Saturday, December 19, 2015

Who am I? Understanding Who I Really Am!

"When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples,Who do people say the Son of Man is?"

Who really are you? If you ask most people that question, most of them will answer by telling you their name. They will say, "I am John Mbithi, or Charles Johnson, or Paul Mulani, etc." 
But do you know that your name is only what man calls you or says you are? You see, someone came up with your name and said you shall be called so and so. That person could be your mom, dad, or even you yourself. Remember when we say "men" or "women" it includes you. Someone came up with your name, gave it to you, and you believed it and own it.

Now I am not downplaying the power of people naming you. In fact names by people are very important and powerful. That power was given to the first man, Adam in Genesis 2:19b, ". . . and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name." Period. That was it! Both in heaven and on earth! Adam looked at the elephant and called it "elephant," and that became that! He looked at giraffe and called it "giraffe" and that became it's name. Even the first woman, Eve. The man looked at her and named her "Eve," and that became her name. Whatever name man gave any creature, that became its name and even heaven said "Amen" and registered it in eternal records. In other words, your name that man gave you is not only known here on earth but also in heaven and will be so even after this life.

Did you know, for instance, whenever an angel appeared to someone, they called them by their name? For example, "Annanias," or "Manaoh," or "Abram," etc. Why I am saying all these? To show you that I am not downplaying the power of man's names, and that there is actually power in what men have called you.

A very good example is found in John 1:42 regarding Peter. We read, "And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter.)"

We see that Jesus acknowledged Peter's existing name as "Simon bar Jonah." He said, "You are . . . but you will be . . ." You are Simon now. That's what People called you. That's what your mother and father called, and still call you. And as a result, that's what you call yourself, but you will be called Peter. This is future. You will be called "Cephas."

When did this future naming take place? It's found in Matthew 16:18, which reads, "And I tell you that you are Peterand on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it."  Jesus was no longer saying, "You will be Cephas," but rather "You are," it's now, present tense. Peter was now Cephas.

What happened for the shift to take place in Peter's life? Revelation. Peter started operating in revelation of who God says he is, not what man (including himself) says he was. And that's what will happen to you as well when you start operating in revelation of who God says you are, and not man.

Let's look at the passage in whole and in context - Matthew 16:13-20:
" When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples,“Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah."

The whole incident starts with Jesus asking his disciples what men said that He, the Son of man, was. They said that some folks thought that Jesus was John the Baptist; others, Elijah; others, Jeremiah; and others one of the prophets. That's what people said Jesus, the Son of Man was. And imagine this was after Jesus had done so many miracles and said so many words that proved he was not just an ordinary man! 

Notice how off the mark people (without revelation) were,and can be, regarding who Jesus Christ was, and is! We are here talking about God in the flesh, the Eternal God, and yet men are putting Him on the same level with Elijah, John the Baptist, and the prophets! We are here talking about the One who made Elijah and the prophets and send them out being put on the same level with His creation and His people. This is the One who said in John 8:58, "Very truly I tell you . . . before Abraham was born, I am!" 

As you can see, it is very clear that man cannot know who Jesus Christ is without revelation. Not even one of them was close to figuring out! That's why when Jesus turned and asked his disciples who he was and Peter responded by saying, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God," Jesus did not applaud and congratulate Peter but rather deflected all the praise to God by saying, "Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Father in heaven (v.18)." 
And that was the time Jesus told Peter, "And you are Peter . . . " That is, when Peter begun understanding by revelation who Jesus Christ was.

Let me say again. Man will never figure out by their intellect, regardless of how many miracles they see, who Jesus Christ is, except by revelation. They will always remain "Simon," so to speak, and not "Peter." They will always be what man says they are, until they start operating in revelation - that's when they become "Cephas," a "Stone," or Peter.

Here is the point:You can never know who Jesus Christ is unless by revelation. You can never know who you are, unless by revelation, and you cannot know what other people are, really, unless by revelation. You'll call them "monkeys" or "useless" because you only know them by how men calls and views them. By revelation I mean understanding in your spirit through the Word. Paul writes in 1 Cor. 2:14, "The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit." In other words, they are not understood by the mind but by your spirit, and for your spirit to understand, it will have to quickened by the Spirit of God.
In the same passage in the preceding verses, Paul writes in verses 9 -10, " But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God."

Let's face it, if no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered the heart of men, how will man be able to speak what he has not seen or heard and what is not in his heart about you? The Bible teaches that from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Luke 6:45). If it is not in the heart, how will man speak it? You see, man (including you) will call you what he has seen with his eyes, heard with his ears, and what is in his heart. He cannot do anything else. That means, if all that you know about yourself is what man has told you, then most likely you are very much off the mark. You need to understand yourself by revelation. That's why verse 10 talks about revelation: "But God has revealed them to us through His spirit. . ."
What are the "them" referring to in verse 10? These are the "things" God has prepared for us. What are these things? 

I used to think that these are the things Jesus went to prepare for us when we go to heaven, like the heavenly mansions of our inheritance. But are they really? A closer look at the context shows that they are not futuristic but present. They are for now, here on earth because it says, "God has revealed them to us by the Spirit." That's present tense, not future tense. Another reason you can be sure it's not talking about future things is because it says in 1 John 3:2 that what we will be has not yet been revealed to us. We read: "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed to us . . ." However, our passage says that these things have been revealed to us by the Spirit, and that they are spiritually understood. 
The passage also calls them "deep things" of God. What are these deep things of God? They are deep things of God about you and me, about who I am in Christ, that if you understand them well, it will blow your mind, and change not only how you view or call yourself, but also totally change your performance. 

Yes, it will completely change you and how you view yourself. Someone rightly observed that most of us were created by our manufacturer (God) to perform at 180 miles per hour but we have been operating at 40 miles per hour because we believed what man told us we were capable of. For example, some of us believe what the results of exams tell them about themselves. We believe the result of exams that we take, don't we?. If we fail in the exams we believe we are failures. The question is, who set the exam, man or God?

Here in America people without papers are labeled as "Illegals." This is what man calls them. But is that what God calls them? Think about the many people that God used mightily who would be "illegals" in the eyes of man? Think of Daniel, Moses, Esther and Mordecai, Jacob, Abraham, etc. You see, it is very easy to end up believing what man through his systems tell us we are. If we don't have any other means of understanding, like revelation, we will have no choice than to accept man's witness of us. 
So, in light of revelation, who really are you?
David, who understood this very well put it this way in Psalms 139:14: "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
my soul knows that full well."
(We will pick up from there next time - Coming soon!)

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