Monday, April 16, 2018

Who Am I

When Moses encountered "the Angel of the Lord who appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush" (Exodus 3:2), he was given instructions concerning the mission that the Lord had called him to. Before Moses departed, he asked, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, the God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, what is His name?’ what shall I say to them? And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you...This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations." (Exodus 3:13-15) 

I AM that I AM is the common English translation of the response that God revealed to Moses when he asked for His name. I AM in the Hebrew language is usually translated in English Bibles as "I AM...I WILL BE...I SHALL BE." Some translations render this name as "I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE." The King James version of the Bible reveals God saying "I am" 508 times in the Old Testament and 211 times in the New Testament. Although they may be repeated, such as, "I am the Lord" or "I am God," nevertheless God reveals Himself as I AM throughout His Word. Other examples of this are, "I am the Lord who heals you." (Exodus 15:26) "I am Almighty God." (Genesis 17:1) 

Taking this a step further, we also see, "For I am the Lord, I do not change" (Malachi 3:6) from the Old Testament, and "Jesus Christ (God in flesh) is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8) from the New Testament. So, why are these things so very important for believers to fully comprehend? Simply put, because far to many of God's children, who love Him and serve Him are living under the weight of a Christianity that has been and is still being taught that God is no longer "I AM" but is now, I was or I may. What is meant by this statement? I am not trying to be  condescending or condemning, but the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul tells us, "lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices." (2 Corinthians 2:11)

Although Paul says, "we are not ignorant of his devices" this does not insinuate that every believer is not ignorant of Satan's devices. Unfortunately, many believers are ignorant of his plans and schemes. Paul also tells us, "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons." (1 Timothy 4:1) What are deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons? Deceiving spirits are evil spirits that cause someone to accept as true or valid that which is false or invalid. Those who fall prey to such deceptions, obviously do not know it. The doctrines of demons are doctrines blatantly contrary to Scripture. Again, because these doctrines are deceptive, they are easily accepted. 

The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul is speaking to us emphatically, not to be ignorant of Satan's deceptive plans, which purpose is to bring apostasy, departing from the faith, through doctrines that are contrary to God's Word. Some good examples of these erroneous doctrines that have been accepted in many sectors of the church, come from teachers that say the age of miracles has past; that God is able to heal, but it may not be His will in certain circumstances; that sickness is God's will for His children. What a deceptive scheme. Satan has worked quite hard to hide the truth from all people, especially believers, concerning these things. Satan has broadcasted these unscriptural, deceptive and illogical doctrines so much, that it has almost succeeded in reducing Almighty God from I AM to I was or I may.

Let us now look at how this plays out in the lives of believers by looking at some Scriptures concerning Israel's condition under Egyptian rule. "And the Lord said, (to Moses) I have surely seen the oppression (affliction; shatter; troubles; misery; poverty; illness; depression) of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows (great pains and suffering)" (Exodus 3:7) Although this was prior to the giving of the Law, Israel was in covenant with God through the covenant that God established with Abraham. For the sake of time, let's skip forward to God's deliverance of Israel from Egypt and see what took place. Keep in mind their condition mentioned above. "He (I AM- God) also brought them out with silver and gold, and there was none feeble (lacking physical and mental strength as a result of age or illness) among His tribes." (Psalms 105:37) Under the Abrahamic covenant, Israel went from poverty to wealth, and from lacking physical and mental strength as a result of age or illness, to health as they exited Egypt. God also promised Israel, "...I will fulfill the number of your days." (Exodus 23:26)  

Next, look at what David also recognized under the same covenant concerning I AM, "Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s." (Psalm 103:1-5) "Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation." (Psalm 91:14-16)  

Now let's look at the Scriptures concerning what God the Father worked in Christ for all, especially for believers. "But now He (Jesus) has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises." (Hebrews 8:6) Notice that Jesus is the, "Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises." Question? How is it that those under a lesser covenant could have so much available or given to them by I AM than those under "a better covenant, which was established on better promises" by the same I AM? The reality is, Old Testament prophets and kings as well as angels have desired to look into this age of grace. What strange doctrines confront believers who are under this better covenant established on better promises that have absolutely no Scriptural evidence that the age of miracles have past and that the sick are not to look for better promises than those under a lesser covenant. 

We know, according to Scriptures, God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2:4) But, is God more willing to show the mercy of forgiveness to the devil's children, the lost, than He is to His own children? Is He willing to show more mercy and provide better promises to those under a lesser covenant than He is to His own Children who through the meritorious work of Christ are under a better covenant with better promises? Absolutely not! The fact is, our Heavenly Father loves His own children even more than He loves the sinner and His promises to all believers are greater than those under the old covenant. Not only is He able, but He is completely willing in all circumstances to heal, deliver, preserve, rescue, save, provide, make whole and give long life His children. So, let us shed ourselves from all doubts as to who God is and know without doubt that  He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. For He is and will ever be, I AM!!!

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