Our Identification with the Lord
Wade E. Taylor
We are called by our Lord to be identified with Him,
“That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection,
and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable
to His death.” Phil 3:10.
And in our life experience,
“That they may be one, even as We are one: I in
them, and You in Me, that they may be made
perfect in one.” John 17:22b-23a.
Knowing facts about the Lord is not enough. We are to come
into the experience of a personal identity with Him in every
aspect of our lives, to the extent that His life is seen though
“LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU, which was also in Christ
Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not
robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no
reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant,
and was made in the likeness of men: and being found
in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became
obedient to death, even the death of the cross.” Phil
“Then answered Jesus and said to them, Verily, verily,
say to you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what
He sees the Father do: for whatsoever things He does,
these also does the Son likewise ... I can of My own self
do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just;
because I seek not My own will, but the will of the Father
which has sent Me.” John 5:19, 30.
Our experience and testimony should parallel that of our
Lord Jesus Christ. There is a particular quality of spiritual
life and experience that our Lord expects to find both resident,
and increasing within each one of us.
However, the Church of our day is recorded in Scripture as
presenting a witness that indicates that it is living in a
lesser realm of life and experience.
“Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods,
need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and
miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Rev 3:17.
The Lord is telling this end-time Church that they are still
spiritual babies, when they should have grown into spiritual
maturity. Their lack of spiritual growth is the result of
their not embracing the “mind-set” of the Lord
Jesus Christ. Had they done this, their testimony would be
quite different. Therefore, a word of correction is given:
“I counsel you (each one of us) to buy of Me gold
tried in the fire,
that you might be rich; and white raiment, that you might
clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear;
and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you might see. As
many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore,
and repent.” Rev 3:18-19.
There is a present urgency that we live according to the
ordained pattern (“let this mind be in you”) which
was given to govern and guide our spiritual life and growth.
This “pattern” (“let this mind ... which
was also in Christ Jesus”) was manifestly lived to its
fullest before us, by our Lord Jesus Christ.
“For it became Him ... to make the captain of their
perfect (mature) through sufferings.” Heb 2:10.
Because of who He is (Deity), Jesus was, before the foundation
of the world, judicially” qualified to become our Saviour.
However, He emptied Himself of this (Phil 2:6-7), and through
life experience, “experientially” qualified Himself,
by overcoming every obstacle that He faced, in order to become
“Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by
which He suffered; And being made perfect, He became the
author of eternal salvation to all them who obey Him.”
His “Judicial” position (who He is), and His
“experiential” relationship to His Father (what
he does) became one through His obedience in overcoming, as
He lived out His commitment to always do His Father's will,
and to please Him in all that He experienced each day.
“I do always those things that please Him.”
Jesus never acted on His own, apart from the revealed will
of His Father.
This resulted in a never-before-seen authority in His ministry.
“And they were astonished at His doctrine: for He
as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.” Mark
His Word and His Life had become one.
It is the desire of the Father that we experience at least
a “measure” of identification with our Lord. Our
being religious, or our knowing facts about Jesus, in itself,
is not enough. Unless we come to a place of “identification”
with Him in the “fellowship of His sufferings,”
we will not be ready to be identified with Him in the glory
“That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection,
the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto
His death.” Phil 3:10.
For this to be worked out in our lives, we must come to understand
“His mind,” or, His life experience.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ
Jesus.” Phil 2:5.
Only then can we relate to the things that He went through,
and as a result, find our place of identification with Him
in His throne, which He desires us to have.
“To he who overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in
throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with
My Father in His throne.” Rev 3:21.
It had been prophesied in Micah 5:2 that the Messiah would
come from Bethlehem. But, Jesus allowed the knowledge of His
birth in Bethlehem to become obscure. Thus, “Jesus of
Bethlehem” became known as “Jesus of Nazareth.”
It was commonly said of Him, “Can any good thing come
out of Nazareth? Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Search
and look: for out of Galilee arises no prophet.” John
1:46; 7:41, 52.
To the natural eye, it could not be known that He was the
Christ. A true knowing His identity could only come by revelation.
The Church leaders, along with the multitudes of that day,
failed to see the Messiah, “Jesus of Bethlehem”
through the garb of “Jesus of Nazareth.” The Apostle
Paul, who understood this, prayed, “The eyes of your
understanding being enlightened; that you might know...”
Jesus had purposely allowed a reproach to remain upon Himself,
so that only those who had a “spiritual eye” would
understand who He really is.
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows,
acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from
Him; He was despised and we esteemed Him not.” Isa 53:3.
“He came to His own, and His own received Him not.”
Jesus did not fit into the “pattern” of life
and ministry that was expected of Him by the religious leaders
of that day. This lack of spiritual understanding and perception
in mankind was heartbreaking to Jesus. He intensely desired
to be known and understood.
It was only after two years of ministry that Jesus dared
to ask His disciples a most crucial question: “Who am
I?” Matt 16:15. He asked this question knowing that
His true identity could not be known by outward observation,
but only by hearing from His Father, who had sent Him. The
sorrow, grief, and rejection, as foretold in Isaiah 53 was
intensely felt by Jesus at this moment, as He awaited their
answer to His question.
“And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ,
the Son of the living God.” Matt 16:16. Jesus was overjoyed;
Peter had come to see beyond “Jesus of Nazareth.”
“And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you,
Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood (outward observation) has
not revealed it to you, but My Father (inward revelation)
which is in heaven.” Matt 16:17.
In other words, Jesus said: “Simon, you now have an
ear to hear. You have come into the experience of hearing
from the Father, even as I hear from Him. Now you will be
able to obey Him, even as I fully obey Him.” The disciples
had come to the place of spiritual perception. They could
see beyond the surface manifestation of Jesus of Nazareth.
Now Jesus could say, “You are Peter (a small stone of
the same substance that I am of) and upon this rock (the ability
to hear and obey the Father) I will build My Church.”
The future of the Church hung upon their giving the right
answer to this question that Jesus had asked concerning His
identity. The nature of the Church is to be “spiritual,”
not “natural.” Therefore, Jesus had permitted
this reproach to be upon Himself, that His disciples would
look to the Father above, as the source for building the Church.
“From that time forth began Jesus to show to His disciples
how that He must go to Jerusalem ... and be killed ...”
Matt 16:21. The disciples had to see beyond the guise of “Jesus
of Nazareth” before He could lead them on. Now, they
were in the place where they would hear from above. Now, all
that was left for Him to accomplish was to prepare them for
His death on the cross.
In the early days of the Pentecostal movement, “Tongues”
was a reproach. To be “Spirit Baptized” meant
to be a “Holy Roller.” Today this reproach is
gone, as it is popular to be Spirit filled and function in
the gifts. However, there is yet a reproach. For those who
have a discerning eye and see beyond the present movement,
and who seek to come into full spiritual maturity, as an overcomer,
or “son-ship,” the reproach remains.
God always wraps His best in a package for which few are
willing to pay the price. “Jesus of Nazareth”
had no apparent value. It was said: “Can any good thing
come out of Nazareth?” The same question is yet being
asked by those who are not willing to go further in spiritual
things; “I see no value or purpose in the present, progressive
revelation of the Word, or in these manifestations, let us
stay with the past; it is safe and accepted.”
In Hebrews 13:12-13 we are exhorted to “Go forth therefore
to Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.” Today,
many are pressing onward, seeking all that He has for them.
These are willing to pay the price of identity with the reproach
of “Jesus of Nazareth” in order to gain the pearl
of great price.
Are you satisfied with your present spiritual experience,
and with remaining in the place of security and popularity?
Or, are you willing to embrace His “mind” knowing
that it will require the death of all that is Adamic and religious,
and the bearing of “His reproach?”
“Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him, and given
a name which is above every name.” Phil 2:9.
We also, who are of the same mind, and being one with Him,
will partake with Him in the glory to come.