The True Power of I AM :: by Joe Southerland

“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” (Exodus 3:14).

“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58).

In these days likened to “the days of Noah” and the Laodicean church I should not be surprised by form of blasphemy. However, upon entering a Christian bookstore I was confronted by a stack of books with a big toothy-grinned, self-promoter prominently displayed with the Lord God’s holy name “I AM” on a self-centered, self-help, money grabbing, motivational book. And I became immediately incensed by this affront to God’s holy name.

Is anyone else disgusted by this blatant co-opting of the holy and reverent name of the Great “I AM?” Is anyone else revolted by a mere man redefining the power of “I AM” which is one of the main themes presented in the Bible? Though I did not open the pages, I knew this author would be relegating the great “I AM” to a trivialized list of self-help tools.

Clueless About I AM

Does this author have any clue what these two words, breathed forth by the Holy Spirit, mean in the divine order of things and the Word of God? I doubt it. Or he would never have used that title? Well, on second thought … maybe he would have, anyway.

So why be offended? His book title is using one of the holiest of the Lord God’s names in vain self-adulating emptiness. I AM indicates the Hebrew word for existence, the root word from which Jews derive the unutterable holy name of God, YHWH or Jehovah. YHWH means self-existing, eternal, and everlasting. These two simple words “I AM” are what God uses to define His pure and eternal essence.

Anyone who has fallen victim to this self-help teacher who uses God’s name as a prop to sell his deadly soft apostasy and doctrinally vacant blather, I invite you to delve into God’s Word to see what a basic word study of “I AM” readily reveals about the nature of God. Oh, and this is great little study for anyone, even the most discerning believers who have already dismissed this false teacher’s false fruits.

The Lord God is I AM

To Bible based believers, these two verses at the beginning of this article mark critical and pivotal points in the Lord God’s redemptive plan for mankind; and should evoke reverence and awe struck wonder at God’s power, mercy and grace. These verses are spiritually powerful and bring peace and comfort to the followers of Christ by showing God’s love and care for his creation as he intervenes to birth the promise of salvation for Israel and all who believe.

In the first verse, God declares his plan to redeem Israel from Egypt and proclaims, “I AM” as the reverent, holy name to reveal himself to Moses and the children of Abraham in bondage. In the verses following Exodus 3:14, God defines “I AM” to disclose he is the LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and He lets it be known this is the name by which He is to be remembered from generation to generation.

Jesus is I AM

In the second verse from the top of this article, Jesus is teaching in Jerusalem’s second temple and proclaims himself, “I am.” Doing so he lays claim to this godly title as he declares to the children of Abraham in bondage to sin, he is the eternal God, the Ancient of Days, who will set them free.

The Torah knowledgeable Jews knew full well Jesus’ reference and the implication so they took up stones to kill this mere man who claimed to be God incarnate.

And again we see the declaration from Jesus:

“Jesus asks the apostles, ‘Who do you say I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven’” (Mathew 16:15-17).

Here Jesus confirms and declares, “I am the Christ the Son of the living God.”

The True Power of I AM

Jesus our Lord and Savior uses “I am” seven times in the Gospel of John and twice in the book of Revelation to dynamically define his divine essence and his mission to redeem this sin-filled, fallen world. These verses speak to the full authority vested in Jesus our Messiah by the Lord God, and presents the TRUE POWER OF I AM; the Lamb of God and the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. … I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:35; 51).

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. … As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5).

“Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (John 10:7).

“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine” (John 10:14).

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:1, 5).

“And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last…” (Revelation 1:17).

“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” (Revelation 22:16).

It is amazing what a short word study reveals about the two words I AM.After this brief overview of these two linked words in the Bible, do you think anyone who truly knew the Bible and honors the Lord God would useI AM as a tool to sell self-help books, with the added audacity to place his mug on the same cover?

Obviously the only way people would buy this book is because they lack proper discernment which can only be derived from a familiarity with the knowledge of God’s Word.

I AM Is from the Churches

Paul makes it abundantly clear what the focus of our teaching and preaching should be.

“But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:23-24).

If the wisdom of the Great I AM was taught from the Bible then the people would gain knowledge of their true relation to Christ crucified, and not heed the siren’s call of such self-help, self-centering books.

Our True Relationship to the Great I AM

If you study and then apply the Scriptures of God you will be able to sow the wisdom of the Great I AM into your soul and reap the harvest that with the Holy Spirit will spiritually sustain you. The wisdom you gain will enable you to place in context who you are (your personal “I am”) in relation to the all encompassing, all compassionate centrality and singularity of the Great I AM.

With the Holy Spirit guidance in your study you will plainly discern the truths of God’s Holy Scripture. There are indeed some valid personal “I am’s” that can be readily gleaned from God’s Word.

Oh, and you will never see these “I am’s” in one of the author’s self-help books center all the power, glory, honor and praise on Christ and what Christ did (and Christ did it all) versus what you can help yourself do.

Again, here are some life altering Bible based personal, “I am’s” that apply to all mankind.

I am – a deprived sinner who is in rebellion against God, and in need of salvation.

I am – unable, despite my best self-help efforts, to obtain my own righteousness.

I am – bound for everlasting torment in hell unless I reconcile with God.

I am – only saved by grace through faith in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.

I am – only made righteous by being covered with the blood of the Lamb of God.

I am – only healed through the pain-filled stripes the Lamb of God.

I am – only able to know the mind and heart of God by studying His Holy Word.

I am – only able to store up treasures in heaven by denying myself and doing God’s will.

I AM Returns Soon and in Power

For now the Great I AM sets at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, but soon, very soon He will arise and alone be found worthy to take and open the great judgment scroll of seven seals.

The triumphant Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root and Branch of David, will then reveal the full power of I AM as he enacts his righteous judgment upon the rebellious earth, and returns in His full power and glory as the KING OF KINGS, and LORD OF LORDS!

We, the Bride, shall personally witness and partake as every knee bows and tongue confesses Christ is the Great I AM.

Join me and say in praise….

I am in awe struck wonder and give all blessing, and honor, and glory and power to thy holy name, oh GREAT I AM!

God Bless! Maranatha!

All emboldened Scripture is added by the author for emphasis. J&J Ranch Ministries: “But as for me and my [ranch], we will serve the LORD” (John 3:16).