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Who Is God, Really?

Could The Amount Of Your Faith Be Related To Your Knowledge Of God?
How Important Is The Knowledge of God's Names That Describe Him?

    2 Pet 1:5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge..

     The name of God holds an important key to understanding the doctrine of God and the doctrine of revelation. The name of God is a personal disclosure and reveals His relationship with His people. His name is known only because He chooses to make it known. To the Hebrew mind, God was both hidden and revealed, transcendent and immanent. Even though He was mysterious, lofty, and unapproachable, He bridged the gap with humankind by revealing His name.

    The truth of God's character is focused in His name. The divine name reveals God's power, authority, and holiness. This accounts for Israel's great reverence for God's name. The Ten Commandments prohibited the violation of God's name (Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11). Prophets spoke with authority when they uttered God's name. Oaths taken in God's name were considered binding, and battles fought in the name of God were victorious.

    Other nations would fear Israel, not because it was a mighty nation, but because it rallied under the Lord's name. In the New Testament, name is manifested most clearly in Jesus Christ. He is called "the Word" (John 1:1), and Jesus himself makes the claim that He has revealed the name of God (John 17:6). God's name is His promise to dwell with His people.

    God of the Fathers
    Before Moses' encounter with God in the Midianite desert, God was known generally as the God of the Fathers. Various names were used for God under this conception, most of which were associated with the primitive Semitic word El.

    El is a generic term for God or deity. It appears in ancient languages other than Hebrew. One can see the similarities to the modern Arabic word for God, Al or Allah. The word El refers to an awesome power that instills within humankind a mysterious dread or reverence.

    Even though El was a term for God in pagan or polytheistic religions,  it is not a designation for an impersonal force like one would find in animism. Pagans worshipped El as a high and lofty God. He was the chief God in the Canaanite pantheon.

    The word El in the Bible is often a reference to deity as opposed to the particular historical revelation associated with the name "Yahweh" . More often than not, however, it is used interchangeably as a synonym for Yahweh, the God of Israel, and translated God. One of the most interesting uses of El is its alliance with other terms to reveal the character of God. Some of these combinations are:

    El Shaddai "God of the Mountains" or "The Almighty God."
    This term is more closely associated with the patriarchal period and can be found most frequently in the Books of Genesis and Job. Exodus 6:3 underlines El-Shaddai as the name revealed to the patriarchs.God used it to make His Covenant with Abraham
    (Genesis 17:1-2).

    El Elyon "The Most High God" or "The Exalted One"
    (Numbers 24:16; 2 Samuel 22:14; Psalms 18:13). Melchizadek was a priest of El-Elyon and blessed Abraham in this name (Gen. 14:19-20), refering to El-Elyon as "Maker of heaven and earth." Canaanites at Ugarit also worshiped god as El-Elyon. El-Elyon seems to have had close ties to Jerusalem.

    El Olam "God of Eternity" or "God the Everlasting One"
    (Genesis 21:33; Isaiah 26:4; Psalms 90:2). God's sovereignty extends through the passing of time and beyond our ability to see or understand.

    El Berith "God of the Covenant" (Judges 8:33-35) transforms the Canaanite Baal Berith (Judges 9:46-57) to show God alone makes and keeps covenant. No false god can protect or keep promises.

    El Roi "God who Sees me" or "God of Vision"
    (Genesis 16:13)  God sees needs of His people and responds.

    El Hoseem "God of Creation" (Isaiah 44:24)
    "I am the Lord, your savior; I am the one who created you. I am the Lord, the Creator of all things. I alone stretched out the heavens; when I made the earth, no one helped Me.

    Elohim A plural form for deity- "Creator Of The Universe"
    It is a frequently used term and the most comprehensive of the El combinations. The plurality of this word is not a hint of polytheism. It is a plural of majesty. It is a revelation of the infinite nature of God. In the creation narrative, we read: "Then Elohim said, 'Let us make man in our image.' " (Genesis 1:26) This name suggests that there is a mystery to the Creator-God which humankind cannot fully fathom. God is absolute, infinite Lord over creation and history. The Christian sees in this term a pointer to the trinitarian reality of creation.

    Other Uses The name El is frequently combined with other nouns or adjectives. Some examples are:

    Isra-el (One who is ruled by God)

    Beth-el (House of God) 

    Peni-el (Face of God)

    In the crucifixion narrative (Mark 15:34), Jesus employed a form of El when he cried from the cross, "Eloi, Eloi," "my God, my God," quoting Psalm 22.

    Yeshua-"The Lord Of Salvation", Jesus is the sacrifice for the sins of His people, Yeshua

    The Covenant Name

    The covenant name for God was "Yahweh." Israel's faith was a new response to God based on His disclosure.  This name was so unique and powerful that God formed a covenant with His people based upon his self-revelation.

    Yahweh-"Jehova Is The Lord"

    The Lord of Miracles, The Supernatural God
    Titles appear in English translations as Jehovah.

    Yahweh Jireh "The Lord will Provide" (Genesis 22:14).
    This was the name given to the location where God provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice in the place of Isaac. This name is a testimony to God's deliverance.

    Yahweh Nissi "The Lord is my Banner" (Exodus 17:15-16)
    Moses acribed this name to God after a victory over the Amalekites. The Name of God was considered a banner under which Israel could rally for victory. The Lord's name was the battle cry.

    Yahweh Mekaddesh "The Lord Sanctifies" (Exodus 31:13).
    Holiness is the central revelation of God's character. God calls for a people who are set apart, without

    Yahweh Shalom "The Lord is Peace" (Judges 6:24).
    This was the name of the altar that Gideon built at Ophrah signifying
    that God brings well-being not death to His people.

    Yahweh Sabaoth "The Lord of Hosts"
    (1 Samuel 1:3; Jeremiah 11:20, Joshua 5:14)
    *compare 1 Sam. 17:45. This can also be rendered, "The Lord Almighty."  It represents God's power over the nations and was closely tied to Shiloh, to the ark of the covenant, and to prophecy. The title designates God as King and ruler of Israel, its armies, its Temple, and of all the universe.

    Yahweh Rohi "The Lord is my Shepherd" (Psalms 23:1).
    God is the One who provides loving care for His people.

    Yahweh Rophe "I Am The Lord That Heals You" (Exodus 15:26)
    God is the One that is the Great Physician.

    Yahweh Tsidkenu "The Lord is Our Righteousness" (Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:16)
    This was the name Jeremiah gave to God, the Righteous King, who would  rule over Israel after the return from captivity. He would establish a new kingdom of justice.

    Yahweh Shammah "The Lord is There" (Ezekiel 48:35) This is the name of God associated with the restoration of Jerusalem, God's dwelling place.

    Adon (or Adonai)
    This is a title of authority and honor. It can be translated "Lord." It is not exclusively a title for deity because it is used in addressing a superior, such as a king or master. In this sense, it is used to ascribe the highest honor and worship to God. Adon or Adonai was often used in conjunction with Yahweh. In time, Adonai became a substitute for Yahweh. In the postexilic period, it took on the connotation of God's absolute lordship. This name has also been used to refer to His friendship.
    Jehova Adonai
    is our friend and has the intent to bless His friends

    Yeshua-"The Lord Of Salvation" --Jesus - Phillipians 2:9-11

    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.

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    John W. Eddins, Jr. and J. Terry Young Holman's Bible Dictionary, Parson's Quickverse ibid Matthew Henry Commentary, Parson's Quickverse ibid, Holman's,Rev. Rick Patterson
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