Yahushua then replied, "But whom do you say that I am?"
Beloved, this last question Yahushua asked His disciples is perhaps the most profound utterance made by Yahushua during His short ministry on earth. In this question, Yahushua invites His true disciples of that day, and those of today, to seek Him for the answer.
Yahushua is inviting us to search the Scriptures, to find the answer to this all-important question. The answer to this one question, and its implications, are profound, and of utmost importance. This question must be prayerfully and carefully considered by every sincere follower of Yahushua.
Why is this so important? It is because Father will use this question, and how we answer this question, to determine who will enter in to the City of the King, and who will not be allowed to enter in! Not everyone that strolls up to the gate will be allowed to enter. So everyone must first be tested, to determine their right to enter the City!
In this series, we look at multiple items of Scripture showing issues that prove, or disprove, whether we really know who Yahushua is. These issues will ultimately qualify, or disqualify, someone from entering the City.
"Whom Do You Say That I Am?" — We Are Being Tested!For those who have been cleansed by His precious Blood, and have received His Grace for the forgiveness of sin, finding the answer to this question will become the most important event in our daily walk with Him.
When we were first introduced to Yahushua, we understood perhaps in a general sense, that He is the Son of Yahuweh, and the Messiah of Yahuweh. Peter, when asked the question, "Whom Do You Say That I Am?" responded with, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16). It was the Holy Spirit, and not man's teaching, that revealed Yahushua's true identity to Peter. In the same way, the Holy Spirit revealed Yahushua's true identity to us, perhaps at the beginning of our conversion experience.
Knowing Yahushua's true identity is certainly the first step to becoming a Biblical Believer. But as we shall see, Scripture tells us that our actions reveal what we actually believe about the identity of Yahushua. Indeed, we are even now being tested daily by our heavenly Father, so that He may see exactly where we stand on this all-important question: "Whom do you say that I am?"
Many today will proclaim, "Oh, He knows our hearts!" Well, have we not read about the Israelites (Deut 8:2), whom Yahuweh led in the Wilderness? We are told that Yahuweh tested them by observing their actions, so that He might know what was in their hearts (Deut 8:2). Yahuweh tested Hezekiah in the same way (2Chronicles 32:30-31), "that He might know all that what was in his heart."
Because He is righteous in all things, Yahuweh uses our actions — not our thoughts — to test His people, and to prove them! There are multitudes of believing Gentiles today who have experienced a Born-Again experience, yet continue on in their former Gentile ways, and their actions and lifestyle remain unchanged. It is these who, because of their unchanged actions and lifestyle, will hear, "I know you not!"
So we see this question is a very important one for us today!
There is far more to the answer to this question asked by Yahushua than is first apparent. We must diligently seek Yahuweh for further understanding, in order to acquire Peter's same revelation of Yahushua, that Yahushua is indeed the Messiah of Yahuweh, and the Son of Yahuweh.
As Born-Again Believers and former Gentiles, most of us today have little understanding of the Old Testament writings, and so are not yet aware that our actions and lifestyles reveal who we Believe Yahushua really is. Our actions actually form part of Yahuweh's testing, and reveal whether or not we know Yahushua's true identity.
To many Believers today, Yahushua is not Messiah, but only a saviour, one who rescues us when we encounter great trouble or difficulty. As a result of not knowing Yahushua's true identity, our 'Gentile' lifestyles remain unchanged, and we will fail the test.
To the trained Hebrew Scribe of Yahushua's day, for one to claim to be the Son of David, or the Son of Yahuweh, or to claim to be the Messiah of Yahuweh, had a great and far-reaching meaning, with very great implications. This same realisation has great implications for us today!
In this writing we will explore further, going beyond our present understanding of Yahushua as being the Son of Yahuweh and the Messiah of Yahuweh. We shall seek in the Scriptures, to give us further understanding of the true identity of Yahushua. Our purpose for this writing is that we might grow in grace, and [also grow] in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Yahushua Messiah. For we will see that what we do reveals to Father what we really believe — and reveals to us, and to Father, whether or not we know who He really is!
House on a RockWe begin with a first look at one of the parables that Yahushua taught. Yahushua's parables appear at first to be individual parables, somewhat unrelated and un-connected. However, they are all related, and are part of one, great panorama, each parable giving a piece of the puzzle, as it were, of the overall portrait of the Kingdom of Yahuweh.
We will begin by looking at the parable, and also the context in which it was spoken. However, we must first take note of one thing. Derek Prince said on many occasions, "If you see a therefore, find out what it is there for! This we will do as we look at the first Scripture passage to consider:
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: (Matthew 7:24)The first thing we will note is the word therefore. What do we want to do? We want to find out what it's there for! In order to do this, we must back up a few verses, and note that Yahushua is discussing two things. Let us observe:
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23)In the above passage there are two main points. The first point is that the one seeking to enter claimed that Yahushua was his Master, his Lord, and in His name had done many wonderful works. His good works indicated that he was a Believer, yet Yahushua called him a worker of iniquity. He claimed to be a servant of Yahushua, while still in disobedience to Yahushua. Thus in Yahushua's eyes the true identity of the one seeking to enter His kingdom was in question!
We should note here, that the remnant of Yahushua's true Disciples are identified by several characteristics, one of which is their obedience to the will of Yahuweh. In this passage we catch a glimpse of a great spiritual truth: What one believes about Yahushua's true identity, and even one's own identity, is based not upon what one says, but upon what one does.
The second point is that there are those to whom Yahushua will say, "I never knew you." In the Hebrew way of thinking, knowing someone is a very intimate activity. It takes two to tango, and truly knowing someone is not at all a one-sided affair.
If we do not do His will, Yahushua will not know us, nor will we be permitted to truly come to know Him, or His true identity — nor will we be allowed to know the Father. Instead we will be kept, as it were, at arm's length. Thus it is the issue of doing the will of the Father that reveals whether or not we actually know Him. We must further conclude, that in order to do His will, we must know His will. Lord Yahushua, let us become seekers of You, that we might find, and become doers of, Your will!
In this same passage above, there also appears to be a connection between knowing Yahuweh and working of iniquity. Now the word iniquity in the above verse is the Greek word 'anomia,' Strong's number <458> and <459>, which means lawlessness, and transgression of the law, otherwise known as sin, as the Apostle John tells us (1John 3:4).
We also see from several other Scripture references that there is a direct connection between knowing and loving Yahuweh, and departing from sin [Transgression of the Law]. So we now understand that the parable Yahushua is about to speak is related to whether or not Yahushua truly knows the one seeking to enter His kingdom. We shall now proceed to the parable:
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:24-27)To aid us in seeking the major items within the parable, we will look simultaneously at the same parable from the Book of Luke:
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great. (Luke 6:46-49)Beloved, please notice that in the two accounts of the above parable most of the details, of both the wise and foolish builders, and the rain and floods, were the same. Both builders heard Yahushua's sayings, they both built a house. Likewise the rain, floods, and wind came to both houses.
The one thing that is different is this. The wise man heard and did the sayings of Yahushua, which is shown as laying a foundation upon the rock. The foolish man built his house, without a foundation, upon the sand, which is shown here as hearing but not doing Yahushua's sayings. The respective outcomes are obvious. We may conclude from this parable that it is not only the hearing of them that is important, but the doing of Yahushua's sayings, which will become a sure foundation for our spiritual life.
Becoming a DO-er of His WordWe have seen that the heart of the matter of the parable is being a "DO-er" of these sayings of Yahushua, not a hearer only. We have previously seen that the word therefore in the parable relates to this the idea of Yahushua knowing us, and of our truly knowing Yahushua and the Father. We conclude that if we desire to truly know Him, we must find out what these sayings of Yahushua really are, so that we might become a DO-er of them.
As in the above parable, the wise builder first had to dig deep in order to lay the proper foundation. Likewise we must dig deep into the precious Word of Yahuweh in order to lay the proper foundation, of being a "DO-er" of the sayings of Yahushua. However, in order to do the sayings of Yahushua, we must know what they are. And to know what Yahushua's sayings are, we must find the true identity of Yahushua. We must therefore dig deeply, in order to determine which are Yahushua's sayings, and to find out what the sayings of Yahushua actually consist of.
We might recall that the phrase "Lord, Lord" in the parable above is also spoken by the foolish virgins of Matthew 25, suggesting those of Luke 6:46-49 are prophetically one and the same with those of Matthew 25, in whom they portray. We see the word 'then' in Matthew 25:1 is the Greek word 'tote,' which means "at that time," telling us that the entire passage in Matthew 25 is in the same context as the previous chapter — the time of the coming of Yahushua, and of the bride being made ready, and being prepared for the Bridegroom.
Thus we can see the passages in Luke 6:46-49 are likewise showing the foundation of doing of the things which I say to the preparation of the wise virgins who had oil, and so they were allowed to enter in with the Bridegroom.
However, there are many issues remaining that will help us to spot hidden enemies that intend to prevent us from entering in. These will be dealt with in this series, but we must begin at the foundation. We must determine not only who Yahushua is, but what are His sayings, which have been revealed to us 'from the beginning.'
Continue to From the Beginning.