Recently, someone was sharing (yelling at me actually) their personal beliefs and it seemed to hinge on his understanding of the verse Mark 13:6 and the phrase, ‘I am He!’ Here is the verse for reference.
Mark 13:6 NASB
Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many.
I was caught a bit off guard by this person’s angry sounding exposition on this verse. I discovered that I had allowed my ‘sword’ to become dull. The Holy Spirit convicted me. In response, I began to do a word study on the phrase “I am He” and would like to share with you, my reader, what I learned.
For this study, I used the New American Standard Bible (NASB).
The first occurrence of the phrase “I am He” I found is in Deuteronomy 32:39
‘See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who
put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And
there is no one who can deliver from My hand.
We learn from this verse that the phrase “I am He” is referring to God, Jehovah, Yahweh, in other words the One True God is claiming that he is “I am He.” This is the foundation we will build our understanding on: “I am He” is God.
Isaiah has several verses that support this:
“Who has performed and accomplished it, Calling forth the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.’”
“You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.
“Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?”
“Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.
“I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies And of the son of man who is made like grass,
I would like to bring your attention to both Isaiah 41:4 and Isaiah 48:12. Take note of the last parts that read “…‘I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.’” and “I am He, I am the first, I am also the last.” Now let’s flip over to the Book of Revelation.
In this Book, we find the following verse:
And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.
When you read this Book, the first thing to grasp is that this is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants,…” Revelation 1:1 NASB. Right from verse one, we are told that this book is first to reveal to us Jesus Christ and is from Jesus Christ to John. This is important to understand as so many read this book in order to understand end times eschatology and find out about the Antichrist’s rise to power and the Mark of the Beast and miss this important point.
With that understanding, we now read verse 8.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
The Alpha and the Omega is another way of saying the first and the last. This is made more clear in verse 17 where it says,
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,
By reading verse 18, we learn that The Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last is none other than Jesus Christ.
and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.
We know that this is Jesus because Jesus is the one who died and rose again and during His three days in the tomb descended to Hades and took the keys from Satan.
Now by connecting Isaiah 48:12 to the verses in Revelation 1, we come to understand that “I am He” is Jesus Christ who is God.
For more proof, we can check out what Jesus himself said in Mark, Luke and John. We already read Mark 13:6. Luke also shares this saying of Jesus in Luke 21:8:
And He said, “See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not go after them.
But what is Jesus actually saying? Read what the following verses in John reveal.
I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.”
Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.
From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He.
They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He *said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them.
So when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way,”
Many people do not believe that Jesus claimed to be God, but Jesus clearly states in John 8:24 “…for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Remember our foundational verse Deuteronomy 32:39? In other words, Jesus is saying: unless you believe that He is God, you will die in your sins.
The people of the day completely understood what Jesus was saying. In John 10:32-33, Jesus asks the Pharisees for which good work is he being stoned and their response is “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.”
In John 18:6, when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. Why? They knew what he was saying and were afraid. In verse 8, Jesus softens his tone so they will allow his disciples to leave and surrenders to them since His time had come. It was time for Him to go to the cross and die for the sins of the world. In John 13:19, Jesus lets the disciples know that he is telling them in advance what is going to happen, so when it happens they will believe that He is I am He.
In conclusion, I am He is God, since Jesus claims to be I am He then He is God. John shares in Revelation his experience of seeing Jesus who is the first and the last which we saw in Isaiah 48:12 is I am He. In John 8:24, Jesus says, “…unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
John really spells it out for us in John 1.
John 1 (NASB) The Deity of Jesus Christ
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
The Witness John
There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.
There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
The Word Made Flesh
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
As for me and my house, we believe. I pray you do to. If you believe and you haven’t already done so, do as Peter taught men and women to do in Acts 2:38-39…
“Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”