Chapter 4: ‘I Am’
John is the only Gospel writer to really talk about the “I Am.” I Am was the authoritative God of the Old Testament. The Jews knew all about Him because of the Scriptures—at least in their limited way—but they could not grasp that Jesus Christ was also that I Am in the flesh. The truth shocked them and they rejected it. Still, Christ undeniably proved He was the I Am.
The Most High God used Christ to establish His government. We could call it the I Am government. That loving, powerful government is going to rule in the Kingdom of God. Without it, this world would return to its rebellion and sin; the problems saturating the world today would swallow the World Tomorrow as well.
But with that government, all men and women will have the wonderful opportunity to be ruled by God’s loving authority! The I Am Family government will bring peace into their lives for the first time.
The utopian vision of the Kingdom of God can only be achieved with that government—the same government that God is establishing through His people today. Simply getting rid of human governments won’t solve problems. This world needs a new government—one ready to rule with the love of God immediately when Christ returns.
‘You Are Gods’
Jesus Christ described the beautiful fruit of the I Am government when He said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). These two have perfect unity, harmony and agreement.
With the I Am government, we can enjoy that same unity. We possess the thrilling potential to be one with our Father as Christ is!
Christ told the Jews of His day about this potential, but it offended them and they rejected it! The very next verse in John 10 reads, “Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him” (verse 31). “Again,” it says; these deeply religious and utterly deceived people repeatedly tried to kill the Son of God!
Trying to stone Christ was breaking the spirit of the Ten Commandments—one of which states “you shall not kill.” This law was the foundation of all that they supposedly believed. Still, they didn’t hesitate to break it.
When Christ asked what motivated their violent attitude toward Him, they said He had committed blasphemy, “because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God” (verse 33). You’re a man and you’re making yourself God. That was blasphemy to them. But they were speaking to the Word made flesh!
What does this have to do with you? Notice Christ’s inspiring answer: “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?“ (verse 34).
What a powerful statement! That should provoke every person in this world who considers himself Christian to study deeply what Christ meant! Jesus Christ—the Word made flesh—said, Why are you so upset when I tell you that I am the Son of God? Look—it’s right there in your own Bible that you are Gods! You all have the potential to be God—with a capital “G”!
Look at the passage Christ was quoting. It is found in Psalm 82—scriptures those Jews would have known well but didn’t truly understand.
The Foundations of the Earth
Psalm 82 opens with a vision of God judging the affairs of this world. He sees much injustice: wicked people being accepted, the poor and fatherless being overlooked, the afflicted and needy being exploited. The world aches with deadly social problems.
Verse 5 concludes, “[A]ll the foundations of the earth are out of course.” When all the foundations of the Earth are out of course, the whole structure is doomed to collapse! And surely the problems today are 10,000 times worse than when this psalm was composed.
How is God going to solve that monstrous problem? The psalmist and Jesus Christ had an answer. The answer has been there, but man has not wanted it because he has not yet suffered enough, and he still believes he can work out a solution on his own. But the harder he tries, the worse the problems become! Just look around: All the foundations of the Earth are out of course!
Because of man’s rebellion, “all the foundations of the earth are out of course.” What does that mean? It means that all religions, politics, education and science have foundations that are out of course. We can’t possibly solve our problems without foundational changes!
Christ spoke to the Jews. But this is not just a Jewish problem—all the foundations of the Earth are out of course. Our evil human nature must be foundationally changed. Once that occurs, then Christ will use His saints to help Him put all the foundations of the Earth on course.
“I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children [or sons] of the most High” (verse 6).
It is impossible for man to solve his problems apart from God. Without God’s Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we are incomplete. We need that Spirit to become sons of God and set the Earth’s foundations on the right course!
Our potential to be part of God’s Spirit-born Family, and to assist our Father forever, is the answer to the problems of this world!
Sons of God
The word Gods there could read judges—and you might get an argument with some scholars, but what did Jesus Christ say about it? When He spoke with the Jews, He Himself said, “You are Gods.” That same Greek word is used over 1,300 times in the New Testament to refer to God Himself! Christ wasn’t talking about judges—He was talking about these Jews’ potential to enter the very Family of God! He was refuting their anger over His saying that He, a man, was God.
If we are begotten today, we are sons of the Most High Father! What a magnificent, mind-staggering potential you have!
That is the inspiring truth of the Bible!
The Jews were very bothered by what Christ said, though He supported His statements by quoting right from their own Bibles! They wanted to stone Him for it! Elsewhere, Christ told these same individuals that they were worshiping the devil. Still, here He was trying to help them see how truly awesome their potential was—if only they would accept it!
The same human nature that affected those Jews also drives people today; this truth still bothers people. When we proclaim it, some people become angry and label us a cult. But it’s what the Bible says! “Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?”
When you think about it, this truth ought to shake the whole universe! Shouldn’t anyone ask, What do you mean, Christ? What were you talking about when you said to these rebellious Jews, “You are Gods”?
Christ continued: “If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). It cannot be broken! You can stake your life on this!
“Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” (verse 36). Truly converted people are sons of God. That is not blasphemy—it is the truth. Saying it may make somebody want to kill you, but it is still the truth. We really are sons of God!
Why did God—the Word—come to this Earth? He came as the Son of God to declare the Father (John 1:18). We were created to be the sons of our Father—to be born into the Family of God.
That is why we exist—why we were created.
The angels were not created to be sons of God (Hebrews 1:13-14); only men were. But still men fight against fulfilling their transcendental, utterly unique potential!
How blessed we are to be human. What a godly honor.
What a spectacular, inspiring message God has for mankind—a message that should illuminate your life now—far beyond anything from this Earth.
This is the only hope mankind has.
But don’t forget this: We have a lot of work to do to drive out our carnality and to grow in the character of God. We must allow God to shape and mold us in order to fulfill our awesome, mountain-sized potential of becoming God.
God the Father and Jesus Christ sacrificed everything to open up this potential to mankind. If they are willing to endure that, it only makes sense that striving for our potential will be difficult. After all, we’re going to be born into the very Family of God. We’re going to be Gods if we obey and endure to the end!
That was God’s plan from the beginning (Genesis 1:26).
Think about this deeply. Human life is about to be extinguished. A new government must be ready to move into its place! A new world requires a new government. God’s master plan ensures it will be there. God will have a whole host of God beings ready to implement the I Am government.
That is why we are here—to be that new government along with all the firstfruits from the past. We must be ready to give people God’s loving government.
In another instance, Jesus Christ came right out to these Jews and identified who He was. He was about to leave them, and said, “I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come” (John 8:21). This statement perplexed them, and Christ went on: “Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world” (verse 23).
Then notice what He said: “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he …” (verse 24). The word he is in italics, which indicates that the translators added it because they thought it would make the verse more clear. But here it obscures the fact that Christ referred to Himself by His Old Testament title: I Am!
I Am is the self-existent God! Remember, the I Am first identified himself to Moses, back in 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.” That name means “I Will Be What I Will Be” or “I Eternally Exist.” He is the I Am—He is eternally there. If you examine the Hebrew root words of that name, it means that He is what He wants to be, He will do what He wills to do, when and where He wants to. It also means, I will be what I want to be, when I want to be it, how I want to be it.
Christ revealed Himself as the God of the Old Testament that the Jews were so familiar with. He was standing right there, looking at those Jews and saying, I’m discussed in the Bible—that Old Testament which you praise but don’t obey—and I’m telling you, I Am that I Am! If you don’t believe that I Am, you will die in your sins! The Jews virtually worshiped the Old Testament—even though they didn’t believe it. They knew that the I Am was the God of the Old Testament—the only Bible there was at that time.
Their God was standing before them! This was striking at the foundation of their religion. Either they repented foundationally, or they had to reject this God in the flesh who said He was the I Am. They chose to do the latter.
Correction from I Am
“Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am … and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things” (John 8:28). Christ was the omnipotent I Am. Yet He said He did nothing of Himself, He only spoke what His Father had taught Him.
He was the all-powerful God of the Old Testament, and at the same time, totally submissive to His Father. What an astounding example for all of us.
Any one of us can submit to the Father if we follow Christ’s humble example.
“Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me” (verse 42). God sent the I Am, the Head of this Church.
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (verse 44). This is strong correction from Jesus Christ, the I Am.
Christ does give correction when we need it. As Hebrews 12:7-11 say, we don’t even have a Father if we’re not receiving correction! Our responsibility is simply to keep ourselves in a state of mind where we can humbly accept that correction.
These Jews, however, did not accept it. They responded, “Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?” (John 8:53). They were asking this of the I Am!
Christ again tried to show them just how deficient their religion truly was (verses 54-56). The Jews were talking about how they followed God and loved Abraham. Christ called them liars! He wanted them to realize that they didn’t know God! (And neither does this world—Revelation 12:9.)
No wonder the Jews grew angry at Him. “Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 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” (John 8:57-59).
Christ mentioned the expression I Am three times in this chapter. The Jews wanted to kill Him for saying that—but that is who He was! This is who the Head of this Church is! That fact should leave us tremendously inspired—not wanting to stone the I Am or His prophets!
John’s purpose was to help us understand the preexistence of Christ—the I Am, who is eternal. He talks about the I Am three times in this chapter alone. This is the God of the Old Testament, who was very authoritative over Israel. He is the great Melchisedec, who said, I will be whatever I want to be within the context of God’s purpose and God’s law and God’s calling. In implementing the I Am government, He did rule with authority. When the Israelites went astray, He corrected them. And here He was, standing before these Jews in the flesh!
An Electrifying History
Why didn’t the other Gospel writers discuss the I Am? This is some of the deepest truth in your Bible. Christ spent much more time with John than most of His disciples. Christ must have used this time to explain this profound concept to him.
Also, John lived to be an old man, when the others were killed. Since John didn’t write his Gospel until years later, he had even more time to meditate on this extremely profound truth of God.
Christ took John into the world of the I Am’s pre-existence. Not only was He the God of the Old Testament, but John takes us back into the time when there was only God and the Word (John 1:1).
It is hard to even imagine how electrifying and inspiring the history of the I Am is. But how can we really understand our transcendental future, if we don’t understand the extremely far-reaching history of the Father and the Son?
Here is a biography a billion times more important than that of any human! John is trying to take us as far into that world as he can. Only then can we understand our extremely incredible future!
It is the most inspiring truth ever—by a million times over! And it is not easy to take ourselves out of this evil world into the world of God and the Word. It takes a multitude of hours searching and searching to even begin to understand. But if we continue to seek diligently, this real world of the I Am will become beautifully and majestically real!
Imagine what it means to fully understand the two Gods who created mankind, the angels, animals and the universe! Imagine the power and the minds of those omnipotent Gods!
How could we not be filled with joy and excitement if we comprehend this world of God and the Word and our future in it?
Now—as great as this Being was, consider again what a marvelous thing it was for Him to be as humble as He was.
The I Am Humility
The fact that Jesus Christ was the majestic and omnipotent I Am of the Old Testament makes His attitude toward God the Father all the more beautiful. “Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am”—He was the great I Am!—“and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things” (John 8:28).
What a precious scripture. This all-powerful God said, I do nothing of myself. And whatever my Father taught me, that’s what I teach you. No person on this Earth has ever come close to that example of humility!
Throughout His physical life, Christ always remembered why He was there: From the beginning, the master plan was that I come down to this Earth, not to do my own will, but my Father’s will!
How can the great God of Ezekiel 1 and Revelation 1 be so humble? Consider the power—then consider the humility.
Shouldn’t you and I have such humility?
We are pitiful human beings. Compared to the I Am, we are less than worms. Yet, can you and I submit to the Father as the I Am did? Is this your greatest passion?
We are to follow Christ’s example. Bring this down to your daily living.
Bring that humble attitude into your marriage. How blessed would a husband and wife be if they both said, I do nothing of myself! Everything I do in this marriage, I do because my Father said do it. If we could do that perfectly, we could have perfect marriages!
Can you husbands lead your families and submit to the Father the way He did?
Can you wives submit to your husband the way the Father and the I Am said you should? If you do, you are submitting to God.
Think about a husband and wife and children who all have a passion to please the Father, the Head of the whole Family. That will be a spectacular family!
To have great families, we must submit to the I Am! He established marriage to be a certain way. A woman must not disrespect the man who leads her; a husband must not fail to love the wife God gave him. If both parties in a marriage are submitting their own will to God’s, and submitting to one another in the fear of God (Ephesians 5:21), they will be putting God’s government into action, and they are guaranteed to have a beautiful marriage.
Marriage was established by the I Am, the great God who perfectly submitted to His Father, who has a plan to change civilization! We must realize it’s going to take government to implement it. That is the foundation of the government in the World Tomorrow!
The I Am had authority—but meditate deeply on how well He submits to authority! No wonder the Father gave Him authority! The Father knew what He would do with it. If He gave such authority to anyone on Earth—anyone who wasn’t so humble—it would be savagely abused.
The Father created all things by Jesus Christ. Imagine the I Am creating everything precisely as God wanted it done!
God wants you and me to follow that example. To rule in His coming Kingdom, we must rule exactly as God instructs us today. He will never take a chance on having another sin-saturated world like the one we live in today. We must burn into our minds this truth: We are here to imitate the I Am. That means learning to use authority as He does, and learning to submit to it as He does.
“And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29). This is one of my favorite scriptures, if not the favorite. He does always those things that please the Father! He exhibits complete, total loyalty to God!
That is the beautiful attitude that will build the Family of God.
Building the Family
Everything the I Am did, He did to please His Father. In a bad marriage sometimes, it is as though the husband and wife do everything to displease each other!
Isaiah 3:12 prophesied of the upside-down families in our world. Men won’t lead. Even if they will, women won’t submit!
This is the relationship God created in order to picture our marriage to Christ! Who do you think is inspiring the aggressive push to turn that relationship upside down?
I saw many examples in the Worldwide Church of God of upside-down marriages. I’ve seen a number of families leave the Church over the years where the husband wasn’t the head. I know of many married people who would probably have come into the pcg if not for the twisted government in those families. Satan will exploit that every time!
I have seen Satan destroy many families. Everyone I have seen trying to conduct their marriages differently from the way God commands suffers breakdown in that relationship.
Wrong attitudes about marriage and family in this world surge like a flood tide! Everyone wants to turn family upside down! Why? What’s wrong with the man being the head? Why do people want so desperately for women to lead? People call it 50/50, but it’s not—God says women rule. Children also browbeat their parents and end up oppressing the family. But if someone is going to rule anyhow, why not have it God’s way?
Satan the devil wants to turn families upside down. He passionately hates God’s way. He rebelled against it and is committed to destroying everything God is doing!
That spirit will be removed in the Millennium. Christ will not have individuals in His Family who desire upside-down government. Twisted families will not exist—they will be replaced by God-plane relationships! God’s new civilization won’t work with upside-down families—with men who won’t lead and women who are determined to lead! How much more must we see before we deeply realize it won’t work?
How much do you love the I Am government? Do you husbands love being the head of the family? Do you wives love submitting to your husbands?
After my wife’s death, I received a condolence card from a local elder I knew in the wcg. Today, he is with one of the Laodicean churches. I asked myself, Why isn’t he in the Philadelphia Church of God?
I remember counseling him and his wife at one point years ago in the wcg when they were having problems with their teenaged son; they came to me for counsel, which I thought was very positive. I believe I clearly saw what the problem was: They weren’t administering a loving government to their son as they should, and with the right structure of government, with the father taking the lead. When I told them this, as gently as I possibly could, I got a strong feeling that they didn’t like it. I prayed they would, because I believe God guided me to see that this man needed to take the lead more than what he was doing. But I didn’t see a change, and before long, I was transferred to another area.
I remember one sermon that minister gave in which he mocked the idea of wives following Sarah’s example in 1 Peter 3:6, when she called her husband “lord.” But I’m certain that their marriage would have been wonderful if he and his wife would have just acted like Abraham and Sarah! (I don’t believe we have to use the word lord in our marriages—we show respect for that office differently today. But I’m talking about an attitude.)
Why do so many people think they have to tinker with marriage as God designed it? That is why society is so upside down!
The big problem the men have is loving their wives, and the big problem the women have is submitting to their husbands.
Was it easy for Sarah to call Abraham lord? Not at all. I’m sure she remembered his weaknesses: the time he feared the pharaoh and lied about her not being his wife; and though she was in on it, I’m sure the episode with having a son by Hagar didn’t lead her to respect him more. Carnally, she could have had all those images in her mind and said, “You mean to tell me I should call that clod lord?”
You can pick any man’s character apart. We are all clods! But Sarah also reverenced the office. She believed it was an office of God. And she must be one of the “first ladies” of the Bible, if not the first lady. Otherwise, why would Peter have used her example?
Sarah tried hard to submit to her husband as Christ submitted to our Father.
Abraham was called the father of the faithful. He would not be such a towering example in Scripture if he had abused Sarah. Obviously he had to overcome his weaknesses, but he did it in faith. He wanted to do everything right, just as the I Am said!
Because this husband-and-wife team submitted to God, He can use their examples to teach us. Husbands can aspire to be like Abraham, and wives like Sarah, as we submit to the I Am. What beautiful marriages that makes, and what a beautiful foundation upon which to set the Earth back on course.
Let me give another specific example. Occasionally we see a young woman in the Church wearing something inappropriate, so tight as if she was just poured into her clothes. When I see that, I have to wonder, Where is the father? or, Where is the husband? Usually it gets back to a problem with the man.
It could be that the individual is new in the Church and doesn’t know any better. But something is wrong with the thinking. It must change. That will not exist in the World Tomorrow.
When Christ told us in Ephesians 5 how to make a marriage work, He was thinking about our marriage to Him! At the end of that passage, Paul wrote, I’m not even really talking about a physical marriage; I’m talking about Christ and the Church (verse 32).
God designed and established the family, with its government structure, to bring us into the very Family of God. It is meant to help us set the foundation of the Earth on its course. Men arrogantly push that government aside and think they have better ideas! But their ways have always failed! Whether angel or man, anybody who has ever tried a different way has always failed!
If you don’t have that vision in your marriage, you have nothing. If you don’t realize it is a type of our marriage to Jesus Christ and work to make it like the Bride and Jesus Christ, it will not be a godly marriage.
Do you think like the I Am regarding marriage and family?
The I Am said, I do nothing of myself! He submitted to His Father perfectly! What a great and wonderful God! How worthy of worship!
Christ said, My Father and I are one. From the beginning, the I Am said, When you marry, I want you to leave your mother and father, and I want you to become one flesh. One! Not tearing each other apart, but loving each other as the Father and Son love each other!
That is how we will build tomorrow’s civilization. That is the family government that will make the World Tomorrow work!
What if a husband and wife brought that I Am humility into their marriage? Imagine both spouses saying, with all their heart and mind and being, I do nothing of myself—if I find myself doing it, I will change. You know they could only have a beautiful marriage!
Our children should be following with this same attitude. How beautiful could a family be with children who said, Everything I do, I try to please my father and mother.
We all have a long way to go before we would perfectly exhibit such an attitude. When I study the Gospel of John, I get corrected by it. God has shown me things I must change in my life. I hope the same is true of all of us, because unless we are changing, we cannot fulfill our incredible human potential!
How to Be Happy
John 13 depicts Jesus Christ instituting the footwashing ceremony—a beautiful ordinance of humility.
When Christ started to wash Peter’s feet, Peter resisted. But Christ said, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me” (John 13:8). This is speaking spiritually: If we don’t humble ourselves and allow Christ to lead us, we have no part with Him. We will die in our sins.
After the ceremony, Christ said, “Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am” (verses 12-13). I’m your Master and I’m your Lord. I’m the I Am.
“If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (verses 14-15). Christ repeatedly emphasized this message: Follow my example.
Christ set us an example of suffering. When we follow Christ, we too will have to suffer at times (1 Peter 2:21). We are to follow in His steps. That is how we build the character to rule with Him as His Bride.
Only those firstfruits who are called before Christ’s Second Coming will have that honor.
But notice here what it says. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (John 13:16-17).
Happy are you! If you really submit to the great I Am, it will make you happy!
If you conduct your marriage or any other aspect of your life according to the law of God, I guarantee it will make you happy!
In the midst of a sore trial, you may feel a certain sadness. But if you keep the law, you will have an underlying happiness. Jesus Christ spoke these words just before He was crucified! He knew He was about to be marred and savaged more than any man had been—and He was telling His disciples how to be happy! What discipline and concentration He had. He warned them about rough times ahead, but far more importantly, He instructed them on how to be happy. That is rather amazing.
The I Am was happy. To be able to be that way when He was just hours away from being physically shredded—that is a deep happiness! How could a man just hours away from such an end truly be happy? He explained how.
“Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am …” (verse 19). He had His mind on the crucifixion, but He also had His mind on what would happen to His disciples beyond that crucifixion. I’m going through all this that you might believe, He said. He wanted to build their faith—and our faith.
The great majestic I Am died for you and me. Now He wants some serious sacrificing from us.
Christ wants us today to really believe that the great I Am heads this Church! He wants us to be submissive to Him, because if we walk away, we will die in our sins. But if we follow Him—know His truth and do it—we will be happy! Even in our trials, we will have an underlying happiness.
When I look at God’s people today, I can say we are not as happy as we ought to be. We ought to become happier. All of us can grow in that. The great I Am tells you that if you submit to the Father the way He does, you will be happy!
“[O]ne star differeth from another star in glory” (1 Corinthians 15:41). Some stars are greater and more luminous than others. God really wants us to have a lot of glory! He wants you to have the most “star glory” possible when you are born into the God Family.
But even today, we should shine with a certain glory. Our faces should shine with happiness!
Isaiah 3:9 describes how, because of Israel’s sins, “The shew of their countenance doth witness against them ….” Look around, and you see many unhappy people in this world—people in the bonds of sin.
We in God’s Church should radiate something entirely different!
I believe that, in a general way, we may be able to determine how much star quality and brightness we will have in the future by how much our face shines today in happiness and joy.
God wants to make you happy. He has commanded that you be happy! And He has instructed us in exactly how to achieve that: “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”
Conducting your life God’s way makes you happy! And you’ll never be happy any other way. Women will never be happy in marriage until they submit. Men will never be happy until they love their wives as Christ loved the Church. That is a guarantee.
At Christ’s final Passover, the devil was right there. “And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him” (John 13:2).
Satan is always sitting right there trying to put thoughts in your mind. If you are sinning, if your marriage is upside down, he has an open conduit and can put damaging thoughts in your mind. That is what he did to Judas, and convinced him to betray the Son of the living God.
In the midst of the footwashing ceremony, “Jesus saith to [Peter], He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. … I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me” (verses 10-11, 18).
There will always be someone who hates us and finds this message offensive. We will never get completely away from that fact as long as human nature is around.
In this end time, we have seen people monstrously betray Jesus Christ on this scale; we were trying to disseminate the message of Christ, and they played the role of antichrist—taking us to court for doing so!
After their supper together, Christ and the disciples went to the garden of Gethsemane, where Judas had led a band of men to capture Him. Notice, Judas was right there with those thugs—a dangerous place for him to be (John 18:5).
Christ asked these men whom they were seeking, and they answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” “Jesus saith unto them, I am …” (verse 5).
Notice: The word he was again added by translators. Christ spoke His name as the God of the Old Testament! He told them, I Am. I Am the authority and the government of the Old Testament you’ve read about in your Bible. That’s me!
And see what happened: “As soon then as he had said unto them, I am … they went backward, and fell to the ground”! (verse 6). These Jews staggered and fell over!
That same Being is the Head of this Church. That truth ought to stagger us at times!
You must know where you are. You won’t be motivated to give your life to God—even sacrifice it and die, if necessary—if you don’t know where the I Am is! You must prove that truth. Most of God’s people today refuse to do so.
The Jews knew that this God was a God of authority! They knew He ruled Israel, and they fell over backward! Sometimes this mighty God could get tough with the people of Israel, and it scared them—though not for long; they still wouldn’t submit to Him.
This is the same God who will rule in the World Tomorrow. We will be assisting Him, ruling with a rod of iron. If someone begins to depart from God’s law, we will not negotiate about it—we will put things right!
We must submit to the I Am today, or we won’t be prepared to be a part of His future government. Are we willing to have a humble, footwashing attitude today before the grandeur of the I Am?
Eat Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ—the I Am—understands and implements God’s government perfectly. We can learn so much from His perfect example.
Christ said, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38). We need to let this mind be in us, so we too can live in perfect agreement with the I Am government.
Here is how Christ expressed this concept: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. … As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me” (verses 51, 57).
These words are so profound! The I Am lived by the living Father! And if we eat Him, we will act and live just as the I Am did—in perfect accord with His government. The I Am must be alive in us! So we too say, I do nothing of myself—as the Father has taught me, so I do.
As we submit in that way, the Father comes alive, and we know we’re sons of God! What a wonderful blessing it is to bring the Father alive! Then we know we will be BORN into the Family of God and look like and be like the great God of the Bible! Never were the angels called begotten sons of God!
We must bring the Father alive, because the whole Family of God concept revolves around the Father! The world knows nothing about the Father; the Laodiceans know little or nothing about the Father. They refuse to submit to the Father as the I Am did.
“This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever” (verse 58). Physical manna only brings death; eating the I Am brings eternal life!
We must eat this Word! And live it, and practice it in our marriages, and in our families, and in our relations with other people in the Church and the world. Eat it up! As we do, the Father comes alive to us! Our marriages come alive! Our families come alive! And God’s new civilization comes alive! Soon we will be teaching these inspiring truths to all the world! How beautiful and wonderful, and how blessed we are.
This Is Life!
Still, this is not an easy truth to accept. Many who heard Christ speak this truth couldn’t accept it (John 6:59-60). Many of His disciples turned away, just as they have today. They didn’t really want the truth of God.
“When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?” (verse 61). Does this offend you?
Some of these things are hard. It’s hard to straighten out a marriage. When my wife and I first married, I can honestly tell you we had serious work to do. Trust me, you are not starting any further back than we did! We had to change in order to survive. But what a blessing it was as we worked through those difficulties, and changed, and submitted ourselves to the I Am government! With God’s help, we came to have a beautiful, harmonious marriage.
God calls the lowly of the world. Only the lowly have enough humility to listen to Him! Everyone else is too concerned about their own beauty or reputation or material interests. If we have the humility to submit to God, He can teach us how to make our marriages right and to straighten out our lives! The fruits of God’s way of life are incredibly wonderful.
Christ continued, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (verse 63). How true that is! God’s words are life!
“But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him” (verse 64). Those who don’t believe God can become pretty nasty and seek to betray Christ. Some people accuse us of being a cult. Many Laodicean groups advise people to attend with any group except ours. God says they are fighting Christ!
“And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father” (verse 65). We wouldn’t be here if not for our Father. He looked down, examined our lives, and individually selected each one of us. Jesus Christ didn’t get to select you—the Father did that. After perhaps years of analyzing and examining your behavior and your potential, the Father finally chose you to marry His Son! God is deeply involved in who will marry His beloved, only begotten Son!
Don’t ever forget that beginning! Don’t ever forget what was in the mind of your Father when He called you. There is no greater honor in the Bible, and never will be, than the honor we have to marry the Son of God! Don’t let this opportunity slip away.
The amazing thing is how many people have let it slip. “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (verse 66). Many just turned away from this. The same has happened today. It is almost routine.
“Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?” (verse 67). Jesus Christ saw many of His disciples turn away, but He didn’t go chasing them. He turned to those who remained loyal, and asked Peter and all those men, “Will you also go away?”
“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God” (verses 68-69). There’s only one hope; there’s only one way! Peter said. This is life! Everything else is just a chemical existence—it is nothing! But this is life—eternal life that will get you beyond the grave! This is what you were born for!
The most regretful people ever will be the people of God who turned away from this honor of all honors! For all eternity, the Bride of Christ will possess tremendous honor and splendor.
We are right on the threshold of the wonderful World Tomorrow! Those now begotten of God are about to be born as sons of God and become the Bride of Jesus Christ! You will work directly with Christ to usher in a new civilization! It should have been here 6,000 years ago, but man thought he had a better idea—and today we see the results of that monstrous delusion.
The Word became the Son of God! He is the I Am! And we are to be born into the God Family! Our raiment will shine like the light and our faces like the sun! Always keep that transcendent potential in mind! What an honor it is. How privileged and blessed we are to have the opportunity to be the Bride of Jesus Christ, and to place the foundations of the Earth on course for the first time since man was created! What a world it will be, and what a beautiful future all mankind has!
We have it all! God has given us everything! We are the most blessed people on this Earth a million times over! We know exactly why this Earth is so plagued with problems and how God is going to solve them. We know this planet is about to change and that we are about to take on God’s shining glory because today we submitted to the I Am! That is a wonderful, wonderful calling.
This is revealed truth from the Bible that our Husband is giving us. He is working diligently to prepare us to marry Him! And though we have much work yet to do, He still already considers us His wife—even today! He looks upon that marriage as being already consummated. How positive and filled with hope He is! Nothing can stop us from that future!