The Knowledge of God
Christ the LORD (YHWH)
Calvin opened his Institutes with a subject he saw as the most foundational of all: "the knowledge of God". In fact he wrote extensively about knowing God and viewed it as the topic that would illumine our understanding in all other topics. The whole Bible, he felt, could be understood when view in light of "the knowledge of God". No doubt he drew upon Scripture to arrive at this conclusion. God performs His redemptive acts so that all humanity would "know" that He is the Lord:
7I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
5The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them."
17Thus says the LORD, "By this you shall know that I am the LORD: behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn into blood.
10And he said, "Tomorrow." Moses said, "Be it as you say, so that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God.
22But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth.
14For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth.
29Moses said to him, "As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to the LORD. The thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth is the LORD's.
2and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD."
4And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD." And they did so.
18And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen."
12"I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, 'At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.'"
18that they may know that you alone,
whose name is the LORD,
are the Most High over all the earth.
14"Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
23Kings shall be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.
With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you,
and lick the dust of your feet.
Then you will know that I am the LORD;
those who wait for me shall not be put to shame."
26I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,
and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine.
Then all flesh shall know
that I am the LORD your Savior,
and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."
16You shall suck the milk of nations;
you shall nurse at the breast of kings;
and you shall know that I, the LORD, am your Savior
and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
21"Therefore, behold, I will make them know, this once I will make them know my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the LORD."
2"Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it--the LORD is his name:
8He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
and turns deep darkness into the morning
and darkens the day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
the LORD is his name;
Who is this God of the Scriptures that we should seek to KNOW Him?
While God is described in many ways with such perfections as holy and compassionate, focusing in on any one attribute has been the cause of many Scriptural imbalances. However, God Himself first introduces Himself to Israel through His covenant and identifies Himself as LORD (Yahweh). Thus we also should begin by gaining a better understanding of this aspect of His Self-revelation.
13Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" 14God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" 15God also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'The LORD, 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, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.
1But the LORD said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land."2God spoke to Moses and said to him, "I am the LORD. 3I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them. 4I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. 5Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. 6Say therefore to the people of Israel, 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. 7I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the LORD.'"
1And God spoke all these words, saying,
2"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
The same name LORD (Gr. Kurios) is also given to Jesus Christ as the head of the New Covenant
58Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."
36Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."
9For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
Both testaments make the same confession for God and Christ as LORD:
4"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
9because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
1 Corinthians 12
3Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus is accursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit.
11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
God many times in the Old Testament announces "I am the Lord, I am He."
4Who has performed and done this,
calling the generations from the beginning?
I, the LORD, the first,
and with the last; I am he.
10"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD,
"and my servant whom I have chosen,
that you may know and believe me
and understand that I am he.
Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.
11I, I am the LORD,
and besides me there is no savior.
12I declared and saved and proclaimed,
when there was no strange god among you;
and you are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and I am God.
13Also henceforth I am he;
there is none who can deliver from my hand;
I work, and who can turn it back?"
25"I, I am he
who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,
and I will not remember your sins.Isaiah 44
6Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel
and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
"I am the first and I am the last;
besides me there is no god.
12"Listen to me, O Jacob,
and Israel, whom I called!
I am he; I am the first,
and I am the last.
In the same way that God does His mighty acts at specific points in redemptive history "that you may know that I am the Lord", so does Jesus refer to Himself in the same manner that people might know that "I am He."
26Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he."
24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins."
28So Jesus said to them, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.
58Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."
19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.
Jesus and his disciples so closely associate his name with Exodus 3. This alone should testify to Jesus self understanding and declaration of His deity. God is LORD is the message of the Old Testament and Jesus is LORD is the message of the New.