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Do you know “the great I AM”?
A while back I wrote a blog titled “God is not His name”. God is what He IS, but his name is YHVH, sometimes in the Hebrew Bible shortened to “Yah”. You say that name every time you say “hallelujah” – as the “j” is pronounced as a “y” in Hebrew. So it’s “hallelu YAH” – “Praise Yah” is what it means. YHVH is His most personal name. He wants us to know His name. Those of us who are the children of the Highest have been privileged to call HIM – Abba. Our Dear Father.
But do you realize that YHVH literally can also be shortened in its definition to “I am”. So sometimes you hear people reading “the LORD” as “the Eternal”. God always IS, He is the “I am”. He is Eternal. But “I am” is actually even stronger than just saying “Eternal”.
You may be familiar with songs, verses and statements that say something when referring to the Eternal One as the one “who was, and is and is to come.” Did you realize that’s not the way the Bible has it? Yah’s focus is that He IS right now.
We don’t refer to the Creator as “the great he was”, or the “the great he will be” – we call him the Great I AM. This is why the phrase correctly starts with “WHO IS, and was, and is to come.” Let me say it again: It starts with “WHO IS, and was, and is to come”. Abba – and Yeshua too for that matter—want you to realize He is our PRESENT help and Savior; He’s not “a has been”.
My point is this: be aware when singing hymns and songs which start with “who WAS” – and then add “and who IS and who is to come” ---that they have the sequence all wrong. That’s not what scripture says. Yeshua STARTS by saying he is the One “who IS, and was and is to come”.
“Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come…”
"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "WHO IS and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
"We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty,
The One WHO IS and who was and who is to come,”
Saying “the One who IS…” is just another way of saying “I AM” – and that carries the authority of eternity with it.
Be sure to click on “Continue Reading” to the right to read how our English Bibles missed a great point in their translation in some cases.
Surprised? Did you get that? Did you see how those verses all started? Always start with our Savior and our Father as being “I AM”.
I know several praise and worship songs that don’t get the sequence right. He is first and foremost – “the I AM”, not “I WAS”. It’s not just semantics. It’s not just a technicality. This is important. Our God is a present help in time of need. Our Father IS. Our Savior IS. Our God is right here, right now, in the present. In the here and now. He is the great I am. So the focus should be on his being present right now – “the one who is, and was, and is to come.”
Do you hear the difference?
When Moses asked the Voice in the burning bush what His name is, here’s what He said (from the Holman translation):
Then Moses asked God, “If I go to the Israelites and say to them: The God [Elohim] of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what should I tell them?”
14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the Israelites: Yahweh, [YHVH] the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This [YHVH] is My name forever; THIS is how I am to be remembered in every generation.”
YHVH encapsulates all that. Of course this is the name of our Creator that is used almost 7,000 times – more times than Elohim and Adonai and other names combined! Your English Bible has changed the name YHVH to “the LORD”, making it a title. He is called Adonai in some places, which can mean “Lord” also, but in the original, His most powerful name is “YHVH” – the I AM. (Isaiah 42:8; Jeremiah 16:21).
What is the living God? Abba, our awesome Father in the Highest, would certainly say, “I am your dear Father. I am LOVE”. Perhaps more than anything else, God is love. You know that in your head, but have you received that deeply into your consciousness? If you could hear Abba speak, he would whisper into your ear – “I AM – your Father, your Abba, just as I AM Yeshua’s Abba.” Then He would pause, and then continue, “and YOU – you are my dear child, among my first group of children in my plan to have many children. That means I love you as much as I love your older brother Yeshua” (John 17:23).
I plan to have a sermon before too long on what it means when even Yeshua says He is also the great “I AM”. What is he? He would answer it the same way he does in the seven-fold revelation of “I am” in the gospel of John – such as – “I am the Vine”, I am the Way, I am the Bread from Heaven, I am the Good Shepherd, I am the Door of the sheepfold. Can you think of any more?
Yeshua also could add, “I am peace. I am Joy. I am kind. I am fair and just. I am Almighty. I am the Lamb. I am the High Priest. I am the Altar. I am the living mercy seat. I am. I am perfect obedience. I am the Servant. I am the servant King. I am lowly and meek. I am gentle. I am your healer. I am your LIFE. I am the resurrection. I am your Redeemer. I am your husband, I am your beloved – and you are mine. You are my beloved.”
Are you getting it? He is ‘I AM!”
Frankly I could go on and on. He could add, “I am your Protector, I am your strong tower, I am your Rock. I am. I am who I am. I am he who speaks from a burning bush, or from the wind, or from a dream, or from a friend in whom is my spirit… I AM.”
So many times, when we read it in our English Bibles, we read Him sometimes replying to a request to identify himself saying “I am he”. But in many cases, the “he” is not in the original! So many times Yeshua is actually saying simply – “I AM”. By that he is saying he is God, He is Yah, and He is YHVH. He’s part of the I AM. But that’s all coming out in detail when I give the sermon on this topic. I’ll tease you with one example of several:
“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I AM[He], you will die in your sins." (no “he” in the original; just “I am”]
The blind man who was healed in John 9 said Yeshua also identified himself to him as “I am”. Again, the English word “he” is not in the original Greek. Yeshua IS the Great I AM, the Creator who spoke the universe into existence. Come to know and love him and exult in Him and praise Him and be in Him!
When they came to arrest Yeshua in Gethsemane, John 18:4-9 states in the original that when Yeshua asked them whom they sought, they answered “Jesus of Nazareth”. To that he replied, in the original – “I AM”. Again the word “he” is not there in the original. It took the disciples and others – and us today – a while to really appreciate the full depth of seeing and knowing your Savior as – the Great I AM.
There’s something very, very deep about understanding “I AM”. But that will have to wait until we get into it in the sermon.
Praise you Yeshua. Praise your holy name YHVH. Praise you Abba. Praise you – the Great I AM. Help us to love, cherish, protect, honor and lift up your holy name, the great I AM.
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