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I AM
"...becoming Who I will become"
In His Image
Part One: the Present Presence

by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth
(Ephesians 2:12)

"The Pharisees answered Him, 'Are we not right in saying that you have a demon?' Yeshua answered, 'I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and He is the judge. Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.' The Pharisees said to him, 'Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, 'If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.' Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?' Yeshua answered, 'If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, "He is our God." But you have not KNOWN Him, I know Him. If I were to say that I do not know Him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know Him and I keep His Word Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.' So the Pharisees said to him, 'You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?' Yeshua said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.' So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Yeshua hid himself and went out of the temple." John 8:48-59

Words Mean Things. We must constantly remind ourselves that all of the books of scripture were written by Hebrews out of a Hebrew mindset influenced by a Hebrew culture that produced a uniquely Hebrew perspective being conveyed primarily to a Hebrew audience which understood the nuances of the Hebrew language. To properly understand what these words mean necessitates viewing them from the Hebrew perspective they were written in - not our current English culture. Consequently, the English translated phrase "I AM that I AM" (traditionally lauded as the Name of the Hebrew God) does not appear anywhere in the Hebrew text. This is an English equivalent of a Greek phrase appearing in the Greek translation of the Original Books (called the Septuagint) that was carried over into the Greek translations of the Messianic Writings (NT) to support a Greek concept of a triune godhead (click on highlighted words to view content) every time the Hebrew Messiah utters the words "I AM" - but, that concept does not have its origin in Hebrew thought. The Greeks served many gods, so it is natural to see that ideology reflected in their translations of these Hebrew words that speak of only One God of Truth. The Greek language is linear in conceptualization, meaning the thought process travels a straight line logic; whereas Hebrew is more "fluid", if you will. This is why it benefits us to view scripture from the Hebrew mindset these authors wrote from which is very different from the Greek approach our English language is based upon (see My Big Fat Greek Mindset, Part 1 and Part 2). The literal Hebrew of Exodus 3:14 appearing in the Hebrew Interlinear Literal Translation reads "I shall become who I am becoming" and is found throughout the Tanakh (OT) to describe the continuity of YHVH's existence in the passage of firstborn status through one generation of Hebrew to the next. Thus, Yeshua was validating His claim in John 8:58 of being the fulfillment of the promised seed of the firstborn Kinsman Redeemer to the house of Israel - the Son of YHVH, the prophesied Messiah. Since every Hebrew had a visible experience of firstborn status living within their immediate family and what came with that status, every Hebrew understood the significance of the firstborn status of the coming Messiah of YHVH to the family of Israel as well. This is what incensed the religious leaders of Yeshua's day and those who embraced their doctrines. As Hebrews, they understood the significance of Yeshua's claim to be the fulfillment of the "One Becoming" - not that He was YHVH. Christianity has taught that the reason Yeshua was put to death was because He claimed to BE YHVH. However, scripture clearly indicates the charge brought against Him was that He claimed to be the SON of YHVH - the fulfillment of the "One Becoming".

It is amazing to listen to intelligent, thoughtful people who absolutely believe we are in the grips of a "worldwide conspiracy" perpetrated by evil men and, yet, are not able to see the most successful of all conspiracies placed right in front of their noses by what has been handed to them to believe through the religious traditions of men - the only thing Yeshua ever pointed to that would bring to "none effect" the Word of YHVH. For instance, are you aware that the Name of God, YaHoVeH, appears over 6,500 times in scripture - yet, not once does His Name ever appear in any of our "modern" translations? In fact, "YaHoVeH" is the 7th most commonly used word in the Hebrew scriptures. But, it has been replaced in these modern translations by the names LORD or God - none of which has any equivalency to what appears in the original Hebrew those scriptures were written in (refer to Deuteronomy 6:4). Wherever you see the capitalization of "LORD" or "GOD" in the scriptures, that is where the Name of YHVH appeared in the original manuscripts. Why do you think that is? Did that just happen by accident - a quirk? Or was it by design? Does the term replacement theology come to mind? There is no real justification for this tradition, for the scriptures tell us that we are not to add to or take away from His word (Proverbs 30:4-6, Revelation 22:18-19). The third commandment says to not take His Name "in vain". While most consider that an injuction against swearing, the Hebrew word translated as the English "vain" is shav' actually means "emptiness, vanity, falsehood" and is used again in Deuteronomy 5:20 to mean "false". To say that the name of the Father is "The LORD" is to make a false statement - and that is the definitive injuction of YHVH. What is extremely ironic is what YHVH declared to Jeremiah once we understand that the word "Baal" means "Lord." To call Him "LORD" instead of "YHVH" is to worship Him falsely - in vain.

YHVH is made up of the consonants yod, hey, vav, hey which lend themselves to the reading of Yah-Ho-Veh, and means Yah is the Present Presence - just as hoveh, is derived from the verb "to be" which means being in the present or continuous, as well as "the present". Thus, He is the One Present who is constantly "being", hence the "Present Presence".

But (as if this is not enough), Yah is another derivation of the verb "to be" but missing the first consonant. In Hebrew, a verb is the part that indicates time. In the case of the verb "to be" it would be: past - ha'yah, present (as we have seen) - ho'veh (v and y are interchangeable in Hebrew), and future - ehe'yeh. Thus, the yod, hey-yah, speak of He Who Is outside of time. Here we also have a double witness (which scripture requires - Numbers 35:30, Genesis 2:7) in both Yah and Hoveh, of His Eternal Being.

Additionally, verbs in Hebrew don't stand alone. For every verb there is usually one or more compatible "brother verbs" sounding similar with augmented meanings and sometimes opposite in meaning (such relationship can be seen for example in k.v.r. - to bury and k.f.r. - to cover). In this case, h.v.h. (to be) may be coupled with ch.v.h. (ch as in the Scottish loch) which is the root for "to live".

So altogether, YHVH may be understood as "The Eternal One Who is the Living Present Presence" - or something like that.
Courtesy of Rimona Frank, Hebrew linguistic scholar, Israel.

In the passage of John 1:14 Yeshua is not spoken of grammatically as "the Word". Rather, what we are told is that we are able to see the Glory of the Father's Word (declared purpose) in His Son As seen in a previous article, the Glory In His Name, we found YHVH's Glory to be manifest in His Name. YHVH's Son is the manifestation of that Glory. Yeshua said in John 17:4-6 that He had finished the work YHVH sent Him to do because He manifested the Name of His Father to those given to Him. The Greek word for "AM" used in John 8 at the beginning of this article is eimi (pronounced a-me) and means to be, to be present, to exist, to happen. Hebraically, what He was saying in that verse was that He was the manifestation of the Present Presence in this earthly realm. We must constantly remember that Yeshua brought nothing new to the table in this enterprise with the Father. With the exception of one commandment found in one verse in all the gospels, John 13:34, everything He said and did can be referenced from the Original Books - and even this particular verse was merely an expansion of what is found in Leviticus 19:18 (see the Beatitudes for more). His entire Life was a proclamation of the Name, the Truth of His Father, whose Essence is found in the Tanakh, the Original Collection of Books (John 18:37).

YHVH In John 17:3-12, Yeshua said this is eternal life, to KNOW the Father as this Present Presence. Since Life is only found in the Presence of the Father, Eternal Life means to know how to remain, to BE, in His Presence constantly. This Knowing of the Father's Essence is what He was indicating in His prayer that He had kept the disciples in His Name, more appropriately translated from the Hebrew that He kept them in "the Present Presence" of Who the Essence of the Father IS by manifesting, living out before them what that Name meant - what it meant to constantly dwell in the Present Presence of what that Essence is (see what it means to BE In His Name). How did He manifest the Present Presence? Again, In John 8 above, He equated His KNOWING the Father to two things - not honoring or glorifying Himself and keeping the Father's words. What "words" was Yeshua referring to? Part of the Father's Glory shown to Moshe (Moses) in Exodus 34:1-7 begins with the first verse. The words were the Ten Commandments - not the Nine Commandments or a variation of what we think those commandments should say. Yeshua said they did not KNOW the Father in this intimate manner even though they said with their lips He was their God (yow-wee! could that be us?) - but, yet, these were Hebrews who thought they were keeping the commandments. How can it be they could keep the commandments and still miss knowing who their Father was? It was because they were altering what those words actually meant to suit their own determination. (see Who's Your Daddy?). The Ten Words of YHVH expresses the Nature, the Essence of Spirit which is selfLESSness - placing the needs of my familial brother ahead of my own which is how the world will know Yeshua is Who He says He Is. Knowing the Father requires both a state of selfLESSness (which is different from self-denial) AND the keeping of the Father's Words. The world is adept in the nobility of pouring out of their selves, their resources, as we have recently seen in the aftermath of several tragedies here at home and around the world - but lacking the coupling of the compass of Who the Essence of the Father Is, consequently elevates and honors the goodness of man instead of the Father. The Pharisees became religiously adept at keeping the letter of the law - but, kept to their own efforts lacked the clarity of Virtue found in the Father's Essence which resulted in SELF-righteousness, the elevation of men. So, does this mean that because some mishandle and misappropriate the words of the Father we have license to completely ignore them? Yeshua was saying, that because He elevated the Father, if we kept HIS Words (which are the words of the Father's, John 14:23-24) in the same manner HE did (by denying Himself the luxury of self-interpretation of those words), we would find ourselves absorbed in the same Virtue, the same Life of the Father that He exhibited. Access to that Life first requires a "laying down" of this life (Mark 8:34, see Just As - Even So).

From a scriptural Hebrew perspective, then, what it means to "pre-exist" is captured in the passage of Hebrews 7:4-10 where Levi "pre-existed" in the loins of Abraham - although he was not yet born. A child is not fathered until he is conceived, but the declared purpose of a man is to father a child - as was YHVH's declared purpose for His Son (see A Pre-Determined Destination for more insight). So, in the verses at the top of the article, when Yeshua was proclaiming to be before Avraham was, He was stating that by being literally Present in the Presence of the Father (referring to this verse in Exodus 34:1-7) by the keeping of the words of the Father and by not honoring or glorifying Himself; He was afforded a portal to constantly abide in the Present Presence that was before Avraham and if they would, likewise, keep those same words of the Father, in the same manner He exhibited (this is important), they also could dwell in the Present Presence and not taste death. The death He was referring to was the separation from the Source of Life that occurs with disobedience to those words. Yeshua said Avraham dwelled in that Presence and (since there is no time in eternity to separate them, see the Immortal Soul) was able to rejoice in seeing Yeshua. How did Avraham dwell in the Present Presence? In Genesis 26:5 the Father says it was because Avraham did not withhold anything from Him and "obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws." Avraham's behavior was conformed to the core Essence of Who he found his Friend to be. In that core was the selflessness of obeying His Voice and keeping His Commandments - 430 years before Sinai (Galatians 3:17). In like manner, IF (big little word) anyone remains in His Presence they, too, would never die for it is in the Presence of the Father where Life is found. Our salvation is in finding Life and then to remain in the Present Presence of that Life constantly (see what it means to live In Perpetuity).

Eternal Life
...to remain in the Present Presence
The Greek word for eternal is aionios and means without beginning and without end. Eternity is right NOW. It always has been and always will be. Because there is no "time" in eternity - it is a constant present. If we embrace YHVH's Essence, personified in His Words, eternity is within (Ecclesiastes 3:11, Luke 17:20-21). This is why Yeshua could say that before Avraham was, He was in the Present Presence. He kept His Father's Words because He KNEW those Words contained the Essence of His Presence. Our behavior, as with Yeshua's, is the determinant of coming into His Presence. Conforming our behavior to keeping His Words aligns us with the Essence of His Spirit, thereby granting us opportunity to abide in, dwell in, live in the Presence of the Father and to learn of Who He Is (see Without to Within). When Yeshua is specifically asked how to obtain eternal Life, each time He responds with the same answer - to enter LIFE (He does not say "eternal") to keep the commandments found in the Tanakh, the Original Writings. He even repeats them to be sure there was no mistaking which words He was referring to (Matthew 19:16-22, Mark 10:17-21, Luke 10:25-28). To obtain eternal life is to become joined with the Life of the Father in His Constant Presence in eternity (see what it means to be Born Again).

Salvation is not a verbalization of formulistic phrasing. Salvation is a life lived in the Present Presence - Who is the Source of Life. Most will respond by saying that "salvation is though Christ, not observing the Law. Christ fulfills the Law. I depend on His righteousness for salvation." Now, as religious as that sounds, according to the words of Yeshua in the passages above, the Way we come into that Presence, the Way we obtain that righteousness is to conform our behavior to the Essence of His Presence. That Essence is described in Exodus 34 and it begins with the very first verse. That is what Yeshua said He did and what He said we could do IF we also keep the words of the Father. THAT is the salvation found through the Messiah. THAT is the righteousness of YHVH- doing it HIS Way. Not ignoring His Way because of the lie of man's traditions (see what it means to be Righteous). Christianity has led everyone to believe and look for an end time when Yeshua will appear in the clouds when all along YHVH and Yeshua are right here among those who comprise His Body right now. Those members of His Body that are submitted to Who HE says He Is - not Who they want Him to be. Read these words just for what they say - not by what we have been taught to think what they say. 2Timothy 2:19 says to let everyone who names the Name of YHVH depart from iniquity. Matthew 24:12 says that because iniquity abounds, the love of many will grow cold. The Greek word translated iniquity here is anomia - which means "the condition of without law". The spirit of antichrist is already among us today - it is the spirit of lawLESSness (1John 2:18-23).
the IN HIS IMAGE series
Part One - the Present Presence
Part Two - The Father's Will
Part Three - In Perpetuity

"When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, open to us,' then he will answer you, 'I do not know where you come from.' Then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.' But he will say, 'I tell you, I do not know where you come from, depart from me, all you workers of iniquity. In that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the Kingdom of YHVH, and you yourselves thrust out." Luke 13:25-28

???Questions???
Please feel free to email them to me at harold@hethathasanear.com. While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to share with you what the Spirit is uncovering.
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