I AM THAT I AM

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

For so many, God is simply an intangible Being with various titles, concepts, and ideas that hold vague meanings and implications. People sometimes refer to God as the man upstairs or the great I AM or the spirit in the sky, while others speculate, I know that there is something (or someone) out there (or up there) because I can see the order and perfection of life all around, but whatever power it is or wherever that power may originate, I just cannot grasp its real source. Some of us may have thought of God in suchlike terms before knowing Jesus Christ, “the Prince of life” (Acts 3:15), who introduced our searching hearts to His Majesty’s loving embrace and eternal purpose.

One could see all the works of man and easily believe that there is no God, but how can he look up into the starry heavens or view the perfection of life all around and still believe there is no God? The more we understand God via knowing Jesus Christ, the greater our spiritual lives grow as our union with the heavenly Father and with nature itself begins harmonizing with tranquility. All of the Prophets in the Old Testament preached about Christ and through knowing him, God becomes more magnified and detailed.

Exodus 3:14:
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

The most basic understanding of these words I AM THAT I AM means that God cannot deny His own existence. Simply put ― God is Who He is. The Apostle Paul said of himself in I Corinthians 15:10 “by the grace of God I am what I am.” Paul could not deny who he was, and that he was who he was only by the grace of God; it is the same with us, we are who we are only by the grace of God, for He is our Maker. Even Popeye understood who he was, “I yam what I yam and that’s all what I yam, I’m Popeye the sailor man,” (“toot, toot!”). It is no mystery understanding who God is; it is a mystery why so many people do not know who God is when Jesus Christ our Savior reveals Him to our inner hearts.

Man is truly something to behold from God’s perspective; Hebrews 2:6-9 records that the Son of God as well as Man were made just “a little lower than the angels.” The Hebrew word for angels in Hebrews 2 is Elohim and is the word for God, corresponding to the Greek word Theos, not angels. This is a huge mistranslation, which has greatly lowered expectations. Angels is the Hebrew word malak corresponding to the Greek word aggelos.

Man was made a little lower than the Creator of the universe, which is actually quite high up on the pedestal of God’s creation, higher than the angels who were created to be servants and ministers of God (Psalms 104:4, Hebrews 1:14). In contrast we, the children of God, are His sons and daughters (I John 2:1-2), and masterpieces of His creative “workmanship” (Ephesians 2:10), and the saved man becomes the crowning achievement of God. He “crowned us with glory and honour” (Psalms 8:4-5), creating nothing less than Christ in us, thus, we truly are what we are by the grace of God, and it is something to behold.

In Exodus chapter 3, God, by referring to Himself as I AM THAT I AM was showing Moses the true essence of Himself, and as Moses saw for himself the immensity of God, Moses began believing that he could rise up to his God‑given calling to deliver Israel.

God was preparing Moses to do some extraordinary exploits by way of delivering the children of Israel from the bondage of cruel slavery where they were imprisoned in the land of idol worship and servitude. Moses was also going to teach Israel about the spiritual realities of the Golden Thread, of him who was prophesied; the Christ, the awaited Messiah and Savior, and their rock of strength and hope (Deuteronomy 32:30-31).

I AM hath sent me unto you is not all that God exclusively told Moses to say to the children of Israel to inspire them to follow him off into the desert without food and water. Simply saying I AM hath sent me unto you was not (is not, and never will be) a magical phrase that mysteriously empowered Israel (or anyone else for that matter) to get up and get going into the barren desert (that only happens in the movies).

I Corinthians 10:4:
And {the children of Israel} did all drink the same spiritual drink {given by Moses}: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them {or rather who came after them}: and that Rock was {is, and will always be} Christ.

Moses began revealing the Messiah to the children of Israel (Deuteronomy 18:15, Acts 3:22-23). Then, as the Israelites began to figuratively drink and savor the comforting words that flowed from the mouth of Moses, they began perceiving the subject of all true prophecy, the rock Christ who came after them, as is recorded for posterity in the Gospels.

The hope of the coming of Christ was what inspired them to get moving over to the Promised Land where their Redeemer would come to redeem them. Jesus Christ became known through the spoken Word of God by Moses. This is how Moses strengthened Israel to the point that they also began believing in He Who could not deny Himself, in He Who said to Moses: I AM.

Hebrews 11:6:
But without faith {believing faith} it is impossible to please him {God}: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

The reward itself inspired Israel, as well as Moses, to boldly go through the sweltering desert to the other side, to where the promise awaited, to the place of hope, to home, and to their destiny. Within the heart of their hearts they had the knowledge of Christ (who is the Word, John 1:14) who not only followed after them in the fullness of time, but to the very place where he would redeem, in their Promised Land of milk and honey.

Hebrews 11:24-27 (The Amplified Bible):**
-24: [Aroused] by {believing} faith Moses, when he had grown to maturity and become great, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
-25: Because he preferred to share the oppression [suffer the hardships] and bear the shame of the people of God rather than to have the fleeting enjoyment of a sinful life.
-26: He considered the contempt and abuse and shame [borne for] the Christ (the Messiah Who was to come) to be greater wealth than all {ALL} the treasures of Egypt, for he looked forward and away to the reward {the eternal reward that God gives}.
-27: [Motivated] by {believing} faith he left Egypt behind him, being unawed and undismayed by the wrath of the king {Pharaoh}: for he never flinched but held staunchly to his purpose and endured steadfastly as one who gazed on Him Who is invisible.

The Greek word for faith is pistis, and means believing faith, of which Christ is man’s author and finisher, (Hebrews 12:2), and if one is in need of more faith, then faith will be found through knowing Jesus Christ in the Word of God, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). By Moses choosing to believe in Christ, he chose an apparent life of hardship with the bound slaves of Egypt. He walked away from Pharaoh’s household and the life of luxury and looked to the invisible God of his conscious mind Who comforts and rescues from fear and rewards believing-faith in Christ.

Moses’ standing as a leader in Egypt was perhaps similar to that of the Apostle Paul who regarded his social standing as a blameless Pharisee in the Law and being in the top echelon of his class (Philippians 3:4-10). Yet in comparison Paul counted it all as nothing but “dung, that I may win {or gain} Christ” (Philippians 3:8). Why? Paul and Moses, as well as you and I, have access to the “the riches of Christ” (Colossians 1:27), and the “treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3), leaving no comparison between being in Christ and life without him. Moses chose to place the rest of his life and future in Christ who was to him the prophesied spiritual rock who would follow, and with whose knowledge would strengthen him as well as Israel, as they were assured of a much better life. By believing-faith, Moses chose temporal hardships rather than to have the fleeting enjoyment of a sinful life in order to receive “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (II Corinthians 4:17), more than Egypt could ever offer.

Exodus 3:15a:
And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you. . .

Moses had much more to go on than simply to say I AM sent me unto you, but also to inform Israel that the same God their ancestors believed in and hoped on has sent me unto you. One blissful benefit that Moses received for choosing to believe was that he spent personal time with God the Creator. As Moses enjoyed his time with the God of his life and hope, he learned from His actual voice the realties of the coming Redeemer and Moses grew to know the love of his life would indeed be his Messiah.

Today we may also experience this kind of personal relationship with the Father and with Christ Jesus in the household of God; “Beloved, now are we the sons of God” (I John 3:2). “I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (II Corinthians 6:17-18).

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

The One Great Subject in the Scriptures (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Jesus Christ is the one great subject of the Scriptures, no matter where we read in the Bible ― from the Old Testament, the Gospels, or the New Testament. The Scriptures both foretell and foretold about the Savior of the world (in past, present, or future realities). As we find Jesus Christ in the Scriptures, he alone reveals the Father and discloses unspoken truth that resonates in the hearts of searching men and women, young and old. Jesus literally breaths life, spiritual life, into the Scriptures as the realities of eternal life begins surging into our understanding.

I cannot, nor can anyone else, prove God to be real because God is Spirit, and Spirit is beyond or outside the realm of the five senses, yet Christ indeed reveals God to the heart of our understanding as (and only when) we discover Jesus within the written Word of God. Whether the written Word is spoken, preached, or read, the absolute mission of Christ in the Word is to make known His Father, for the Written Word of God takes the place of the visible Christ. This is why the believers in the Book of Acts always went about preaching in the name of Jesus Christ, and of his resurrection (for a few examples, see Acts 2:32, 4:33, 13:23, 33, 17:18), for preaching without preaching Christ, is not preaching at all, but is lecturing in one form or another.

When Jesus Christ becomes known to us, he then can begin revealing God to the heart of those who crave for righteous judgment, eternal life, and spiritual understanding. “For he {the Apostle Paul} mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ” (Acts 18:28), and what Paul used to convince them was the Old Testament Scriptures.

John 6:63b:
. . . the words that I {Jesus} speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The actual voice of Jesus Christ still speaks to our hearts ― truths that may not be uttered; only thought, only spiritually realized and ascertained, and can only be received by believing faith.

I Corinthians 2:9, 13:
-9: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
-13: Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual {things}.

Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). Jesus was referring here to the Old Testament Scriptures since when he spoke these words, the Gospels and the New Testament were not yet written. The words ye think ye have eternal life were not written to suggest any kind of doubt; on the contrary, think means that the Scriptures reveal Christ to our minds, deep down in our thinking processes. When we think about and contemplate on the Scriptures, we begin receiving true understanding, and believing in God’s Word functions and is accomplished as we bring our biblical thoughts up to the level of recognizing that Christ is revealed to us in the Scriptures.

II Corinthians 10:5:
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every {biblical} thought to the obedience of Christ;

Bringing every thought to the obedience of Christ literally means that we can bring every biblical concept and detail back to Christ because he is the subject of the Word. Verse 5 is a request, exhorting us to keep Christ at the forefront of our lives. The more we discover Christ in the Scriptures the closer our walks with God will become and the further our understanding of God Himself will continue growing in our inner hearts.

The Old Testament Scriptures reveal Jesus Christ; in truth, every writer of the Old Testament wrote divine revelations concerning Jesus Christ.

In the following verses of Scripture, Jesus is speaking to a group of people who refused to believe the words he spoke:

John 5:46-47:
-46: For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
-47: But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

As Jesus Christ was and still is the underlying subject of the Old Testament, he is also the subject of the Gospels and the New Testament, revealing to the spiritual heart of believers the true essence of God. The Apostle Peter summed it up quite well by saying to Jesus “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68-69). Who would not want to know if God is really alive? It is through Christ, the Son of the living God that we find the words of eternal life.

Acts 3:21-22:
-21: Whom the heaven must receive {Jesus Christ ascended up to heaven} until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets {How many? All!} since the world began.
-22: For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me {Moses}; him {Jesus Christ} shall ye hear {in your heart} in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.

Today, Jesus Christ is still living, still fulfilling his mission of revealing the living God to believers who look to Jesus as their Lord and Savior. He can and will continue revealing his Father to us as we continue looking to him in the Scriptures, for Christ Jesus stands at the threshold of eternity asking for us to allow him into our life and us into his, as he is still the power and wisdom of God (I Corinthians 1:24).

One may read the Bible a lifetime without ever knowing or discovering the one great subject in the Scriptures because without spiritual understanding and knowledge — the Bible may as well be all Greek or only spoken in Latin. The greatest experience in this life is as the Apostle wrote: To come to a personal “knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8).

Some have only a vague idea of Jesus Christ and suppose that he was between a man and a spirit and walked on this Earth about two thousand years ago as a genteel miracle worker. Nowadays it is suspected that he has gone missing, for many lack tangible understanding of his actual whereabouts. The angel said “Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him” (Mark 16:6). Jesus gave his life for all the people on this Earth and he is personally excited and blessed when people actually look for him and find him to be resurrected, alive, and honestly, according to the Scriptures, he is doing quite well.

Hebrews 7:25:
Wherefore he {Jesus Christ} is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by {through} him, seeing {perceiving} he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Jesus Christ came into this world so that men and women could live a life he titled: “life ― more abundantly” (John 10:10); this is why he came in the first place. Now today he is our resurrected Lord and Savior, and one of his missions in his own life is to make intercession between God and man. In truth he ever liveth for this purpose! “Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). What gives Jesus Christ joy and purpose is to make intercession (rather than condemnation) as he continuously presents us in a favorable light before our heavenly Father! So if you ever wondered what Jesus Christ does every moment of every day the world round, perhaps now you might understand just how busy he really is, being our personal advocate (I John 2:1), and our continuous mediator (I Timothy 2:5-6).

In the Book of Revelation, we have one of my favorite verses of Scripture in the whole of the Word of God that Jesus spoke after his resurrection.

Revelation 3:20:
Behold, I stand at the door {of our hearts}, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

One thing that makes this verse so exciting to me is that in the biblelands, in the culture that Jesus was raised in, whenever they would have a close, personal friend over for dinner, the host always served and waited on his welcome guest. The host would never sit down at the table. This demonstrated to his friend (or friends), the utmost honor and respect he held for the welcomed guest. When Martha served Jesus and some of his followers in Bethany, she was displaying her humble love and respect (John 12:1ff). In the Book of Revelation 3:20, we have a dinner invitation that is even more personal than a close friend because Jesus says that he actually eats with you and you with him ― breaking the traditional protocols to sup with you!

Jesus has always been standing at the door of our hearts ―― knocking. The knocking is another biblical custom meaning that one would actually stand outside the gate of the house and yell out the name of the person they wanted to call on, as the messengers of Cornelius had done when calling out for Peter in Acts 10:17-18. This is why the verse says if any man hear my voice.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus further discusses his calling by saying that there were to be other people besides those of the first century who would hear his voice.

John 10:16:
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

We today, who are in God’s family, are those to whom Jesus was referring. Reading the words of Christ is easy but it is an entirely different experience to actually hear his sweet voice that speaks directly to our heart and soul with inspiration that always strengthens our believing with a heavenly calmness. Our Savior’s voice encourages, exhorts, and edifies men and women who answer his call to walk with him who walks with the Creator.

When you answer the call of Jesus today, you will be allowing him into your life and heart. When you hear his wonderful voice, you may recall hearing his heartfelt calling as well as recalling some in-depth echoes of past memories that in truth have been beseeching you all along, perhaps even since your first memories of childhood. It certainly will bless his life to bless your life for allowing him into your heart as you answer him, “I am here Lord,” and begin dining together on the bread of life (God’s Word), and enjoy your close personal relationship with him who gave his utmost for you.