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Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
Weekly Review
Tree of Life
Our LORD Jesus Christ is the Great I AM

We have been noting the Doctrine of Dispensations with emphasis upon the Dispensation of the Hypostatic-union, which refers to the fact that our LORD Jesus Christ is both GOD and man or HE is Undiminished Deity and True humanity in one person forever.

Our LORD Jesus Christ is Undiminished Deity and True Humanity, in one person forever.

So, in JOH 15:1, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.”

There are five different doctrinal principles that are found in verse 1. We have already noted the first point in some detail, and we are now ready to continue our study this morning.

The Five Principles are:

  1. Our LORD is called the “True Vine” because the word True refers to His character and nature and the word Vine refers to His divine essence as the GOD of All Truth; DEU 32:4.
  2. The way that we can draw spiritual life is from learning how our LORD, in His humanity, drew His energy and motivation from living the spiritual life and fulfilling the divine plan of GOD.
  3. The “True Vine” also points to His Deity which is derived from the first part of verse 1, when as HE said; JOH 15:1, “I Am” the true vine.

Notice that phrase “I Am.”

After we are done studying the Greek phrase “ego eimi” which  means “I am” in the original Greek language of the NT. It is used in certain passages such as one of the most popular passage in the Gospels; JOH 8:58, “Before Abraham was born, [ego eimi] I am.”

In JOH 8:44, we read that our LORD said to the scribes and the Pharisees; JOH 8:44, “You are of {your} father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own {nature;} for he is a liar, and the father of lies.

JOH 8:47-59, “He who is of GOD hears the words of GOD; for this reason you do not hear {them,} because you are not of GOD.” The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges. Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” The Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon.

Abraham died, and the prophets {also}; and You say, 'If anyone keeps My word, he shall never taste of death.' “Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out {to be}?”

Jesus answered, “If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, 'He is our GOD'; and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar like you, but I do know Him, and keep His word.

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw {it} and was glad.” The Jews therefore said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”  Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”

“They” refers to those self-righteous legalistic believers who are loser believers, who live in self-justification and operation blame game.

JOH 8:59, we read the reaction of the so-called lovable religious leaders in our LORD’s day; Therefore, they who were listening picked up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple.

Since we are in the Gospel of John, JOH 10:27-36 says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.

My Father, who has given {them} to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch {them} out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?”

The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out {to be} GOD.” Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, 'I said, you are GODs'?

If he called them GODs, to whom the word of GOD came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of GOD'?

Now, we do not say “Son of the GOD I Am” or “I keep on being,”, instead we put it in the correct order as it appears in  the English translations which is “I Am the Son of GOD” or “I keep on being the Son of GOD.”  So, again, this third principle refers to the Great I Am.

The “True Vine” points to His Deity which is derived from the first part of verse 1, when as He said; JOH 15:1, “I Am” the true vine.

Now, before we document the fourth principle let me introduce you to “The great I am.”

And there are also a few different ways that we can describe the phrase “I Am” as it refers to the spiritual significance of the phrase “I Am.”

In fact, I am going to give you some passages and principles just from the Gospel of John concerning what the phrase “I Am” meant to the disciples. Being Jewish, most of them had been taught even as children, the passage on the “Great I Am;” EXO 3:1-14.

That passage is found beginning in EXO 3:1 where we read,  Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father‑in‑law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of GOD.

And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.

So Moses said, “I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.”

4 When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, GOD called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”

He said also, “I am the GOD of your father, the GOD of Abraham, the GOD of Isaac, and the GOD of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at GOD. And the LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.

8 “So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. And now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.

10 “Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to GOD, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?”

12 And He said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship GOD at this mountain.” Then Moses said to GOD, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, 'The GOD of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?” And GOD said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.”

Let me introduce to you The Great I Am.

  1. As the Great I Am, our LORD is our spiritual food; JOH 6:35 Jesus said, “I AM the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger.”

The word hunger is the aorist active subjunctive of peinao (pi-nah'-o); which means to crave; to desire something; to have an overwhelming yearning or burning that is not being met.

One of the great forms of contentment and inner happiness is found when believers are totally satisfied and thankful for the fact that the LORD has provided everything we would ever need. This means that we know where we are going! When we get to where we’re going, we know where we are going to be, and we also know what to expect to see.

  1. As the Great I Am, our LORD is also the spiritual drink we need to quench our thirst for righteousness and intimacy with our LORD; JOH 6:35.
  2. As the Great I Am, our LORD said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

The presence of “The Great I Am” gives us the guidance and directions we need to “walk in the Spirit;” or “worship in the Spirit;” or  “love in the Spirit;” or “live in the Spirit” or “justified in the Spirit.

“Walk in the Spirit” = GAL 5:16
“Worship in the Spirit” = PHI 3:3
“Love in the Spirit” = COL 1:8
“Live in the Spirit” = 1PE 4:6
“Justified in the Spirit” = 1CO 6:11.

  1. As the Great I Am, our LORD is also said to be from above; JOH 8:23 And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.

Once you truly understand the doctrine of positional truth then you will also understand your dual citizenship. What is your dual citizenship? It is the fact that you are a citizen of the country or the nation that you live in as well as a citizen of Heaven.

Our earthly citizenship is taught in ROM 13:1, Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from GOD, and those which exist are established by GOD.

Notice the word subjection…it is one of the main principles that allows a nation to become a Client Nation which is to respect the laws of Divine establishment. It is the subjection and the respect for authority that the Apostle Paul talks about in ROM 13:1-7.

So, that is the first part of our citizenship, which is the fact that most of us are citizens of the nation we live in. Next we have our heavenly citizenship in PHI 3:20-21, For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the LORD Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

  1. As the Great I Am, our LORD also said that we were or we use to be of this world, but the “Great I Am” said in JOH 8:23b I am not of this world.

He never was–is–or will ever be of this Cosmos. He is not of this world just like we are not of this world and that is why we are told in passages like GAL 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;

And that is why the life which we now live in the flesh we live by faith in the Son of GOD, who loved us, and delivered Himself up for us. And that is why we read in JOH 14:19-20, “After a little while the world will behold Me no more; but you {will} behold Me; because I live, you shall live also. In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”

2CO 4:7-12, But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of GOD and not from ourselves; {we are} afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.

  1. The Great I Am, our LORD Jesus Christ also said that unless we believe that He is the “I Am” we will die in our sins and we will be undegenerated or not born again; JOH 8:24, “I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am {He}, you shall die in your sins.”
  2. The “I Am” also uses that title to reveal that the we must not only believe that He is the “I Am,” but, we must also recognize Him as Almighty GOD Himself; JOH 8:24; ROM 10:7-13. Unless one believes that the I Am is “The Great I Am, then they we will die in their sin of rejecting Him; JOH 3:18,36; 16:7-11.
  3. The “I Am” title also reveals the eternity of our LORD, because in JOH 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”

And that simply means “I Am He!” This simply means we believe that He is the Great I Am.

  1. As the great I Am, our LORD gives us the light and the guidance to see and perceive the will of GOD. JOH 9:5 “I am the light of the world.”
  2. As the great I Am he claimed to be the one that the Jews were waiting for in JOH 9:9 Jesus kept saying, “I am the one.”
  3. The I Am also opens up some of the doors and also closes or shuts other doors, why? Because in JOH 10:11 Jesus said I am the door of the sheep. Our LORD wants us to go through certain doors and He will close other doors so that His sheep hear is voice and respond rather than react.
  4. As the I Am our LORD also protects us sheep from the wolves; JOH 10:11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
  5. The “I Am” claimed to be the Son of GOD. JOH 10:36, our LORD said to the scribes and the Pharisees and the Sadducees; “You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of GOD'?”

This is one of the most direct passages found in the word of GOD where the LORD Jesus Christ says, “I Am” - that alone should have been enough, but He came right out and said “I Am the Son of GOD.”

  1. As the Great I Am, our LORD reveals and tells us that He is the resurrection and he is the life. JOH 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.

Once again here is another challenge from the Great I Am.

  1. As the Great I Am, there is the teaching ministry of our LORD who said to His disciples in JOH 13:13 “You call Me Teacher and LORD; and you are right, for {so} I am.
  2. The great I am is also responsible for fulfilled prophecy in JOH 13:19 “From now on I am telling you things before they come to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that “I am.” – that’s it! Not He but “I Am.”
  3. Probably one of the most popular passages on this principle of the Great I Am is found in JOH 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.
  4. JOH 15:1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. (What more can we say – the I Am gives us the spiritual energy we need from the Spirit and the Word.
  5. The great I am was also the inner power our LORD possessed when Judas also who was betraying Him, was standing with them and when they shouted out who is Jesus of Nazareth, they heard the voice of victory say “I Am.” .


  1. The things that our LORD says the “I Am” is or what the I Am does in the Gospel of John.
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