In the early 1960s we were told about the books of Kenyon by a New Zealander. This was just after we went into the ministry for the Assemblies of God in Goomeri, sent by Pastor Garnet Budge of Gympie on the advice of his Solicitor cousin, later Pastor of Ipswich Assembly of God, Derrick Herschell. I bought them all and diligently read each one. Fortunately what I did was to underline the verses of Scripture in the books and commit them to memory. Thus my heart was filled with the Word of God and only partially influenced by my reading of those writings. I even did Kenyon’s correspondence course from Seattle, Washington.
The information that came to us was that all the important preachers in the U.S.A. had “come up” on those books, viz. Oral Roberts, T.L.Osborne and his wife with others. Of course, in later years, Kenneth Hagin grabbed Kenyon’s message, even saying he had received it from God. His writings were almost word for word what one could read in Kenyon’s books. He had plagiarised them. Then, of course, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland as I heard them relate, spent months listening to Hagin’s tapes. They became the chief proponents of Kenyon’s version of the gospel and the Bible, after Kenneth Hagin. The influence has reached millions who believe what they say. Even the Assemblies of God in Australia, as well as Christian Outreach Centres knowingly or unknowingly, have embraced and preached much of the preachings of the abovementioned.
I must admit that my appreciation, memorization and even saying out loud of the verses I chose was a blessing. However, at the same time, I must say that early in my marriage, I decided to read the Bible more consistently, despite the heavy demands of home and children, together with church activity. In one month, the mere reading of the Bible, without memorization or confession made a change in my life. It has to be said that many of the sins most fall into were not traps for me because all my life I had heard the Word of God, been instructed in it, heard sermons, went to Sunday School and from age eight had read the Bible. Nevertheless, a deepening in my experience came with assiduous reading of the Word of God.
The emphasis on “confession” in our Australian churches is astounding, when one takes into account the fact that nowhere in the New Testament, or indeed in the Old Testament, are we exhorted to make such “confessions” of the Word of God. Their aim generally is to receive answers in the form of the material, human, natural and everyday living.
In 1970 we went to Indonesia to live. This was done on faith as we were not sent out as such by any denomination and had no promise of any support. All the time we were there, we did not ask for any finance. We had a very small Service Pension and that was all. Yet all that time, God provided for us even as He had promised. We did not even pray for any material things, for money, for food, for a home to live in – nothing. We just knew the Lord would provide and He did in wonderful ways. When we returned home around 1975, we commenced with Clark Taylor, it was amazing to me that there was such an emphasis on confession to obtain one’s needs and even anything a person might desire or dream about. We had made no confessions and yet had had wonderful provision from the Lord. Someone from Western Australia handed in $5,000 to his Pastor for us. We needed that amount to rent a house in Malang for three years. All those years there we always had food, clothing, transport and places to stay when ministering. Indonesian Pastors and people were generous to us, according to their abilities. Sometimes some church or people from New Zealand or Australia would send us food and finance. On returning home we were enabled to place a down payment on a home and be given finance when in the natural, neither was possible. We were too old for any bank but fortunately, the Real Estate Agent had parents in our situation and because of his experience with them he told us how to obtain finance, which we did.
I believe the message on “confession” is contrary to the Word of God. Moreover, it originated with a man, Kenyon, who did his “Bible School” in a Christian Science Seminary. The influence from Christian Science, a demonic cult, is paramount in his books, particularly in that his beliefs as recorded are not truly based on the Word of God. Consider “Two Kinds of Righteousness” as he has written it and one has to say it is impossible for there to be two kinds, as the Word of God discloses. Then, “Two Kinds of Confession”, one from the spirit and the other from the intellect. That kind of thinking is far distant from what we read in the Word of God. Then his book on the premise that Jesus died spiritually, spent three days in hell and then came out of there is greatly erroneous, as we look at the Word of God. Jesus is God. How could He die spiritually? Regarding hell, nowhere in the Bible does it state He descended into hell, even though the Creed of the seventh century, recited in Anglican churches declares it. He descend to the “lower parts of the earth”. Hell is not in the middle of the earth as a fire! Hell has no connection with this material earth. The above have spawned the evil doctrine that Jesus was so made sin that He committed sin, even having Roman soldiers use Him for homosexual acts. He was even the first man to be born again, they say! How can this be said of our peerless, sinless, holy, perfect Saviour, Jesus Christ, Who was offered as a sweet smelling savour to God? What blasphemy! We could go on further but that is sufficient for our purposes.
There are two times in the New Testament where “confess” is used in relation to us and our sins, James 5:16, “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” and 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”, as spoken to believers.
The other verses using “confess” are in relation to confessing the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, as hereunder:-
Matthew 10:32 and Luke 12:8, “Whosoever therefore shall confess (acknowledge NIV) Me before men”.
John 9:22, “if any man did confess that he was Christ”.
John 12:42, “because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him”.
Acts 24:14, “This I confess unto thee, so worship I the God of my fathers”.
Romans 14:11, “Every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”
Philippians 2:11 “Every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.
1 Timothy 6:12, “Lay hold on eternal life to which you were called and have professed a good profession before many witnesses”.
1 John 4:5, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God”.
2 John 1:7, “Who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh”.
All the above verses concern salvation in Jesus Christ. Not one is about confessing to receive an answer to prayer, or to obtain prosperity and healing. The two latter are not even mentioned.
Many use Romans 10:9 as a basis for confessing to claim things from God. Generally, this verse is used in leading a sinner to Christ. It also is about salvation in Jesus Christ. We quote Romans 10:8-11,
“8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach: 9that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved, 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”
All of these verses concern salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ. Not one concerns answers to prayer, the obtaining of prosperity or healing.
However, many preachers who teach “confession” quote verse 10 as one of the bases, “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”. They have misused the Word of God and put into it a meaning that was never there.
The other verse they use for the teaching of “confession” and used in the wrong sense, is Hebrews 3:1, “Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession (confession), Christ Jesus.”
This passage is at the beginning of a chapter about Christ being a “Son over His own house”, verses 2-6 “whose house are we”, He being the Son, the Builder of that house, a Son over His own house. This is wondrously compared to the house of Moses, of whom it is only said, “Moses was faithful in all his house”. We profess or confess if you like, this Christ in such a manner, being far greater than Moses and the Law, is the source of our salvation. We are in His house. Again, it has nothing to do with confessing to receive anything from God in the way of answers to prayer, healing, finance, or anything at all.
Another verse that actually does not concern our subject is that of Acts 23:8, “The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess both”.
The book of Hebrews mentions or shows about a dozen times and more that the First Testament has been removed because it was not good enough and that we are not under it but are under the Second or New Testament, which is better than the Old. That being the case, we cannot even use Joshua 1:8 as a basis for “confessing”. It reads, “The book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth but thou shalt meditate therein day and night that thou mayest observe to do everything to all that is written therein; for then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success”. This is another verse that is used.
We can look at verses that come not under the Law but under grace and that are found in the New Testament are such as –
Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom: teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Jesus Christ).”
Colossians 2:10, “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him”.
Colossians 3:1. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God, 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Ephesians 4:21-24, “and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness”.
Galatians 5:16,25 “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh, 17For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; 18But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Ephesians 5:18-20 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled (not drunk) with the Spirit 19Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Here is something regarding speech.
In the Old Testament, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” but in the New Testament, it is rather as in Ephesians 1:17 “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead”. Also in the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 1:30, “Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom”.
Ephesians 1:3,4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.”
We are under the New Covenant that is far better. All these things have been accomplished and prepared for us in Christ. It is for us to believe and to enter into them.
It must be acknowledged that if we hide God’s Word in our hearts, if we read these things over and over, meditate on them, even memorise them as we can, pray them as we can and even say them out aloud they will become so real that we live them. Doing even some of these things will enrich and change our lives and ministries.
We have the promises of God for answers to prayer, such as :-
John 16:23-24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.
Matthew 6:30, “Will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things will be added to you”. “These things” are your life, food and drink and we are to “Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you”, Matthew 7:7. The things we are to do are asking, seeking and knocking.
Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus”.
2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work”.
1 John 3:21, “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God, 22And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight, 23And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment”.
1 John 5:14-15, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us. 15, And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him”.
Mark 11:24, “Therefore I say unto you, Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours”.
2 Corinthians 1:19-22, “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us in Christ and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee”.
From these latter verses, we find that if we want any of the promises of God, we must turn to Christ. In Him it is always a Yes. Then if we believe this, and surely we do, what are we to say to receive? A continuous confession of them? No. We say “Amen to God”.
In this way we are established in Christ, meaning we stand firm in Him, we do not waver, we do not fear, we do not doubt, we are always full of confidence and hope. He has anointed us and we have His Spirit in our hearts. We belong to Him. We are in Christ. The ultimate and purpose of the promises of God according to these verses are to establish us in Christ. Therefore we do not need to worry that maybe we are not following His will, doing what is right, not knowing what to do., where to go or how to live. Those natural and spiritual things automatically follow on from our having these verses of the Word living within us so that we do them.
Then we can consider 2 Corinthians 7:1, “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” What promises are the concern of Paul? To know that we look at the preceding chapters.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort”. That is the first one. We are under His mercies, praise the Lord. Do we need comfort, He is the God of all comfort, and has more than enough of it to let it fill our hearts.
Then of course, as we mentioned above, verses 19-22 apply to us.
In the whole of 2 Corinthians 3, we find promises. They are not the promises under the Law. They are the promises under the Gospel of the New Covenant. As Paul says in verse 11, “if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory”. The Old Covenant has been done away. It was not permanent. It was for a time. We are under the New Covenant that is permanent, having started with God in heaven and having its finale in this age continued in eternity forever.
Paul says we have this hope of permanent glory, having started at the time we were born again.
Chapter 3, verse 18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image, from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit”.
Yes, yet more promises as cited above.
What of 2 Corinthians 4, verse 7 as an example, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us”. Can we not consider this statement as one of the promises prepared for us? We do not have to confess it, just acknowledge its truth.
In actuality, Paul was referring to his preaching of the gospel that came to replace the Law and its institutions. In verses 8-18 he relates how he is persecuted because of that preaching. “However”, he says” “since the spirit imbuing our faith is the very same as was found in him (Psalm 116:10), ‘I believed and so I spoke out’, we, too, believe and so speak out.” Therefore, he continues to preach the gospel. He has this confidence because of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus to life. He knows that because of this, resurrection will come to him, if he dies. Whereas his body is suffering daily, his inward man, his spirit, is being renewed. There is being heaped upon him “a load of eternal glory”. He is looking at something unseen, that endures for ever.
Then chapter 5, verse 17, “Therefore, (which means we must take into consideration the preceding verses) if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come”. Definite statements to be received as truth.
Chapter 6, from which it is sufficient to say that the apostle quotes from the Old Testament, after He says, “For we are the temple of the living God, ‘I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, And be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty’,” verses 16-18,all quoted from many Old Testament promises.
No wonder in verse 1 of the next chapter, Paul draws our attention to all the above promises I have mentioned and others you may find.
There is something I would like to make mention of a verse found in Isaiah 45:11 is often used with the words, “concerning the work of My hands, command ye me”, KJV, implying that is what we are expected to do in prayer to God. However, it is not a good basis to find an answer to prayer, when one looks at verses 9 and 10 preceding it, where the Lord says “Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou?”
Other translations read more clearly and correctly, e.g. verse 11 – “and concerning the work of my hands they would command me”; “Will you question me about my children or command me concerning the work of my hands?”; or “Would you dictate to me about my work? Says the Eternal, Israel’s maker” then another, “Would you dare question me concerning my children, or instruct me in my handiwork?” 12, “I who made the earth, I who created man on earth”.
It would appear we dare not command Him. He has already made every provision that we need for time and eternity in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, with the sending of the Holy Spirit and the giving of His Word by the Spirit of Christ.
From the above Scriptures it is obvious that the prevalent modern day teaching on “Confession” has no foundation and more than that, it is error. It becomes a thing of “works” and not necessarily the work of faith.
James does say, “Faith apart from works is dead”, James 2:26. However, when we examine chapters 1 and 2, it is clear that it concerns faith regarding our salvation. Verse 3 of chapter 1 speaks of the testing “of your faith” as concerning their salvation. They needed wisdom to understand, so he says in verses 5-8. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him, But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways”. Verse 12 speaking of the steadfast man under trial, also adds to our conclusion that those verses are all about the faith of salvation.
James chapter 2 speaks of the evil discrimination shown in that church between rich and poor. In that same church, the rich disdained the poor and would not even give food or clothing to the poor in need. Yet they prided themselves on having faith for salvation. They thought that was good enough. It was not.
James went on to explain that if they had faith they would have joined to it, works that would look in love at their poor brethren and do the works of giving to them their daily need of food and clothing.
Concerning 2 Corinthians 4:13-14, “Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘I believed, and so I spoke,’ we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus”, it should be noted that this verse is not about confession.
It is a quotation from Psalm 116:10, “I believed, even when I spoke, ‘I am greatly afflicted’.” These words were spoken through the Psalmist, by the Spirit of Christ about the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, years before it occurred.
Paul in Corinthians is speaking about the persecution and threat of death that always followed him. That is why he said in verse 10 that he was “always carrying in the body the death of Jesus”, and verse 12, “So death is at work in us”. Praise God, he knew he had the same Spirit of faith that was spoken about Christ and by Christ on the cross. He knew that he would be raised up at some time, even though martyred, with Jesus, and be brought into the presence of God in heaven. He said his outer nature, his body, was wasting away, but his inner man or recreated spirit, was being renewed day by day.
We too, have that Spirit of faith, living in the hope and belief of eternal life that is ours now being the means through which we will eventually find ourselves living forever in heaven.
Let us follow the Word of God in its Truth. Each verse must be kept in context and have its meaning in conformity with the rest of Scripture.
An old Sunday School chorus rang, “Every promise in the Book is mine, every chapter, every verse, every line”. It reminds one of a vast amount in our Bank Account. It is there but we must withdraw what we need.
Let us come with confidence to the throne of God through the living way opened by our Mediator, Jesus Christ, in heaven and find grace to help us in time of need.
If these things are in our hearts, when trouble arises in our lives, households or families or even in church situations, the Word will arise from within us to be the Living Word of God who is the Lord Jesus Christ, able and willing to succour us in our need.
These verses, Hebrews 4:14-16 assure us that our confidence in God should be such that as we take hold of and cling to the gospel, we know He surely desires to hear and answer our prayers –
“Now since we have a great high priest who has traversed the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to the faith we profess, For we do not have a high priest unable to feel for us in our weaknesses, but one tested in every way like ourselves, while yet free from sin. Let us draw near, therefore, in confidence to the throne from which grace flows, so that we may receive mercy and find grace coming to our aid in time of need”.
When we believe and receive the above verses into our hearts, we find wonderful and awesome confidence and assurance in our loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, to have the answer to our every need.