I Am Who I Am

See Also: The Ego Papers

Moses lived 120 years. His life can be divided into three forty year segments. Part one took place in the court of Pharaoh. Part two was his exile in Midian. When he was 80 years old, God called Moses to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt to the promised land. While in Midian, Moses came upon a strange burning bush. God spoke to Moses out of that bush, declaring that He had heard the prayers of the children of Israel and it was time for their deliverance from Egypt. Moses was chosen as their leader. When Moses inquired further about God, the voice from the bush replied, I AM WHO I AM.

The Hebrew covenant name is usually Yahweh to us, from the Hebrew YHWH, also known as the Tetragrammaton. (Translated Jehovah and “the LORD" in our English Bibles--all caps). God is living and holy and eternal. Our verb “to be” suggests this. (Exodus 3).

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”

So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”
And he said, “Here I am.”

Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.

And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

So He said, “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

Then Moses said to God, “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.’ ” Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’ Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you and seen what is done to you in Egypt; and I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey.” ’ Then they will heed your voice; and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt; and you shall say to him, ‘The Lord God of the Hebrews has met with us; and now, please, let us go three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.’ But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go. And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.” (Exodus 3)

Other common names of God include El, Elohim (plural), Adonai (Lord) and so on. (See The Names of God).

God is the great “I AM,” and we who are created are “i am” — created spirits. (See King Ego).

“God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)

Men, women, boys and girls are the ultimate true temple where God has chosen to dwell. When any of us gives God permission, He, the living God moves into the Holy of Holies of our body, into the core of our being—which is the human spirit. First Corinthians 6 says,

“He who is united with the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.”

"Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7for we walk by faith, not by sight— we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)

Moses and the Burning Bush -- Any Old Bush will do

Know the Living God personally now! God is a Person, not a Force. He specializes in one-on-one relationships with people. We are all accountable to Him.

"For it is written: 'As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.' So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:11-12)

Pay addition to the verbs in the Bible, especially in the New Testament. Yes, Greek verbs are notoriously complex. The translators have been careful. Take for instance the following familiar passage. Notice the verbs that are (in some sense) past tense, not future tense. (The Hebrew prophetic future tense is discussed on our article on Habakkuk.)

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,  in which you once lived when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,  in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:1-10)

Our present earthly bodies existing in only four dimensions, remain fallen and furthermore, dying. The future resurrection of the dead is a clear tenet of Old and New Testaments. I believe our spirit and soul leave the Old Tent at physical death but immediately enter the ten or more dimensions of the heavenly places. There things are not “ghostly” but more solid and more substantial than anything we know down here. (If this is new to you, please read “The Great Divorce,” by C.S. Lewis.)

Taking into account the verbs tenses in the NT, every Christian identity and sense of true “self”, should be centered, here and now, “in Christ.”

We are seated now with Jesus, “in the heavenly places.” Some would claim this is positional, not actual. For me, seeing ourselves as God sees us, by faith, makes all the difference in the world, experientially. However, my first pastor, Ralph Kraft, spoke of those who “were so heavenly minded they were of no earthly good.” We all like people who are “down to earth,” or “well-grounded.” As long as we are dwelling in our present bodies, obviously we must avoid getting “high” on the spirit, like some people we know. To repeat the quote from John 4:24, our worship of the living God must be in spirit and in truth. Jesus is of course the truth. 

“God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)

Moving on, many professing Christians these days do not know Jesus at all! Jesus spoke of this awful reality, 

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’" (Matthew 7:21-23) 

Those who find themselves in the category of outsiders should stop now and surrender to the rule of Jesus in their lives. He will receive you as you are. God does not want your lip service or your beset self-effort on His behalf. He doesn't want you to "try harder" either.

"Don’t forget this fact, dear friends: With the Lord a single day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a single day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some people understand slowness, but is being patient with you. He does not want anyone to perish, but wants everyone to repent. But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will disappear with a roaring sound, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done on it will be exposed." (2 Peter 2:8-10)

The Biblical words, in Hebrew and in Greek for “know” imply deep knowledge. For instance, “Adam knew his wife and she bore a son...” God wants our full attention!
[See The Last One Percent, and Your God is Way Too Small.]

I sense that the majority of professing Christians these days are “soulish” persons whose self-identity is still in the fallen world. This present world, remember, is four dimensional, though immersed, embedded, on all sides, in the invisible world of the “Heavenly Places.” The latter realm probably encompasses at as many as ten dimensions.  “Heaven” is not some ethereal realm far behind the stars. Our present universe is surrounded by the spiritual realm. The unseen impacts us every day, but only by trusting God and the Bible can we access much of this. No wonder our eyes and ears, taste and touch sensors have severe limitations. You might say, our present bodies are obsolete technology. Our brains as well. Brains are physical remember? The mind, our conscience, our intuition, and the like, are greater in scope already compared to our physical bodies delimit. Even science admits that all of us are more than physical, biological creatures, whether we know or not.

“Dead in sin,” a Biblical term, does not mean extinct or biologically not breathing, it means not being connected to God who alone has real life. This truth is offensive to our ego. We resist God by marginalizing Him, imagining that we are “self” sufficient, when in fact we are quite helpless. Our resistance to knowing God is related to our pride and our righteousness. “Ego,” by the way, is Latin and also Greek for the personal pronoun “I.” We tend to think of “ego” as referring to the “self.” Self-righteous, self-reliant, self-confident, self-sufficient, and so on. [See The Ego Papers and The Discipleship Papers.]

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?  For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done." (Matthew 16:24-27)

"Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord—for we walk by faith, not by sight—we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)

Faith is widely misunderstood today. Faith means believing and acting upon what God says is true. God is personal, so above all else, He wants to know each of us person to person. The problem in establishing a one-on-relationship with God is that He is holy (whole) and we are not. This is a hard pill to swallow for many. We like running our own lives and making our own choices—about where we go to college, who we marry, where we live and where we work. If God were a tyrant, our fears might be well-grounded. But God is compassionate and full of mercy. “God is Love,” in fact. 

Jesus the unique Son of God—is fully God and fully man. The Trinity is very difficult for us mortals to comprehend. For now, take it from me, God exists eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is the God the Son who became a man, to bridge the chasm between God man, the “Great Gulf Fixed” in Luke 16.

Another impediment to knowing God is that He appears to be a powerful authority figure. He is Omnipotent. But especially, for many of us these days (who perhaps never knew a human dad who was relational), meeting Jesus for the first time is a joyful, blessed experience. 

Ray Stedman once said,

“There are many paths to the Messiah. There is only one way to get to God, Jesus said so. Just come to Jesus and He will take you rest of the way.”

At any rate we are to trust a God who do not see just now. Will he show up when we have humbled ourselves and glimpse the reality that we are all just house guests in His universe? 

Indeed He will show up. My main point in all I have written is that Jesus is in fact sovereign ruler over the entire universe, the visible and the invisible. If we are to enjoy a personal relationship with Him, we should first realize that Jesus knows everything there is to know about us, and about everyone else as well. When He died on the cross ~2000 years ago, the sins of all humans were transferred to Jesus, outside of time and space. He traded places with all of us in order to reconcile us to God, His Father. (See Jesus' Death: Six Hours of Eternity on the Cross).

Only Two Choices in Life

A hard lesson we all have to learn in life: We are not self-sufficient as persons. We were made to serve. At the root level, we have only the choice of two possible masters in life. We have been misled and deceived by an evil fallen angel, who is the god of the present world order. The illusion he inculcates in us is that we can run our own lives, plan our futures, make daily choices, and control what we become in the world. The default self-image we grow up with does not serve our best interests at all! That path leads to death. Death is not extinction of our consciousness, but everlasting separation from all that is good, beautiful and true. (If this concept is new to you, please read CS Lewis’ The Great Divorce.) 

The second choice in life is to chose to surrender to Jesus Christ. This choice does not lead to subjection but to glorious freedom.  

So Jesus told those Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are really my disciples. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They replied to him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves to anybody. So how can you say, ‘You will be set free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, that everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.  The slave does not remain in the household forever, but the son does remain forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” (John 8:31-36 31)

The New Testament says, 

“...The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

As mentioned earlier, it makes all the difference in the world whether or not we submit all areas of our lives to the Lordship of Jesus. Any areas of compromise we make are unacceptable in the long run. Of course it takes a lifetime to see and know ourselves as we really are. The mighty apostle Paul saw himself as chief among sinners after years of devoted service to Jesus.

"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." (1 Timothy 1:12-17)

When any person has fully surrendered to Jesus as Lord, the reality of Galatians 2:20 should hit home.

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

In other words, Jesus in you is, in a sense, the real new you. He is the inner Light shining through the lanterns of our unique human lives. This reality about our new-found union with Christ, must be lived moment by moment, day by day. God has not overwritten our freedom of choice!

Before we met Jesus we had no real choices. To be “dead in trespasses and sins” meant our sense of right and wrong was incorrect. We were unresponsive to God and even from our consciences until Jesus set us free.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.

 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 

The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever." (1 John 2:15-17 15)

All I have been writing is nothing new. It seems to me to be forgotten truth which needs to be rediscovered. While seeking ways to shed light on what I hoped to clarify above, but may have obscured, please read Ray Stedman’s 1963 message “Standing While Running,”

Way back then, I remember well a Saturday morning in 1965 when Ray picked me up at my home and drove me to Mission Springs Conference Center near Santa Cruz, California. We joined a mens’ retreat group featuring a very ordinary speaker, Norman Grubb. Grubb was so ordinary, I thought that he had been invited by mistake. But as I listened I soon changed my mind. 

I hastened to read his books in the ensuing weeks. He wrote about “The Liberating Secret” and “The Exchanged Life.” Much of what he said was about Galatians 2:20. (That verse has been my verse since my earliest days as a follower of Christ). Recently I discovered a fine teacher who follows this teaching. See Theliberatingsecret.org. Many of Norman Grubb’s messages may be found on Sermonaudio.com

I was greatly moved (also back then) by a week-long visit to PBC by Major Ian Thomas of Torchbearers in England. Much of what Ian Thomas said is available on line. I especially liked the content of his audio messages.  

Finally, may I encourage all of you to soak in the Bible? I believe This book is fully inspired, God’s Word to mankind.

We are living in a time of great Bible illiteracy!

Life is short! There are wrong answers on every side. Your fellow professing Christians may, in real life, be lackluster. their outer appearance\e may be misleading.

Since then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who  is  our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all." (Colossians 3:1-11)

Homework

The Exodus Papers

How Saved Are You?

Cultural Christians

Rebellious But Religious

The Excluded Ones

The Left Behind

King Ego

The Exchanged Life

Coming Soon

The Consequence Engine

The True and the False

Christ in You

The Flesh, The World, The Devil

Arrested Emotional Development

Almighty Father

The Discipleship Papers

Music:

Jesus, The Light of the World

Up From the Grave He Arose

Christ Arose

Man of Sorrows

Come Thou, Almighty King

There is a Balm in Gilead

A Glorious Church

I Sing the Mighty Power of God

Lambert's Musical Selections

Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee Just as I am,
though tossed about With many a conflict, many a doubt
Fighting and fears within without O Lamb of God,
I come, I come Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot
O Lamb of God, I come, I come
.

Lambert Dolphin 



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January 17, 2020, August 14, 2022. October 9, 2022.

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