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Before Abraham was, I am

19 Jan

 

I am currently reading through the book of John in the bible. Today as I completed chapter eight I came across this verse close to the end, verse 58 to be exact, where Jesus undeniably states that he is God. This takes place right after Jesus had truthfully defended the woman who had been caught in adultry and brought to Him. Throughout this chapter He has been more or less debating with the Jews about who He is. The Jewish leaders seem to believe their “ace in the hole” is the proclamation that their father is Abraham. It is then that Jesus turns up the heat on their pride and sin and proclaims:

Before Abraham was, I am

Now this proclamation not only offended the Jewish leaders but it also flys in the face of a couple of American religions of today. The Mormons claim that Jesus was a man who obtained deity. They believe that He is a created being and the brother of Adam and Lucifer. The Jehovah’s Witness believe much the same way. They also believe that Jesus is a created being and not God. They claim to be declaring the witness of God. But essetially what both of these religions are doing is denying the very witness that God reveals in the New Testament. That Jesus is who He claims to be. In John 10:30 Jesus again states:

I and the Father are one

And again the Jews were incredibly offended as the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses would be today if you were to point that out to them. The New Testament declares throughout:

He is the brightness of the Father. He is the express image of God. He is literally the replica, the duplicate of the invisible God.

So as I read the scripture this morning, I couldn’t help but marvel at this truth revealed to us. The mystery of the invisible God revealed in Jesus Christ. He is who he claims to be. He is God. 

For further reading about the Incarnation of Jesus Christ I would recommend the text from a sermon by Dr. John MacArthur called “The Inside Story of the Incarnation“. 

Soli Deo Gloria

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9 responses to “Before Abraham was, I am

  1. Really Robin

    January 19, 2008 at 6:34 am

    Jesus is part of the triune God. Scripture says that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is LORD. On that note, we need to pray for those who profess, but do not understand. May no one who says they know Jesus as Christ the Lord be in the position of hearing “Depart from me, I knew you not!”.

    The abyss those who hear that will be thrown in is a never ending pit. That makes my very soul hurt. May we be moved all the more to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ!

    R.

     
  2. Leo

    January 21, 2008 at 4:14 am

    Hi Barry,

    The “I AM” passages in the Gospel of John have always been favorites for me with John 8:58 being the penultimate passage. As such it is always fascinating to me that while Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the deity of Christ and work hard at spinning the texts they still are hard pressed to deny that the Jewish Leaders clearly understood the claims that the Lord made in those incidents.

    The reality of the Mormon’s and the JW’s denial are certainly expressed in their clear denials and denunciations of this cardinal Christian doctrine. Truly the god of this world has blinded their eyes and I suppose too being in an unregenerate state further complicates the matter – the natural man does not understand the things of God. We certainly pray that the eyes of their understanding would be opened.

     
  3. barrydean

    January 21, 2008 at 5:41 am

    Leo,

    Thanks again for your comments. I totally agree. If the Mormons or JW’s could even partially understand the meaning behind the hateful reaction of the Jewish leaders to who Jesus was proclaiming to be, they would most certainly have to question their theology. But as you so eloquently put it “the god of this world has blinded their eyes”.

     
  4. Black Coffee & Bourbon

    January 23, 2008 at 4:02 am

    Great explantion concerning how these verses from the Bible impact the views of Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Very interesting blog by the way!

     
  5. barrydean

    January 23, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Thanks for the comment BC&B. I went to your blog and perused for a while. Very interesting and eclectic blog. I read your “About” page and found the name of your wife and your pets but not your name. Maybe I missed it.

     
  6. billphillips

    January 25, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    I’ve used this verse on Jehovah’s Witnesses a couple of times. Their “Bible” changes “I AM” to “I have been” but neither of them disputed the translation with me. One of them claimed that Jesus saying “I AM” was a claim to be the Messiah, but he couldn’t explain any reasoning behind that. The other one had no response, so I think this verse is definitely hard for them to answer.

    As far as Mormons go, I’ve heard a lot of conflicting information about what they believe, but I don’t think they deny the deity of Jesus. They claim He is the LORD of the Old Testament, and the Father is Elohim. So they believe in many gods. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Good post!
    Bill

     
  7. barrydean

    January 26, 2008 at 3:33 am

    Hey Bill,

    Thanks for commenting. I know what you mean about the JW’s using convoluted means to try and explain away certain truths found in the scriptures. Many cults like the JW’s and the Mormons deviate from the truth just enough to allow many, who do not know the scriptures well, think they believe in the same gospel. But it is in fact a false gospel. You may be right about what you say in reference to the Mormon church. They also teach a very different gospel. They teach a gospel of morality. That you can basically save yourself but being good enough. It totally contradicts the teachings of the bible. For the bible teaches that Christ did it, and we are justified only through His redeeming blood. I thank God the Father for that.

     
  8. iolivee

    May 25, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    the original hebrew of exodus 3:14 is
    eyeh ‘asher ‘eyeh

    which literally means
    what ever will be, will be

    not i am who i am

     
  9. barrydean

    May 26, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Thanks for the comment iolivee. I sure appreciate comments here. But actually, from my wife’s Jewish Bible it is translated. I AM / Will Be what I AM / Will Be. The I AM is definitely there.

     

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