I AM (From Eternity Past)

February 20, 2007

by Shawn Brasseaux
2010 Update

God is too transcendent for our puny minds to understand. What He has revealed about Himself in His Word is still beyond our comprehension. We are not expected to fully understand God and His ways of doing things and why He does them in the manner in which He does. However, we are expected to believe what He tells us, no matter how bizarre or impossible it may seem to us. In this Bible study, we will examine the Bible to answer the questions—Who is Jesus anyway, and when did He come about? Where did Jesus come from?

According to the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ always existed as a Spirit before manifesting Himself in a physical body: He did not first appear in the manger in Bethlehem. Jesus is God the Son and He existed long before Bethlehem—He is from eternity past. Micah 5:2, which spoke Israel’s coming Messiah, Jesus, says: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” From where is Jesus Christ? From “everlasting.” This verse proves Jesus Christ is God, for only God is everlasting. Unfortunately, modern Bibles remove this word “everlasting” from Micah 5:2!!!

In fact, Jesus Christ was the Creator God of Genesis 1:1 (Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:15-18; Hebrews 1:2). Many people do not realize that Jesus Christ is the Creator and the visible image of the invisible God. “For in him [Christ Jesus] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). Jesus Christ is the “firstborn [origin] of every creature” (Colossians 1:15). The triune Godhead is invisible, but God the Son stepped outside of it and assumed a tangible form.

John 1:1,14 say: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Jesus Christ, God the Son, in His Old Testament form is called the “LORD God” (for instance, see Genesis chapters 2 and 3). The “LORD” is called “JEHOVAH” in the Old Testament (see King James Bible verses Genesis 22:14, Exodus 6:3, Exodus 17:15, Judges 6:24, Isaiah 12:2, and Isaiah 26:4).

Let us consider Exodus 33:20-23 KJV:

“20 Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.”

Wow, imagine God covering you with His hand, and you glimpsing His glory from the rear! Over 1500 years later, this LORD God was the same Person of the Godhead who became Jesus of Nazareth, the promised King and Messiah of Israel!

On Mount Sinai, the LORD God (again, this is God the Son) appeared unto Moses in the form of a burning bush (Exodus chapter 3). God explains to Moses that He has heard the cries of the Israelites, and God promises to deliver them from their bondage in Egypt. Moses is surprised to learn that God will send him to lead the Jews out of Egypt. Now, the Jews have been in captivity in Egypt for 430 years (Exodus 12:40), and the Egyptians were polytheistic (the belief of many gods and goddesses).

While in Egypt for all those years, the Jews were used to hearing about the Egyptians’ false idols. If Moses would tell the Jews that God had spoken to him, the Jews would have asked Moses what was the name of this God (remember, there were many pagan gods and goddesses in Egypt). So, Moses asked God, “What will I say to Israel when they ask me what is Your name?” God’s reply to Moses was, “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 KJV).

Over 1500 years after Moses’ experiences seeing God in person, we leap ahead to Christ’s earthly ministry. In John chapter 8, Jesus is confronted with the Jewish religious leaders, and they accuse Jesus of being possessed of a devil (evil spirit). The unbelieving Jews mock Jesus, after He claims to have seen and known Abraham. John 8:58 KJV is the highlight of the passage: “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.” The Lord Jesus claimed to be the “I AM” in the burning bush at Mount Sinai! The wicked Jews in their unbelief stood aghast, and they attempted to stone Christ, before He left them.

Jesus was not just a common man, He is the Creator God manifested in the flesh. He is the “LORD God” and “JEHOVAH” of the Old Testament.

  • Jesus Christ is “the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe” (1 Timothy 4:10) and the only way to heaven (Acts 4:12).
  • Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5).
  • Jesus Christ is the “way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by [him]” (John 14:6).
  • Jesus Christ is the “bread of life” (John 6:48).
  • Jesus Christ is “Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
  • Jesus Christ is “the King of kings, and the Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16), “the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15).
  • Jesus Christ is “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 21:6; cf. Revelation 1:8,11,17).
  • Jesus Christ is the Son of Man, and Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Matthew 12:8; Matthew 14:33).
  • Jesus Christ is the “great God and our Saviour” (Titus 2:13).
  • Jesus Christ is the “Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 47:4).
  • Jesus Christ is the “Lamb of God” (John 1:29).
  • Jesus Christ is the ONLY foundation of the true Christian church (1 Corinthians 3:11).
  • Jesus Christ is “the rock, the fortress, the deliverer, the God, the strength, the buckler [Shield], the horn of salvation, and the strong tower to those that trust in Him” (Psalm 18:2).
  • Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, which is His Body (Ephesians 1:22,23).

Wow, Christians serve an awesome God… the Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus of Nazareth and the Creator God from eternity past are one in the same! Certainly it is beyond us, but we had better believe the Bible!

Jesus Christ… He is the I AM.