Friday, May 31, 2013


This post will focus on the name Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord that heals.

Exodus 15:25-26 “LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.”

In context, the Lord is talking to His people during their time in the wilderness before entering the Promised Land.  He had just turned the bitter waters of Marah sweet by having Moses cast a tree into the waters.  The Hebrew for the word “healeth” includes the idea of making one whole, and at Marah God made the waters whole again (healthy, without defect) and sufficient for their physical need.  I don’t think the choice of the tree was coincidence; it was a picture of what Jesus would do for us by dying on the tree—the cross.  Jesus provided a way sufficient to make us spiritually whole again.

Jesus is not only sufficient to make us spiritually whole, but He is also sufficient to make us physically whole.  It is important to note that the Lord’s promise to provide healing for His people was declared to be dependent upon their obedience and faithfulness to Him.  This is an important principle for us to remember when we are praying for ourselves or others.  Too often I think we are ready to question God’s love and even get angry with Him when He does not answer our prayers as we would wish without taking that principle into consideration. 

In His response to the woman that was healed from a physical condition she had suffered for twelve years simply by reaching out to touch His robe, Jesus declared that our faith is often the determining factor in bringing about physical healing.

Luke 8:48 “And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”

Jesus stated that principle once again when he healed the two blind men…

Matthew 9:28–29 “And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.”

…and again when He healed the centurion’s servant.

Matthew 8:13 “And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.”

Obviously, God very often deals with us in grace and mercy without regard to our relationship with Him at any given point.  Jesus demonstrated this truth countless times during His ministry while on earth.

Matthew 9:35 “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”

Luke 4:40 “Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.”

The great truth is that God Almighty, the self-existent, eternal God, our Creator has complete authority and power throughout the universe.  In everything He does He is working to accomplish His will.  I believe that every act of God toward man has one of two main purposes:
·      To bring men to a point of repentance and salvation
·      To conform believers to the image of His Son Jesus through ongoing cleansing and purification.

1 Timothy 2:3–4 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Romans 8:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

2 Timothy 2:19&21 “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity….If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”

Every person that accepts God’s gift of salvation through faith in Jesus His Son can rest in His promise that He will allow nothing to touch him/her that He does not intend for good.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

(to be continued…)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


In this post we will begin to look at the names of God expressed as a compound with the name Yhwh or Jehovah.  The first one is Jehovah-jireh, the Lord will provide.

Genesis 22:14 “And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.”

The Hebrew entry for Strong’s actually defines it as, “Yhwh will see (to it).”  In context, Abraham is naming the place where God had called him to sacrifice his son Isaac.  Abraham didn’t hesitate at God’s command, but you know he couldn’t have understood why God was asking him to do such a thing.  God had promised to fulfill His covenant with Abraham to make him a great nation through Isaac.  Abraham’s faith was not dependent upon his understanding of “why” but the revelation he had been given of “who.”  I believe this incident must be the source of the saying, “Where God guides He provides.”  As the writer to the Hebrews stated, Abraham fully believed that God would keep His covenant with him to the point of raising Isaac from the dead if necessary.

Hebrews 11:17–19 “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.”

God will do no less for any of His children than He did for Abraham.  He will always supply our need when we are serving Him in accordance with His will.

Psalms 34:10 “…they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.”

Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

The problem most of us have is in understanding “need” from His perspective rather than ours.  Those needs include clothing, food and drink.

Matthew 6:30–33 “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

It is significant to note that His promise of provision is to those that “seek the LORD” and “seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”

Those needs include so much more than just material provision.  They include being able to overcome the temptation to sin…

1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
… being able to learn from the scripture and apply its truth to our lives…

John 14:26 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

…being able to answer false accusers who would persecute us for our faith in Jesus Christ…

Mark 13:11 “But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.”

…being able to withstand the attack of the devil and other evil spirits.

Ephesians 6:11-12 &  16 “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places….Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”

It is important to consider the whole of scripture as we think on God’s provision.  Sometimes it is part of God’s purpose for His children to suffer and endure a time when it appears to us that God is not meeting one’s need—e.g., Job and Lazarus.  We need to remember that sometimes God meets our need by putting us through the refining fires of His testing.  Sometimes He meets our need by allowing us to leave this life and enter eternity in His presence. His primary focus is providing for our eternal spiritual well-being—our greatest need.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


The next term in the scripture we see used to identify God is “LORD God.”

Genesis 2:4 “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens….”

The Hebrew for this term is listed in Strong’s concordance as “Yhwh elohim.”  The Hebrew language has no vowels, so vowels were eventually inferred; and Jehovah became the Latin expression of the term “Yhwh.”  YHWH is often recorded as LORD (all capitals) in most translations of scripture; some others I checked use the terms Adonai, Jehovah, or Yahweh.  It is also recorded as GOD (all capitals) in combination with the term Lord, as shown in Genesis 15:2 below.

The term “Yhwh” (Jehovah) in scripture addresses the self-Existent or Eternal One.  In other words, it declares the unique position of authority and power of God; He is, always has been and always will be.  As referenced at the end of the last post, that is just beyond our human comprehension.  I can repeat the truth and believe it by faith, but I cannot understand it.  Again, as stated in the previous post, that is as it should be; if we could fully understand God, He would not be God.  We can only understand Him in light of what He chooses to reveal to us about Himself. 

“Adonay” (Adonai) is often used in scripture in the phrase “Lord GOD,” but note that “Lord” is spelled with both upper and lower case letters.  It addresses the sovereignty of God as our master, the One in power and authority over us; and it is first used in the following verse.

Genesis 15:2 “And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?”

Abram understood that his God was THE GOD, ultimate in power and authority as the eternal, self-existent God.  Only that God could act supernaturally to fulfill the promise He had made to Abraham to make him a great nation since his wife Sarai was barren.

Before moving on to address the many names of God used in combination with “Yhwh,” I want to include one more name of God—I AM.  It is the name by which God identified Himself to Moses as the burning bush.

Exodus 3:14 “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”

The Hebrew for “I AM” is “hayah,” and is identified in Strong’s as the root word for “Yhwh.”  It is a word that expresses “existence or being.”  I think God used this name to emphasize to His people His uniqueness from all other recognized “gods.”  He is and always has been; He is not a figment of man’s imagination nor is He dependent in any way upon man.  Later in scripture He would go on to instruct His people not to create any image to represent Him in worship. 

Exodus 20:2–5 “I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them….”

Only false gods depended upon such man-made images to help propagate their lies.  I AM, the one true GOD, is the author of creation, the source of “being” Who declares Himself supernaturally to His people.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


I have been asking God for direction for quite a while concerning the next series of blog posts.  As I was working out on the elliptical recently and listening to praise music, one of the songs prompted me to thinking about the many names of our LORD and how those names reflect His character and His actions toward us.  What do they reveal to us about Him?  Though I have heard many teachings regarding the names of God, I’ve never done a personal study on that subject.  I am hoping that it will be a study that will encourage, strengthen and even convict us all as we spend some time meditating on just Who our Lord and Savior is.

Already, at the outset of preparation for this series of posts, I am finding the amount of scripture involved in some aspects to be quite overwhelming.  Therefore, I am going to try to be concise in presenting the scriptural support for the truth I am declaring.  I am going to begin with a fundamental truth that provides the foundation for the whole blog series.  Scripture declares that God is a triune being, three in one—Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The first book in the Bible opens with that concept.

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”

Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:”

The Hebrew word for “God” in verse one is the word “elohim,” it is plural.  That fact is emphasized once the narrative gets to creation of man.  God says, “Let us make man”; the pronoun “us” refers back to God, a plural entity.  As I looked through many, many verses that make reference to this truth, I settled on the following verses as some of the most explicit in affirming God as a trinity.  Webster expresses it well:  The union of three persons (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost) in one Godhead, so that all the three are one God as to substance, but three persons as to individuality.”

This next verse is an instruction from Jesus to His disciples to go forth and make more disciples. 

Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost….” 

Notice that they are to baptize the new disciples in the name (singular) of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Titus 3:4–6 “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour….” 

In this verse we see all three persons of God at work in the salvation of every believer.  Both God the Father and Jesus the Son are identified as “our Savior.”  Distinction is made, however, as Paul declares that God, the Father, saved us by His mercy and made us new through the ministry of the Holy Ghost.  His mercy and our spiritual rebirth through the Holy Spirit were made possible by the shed blood of Jesus.

1 Peter 1:2 “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”

 Peter, as did Paul in the verse above, makes specific reference to each person of the Trinity that exist as One being in declaring our position as part of the family of believers.  We have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and purified through the work of the Holy Spirit to be able to be obedient to the commands of Jesus who has redeemed us by His blood.

1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit….” 

Again Peter references the triune God in reference to the salvation of every child of God.  Christ Jesus, the just and righteous One, suffered death to redeem us, the unjust/unrighteous ones, from sin.  He presents us to God the Father as being born again.  We who have been redeemed have died to the flesh but reborn to spiritual life through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” 

The author of the Hebrews is very clear in declaring that the man Christ Jesus was able to offer Himself as our perfect sacrifice on the cross through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to enable us to serve the living God (the Father) in obedience.  Jesus gloriously succeeded where Adam, the first man, had failed so miserably.  Adam chose to rebel against God at a time and place when He was experiencing the full bounty of God’s blessing.  Jesus chose to remain obedient to God in a time and place when He was confronted with all the sinful temptations of this world and in conditions that were far removed from the bounty and beauty of Eden.

John 1:1&14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

1 John 5:5, 7&9 “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?...For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one….for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.”

John opens his gospel with a declaration that Jesus is the Word, the declared revelation of God, made flesh—come to earth as a man.  He goes on in his first letter to affirm Jesus as the Son of God through the witness of all three persons of the Godhead in heaven—The Father, the Word (Jesus) and the Holy Ghost—and then declares that all three are one.

1 Corinthians 12:3–6 “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.”

In this excerpt from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he is emphasizing that it is through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in one’s heart that one can declare Jesus as Lord; conversely, no one possessing the indwelling Holy Spirit will curse Jesus.  He then begins to give instruction regarding the gifting of the Holy Spirit to every believer. I think it is important to note that the work of One is the work of All in reference to the Trinity.  The Greek for the word same in the phrase “the same God” indicates a reflexive pronoun.  In other words, “God” is the power source for these gifts, administrations and operations.  The Holy Spirit distributes the gifts, the Lord Jesus determines our service and God the Father brings about His purposes through our service as facilitated by our gifting(s).

I realize that this is a very small presentation of such a very great truth, but I believe enough has been presented to make the point and at least challenge one to look further.  More scripture affirming this truth will be presented along the way as we continue looking at the names of God in all three persons of His triune nature.  We just need to understand that what we say about One is true about All as stated above.

In the next post we will begin to address references to the name of God that embrace the fullness of His triune nature.  In later posts we will reference names of God specifically ascribed to Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  Though specific in address, the truth about each applies to all.  Is this all hard to understand?  Yes—and that is as it should be.  If we could completely understand and comprehend God, He wouldn’t be God.  The prophet Isaiah explains.

Isaiah 55:8–9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

(to be continued…)

Saturday, May 18, 2013


I have been seeking direction concerning this blog, and I think I have been answered.  I have never done a personal in-depth study of the names of God/Jesus in scripture, so the plan is to do that study and learn what God is revealing to us about Himself through the names by which He is identified in scripture.  Until I get a running start, I hope you take some time to meditate on the truth in the following scripture.  (Do you see my poodle in the clouds?  The picture was taken when I was enjoying a beautiful sunrise in the Bahamas with my daughter.)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Though impossible to imagine in light of the current world situation, the word of God is clear in declaring that He has established David’s throne forever.  It may be empty right now, but one day in the not so distant future King Jesus will take His rightful place on that throne to rule not only Israel, but the whole world.  Yes, there will be terrible times on planet earth preceding that event, but God’s word is sure.  His word has never failed; it is proven, and what He has declared will come to pass.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


1 Corinthians 3:11–19 “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

I think that preachers often misrepresent the truth of this passage of scripture.  The judgment seat of Christ that awaits every Christian is one of determining rewards—not exposing sin.  Scripture is clear in declaring that the believer is clothed in the righteousness of Christ and that our sins have been removed as far as east is from west.  It is our works that will be judged as to whether they qualify for reward.  I believe the deciding factor will be one of motive.  Were they done with a pure motive to honor the Savior?  Were they done in accordance with the will of God as declared in His word? 

This judgment is not something that should make the child of God afraid, but should encourage us in our desire to serve Him.  It’s amazing to me that He has provided a way for us to go to heaven, let alone that He desires to reward us for choosing to serve Him in love.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Psalm 12:1 Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.

At this point in David’s life he is disturbed at the decreasing number of people who are living their lives in submission to the LORD.  It seems to him as though men of faith and obedience to God are quickly disappearing.

I can certainly identify with David’s heart. It seems to me that “Christians” in America today seem to be more interested in fellowship and social service than in equipping themselves through the study of God’s word and investing in their personal relationship to Him.  The prevailing trend seems to be to place more emphasis on experience than on truth.  Many are even denying the truth and inerrancy of the word of God. 

At I found an article reporting the results of a 2009 survey regarding the changing biblical worldview in our nation.  Most disturbingly, this study revealed that less than one-half of one percent of adults aged 18-23 have a biblical worldview, compared to about one out of every nine older adults.  Some of the results pertaining to those who identify themselves as born again are also very telling.
·      Slightly less than half of the born again adults (46%) believe in absolute moral truth.
·      Not even half (47%) strongly reject the notion that one can earn salvation through their deeds.
·      Slightly less than two-thirds (62%) strongly believe that Jesus lived a sinless life.

Obviously, to reject absolute moral truth is to reject the Bible, the Word of God, since it declares moral truth to be absolute.  That one fact is at the root of the other two revelations.  If one does not accept God’s Word as absolutely true, it leaves one free to interpret scripture through a distorted lens and question the things that make one uncomfortable.  It is truly amazing to me how such people can have any confident expectation of their salvation on any grounds if they consider God a liar.

Psalm 12:2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.

The Hebrew for “vanity” makes reference to evil, deceptive and lying.  “Flattering lips” are a reference to false or insincere praise, and a “double heart” is deceitful.  David is saying that very few people could be trusted, and deception was becoming the norm rather than the exception among men.  Do either the government or media come to mind as you read this?

Psalm 12:3-4 The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?

Most of the translations word the beginning as a cry from the heart of David for God to act in judgment against these evil men, and that makes more sense to me.  He is describing a people who are so full of pride that they feel they can accomplish anything with their deceptive, lying but skillful use of words.  They don’t feel accountable to God or anyone else.

It is obvious from the next verse that these men focus on taking advantage of the poor and needy among God’s children.  I can’t help but think of those today who claim to be ministers of God and blanket the airwaves and fill arenas with just such a mindset. 

Psalm 12:5 For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.

The Spirit inspires David with an answer from the LORD.  He is totally aware of what is going on.  He will intervene on behalf of those who are being robbed and mistreated through the skillful manipulation of these smooth talkers.  (We would call them “snake oil salesmen.”)

Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

As God promises to intervene, David is reminded that God’s word is pure—without deceit, holy.  David paints a picture of the purity of God’s word by comparing it to silver that has gone through the furnace of purification seven times.  The number seven in scripture represents completeness and gives emphasis to the purity of God’s word; it does not contain one iota of deception; it is completely pure.

Psalm 12:7-8 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.

When wicked men are the ones held in esteem, the wicked become bolder in their evil practices.  In spite of that truth, David knows that the protection and security of those who are poor and needy among God’s people is with the LORD as declared by His promise in verse 5 and guaranteed by the purity of His word as expressed in verse 6.  The future of every child of God is one of eternal joy.

Isaiah 64:4 “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.”

Revelation 21:3–4 “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

David doesn’t necessarily understand why wicked men are being allowed to prosper, but he doesn’t let that fact affect his faith in God.  He knows that God will provide salvation for His own and will judge the wicked.  I think he knew the truth expressed by the psalmist Asaph.

Psalms 73:12–17 “Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.
If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.”