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.

Finding Our Personal Savior

“The deeper one scrutinizes the Scriptures, the more dynamically Christ becomes recognized as our personal Savior, Redeemer, and link to heaven’s throne and to Him Who sits upon it, and then what he said becomes not a simple phrase, but a reality, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me- John 14:6. His footprints are everywhere inside of the Scriptures blazing a trail that he painstakingly paved with his own life being clearly marked throughout the prophecies and leading directly up to the Creator.” ~LMJ~

Looking Unto Jesus (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Hebrews 12:1 – WHEREFORE seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

The “great cloud of witnesses” are the Old Testament believers talked about in Hebrews chapter 11. The witness of these believers was their faith, their positive believing faith in the coming of Jesus Christ that even today can be seen throughout the Bible. When studying the life of David for instance, we can see how he looked forward to the coming of his Redeemer, his Lord and Savior. We can discover the struggle he had against his sin nature to walk uprightly before his God and his human weakness in being just a man who tried to walk with God to the best of his abilities. We can see how David failed when he did not look to Jesus, but more important is that we can see him succeed whenever he believed God’s Word. These believers from the Old Testament were witnesses leaving us vivid examples of how to look to Jesus as they themselves did. “The race that is set before us” is to look to the finish line, it is to look to Jesus, for in him and with him is our continued access to God our heavenly Father, His grace, and His praise.

Hebrews 12:2 – Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is {now} set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Amplified Bible* reads Hebrews 12:2 as: “Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its {believing faith’s} Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Today we can look to Jesus Christ and rely on his faith, his believing faith and receive his assurance that he is for us the author and finisher of our own believing faith. The word “author” means princely leader, the first and foremost. The word “finisher” means to bring to full maturity, to the complete end. Thus, the author and finisher of our believing faith is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is first and the last, the alpha and omega, the author and giver of our desire to have his believing faith in our lives; he is the first and the last, completing and perfecting our own believing faith. This is what we may expect to receive by “looking unto Jesus” rather than looking to our own abilities or our own strength.

Acts 4:11-12:
-11:  This {Jesus Christ} is the stone which was set at nought {rejected} of you builders, which is become the head of the corner {of the spiritual Church and family of God Himself}.
-12:  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Today we have the blessed privilege to accept within our own heart the believing faith of Jesus Christ, who has been completely perfected in us through his believing actions that he took to his cross for us. We can believe on him and rely on his strength, as we continue “looking unto Jesus” throughout the revealed Word and will of God. When we look to Jesus, we will find the true spiritual presence and presents that God gives; this is the daily joy that He now sets before us.

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

The Hope of Job (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the book of Job, we will find the healing will of God, as well as the destructive and devastating will of Satan. Throughout Christendom many believe (wrongly) that God was the one Who inflicted Job and his family with great devastation, pain, suffering, and even the death of his children. However, this is not true! God is the God of all hope and deliverance, and it was Satan who attacked Job and devastated his entire life. Today we would like to look at the hope of Job. It was his hope in the coming Redeemer that turned his life around and gave him the strength to believe for healing, blessings, and for God’s refuge with His spiritual hedge of protection.  Job’s hope presented to him godly inspirations and foresight, which helped him believe for better tomorrows as he anticipated the return of his Savior.

Job 19:25 – For I know that my redeemer liveth {in the heart of my understanding}, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

The hope of Job was in the coming of Jesus Christ (his Redeemer). At that point in time, Job was recovering from a devastating storm. As Job passed through this horrible devastation, he was able again to look beyond the circumstances, to his Redeemer, leaving us a great example to look for our deliverance always.

Job 19:26 – And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

Job is referring to his resurrection, and though he realized that his frail body would someday return back to dust, he also knew and believed in his heart that in his resurrection he would see his God. Job believed that in the latter days he would stand upon the earth with his Savior and see his God with his new resurrected body.

Job 19:27 – Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another {not another means not as a stranger, an unsaved person, but as someone who knows God intimately, and as someone who hoped for his Redeemer to come for him}; though my reins be consumed within me.

Job knew that even after his death, he would have a complete standing with God and with his Redeemer. Life on earth is short in the scope of eternity; the life of man in the Bible is called a vapor, or a blade of grass that is here today and gone tomorrow (I Peter 1:24). As Job, we have only our life to walk with God and our own Redeemer, yet we will have eternity to enjoy the rewards for our believing actions that we take today.

James 5:11 – Behold, we count them happy {blessed} which endure {through life’s trials and temptations}. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

Job lived through a horrendous situation, yet he stayed focused on the hope he had – to stand with his Redeemer, and he believed that he was most definitely going to see God. Job was blessed because he endured through the onslaught of evil. At the end of his troubles he became extremely blessed because God doubled his abundance and rewarded him richly (Job 42:10-17). Yet there is more to come because in his resurrection he will see his God, walk hand in hand with his Redeemer, and enjoy his rewards throughout eternity. This is to be our end as well. Today, we have the hope to be with our Redeemer, and to see our God of all hope face to face.

The Knowledge of Christ (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Once there was a man who hated Christians. He persecuted them at every opportunity, put them in into prison, and gave his vote to have them executed by stoning them to death. He carried written permission from the leaders of his day to go anywhere, into any home, and forcefully drag out men and women and take them to jail. From the depths of his heart he loved God, and walked faithfully and blameless before others who believed in his religion and he somehow did this with a clear conscience. He was a very religious man who prayed and worshiped the same God we pray and worship. He believed in his heart that the Christian movement came from the pits of hell. I have no doubt that I would not allow him into my home or around my friends because his very presence could mean death. He thought in his heart that he was a great believer and that he was doing the right things before his God as he personally anticipated the coming of the Redeemer. This man lived in the first century as a Pharisee, he had the best schooling that money could buy. He also had the right credentials as he sat under the greatest teacher of the Old Testament Scriptures (“Gamaliel” Acts 5:34; Acts 22:3), and he was one of Gamaliel’s favorite pupils. This man was Saul, also known in the Scriptures as Paul (the difference in the two names is that Saul comes from the Hebrew, while Paul is the Greek).

Acts 22:4 – And I {Paul} persecuted this way {“this way” represented the followers of Jesus Christ who was, is, and shall always be “the way, the truth, and the life” John 14:6} unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

I Timothy 1:12-13:
-12:  And I {Paul} thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
-13:  Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious {an insulter}: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

“Ignorantly in unbelief” means that Paul did not have the right information to believe correctly, even with all his religions training in the Scriptures which foretell and announce the coming of Christ, the promised Messiah. Paul completely missed the truths in the Scriptures that reveal Jesus Christ to be the promised Messiah, the Redeemer, and the Savior of humanity. One day when Paul was on the road to Damascus he, for the first time in his life, met Jesus Christ, and as we know, he had an immediate change of mind and heart, because Paul for the first time in his life saw (mentally perceived) the true spiritual realities of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to Paul in Acts 9:5 “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest!” Can you imagine?

Personally – if I were Paul – this meeting would have given me a heart attack! Yet, Paul recognized the error of his ways, changed his mind, and he became one of the greatest believers this world has ever known, he received perhaps more revelation and inspiration than any man or woman has received in all of history. The great Apostle Paul from that day forward dedicated his life to teaching and showing others the depths of God’s grace, love, and forgiveness. Paul helped believers receive an understanding of the healing Word by preaching Jesus Christ, who in turn reveals the righteousness of God to our inner hearts, as His Word continues blessing our lives with spiritual truth.

Philippians 3:8-9:
-8:  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered {allowed} the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ {there is nothing as precious as learning about Christ},
-9:  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: