“And Moses said unto God, ‘Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, ‘The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you’: and they shall say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say unto them?’ And God said unto Moses, ‘I AM THAT I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you”‘ (Exodus 3:13,14). Should we pray to “I AM” when we address God? Then why did Jesus say, “When you pray, say, ‘Our Father, which art in heaven”‘? Today, some insist English-speaking people, or people who speak Tagalog, German, French, Spanish, or Hindi, must speak only in Hebrew when addressing God. They insist God’s name is “Yahweh,” or “Jawveh,” or “Jehovah,” and that Jesus Christ’s name is “Joshua,” or “Yahshua.” Only by pronouncing God’s names in Hebrew, they claim, can you communicate with God. Is this true? What IS God’s true name?
What exactly did God mean when He told Moses to say “I AM was His name? Is “I Am” a name, or a state of being? To the best knowledge of the scholars, the expression “I Am” meant God was telling Moses He, God, was the One who was Life Self-Perpetuating; the “Eternal,” Ever-living, Immortal, All-Powerful, Creator Being who has life self-inherent within Himself.
He was saying, in effect, “I will be what I will be,” connoting His absolute eternal power, His self-perpetuating state, His total authority. In the Latin tongues, there are two words for the infinity, “to be.” In Spanish, they are ser (to be), and estar (to be). To express one’s nationality, or one’s profession, one might say, “Soy Americano; soy doctor,” or “I am an American; I am a doctor.”
Ser in Spanish connotes a permanent state of being.
But there is another infinity, estar, which is translated exactly the same into English, “I am,” but which comes from a wholly different root, which is a temporary or transitory state of being. If I wanted to say “I am here,” I would say, “Estoy aqui.” If I wanted to say “I am thinking about it,” I would say, “Estoy pensando en esto.” These expressions are connoting a transitory state of being, but appear the same in English, “I am.”
The Hebrew words God spoke were, “‘ehyeh ‘asher ‘ehyeh,” meaning “I will be what I will be.” The Hebrew does not connote a transitory state of being, but a permanent one.
God was showing Moses His absolute, perpetual, self-inherent Eternal, never-ending state of Being. But God did not stop with this remarkable statement. He went on to say, “…Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, ‘the LORD [Hebrew: YHVH, often pronounced “Jehovah”] God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you’: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
“Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, ‘The LORD [Jehovah] God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, ‘I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt…”’ (Exodus 3:15,16).
The Member of the Divine Family Who became Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the CREATOR revealed in the book of Genesis. Of this, there can be no doubt. John wrote:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
“The same was in the beginning with God.
“All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made….
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1: 1-3, 14).
Can anything be plainer? The One who became Jesus Christ, to die for the sins of the world, is the Member of the God Family who created all things.
As Creator, He is first revealed in a dual sense as Elohim, which is a plural word, connoting more than One, like “church,” or “family.”
“In the beginning God [Elohim, more than one] created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Elohim denotes, by its usage in the Bible, the Creator in relation to His creatures. Notice, “And God [Elohim] said, ‘Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
“So God [Elohim, more than one] created man in His own image, in the image of God (Elohim] created He him; male and female created He him” (Genesis 1:26,27). This conversation between the two members of the Divine Family called “God,” or Elohim, is simply impossible to misinterpret. Obviously, more than One Divine Being, together called “God,” is involved; One speaking, the Other agreeing.
To the English-speaking person, “God” is far more meaningful than Elohim, for the latter is foreign to him. Our word “God” is used almost the exact same way the ancient Hebrews used the word Elohim—of the one true Deity, of idols, of anything that is worshiped.
You and I formulate ideas through a system of language. I am writing in English, which evolved gradually from old Teutonic tongues, Anglo-Saxon (before 1100), and “Middle English.” It’s origins go back to “Indo-Aryan” languages of the Middle East and beyond.
Today, it would be easier for a modern Englishman or American to learn to speak and write French than to learn “old English.” Called “Anglo-Saxon,” this ancient and forgotten tongue has become, through the gradual evolution of speech and writing, a distinct language from modern English. Anglo-Saxon was a language which came from an older Teutonic tongue, which in turn came from Indo-Aryan sources.
The English language is wholly pagan. But then, so is Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, or any other language.
Take, for example, our English word “God.” Where did it come from? The Encyclopedia Britannica, eleventh edition, says, “God. The common Teutonic word for a personal object of worship … The word ‘God’ [German “Gott” from “Guth,” which was related to Taurus, the Bull] on the conversion of the Teutonic races to Christianity, was adopted as the name of the one Supreme Being, the Creator of the universe…. ‘God’ is a word common to all Teutonic languages. In Gothic it is Guth; Dutch has the same form as English; Danish and Swedish have Gud, German Gott. According to the New English Dictionary, the original may be found in two Aryan roots, both of the form gheu, one of which means ‘to invoke,’ the other ‘to pour’, the last is used of sacrificial offerings. The word would thus mean the object either of religious invocation or of religious worship by sacrifice. It has also been suggested that the word might mean a ‘molten image’ from the sense of ‘pour.”‘ (Vol. 12: p. 169).
“Gott” and related terms, then, were merely Teutonic sounds for “deity” or “things that are worshiped,” and are therefore the equivalent of the Hebrew Elohim, the Greek Theos, and the English God.
Notwithstanding the pagan origins of the word itself, it is important to understand that words are merely sounds, or written characters, which convey thought, meaning, understanding, to the human mind. Today, when a modern Englishman or American addresses “God” in prayer, he is thinking to address the Father of Jesus Christ; the great God who is Ruler of the universe; the Member of Elohim Who created all things through His Logos, or Spokesman of His Divine Family. Surely, no modern American or Briton thinks he is using a word which connotes a molten image, or means “to pour,” no matter the ultimate Aryan roots of the English word.
It is also important to understand that God does not frown upon everything created by “pagan” (or non-Hebrew) cultures. He forbids only those things that are contrary to His laws and things that misrepresent Who and What He is!
It was the Creator God who confused and divided man’s languages, lest mankind progress so rapidly to the point of sophisticated technology and world-destroying weapons that God’s plan would not be allowed the proper time for its development.
God said, “‘Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do [they were building a monumental tower with the signs of the zodiac upon it; a phallic symbol dedicated to pagan gods]: and now nothing [including, far too soon, nuclear physics and space launches] will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do.
“‘Go to, let US [note the plural!] go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.’
“So the Eternal [LORD—from “Jehovah”] scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
“Therefore is the name of it called Babel [Hebrew, “Confusion”]; because the LORD [The Eternal] did there confound the language of all the earth” (Genesis 9:6-9).
To this day, lack of communication is a major dividing point between nations. In geopolitics, world trade; in the exchange of ideas, a major impediment is in the different languages of mankind, of which there are hundreds upon hundreds.
God did this deliberately. Did that mean He had therefore consigned every nation down through history to be saddled with a pagan language which made it utterly impossible to call upon God? Did this mean He left only the original Hebrew untouched?
Notice the Bible says God confounded the language of all the earth, not excepting even one!
Bible scholars know that the Hebrew spoken today bears little resemblance to the ancient Hebrew of Abraham’s time. They know that the seventy year’s captivity in Babylon dramatically altered the Jews’ language; know there have been many changes in the Hebrew tongue down through history. By the time God called Israel from Egypt, their language had long since undergone considerable alteration.
Thus, there is no specific tongue that is particularly impressive or pleasing to God.
It is utterly nonsensical to believe that, if two people who speak different languages are standing side by side, thinking the same thing in their minds; praying to the Creator God from the heart, that one man is heard while the other is not, if one man is using some modern form of Hebrew, while the other is praying in Japanese, or Greek! God is not reached through human tongues, but through broken hearts, contrite repentance of sin, and through Jesus Christ His Son and our Savior.
Does God listen only when His name is spoken correctly in ancient Hebrew? If so, what of the hundreds of years of European and British history, when even the language of the Bible itself, and therefore the language used by those in God’s true church in such regions, was a language undergoing gradual change—a language wholly unrelated to ancient Hebrew?
Since Jesus Christ said the “gates of the grave” would never prevail against His church; since there would always be scattered remnants of God’s church somewhere on earth, and since, from the earliest part of the first century these Christians were not, in the main, Jewish, then such people had to pertain to the nations which gradually overspread and settled Europe and the British Isles, as well as Scandinavia. There is not one shred of evidence to suggest such peoples retained God’s Divine names and titles in the ancient Hebrew tongue!
Did God-fearing, Christ-worshiping people call upon God during all these hundreds of years?
Most assuredly. One may as well ask, “Did God’s church cease to exist from about the second century until the days of Cromwell?” And since God’s church did exist down through all this time, and since God continually watched over His people; heard their prayers, preserved them, fulfilled His promise that His church would always exist—then God must have heard them in whatever tongue they spoke!
Those who insist upon making the primary focus of their message the use of so-called “Sacred Names” are missing the point, entirely. Notice another outstanding Bible proof:
Pentecost, and the Gift of Tongues
On the Day of Pentecost, a great miracle occurred involving languages. God’s apostles were given the gift of speaking in other languages as a witness to thousands of unbelievers in Jerusalem.
The word “tongue” in English is used both for the organ of speech, and the language being spoken. It is the same in Latin and Greek. Much confusion has resulted from those wholly ignorant of this fact, together with the unfortunate insertion of a word into the KJV text “unknown.” Though the translators italicized this word to indicate it is supplied, and not in the original manuscripts, many ignorant people have supposed the apostles uttered gibberish, instead of intelligible speech. Today, some would-be television evangelists delight in suddenly interrupting themselves with strange blatherings, displaying what they claim is “tongues” speaking to their audiences, but which is merely deliberate put-on; unintelligible sounds which are meaningless.
The miracle of Pentecost was intended to communicate God’s truth to those who spoke in languages foreign to Jerusalem—a miracle involving both the speaking and the understanding.
The crowd consisted of people from Parthia, Media, Elam, Mesopotamia, Judaea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, Libya around Cyrene, Rome, and other “Jews and proselytes” from around the known world, plus “Cretes and Arabians.” This represents at least sixteen distinctly different languages and dialects. The Bible says these thousands were astonished because they now heard each one of the apostles speaking in each one of these different languages.
“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues [languages, intelligible to the hearer, not gibberish, or babbling], as the Spirit gave them utterance.
“And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
“Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every men heard them [each of them, one at a time, in their turn] speak in his own language [the language of the Medes, Parthians, Egyptians, etc.].
“And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, ‘Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?
“‘And how hear we every man in our own tongue [language], wherein we were born? … we do hear them speak in our tongues [languages] the wonderful works of God! (Acts 2:1-11).
There is absolutely no indication whatsoever that the apostles lapsed into ancient Hebrew each time they spoke of Jesus Christ, or of God the Father. Rather, it is obvious, and it is plainly logical, that whatever names or words in each of the more than sixteen languages and dialects being spoken conveyed to these unconverted Jews’ minds the truth of the resurrection were the words and names used—namely, their own words and names in their own languages.
When, for example, Peter said, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a Man approved of God…” how would a Roman, an Arabian, a Cretian, a Mesopotamian, an Egyptian, have heard and understood?
If a Spaniard had been present (and it is possible a few were), he may well have heard Peter say, as it would be phonetically pronounced, Hay-sus de Nazaret for “Jesus of Nazareth,” and Dios for “God.” Did Peter speak in Aramaic, or Greek? Neither. In Peter’s mind, he spoke in his own native tongue, a dialect of Aramaic which marked him as a Galilean. Yet, since the miracle was both in the hearing and the speaking, each one of these different Jews heard Peter’s words as if spoken in his, [the Arabian Jews’, or the Roman Jews’, or the Cappodocian Jews’] own language.
If an Englishman had been standing there, he would have plainly heard Peter say, “Jesus of Nazareth.” We have no knowledge of how the name “Jesus” (Hebrew, “Joshua,” or “Yahshua”) would have been pronounced so an Arabian, Roman, or Bithinian would have understood, nor do we have their words for “God” available to us. Remember, the word “God” had not yet evolved from ancient Teutonic tongues, and was not extant at the time Peter spoke through a miracle.
Is there something “magical” about pronouncing one of God’s Divine names or titles “just so”?
There are those who seem to believe access to God is only through getting the sound right—correctly pronouncing what they assume is an accurate pronunciation of an Hebrew word. But it is the pagans who believe in magic names, phrases and words.
Who did not hear, as a child, how the wicked witch was supposed to have said “abra cadabra,” as she brewed up her evil potion? How many of us were told this is merely corrupt Latin for “open, corpse?” (“abra” for open, and “cadabra,” as in “cadaver” for body, or corpse)—a demoniacal, ghoulish statement? Who has not heard of the various “magic words” supposed to unlock a genie in a bottle, a giant in a castle, or hidden treasure in a cave?
But God, the Father in heaven, is not reached through the sounds uttered by human throats, tongues and lips. All human languages are corrupt, and it is impossible for us to speak in a language devoid of corruption.
Can we gain contact with God, nevertheless? Can pagans call upon God? Can sinners call upon God? How can a sinner repent, unless he first call upon God for forgiveness?
How did Jesus command us to call upon His Father, Who He came to reveal to us?
How Jesus Said We Should Pray to the Father
When Jesus Himself prayed, often in the audience of others, He did not use several obscure Hebrew words, such as names and titles. Instead, as in the case of the resurrection of Lazarus, He addressed God as “Father.”
Notice how, in the lengthy account of events leading up to Lazarus’ miraculous resurrection, Jesus simply lifted up His gaze to the skies, and prayed: “Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid.
“Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, ‘Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me.
“And I know that Thou hearest Me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent Me.’
“And when He had thus spoken, He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’
“And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes…” (John 11:41-44).
The word for “Father” which Jesus used is the same word in either Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic which would be used of any child to address His congenital father. It was not a magical word, or a special name, or title. Jesus insisted His Father in Heaven was just that, His FATHER. As such, Christ said the Father was greater than He, that the Father had the Preeminence; that He was Supreme in power and authority; that the Father gave Christ what He should say, and speak.
Since the context proves Christ was speaking to His Father more for the sake of those standing by, as an example to them, is it not entirely reasonable to suggest He would have spoken to God the Father in such a fashion, and using such an address as would be efficacious, as would be HEARD?
It is further reasonable to suggest that Jesus addressed God in a manner which set an example to others. That this is patently so is obvious from seeing what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount about addressing God as “Father.”
This begs the question: Cannot your prayers and mine be heard of God the Father if we address Him as “Our Father in Heaven”?
Jesus says yes!
“After this manner therefore pray ye: ‘Our Father Which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name…’”(Matthew 6:9).
In this sample prayer, Jesus showed we are to address God in heaven as “our Father.” Then, He intended we revere, honor, and humbly acknowledge the absolute holiness and sanctity of God’s name. One way to do this is to come to understand that God possesses many Divine titles; that He reveals Himself to mankind in different names, each conveying aspects of His greatness and power.
The Divine Names and Titles
God reveals Himself to us, first, as a Divine FAMILY of Beings, more than One, called, as nearly as we can detect in English as coming to us from known Hebrew, Elohim. The fourth word in the Bible is Elohim. “In the beginning, God [Elohim] created…” (Genesis 1:1).
The word Elohim, being plural, conveys the thought of “plurality of majesty” and “the sum of the Divine powers.” It also allows for a plurality of Persons—a Divine Family.
When God said “let us make man in our image,” and, at the tower of Babel, “let us go down…” it is obvious from the context that One member of the God Family is speaking to the Other; that more than One Person of the Godhead is involved.
The Hebrew name Elohim occurs 2,700 times in the Bible. It connotes, as is obvious from Genesis 1:1, that Elohim is CREATOR, and is nearly always so used.
Bullinger says, “Elohim is God the Son, the living ‘WORD,’ in a Divine form to create [John 1:1, Col. 1: 15-17; Rev. 3:14]; and later, with human for to redeem [John 1: 14].”
The next most common Divine name in the Bible is Jehovah. As Elohim reveals God as a Divine CREATING Family, “Jehovah” reveals this same Divine Family in covenant relationship with His creatures, the human family. An outstanding example is found in Genesis 21:1 and 21:33. The word, “LORD” in the first verse is from “Jehovah.” Here, God is fulfilling His promise to Abraham; Sarah has a child, and Abraham makes a covenant with Abimelech at a well thereafter named “Water [well] of the Oath,” or Beersheba.
Thankful, Abraham “planted a grove [of trees, not an “asherah”] in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD [Jehovah], the everlasting GOD [The Divine definition of Jehovah; Hebrew: Olam, for duration, secret and hidden from man].”
In your KJV Bible, Jehovah appears in small capital letters, as “LORD,” or, when used in combination with Adonai (Lord), it would appear thus: “Lord GOD,” from “Jehovah Adonai.”
Jehovah is used seven times in the twenty-third Psalm in connection with seven of the ten “Jehovah Titles.”
In verse 1, “JEHOVAH JIREH” appears, meaning “God will provide.” In verse 2, “JEHOVAH SHALOM” appears, meaning “God will bring [Judge] peace.” In verse 3, two Divine Titles appear: “JEHOVAH-ROPHEKA” (Jehovah that heals), and “JEHOVAH ZIDKENU”, which means “Jehovah our righteousness.” In verse 4, “JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH” appears, which means “Jehovah is there.” In verse 5, two more Divine titles appear, “JEHOVAH-NISSI,” “Jehovah our Banner,” and “JEHOVAH-McKADDISHKEM,” meaning “Jehovah that sanctifies you.
Other Divine titles not appearing in this chapter are:
“JEHOVAH-SABAOTH,” meaning “God of hosts;” “JEHOVAH-ELYON,” meaning “Jehovah Most High” (Psalm 7:17), and “JEHOVAH-ROI,” or “Jehovah my Shepherd.”
Study the beautiful twenty-third Psalm in the proper context of its natural place following the obvious meaning of the twenty-second, which depicts many of the thoughts and experiences of Christ as He was dying. From the horrible contemplation of his broken flesh, visible bones, and ravening “dogs” who quarrel and gamble over His garments, we are led to the quiet, exultant beauty of the “favorite” Psalm of millions—most of whom have not the slightest idea that this may well have been the prayer Jesus prayed in His mind prior to his death.
The number seven means perfection, completion. Seven of the Divine titles invoking the name of “God in Covenant Relationship” appear in Psalm 23.
The first place “JAH” is encountered in the Bible is in Moses’ song following Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, their safe passage through the Red Sea, and the drowning of Pharaoh’s armies. Moses and the Israelites sang, “I will sing unto the LORD [Jehovah], for He hath triumphed gloriously:
The horse and the rider hath He thrown into the sea.
‘The LORD [JAH] is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation: He is my GOD [EL], and I will prepare Him an habitation; my father’s God [ELOHIM], and I will exalt Him. The LORD [Jehovah] is a Man of war: The LORD [Jehovah] is His name” (Exodus 15:2,3).
“JAH” means “The Eternal, inhabiting eternity,” and appears here in the context of His having become our salvation. Again, the meaning of I AM is brought forth, for “JAH” means “He who IS, and WAS, and IS TO COME.”
This Divine name appears seven times seven in the Bible, or forty-nine times.
Notice an outstanding example: “Sing unto God [Hebrew: Elohim], Sing praises unto His name: extol Him that rideth upon the heavens by His name JAH, and rejoice before Him” (Psalm 68:4).
“EL” first occurs in Genesis 14:18-22: “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: And he was the priest of the MOST HIGH GOD [Hebrew: El Elyon].
“And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the MOST HIGH GOD, possessor of heaven and earth:
“And blessed be the MOST HIGH GOD, which hath delivered thine enemies into thine hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
“And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.
“And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the MOST HIGH GOD, the possessor of heaven and earth…”
El used together with “Most High” portrays God as “highest” in relation to the earth; the God who knows all, sees all, and performs all things for His people; the God in Whom all the Divine attributes are concentrated.
This name for God is found in human names, place names, and other titles in the Bible. The name “Daniel” means God will judge or God is the judge; “Elijah” means “God He is God” or, “El He is Jah.” We see this name of God in proper names like “Immanuel,” meaning “God with us,” or one of the names applied to Jesus Christ, and “Bethel,” meaning “house of God.”
As Bullinger says, the essential meaning of “EL” is “the Almighty.”
The first place this name of God is encountered is Deuteronomy 32:15: “…then he forsook GOD which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.” In the context, this name for God is used in respect of worship. The second occurrence is in the same chapter, only two verses later which says, “They sacrificed unto demons, not to GOD;
“To gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.
“Of the Rock that begat thee thou are unmindful, and hast forgotten GOD [El] that formed thee…” (Deuteronomy 32:15-18).
This name, or title for God is nearly always used whenever the context indicates a contrast between the true “living God,” as contrasted to inanimate idols.
As we have already seen, Elyon is used in connection with El, and is rendered “the Most High God.” Bullinger says, “It is El and Elohim, not as the powerful Creator, but as “the Possessor of heaven and earth.” Hence, the name is associated with Christ as the Son of “the Highest” (Luke 1:35). This title for God occurs thirty-six times in the Bible, and shows that Elyon is the Dispenser of God’s blessings in the earth—the One who divided to the nations their inheritance (Psalms 83:18) and who is “over all the earth.”
This name for God is always rendered “Almighty,” and in your KJV Bible is indicated by “GOD” in small capital letters. The biblical context shows this name or title for God is in connection with His All-Bountiful nature of Grace; as the Giver of every good thing. This title does not refer to His power as Creator, but to His power to supply all our needs.
Notice, “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord (Jehovah) appeared to Abram, and said unto him, ‘I am [note this] the Almighty GOD [Hebrew: El Shaddai]; walk before Me, and be thou perfect. And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly” (Genesis 17:1,2).
Here, “Elohim” (verse 3) spoke to Abram as “El Shaddai,” showing that God, the CREATOR who was now about to create a new name for Abram; was also God, the “Almighty” who shows grace; who is limitless in mercy; who is our Provider; who is able to supply everything we need. “El Shaddai” would now propose His COVENANT with Abram, change his name, give him a child in his old age, and make him a “Father of many nations.”
This title is actually one of three titles of God: Adon, Adonai, and Adonim. Usually translated as “Lord,” they connote God’s HEADSHIP; His authority to rule; the fact that He is “Over Lord.”
“Adon” shows God as Ruler in the earth. “Adonai” is the Ruler in His relationship to the earth, and “Adonim” connotes the proprietorship, or stewardship of God over the earth. Bullinger says the three titles convey the meaning of God as “Ruler, Owner and Blesser.”
Many Other Divine Names and Titles
The Bible is replete with the wondrous attributes of God. Literally hundreds of scriptures show that God is ETERNAL (Genesis 21:33; Exodus 3:14; Daniel 4:3; Romans 1:20; Revelation 1:8), IMMUTABLE (Numbers 23:19; Psalm 33:11; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17), OMNISCIENT (Job 26:6; Psalm 139; Proverbs 13:3; Ezekiel 11:5; John 2:24), OMNIPRESENT, or “everywhere present” (Job 23:9; Psalm 139; Acts 17:27), “INVISIBLE” (Exodus 33:20; Job 23:8; Hebrews 11:27), “UNSEARCHABLE” (Job 11:7; Psalm 145:3; Romans 11:33), “INCOMPREHENSIBLE” (Job 5:9; Psalm 36:6; Isaiah 40:12; Micah 4:12; 1 Timothy 6:16), “HOLY” (Genesis 35:2; Exodus 3:5; Leviticus 11:44; Psalm 22:3; Acts 3:14; Revelation 19:1), “JUST” (Genesis 2:16; Numbers 11:14; 1 Kings 8:20; Proverbs 11:21; Nahum 1:3; Matthew 10:15; Galatians 6:7; Revelation 16:7). The Scriptures reveal that God is filled with “KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM, and POWER,” that He exemplifies and personifies “FAITHFULNESS AND TRUTH,” that He represents limitless “MERCY, GOODNESS AND LOVE,” that He is a “jealous” God (Exodus 25), that He is, Nature and Character a “Disposer of events,” “the Judge of all,” a “Searcher of the hearts,” “Our Sanctuary and Refuge.”
The writers of the Bible call Him “the Father of lights” (James 1:17), “the God of Heaven” (Ezra 5:11), “the God of Hosts” (Psalm 80:7), “the Holy One” (Psalm 16:10), “the Holy One of Israel” (Psalm 71:22), “I AM” (Exodus 3:14), and in many, many other representations of His nature and character.
“What’s in a Name?”
A name merely means, “A word or a phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation of a person or a thing,” or, a word that conveys meaning, designation, character, nature, identity, and understanding about that person or thing.
The names and titles of God do precisely that. They convey to our mind as we think deeply about the many names, titles and attributes of God, His creative power, His covenant relationship with man, His boundless goodness, His limitless grace, His fathomless mercy, His majesty, His awesome POWER, and help us to develop that healthy AWE of our great Creator God, and the family called “Elohim,” that God intends.
Remember, Jesus said we should commence our prayers by addressing the One whom Jesus came to reveal; the “Father” of the Divine Family called “Elohim,” as “Our Father, who art in heaven.” Is it “wrong” to apply some of the Divine names and titles to God when searching for Him in prayer? Not at all! There are appropriate occasions when I will use God’s Divine title, “Jehovah-Ropheka,” when I am praying for healing for someone. If, in our prayers, we sometimes speak of God in one of the Bible-revealed names or titles which are appropriate to the occasion, this would seem proper. On the other hand, as you reflect on everything you have learned in this brief booklet, it appears ludicrous that God wants us to single out only one of the many, many Divine names and titles and unfailingly attempt to contact Him by using our own fallible anglicized attempts at pronouncing ancient Hebrew (which we cannot do with any degree of accuracy!) and, unless we do so, God will not hear!
Finally, remember that God inspired Paul to write, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
“And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves [these are merely sounds, illustrative of deep yearnings], waiting for the adoption [sonship], to wit, the redemption of our body.
“For we are saved by hope: But hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
“But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
“Likewise the Spirit also help with our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:22-26).
Paul goes on to say that God, who “searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (verse 27).
This is clear biblical proof that God can be moved; can be reached; will understand when human beings, in whom is God’s Holy Spirit, are actually deeply, hopefully and prayerfully wrestling with their own innermost temptations, problems, hopes and yearnings—and God HEARS even though not one single word has been spoken!
Once we understand that the meanings we attach to sounds is what is important, and not the sounds themselves, then we can only conclude that “God” is no less holy than “Elohim”; that “Lord” and “Eternal” are just as sacred as “Yahweh” or “Jehovah” or any other name or title that has ever been uttered, either by man or by angel.
God’s many names and titles tell us Who and What God is, and how He relates to His people. Christ’s “new name,” which He will give to His followers refers not to a new sound, but to a new kind of relationship.
“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (Revelation 3:12).
The “new name” does not necessarily refer to a new sound, but to a new kind of relationship between Christ and those who receive His new name.
The time is coming when God will purify human language; He will remove the names of false gods from the lips of the people, and cause all nations to call upon His holy name. At that time, the peoples of this earth will learn the true meanings of all God’s many names and titles; they’ll speak His names with deep respect and a sense of awe. And if there be any need to learn new sounds, new ways to pronounce God’s name, then God will surely reveal His will.
Meanwhile, Jesus’ commands are clear: When you wish to pray to God, Jesus Christ instructs you, “After this manner therefore pray ye, Our Father who art in heaven….”
You may copy and distribute this information only to friends and family without changes, without charge and with full credit given to the author and publisher. You may not publish it for general audiences.
This publication is intended to be used as a personal study tool. Please know it is not wise to take any man’s word for anything, so prove all things for yourself from the pages of your own Bible.
The activities of the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association are paid for by tithes, offerings and donations freely given by Christians and co-workers who are dedicated to preaching the gospel according to Jesus Christ.