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To "confess" is today usually understood to mean "admission of guilt," however the literal meaning of confess is to acknowledge, or to proclaim something, whether good or bad. The usage of the term "confess" in the Bible involves both; admission of being a sinner, to God (since only God can forgive those who have sinned against Him - confessing sins to another human who claims to have the power of forgiveness of sins is worse than useless, it's blasphemy), and acknowledging one's faith and obedience to God, one of the plainly-stated "works" of being a Believer: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16 KJV, see also Works Means Obedience).


Holy Bible The Messiah will confess, that is, acknowledge, to God those who acknowledge and obey Him as the Son of God.

"Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 10:32-33 KJV)

Christ does the same before the angels, because angels will be given the job of sorting the good from the bad:

"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 KJV)

"And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet [see also The Feast Of Trumpets], and they shall gather [see also Spiritual and Physical Gatherings] together His Elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Matthew 24:31 KJV)

"The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13:41-42 KJV)

In the book of Revelation (see also What Does "Apocalypse" Really Mean?), the Messiah repeated these together:

"He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels." (Revelation 3:5 KJV)

Many people knew that Jesus of Nazareth (see also Nazarene) was the Messiah, but failed to confess, to publicly acknowledge Him, out of fear of man (in that early time, it was almost always a matter of believing Jews opposed by non-believing Jews - nearly all of the first Christians were Jews, as was the Messiah Himself):

"His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue." (John 9:20-22 KJV)

"Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God." (John 12:42-43 KJV)

When Paul (see Paul's Ministry) was arrested for preaching the Gospel, he confessed being a Christian without fear of any man. Tell it like it is, and let the chips fall where they may:

"Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men." (John 24:13-16 KJV)

Being a Christian (in God's way, not ways of our own choosing - see I Did It My Way...) is the only way to salvation, but being a Christian also means acknowledging being a Christian:

"The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed." (Romans 10:8-11 KJV)

Come the Judgment Day (see When Will You Be Judged?), everyone will confess, or acknowledge, Christ. For some, it will be too late:

"for we shall all stand before the Judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Romans 14:10-12 KJV)

"And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world ... Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire" (Matthew 25:32-34,41 KJV)

Those who deny (to God, not to another sinner who doesn't even have the power to save himself, let alone others who come to him for "forgiveness") being a sinner will not be forgiven:

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the Truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us." (1 John 1:8-10 KJV)

Fact Finder: Is failure to confess that "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh" antichrist"?
2 John 1:7

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