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.

Let Your Light so Shine (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

One of the very first places that we Christians can inspire and bless other people is in our homes, and to recognize the spiritual light that is in one another in our own families. As an example: In my home, I am the Dad; however, my two children also know me as their brother, because God is our Father. This understanding alone has opened wonderful moments in our family’s relationship. Sometimes our conversation becomes so open and exciting that it causes me to be thrilled with complete thankfulness that we have allowed God, the light of His healing Word, and Jesus Christ into our lives.

My wife, my helper and companion is also my sister in God’s household, and this understanding has made it possible for us to become and stay the best of friends. I Peter 3:7 confirms to us that we are “heirs together of the grace of life,” in other words, we equally share in a “life of grace” ─ together, as one (Matthew 19:4-6). I would also like to point out that not every moment is like living in paradise, we are only human, and we certainly have our share of life’s trials, yet as we look to God’s Word, we always end up being more than conquerors as we let our light so shine forth for God and our Savior. Overall, I would not change anything, because we as a family have worked very hard to build our relationship with God, His Son, and with each other as we have seen the light of God’s love within each other.

One of the greatest gifts that God has ever given to men and women who believe is spiritual light. With this light, the eyes of our spiritual understanding begin opening to the life that Jesus called the more abundant life, for it is eternal life (I John 5:10-12).   Jesus Christ made this life available to us by sacrificing his own life. As we personally come to know and experience Jesus Christ who dwells in our hearts (Colossians 1:27), and who resides within every fiber of our beings (Colossians 3:4), the greater the experience of “the more abundant life” becomes. In John 10:10, Jesus said, “I am come that they {believers} might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The word might in the Greek Text is the word for “may” and the meaning is that we have Jesus’ permission to enjoy the more abundant life. This is the very reason and purpose why Jesus Christ came in the first place, so that we may experience the abundant life, which is not just an abundant life, but ─ life ─ MORE ABUNDANTLY!

John 8:12:
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

The light of life is the necessary spiritual light needed to enjoy life more abundantly. Now, how can we get the words of Jesus off the pages of the Bible and begin applying them in practical living? By following Jesus, who is clearly perceived throughout the Scriptures as the light of the world. In Ephesians 2:10 we read, “For we are his {God’s} workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” The word should is an interesting word (a kin to the word “may” above), because God is not demanding that we practice works of any kind, rather this is a loving request from our heavenly Father, and it is only when we decide to walk in them will we turn the light on from within.

God designed the good works from the beginning. He, being the Creator of life, has given to us the blueprint for living life in the way He designed it, and the blueprint is His Word and His Word reveals Christ, and him we are instructed to follow. He loved his fellow man and encouraged us to do the same. God’s Word contains all things that pertain to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3-4). When and where we try to apply Scripture we will experience the true life and goodness that God placed in His healing Word for us to uncover, and to discover, and to treasure, and to enjoy as we effortlessly allow our light to shine from within our hearts.

Following Jesus is one of those good works that God ordained we observe; in fact, it is a wonderful work because in doing so we will recognize that we have access into the light of life. The guidance of Scripture is always requesting that we follow Jesus Christ, for he is the way, the truth, and the life to the Father (John 14:6, Hebrews 12:1-2).

Ephesians 5:14:
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light {so that we may first see, and then enjoy God’s good works}.

Isaiah 60:1:
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

When we became saved, we are spiritually awakened to a new life with (and in) Christ: this is the meaning of arise from the dead. In Matthew 5:16 Jesus said: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Jesus did not say to pray for more light, or to struggle through life trying to keep it burning. Rather he said let and the reason for this is that we already have light and we are encouraged to allow this light to shine by enjoying the good works, our proof that we have the light of life.

The Amplified Bible* translates good works from Ephesians 2:10 to read: “living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live” for living the good life with God in Christ in us is allowing our God-given light to shine. Enjoy a deLIGHTful life as you let your light so shine!

Ephesians 5:8:
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross~

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

To God ─ You Are Poetry in Motion

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them– Ephesians 2:10. The word workmanship is the Greek word poyeema and means a thing made, a thing produced, with effort and design. Poyeema literally is in reference to us who are His masterpieces. We can literally define the word poyeema as poetry in motion, for our lives are ordained by God to live in fellowship and harmony with Him Who has given to us a spiritually revived life. ~LMJ~

The Creator’s Masterpiece (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Ephesians 2:1-2:
-1:  AND you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and {in} sins;
-2:  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Before our salvation we were living our lives in the very nature of sin that was implanted in man since the fall in Genesis, for without God there is no forgiveness and thus humanity lives “dead in trespasses and {in} sins.” Yet now Ephesians shows us that we have been “quickened.” This word means being made alive (spiritually) which is the opposite of being (spiritually) dead in trespasses and sins. God has totally forgiven and cleansed us of sins and He has presented to us a new life in Christ, a life that is more than abundant. This new life in Christ is separate from “the course of this world,” because we have been totally released from the “prince of the power of the air” who is the Adversary. Without God in Christ in us, no matter what direction we were headed and no matter how wonderful that course may appear, it is a course of trespasses and sins. However, after our salvation God presents to us a course that leads to His right hand, a course into the righteousness of God, and a course that is quickening our very lives.

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

The word “workmanship” is the Greek word poyeema and means a thing made, a thing produced, with effort and design. In Ephesians 2:10, poyeema literally is in reference to us who are His masterpieces. We can literally define the word poyeema as poetry in motion for our lives are ordained by God to live in fellowship and harmony with Him Who has given to us a spiritually revived life. Ephesians shows us that we are God’s new creation, created in Christ Jesus, and we are those who live our lives, not in the course of this world, but in “good works” that God makes available to us through an understanding of His healing Word. Being God’s workmanship is a tremendous privilege to say the least. Every craftsman is proud of his workmanship, and it is the same with God – He is completely thrilled with us. The Epistles shows us the good works that God would have us walk into but the choice is obviously ours. This is why the verse states “that we should,” this is not a commandment but a loving request.

When comparing walking (living) by the course of this world as is shown in Ephesians 2:1-2 with what is made available to the believer in Ephesians 2:10, that we may live by the good works that God has already ordained for us, we cannot be anything but thankful because we are already pleasing to God. Let us again read Ephesians 2:10 from the Amplified Bible:

Ephesians 2:10 (Amplified*) – For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].

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

The Creator’s Masterpiece (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Before our salvation, we were living our lives in the very nature of sin that was implanted in man since the fall in Genesis (Romans 5:8-12), for without God and the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, there is no everlasting forgiveness. Thus, humanity lived in a state that the Bible calls being “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). But when we become saved through the work of Jesus, we are completely forgiven and are given a new life in Christ. This new life completes the Creator’s Masterpiece because our God creates Christ in us (Colossians 1:27)! When men and women accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, they become spiritually one with God’s love – in Christ – in them (John 17:11, 21-23), and members of God’s illustrious family (Ephesians 2:13-22).

Ephesians 2:1-2:
-1: AND you hath he quickened who were {once, before our salvation} dead in trespasses and {in} sins;
-2: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

The Epistle of Ephesians shows us that we have been quickened. This word means being made alive (spiritually) which is the opposite of being (spiritually) dead in trespasses and sins. “Even when we were dead in sins, {God} hath quickened us together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5), giving us a life in Christ to enjoy in the present world. God has totally forgiven and cleansed us of sins and He has presented to us a new life in Christ, a life that is more than abundant; as Jesus said, “I am come that they have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

This new life in Christ is separate from the course of this world because we have been totally released from the prince of the power of the air who is the Adversary. Without God in Christ in us, no matter what direction in which we were headed and regardless how wonderful that course may appear, it was a course of trespasses and sins when we were living our lives without God. However, after our salvation God presents to us a course that leads us to the light of His Word, a course to His right hand, a course into the righteousness of God, and a course that is quickening our very lives to be the honored children of His Holiest. This spiritual course becomes recognized through Jesus Christ, the golden thread who, when followed, will lead directly up to God and His eternal promises.

Yet for so many people, Jesus Christ is not understood outside of the confines of the four Gospels, and is the reason why so many people miss many of the reasons for man’s purpose on earth and his eternal destiny. Coming to an understanding of Jesus from the whole Word will identify him as the genuine link to the life more abundant he promised to deliver. This is the theme of our series on The Golden Thread. This is not a series on the subject of history from the Old Testament, but it IS on the subject of his‑story from the Old Testament. Jesus is the singular thread connecting both Testaments to himself, and through him we are introduced to our heavenly Father by crystal clear, present day revelations! He is our Savior right now and we can bring him off the pages of Scripture and into our everyday lives as our necessary refuge from the spiritual storms hidden along the course of this world.

Ephesians 2:10:
For we are his {God’s} workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

The word workmanship is the Greek word poyeema and means a thing made, a thing produced, with effort and design; our English word “poetry” is derived from poyeema. In Ephesians 2:10 the word poyeema literally is in reference to us being God’s masterpieces. We can literally define the word poyeema as poetry in motion, for our lives are ordained by God to live in fellowship and harmony with Him Who has given to us a spiritually revived life so that we may walk with God and experience true heavenly joy.

Romans 8:29-30:
-29: For whom he {God} did foreknow {you and me}, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son {i.e., created in Christ Jesus}, that he {Christ Jesus} might be the firstborn among many brethren.
-30: Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

The Epistle of Ephesians shows us that we are God’s new creation, created in Christ Jesus, and we are those who can live our lives not in the course of this world but in good works that God makes available to us through an understanding of His healing Word. Being God’s workmanship is a tremendous privilege, wouldn’t you agree? In Deuteronomy 32:4 we read, “He {God} is the Rock, his work {or God’s workmanship} is perfect,” and since we are, according to the Bible, God’s workmanship, then we certainly have been called into something perfectly wonderful! It is a calling into fellowship with Christ Jesus and set upon a course to enjoy his resurrected life in us, for we are created in Christ Jesus, “as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

Every craftsperson is pleased with his workmanship, and it is the same with God – He is completely thrilled with us! The Epistles (Romans through Thessalonians) shows us the good works that God would have us walk in, but the choice is obviously ours in this life. This is why the verse states that we should; this is not a commandment but a loving request. When comparing walking (or living) by the course of this world as is shown in Ephesians 2:1-2 with what is made available to the believer in Ephesians 2:10, that we may live our lives by the good works that God has already ordained for us, we cannot be anything but thankful because we are already pleasing to God. This is an awesome place to start because God has already, “made us accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6), the beloved being our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and we have been accepted to stand with him and our heavenly Father from this moment onward.

Let us again read Ephesians 2:10 from the Amplified Bible:

Ephesians 2:10 (The Amplified Bible):*
For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].

Being God’s workmanship is an awesome present, freely given to all believers, and God be lauded and praised today as we recall the blessed life of our Savior, Christ the Lord. He made it available for God to work this miracle for you and I to be The Creator’s Masterpiece, His workmanship, “recreated in Christ Jesus,” as we continue enjoying the blessings of living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to enjoy with Him for all eternity!

“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” ~John Ruskin~

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