The Challenge of the Christian Theology and more …
/ Ewald Frank
14. The »I am«
- Does all happen by chance?
- The time is near
- The only valid measuring rod
- The old dispute
- The testimony of historians
- History confirms it
- God’s confession
- God manifests Himself
- In heaven and on earth
- The Lord visits His prophet
- The »I am«
- Was the Son born in heaven?
- Spirit and Truth
- Very peculiar
- Respect for the Great Mystery
- Everyone defends his or her own doctrine
- The rock
- The Great Commission
- Thou shalt have no other gods …
- Believe as the Scripture says
- An unbelievable tragedy
- The end-time
- A challenge to all
- No one can bypass Jesus Christ
- New creation
- The Son and the sons and daughters of God
- The two beginnings
- The course of church history
- No man’s influence
It shows the majesty of the Lord God Who manifests Himself according to the requirements of His great plan of salvation.
In Exodus 3 the Prophet wanted to know the name of the God of his fathers Who was sending him. »And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I am that I am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I am hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you; this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.« (Ex. 3: 13-15). Who sent His servant? Certainly the great »I am«. He is the God of the fathers!
In spite of the different designations and manifestations, whether in the Old or New Testament He always remains the same. Before establishing the covenant with His people Israel, God made known His covenant name. This Hebrew name »YHWH« is so holy to the Jews that they do not speak it (Am. 6: 10), rather using Adonai. But the name of God for Israel remains valid. »And God spoke unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord; and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Lord God — Elohim-Yahweh was I not known to them.« (Ex. 6: 2-3). Thus saith the Lord, »… in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.« (Ex. 20: 24b).
The »I am« of God is found in each of His manifestations. It is the personal, ever present premier utterance. At the same time it is addressed toward mankind, »I take care of you; I am with you with My never failing presence!« In the »I am« God’s name YHWH — Yahweh — is embedded. He is the »in Himself existing One«, the Eternal, the source of all life. The origin of all and everything consists in Him. To His prophets and His people He speaks as the »I am« in various associations. Majestically He says, »I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt …« (Dt. 5: 6). »Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, and his redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last, and beside me there is no God.« (Isa. 44: 6). The Lord God is the only »I am« and what He will be, He already is. Only in Him and through Him will we be like Him (1 Jn. 3: 2). So we do not forget He says it once more, »Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called: I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.« (Isa. 48: 12).
In the New Testament we find the »I am« manifested in the Son. The seven occurrences of »I am« are well known. The Lord Jesus said, »I am the light of the world.« »I am the good shepherd.« »I am the way, the truth, and the life.« »I am the door.« »I am the bread of life.« »I am the resurrection and the life.« The same Lord says, »Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.« (Jn. 8: 58).
In the book of Revelation we read His testimony stating, »I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty … I am the first and the last; I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen, and have the keys of hades and of death.« (Rev. 1: 8; 17-18).
The knowledge of God’s revelation as the »I am« in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer is necessary for our salvation. He emphasises this Himself , »I said, therefore, unto you, that ye shall die in your sins; for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.« (Jn. 8: 24). Here we are not dealing with doctrine and knowledge, here the decision falls upon our faith in the Redeemer who saves and grants us our eternal destination. Only in the Son of God do we have the Saviour and Salvation.
The »Lord«, Who was the image of God , »made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and, being found in fashion as a man …« (Phil. 2: 7). To save humanity He had to be a human Himself: He was born as a Son and put into a cradle. To be more natural and human was not possible. Thus the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. It happened for our sake, thus fulfilling Rom 8: 3, »… God sending his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh«.
At the birth of the Son the testimony was , »For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.« (Lk.2: 11).
Paul was chosen as a special vessel. He had a supernatural calling and therefore a divine responsibility. He writes about the mystery of God in Christ, »… that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge … For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power« (Col. 2: 2-3 + 9-10). How wonderful: Prophets and apostles did not reason about God in Christ, they didn’t have to, for He made Himself known to them.
In the Old Testament the Lord God is the Redeemer, the Saviour, the King, the Shepherd and so forth. In the New Testament all these attributes are realised in the Son for our salvation, as He became the center of the redemptive plan . »No one comes to the Father except by me!« and »Whosoever sees me sees the Father!« If someone does not see God in Christ, the same is not looking at Him by means of divine revelation. After Jesus had spoken so much about the Father, He said, »If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been such a long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?« (Jn. 14: 7-9). That is the clear answer from the lips of our Lord. Do we still ask like Philip, »Show us the father«? Do we also not see the father?
In the Old Testament the Lord, »Yahweh«, gave the promise to His people , »Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy King cometh unto thee; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass.« (Zech. 9: 9). In the New Testament Jesus is the King Who on Palm Sunday rode into Jerusalem with great jubilation, on a foal of an ass. Read it in Mt. 21 and parallel Scriptures. For Israel the Saviour and King was the Lord Himself, but at His first coming they did not recognise Him in His humanity, as they did not look upon Him from the perspective of the salvation plan and therefore expected Him to restore the Kingdom to Israel. Even His disciples asked Him, »Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?« (Acts 1: 6). They did not realise that redemption through suffering and death (Isa. 53) and the overcoming of death (Hos. 13: 14) was necessary first.
From the Old Testament we know Him by the Hebrew »tetragram« YHWH, from which the name Yahweh originates. In the New Testament the name of the Lord was announced by the angel Gabriel to be Yahshua, which in itself means »Yahweh-Saviour«. Everyone please note: the tetragram of the Old Testament covenant name is found in the Hebrew text of the headline written in three languages above Jesus Christ on the cross. Please regard the Hebrew text of John 19: 19:
Yahshua Hanozri Wumelech Hajehudim
Jesus of Nazareth, King of Jews
The first letter of each word constitutes the tetragram YHWH, as the Lord God revealed it to Moses. The God of the Old Testament is also the God of the New Testament! It is as perfect as can be. Whoever has an ear let him hear, and who has eyes to see let him see! Blessed are the eyes and the ears that see and hear the God of heaven, Who was made manifest on earth!
The Kingdom of God is an eternal one without death (Isa. 25: 8; Rev. 21: 4 a. o.) and all therein must have eternal life. According to the prophecies at His first coming, He had to be born as Son, becoming a man, so He could suffer and die. The time to establish His Kingdom on earth is now very near. »And the Lord shall be king over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.« (Zech. 14: 9).
»… And there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever.« (Rev. 11: 15). How wonderful! He has revealed Himself unto us as Lord in the Anointed One. And Yahweh of the Old Testament is Jesus of the New Testament — the same yesterday, today and forever.