Our Father

“When Jesus Christ was physically here walking upon this earth, one of his missions was to make God known as a very accessible heavenly Father. In the process of revealing the Father, Jesus was concurrently fulfilling the Old Testament Law and redeeming humanity. Hearing about this new concept that God was to become their heavenly Father was an exciting revelation set levels above what man ever imagined in relation to the God of Creation. Many people in both the Old Testament and Gospel times referred to God as I AM THAT I AM (Exodus 3:14), or the UNKNOWN GOD (Acts 17:23), so the contrast of perceiving God Almighty, the actual Creator of the Heavens and Earth, as an actual Father was a completely foreign concept and was astounding to them in every conceivable detail. During the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus references the heavenly Father no less than seventeen times, and each mention is an enlightening explanation of the Father’s desired relationship with man. Today when we hear phrases in reference to God being a Father, or the heavenly Father, or our Father, these sayings do not surprise us at all because we have become comfortable with these terms for God. The terminology of God the Father has been taught in seminaries, churches, and Sunday schools around the world for centuries. However, back in the first century, the conceptual suggestion of referring to the God of Abraham as their Father was an incredible mind-blower. Jesus was, as we say these days, pushing the envelope with new teachings opposed to the standards of philosophical or spiritual thought of that day.” ~LMJ~

Understanding God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

For so many people, God is simply a name or title that carries empty meanings. Some refer to Him as “the man upstairs,” or think along the lines of, “I know that there is something out there because of the order and perfection of life,” but whatever power He has or whoever He is, is just not understood. The reason that so many people think this way is because they have never been introduced to God’s heart and His healing Word.

Someone once said, in essence, “I can see how man can look at the works of man and say there is no God, but I cannot see how man can look into the starry heavens or view life all around us and still say there is no God.” There are seven major aspects of who God is which help us to understand His relationship to man. The more we understand God via His Word, the greater our spiritual lives inevitably will become. God indeed has purpose to everything He does and the blessed duty of man is to walk into the spiritual understanding of the ways of God. The more abundant life God indeed reveals to us as we come to know and understand Him through His revealed Word.

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 Himself, for He is Who He is. The Apostle Paul said “by the grace of God I am what I am:” (I Corinthians 15:9), because Paul could not deny who he was, and that he was who he was by the grace of God; it is the same with us and with God (Hebrews 11:6). In Exodus chapter 3, God was preparing Moses to deliver the children of Israel from the bondage of slavery, but this was not all that God told Moses to say to the children of Israel.

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. . .

So Moses had more to go on than simply to say, “I AM sent me unto you,” but also to inform them that the same God their ancestors believed in and hoped on has “sent me unto you.”

Exodus 6:2-3:
-2: And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD:
-3: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob never knew God by the name of Jehovah, only by God Almighty. The significance of this is in understanding what is in God’s name because the more we understand the distinctions within the names of God (and there are many), the more we can understand God Himself. Throughout the ages God has been revealing ever more of Himself to His children, and some of this “understanding God” we will be looking at in this study.

Psalms 100:3a:
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves. . .

In this verse, we learn that the LORD is God. The Hebrew word for LORD is Jehovah and means God’s personal relationship to what He has created. The Hebrew word for God is Elohim and means God’s relationship to His creation. Jehovah (Lord) always implies God’s horizontal relationship between men and Himself, while Elohim (God) always implies God’s vertical relationship between man and God, Who is the Almighty Creator.

In Psalms 100:3, we see that God the Creator wants to have a personal relationship with those whom He has created, and made. “For he that cometh to God must believe that he is …” (Hebrews 11:6). God’s Word says He made us; we never sprang up from vapor or crawled out of the ocean after a big bang or by any other “weird” means. When Christians come to the place in their own believing that it truly was God Who made us, then God’s wonderful relationship with us begins to manifests itself in our hearts. Then we can say with believing conviction “by the grace of God I am what I am.”

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.