God? What’s in a Name

Moses and the Burning Bush

The average reader of the English Bible will come to the false conclusion that God does not have a personal name. It doesn’t help that the popular movie The Ten Commandments states that the Hebrew’s God had no name.

2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3  “You shall have no other gods before me. Ex. 20:2 -3

Notice that LORD is in all capital letters. This is there to indicate to the reader that the Lord’s name was there in the original Hebrew. Occasionally this is also done to the word GOD.

But he said, “O Lord GOD, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” Gen. 15:8 

This happens when the Hebrew has both the word for “lord” and the personal name of God in the same sentence.

YHVH/Jehovah

God’s name is YHVH/YHWH in Hebrew. However, at some point the keepers of the Text the Jews became superstitious about pronouncing the name of God. So they began a tradition of saying Adona meaning lord and bowing whenever they read the word. Later when they were putting together the Masoretic Text they added vowel pointing to all the words. Because ancient Hebrew has no vowels and they were beginning to forget how to pronounce the words. When they came to YHVH they inserted the vowels for Adona or lord. Now when the first translations were made into European languages they didn’t know the Jews had done this. Latin being the paramount language of Europe for the centuries to come use a J to make a Y sound. This set the precedence for a J. And that is where Jehovah comes from. It is YHVH with the vowels from Adona. 

FYI: This is why all the names that in Hebrew start with a Y sound are spelled in English with a J, e.g. Jesus, Jacob, John, Jerusalem, Jezreel, etc. Hebrew has NO hard J sounds.

Pronunciation?

Next question is always, How is it pronounced? Well, to be honest, no one really knows for sure. It is most likely either Yahvah or Yahwah.

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JEHOVAH-MOGAN

YAHWEH-MAGEN

For an explanation of Jehovah/YHWH see also: God? What’s in a Name.

The Hebrew word for “shield” is” magen.” It is a shield of any size, full size or buckler. In Biblical usage, a shield can be used for defense, decoration, or an indication of wealth.

In the 3rd Psalm David expresses his great distress when fleeing his son Absalom. [c.f. 2 Sam. 15] David had few left who were loyal to him. He complains that his enemies claim that even God will not help him. But David understands there is no help for David except the LORD.

“But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” Psalm 3:3

The “LORD our shield” denotes divine protection. It is not the great and powerful that the Lord shields, for David is no longer king. He is running for his life. In worldly ways he is a disgrace, his crown has fallen from his head, his honor among men is gone.

Solomon decorated his palace with 300 shields of gold.

And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three minas of gold went into each shield; and the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. 1Kings 10:17

In this our Kingdom Age or Church Age, in the past, the congregation of the Lord has often faced great persecution. Great wars have been fought to force people to worship different deities in the way Popes and Kings wish people to worship. Many laid down their lives for the freedom to worship what had how they saw fit. The shield of their souls was the LORD himself.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the LORD withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psa. 84:11

The sun is the source of all light on earth. Throughout the Bible, the light of God’s face shines on all that love Him.

After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” Gen. 15:1 

. . . my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence. 2Sam. 22:3

Thou hast given me the shield of thy salvation, and thy help made me great. 2Sam. 22:36

Is our God just an ornament that we display? Or is He our protector in times of stress and danger?  Is your shield a useful tool or just decoration?

See Also:

JEHOVAH-‘OR

JEHOVAH-GAAL

JEHOVAH-JIREH

JEHOVAH-NISSI

JEHOVAH-RAPHA

JEHOVAH-ROHI

JEHOVAH-SHALOM

JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH

JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU

JEHOVAH-YASHA

God Remembers

God does not forget, nor does He need to be reminded. The Hebrew zakhar  doesn’t always mean remember the way English does. It can also mean; protecting, deliver, to do a favor for, or keep a promise, intervene on behalf of, or grant a request,

Noah’s Ark by Edward Hicks – 1846

But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided; Gen. 8:1 

Then God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her and opened her womb. Gen. 30:22 

Joseph used ‘remember in the same way when he asked Pharaoh’s butler to give a favorable report to Pharaoh about Joseph’s talents.

But remember me, when it is well with you, and do me the kindness, I pray you, to make mention of me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. Gen. 40:14 

Broken Covenant

. . . then I will remember my covenant with Jacob, and I will remember my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.  Lev. 26:42 

And when you go to war in your land against the adversary who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, that you may be remembered before the LORD your God, and you shall be saved from your enemies. Num. 10:9 

The children of Israel may not keep their end of the bargain, however God will keep His promise.

Samson

Samson’s Fight with the Lion by Lucas Cranach the Elder – 1525

Then Samson called to the LORD and said, “O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be avenged upon the Philistines for one of my two eyes.” Judg. 16:28 ¶

When Samson asked to be remembered, it is not that he thought God had forgotten him, but rather that somehow the prophecy of his life would come to fulfillment.

. . . for lo, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from birth; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” Judg. 13:5

Samuel

And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thy maidservant, and remember me, and not forget thy maidservant, but wilt give to thy maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.” 1Sam. 1:11

Hannah asked for the blessing of a son and when the blessing was granted the Hebrew uses this phrase that she was remembered.

They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her; 1Sam. 1:19 

Forgetting

The only time God forgets, is when He has done it on purpose. God promises a blessing in that He will not remember His children’s sin.

For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” Heb. 8:12

Remembering a Curse

The corrupted Church of Rome is cursed to drink Babylon’s cup.

The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered great Babylon, to make her drain the cup of the fury of his wrath. Rev. 16:19 

What cup you may ask, why the same one ancient Babylon had made.

Babylon was a golden cup in the LORD’s hand, making all the earth drunken; the nations drank of her wine, therefore the nations went mad. Jer. 51:7

The drunkenness of Babylon is the false Religion of the Mysteries started at the Tower, where the main teachings is that a priest will stand between a person and the god. These priest always teach that all roads lead to God, and there is a mother goddess. The great mystery is that all gods are the same god only he is called by different names in different places.

The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; Rev. 17:4

Render to her as she herself has rendered, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double draught for her in the cup she mixed. Rev. 18:6 

I have no idea what a double draught of the Crusades and INQUISITION might look like, but I think I will watch from the other side of the globe.

Religion without the Holy Ghost

Every where we look we see religion without the Spirit of truth.

. . . 5  holding the form of religion but denying the power of it. Avoid such people.   6 For among them are those who make their way into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and swayed by various impulses,  7 who will listen to anybody and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth.  2Tim. 3:5-7 

There are false spirits everywhere; the spirit of the evolution of species, the spirit of communism/socialism, and the most subtile of them all the spirit of false Church leaders. These and many more plague the Congregation.

Most churches are nothing more than social clubs, where everyone shares the same social/economic status. They are full of weak people (and yes most of those are women) who never check the facts of the Bible.  There is little accountability for ones life-habits. We all struggle with sin, however the congregation is not being taught to confess and repent of these.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9

The Spiritual Leaders are only really interested in how much their members puts in the collection plate. They have no interest in calling members to account for any behavior. Those accused might leave the congregation and then the money might be reduced. Therefore they no longer teach the truth of God’s Word. No one wants to accused of being judgmental. They –

. . . continue in sin that grace may abound? Rom. 6:1b 

Which of course in not the full reading of the verse.

15   Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.  16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.  17 And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever. 1John 2:15-17

We are Deceived

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1John 1:8 

We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 1John 4:6 

The “We” who “are of God” here, can only be the apostles. The post-modern church has left the apostles teachings. No one reads what they have written and preserved for us in the Bible. Simple test, does your spiritual leader listen to the spirit i.e. read the Bible? Or are they just making things up, quoting secular sources, or relying on the teachings of other men?

There is a great many things that go on in congregations that have nothing to do with God or the Bible. Imposing things that are not strictly “theology” is of no spiritual value. Dogmas and Doctrines are not binding to true faith and often hinder spiritual growth. So much of what we think we know and believe is actually pagan.

The dead do not become angels, nor is Satan the ruler of Hell, our Messiah was not born on the 25th of December, nor can one bribe God with a tenth of ones income, and there is no guarantee of health or wealth in this present age.

We like our master are not of this world. Our hope and our rewards are yet to come. This world with its wealth and power is just something we must pass through. We must not let it get into our hearts and minds. We must not mix with Belial or paganism.

14   Do not be mismated with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?  15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?  16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  17 Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you,  18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2Cor. 6:14-18

We are the temple. True spiritual growth comes after we put out of our hearts and minds all that is pagan, for all paganism comes from the first rebellion, which was in Babylon and the congregation is full of Babylonian ideas and worship.

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,  “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; Rev. 18:4 

We must take back our faith. We must clean out the paganism. We must stand up for truth. We must gently lead the weak back to truth, by coming out of Babylon.

. . . for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. 2Tim. 1:7 

Our Return to the Darkness

William Booth

Another “Don’t throw the baby out with the wash water” a lot can be learned from those who came before us.

The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be; religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell. William Booth (1829-1912) the founder of the Salvation Army

He was of course referring to the last century, during which in fact, hearts grew cold, and now we are reaping the full extent of this ever growing darkness.

For those who believe that it is possible that the Salvation Army has escaped this darkness, one need only read “IN DARKEST ENGLAND and THE WAY OUT” by GENERAL BOOTH” to see how far they have strayed from their founders ideals.

However Booth saw the coming danger quite clearly. The Church, which we prefer to call the Congregation of the Lord, has lost it’s salt. True faith has withdrawn from the public sector and has retreated into home churches

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. Matt. 5:13

“Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? 35 It is fit neither for the land nor for the dunghill; men throw it away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 14:34-35

The Congregation of the Lord was once a bright shining city on a hill, but now we have turn off our light and hidden our city.

14  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. 15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Matt. 5:14-15

Like the allied cities of World War 2 during the blackouts, we want the world not to know of our existence. We have been taught that persecution is coming from a political antichrist, and because we are not studying the Word of God we readily accept this deception. So we sit and do nothing. We no longer preach the whole Gospel. Salvation no longer requires repentance or regeneration.

For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.’ Matt. 13:15

“But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare; Luke 21:34

Spirit of Truth

. . . even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you. John 14:17 

Truth is an illusive thing in the post modern world. Everyone is left to decide what to believe on their own. Even our science has become political rather than observed phenomena and experiments with repeatable results. They all create postulations, theories, that are not tested but rather expanded upon by using computer algorithms. No proofs are given. We all stand around in frustration and ask the same question Pilot asked as he passed judgement on Messiah, “What is truth?” The worldly cannot receive absolute truth. To them it is folly.

The Greek word aletheias pertains to a real or actual event, the existing state of things, literal truth, something that is not a mistake or misunderstood, factual.

The facts are that God became a man came to earth suffered, bleed, and died so that the relationship between God and humans could be restored to those who except that fact.

The Holy Spirit is Eternal

13 For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Heb. 9:13- 14 

Messiah was offered through the eternal Spirit, the Greek word ainoios meaning eternal, unlimited duration of time.

And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, John 14:16

The Greek word aion meaning forever, age, or universe and is where we get our eon. The word really has the idea of being beyond all creation,  or greater than the transitory nature of the universe.