“I AM who I AM”
Moses thought he had to convince the Hebrews to follow him out of Egypt. So, he asked the Lord what he should say. The Lord replied: ‘Tell them “I AM” sent you.’ (Exodus 3:14).
God used this term many times, and Jesus used it in the New Testament. You will note that the words are in capital letters in the KJAV. God said to Moses “I AM THAT I AM.” Thus, God repeats the verb twice: “hayah hayah”. This must be one of the most profound names known to mankind, for it describes God’s eternal nature; ‘to be’.
Hayah can mean one of several things, depending on context. In this case it means ‘I exist’ or ‘the self-existent one’, a reference to God’s Person as eternal... and only God can be eternal, with no beginning and no end. This should start your heart beating faster! It is where the Creator meets with one of His creatures, Moses; the divine commanding a finite man to do His bidding.
This use of the verb is unusual in Hebrew sentences, and it rarely refers to simple existence or someone’s identity. Yet, here we have God Himself telling Moses that Moses can identify Him as “I AM”.
In Hebrew hayah can sometimes be used with a predicate adjective to describe something or some event that no longer exists, such as “The earth was formless and void”. Another use of ‘I AM’ is ‘to become’, but as God is eternal this is not the meaning in the text mentioned. Rather, God is telling Moses to use the term as a type of name, though not the true name of God itself, but a description.
Some have argued that “I AM” contains the word hayah, and so is part of the name Yahweh or Jehovah. However, this idea seems to be cast aside by a suggested meaning of “I am he who is” – a meaning I can readily accept as closer to the mark, and explains why the word is repeated. Or, we can read it as ‘I am he who exists’. To put it in a more modern way, the statement refers to His ‘is-ness’ and not to His name (hayah being a verb and not a personal noun). Yet, in terms of human use, we can adopt the term as a name of God, for He really is the One Who ‘exists because He exists’.
In Hebrew literature, the English version of “I AM THAT I AM” is written as Ehyeh asher ehyeh, which literally translates as "I Will Be What I Will Be". Both the original Hebrew and the translated English are essentially the same thing. The Hebrew form is often shortened or contracted to “I AM”, and this is found in the second statement in the Exodus verse. The use of the verb by God Himself allows us to use it as a proper noun in English; that is, as a proper name of God. And some rabbis consider the Hebrew, Ehyeh, to be a first-person derivation of the tetragrammaton, YHWH. Others reject this notion.
In Genesis 26:3 the Hebrew word is written as ‘I shall/will be’, and is repeated as such to the last example, in Zechariah 8:8. Throughout the Old Testament Rabbis use the term to depict the otherness of God, unaffected by concepts, or persons, or events, as self-existing.
Hellenistic Jews translated the term as ‘I am the being’ and Philo hinted that God really has no name, for He is above all names. This idea of coming into being is also found in Revelation 1:8, in the verb ‘to come into’. The term, then – “I AM” – is all-embracing and profound. By describing Who and What He is, God makes His eternal condition a personal name. He exists because He exists; He has never not-existed and will never not-exist. And this same Lord God is our God, above and beyond all that is created.
Jesus – or His Deeds?
What did Jesus say we must primarily remember when we take part in communion? The main traditional view appears to slightly alter what Jesus said, by concentrating only on His death and resurrection. But, Jesus actually tells us to remember HIM. To some this distinction might seem trivial or just wrong, so let me explain why our emphasis should change to what Jesus said...
Personal actions emanate from a person. Without the person the actions would not occur! And this is why Jesus asked us to remember HIM and not just what He did. Yes, what He did was incredible and necessary for our salvation. But, when Jesus said we must do this in remembrance of “me”, He did NOT mean ‘what I did’. Rather, He asked us to remember HIM as a Person, a friend and Saviour.
We must get the order right! Only after we remember Him can we go on to remember what He did for us on the cross. This is because God’s actions are only of worth BECAUSE He is God.
The two things are inseparable, theologically, but the actual words used in the text speak of Jesus as a Person, ‘me’. That is, there is a difference between interpretation of the actual text, and any theology that arises from it.
“I am the resurrection, and the life”. (John 11:25). We see the importance of placing prime value on the One Who gives us eternal life. Jesus said “I am”, the word “I” being a pronoun, ego, which is only expressed when emphatic. Thus, only He is the Resurrection. No other person can give us the result of His resurrection; His Person alone can give us “life”, zoe. This is why Jesus asked Martha if she believed this fact.
Before He asked Martha this, she said she knew her brother (Lazarus) would rise again “in the resurrection”. Here, she used the preposition “in”, en, which denotes the instrumentality or means by which Lazarus would arise; the ‘mechanical means’. But, Jesus personalised this action, showing that He IS the resurrection in His Person.
He said “I am”, where “am” is the verb, eimi. It means to exist, to happen. Thus, the act of resurrection is only possible because He exists and causes it to happen. Without His Person and holy character, the resurrection would not occur, particularly as what He did on the cross was predicated solely on WHO and WHAT He was. The action follows from His Person... His Person does not follow from what He did. Can you see the difference?
A Foul Government
As Christians we must obey our leaders... unless what they demand is against the Lord. And that includes being against His people and everything holy.
I know a lot of dour believers think we are too outspoken and do not use ‘Christian language’ at times. Well, that is their prerogative, but we will not gloss over sin or speak gently about or to those who hate the Lord and us. Thus it is that we again refer to the UK government as ‘stupid’, as well as foul. What it claims is of no consequence, such as same-sex ‘marriage’, is of highest importance to God’s people, and to the world in general. They have lied their heads off to get pro-gay laws through Parliament and refuse point blank to allow any proper discussion or any warnings that should be attached to homosexualisation.
As we said in the 1980s when we published our ‘blockbuster’ report on AIDS, this head in the sand attitude would cause millions to die... and we were right. No-one listened to us then, and no-one listens now, though everything we said would happen has already come to pass. It seems that everyone is quite okay with their sons and daughters dying early from sexually induced diseases.
Government is imposing layer upon layer of pro-homosexual laws on decent folks who wish to live morally. In doing so they condemn a whole generation of youngsters and children to a deadly mix of homosexual sex and rampant immorality, which only leads to death and misery.
On top of this the government acts as if it were independent of the voters, ignoring every demand for it to act properly. Many MPs live debauched lives, spending their ill-earned gains on rotten fruit that also rots the nation. They do not care if they are illegal, nor do they really care if they get caught. And even Christians are guilty of electing such rotten scoundrels. The few who are sound are subdued by their leaders, and so get nothing done about the sin that races like raw sewage through the Houses of Parliament, the Lords, and a fast-deteriorating legal system.
The same government thinks nothing of the financial ruin they bring upon most of us. While they are assured a big pension even if they are only MPs for one term, they steal our money through hidden and open taxation. Then, they have the gall to make everyone live in austerity, when, all along, it is THEIR stupidity and abuse of our taxes that brought us to this current mess. They also send over nine billion in aid to foreign countries, when our own people cannot even heat their homes or eat properly, knowing that the despots who run the foreign countries take the money for their own ends. At the same time they call for religious freedom in those countries, while shutting it down in the UK.
Foreigners come to the UK for free NHS treatment, though they are not entitled to it, and MPs and health officials stay silent. The result is billions spent on foreigners who are not eligible for the treatments, and the most basic treatments for those who have paid into the NHS for all their working lives. If they get any treatment at all!
The same government instructs police that vicious Muslims must be untouched, and for perverse homosexuals to roam our parks (paid for by tax-payers) looking for sex with men, and prostitutes operating in the same parks, as ‘dirty-raincoat’ men accost women walking their dogs. But, the police do nothing, because the whole country is now sexualised and homosexualised by government, and so sex crimes are not even looked at. I predict that sex in parks and open areas will soon by commonplace, as government desensitise people to sexual depravity. These all came about because of homosexual liberality and aggressive marketing of their brand of evil.
But, it is all possible because we have MPs whose minds and hearts are dark as night, fouled by Satan, and kept wicked, pushing evil agendas and ignoring those who vote for them. So yes – government is stupid and foul. The Lord already has its members in His sights and frankly we should pray for their downfall if they do not repent. I will not vote!
The New Pope
Readers will no doubt have noticed that I have mentioned nothing about the new pope, either in an article or in a news item. The reason is simple – I don’t care.
I don’t care because he is just another pope... he is ‘more of the same’. Some say he is the very last one, because they have read the ‘prophecy’ of a long-dead Catholic. Others point out that he is a Jesuit. But, I say, ‘So what?’ He is a pope, and that makes him the same as every other pope – ungodly and unsaved, leading a grave deception invented by Satan. It is the “same old same old”.
The system he heads is godless, and cannot be called ‘Christian’. It does not matter what he does, or does not, do, because in God’s eyes he is a man on his way to hell. So, friends, do not expect me to add to the plethora of news about the man. He is just one more hater of God spreading a deadly, Satanic, false gospel.
Clubbing Like Jesus??
On our website we often receive horrendous emails. But we also get comments to articles that are, well, rather ridiculous, if not close to blasphemous. Commenting on our article condemning clubbing and partying, one fellow wrote that we should beware of doing so, when even Jesus met with sinners!
The person definitely has no idea about what scripture says! What the critic was saying is that when he goes clubbing, in an environment that is heavy with booze, drugs, sex, foul language and violence, this is equal to Jesus going to a function with sinners and preaching to them of salvation and His commandments! Hm.
Obviously, there is no connection at all. Jesus would NOT have entered a nightclub to party! If our critic wishes to put this to the test, then he should go in specifically to preach. I guarantee that if that was his mission, he would last a few minutes before being either punched in the face or kicked out by bouncers! I double-dog-dare him to try it and let me know the outcome!
In other words, before shouting the odds, try to know what scripture says. Otherwise any criticism is pathetic & godless.
How It Starts
First, the meanings of words are changed. Then, those who refuse to accept the new meanings are ridiculed. Then, they are attacked. Then they are legally bound. Then, they are made to be hateful by small numbers of vested interests.
In the USA an army reserve unit was undergoing lectures on religious extremism. And at the top of the list were – Christians. Then Catholics, Mormons and Jews. The soldiers were taught that they were equal to al-Qaida, Hamas and the Ku Klux Klan! (Source: Godfather Politics, 6th April).
This foul calumny was issued under the ‘Equal Opportunities’ programme! Oh yes, and if you are suspicious of Islam you are ‘Islamophobic’ and also to be treated with hatred and suspicion. Such is the massive social change brought about by Obama in a few years.
A soldier complained about this awful parody of righteousness, and the army went into overdrive, or should I say reverse, by saying the lecture did not reflect its policies! So, how many other similar propagandised lectures is the army having? Are we expected to accept that the US army does not veto those who teach, and what soldiers are being filled with? It is just a cover-up. Obama has his sticky Marxist fingerprints all over it!
Ceased... or Just Not Deserved?
In my book, ‘Plagues, a Crossing, and Small White Things’, I looked at the matter of miracles as one way God interacts with the world. I also looked at the cessationist argument, that God no longer acts in this world (well, that is the natural conclusion).
Did God stop His interventions? I am not convinced, but believe He still acts amongst us. Why, then, do we not see more evidence for this? Jesus gives a partial answer in Matthew 13:58,
“And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”
Do you truly believe God acts today; that He listens to and answers prayer, and that He can produce miracles? The people Jesus referred to SAW what He did and HEARD His power, yet they were “offended in him”. That is, they disapproved of Him because He was known to them only as a local builder’s son!
Yet, what might seem a small thing to us was much bigger to Jesus – disapproval equals unbelief. And it was this unbelief that stopped Jesus from doing anything miraculous in the area. This, I am convinced, is a major reason why Christians today see so little of God’s interventions. And even if they are witnessed, Christians tend to brush them off as ‘psychological’ or some other humanly-perceived activity.
Be assured, if you do not truly believe, then you will see almost nothing of God! We call on God, sometimes with great passion – but we are not prepared to see the results. Stop playing around with belief and begin to live dynamically, not just praying for help but actually believing you will get it.
“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.”
Notice what it says – “to his name”. Praise Him first, then think of what He can do for you. Jesus taught this in what we call the Lord’s Prayer. Reboot your thinking!
© March 2013
Published on www.christiandoctrine.com
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