Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Before Abraham Was, I Am

 Temple Baptist Church - 5-10-2023

John 8:58




A.  Tonight, I want to keep verse 58 within its context to “rightly divide the word of truth.” 


1.  I know that I “dwell” on Biblical Hermeneutics and certain principles that must be used to interpret verses of scripture and individual words used in the Bible.  If you learn nothing else from your pastor other than how to study your Bible, I feel that I have done right well. 


2.  With the Word of God in your hand and the Holy Spirit of God, the Author of the Word of God, living in your hearts—you can know what God wants you to know!


3.  You do not need commentaries of men to study the Bible.  Your Bible, a good Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, and common sense will get the job done.  A good Bible Concordance or Thesaurus are also great aids in Bible study.


4.  The Context Mention of Bible Interpretation is imperative in understand correctly what is said in your Bible.  A verse taken out of context becomes a pretext at that point.  You can make the Bible say anything that you want instead of understanding what the Bible says.


B.  The context of verse 58 hinges on the question asked in verse 25: “Who art thou?”  The Lord answered that question plainly in verse 58: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”


John 8:25  Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.


C.  Because of this answer to their question (Jesus plainly said that He was Jehovah God when He said, “I am”, they hated Him. 


John 8:59  Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.


D.  Jesus Christ was the Jehovah God of the Old Testament and referred to Himself as so with the words “I am:’


E.  The words “I am” are used 732 times in the Bible so I did not take the time to look at every reference to see when it was talking about God or man. 


F.  But the words “I Am” – are used app. 90 times, either spoken by Christ or referred to Christ, to declare who Christ was in the Gospels alone.


1.  The First Mention – Exodus 3:14  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.


2.  The Last Mention – Revelation 22:16  I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.


3.  The First and Last Mentions perfectly agree that Jehovah God, Jesus Christ was the Almighty!


G.  There are many names used in the Old Testament when speaking of Jehovah God:


1.  Jehovah-Jireh:  The LORD Will Provide (Genesis 22:13-14)


2.  Jehovah-Rapha: The LORD Who Heals (Exodus 15:22-26)


3.  Jehovah-Nissi: The LORD My Banner (Exodus 17:15)


4.  Jehovah-M’Kaddesh: The LORD Who Sanctifies (Leviticus 20:7-8)


5.  Jehovah-Shalom:  The LORD Our Peace (Judges 6:24)


6.  Jehovah-Rohi:  The Lord Our Shepherd (Psalm 23:1)


7.  Jehovah-Tsidkenu: The LORD Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6)


8.  Jehovah-Shammah: The LORD Who Is There (Ezekiel 48:35)


H.  In Exodus 3:14, the LORD God gave Moses His name: “I AM THAT I AM”.


1.  “I AM THAT I AM” speaks of:


a)  Eternality – God is an eternal being therefore, having no past nor future.  “I AM THAT I AM” speaks of an ever-present God.


b)  Self-Existing – Because God is eternal, He must also be self-existing.  Having no need of anything or anyone to exist.


2.  Often in the Bible, we find the words:


a)  LORD - Jehovah or – Yahweh.  When writing the name of God, Yahweh, the Jews used an abbreviated form of YHWH. 


1)  They abbreviated God’s name (tetragrammaton or acronym) out of reverential fear of taking the name of God lightly or in vain.


Exodus 20:7  Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.  (LORD is in all caps which refers to YHWH or Yahweh.)


2)  I thank the Lord that the New Testament believer has a far greater relationship (a personal one) with God.  In the model prayer, the Lord Jesus said to pray to “our Father, which art in heaven”.


b)  Many times the word “Lord” with a capital “L” followed by lower case letters is used in the Bible which means my lord, master, or owner. 


c)  God – Elohim – is a plural word for deity found many times in the Bible with the First Mention in Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God” 


J.  Here we find a double mention of the words “I am”.


1.  Notice the 2 same words divided by a comma.  Verily, verily, Verily means veracity or truth.  Double with the comma that divides them lends to a verily to go with the truth twice.


2.  Verily, before Abraham, I am.  Verily, before Abraham was, I am.  This doubles the words “I am”, which lines up with the statement God made to Moses: “I AM THAT I AM” and these Jews knew PLAINLY who Jesus claimed to be.  This is what they would ask for In John 10:24.


John 10:24  Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. (Jesus did.)


Conclusion: Once again, this is not an argument of the existence of God, it is a declarative statement concerning the existence of God.  God does not argue with finite man concerning His being.  He declares His being!  God is:


“I AM THAT I AM” of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ, the “I AM” of the New Testament were One and the Same: Self-existing, Immortal, Immutable, Eternal, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Incomprehensible.   He is GOD and He is LORD and He is Jesus Christ!

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