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Sunday, January 17, 2010

(31) Names of God

How many names of God can you think of? Why all of these names? The non-believer, especially the anti-theist, would say it's because Christianity/Judaism is like any other polytheistic religion who worship many gods. And instead of actually learning about why there these names, they will go on ridiculing the believer for this. But the real answer is not because there are many gods, but because the One True God is multi-faceted. His power is so immense that He needs names to describe Him. And this is proven by the very first sentence of His word; In the beginning, God created.

Bereshit bara Elohim ha shamayim ha erets. The first name in the Bible is God's. Elohim. The first thing this shows is ownership. It's His book talking about His creation. But Elohim is even deeper than that. Every time you see the term "el" it is dealing with the power of God. The term "im" in Hebrew stands for plurality as the "s" does in English. But that does not mean He is many. It means He is complete. It also is a foreshadow that Christ and the Holy Spirit are part of who He is. What about the "h" sound? It may be perhaps because that sounds represents life. When Abram had his name changed to Abraham, it was because he was going to be the father of many. Eve's Hebrew name is Havah, mother of all. Other names of God that include "el" (but not exhaustive):
  • El Shaddai- God Almighty, used when we need to understand He is all powerful
  • El Elyon- God Most High, used when we need to understand He stands above all
  • El Roi- God that sees, used when we need to understand He sees all and knows all
  • El Olam- The Eternal God, used when we need to understand He is the Alpha and Omega
Technically, we are only given though one personal name of God we have written to us in the Bible. It is Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh. It has been translated into the Hebraic Tetragrammaton, Y-H-W-H or Yahweh. Since Latin became the universal language due to the Roman Empire Yahweh has been changed to Jehovah and now is more commonly used by the world. This also corresponds with "I AM" or "I WILL BE". It is written in Exodus 3:14
  • God said to Moses, "I am who I am . This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'
The first "I AM" in this verse is Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh which means 'I will be who I am', in other words God never changes and will always be. The second "I AM" is Y-H-W-H. This time if you take the H-W-H, you would get "at hand" and the Y would be God. So the translation would be "God who is always at hand". Every time you see the term Yahweh (Jehovah) it is dealing with the omni-presence of God. Check out Psalms 23. Each time you see a new verse you see a new name of God. Some other terms (but not exhaustive) that include Jehovah, or God's personal name:
  • Jehovah Jireh- God provides, used when we need to understand that no matter situation, God is there and will take care of us
  • Jehovah Rophi- God that heals, used when we need to understand that God is the maker of us and He knows our bodies, He can heal us
  • Jehovah Nissi- God is our banner, used when we need to understand that we belong to God
  • Jehovah Shalom- God of peace, used when we need to understand that He can give us peace of mind and heart in times of trouble
The scriptures are filled with other names of God, such as Adonai, Ancient of Days and tens of others that are more symbolic than names or titles. And just as the ones mentioned above have a purpose so do each and every one them. Even Jesus has some names that served His purpose. His earth given name was Y'shua. But His personal name is still Y-H-W-H since He is still God, part of Elohim.
  • Lamb of God
  • Emmanuel
  • Prince of Peace
  • Alpha and Omega
  • Son of God, Son of Man, Son of David
  • Christ, Ha Mashiach, the Messiah
  • Bread of Life, The Way, The Truth, The Life
  • Rock of My Salvation, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, etc.
And of course we can not forget the Holy Spirit. As part of the trinity of God, His personal name is also Y-H-W-H. But the Holy Spirit's names are less prevalent than God the Father or God the Son. For example, Counselor is probably the only one many would know. Spirit of the Living God, the Voice in the Wind may also be considered names of the Spirit.

Here is the main point of this whole lesson: no matter what you call Him, even if you call Him "unreal", His name is so powerful that one day all will have to bow before Him just at the sound of it. Mountains will bow down, the seas will roar, the earth shall tremble just due to the sound of it. His name puts fear into Satan and his demons have to flee and sicknesses have to cease. When you pray "in the name of Jesus" you are saying something so powerful that the world does not know what to do with it. If only we believed more in it.

Philippians 2:9-11 says it all.
  • Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Wouldn't it be better to bow on our own will and not be forced to do so? For more on the names of God here is suggested reading: All the Divine Names and Titles in the Bible, Herbert Lockyer.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is extremely helpful. It helps me in my personal devotional times with GOD. This enables me to become more intimate with HIM.

Gozreht said...

Thank you. I hope it opens up more desire for you to want to find out more names so the relationship can be even more personal. Come on back anytime and discuss what you find so others can learn with you.

Paul G said...

Absolutely no my brother.
The Lord our God Jesus Christ is not a multi faceted person and neither does He have a multiple personality disorder.

'God' is not a name, 'God' is a title, a description, just like 2 Cor. 4:4, where SATAN is called the GOD of this world.
Is 'god' Satan's name?
We both know that his name is SATAN and he is only called 'god' as in a title.

The Name of the true God is JESUS who is called the Christ (1 John 5:20, Zec. 14:9, Acts 4:12, Matt. 1:25).
Everything you are saying in this post are titles, apart from the names Yahweh and Jehovah and those two names are not in the Bible, they are made up by men.
Moses (Exo. 3:14), Jacob (Gen 32:29) and Manoah (Judg. 13:18) would not have asked the Lord God for His Name if they would have known it.

No Tim, you are greatly mistaken.
Did you notice, in your whole post you have mentioned God's Name 'JESUS' only once, and that is not in relation to God's one and only Name.

Tim said...

For those who have not been here before, Paul and I have gone back and forth for about 2 years now I believe about this topic. Here is his blog site to help you understand his ideas:
http://puritanbelief.blogspot.com/

Now with that in mind, Paul, I am not going to rehash all that we have said. You know where I stand. I know where you stand.

But I am going to point out some errors.

When someone believes in a Trice Holy God, a Triune, Trinity, whatever word you want to use, they are not saying God has a personality disorder. That is propaganda to make those people sound like idiots. No where on this site does it even come close to saying that.

You said, "'God' is not a name, 'God' is a title, a description, just like 2 Cor. 4:4, where SATAN is called the GOD of this world."

Please reread. At no point did I say 'God' is a name. God has a name, names He is known by, and Titles. You chose to say 'description'. I chose to say 'name'. Yes, in the classic sense of the words they are different. But in context, they are the same. God is the God that heals, hence El Rapha. That is not to say I am replacing His name with something else.

You said, "We both know that his name is SATAN and he is only called 'god' as in a title.",

Well, satan is not his name either, 'satan' means adversary. So by your own definition you are saying that the title 'adversary' is a name. You contradicted your own argument. But, I would agree. That is what we call him and it is a title. Both are correct. Same as what I wrote here in my lesson. God is called these as a 'name' and is known by these things to make it a more personal relation. I call my wife terms of endearment and make it personal if I add the word 'my' in front. Doesn't mean it is her name but it is what I call her.

You said, "Everything you are saying in this post are titles, apart from the names Yahweh and Jehovah and those two names are not in the Bible, they are made up by men.

That is inaccurate in a way. The name of YHWH is throughout the OT. It has been replaced in certain passages with Adonai, or LORD due to some who feel saying the name of God is disrespectful. Some Jewish translations use the word HaShem (the Name) in these passages for the same reason. Jehovah is a Latin translation. So although we have a few languages here they all mean the same.

You said, "Moses (Exo. 3:14), Jacob (Gen 32:29) and Manoah (Judg. 13:18) would not have asked the Lord God for His Name if they would have known it.

There is more than one lesson here, too long to go into, but I thought you disagreed in one of our posts that the "angel of the LORD" was not Jesus. Oh, well, that was nit-picking.

You said, "Did you notice, in your whole post you have mentioned God's Name 'JESUS' only once, and that is not in relation to God's one and only Name.

The way you say this is true, but that is not the point of the lesson.

Jesus is God. God is Jesus. Interchangeable in the long run, but for intended purpose they are used in different context, not to be separated though.

Tim said...

That should have been "thrice" holy, not "trice" holy. Typo.

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