“My Name Is Jehovah Rapha!” Exodus 15:26

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

…I am the LORD who heals you…! That’s what God told the Israelites shortly after they had been delivered from many years of slavery in Egypt. The setting is found in Exodus 15:22 through 25:

     So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea....And they went three 
     days in the wilderness and found no water. Now when they came 
     to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they 
     were bitter....And the people murmured against Moses, saying, 
     “What shall we drink?” So he cried...to the LORD, and the LORD 
     showed him a tree...[which] he cast...into the waters [and] the 
     waters were made sweet.  There He made an ordinance for them.  
     And there He tested them.

That ordinance (test) is described in the next verse, our featured Scripture, Exodus 15:26:

     “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do 
     what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and 
     keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you 
     which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who 
     heals you.”

I am the LORD who heals you.” What God said was, “I am Jehovah Rapha!

  • Jehovah (YHWH or Yahwey) has been studied in the June 5th Gem (and others), so we won’t go into a depth study. Jehovah means “the self-existant One” or “the One by whom all things exist.
  • Rapha in the Hebrew is רָפָא (pronounced raw-faw’ ). According to Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew Definitions it means “…to heal, make healthy….

God sure did bring diseases on the Egyptians!

  • With the third of ten plagues poured out on the Egyptians, lice covered every man and beast! (see Exodus 8:16, 17).
  • The fifth plague struck all the animals! The LORD struck the “…cattle…horses… donkeys…camels…oxen…and…sheep…[with] a very severe pestilence….And all the livestock of Egypt died…” (see Exodus 9:3, 6).
  • The sixth plague brought “…boils that break out in sores on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt.” (see Exodus 9:9).
  • The tenth plague was the worst!And it came to pass at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt…both man and beast…” (see Exodus 12:12; 29).
  • The seven other plagues did not cause various diseases to wrack the bodies of the Egyptians and/or their livestock, but they sure caused great harm to land and to normal life! I think they felt like diseases to the Egyptians!
The first plague – All water in Egypt turned to blood! 
           (see Exodus 7:17, 18).

     ✡    The second plague – Frogs invaded the land! (see Exodus 

     ✡    The fourth plague – Flies everywhere! (see Exodus 8:16).

     ✡    The seventh plague – Hail destroying all of the flax 
           and barley crops, and any man and beast left out in the 
           fields! (see Exodus 9:18, 19).

     ✡    The eighth plague – Invasion of locusts which destroyed 
           every green thing, including the wheat and spelt crops! 
           (see Exodus 10:4-6; also Exodus 9:32).

     ✡   The ninth plague – Thick darkness throughout the land! 
          (see Exodus 10:21-23). 
  • And don’t forget, the entire Egyptian army drowned in the Red Sea when they tried to recapture the fleeing Israelites! (see Exodus 14:26-29).

None of these plagues touched the Israelites, for God protected them! But Egypt was devastated! And (although we don’t have space to go into it) each plague was also a judgment upon a god or gods of the Egyptian pantheon!

So when the LORD made the ordinance (test) for the Israelites to obey Him, deeply imbedded in their minds were the plagues they had witnessed – His punishment on Egypt, plus their own deliverance!

…I am Jehovah Rapha.” “…I am the LORD who heals you.Does God still miraculously heal today?

Let’s first look at some relevant Scriptures on the subject:

  • Psalm 30:2 – “O LORD my God, I cried out to You, and You have healed me.
  • Psalm 103:2, 3 – “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; who forgives all your iniquities, and heals all your diseases.
  • Proverbs 4:20-22 – “My son, give attention to my words…keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.
  • Isaiah 53:5 – “…He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.
  • Jeremiah 17:14 – “Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed, save me, and I shall be saved, for You are my praise.
  • Matthew 17:20 (Contemporary English Version) – “Jesus replied: ‘…I can promise you this. If you had faith no larger than a mustard seed, you could tell this mountain to move from here to there. And it would. Everything would be possible for you.’
  • Luke 1:30, 37 – “…the angel said…, ‘…with God nothing will be impossible.’
  • Mark 16:17, 18 – Jesus said to His disciples,…these signs will follow those who believe…they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.
  • John 14:12 – Jesus said to His followers,Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
  • I Corinthians 12:1, 8, 9 – “Now concerning spiritual gifts…the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all….to one is given…gifts of healing….
  • James 5:14-16 – “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up….Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another that you may be healed. The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
  • I Peter 2:24 – Jesus …bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed.

There are many more Scripture verses that could be cited! But these twelve will do for now.

Yes, I believe in healing and other miracles today, by the power of the Holy Spirit! I have seen miracles happen (see, for example, the Gem posted on February 2, 2016 – Jehovah-Rapha – II).

A group of us are praying three mornings every week, from 6:30 to 8:00 AM at our church, Macedonia Baptist in Newnan, Georgia. We are praying for God’s heaven-sent, very much needed, revival! We need God to send revival soon! I have studied revivals through history, and one thing (of many) they have in common is miracles of healing! I invite you to join us, whereever you are, and pray for revival to come!

We need the Lord’s revival!
(See II Chronicles 7:14)

“My Name Is Jehovah Jireh!” Genesis 22:9-14

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

This name of God was revealed when Abraham was divinely prevented from offering his son Isaac as a burnt offering on “…the mountains…of Moriah…” (Genesis 22:2). God provided a ram in Isaac’s place for the burnt offering. Here is more of the context in Genesis 22:9 through 14:

     Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And 
     Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; 
     and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar upon 
     the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the 
     knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called to 
     him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham....Do not lay 
     your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know 
     that you fear God, since you have not withheld...your only 
     son...from Me. Then Abraham...looked, and there behind him 
     was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham...
     offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And 
     Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-WILL-PROVIDE; 
     as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it 
     shall be provided.

The-LORD-WILL-PROVIDE, as it is written in the New King James Version above, is translated in the King James Version; the American Standard Version; and Young’s Literal Translation as Jehovah Jireh!

  • Jehovah in Hebrew is יְהֹוָה (pronounced yeh-ho-vah’ ) and meaning “…self Existent or eternal One.” (Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary).
  • Jireh in Hebrew is יִרְאֶה (pronounced yir-eh’ ). From the website The God Behind the Names, www.myredeemerlives.com/namesofgod/yhwh -jireh – I found the following:
     The word “jireh” is a transliteration of a Hebrew word which 
     means “to see” or “to foresee”. In the Hebrew Bible, it is 
     translated “to see” or “to appear,” and it is often used to 
     refer to certain people who could foresee – prophets....Ob-
     viously, there might be some confusion as to how the word 
     “to see” can then also be translated to “provide”, unless we 
     consider the nature of Almighty God....As the 19th Century 
     Anglican pastor H. W. Webb-Peploe wrote in “The Titles of 
     Jehovah”: ...with God, to see is also to foresee. As the One 
     who possesses eternal wisdom and knowledge, He knows the end 
     from the beginning....From eternity to eternity He foresees 
     everything....Thus with God foreseeing is prevision. As the 
     Jehovah of righteousness and holiness, and of love and redemp-
     tion, having prevision of man's sin, and fall, and need, He 
     makes provision for that need. For provision, after all, is 
     merely a compound of two Latin words meaning “to see before-
     hand.” And we may learn from a dictionary that “provide” is 
     simply the verb and “prevision” the noun of seeing beforehand. 
     Thus to God prevision is necessarily followed by provision, 
     for He certainly will provide for that need which His foresee-
     ing shows Him to exist. With Him prevision and provision are 
     one and the same thing." (emphases added).

How does this apply today to followers of the Lord Jesus Christ?

  • Isaac was a pre-figure of Jesus Christ! How so? Hebrews 11:17 through 19 says this about it:
     By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and 
     he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten 
     son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” 
     accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the 
     dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

Was Isaac resurrected? Technically, no! But expecting his son to be resurrected was the only way Abraham could have gone through with this sacrifice! And so…

...the father allowed his son to be a sacrifice – just like 
         Christ was made a sacrifice!For God so loved the world 
         that He gave His only begotten Son [Jesus], that whoever 
         believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting 
         life.” (John 3:16).

   ✡    ...the son was resurrectedfrom certain death – as Christ 
         was actually resurrected!...knowing that Christ, having 
         been raised from the dead, dies no more.  Death no longer 
         has dominion over Him.” (Romans 6:9).

   ✡    ...all God’s blessings to the world were to come through 
         the resurrectedson, Isaac (see Genesis 26:2-4) – and 
         His blessings are all through Christ!Praise the God and 
         Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Through Christ, God has 
         blessed us with every spiritual blessing that heaven has 
         to offer.” (Ephesians 1:3 – God’s Word to the nations).    
  • Ephesians 2:1 – “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.
    Like Isaac, we areresurrectedfrom death to life!  

    Because of sin permeating the life of every one of us, we 
        are spiritually dead before God! And we are heading for 
        eternal death in Hell!

    This instantaneous resurrection,’ when we accept Jesus 
        as our Savior, is beautifully recorded in Colossians 2:13; 
        1:13 (in that order):  

           And you, being dead in your tresspasses...He has made 
           alive together with [Jesus]...having forgiven you of 
           all trespasses....He has delivered us from the kingdom 
           of darkness [Satan’s realm] and translated us into the 
           kingdom of the Son of His love.

   ✞    Someday, like Jesus, we will experience an actual resur-
        rection, if we die physically before the Rapture! (see 
        I Thessalonians 4:13-18).
  • Genesis 22:17 and 18 – After Abraham was stopped in the midst of sacrificing Isaac, God said to him:
     In blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will mul-
     tiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand 
     which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess 
     the gate of their enemies.  In your seed all the  nations of 
     the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.

     ✡    I have always been impressed by the phrases God used: “In 
           blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will mul-
           tiply your descendants....Could God have said it in a 
           more ample form?  

     ✡    And, yes, it was God speaking to Abraham!  For “...the 
           Angel of the LORD...” (Genesis 22:15) is recognized by 
           conservative biblical scholars as the pre-incarnate 

     ✡    In Psalm 68:19, this praise is given:  “Blessed be the 
           Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our 
           salvation.The New Testament equivalent is Philippians 4:19:  “And 
          my God shall supply all your need according to His riches 
          in glory by Christ Jesus. And here is II Peter 1:3:  “...His divine power has giv-
          en to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, 
          through the knowledge of Him [Jesus Christ] who has call-
          ed us to glory and virtue....

We have it all in Jesus Christ, prefigured by Isaac, and both of these personages are descended from Abraham!

But there is one other thing I want to point out. This is what it says in II Chronicles 3:1:

     Now Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem 
     on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father Dav-
     id, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor 
     of Ornan the Jebusite.

Apparently, Ornan the Jebusite owned a prime spot that was his threshing floor. It was at the very peak of Mount Moriah, where the breeze would carry away the chaff as the harvest was tossed into the air, letting the grain fall back to the ground.

  • This place was the where, it is thought, Abraham offered Isaac!
  • This is also the place where King Solomon would build the temple!

But who was Ornan? He was a Jebusite! And this is what God says in Deuteronomy 20:17 and 18 concerning the Jebusites:

     ...you shall utterly destroy them:  the Hittite and the 
     Amorite and the Canaanite and the Perizzite and the Hivite 
     and the Jebusite..., lest they teach you to do according to 
     all their abominations which they have done for their gods, 
     and you sin against the Lord your God. 

So how is it that a Jebusite was still around in David’s day? And he was the owner of prime real estate! It may be because of what is recorded in Joshua 15:63: “As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem to this day.” So, not only did Ornan’s ancestors survive the Jebusite purge – but, apparently, Ornan was a convert to the One true God of the Jews (see II Samuel 24:22, 23), and a respected member of the community!

I call it ‘the Ruth factor!

  • Ruth was a Moabite, and God said in Deuteronomy 23:3, “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter the congregation of the LORD; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter….
But Ruth entered in the first generation!  

     ✡   Not only that, but she was King David’s Great-Grandmother; 
          which makes her a human ancestor of Jesus Christ! (see 
          Matthew 1:5).
  • Godliness, a firm lived-out belief in Jehovah God of Israel, negates the prohibition of entering into God’s family!

Thank and praise God
that He prohibits no one
from being His child,
through belief in Jesus Christ!

“My Name Is El Olam!”

Genesis 17:1-5

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

El Olam means Everlasting God. We are first introduced to this name of God in Genesis 21:32 . The incident when this occured was when the Philistine, “…Abimelech king of Gerar…and Phichol, the commander of his army…” (Genesis 20:2, 21:22), met with Abraham at Beersheba, so named “…because the two of them [Abraham and Abimelech] swore an oath there…” (Genesis 21:31 – see Genesis 21:22-24). (Beersheba means “…well of an oath…” – Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary). After these Philistine leaders left, it says in Genesis 21:33 and 34, “Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God. And Abraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines many days.

  • There are several names of God that incorporate El into it. We won’t redefine El in each future case, since we have already done that in last two Gems.
  • Let’s consider Olam. Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions has quite a bit of information concerning the meaning of this word, written in Hebrew as עֹלָם or עוֹלָם (pronounced o-lawm’) and meaning:
     ...long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, ever-
     lasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world, ancient 
     time, long time (of past), (of future) forever, always, con-
     tinual existence, perpetual, everlasting, indefinite or un-
     ending future, eternity.

So ‘Everlastingis a good choice to describe God (from all the possibilities above)!

While there are many descriptions concerning God being everlasting, a few stand out:

  • Psalm 90:1 and 2 – “LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
  • Malachi 3:6 – “…I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” By the time Malachi was written, the Jews were bogged down in formality and outward (but not inward heart) piety. The LORD had put up with much sin and rebellion of His chosen people Israel, after calling them out of Egypt about a thousand years before. And though He had let them experience severe punishment to correct them, and even though they had rarely responded positively, yet He had not forsaken them!
  • Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.Since Jesus is…the express image of His person [God the Father]” (Hebrews 1:3), the Son shows us the Father does not change!
  • James 1:17 – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning.God’s constant shadow proves He does not turn and/or capriciously change!

One of my favorite passages that deal with the everlasting God is Isaiah 3:28 through 31:

     Have you not known?  Have you not heard?  The everlasting 
     God [the same Hebrew word Olam as in Genesis 21:33], the 
     LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints 
     nor is weary. There is no searching of His understanding.  
     He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might 
     He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be 
     weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who 
     wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall 
     mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not 
     be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
  • Why would Abraham …plant…a tamarisk tree in Beersheba…? By the way, it may have not been a single tree, but a grove of trees, as translated in the King James Version. Some commentators think it was a grove of Oak trees. But the Hebrew word generally means a tamarisk tree. Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament tells us:
     The planting of this long-lived tree, with its hard wood, 
     and its long, narrow, thickly clustered, evergreen leaves, 
     was to be a type of the ever-enduring grace of the faithful 
     covenant God.

So God is everlasting, eternal, never-changing,
totally dependable – as we find Him
throughout the Bible!

Praise His holy name – El Olam!

“My Name Is El Shaddai!” Genesis 17:1-5

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

As a pastor for the last fifty years, I have made a lot of visits to hospitals to encourage those who are admitted because of sickness, disease, or surgery. More often than not, the folks I visit are elderly. I have tried at times to add a bit of humor to the visit by telling an elderly woman (for instance) “You may be up in years but there is still hope for you. Don’t forget, Sarah had a baby at 90!” The patient may be in pain or in a weakened condition, but I almost always get a big smile or a laugh – and a comment something like, Oh no! Not me! God forbid! I’m done with that!” If it is an old man whom I am visiting, I just change the application!You may be up in years but there is still hope for you. Don’t forget, Abraham fathered a baby at 99!

It sounds totally beyond human possibility! But we are talking about God, who proclaimed in Jeremiah 32:27, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?

This is what God told Abram in Genesis 17:1 through 5:

     When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared 
     to Abram and said to him, I am Almighty God; walk before 
     Me and be blameless.  And I will make My covenant between 
     Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”  Then Abram 
     fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for 
     Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a 
     father of many nations.  No longer shall your name be call-
     ed Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made 
     you a father of many nations.”

This is the first instance of God referring to Himself as El Shaddai, almost universally translated as Almighty God or God Almighty.

  • El (copied from the Gem of June 12th) in Hebrew is אֵל )pronounced ale – in one syllable( and meaning, “…strength….” (Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary). In the Old Testament, El refers to the One True God! However, the word can be used of any deity, even false pagan gods; angels; mighty men )military heroes(; and even demons.
  • Shaddai in Hebrew is שַ דַּי (pronounced shad-dah’ee) and according to the generally held meaning, “…the Almighty….” (Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary).

However, researching the meaning of Shaddai, I came across this website of The Jerusalem Prayer Team, Word of the Day: hebrew.jerusalemprayerteam.org/almighty-el-shaddai/. I found a very interesting interpretation of El Shaddai:

     Rule:  all body parts that come in pairs (or more than 2) 
     are feminine nouns. Hands, ears, legs, shins, fingers, 
     teeth and more are all feminine nouns. All, except for one 
     pair – breasts! Breasts, the most feminine paired organ in 
     the human body happens to be a masculine noun....Shaddai 
     in Hebrew is the word for breasts. Every English Bible 
     translates El Shaddai as The Almighty. The Almighty is a 
     great name for God but it has nothing to do with El Shaddai. 
     It was superimposed on [the] innocent Bible reader....If 
     you check carefully the...[following] three references to 
     El Shaddai in the Bible you’ll be more than surprised....
     These are...three cases when God speaks in first person. 
     Each verse is about fertility and the name Shaddai is 
     stressed. Here is how El Shaddai is connected with fruit-

     ✡   Genesis 28:3 – “May God Almighty [El Shaddai] bless 
          you, and make you fruitful and multiply you…”

     ✡   Genesis 35:11 – “I am God Almighty [El Shaddai]. Be 
          fruitful and muliply....”

     ✡   Genesis 49:25 – “...by the Almighty [El Shaddai] who 
          will bless you with blessings of heaven above, bless-
          ings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the 
          breasts [shadayim] and of the womb....

On the website for the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, israelbiblicalstudies.com/jewish-studies/he-is-our-el-shadai/, Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg writes:

     In our Bibles, אֵל שָ דַּי “El Shadai” is most often (mistakenly) 
     translated as “God Almighty”....El Shadai אֵל שָ דַּי does have 
     another meaning though. The word שָ ד ShaD has a much closer 
     grammatical connection to ShaDai and it means – “breast.” 
     Moreover, when a word ends with an “i”or “ai” it is almost 
     always means “my”. So, literally, “El Shadai” could very well 
     mean “God (is) my Breast/s. If we consider this intriguing 
     imagery as [an] interpretive possibility we may see that the 
     breast is one of the key symbols of sustenance and parental 
     love passed on from God, the parent, to humanity, God’s child. 
     So instead of “God Almighty”, El Shadai should probably be 
     translated as “God All-sufficient” instead.

Holding with this idea of breasts and being fruitful, I began looking at our featured Scripture in a new way! Does Genesis 17:1 through 5 have to do with human frutifulness – “…blessings of the breasts and of the womb…” (Genesis 49:25)?

  • The next verse (Genesis 17:2) after “…the LORD appeared to Abram and said…‘I am Almighty God…” (Genesis 17:1), the first part of His covenant with the patriarch mentioned is, “…I…will multiply you exceedingly.This certainly involves …blessings of the breasts and of the womb…!
  • In Genesis 17:4 God told him, “…you shall be a father of many nations.This certainly involves …blessings of the breasts and of the womb…!
  • How about Abram’s name change in Genesis 17:5? “No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. This certainly involves …blessings of the breasts and of the womb…!

Continuing beyond our featured Scripture, in…

  • Genesis 17:6 – “I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.This certainly involves …blessings of the breasts and of the womb…!
  • I will not reproduce here the next eight verses, but in Genesis 17:7 through 14, God speaks to Abraham concerning the patriarch’s succeeding generations, and the covenant sign each of those male descendants must carry in their bodies – circumcision! And, by the way, this sign involves the reproductive organ of the male! And this too certainly involves …blessings of the breasts and of the womb…!
  • In Genesis 17:15 and 16, the LORD changes the emphasis from Abraham to Sarai:
     As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, 
     but Sarah shall be her name.  And I will bless her and also 
     give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall 
     be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.

This certainly involves “…blessings of the breasts and of the womb…”!

• Genesis 17:18, 19, and 21 concerns Abraham’s next generation, Isaac:

    And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael [his son by Hagar, his 
    wife’s maid] might live before You!”  Then God said: “No, Sarah 
    your wife shall bear you a son, and you will call his name Isaac; I 
    will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, 
    and with his descendants after him....My covenant I will establish
    with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.”

This certainly involves…blessings of the breasts and of the womb…!

  • The last part of the dialogue between God and Abraham concerning the LORD introducing Himself as El Shaddai involves Ishmael:
     And as for Ishmael, I have heard you [Abraham’s plea in 
     verse 17 above]. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make 
     him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall 
     beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 

Ishmael is considered the father of the multitudenous Arab peoples! This certainly involves…blessings of the breasts and of the womb…!

In the quotation from The Jerusalem Prayer Team above, we are told, “Breasts, the most feminine pair organ in the human body happens to be a masculine noun….Shaddai in Hebrew is the word for breasts.” Why is a masculine noun referring to God and breasts? God is often pictured as our Heavenly Father – a masculine designation! But He also is depicted with feminine qualities!

  • Genesis 1:27 – “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
  • Deuteronomy 32:11 – God is like a mother eagle hovering over her young!
  • Ps 22:9-10, Ps 71:6; Isa 66:9 – God cares for his people like a midwife that cares for the child she just delivered!
  • Isaiah 49:15 – “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.
  • Hosea 13:8 – “I will meet them [Israelite sinners] like a bear deprived of her cubs.
  • Luke 13:34 – “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! …How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!
  • Luke 15:8-10 – God seeks the lost like a housekeeper, trying to find her lost coin!

So while God is Almighty, I agree with Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg: “…instead of “God Almighty”, El Shadai should probably be translated as “God All-sufficient.

When it is all said and done…

Thank God for His multifaceted attributes!

“My Name Is Adonai Jehovah!” Genesis 15:1, 2, 4 – 6

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

One of the key Scriptures in the Old Testament is Genesis 15:1 through 6, especially verse 6:

     After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a 
     vision, saying, “Do not be afraid Abram, I am your shield, 
     your exceedingly great reward.” But Abram said, “Lord God, 
     what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir 
     of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” ...And, behold, the 
     word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This one shall not 
     be your heir, but one who will come from your own body....”  
     Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward hea-
     ven, and count the stars if you are able to number them....
     So shall your descendants be.”  And [Abram]...believed in 
     the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

So key is this truth of verse 6 that it is quoted, or referred to, multiple times in the New Testament!

  • Romans 4:3 – “For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
  • Romans 4:5 – “…to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.
  • Romans 4:9, 10 – “Does this blessedness…come upon the circumcised only [the Jews], or upon the uncircumcised also [Gentiles]? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but uncircumcised.” (compare Genesis 15:6 with 17:3).
  • Romans 4:22 – Abraham, at the age of almost 100, “…did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief [that he would father a child], but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore ‘it was accounted to him for righteousness.’
  • Galatians 3:6, 7 – “…Abraham ‘believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’
  • James 2:23 – When Abraham demonstrated his faith in God by his obedience to offer his son Isaac as a burnt sacrifice to God (see Genesis 22:1-12), “…the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’

Six times Genesis 15:6 is quoted, at least partially, in the New Testament! God is very frugal in using words to reveal His mind! The whole Bible, that touches on everything that we could experience in our human lives, amounts to 783,137 words in the King James Version! In comparison, the IRS federal tax code and federal tax regulations were well over ten million words! And that was six years ago!

  • If God says it once, it is important!
  • If God says it twice, we are to sit up and take notice – it is very important!
  • If God says it seven times (Genesis 15:6 and the six times quoted in the New Testament), I can’t imagine anything more important!

What is so important about, And [Abram]…believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness…?

  • Humankind’s attempt at religion always ends up in some form of works – trying to earn God’s attention and approval by good things that we do.

According to the website, nationaldaycalendar.com/world-religion-day, there are today over 4,000 religions in the world. And all but one of these religions are man’s attempt to reach up to God!

And the Bible is clear concerning God’s view of human works to earn His approval:

 Isaiah 64:4 – “...we are all like an unclean thing, and 
          all our righteousnesses [the very best we can do] are 
          like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniq-
          uities, like the wind, have taken us away.Ephesians 2:8 and 9 – “For by grace you have been saved 
         through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift 
         of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.

Good works must follow our decision to accept Christ as Savior, not before as an effort to try to please Him!For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10).

  We are told in Philippians 2:5 through 8, “...Jesus 
         Christ...made Himself of no reputation, taking the 
         form of a servant...as a man.  He humbled Himself and 
         became obedient to the point of death, even the death 
         of the cross.And, according to II Corinthians 5:21, God ...made 
         Him [Jesus], who knew no sin to be sin for us, that 
         we might become the righteousness of God in Him.It is that righteousness of God that Abram received 
         by faith, according to Genesis 15:6.

Quoted above is Romans 4:22. Here it is again in part: Abraham …was strengthened in faith…being fully convinced that what He [God] had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore ‘it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ ” I believe that in the next three verses, Romans 4:23 through 25, Paul gives the best description there is of the Gospel in the very words of the Bible:

     Now it was not written for [Abraham’s]...sake alone that it was 
     imputed to him, but also for us. [The righteousness of God]...
     shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus 
     our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our of-
     fenses, and was raised because of our justification. 

Has God’s righteousness been imputed to you?
Put your faith in Jesus Christ now!

We haven’t yet examined the name of God which Abram used when he addressed Him in Genesis 15:2 – “Lord God….

  • We have already looked at the Hebrew for GOD (which is a variation of Jehovah) in the June 5th Gem. Written in Hebrew the word is יְהֹוִה (pronounced yeh-ho-vee’) and meaning the same as Jehovah, …the self-existant or eternal…[One].” (Scofield’s Hebrew Dicitonary). But the yeh-ho-vee’ variation is “…used primarily in the combination ‘Lord Jehovah’….” (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions).
  • Lord (lower case letters after the L) in Hebrew is אדני (and pronounced ad-o-noy’ ) When the word stands alone, it can mean “…master…” when applied to man, and “…Master…” when applied to God. (ibid.) But when used with Jehovah (or its variation yeh-ho-vee’ ) it always applies to God. These two words together are translated…
     ...in the Contemporary English Version as “...LORD 
         All-Powerful.......in Brenton’s English Septuagint as “...Master 
         and Lord.......in the Good News Bible as “...Sovereign LORD.......in God’s Word to the nations as “...Almighty 

So it can be a bit confusing!

Just remember…
He is God, All-Powerful,
Master, Sovereign, Almighty


“My Name Is El Elyon!”– II Genesis 14:18-23

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

Above is another depiction of Abram (Abraham) receiving a blessing from…Melchizedek king of Salem….” (Genesis 14:18). We looked at this mysterious Old Testament personage Melkizedek in the last Gem, but we never got to the study of God’s name, the name by which Melkizedek blessed Abram! Here again is Genesis 14:18-23:

     Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; 
     he was the priest of God Most High.  And he blessed him and 
     said:  “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possesser of hea-
     ven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has deliv-
     ered your enemies into your hand.”  And he [Abram] gave him 
     a tithe of all.  Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give 
     me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.”  But Abram 
     said...“I have lifted up my hand to the LORD, God Most High, 
     the Possessor of heaven and earth...that I will not take any-
     thing that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram 

…he blessed him and said; ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth.” (Genesis 14:19). God Most High is translated from the Hebrew El Elyon.

  • El in Hebrew is אֵל (pronounced ale – in one syllable) and meaning, “…strength….” (Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary). In the Old Testament, El refers to the One True God! However, the word can be used of any deity, even false pagan gods; angels; mighty men (military heroes); and even demons.
  • Elyon in Hebrew is עליון (pronounced el-yone) and meaning when referring to God, “…Highest, Most High….” (Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions).

Melkizedek added the descriptive phrase to El Elyon – “…the Possessor of heaven and earth….” To the Hebrew mind, there could not be anything higher than heaven! And as God created and possesses that sphere, as well as the whole expanse of the earth, so He is the extreme Power and Athority of all creation!

This descriptive name of God must have made a great impact on the mind and faith of the patriarch! There is no record that Abram ever had heard the LORD described this way before, or used this phrase to describe Him. The patriarch had just rescued the king of Sodom and the people of that city from the five-king confederation that took them as prisoners of war (see Genesis 14:11-17).

     Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, 
     and take the goods for yourself.”  But Abram said...“I have 
     lifted up my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor 
     of heaven and earth...that I will not take anything that is 
     yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich....’”

So we read just three verses after Melkizedek pronounced his blessing on Abram, in the name of “…God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth” in verse 19, the patriarch swore by “…the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth…” (verse 22), that he would take nothing of Sodom’s material goods as spoils of war, “…except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me…” (Genesis 14:24). Abram used the same description of God that Melchizedek had so recently said! The LORD, God Most High was the only personal reward the patriarch said he would claim!

Elyon (Most High) – this name of God seems to be especially related to the Gentile world. It is written in Deuteronomy 32:8 and 9 (Good News Bible):

     The Most High assigned nations their lands; He determined 
     where peoples should live.  He assigned to each nation a 
     heavenly being.  But the LORD’s people were His property.  
     Jacob [Israel] was His own possession.

Perhaps this is related to how Melkizedek, a Gentile (non-Jew) could be “…the priest of God Most High.” (Genesis 14:18). God revealed Himself through His creation (see Psalm 19:1-4 compared with Romans 10:9-13, 18, 19; Romans 1:18-20), and through His assignment of heavenly beings* to watch over the assigned Gentile nations!

In the book of Psalms alone, there are twenty two times Elyon is translated as either Most High, High, Higher, and Highest as referring to God. Almost every one of the twenty two times Elyon is used, it is in the context of the Gentile peoples of the world! So, it seems that the name Elyon has to do with God known by, or relating to, the Gentiles! Applied to Abram – when God called him from Ur of the Chaldees, the LORD ended the initial statement of the call (known as the Abrahamic covenant) with these words: “…and in you all the families of the earth [Gentiles as well as Jews] shall be blessed.” (see Genesis 12:1-3).

How does all this apply to us as Christians today? The Church, the Body of Christ, is made up mostly of Gentiles! For Paul tells us in Romans 11:25 and 26, “…that hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved….The Jews rejected their Messiah, and so God’s emphasis has turned to the non-Jews! Gentile Christians are of “…all the families of the earth…[that are] blessed…” (Genesis 12:3). “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29). So if El Elyon is ‘God Most High, especially as it applies to the Gentiles, then thank God we Gentile Christians have been reconciled unto the Father by Abraham’s Seed, Jesus Christ!

Thank Him that He revealed Himself as El Elyon!
God Most High!

___________________________________________________________________ *Note: The last part of Deuteronomy 32:8 is translated in the Good News Bible thus: “He assigned to each nation a heavenly being….” A Bible study app called e-Sword that I have on my computer has seventeen translations or paraphrases of the Bible available for study. Eleven translations and paraphrases featured follow with something similar to the translation of the King James Version which reads, “…He set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.” The other six follow more in line with what is written in the Good News Bible. Instead of translating the text as children of Israel, the six versions speak of heavenly beings, angels, or the sons of God. It makes sense that God would have angelic beings assigned to nations, kingdoms, and people groups, because Satan (who is an imitator, and not an originator) also has high ranking demons assigned to various nations, kingdoms, and people groups! (see Daniel 10:13, 20).

“My Name Is El Elyon!” – I Genesis 14:18-23

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

In the print above, Abram (Abraham) receives a blessing from…Melchizedek king of Salem….” (Genesis 14:18). It was just after the patriarch returned from rescuing his nephew Lot from a four-king confederacy that raided Sodom and Gomorrah and took prisoners of the two cities’ inhabitants (see Genesis 14:1-17). Here is the whole featured Scripture of Genesis 14:18 through 23:

     Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; 
     he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and 
     said:  “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possesser of 
     heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has 
     delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he [Abram] 
     gave him a tithe of all. Now the king of Sodom said to 
     Abram, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for your-
     self.” But Abram said... “I have lifted up my hand to the 
     LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth...
     that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you 
     should say, ‘I have made Abram rich....’”

Melchizedek is an interesting character! The author of Hebrews talks of this mysterious character in chapters 5, 6, and 7, and identifies him as a shadow prophesy, a type of Jesus Christ! As it says in Hebrews 7:21 (quoting Psalm 110:4): “The LORD has sworn and will not relent, You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

  • The name Melchizedek in Hebrew is מַלְכִּי־צֶדֶק (pronounced mal-kee-tseh’-dek) and meaning “…king of right [or righteousness]…” (Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary). Jesus Christ is the true King of righteousness, for He purchased our standing in the righteousness of God by His sacrifice on the cross! (see Romans 4:6; II Corinthians 5:21).
  • He is identified as “…Melchizedek king of Salem….” in Genesis 14:18 and Hebrews 7:1. Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions tells us that Salem in Hebrew is שÑלם (pronounced shaw-lame’ ) and meaning “…peace….Salem was the original name of Jerusalem, where Melchizedek reigned as king. Jesus will not only reign from Jerusalem as King over a worldwide kingdom (see Jeremiah 3:17; Luke 1:30-33), but He is the King of world peace (see Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3) who gives us peace with God (see Romans 5:1), and brings God’s peace within! (see John 14:27; 16:33; Galatians 5:22, 23; Phlippians 4:7).
  • …Melchizedek…was the priest of God Most High.” (Genesis 14:18). How could this be? For he was a Gentile (non-Jew)! But in him, God found a faithful priest! Hebrews 7:11 through 17 explains it this way: Old Testament priests were of the tribe of Levi, one of the twelve sons of Jacob (Israel). They also had to be descended from Aaron, Moses’ brother, who was the first high priest of Israel. But since “…Melchizedek…was the priest of God Most High…,” and obviously not an Israelite (he could not be a Levitical priest), so he being a type of Christ, Jesus also is identified as High Priest…according to the order of Melchizedek…” (Hebrews 7:17, 20), that is, not part of the Levitical priesthood!
  • As both king and priest, Melkizedek was a type of Christ! The two offices were to always separate in the Old Testament. Saul forfeited his kingship when he foolishly offered a burnt offering to God in I Samuel 13:8 through 13. In II Chronicles 26:16 through 21, when King Uzziah in his pride tried to combine the two offices of king and priest by burning incense in the temple, God punished him by afflicting him with leprosy! But in a preview of Jesus as Priest and King, as well as Prophet, Zechariah the prophet is told to make a crown for Joshua the high priest and put it in the temple as a memorial! (see Zechariah 6:9 through 13).
  • In Hebrews 7:3 Melchizedek is described as “…without father, without mother, without geneology, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, [he] remains a priest continually.” It is not as if we are told Melchizedek had no father or mother, or that he never died, but lives forever! But there is no parental or death record! Although Jesus had a human mother, Mary, He did not have a human father! He always has been God, and equal with the Father and Holy Spirit throughout eternity! (see Isaiah 9:6, 7; John 1:1).
  • Genesis 14:18 and 19 record Melchizedek blessing Abram:And he blessed him and said: ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.’ ” The author of Hebrews writes in Hebrews 7:7, “Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. As great as Abraham was, Melchizedek was greater, in that he blessed the partriarch. The Jews questioned Jesus’ authority when the Lord made the statement in John 8:51, “Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.
     Then the Jews said to Him..., “Abraham is dead, and the 
     prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall 
     never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abra-
     ham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Whom do You 
     make Yourself out to be?” (John 8:52, 53).   

Although the Lord did not specifically say it in so many words, Jesus affirmed that He is greater than Abraham! He said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad….Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:56, 58).

The next point is in Genesis 14:18: “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine….I see an obvious connection to the night before His death, when the Lord Jesus instituted the Eucharist during the Last Supper! Paul writes in I Corinthians 11:23-26:

     For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered 
     to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which 
     He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, 
     He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which 
     is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”  In the 
     same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, 
     “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as 
     often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”  For as 
     often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you pro-
     claim the Lord’s death till He comes.
  • The last comparison point I want to emphasize is in Genesis 14:20, 21: “And he [Abram] gave him [Melkizedek] a tithe of all…the goods….” To whom did the Israelites pay tithes? To the Levites, who in turn paid tithes to the priests (see Numbers 18:24, 26). The writer of Hebrews shows the greatness of Melchizedek in this matter:
     Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the 
     patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils....Even 
     Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 
     so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his [great 
     grand] father when Melchizedek met him. (Hebrews 7:4, 
     9, 10). 

When Melchizedek met Abram,…he blessed him and said; ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth.” (Genesis 14:19). God Most High is translated from the Hebrew as El Elyon in the New King James Version.

But we’ll have to wait until the June 12 Gem because we’ve looked closely (and I hope, profitably) at Melchizedek!

“My Name Is Jehovah!”

Exodus 3:13-15

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

The incident pictured above is from Exodus 3:2 through 4:

     And the angel of the LORD appeared to [Moses]...in a 
     flame of fire from the midst of a bush...and behold, 
     the bush burned with fire, but...was not consumed.  
     Then Moses said, “I will...now see...why the bush 
     does not burn.” ...So when the LORD saw..., God called 
     to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses,    
     Moses!”  And he said, “Here I am.”

The LORD then commissioned Moses to go back to Egypt, from which he had fled forty years before after murdering an Egyptian (see Exodus 2:11-15), and lead the Israelites from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land of Canaan! Moses argued…

  • Exodus 3:11 – “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and…bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?
  • Exodus 4:1 – “…suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The LORD has not appeared to you.’

Exodus 4:10 – “O my LORD, I am not eloquent…, but I am slow of speech and… tongue.”

  • Exodus 4:13 (Easy-to-Read Version) – “O Lord, send someone else, not me.

God won out, and Moses went back to Egypt, and proved to be an able leader under God’s command! But I purposely left out one of Moses’ main arguments because it is what I will emphasize in this Gem – Exodus 3:13 through 15:

     Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the 
     children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your 
     fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say, ‘What is 
     His name?’ what shall I say to them?”  And God said 
     to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”  And He said, “Thus you 
     shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent 
     me to you....The LORD 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 this is 
     My memorial to all generations.’”

I AM is often translated today by the words Yahweh or Jehohah. Both come from the Hebrew tetragrammaton YHWH. The Latinized version is JHWH. To make it easier to be read and pronounced, the vowels of the Jewish word for Lord, which is Adonai, were added (with a bit of variation). The result was YaHWeH (Yahweh) or JeHoWaH or JeHoVaH (Jehovah). YHWH (translated I AM) means “the self-existant One” or “the One by whom all things exist” – the One who always has been, always is, and always will be! Hebrews 13:8 puts it this way, “…the same yesterday, today, and forever.

God further identified Himself as “I AM…the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob….” (Exodus 3:15). Jesus used this designated name of God very effectively in His ministry:

• Traditionally, there are seven great “I AM ” statements that Jesus applied to Himself in the Gospel of John (The Jubilee Bible has the right emphasis by capitalizing “I AM ”):

John 6:35 – “I AM the bread of life; he that comes 
         to Me shall never hunger, and he that believes in me 
         shall never thirst. John 8:12 – “I AM the light of the world; he that fol-
         lows Me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the 
         light of life.John 10:9 – “I AM the door; whosoever enters in by Me 
         shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture.John 10:11 – “I AM the good shepherd; the good shepherd 
         gives His life for the sheep.John 11:25 – “I AM the resurrection and the life; he that 
         believes in Me, though he is dead, yet shall he live....John 14:6 – “I AM the way, the truth, and the life; no 
         one comes unto the Father, but by Me.John 15:1, 5 – “I AM the true vine, and My Father is the 
         husbandman....I AM the vine, ye are the branches: he that 
         abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much 
         fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.
  • But there is more in John’s Gospel (Jubilee Bible):
     John 8:24 – “...if ye do not believe that I AM, ye shall 
         die in your sins....We are cautioned to believe that 
         Jesus Christ is the very Jehovah God of the Old Testament! 

     John 8:28 – “When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then 
         ye shall know that I AM....The crucifixion and resur-
         rection prove Jesus is Jehovah God!

     John 8:58 – “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abra-
         ham was, I AM.”  Abraham lived 2,000 years before, but 
         Jesus was already the self-existing Jehovah God, forever 
         before Abraham!
  • The Jubilee Bible also capitalizes “I AM ” as Jesus applies it to Himself in Matthew 14:27; 22:32; Mark 6:50; 12:26; 13:6; 14:62; and Luke 22:70.
  • The Sadducees believed “…there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit…” (Acts 23:8). In Luke 20:37 and 38 Jesus refuted their theological error concerning the resurrection by quoting Exodus 3:15:
     Now even Moses showed in the bush passage that the dead are 
     raised, when he called the Lord “the God of Abraham, the God 
     of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”  For He is not the God of the 
     dead but of the living, for all live unto Him.

I AM…the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob…” (Exodus 3:6 – Jubilee Bible).

I AM,” not “I was.For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, 
         for all live unto Him...,” and all will either live 
         (or exist) throughout eternity, experiencing eternal 
         life with the Lord, or existing in eternal death in 

      It is as if God is saying in Exodus 3:15 concerning 
         Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,Though these three partri-
         archs died physically long ago, to Me, they are still 
         very much alive...and always will be!” (see Luke 16:

What does all this mean for us today?

  • Whatever characteristics we read of God, either in the Old Testament of the New – He is still the same! And upon this we can depend!
  • Considering all the I AM’s in John’s Gospel, it is as Paul said in Philippians 4:19, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
  • As Christians, we are headed for an amazing future!
...absent from the body [is] to be present with the 
         Lord.” (II Corinthians 5:8).

     ✞   Jesus, at the resurrection of believers,...will 
         transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to 
         His glorious body, according to the working by which 
         He is able even to subdue all things to Himelf.” 
         (Philippians 3:21).

     And thus we shall always be with the Lord...” (I 
         Thessalonians 4:17), with our Christian loved ones 
         in His eternal kingdom!

Praise God!
He is
I AM !

“My Name Is Elohim!”

Genesis 1:1

(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)

The featured Scripture is the very first verse vin the Bible – Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The Hebrew word for God in this opening verse is אֱלֹהִים (Elohim or Elohiym – pronounced el-o-heem’). Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions tell us it is a “plural intensive [word with a]…singular meaning.” The note on Genesis 1:1 in the New Scofield Reference Bible says, “Elohim…, the first of the names of Deity, is a plural noun in form but is singular in meaning when it refers to the true God.” The Genesis 1:1 note goes on to direct one to consider Genesis 1:26 and 27, explaining these verses thus:

  • Genesis 1:26 – “And God [Elohim] said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness….Scofield notes, “Emphasis in Genesis 1:26 is on the plurality in Deity….The plural form of the word suggests the Trinity…,” as do the words ‘us’ and ‘our’ in verse 26. Some say that these plural pronouns refer to a conference between God and angelic beings! But this view may just reveal a prejudicial mindset against the concept of the Trinitarian God!
  • Genesis 1:27 – “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” This verse emphasizes the One true God,…the unity of the divine Substance.” (Scofield).

Is it any wonder that even the brightest of Bible scholars cannot fully explain the concept of…One God in three Persons! And cults such as Jehovah’s Witnesses and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) deal with the issue by denying that the true God even exists as a Trinity!

The Encyclopedia of Gods by Michael Jordan (not the basketball player!) lists 2,500 dieties! But the number is far greater! The Shinto religion alone claims there are eight million gods (kami – spirits of ancesters and spirits behind elements of the landscape and forces of nature) who can influence natural and human events! But there is revealed from three sources that there is one God in plurality!

Nature (creation):

     ✡   Psalm 19:1-4 (International Standard Version) – “The 
          heavens are declaring the glory of God, and their ex-
          panse shows the work of his hands.  Day after day they 
          pour forth speech, night after night they reveal know-
          ledge.  There is no speech nor are there words—their 
          voice is not heard—yet their message goes out into all 
          the world, and their words to the ends of the earth.

Saint Paul takes this statement from Psalm 19 to reveal just how explicit is this general revelation.’ In Romans 10:9, he gets very specific: “…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Then he goes on in Romans 10:14 and 15 to address the problem of those who have not heard the good news of Jesus. But Paul makes a startling statement in verse 18:But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed….” And then he quotes part of the ‘general revelation’ Scripture from Psalm 19: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

I interpret it this way: All creation, if we will hear it, is shouting out the news that Jesus Christ is the risen Lord, in whom we must confess our saving heart faith!

     Romans 1:18-20 – “...the wrath of God is revealed from 
         heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of 
         men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because 
         what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God 
         has shown it to them.  For since the creation of the 
         world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being 
         understood by the things that are made, even His eternal 
         power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.

In other words, no one can stand before God and say, I never heard! No one ever told me about Jesus!They are without excuse!

  • Scripture: There is no revelation more specific and detailed than that which God has given to man to be written in our Bible! As it says in II Timothy 3:16 and 17:
        All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is pro-
        fitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for 
        instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be 
        complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
  • The testimony of the redeemed: While this is the most subjective of the three proofs, it can a be very powerful ‘proof ’ of God’s work among, in and through human beings!
     ✡   Psalm 9:14 – “...that I may tell of all Your praise....”

     ✡   Psalm 26:7 – “...that I may proclaim with the voice 
          of thanksgiving, and tell of Your wonderful works.”

     ✡   Psalm 39:4 – “...that I may know how frail I am.”

     ✡   Psalm 56:13 – “...that I may walk before God in the 
          light of the living.”

     ✡   Psalm 106:5 – “...that I may see the benefit of Your 
          chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of 
          Your nation, that I may glory with your inheritance.”

     ✡   Psalm 119:17 – “...that I may live and keep Your word.”

     ✡   Psalm 119:18 – “...that I may see wonderous things 
          from Your law.”

     ✡   Psalm 119:73 – “...that I may learn Your commandments.”

     ✡   Psalm 119:125 – “...that I may know Your testimonies.”

     ✡   Psalm 142:7 – “...that I may praise Your name....Romans 1:11 – “...that I may impart to you some spir-
          itual gift....Romans 15:32 – “...that I may come to you with joy....Ephesians 6:19 – “...that I may open my mouth boldly 
          to make known the mysteries of the gospel.Philippians 3:10 – “...that I may know Him and the 
          power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His 
          sufferings, being conformed to His death, if...I may 
          attain to the resurrection of the dead.Philippians 3:12 – “...that I may lay hold of that 
          for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.II Timothy 1:4 – “...that I may be filled with joy....

So how important is it to believe there is One God in Three Persons?

  • God the Father – When Christians refer to ‘God,most often they are thinking of God the Father! Here is what the writer of Hebrews says about this First Person of the Trinity in Hebrews 11:1 and 6:
        Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the 
        evidence of things not seen....But without faith it is 
        impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must 
        believe that He is [that He exists], and that He is a 
        rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 

This does not mean that the Father is the primary God! Theologically, the three Persons of the Godhead are described as being ‘co-equal ’! For instance, in Philippians 2:6 (God’s Word to the nations), “Although He [Jesus] was in the form of God and equal with God, He did not take advantage of this equality.

  • God the Son – When He ministered upon earth for three and a half years, Jesus was in total subjection to the Father! He said the same in John 8:28 (International Standard Version): “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM, and that I do nothing on My own authority. Instead, I speak only what the Father has taught Me.

Even into eternity, Scripture tells us that Jesus will be in subjection to the Father! Here is I Corinthians 15:24 through 28:

        Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God 
        the Father; when He puts an end to all rule and authority 
        and power. For He must reign, till He has put all enemies 
        under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is 
        death. For “He has put all things under his feet.” But 
        when He says, “all things are put under Him,” it is evi-
        dent that He [the Father] who put all things under Him 
        [the Son] is excepted. Now when all things are made sub-
        ject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject 
        to Him [the Father] who put all things under Him, that 
        God may be all in all. 

When I was a pastor in my first church and without a lot of experience, I was interacting with a young man who was a new follower of Jesus. But he did not believe that Jesus was God! I was preparing to correct him when an older man, who had for some years believed in the Lord, cautioned me to leave him alone! At least he is following Jesus,” was the advice I received. I regret that I followed his leading! Why? Because of what Jesus Himself said in John 8:24 (Jubilee Bible): “Therefore I said unto you that ye shall die in your sins, for if ye do not believe that I AM, ye shall die in your sins.” (see Exodus 3:14, 15 where God introduced Himself to Moses as I AM). He was saying, “If you don’t believe that I AM the very God of the Old Testament, you will not have eternal life!

It is only the sinless God who could offer Himself to be the perfect sacrifice to pay for [to expunge] our sins!

  • God the Holy Spirit – The Bible presents Him as a Person – and as God! For He has the same thinking and emotions both as a person and as the Father and the Son!
    Ephesians 4:30 – “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of 
         God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.He can be grieved!

      Acts 7:51 – “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and 
         ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your 
         ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!He can 
         be resisted!

     Acts 5:3, 4 – “Annias, why has Satan filled your heart 
         to lie to the Holy Spirit....You have not lied to men, 
         but to God.He can be lied to!

     Luke 12:10 – “And everyone who speaks a word against the 
         Son of Man will be forgiven, but to him who blasphemes 
         against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.He 
         can be blasphemed!

     I Thessalonians 5:19 (Good News Bible) – “Do not restrain 
         the Holy Spirit.”  He can be restrained!

     I Corinthians 2:10, 11 – “...the Spirit searches all things, 
         yes, the deep things of God....no one knows the things of 
         God except the Spirit of God.”  He searches the mind of God!

     I John 2:27 (Good News Bible) – “But as for you, Christ 
         has poured out His Spirit on you. As long as His Spirit 
         remains in you, you do not need anyone to teach you. For 
         His Spirit teaches you about everything, and what He 
         teaches is true....He teaches believers!

      Romans 8:26 (English Standard Version) – “Likewise the 
         Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what 
         to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes 
         for us with groanings too deep for words.He searches 
         our minds and prays for us!

      John 6:63 – “It is the Spirit who gives life....He 
         gives us Spiritual life!

     Ephesians 1:13, 14 – “...having believed, you were sealed 
         with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of 
         our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased pos-
         session....He is our seal that we are God’s!

     John 14:16, 17 – Jesus said, “...I will pray the Father, 
         and He will give you another Helper [another just like 
         Jesus], that He may abide with you forever, even the 
         Spirit of truth....He is just like Jesus, so much so 
         that the Lord could say, “I will not leave you as orphans; 
         I will come to you....” (John 14:18). 

The Holy Spirit is not like that which is taught by…

  • …the Jehovah’s Witnesses who teach in their book, The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life, page 24:
        As for the 'Holy Spirit' the so-called 'Third Person of the 
        Trinity,' we have already seen that it is not a person, but 
        God's active force.  John the Baptist said that Jesus would 
        baptize with holy spirit even as John had been baptizing with 
        water. Water is not a person nor is the holy spirit a person
        ....(the apostles) all became filled with holy spirit.  Were 
        they 'filled' with a person?  No, but they were filled with 
        God's active force.
  • Mormonism teaches that “Jesus Christ, a little babe like all the rest of us have been, grew to be a man, was filled with a divine substance or fluid, called the Holy Spirit” (Key to Theology, Parley P. Pratt, p. 38).

True Christianity teaches the reality of the Trinity, God in three Persons – Elohim!

God the Father!
God the Son!
God the Holy Spirit!-