219 Any Identification? Part One
Extracts from Identification by Creflo Dollar
Most of carry a Driving Licence, Travel Pass, or Passport to produce when we are asked for identification, and this method or form of identity is generally accepted world-wide. It is my purpose today to examine the subject of the Christian Identity,
an issue on which I have made but brief comment in recent messages. In fact I am writing three Sermons on this subject which I have entitled ANY IDENTIFICATION? Today’s message is the First in this series. So be sure to write me for your printed copy of all 3 sermons, absolutely free.
Turn with me if you will, to Matthews Gospel and the 16th Chapter. This word identify means to associate in name, feeling, interest, action or in power, its an association; but identity from that root word means exact likeness in nature. Notice in Matthew 16 that the Pharisees were looking for a sign and Jesus warns us to ignore their teaching, because the Pharisees were more interested in the outward appearances of religion and religious observance than they were about the state of a mans heart, as man looks on the outward appearance
while God looks on the Heart! 1 Sam 16:7
So reading from Matthew 16:13 … “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Who do men say that I the Son of man am?”
This is the question about identification “who do men say that I the son of man am?” and verse 14 says:
And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets”.
So He is asking who are they saying that I identify with, that
I am in association with? So its a question of identity, and then he asks them, “who do YOU say I am”?
And in verse 16 “Simon Peter answered and said,
‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God’.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: (son of Jonah) for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, – but my Father which is in heaven”
Revealed what? My Identity, My Identification. He tells Simon that this revelation has not come to him from some other man, some human teacher, some local source, some local Rabbi, or Priest, he is telling Simon, that this revelation of who He, Jesus is, has come from God himself.
Let me say this that until you understand the identification of Jesus, you will never understand your own true identity… until you know who He is, you will never know who you are!
And then in verse 18, we read: “And I say also unto thee” … My Father has revealed this (my identity) to you, but I have something I want to reveal to you, (your identity) … Jesus also has a word for Simon, he says: ” thou art Peter “. Notice that what the Father revealed to Simon, was that Jesus was the Christ; but this word Christ was not his surname? This is what “religion” would have us believe that Jesus’ first name is Jesus and that his last name is Christ. Christ is not his last name, Simon says “thou art the Christ” … Christ means the anointed one, the son of the living God. So Jesus says, the Father has spoken to you, now I am going to speak to you, he said to him Simon, thou art Peter. I am now telling you that you are the Peter. His name was not Peter, his name was Simon, but now Jesus was identifying Him as a Peter?
In other words Jesus was conferring on him a new identity, and we know in fact that from that moment onwards, he was called Peter, even though his name was Simon. Now his new name, his new identity is what I want us to focus on for a moment, for it is so vitally important to this whole subject of knowing who we are in Christ.
Jesus adds “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”.
(and incidentally, I have two sermons ready on the Gates of Hell to follow this series, so keep your pencil at the ready) lets go on…
“and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
So what was Jesus doing by renaming Simon and calling him Peter? The key to understanding this passage is in a closer look at the exact words that our Lord Jesus used. Jesus said, “Thou art Peter – petros” in the Greek, meaning a piece of rock, “and upon this rock – petra” in the Greek, meaning a mass of rock
Jesus was not saying (as some would have us believe) that he was going to build his Church on Peter, No, Jesus was saying that his Church would be built on “revelation” built on this revelation of “Identity” of who Jesus was. And until in the church, in every Church and in every denomination, until we get this revelation of who Jesus was, and until we get it right, Hell will prevail over us, Satan will win every battle, and we cannot have or work those “keys of the Kingdom”. Jesus the Christ is the Foundation stone of the Church, as Paul could say in 1 Cor. 3:11 “For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” and again Peter himself
declares in 1 Peter 2:5 “ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house…”. Jesus was telling Peter that he came out of the rock, he is of the same substance of the rock. Jesus was saying that “as I am the Christ, you are also a piece of me” associated with me, having part with me, having power with me, having identity with me, having title with me, having authority with me, having an anointing with me. Deriving from Jesus, our identity is tied up with Jesus. You must get a revelation of who Jesus is in order to get a revelation of who you are, because who YOU ARE is tied to who HE IS! Doesn’t that make sense? You identify with Him, because you come from the same rock. Understanding your identity in Christ is so very important to every one of you under the sound of my voice today, this is why I am devoting three sermons to the subject, its vital, and vitally important for the future role of the Church in these testing and trying times to come. We need to know this, and tragically few of us do. The place where the enemy is attacking, is invariably in the area of identification. You must begin to understand who you are “appointed and anointed”
Turn if you will to Philippians chapter two, and to verse 5:
where we read …”Let this mind be in you, which was also
in Christ Jesus:” Here Paul is saying …
Let this mind, or mind-set, this way of thinking be in you, which was also Jesus’ way of thinking. What way did Jesus think?
well here it is, verse 6
“Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:”
We are spiritual beings, yes, we have a soul and we have a body, but as Christians we have a spirit which has been born again or made alive to God by His Holy Spirit.
God is a Spirit being, and we have been made in the image of God. We are not talking about image in terms of bodily image now, whether you are over-weight or under-weight, blonde or brunette, or bald and beautiful like me!!!, we are talking now about the YOU that has contact and communion with God, the eternal you, and in that you are Spirit, Gods dealings with you are in the Spirit, the part of you that is “like God”. Gods image and Gods likeness is not Flesh! Gods image and Gods likeness IS Spirit. It is true that Jesus came in the Flesh, and lived as a man in human Flesh, in the power of the Holy Spirit, but what I want you to understand is that your spirit man is molecule for molecule, atom for atom, like Jesus, as He is so are we in this world. 1 John 4:17
So if we are to let this mind be in us, as it was in him: verse 6
tells us, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:” Jesus is saying “I need you to think the same way that I do, I don’t want you to walk around and be thinking that it is robbery that you are in his form and being equal with him. Its not robbery, its entitlement! You and I (as Jesus said to Peter) are hewn
from the same rock, and until you settle that, understand
that, until you know who you are and who you are like, and who you are connected with, you will remain powerless because your identity will always be under attack.
Lets kook at this again from another angle:
Turn to 1 John 4 and verse 17 where we read “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world”. What an amazing statement? Now we know that John was not talking about the
physical body, “as your body is so is his body,” nor is he saying “as your soul is …” but rather “As your born again Spirit is
so is Jesus,” or as Jesus is, so am I.
So I have got to do two things now in order for me to walk in this “grace” that has been put over me. One, I have got to understand my identity in Christ, and Two, I have got to understand that the real “Christian me” can only function as God intended I should, in the Spirit, as Jesus did. As God deals with me, speaks to me from the word, nourishes me with the word, refreshes me by the living water of the word, there is no-where that I can put this revelation in the flesh, or the body, without contradiction, no-where in the soul without contradiction, I can only deal with it, and absorb it into the Spirit, as I identify with God. Sometimes we can be so blinded by our “earth-suit” that we are not recognising who we really are, and some don’t get to see who they are – until they move out of that suit, and lie in the coffin, then they see the earth suit, and realize, this was not the real me, because people don’t die, only bodies die! The Spirit is the real you. If your only view is the material or the physical, then you are operating only on the same plane, the same level that the Devil operates on. Your body operates in the 5 physical senses, and you most know that the Devil operates on the senses, and that the same thing that happened to Adam and Eve in Genesis Chapter 3, is likely to happen to you.
Adam and Eve were attacked simply because they had failed to recognise who they really were. As long as we remain ignorant of who we are in Jesus Christ, Satan will find us easy prey.
In Genesis chapter 3, we see how the Law strengthens sin, – like when we keep preaching legalism and making folk more sin
conscious, than God conscious, there – we keep putting the forbidden fruit in their face. They had no problem with any of the trees in the Garden, until Satan discovered that they could not eat from one. So he sets about questioning their identity, to see if they knew who they really were? In his deceptive plan, he tempts them into thinking that they could be “like God” if they ate from this forbidden tree. But what most of us have failed to understand, and what Adam and Eve apparently failed to understand also, was that they were already “like God”.
(I will have more to say about this Likeness to God in part 3)
Had they had an understanding of their identity, that would not have been a temptation. The victory was already Satan’s since they had failed to see who they really were. They were already Like God, walking around with the “Glory Coat” of God on them, they were not wearing any artificial clothing. But once the enemy walks in and wins the battle, they immediately lose their identity, and the things that God had put into their lives.
Once their identity had been questioned, they begin to transgress, to do what they were told not to do, and the result was that the lost their glory, the garden, their residence and their godly clothing. It is always when we are under attack, that we seem to forget who we are and then the “thief” begins to take from us the things that God wants us to have. If we can get our identity sorted, if we’ll walk every day in connection with Jesus, – we will lose nothing. When Satan attacks, we need to remind ourselves that we are “the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus” that we are full of the Holy Spirit – able to use the name of Jesus – and able to cut down every enemy with the Sword of the Word of God.
That’s who I am, As He is, so am I in this world.
If John had said “as He was, so are we…” that would have been blessing enough, but he said “as He IS” so I ask, how IS He?
… and however He IS, so am I, in this world; now, today, not tomorrow, not in heaven, not in the new millennium, not in the eternal state, but here and now, as he is, so am I in this world.
So I ask again, How IS He?
I can tell you that HE is not sick, not broke, not weary, not stressed out, not bitter, not angry, not jealous, not feeling unloved, not sorry for himself, not sad, not tearful, not bothered and beaten down, not as most in the Church are today?
The writer to the Hebrews tells us exactly how He is in…
Hebrews 2: v9 He says: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour;” That’s how He IS. Praise God.
In fact, He is living and walking in the “Glory” the same “glory coat” that Adam and Eve walked in, in Eden Garden. Are you walking in that glory? – because you can, because “as He is, so are we in this world”. Until you see yourself as a Son or Daughter of God, walking and living in the self same glory that was Jesus Christ’s, you will continue to fight all your battles in the flesh and you will continue to fail, and continue to be worn down every day by the Devil. I heard someone praying a while ago, saying words like “Lord I pay my tithes, I do the best I can, I say my Prayers, I go to Church, I love my husband, I sacrifice for my Children, I read my Bible, I study it best I can but why are all these things happening to me, why am I suffering so, why can I not get help and healing, how much longer must I wait” Do you pray like that?
Most of us do, because we have failed to understand, grasp and believe just how much God loves us.
John says: “And we know and have believed the love which God hath in us …” 1 John 4:16 – and when I ask folk “do you know that God loves you?” they have no problem with that and readily reply YES; But sadly, few of us truly believe God loves us, this is why our prayer times are times of weeping and begging and complaining to God. We have no idea of our true identity!
Some of us are familiar with the term “God-child” yet most of us use it in the wrong sense. A real God Child, is a Child of God. There are Human Children, and then there are Gods Children. and as Christians we are children, sons and daughters of the King. The human part of us is just our flesh, the body, but the God part of us is eternal. We are Seated at His heavenly Table, and Clothed in His heavenly Grace and Glory. Like Adam and Eve, it was only after they had sinned that they saw themselves as naked. Did you know that we are not supposed to be wearing what we are wearing? There is no other creation, no other good thing that God created that needs to be covered up. God did not intend for us to be covered up in anything else but in his glory, and it is still his desire that we become adorned in his glory, in the garment of salvation and the robe of his righteousness. Forget about the expensive designer gear, and get yourself back into his glory!
In the garden, Sin brought with it Shame, and tragically many even within the Church wear a shame instead of a glory. Before their sin, Adam and His wife Eve, they were clothed in the Glory of God, and when you and I know who we are, when we
identify with Jesus, stand with Jesus, side with Jesus, and maybe even suffer with Jesus (because of it), we are never naked, there is no shame before God, we are dressed in the Robe of His righteousness, and the mantle of His Glory and His anointing.
Because as He is, so are we in this world. Praise God for evermore.
NOW THIS FINAL WORD
When Jesus Christ was caught up and sat down to secure our place POSITIONALLY
The Holy Spirit got up and came down, to secure our place
If there are times when you feel your condition does not fully align with your position, then ask the Holy Spirit to help you
to fix your identity.
But remember that God cannot work on your condition,
unless you maintain your position.
God Bless You. AMEN