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The Great I Am is Jesus Christ

Updated on April 19, 2016

Dark and light.

A contrast photo show the differences between light and darkness.
A contrast photo show the differences between light and darkness. | Source

Anytime we have trouble understanding something the Pharisees of the 1st-century rush in to come to the rescue on the subject. Each of the Synoptic has part of the story as a way of spreading the information out as communications do in an encrypted secret signal. Let us look at parts of John 8.47-59.

Jesus Christ, a certified historically confirmed Samaritan, had just told the Pharisees, “He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear because you are not of God.” They, not being smart enough to recognize God in the flesh, do not know the slap in the face they just received and asked Him something.

“Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?” The Pharisees are as ignorant as His critics today. The Pharisees had God in front of them who demonstrated His power right in front of them. Today’s critics have the handiwork of God staring them right in the face. Themselves, for example, the complexity of which could not have evolved by random chance. The demons today cause people to scoff, "You have your imaginary friend in the sky to help you!" The same demon who drove the Pharisees guides the atheist and agnostics.

Jesus, being as gentle as He could to these spiritual blind hypocrites, “I do not have a demon, but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My Word he shall never see death.”

Still being hard to hear and blind to see, the Pharisees open their mouth and say, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?”

Religiosity then and religiosity/atheism today is no better. People have opinions about who He was which have never studied the subject. What do we call them besides hypocrites, busybodies, gossipers, fools, or idiots? They are as deceived today as the Pharisees were then. To remove any doubt about who He was Jesus said,

“If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His Word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” (re. John 8.54; John 15.10; Matthew 13.17; Hebrews 11.13)

Boy, if the atheist and religious people of that day were not angry enough, Jesus fueled their fire. The hypocrites said, “You are not yet fifty years old, have you seen Abraham?” Blind, sadly ignorant, and uneducated where it really counts they are at their wits ends. Then the Lord makes an astounding statement that removes any ambiguity.

“Most assuredly, I say to you before Abraham was, I AM.” (re. Exodus 3.14; Revelation 22.13; John 1.1) The creator of Abraham slaps them all right in their smug religious mugs. This is the final straw as far as they were concerned. The Pharisees clearly understood what He was saying. They are ready to use capital punishment of the day. They want to stone Him. But Jesus next does something that shows He is God.

“Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them and so passed by.” (re. Luke 4.30; John 10.39) What a complex statement that one can read and pass over without understanding. You see God inhabits eternity. (Isaiah 57.15) Eternity is outside time and space and is not restricted by our reality and understanding. Jesus apparently slips into eternity and slips back when He is outside the temple. This is purely conjectured on my part, come to your own conclusion on how he accomplished this feat. This profound occurrence happened several times that you can chase down.

Jesus said the Abraham was “brought into existence.” Jesus, on the other hand, made it clear He existed eternally outside time and space. Genesis 1.1 is where it say “In the beginning God,” the Great I Am in Hebrew is “Elohim” a masculine plurality noun meaning more than one. I believe that to be God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. There are those who disagree with this. But after nearly forty years of study, I feel through the Holy Spirit very comfortable with this hermeneutic.

Jesus fulfilled all three hundred and fifty-seven prophecies. If a predictor fulfilled one in eight prophecies the odds would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000 1 person fulfilling 48 prophecies is 1 chance in 10 to the 157th power and 1 person fulfilling 300+ prophecies: Only Jesus! A number beyond our abilities to understand even if the others are not. You are made in God’s image. A Christian who submits to it is going through sanctification to that image.

Now let us look at Psalm 34, verse one, “I will bless the Lord at all times.” If there were ever a sanctification verse this is one. What? An I statement that is not narcissistic. Jesus said He would never leave us or forsake us. Hebrews 13.5 says in the Amplified Bible, Let your character [your moral essence, your inner nature] be free from the love of money [shun greed—be financially ethical], being content with what you have; for He has said, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!”

"Glorify all you the Lord in the fire." (Isaiah 24.15) That means that Jesus Christ is with us at all times. With us in our trials, our tough times, our dramas, and even sickness which He did not cause. The Great I Am is with me at all times, and I should praise Him in my trials. That is lifestyle changing. If we believe it, it changes where we walk, what we say, and what we do. We are, after all, sojourners in this world under the control of Satan for a time. Our citizenship is in heaven. (Philippians 3.20)

Related, there is a battle raging for the minds and hearts of our youth that encompasses much more than politics and ethics. Hebrews 13.5 which says Jesus Christ will never desert you nor will He forsake, or even let us down. Where are our children going and what are they doing? As a parent, you should be concerned. How we taught our children that Jesus Christ is with them at all times? He is with them when they are texting, visiting bars, or alone with their friends. What we are discussing is a collision of worldviews.

Competing worldviews are everywhere. Propagated in the news medias, newsstands, evening news, and played out at the United Nations, the halls of Congress, Duke, North Carolina, Maine, Berkley, Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. That goes even for your local community college. When considering the tug-of-war among worldviews that rage in America and the world we tend to make the mistake of defining the battle in terms of politics and ethics. But it actually encompasses much more. They exist among Christians, Humanist both liberal and radical, and even the beliefs and practices of radical and moderate Islamics.

We must remember that the battle for the hearts and minds of our youth should not be limited to just politics and ethics. As a believer in Jesus Christ, we should consider how our commitment to Him affects how we behave and act about theology, philosophy, biology, psychology, sociology, law, ethics, politics, and economics, and history. This grouping should be approached with only our Christian worldview in mind. It is within these disciplines lies the battle for the minds of our youth. A Christian worldview is a 24 hour a day commitment in each of these thought areas listed.

Our youth is more than worth the effort to steer them in the right direction. It is my goal to help Christian students and adults to recognize the significance of the areas above and the most influential ideas and values in the world today. The non-Christian culture and forces are well versed in a non-biblical, unrealistic, and even irrational assumptions about reality from which they derive. If we understand the difference between the Biblical Christian, secular Humanist, Marxist, Cosmic Humanist (New Agers), Postmodern, and Islamic worldviews we will be better armed to share the Gospel with them.

When we do we can accept that Jesus Christ is with us always and be better able to defend our faith and truth as revealed in the Bible and His creation. In the future God willing, we will learn an understanding of the six worldviews that will help protect us from deception by grounding us more firmly in our Christian faith. I also will provide tools to more effectively witness for Christ in these conflicting times in which we live and love.

Two-thirds of the world does not know this. Are we doing our part in the Lord's desire to save them? Only you can answer that question. Thank you for reading the article. Please take the time to comment below. Thank you for reading and making the effort to comment. Professor Gary Hill

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Beautiful flowers in the summer of 2010. | Source

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I constantly get email from youth who say they have two natures they call different names. What it really comes down to is darkness and light or good and evil. Youth today need strong role models who are grounded. It would also be advantageous if they were Christians who lived the life 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Email to ghill@bibleuniversity.ca

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