Exodus Teaching - 24 - The God Who Is

Title: Exodus Teaching - 24 - The God Who Is
Category: Bible Studies
Subject: Exodus Study



Those who know anything about the Bible, especially those who have read or
studied the Book of Exodus, are familiar with the words the Lord spoke to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” We know the words but what do they mean? Okay, we have a general idea what they mean, but what do they really mean? What do they mean to me? How do I take those words to a higher level? Let me share with you how the Lord blessed me by pulling back the veil so that I might have a little deeper understanding of those words and how they still have significance to us today.

When you want to know as much as possible about a subject you go to the best authority you can find on the subject. Well, I didn’t know what I was about to learn when I mentioned a particular subject to late Dr. H. Leo Eddleman. I had no doubt about my his being the right source.

When I enrolled in New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary I was already aware of the fact that Dr. Roland Q. Leavell had retired and Dr. H. Leo Eddleman was the new president. His father had been pastor of my home church years before my time, but I knew about it because Dr. Eddleman and my pastor, Henning Andrews, were good friends. Actually, I went to the Green River Baptist Mission and the Lula Baptist Church was our mother church. It was not long before I found myself playing volley ball with Dr. Eddleman, who came out and worked out with students in the gym. There were times when Dr. Eddleman and I would be the only ones in the gym and we just shot baskets and visited.

I met a man a number of years later who had been at Mississippi College with Dr. Eddleman when the Lord called him into the ministry. He remembered him as a math major, but didn’t know the whole story. He did not know what had happened to him one summer. Dr. Eddleman told me very frankly that he had never been able to determine whether or not he was saved at that time, or when he had made a profession of faith when he was younger. He said that all he knew was that whatever happened to him at age 19 so over- shadowed everything else that had ever happened to him that he believed that may have been when he was saved and called into the ministry.

He told me the greatest regret he had in his life was the way he wasted his life between age fifteen and age nineteen, when he might have learned five languages! At age nineteen I was still struggling with English! He also told me that he limited himself to one date per year from age 19 to age 25. That was another thing that never occurred to me, and since I never heard any other young man say anything like that I could only assume that I was the normal one.

J. Edgar Hoover once made the statement that Leo Eddleman had the best working knowledge of Hebrew of any non-Jew in the United States. I am sure Hoover was acquainted with his work since he was doing some highly classified translations for “a high level secret organization within our government.” A number of years later I asked someone associated with “a high level secret organization within our government” if he knew Dr. Eddleman. He looked at me with his head tilted and his right eye staring me in the eye, he said, “I did not know Dr. Eddleman, but we knew about him.”

We were sitting together, either in my home or in my study some ten years after our days in the gym at seminary when we began discussing the name the Lord gave Moses for Himself at the bush that was burning but not being consumed.

(13) “Then Moses asked God, “If I go to the Israelites and say to them: The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ what should I tell them?”

(14) God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.” (Ex 3:13-14, HCSB)

There is more:

(15) “God also said to Moses, “Say this to the Israelites: Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever; this is how I am to be remembered in every generation.” (Ex 3:15, HCSB)

I mentioned to Dr. Eddleman what we had learned in Old Testament Hebrew classes: “In the fullest sense of the word it means, “I am that which I am, I was that which I was, and I will be that which I will be.” Dr. Eddleman said, “It means more than that. It also carries the idea that I am the cause of my existence, and it also means that I am the cause of your existence.” Now, I would like for us to take a deeper look at the One who is the cause of His own existence, as well as the cause of His own existence.


A. You Cannot Define God.

One day back when I was in a Systematic Theology class in seminary, the professor was out and his grader (Fellow) taught the class for him. The subject was God and he distinctively stated, “You cannot define God.” When we left the class my college roommate said, “Roomie, he just said, ‘You can’t define God,” and then he gave us three definitions.” He had done just that, but had stressed that, “you cannot define God, you can only study his attributes. There are many attributes of God given in the Scripture. For example, God is love, God is merciful, God is holy, and on and on. Here, however, we will look at only three of His attributes and I believe this will help us to appreciate and reverence our Lord a little more every time we consider them. After that we will consider other attributes of the Great I Am, our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer.

1. He is Omniscient. The word means all knowing. David was inspired to write about three of God’s very special attributes in Psalm 139:

1) Lord, You have searched me and known me.

2) You know when I sit down and when I stand up;

You understand my thoughts from far away.

3) You observe my travels and my rest;

You are aware of all my ways.

4) Before a word is on my tongue,

You know all about it, Lord.

5) You have encircled me;

You have placed Your hand on me.

6) ⌊This⌋ extraordinary knowledge is beyond me.

It is lofty; I am unable to ⌊reach⌋ it.
(Psalms 139:1-6, HCSB)

The Lord knows everything there is to know about me. Everything! He knows “my thoughts,” and He knows “all my ways.” He knows “when I sit down and when I stand up.” Furthermore, David wrote, “Before a word is on my tongue, You know all about it, Lord.” He knows every word I have spoken, every thought I have ever had, and He knows every word I will speak. That re-defines amazing. But there is more:

2. He is Omnipresent . That means He is everywhere present at the same time.

7) Where can I go to escape Your Spirit?

Where can I flee from Your presence?

8) If I go up to heaven, You are there;

if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there.

9) If I live at the eastern horizon

⌊or⌋ settle at the western limits,

10) even there Your hand will lead me;

Your right hand will hold on to me.

11) If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me,

and the light around me will be night” —

12) even the darkness is not dark to You.

The night shines like the day;

darkness and light are alike to You.
(Psalms 139:7-12, HCSB)

Surely you have sung the words, “Where could I go but to the Lord?” David might well have added, “Where could I go from the Lord.” Whether night or day, whether light or darkness, He is there and He sees me. He sees me because He is there. I taught the Book of Acts at a well known church in our area a number of years ago, speaking for two hours each night for six consecutive evenings. During a brief break a professor from a nearby university said, “I tell my students how God travels. I tell them that when God thinks of something He needs to deal with on the other side of the world, is there instantly. How does He get there? Mental telepathy. He just stops and thinks about where He needs to be and he travels there instantly by mental telepathy.

When the professor finished his concluding statement, with great sincerity, I might add, I said to him, “That is way too slow for God. He is already there!” That is what we mean by His omnipresence. Astronaut Jim Irwin was the eighth man to walk on the moon and if asked, I can assure you that Jim Irwin found that God was already there when they touched down, and that he talked with the Lord as clearly there as he could on earth. There is no where you can go away from the presence of the great I Am.

3. He is Omnipotent. David celebrated this power in Psalm 139:13-18:

13) For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14) I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.
Your works are wonderful, and I know ⌊this⌋ very well.

15) My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth.

16) Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all ⌊my⌋ days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.

17) God, how difficult Your thoughts are for me ⌊to comprehend⌋; how vast their sum is!

18) If I counted them, they would outnumber the grains of sand; when I wake up, I am still with You. (Psalms 139:13-18, HCSB)

Yahweh has all the power to sustain, maintain, and contain everything He created; everything that exists. And, I can assure you that the use of this great power has never exhausted Him. I read somewhere that for every star in our solar system there is another solar system out there somewhere. That is a lot of solar systems! Our Lord created all of them and He maintains all of them. He is the source of the power that keeps all of them fulfilling their function at all times. No wonder we call Him, Almighty God!

It is especially interesting that the Lord would inspire David to write about His power in this way. Wouldn’t you have expected Him to point to the great expanse above us and say something like: “Just look out there! It is absolutely amazing. Just look out into space and behold my mighty works! Here, take my telescope and look out beyond this solar system at the thousands of solar systems I have created, systems I maintain.” Imagine the Lord saying to David, “Just look at all the heavenly bodies I have created and placed in space. They have not worn out and they stay in their orbit. Orbit? Let’s save that for another day. Right now, just consider at all the stars and planets I created by simply saying, “Let there be....and it was so.” You look out there at the same stars Abraham meditated on, and the same constellations whose names Job knew four thousand years ago. Not only have I not lost track of all those stars, everyone of them is fulfilling its role in the grand scheme of things.” The Lord called Job’s attention to those stars and other heavenly bodies one thousand years ago.” May we look now at Job 38:3-7:

3) Get ready to answer Me like a man; when I question you, you will inform Me.

4) Where were you when I established the earth? Tell ⌊Me⌋, if you have understanding.

5) Who fixed its dimensions?v Certainly you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?

6) What supports its foundations? Or who laid its cornerstone

7) while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Job 38:3-7 (HCSB)

Please pay close attention to the following verses from Job, possibly the first book of the Bible to have been written. He was a patriarch, which means that he lived some time in the same era as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. See if you detect anything in these verses that is completely mind-boggling as the Lord asks Job:

“Can you fasten the chains of the Pleiades or loosen the belt of Orion? (32) Can you bring out the constellations in their season and lead the Bear and her cubs? (33) Do you know the laws of heaven? Can you impose its authority on earth? (34) Can you command the clouds so that a flood of water covers you?” (Job 38:31-34, HCSB)

We might go on, but I want you to look, not through a telescope, but through a microscope. What people some day will see through a really sophisticated microscope is as amazing as what they will see when they look through the most sophisticated telescope. Look again at Psalm 139:13-18. Consider what the Lord has done that you can only see today through an MRI:

“You knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Ps. 139:13a).

When you observe the Sanctity of Human Life next January, consider what the Lord revealed to Job some four thousand years ago.

“(16) Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all ⌊my⌋ days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.

Now, put away your telescope and pull out your microscope. David, inspired by the Spirit of the Lord, wrote of something no one in the entire history of the world had ever heard of.

1) God fore-knew David, just as he foreknew Jeremiah. Did you know that? We should remember it, and we should remember three things: (1) God foreknew Jeremiah and called him before he was ever conceived, (2) Jeremiah was not created without a will, and (3) when the time came Jeremiah chose to serve the Lord who had chosen him.

2) The Lord knew David’s physical body before he was conceived.

3) He protected the embryo that would become David in the womb.

4) He is the Creator of DNA. Some three thousand years before computers were in common use God wrote the program for David’s life, health, mind, and purpose. It would take man a longtime to discover DNA and we are still learning about it. Yahweh, however, knew all about David before he was born. He really is omniscient, or all knowing.

B. Francis Schaeffer Was an Agnostic Who Came to Believe in God.

1. He Is There (Francis Schaeffer). After reading a little about Francis Schaeffer, I discovered a set of books that contained something like twenty-two volumes of his work. My wife Rebecca and I were visiting Andy and Jan Mercer in Hearst, Texas when Jan told us about hearing Francis Schaeffer. A close friend of the Mercers was a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Dr. Jan Mercer had worked with Dr. James J. Schofield Johnson, a state judge and a Hebrew scholar, who shared an interest in creation science, birds, and other things. If someone like Major Ian Thomas spoke in the Dallas area the Mercers would go to hear him if they could fit it into their schedule. After listening to Jan I bought that set of books and began reading them. Over the years I have read all twenty-two volumes about four times.

In an early volume, possibly his first one, he makes the point that God is the God who is there, and then pursues evidence that He is there. One thing I recall vividly was a statement I read that I could not forget. He said, in essence, “I was an agnostic until I discovered the truth of the Trinity, and at that time I moved from being an agnostic to being a theist.” His hang up had been the thought that if God had to create man to have someone with whom He could communicate, then there must be some kind of deficiency in God. When he discovered the reality of the Trinity he realized that there is no deficiency in God at all. There has been perfect and harmonious fellowship within the Trinity forever.

When I was in seminary I do not remember hearing some of my favorite professors saying anything about the Trinity. Oh, they talked about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as the subject or name came up in class. I do remember someone explaining that in the Old Testament God revealed Himself as the Father, the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. He was that, but I did not realize that he was saying there was no Trinity in the Old Testament. They could even explain away John’s claim that Jesus (the Logos, John 1:ff) was the Agent of Creation. God was simply role-playing. Then, another professor, a New Testament professor, would explain that in the New Testament God revealed Himself as the Jesus, the Son of God. Then, at Pentecost God revealed Himself as the Holy Spirit. They might talk about the Father, and the Son, but from Pentecost forward, God was acting as the Holy Spirit. Instead of a trinitary view of God the held a unitary view of God.

In other words, God was role playing. Does that sound pretty far out to you. It did to me, but when I understood what the professor was really saying I could hardly believe he really meant that. He was one of my most interesting professors, even though some comments on the Book of Revelation raised some eyebrows. At one point another students raised his hand and when recognized, asked the professor if he believed in a literal devil. My professor launched into a response that explained that you cannot have two self-existent, immortal beings, so Satan is simply the personification of evil, not a person. Several years later, a pastor I knew told me that my old professor had taught a Bible study for a pastor’s conference and at one point he said, “I wish people would stop talking about the Trinity. The word Trinity is not mentioned in the Bible!”

I can think of a lot of things that are never mentioned in the Bible, things I see, touch, hear, and see all the time. I am sitting here with fingers on something called a key board and my fingers are searching for something called keys. I am looking at something called a monitor and as I move my fingers letters appear on the screen of the monitor. The letters, when viewed closely, form words, and the words form sentences, which in turn form paragraphs. Don’t ask me about that thing they call a processor. Or the mouse! I do not find any of those words in the Bible, yet I have a know I have a computer. I also have an automobile and a truck parked in the carport, lights all around me, air conditioning, and central heat. In our home we have a microwave, a refrigerator, and a freezer. My wife has all sorts of gadgets in the kitchen. I see people all around me with cell phones and many of them have pictures stored on them and by touching the screen they can show you their grandchildren. They must have some kind of foreign substance on the screen because they are running fingers all over the screen. Ask what they are doing and they tell you they are “texting”! I don’t recall any mention of texting in the Bible, but what I do find there is far more amazing.

2. He is not Silent (Schaeffer). The God Who is there is not silent. He communicates with the one creation created in His image. He protects lower animal life, but He communicates His love to the one being created in His image. He is there and He is not silent. He communicated with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He communicated with Noah about the Flood and the Ark. He must have communicated with him about other things as well. Now, this is just my opinion, but the first time I heard that some thought Moses copied the Mosaic Law from the Code of Hammurabi, I was convinced that there was a better explanation for what happened. Is it more likely that Hammurabi got his code of ethics from Noah, who received instructions from the Lord? There is no verse of Scripture that tells us that, but is it not reasonable to draw that conclusion?

There is more. Our Lord is an amazing God. He is the Great I Am. He exists of Himself, the source of His own existence and the source of your existence. We might continue to explore the implications of that, but I would like to appeal to our study of God and how, by His mighty hand, He brought Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees to a distant Land of Promise where He promised to give that land to the descendants of Abraham, but only after 400 years in another country.

He was there when ten sons of Jacob (Israel), motivated by jealousy, sold their brother Joseph into slavery to a caravan of midianites, who in turn sold him to a man named Potiphar in Egypt. After Potiphar’s wife accused Joseph of assaulting her he was thrown into prison, only to be miraculously delivered and given the position as the second most powerful man in all of Egypt. God revealed through Joseph to that a particularly harsh seven year famine was coming after seven years of abundant harvests. That famine hit his family back in Canaan and the Lord, by His mighty hand brought Jacob’s family down into Egypt where Joseph got permission from Pharaoh to settle them in the fertile, productive land of Goshen, where they remained for four hundred thirty years, growing from seventy in number something like two million people, with 600,000 men able to bear a sword.

While I will not review the entire story of the Exodus here, I would like to remind you that there is no part of the Exodus miracle that Moses and Aaron, or for that matter, the entire Israelite nation could do to deliver themselves. Sufficient to say, the Israelites could not have forced the Pharaoh to permit them to leave, they could not have protected themselves form the Egyptians as they came to the Red Sea, they could not have crossed the Red Sea, produced bread to eat, water to drink, or defeat Amalek. God did all of that for them. During those days in the wilderness, two of the sons of Aaron violated the Lord’s specific instructions for worship and they paid a price for it. Yahweh’s may seem severe, but remember that there is a vast difference between God and human beings. There are times when the Lord reveals something about Himself to human beings and they miss, or miss use that which Yahweh seeks to reveal, as in the case of two sons of Aaron:

“Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu each took his own firepan, put fire in it, placed incense on it, and presented unauthorized fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them ⌊to do⌋. (2) Then fire came from the Lord and burned them to death before the Lord. (3) So Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord meant when He said:

I will show My holiness

to those who are near Me,

and I will reveal My glory

before all the people.”
Lev 10:1-3 (HCSB)

What the Lord did to these two sons of Aaron is mind-boggling. How could a loving God do something like that? He not only did it, He told Moses to tell Aaron and his two sons, Eleazar and Ithamar that they must not mourn or the same thing would happen to them (Lev 10:6). How could a loving God do such a thing. When we ask that question we show that we are more concerned with our grief than His holiness. He can, and does reveal His glory in times of grief and sorrow, just as He reveals His love to those who obey Him. There are many things revealed in the Bible about our Lord. He explains it:

(8) “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” ⌊This is⌋ the Lord’s declaration.

(9) “For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is. 55:8-9, HCSB)

Now, let us go on to the conquest of Jordan. There was nothing the Israelites could have done to cause to walls of Jericho to come tumbling down. They found out what the Conquest would have been like when they were shocked at Ai. Yahweh caused to sun to stand still for about one day to assure Joshua a victory over a powerful force in Canaan.

In case you are wondering what that has to do with you and me, let me thank you for the opportunity to respond to that question. When you are born again by the grace of God, something very special happens. God places His Holy Spirit in you to guide you, lead you, teach you, empower you and enlighten you. True Christians are involved in a spiritual warfare in this world - and some recognize that fact. Others seem to think they have an insurance policy that assures us we will someday dwell in heaven, but seem to give very little thought to the spiritual warfare that is going on all around us today. What warfare, you may ask. The news media today is looking for any conflict that will focus positive attention on their network, and the latest is referred to as gender neutral weddings. Anyone who questions that is a target for attacks by the forces of Satan all around us in the world today. A state may vote by an overwhelming percentage not to legalize homosexual marriage, but some liberal lawyer goes before one liberal judge who throws out the vote of the majority and forces the will of a small minority upon the people. Well known servants of the Lord may come under attack by an aggressive press and encouraged by those caught up in the social media, by college and university friends and even professors to crusade for that which is ungodly. Homosexuality is strongly condemned in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, by the Mosaic Law, and in the first chapter of the Epistle of Paul to the Romans.

In a discussion with a professional lady about my commentary on Philippians, UNDEFEATED: Finding Peace in a World Full of Trouble, the lady said, “I really like your commentary and I normally don’t like Paul.” Stepping around a counter, she said somewhat confidentially, “Paul was strictly a product of his own time, wasn’t he?” I said, “Paul may have been a product of his own time, but the Scripture is the product of the Holy Spirit.”

He is there and He is not silent. He spoke to Joshua as He had spoken to Moses, and He spoke to certain Judges, like Gideon, but in I Samuel we read, “ The boy Samuel served the Lord in Eli’s presence. In those days the word of the Lord was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread.”
(1 Sam 3:1, HCSB) Samuel was a pivotal figure in the Lord’s revelation of His plan for His Chosen People. He would speak to Samuel more than He had to others in a long time. In time, He would tell Samuel to anoint David king over Israel.

Through David, the Yahweh revealed His presence, His purpose, His provisions, His plans, and His future plans. In Psalm 1 He contrasts the righteous person with the wicked person. In Psalm 2 He reveals his plans for the Anointed One who was to come. In Psalm 8 He reveals His relationship to man. In Psalm 22, He reveals the agony to which the Messiah was subjected on a cruel cross:

“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You⌋ so far from my deliverance and from my words of groaning” (Ps. 22:1, HCSB).

In this Psalm he reveals that the Messiah would be mocked:

“Everyone who sees me mocks me; they sneer and shake their heads: “He relies on the Lord; let Him rescue him; let the Lord deliver him, since He takes pleasure in him.” (Ps. 22:7-8, HCSB)

The agony of the Cross is portrayed one thousand years in advance we have a picture of the horrors of the death of Jesus on the Cross, complete with the suffering, and even though no nation at the time used crucifixion as a means of execution:

“I am poured out like water, and all my bones are disjointed; my heart is like wax, melting within me. (15) My strength is dried up like baked clay; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You put me into the dust of death.” (Ps. 22:14-15)

One thousand years in advance the Lord revealed the fact that the soldiers cast lots for the clothes of the Son of God: “I can count all my bones; people look and stare at me. (18) They divided my garments among themselves, and they cast lots for my clothing.” (Ps. 22:17-18)

The Lord is not silent in Psalm 23 where David reveals the wonders of a personal relationship with the Lord. While David is doing the speaking, or writing here, the Holy Spirit inspires every word of it. Now let us look at one of the best known passages in the entire Bible.

(1) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Relationship)

(2) He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. (Provisions)

(3) He restores my soul; - (provisions, redemption)

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. (Sanctification)

(4) Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (Protection)

(5) You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. (Abundant Blessings)

(6) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever. (Eternal security and blessings from the Lord)
Psalms 23:1-6 (NKJV)

This is good, but that is not all of the story. Our Lord really does exist, and He is not silent. Not only does He speak through His Holy Word, He speaks to us through His creation. David wrote:
“When I observe Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You set in place, (4) what is man that You remember him, the son of man that You look after him?” (Ps. 8:3-4, HCSB) It was also David who declared, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.” (Ps. 19:1, HCSB)

Yahweh revealed to Isaiah His plans for Him (Is. 6:1ff). Then there is the clear and distinct prophecy in Isaiah 7:14: “The virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel,” Which Matthew tells us was fulfilled in Jesus. There is another clear and distinct prophecy from the Isaiah, who with Micah, Amos, and Hosea, prophesied during the Golden Era of Prophecy, the eighth century B. C.:

“For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, HCSB)

The Lord called Jeremiah to prophecy for Him at a critical time in the history of His dealings with Israel. The chosen people had been a blessed people when they listened to Yahweh, but they had often paid a horrible price when the rebelled against Him. Ten of the twelve tribes had rebelled against Judah and Benjamin and created the nation of Israel, leaving those two tribes which went by the name of the chosen tribe of Judah. Israel had never had a godly king, in spite of the fact that the Lord had sent one prophet after another to tell them about Him and to warn of certain judgment if they didn’t repent. They refused to repent, and it happened. The Assyrians, under Sargon II defeated Israel and carried away a lot of the people and settled them in other Middle Eastern countries. They then brought foreign people into Israel and settled them there. Those who were brought into Israel and settled, contrary to what some Bible professors have claimed, were not of another race. They were Semitic people, but they were pagan people who did not know Yahweh. In time, some of the people of the land married those foreigners and the Samaritan people - not a Samaritan race - established their own culture. They were hated by the Jews, and they returned the favor.

Judah had a few godly kings who actually sought to lead the country back to the Lord. Hezekiah is a good example. Another was Josiah, who tried to get Judah to return to the Lord. It was during his reign that Jeremiah began his prophetic ministry. The people of Judah were oppressed by the Assyrians for generations, until Babylon rebelled and overthrew the Assyrians. Under King Nebuchadnezzar they established a mighty empire. Pharaoh Necho of Egypt marched out to meet Nebuchadnezzar, crossing Judah with no regards for their rights as a nation. Josiah saw the Egyptian army moving toward his country and moved out to stop them. The good and godly king Josiah was killed by the Egyptians on the plains of Meggido, and then the Egyptians were defeated in the Battle of Carchemish in 608 B. C., leaving Babylon as the first great empire of that part of the world. They conquered nation after nation as they moved toward Jerusalem.

The Lord called Jeremiah to warn Judah of the coming judgment if they didn’t repent. Jeremiah records his call: “ Then the Lord reached out His hand, touched my mouth, and told me: I have now filled your mouth with My words. (10) See, I have appointed you today over nations and kingdoms
to uproot and tear down, to destroy and demolish, to build and plant.” (Jer 1:9-10) Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, warned Judah that she must repent or suffer the consequences. Through Jeremiah, the Lord revealed the coming judgment and the reasons for it: “ For My people have committed a double evil: They have abandoned Me, the fountain of living water, and dug cisterns for themselves,
cracked cisterns that cannot hold water.” (Jer 2:13)

The Lord declared through Jeremiah, “The Lord announced to me, “Unfaithful Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.” (Jer 3:11) What a sad end for Israel, the Northern Kingdom. The only ones spared the treachery of the invading Assyrians were those who had fled to Judah, or that tiny remnant that joined itself to Judah when they were returning from the Babylonian captivity. Babylon invaded Judah and took away some of the choice people, Like Daniel, Sharrach, Meshach, and Abednigo in 606 B. C. When Judah rebelled, Babylon returned in 597 to put down the rebellion and take away more captives. Judah again rebelled and Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B. C, at which time the broke through the walls of the city of Jerusalem, destroyed the temple, after looting it, taking away those precious vessels of which we read in Daniel 5. Many other captives were taken away to Babylon at this time. They had been a people given to idolatry throughout their history, but a remnant of the Israelites were returned after Medo-Persia defeated Babylon around 539 B.C. They left the land of Israel an idolatrous people, but returned in 536 B. C. without idols. They were also left without a king. May I add here that one reads various dates for the return from Babylon, but if we subtract 70 years from 606 B.C. we get 536 B. C.

Through the prophet Zechariah, Yahweh gave an interesting prophecy about Israel’s future. Israel had never been faithful to the Lord for any significant period of time, but the nation is now marching toward the time prophesied throughout the history of Israel. It is like a snowball rolling down hill, gaining in size and speed as the time of fulfillment draws near:

(9) “The word of the Lord came to me: (10) “Take ⌊an offering⌋ from the exiles, from Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon, and go that same day to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah. (11) Take silver and gold, make crowns and place them on the head of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. (12) You are to tell him: This is what the Lord of Hosts says: Here is a man whose name is Branch; He will branch out from His place and build the Lord’s temple. (13) Yes, He will build the Lord’s temple; He will be clothed in splendor and will sit on His throne and rule. There will also be a priest on His throne, and there will be peaceful counsel between the two of them.” (Zech 6:9-13, HCSB)

No king had worn the vestments of the high priest and no high priest had ever warn the crown of Israel. There is a coming one, the Branch, who will hold the offices of Prophet, Priest, and King. That Branch, the descendant of David, would hold all three offices and we know Him as Jesus.

He is there, and He is not silent! He spoke through His Word, He spoke through prophetic symbols, and He spokes through definite prophetic prophecies. He was there, and He was not silent. How could those ancient Israelites have failed to hear Him and obey Him? How can America fail to hear Him, and how can we have millions of copies of the Bible in various translations and still live as though they have never heard of God? Yet growing numbers do. Homosexuality is a good example today. State after state has legalized a relationship that led the Lord to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord warns against this evil in many places in the Bible, in acts of judgment, and in clear languages. Yet, when Phil Robertson of the Duck Dynasty mentioned it in his church the word spread across the country. If there is any doubt, let me remind you, God is not silent. Read the first chapter of Romans.

“This is why God delivered them over to degrading passions. For even their females exchanged natural sexual intercourse for what is unnatural. ( 27) The males in the same way also left natural sexual intercourse with females and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Males committed shameless acts with males and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty for their perversion.

(28) “And because they did not think it worthwhile to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong. (29) They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, disputes, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, (30) slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, (31) undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. (32) Although they know full well God’s just sentence—that those who practice such things deserve to die —they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them.” (Rom. 1:26-32, HCSB)


Please remember that you are not to test God, but He has the sovereign right to reveal Himself or to prove Himself. When Satan attempted to put the Lord to the test, “Jesus told him, “It is also written: Do not test the Lord your God.” (Matt 4:7, HCSB) He was citing Deuteronomy 6:16: “Do not test the Lord your God as you tested ⌊Him⌋ at Massah.” Jesus did not mention Massah, did He? Wonder why? Well, when the Israelites complained because they had no water, Moses asked: “Why are you complaining to me?” Moses replied to them. “Why are you testing the Lord?” (Ex 17:2) The Lord told Moses to strike the rock and when he did Yahweh caused water to gush forth from the rock is such a volume as to supply the needs of some two million people and their livestock. “He (Yahweh) named the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites complained, and because they tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” (Ex 17:7)

Why did the Lord not condemn them for testing Him at Massah, but later on ordered them not to test Him as they had done at Massah? Sinai! At Sinai they had entered a covenant relationship with Him after Massah and after entering that covenant with Him they were told never to do that again. The Lord cannot be tempted, He orders us not to try to put Him to the test. When I was in seminary I sat in Greek class beside a man who had resigned a church with 4,000 members, and resigned a position with the Baptist convention in his state to come back to seminary and pursue a doctorate. He was absolutely brilliant. Some ten years later I asked our president at the time, Dr. Leo Eddleman, about pastors who were becoming leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention. He mentioned two or three, but I was impressed when he mentioned my friend Bill Bennett. I have never forgotten something Bill told me before class one day. He said, “I have prayed a lot of times for a sign that I might know what the Lord wanted me to do, but I have never seen any sign until after I made the decision that seemed to be the right one at the time. After I made the decision the Lord would reveal to me that it was the right decision.” One reason that impressed me was that he had just verbalized my own experience.

1. HE IS THERE. He reveals Himself as our Father to the righteous: “I will declare the Lord’s decree: He said to Me, “You are My Son; today I have become Your Father.” (Ps. 2:7)

Jesus prays to the Father for us: “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.” (John 14:16, HCSB)

He answers prayer: (3) “ But You, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts up my head. (4) I cry aloud to the Lord, and He answers me from His holy mountain.” (Ps 3:3-4)

Jesus promised: “ If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7, HCSB)

2. HE IS HOLY. The word “holy” is found 660 times in the Holman Christian Standard Bible, beginning with this: “God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation.” (Gen 2:3, HCSB) Is it not logical to say that if we do not recognize as holy that which the Lord calls holy we are sinning against Him?

The next time the word “Holy” is used it launches the entire Exodus experience from Egypt, to Canaan: “Do not come closer,” He said. “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (Ex 3:5)

The Bible recognizes the Trinity as holy. The Second Person of the Trinity promised that the Father (the First Person of the Trinity) would send the Holy Spirit (Third Person of the Trinity): “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14:26, HCSB)

His holiness will be fully realized in Heaven: “Each of the four living creatures had six wings; they were covered with eyes around and inside. Day and night they never stop, saying: Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God, the Almighty, who was, who is, and who is coming” (Rev 4:8)

3. HE SPEAKS. He spoke to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

He gave Noah instructions for the ark. See Genesis 6.

He called Abraham to leave his home in Ur of the Chaldees and go to the Promised Land. Throughout his life, the Lord continued to speak to the father of the faithful (Gen. 12ff). He spoke to Abraham about Isaac, a true miracle child whom the Lord told Abraham to place on an altar and sacrifice to Him. When Abraham was about to slay his only son on that altar God stopped him and permitted him to take his son up from the altar. However, when God put His only begotten Son on the altar (the cross) He could not take Him down until He poured out His life’s blood for our salvation. Isaac was prophetic of His substitutionary atonement, and specifically of the resurrection of Jesus, God’s own Son.

The Lord spoke to the patriarchs. He spoke Isaac and to Jacob. He revealed Himself to Joseph. He spoke often to Job, and to Moses and Joshua. Yahweh spoke audibly to Samuel and other prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah) and communicated with others (Daniel, Ezekiel, Zachariah). In various ways, the Lord revealed Himself to David, who, like Abraham, was a pivotal figure in his Messianic plan for mankind. Is there any wonder why David would sing out to the Lord, “Yahweh, our Lord, how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth!” (Ps 8:1)

4. HE HEARS. David wrote, “...the Lord will hear when I call to Him.” (Ps 4:3) It was also David who wrote: “I call on You, God, because You will answer me; listen closely to me; hear what I say.” (Ps. 17:6, HCSB)

5. HE ACTS. When the world was filled with sin and rebellion the Lord acted. He called Noah to build the ark and then He sent the great Deluge (Flood) which destroyed all who were not on the ark. As my good friend, Dr. Bill Cooper, has written in his book, The Authenticity of the Book of Genesis, there are flood stories which have been found around the world, from the deepest jungles of Africa, to the isolated aborigines in Australia, to isolated islands in the Pacific, to the Apache Indians of the south western part of the United States, and even to the small tribe of Chitamachi Indians in south Louisiana.

God acted at the tower of Babel by confusing the language of the people there, causing the dispersion of the people around the world. He acted in the Exodus (calling Moses to deliver the Israelites from Egypt) and Joshua, whom He called to lead in the conquest of Canaan.

David understood: “For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.” (Ps 1:6, HCSB)

6. HE DELIVERS - He Redeems. He delivered the Israelites from a particularly vicious and evil form of slaver and let them in the conquest of Canaan. He delivers those who place their faith in Him from slavery to sin and death to eternal life and fellowship with Him in Heaven.

7. HE SEES THE FUTURE. The Old Testament is a testimony to His redemptive plan for man kind, a plan fulfilled by His Son, Jesus of Nazareth thousands of years after the fist reference to Him in Genesis 3:15). He not only sees the future, He controls the future. So it was in the birth, life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and so it is with His plans for the consummation of all His promises, beginning with the return of Jesus Christ to rapture His church.

8. HE HAS WHATEVER POWER HE NEEDS. He has all the power He needs. He has all the power we need. He has far more power than any human mind can comprehend. He has the power to create anything He desires. Some astro-physicists have told us that there are billions of stars in our solar system, and for every star in our solar system there is another solar system.

Now, think with me about that for a moment. An automobile company manufactures an automobile and guarantees it for 36,000 miles - it used to be far less - but with extended coverage, and extra money, you can get it covered for 100,000 miles. Even if your coverage has expired someone will call and offer to cover all your expenses for another one hundred thousand miles for only $3500.00!

What does that have to do with God’s creation. It was built to last for a very long time. And in the end it will not be global warming that gets it, it will be a global melt-down: “as you wait for and earnestly desire the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be on fire and be dissolved, and the elements will melt with the heat.” (2 Peter 3:12, HCSB)

Yahweh has the power to sustain everything He has created. Have you ever heard of a planet suddenly stalling on the side of the road? Of course not. I still find no pleasure in some of my experiences with automobiles. I left seminary in New Orleans for my 360 mile drive home to Sledge, Mississippi one afternoon and before long I noticed a vibration and some slight noise that I had not heard before. R. B. Smith passed me in Bogalusa, Louisiana and as the noise increased I caught up with him and stopped him. I left my car at a service station with a repair shop and rode on with R. B. and Houston Inman, who was going to Clarksdale, Mississippi. I soon found that R. B. was spending the night with his parents in Lumberton, Mississippi. Houston and I did, too! The next day, Houston’s wife met us and they drove me on to my home. The next Monday, my father drove me to Clarkesdale, Mississippi where I caught a ride with Houston, and from there on to meet R. B. From there it was back to Bogalusa, where I paid something like $15.95 for the repair job and then headed on back to seminary. Somewhere around Slidel, Louisiana a state trooper stopped me and told me I had a head light out. I had to pull in some place and get it replaced. It was not too long before I had to have the engine overhauled. No, the car was not ancient. In fact, it was only about three years old. It had a new and improved engine. With more power! The only problem was that you could not keep the rear main seal from going out and blowing oil out of the crank case.

Today, while there still a lot of automotive problems, and while fifteen dollar repair bills are associated with antiquity in automobiles, you can often drive an automobile ten years with only maintenance bills. Our Creator God created things to last. The sun is a ball of fire and it is being consumed as it give of light. However, it is doing exactly what the Lord created it to do. You see, the Lord is not only the Creator, He is the Sustainer of all He created:

“Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. 2 In these last days, He has spoken to us by [His] Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things and through whom He made the universe. (3) He is the radiance of His glory, the exact expression of His nature, and He sustains all things by His powerful word.” (Heb 1:1-3, HCSB)

9. HE PROVIDES. David praised the Lord because for “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.” (Ps. 23:2) In the Wilderness He provided manna for the people to eat and sent forth a mighty stream of water from a rock for some two million people to drink, bathe, wash clothes, and water their livestock. Paul wrote, “They all ate the same spiritual food, (4) and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ.” (1 Cor 10:3-4) Show that verse to your friends who do not believe Christ has anything to do with the Old Testament.

10. HE PROTECTS. Few people have experienced the Lord’s protection as did David, the shepherd king of Israel. He praised Him: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” (Ps. 23:4)

11. HE IS THE GOD OF GLORY. Did you ever wonder why the Lord didn’t just destroy Pharaoh and lead the Israelites Egypt before they could elect another one? He has a reason for everything he does and there was a reason for the ten plagues and the death of the first born that occurred the night the Israelites celebrated the Passover that last night in Egypt. Thankfully, his reason was recorded: “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart so that he will pursue them. Then I will receive glory by means of Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh.” So the Israelites did this.” (Ex 14:4, HCSB) Yahweh wanted the Egyptians to see His glory. The Lord loved each Egyptian, and any Egyptian in our day who receives the Lord Jesus Christ, by grace, through faith becomes a child of God. However, anyone who sees the glory of God in the universe, but rejects the Creator has condemned himself to an eternity in hell. I know many would like to soften that, but it is a fact we should not forget.

Moses led the Israelites to Sinai and there he said to them, “in the morning you will see the Lord’s glory...” (Ex 16:7) The next morning, “As Aaron was speaking to the entire Israelite community, they turned toward the wilderness, and there in a cloud the Lord’s glory appeared.” (Ex 16:10) He revealed His glory to the Israelites while they were grumbling and complaining. How much more does He reveal His glory to those who honor and obey Him?

12. HE IS A CONSUMING FIRE (Deut. 4:24). “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire...” (Deut. 2:24a) Fire can refine. Fire can warm us. Fire can cook our food. And fire can destroy. The Lord will bless those who believe in Him and obey Him. Those who reject Him will discover what it means when He reveals Himself as “a consuming fire.”

The two most famous sermons ever preached on American soil may well have been Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” and R. G. Lee’s powerful sermon, “Pay Day Some Day,” which he preached over 1200 times. I was privileged to hear him preach Pay Day Some Day twice in person. It has been reported that when Jonathan Edwards was preaching Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, there were people hanging onto the door facings and pews for fear that they would slide into hell. My younger brother came in from college one day and began telling me about Jonathan Edwards and his famous sermon. His teachers portrayed Jonathan Edwards as some kind of lunatic, a fire and brimstone preacher who sought only to emotionalize people to get the response he desired. I asked him if he realized that Jonathan Edwards was an intellectual who delivered that sermon without raising his voice or using one gesture. Whatever we tell people about the danger in rejecting God or disobeying Him, we must tell them He is “a consuming fire.” By the way, while I did hear R. G. Lee preach Pay Day Some Day, I did not hear Jonathan Edwards preach Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, regardless of what my wife says.

13. HE IS A JEALOUS GOD (Deut. 4:24b). Jealousy in human beings is a dangerous thing. Envy and jealousy can, and does destroy lives. The Lord has every right to be a jealous God, for He is sinless, holy, and powerful.

14. HE IS THE REDEEMER. The Lord’s plans for our redemption are revealed progressively from Genesis 3:15 on throughout the Old Testament. If you study the sacrificial system handed down by the Lord to the Chosen People you will see how Jesus fulfilled all the hopes of the Law as well as the promises of the prophets. I have said that if you could load the entire sacrificial system, beginning with Passover onto a video and project it onto a screen you would be looking at the Cross where Jesus our Passover, poured our His life’s blood for us. If you read about the superior priesthood of Jesus in Hebrews 7, you will see that the Holy Spirit inspired the writer of Hebrews to write: “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” (Heb 7:17) Again, we read of the distinction between the priesthood of Jesus and that of the Levitical priests:

“For this is the kind of high priest we need: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. (27) He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day, as high priests do—first for their own sins, then for those of the people. He did this once for all when He offered Himself. (28) For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the promise of the oath, which came after the law, [appoints] a Son, who has been perfected forever.” (Heb 7:26-28, HCSB)

15. HE IS SEATED ON HIS THRONE. The Apostle John was blessed to have been chosen to receive the Revelation, and in the Revelation there is a vision of the Throne Room of Heaven. Listen to these words about that experience:

“ After this I looked, and there in heaven was an open door. The first voice that I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”

(2) Immediately I was in the Spirit, and there in heaven a throne was set. One was seated on the throne, (3) and the One seated looked like jasper and carnelian stone. A rainbow that looked like an emerald surrounded the throne.” (Rev 4:1-3, HCSB)

Please note that there is no coronation, no crowning, and no swearing in of the One seated on this throne. He is not ascending to a throne, nor has He taken the throne from another. He is seated on the throne that has always been His and will always be His. He is for all eternity the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.


We have just scratched the surface in this brief study of our Lord. He is the eternal God, without beginning or end. He is forever Lord of all. He is the Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, Loving Father, and the final Judge. If you would like to know what it will be like to stand before the Lord after rejecting him for a life time on earth, just read Revelation 19 where we read of the conscious, eternal suffering prepared for all who reject the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Recently, Sean Hannity asked a group of around 18-20 people if they were Christians. All raised their hands except one young lady who then stated that she thought of herself as an agnostic rather than an atheist. My dear friends, there will be no agnostics in heaven of hell. There will be no atheists in heaven or in hell. If you do not receive Jesus Christ as your Savior you will be cut off from Him forever. You will spend eternity in a place of conscious, eternal torment. However, if you have been born again by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, when you stand before the Lord you will hear Jesus say, “Come, ye blessed of the Lord.”

Now, let us take a look at a brief picture of heaven. John wrote:

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea existed no longer. (2) I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. (3) Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look! God’s dwelling is with men, and He will live with them.

“They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. (4) He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will exist no longer; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away. (5) Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” (6) And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give to the thirsty from the spring of living water as a gift. (7) The victor will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he will be My son. (8) But the cowards, unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars—their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Rev 21:1-8, HCSB)

Let me close with this one warning to anyone who thinks you are qualified to judge God, Jesus, or any true Christian. Please consider this very carefully. No lost person - not one - can understand how the Holy Spirit works inside the heart of a genuine, Spirit-filled believer. They can understand laws, ordinances, and regulations, but they cannot understand the life of a Christian who is filled with, motivated by, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live the Christ-life here and now. That blessing is being offered to you to right now.