today in Jerusalem near where we live. But oh, how that has impressed me, the tactics of Satan. He'll use every kind of pressure, every kind of inducement. He'll use every kind of lie, whatever he can. He's got one aim. What is it? To get you to make the wrong confession. How can we defeat him? By maintaining the right confession. Oh, how vivid that is!