The Great “I AM”

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He Is the Great “I AM”

Critics of the Bible claim that Yeshua HaMashiach never claimed to be deity; “[They] are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.” (Matt. 22:29)

The people of His day very clearly understood his claim to be ADONAI, the God of Avraham, Yitzhak, and Ya'akov.

So Yeshua said to the Judeans who had trusted Him, “If you obey what I say, then you are really My talmidim, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

They [obviously, the Judeans who had not trusted Him] answered, “We are the seed of Avraham and have never been slaves to anyone; so what do you mean by saying, ‘You will be set free’?”

Yeshua answered them, “Yes, indeed! I tell you that everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin. Now a slave does not remain with a family forever, but a son does remain with it forever. So if the Son frees you, you will really be free! I know you are the seed of Avraham. Yet you are out to kill Me, because what I am saying makes no headway in you. I say what My Father has shown me; you do what your father has told you!”

They answered him, “Our father is Avraham.”

Yeshua replied, “If you are children of Avraham, then do the things Avraham did! As it is, you are out to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Avraham did nothing like that! You are doing the things your father does.”

“We're not illegitimate children!” they said to Him. “We have only one Father — God!”

 Yeshua replied to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me; because I came out from God; and now I have arrived here. I did not come on My own; He sent me. Why don’t you understand what I’m saying? Because you can’t bear to listen to My message. You belong to your father, Satan, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. From the start he was a murderer, and he has never stood by the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he is speaking in character; because he is a liar — indeed, the inventor of the lie![1] But as for Me, because I tell the truth you don’t believe Me. Which one of you can show Me where I’m wrong? If I’m telling the truth, why don’t you believe Me? Whoever belongs to God listens to what God says; the reason you don’t listen is that you don’t belong to God.”

The Judeans answered him, “Aren't we right in saying you are from Shomron and have a demon?”

Yeshua replied, “Me? I have no demon. I am honoring My Father. But you dishonor Me. I am not seeking praise for Myself. There is One who is seeking it, and He is the judge. Yes, indeed! I tell you that whoever obeys My teaching will never see death.”

The Judeans said to Him, “Now we know for sure that you have a demon! Avraham died, and so did the prophets; yet you say, ‘Whoever obeys my teaching will never taste death.’ Avraham avinu [our father] died; you aren’t greater than he, are you? And the prophets also died. Who do you think you are?”

Yeshua answered, “If I praise Myself, My praise counts for nothing. The One who is praising Me is My Father, the very one about whom you keep saying, ‘He is our God.’ Now you have not known Him, but I do know Him; indeed, if I were to say that I don’t know Him, I would be a liar like you! But I do know Him, and I obey His word. Avraham, your father, was glad that he would see my day; then he saw it and was overjoyed.”

“Why, you’re not yet fifty years old,” the Judeans replied, “and you have seen Avraham?”

Yeshua said to them, “Yes, indeed! Before Avraham came into being, I AM!” At this, they picked up stones to throw at Him; but Yeshua was hidden and left the Temple grounds. (John 8:31-59, CJB)

Read carefully the initial encounter between Moshe and Ha Shem (the God of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov):

“Moses said to God, ‘Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you.” Now they may say to me, “What is His name?” What shall I say to them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:13-14)

The God of Israel says that His name is “I AM.” They very clearly understood that when Yeshua said, “Before Avraham came into being, I AM!” He was openly declaring that He is the same I AM (hwhy) Who appeared to Moshe in the burning bush. And they took up stones to stone Him to death for blasphemy!

On the night that He was arrested in the garden, a huge contingency, or “SWAT Team,” consisting of an entire Roman cohort — according to the Jewish General Josephus, a contingent of between 480 and 800 highly trained soldiers — plus an unknown, but presumably quite large, number of Temple guards, all of whom He knocked to the ground with his words when he claims to be “The I AM.”

Most English versions translate John 18:5-8 by quoting Yeshua as saying “I am He” when the lynch mob told him they were looking for Him.

So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. So when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground [all 500 to 800 of them]. Therefore He again asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way.” — (John 18:4-8, NAS).

Many modern English translations indicate editorial additions or changes by placing those changes in italics. Check your Bible and you may find that in this passage the word “He” appears in italics, indicating that the word has been added by the editors and does not appear in the manuscripts which were used for the translation. In my opinion, this one of the most extremely significant passages in the Gospels!

If you check the Greek text, you will find that it quotes Yeshua as saying “Egwv eijmi” [ego eime], which does not translate as “I am He.” The correct translation is “I AM”, the Name of God which is too sacred to pronounce.

The God of Israel says that His name is “I AM.” When Yeshua told the lynch mob that His name is “I AM,” the sheer power of His Name knocked them (all 500 to 800 of them) to the ground, where they were forced to stay until He allowed them to get up!

From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. … And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.” (Revelation 19:15,21 NAS)


“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.”

So they were saying to Him, “Who are You?”

Jesus said to them, “What have I been saying to you from the beginning? I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.”

They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father. So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.” (John 8:24-28)

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[1] The writers of the Apostolic Scriptures used the term “the lie” (with the definite article the) as a technical term to refer to the first lie that was told in Creation, when HaSatan told Eve, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…” (Gen. 3:4-5) [RETURN]

Page last updated on Saturday, 27 August 2016 04:31 PM
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Major content changes after May 3, 2015 are identified as "Revisions”)